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Old 03-20-2018, 03:00 PM
Velocity Velocity is offline
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If ancient people ate modern food

The time travel discussions often mention that modern people can't stomach ancient food, but what if a hypothetical time traveler from Ancient Rome or the Middle Ages came to modern society and were treated to things like a cheeseburger, Pepsi, pizza or the like? How would their digestive system react to it? It would no doubt be cleaner germ-wise or sanitation-wise than food from ancient times, but would it be too fatty, etc.?
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:08 PM
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The time travel discussions often mention that modern people can't stomach ancient food, but what if a hypothetical time traveler from Ancient Rome or the Middle Ages came to modern society and were treated to things like a cheeseburger, Pepsi, pizza or the like? How would their digestive system react to it? It would no doubt be cleaner germ-wise or sanitation-wise than food from ancient times, but would it be too fatty, etc.?
Well, it depends on what they were used to. A change from a mostly vegetarian diet to one rich in meat can cause digestive issues for a bit. And yes, changing from a diet nearly 100% grain to one rich in fat could cause digestive issues also- but in bother cases they'd get over in in a week or so.


Also , not every ancient culture used dairy products, so that may be a issue. Lactose intolerance is harder to get over.


I dont know why we can't stomach ancient food- I have eaten 100%authentic roman and medieval feasts/meals many times, with no issues. Some things tasted a bit odd to my modern palate, sure.
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:10 PM
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I dont know why we can't stomach ancient food- I have eaten 100%authentic roman and medieval feasts/meals many times, with no issues. Some things tasted a bit odd to my modern palate, sure.
From what I read, it was a germ and sanitation issue, not a grain or nutrition issue. Apparently people back then could stomach considerably germier or spoiled or gone-bad stuff than we can.
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:15 PM
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From what I read, it was a germ and sanitation issue, not a grain or nutrition issue. Apparently people back then could stomach considerably germier or spoiled or gone-bad stuff than we can.
Yeah, but they also had a life expectancy of about 35 years. So there's that. I can't imagine why we couldn't eat what they did since we've continued to evolve from them.
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Old 03-20-2018, 03:27 PM
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From what I read, it was a germ and sanitation issue, not a grain or nutrition issue. Apparently people back then could stomach considerably germier or spoiled or gone-bad stuff than we can.
True, but by no means did everyone eat that way.
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Old 03-20-2018, 04:48 PM
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I have eaten 100%authentic roman and medieval feasts/meals many times, with no issues. Some things tasted a bit odd to my modern palate, sure.
How do you know that they're authentic? I thought that so many recipes from ancient and medieval times have been lost, even for what are thought to be very common things (like garum). And those recipes that are extant are never as detailed (with respect to portion sizes, cooking times and temperatures, etc.) as their modern counterparts. Besides this, selective breeding has come a long way in the past few hundred years. Animals are much meatier and fatter. Fruits and vegetables are much larger, and possibly sweeter, but may have lost the potency and variety of other flavours due to the focus on breeds that look good and preserve well in transport.
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Old 03-20-2018, 04:51 PM
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It's not the short term stuff, but the long-term. When I read the thread title, I instantly thought of the scene in the movie Never Cry Wolf where the Inuit smiles at Tyler with his almost toothless mouth. "That's what happens when a meat-eater becomes a sugar-eater," he says. Refined sugar was extremely rare in ancient Rome, and actually used as a medicine. Its introduction a millennium and a half later into the British diet was said to be the cause of the English having "black teeth".
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Old 03-20-2018, 04:58 PM
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How do you know that they're authentic? I thought that so many recipes from ancient and medieval times have been lost, even for what are thought to be very common things (like garum). And those recipes that are extant are never as detailed (with respect to portion sizes, cooking times and temperatures, etc.) as their modern counterparts. Besides this, selective breeding has come a long way in the past few hundred years. Animals are much meatier and fatter. Fruits and vegetables are much larger, and possibly sweeter, but may have lost the potency and variety of other flavours due to the focus on breeds that look good and preserve well in transport.

