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Lettuce – food facts

Lettuce is a vegetable that belongs to the sunflower family. It originates from Mediterranean region. Lettuce was first cultivated by the ancient Egyptians who turned it from a weed, into a food plant grown for its succulent leaves.

The top lettuce growing states are California and Arizona

Varieties: Iceberg, Romaine and Leaf lettuce are the best known varieties of lettuce. They differ in color, texture and in the amount of nutrients.

Related: Artichokes, Chamomile

Harvest season in the LV: May to November

Growing Conditions: Lettuce prefers colder climate, which postpones development of flowers and ensures proper development of leaves. Lettuce can be cultivated in the ground or in the water.

Pollination: Self-pollinated.

Cooking/Preparation required: Best raw. Lettuce can be consumed in the form of salads or as an ingredient of sandwiches. It can be also used for the wrapping of food.

Fertilizers or pesticides: Lettuces are frequently contaminated with what are considered the most potent pesticides used on food such as Imidacloprid and Mandipropamide.

Nutrients: Lettuce provides dietary fiber, vitamins A, B9 and C and minerals such as calcium, iron and copper. Darker varieties provide more nutrients than light green varieties.

Health considerations: Low in calories and almost no fat. High in fiber and cellulose. Helps with insomnia, low glycemic index, heart healthy.


Nutrient content can vary greatly depending on soil conditions, with organic methods and a soil rich in organic matter generally producing the best results.

‘Dirty Dozen’ or ‘Clean Fifteen’ ratings do not necessarily apply to produce grown on local farms — you need to check with the farmer to determine if and when any fertilizers or pesticides were applied.