Even

Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia

First Contact:

1820

5
20
75
gather% / fish % / hunt %
75
25
0
fat % / protein % / carb%

A rough estimate to help us understand how carnivorous and how ketogenic these people were before being exposed to western civilization

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Click this Slide deck Gallery to see high quality images of the tribe, daily life, diet, hunting and gathering or recipes

About the Tribe

Even (formerly known as Tungus) are an Indigenous people of Eastern Siberia living in five regions of the Russian Federation: Sakha Republic (Yakutia), Khabarovsky krai, Magadanskaya oblast, Kamchatsky krai and Chukotka. Today, Even number over 22,000 people according to the 2010 Census. Nomadic Even were reindeer herders and hunters; and also fished seasonally. The primary activities of settled Even on the Sea of Okhotsk were fishing, gathering, and hunting marine mammals. Even of the northeastern part of the Sea of Okhotsk coast call themselves Orochel, i.e. ‘reindeer people’, ‘owning reindeer’ (Popova 1981: 5). Even of the Magadan oblast call themselves Menel, which means ‘seated people’, ‘living in one place’ (Popova 1981: 11). Even from the Lower Kolyma river call themselves Ilkar – «real people» (Petrov 1991: 3). Even also have an internal distribution of names: Namankans (sea Even or people of the coast) and Donrytkans (‘living in the deep taiga’ or ‘people of the deep interior’ (Popova 1981: 6–7).


The Evens are hunter-fishermen related to the Evenki that live in the Chukotka, Kamchatka and Magaden regions. Also known as Lamuts and Tungas, they have traditionally lived in chums, wigwam-type dwellings covered with bark or fish skin, and made a variety of things from birch bark.


Like the Evenki, the Evens are unique in the world in that they have a small population but occupy a huge expanse of land. There are only around 17,000 Evens but have traditionally lived in an area covering 3 million square kilometers, an area roughly the size of Western Europe, that embraces mountains, taiga and tundra. Their neighbors include the Yakut, Yukagir, Chukchi and Koyak.


The existence of the Even as a distinct group is partly the work of the Russians who defined them as a distinct group rather than a subgroups based on their language and cultural elements. Over time they became more distinct as they borrowed features from other groups such as the Koyak methods of herding reindeer and the dwellings of the Chukchi and Koryak.

http://factsanddetails.com/russia/Minorities/sub9_3f/entry-5132.html

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Importance of Animal Products

Even people as well as Evenki people do not have a word for «hello» or «goodbye» in their languages. When Even meet each other they usually say: yav bultanny? Which means ‘how was the hunt?’ Or yak ukchenek, ‘what’s the news?’ A combination of reindeer herding with fishing and hunting is at the core of Even culture. Since Even people were mostly living in mountainous regions, an important food source is the wild mountain sheep (Ujamkan). But there are also others such as wild reindeer (Bujun), moose (Toki), bear (Nakat), musk-deer, (Buchen), marmot (Chamak), different birds and fish. Nonetheless, reindeer are at the core of Even culture and spiritual life. They say: Oron bidjin – Even bidjin, Oron acha odjin – Even acha odjin (As long as there is reindeer – Even will exist. If reindeer disappear – Even will also disappear). Even use reindeer as transport for hunting and for milking. If hunting or fishing was not successful they would resort to slaughtering their own reindeer for food. The connection to reindeer is very close, so this would only be done as a last resort. A reindeer would live for a long time in the family, especially transport reindeer (Gildak) and people preserve a close connection to every reindeer. 


Nimat - Customary Law Many Indigenous Peoples have the tradition of gifting, sharing and reciprocity in their system of social relations. Formally, gift and gifting are voluntary in these societies, but in practice are required; enabling a system of social relations based on the gift that is wider than just economic relations (Godelier 2007). Nimat is the customary law of Even and Evenki. This law is related to hunting and reindeer herding traditions. In literature it is often written that Nimat is a sharing law, but this is a simplification of this tradition. It is more than just sharing. After a successful hunt, a person who killed an animal(s) would offer this as the gift to a friend or his relative. He usually takes only the stomach with intestines or anything else, which would deteriorate quickly. Other parts of the animal usually stay at the place where it was harvested. Then he went home and told his friend or relative that he has a gift for him (Nimat) and that he can find this gift in a certain place. Then he explains him how it can be found. That person had to go then to find it and bring the game back home and share it among other members of community (Gayun – sharing and distribution of game between members of community). He had to decide which part of the animal(s) everyone would get. (Osenin 2017) Nimat is a fundamental law for Even people and food culture is deeply connected to this law. Game caught by one, is also for others: shared with all, and not only between those who are involved in the hunting, but also visitors will get their share – «Nemada» (share of the hunting without participation in it). Not only relatives but also neighbors, and even random people enjoyed unlimited hospitality and fell into the category of the Mata - a person who got a share of the game after hunting. In the past, this custom, and law in the understanding of Even people, pervaded all areas of their lives: it has an explanation in terms of economy, in particular, distribution practices, and in terms of social life, as a mechanism for establishing friendly and, under favorable circumstances, kinship relations on the exchange. It was also deeply rooted in the mind of a hunter, who believed that hunting success depends largely on the goodwill of the host-spirits. In Even traditions the custom of Nimat was elevated to the level of law. But the punishment for violation of this law would come not from people, but from nature. Even believe that after a successful hunt for a mountain sheep, wild reindeer or any other animal; if you do not share with your relatives or friends, then you will not have hunting luck, you will get nothing. The custom of sharing game is a kind of social relations between people, but also relates to the relationship between the society / individual and nature: the need for sharing caused by the traditions based on Even and Evenki notions of our connection with the earth. This was also an attempt to establish social relations with the world of nature and the spirit world in order to ensure vital functions and continued life. The apparent reason for sharing – the expectation of reciprocity and gift not only from a person, but from the nature/ earth/host-spirits (because the hunter did the «right» thing). The accumulation of moral benefits, exceeds the scope of social links and moves into the sphere of relations between «humans – animals – spirit-owners.» Nimat provides territorial and economic relations between the nomads not only between relatives but also between unrelated clans. Probably, this custom helped Even and Evenki peoples settle Siberia so widely, where they had to live on the land occupied by other ethnic groups. So Even people are a very hospitable people, their hospitality has even been spoken of as being unlimited. They have another custom called Idekhe. This is about the slaughter of reindeer for guests and people close by. When you have a guest or when someone close by to you comes to your camp, reindeer herders make Idekhe.


