Food from the Colombian Stock Market (2023)

Food from the Colombian Stock Market (2)

How did the Colombian Stock Exchange shape food culture in the modern world?

OriginallypublishedvonNewberry Digital Collections for the classroom, 29.08.2017,Newberry library, reissued withPermissionfor educational, non-commercial purposes.


Can you imagine Kansas without wheat fields, Italy without marinara sauce, or Spain without gazpacho? Wheat, tomatoes, chili peppers, and many other foods were transported between the Old and New Worlds, the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, after Christopher Columbus' first voyage to the Americas in 1492. This transfer of food, as well as other plants, animals, humans, and diseases, is now known as the Columbian Exchange. The contact between Europe and America resulted in a fantastic variety of foods available around the world. Cows, for example, were introduced to America by Europeans. Rather, the turkeys were transported from America to Europe. The exchange brought potatoes from South America to Ireland and tomatoes from America to Italy. And while the exchange initially affected European and American ways of life, the peoples of Africa and Asia were soon affected as well. The Portuguese provided two of many examples: they brought chili from South America to India and corn to Africa in the early 16th century. In less than a century, the way food is produced and transported around the world has changed radically. With the discovery of the New World, Europe secured vast tracts of fertile land suitable for growing popular crops such as sugar, coffee, soybeans, oranges, and bananas. After the introduction of these plants, America quickly became the main supplier of these foods to most of the world.

Plants and animals were not the only biological matter transferred between continents. The increasing interactions between Europeans and Native Americans also allowed for a rapid exchange of diseases. Outbreaks of new diseases such as syphilis first appeared outside of America. Smallpox, among other diseases, devastated the indigenous peoples of the New World, killing at least half the population in the 150 years after Columbus' first voyage.

The desire to control these newly discovered foods and other natural resources has had dramatic consequences for humankind. In an effort to produce and transport new foods, European empires struggled to claim lands in the New World, which influenced culture, language, religion, and politics in America for centuries. In addition, the desire to grow valuable crops, acquire valuable resources, and transport them around the world led to the rapid spread and transport of enslaved populations from Africa to the Americas.

European impressions of New World foods

Food from the Colombian Stock Market (3)

European explorers wrote extensive descriptions of their voyages and impressions of their new surroundings in America. Almost no detail was too small; They described people, environments, customs, manners, events, clothing, food and much more. As more people crossed the Atlantic, more New World stories became available to European readers in a variety of formats. Artists also traveled to America and were hired to create artistic renderings of explorers' accounts.

Food from the Colombian Stock Market (4)

Food in particular was fascinating to Europeans in the New World, and descriptions of food and native cooking and eating habits formed a large part of travelogues. While many plants and animals were recognizable, Europeans often noticed that in America they appeared larger and more vigorous. However, many provisions were completely new to the explorers and later to the settlers. The exoticism of foods like corn and bananas was enhanced by the way indigenous peoples prepared and consumed their food. Dozens of stories, in both text and pictures, describe foods we are now familiar with, such as corn, potatoes, chili peppers, squashes, cassava, prickly pears, plantains, cocoa, turkey, and a variety of other fish foods.

Food from the Colombian Stock Market (5)

The above excerpts from the travelers' accounts show the fascination of America. Thomas Hariot, Theodor de Bry, and Samuel Purchas were known for their published accounts, although Hariot was the only one to have traveled to the New World. Hariot's book focused on his recollections of his voyage to Virginia beginning in 1585. De Bry and Purchas based their descriptions and pictures on first-hand accounts of expeditions across America, from the Strait of Magellan to Newfoundland and beyond.

Europeans are embracing and adapting new foods

Food from the Colombian Stock Market (6)

The Americas are a vast amount of land. The climate and environment vary greatly by location; Consequently, the plants and animals available for human consumption also vary. Because explorers and travelers to the New World were associated with certain European kingdoms and claimed land on behalf of those kingdoms, they brought back to Europe various information about the peoples and foods of their newfound land. Consequently, the introduction of New World foods into European cuisines has been patchy.

Food from the Colombian Stock Market (7)
Food from the Colombian Stock Market (8)

Some foods became very popular and quickly spread across Europe, such as chocolate, the product made from cocoa and tobacco, which were sometimes considered food or medicine at the time. Other foods like potatoes took a long time to gain popularity in the Old World. Some kingdoms initially embraced the food more readily than others, such as tomatoes in Spain and Italy and turkey in France and England. Other New World foods were adopted by non-Westerners as a result of colonization and trade efforts in other parts of the world. In this way, for example, chili peppers were transported to India and corn and cassava to Africa. Eventually, many Old World foods were brought to the Americas by explorers and settlers, either out of consumption needs or a desire to profit from crop production. These plants and animals thrived in the New World and are still incorporated into modern America's food cultures. Beef, touted as one of America's most iconic foods, is not native to the New World. Cattle introduced to the Americas by Europeans thrived in their new environment and thrived in remarkable numbers. This growth, combined with the European introduction of horses, not only gave rise to modern cowboy cultures in North and South America, but also contributed to deforestation and the destruction of native crops. The introduction of other crops into America, such as wheat, rice, sugar, and coffee, had similarly dramatic results and mixed benefits in the New World.

