The Present Status
Thoughts of food hardly entered the heads of either those who expected an end to the world or those who believed in a benevolent existence to come in the passing over into the second millennium. Food did concern people at the passing over into the third millennium: Stockpiling resulted from fear of the chaos promised by some. Trying to learn what the dietary habits of different people were through the second millennium and to compare them on a time basis are confounded by ethnic, cultural, social, and economic factors. A food service industry flourished in China earlier than in Europe. In the cities there was an abundance of restaurants. Most of the peoples in the world have lived marginally. They primarily ate cereals, root crops, and other starchy foods supplemented by meat or fish. Political events and the voyages of exploration provided the impetus for new foods and new crops.