OKEN’ – REINDEER MILK

Even use reindeer also for milking. They can milk reindeer from July to February. An adult productive female reindeer (Nyamichan) can produce approx. 1 liter of milk per day with a fat content of up to 19%. Even add it to tea. They also beat milk using a whisk (Itaki), which is then added to Even bread and blueberries.

KEBEL – EVEN YOGURT

For Even, the favorite dish made from reindeer milk is Kebel. To make it, fresh reindeer milk is filtered through a dense sieve and cooled down. Then you need to add 1/2 of teaspoon of leaven diluted in a tablespoon of milk and slowly, slowly stir, gradually adding it to 0.5 liters of reindeer milk. Within 15 - 20 minutes the milk will ferment and become a yogurt, then you add blueberry, cloudberry or Even bread and a tasty delicacy is ready. It is usually served for breakfast and you can work for a full day with the reindeer, without feeling hungry. But the most important thing is the leaven preparation: You need fresh abomasum of a just slaughtered reindeer, turn it inside out and, without washing the contents fill it with the fresh reindeer milk. Hang it in the Chora (Even traditional tent) above the fire with smoke and then dry it in the shade. You can also prepare a leaven from the abomasum of the wild mountain sheep – Uyamkan.


CHALMI, HILTA HILEN – STOMACH SOUP

The slaughter of a reindeer (Idekhe) or the occasion of a successful hunt for wild reindeer or mountain sheep means time for a feast for an Even family. The first dish is always made from the intestines of animals – a stomach soup (Chalmi, Hilta hilen). When you slaughter domestic reindeer, you immediately make an incision in the solar plexus and cut a blood vessel located along the spine, this is blood for making blood sausage. It turns out a lot of whey and with that you can make a sausage with a bright color. The entrails should be carefully and completely pulled out from the body so as not to spill the contents of the rumen onto other organs. The rectum (Momikan) and cecum, (Mevki) should be kept for the preparation of blood sausage. Other entrails: rumen (Goodi), abomasum (Orakan) and omasum (heŋŋi) should be washed with warm water. And the small intestine (hilta) and duodenum (Kurikich) are washed very carefully, without washing out the contents because they contain a variety of useful enzymes for human consumption, especially in the small intestine. In the old days, the bouillon from stomach soup without fat used to be given to malnourished people who had been hungry for a long time. It can be lethal to eat immediately after a long period of hunger. To such people, do not give a lot of the stock, only small portions every half an hour to revitalize the flora inside their stomach. After only a day or two, this person could drink more bouillon and eat nonfat cuts of viscera. Gradually he/ she will recover after this dish. Many people have been revived thanks to this knowledge. After washing the intestines, you put them into a large pan of boiling water in a specific order. First the rumen, then the abomasum, the midriff and the duodenum. At the end, you put in the small intestines. The small intestines are not boiled for long and are removed after 2 - 3 minutes, otherwise they will dissolve, and the bouillon will become bitter. After boiling all entrails, they are cut into small pieces and added to the bouillon. This soup is poured into bowls and served hot. Even food culture is diverse and rich and a wealth of knowledge is embedded in the Even food system and it is important to preserve, use and develop this knowledge system. Our food systems are little studied and the taboos and sacred knowledge surrounding it offer rich insights and clues as to how Even people can thrive moving forward into the future.

In Topolinoye 30 years ago an elder reindeer herder was lost. His name was Golikov Dmitry Gavrilovich. Afterward he couldn’t explain how it happened. He just went to search for his missing reindeer, without light, food, tent or any other things. They were looking for him for a long time and had not found him. We thought that he and his riding reindeer had been killed by a bear or that there had been an accident. After 1.5 months, this herder came by himself into the camp, which was 700 km away from his herd. He was exhausted and had been starving for a long time. Reindeer herders immediately slaughtered a reindeer and made a bouillon from the stomach soup to give to him. He survived. All reindeer herders are aware of this method from their parents. Story told by Maria Pogodaeva



The Even have traditionally been reindeer herders and hunters. Originally reindeer were used primarily as beasts of burden but as their traditional hunting methods changed they began to rely more on them as a source of food and hides. Today, some Even maintain very large herds of reindeer, with the largest in the 1990s having around 2,000 or so animals. The migration routes are often well defined and in many cases have been followed for centuries by particular clan groups or ethnic groups.


The Even eat nearly every part of the reindeer, including marrow, tendons, gristle and the soft parts of the hooves and horns. They regard eating the meat and tissues raw—particularly the lungs, kidneys and liver—as healthy. They also eat gathered plants, locusts, berries and nuts. Sufferers of frostbite were traditionally treated by wrapping them in the carcass of a freshly killed reindeer. Burns were treated with reindeer blood.


Even Hunting Life

The Even hunted of deer, elks (moose), bears, rabbits, foxes, mountain goats, musk deer and other animals for meat and for fur. When hunting wild reindeer they employed a domesticated reindeer attached with a lasso that would entangle any reindeer that tried to fight it. This deer would be maneuvered by a hunter to the leader of the herd who would try to battle it.

Before firearms became widely used the Even hunted bears alone with a spear and knife. The hunter encouraged the bear to charge and when it did the hunter threw a piece of cloth in the air to get the animal to rise up on its hind legs, leaving its chest area exposed. The hunter then kneeled and extended the spear forward. When the bear tried to lung for the hunter it impaled itself on the spear. The hunter usually had a dog with him whose purpose was to distract the bear if something went wrong with the hunt, allowing the hunter to escape.


The Even used powerful bows when hunting elk (moose) and crossbow-like contraptions to hunt small animals. Mountain goats were ambushed from a hiding place, deer were often killed only after being wounded and chased, sometimes for several days. In the winter the Even followed animals and track them on skis. The Even also fished and hunted nerpas (seals). During the salmon migration season they sectioned off parts of rivers and caught large number of fishing. To catch other kinds of fish they use square and conical nets.

Importance of Plants

They also eat gathered plants, locusts, berries and nuts.

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Transition to Industrialized Food Products

History of the Evenki and Evens

Until around a century ago no distinction was made between the Even and Evenki—ethnic minorities that are recognized as different today. The two groups are more alike than they are different. Their lifestyles, Tungus-Manchu, Altaic language and traditional religions are similar. The main difference is that the Even live mainly in northeast Russia and the Evenki live in the southeast and north central areas of Siberia. The two groups have been physically separated from each other long enough that some different characteristics have emerged.


