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**Grains and Cereals Overview:**
– Grains are small, hard, dry fruits harvested for consumption.
– Main grain crops are cereals and legumes.
– Grains are durable and well-suited for industrial agriculture.
– Major global commodity markets include maize, rice, soybeans, and wheat.
– Cereals, staple foods worldwide, were domesticated in the Neolithic period.

**Types of Grains:**
Cereal grains include rice, wheat, rye, oats, barley, millet, and maize.
– Ancient grains like spelt, Khorasan wheat, millet, and quinoa are minimally changed by selective breeding.
– Modern wheat is a hybrid descendant of ancient grains.
– Health benefits of ancient grains over modern varieties are debated.

**Historical and Societal Impact:**
Grain agriculture facilitated storage, measurement, and transportation.
– Excess grain production may have led to settlements and social classes.
Grain trade has been crucial throughout history.
– James Scott challenges the idea that grain agriculture led to settlements voluntarily.

**Cereal Farming and Environmental Impact:**
Cereal farming has a significant environmental impact.
Cereal farming often involves high-intensity monocultures.
– Sustainable practices can mitigate the environmental impact of cereal farming.

**Occupational Safety and Health in Grain Handling:**
Grain handlers face hazards like grain entrapment and explosions from grain dust.
– Risks at grain facilities include falls.
– Safety measures, training, and proper equipment are essential for worker protection.

Grain (Wikipedia)

A grain is a small, hard, dry fruit (caryopsis) – with or without an attached hull layer – harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and legumes.

Various food grains at a market in India.

After being harvested, dry grains are more durable than other staple foods, such as starchy fruits (plantains, breadfruit, etc.) and tubers (sweet potatoes, cassava, and more). This durability has made grains well suited to industrial agriculture, since they can be mechanically harvested, transported by rail or ship, stored for long periods in silos, and milled for flour or pressed for oil. Thus, the grain market is a major global commodity market that includes crops such as maize, rice, soybeans, wheat and other grains.

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