Exploring the Historical Background of Food

Food history is an interdisciplinary field that examines the history and cultural, economic, environmental and sociological impacts of food and human beings. From the early 19th century, when the working class lived on simple foods such as bread, butter, potatoes and bacon, to the late 19th century when diets improved considerably due to advances in transportation and refrigeration, food has been an integral part of human life. Humans have been carrying safe and healthy food with them as they moved from one place to another since they learned to make containers for storing food and other tools, as well as cook and preserve food. It is believed that the idea of growing food came about when people noticed that the seeds from the pieces of fruit and vegetables that they had thrown in the trash were starting to sprout and grow.

Potatoes were harvested in the Andes mountains in South America as early as 2475 BC, while olives were picked and eaten or pressed to make olive oil. Popcorn was also used by people in Central America. The first chocolate bar was made by JS Fry and Sons in 1847, after Spanish explorers learned to prepare a chocolate drink from the cacao bean of the Aztecs in Mexico. This soon became popular in Spain, France and England.

During medieval and Renaissance times, most meals consisted of local crops because it was extremely difficult to transport food over long distances due to lack of preservation methods. Pickling was a common practice at that time, which involved the use of fermentation to preserve food.

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