Tungus-speaking people emerged in ancient times in Siberia. The ancestors of the Evens and Evenki were closely related to the Turkic-speaking Yakut. Around the 11th century B.C. a northern branch of the Tungus began to have contact with the ancestors of the Yukagir. Threatened by the ancient Turks, Tungus-speaking people began migrating to the west, north and particularly the northeast. In the 15th and 16th centuries the people that became the Evens and Evenki settled on the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk. Even though this area was very sparsely populated there were conflicts with other people that lived there, particularly with the Koryaks over grazing pastures for reindeer.


The consolidation of the Evenki as a distinct group with a distinct territory took place after the arrival of the Russians. The Russians set up a system of tribute and in the process of defining which group gave them what they helped the groups establish territories with roughly-defined borders. 


The Evenkis used to be called the Tungus. Describing them in the 1820s, the explorer John Bell wrote: 


"They have no homes where they remain for any time, but range throughout the woods and long rivers for pleasure; and,wherever they come, they erect a few spars, in clinging to one another at the top; these they cover with pieces of boiled birch bark, sewed together, leaving, a hole at the top to let out smoke...They can not bear to sleep in a warm room, but retire to their huts and lie about the fire on skins of wild bears. It is surprising that these creatures can suffer the very piercing cold of these parts."


"They are very civil and tractable, and like to smoke tobacco and drink brandy...I have seen many of the men with oval figures, like wreaths, on their foreheads and chins...These are made, in their infancy, by pricking the parts with needles and rubbing them with charcoal...They have many shamans among them, I was told of others, whose abilities for fortune-telling far exceeded those of the shaman."


"The women dressed in a fur-gown, reaching below the knee, and tied about the waist with a girdle...made of deer skins, having their hair curiously stitched down and ornamented...The dress of the men consists of a short jacket with narrow sleeves made of deer skin, having the fur outward; trousers and hoses of the same kind of skin...They have besides a piece of fur, that covers the breasts and stomach, which is hung about the neck with a string of leather."


"Their arms are a bow and several sorts of arrows, according to the different kinds of game they intend to hunt...In winter, the season for hunting wild beasts, they travel on what are called snow shoes...They have a different kind of shoe for ascending hills, with the skins of seal glued to the boards, having the hair inclined backwards which prevents them from sliding on there shoes...When a Tungus goes hunting into the woods, he carries with him no provisions, but depends entirely on what he has to catch."


After the arrival of the Russians the Even were forced to expend more effort to producing furs for tributes to the tsar and less energy to traditional hunting. The introduction of firearms also changed their hunting style dramatically. Some hunters wore a hunting hat with ornaments made of walrus ivory.


Since the break up of the Soviet Union the Evenks and the Nenets have suffered catastrophic declines in life expectancy and high rates of sickness and death that have prompted speculation that some of those groups may become extinct. [Source: Library of Congress, 1996]

Dec 19, 145

How to use this database.

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Welcome to the MEATrition History Database - The largest collection of information about the Carnivore Diet to date!

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Welcome to the MEATrition Carnivore History Database!


This has been a painstaking process but a labor of love for over the past few years as I've built this website from the ground up. The history of this database is that I found @bitstein's justmeat.co website and loved the easy access to pdfs to books on the carnivore way of eating. I ended up messaging him and added suggestions, and later I added wikis I had built for Reddit on a variety of topics. However, I finally decided I wanted to not only provide the books, but also read them and summarize or quote the most important parts of them. Eventually, I realized there were far more than just books, and the best way to organize hundreds or thousands of possible anecdotes over all of time would require a chronological database with tagged entries that could be searched, shared, and talked about. 


This database has links to other databases, which are called "collections' on Wix, the website maker I'm using. I have the following collections: Authors/people, Books, History, Ancient History beyond 2,000 years ago, Diseases, Foods, Ethnographic Tribes, Topics and more. These are best represented by going through the history database which has a collection of all of them, however, there are dedicated links to each database collection under the Menu. 


The topics in the history database cover a wide gamut, as you can see with the filters at the top of the screen - but in fact there are over 150 topics, I just surfaced the most important ones. If you click one of the filter buttons, it will filter the database to all entries tagged with that. Most entries have 2-4 topics. 


There is a search bar that searches the title, author, text fields through the database. Have a rare question about the carnivore diet? Enter a keyword and see what you find!


Furthermore, there are ways to sort the history database - click Recently Added to see what I've added most recently. Click Oldest/Newest to sort the database by chronological order. There is a also a sliding bar you can use to select a 5 year date span to quickly see what was going on then. You can click Clear Year to reset that. Finally, at the bottom is a page changer, and each page has 10 entries. 


You can open up an entry by clicking the blue link at the top of each event. That will open up a larger view of the post, with links to the book and author, and a field to add a comment if you so desire. You can share these individual links, or you can click the Twitter icon to post a formatted post to Twitter. You can also post the link to Reddit, I have two subreddits possible, but you could also change the subreddit if you want when it loads. 


One more thing - I opened Membership up on the site and I'm allowing qualified posters to add entries to the database. https://www.meatrition.com/add-history you can go there to see directions on the standards I want for your posts and join the site and add whatever is missing. 


If you enjoyed this work or feel this knowledge is worth knowing - please share links from the website. It's ad-free and built for the entire carnivore and nutrition science community, and for the most stringent skeptics. Share, join, contribute! 

Jan 2, 184

Girardot, N.J. 1983. Myth and Meaning in Early Taoism

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The Yellow Turban Rebellion was initiated by Daoist adepts who proposed an alternative world view to restructure society from the Yellow Heaven. The struggle was not against society per se as much as it was frustration at the loss of an “idealized, primitive agricultural community…or a nostalgia for a prefeudal or Neolithic communal society” -- abstain from food (especially the Five Grains)

While traditional Chinese mythology depicted cooking and agriculture as key elements of civilization, the Daoists created a “counter-narrative” to justify the idea of grain avoidance. (Campany,Robert Ford. Hong Ge. 2002. To live as long as heaven and earth: a translation and study of Ge Hong’s traditions of divine transcendents. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 16)

For example, the Confucianist Xunzi and Legalist Hanfeizi describe Suiren as cultural folk hero:

In the earliest times … the people lived on fruit, berries, mussels, and clams – things that sometimes became so rank and fetid that they hurt people’s stomachs, and many became sick. Then a sage appeared who created the boring of wood to produce fire so as to transform the rank and putrid foods. The people were so delighted by this that they made him ruler of the world and called him the Fire-Drill Man (Suiren 燧人). (Hanfeizi 49, tr. Campany 2005:15)


In contrast, the Zhuangzi “Mending Nature” chapter mentions Suiren first in a list of mythic sage-rulers – Fu Xi, Shennong, Yellow Emperor, Tang of Shang, and Yu the Great traditionally credited with advancing civilization – but depicts them as villains who began the destruction of the primal harmony of the Dao. Campany (2005:16) calls this “the decline of Power and the ever-farther departure from the natural Dao into systems of social constraint and what passes for culture.”

