Seeds are quite literally the stuff and staff of life, supporting diets, economies and civilizations. Yet for most of evolutionary history, they did not even exist.
The evolutionary history of seeds shows not only how they were able to survive and prosper in nature, but also how they helped Homo sapiens to survive and prosper as well.
Each seed comes prepackaged with the genetic blueprint for new life, as well as the first meal for that new life. That first meal also provides meals for human and animal kind. In fact, seeds– grains, nuts and pulses– provide three quarters of the calories and over half the protein in the human diet. Seeds also provide for cosmetics, fuel, lubricants, medicines and paints.
But for all those benefits to become realized via the industry of agriculture, mankind would have to master the storage and manipulation of dormant seeds. And to get enough smarts to get the job done, mankind would have to become, “The Cooking Ape!”
Which plant’s seeds feed the most people: Oryza sativa, Triticum or Zea mays?
Food Chain Radio & Forums #1,061 (Tags: seeds, seed saving, seed history, Thor Hanson, The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses & Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History)