Bronze age folks apparently liked

(Bob M) #1

Meat, dairy, and “soupy beer”.

The meat and dairy come from this study, which looked at proteins on the surface of cauldrons. The “soupy beer” is mentioned in the article.

I thought for a bit about putting “legumes and tubers” or something like that, as the first line, to freak people out. But who would eat that when there’s meat and dairy? :grinning:


I’m pretty sure they plucked some ripe fruit off trees as they walked by and sunk their teeth into them, too. Albeit, I bet the fruit back then had a lot more fiber and a lot less sugar than our artificially created varieties have today.


I eat wild fruits, most are just sour, some are sweet but it would be much work to get a significant amount of calories from them… All the fanfics and other things about getting satiated and satisfied by some berries are so unrealistic… (Even using sweet noble ones, actually. Even using my fav berry, banana… It’s just fruit! Not useful food alone. My anchestors stopped being fruit eaters eons ago.)

I think the roots were/are the fibrous ones, wild berries are mostly water, some sour thing and little else :smiley: At least the blackberries around here. Not particularly tasty but sour and I like sour. And they have water, useful on a walk. Not really food. The sweet berries are tiny and hard to get a proper amount of pure flesh for different reasons. But it’s easy to pick some in winter too so there’s that.

(Edith) #4

The TV show “Alone” was mentioned on another thread. I started watching season 9 last week. I am finding it very interesting. All the contestants mostly care about getting their protein. There are berries, but certainly not enough to be filling up on them. And of course, once those berries are gone, that’s it until the following year. Otherwise, there is very little foraging. Is that due to ignorance or because there really is very little to forage? I don’t know, but I’m assuming there just is very little to forage. I said to my husband, “How can anyone believe humans were meant to be mostly vegetarian?”

(Bob M) #5

I know the argument is that we’ll eat berries or even honey. But I remember being out with a group of male friends in the woods, and we ran across wild blackberry bushes. Did we eat them? Sure. All of them. That is, until next YEAR, there were no more blackberries in this part of the forest.

And even if you live in an area where are tons of blackberries (I’m not sure that such an area exists, though, outside of human cultivation), you have maybe a month to eat them. And you’re competing with many other animals too.

And honey is another thing. Maybe in Africa, you can get a lot of honey, but wherever it has 4 seasons, you basically have a few months at most to get honey. And then to get it, you have to go into a hive of bees who do not like the fact that you’re stealing what they created. We created bee suits for a reason. I mean, how many bees nests can you find, let alone raid during the 1-2 months you have to do so?

Every time it’s winter here in CT, and it’s below freezing, I’m thinking to survive 400 years ago, you’d be eating meat. And that’s basically it. And if you could find fruit or tubers or whatever in the summer/fall, you’d be gorging on those to give you enough fat to survive the brutal winter.

(Edith) #6

There was another TV show I watched (well, still making it through some of the episodes) with experimental archeologist Dr. Bill Schindler. It was a National Geographic special similar to Naked and Afraid, but in this program he and his colleague were making their way through the different epochs of human evolution. They only used the “clothing” and tools humans used for that particular epoch. They did try to do some foraging in the various situations and environments, but it was very similar to the “Alone” situation: not much to forage and for what they did forage, it was a LOT of work, especially the tubers. I don’t think the calories in equaled the calories spend trying to dig them up.

(Bob M) #7

I’ve heard of Dr. Bill Schindler, he’s the guy who is studying how relatively primitive peoples eat.

To do something like foraging, you’d have to have many people, probably doing something like the Hazda do, when the women forage and the men go hunting. And you’d have to have a detailed knowledge of plants. We have a plant that produces nice looking berries, but they are deadly.

(Doug) #8

Bronze age folks apparently liked third place.


There is a lot right next to a small town here (and in most forests nearby. I see them often, along with many other wild fruits). Animals don’t seem to care but yes, it’s only for summer… Maybe the autumn too as the noble ones? I don’t know, never was very interested in those tiny sour things, I eat them sometimes, sure but it’s not THAT useful or enjoyable.

Wild fruit season is about 10 months long though…? 9? I am not sure and it depends (last winter was so warm that rosehips rotted, I don’t remember such a thing before, I could eat them all winter long). It’s not the problem, the problem is that their calorie content is minuscule. I just can’t get much energy from them (without being desperate and collect and eat them all, at least. maybe that would be enough for something…?).