The ancients, in the midst of chaos, were tranquil together with the whole world. At that time, yin and yang were harmoniously still, ghosts and spirits caused no disturbances; the four seasons came in good time; the myriad things went unharmed; the host of living creatures escaped premature death. … This condition persisted until integrity deteriorated to the point that Torchman [Suiren] and Fuhsi arose to manage all under heaven, whereupon there was accord, but no longer unity. Integrity further declined until the Divine Farmer and the Yellow Emperor arose to manage all under heaven, whereupon there was repose, but no longer accord. Integrity declined still further until T’ang and Yu arose to manage all under heaven. They initiated the fashion of governing by transformation, whereby purity was diluted and simplicity dissipated. (tr. Mair 1994:149)


“Now, the people of mysterious antiquity, they reached old age because they remained in leisureand never ate any grains.” (From Most High Numinous Treasure)

The Yellow Turban Rebellion was initiated by Daoist adepts who proposed an alternative world view to restructure society from the Yellow Heaven. The struggle was not against society per se as much as it was frustration at the loss of an “idealized, primitive agricultural community…or a nostalgia for a prefeudal or Neolithic communal society” (Girardot, N.J. 1983. Myth and Meaning in Early Taoism. Berkeley: University of California Press.)


Yellow Turban Rebellion

“Retiring to a mountain, then as now, would require an inordinate amount of training, planning and discipline. Following Maslow, the aspirant’s first concern, especially in times of famine and strife, would be nourishment. This essentially puts the person back in the same situation as before the advent of agriculture. The Daoist masters in some sense decide that in the face of continually crumbling social orders, with intermittent prosperity, to have done with the charade and to face the situation on their own terms. To be able to minimize or abstain from food (especially the Five Grains) and to thrive by way of subtle arts would be tantamount to freedom from the feudal system.” (Dannaway, Frederick R. (2009)Yoked to Earth: A Treatise on Corpse-Demons and Bigu)


The Yellow Turban Rebellion, also translated as the Yellow Scarves Rebellion, was a peasant revolt in China against the Eastern Han dynasty. The uprising broke out in 184 AD during the reign of Emperor Ling. Although the main rebellion was suppressed by 185 AD, pockets of resistance continued and smaller rebellions emerged in later years. It took 21 years until the uprising was fully suppressed in 205 AD.[1] The rebellion, which got its name from the colour of the cloths that the rebels wore on their heads, marked an important point in the history of Taoism due to the rebels' association with secret Taoist societies.[4] The revolt was also used as the opening event in the 14th-century historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Jan 1, 205

A Comparison of Ancient Greek and Roman Sports Diets with Modern Day Practices

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Galen says on usage of broad beans as food: "Our gladiators eat a great deal of this food every day, making the condition of their body fleshy – not compact, dense flesh like pork, but flesh that is somehow more flabby."

In terms of diets, we also know that specific types of athletes were fed in ways that matched their needs and improved their performance. One such form of sport was the ancient gladiator, and here we learn from Galen, that beans were highly recommended in order to build bulk into such athletes. Galen even goes so far as to state that the bean should be boiled long enough in order to avoid flatulence [28].

On broad beans: “There is also much use made of these, since soups are prepared from them, the fluid one in pots and the thick one in pans. Our gladiators eat a great deal of this food every day, making the condition of their body fleshy – not compact, dense flesh like pork, but flesh that is somehow more flabby. The food is flatulent, even if it has been cooked for a very long time, and however it has been prepared, while ptisane gets rid of all flatulent effect during the period of cooking.”

Jan 1, 210

A Comparison of Ancient Greek and Roman Sports Diets with Modern Day Practices

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Celsus preferred beef while Galen preferred pork in terms of providing the best nutrition.

 In the early days, athletes relied on their trainer to make sure that their dietary needs were met. However, it was not long before medical doctors took over, and the first sports physicians were created. In a report from Philostratos we learn [23].

“...The Sicilian style of fancy food gained popularity; the guts went out of athletics and, more important, trainers became too easy on their pupils. Doctors took the lead in introducing permissiveness, setting it up as an adjunct to their treatment...from these Doctors athletes learned to be lazy and to exercise after sitting around stuffed with enough food to fill an Egyptian or African meal sack; they gave us chefs and cooks to please our palates. They turned athletes into gluttons with bottomless stomachs.”


However, whilst it was popular or fashionable to have a physician designing your diet, it seems that these medical doctors did not always share the same opinion about what the athletes should eat. Celsus, who was not trained as a medical practitioner, although he wrote a great deal about medical practices, and Galen, who was medically trained, did not agree on the type of meat that was the “strongest”, that is to say the most nutritious, for an athlete. Celsus preferred beef whilst Galen, who was particularly enthusiastic about the advice given, considering him to be an expert on diet and exercise [25], gave the Olympic gold, so to speak, to pork, which he felt was the most nutritious form of meat. Maybe this was based on his own positive experience with pork when he was a medical practitioner in Pergamon where he took part in the training of gladiators.


Ancient athletes would most likely not have been able to afford very much protein in the form of meat, and would as a consequence not have eaten meat on a daily basis. However, we know from Celsus [19] and Galen [22] that meat in the form of terrestrial and aquatic livestock was considered nutritious, and was classified among the “strong” foodstuffs. Celsus and Galen [19,22] could not, however, agree as to which meat was the “strongest”, Celsus [19] favoured beef, whilst Galen [22] never misses a chance to sing the praises of pork, which alongside fresh milk was his favourite food.

“Among food from domesticated quadrupeds pork is the weakest, beef the strongest. And so also of game, the larger the animal the stronger the food yields” [19]

“Flesh, when well concocted, produces the best blood, especially in the case of animals such as the pig family, which produce healthy humour. Pork is the most nutritious of all foods, and athletes provide a very visible test of this. For when, after identical exercises, they take the same amount of a different food on one day, straightway on the following day they appear not only weaker but also obviously less well fed.”

“Beef itself gives a nutriment that is neither small in quantity nor easily dispersed; yet it produces blood that is inappropriately thick” [28].

“Lambs also have flesh that is very moist and productive of mucus. But that of adult sheep is more productive of residues and more unwholesome. The flesh of goats is unwholesome too, with bitterness” [28].

