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Ode to the Chia Pet

February 24, 2017
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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to order a two-for one with those television ads?  The latest one I’ve seen is that square copper pan, that is way too good to be true.  Then there is the Chia pet. Interestingly, ‘chia’ is a very real plant, with extremely interesting properties.  Once upon a time, it may have been as important as maze as a food source.

“…S. hispanica is described and pictured in the Mendoza Codex and the Florentine Codex, sixteenth-century Aztec codices created between 1540 and 1585. Both describe and picture S. hispanica and its use by the Aztec. The Mendoza Codex indicates that the plant was widely cultivated and given as tribute in 21 of the 38 Aztec provincial states. Economic historians suggest that it was a staple food that was used as widely as maize.

Aztec tribute records from the Mendoza Codex, Matrícula de Tributos, and the Matricula de Huexotzinco (1560)—along with colonial cultivation reports and linguistic studies—detail the geographic location of the tributes, and provide some geographic specificity to the main S. hispanica-growing regions. Most of the provinces grew the plant, except for areas of lowland coastal tropics and desert. The traditional area of cultivation was in a distinct area that covered parts of north-central Mexico, south to Nicaragua. A second and separate area of cultivation, apparently pre-Columbian, was in southern Honduras and Nicaragua…”

Huffington Post

At least we all learned something today!

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