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December 8, 1962


JAMA. 1962;182(10):1034-1035. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050490058014

Man apparently began his life as a carnivorous animal. For eons, he was primarily a hunter of game and a fisherman. His diet in prehistoric times was largely protein and fat, and only at the end of the neolithic period did he begin to cultivate grains for food and add berries and honey to his staple—meat.1 Some 3,000 years ago, a curious Egyptian—perhaps in a fit of boredom, or as the result of a dare—sampled the root of a lotus and found it good. Other Egyptians sampled other plants and legumes, with the same pleasing results, and a new step was taken in man's adaptation to his environment. By the time the pyramids were built, the slaves and working classes had stopped being meat eaters exclusively, and, according to Herodotus, were living on onions, cabbage, and garlic. The upper classes, however, had a variety of food, serving at their

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