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Book on the history of food habits

  1. May 31, 2017 #1
    I am looking for a good book in English about the human history of food since ancient times. Perhaps at least 10000 years since.

    I would like to cover geological differences in the biological needs. (Like how Eskimos manage macronutrients from fish). The book should throw light on meal times, and the use of food as Medicine etc.

    I expect the history of change in eating habits from wild animal meat to cattles and to farming. Riverside settlements from food perspective etc.

    A cursory glance on cuisine would suffice.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 31, 2017 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication : Volume I & II(Illustrated)
    by Charles Darwin

    Plant Evolution under Domestication
    by Gideon Ladizinsky

    Plants and Diet in Greece from Neolithic to Classic Periods (British Archaeological Reports British Series)
    by Fragkiska Megaloudi


    ... National Geographic is the least technical, Megaloudi is more technical or archeological
  4. Jun 1, 2017 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    Actually, thinking on this, Jared Diamond's ' Guns, Germs, and Steel' explains plant and animal geography (which is what you are asking) in the best modern way possible - IMO. Plants and animals can be moved along latitude pretty easily. Wheat moved rapidly from the Punjab region into the Mediterranean basin, for example. Going North or South takes a lot longer. The domesticated organism has to deal with different photoperiod, duration of hot/cold periods, and so on.
    Chile is a major producer of temperate fruits - apples, grapes, blueberries, etc. During winter months in the North. Same latitude 35°- 45°S

    Diet == what humans can gather, grow, hunt, scavenge, steal, or barter for. When somebody sees that a distant neighbor has some really new and useful plant or animal, they may barter for something they can use to grow their own. For example, chickens are not native to the British Isles. But British archeologists have long noted a sort of swept out depression in the doorway most of the sites of neolithic huts. Nobody knew how they got there. Then they ran a 'modern neolithic' village for a while, they let the people living there have some chickens because one site in Britain had a few chicken bones. Voila. Every time chickens came in from the rain they rolled around in the dry dust just inside the doorway. Every hut had a depression in the dirt at the door. Indirect proof that chickens were ubiquitous back then.
  5. Jun 1, 2017 #4


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    Thank you for the great references Jim!
  6. Jun 3, 2017 #5
    Thank you Jim.
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