Samuel Pepys lived during the 17th century and is most noted for having kept a personal diary that gives us rare glimpses into everyday life at the time as well as major events like the Plague of London and the Great Fire.
He evidently believed that a hare’s foot had cured his, ahem, wind, and writes of it quite happily.
This book, Fat Chance, came out a couple of years ago now but I just read it and highly recommend it. I like to read a few food books a year to remind myself of how screwed our food system is. This book effectively scared me away from sugar once and for all.
Or, if you know you’re not going to read it, here’s an interview with NPR, recorded when it came out.
Turns out the fur trade, now industry, sucks for more reasons than I thought. One of the ways the Black Death was spread in the 14th century was by fur trappers and hunters. Marmots were trapped for their fur in Central Asia and taken West along the trade routes. Around this time, many were found already dead, likely from plague, skinned and shipped off to Western Russia and Europe.
On a side note, marmots are super cute critters. I got to see some on a trip to the Olympic Peninsula.
from Plagues & Poxes: The Impact of Human History on Epidemic Disease by Alfred Jay Bollet