For over 200 years, North American students have been taught a series of misinterpretations, myths and lies about the indigenous farmers of the Americas, which were intended to make them seem dull-witted and primitive, thus deserving of being trapped on reservations in North America or in permanent serfdom in Latin America. Yet today, over 70% of the diets of humans around the globe comes from plants, grains, roots, nuts, fruits and animals selectively domesticated by Indigenous Americans.
- For example, did you know that the modern commercial breeds of chickens were created by crossing the big, plump, heavy-blue/brown egg-laying indigenous chickens of South America with the scrawny, white-egg-laying, medieval chickens of Italy and France?
- Did you know that the Creeks raised domesticated turkeys and used them to keep their domesticated strawberry beds free of insects and weeds? Almost all commercial varieties of strawberries in the world contain substantial DNA from the Creek domesticated strawberry.
- Did you know that recent genetic studies have revealed that most commercial varieties of corn in North America, with the exception of some in the Southwest, are descended from South American corn varieties . . . not those from Mexico?
- Did you know that several varieties of summer squash, winter squash and pumpkin may have been first been domesticated in the Cumberland Plateau and Southern Highlands of the Southeastern United States then transported to Mexico, where more varieties were developed?
- Did you know that when Savannah was settled in 1733, the British colonists found the local Uchee farmers raising varieties of cacao, pineapple and sweet Caribbean squash that had been adapted to the local climate?
The Americas Revealed will be examining the history of each of the major food sources that originated in the Americas, beginning with our indigenous chickens. This is appropriate for the website comes from a region that promotes itself as the poultry capital of the world. It is where after World War II, the technology of the modern poultry industry was developed . . . and also the first pre-cooked, frozen dinners were produced. Its progenitors had no clue that the Creek Indians, who once owned this land, were raising indigenous chickens before the arrival of Spanish and French explorers, plus apparently invented the frying of battered poultry and fish in deep pots, containing hickory nut oil.
While anthropology professors either draw a blank face or grimace, when asked how crops from South America and Mesoamerica reached North America, we will try to answer those questions. Our journey will include exploration of ancient terrace complexes in Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina via videos and photographs. In particular, we want to know why these massive public works projects were constructed in close proximity to traditional bottomland agriculture.
Well, the journey begins . . .