an introduction to economic history

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: Food elements Balanced Herbi- man" bering, and oil pumping, to say nothing of the humbler activities of nut gathering and berry picking. A realization of such survivals adds interest to the observation of economic activities. Some are primeval, some just old, others very late discoveries. 7. The Food Of Collectors. To man in all ages the getting of food is a prime consideration, but to early man it constituted a large part of his existence. Accordingly, we may weigh early civilization to a greater extent than our present civilization by its success or failure in the matter of food. There are at least five different food elements used by man. Protein is the indispensable tissue builder, obtained from both plants and flesh. Fats and carbohydrates (starch, sugar, and honey) are both supplementary foods; whereas the fats are found in both flesh and vegetables, the carbohydrates are almost wholly confined to plants. Minerals, such as common salt, phosphates, and sulphates, are necessary for the formation and upkeep of bones and protective tissue. And vitamines, the nature of which is as yet unknown, are indispensable for good health, for preventing debilitating diseases and organic weakness which leave the body a prey to the first epidemic. To-day, of course, our dietetic system is based upon the use of both plant and animal food combined in many ways. The omnivorous collector, who ate both plants and animals, would also have every opportunity of obtaining a balanced diet, provided his selection was sufficiently wide. The very fact that in this stage man ate indiscriminatingly Ihe things nearest to hand and most easily obtained, tended to induce variety of selection. The herbivorous man is rather hard to find. The seed eaters, root eaters, and lotus eaters of Strab...
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