From rumao drinking blood to gluttonous feasts, the evolutionary history of human beings is also the evolutionary history of food. Let us learn about the entire civilization history of mankind from the dining table and explore the secrets of human past and present from food.
When studying the history of human evolution and development, experts and scholars often focus on the grand propositions such as the prosperity and decline of ancient empire civilizations, and major wars in history, but they often overlook one of the most basic issues in human daily life. Problem-eating. I eat, so I am. Whether it is the earlier Homo sapiens or modern people who claim to be civilized, we have to eat if we want to live. Eating is a manifestation of mankind’s control of nature for thousands of years.
The use of the original flavor of barbecue
fire is of great significance to the evolution and development of humans. The food that has been roasted with fire has fewer bacteria and parasites, and is easier to absorb by the human body. It not only protects human health, but also contributes to the further improvement of human physical and intellectual power. Development creates preconditions.
So, what did people eat every day? How did these foods come to people’s tables? How has people’s eating habits changed since ancient times? Only by understanding these issues can we truly understand the course of human evolution and development.
The story behind dining
British BBC program host and famous historian Philip Fernando Amesto believes that the invention of cooking is a major revolution in the history of human evolution. Because cooking not only changes the barbaric eating habits of human beings who eat blood and drink blood, and distinguish humans from other species in nature, it can also sterilize and disinfect food, protect human health, and create preconditions for the further development of human physical and intellectual abilities. After mastering the method of cooking, the scope of human food has been expanded. Agriculture and animal husbandry also originated here. People gradually began to migrate from mountains and trees to live in relatively flat places, and villages gradually formed.
Whether in the past tribes, villages, or in modern society, the dining table has always been the center of human social activities. In Sparta in ancient Greece, in order to strengthen the unity between citizens, the government used to implement a communal meal system, that is, both the poor and the rich ate together in the public cafeteria. Spartans who did not join the public cafeteria would be deprived of them. Civil rights. In the ancient Roman period, the rich and extravagant banquet culture developed to the extreme. Holding and participating in various banquets became the social fashion of the ancient Roman noble circle. In the age of enlightenment in the 18th century, all kinds of cafes and salons became the center of activities for cultural elites. Thinkers came to the cafes to debate issues, writers came to the cafes to write, gentlemen and ladies came to the cafes to meet and talk. , Cafe culture has become a spiritual symbol. Even in modern society, the business cooperation negotiated by businessmen at the dining table and wine table is far more than that in the office and meeting room.
Food distinguish between faith and class
cooking to humans and other species separate, turn food separate people of different faiths area. In history, there have been constant conflicts between Islam and Christianity. The Christian Crusades have carried out many crusades to the Islamic world. Similarly, the Arab Empire and the Ottoman Turk Empire have also repeatedly attacked the Christian world. Cultural differences are also partly due to differences in eating habits. Muslims do not eat pork, while Christians can eat pork at will.
However, even within Christianity, there are differences in the treatment of food. Some churches and believers advocate the prohibition of eating animal blood, because in the Old Testament God said that blood cannot be eaten, and blood symbolizes life. But there are also churches and believers who think that blood can be eaten, because Paul said in the epistles that what to eat and drink is not the main issue of the gospel.
Food can distinguish not only beliefs, but also classes. Historian Philip Fernando Amesto said that people are never equal. In the same batch of primitive human remains unearthed in the Paleolithic period, it is obvious that some people are more nourished than others. it is good. In the book “Food and Culture” by anthropologists Jesús Contrales and Mapel Gracia, it was mentioned that in primitive hunter-gatherer societies, the food in clan tribes is Distribution is strictly based on the status of members, and men have unconditional priority over women. This unfair food distribution rule has lasted for at least several thousand years.
The caste system in India has a history of more than 3,000 years. It is the most typical and strictest hierarchical system in the ancient world. Although the caste system was legally abolished after India separated from the colonial system in 1947, in actual social life, the caste system is still Plays a very important role. In the caste system, it is stipulated that Hindus can only eat Brahmin or food of the same surname as him. Among them, the status of vegetarians and alcoholics is higher than that of carnivores, and untouchables who are excluded from the caste are “unclean” , So you can’t eat with the four castes.
In history, food and wars are often inseparable. Some wars are fought to grab food, and sufficient food supplies are the prerequisite for an army to defeat. Just as Napoleon said: “The army depends on him. The stomach is advancing.” Therefore, ensuring sufficient food crops is of great strategic significance for a country.
The style of banquets The
social circle of nobles in the Middle Ages is very popular to hold banquets. There are endless wines and all kinds of rare delicacies that ordinary people can’t see. In order to compare and show off, the nobles also look for various ingredients from foreign countries, although it costs A lot of financial resources, but also cultivated many uncommon wild plants into vegetables commonly used in later generations.
Salt has always been an indispensable condiment in people’s lives, and ancient Rome built a huge empire by relying on its monopoly on the resource advantage of the salt sea. At that time, the wages of professional soldiers in ancient Rome were also calculated with “salt” with market exchange value, because salt not only supplemented soldiers’ physical strength during wartime, but also served as currency as hard currency in transactions. The word “salary” which means “salary” in English now has the root “sal-” which means “salt” in Latin.
