Is There a Danger to Lack of Diversity?

When we use the word “diversity,” we often think about people, but in 19th-century Ireland, the potato was everything to Irish potato-growing families.

The Irish potato, to a potato-growing family, was both food and cash. Part of the crop was sold to pay the rent and buy what the family needed. The rest of the crop fed the family. There was very little, if any, crop diversity.

An Irish potato crop failure in 1845 would not merely harm a family’s financial well-being. It would jeopardize that family’s ability to provide for basic physical needs.

If the reason for the crop failure was a potato blight which affected the whole country, what impact would that have on Ireland?

What impact would it have on the Irish people?

Would there be a difference in impact between the potato-growing families and the rest of Ireland’s people? Explain your answer.

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