An Edible History Of Humanity

57169051905000For this assignment, first read the excerpts from Tom Standage's An Edible History of Humanity, available on Blackboard. Based on your reading, respond to the following questions. Your responses must be typed, in Calibri or Times New Roman size 12, and be in full sentences. While there is no set length limit, each response should clearly state and explain the answers.

This assignment will be graded as Skills Demonstration.

Date Due:_________________________________________________

Please attach this sheet to the front of your responses when you submit your assignment!

Formatting: follows directions for assignment, completed thoroughly
Responses: Questions answered thoroughly and with reflection/supporting detail as needed. Reflects understanding of the questions and the reading
Grammar: clear, fluent language with few/no spelling or grammatical errors

The Invention of Farming
Food as Technologies
What does Standage mean when he says farmed land is as much a technological landscape as a biological one?
Does farming spread from one point outward around the world? Where and when does it develop?

The Man-Made Nature of Maize
Standage highlights several differences between teosinte and maize. Describe those differences and how they benefitted farmers.
How did early farmers change a natural process of selection into deliberate cultivation of specific traits?
Based on Standage's explanation, do you thing farmed corn is natural?

Cereal Innovation
Explain how "tough rachis," a mutation undesirable for plant survival, benefitted early humans, and how it became the dominant trait in about 200 years.
Why was domestication "bad" for plants like rice and wheat? Use examples in your answer.
Explain what Standage describes as a trade-off in human domestication of animals, giving examples.
Refer to the map on page 12. Based on what you know about early humans, what do you think explains why maize was domesticated so much later than wheat or rice?

Roots of Modernity
An Agricultural Mystery
State what Standage calls the "most complex, and most important question in human history."
Standage argues that farming was not a liberation from the "anxious hand-to-mouth existence of the hunter-gatherer." Do you agree with this assertion? Explain your rationale.

The Origins of Farming
Explain and analyze at least 3 contributing factors that led to the shift towards farming.
Why was it impossible for humans to revert to a nomadic lifestyle?

Did Farmers Spread, Or Did Farming Spread?
Define demic and cultural diffusion.
Describe the archaeological evidence of demic diffusion.
Describe the linguistic evidence of cultural diffusion.
How did the Khoisan of southern Africa transition from hunting and gathering to domestication?
Why does Standage believe farming was a hybrid of both mechanisms?

Man, An Agricultural Animal
"Is man exploiting maize for his own purposes, or is maize exploiting man?" What does Standage mean by this?
How did the transition to agriculture impact the foods we eat today?
Focus on the last paragraph of page 27. Do you agree with the position Standage takes on the invention of farming? Explain your rationale, including examples from the text.