A meat analogue called a meat alternative, meat substitute, mock meat, faux meat, imitation meat, vegetarian meat, or vegan meat, approximates certain aesthetic qualities and/or chemical characteristics of specific types of meat. Meat analogue means a food made from vegetarian ingredients, sometimes without animal products such as dairy. Many analogues are soy-based or gluten-based, but now may be pea protein-based; the market for meat analogues includes vegetarians, non-vegetarians seeking to reduce their meat consumption, people following religious dietary laws in Hinduism, Judaism and Buddhism. Tofu, a popular meat analogue made from soybeans, was invented in China during the Han dynasty. A document written by Tao Gu describes how tofu was called "small mutton" and valued as an imitation meat. Meat analogues such as tofu and wheat gluten are associated with Buddhist cuisine in China and other parts of East Asia. In today's China, tofu is prepared with pork, since the Han Chinese don't consider tofu to be a meat substitute.
An example is ma po dofu. In Medieval Europe, meat analogues were popular during the Christian observance of Lent, when the consumption of meat from warm-blooded animals is forbidden. Meat analogue may refer to a meat-based and/or less-expensive alternative to a particular meat product, such as surimi. An alternative modern technology is cultured meat grown in vitro from the muscle tissue of animals. Tofu, a popular meat analogue, was invented in China by the Han dynasty. Drawings of tofu production have been discovered in a Han dynasty tomb, its use as a meat analogue is recorded in a document written by Tao Gu. Tao describes how tofu was popularly known as "small mutton", which shows that the Chinese valued tofu as an imitation meat. Tofu was consumed during the Tang dynasty, spread to Japan during the Tang or early Song dynasty. Prior to the arrival of Buddhism, China was predominantly a meat consuming culture; the vegetarian dietary laws of Buddhism led to development of meat analogues as a replacement for the meat-based dishes that the Chinese were no longer able to consume as Buddhists.
Meat analogues such as tofu and wheat gluten are still associated with Buddhist cuisine in China and other parts of East Asia. Meat analogues were popular in Medieval Europe during Lent, which prohibited the consumption of warm-blooded animals and dairy products. Chopped almonds and grapes were used as a substitute for mincemeat. Diced bread was made into imitation greaves; the American medical physician and businessman John Harvey Kellogg developed meat replacements variously from nuts and soy, starting around 1877, to feed patients in his vegetarian sanitarium. Some vegetarian meat analogues are based on centuries-old recipes for seitan, mushrooms, tempeh, yam flour or pressed-tofu, with flavoring added to make the finished product taste like chicken, lamb, sausage, etc. Other alternatives use modified defatted peanut flour and textured vegetable protein; some meat analogues include mycoprotein, such as Quorn which uses egg white as a binder. In April 2013, Beyond Meat began selling Beyond Chicken in Whole Foods stores in the US.
A mixture of soy and pea proteins and other ingredients, the well-received product was marketed as a healthy alternative to chicken meat. The California-based company developed a number of other imitation meat products including three different products to mimic beef and one to mimic pork sausage. In 2016, Impossible Foods introduced a beef substitute, which it claimed offered appearance and cooking properties similar to meat, it uses a synthetic heme compound, produced by genetically modified yeasts. To replicate fat, flecks of coconut oil are mixed into potato protein. In April 2019, Burger King introduced the Impossible Whopper; this trial product is only available in St. Louis, but it could be the largest rollout yet of the Impossible Burger. Dairy analogues may be composed of processed rice, almond, gluten, nutritional yeast, or a combination of these, as well as flavoring to make it taste like milk, yogurt, ice cream, cream cheese, sour cream, whipped cream, rarebit or butter. Many dairy analogues contain casein, extracted dried milk proteins, making them unsuitable for vegans.
