3.4 million years of meat and marrow meals
August 12th, 2010
03:30 PM ET
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A report in this week's issue of Nature magazine reveals that an international research team based in Ethiopia has uncovered evidence that Australopithecus afarensis - human ancestors circa the skeleton colloquially known as "Lucy" - butchered animals, presumably for nutritious meat and bone marrow. Tool marks made by sharp, heavy rocks were found on 3.4 million-year-old fossilized rib and thigh bones from animals, indicating that humans began eating meat 800,000 years earlier than was previously believed.

Team member Shannon McPherron, an archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, wrote in a statement released by the institute, "Now, when we imagine Lucy walking around the east African landscape looking for food, we can for the first time imagine her with a stone tool in hand and looking for meat." He noted that the animal bones in question come from an impala-sized creature and one closer in size to a bear.

PETA members might not see this as cause for celebration, but as staunch omnivores, we say honor your ancestors and roast up a couple of marrow bones for dinner.

Roasted Marrow Bones

6-8 beef or veal marrow bones, cut into 3" segments
Coarse salt
Sliced, crusty bread
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Bunch of parsley

Heat oven to 450F. Place marrow bone segments on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until marrow is soft, but not dripping out. (Timing will vary according to individual ovens.)

Meanwhile, wash, dry and de-stem parsley. Toss with oil and lemon juice to taste.

Remove marrow bones from oven, scoop out marrow with a long, narrow spoon or knife and spread onto toasted bread slices.

Sprinkle with salt. Serve with parsley salad.

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Filed under: Make • Meat • News • Recipes • Staples

soundoff (176 Responses)
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    September 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
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      October 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
  4. hoosier

    Glycemic load of meals (which carbohydrates cause the greatest load because they are glucose), leptin and insulin receptors determine how fat a person is. The faster Americans understand that, the better off we'll all be. This is all on a cellular level. Proteins shouldn't be blamed necessarily. The argument about meat is so old, a basic Biology class dispels most of the nutrition myths today. So everyone should just be happy with the diet of their choice, discrimination and being condescending isn't necessary on EITHER SIDE.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  5. hoosier


    You are such a nitwit. Not all of us that eat meat are out of shape or disgusting. I for one am certainly NOT. That is reserved for people who eat irresponsibly. If you've ever looked at a chart of correlation between heart disease and diabetes, you'd know this. It actually has nothing to do with the amount of meat you consume, it's mostly to do with the types of fat that you eat. The body burns carbohydrates, proteins and *then* fats, and only turns anything into fat after GROSS over eating, which is much more than any regular person consumes. Example, people in the Mediterranean region die from heart disease at a dramatically lower rate, not because they don't eat meat (because they DO, most definitely) but because they consume fats that have Omega-3's (ie olive oil). Being a vegetarian has almost nothing to do with your body's storage of fat. Look at any basic twin study, and how even ones separated at birth with completely different eating habits will be within five pounds of each other most of the time. Eating meat doesn't make you a fatass any more than wearing a wig makes a pig human.

    The superiority complex held by both sides is sickening. I bet I'm in better shape than you are, and I eat meat. Not because I eat meat, but because I understand nutrition. Another thing: your body only processes nutrients as proteins when you have all of them there. Meat is the only substance that has all of the components to make up a whole protein, that's why we eat it. It's easier to eat a small portion of meat than it is to combine two or three foods to make up a full protein. (If that makes to your feeble mind). It takes ten different components to make up a protein, by the way.

    All said and done, your obvious disdain for meat eaters comes from a superiority complex that you'll probably never get rid of, which is fine, as everyone is entitled to their own opinion. As for the rest of us omnivores...we will continue eating in moderation (most of us) and sharing delicious recipes without discrimination.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:02 am |
    • Gendznshmalts

      Your arguments reek of pop culture health "news" and pedantry. Balancing amino acids/protein is trivial and requires no meat or animal products. You are obviously trying to make your argument sound rational by tossing around "twin studies" and anecdotal "Mediterranean" nonsense. Correlation does not imply causality and nothing can be proven without impossible or unethical control studies, fine. You call me a "nitwit" and say I act "superior" and go on to say "being condescending isn't necessary on EITHER SIDE". And then this gem "It's easier to eat a small portion of meat than it is to combine two or three foods to make up a full protein. (If that makes to your feeble mind)" So you are saying that I am feeble minded because I eat two different foods to be healthy? Does this imply that you eat a slab of meat and nothing else in a meal? A small portion of meat actually represents a gigantic portion of animal feed. Maybe you are just lazy and have simply commandeered another animal's digestive system for your convenience. As a good Hoosier you are guilty for being lazy and must rationalize.

      August 20, 2010 at 9:36 am |
      • rosenthal

        ...just stfu and please go the hell away...

        October 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  6. John

    Vegatarian : Old Native word – translates into English as " Lousy Hunter " ROFL

    August 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  7. JA

    @ #49: Then why do non-meat eaters (especially vegans) have so many health problems and have to end up taking supplements?

    If anything, I prefer venison. No added growth hormones, no chemicals or preservatives, and tastes better, especially knowing I myself prepared it. (newsflash: 'Gaminess' is called flavor. Don't like flavor? Stick with bland beef then)

    August 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  8. Meatisgross

    I am a proud vegitarian, this article sickens me. Just a thought for you all, if everyone in the world ate as much meat as Americans it would take the resources of 4 planet Earths. Vegitarians are simply healthier, more intelligent, higher evolved beings. You hate on us due to jealousy. Now go scarf your burgers fatties

    August 16, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • Hokie09

      You just made me laugh out loud, Meatisgross. I am a meat eater, a very healthy, intelligent, and just as evolved as you, meat eater. I am also not fat by any means. I live a very healthy lifestyle and am very proud to eat meat. I do not hate you for being a vegitarian, I only hate you because you act like you are much more superior because of your lifestyle. Why should I be jealous of your ignorance? I'm ok with you being a vegitarian, but I'm NOT ok with you thinking you are superior to every one who isn't. And, if everyone in the world ate as much meat as Americans there would not be a hunger problem, and I'd love to hear more about your "resources of 4 planet Earths" argument. Do you have a college education?

      August 16, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  9. Scott

    Meat is murder...Tasty, tasty murder :-) nom nom nom

    August 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
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