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Origins of popular foods
Where did food come from?
The history of food cultivation
Should we eat insects (TED)?
The impact of climate change


Websites

The UK Agriculture website
Scientific – Egyptian diet
Scientific – Egyptian drink
History of commercial fishing
Origins of agriculture

About Sugar

How sugar arrived in Europe
Sugar Infographics
The history of sugar
Beginnings of sugar production
sugarhistory.org
14 sweet facts about sugar

Download this highly informative booklet by a Nordic sugar company.

Articles & Infographics

Cloned food
Agriculture today
The history of farming
Harvetsing grapes


Ancient People

What did our ancestors eat?
Food of the Egyptians
Alcohol in Ancient Egypt
History of Roman food
Ancient food storage
Medieval fishing in Sicily

Grow your own

Growing your own veg can be a very pleasant pastime, which also has many positive benefits.

Food Histories

Whole grains and bread
Coffee’s mysterious origins
The history of bread
The history of honey
The history of chocolate
The history of pasta


Staples

Flour
Grains
Seeds
Beans
Corn
Rice

 

Carbs
Vitamins
Good Bacteria


The origins of popular foods

1. The history of pasta

Nothing says Italy like its food, and nothing says Italian food like pasta, Infographics

2. The history of Thai food

A proper Thai meal should consist of a soup, a curry dish with condiments, a dip with accompanying fish and vegetables.

3. Imperial Chinese food
Ever since there were emperors and palaces, there has been imperial food, which was served mainly to the emperors, their wives and concubines, and the royal families

4. The history of Mexican food
It is believed that authentic Mexican food might have been derived from the Mayan Indians. Corn tortillas with bean paste were a common food item; but they also ate wild game, tropic fruits, and fish.

5. The history of paella
Nothing says Italy like its food, and nothing says Italian food like pasta, Infographics

6. The history of Jamaican Jerk Cooking
Jerk refers to a way that a meat, be it chicken, beef, pork, goat, fish, vegetables or fruit is seasoned and cooked.

7. The history of Eggs Benedict
There are at least two stories about the original eggs Benedict, though both date to 1890’s New York City

8. The history of Indian food
Most people believe that the origins of Indian history and therefore the cuisine are as old as mankind itself.

9. The history of french fries
Our story begins thousands of years ago, in South America,where the Andean Incas discovered potatoes.

10. The history of the doughnut
At the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, doughnuts weren’t just a popular fad; they were being proclaimed as the “Hit Food of the Century of Progress.”

 


The Mediterranean Diet

The food of the Mediterranean has been important to its societies since the inception of civilization. Supported by fish on the coast and dairy products in the hinterlands.


More on the history of pasta

From the LifeInItaly website. There is evidence of an Etrusco-Roman noodle made from the same durum wheat used to produce modern pasta: it was called “lagane” (origin of the modern word for lasagna).


More on eggs benedict

Several variations exist, using ham, bacon or smoked haddock, on a base of toasted English muffin, crumpet or fried bread.


The history of pizza

Bread has been a staple in what we know as Italy since ancient times. The Flat bread in the Mediterranean region was cooked on hot stones, on shields by soldiers, and seasoned with a few herbs and olive oil.


The history of caesar salad

According to Caesar’s daughter Rosa, on July 4th 1924 the salad was created on a busy weekend at Caesar’s Restaurant.


The history of goulash

Goulash is a soup or stew made with meat, (mostly beef is used, then pork) onions and the most defining ingredient; paprika.


The history of the hamburger

After the hamburger got a foothold in America, like the frankfurter or hot dog it was first served without a bun on a plate or street food style with a napkin.


The history of corned beef

The term “Corned” comes from putting meat in a large crock and covering it with large rock-salt kernels of salt that were referred to as “corns of salt”.


The history of the pie

Pies which are made with pastry: regardless of the type of pie, it always requires pastry of some kind; we’ve been eating pies for millennia because in the days of yore, it was a convenient vessel for the transport of food.


