Prehistoric South Africans cooked vegetables


This 2015 video says about itself:

What Did Prehistoric Humans Actually Eat?

Ancient humans existed thousands of years ago, and they were very different than humans today! What did they eat?

Read more here. And here.

From the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa:

Early modern humans cooked starchy food in South Africa, 170,000 years ago

The discovery also points to food being shared and the use of wooden digging sticks to extract the plants from the ground

January 2, 2020

“The inhabitants of the Border Cave in the Lebombo Mountains on the Kwazulu-Natal/eSwatini border were cooking starchy plants 170 thousand years ago,” says Professor Lyn Wadley, a scientist from the Wits Evolutionary Studies Institute at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (Wits ESI). “This discovery is much older than earlier reports for cooking similar plants and it provides a fascinating insight into the behavioural practices of early modern humans in southern Africa. It also implies that they shared food and used wooden sticks to extract plants from the ground.”

It is extraordinary that such fragile plant remains have survived for so long,” says Dr Christine Sievers, a scientist from the University of the Witwatersrand, who completed the archaeobotanical work with Wadley. The underground food plants were uncovered during excavations at Border Cave in the Lebombo Mountains (on the border of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, and eSwatini [formerly Swaziland]), where the team has been digging since 2015. During the excavation, Wadley and Sievers recognised the small, charred cylinders as rhizomes. All appear to belong to the same species, and 55 charred, whole rhizomes were identified as Hypoxis, commonly called the Yellow Star flower. “The most likely of the species growing in KwaZulu-Natal today is the slender-leafed Hypoxis angustifolia that is favoured as food,” adds Sievers. “It has small rhizomes with white flesh that is more palatable than the bitter, orange flesh of rhizomes from the better known medicinal Hypoxis species (incorrectly called African Potato).”

The Border Cave plant identifications were made on the size and shape of the rhizomes and on the vascular structure examined under a scanning electron microscope. Modern Hypoxis rhizomes and their ancient counterparts have similar cellular structures and the same inclusions of microscopic crystal bundles, called raphides. The features are still recognisable even in the charred specimens. Over a four-year period, Wadley and Sievers made a collection of modern rhizomes and geophytes from the Lebombo area. “We compared the botanical features of the modern geophytes and the ancient charred specimens, in order to identify them,” explains Sievers.

Hypoxis rhizomes are nutritious and carbohydrate-rich with an energy value of approximately 500 KJ/100g. While they are edible raw, the rhizomes are fibrous and have high fracture toughness until they are cooked. The rhizomes are rich in starch and would have been an ideal staple plant food. “Cooking the fibre-rich rhizomes would have made them easier to peel and to digest so more of them could be consumed and the nutritional benefits would be greater,” says Wadley.

Wooden digging sticks used to extract the plants from the ground

“The discovery also implies the use of wooden digging sticks to extract the rhizomes from the ground. One of these tools was found at Border Cave and is directly dated at circa 40,000 years ago,” says co-author of the paper and co-director of the excavation, Professor Francesco d’Errico, (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université de Bordeaux, France and University of Bergen, Norway). Dr Lucinda Backwell (Instituto Superior de Estudios Sociales, ISES-CONICET, Tucumán, Argentina) also co-authored the paper and was a co-director of the excavation.

The plants were cooked and shared

The Hypoxis rhizomes were mostly recovered from fireplaces and ash dumps rather than from surrounding sediment. “The Border Cave inhabitants would have dug Hypoxis rhizomes from the hillside near the cave, and carried them back to the cave to cook them in the ashes of fireplaces,” says Wadley. “The fact that they were brought back to the cave rather than cooked in the field suggests that food was shared at the home base. This suggests that the rhizomes were roasted in ashes and that, in the process, some were lost. While the evidence for cooking is circumstantial, it is nonetheless compelling.”

Discoveries at Border Cave

This new discovery adds to the long list of important finds at Border Cave. The site has been repeatedly excavated since Raymond Dart first worked there in 1934. Amongst earlier discoveries were the burial of a baby with a Conus seashell at 74,000 years ago, a variety of bone tools, an ancient counting device, ostrich eggshell beads, resin, and poison that may once have been used on hunting weapons.

The Border Cave Heritage Site

Border Cave is a heritage site with a small site museum. The cave and museum are open to the public, though bookings are essential [Olga Vilane (+27) (0) 72 180 4332]. Wadley and her colleagues hope that the Border Cave discovery will emphasise the importance of the site as an irreplaceable cultural resource for South Africa and the rest of the world.