Well, because they were researched, in some cases. with people who had PhDs in the issue?

We do have a recipe for garum, and in fact you can buy it today on Amazon.

Oddly it is somewhat similar to Worcheshire sauce.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeands...ici-italy-fish
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:03 PM
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From what I read, it was a germ and sanitation issue, not a grain or nutrition issue. Apparently people back then could stomach considerably germier or spoiled or gone-bad stuff than we can.
There are millions of modern people living in third world conditions who get by eating very germy expired food today as well, probably worse than what many ancients ate. You can watch youtube videos of families scavenging land fills for their daily calories. A fair number of them probably have related health issues, but going by the shear number of humans who pull it off it doesn't look like something we are biologically no longer capable of.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:03 PM
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It's not the short term stuff, but the long-term. When I read the thread title, I instantly thought of the scene in the movie Never Cry Wolf where the Inuit smiles at Tyler with his almost toothless mouth. "That's what happens when a meat-eater becomes a sugar-eater," he says. Refined sugar was extremely rare in ancient Rome, and actually used as a medicine. Its introduction a millennium and a half later into the British diet was said to be the cause of the English having "black teeth".

Yep, that did cause a problem. Of course today we can hold that off by teaching proper tooth care.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:08 PM
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Besides this, selective breeding has come a long way in the past few hundred years. Animals are much meatier and fatter. Fruits and vegetables are much larger, and possibly sweeter, but may have lost the potency and variety of other flavours due to the focus on breeds that look good and preserve well in transport.
All those would make minor flavour changes, not the ability of my body to accept it.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:22 PM
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Yeah, but they also had a life expectancy of about 35 years.
Wrong wrong wrong! The AVERAGE life expectancy was lower because of the much higher infant mortality rate. If you lived past infancy you were expected to live into older age much like we do now.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:33 PM
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Health issues aside, they'd probably be appalled at how sweet everything is... we put sugar in damn near everything.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:42 PM
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Wrong wrong wrong! The AVERAGE life expectancy was lower because of the much higher infant mortality rate. If you lived past infancy you were expected to live into older age much like we do now.
Not so much. Yes, that is a large part of it, but living into their 80s', common today, was rather rare.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:49 PM
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If you go to Mexico City today and eat the food there, you'll probably get sick because your body is not used to the microbes there.

It's not just that Mexico is poorer and dirtier. Go to France and you'll probably get sick too, because things are different there. It's a well known travel phenomenon. The reverse is also true, take someone from a farm in Cambodia and plop them down in America and they'll get Montezuma's Revenge too.

So it will take a while to get used to the new diet, to get your intestinal flora re-balanced. And once that happens, you'll be fine, or just as fine as anyone from one country who moves somewhere completely different.
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Old 03-20-2018, 06:36 PM
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Health issues aside, they'd probably be appalled at how sweet everything is... we put sugar in damn near everything.
Probably not appalled. I think the reason sugar is in everything is because we find it the exact opposite of appalling
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Old 03-21-2018, 05:03 AM
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Probably not appalled. I think the reason sugar is in everything is because we find it the exact opposite of appalling
I'm not so sure. Even today there are cultures where sweet foods are not as prevalent. Most Europeans and North Americans are surprised at the lack of sweetness of Japanese desserts and treats—they're often savoury, and even when sweet, tend to have a lot less sugar than Western desserts and snacks. I imagine that Japanese people encountering Western treats for the first time might indeed be "appalled" at how sweet they are.
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Old 03-21-2018, 07:18 AM
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At the time of the Tudors in England, sugar was a luxury, so only wealthy people used it. Even later, skeletons of Civil War soldiers showed many health problems, but well-preserved teeth.

