Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stuck in the Old Days with Our Food Choices

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Stuck in the Old Days with Our Food Choices

Article excerpt

Byline: BILL OLDFIELD

YOU'RE stuck in the Stone Age, you are. Yes, I know that you think that you and your family have progressed, via your ancestors, through the Bronze Age, Iron Age and now into the rather large, digital, high-definition, wide-screen, LCD television age, at the same time thinking that your mobile phone's pretty cool. But in truth, you've progressed little from the Neolithic era. Isn't it time you modernised? OK, you've got the latest car with satellite navigation, a nifty CD system and a little computer readout telling you how much fuel you're using. But a car's only a means of transport; an engine that's replaced an ox. It's not actually fundamental to your existence, even though a lot of us seem to think it is.

No, it's the fundamentals that actually haven't changed. You still breathe the same air you always have; arguably no more or less clean than it ever was. Water's still a fundamental and, while it's less likely to kill you as often as it once did, it still contains all sorts of ingredients that vary its lifeenhancing qualities. You still wear clothes and, no matter from which period you arrive to look at another period over the last few thousand years, you'd still recognise your ancestors or descendants as wearing such things. And while houses these days have double glazing and laminate floors, Baldrick on TV's Time Team frequently reminds us that mankind has lived under cover for eons.

It's the same with food. Sure, frozen pizza and canned peas are maybe a relatively recent introduction but the truth is, you're still eating the same stuff your ancestors did 6,000 years ago. And they didn't have the benefit of TV cookery programmes.

Depending on who you read, there are between 20,000 and 120,000 edible plants believed to grow on this planet. Think of a menu that included even the lowest figure. …

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