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Life And Death In The Middle Ages

1568 words - 6 pages

Food and water is essential for preserving life. It is not only important for sustaining life, but food also plays an important role in society functions. From Christmas, Easter, and thanksgiving food is an important part of celebrations. Food and celebration has always brought generations of people together to enjoy each other’s company. In our modern society, in particular the United States, we have an abundance of food at our disposal. However, in society today as well as in previous centuries there is a huge gap between wealth and poverty. Sadly, some people in the developed and developing nations live in poverty. This state of poverty not only leaves inadequate nutrition, but also unclean, contaminated water and living conditions. In past centuries the average lifespan was shorten due to economic situations such as famine, starvation, infections disease, and even death.
In medieval time food and feasting were great past times. The extent to which the people of this time period could enjoy the variety of food we enjoy today, as well as many other aspects of medieval life depended on a person wealth and station in life (Nimocks). The eating schedule was similar involving three meals. The schedule consisted of a small breakfast, a meal eaten around noon with a final meal being eaten later in the evening (Nimocks). However, the diets of people during this time were greatly determined by their status in society. The peasant’s diet was somewhat nutritional to today’s standards. An enormous portion of their diet was made up of grains such as wheat, rye, oats or barley (Singman 54). The grains were normally boiled to make a soup or stew. Bread was also consumed made from unrefined flour. For drinking, grains were malted in order to make ale which was a type of beer among peasants (Singman 54). This beverage was bitter in flavor and high in alcohol content. Beans, peas, lentils, or fish provided protein and substituted for meat. However, on very rare occasion’s meats such as pork or beef were consumed. Seasonal imbalance put a strain on food availability and poor harvests often caused long periods of poor nutrition (Singman 55).
On the other hand, those of higher status ate more luxuriously. They were not limited by the cost of products. The aristocrats consumed fresh meat all year round. Meat made up a large portion of their diet. Seafood such as fish and shellfish were also consumed. The bread was made of refined flour. In addition, their food was highly seasoned from spices imported from near East and Asia (Singman 55). Although the wealthy diet had more delicacies, it was poorer in nutrition (Singman 55). Contrary to popular belief utensils were used in consuming food. However in the Middle Ages, forks did not exist, but everyone used their own knife, spoon, and their finger bowl, along with wooden bowls and a drinking vessel. One of the main places for feasts and consumption of food was the Great Hall. The halls were often...

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