About Hypoxis angustifolia

Hypoxis angustifolia is evergreen, so it has visibility year-round, unlike the more common deciduous Hypoxis species. It thrives in a variety of modern habitats and is thus likely to have had wide distribution in the past as it does today. It occurs in sub-Saharan Africa, south Sudan, some Indian Ocean islands, and as far afield as Yemen. Its presence in Yemen may imply even wider distribution of this Hypoxis plant during previous humid conditions. Hypoxis angustifolia rhizomes grow in clumps so many can be harvested at once. “All of the rhizome’s attributes imply that it could have provided a reliable, familiar food source for early humans trekking within Africa, or even out of Africa,” said Lyn Wadley. Hunter-gatherers tend to be highly mobile so the wide distribution of a potential staple plant food would have ensured food security.

14 tips for a sustainable Christmas


This 18 December 2019 video from Britain says about itself:

14 Tips On How To Have A Sustainable Christmas | BBC Earth

Wrapping paper, so much food, unwanted gifts?! Here are 14 tips on how you can make Christmas more sustainable.

Ancient Puerto Ricans barbecued clams


This 6 September 2015 video says about itself:

Puerto Rican recipe: Stew Clams w/ Pasta

Recipe

12 little clams
12 large clams
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups of tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Adobo
1 sazon packed
2 tablespoons sofrito
1 tablespoon garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves.

Topped with fresh cilantro and lemon wedges.

And, a long time before 2015 … from Cardiff University in Wales:

Barbequed clams on the menu for ancient Puerto Ricans

Analysis of fossilized shells reveals cooking habits of Caribbean civilizations over 2500 years ago

November 27, 2019

Scientists have reconstructed the cooking techniques of the early inhabitants of Puerto Rico by analysing the remains of clams.

Led by Philip Staudigel, who conducted the analysis as a graduate student at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School and is now a postdoctoral researcher at Cardiff University, the team has used new chemical analysis techniques to identify the exact cooking temperatures at which clams were cooked over 2500 years ago.

With cooking temperatures getting up to around 200oC according to the new analysis, the team believe the early Puerto Ricans were partial to a barbeque rather than boiling their food as a soup.

The study, which also involved academics from the University of Miami and Valencia College, has been published today in the journal Science Advances.

Whilst the results throw new light on the cultural practices of the first communities to arrive on the island of Puerto Rico, they also provide at least circumstantial evidence that ceramic pottery technology was not widespread during this period of history — it’s likely that this would be the only way in which the clams could have been boiled.

Lead author of the study Dr Philip Staudigel, currently at Cardiff University’s School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, said: “Much of peoples’ identity draws upon on where they came from, one of the most profound expressions of this is in cooking. We learn to cook from our parents, who learned from their parents.

“In many parts of the world, written records extend back thousands of years, which often includes recipes. This is not the case in the Caribbean, as there were no written texts, except for petroglyphs. By learning more about how ancient Puerto Rican natives cooked their meals, we can relate to these long-gone peoples through their food.”

In their study, the team analysed over 20kg of fossilised clamshells at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Stable Isotope Lab, which were collected from an archaeological site in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.

The pre-Arawak population of Puerto Rico were the first inhabitants of the island, arriving sometime before 3000 BC, and came from Central and/or South America. They existed primarily from fishing, hunting, and gathering near the mangrove swamps and coastal areas where they had settled.

The fossilised shells, dating back to around 700 BC, were cleaned and turned into a powder, which was then analysed to determine its mineralogy, as well as the abundance of specific chemical bonds in the sample.

When certain minerals are heated, the bonds between atoms in the mineral can rearrange themselves, which can then be measured in the lab. The amount of rearrangement is proportional to the temperature the mineral is heated.

This technique, known as clumped isotope geochemistry, is often used to determine the temperature an organism formed at but in this instance was used to reconstruct the temperature at which the clams were cooked.

The abundance of bonds in the powdered fossils was then compared to clams which were cooked at known temperatures, as well as uncooked modern clams collected from a nearby beach.

Results showed that that the majority of clams were heated to temperatures greater than 100°C — the boiling point of water — but no greater than 200°C. The results also revealed a disparity between the cooking temperature of different clams, which the researchers believe could be associated with a grilling technique in which the clams are heated from below, meaning the ones at the bottom were heated more than the ones at the top.

“The clams from the archaeological site appeared to be most similar to clams which had been barbequed,” continued Dr Staudigel.

“Ancient Puerto Ricans didn’t use cookbooks, at least none that lasted to the present day. The only way we have of knowing how our ancestors cooked is to study what they left behind. Here, we demonstrated that a relatively new technique can be used to learn what temperature they cooked at, which is one important detail of the cooking process.”

German neo-nazis imposing eating pork by violence


This German TV video says about itself:

Death threats against Leipzig child care centres

Two weeks ago, two kindergartens in Leipzig wanted to take pork off the menu. Then they got massive threats. Some of them have been published by Mayor Jung.

