Wild peas (Pisum) scatter their seeds far from the mother plant through the explosive opening action of their pods. This effective seed-dispersal mechanism may work in the pea’s favour, but it made gathering the seed troublesome for humans who lived in the Fertile Crescent of Eurasia over 10,000 years ago.

Imagine their delight at discovering a mutant pea plant that held its pods closed! The seeds of that plant were saved, and humans gradually selected more non-flinging pods from among its offspring. All of the peas we eat today descended from that early time and place, connecting us firmly with ancient farmers.