Down With Agriculture!

The sinister, secret history of a food that everybody loves
The argument depends on the differences between how grains and tubers are grown. Crops like wheat are harvested once or twice a year, yielding piles of small, dry grains. These can be stored for long periods of time and are easily transported — or stolen.

Root crops, on the other hand, don’t store well at all. They’re heavy, full of water, and rot quickly once taken out of the ground. Yuca, for instance, grows year-round and in ancient times, people only dug it up right before it was eaten. This provided some protection against theft in ancient times. It’s hard for bandits to make off with your harvest when most of it is in the ground, instead of stockpiled in a granary somewhere.

But the fact that grains posed a security risk may have been a blessing in disguise. The economists believe that societies cultivating crops like wheat and barley may have experienced extra pressure to protect their harvests, galvanizing the creation of warrior classes and the development of complex hierarchies and taxation schemes. (emphasis added-cb)

They say that like it’s a good thing. Warrior classes, war, overlords imposing taxes and servitude…

Democrats and Republicans…



2 thoughts on “Down With Agriculture!

  1. ClareB May 18, 2016 / 7:59 pm

    Interesting. Makes a lot of sense, says this gardener who generally plants her sweet potatoes and the more tedious to harvest fruits and vegs in the garden she cannot keep a real close eye on. Many people don’t recognize them as food and I suspect are too lazy to spend a half hour picking olive-sized plums.


  2. wdg3rd May 18, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    I protect my own barley. Because beer. Most root vegetables actually do store for quite a while if they’re kept in the dark like public school students.


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