The potato was the most essential component of the Inca diet and the primary source of sustenance for the Inca people. The potato, which is considered to be one of Peru’s native crops, was first brought into cultivation more than 8,000 years ago by pre-Inca societies. Which crop was the Incas’ primary source of income and why?
Up to an altitude of 3200 meters, generally, and 3500 meters in ideal areas, maize was the primary crop that was produced. Cotton was an important crop in the region close to the Pacific Ocean and could be produced at heights of up to approximately 1,500 meters.
Maize, coca, beans, grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, ulluco, oca, mashwa, pepper, tomatoes, peanuts, cashews, squash, cucumber, quinoa, gourd, cotton, talwi, carob, chirimoya, lcuma, guayabo, and avocado were among the crops that were farmed across the Inca Empire. The majority of the livestock consisted of herds of llamas and alpacas.
The potato was the most essential component of the Inca diet and the primary source of sustenance for the Inca people. The potato, which is considered to be one of Peru’s native crops, was first brought into cultivation more than 8,000 years ago by pre-Inca societies. The Andes of Peru are home to over 2,500 different types of plants and animals.
Despite this, the Incas, as well as the civilizations who came before them, were able to coax crops out of the steep slopes and sporadic streams of the Andes. They produced hardy varieties of crops including potatoes, quinoa, and corn, among others. They constructed water storage cisterns as well as irrigation canals that zigzagged and slanted their way down and around the mountains.
Quinoa, potatoes, and corn were the Inca people’s primary food sources, but they also employed a wide variety of other plants for medical purposes.
A wide variety of tubers, roots, and cereals were used as the primary sources of nutrition. There was a high regard for maize, despite the fact that it could not be cultivated to the same extent as it was further north. Guinea pigs and llamas were the most prevalent sources of meat, and dried fish was a significant food source as well.
In addition to vegetables like beans and squash, corn (sometimes spelled maize) served as the primary staple item in their diet. Potatoes and a very fine grain known as quinoa were two of the most prevalent crops cultivated by the Incas. In addition to a vast range of fruits, the Aztecs and Maya were known to choose avocados and tomatoes as their primary sources of nutrition.
Research at Mount Pleasant focuses on beans, corn, and squash, which are sometimes referred to together as the ″three sisters.″ Polyculture is the term used by agronomists to describe the method by which these mainstays of Iroquois cropping are historically produced together on a same plot, imitating the natural systems that exist.
The Incas built a wonderful irrigation system that provided water to farmers all across their empire, from the arid lowlands to the terraced mountains. In point of fact, 85 percent of the agriculture was kept alive by canal irrigation, which complemented the natural rainfall that occurred throughout the year.
They considered the Incas to be archaic, and because of this, they coerced the indigenous people of the Andes to switch from the crops that they had relied on for thousands of years to European varieties such as wheat, barley, and carrots.
Potatoes were an important crop for the Incas, who not only consumed them regularly but also believed they made childbirth easier and used them medicinally. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Peru in 1532 in pursuit of gold, they observed Inca miners eating chuuu, which is the Inca word for potato. This was their first interaction with the potato.
This seed, also known as amaranth, was ground into a flour by the Inca and used in the preparation of tortillas, soups, and even a form of bread.