Native North American Food Plants

There aren’t many, as compared with what has come from Mexico, Central America, and the Old World. Blueberries, Hickory and Pecan nuts, cranberries, persimmons, and paw-paws — not a large list. But then there is the sunflower, mainly Helianthus annuus. Somehow seeds of this American plant made their way across the Atlantic and farmers and plant-breeders in Russia and the Ukraine learned that the tall plant was ideally suited to the climates there.

Farmers found that sunflower seeds are a great source of cooking oil, when they are squeezed hard enough. This NPR story tells the tale very well:

How The Russians…

Larry

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