National Geographic : 1916 Jan
Photograph from U. S . Department of Agriculture WHERE MILLIONS OF BUSHELS OF AMERICAN CEREALS COME FOR EXPORT: JERSEY CITY TERMINAL OF A GRAIN-CARRYING RAILROAD of mutton. The Chinese mandarin pays thirty dollars a pound for the birds' nests from which his soup is concocted. In parts of the West Indies the palm worm is stewed in fat, while certain African tribes are as fond of caterpillars as an American is of reed birds on toast. The Turk is as disgusted with the oysters we eat as. we are with the fish the Corsican relishes. Eating earth, or geophagy, is a common thing in many parts of the world. In some parts of Europe a butter is made of fine clay, and in other regions various kinds of earths are sold in the open mar ket. The Persians use some varieties of soil in making their sweetmeats, while in Mexico the eggs of certain species of flies are used by the Indians in making a food paste which is regarded as a great deli cacy (see page 41). FOOD IMPORTS AND EXPORTS It is interesting, in view of war con ditions in Europe, to study the figures of international trade as applied to the prin cipal foodstuffs moving across the bound aries of the various nations. According to the Department of Agri culture statistics, Austria-Hungary im ported 29,000,000 bushels of corn in 1912, as compared with 8,ooo,ooo bushels in 1911 and 3,000,000 bushels in 1910. Ger many's importations of corn during the same years were as follows: 1912, 45, ooo,ooo bushels; 1911, 29,000,000 bush els, and 1910, 23,000,000 bushels. In 1912 Germany and Austria-Hungary had a total importation of 74,000,000 bushels. During the same year Bulgaria and Rou mania had a surplus of 75,000,000 bushels. In 1912 Germany imported 85,000,000 bushels of wheat and flour, being the only one of the Central Powers to import such commodities. She exported 20,000, ooo bushels of the same products. Bul garia had a surplus of 14,500,000 bushels and Austria-Hungary a surplus of 1,ooo, ooo bushels. Their neighbor, Roumania, had a surplus of 57,000,000 bushels that year. If the Central Powers get Rou mania's wheat crop, they' still have a wheat shortage of more than 12,000,000ooo bushels. If they do not get it, their shortage is 69,000,ooo bushels.