First, I apologize if this was already posted; I think that I may remember seeing it a week or two ago, but I am not sure.
From "Paleontology News" http://bit.ly/4Xtw5B
Julio Mercader, holder of the Canada Research Chair in Tropical Archaeology in the U of C's Department of Archaeology, recovered dozens of stone tools from a deep cave in Mozambique showing that wild sorghum, the ancestor of the chief cereal consumed today in sub-Saharan Africa for flours, breads, porridges and alcoholic beverages, was in Homo sapiens' pantry along with the African wine palm, the false banana, pigeon peas, wild oranges and the African "potato." This is the earliest direct evidence of humans using pre-domesticated cereals anywhere in the world. Mercader's findings are published in the December 18 issue of the prestigious research journal Science.
I found the free abstract of the cited publication from the research journal: http://bit.ly/8zK4eI (I am sure that some people here probably have access to the full report.) I am not quite sure how the abstract arrives at the conclusion that "early Homo sapiens relied on grass seeds starting at least 105,000 years ago" after stating that the "role of starchy plants in early hominin diets and when the culinary processing of starches began have been difficult to track archaeologically." If it is difficult to track, how can it be implicitly deduced that there was a reliance upon these starchy plants?
My main argument is with this claim from the "Paleontology News" article (my emphasis):
"It has been hypothesized that starch use represents a critical step in human evolution by improving the quality of the diet in the African savannas and woodlands...
I could see consumption of wild grasses perhaps improving survival rates; maybe flours provided a dependable source of calories that was easy to store for extended periods of time? But besides calories, what do grains have that could actually be said to improve the quality of diet?
Either way, does the inclusion of grains in human diet over 100,000 years ago indicate that enough time has passed for sufficient digestive adaption to have occurred?
Edit: I found a few threads that it was already discussed in. Carry on, nothing to see here. (In my own defense, the article I cited was just published today.)
Thanks, maba. I was away from my computer a lot over the holidays. Someone linked the "Paleo News" article was linked to me today in response to my previous claim that grains are a new food. I am still perplexed at the conclusions which the researchers are leaping to...