Posts Tagged ‘grain’

The Curse of the Potato

May 3, 2016

Before the rise of the modern world, why did some societies develop social and architectural complexity while others didn’t?

“The most advanced civilizations all tended to cultivate grain crops, like wheat and barley and corn. Less advanced societies tended to rely on root crops like potatoes, taro and manioc.

It’s not that grains crops were much easier to grow than tubers, or that they provided more food, the economists say. Instead, the economists believe that grains crops transformed the politics of the societies that grew them, while tubers held them back.

Call it the curse of the potato.”


“The sinister, secret history of a food that everybody loves,” Jeff Guo, Washington Post


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Photo by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

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Cat Poop and World Hunger

March 27, 2011

Cat Poop and World Hunger

World food prices are rising at a frightening rate, resulting in uprisings, hunger and death. U.S. government policy diverts food into the nation’s gas tanks by subsidizing production of corn ethanol, and not enough American farmland is planted in corn to meet demand. Millions go hungry or starve, governments are destabilized, and world food prices continue to rise.

How does American industry respond?  It turns corn into kitty litter.