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Old 08-07-2019, 12:25 PM
D_Odds is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
Are sweet potatoes really that important an addition? Many parts of the old world had a variety of sweetish, starch-laden tubers. Taro root in the far east and yams from southern Africa are two examples that had spread widely prior to standardized contact with the new world.
Charles C. Mann, in 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, posited that sweet potatoes helped fuel the Chinese population explosion, as the yield per acre at the time was far greater than rice or other grains, though it turned out the farming methods were much more environmentally unfriendly in the longer term.