Where does our food come from? Georgia Davis MUPGRET Workshop June 15, 2004
Centers of Origin Mediterranean Turkey/Iran China Mexico/C. America Ethopia SE Asia India Andes/Brazil/Paraguay Map from modified from WorldAtlas.com
Mexico/Central America • Maize • Tomato • Common bean • Sweet potato
Andes/Brazil/Paraguay • Peppers • Potato • Rubber • Pumpkin • Cassava
Mediterranean • Almonds • Cabbage • Olives • Beet • Lettuce • Asparagus
Turkey/Iran • Wheat • Barley • Oat • Figs • Lentil
India • Cucumbers • Eggplant • Pigeonpea • Pea • Onion • Garlic • Carrot
China • Soybean • Chinese cabbages
Southeast Asia • Coconut • Rice • Sugarcane
Ethopian • Cowpea • Okra
GRIN • Germplasm resource information network • USDA, ARS • http://www.ars-grin.gov/npgs/
Indigenous Crops • There are very few crop plants that are indigenous to the US. • Most are not things we’d commonly think of….
Blueberry Cranberry Jerusalem artichoke Pecan Black walnut Sunflower Ginseng Strawberry Beech Hickory Chestnut Wild rice Indigenous crops
Food Animal feed Fiber Pharmaceuticals Recreation Oxygen production Building materials Fuel Aesthetics Spice/seasoning Erosion control Plants are used for:
Black walnut • Wood used for cabinet making and in gunstock • Sap can be boiled into syrup and sugar • Bark used for tanning • Nut husk is a dye • Oxygen • Shade
A day without plants • Our clothes would be synthetics like polyester or spandex. • We would breathe from an oxygen tank. • We would live in a mud hut or a metal building. • We would not have cars or bicycles.
A day without plants • What would we eat? • Most animals eat plants or other animals that eat plants. • Many insects require plants to survive.
Some interesting ideas for students • Write an essay or a journal describing a person’s daily activity in a world without plants. • Assign each student a plant and ask them to write a paper describing all of the things we use each day that come from that plant.
More ideas for students • Assign a plant to the class or to individual students. Ask them to describe how their life would change if that plant no longer existed. • For example what would happen if, perish the thought, there was no corn?
More student ideas • Ask the students to say which states would be economically affected by the absence of a major crop. • The Agriculture in the Classroom webcite could be helpful here. • Have the students each make a log of the food they eat for one day. Then ask them to list all of the plants that contributed to their meals.