Egg substitutes include tofu, tapioca starch, ground flax seed, mashed bananas and commercially prepared products that recreate the leavening, binding and/or textural effects of eggs in baked goods. Soy protein isolates or soybean flour and gluten are used as foundation for most meat analogs that are available on the market. Soy protein isolate is a pure form of soy protein with a minimum protein content of 90%; the process of extracting the protein from the soybeans starts with the dehulling, or decortication, of the seeds. The seeds are treated with solvents such as hexane in order extract the oil from them; the oil-free soybean meal is suspended in water and treated with alkali to dissolve the protein while leaving behind the carbohydrates. The alkaline solution is treated with acidic substances
An apple is a sweet, edible fruit produced by an apple tree. Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most grown species in the genus Malus; the tree originated in Central Asia, where Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse and European Christian traditions. Apple trees are large. Apple cultivars are propagated by grafting onto rootstocks, which control the size of the resulting tree. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and use, including cooking, eating raw and cider production. Trees and fruit are prone to a number of fungal and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means. In 2010, the fruit's genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production.
Worldwide production of apples in 2017 was 83.1 million tonnes, with China accounting for 49.8% of the total. The apple is a deciduous tree standing 6 to 15 ft tall in cultivation and up to 30 ft in the wild; when cultivated, the size and branch density are determined by rootstock selection and trimming method. The leaves are alternately arranged dark green-colored simple ovals with serrated margins and downy undersides. Blossoms are produced in spring with the budding of the leaves and are produced on spurs and some long shoots; the 3 to 4 cm flowers are white with a pink tinge that fades, five petaled, with an inflorescence consisting of a cyme with 4–6 flowers. The central flower of the inflorescence is called the "king bloom"; the fruit matures in late summer or autumn, cultivars exist in a wide range of sizes. Commercial growers aim to produce an apple, 2 3⁄4 to 3 1⁄4 in in diameter, due to market preference; some consumers those in Japan, prefer a larger apple, while apples below 2 1⁄4 in are used for making juice and have little fresh market value.
The skin of ripe apples is red, green, pink, or russetted, though many bi- or tri-colored cultivars may be found. The skin may be wholly or russeted i.e. rough and brown. The skin is covered in a protective layer of epicuticular wax; the exocarp is pale yellowish-white, though pink or yellow exocarps occur. The original wild ancestor of Malus pumila was Malus sieversii, found growing wild in the mountains of Central Asia in southern Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Xinjiang, China. Cultivation of the species, most beginning on the forested flanks of the Tian Shan mountains, progressed over a long period of time and permitted secondary introgression of genes from other species into the open-pollinated seeds. Significant exchange with Malus sylvestris, the crabapple, resulted in current populations of apples being more related to crabapples than to the more morphologically similar progenitor Malus sieversii. In strains without recent admixture the contribution of the latter predominates. In 2010, an Italian-led consortium announced they had sequenced the complete genome of the apple in collaboration with horticultural genomicists at Washington State University, using'Golden Delicious'.
It had about 57,000 genes, the highest number of any plant genome studied to date and more genes than the human genome. This new understanding of the apple genome will help scientists identify genes and gene variants that contribute to resistance to disease and drought, other desirable characteristics. Understanding the genes behind these characteristics will help scientists perform more knowledgeable selective breeding; the genome sequence provided proof that Malus sieversii was the wild ancestor of the domestic apple—an issue, long-debated in the scientific community. The center of diversity of the genus Malus is in eastern present-day Turkey; the apple tree may have been the earliest tree that humans cultivated, growers have improved its fruits through selection over thousands of years. Alexander the Great is credited with finding dwarfed apples in Kazakhstan in 328 BCE. Winter apples, picked in late autumn and stored just above freezing, have been an important food in Asia and Europe for millennia.
Of the many Old World plants that the Spanish introduced to Chiloé Archipelago in the 16th century, apple trees became well adapted. Apples were introduced to North America by colonists in the 17th century, the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625; the only apples native to North America are crab apples, which were once called "common apples". Apple cultivars brought as seed from Europe were spread along Native American trade routes, as well as being cultivated on colonial farms. An 1845 United States apples nursery catalogue sold 350 of the "best" cultivars, showing the proliferation of new North American cultivars by the early 19th century. In the 20th century, irrigation projects in Eastern Washington began and allowed the development of the multibillion-dollar fruit industry, of which the apple is the leading product; until the 20th century, farmers stored apples in frostproof cellars during the winter for their own use or for sale.
