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A few words from our Co-Executive Director, Rick Waters

Take me out to the ball game… Despite watching the news reports of avalanches and winter storm warnings and not putting the snow shovel away just yet, baseball season is just around the corner. Having played the game at all levels, (including winning the 50 and Over age group World Series a few years back), I still enjoy going to the parks and watching baseball. When they sing the familiar song with the line, “buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks…” did you know that the peanut and corn were both foods used by American Indians and introduced to the rest of the world only after the first immigrants came upon our shores? Sunflowers, and of course sunflower seeds, were also native to America and domesticated by American Indians. Many people are unaware of the many food contributions made to the rest of the world by the Indian of America’s and generally surprised by some of these gifts. Think about it, what did Italian pasta sauces taste like before they were introduced to the tomato? Yes, the tomato was unknown to the rest of the world until it was brought back to Europe and other continents by traders. The potato, which had a significant impact on the economy in Europe is also native to America and originally grown by Indians. Corn, or maize as we called it, was another major contribution that was originally grown and cultivated by the American Indian. So, the next time you go to the ballpark and you’re enjoying potato chips, popcorn, or french fries and ketchup…now you know the rest of the story! Aho, Rick Waters

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