Was the shift to farming really the worst mistake in human history?

Furrows row pattern in a plowed field prepared for planting crops in spring. Growing wheat crop in springtime. Horizontal view in perspective with cloud and blue sky background.; Shutterstock ID 423151204; purchase_order: -; job: -; client: -; other: -

Shutterstock/J. Lekavicius

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STOP me if you have heard this one before: the transition to farming was a cataclysmic turn for the worse. Beginning around 12,000 years ago, some of our ancestors started cultivating crops, abandoning the egalitarian and sustainable hunter-gatherer lifestyle that had worked for hundreds of thousands of years. The result was poor health, limited diets, new diseases and unsustainable practices that have culminated with climate change and a sixth mass extinction.

This narrative has become well …

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