2. Man’s Fruit And Vegetable Culture
Like the apes, humans have always been gatherers of fruits. The tropical fruits we know today are the result of cultivation. Similarly, the fruits of the temperate zone—the apple, lemon, orange, pear, fig, apricot, plum, filbert, walnut, etc.—could only have reached their present position through their improvement by man over many millennia. Most of these food plants are of Asiatic origin: they are the products of an age-old fruit culture.
The more important annuals appeared first in association with man and the simultaneous appearance on the historical record indicates a greater age of agriculture than the archaeologists and anthropologists have allowed. This is a logical conclusion because, as cultivated species, fruits and nuts could only have been developed from time to time under the artificial conditions imposed by humankind. If they should be abandoned to nature, they would disappear. The wild fruits eaten by anthropoid creatures were the prime factor in human development and not a product of that development.
According to Henry Bailey Stevens (The Recovery of Culture, New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1953), it was after the second glaciation that human tools made their appearance. It appears that there are two main types of tools which were used during that early period. They are the hand axes that originated in the South and the flakes that were used as spears and harpoons in the North.
The hand ax is particularly well fitted for dealing with trees and wood, digging up roots, and cultivating the ground. Also, from this point of view, it seems rather obvious that the hand ax must have originated in a southern, tropical, or subtropical country, where forest and tuberous plants abound. The presence of stone tools at this time suggests that man was actually planting seeds.-The great body of mankind living in the warmer portions of the earth need have been no more concerned with hunting and fishing than were the apes. Their main interest lay in obtaining food from plants, and they became horticulturists.
When the ice age came and most men went south, scattering tribes were caught in the peninsulas or between mountain ranges and the ocean. These tribes had to face living in a world where green life either vanished or became very meager. If they were to survive, they had to readjust themselves drastically. They came to eat great quantities of shellfish. They learned the use of fire and they became beasts of prey. It was they who developed the spear and the harpoon and became accustomed to eating meat.
As the ice receded and plant food became again abundant, the capacity of the middle lands increased and the growers of crops moved into a region accustomed to the hunting economy. Thus the ultimate population of these lands was exposed in the Stone age to two distinct types of culture—one of the handax culture of the South, the other, the spear culture of the North.
The evidence appears overwhelming that the intimate relationship between anthropoids and fruit trees did not end a million years ago when man descended to a terrestrial existence. Rather, the association continued in the southern lands and was the actual impetus in our whole cultural development. It was when man found that he could affect his food supply through the selection and planting of seeds and cuttings and the improvement of soil conditions, that he started the great upward spiral that set him above the apes. Culture developed when we evolved from the simpler primate into the complex human.
- 1. Similarities Among The Primates
- 2. Man’s Fruit And Vegetable Culture
- 3. Food Self-Sufficiency
- 4. Fruit
- 5. Nuts And Seeds
- 6. Food Preparation
- 7. Sunshine, Fresh Air, Exercise
- 8. Rest, Relaxation And Emotional Well-Being
- 9. Our Body Is Self-Sufficient
- 11. Freedom From Reliance Upon The Medical Community
- 12. Questions & Answers
- Article #1: The Natural Food of Man By Emmett Densmore, M.D.