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Sugar was used for anything from dressing vegetables and preserving fruit to the concoction of medical remedies. But it was still an expensive ingredient, and like spices, it was mainly eaten by the rich. As a result, the wealthier you were, the more rotten your teeth were likely to be.

https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/...hey-were-rich/
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:24 PM
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At the time of the Tudors in England, sugar was a luxury, so only wealthy people used it. Even later, skeletons of Civil War soldiers showed many health problems, but well-preserved teeth.

But that forgets the issue with stone ground grain, which wore down the teeth of those who ate a lot of it.
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:33 PM
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How do you know that they're authentic? I thought that so many recipes from ancient and medieval times have been lost,
Yeah, we medieval cooks tend not to cook food we don't have recipes for
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even for what are thought to be very common things (like garum).
We have both recipes for garum (in e.g. the Geoponica,) as well as excavation details for garum factories.
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And those recipes that are extant are never as detailed (with respect to portion sizes, cooking times and temperatures, etc.) as their modern counterparts.
They can be quite comprehensive.
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Besides this, selective breeding has come a long way in the past few hundred years. Animals are much meatier and fatter. Fruits and vegetables are much larger, and possibly sweeter, but may have lost the potency and variety of other flavours due to the focus on breeds that look good and preserve well in transport.
Heirloom varieties of veg like carrots and marrows are easy enough to come by, and with a lot of the others, they're not the handful of veg&fruit we've spent so much time changing (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, apples etc)- stuff like parsnips, turnips, salad greens (not iceberg lettuce) are not changed all that much, I'm guessing.

I agree the animals we get are likely not exactly as lean (although I cook a lot of game), but IMO, not enough to make a difference, especially with the way a lot of medieval and Roman food is cooked (highly seasoned stews are common in both cuicines)
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:38 PM
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If you go to Mexico City today and eat the food there, you'll probably get sick because your body is not used to the microbes there.

It's not just that Mexico is poorer and dirtier. Go to France and you'll probably get sick too, because things are different there. It's a well known travel phenomenon.
Wait a minute. Are you saying that an American traveling to France has a > 50% chance of getting sick by eating the food? I'd have to see a cite for that. If I'm interpreting "probably" too literally, OK. But to me, "probably" means more like than not. I'd be surprised if even 10% of Americans got sick from eating the food in France. And vice versa.
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Old 03-21-2018, 05:57 PM
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I don't see any reason a time traveler would have a problem with ancient food. They might have a problem with ancient food hygiene but the food itself would be bland but perfectly edible.

An ancient time traveler might have a problem with richness of the food (amount of meat, etc), but they would get over it I am sure (just like travelers to countries with different diets do). Though there are likely bacteria that have evolved in recent centuries they wouldn't have immunity to however.

An exception is if you went back far enough traveler hadn't developed lactose tolerance (a few thousand years ago)
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Old 03-21-2018, 06:04 PM
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.....The reverse is also true, take someone from a farm in Cambodia and plop them down in America and they'll get Montezuma's Revenge too....
This is certainly not universal. With my family from India, it’s generally only in one direction.
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Old 03-22-2018, 06:48 AM
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Having a sandwich for lunch has become really boring since ergot isn't a likely component of bread any more.

Also, longer term, many diets, such as those of indigenous Australians had so much grit that a typical dentition had almost no caries but the teeth were significantly planed down. Replace what they were eating over a life-time with more processed, softer and mooshier versions of their diet and you'll see the teeth being preserved without abrasion, and probably many more cavities. And because the teeeth are not being abraded, dental problems from tooth overcrowding would be an issue for them as well.
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:23 AM
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It all depends on which "ancient people". you're talking about. Some cultures had fresh grains and dairy available, and I think they ate fairly well even by modern standards. On the other end of the spectrum were the peasants of medieval Europe. Many of them ate "food" that was barely above the level of crap. In fact, with rat droppings and other pests running rampant, they probably did consume crap. The dark course bread many of them ate was often infested with an ergot mold that sometimes gave them a condition known as, "St. Anthony's Fire". Eating McDonald's three times a day would be heaven compared to that.
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:28 AM
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Modern versions of ancient recipes are, of course, not going to be 100% authentic. Even heirloom produce is not going to be the same as the stuff they were growing 2000 or 1200 years ago. Stuff that involves fermentation, like garum or even bread, won't taste quite the same because the Romans were almost certainly using different strains of yeast than what we currently have.

