Beets (Beta vulgaris) (beetroot, chard) Our beets were derived from a wild “sea beet” which is widespread along the Mediterranean and European coasts. Remains of beetroot have been found in an Egyptian pyramid from over 4500 years ago. Beetroot was well known to the ancient Greeks, and the leafy forms like chard were popular in Rome and Ancient Greece. The Romans considered beets to be an aphrodisiac.
Over the last 200 years some varieties of beetroot have been bred to have high sugar content – over 10%. These sugar beets now supply about a third of sugar produced world-wide.