Improved transportation of fresh apples by train and road replaced the necessity for storage. Controlled atmosphere facilities are used to keep apples fresh year-round. Controlled atmosphere facilit
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture known as the Agriculture Department, is the U. S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and internationally. 80% of the USDA's $141 billion budget goes to the Food and Nutrition Service program. The largest component of the FNS budget is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the cornerstone of USDA's nutrition assistance; the current Secretary of Agriculture is Sonny Perdue. Many of the programs concerned with the distribution of food and nutrition to people of America and providing nourishment as well as nutrition education to those in need are run and operated under the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Activities in this program include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides healthy food to over 40 million low-income and homeless people each month.
USDA is a member of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, where it is committed to working with other agencies to ensure these mainstream benefits are accessed by those experiencing homelessness. The USDA is concerned with assisting farmers and food producers with the sale of crops and food on both the domestic and world markets, it plays a role in overseas aid programs by providing surplus foods to developing countries. This aid can go through USAID, foreign governments, international bodies such as World Food Program, or approved nonprofits; the Agricultural Act of 1949, section 416 and Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 known as Food for Peace, provides the legal basis of such actions. The USDA is a partner of the World Cocoa Foundation. Early in its history, the economy of the United States was agrarian. Officials in the federal government had long sought new and improved varieties of seeds and animals for import into the United States. In 1837 Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a Yale-educated attorney interested in improving agriculture, became Commissioner of Patents, a position within the Department of State.
He began collecting and distributing new varieties of seeds and plants through members of the Congress and agricultural societies. In 1839, Congress established the Agricultural Division within the Patent Office and allotted $1,000 for "the collection of agricultural statistics and other agricultural purposes." Ellsworth's interest in aiding agriculture was evident in his annual reports that called for a public depository to preserve and distribute the new seeds and plants, a clerk to collect agricultural statistics, statewide reports about crops in different regions, the application of chemistry to agriculture. Ellsworth was called the "Father of the Department of Agriculture."In 1849, the Patent Office was transferred to the newly created Department of the Interior. In the ensuing years, agitation for a separate bureau of agriculture within the department or a separate department devoted to agriculture kept recurring. On May 15, 1862, Abraham Lincoln established the independent Department of Agriculture to be headed by a commissioner without Cabinet status, the agriculturalist Isaac Newton was appointed to be the first such commissioner.
Lincoln called it the "people's department." In 1868, the Department moved into the new Department of Agriculture Building in Washington, D. C. designed by famed DC architect Adolf Cluss. Located on Reservation No.2 on the National Mall between 12th Street and 14th SW, the Department had offices for its staff and the entire width of the Mall up to B Street NW to plant and experiment with plants. In the 1880s, varied advocacy groups were lobbying for Cabinet representation. Business interests sought a Department of Commerce and Industry, farmers tried to raise the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet rank. In 1887, the House of Representatives and Senate passed bills giving Cabinet status to the Department of Agriculture and Labor, but the bill was defeated in conference committee after farm interests objected to the addition of labor. On February 9, 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law elevating the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet level. In 1887, the Hatch Act provided for the federal funding of agricultural experiment stations in each state.
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 funded cooperative extension services in each state to teach agriculture, home economics, other subjects to the public. With these and similar provisions, the USDA reached out to every county of every state. During the Great Depression, farming remained a common way of life for millions of Americans; the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Home Economics, established in 1923, published shopping advice and recipes to stretch family budgets and make food go farther. USDA helped ensure that food continued to be produced and distributed to those who needed it, assisted with loans for small landowners, contributed to the education of the rural youth, it was revealed on August 27th, 2018 that the U. S. Department of Agriculture would be providing U. S. farmers with a farm aid package, which will total $4.7 billion in direct payments to American farmers. This package is meant to offset the losses farmers are expected to incur from retaliatory tariffs placed on American exports during the Trump tariffs.
