Why We Eat What We Eat
The quest for food has shaped the development of our society. In his search for sustenance, man has influenced population growth and urban expansion, has dictated economic and political theory, and has inspired wars. Food and the science of food touches our lives in numerous ways. Many religions follow strict dietary laws. Some of the earliest observations in the world of chemistry came from the preparation and cooking of food. Food has influenced technology, too. The water wheel, developed for the milling of grain, became a primary tool during the Industrial Revolution. Even class distinctions in some societies are determined by what foods are put on the table.
In the prehistoric world, man was a successful predator, and was able to cook, to cultivate plants, and to tame animals. By 10,000-12,000 years ago, the climate was mellowing on earth, with glaciers retreating ? which provided excellent conditions for fast-growing plants to take hold. Settlements began to appear around the crops, so that humans would be ready and available for harvest. The grain that was grown attracted herbivorous animals, and sheep and goats became domesticated. It followed, then, that milk became a part of the human diet.