Contrary to many popular beliefs, Native American culture holds a tremendous impact on our present society. Native Americans relied mainly on hunting and gathering for food, as they lived with an abundance of plants and animals nearby. In fact, 60% of the food eaten across the world today was influenced by Native Americans.
Native Americans had three main staple foods: corn, squash and beans. They had a variety of ways to say corn, however the most commonly known phrase is maize. All of the word variations for corn mean life, as it was considered a sacred food. Corn chowder, cornbread, baked and roasted corn, and popcorn all came from Native Americans.
Corn, squash, and beans were considered the “three sisters” in the garden as they were the main ingredient in many Native American foods, and still are in some dishes even now. Growing beans provided nitrogen for the corn and squash, and was used both fresh and dried in cakes, flour, and stew, similar to how we use it today. Squash leaves provided moisture in the ground for corn and beans. Berries were also commonly grown in Native American tribes and were a major ingredient in tea, pudding, and jams, similar to some foods we have now.
These are only a few examples of food we eat today that came from Native American influence. Overall, Native American culture has provided a great impact in our everyday lives.