Rachel Laudan on Jared Diamond's thesis that agriculture was the worst mistake mankind ever made:
The agriculture-as disaster theory rests, at least in part, on ignoring the work involved in processing and cooking food. If you take cooking and processing into account, agriculture was not a disaster.
Looking at the time hunter-gathers spent collecting food, it seemed that they did much less work than farmers who had to plough land, sow grain, and reap harvest many months later, each step requiring lots of manual labour.
One very important line of evidence for the leisured hunter-gatherer thesis came from research carried out on the !Kung San, hunter gatherers in the Kalahari Desert of southern Africa, by Richard B. Lee in the early 1960s.
"The Bushmen had a “work week . . . of 2.4 days per adult,” Lee claimed [...]
But what Jared Diamond and others missed was that hunter-gatherers spent lots of time processing food. Food found in the wild, plant or animal, is generally quite difficult to process; after all, the incentive of the organism being eaten is to make it difficult to be consumed by foragers or hunters.
[...] the total work week for the bushmen on the lowest of estimates turns out to be between 6 and 7 eight-hour days (not counting child care).