Foodies of the world, prepare for the return of the hunter-gatherer culinary trend. The idea, as simple as it is drastic, is that the introduction of agriculture and animal breeding over 10,000 years ago is responsible for the so-called “civilisation illnesses” such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, heart disease, obesity and many others. This is not a wholly new theory, but French newspaper Le Monde points to its re-gained popularity on both sides of the Atlantic.
Our general health, the theory claims, is much poorer than that of our predecessor one link up the chain of human development: the Cro-Magnon, whose hunter-gatherer diet included only lean meat, fish, seafood, fruits and vegetables. Notably lacking were cereals and dairy products, both resulting from the introduction of farming, which are considered responsible for exposing Homo Sapiens to a series of new health issues.
Doubters see the “caveman diet” as just another version of the myth of the Golden Age, particularly appealing to urban folks longing for a “return to nature”. Mankind, after all, did not stop evolving 10,000 years ago and whether or not our bodies were suitable for cereals and milk back then, they probably are now. If there is one lesson from history, both general and culinary, is our incredible capacity to adapt.
In the picture, the menu served at Berlin's Sauvage restaurant: the first restaurant in Europe to offer only dishes that could have been available already in the Stone Age.
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.