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    A Biodiverse Salad

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    1. You are eating a fruit salad that contains the following ingredients: bib lettuce, bananas, apples, coconut, kiwi, mango, avocado, figs, and almonds. Make a list or each item in your salad and their countries of origin. Include why each fruit grows well in that particular area. Then, search the Internet to determine what crops are grown in your area. (Oranges is what I used in this question because I am in Florida)

    How many items in your salad were locally grown? How dependent on international trade and trade between states are we? Discuss the impact of the movement of food around the world.

    2. Imagine that you have been sent as a Peace Corps volunteer to a poor African nation experiencing widespread hunger. How would you begin to address the needs of the people of that nation?

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    Solution Preview

    Have put text below, and HTML attached, (so "links" will be live)

    1) I would start with a general blanket statement that each plant evolved in a specific region and are thus specifically adapted to the "root" climate and region. Some of the listed plants though are more widely tolerant of climate, etc. Quite simply though in all cases, they are adapted to their general, original "life-style parameters" because they evolved within them. For detailed economic info on particular foodstuffs or categories thereof try here: http://www.fas.usda.gov/commodities.asp

    Bibb lettuce - can be grown nearly anywhere with a temperate or warmer climate. Has wide temperature/water tolerance although too high of temp will cause it to bolt (go to seed) early. Lettuce almost certainly originated in the Mediterranean, although some point to more Eastern origins (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lettuce



    bananas - tropical areas. Originated in SE Asia, although mainly from Central America commercially today. Although cultivars do also come from SE Asia. Can not be in freezing climates, high water needs.

    apples - can be grown most anywhere. Domesticated from mid-eastern (Turkistan region) small quince-type fruit centuries ago. These fruit still grow in central Asia and China. However, many varieties grown for export from China, Australia/NZ, as well as US Pac NW. There are over 7,500 cultivars at present.
    China (#1 world producer) http://www.geocities.com/perfectapple/prod.html

    coconut - Another tropical. Lower temp tolerance than banana. SE Asia (Philippines) mainly today for commercial trade. Origins disputed: SE Asia, India, S America all lay claim.

    kiwi - original varieties from China. Thrive in tropical, moist but ...

    Solution Summary

    Has live-link HTML version as well. Discusses the biodiverse nature of a salad, plant origins, sources of cultivars. Secondary item on famine-stricken Africa.