The following question was recently posted as a writing prompt in my anthropology disscussion section, If you could go back in time and prevent early humans from developing agriculture would you? I would not. To preface my argument, there is much evidence that points to early farming communities having very poor health and lower lifespans, compared to their hunter-gatherer counterparts. These seem like terrible things, so why not get rid of it? Even though agriculture may have harmed human health in the short term, we now have the available technology to learn from our mistakes and improve. On such example is golden rice. Many recent reports of global malnutrition have concluded that the diets of many poor countries consist of primary rice, in some cases up to 100% of a diet. Unfortunately, even though these people receive calories, they don't get other important nutrients. One of which being pro-vitamin A. Without it people can lose their eyesight, worsen their health and eventually die. A swiss professor and a team were able to insert the gene for Beta-carotene production into grains of rice which codes for pro-vitamin A. This rice could save millions of people and the same could be done for other nutrients. Also one of the important factors that should be highlighted is that even the best hunter-gatherers had an average lifespan of 26 years while humans today live on average to 79 years with agriculture and everything it has allowed us to do. This includes cities, medicine, and engineering. I stick to my answer, however, I feel the question is very subjective because for some people the hunter-gatherer lifestyle may seem more appealing and would choose to prevent agriculture. This is to say that neither answer is right or wrong. Instead it's an opinion on a hypothetical situation.
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