Workers harvest potatoes, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The humble potato – drought-resistant, able to thrive in diverse soils, and enjoyed fried, steamed or baked – brought centuries of relative calm and prosperity to Europe after its introduction in the 16th century, a new study says.The researchers, who examined 2,477 battles fought in 899 wars over a 500-year period, drew two key conclusions.The potato was selected for the study because it can be grown in many types of soil and is resistant to "drought shocks," researchers say, while other vegetables cannot be grown in conditions as hot or cold.Cultivation of the potato improved nutrition in periods of cold or drought, helping ease the pressures of supporting growing populations, said Murat Iyigun, one of the study's authors.
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