The Emergence of Agriculture – Bruce D. Smith

A Scientific American book, The Emergence of Agriculture by Bruce D. Smith was an enjoyable read.

During the read, I was inspired to fix an Andean dinner for my family…potatoes were easy enough, but I got some (expensive) fancy organic multi-colored potatoes, MsSqueaky was interested in the purple ones. Also, I happened to pick up some quinoa, which, didn’t smell tasty whilst cooking, but the favor was mild and the texture rice like. For me, bringing variety into my diet is important, because, I can get bored of the regular stuff…and that leads to a dinner of chocolate, which, at my age, ain’t necessarily a good thing. Also, I need to expand the childrens’ acceptance of new food, and develop their taste buds. Too bad we didn’t have any guinea pig to eat, too. Yeah, gonna have to try one of the American domesticated meats, and I think guinea pig meat will be easier to find than llama or alpaca. Now, here’s the thing, could I grow/farm/butcher my own? What would the childrens’ think…which is silly, because we moderns are so removed from the natural process of how we get  meat to eat. I’m sure in the old days, well, if they lived past five years, the childrens would be helping me hunt/butcher dinner. So, roast guinea pig…on my to-do list.

The main point, that Smith brought up many times, “Rather than maintain a rigid strategy for survival in environments where resources vary in abundance from one year to the next, hunter-gatherers were constantly experimenting, trying out innovations that might make resources, and life in general, more predictable.”   pg 169

Humorous part: “Suffering through day after difficult day of deep-blue skies, clear-flowing streams, and stunning fall foliage, we again and again found floodplain populations of C.pepo gourds flourishing far from any farms…”  (pg 194).


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