Our ancient ancestors lived close to the earth and were keenly aware of how vulnerable their food supply was to the forces of nature. The seeds that provided their food were sacred. Grains such as maize and wheat were viewed as gifts from the gods and revered as the source of life. … It’s time to take an anthropological approach to agriculture, one that takes its clues from antiquity and from traditional farming practices and is oriented to the needs and preferences of local communities. By blending innovative modern science with indigenous knowledge, we can significantly enhance the food security, nutrition, and health of resource-poor farmers without undermining their cultural heritage or damaging the environment. 

Find out how ancient genes from wild relatives of maize might help end hunger, save the soil, and equip small farmers to face climate change.