Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving dinner gords, thanks to plant evolution

CNN/Jen Christensen, 11/20/16. "Thanksgiving dinner of today owes a debt to cavemen."

Image result for cave men and mastodons pictures
Thanksgiving dinner squashes evolved
from ancient people and animals.
" As you prepare your traditional Thanksgiving feast, you may want to swap out those pilgrim salt-and-pepper shakers with a mastodon and a caveman instead. We owe a lot to this ancient duo. Without them your mom couldn't bake your favorite pumpkin pie. Gone would be your sister-in-law Celia's delicious squash casserole. ...

Believe it or not, it's not your grandmother nor is it Martha Stewart who had the most influence on this part of your traditional celebration. It's your great, great, great-to- the-ten-thousandth grandmother who we should thank for saving the squashes of today from going the way of the mastodon and giant sloth. That's according to a new study running in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The authors came to this conclusion after studying something decidedly unappetizing: seeds preserved in ancient animal dung. Yes, what we know about these Thanksgiving favorites came from a probe of petrified poo. Please, impress your Auntie Mary with this Turkey Day tidbit only after she's finished with the pie course. Study authors ran genetic tests on ancient seeds for 91 plants of the Cucurbita genus -- the fancy Latin name for your squashes, pumpkins and gourds. The really wild version of these baseball-sized plants were a bit like your great Uncle Bill after a few holiday martinis.

....  Climate change, a new technology, your decision to try a different pumpkin pie recipe -- all of these factors could change food tradition for thousands of years to come. If that's too much pressure to think about this holiday, maybe you should consider another current Thanksgiving tradition that has evolved over thousands of years of heavy meals -- a nice, long after-dinner nap."    Read more.
Note graphic from Gluten free for good,"Confessions of an HLA DQ2 cavewoman."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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