One of the oldest meals ever eaten may have been discovered in a fossil over half a billion years old. A mollusc-like animal known as
The oldest edible food in the world is honey, found in a tomb in Ancient Egypt. It's around 3,000 years old and hasn't spoiled due to the honey's antimicrobial properties.
Cheese seems to be the oldest man made food, showing up in early Mesopotamia and Egypt. Ancient cheese strainers were recently excavated in Poland, dating back 7,500 years.
The earliest known written recipes date to 1730 BC and were recorded on cuneiform tablets found in Mesopotamia. Other early written recipes date from approximately 1600 BC and come from an Akkadian tablet from southern Babylonia. There are also works in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs depicting the preparation of food.
Before now, the earliest evidence of cooked food was around 170,000 years ago, with early Homo sapiens and Neanderthals using fire to cook vegetables and meat.
Last week, I told you about the oldest cooked meal ever found: a tasty-sounding seed flatbread that might have been cooked by Neanderthals 70,000 years ago.
Studies show that the city dwellers ate a variety of meats, dairy, grains and other plants. The shards yielded traces of proteins found in barley, wheat and peas, along with several animal meats and milks.
Prior to about 3.5 million years ago, early humans dined almost exclusively on leaves and fruits from trees, shrubs, and herbs—similar to modern-day gorillas and chimpanzees.
The diet of the earliest hominins was probably somewhat similar to the diet of modern chimpanzees: omnivorous, including large quantities of fruit, leaves, flowers, bark, insects and meat (e.g., Andrews & Martin 1991; Milton 1999; Watts 2008).
WE LEARN in the New Testament that Jesus ate fish from the Sea of Galilee, and, after the resurrection, that he even cooked fish and bread over coals for himself and his disciples (John 21.9). “We certainly know that Jesus ate clean unpolluted fish almost every day of his life,” Colbert concludes.
Hunter-gatherer societies ate raw meat. Hunter-gatherers also ate plants found in the wild, such as seeds, nuts, and berries. By the end of the Stone Age, humans began to grow their own crops, domesticate animals, and use fire to cook food.
Our ancestors in the palaeolithic period, which covers 2.5 million years ago to 12,000 years ago, are thought to have had a diet based on vegetables, fruit, nuts, roots and meat. Cereals, potatoes, bread and milk did not feature at all.
Several hundred years ago, people didn't follow the three meals a day rule. In fact, Native Americans employed a practical approach to food. They ate when they were hungry. The three meals per day concept originated with Englanders who achieved financial prosperity.
For the majority of human history, people ate one or two meals per day. The current time-restricted eating patterns like the 16:8 or one meal a day diet (OMAD) mimic this ancient phenomenon. During periods without food, the body evolved to tap into fat stores for energy.
Before that climate shift, our distant human ancestors—collectively known as hominins—were subsisting mostly on fruits, leaves, seeds, flowers, bark and tubers. As the temperature rose, the lush forests shrank and great grasslands thrived.
In general, it is likely that a person could survive between 1 and 2 months without food. As many different factors influence the length of time that the body can last without food, this period will vary among individuals.
Nonetheless, according to the California Academy of Sciences, "Prior to about 3.5 million years ago, early humans dined almost exclusively on leaves and fruits from trees, shrubs, and herbs—similar to modern-day gorillas and chimpanzees."
Vikings ate hearty meals with meat, dairy, grains, fruit and vegetables to maintain their energy, since their everyday activities included exploring unknown lands and sailing the open waters. In fact, during the Middle Ages, even a poor Viking had a diet that was considerably better than that of an English peasant.
Fruits, green leafy parts of plants, shoots, seeds, nuts, roots and tubers are the fundamental components of the primate eating pattern – and common sense tells us that these foods should be the foods that humans eat, too.
Bread, potatoes, cabbage, beans, and various kinds of cereal were the base of local cuisine. There was usually only one dish per meal on the table on regular days. On holidays, there could be several dishes served during the same meal, but they were the same as those cooked on regular days, as a rule.
Homo erectus is credited with being the first to discover the use of fire.
Cooking helps make food tender and easier to eat. In order to cook food, our distant ancestors had to learn how to use fire. The earliest known fire pits, or hearths, are about 800,000 years old. These pits are thought to belong to Homo erectus, an early human ancestor.
Although many humans choose to eat both plants and meat, earning us the dubious title of “omnivore,” we're anatomically herbivorous. The good news is that if you want to eat like our ancestors, you still can: Nuts, vegetables, fruit, and legumes are the basis of a healthy vegan lifestyle.