There are many reasons why microgreens remain unknown to many Canadians, notably the fact that they have only been on the market for a short time. In fact, microgreens first appeared in culinary art during the 1980s in San Francisco, and only became more popular in the 1990s. It was not until 1998 that the word “microgreen” was first coined.
It should also be pointed out that microgreens have gained in popularity in the nutrition world in the last five to ten years. Little by little, they have appeared in supermarkets and grocery stores for everyday consumers to enjoy in the comfort of their own home. Microgreens are increasingly served in restaurants and by caterers, and are starting to be featured in recipe books. Not until 2012 did researchers from the USDA Agricultural Research Services finally look into these products. They found that microgreens not only have many benefits for consumers, but also contain important nutritional advantages: the antioxidants and vitamins they contain yield many health benefits.
Whereas many microgreen varieties are found on today’s market, the first plant varieties defined as microgreens were arugula, beets, basil and coriander. Many varieties have since been added to the list. Thus, though they have become popular in the United States over the years, they remain a novelty in Canada and are just now being more widely acknowledged.