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Treebeard's Stumper Answer
22 Nov 96

People around the world celebrate the fall harvest with a feast, just as we will celebrate Thanksgiving next week. Foods, like people and ideas, also travel the world. The turkey and corn that the native Americans shared with the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving dinner were originally domesticated long before in central Mexico. What about the other foods on your holiday table. Where in the world were they first grown, and by whom?

Where did our holiday foods originate? We take our foods for granted, but they are cultural artifacts created by native peoples of genius around the world. I'm especially impressed with how many foods (and flowers) were first domesticated by the pre-Columbian peoples of the Americas. Turkey, sweet corn, potatoes, peppers and chilies, sweet potatoes, cranberries, string beans, summer and winter squash, tomatoes, avocados, pineapples, and chocolate are a few more reasons why Thanksgiving is a truly American holiday.

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Marc Kummel / mkummel@rain.org