posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 11:00 PM
Dairy farming is key factor in history of European nutrition, study argues, with Roman empire a net loss.
04 April 2010
The Romans, as Monty Python famously acknowledged, have done many things for us. Contrary to popular wisdom, however, improving our diet was not one
A study of the remains of almost 20,000 people dating from the 8th century BC to the 18th century AD has found that the Roman empire reduced our level
of nutrition, which increased again in the "dark ages".
That is because the key factor in determining average height over the centuries – an indicator of nutritional status and wellbeing – has been an
increase in milk consumption due to improved farming. Higher population densities and the need to feed the army during Roman times may have worked
The "anthropometric" approach pursued by Nikola Koepke of Oxford University, which combines biology and archaeology, suggests longer bone length is
indicative of improved diet. Koepke's study, presented at the Economic History Society's 2010 annual conference, also challenges assumptions about
the effect of the industrial revolution. Urbanisation did not improve wellbeing, she argues, at least as measured by height.
Milk may have added to our overall height and strenghtened our bones, but still not so sure animal milk or meat is good for us, there is some evidence
that we were meant to be vegetarians, on the other hand what has been done to our food supply today certainly isn't healthy.