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Old 26-04-2003, 12:37 PM
Christopher Green
Posts: n/a
Default why human civilization is based on the staples of wheat, rice, potatoes? Why not oak acorns?

Archimedes Plutonium wrote in message ...
I am the proud owner of some Burr Oak, Quercus macrocarpa (forgive the
spelling if wrong). Anyway, recently I am thinking about my Burr Oak as
harvesting some of the wood since they are too old and I need to make
more room for other trees.

But what I was wondering the most about was why human civilization is
on wheat, rice, potatoes, corn and several other staples. But why not
oak acorns?
It would be much easier every year to harvest oak acorns and to make it
a bread. Rather than spend so much time on the "annual crops". And oak
in most
of human history has covered most of the Temperate climates so there is
a question of paucity of oak and acorns.

Native Americans made much use of acorns in their traditional foods.
They require much work to be made edible, as they contain enough
tannin to be poisonous. I would conjecture that acorns were ignored as
a food source in places where more palatable staples were readily

In particular, acorns were a staple for the Miwok and many other
California tribes. If you really want to learn about this, check out
"It Will Live Forever", by Beverly Ortiz and Julia Parker (Heyday
Books, 2001), or attend one of Julia Parker's seminars if you're in
the right place at the right time.

Chris Green