Food from the Colombian Stock Market (9)

Texts from the 17th century reveal much about this intricate interdependence of foods and their origins, as well as praise and criticism of these foods in today's diet.

exploitation of resources and labour

The exchange of food between continents enriched diets and cuisines around the world. Diets became more varied and therefore more nutritious, and the kitchen benefited from research into new ingredients. However, the Colombian stock market was not without its downsides. A big stain on this food exchange was slavery. All food production, from growing to processing and cooking food, requires labor. As explorers and missionaries made voyages to the New World, they identified resources that would be viable in the Old World, such as cocoa, coffee, sugar, rice, and tobacco. Later, colonists exploited these resources and introduced new crops that were valuable throughout Europe. To sustain a large-scale effort, Europeans introduced slavery to the New World, conquering and enslaving millions of Native Americans and West Africans over several centuries. The institution of slavery became so ingrained in New World cultures that slave labor remained a fundamental part of the American economy long after colonies had given way to independently ruled countries.

Food from the Colombian Stock Market (10)

Books were printed to persuade Europeans to become investors and plantation owners. The excerpt above is from one such text. Ligon's paper, encouraging people to get involved in Barbados' sugar industry, touted the merits of a particular area and outlined financial incentives. The English colonized Barbados and other Caribbean islands; Planters and investors made fortunes in this region growing and processing sugar. The sugar didn't come from the Caribbean. Because of the ideal growing conditions, the Europeans brought sugar to America. While Europeans had long admired and consumed sugar, the Age of Exploration was the first time they could gain control of all sugar production and sales. Sugar was incredibly valuable; Not only was it important as part of edible foods, but it was also a necessary complement to drinking tea, chocolate, and coffee, all of which grew in popularity over the same period. The successful cultivation and processing of sugar cane, like many other New World cash crops, was made possible only by slave labor.

selected sources

  • Alfred Crosby,The Colombian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492(Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1972).
  • Rebecca Earle, "Colombian Exchange", inThe Oxford Handbook of Food History, Hrsg. Jeffrey Pilcher (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), 341–357.
  • Nelson Foster and Linda Cordell, eds.Chiles al Chocolate: Food America Gave the World(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1992).
  • Sucheta Mazumdar, "The Impact of New World Food Crops on the Diet and Economy of China and India, 1600-1900", infood in world history, Hrsg. Raymond Grew (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1999), 58–78.
  • Redcliffe Salaman,History and social influence of the potato(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1949).

VonDra. Sarah Peters Kernan
Independent academic and public historian



Hang Tags:Colombian exchange Essen Story


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Arepas - Arepas are arguably the most famous part of Colombian cuisine. They're like empanadas in that they're made with either white or yellow corn tortillas, but arepas don't have any fillings.

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Bolsa de Valores de Colombia (BVC) (Colombian Stock Exchange)

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Top 10 U.S. Agricultural Exports to Colombia
Top 10 U.S. Agricultural Exports to Colombia (values in million USD)
Pork & Products102222
Dairy Products55145
10 more rows

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The Latin American Integrated Market (MILA) began operations on May 30, 2011, bringing together the Colombian Stock Exchange, the Santiago Stock Exchange, the Lima Stock Exchange and the Mexican Stock Exchange as well as deceval, DCV, CAVALI and INDEVAL depositories into a single market.

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Empanadas are a popular snack food in most Latin American countries and Colombia is no exception. In Colombia, though, the most popular empanadas are made with corn flour, filled with beef, potatoes, or cheese and fried or til there are impeccably crispy.

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Bandeja Paisa

In fact, it is so well-loved that it has been adopted as Colombia's national dish. This hearty meal usually contains white rice, red beans, ground or minced beef, plantain, chorizo sausage, corn, pork crackling, fried egg, an arepa and usually half an avocado.

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United States

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Top 10 U.S. Agricultural Exports to Colombia (values in million USD)
Soybean Meal259481
9 more rows

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In 2021, of the $13.2 billion in U.S. imports from Colombia, the top commodity sectors were Oils and Minerals, Lime, and Cement (41.3%), Agricultural Goods (26.2%), and Stone, Glass, Metals, and Pearls (14.4%).

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Exports The top exports of Colombia are Crude Petroleum ($7.46B), Coal Briquettes ($4.13B), Coffee ($2.54B), Gold ($2.34B), and Refined Petroleum ($1.55B), exporting mostly to United States ($9.55B), China ($2.8B), Ecuador ($1.51B), Panama ($1.43B), and Brazil ($1.28B).

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Colombian food couldn't be more different from Mexican food, and is quite unique when compared to food from other Andean and Latin American countries.

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the Economy? Based on a comparison of 76 countries in 2020, Hong Kong ranked the highest in market capitalisation of listed companies as of GDP with 1,777% followed by Belgium and Iran.

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United States10,63424.45
1 more row

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Main industriestextiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds, shipbuilding, electronics industry, home appliance
Ease-of-doing-business rank67th (easy, 2020)
Exports$39.48 billion (2017 est.)
36 more rows

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