Where did food come from?

It wasn’t always there. Much variety that we are used to today was man-made over millenia of agriculture and cultivation. For example many grape varieties exist as a result of splicing different combinations of vine taking into consideration the soil these vines prefer. Today we have GM foods, or genetically modified foods. It’s fait to say that humans have intervened in mother nature’s story.

gotquestions.org say…

The earliest written and most reliably dated references to Mother Nature are found in Mycenaean Greek transcripts dated in 12 or 13 BC. The term “Mother Earth” is transliterated as “ma-ga” or “Mother Gaia.” This notion had its roots in the pre-Socratic philosophers who had “invented” nature and it was further championed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle.

Other cultures have embraced the notion that “nature” had its own spirit and relevancy unique from God the Father. The American Indian is one such culture that believes that there is something called an “Earth Mother” that provides the water of life that gives them the abundant provision of food. However, no one but God provides our basic needs of food, shelter, water and life.

The term “Mother Nature” serves as a kind of umbrella encompassing political and cultural ideologies such as global warming, environmentalism, and climate change. This, in turn, has fostered a negative impact upon our world with its “new discoveries” making the news headlines daily: rising temperatures, rising sea levels, savage wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, coupled with the emergence of new and even ancient diseases, etc. As a result, many see “Mother Nature” as a kind of capricious goddess who wreaks havoc throughout the earth.

The History of Food Cultivation

Whatever we eat has to be farmed, grown or caught. This means looking at the beginning of farming and agriculture. Before those times humanoid species survived on picking berries and fruit and hunting for meat.

The last ice age ended about 12500 years ago. This was the last major event and there has been no single cataclysm since to stop the global advancement of human cultivation of foodstuff.

The end of the ice age was significant in the human timeline in that there was an incredible shortage of fresh water and food, This lasted for many generation and over time humans learnt to handle crops and animals.

Growing was first studied with tall grasses. The grasses that were growing around peoples’ habitat. The seeds from these grases were ground for flower and the highest yielding grasses were cultivated. So in Asia grass was grown that yielded rice, In the middle east it was barley, in Europe wheat (primitive varieties like emmer and einkorn) and in South America corn. These naturally produced large grains.

This growing started in the tropical regions of both hemispheres at first. Agriculture in more specific definition, that is the aqppreciation of arable land and the plantation of crops, started out in the highest parts of the northern hemisphere, the caucas mountains on the steps on northern Russia today. Knowledge in agriculture came down from the higher lands. This all was starting around 10,000 years ago.

A snapshot of the early food timeline shows that grain was cultivated circa 19,000 years ago, wheat 10,000 years ago, maize 8,000 years ago, potatoes, buckwheat and quinoa 7,000 years ago.

Meat in the form of American bison were hunted 10,000 years ago, the domestication of cattle started around 8,500 years ago, the chicken 5,200 years ago.

Everything humans did was by trial and error and by observation, fuelled by the need to make food or starve. Hunter gathering does not suffice for ever expanding and growing population, only farming and cultivation of crops can allow that. This is how agriculture, then farming became intertwined with human growth and evolution.

The next issues arising were the preservation and transportation of goods. Perishables were cured by drying or smoking, in some cases they allowed meat to freeze and in warmer climates covered with salt to preserve. In the case of crops, grain allowed armies to march as well as civilisations to flourish being as grain can be stored in silos for incredibly long periods, and therefore planning ahead is possible.

Farming of crops and animals pretty much went along from here very slowly and unchanging until the introduction of mechanisation.

More on food history:

Consider the following news item


Marcel Dicke on TED

He demonstrated that plants, far from being passive, send SOS signals by emitting volatile substances when under attack by pests, attracting carnivorous insects to eat their enemies. Dicke opened a new field of research and won the NWO- Spinoza award, the Dutch Nobel prize.

Now he wants to change Western minds about insects — especially insects as food. Marcel Dicke makes an appetising case for adding insects to our diet.

Marcel Dicke on TED