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Ears of plenty (the story of wheat / The story of man's staple food)
The Economist ^ | Dec 20th 2005

Posted on 12/26/2005 8:42:55 PM PST by SunkenCiv

[W]heat is losing its crown. The tonnage (though not the acreage) of maize harvested in the world began consistently to exceed that of wheat for the first time in 1998; rice followed suit in 1999. Genetic modification, which has transformed maize, rice and soyabeans, has largely passed wheat by—to such an extent that it is in danger of becoming an "orphan crop"... And with population growth rates falling sharply while yields continue to rise, even the acreage devoted to wheat may now begin to decline for the first time since the stone age... [W]heat is a genetic monster. A typical wheat variety is hexaploid—it has six copies of each gene, where most creatures have two. Its 21 chromosomes contain a massive 16 billion base pairs of DNA, 40 times as much as rice, six times as much as maize and five times as much as people.

(Excerpt) Read more at economist.com ...


TOPICS: Food; History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: agriculture; animalhusbandry; corn; dietandcuisine; godsgravesglyphs; huntergatherers; maize
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To: Little Ray
In that case, here's something you'll really like...
Beer Brewing Paralleled the Rise of Civilization
by Kurt Stoppkotte
National Geographic News
April 24, 2001
The idea behind the theories about the early emergence of beer is that grains could be grown in poorer soils and required less water to grow than other crops, such as grapes. Unlike grapes, however, grains had no juice to extract. Therefore, they had to be soaked in water, which led to a natural fermentation process that produced what Julius Caesar described as "a high and mighty liquor."

41 posted on 12/27/2005 6:13:43 PM PST by SunkenCiv ("In silence, and at night, the Conscience feels that life should soar to nobler ends than Power.")
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Ancient Beer, Wine Jars Found in Egypt
AP/SF Chronicle | 5/18/05 | AP
Posted on 05/18/2005 7:01:35 PM PDT by TFFKAMM
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1406063/posts


42 posted on 12/27/2005 7:29:56 PM PST by SunkenCiv ("In silence, and at night, the Conscience feels that life should soar to nobler ends than Power.")
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Message in a Bottle [History of wine snobbery]
New York Times | 12/24/05 | Tom Standage
Posted on 12/26/2005 11:56:44 PM PST by LibWhacker
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/1547470/posts


43 posted on 12/27/2005 7:31:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv ("In silence, and at night, the Conscience feels that life should soar to nobler ends than Power.")
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To: SunkenCiv
Wherever they went, the farmers brought their habits: not just sowing, reaping and threshing, but baking, fermenting, owning, hoarding.

I'm really sick of this baloney idea that hunter-gatherers didn't own anything or hoard and lived ideal lives of freedom, leisure, and fun. Agriculture didn't suddenly change human nature or wreck a good thing. And until people grasp the violent, unpredictable, and often short lives that people had as hunter-gatherers, they are never going to understand why the desire to embrace agriculture and civilization was so strong. See Lawrence Keeley's War Before Civilization for details on how anthropologists and archaeologists ignore clear evidence of widespread violence and homicide because they so badly want to believe their myth of the peaceful savage.

44 posted on 12/28/2005 10:15:41 AM PST by Question_Assumptions
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To: Question_Assumptions; blam

:') Don't hold back, tell my how you really feel. ;')

Myth of the Hunter-Gatherer
Volume 52 Number 5, September/October 1999
by Kenneth M. Ames
http://www.he.net/~archaeol/9909/abstracts/hunter.html

"On September 19, 1997, the New York Times announced the discovery of a group of earthen mounds in northeastern Louisiana. The site, known as Watson Brake, includes 11 mounds 26 feet high linked by low ridges into an oval 916 feet long. What is remarkable about this massive complex is that it was built around 3400 B.C., more than 3,000 years before the development of farming communities in eastern North America, by hunter-gatherers, at least partly mobile, who visited the site each spring and summer to fish, hunt, and collect freshwater mussels."


45 posted on 12/28/2005 10:28:29 AM PST by SunkenCiv ("In silence, and at night, the Conscience feels that life should soar to nobler ends than Power.")
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To: SunkenCiv
Also by Tom Standage: A History of the World in 6 Glasses
(Walker & Company, June 2005)

An economist by trade, he tells us to follow the fermentation! to learn the story of civilization. Hear, hear!

46 posted on 12/28/2005 4:02:06 PM PST by Churchjack
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To: SunkenCiv
Wheat! Wheat! Fields of Wheat!

The crops, the grains. Fields of rippling wheat.

Wheat. All there is in life is wheat.

...

Oh, wheat! Lots of wheat! Fields of wheat.

A tremendous amount of wheat!

...

Yellow wheat. Red wheat.

Wheat with feathers. Cream of wheat.

...

Soon we shall be covered by wheat.

Did you say wheat?

Wheat.

Wheat.

I'm dead, they're talking about wheat.

47 posted on 12/28/2005 4:12:21 PM PST by x
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To: x

"I visit the orchards of spheres and look at the product,
And look at quintillions ripen'd and look at quintillions green."

-- Walt Whitman


48 posted on 12/28/2005 4:48:17 PM PST by SunkenCiv ("In silence, and at night, the Conscience feels that life should soar to nobler ends than Power.")
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To: SunkenCiv
:') And ya can't have gravy without the meat!

Toss in some carrots & onions to simmer, while we stew about it.

I'll et whan I'm 'ungry;
I'll drink whan I'm dry;
If'n the whuskey don' kill me,
I'll live til I die!

49 posted on 12/28/2005 10:49:25 PM PST by ApplegateRanch (Islam: a Satanically Transmitted Disease, spread by unprotected intimate contact with the Koranus.)
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Gods
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Glyphs
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
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50 posted on 10/19/2008 4:24:21 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile finally updated Saturday, October 11, 2008 !!!)
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