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  1. Food: a FundamentalIngredient In The History of Humanitytaken from An Edible History of Humanity by Tom StandageCS110 Microcomputer Project - Chiara Cervini – December 2013

  2. Contents

  3. There are many ways to look at the past…

  4. …as a list of important dates

  5. As a conveyor belt of kings and queens...

  6. As a series of rising and falling empires

  7. or as a narrative of political, philosophical or technological progress.

  8. It is possible to observe history from another point of view, less conventional maybe, but likewise significant for humanity…

  9. …and that is through

  10. Food: Agent of Change

  11. Throughout history, foodhas done more thanjust provide sustenance … … It has acted as a catalyst of social transformationand organizationthrough,

  12. Geopolitical Competition

  13. Industrial Development

  14. Military Conflict

  15. … and

  16. Economic Expansion

  17. Food’s first transformative role acted as a foundation for entire civilizations.

  18. Agriculture: Aggregation

  19. The adoptionofagriculture made new settled lifestyles possible and set mankind on the path to the modern world.

  20. Fromhunting and gathering to Farming in a continuous way.

  21. First Stable Civilizations

  22. First Staple Crops Wheat Millet Maize Barley Rice Potatoes

  23. The staple crops that supported the first civilizations, i.e. barley and wheat in the Near East millet and rice in Asia maize and potatoes in the Americas, were not simply discovered by chance.

  24. Crop Selection The first Genetic Engineers were farmers.

  25. Instead, they emerged through a complex process of co-evolution, as desirable traits were selected and propagated by early farmers.

  26. New Species

  27. New Tools

  28. New Processes

  29. New Social Organization

  30. Political, economic and religious structures of ancient societies were based upon the systems of food production and distribution

  31. The production of …

  32. Agricultural food surpluses and…

  33. Development of Communal Food Storage and …

  34. Food Conservation

  35. Fostered…

  36. Political Centralization

  37. Agricultural fertility rituals developed intostate religions

  38. FOOD became a means of …

  39. Payment and taxation

  40. Power

  41. Influence anddisplay of status

  42. Food-trade routes acted as international communication networks

  43. and fostered culturalandreligiousexchange

  44. Early Geographers compiled the first attempts at world maps

  45. The European desire to circumvent the Arab Spice Monopoly

  46. led to …

  47. First Colonial Outposts

  48. And later on to…

  49. Imperialism