From the history of meat and meat food


From the history of meat and meat food



Meat as food has always been known to mankind, in all eras of its development, and often served as the basis for its survival in ancient times. The 'energy reserve' that protein-rich meat foods provided to people elevated meat to the rank of one of the most widespread and revered products in the world. Descriptions of feasts preserved in ancient literature by Homer, Plato, Xenophon and many other ancient authors mention very diverse types of meat dishes. Thus, at Athenian feasts they served meat from domestic and wild animals, including hare and blackbirds as delicacies; sausages were made from meat, grains and spices; the salted and smoked meat resembled ham. The Romans' favorite meat dishes were pork, lamb, beef, and donkey; meat of wild animals, especially wild boar; giblet sausages and sausages; poultry and game.

Preparations for the imperial feast
Painting by Frans Snyders (1579 - 1657) 'Kitchen'

According to Herodotus, 'heating with stones' was common among the Scythians. It consisted of throwing hot stones into a pit filled with water until the water boiled. After that, meat was cooked in it. The Scythians often baked meat in ashes.

Before the adoption of Christianity in Russia, the slaughter of livestock was in the nature of sacrifices , but with the adoption of Christianity, the population began to observe Christian fasts and meat-eaters. Craftsmen, butchers, tanners, and fire-cutters appeared . Before the era of Peter I, cattle were killed in markets, in the entryways of houses, in special 'meat huts', in vacant lots, on river banks or in open areas near ravines. Peter I ordered the construction of slaughterhouses and issued decrees regulating the meat trade.

The simplest methods of preserving meat have been known since ancient times. In particular, animal meat was prepared for future use by smoking in smoke. In the middle of the 19th century. In Russia, the production of pork for the production of smoked meats is increasing. Equipment and devices, spices and herbs for the production of smoked meats and sausages began to arrive from abroad.

Religious traditions at all times and among all peoples have left their mark on the consumption of meat foods. In Judaism, the meat of some animals is considered 'kosher' (that is, suitable for consumption), and some is considered ' non-kosher '. "Kosher" means fit for food. Kashrut ( kosher , kosher) is part of the traditions and norms of Judaism. In other words, it is a three-thousand-year history of rules and laws, with ongoing in-depth study and commentary on complex issues. Kashrut (kosher) regulates rational, healthy nutrition and high requirements for food quality. That is, the 'kosher' sign means that the product is proven, high-quality and environmentally friendly - good for health. 'I am what I eat' and, if we are guided by such a popular formulation, then kosher products are also more than suitable for this concept of healthy eating. As you know, meat with blood is non-kosher and not suitable for consumption . There are ways to kosher meat - salting and frying over a fire.


In Buddhism, killing animals for consumption is prohibited, as this negatively affects karma. However, a Buddhist may eat the meat of an animal, but only if he is sure that the animal was not specifically killed for consumption. In Hinduism, the cow is considered a sacred animal, so Hindus who generally eat meat are prohibited from eating beef, which they replace in their diet with buffalo .

In India, you cannot eat cows , you cannot offend them, scold them, or shout at them.

In Islam, meat food can be acceptable (halal) and unacceptable, in particular, the consumption of pork and meat of animals killed inappropriately is prohibited. Eating the meat of a sacrificial animal (usually a sheep) is an important part of the Islamic religious holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Festive table for Eid al-Adha

The Chinese and Koreans prefer the meat of young dogs to the meat of many animals, finding its taste piquant and aromatic and valuing it as highly as, say, the French value the delicious legs of frogs.

Frog legs - an exquisite French delicacy

In Rus', Christianity clearly distinguished meat into 'clean' and 'unclean'. Horse meat (which was not previously considered unworthy food), bear meat, and hare meat were declared unclean meat for many decades. It was considered a sin to eat the meat of beavers, squirrels, cats, dogs, and black grouse. The Church resolutely forbade the consumption of 'davlenina ', that is, the meat of animals and birds that were not directly slaughtered by humans.

The existence of some northern peoples (for example, Chukchi, Eskimos) without meat is impossible due to sparse vegetation and harsh climate. Among the Aboriginal tribes of Australia and Oceania, it is also common to eat meat, which they obtain through hunting and cannibalism.

Representatives of many northern peoples eat meat raw

Some groups of people abstain from eating meat altogether, or only certain types of meat, or only for a certain period of time (for example, during religious fasting). The reasons for this are often ethical, religious, and also nutritional in nature. Vegetarians exclude meat and fish from their diet, and often also avoid other animal products such as milk and eggs.

In the world, on average, there is 33 kg of meat per person on the planet. At the same time, in Denmark there are 327 kg per person. In the structure of world production of meat of all types, pork ranks first - 39.1%, poultry meat is in second place - 29.3%, followed by beef - 25.0%, lamb - 4.8%, other types of meat - 1. 8 %. In the global trade of beef and veal, the export leaders are Australia and New Zealand (more than 25% of global supplies. The main exporter of pork is Denmark - 951 thousand tons (18.7%), followed by the Netherlands - 635 thousand tons (12.5 %). Russia practically does not export pork. The main exporters of mutton and lamb are, again, New Zealand and Australia . The EU countries and the USA stand out in poultry exports .