Read e-book online Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization PDF

By Richard Manning

ISBN-10: 1466823429

ISBN-13: 9781466823426

During this provocative, wide-ranging publication, Richard Manning bargains a dramatically revisionist view of contemporary human evolution, starting with the monstrous bring up in mind measurement that set us except our primate kin and taken an accompanying bring up in our desire for nourishment. For 290,000 years, we controlled to fulfill that desire as hunter-gatherers, a kingdom within which Manning believes we have been at our so much human: at our smartest, most powerful, so much sensually alive. yet our reliance on nutrition made a safe provide deeply beautiful, and at last we embarked upon the rural scan that has been the historical past of our prior 10,000 years.

The evolutionary street is plagued by failed experiments, besides the fact that, and Manning means that agriculture as we have now practiced it runs opposed to either our grain and nature's. Drawing at the paintings of anthropologists, biologists, archaeologists, and philosophers, together with his personal travels, he argues that not just our ecological ills-overpopulation, erosion, pollution-but our social and emotional malaise are rooted within the devil's discount we made in our not-so-distant prior. And he deals own, available methods we would re-contour the trail now we have taken to resurrect what's such a lot sustainable and maintaining in our personal nature and the planet's.

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Additional resources for Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization

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Ninety million Americans舒the populations of greater LA, New York, and Chicago multiplied by 2舒now eat so much they are at increased risk of asthma, cancer, heart attack or stroke, reduced fertility, giving birth prematurely, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, liver disease, gallbladder disease, diabetes, and arthritis. The obese make less money (particularly obese women), have higher medical expenses and lower self-esteem, and are more likely to suffer from depression. After smoking, obesity is the leading cause of preventable death.

And, just as with bland tomatoes, a chicken舗s blandness is intimately related to nutrition. 9925 percent of their domesticated careers, chickens ate all sorts of stuff: blades of grass, leaves, seeds, bugs, mice, frogs, meat scraps, dead rabbits, even snakes. Their human keepers carried the barest understanding of a chicken舗s dietary needs. The Romans thought visiting a dung heap was the thing to do. ) By the turn of the last century, the picture wasn舗t a whole lot clearer. Poultrymen and poultrywomen knew you could fatten chickens by feeding them things like ground-up corn.

Around the turn of the last century, a Dutch physician named Christiaan Eijkman observed that when his chickens were fed white rice and only white rice, they became afflicted with beriberi舒they had difficulty walking, they would vomit, and eventually they became paralyzed and died. If the sick chickens were fed brown rice, however, they recovered. Eijkman postulated that there must be something about brown rice, some hidden essence crucial to maintaining health, that was not to be found in white rice.

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Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization by Richard Manning

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