[Compiled by: Kandiah Thillaivinayagalingam]


our ancestors in the Paleolithic period,between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago and before agriculture and industry, lived as hunter-gatherers : picking berry after berry off of bushes;digging up tumescent tubers;chasing mammals to the point of exhaustion;scavenging meat,fat and organs from animals that larger predators had killed;and eventually learning to fish with lines and hooks and hunt with spears,nets,bows and arrows.Diet has been an important part of our evolution-as it is for every species-and we have inherited many adaptations from our Paleo predecessors.Understanding how we evolved could,in principle,help us make smarter dietary choices today.Every single species commonly consumed today-whether a fruit,vegetable or animal-is drastically different from its Paleolithic predecessor.In most cases,we have transformed the species we eat through artificial selection:we have bred cows,chickens and goats to provide as much meat,milk and eggs as possible and have sown seeds only from plants with the most desirable traits-with the biggest fruits,plumpest kernels,sweetest flesh and fewest natural toxins.

it’s a reasonable assumption that our ancestors ate most of their food in the
afternoon or evening.For example, Game had to be found, hunted,killed,butchered,and usually cooked.Tubers and vegetables had to be found,dug,gathered,and prepared.So any “breakfast” eaten by hunter-gatherers would most likely have been leftovers from the night before-if they were lucky enough to have any.No one knows the exact timing and size of meals in different agricultural societies throughout history and I don’t put much stock in what passes for historical accounts , but it’s clear that we’re not going to reliably have food to eat soon after awakening unless we’ve got domesticated animals,or a storehouse of previously harvested and prepared grains or tubers.As opposed to the leisurely life of hunter-gatherers,which usually involves dramatically less work than ours farming is labor-intensive,and it usually starts at dawn with the rooster-so it’s not surprising that people would want to fuel up before beginning a long day of hard work.Historically,farmers seem to have eaten whatever food they had available.Hunter-gatherers most likely ate breakfast infrequently,if at all.When they did,it was leftovers.

Have been brought up on the idea of three square meals a day as a normal eating pattern,but it wasn't always that way.We grew up believing in three meals a day.But it's a cultural construct.People around the world,even in the West,have not always eaten three squares.The three-meals model is a fairly recent convention,For more than a thousand years the one-meal system was the rule from a great BBC article on the history of breakfast,lunch and dinner.Breakfast as we know it didn’t exist for large parts of history.The Romans didn’t really eat it,usually consuming only one meal a day around noon,says food historian Caroline Yeldham.So in the history of some of the greatest academic and athletic cultures,they
ate but only one “main” meal per day! In terms of “meal” in the quotes above,this was most likely referring to their larger “cooked” feast later in the day.It was more like 2 meals.The later meal being the main and larger one, but they most likely also had an earlier smaller “meal” at some point.For me….I like this old 16th century proverb to sum it all up:"To rise at six,dine at ten,sup at six and go to bed at ten,makes a man live ten times ten".I think the concept of 3 meals a day is very recent.Early humans probably had 2 meals a day-just after sunrise and just before sunset. 2 meals probably made more sense as it synchronised with day and night.The concept of a night-time meal is probably after the invention of electricity.As we evolved,we started doing more activities that stretched into the later part of the evening-so probably needed to spread out our meals.



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