Did you know that many of our major crops rely on insect pollination to supply us with the foods we need? Although some of our grains are self-pollinated, many of our fruits and vegetables need some help.
Some of our crops, such as cherries and blueberries, are 90% dependent on honey bees providing the pollination. On the pollination impact scale, there are 8 different food products which are listed as “essential” to pollination. There are another 26 food products which are listed as having a “great” need for pollination.
On this list of foods includes staples like buckwheat, apples, cucumbers, squash, watermelon, and many nuts.
If you create a pollinator celebration meal, you would include the foods which are available to us from bees, bats, butterflies, hummingbirds, and even beetles. Up to 95% of the plants which flower on our planet benefit in some way from the act of insect pollination.
How to Create Recipes with Pollinator Products
If you search through your favorite recipes, you will find that many include some products that require pollination. The goal of this meal is to be at 100% in the use of pollinator foods.
Although many believe this eliminates animal products, that isn’t the case. Did you know that alfalfa is a pollination crop? You could add beef products and dairy products to your celebration meal if the animals were given alfalfa as a primary part of their diet.
Several fibrous squashes are part of the pollinator series of food products as well. Try roasting a whole pumpkin after carving out the seeds and strings. Fill it with your favorite fruits and vegetables which qualify for the meal, then add some cheese from alfalfa-fed cows, goats, or sheep. Bake it at 325 degrees for 2-4 hours, depending on the filling, and then serve directly from the pumpkin when ready.
Don’t Want a Whole Dinner? Then Go with Dessert!
You can also choose to celebrate using a specific part of your meal with pollination products if you prefer. Many fruits are part of the pollination celebration. Peaches, pears, raspberries, mangoes, and grapes are all potential options to enjoy. Then add some vanilla, figs, cranberries, coffee, or chocolate, based on the types of dessert that you like.
Another option (for the adults, anyway) is to add some tequila to the dessert. Bats help to pollinate the agave plant, from which tequila is distilled. For the kids, you can serve either hot tea or iced tea, since tea plants are pollinated by bees, flies, and other local insects.
Some spices and seeds can be part of your pollinator celebration meal as well. Nutmeg is the most common option, which is pollinated by birds and honey bees. Coriander is also pollinated by bees, as is cardamom.
With a little creativity, you can create a stunning pollinator celebration meal that encompasses every food group. Invite your friends and neighbors over, decorate your home with pollinator art if you wish, and then have the whole family help to prepare the meal for a wonderfully good time.