But we're talking about subtle changes in flavor, not differences that would somehow cause food to be inedible or unhealthy.
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:43 AM
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My first thought at seeing the title was Caesar eating at Little Caesar's.


Let's say a time traveling ancient wound up in 21st century US. Wouldn't modern microbes be a far bigger concern than the food? Sure, well done meat should take care of any pathogens, but wouldn't raw foods contain germs that the ancients had no antibodies for?
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:56 AM
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.Heirloom varieties of veg like carrots and marrows are easy enough to come by, and with a lot of the others, they're not the handful of veg&fruit we've spent so much time changing (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, apples etc)- stuff like parsnips, turnips, salad greens (not iceberg lettuce) are not changed all that much, I'm guessing.
I agree that the basic edibility of cultivated plants is unlikely to have significantly changed, but the heirloom vegetables currently available don't go nearly back to medieval times, let alone Roman. I'm unaware of any extant plant cultivars dating from before the 1600s, and frankly some of them are pretty shaky records, with a very vague description*.

The other reason they're very hard to trace as plant names were decidedly flexible until recent times. Take marrows; the plant known as a 'marrow' now is from an American genus, it's totally replaced the previous plant known as a marrow in mass cultivation, which was from a African genus. I concede you may have the previous 'marrow' available locally, but I definitely don't in the UK.

I find it pretty surprising how much the usage has changed; peas used to be grown exclusively for drying, and were all bred for high starch content, with no attempt at breeding for sweetness and eating fresh. The English especially, and Europe in general went through a very long phase of boiling all vegetable matter, considering that to be better for the digestion. Lots of stuff, including basically all salad crops, disappeared from cultivation at that point, and was more-or-less recreated or replaced later.

*The Romans regularly used the same name for parsnips and carrots; that's how vague it can get.
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:07 AM
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The time travel discussions often mention that modern people can't stomach ancient food, but what if a hypothetical time traveler from Ancient Rome or the Middle Ages came to modern society and were treated to things like a cheeseburger, Pepsi, pizza or the like? How would their digestive system react to it? It would no doubt be cleaner germ-wise or sanitation-wise than food from ancient times, but would it be too fatty, etc.?
Fat was a cherished ingredient before pre-modern times, largely because for most of human history getting enough calories to sustain life was not a certainty.

I doubt such travelers would have a significant problem with modern food once they got used to the taste, which would be different.

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From what I read, it was a germ and sanitation issue, not a grain or nutrition issue. Apparently people back then could stomach considerably germier or spoiled or gone-bad stuff than we can.
Well, those that survived infancy and toddlerhood could... a lot of infants died of disease, the survivors were those with strong enough systems to deal with was sent their way.

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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
If you go to Mexico City today and eat the food there, you'll probably get sick because your body is not used to the microbes there.

It's not just that Mexico is poorer and dirtier. Go to France and you'll probably get sick too, because things are different there. It's a well known travel phenomenon. The reverse is also true, take someone from a farm in Cambodia and plop them down in America and they'll get Montezuma's Revenge too.
I thought it had more to do with the water than the food. Also, my trip to Europe did not result in traveler's tummy. Granted, that's just an anecdote, but it's certainly not a certainty. For awhile, Milwaukee has cryptosporidium in its water supply, apparently there were some upset tummies over that back then.

