The Neanderthal Diet: Some Were Vegetarians

Trying to get my blog set up on new servers. In the mean time, enjoy Ed Yong’s piece on the real Paleo diet:

Neanderthal Dental Plaque Shows What a Paleo Diet Really Looks Like: Some Ate Woolly Rhinos, Some Were Vegetarians, The Atlantic, 8 March 2017

“When people talk about the Paleo diet, that’s not paleo, that’s just non-carb,” Weyrich says. “The true paleo diet is eating whatever’s out there in the environment.”

“We need to revamp the view of Neanderthals as these meat-eating, club-toting cavemen,” adds Weyrich. “They had a very good understanding of what foods were available to them.”

They appeared to use plants medicinally too:

One of the El Sidron Neanderthals even seemed to be self-medicating with edible plants. One of his teeth had an abscess, and his plaque contained a parasite that causes diarrhea. But the plaque also contained Penicillium, the mould that produces the antibiotic penicillin, and poplar bark, a natural source of the aspirin-like painkiller, salicylic acid.

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