Friday, March 02, 2007

Sugar cane: part of the Columbian Exchange


Canavial
Originally uploaded by joaobambu.
The Columbian Exchange (also sometimes known as The Grand Exchange) has been one of the most significant events in the history of world ecology, agriculture, and culture.

The term is used to describe the enormous widespread exchange of plants, animals, foods, human populations (including slaves), communicable diseases, and ideas between the Eastern and Western hemispheres that occurred after 1492.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus' first voyage launched an era of large-scale contact between the Old and the New World that resulted in this ecological revolution: hence the name "Columbian" Exchange.

As an example, the plants that originated in the New World include:

avocado
beans
cashew
chia
chicle (chewing gum base)
chili pepper (includes the bell pepper)
cocoa / chocolate
cotton (long staple variety, 90% of modern cultivation)
maize (corn)
papaya
peanut
pecan
pineapple
potato
rubber
squash (incl. pumpkin)
sunflower
strawberry (American species used in modern hybrids)
sweet potato
tobacco
tomato
vanilla

1 comment:

Joao said...

Thanks for blogging my photo!