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Top Producers of the World ;
36 % United States
28 % Brazil
21 % Argentina
19 % Brazil
10 % Russia
7 % Canada
7 % Indonesia
7 % China
5 % Colombia
17 % Peru
15 % Mexico
13 % China
9 % Chile
31 % China
20 % India
16 % United States
42 % United States
19 % China
7 % Brazil
23 % Canada
21 % Australia
16 % Kazakhstan
8 % Russia
8 % Niger
12 % China
11 % South Africa
11 % Australia
10 % United States
7 % Peru
20 % Saudi Arabia
13 % Canada
10 % Iran
9 % Iraq
8 % Kuwait
18 % China
12 % India
9 % United States
8 % Russia
26 % Russia
16 % Iran
15 % Qatar
30 % China
22 % India
9 % Indonesia
6 % Vietnam
34 % Thailand
30 % Indonesia
12 % Malaysia
23 % Russia
20 % Botswana
17 % Congo
11 % Australia
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In culinary terms, a Vegetable is an edible plant or part of a
plant which may or may not propagate into offspring. In biological
terms, "vegetable" designates members of the plant kingdom.
The non-biological definition of a vegetable is largely based on culinary and cultural
tradition. Therefore, the application of the word is somewhat
arbitrary, based on cultural and/or personal views. For example, some
people consider mushrooms to be vegetables even though they are not biologically plants, while others consider them a separate food category, some cultures group potatoes with cereal products such as noodles or rice, while most English speakers would consider them vegetables.
Some vegetables can be consumed raw, some may be eaten cooked, and some must be cooked to destroy certain natural toxins or microbes in order to be edible, such as eggplant, unripe tomatoes, potatoes, daylily, winter melon, fiddlehead fern, and most kinds of legume/beans (such as common beans). Vegetables are most often cooked in savory or salty dishes. However, a few vegetables can be used in desserts and other sweet dishes, such as pumpkin pie and carrot cake.
A number of processed food items available on the market contain
vegetable ingredients and can be referred to as "vegetable derived"
products. These products may or may not maintain the nutritional
integrity of the vegetable used to produce them.
- broccoli, cauliflower, globe artichokes, capers
- Sweet corn (maize), peas, beans
- kale, collard greens, spinach, arugula, beet greens, bok choy, chard, choi sum, turnip greens, endive, lettuce, mustard greens, watercress, garlic chives, gai lan
- Brussels sprouts
- Kohlrabi, galangal, and ginger
- celery, rhubarb, cardoon, Chinese celery
- asparagus, bamboo shoots
- potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes, taro, and yams
- soybean (moyashi), mung beans, urad, and alfalfa
- carrots, parsnips, beets, radishes, rutabagas, turnips, and burdocks
- onions, shallots, garlic
- Fruits in the botanical sense, but used as vegetables
- tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, zucchinis, pumpkins, peppers, eggplant, tomatillos, chayote, okra, breadfruit, avocado, green beans, and snow peas
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Tea is an aromatic beverage commonly prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. It has a cooling, slightly bitter, and astringent flavour that many people enjoy.
Tea likely originated in China during the Shang Dynasty as a medicinal drink. Tea was first introduced to Portuguese priests and merchants in China during the 16th century. Drinking tea became popular in Britain during the 17th century. The British introduced tea to India, in order to compete with the Chinese monopoly on tea.
Tea has historically been promoted for having a variety of positive health benefits, and recent human studies suggest that green tea may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer, promote oral health, reduce blood pressure, help with weight control, improve antibacterial and antivirasic activity, provide protection from solar ultraviolet light, increase bone mineral density, and have "anti-fibrotic properties, and neuroprotective power." Additional research is needed to "fully understand its contributions to human health, and advise its regular consumption in Western diets."
The phrase "herbal tea" usually refers to infusions of fruit or herbs made without the tea plant, such as rosehip tea, chamomile tea, or rooibos tea. Alternative phrases for this are tisane or herbal infusion, both bearing an implied contrast with "tea" as it is construed here.
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After fermentation, the beans are dried, then cleaned, and then
roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are
then ground to cocoa mass,
pure chocolate in rough form. Because this cocoa mass usually is
liquefied then molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened baking chocolate
(bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in
varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form
of sweet chocolate, combining cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids.
Cocoa solids contain alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have physiological effects on the body. It has been linked to serotonin levels in the brain. Some research found that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. The presence of theobromine renders chocolate toxic to some animals, especially dogs and cats.
Chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world. Chocolate chip cookies
have become very common, and very popular, in most parts of Europe and
North America. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes have
become traditional on certain holidays. Chocolate is also used in cold
and hot beverages, to produce chocolate milk and hot chocolate.
