5 Foods that Changed the World

by Jack Dawson

in Nutrition

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When we say food, we think of something delicious which can satisfy our hunger. But food is much more than that. It is one of the primary needs of every living being. Most of the food that we see today has been in existence for centuries, whereas some are relatively new.

However most of the popular food that we use today has had major influence on the society.

It has changed the eating habits and much more than that, the way of living of the people.

So here is a list of such five foods which really made a change in this world.

#1 Bread

Among all inventions and discoveries, agriculture was an important one in human history. It resolved the problem of constantly moving in search of food. It enabled us to settle down which later developed into civilizations.

It was wheat along with other cereal grains which was cultivated first. The cultivation of wheat led to the creation of the bread which evolved over times to the bread that we know today. Wheat is one of the oldest prepared foods in the world.

The history of bread dates centuries back, to the advent of agriculture. It is one of the most popular and commonly used foods around the world and there are wide varieties of types, shapes and textures of bread in various regions.  The usage of bread is also varied; it can be eaten as a snack or used as an ingredient in other diets. Apart from nutrition, bread also has significance in many religions and cultures all around the world.

#2 Potatoes

Potatoes were a crop which was flourishing in the American continent which was unknown to the rest of the world. Following the successful conquest of the Inca Empire, Spanish introduced the potatoes to Europe.

Although the European farmers were hesitant of this root crop initially, soon it became the popular and most consumed food in Europe. In fact, potatoes were responsible for the population boom of Europe in the 19th century and their dominance on the rest of the world. The infestation to potato crops in the 19th century resulted in the Great Irish Famine, one of the most devastating famines in world history.

Today potato is the fifth most cultivable crop in the world after wheat, corn, rice and sugarcane. In fact potatoes can be described as the pioneer of modern agricultural industry as the first major fertilizer was developed for them.

#3 Bananas

Though the consumption of bananas dates back centuries, the popularity of bananas in Europe and United Sates is comparatively recent. It was viewed as an exotic imported fruit which was way cheaper than the domestic fruits.

The popularity of the banana had a major impact on the economy of many countries especially Latin American countries. In fact the economy of several countries solely depends upon the export of banana which led to the coinage of the term “Banana Republic”, which now describe the name of the nations whose livelihood entirely depends upon the production of one crop.

Today bananas are one of the most consumed fruits in the world. A fun fact about bananas is that, humans and bananas share 50% of their DNA.

#4 Corn

Like many of the popular crops around the world, corn was discovered in the new world and was brought to Europe.  Initially corn was considered only as a garden curiosity in Europe and later recognizing its potential, it began to be cultivated as a valuable food crop. Soon it spread around Middle and Southeast Europe and later made its way to Africa and Asia. It even radically transformed the diet of most Africans.

The most important feature of corn is its versatility as everything of a corn plant is usable. Today corn or corn products feature in all types of food available in our supermarkets. Also the recent rise in use of ethanol, especially in fuels has tremendously benefitted corn cultivators.

#5 Burgers

Burgers are the most recent food item in this list. But the impact and rise of this food has been significant. Burgers originated around the early 19th century and later became a trend around the world which is still continuing today.

The major credit to the popularity of burgers goes to McDonald’s. McDonald’s started as a single Hamburger stand in Southern California. Today there are almost 35000 McDonald’s restaurants operating in 119 countries. It is now one of the most consumed food in the world and is the pioneer of the popularity fast foods.

These are the foods that made a huge influence on our food habits. While the popularity and consumption of these foods in different regions may vary, the impact that these food created in our lifestyle is beyond any doubt.

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