QUESTION TEXT: Several thousand years ago, people in what…
QUESTION TYPE: Paradox
FACTS: Corn grows faster and produces more food per unit of land. Yet it is less nutritious than grain, and people in North America who switched to corn began to have malnutrition. Even so,they kept growing corn.
ANALYSIS: Presumably the people had a good reason to keep growing corn. We need to find something that explains away corn’s disadvantage.
- More corn still isn’t very useful if you get sick when you eat it.
- That’s good. But the people back then didn’t have access to modern varieties of corn.
- This explains why they were malnourished. But it doesn’t explain why they didn’t switch back to grains.
- This would mean that the grains were easier to grow. This makes the situation more puzzling.
- CORRECT. This shows that the people were able to fix their health problem and enjoy the greater food productivity of corn.
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