Looking in the past to see the future?

With DigitalFoodLab, we mostly talk about the food of the future. But any futurologist would agree that to think about the future, you need to know what happened in the past. Until now, archaeologists assumed that bread came only after the grain had been domesticated, but actually, it could be much older (14,500 old). Indeed, in this great article from Nature, we learn how archaeobotanists have discovered that large amounts of cereals were processed and consumed (and hence not only used to brew beer). This discovery happened at Göbekli Tepe (where Netflix’s TV show The Gift takes place) in Turkey, a large archaeological built well before the farming of domesticated grains started, and tends to prove that grains may have been then part of the daily food.

Using charred bits of food as clues, scientists are also trying to identify what a 12,000-year-old meal looks like.

You may wonder why this is relevant in a FoodTech newsletter:

  • First, it is key to know what and how our ancestors ate to understand better our relationship with food and its health implication (notably through genetics)
  • Second, it helps to bust some myths, such as the paleo diet or the idea that our ancestors only ate meat and occasionally some grains.


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