Columbian Exchange

Topics: Americas, Potato, Native Americans in the United States Pages: 2 (546 words) Published: October 15, 2012
The Columbian Exchange was the importing and exporting of animals, plants, and diseases between the new world and the old world. Explorers from Eurasia were bringing their animals, plants, and diseases over to the new world as well as returning home with new items. There’s no doubt that the Columbian Exchange changed the world. Although more things were brought to the new world, I think the people from the old world benefitted the most. Many of the plants from the new world became stable crops when brought back to the old world. Also, although several diseases were brought back from the new world, the people of Eurasia were able to build immunity to them, whereas the diseases they brought to the new world killed upwards of 90% of the native population. One plant from the Columbian Exchange was the potato. Originally from South America the crop came to the old world and became extremely important. Marie Antoinette turned the potato plant’s flowers into a fashion statement, and wore them as encouragement for French people to eat potatoes. They became the most important food source to the people of Ireland. When first introduced, the Irish only used potatoes as supplement to their diets, but by the late 17th century, they were the main food in the Irish diet. The Irish relied so heavily on the potato that the Irish potato famine caused roughly one million deaths in the mid 1800’s. Tomatoes brought over from the new world back to the old world changed food forever. At first, many people thought tomatoes were poisonous but they finally gained popularity around the 1700’s. Tomatoes began as yellow fruit, instead of the red we associate them with today. France used tomatoes often, but it was Italy that utilized the tomato fully and created tomato sauce. From tomato sauce, many classic Italian pasta dishes have been created. As the video mentioned several times, pizza was a result of tomato sauce and is currently one of the most popular foods in modern society. Horses...
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