Re: GGS 3: From Food to Guns, Germs and Steel
As long as areas other than the ones in which food production arose were inheritors of the "package" or "suite" of plants and animals first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent, then no problem; the headstart did become immaterial. If there continued to be barriers to the transfer of the package, then it would be very hard for that society to compete. Today there can be exceptions, since food is easily imported and by having a lot of a single commodity--mainly oil--a country can have wealth and power without having a diversified economy.
As I've said before, JD seems to me respectful of hunter-gatherers and he doesn't make the mistake of saying that progress consisted of leaving hunter-gatherers behind. He tells us that farming was a mixed bag of benefits and drawbacks that had to happen if greater human numbers were to be supported.