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Let's say a time traveling ancient wound up in 21st century US. Wouldn't modern microbes be a far bigger concern than the food? Sure, well done meat should take care of any pathogens, but wouldn't raw foods contain germs that the ancients had no antibodies for?
I suspect the broad categories of food pathogens were the same - salmonella, listeria, etc. They might well have sufficient immunities that the modern versions of those wouldn't be much problem. Certainly, they had immunities built up to diseases seldom encountered much anymore in the industrial world. We don't have superior resistance to modern E. coli, we are better at keeping the illness-inducing varieties out of most of the food supply.
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:07 AM
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While we're at it, it's not so much that animals have a greater tolerance for spoiled food, or that primitive or third-world humans have a greater tolerance for bad food than modern first-world humans. Mostly, it's just a matter of what consequences we consider acceptable. A species can easily survive bad food killing off 1% or even 10% of its members, but modern humans will freak out about anything that kills off 10% or even 1% of us.
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:24 AM
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Wait a minute. Are you saying that an American traveling to France has a > 50% chance of getting sick by eating the food? I'd have to see a cite for that. If I'm interpreting "probably" too literally, OK. But to me, "probably" means more like than not. I'd be surprised if even 10% of Americans got sick from eating the food in France. And vice versa.
Yeah, I, too, find that rather unlikely. Maybe I have a stronger gut and better intestinal flora than most, but I've only once had a minor case of the runs in all my travels, and that was in India (and that was about a week into the journey, and I partook of the street food, only avoiding things that may have had water on them or weren't fully cooked.) My various traveling companions have similarly been fine. In Western Europe, I can't imagine what kind of "bugs" an American diet needs to acclimate to.
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:30 AM
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Stuff that involves fermentation, like garum or even bread, won't taste quite the same because the Romans were almost certainly using different strains of yeast than what we currently have.
Garum wasn't fermented by yeast, it's not fermented at all, but more a breakdown by the fishes' own digestive enzymes - a form of autolysis.
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:58 AM
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Huh, when I hear garum I immediately think "fermented fish sauce."
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:09 AM
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Yeah, I, too, find that rather unlikely. Maybe I have a stronger gut and better intestinal flora than most, but I've only once had a minor case of the runs in all my travels, and that was in India (and that was about a week into the journey, and I partook of the street food, only avoiding things that may have had water on them or weren't fully cooked.) My various traveling companions have similarly been fine. In Western Europe, I can't imagine what kind of "bugs" an American diet needs to acclimate to.
The different microorganisms in developed countries with better hygiene are likely to cause less severe health problems than you get in places where pathogens are more prevalent, but problems can still occur.

More anecdata: I got sick at some point each of the first few times I was living in India for an extended period, but over the past few years haven't had any health issues visiting India. But temporarily moving to the Netherlands and to Germany caused in both cases some short-term and more minor digestive issues. I've also heard of similar problems for everyone I've known who relocated from a distant country to the US.

So you certainly can be "getting sick" from adjusting to the unfamiliar microorganisms in clean food in Western Europe. You may just not be getting sick enough to notice it unless you spend a significant chunk of time there.
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:09 PM
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Yeah, I, too, find that rather unlikely. Maybe I have a stronger gut and better intestinal flora than most, but I've only once had a minor case of the runs in all my travels, and that was in India (and that was about a week into the journey, and I partook of the street food, only avoiding things that may have had water on them or weren't fully cooked.) My various traveling companions have similarly been fine. In Western Europe, I can't imagine what kind of "bugs" an American diet needs to acclimate to.
This. If the issue is just "different" microbes in various countries, then we should expect illness whenever we transition between any two countries. I visited western Europe in the '90s, no problems. I've been to Japan several times now, no issues. OTOH, I once went to east Africa and was fine for the entire trip - until the night before leaving for home, when I inexplicably drank tap water. Starting the next morning, I endured severe digestive problems for several days.
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:38 PM
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This. If the issue is just "different" microbes in various countries, then we should expect illness whenever we transition between any two countries. I visited western Europe in the '90s, no problems. I've been to Japan several times now, no issues. OTOH, I once went to east Africa and was fine for the entire trip - until the night before leaving for home, when I inexplicably drank tap water. Starting the next morning, I endured severe digestive problems for several days.
You didn't have to go that far to get the trots. South of the (US) border would have been far enough.
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Old 03-22-2018, 02:23 PM
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You didn't have to go that far to get the trots. South of the (US) border would have been far enough.
See, never had an issue in Mexico. Stayed in Merida for a week at an Air B and B type of place; ate the street food; bought the local fish and meat and cooked it up myself on the barbecue. No issues for either me or my wife. (Of course, we did follow the advise of avoiding anything that may have been washed in the local water and not cooked. That sort of stuff. Water seems to be the common culprit.)