Poultry was also considered a nutritious foodstuff, although here size mattered. Celsus [19] ascribed poultry to the “medium” class of foodstuffs, whilst Galen was not so generous in his appraisal, preferring once again to extol the virtues of pigs and terming poultry meat as “poorly nutritious”.

“Likewise of those birds, which belong to the middle class, those which rely more on their feet are stronger food than those which rely more on their wings; and of those birds which depend on flight, the larger birds yield stronger food than the smaller, such as fig-eater and thrush. And those also which pass their time in the water yield a weaker food than those which have no knowledge of swimming” [19].

“The family of all winged animals is poorly nutritious when compared with that of terrestrial animals, especially pigs: you would find no flesh more nutritious than theirs” [28].

Fish too were classified as a “middle” foodstuff by Celsus [19], although here preference was given to the oily fish such as mackerel in comparison with bass and mullet. This is in accordance to general recommendations today concerning intake of oily fish like salmon and tuna, although the reason given here is to prevent heart diseases. Galen goes one step further in his assessment of fish, telling us that they are not appropriate for athletes but should rather be reserved for those who are weak and ill.

“The fish most in use belong to the middle class; the strongest are, however, those from which salted preparations can be made, such as the mackerel; next come those which, although more tender, are nevertheless firm, such as the gilthead, gurnard, sea bream, eye fish, then the flat fish, and after these still softer, the bass and mullets, and after these all rock fish” [19].

“But from all the above fish the nutriment is best for those who are not in training, and the idle, frail and convalescent. People in training need more nutritious food, about which there has been previous comment” [28].

“...the best milk is just about the most wholesome of any of the foods we consume”[28].

“For cows´ milk is very thick and fatty, while milk from the camel is very liquid and much less fatty; and next to the latter animal is that from mares, and following this, ass´s milk. Goat´s milk is well proportioned in its composition, but ewe´s milk is thicker” [28].

“Its continued use also harms the teeth, together with the flesh surrounding them, which they call “gums”. For it makes these flabby, and makes the teeth liable to decay and easily eaten away. Accordingly one should rinse the mouth with diluted wine after consuming milk, and it is better if you put honey with it” [28].

“Moreover it is neither unwholesome nor very markedly productive of thick humour, a common charge against all cheeses. A very fine cheese is the one highly regarded by the wealthy in Rome (its name is bathysikos), as well as some others in other regions” [28].

“Among pulses, beans and lentils are stronger food than peas” [19].

“However, they [Figs] do not produce firm, strong flesh like bread and pork do, but a spongy flesh, as the broad bean does” [28].

Jan 2, 320

"Book of the Master Who Embraces Simplicity" or Baopuzi, attributed to Ge Hong in 320 CE.

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I have personally observed for two or three years men, who were foregoing starches, and in general their bodies were slight and their complexions good. They could withstand wind, cold, heat, or dampness, but there was not a fat one among them. Therefore, by giving up starches one can become immune to weapons, exorcize demons, neutralize poisons, and cure illnesses. On entering a mountain, he can render savage beasts harmless. When he crosses streams, no harm will be done to him by dragons. There will be no fear when plague strikes; and when a crisis or difficulty suddenly arises, you will know how to cope with it.

I have personally observed for two or three years men, who were foregoing starches, and in general their bodies were slight and their complexions good. They could withstand wind, cold, heat, or dampness, but there was not a fat one among them. I admit that I have not yet met any who had not eaten starches in several decades, but if some people cut off from starches for only a couple of weeks die while these others look as well as they do after years, why should we doubt that the (deliberate) fasting could be prolonged still further? If those cut off from starches grow progressively weaker to death, one would normally fear that such a diet simply cannot be prolonged, but inquiry of those pursuing this practice reveals that at first all of them notice a lessening of strength, but that later they gradually get stronger month by month and year by year. Thus, there is no impediment to the possibility of prolongation.


Therefore, by giving up starches one can become immune to weapons, exorcize demons, neutralize poisons, and cure illnesses. On entering a mountain, he can render savage beasts harmless. When he crosses streams, no harm will be done to him by dragons. There will be no fear when plague strikes; and when a crisis or difficulty suddenly arises, you will know how to cope with it.


Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/carnivore/comments/v4amne/just_something_interesting_about_historical_diets/ - u/genesisages


“The Daoist Immortals are often described as “abstaining from grain” (bigu) as part of their training and progression in the Dao… Likewise, the “abstention from grain” of Saints must be seen to be a fundamental technique of achieving immortality, perhaps only inferior to a magical plant or elixir that would instantly fulfill the same function as the practice of bigu.” (Dannaway, Frederick R. (2009)Yoked to Earth: A Treatise on Corpse-Demons and Bigu)


The “cutting off” of grains, which were the basic staple food for the peasants, was a rejection of the sedentary life and the peasant condition as such. This refusal should not solely be interpreted in the light of the miseries endured by farmers, but also in a much more fundamental way. Agriculture has occasioned, since Neolithic times, a radical break with the way of life that prevailed for almost the entire prehistory of humankind. Agriculture has also been the main culprit of the imbalances of human civilization over the last ten thousand years or so: the systematic destruction of the natural environment, overpopulation, capitalization, and other evils that result from sedentariness. (Schipper, Kristofer (1993), The Taoist Body, translated by Karen C. Duval, University of California Press. p. 170)


“What becomes evident in the study of the tensions between Confucians and Daoists is a fundamental difference in their assessments of the prehistorical period of China. The Confucian’s viewed primordial times as period of starvation, of violence and wilderness, to loosely paraphrase and translate Levi (1982), contrasted to the Daoist view of a golden-age of uncontrived Eden-like bliss. “Zhuangzi praises that idyllic age with these words: ‘Spirits and gods show their good will and nobody dies before his time’” (Levi 1982). This is anathema to the Confucian view that it took a civilizing divine-potentate to rescue humanity from it’s own ignorance and helplessness in a brutal wilderness. This expresses a fundamental cosmological orientation that is the foundation for much of the social movements in China, perhaps even into modern times.“ Ancient man imbibed dew” and “fed on primordial breath and drink harmony” and ate not the toilsome, vulgar crops of the red dust that are exemplified in the Five Sacred Grains (wuku).”  (Dannaway, Frederick R. (2009)Yoked to Earth: A Treatise on Corpse-Demons and Bigu)

Jan 1, 1267

The Popes and Science

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A Friar Bacon is punished (for writing too much) "He was ordered to be confined to his cell in the monastery and to be fed on bread and water for a considerable period"

