"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Why Northern Europe Wasn’t Dominant Before New World Crops

Areas like Northern Germany, Scandinavia, much of Russia have historically been unreliable areas for growing staples such as wheat.

In this part of the world, rye became a frequent substitute but it came with its own problems.

One of the biggest of these: Even a good harvest can be contaminated with ergot, a small fungus that if consumed causes spasms and psychedelic experiences in its victims.

The potato changed the balance of power on the continent forever.

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