Posts Tagged ‘root crops’

The Curse of the Potato

May 3, 2016

Before the rise of the modern world, why did some societies develop social and architectural complexity while others didn’t?

“The most advanced civilizations all tended to cultivate grain crops, like wheat and barley and corn. Less advanced societies tended to rely on root crops like potatoes, taro and manioc.

It’s not that grains crops were much easier to grow than tubers, or that they provided more food, the economists say. Instead, the economists believe that grains crops transformed the politics of the societies that grew them, while tubers held them back.

Call it the curse of the potato.”


“The sinister, secret history of a food that everybody loves,” Jeff Guo, Washington Post


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Photo by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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