Unfortunately, difficulties occurred within Friar Bacon's own order. It is not quite clear now just how these came about. The Franciscans of the rigid observance of those early times took vows of the severest poverty. There had been some relaxation of the rule, however, and certain abuses crept in. The consequence was the re-assertion after a time of the original rule of absolute poverty in all its stringency. It was Friar Bacon himself who had chosen this mode of life and had taken the vows of poverty. Paper was a very dear commodity, if indeed it was invented early enough in the century for him to have used it. Vellum was even more expensive. Just what material Bacon employed for his writings is not now known. Whatever it was, it seems to have cost much money, and because of his violation of his vow of poverty Roger Bacon fell under the ban of his order. He was ordered to be confined to his cell in the monastery and to be fed on bread and water for a considerable period. It must not be forgotten that this was within a century after the foundation of the Franciscans, and to an ardent son of St. Francis the living on bread and water would not be a very difficult thing at this time, since his ordinary diet would, at least during certain portions of the year, be scarcely better than this. There is no account of how Roger Bacon took his punishment. He might easily have left his order. There were many others at that time who did. He wished to remain as a faithful son of St. Francis, and seems to have accepted his punishment with the idea that his example would influence others of the order to submit to the enforcement of the regulation with regard to poverty, which superiors now thought so important, if the original spirit of St. Francis was to be regained.

Dec 16, 1552

Total Dietary Regulation in the Treatment of Diabetes

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Aretaeus of Cappadocia (30–90 A.D.) is the second to describe diabetes and uses 'to run through' or 'a siphon' to explain how one urinates unceasingly until death.

Aretaeus of Cappadocia (30–90 A.D.), living under the emperor Nero, and writing in Ionian Greek, was the second to describe diabetes, and the first known to have called it by the name (to run through; a siphon). In a passage translated by Schnée", Aretaeus outlines some of the principal symptoms, the progressive course, and the fatal prognosis. He anticipates modern conceptions of a failure of assimilation, conversion of tissue into urinary products, and possible origin of some cases in acute infections. He was retrograde in treatment, for he advised a non-irritating diet of milk and carbohydrates, and hiera, nardum, mastix, and theriak (opium?sugar?) as drugs. He is commonly credited with being the first to regard diabetes as a disease of the stomach; but his vague notion of a disorder akin to ascites hardly entitles him to a claim upon this false idea which was productive of so much truth in the period from Rollo to Cantani.


“Diabetes is a strange disease, which fortunately is not very frequent. It consists in the flesh and bones running together into urine. It is like dropsy in that the the cause of both is moisture and coldness, but in diabetes the moisture escapes through the kidneys and bladder. The patients urinate unceasingly; the urine keeps running like a rivulet. The illness develops very slowly. Its final outcome is death. The emaciation increases very rapidly, so that the existence of the patients is a sad and painful one. The patients are tortured by an unquenchable thirst; they never cease drinking and urinating, and the quantity of the urine ex ceeds that of the liquid imbibed. Neither is there any use in trying to prevent the patient from urinating and from drinking; for if he abstains only a short time from drinking his mouth becomes parched, and he feels as if a consuming fire were raging in his bowels. The patient is tortured in a terrible manner by thirst. If he re tains the urine, the hips, loins, and testicles begin to swell; the swelling subsides as soon as he passes the urine. When the illness begins, the mouth begins to be parched, and the saliva is white and frothy. A sensation of heat and cold extends down into the bladder as the illness progresses; and as it progresses still more there is a consuming heat in the bowels. The integuments of the abdomen become wrinkled, and the whole body wastes away. The secretion of the urine becomes more copious, and the thirst increases more and more. The disease was called diabetes, as though it were a siphon, because it converts the human body into a pipe for the transflux of liquid humors. Now, since the patient goes on drinking and urinating, while only the smallest portion of what he drinks is assimilated by the body, life naturally cannot be preserved very long, for a portion of the flesh also is excreted through the urine. The cause of the disease may be that some malignity has been left in the system by some acute malady, which afterward is developed into this disease. It is possible also that it is caused by a poison con tained in the kidneys or bladder, or by the bite of the thirst-adder or dipsas.”



"Aretaeus’ writings were unknown in Europe until 1552. His aim in treating what was clearly type 1 diabetes was to overcome the  diabetes: the intense thirst, and to this end he began with a purge and followed it with a variety of mixtures to soothe the stomach."

Diabetes: The Biography

Mar 2, 1578

Fred Bruemmer

Arctic Memories

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"What is the most important thing in life?" He reflected for a while, then smiled and said: "Seals, for without them we could not live." Seal meat and fat, raw or cooked, was the main food of most Inuit and their sled dogs. The high-calorie blubber gave strength, warmth, and endurance to the people; it heated them from within.

After two hours, I had run out of poetry and patience. After three hours, I felt stiff, cold, and exhausted. The total lack of movement, the absence of any stimuli, grated on my nerves. After six hours, I gave up. I was cold, creaky, cranky, and intensely annoyed with myself, but that was about as much as I could take. Yet the Inuit did this nearly every day for ten to fifteen hours, and sometimes they got a seal and often they did not. Their concentration was total, their patience endless, for to Inuit (and polar bears) the seal was everything. I once asked Inuterssuaq of the Polar Inuit, "What is the most important thing in life?" He reflected for a while, then smiled and said: "Seals, for without them we could not live." 


George Best, captain and chronicler of Martin Frobisher's 1578 expedition to Baffin Island, said of the Inuit: "These people hunte for their dinners... even as the Beare." Inuit and polar bear do, in fact, use similar seal-hunting methods. Both wait with infinite patience at agloos, hoping for seals to surface. 


In late spring and early summer, seals bask upon the ice, and Inuit and polar bears synchronize their patient stalk with the sleep- wake rhythm of the seals. Typically, a seal sleeps for a minute or so, wakes, looks carefully all around to make certain no enemy is near, and then, satisfied that all is safe, falls asleep for another minute or two. The moment the seal slumps in sleep, the bear advances. The instant the seal looks up, the bear freezes into immobility, camouflaged by its yellowish-white fur. At 20 yards (18 m) the bear pounces, a deadly blur across the ice, and grabs and kills the seal. 


In the eastern Arctic, Inuit stalk a seal on the ice hidden behind a portable hunting screen, now of white cloth, formerly of bleached seal or caribou skin. In the central Arctic, Inuit do not use the screen. Instead they employ a method known to Inuit from Siberia to Greenland: they approach the seal by pretending to be a seal. They slither across the snow while the seal sleeps. When it wakes, the hunter stops and makes seal-like movements. To successfully impersonate a seal, a hunter told me, "you have to think like a seal." It is a hunt that requires great skill and endurance. They hunted seals at their agloos, they stalked them with screens on the ice. They waited for them at the floe edge and they harpooned them from kayaks. 


