Organic lettuce seeds produce a leafy fast-growing annual plant with thick leaves. The crisp, tender leaves are usually green but may also be red or bronzy—they also vary in shape and flavor, depending on the variety. The biodegradable capsules contain non-GMO, certified organic seeds inside a mineral growth medium.
Lettuce is almost invariably used fresh. Leaves are added to green salads and mixed salads or added to sandwiches. Lettuce is very popular as a garnish, served with dishes as diverse as roasted meat and hamburgers. Lettuce may also be stuffed, pureed or cooked with milk or cream. Lettuce leaves are added (either tossed or composed) to green salads and mixed salads of which there are countless variations all over the world—Caesar, Greek, Nicoise and Waldorf salads are famous examples.
Cultivated lettuce is thought to be an ancient cultigen derived from wild lettuce (Lactuca serriola). The cultivation of lettuce can be traced back as far as 4500 BC when it was most likely grown for the oil of it seeds, and only later as a leaf crop. Firmly implanted in the Mediterranean basin, lettuce was held in high esteem by the Greeks and Romans, both as a vegetable and as a remedy. Columbus is said to have introduced lettuce into the Caribbean.
Lettuce is a very low-calorie food. Most varieties are rich in folic acid, although the vitamin and mineral content can differ from one variety to another. Lettuce is said to stimulate the appetite and have analgesic and sedative properties: it is recommended for insomnia, nervous system, and as a cough remedy. In the Middle Age, monks were advised to eat lettuce to purge the body of toxins.