Inca's Impact On American Culture

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The Inca Indians were the first people to cultivate potatoes in Peru between 8,000 and 5,000 B.C. The Inca people considered the potato sacred; they worshipped them and even buried them with the dead. They always kept a backup supply incase of war or famine. It wasn’t until the year 1536 that the crop began to spread beyond Peru. The Spanish Conquistadors took over Peru around this time; they originally were in search of gold but found something almost more valuable, the potato. They ended up taking the potatoes and transporting them to Europe. According to researchers it’s believed that the introduction of the potato helped put an end to the famine in Northern Europe that was going on at the time. The potato’s were brought to Spain in 1570 but were mostly used to feed livestock. Once the potatoes were …show more content…

The benefits of potatoes include originally allowing for populations that were once starving to now have an easy to grow and abundant food source. This lead to birth rates and population rates doubling in Ireland and Europe when it was first introduced. However, since potatoes were susceptible to disease they also lead to famine and death. People became so dependent on this one food source that when the supply ran dry many people starved, such as the famous Irish potato famine. The use of pesticides and fertilizers can be accredited to the cultivation of the potato in the United States. The Colorado potato beetle threatened the supply of potatoes, leading farmers to use the first pesticide on their crops to help protect them. From here the Green Revolution was born in the 1940’s, which further encouraged the development of pesticides and fertilizers in order to increase the yield of any crop that they could. Another benefit of potatoes is that it can take the carbon dioxide we exhale and convert it into oxygen. This is one reason astronaut’s carry them to space as one source of their food

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