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A. Match the words to their definitions on the right (write the correct letter in each box).

staple (n)

a farmer who owns or rents a small piece of land (especially in the


past, or in poorer countries)

terrace (n)

the arrival of a large number of people

predominantly
(adv)

a lack of food during a long period of time in a region

nutritious (adj)

to produce (esp. new leaves or buds)

peasant (n)

mainly, or mostly

famine (n)

to damage or harm (something) very badly

sprout (v)

a very important stage or event in the development of something

ravage (v)

an important food that is eaten very often

influx (n)

containing many of the substances which help the body to grow

10

milestone (n)

a flat area created on the side of a hill and used especially for
growing crops

B. Watch the video and decide whether the following statements are true or false? Write T for
True or F for False. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xROmDsULcLE

The potato was first cultivated 18,000 years ago.

It was first cultivated at the top of the Rocky Mountains in North America.

Potatoes have a high nutritive value.

Potatoes provided the Inca people with the necessary energy for their work.

The Inca working class lived in terraced houses.

A lot of people in the Inca empire were farmers and miners.

At first Europeans thought potatoes might be poisonous.

Potatoes helped European peasants survive the grain famines that were common at the time.

Due to the Potato Famine, over a million Irish people had to leave their homes behind.

10

The increase in the number of well-fed potential factory workers is one of the factors that
made the Industrial Revolution possible.
http://areti-aroundtheworldinenglish.blogspot.gr/

C. Watch the video again and discuss the following questions.

1. Who were the first to cultivate the potato?

2. What nutrients do potatoes contain?

3. Who first brought potatoes to Europe?


.
4. Why didnt Europeans want to eat them at first?
.
5. How long did it take before the potato became a major food source in Europe?
.
6. What caused the damage of the biggest part of Irelands potato crop?
.
7. What were the consequences of the Irish Potato Famine?
..

D. Complete each of the following sentences with a suitable word from Exercise A (in the
correct form).

1. On 9 August 1138, a deadly earthquake .the city and the surrounding area.
2. Some of the most .fruits and vegetables are also the easiest to grow.
3. He felt that moving out of his parents home was a real .in his life.
4. Farmers use .to grow crops on steep hillsides.
5. The people of Somalia are already suffering from .caused by the droughts.
6. The shops are running out of .such as rice and cooking oil.
7. The monster .a new head each time he attacked it.
8. The women employed in the mines were .young and unmarried.
9. In many pre-industrial societies, .made up the largest part of the
population.
10. The city is preparing for a large .of tourists this summer.
http://areti-aroundtheworldinenglish.blogspot.gr/

ANSWER KEY

A. Match the words to their definitions on the right (write the correct letter in each box).

staple (n)

a farmer who owns or rents a small piece of land (especially in the


past, or in poorer countries)

terrace (n)

the arrival of a large number of people

predominantly
(adv)

a lack of food during a long period of time in a region

nutritious (adj)

to produce (esp. new leaves or buds)

peasant (n)

mainly, or mostly

famine (n)

to damage or harm (something) very badly

sprout (v)

a very important stage or event in the development of something

ravage (v)

an important food that is eaten very often

influx (n)

containing many of the substances which help the body to grow

10

milestone (n)

a flat area created on the side of a hill and used especially for
growing crops

B. Watch the video and decide whether the following statements are true or false? Write T for
True or F for False. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xROmDsULcLE

The potato was first cultivated 18,000 years ago.

It was first cultivated at the top of the Rocky Mountains in North America.

Potatoes have a high nutritive value.

Potatoes provided the Inca people with the necessary energy for their work.

The Inca working class lived in terraced houses.

A lot of people in the Inca empire were farmers and miners.

At first Europeans thought potatoes might be poisonous.

Potatoes helped European peasants survive the grain famines that were common at the time.

Due to the Potato Famine, over a million Irish people had to leave their homes behind.

