Sunday 19 August 2012

The food is in the eating

We probably think we're doing okay in the western world. Most of us have rarely gone hungry for long, and even with a few dollars in the hand we can usually find a filling meal...even if it's not the healthiest. In fact, I bet you think it's never been this good. But maybe it has...and maybe it's been even better. As hard as it to believe, the bones of Oplontis and the sewers of Pompeii are telling us that 1st-century Romans ate extraordinarily well. Two thousand year old sewerage suggests those who could afford their own toilets and those who had to go public were all eating just as well as the other - with fish, meat, fruit and nuts high on agenda. Leafy and root vegetables would have been in the mix too...but don't preserve quite as well. Meanwhile, over in nearby Oplontis a large collection of skeletons reveals slaves and owners shared similar levels of nutrition - the servants eating just as well as their masters. In fact, when spread across all levels of their society, the Romans ate better than us - getting more nutrition per bite and eating a whole lot healthier. And this was despite eating out for most meals and enjoying food on the run just like us. Food for thought maybe.         

Find out if Calvus had enough fibre in his diet

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