I’d like to report that I learned a lot.
No. Really. I did, learn a lot.
Examples of my education during my “break” are the tidbits that I found in a fascinating article titled: “Did Neanderthals Eat Plants? The Proof May Be In The Poop”
Nicholas St. Fleur, writing for the NPR blog, “Food for Thought” about Neanderthals reported that “…a peek inside their prehistoric poop reveals that meat-loving early humans may have enjoyed some salad on the side.
Researchers excavating a site in southern Spain where Neanderthals lived 50,000 years ago were initially looking for remnants of food in fireplaces. Then they stumbled upon tiny bits of poop – which turned out to be the oldest fecal matter from a human relation ever discovered.
Anira Sistiaga, a paleoarchaeologist with MIT who led the excavation, tells The Salt that what surprised her team even more was the content of the poop.
When they analyzed poop from the site, called El Salt, under a microscope, they saw cholesterol-like compounds called phytosterols, which come from plants. The feces also contained a lot of animal-derived cholesterol – confirming they were also chowing down on meat.”
Not so fast.
This is serious. They are serious. There are scientists studying ancient poop? In Spain. In fireplaces?
Huh? Neanderthals pooped in fireplaces?
How do we/they not conclude that this ancient poop isn’t just dirt? Of course... because there was plant matter and cholesterol found in the dirt, I mean, “poop.”
I wondered what they might find in my backyard next to my tomato plants. Ick. And, then it hit me… Wow, cholesterol lasts a really long time.
You see how my mind works and why I needed a break.
So, we recently switched to an all-plant diet. Not because of the Neanderthal’s diet, because I’d just like to be rid of some cholesterol.
Now I am being serious. I learned about that diet from my husband, the all-plant diet that is, and we are trying all plants, all the time. It’s hard.
But, of course, I remain fascinated by the Neanderthal’s meat and salad consumption. Do you think they added croutons? So that would be carbs, right. Complex? Or, the other kind? I never understood the difference.
But, that’s another whole story.