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Eat Like a Viking

Those that can trace their roots back, even as far back as the 700s, to the Vikings in Northern Europe, might be impressed with their consumption of a much different diet than is prevalent today. This diet produced robust warriors and valiant men. Vikings had a life that was connected to food. Food was, in turn, connected to hospitality. The Vikings lived in hostile and uncertain times and did not know what would become of the next day. Every day with their brothers and guests counted.

Can we learn from these ancestors and incorporate some nuances into our diet today? Absolutely. First, we could look at what the Vikings ate. Their diet might have included, but was not limited to: beef, deer, elk, goats, hares, hogs, horses, mutton, reindeer, and also: seals, walrus, and aquatic birds. Vegetables and fruits were much wilder than any of the modern varieties. These may have included: wild white carrots, wild apples, cherries, berries, and nuts that were widely available in season. Viking farmers cultivated beans, cabbage, endive, leeks, and peas. (Rodgers, D. & Noer, K., 2018)

Next, we could make an application of their diet in our modern lives. Could we too, eat wild and in season? Wallace, K. (2017) states: “We want to eat a seasonal and varied plant-rich diet to support our body and its natural processes.” What can we find around us? How can we support local farmers and indulge in their seasonal produce to help further nourish our bodies and natural processes? Further, could we choose a more diverse variety of locally derived meat that ate from the soil we roam and walk on? Grass-fed beef, for instance, is higher in nutrients including zinc, CoQ10, L-carnitine, and vitamins A and E. (Daley et al, 2010)

Lastly, can we slow down? Can we enjoy the moment? Can we enjoy hospitality, one another, and our guests? We may not live in hostile times, but we do live in uncertain times. Can we learn to appreciate the food around us and also the people around us? Can we be hospitable?

By incorporating these food traditions into our life today, we can nourish ourselves more fully, be more robust, have a connection with agriculture around us, and have a network of people that love us.

___________________________________________________________________________ References Daley, C. A., Abbott, A., Doyle, P. S., Nader, G. A., & Larson, S. (2010). A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition Journal, 9(1), 1-12 Rodgers, D., & Noer, K. (2018). Sons of Vikings: History, Legends, and Impact of the Viking Age. Chesapeake, VA: Independently published Wallace, K. (2017, September 17). Benefits of Eating Seasonally. Dr. Karen Wallace. http:// seasonally/ ______________________________________________________________________________

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