The Department of Agriculture was authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2015 of $139.7 billion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows: Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Animal Damage Control (
A cereal is any grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain, composed of the endosperm and bran. The term may refer to the resulting grain itself. Cereal grain crops are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop and are therefore staple crops. Edible grains from other plant families, such as buckwheat and chia, are referred to as pseudocereals. In their natural, whole grain form, cereals are a rich source of vitamins, carbohydrates, fats and protein; when processed by the removal of the bran, germ, the remaining endosperm is carbohydrate. In some developing countries, grain in the form of rice, millet, or maize constitutes a majority of daily sustenance. In developed countries, cereal consumption is still substantial; the word cereal is derived from the Roman goddess of harvest and agriculture. Agriculture allowed for the support of an increased population, leading to larger societies and the development of cities, it created the need for greater organization of political power, as decisions had to be made regarding labor and harvest allocation and access rights to water and land.
Agriculture bred immobility, as populations settled down for long periods of time, which led to the accumulation of material goods. Early Neolithic villages show evidence of the development of processing grain; the Levant is the ancient home of the ancestors of wheat and peas, in which many of these villages were based. There is evidence of the cultivation of figs in the Jordan Valley as long as 11,300 years ago, cereal production in Syria 9,000 years ago. During the same period, farmers in China began to farm rice and millet, using man-made floods and fires as part of their cultivation regimen. Fiber crops were domesticated as early as food crops, with China domesticating hemp, cotton being developed independently in Africa and South America, Western Asia domesticating flax; the use of soil amendments, including manure, fish and ashes, appears to have begun early, developed independently in several areas of the world, including Mesopotamia, the Nile Valley and Eastern Asia. The first cereal grains were domesticated by early primitive humans.
About 8,000 years ago, they were domesticated by ancient farming communities in the Fertile Crescent region. Emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, barley were three of the so-called Neolithic founder crops in the development of agriculture. Around the same time and rices were starting to become domesticated in East Asia. Sorghum and millets were being domesticated in sub-Saharan West Africa. During the second half of the 20th century there was a significant increase in the production of high-yield cereal crops worldwide wheat and rice, due to an initiative known as the Green Revolution; the strategies developed by the Green Revolution focused on fending off starvation and were successful in raising overall yields of cereal grains, but did not give sufficient relevance to nutritional quality. These modern high yield-cereal crops have low quality proteins, with essential amino acid deficiencies, are high in carbohydrates, lack balanced essential fatty acids, vitamins and other quality factors. While each individual species has its own peculiarities, the cultivation of all cereal crops is similar.
Most are annual plants. Wheat, triticale, oats and spelt are the "cool-season" cereals; these are hardy plants that cease to grow in hot weather. The "warm-season" cereals are prefer hot weather. Barley and rye are the hardiest cereals, able to overwinter in Siberia. Many cool-season cereals are grown in the tropics. However, some are only grown in cooler highlands, where it may be possible to grow multiple crops per year. For the past few decades, there has been increasing interest in perennial grain plants; this interest developed due to advantages in erosion control, reduced need for fertiliser, potential lowered costs to the farmer. Though research is still in early stages, The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas has been able to create a few cultivars that produce a good crop yield; the warm-season cereals are grown in tropical lowlands year-round and in temperate climates during the frost-free season. Rice is grown in flooded fields, though some strains are grown on dry land. Other warm climate cereals, such as sorghum, are adapted to arid conditions.