They hunted seals in fall on ice so thin it bent beneath the hunter's weight. They hunted them in the bluish darkness of the winter night, and they invented and perfected an entire arsenal of ingenious weapons and devices to hunt the seal. For, to Inuit, the seal was life, and their greatest goddess was Sedna, mother of seals and whales. 


A few inland groups lived nearly exclusively on caribou. The Mackenzie Delta Inuit are beluga hunters. Many Inuit of the Bering Sea and Bering Strait region live primarily on walrus. In Greenland and Labrador, Inuit hunted harp seals and hooded seals (the Polar Inuit drum Masautsiaq made for me as a farewell present is covered with the throat membrane of a hooded seal). But, for most Inuit, two seal species were of truly vital importance: the large bearded seal that weighs up to 600 pounds (270 kg), and the smaller - up to 180 pounds (81 kg) - but numerous ringed seal. These two seals were the basis of human life in the Arctic. 


I spent the spring of 1975 with the walrus hunters of Little Diomede Island in Bering Strait, between Alaska and Siberia. Among our crew was Tom, Jr., or Junior as everyone called him, the eleven-year-old son of Tom Menadelook, captain of the large walrus-skin-covered umiak, the traditional hunting boat of the Diomeders. On one of our trips into the pack ice, Junior shot his first seal. His father was typically gruff and curt, but we could see that he was pleased and proud. The crew made much of the boy and he glowed in their praise. That night, his mother, Mary Menadelook, cut the seal into many pieces, and following ancient custom, the boy took meat to all the households in the village, including to my shack, thus symbolically feeding us all. He was a man now, a provider, who shared in traditional Inuit fashion. 


Seal meat and fat, raw or cooked, was the main food of most Inuit and their sled dogs. The high-calorie blubber gave strength, warmth, and endurance to the people; it heated them from within. Rendered into seal oil, it burned in their semicircular soapstone lamps, cooked their meals, heated their homes, and, most importantly, melted fresh-water ice or snow into drinking water. Lack of blubber meant hunger, icy, dark homes, and excruciating thirst. Although Inuit were hardy and inured to cold, and dressed in superb fur clothing, their high-calorie, high-protein meat-fat diet also helped them to withstand the rigors of winter, for it raised their basal metabolic rate by 20 to 40 percent. Fortunately for the Inuit, blubber is a beneficial fat. Scientists were fascinated that Inuit who, a recent study says, "traditionally obtained about 40 percent of their calories from fat," had, in the past, no heart disease because their diet "although high in fat, is low in saturated fat.. and that presumably explains their freedom from disease." 


Seal oil, in the past, was stored in sealskin pokes and kept in stone caches, safe from arctic foxes, for spring and summer use. At Bathurst Inlet, Ekalun once showed me a great, solitary stone pillar, too sheer and high for bears or foxes to climb, upon which, in the past, Inuit had stored pokes of oil (they used a sled as a ladder to climb to the top). Even now, after decades of disuse, the distinctive, cloying smell of ancient seal oil clung to the pillar. 


The Inuit of Little Diomede eat seal oil with nearly all their meals. When they have to go to hospital in Nome or Anchorage, they take a bottle of seal oil along, because without it, they say, "food just doesn't taste right." Seal oil is their main preservative: they store in it the thousands of murre eggs they collect in summer, and bags of greens - and both keep reasonably fresh for about a year. They even had a type of chewing gum made of solidified seal oil and willow catkins, and a mixture of whipped blubber and cloudberries is known in Alaska as "Eskimo ice cream."

Jul 20, 1585

'A People of Tractable Conversation': A Reappraisal of Davis's Contribution to Arctic Scholarship

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English Explorer John Davis sails to Greenland and discovers the Inuit for the first time, noticing they were "very tractable people", however, he didn't record their eating habits.

Yet, on reading their reports, one cannot fail to be struck by the explorers’ relatively unprejudiced tone as they describe the natives’ mutual solicitude or even their fundamental honesty. It is true that Davis sometimes seems to contradict himself: commenting on the Inuit’s apparent passion for iron – which caused them to steal the ship’s anchor – Davis felt bound to denounce their ‘vile nature’. But both Davis and Janes display a genuine interest in the Arctic people they interacted with. Failing to find a new maritime route to China, Davis appears to have turned part of his attention to the Inuit instead. The Inuit often take pride of place and it looks as if the description of their mores had been substituted for the traditional list of profitable ‘commodities’ that can be found in so many travel narratives. This is all the more remarkable as the quest for a Northwest or Northeast maritime route to China partly originated in the English merchants’ desire to remedy their financial woes after the cloth trade with Antwerp and the Low Countries had become less profitable.  What is more, Davis did not content himself with listing their drinking and eating habits, or ‘the many little images’ and diverse cultural artefacts they produced. Our main contention is that Davis also approached their language with linguistic acuity. 


Encountering 'very tractable people': Arctic pre-ethnography 


Davis set sail in June 1585 with a total crew of forty-two. He was the captain of a ship called the Sunshine while the other ship, the Moonshine, was under the command of one William Bruton. John Janes was Davis’s supercargo and a member of the Sunshine’s crew. Davis and his men sighted Greenland for the first time on 20 July. He seems to have been far from favourably impressed if one is to judge by the name he chose to give it: 


The 20. as we sayled along the coast the fogge brake up, and we discovered the land, which was the most deformed rockie and montainous land that ever we saw ... the shoare beset with yce a league off into the sea, making such yrksome noyse as that it seemed to be the true patterne of desolation, and after the same our Captain named it, The Land of Desolation.


 Davis and his men then turned Cape Farewell (Uummannarsuaq) without trying to explore the coast and entered what is now the fjord of Nuuk (Nuup Kangerlua, previously Godthaab Fjord), which Davis named ‘Gilbert Sound’, at latitude 64°11’. It was there that they first encountered a group of Inuit. If the very first contact proved a little baffling and rather disconcerting, Janes tells us that surprise and diffidence rapidly gave way to ‘many signs of friendship’: 


The Captain, the Master and I, being got up to the top of an high rock, the people of the countrey having espied us, made a lamentable noise, as we thought, with great outcries and skreechings: we hearing them, thought it had been the howling of wolves ... Whereupon M. Bruton and the Master of his shippe, with others of their company, made great haste towards us, and brought our Musicians with them from our shippe, purposing either by force to rescue us, if need should so require, or with courtesie to allure the people. When they came unto us, we caused our Musicians to play, ourselves dancing, and making many signs of friendship.


