Poster and article submitted by Quanah Parker Brightman and UNA
The American Indian Contribution To The World’s Food
Did you know that over 62% of all the food that the entire world eats today was originally developed by American Indian people ? It’s true ! In fact, if you took out all the food in your cupboards and refrigerator that was developed by Indians, you wouldn’t be left with much to eat. Have you ever gone to a movie and had a tub of popcorn ? Well, if it weren’t for the ingenuity of ancient Indian folks, you’d have to eat something else at the movie ! Yes, that’s right, Indians invented popcorn … and many other foods and drinks you enjoy today. The list below will clearly convey the overwhelming Indian contribution to the food of today’s world.
A partial list of the foods originally developed or discovered by Indian people (Most of these foods were Indigenous only to the Americas – meaning they did not grow anywhere else in the world)
Corn – all types including sweet, flint and popcorn
Beans – almost all types including Pinto, Lima, Kidney, Navy, Red, White, Black, Green (String, Pole, French, Snap), Butter, Great Northern and Wax
Squash – all types including Zucchini, Acorn, Spaghetti, Crook neck, Summer, Winter and Butternut
Tomatoes – all types including Red, Yellow and Orange, from cherry to melon size
Potato – 250 varieties grown (20 varieties are 75% of total harvest) 3,000 Varieties were developed by the Incas
Cacao (Cocoa and Chocolate come from this)
Peppers – all types including Green, Chili and Banana
Sunflowers (the seeds and oil as well)
Avocados, Cashews, Hominy, Passion Fruit, Vanilla, Catfish, Grits, Hickory Nuts, Cayenne Pumpkin, Gum, Pomegranates, Peanuts, Jerky, Wild Rice, Sweet Potato, Chilies, Tortillas, Jerusalem Artichoke, Persimmon, Yams, Arrowroot (starchy flour), Prickly Pear Cactus, Pineapple, Guava, Papaya, Pawpaw, Blueberry, Strawberry, Mulberry, Cranberry, Huckleberry, Chokecherry, Maple Syrup, Sassafras ( Tea & flavoring of Root Beer) Catnip, Manioc or Cassava (Tapioca Pudding), Mesquite, Ramps ( Wild Leeks), Wintergreen Mint, Paprika, Allspice, Pecan, Black Walnut, Acorn, Beechnut ( fine quality oil), Clams, Scallops, Shrimp, Crayfish, Turkey, Bison, Moose, Caribou, Musk Ox, Antelope, Opossum, Armadillo, White Tailed Deer, Alligator ..
Indian Influence and Contributions of Food – Issues of Native Circle www.nativecircle.com
“History and health came together one dark November evening for Marty Reinhardt at Northern Michigan University. Reinhardt, a professor in the Native American Studies program was helping to serve up fry bread, Indian tacos and other offerings at the annual First Nations Food Taster, a fundraising event for the Native American Student Association, when he had an epiphany: Would my ancestors even recognize this as food ? … Reinhardt, of Anishinaabe Ojibway heritage turned his question inside out, I wondered if I could eat what my ancestors ate.” http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/24/eating-indigenouslychangesdietsandlivesofnativeamericans.html