MDR TV of 31 July 2019

From daily The Independent in Britain, 31 July 2019:

Far-right racists threaten to burn down German kindergartens because they stopped serving pork

Mayor speaks out against far-right threat to freedom

By Jon Stone

Europe Correspondent

Far-right racists in Germany have threatened to burn down two nursery schools and kill their management if they do not reintroduce pork to their lunch menus.

Two daycare centres in the city of Leipzig were criticised by right-wing politicians for removing pork, apparently out of consideration for Muslim children who attend.

Burkhard Jung, Leipzig’s social democratic mayor, said the criticism had sparked a tirade of hate and threats against the kindergartens and city authorities from people with far-right and Islamophobic views.

In an emotional post on social media Mr Jung recounted threats that had been received by the nursery in the past week, including pledges to burn it down if pork was not introduced before a certain date, threats to kill those responsible for the menu with a “knife in the heart”, and others to beat up its staff “until [they] are unable to work”.

He said the threats, of which he had only recounted a “small selection” had been received both in writing and in person, adding: “I’m speechless”.

The mayor said the menu change was “nothing unusual” and that reasons for changing the food offer could have been “diverse” – including cultural, taste, or nutritional reasons.

He said the change was “a free decision in a free country” and not a subject for cultural debate.

Mr Jung criticised politicians from the far-right AfD party for allegedly contributing to the hysteria by name, pointing the finger at the “Gaulands, Weidels and Höckes who continue to verbally beat up on those weaker than them”.

“In 2019, kindergartens are threatened when they change their menu, because it does not fit a small-minded picture of the world,” the mayor said.

“The sinking of western civilization and the danger to our enlightened freedom is not the result of those who, for whatever reason, have a different food culture than it is common at the traditional German regular table, but because of those who have lost their moral compass.

“We must not look away, not keep quiet, not hide away: Freedom, equality and empathy are also at risk in our country.”

Earlier this month the board of the two daycare centres announced “in consideration for a changing world” that they would develop a pork-free menu, though they did not specifically mention Islam as the reason.

The daycare centres were given a police guard earlier in the week following the threats.

These people who threaten death are, of course, murderous Islamophobes. But their violent imposition of eating pork is also a threat to Jews, many Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians, atheists and others who are vegans or vegetarians.

From DPA news agency in Germany, 24 July 2019:

Two neighbouring nurseries in the eastern German city of Leipzig have backtracked on their decision earlier Tuesday to remove pork from the children’s lunch menu after a fierce debate ignited online.

The head of both nurseries, Wolfgang Schaefer, said he had decided to reverse the decision – at least for now. The management plans to hold a series of discussions on the matter with parents in mid-August, he told dpa. Police were deployed to protect the facilities earlier in the day, while Schweinefleisch, the German word for pork, became the top trending hashtag on Twitter in Germany on Tuesday. “We’re overwhelmed by the whole thing,” Schaefer said.

Local newspaper the Leipziger Volksstimme quoted an employee of one of the day-care facilities as saying that they had received threats in the wake of the decision from people opposed to changing the rules for Muslims. About two weeks ago, parents received a letter from the nurseries’ management saying that “out of respect for a changing world, only pork-free food and snacks will be ordered and given out starting July 15.”

Not all parents were opposed to the move, however. A 37-year-old father of a boy who attends the nursery said: “In principle, we approve of this decision – you won’t be able to keep my son away from sausages, but he will just have to have them at home.”

The conservative CDU’s Saxony branch waded into the debate, saying on Twitter that “The ban on pork at two day-care centres in Leipzig is unacceptable.” …

A lawmaker for the far-right AfD party, Beatrix von Storch, spoke of “cultural subjugation”, noting that 300 children in both facilities would now have to change their diets and customs to appease two Muslim children.”

So, unfortunately, the witch-hunt against the nurseries was not limited to the violent AfD neo-fascists, and to the corporate tabloid Bild daily, with its lying xenophobic right-wing record. The ‘centre-right’ Saxony ‘Christian’ ‘Democrat’ CDU joined in. These ‘Christian’ ‘Democrat’ Saxons should be ashamed of themselves; as they are, figuratively speaking, urinating on the grave of fellow CDU member Walter Lübcke, murdered by a neo-nazi for opposing xenophobia.

“Ancient Greek warriors” and “Pork BBQ” provocateurs against asylum-seekers: here.

Racist protest with a “pork bbq” against refugees near the detention center in Diavata: here.

USA: STEVE KING: FORCE MUSLIMS TO EAT PORK Rep. Steve King (Republican-Iowa), whose bid for a 10th term has been left high and dry by donors following his continuing series of racist and misogynistic remarks, added yet another offense to the list, endorsing efforts to force Muslims to eat pork. [HuffPost]