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Old 03-22-2018, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Garum wasn't fermented by yeast, it's not fermented at all, but more a breakdown by the fishes' own digestive enzymes - a form of autolysis.
Garum was a fermented fish sauce used as a condiment in the cuisines of ancient Greece, Rome, and later Byzantium.
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
This. If the issue is just "different" microbes in various countries, then we should expect illness whenever we transition between any two countries. I visited western Europe in the '90s, no problems. I've been to Japan several times now, no issues. OTOH, I once went to east Africa and was fine for the entire trip - until the night before leaving for home, when I inexplicably drank tap water. Starting the next morning, I endured severe digestive problems for several days.
I have gotten sick several times when going to N America and W Europe. Worst runs I ever had was after a meal I a very upscale restaurant in NYC.

There are several things at play. First different microbes are likely to cause sickness. It’s not a certainty as you seen to be thinking, IIRC about 50% of travelers get sick. The difference in local pathogens are the reason why people fall sick in different cities in their own countries. Secondly, there seems to be a case of attribution here. If you feel queasy in N America or Europe you would attribute it to too much alcohol or the additional helping. In Africa, to having the “tap water”. Frankly unless you never bathed while there, or used “bottled” water, for that,,very unlikely you did not ingest their tap water before that last night.
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:54 AM
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Repeating the word "fermented" is not going to make it accurate. Fermentation, sensu stricto, is the action of microorganisms (even Wiki agrees)- bacteria and yeast. What's going on in the production of garum is a different process:
Quote:
Decomposition occurs, not by bacterial or microbial action, but by the active proteolytic enzymes (proteases) that naturally occur in the digestive tract of the fish, which likely is why the viscera were included. Stimulated by exposure to the sun, enzyme hydrolysis (autolysis) dissolves the protein, a process hastened by the fish being packed in salt, which draws water out of the tissue by osmosis, producing a briny pickle that, in turn, inhibits the oxidation and spoilage which begin as soon as the fish is caught.
None of the recipes we have for garum mention adding anything extraneous to the mix, just the fish (or even - just the fish guts) and salt. Contrast that with Japanese fish sauce, where koji (Aspergillus sp.)is sometimes deliberately introduced. In fact, for garum, the freshest (hence least contaminated) fish was desirable:
Quote:
In the freshest garum (Martial's "mackerel still breathing its last," XIII.102), whatever bacteria might be introduced occurs between catching and processing the fish. For this reason, most salting facilities were located very near the sea.

Last edited by MrDibble; 03-23-2018 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 03-23-2018, 02:11 AM
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Too late to add this:

Seriously, you think I haven't researched garum? I tracked down and ordered the closest modern version, FFS. I take period cooking very seriously. Your last-minute attempted Wiki gotcha is not a counter to years of reading about the stuff. Get back to me when you've made roasted garum-and-cumin honeyed peaches yourself.
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Old 03-23-2018, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
Seriously, you think I haven't researched garum? I tracked down and ordered the closest modern version, FFS. I take period cooking very seriously. Your last-minute attempted Wiki gotcha is not a counter to years of reading about the stuff. Get back to me when you've made roasted garum-and-cumin honeyed peaches yourself.

