32,000 year old porridge found in cave
We’ve always loved porridge as a species, according to this new find by researchers from the University of Florence.
Grains found when this ancient cave was excavated in the 1980s were dismissed, until scientists decided to see what the popular ‘paleo diet’ really should consist of.
They dusted off some old samples and had a look at what they were, in order to properly examine the ‘paleo diet’.
Surprisingly, they found a lot of ground-up grains, most commonly oats.
These grains were ground and turned into gruel. This is interesting as a paleo diet is often carbohydrate free, or at least low on refined carbohydrates.
This is because farming is believed to have begun 10,000 years ago, and these grains are 37,000 years old.
Residue the scientists scraped from stones in the cave turned out to be a mixture of grains that had been turned into a gruel-like substance.
Cave-dwellers were cleverer than we give them credit for – it seems they were farming and making their own food from ‘recipes’ much earlier than we thought.
It was believed that they just ate fruit from trees and root vegetables they pulled from the ground.
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However, scientists also found that they had been grinding oats not just into porridge – but into flour.
Research leader Marta Mariotti Lippi says the flour could have been used by a people known as the Gravettian culture for simple, nutritious porridge-like meals. But it also had the potential to be baked into a flatbread.
They were either farming, or bringing wild grain back into the cave to be ground.
Either way, it’s pretty clever, and an indicator that humans just love a bit of porridge.