This thesis aims to present the biological and the cultural importance of roots and tubers. As an introduction, their formation through metamorphosis, their botanical definition and their advantages compared to other crop plants are being examined. The next chapter deals with the cultivation of plants throughout history and their impact on the human evolution. A special focus lies on the economic significance of roots and tubers. They have not only managed to end famine in the past: scientists believe that, concerning global food security, they will also play an important role in the future. Finally, in order to describe their morphology, origin and cultivation, as well as nutritional and economic significance in more detail, three examples are being presented: the potato (Solanum tuberosum), parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) and cassava (Manihot esculenta).