A short break from complaints about labelling, which crisps or bread are the best and problems with prescriptions...
Most of us have read stories about the origins of wheat, ancient civilizations and how Coeliacs are probably related to people who didn't settle and grow crops but carried on being hunter-gatherers and migrated north.
I was just watching Ian Stewarts How to Grow a Planet on BBC2. Almost at the very end you see him wandering around the site of an ancient 10,000 year old civilization somewhere around where Turkey is now. He explains why people settled there instead of continuing to roam around, hunting animals and gathering fruit and roots. Up to that time there was an ancient form of wheat, but it was not possible to harvest it because if the ripe plant was shaken the seeds fell off into the dirt and were lost.
A genetic mutation occurred which caused the cells linking the seeds to the stem to strengthen, preventing the seeds from falling off easilly. Human beings realised they could grow and harvest this freak of nature and make flour and bread from it. Bread being compact, nutritional and transportable encouraged development of the settlements.
Without humans, the mutated wheat would not have been able to survive
Stewarts final words on the subject was along the lines, " Is the wheat using people, or are people using the wheat"
Our ancient relatives, of course, left camp just before someone picked up that first ear of mutated wheat, shook it, and gazed in awe at the seeds, still stuck to the stem....