Prehistoric Cereal Discovered

November 16, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. exist / ɪgˈzɪst / (v.) – to be present
Example: Cooking tools already existed a long time ago.

2. ancient / ˈeɪn ʃənt / (adj.) – pertaining to something that dates from the past
Example: The pots in my grandfather’s house are ancient.

3. preserve / prɪˈzɜrv /  (v.) – to maintain the freshness of food
Example: Early people knew how to preserve food.

4. nomadic / noʊˈmæd ɪk / (adj.) – describing people who move to different places frequently
ExampleNomadic people move frequently in search of food.

5. fuel / ˈfyu əl / (v.) – to give strength to someone or something
Example: The customers’ negative feedback fueled the company’s desire to improve its services.


Read the text below.
A research revealed that the diet of early humans consisted of more than just wild animals' meat and berries.

A recent discovery found that early humans consumed oats and cereals. While it has been thought that baked cereal could not have existed during the Paleolithic [pey-lee-uh-LITH-ik] period, researchers from the University of Florence claim that it had been consumed during the said period. Upon investigation of grains found on ancient stone grinding tools, researchers discovered that it dated back to around 32,000 years ago, or around 9,000 years before humans learned farming.

Findings revealed that early humans followed a process to bake the cereal. First, the grains were heated over fire, then left to dry out. This served a dual purpose—it preserved the grains and made them easier to grind into flour. The flour was then used to bake or boil simple flatbreads. This process implied that Paleolithic people already had knowledge about food preparation.

While preparing the grains involved a long process, they were found to be of value to the nomadic people during that time. The grain flour was nutritious and easy-to-carry.

While facts about early humans' diet are still being examined, knowledge about it has been used to develop a low-carb diet called Paleo [PEYL-lee-oh]. Paleo diet involves eating like Paleolithic humans. Dairy, sugar, grains, pulses like peas and beans, and processed food should be avoided. Those on the Paleo diet are expected to consume only organic and low-carb food such as grass-fed meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds. The recent discovery about Paleolithic cereal has only fueled critics of the Paleo diet to question its effectiveness.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Did your thoughts about the early humans change after reading this article? Why or why not?
·         Do you think that the early humans were a lot healthier than us? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you think the world is better in the past than it is now?
·         If you were living with the early humans, what kind of food would you want to eat all the time? Why?

November 16, 2015