There’s a common expression referring to eating one’s seed corn. Short term consumption over long term productive capacity. Robin Hanson and others have talked about how the transition from foraging to agriculture must have bred different temperaments like more patience and self-denial. Farmers eventually expand to their Malthusian limits, but must still refrain from eating some available food in order grow the next crop. Along the lines of Schelling removing his steering wheel or Odysseus tying himself to the mast, might plants have helped out by evolving to have especially inedible seeds? Farmers who had such seeds would reliably plant rather than consume them and ensure a continued supply.

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