Cool-season cereals are well-adapted to temperate climates. Most varieties of a particular species are either spring types. Winter varieties are sown in the autumn and grow vegetatively become dormant during winter, they mature in late spring or early summer. This cultivation system makes optimal use of water and frees the land for another crop early in the growing season. Winter varieties do not flower until springtime because they require vernalization: exposure to low temperatures for a genetically determined length of time. Where winters are too warm for vernalization or exceed the hardiness of the crop, farmers grow spring varieties. Spring cereals are planted in early springtime and mature that same summer, without vernalization. Spring cereals require more irrigation and yield less than winter cereals. Once the cereal plants have grown their seeds, they have completed their life cycle; the plants di
A legume is a plant in the family Fabaceae, or the fruit or seed of such a plant. Legumes are grown agriculturally for human consumption, for livestock forage and silage, as soil-enhancing green manure. Well-known legumes include alfalfa, peas, lentils, lupin bean, carob, soybeans and tamarind. Legumes produce a botanically unique type of fruit – a simple dry fruit that develops from a simple carpel and dehisces on two sides. A common name for this type of fruit is a pod, although the term "pod" is applied to a number of other fruit types, such as that of vanilla and of the radish. Legumes are notable in that most of them have symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in structures called root nodules. For that reason, they play a key role in crop rotation; the term pulse, as used by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, is reserved for crops harvested for the dry seed. This excludes green peas, which are considered vegetable crops. Excluded are seeds that are grown for oil extraction, seeds which are used for sowing forage.
However, in common usage, these distinctions are not always made, many of the varieties used for dried pulses are used for green vegetables, with their beans in pods while young. Some Fabaceae, such as Scotch broom and other Genisteae, are leguminous but are not called legumes by farmers, who tend to restrict that term to food crops. Farmed legumes can belong to many agricultural classes, including forage, blooms, pharmaceutical/industrial, fallow/green manure, timber species. Most commercially farmed species fill two or more roles depending upon their degree of maturity when harvested. Grain legumes known as pulses, are cultivated for their seeds; the seeds are used for human and animal consumption or for the production of oils for industrial uses. Grain legumes include beans, lupins and peanuts. Legumes are a significant source of protein, dietary fiber and dietary minerals. Like other plant-based foods, pulses contain little fat or sodium. Legumes are an excellent source of resistant starch, broken down by bacteria in the large intestine to produce short-chain fatty acids used by intestinal cells for food energy.
Preliminary studies in humans include the potential for regular consumption of legumes in a plant-based diet to reduce the prevalence or risk of developing metabolic syndrome. There is evidence that a portion of pulses in a diet may help lower blood pressure and reduce LDL cholesterol levels, though there is a concern about the quality of the supporting data. FAO recognizes 11 primary pulses. Dry beans Kidney bean, navy bean, pinto bean, haricot bean Lima bean, butter bean Adzuki bean, azuki bean Mung bean, golden gram, green gram Black gram, urad Scarlet runner bean Ricebean Moth bean Tepary bean Dry broad beans Horse bean Broad bean Field bean Dry peas Garden pea Protein pea Chickpea, Bengal gram Dry cowpea, black-eyed pea, blackeye bean Pigeon pea, Arhar/Toor, cajan pea, Congo bean, gandules Lentil Bambara groundnut, earth pea Vetch, common vetch Lupins Pulses NES, Minor pulses, including: Lablab, hyacinth bean Jack bean, sword bean Winged bean Velvet bean, cowitch Yam bean Forage legumes are of two broad types.
Some, like alfalfa, vetch, stylo, or Arachis, are sown in pasture and grazed by livestock. Other forage legumes such as Leucaena or Albizia are woody shrub or tree species that are either broken down by livestock or cut by humans to provide livestock feed. Legumes base feed fed to animals improves animal performance compared to diets of perennial grass diet. Factors that attribute towards such result: larger consumption, quicker rate of digestion and feed conversion rate efficiency. Legume species grown for their flowers include lupins, which are farmed commercially for their blooms as well as being popular in gardens worldwide. Industrially farmed legumes include Indigofera and Acacia species, which are cultivated for dye and natural gum production, respectively. Fallow/green manure legume species are cultivated to be tilled back into the soil in order to exploit the high levels of captured atmospheric nitrogen found in the roots of most legumes. Numerous legumes farmed for this purpose include Leucaena and Sesbania species.
