Was the true Mediterranean diet lard based in leiu of vegetable oils?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 28, 2010 at 1:18 AM

In the midst of researching phytosterol contents of various oils and nuts I came across this article:


"The isotopic values for these oils, with one exception, formed a tight cluster between ruminant and non-ruminant animal fats".

Anyone else have any information about how recently humans began using vegetable oils?



on November 28, 2010
at 04:34 AM

There was probably a drive to get more fat into the diet. I wonder if such plant oil oil production was more popular in areas where cheese and butter were less common and so there was a vacuum in the diet for more fat.


on November 28, 2010
at 02:11 AM

ben, it's possible this was an elite food for most of history and that most people couldn't afford it



on November 28, 2010
at 02:06 AM

I don't really know but one thing I've kong wondered is what kind of archaeological evidence there is of vegetable oil production long ago through east Asia. So often people just assume that chinese, Koreans, and japanese have been using sesame oil as a staple foe thousands of years but it's very easy getting large amount of oil from sesame seeds. More difficult than olives, which is hard in itself. I wonder when the earliest recovered larger production is.

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1 Answers


on November 28, 2010
at 01:57 AM

Olive oil is probably one of the oldest vegetable oils. According to wikipedia:

. The earliest surviving olive oil amphorae date to 3500 BC (Early Minoan times), though the production of olive is assumed to have started before 4000 BC. An alternative view retains that olives were turned into oil by 4500 BC by Canaanites in present-day Israel.[50]

But lamb and goat fat were also important. You don't get as much fat as you do from a pig, but it was considered very valuable. Where the real goodness comes in is when you mix good tallow with good olive oil. Mmmm....

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