Some Contributions of Tropical Peoples in the Preservation of Food Materials

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  • Professor of Nutrition, American University of Beirut

The Occident is making rapid advances in the field of food preservation. We have been inclined however to overlook the contribution which peoples of the past in other areas have made in this field. These early discoveries, largely unconscious and possibly the result of blind experiment, should not be overlooked.

Early agricultural man was limited in his choice of food materials, but he made a number of food choices which we now realize were rather intelligent ones. While there is little evidence that instinct plays a significant role in human nutrition, it does seem that the dietary developed by agricultural man was just about as good as could be expected under the circumstances. The early accomplishments in food preservation quite probably are part of his striving toward an effective diet.

Man found it necessary for example to store food materials till the next harvest furnished a new supply.

Author Notes

Present address: Yale University Nutrition Laboratory, New Haven, Conn.