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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Bread, Beer and the Seeds of Change

Bread, Beer and the Seeds of Change

Agriculture's Imprint on World History

By T Sinclair, University of Florida, USA, C Sinclair, Independent Researcher, North Carolina, USA

June 2010 / Hardback / 208 Pages / 9781845937058 £39.95 / €55.00 / $75.00
With 10% online discount: £35.96 / €49.50 / $67.50
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June 2010 / Paperback / 208 Pages / 9781845937041 £15.95 / €20.00 / $30.00
With 10% online discount: £14.36 / €18.00 / $27.00
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Main Description

The history of humankind is intimately tied to the history of agriculture: powerful societies rose, persisted and waned in parallel with their food supply systems. Describing what crops were grown, the constraints on their production and the foods that were obtained, this book traces the impact of cropping and food preparation in ten societies that were among the most powerful and influential in history, detailing how technology varied and developed as it related directly to agriculture and food production. The book covers the background of agricultural development, early agricultural societies, and the advancement of technology from the ancient Greeks and Romans to the present. It finishes by addressing the implications for the future of agriculture and food supply as grain production moves towards biofuels. A compelling text for all those interested in the history of society and civilisations, global agriculture, and what it means for the future, this text is also an essential reference for students of agriculture, food technology, history and anthropology.

  • Part I: Background
  • Chapter 1: Why Agriculture?
  • Chapter 2: What Crops to Grow?
  • Chapter 3: Beer and Bread
  • Chapter 4: Human Nutrition and Health
  • Chapter 5: Cropping Requirements
  • Part II: Early Agricultural Societies
  • Chapter 6: Sumerian (~3500 to 2334 BCE)
  • Chapter 7: Egyptian (~3000 to 1070 BCE)
  • Chapter 8: Chinese (206 BCE to 220 CE)
  • Chapter 9: Bantu of Africa (~500 BCE to 300 CE)
  • Chapter 10: Maya (~150 BCE to 910 CE)
  • Part III: Technology Advances in Western Societies
  • Chapter 11: Athenians (550 to 334 BCE) / Romans (509 BCE to 410 CE)
  • Chapter 12: Feudal Europeans (800 to 1347)
  • Chapter 13: British (1700 to 1850)
  • Chapter 14: Development of Science and Technology (1850 to 1950)
  • Chapter 15: Americans (1950 to present)
  • A: Epilogue: Future of Grain Fermentation
'This stimulating and easy to read book should appeal to a general readership, including agriculturalists, anthropologists, historians and food technologists.'

Journal of Experimental Agriculture

'Bread, Beer and the Seeds of Change makes a convincing and highly enjoyable case for fermentation as a key player in the history of agriculture. This fascinating book will change the way you think about the process and prospects for food production. Indeed, I know of no other book that so clearly illustrates the power of agricultural productivity to influence human destiny.'

N. Michele Holbrook, Harvard University

'Couldn't put it down ... I'm amazed at the information ... and how [the authors] pulled it all together so nicely.'

Jerry Bennett, University of Florida

'[The book] offers exciting and novel insights that make for interesting reading. ... the role that 'bread and beer' played all over the world will draw the attention of an international audience.'

Larry Purcell, University of Arkansas

'A welcome and timely contribution to the growing public discussion of the role of food in our lives. Historically informative and thoroughly engaging.'

Fred Gregory, University of Florida, Patricia Gregory, Nutritionist