We began with the potato, and I don’t mean “French fries”! Potatoes were first cultivated by the Inca Indians in Peru in about 200 B.C. Andean farmers once grew some 4,000 potato varieties, each with its own name, flavor, and use, ranging in size from tiny to gigantic and covering the color spectrum from indigo-purple to red, orange, yellow and white.
People use to eat what they grew locally and what was in season. With the increased appetite for produce that was out of season (eating strawberries in October as an example), and the increased demand to ship produce all over the world, farmers had to start breeding varieties that held up in boxcars, trucks, or ship’s cargo.
Now, even in the regions of Peru least affected by the modern market, only a few dozen potato varieties are widely grown.
Additionally, Seed producing companies and scientists have created genetically engineered seeds that will produce crops only once. After that, people from across the world, and specifically third world nations, have to depend on the seed companies to create more seeds, because the crop seeds will not be of any use.
Did you know?
· We put as much fossil fuels in our refrigerators as we do our cars?
· We consume 400 gallons of oil per year, per person, about 17% of our nation’s energy for agriculture? That includes tractors, tillers, fertilizer, insecticides, drying, packaging, shipping, etc…
· But getting the crop from seed to harvest only takes 1/5 of the total fossil fuel used for food.
· Each food item in a typical US meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles!
· If every US Citizen ate just one meal a week, any meal, composed of locally and organically grown meat or produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels every week.