in Our Daily Bread, Podcasts

Boil in the Bag Our Daily Bread 02

When did people start to eat wheat? The date keeps getting pushed back, and is now around 35,000 to 45,000 years ago. That is long before the dawn of intentional agriculture. How do we know? Because a man who died in a cave hadn’t cleaned his teeth, and stuck in the tartar were grains of boiled starch. Which raises another set of problems that seem to have been solved by wilderness survival experts.


  • Chew


  • Chris Aldrich


  • Tonia Moxley
  • Jeremy Cherfas
  • Matthew Arthur
  • Kai Sonder



  1. Boy Scouts in the USA “boil” eggs in the shell in a paper cup full of water set next to a fire, and it works. This leads me to believe the Neanderthals could have used bark vessels (like birchbark vessels made by American Indians) or even the hollowed out skulls of prey animals to cook in water.

  2. Fascinating. Is it not possible that this Neanderthal man could have used an animal skin as a bag suspended above the heat? Animal skins would have decomposed and therefore would not leave behind the evidence archaeologists.

    • Entirely possible. Indeed, John Speth thinks that is probably what they did. But there just wasn’t time to go into all the details. There’s a long episode with him here.


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