Sunday, October 14, 2012

Columbian exchange: cashews, cacao beans, chicle, but not sugar cane

Explorers returned to Europe with maize, potatoes, and tomatoes, which became very important crops in Eurasia by the 18th century, says Wikipedia.

The Columbian Exchange also brought disease. "It is estimated that upwards of 80–95 percent of the Native American population was decimated within the first 100–150 years following 1492; the most affected regions in the Americas lost 100% of their population," says Wikipedia.

- The horse - the mustang - was brought to the Americas by the Spanish.
- Sugar cane arrived from China via Europe.
- Coffee journeyed from Arabia to Europe to the New World.
- Oranges migrated from Southeast Asia.

Terms that are biased - ethnocentric - and that should be replaced by descriptive terms:
- Old World (they were both "old")
- New World
- Middle East
- Far East (coined by the British).