Cocoa mass was used originally in Mesoamerica both as a beverage and as an ingredient in foods. Chocolate played a special role in both Maya and Aztec
royal and religious events. Priests presented cacao seeds as offerings
to the deities and served chocolate drinks during sacred ceremonies. All
of the areas that were conquered by the Aztecs that grew cacao beans
were ordered to pay them as a tax, or as the Aztecs called it, a
The Europeans sweetened
and fattened it by adding refined sugar and milk, two ingredients
unknown to the Mexicans. By contrast, the Europeans never infused it
into their general diet, but have compartmentalized its use to sweets
and desserts. In the 19th century, Briton John Cadbury
developed an emulsification process to make solid chocolate, creating
the modern chocolate bar. Although cocoa is originally from the
Americas, today Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world's
cocoa, with Côte d'Ivoire growing almost half of it.
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Coffee is a brewed beverage with a distinct aroma and flavor, prepared from the roasted seeds of the Coffea plant. The seeds are found in coffee "cherries", which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia, India and Africa. Green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Coffee is slightly acidic (pH 5.0–5.1) and can have a stimulating effect on humans because of its caffeine content. It is one of the most consumed drinks in the world.
Wild coffee's energizing effect was likely first discovered in the northeast region of Ethiopia. Coffee cultivation first took place in southern Arabia; the earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen.
In East Africa and Yemen, coffee was used in native religious
ceremonies that were in competition with the Christian Church. As a
result, the Ethiopian Church banned its secular consumption until the reign of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. The beverage was also banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political reasons and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe.
Coffee berries, which contain the coffee seeds, are produced by several species of small evergreen bush of the genus Coffea. The two most commonly grown are also the most highly regarded Coffea arabica, and the "robusta" form of the hardier Coffea canephora. The latter is resistant to the devastating coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix).
Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. The seeds
are then roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor,
before being ground and brewed to create coffee. Coffee can be prepared
and presented in a variety of ways.
An important export commodity, coffee was the top agricultural export for twelve countries in 2004, and it was the world's seventh-largest legal agricultural export by value in 2005. Some controversy is associated with coffee cultivation and its impact on the environment. Consequently, organic coffee is an expanding market.
Many studies have examined the health effects of coffee, and whether the overall effects of coffee consumption are positive or negative has been widely disputed.
The majority of recent research suggests that moderate coffee
consumption is benign or mildly beneficial in healthy adults. However,
coffee can worsen the symptoms of some conditions, largely due to the caffeine and diterpenes it contains.
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Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines. It is most commonly used as a drug, and is a valuable cash crop for countries such as Cuba, India, China, and the United States.
Tobacco is a name for any plant of the genus Nicotiana of the
Solanaceae family (nightshade family) and for the product manufactured
from the leaf used in cigars and cigarettes, snuff, and pipe and chewing
tobacco. Tobacco plants are also used in plant bioengineering, and some
of the more than 70 species
are grown as ornamentals. The chief commercial species, N. tabacum, is
believed native to tropical America, like most nicotiana plants, but has
been so long cultivated that it is no longer known in the wild. N.
rustica, a mild-flavored, fast-burning species, was the tobacco
originally raised in Virginia, but it is now grown chiefly in Turkey,
India, and Russia. The alkaloid nicotine is popularly considered the
most characteristic constituent of tobacco but nicotine is not highly
addictive on its own. It is thought that the interaction between beta-carbolines and nicotine is responsible for most of the addictive properties of tobacco smoking.
The harmful effects of tobacco derive from the thousands of different
compounds generated in the smoke, including polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (such as benzpyrene), formaldehyde, cadmium, nickel,
arsenic, tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), phenols, and many
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In botany, a Fruit is a part of a flowering plant that derives from specific tissues of the flower, one or more ovaries,
and in some cases accessory tissues. Fruits are the means by which
these plants disseminate seeds. Many of them that bear edible fruits, in
particular, have propagated with the movements of humans and animals in a symbiotic relationship as a means for seed dispersal and nutrition, respectively; in fact, humans and many animals have become dependent on fruits as a source of food. Fruits account for a substantial fraction of the world's agricultural output, and some (such as the apple and the pomegranate) have acquired extensive cultural and symbolic meanings.
The section of a fungus that produces spores is also called a fruiting body.
In common language usage, "fruit" normally means the fleshy
seed-associated structures of a plant that are sweet and edible in the
raw state, such as apples, oranges, grapes, strawberries, and bananas. On the other hand, the botanical sense of "fruit" includes many structures that are not commonly called "fruits", such as bean pods, corn kernels, wheat grains, and tomatoes.