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lec34 (dragged) - Lecture 34 1 Lecture 34 Horticulture...

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1 Lecture 34 Horticulture, Politics, and World Affairs: Sugarcane and Plantation Agriculture Horticulture as the source of valuable commodities has had great in f uence on the interaction between nations both in antiquity and the present. The in f uence of the spice trade in the Ancient World and, espe- cially, in the Age of Exploration has already been covered in previous lectures. In the next 3 lectures, we will discuss 3 major tropical products: cane sugar, tea, and banana. Each has had profound effects on the relation between nations and peoples, effects that are still reverberating in the world today. Sugarcane Sweetness is a naturally desired taste and human tongue receptors can distinguish sweetness, a natu- rally pleasant taste sensation, and the reason we enjoy fruits. In antiquity the main source of a concentrated sweet product was honey. Sugar (sucrose) is now the cheapest energy food. Sugarcane (S accharum of narum , Poaceae) is pres- ently the most important source of sugar followed by sugar beet.
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