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What a Great Book!!!
on 23 February 2016
What a great book!
About as thorough as you can get, when it comes to the details of how and why the high carb diet is so prominent.
A really interesting read, there's so much information packed in to it.
For example from, from Chapter 7...
"Homer’s “Liquid Gold”?
It is reassuring to think that olive oil, with it’s presumed four thousand years of history, must at least be safe, if not beneficial, for human health, perhaps in ways we haven’t managed to capture through scientific studies. Homer called it “liquid gold”, after all.
Or did he? Although “liquid gold” appears on lots of websites selling olive oil, the phrase doesn’t appear in any translation of Homer’s Oddysey that I could find. Indeed, the actual passage in the Oddysey says something quite different: Odysseus is given “olive oil in a flask of gold” to anoint himself with. In fact, nowhere in any of the Hellenic texts is there any mention that olive oil was consumed as part of the diet. The oil was ancient, true, but – as it turns out – not as a food; it was employed mainly as a cosmetic, for rubbing over the body during ritual activities and athletic contests or simply to enhance physical beauty among gods and mortals alike.
Did the use of olive oil as a food go back much beyond the earlier twentieth century even? Was it the “dominant item of the diet”, going back “at least four thousand years” as Keys claimed? Amazingly, it seems not. “Less than 100 years ago, ordinary people in many parts of Greece ate far less oil than today”, wrote a French historian in 1993. Greek archaeologist Yannis Hamilakis, who has researched the subject extensively, looked at Crete in particular and found that the oil was insignificant as a substance crop before modern times. The amount of olive oil available to the average medieval Cretan peasant for consumption, was in fact, “very low”, and its production expanded only in the mid-seventeenth century, when encouraged by Venetian rulers seeking to respond to a growing industrial demand for the oil – mainly making soap. As Hamilakis concludes, the historical record shows that “despite conventional wisdom, there is almost no evidence which could indicate with certainty” that olive oil was made for “culinary use” in Greece until the nineteenth century. In Spain, too, olive oil did not appear to be consumed in substantial amounts until the 1880’s. And it was apparently the same story in southern Italy, where one scholar found it “doubtful” that olive oil “made a contribution to the diet for over 40 centuries”. An analysis of tree cultivation in southern Italy indicates that olive oil “must have been a scarce commodity until at least the 16th century and… its principal use in medieval times was in religious rituals”. Indeed in historical accounts going back to antiquity, the fat more commonly used in cooking in the Mediterranean, among peasants and the elite alike, was lard.
So it seems that olive oil is actually a relatively recent addition to the Mediterranean diet and not an ancient foodstuff, despite the best efforts by interested parties to add Homer to the marketing team."
I did a quick search on google for "liquid gold olive oil" and got 847,000 results!!!