When corn was introduced to Spain in the 18th century, it helped to feed a rapidly growing population. The crop quickly spread throughout the European and Asian continents, reaching all the way to China within a century. The Russians used it for cornmeal and mamaliga, which is a type of porridge. Corn was also more filling than the previous staples like wheat and rice meaning that more people could be healthily fed with less money. The crop utilized fields that would have been deemed as useless in growing any other crop besides the potato. However, feeding a rapidly increasing population was not corn's only role in European history. It was also fed to livestock. The crop's multiple uses led to a higher demand that people like William Cobbett met. In his Cottage Economy of 1821 it read, "I, last April sent parcels if the seed into several countries, to be given away to working men, this corn is the very best hog-fattening in the world." Some Europeans developed pellagra, which is caused by a lack of niacin from eating too much corn. "Nevertheless, the golden grain wa...
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• Laws, Bill . Fifty Plants that Changed the Course of History. . Reprint. Buffalo: Firefly Books, 2011. Print.
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• Mann, Charles. "How the Potato Changed the World." Smithsonian Magazine 26 Apr. 2014: n. pag. Web. .
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• The Columbian Exchange: Crash Course World History #23. Dir. John Green. Perf. John Green . YouTube, 2012. Film.
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