NatGeo calls it fermented
. NPR calls it fermented. A paper described in Science Direct calls it fermented. The Guardian calls it fermented. Mother Jones calls it fermented. The Newfoundland Independent calls it fermented. No Tech Magazine calls it fermented. The book Garum and Salsamenta: Producation and Commerce in Materia Medica apparently calls it fermented. A Field Guide to Fermentation apparently calls it fermented. The ball is on the other foot, checkmate.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:46 AM
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I apologise, I have been a bit imprecise. Making garum is fermentation in the sense of "Any energy-releasing metabolic process that takes place only under anaerobic conditions ", I'll concede that. It is not, however, any of :
  • a preservation method for food via microorganisms.
  • a process that produces alcoholic beverages or acidic dairy products
  • a large-scale microbial process occurring with or without air.
and there is, contrary to what the poster I originally replied to was suggesting, no yeast in it. So sure, it's "fermented fish", because that word has lots of meanings. But the production doesn't involve any microbes. When I say "it's not fermented, it's autolysed", that's a perfectly accurate way to describe the distinction. And it's that distinction I want to make sure is clear. I refuse to resign. One of your references talks about making "beef garum", FFS.

But boy, you sure google good, well done, you!
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:56 AM
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But boy, you sure google good, well done, you!
Thanks. The last time I even thought about garum before reading this thread was--well, it was one day before it was mentioned in this thread.
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:05 AM
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Also, you might enjoy a manga series about food/drink fermentation. It ran to 13 volumes! (Archive.org link.)
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Old 03-23-2018, 08:12 AM
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Also, you might enjoy a manga series about food/drink fermentation. It ran to 13 volumes! (Archive.org link.)
I'm familiar with it. It came up on some old thread about drinking fermented milk, IIRC.
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:58 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is offline
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post

None of the recipes we have for garum mention adding anything extraneous to the mix, just the fish (or even - just the fish guts) and salt.
But that's absolutely typical for traditional fermented foods. Sauerkraut is just cabbage and salt. Fermented pickles are just cucumbers in salted water. (Yes, there are microbes on the produce, in the air, all that kind of stuff, but nothing "extraneous" is added.)

That said, I see the distinction you're making describing it as autolysis and not microbial or bacterial decomposition. That is a difference. But that seems to be referred to as "fermentation" or garum as a "fermented fish sauce" everywhere I could find, too.

Last edited by pulykamell; 03-23-2018 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 03-23-2018, 12:55 PM
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But that's absolutely typical for traditional fermented foods. Sauerkraut is just cabbage and salt. Fermented pickles are just cucumbers in salted water. (Yes, there are microbes on the produce, in the air, all that kind of stuff, but nothing "extraneous" is added.)
True enough, but once again, the original context there was talking about microbes being added.
Quote:
That said, I see the distinction you're making describing it as autolysis and not microbial or bacterial decomposition. That is a difference. But that seems to be referred to as "fermentation" or garum as a "fermented fish sauce" everywhere I could find, too.
I'm happy to acknowledge that that's the common usage. But you can see how not drawing the distinction would lead to the kind of misapprehension Johnny Bravo had.
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Old 03-23-2018, 01:21 PM
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Ah, yes. I didn't go far back enough in the thread to see the "using different strains of yeast" part.
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Old 03-23-2018, 03:10 PM
Bert Nobbins Bert Nobbins is offline
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Originally Posted by Lemur866 View Post
. Go to France and you'll probably get sick too, because things are different there.
Really not.

If I may add a data point, I have travelled all round Europe and neither I nor my companions have ever had food trouble.

Likewise in the USA and much of Africa. The exception is Egypt, where I once absently-minded ate a mouthful of salad (I had been warned not to) and in less than an hour I was doing the Toilet Two-step.
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