February 1st, 2011 by Webmaster
Hunter? Gatherer? Vegetarian? New scientific evidence out of George Washington University and the Smithsonian Institute show that primitive man cooked and ate a variety of vegetables and grains, debunking the previously held belief that they were exclusively carnivores. The research has been published by the National Academy of Sciences.
On the fossilized teeth of 44,000 to 36,000-year-old Neanderthal skeletons excavated from Iraq and Belgium, researchers found starch granules in the dental calculus or tarter build-up. This starch was from wild grasses, roots, and tuber foods. Indications are that they were also eating dates, barley, legumes and possibly water lilies. Further, the barley had been cooked, perhaps boiled or baked. Scientists found evidence for walnuts, chestnuts, relatives of chicory and lettuce, and relatives of modern culinary herbs at the sites the skeletons were found. Prior research discovered that they also had access to acorns, cattails and pistachios.
This new discovery challenges the theory that stone-age man ate meat exclusively. It also challenges the notion that a vegetarian diet is not “natural” because our ancestors ate only or mostly meat. Looks like plant-eating has been around for a long time and a healthy, compassionate plant-based diet is just an extension of our natural ancestry. Click here for more information on