Various legume species are farmed for timber production worldwide, including numerous Acacia species and Castanospermum australe. Legume trees like the locust trees or the Kentucky coffeetree can be used in permaculture food forests. Other legume tre
Candy called sweets or lollies, is a confection that features sugar as a principal ingredient. The category, called sugar confectionery, encompasses any sweet confection, including chocolate, chewing gum, sugar candy. Vegetables, fruit, or nuts which have been glazed and coated with sugar are said to be candied. Physically, candy is characterized by the use of a significant amount of sugar substitutes. Unlike a cake or loaf of bread that would be shared among many people, candies are made in smaller pieces. However, the definition of candy depends upon how people treat the food. Unlike sweet pastries served for a dessert course at the end of a meal, candies are eaten casually with the fingers, as a snack between meals; each culture has its own ideas of. The same food may be a dessert in another. Between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, the Persians, followed by the Greeks, discovered the people in India and their "reeds that produce honey without bees", they adopted and spread sugar and sugarcane agriculture.
Sugarcane is indigenous to tropical South and Southeast Asia, while the word sugar is derived from the Sanskrit word Sharkara. Pieces of sugar were produced by boiling sugarcane juice in ancient India and consumed as Khanda, dubbed as the original candy and the etymology of the word. Before sugar was available, candy was based on honey. Honey was used in Ancient China, Middle East, Egypt and the Roman Empire to coat fruits and flowers to preserve them or to create forms of candy. Candy is still served in this form today, though now it is more seen as a type of garnish. Before the Industrial Revolution, candy was considered a form of medicine, either used to calm the digestive system or cool a sore throat. In the Middle Ages candy appeared on the tables of only the most wealthy at first. At that time, it began as a combination of spices and sugar, used as an aid to digestive problems. Digestive problems were common during this time due to the constant consumption of food, neither fresh nor well balanced.
Banquet hosts would serve these types of'candies' at banquets for their guests. One of these candies, sometimes called chamber spice, was made with cloves, aniseed, juniper berries and pine kernels dipped in melted sugar; the Middle English word candy began to be used in the late 13th century. The first candy came to America in the early 18th century from France. Only a few of the early colonists were proficient in sugar work and were able to provide the sugary treats for the wealthy. Rock candy, made from crystallized sugar, was the simplest form of candy, but this basic form of sugar was considered a luxury and was only attainable by the rich; the candy business underwent a drastic change in the 1830s when technological advances and the availability of sugar opened up the market. The new market was not only for the enjoyment of the rich but for the pleasure of the working class. There was an increasing market for children. While some fine confectioners remained, the candy store became a staple of the child of the American working class.
Penny candies epitomized this transformation of candy. Penny candy became the first material good. For this reason, candy store-owners relied entirely on the business of children to keep them running. Penny candies were directly descended from medicated lozenges that held bitter medicine in a hard sugar coating. In 1847, the invention of the candy press made it possible to produce multiple shapes and sizes of candy at once. In 1851, confectioners began to use a revolving steam pan to assist in boiling sugar; this transformation meant that the candy maker was no longer required to continuously stir the boiling sugar. The heat from the surface of the pan was much more evenly distributed and made it less the sugar would burn; these innovations made it possible for only one or two people to run a candy business. As the path from producer to market became complicated, many foods were affected by adulteration and the addition of additives which ranged from harmless ingredients, such as cheap cornstarch and corn syrup, to poisonous ones.
Some manufacturers produced bright colors in candy by the addition of hazardous substances for which there was no legal regulation: green, red and white. In an 1885 cover cartoon for Puck, Joseph Keppler satirized the dangers of additives in candy by depicting the "mutual friendship" between striped candy and gravediggers. By 1906, research into the dangers of additives, exposés of the food industry, public pressure led to the passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act, the first federal United States law to regulate food and drugs, including candy. Sugar candies include hard candies, soft candies, marshmallows and other candies whose principal ingredient is sugar. Commercially, sugar candies are divided into groups according to the amount of sugar they contain and their chemical structure. Comparison of sugar candies Chocolate is sometimes treated as a separate branch of confectionery. In this model, chocolate candies like chocolate candy bars and chocolate truffles are included. Hot chocolate or other cocoa-based drinks are excluded.
However, when chocolate is treated as a separate branch, it includes confections whose classification is otherwise difficult, being neither candies nor baked goods, like chocolate-dipped foods, tarts with chocolate shel
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces; this began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000