My thoughts quite often… It’s a lot of work just to chew those fibrous tubers and they give so, so little… But it is probably worth it if you don’t have much else…

I’ve read (and it made sense to me) that a good hunt surely is way more precious than the berries and tubers but if the hunt was unsuccessful, it’s way better than nothing for sure!
Anyway, variety :wink: Like pemmican, you get meat, fat and some nice sour berries to spice it up :wink:
And not just variety, addition. Every little extra may help. I can be choosy and say no to berries because if I need more meat, I can eat more meat. It’s very different when one fights hard for survival in their less comfy life. Whatever they do and need to do shouldn’t have much impact on my decisions…

(KM) #10

In the US we’ve got some insane blackberry varieties. They are amazingly sweet and Huge.

. This picture might be photoshopped, but I swear they’re this big, at least 2" long . Not good for the keto-aware! I can’t quite decide if I want to go back to small and sour, probably a lot healthier.


There are a LOT of blackberries growing wild along here.

I get huge ones in areas with excess water. I get tiny ones in very dry areas. And everything in between. I do graze on them when they are ripe, and I found that sugar content depends on the exact degree of ripeness. I can be very choosy when I graze, since they cover such a large area, and I only eat a certain amount. Over the 30 years of grazing them, I have tested all attributes. I have found they all depend on water supply and degree of ripeness, and the degrees can be minute, they can be not quite ripe in the morning and perfectly ripe in the afternoon. I am kind of a blackberry connoisseur due to the vast availability here. (They are also a plague and I have to have someone with a machine come by yearly to uproot large areas of them or they would choke me out in no time)

(KM) #12

I remember going blackberry picking near Grants, OR. I just kept tiptoeing in deeper and deeper in these gigantic brambles arching over my head, in search of these sweet golf ball sized berries, and suddenly realizing in near terror that this was some seriously nasty thorn forest I was now lost at least 20 yards inside; I had seen the way in, but not the way out, and a false move would have put me in the hospital. Like a fairy tale, nearly.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #13

On my Keto MeetUp last weekend I met a nutritionist, he has a theory that humans had a particular vegetarian ape ancestor and we inherited some of that apes DNA. Thus making it possible for us to migrate even when there was no meat to hunt. I thought that was both interesting and feasible.


Wow! Never saw really big blackberries, just normal and tiny ones. Ours (the noble kind in the garden) are normal so quite small compared to these huge ones and often sour, sometimes sweet too. And thorny. Mostly thorny… If my SO didn’t love them, I would have cut them all out ages ago.
They acted not so great this year, rotting or drying before ripening, the same fruit having unripe and ripe lil balls, whatever their name is… I still pressure canned some, they were better in the beginning.

Wild ones are always super tiny, very sour and not sweet. Still a nice, potentially refreshing treat during walks! I rarely bother but see the charm even if it’s not much :wink:
And the plant themselves are small too, way shorter than me.

(Edith) #15

We tried growing blackberries years ago but the bushes were so vicious, we had them removed. I still have to remove the new shoots every summer even 10 years later.


They do that. They grow quickly and they produce tiny plants - all over the garden, somehow. I find one very far from the others occasionally. Most are around their place though, I cut out quite many every year. And every cut is a danger of getting stabbed by vicious thorns… Not my favorite plant, I don’t even really like the fruit… It adds a fun color to whitish things though… My SO puts them into his oatmeal and on top of his pudding.


There are some cultivars that do not spread. But most do.

(Bob M) #18

Wow, those are huge. The ones I’m familiar with when cultivated are a lot smaller, and wild ones are even smaller.

In CT where I live, we went blueberry and blackberry picking, and went blackberry picking once because it was so difficult and the amount we got wasn’t much. Whereas the blueberries were easy to pick and we got a huge amount. We’d freeze them for the winter. (Again, something you couldn’t do 400 years ago.) And that’s for cultivated blackberries.

But I go to the Wild West of Reddit, and there were people arguing there that people didn’t hunt as much and instead foraged for things like tubers. I think that’s unrealistic. Why would you forage for something with very few calories and nutrition, when you can bring down an animal that weighs 100s of pounds? Assuming you can process that, you have food for weeks for many people. Tubers pale in comparison.