Our Neanderthal ancestors ate peas about 23,000 years ago. But it wasn’t until 11,000 years ago that human interference made them into what we see today. Before cultivation, peas likely had a harder shell. When humans came in and interfered, we created peas with softer shells that could ripen during the rainy season. Nowadays, “wild peas put out seeds all over their flexible plant stems, and they have a hard, water-impermeable shell that allows them to ripen over a very long period.” Peas are used in a variety of dishes, including pasta, purees, and processed meat. It’s a good thing humans cultivated this starchy vegetable.