Toasting a big week for ancient gastronomy

Blue cheese, beer and wine – it’s the hipster’s smorgasbord, but it turns out humans have been chowing down on these delicacies for a very long time. New research, published today in Current Biology, shows that preserved human poo – otherwise known as coprolites – in an Iron Age salt mine in Hallstatt, Austria contained … Continue reading Toasting a big week for ancient gastronomy

Mixed spice

The idea that cooks in hot countries adopted spices to help prevent food poisoning in sweltering conditions may sound logical, but new Australian research suggests spicier cuisines do not lead to healthier citizens. The results may come as a blow for proponents of “Darwinian gastronomy”, who have theorised that a taste for spice developed in … Continue reading Mixed spice

Durophagy was in full swing half a billion years ago

By Russell Dean Christopher Bicknell, James D. Holmes and John Paterson from the University of New England Shell-crushing predation was already in full swing half a billion years ago, as our new research published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B reveals. A hyena devouring an antelope carcass, a bonnethead shark feasting on hard-shelled … Continue reading Durophagy was in full swing half a billion years ago

Popcorn’s not the real problem here

What you eat at the movies may be less of an issue than what you watch others eat. A new study reveals that nearly three-quarters of the most influential US movies over the past quarter of a century would be unhealthy enough to fail legal nutrition advertising standards in the UK for food, and 90% … Continue reading Popcorn’s not the real problem here

Maybe we’re hardwired for calorific foods

High-calorie foods were vital for providing energy to our hunter-gatherer ancestors, potentially even fuelling modern human brain development. Although the world was vastly different then, a new study published in the journal Science Advances demonstrates how an inherent survival-driven preference for these foods may still be hardwired into our brains. In an eloquently designed experiment, … Continue reading Maybe we’re hardwired for calorific foods

More healthy reasons to eat Brussels sprouts

The once maligned Brussels sprouts have been making a bit of a comeback in recent years with fancy recipes to tempt even the staunchest haters. Now there could be more reason to embrace these mini greens and their cruciferous cousins. An observational study with nearly 700 older women, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, … Continue reading More healthy reasons to eat Brussels sprouts

Dietary guidelines under fire

While governments have agreed to global health and environmental targets, most dietary guidelines are lagging behind, according to research published in the journal The BMJ. The study found that 98% of dietary guidelines from 85 nations are incompatible with at least one of the international goals to tackle non-communicable diseases and climate change, thwarting commitments … Continue reading Dietary guidelines under fire

Yet more evidence these are good for you

You just can’t ignore the fact that fruit, vegetables and grains are good for you. The latest reminder comes from two studies in the same edition of the British Medical Journal showing that even a modest increase in consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In the first study, a … Continue reading Yet more evidence these are good for you

Why some people find it easier to lose weight

Ever wondered why some people can eat to their heart’s content while others agonise over every calorie and still struggle to shed those stubborn kilos? A study published in the journal Nature Food might offer some consolation for the battlers. It adds to mounting evidence that people have uniquely individual responses to diets, showing some … Continue reading Why some people find it easier to lose weight

Why we should be eating microalgae

As the climate warms, the land we use for growing energy-intensive crops such as wheat and corn is becoming less productive. We need to find ways to feed the earth’s growing population that isn’t so burdensome on the environment. One potential solution is to cultivate microalgae – microscopic aquatic organisms that are packed with nutrients. Microalgae … Continue reading Why we should be eating microalgae

Neanderthals ate brain food from the sea

Neanderthals were quite the foodies, it seems, as their diets included not only hunted animals and plant foods, but also a cornucopia of food from the ocean, scientists have discovered. This is significant because a prominent theory describing the origins of Homo sapiens out of Africa says seafood rich in omega-3 fats – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in particular – … Continue reading Neanderthals ate brain food from the sea