In medieval Europe, spices were once as expensive as gold. At that time, spices were not only used as seasonings, but also as medicines to treat diseases. When the Black Death broke out, the most popular method of epidemic prevention was to put mixed spices on the body to resist the odor. Not only that, because spices have a strong special odor, they are often used in the religious activities of Christian churches. Ointments made with spices are used in oiling ceremonies and other sanctification ceremonies in priesthood conferring ceremonies. At that time, precious spices also became social gifts among the nobles. At the beginning of the 12th century, the merchants of Venice gave Henry V 50 pounds of pepper every year. In the 13th century, the new pope received the most gifts of cinnamon and pepper.
In summary, spices are a symbol of wealth and status in medieval European hierarchical society. One of the important reasons for Columbus to explore the New World is to find spices. The discovery of the New World can only be regarded as a by-product of the search for spices. Spices, such a small food, pushed European countries on the road of overseas expansion. The situation was similar to tea. It was the Boston Tea Incident in 1773 that opened the prelude to the American Revolution. They are seemingly humble foods, but they have profoundly affected the course of world history.
Changes in the human diet
before the people in the end what to eat? In hunter-gatherer society, people basically eat whatever they can find, and there is not so much attention to it now. Ken Sayers, a researcher at Georgia State University in the United States, said: “Throughout the entire evolutionary history of mankind, dietary balance has never been a very important issue. Primitives only eat to meet the needs of survival and reproduction.” The hunting technology is not very good, and the teeth cannot cope with certain special foods, but humans still survive on this land by eating animal carrion, insects, reptiles and wild fruits.
The oldest hand-written recipes in the world originated in Mesopotamia in 1600 BC. Archaeologists discovered more than 40 different recipes on 3 mudstone slabs. In 1996, the French historian Jean Botero translated these recipes for the first time. These recipes recorded many methods of cooking meat and vegetable broth. One of the recipes wrote: “Use meat, prepare water, Add oil, mashed shallots and garlic, as well as some unknown ingredients.” Although the recipes are relatively rough, they already have the basic elements of modern cooking.
Sources of the European diet
European food originated in ancient Greece and developed in ancient Rome. Ancient Greek civilization was once the most glorious civilization in Europe, but the food culture of ancient Greece was very simple, because the climate of ancient Greece was very dry, and there were not many arable land suitable for growing wheat and other crops. It was only suitable for growing olives and grapes, so the ancient Greeks Take bread, olive oil and wine as the main food.
Although ancient Rome conquered ancient Greece, the culture of ancient Greece was actually inherited and preserved by ancient Rome, including food culture. After entering the ancient Roman era, the types of food and cooking methods have been greatly enriched.
In ancient Rome, dishes usually included four flavors: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. The ancient Romans used honey, dried fruit and glucose syrup as the sweet flavor, and sea salt, mineral salt and sea water as the salty flavor. The vinegar made from citrus juice and grapes is used as a seasoning for sourness, and spices are used as a seasoning for bitterness. The reason for the four flavors is also related to the ancient Romans’ belief in Hippocrates’ “body fluid theory”. Hippocrates proposed that the human body is composed of four body fluids: blood, mucus, bile and savda. The ancient Romans believed that body fluids would be affected by food, so they believed that sweetness can nourish the body and calm people, saltiness is good for blood and wound healing, sourness can make people sober, and bitterness can make people full of vitality.
Like the ancient Greeks, the ancient Romans liked to use olive oil. From roasting to frying, they used olive oil in sauces and salads. Unlike the ancient Greeks, the ancient Romans were very good at farming. They not only left a lot of valuable experience for future generations in irrigation, fertilization, grafting, etc., but also some that were once wild, unusual, and even Plants that were not suitable for consumption were cultivated into vegetables that people would eat later, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, asparagus, artichokes, cucumbers and so on. Therefore, the cooking practices of the ancient Romans not only laid the foundation for the taste of European cuisine, but also laid the foundation for the ingredients of Western cuisine.
Modern food dilemma
In modern society, under the influence of the agricultural revolution and economic globalization, those foods that were once only available to the nobles have also appeared on the tables of ordinary people. However, in the eyes of many experts, there is a certain phenomenon behind this phenomenon. The dangers and hidden dangers. In the context of globalization, the food supply chain has been stretched indefinitely, and more and more intermediate links are involved. As long as there is a loophole in any link in the food supply chain, it may become a disaster. Therefore, from the supply of raw materials to the intermediate processing process, a sound regulatory system is needed to supervise, because today’s food safety issue is no longer a regional or national issue, but a global issue.
Not only that, British historian Philip Fernando Amesto also said that the appearance of electrical appliances like microwave ovens is simply a retrogression of human civilization. What is the difference between the people who only use the microwave to reheat food before eating it? Moreover, even primitive people grilled prey with their own hands. After roasting the food, they will share it with the people in the tribe, while modern people will only go to the supermarket to buy cold food and put them in. Microwave oven, and then sat alone in front of the TV and finished the microwave meal blankly.
Therefore, don’t be affected by the fast-paced lifestyle and fast-food culture. You must know that the joy of eating belongs to every era, every culture, every country, and every day of every person. If you have time, you might as well try to cook a meal by yourself and share it with family and friends. This is the true beauty and meaning of food.