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Thread: What was grain's plan for survival? page 2

  1. #11
    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjmc View Post
    Right, but it's not that grains want to be left to themselves. It's advantageous for them to get eaten and pooped out somewhere a little further away--and for that, they need to stay undigested.
    "It's advantageous for them to get eaten and pooped out somewhere a little further away"

    Is it?

    Is that how cereals generally re-seed -- by the agency of animals -- as opposed to dropping on the ground? Are you sure?

    "for that, they need to stay undigested."

    Where's the advantage to the animal then? There has to be some mutuality. If an animal eats a tomato, and gets nutrition from the fruit, but passes the seeds out in its stools, both the plant and the animal get benefit out of that "transaction". It's mutually beneficial.

    But you just painted a scenario where the animal eats the seed but doesn't digest it. Where's the mutuality? Why would the animal expend energy doing that?

  2. #12
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    OK so they fall on the ground, I actually don't know man. Then the point of causing digestive distress is to take one for the team? Give the impression "don't eat my kinfolk"? Or maybe there is more to the grain plant than just the indigestible seed?

    I honestly didn't know if I was spewing falsities or if I was right. You caught me = D

  3. #13
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    My guess would be: They mostly rely on wind to disperse the seeds throughout their surroundings. Being eaten by an animal plays a lesser role, but it does still play role. And there the mechanism would be similar to all the other plants that rely on this - digesting some of the nutrients, like the protein, is fine, digesting the seeds is a no-no. Plants that allowed this died out. (I believe Grains technically have fruits too, rather than seeds).

    But: Humans process Grains, mechanically destroy them to a point where the stuff making sure they weren't being digested - and animals would never absorb - are being digested. So they are not poisoning animals on purpose or whatever, it's the processing that leads to it.

    If you would grind up tomato or appleseeds, it would probably be bad news too, but we just don't do that.

  4. #14
    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjmc View Post
    OK so they fall on the ground, I actually don't know man.
    AFAIK, yes.

    But cultivated wheat stays in the ear. Current thinking, as I understand it, is that that's an accidental effect of gathering grain and carrying it around: what falls out the ear more easily by that very fact is less likely to get gathered. The effect gets multiplied over generations.

    It seems that botanically, cereal grains are classed as fruits -- I'm not a botanist, and I'm relying on Wikipedia (always risky) here:

    Cereals are grasses (members of the monocot family Poaceae, also known as Gramineae)[1] cultivated for the edible components of their grain (botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis), composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran.
    But I guess if you can't easily separate the fruit and the seed then, classification be damned, that's not driving the bus.

    Then the point of causing digestive distress is to take one for the team? Give the impression "don't eat my kinfolk"? Or maybe there is more to the grain plant than just the indigestible seed?
    I don't know. The plant doesn't seem to gain anything by having seeds eaten (except ones that can be passed through its gut). But I guess it has plenty and can stand some not germinating.

    A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

    6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

    7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

    8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold.

    Is it the chemical defences of the plant that cause us the most problems or is it the gluten (and the glycemic load)?

    It's interesting stuff at any rate.

  5. #15
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    Where I live there aren't a lot of naturally occurring seed crops, but there are lots of piles of bear scat and coyote poop just FULL of seeds. Manzanita, cherry and lots of other things. I haven't bent down to seriously investigate to see if there is any chia or other smaller seeds that didn't come as fruit like manzanita and cherry.

    Annual grasses with seeds disperse so many seeds that they can afford to lose a huge number of them. They may also employ more than one single way of propagating their species. Anyone who has ever had bermuda grass knows a plant that propagates itself through multiple channels. This isn't even a trait reserved for annuals, perennials will do the same. Many seeds can lie dormant in the ground for decades. Lots of stuff in my area doesn't grow at all until there's a wildfire. Plants do a lot of really odd stuff.
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  6. #16
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    I thought grain seeds just fell where they may to grow again. wind dispersal or cultivation.
    Fruits like apples are sweet and tasty, and are often eaten whole and pooped out somewhere well fertilized and ready to go or fall and roll under the effects of gravity.

    Some good info on wind dispersal and probably more about plants than you care to know
    Wind Dispersal Of Seeds
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaohinon View Post
    Veggies have plenty of toxins as well. Eat some raw kale and see how you feel afterwards.
    or a raw potato
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