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Categories: Food & Diet Research    

Organized agriculture is claimed to have been the root of our civilization, particularly the growing of grains. What if that's not quite right?

Ancient stone circle field
Image by: Pexels

My own health path has led me to now avoid wheat and grains. When I was first learning about how to help myself not have headaches and digestive problems in the late 1990's there wasn't any discussion about gluten free or Celiac Disease. That meant my research was extremely broad and I researched a ton of different subjects that might lead to some answers or allow me to put the pieces of the puzzle together on how to help myself get better.

How Agriculture Started - We're Told:

One of the interesting topics I ran across was some writings by various authors who looked back at history, but with a far different perspective.

One such sub topic was how organized agriculture started.

A common modern simple explanation is that agriculture started due to the need to feed lots of people, and was the beginning of the "civilized" world.

That's a nice fluffy simple explanation. It justifies our continued reliance on organized agriculture and that we need agriculture to be "civilized." The implication is that if we don't have organized agriculture we'll 1) not be able to feed everyone, and 2) that we'll not be civilized if we don't have it, and we'll be barbarians.

Another related modern take is that wheat has fed humans for thousands of years, and that without it and other major grains, we wouldn't be here because we would have all starved and without it we would be savages, and wouldn't have a "civilization." Again, a good justification for our modern organized grain agriculture.

The History From a Different Perspective:

What if that isn't how things actually started?

It was found there were some other things going on at the same time as organized agriculture was starting.

The time lines vary depending on the locations.

It turns out that a key to agriculture starting is that the ruling powers of the day took control of all the land within their particular areas. This lead to a variety of scenarios depending again on location and structure of the ruling class.

Some of the ruling class were religious style rulers, other were warrior clans, etc.

How Controllers Took Over:

When a ruling class was able to hold control for any extended period of time, they were able to put more controlling structures in place.

Land control at the time was different than what we're used to. Land ownership wasn't really a thing. People took residence on land, and set up a home and worked the land in various ways to eat and live and survive. The average person didn't need to take over their land because there was plenty of it, they just picked some unused land and set up their homestead.

Here's some examples of how different areas got and maintained control of the lands, with varying combinations of these actions and more:

  • Kill off some of the strong people who were working on their land. That left the remaining people on that land vulnerable and not able to look after themselves well, and they were at higher risk of being aggressed against.
  • Capture people from their land, and put them in some sort of containment, and take all their possessions and take control of their land. Even if they let them out, which many did, they had nowhere to return to. Their homes were destroyed, their possessions taken, including whatever tools they needed to work their land and hunt, etc.
  • Remove people from their land by force, and make them move into controller territory, such as a town. They then were forced to pay rent, and buy food, etc. These were things that before they could make and get themselves for free. All they needed was their labor. The controllers then forced them to work, as it was the only way to make money to pay rent and buy supplies. No one else had much commerce that exchanged money, the controllers were the only ones who could do this (either due to force or law and force).
  • By way of force, they prevented the residents of the land to keep the efforts of their land. The controllers claimed ownership of all the land, and called the residents serfs or something similar. The "rent" the residents paid for the priveledge of using the land was the majority of what they produced on the land. Many controllers also controlled what could be produced on the land.

Removing the People's Natural Diet:

One overarching outcome of this kind of control is that it removed the ability of people to eat what they could normally grow or hunt themselves. Different people would have eaten different things depending on where they lived. Most of it for most people throughout history, when unimpeded by controllers, when people had free usage of their natural lands, was a meat or seafood heavy diet, with a little bit of plants of varying types, with big seasonal differences.

What happened when the controllers took over is that the natural diet was seriously changed.

One natural question is: why would they want to change their diet?

There is actually historical evidence that many of the controllers actually knew what diets make people strong, and what diets make them weak. People are much easier to control when they are weak and underfed and malnourished.

Much of this kind of evidence exists in historical religious documents, monuments, archaelogical evidence via various forms of writing on stones, etc.

There have been many documents throughout the world that have uncovered that.

Organized Agriculture as a Tool of Control:

What that shows, as described by the authors writings I was researching, is that organized agriculture was started as part of the process of control. If the purpose is to have as much control over people, and the largest number of people, it was necessary to make them weak. Since they knew what made people weak via a bad diet, they set up the control mechanisms to do just that.

Take them off their land, away from the natural wildlife and land that could sustain them. Force them to grow food they would not have eaten naturally, such as grains.

Or let them stay on their land, but not allow them to grow what they normally would, or hunt what they normally would. They would then be eating what the controllers allowed, such as wheat or other grains.

The controllers knew that a grain heavy diet makes people weak. A diet without enough food makes people weak. Weak people are easy to control. Take control and you gain power, influence, obedience, and wealth.

The propaganda now, and even way back when, was that the controllers knew what was best. They were protecting people by enforcing the control. They put them in cities to protect them from the dangers in the country. They were feeding everyone by organizing the grain growing and "giving" it to the people at a "fair" price.

A New Take on Old History:

Not exactly the glowing story that we hear about in school. It goes to show that we don't always hear about our history quite like the way it was. There's often large chunks of details that are left out. With those extra details, it puts things in a whole different perspective.

Just a thought to keep in mind when we hear about historical nutrition and health details, whether they're from 5,000 years ago, or just 20 years ago. We're usually missing important details that change everything. Someone is also choosing what is shared, and what is not. We also have no way of truly knowing why. That comes out centuries later, if ever.

Be open to the fact that what we know is never a closed book. There's always new things to discover, new perspectives to gain. Since it's ongoing, enjoy the ride and look forward to the interesting things you'll learn along the way.

If you're interested in other topics that challenge what you think about nutrition and food, be sure to check out our Kick It Up section.

Research, eat and enjoy!

Thora

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