A History of the World in 6 Glasses
Introduction- “Vital Fluids” 1. The author’s main thesis for the book is that “thirst is deadlier than hunger”. I believe he is trying to bring a notice to the readers of how important fluids are for our health but also the history of the world and how these specific 6 fluids have sculpted our world today. 2. Beer had turned into a source of currency along with bread. The discovery of beer made new jobs for people, lessening the number of laborers out in the fields. Wine was drunk around sophisticated people, who spoke of literature, politics, and philosophy. Religion had their own opinions on wine, Christianity incorporated wine as a holy ritual, while Islam banned wine. The invention of distillation brought a whole new beverage to the world, spirits. Spirits include whiskey, brandy, and rum. Distilled drinks provided alcohol in a compact, lasting form that improved the transportation of these drinks across seas. Spirits were used as currency to buy slaves, and were deeply infused throughout the triangular slave trade. Whiskey and rum became very popular in North America, these spirits played a role in the political establishment of the United States. Coffee similar to wine, used to be drunk around intellectual people. Coffee led to the establishment of the scientific societies, the founding of newspapers, the establishment of financial institutions, etc. Tea and coffee were always fighting for popularity. Tea won over Britain’s heart, and became Britain’s national drink. While America’s national drink became Coca Cola. Coca Cola became an emblem of the vibrant consumer capitalism, which helped the US turn into a superpower. Coke became the world’s most known and highly distributed product. All these fluids were vital in the development of our world and certain countries.
“Beer in Mesopotamia and Egypt” (Chapters 1 & 2): 1. The discovery of beer became possible when the people shifted from the hunting/ gathering life style to farming. Humans used to rely on water for their primary drink, until beer had been discovered, made from barley and wheat. Beer was the first drink that helped humanity gradually transition to the modern world. 2. Beer became discovered after the human lifestyle had transitioned from hunting and gathering to farming/ agriculture. Beer was the first liquid relic of human prehistory. It also was much safer to drink than water due to the high amount of contaminants. 3. Beer had the common function of being a social drink. The author uses the Sumerian depictions, one shows two people drinking out of a large pot using straws. This provides evidence of the idea that beer was and still is a social drink. 4. The main use of beer was for consumption, the experimentation of making beer caused the discovery of bread (some argue that bread was discovered first, and beer after). Beer was safer to drink rather than water due to the unhealthy contamination from human waste. Due to the agricultural transition, this provided a surplus of food. The extra food was kept in little storehouses. The people saw the extra food as a gift from the gods, and the storehouses turned into temples. People believed that beer was a gift from the gods, many cultures have myths as to how beer was discovered and produced. Since beer was a gift from the gods, it had an attachment to certain religions, it was used in religious ceremonies and other religious occasions. The Incas called beer chicha, they sacrificed their beer by pouring on the ground or by spitting their first mouthful on the ground as an offering to the gods of the Earth. The Aztecs provided another ritual surrounded by beer. 5. The consumption of beer and bread made the Mesopotamians believe they were no longer regarded as savages, but as fully human. Beer had a very strong connotation on people back then. It was a necessity to every meal. Beer