 It is perhaps significant that the first interaction between the two parties should have taken such a musical form as this scene may be said to set the tone for Davis’s subsequent encounters with the different groups of Inuit he met. On the whole, it seems that concord prevailed over disharmony, though it is important not to oversimplify the necessarily complex and ambivalent feelings that both sides mutually experienced towards the other party. It should also be noted that, from the start, the Inuit’s ‘speech’ and their ‘pronunciation’ aroused Janes’s linguistic curiosity: ‘their pronunciation was very hollow thorow the throat, and their speech such as we could not understand’. If Frobisher’s first contact with the natives gave rise to a display of gymnastic virtuosity on the part of the Inuit, in Davis’s case the first encounter between the explorers and the natives concluded with music, dancing and a scene of rejoicing: ‘one of them came on shoare, to whom we threw our cappes, stockings and gloves, and such other things as then we had about us, playing with our musicke, and making signes of joy, and dauncing’.


In the rest of his narrative, Janes often insists on the feelings of ‘trust’ and ‘familiarity’ that gradually developed between the two groups. On the second day, the English gained the trust of the Inuit by mimicking their attitudes and ‘swearing by the sun after their fashion’: ‘so I shook hands with one of them, and he kissed my hand, and we were very familiar with them. We were in so great credit with them upon this single aquaintance, that we could have anything they had.’ Much like Thomas Harriot who also admired the ingenuity of the native Algonkians, Janes marvelled at the skill of the Inuit. In particular, he showed deep interest in their fine – and warm – sealskin buskins, gloves and hoses, for which he willingly exchanged his much less comfortable clothes, ‘all being commonly sowed and well dressed: so that we were fully perswaded they have divers artificers among them.’ In fact, except for their religion – or lack thereof – Janes did not find anything wrong with them, as can be seen from the following description of the first group he came into contact with: ‘they tooke great care one of another ... They are very tractable people, void of craft or double dealing, and easie to be brought to any civility or good order: but we judge them to be idolaters and to worship the Sunne.’

Nov 8, 1598

Record of the Marches by the Army, New Spain to New Mexico, 1596-98

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"On the 8th the sargento mayor came back from the land of the buffalo. He brought quantities of meat, fat, and tallow, although he was unable to bring any live animals. There were infinite numbers of them. Their hide is very wooly and thick."

On November 4 Captain Marquez arrived from New Spain and left Puaray for Acoma, following the governor.


On the 8th the sargento mayor came back from the land of the buffalo. He brought quantities of meat, fat, and tallow, although he was unable to bring any live animals. There were infinite numbers of them. Their hide is very wooly and thick. He traveled seventy leagues inland, as far as the pueblo which is nine leages long. Several times he found traces of Umana. 


On Wednesday, November 18, at noon, the maese de campo set out for the South sea, following the governor. 

Jun 1, 1650

Origins

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The Archbishop of Armagh, James Ussher, calculates the act of Creation to have occurred in 4004 B.C based on numerology in the Old Testament. This calculation would be believed for 200 years until evolution and geology started to push back.

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For almost two millennia the Judeo-Christian story of

the Creation was taken for granted throughout the

Western world. With no good reason to doubt it,

the teaching of the increasingly powerful Christian

churches that God created man in his own image

was a comfortable one. There was a certain curiosity,

though, about just when this miraculous event had

occurred. James Usher (1581-1656), Archbishop of

Armagh, came up with an answer in 1650, when he

announced, as a result of his calculations based on the

numerology of the Old Testament, that the Creation

had taken place in 4004 B.C.

Jan 1, 1673

Directions for Governing the Appetite Or, Directions against Gluttony

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Richard Baxter, a priest born in 1615, wrote about the sin of gluttony and says the causes are both excess and "Or else it may be an excess in the delicious quantity, when more regard is had to the delight and sweetness than is fit."

I. Gluttony is a voluntary excess in eating, for the pleasing of the appetite, or some other carnal end.

(1.) It is sometimes an excess in quantity, when more is eaten than is fit.

(2.) Or else it may be an excess in the delicious quantity, when more regard is had to the delight and sweetness than is fit.

(3.) Or it may be an excess in the frequency or length of eating; when men eat too often, and sit at it too long.

(4.) It may be an excess in the costliness or price; when men feed themselves at too high rates.

Common gluttony is when it is done for the pleasing of the appetite, with such a pleasure, as is no help to health or duty, but usually a hurt to body or soul; the body being hurt by the excess, the soul is hurt by the inordinate pleasure.

Yes, it is a kind of gluttony and excess, when men will not fast or abstain when they are required, from that which at other times they may use with temperance and without blame. If a man is accustomed to not eat excessively nor deliciously, yet if he will not abstain from his temperate diet, either at a public fast, or when his lust requires him to take down his body, or when his physician would diet him for his health, and his disease else would be increased by what he eats—this is an inordinate eating and excess to that person, at that time. Or if the delight that the appetite has in one sort of food, which is hurtful to the body, prevails against reason and health so with the person that he will not forbear it, it is a degree of gluttony, though for quantity and quality it is in itself but ordinary.

By this you may see:

1. That it is not the same quantity which is an excess in one, which is in another. A laboring man may eat somewhat more than one that does not labor; and a strong and healthful body may eat more than the weak and sick. It must be an excess in quantity, as to that particular person at that time, which is, when to please his appetite he eats more than is profitable to his health or duty.

2. So also the frequency must be considered with the quality of the person; for one person may rationally eat a little and often, for his health; and another may luxuriously eat more often than is profitable to health. Ecclesiastes 10:16, 17, "Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, and your princes eat in the morning. Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes eat in due season, for strength and not for drunkenness."

3. And in point of costliness, the same measure is not to be set to a prince and to a ploughman; that is luxurious excess in one, which may be temperance and frugality in another. But yet, excessive cost, which, all things considered, would do more good another way, is excess in whomever.

4. And in tastiness of diet a difference must be allowed: the happier healthful man need not be so particular as the sick; and the happy ploughman need not be so particular, as state and expectation somewhat require the noble and the rich to be.

5. And for length of time, though unnecessary sitting out time at table is a sin in any, yet the happy poor man is not obliged to spend all out so much this way, as the rich may do.

6. And it is not all delight in food, or pleasing the appetite, that is a sin; but only that which is made men's end, and not referred to a higher end; even when the delight itself does not tend to health, nor alacrity in duty, nor is used to that end, but to please the flesh and tempt unto excess.