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Emergence of Agriculture

The emergence of agriculture took place during the Neolithic period which began around 10 000 BC. At this point in time human civilization had perfected the techniques required for hunting, even for big game animals, as hunting had become the way of life.  However, the agricultural revolution allowed for the domestication of both animal and plant species, and irrigation, possibilities which were unfathomable previously. Even though humans had no concept of what genes were at this time, domestication allowed for the process of selective breeding so that desirable traits could be accentuated.

The emergence of agriculture expanded the human carrying capacity because now there was a stable food supply available and even a surplus amount. Therefore, not only could the growing population be fed, but the health of individuals also increased.

The emergence of agriculture brought with it great advancements, but it was accompanied with disadvantages in terms of health, politics and social issues. One disadvantage which was related to the well-being of individuals was that in comparison to hunter gather societies, farmers would produce a less varied diet. Farmers would focus on growing a large concentration of crops with a high carbohydrate diet such as rice and potatoes, rather than producing a diet with a mix of nutrients. Furthermore, being dependent on only a few crops meant that the possibility of crop failure due to disease was higher. Low genetic diversity makes it difficult to combat diseases.

Despite the drawbacks, the emergence of agriculture was instrumental for the development of human civilization. In terms of cooking, it transformed how humans cooked many grains and different vegetables. Plant species began to be harvested differently and newer, improved species, through selective breeding, were developed. The emergence of agriculture transitioned the ways in which humans cooked, produced and used plants for the better of society. 

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