top of page


Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization

Publish date:
February 1, 2005
Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization

In this provocative, wide-ranging book, Against the Grain, Richard Manning offers a dramatically revisionist view of recent human evolution, beginning with the vast increase in brain size that set us apart from our primate relatives and brought an accompanying increase in our need for nourishment. For 290,000 years, we managed to meet that need as hunter-gatherers, a state in which Manning believes we were at our most human: at our smartest, strongest, most sensually alive. But our reliance on food made a secure supply deeply attractive, and eventually we embarked upon the agricultural experiment that has been the history of our past 10,000 years.

The evolutionary road is littered with failed experiments, however, and Manning suggests that agriculture as we have practiced it runs against both our grain and nature's. Drawing on the work of anthropologists, biologists, archaeologists, and philosophers, along with his own travels, he argues that not only our ecological ills-overpopulation, erosion, pollution-but our social and emotional malaise are rooted in the devil's bargain we made in our not-so-distant past. And he offers personal, achievable ways we might re-contour the path we have taken to resurrect what is most sustainable and sustaining in our own nature and the planet's.

Author Website
Author Location
The harm of eating carbohydrates.
Regenerative Agriculture
Grains are small, hard, edible seeds or kernels that are produced by grass-like plants. They are a staple food for many people around the world and provide a significant portion of the daily calorie intake in various cultures. Grains are widely cultivated for their nutritional value and versatility in cooking. There are several types of grains, including wheat, rice, corn, barley, oats, rye, millet, buckwheat, sorghum.
Grain-Fed Beef
Grain-fed beef refers to cattle that are raised on a diet primarily composed of grains, such as corn or soybeans, instead of their natural diet of grass. This type of feeding regimen is commonly practiced in industrialized or intensive farming operations. The purpose of grain feeding is to promote rapid weight gain in cattle, resulting in larger and more marbled cuts of meat. The grains provide a concentrated source of energy, enabling the animals to put on weight quickly. This method of feeding can significantly shorten the time it takes for cattle to reach market weight compared to grass-fed cattle. Grain-fed beef is known for its tenderness and a richer flavor due to the higher fat content. The increased marbling, or intramuscular fat, contributes to the juiciness and flavor profile of the meat. The fat content also affects the cooking process, making it easier to achieve desired levels of doneness. However, it's important to note that grain feeding also has some criticisms. Some argue that grain-fed beef may have a less favorable fatty acid profile compared to grass-fed beef. Grass-fed beef tends to have a higher proportion of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and a more balanced omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. Additionally, there are concerns about the environmental impact of intensive grain feeding, including land use, water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions associated with grain production.
History Entries - 10 per page
Comments - Add your own review
bottom of page