Malocclusion and dental crowding arose 12,000 years ago with earliest farmers

Hunter-gatherers had almost no malocclusion and dental crowding, and the condition first became common among the world’s earliest farmers some 12,000 years ago in Southwest Asia, according to findings published today in the journal PLOS ONE.

By analysing the lower jaws and teeth crown dimensions of 292 archaeological skeletons from the Levant, Anatolia and Europe, from between 28,000-6,000 years ago, an international team of scientists have discovered a clear separation between European hunter-gatherers, Near Eastern/Anatolian semi-sedentary hunter-gatherers and transitional farmers, and European farmers, based on the form and structure of their jawbones.

“Our analysis shows that the lower jaws of the world’s earliest farmers in the Levant, are not simply smaller versions of those of the predecessor hunter-gatherers, but that the lower jaw underwent a complex series of shape changes commensurate with the transition to agriculture," Read more.

Bees declared extinct 30 years ago take to UK skies again – thanks to farmers

A species of bee declared extinct in the UK almost 30 years ago is flying again – thanks in part to the efforts of farmers. Researchers have been restoring the short-haired bumblebee to Romney Marsh and Dungeness over the past three years, and the results are starting to come in.

Nikki Gammans and her team have travelled to Sweden each year since 2012 to collect around 100 queen bees, transport them back to Britain and, after a two week quarantine period, release them into the flower-rich countryside of Kent.

The short-haired bumblebee was once common in Britain and found as far north as Yorkshire, but was last seen in Dungeness in 1986 and has since been declared extinct in the wild in the UK. While the wet summer of 2012 meant the reintroduced bees did not fare well, following last year’s warm summer Gammans found worker bees for the first time in more than 25 years. This meant the queens had survived the winter and founded colonies.

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“I know a lot of young people who have a film that does well and they just get pushed and pulled in so many directions…I’m just lucky that I have real, sincere support from people who understand that if something doesn’t motivate me or I have no real connection to it, I’m going to be really shitty and unhappy in it. And if I ever got to a point in my life where those scripts were my only options, I’ll go be a farmer." 

-Ellen Page

10 Tips for Shopping the Minneapolis Farmers Market

1. Don’t be shy. Talk to growers. They love to talk about what they’ve grown and how to use it. Talk to other shoppers,too. It’s easy when you’re bonding over food. You can learn a lot and meet people at the same time.

2. Find out why it’s not certified organic. Many small farmers rent land or can’t afford organic certification, so when you see something that looks good, ask the farmer how it was grown. 

3. Bring your own bags; a cooler, too, if you’re getting eggs or meat.

4. Shop early for selection. Shop late (or in bad weather) for deals.

5. Bring small bills.

6. Walk the whole market before you buy.

7. If it looks good, buy it. It may be gone next week.

8. Don’t haggle. Farmers work hard and price their products thoughtfully. But if you buy in bulk or become a regular, friendly customer, you may find your farmer giving you a discount. 

9. Shop weekdays. No crowds, no parking hassles. Just drive right up to the sheds.

10. Enjoy! Our market is the most diverse public space in Minneapolis, our farmers friendly, and our food, delicious.  

After more than a decade of explosive growth, sales of local food at U.S. farmers’ markets are slowing. Why the slowdown? Some say we’ve hit peak farmers market, that the markets in urban areas are saturated. This might not be bad news for farmers, however. Moving away from farmers markets towards food hubs – local groups that connect farmers to food-using businesses – may be more efficient. 

Are Farmers Market Sales Peaking? That Might Be Good For Farmers

Photo Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

INDIA, SERTHA : An Indian farm labourer dries newly-arrived chillies at a farm in Sertha, some 25 kms from Ahmedabad on February 6, 2015. Farm owner Jivanlal Patel says crop yields are down following unseasonal rains and global warming, which has has pushed the price of chillies up by half in the last year. AFP PHOTO / Sam PANTHAKY

#DidYouKnow 69% of vegetables imported into the US come from Mexico? Often picked by forced laborers.

“Millions of people are being exploited, forced to work and live under semi-slavery conditions, and in many cases these companies are working in coordination with government officials.”

READ about the 2M+ people trapped on Mexican plantations here.

In the last 50 years, a staggering 140 million hectares - the size of almost all the farmland in India - has been taken over by four industrial crops: soya bean, oil palm, rapeseed and sugar cane. And this trend is accelerating.

Want to Double the World’s Food Production? Return the Land to Small Farmers!

“Of all the myriad species of plants or animals whose products are useful to people, agriculture directly uses only a few hundred. Some twelve plant species provide approximately 75% of our total food supply, and only fifteen mammal and bird species make up more than 90% of global domestic livestock production.”

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-Harvard School of Public Health

#biodiversity #monoculture