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  • Baked or fried, boiled or roasted, as chips or fries.


  • At some point in your life, you've probably eaten a potato.


  • Delicious, for sure, but the fact is potatoes have played a much more significant role in our history than just that of the dietary staple we have come to know and love today.


  • Without the potato, our modern civilization might not exist at all.


  • 8,000 years ago in South America, high atop the Andes, ancient Peruvians were the first to cultivate the potato.

    在 8000 年以前,南美洲安地斯山脈的山頂上,古代祕魯人是最早開始種植馬鈴薯的人類

  • Containing high levels of proteins and carbohydrates, as well as essential fats, vitamins and minerals, potatoes were the perfect food source to fuel a large Incan working class as they built and farmed their terraced fields, mined the Rocky Mountains, and created the sophisticated civilization of the great Incan Empire.

    富含蛋白質和碳水化合物,以及人體必需脂肪、維他命和礦物質的馬鈴薯是提供大批印加帝國勞工階層充沛精力的來源,讓他們有力氣建造並耕作梯田、 開挖洛磯山脈的礦產,並藉此發展出繁華的印加帝國文明

  • But considering how vital they were to the Incan people, when Spanish sailors returning from the Andes first brought potatoes to Europe, the spuds were duds.


  • Europeans simply didn't want to eat what they considered dull and tasteless oddities from a strange new land, too closely related to the deadly nightshade plant belladonna for comfort.


  • So instead of consuming them, they used potatoes as decorative garden plants.


  • More than 200 years would pass before the potato caught on as a major food source throughout Europe, though even then, it was predominantly eaten by the lower classes.

    馬鈴薯在 200 年後才成為歐洲的主要食物來源,但即使成為了主食,吃馬鈴薯的人大多來自下層階級

  • However, beginning around 1750, and thanks at least in part to the wide availability of inexpensive and nutritious potatoes, European peasants with greater food security no longer found themselves at the mercy of the regularly occurring grain famines of the time and so their populations steadily grew.


  • As a result, the British, Dutch and German Empires rose on the backs of the growing groups of farmers, laborers, and soldiers, thus lifting the West to its place of world dominion.


  • However, not all European countries sprouted empires.


  • After the Irish adopted the potato, their population dramatically increased, as did their dependence on the tuber as a major food staple.


  • But then disaster struck.


  • From 1845 to 1852, potato blight disease ravaged the majority of Ireland's potato crop, leading to the Irish Potato Famine, one of the deadliest famines in world history.

    從 1845 到 1852 年間的晚疫病 (馬鈴薯及番茄重要病害) 摧殘了大部分愛爾蘭的馬鈴薯作物,導致了世界史上死亡人數最多的飢荒之一的愛爾蘭「馬鈴薯飢荒」

  • Over a million Irish citizens starved to death, and 2 million more left their homes behind.


  • But of course, this wasn't the end for the potato.


  • The crop eventually recovered, and Europe's population, especially the working classes, continued to increase.


  • Aided by the influx of Irish migrants, Europe now had a large, sustainable, and well-fed population who were capable of manning the emerging factories that would bring about our modern world via the Industrial Revolution.


  • So it's almost impossible to imagine a world without the potato.


  • Would the Industrial Revolution ever have happened?


  • Would World War II have been lost by the Allies without this easy-to-grow crop that fed the Allied troops?


  • Would it even have started?


  • When you think about it like this, many major milestones in world history can all be at least partially attributed to the simple spud from the Peruvian hilltops.


Baked or fried, boiled or roasted, as chips or fries.



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B2 中高級 中文 美國腔 TED-Ed 馬鈴薯 作物 印加 愛爾蘭 帝國

【TED-Ed】從馬鈴薯看世界歷史- Leo Bear-McGuinness (History through the eyes of the potato - Leo Bear-McGuinness)

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    稲葉白兎 發佈於 2021 年 06 月 24 日