Prehistoric Bread Remains Mean One Thing: Your Carb Cravings Are Simply Human Nature

Photo: Stocksy/Natasa Mandic
If bread is one of your most-craved foods—morning, noon, or night—you're not alone. No matter the form of the doughy goodness, it's just. so. satisfying. And if that strong affection for (slash borderline addiction to) carbs seems like something that's deeply embedded in your genes, well, that might be exactly the case.

In a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers analyzed 24 samples of ancient charred food remains discovered in the Middle East and found what seems to be a 14,400-year-old flatbread. While these particular leftovers may not be too appetizing, they do provide proof that our ancestors have been eating bread for a really long time. This pie probably wasn't topped with kale pesto (oh, how far we've come!), but considering it's now the oldest evidence of bread to date, the prehistoric pizza does give more insight into the meal's grainy history.

Researchers analyzed some ancient food remains discovered in the Middle East and found what seems to be 14,400-year-old flatbread.

This discovery means researchers now know bread was consumed long before before the onset of farming and modern agriculture, and that suggests the development of those industries might have centered upon streamlining the process to create meals like flatbread, rather than the certain foods being a product of said processes. "Building on our research into early bread, this will in the future give us a better idea why certain ingredients were favored over others and were eventually selected for cultivation," study co-author and archaeologist Tobias Richter, PhD, tells USA Today.

So the next time your carb cravings strike (and, scientifically speaking, it'll happen), just blame your ancestors for your bread-loving ways. Since the hankering's been in your blood for more than 14,000 years, it's a pretty hard hankering to kick.

In need of a gluten-free way to enjoy bread? Here's what to know about long fermentation. Or, meet the kombucha muffins that are a healthier take on Irish soda bread.

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