10

The increase in the number of well-fed potential factory workers is one of the factors that
made the Industrial Revolution possible.

http://areti-aroundtheworldinenglish.blogspot.gr/

C. Watch the video again and discuss the following questions.

1. Who were the first to cultivate the potato?


Ancient Peruvians were the first to cultivate the potato.
2. What nutrients do potatoes contain?
They contain proteins, carbohydrates, essential fats, vitamins and minerals.
3. Who first brought potatoes to Europe?
Spanish sailors returning from the Andes first brought potatoes to Europe.
4. Why didnt Europeans want to eat them at first?
Because they considered them dull and tasteless strange things and also
poisonous.
5. How long did it take before the potato became a major food source in Europe?
It took more than 200 years.
6. What caused the damage of the biggest part of Irelands potato crop?
Potato blight disease damaged the majority of Ireland's potato crop.
7. What were the consequences of the Irish Potato Famine?
Over a million Irish citizens starved to death, and 2 million more left their homes
behind.

D. Complete each of the following sentences with a suitable word from Exercise A (in the
correct form).

1. On 9 August 1138, a deadly earthquake ravaged the city and the surrounding area.
2. Some of the most nutritious fruits and vegetables are also the easiest to grow.
3. He felt that moving out of his parents home was a real milestone in his life.
4. Farmers use terraces to grow crops on steep hillsides.
5. The people of Somalia are already suffering from famine caused by the droughts.
6. The shops are running out of staples such as rice and cooking oil.
7. The monster sprouted a new head each time he attacked it.
8. The women employed in the mines were predominantly young and unmarried.
9. In many pre-industrial societies, peasants made up the largest part of the population.
10. The city is preparing for a large influx of tourists this summer.

http://areti-aroundtheworldinenglish.blogspot.gr/

TRANSCRIPT
Baked or fried, boiled or roasted, as chips or fries. At some point in your life, you've probably eaten a potato.
Delicious, for sure, but the fact is potatoes have played a much more significant role in our history than just that of
the dietary staple we have come to know and love today. Without the potato, our modern civilization might not exist
at all. 8,000 years ago in South America, high atop the Andes, ancient Peruvians were the first to cultivate the
potato. Containing high levels of proteins and carbohydrates, as well as essential fats, vitamins and minerals,
potatoes were the perfect food source to fuel a large Incan working class as they built and farmed their terraced
fields, mined the Rocky Mountains, and created the sophisticated civilization of the great Incan Empire. But
considering how vital they were to the Incan people, when Spanish sailors returning from the Andes first brought
potatoes to Europe, the spuds were duds. Europeans simply didn't want to eat what they considered dull and
tasteless oddities from a strange new land, too closely related to the deadly nightshade plant belladonna for
comfort. So instead of consuming them, they used potatoes as decorative garden plants. More than 200 years would
pass before the potato caught on as a major food source throughout Europe, though even then, it was
predominantly eaten by the lower classes. However, beginning around 1750, and thanks at least in part to the wide
availability of inexpensive and nutritious potatoes, European peasants with greater food security no longer found
themselves at the mercy of the regularly occurring grain famines of the time, and so their populations steadily grew.
As a result, the British, Dutch and German Empires rose on the backs of the growing groups of farmers, laborers, and
soldiers, thus lifting the West to its place of world dominion. However, not all European countries sprouted empires.
After the Irish adopted the potato, their population dramatically increased, as did their dependence on the tuber as
a major food staple. But then disaster struck. From 1845 to 1852, potato blight disease ravaged the majority of
Ireland's potato crop, leading to the Irish Potato Famine, one of the deadliest famines in world history. Over a million
Irish citizens starved to death, and 2 million more left their homes behind. But of course, this wasn't the end for the
potato. The crop eventually recovered, and Europe's population, especially the working classes, continued to
increase. Aided by the influx of Irish migrants, Europe now had a large, sustainable, and well-fed population who
were capable of manning the emerging factories that would bring about our modern world via the Industrial
Revolution. So it's almost impossible to imagine a world without the potato. Would the Industrial Revolution ever
have happened? Would World War II have been lost by the Allies without this easy-to-grow crop that fed the Allied
troops? Would it even have started? When you think about it like this, many major milestones in world history can
all be at least partially attributed to the simple spud from the Peruvian hilltops.