Beer oiled the wheels of civilization

Mrs. Ferment emailed me an article on MSNBC about researchers pretty much determining that the rise of agriculture and the resulting culture-shift to an agrarian society wasn’t so much about growing grains for food as it was growing grains for beer. I try not to editorialize, but I think this is a nice counterpoint to much of the news about how dangerous alcohol is. Yes, it is dangerous, in excess, and, unfortunately, there are people who cannot drink alcohol without serious risk of abuse. But there was time when beer was the safest liquid to drink.

Of course, we live in a time when we can filter water. Yes, even I drink more water than beer. I think it’s a mistake, however, to dismiss alcohol as dangerous, when life is full of danger, and a little bit of alcohol makes the inevitable a bit more palatable. Moderation with all things, please.