Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Did Paleolithic Humans Eat Bread?

Our ancestors thrived and evolved while eating a so-called Paleolithic diet, loosely interpreted as foods that could be hunted and gathered, foods that were around before industrialization, processing, refining and packaging. It’s easy to imagine that the Paleolithic diet would have included meats, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, but what about small amounts of whole grains? Did it include bread?
If you are personally trying to adhere to a Paleolithic diet, you probably experienced more than a little joy upon hearing the news that “Paleolithic Humans Had Bread Along With Their Meat” (from the New York Times, 10/19/2010). Sorry to be a spoilsport- but what researchers think was actually eaten 30,000 years ago was stone ground starchy plants made into a flat bread.
Our ancestors probably ate starchy plants like potatoes, and they probably gathered a little grain, but bread and rice were not thought to be staple foods eaten in large quantities. A Paleolithic diet still involves asking the waiter to take back the bread basket. Maybe you should go outside, gather some tubers, and find a grinding stone.

1 comment:

Gwylym said...

Domesticated grains had to come from somewhere. Its makes sense that humans ate grains but not in the amount that modern humans eat them. Hand picking grains and then grinding them by hand takes time. And one has to have the calorie intake to expenditure balance to make it worthwhile. So a little whole grain bread? Sure. Just don't overdo it.