By the time of the Roman Empire, 250 generations of farmers had already reduced the protective nutritional factors in our food, says author Jo Robinson.
In this article, Robinson draws the history of food from much earlier beginnings than the previous 100 years we tend to look back on. Many of the wild foods that contain the most beneficial bionutrients have a sour, astringent, or bitter flavor. But we continue to breed these chemicals out of our food in order to increase their sweetness. Trading medicine and nutrition for sugar has cost us our strength and resistance to disease.
On the other hand, eating medicine every day is not fun. I would not be happy boiling bitter roots and washing them down with sour grape juice. Fortunately, there are many foods we can grow and buy that contain the medicinal and nutritive chemicals we need in our diet. Robinson gives plenty of suggestions and information about what fruits and vegetables most resemble their wild ancestors. We can all do with a lovely dandelion salad this spring, don’t you think?