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科学美国人60秒: 原始饮食的一部分:百合根

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Part of Real Paleo Diet: It's a Tuber

原始饮食的一部分:百合根

The paleo diet is a popular high-protein diet that aims to mimic what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. But what we buy at the supermarket doesn’t quite approximate those ancient foods. Take for example, star lily roots. Heard of those?

旧石器饮食是一种流行的高蛋白饮食,旨在模仿我们的狩猎采集祖先的饮食。但是我们在超市里买的和那些古老的食物不太接近。以百合根为例。听说过这些吗?

“They taste a bit like yams.”

“它们尝起来有点像山药。”

Lyn Wadley is an archaeologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Her team recently discovered the charred remains of star lily roots in South Africa’s Border Cave—hunks of roasted root that date to 170,000 years ago.

琳恩·瓦德利是南非威特沃特斯兰德大学的考古学家。她的团队最近在南非边境的洞穴里发现了烧焦的百合根,这些洞穴里的块状烤根可以追溯到17万年前。

“There’s greater glucose availability once the root vegetables were cooked. And they knew that nearly 200,000 years ago, which I think is extraordinary. Or maybe they didn’t know the chemistry of it, but they would have realized they felt far more satisfied after eating a meal that’s cooked rather than one that is raw.”

“一旦根部蔬菜被煮熟,就会有更大的葡萄糖供应。他们在20万年前就知道了这一点,我认为这很不寻常。或许古代人类不知道其中的化学原理,但他们会意识到,吃了一顿煮熟的饭比生吃的饭更能让他们感到满足。”

It’s not easy to identify a charred chunk of ancient food, though. So Wadley’s team gathered an array of raw ancient foodstuffs and roasted and charred them in ovens and campfires. They then did visual comparisons to the ancient sample and observed them both in a scanning electron microscope, too—which revealed that the charred leftovers from that meal, 170,000 years ago, were probably chunks of star lily root.

然而,要辨认一块烧焦的古代食物并不容易。所以Wadley的团队收集了一系列原始的古代食物,用烤箱和篝火烤焦。然后,他们将其与古代样本进行了视觉对比,并在扫描电子显微镜下进行了观察。扫描电子显微镜显示,17万年前这顿饭烧焦的残羹剩饭很可能是大块儿的百合根。

Details and photos of those roots are in the journal Science.

些树根的细节和照片发表在《科学》杂志上。

Wadley says the find provides a better view of what the ancients ate. “I think the people who assume the paleo diet was based on protein simply haven’t done their homework properly.”

Wadley说,这个发现提供了古人吃什么的更好的观点。“我认为那些认为旧石器时代饮食是基于蛋白质的人根本没有做好功课。”

Part of Real Paleo Diet: It's a Tuber

The paleo diet is a popular high-protein diet that aims to mimic what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. But what we buy at the supermarket doesn’t quite approximate those ancient foods. Take for example, star lily roots. Heard of those?

“They taste a bit like yams.”

Lyn Wadley is an archaeologist at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Her team recently discovered the charred remains of star lily roots in South Africa’s Border Cave—hunks of roasted root that date to 170,000 years ago.

“There’s greater glucose availability once the root vegetables were cooked. And they knew that nearly 200,000 years ago, which I think is extraordinary. Or maybe they didn’t know the chemistry of it, but they would have realized they felt far more satisfied after eating a meal that’s cooked rather than one that is raw.”

It’s not easy to identify a charred chunk of ancient food, though. So Wadley’s team gathered an array of raw ancient foodstuffs and roasted and charred them in ovens and campfires. They then did visual comparisons to the ancient sample and observed them both in a scanning electron microscope, too—which revealed that the charred leftovers from that meal, 170,000 years ago, were probably chunks of star lily root.

Details and photos of those roots are in the journal Science.

Wadley says the find provides a better view of what the ancients ate. “I think the people who assume the paleo diet was based on protein simply haven’t done their homework properly.”


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