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Harvest of the Month

May - Radishes, Chicken, and Eggs

May - Radishes, Chicken, and Eggs
The radish is a member of the Brassicacea or Cruciferacea family along with other vegetables such as kale, collards, broccoli, arugula, cauliflower, collards, cabbage, canola, turnips, horseradish and mustards.  Just think- all of these varied cousins descended long ago from a single wild mustard.  That’s a lot of inherent diversity! There aren’t great archeological records of the history of radishes around the world, but there is some evidence that the center of origin for the radish is in Southeast Asia.  The first historical records of radishes come to us from Greek and Roman writings from the 3rd century B.C.  It is also thought that the radish was one of the first European crops to be brought to the Americas.  And why not?  The radish is a fast growing crop that does well germinating in cool temperatures, making it an ideal crop for spring and fall plantings.

Chicken Eggs:
What came first—the chicken or the egg? For biologists, the answer is simple: the egg! Around 350 million years ago, the first Tetrapods—the common ancestor of all mammals, reptiles, and birds—emerged from the ocean1. When on land, their amphibian-like egg sacs would dry out, so they evolved a protective shell over the embryo, and Voilà!—the first egg. It took another 290 million years for the first wildfowl (the ancestor of all chickens and ducks) to arrive on the scene. Case closed! But when did we start eating eggs? Well, humans and other predatory animals have been eating eggs for millions of years. Then, about 5,000 years ago, people in Asia domesticated the first wildfowl. It was so successful that the idea spread worldwide4. Later, the Egyptians developed a method to incubate eggs in heated caves, freeing up hens to lay more. In the 1940s, egg farming was industrialized, with larger flocks put in smaller cages. Today, 98% of US eggs come from factory farms, which are cheap for the consumer, but criticized for poor animal welfare, pollution, disease, contamination, unsafe working conditions, and sub-par nutrition. In response, the popularity of small-scale egg farms is increasing, and New England states, in particular, are at the forefront of putting better eggs back on the menu.

  • Radishes are rich in ascorbic acid, folic acid, and potassium. They are a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, and calcium.
  • Eggs are very nutrient-dense since they contain the cells to promote the growth of a baby chicken. Thus, they are very high in protein, B12, and iron and contain all the essential amino acids needed for a nourishing lifestyle.

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