The real cabbage soup diet: What Britons ate down the ages

Latest news

    Cabbage is a mainstay of the British dietImage copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Cabbage is a mainstay of the British diet

    Ancient Britons were eating dairy, peas, cabbage and oats, according to gunk trapped in their teeth.

    Scientists analysed dental plaque found on the teeth of skeletons from the Iron Age to post-Medieval times.

    They found evidence of milk proteins, cereals and plants, as well as an enzyme that aids digestion.

    In modern samples, they found proteins that reflect a more cosmopolitan diet, including potatoes, soya and peanuts.

    The research gives a picture of what people have been eating through the ages, including food that leaves no trace in the archaeological record.

    Image copyright Camilla Speller, University of York
    Image caption Teeth give a record of what people ate

    Lead researcher, Dr Camilla Speller, from the department of archaeology at the University of York, said the technique can distinguish between different crops and show whether people were consuming dairy products, like milk or cheese.

    Doing porridge

    “In the teeth we look at from individuals who lived around the Victorian era, we identified proteins related to plant foods, including oats, peas and vegetables in the cabbage family,” she said.

    “Occasionally, we find evidence of milk and oats in the same mouth – I like to think it’s from eating porridge!”

    In the new study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, researchers analysed 100 archaeological samples from across England, as well as 14 samples from living dental patients and individuals who have recently died.

    Dietary proteins were found in about one third of the analysed samples.

    Proteins found in ancient dental plaque have already revealed that humans were drinking milk as far back as 6,500 BC.

    Co-researcher Dr Jessica Hendy from the Department of Archaeology at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, added: “While there is still a lot we don’t know, this is exciting because it shows that archaeological dental calculus harbours dietary information, including food products that ordinarily do not survive in archaeological sites.”

    View the original article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44862778

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44862778

    In the same category are

    Inside the Celebrity Big Brother 2018 house Image copyright Channel 5 This year's Celebrity Big Brother contestants may not yet have been confirmed - but we do have the first pictures of the h...
    Christine Hallquist: First transgender governor nominee picked Image copyright Reuters Image caption Christine Hallquist is the first transgender person to win a major party nomination for governor A former en...
    Huddersfield child sex inquiry: Thirty-one people charged Thirty men and one woman have been charged with offences linked to child sexual exploitation in Huddersfield. The offences relate to five women when t...
    Italy bridge: Grief and anger over collapse in Genoa Image copyright EPA Image caption Work is still going on to try to find survivors Grief in Italy for the 37 victims of a collapsed motorway bridge...
    Crews tackle blaze near Manchester Strangeways prison Image copyright GMFRS Image caption The building has been declared dangerous and demolition work is due to start later A fire has broken out at a ...
    UK inflation rate rises for first time since November UK inflation rose to 2.5% in July, after holding steady at 2.4% in the previous three months as the cost of computer games and transport increased.I...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.