This is an attempt to undertake a comparative and holistic study of the diets of histories greatest minds. After all, you are what you eat. Certain foods make you feel energized. Certain foods make you feel slightly euphoric. Certain foods make you feel a little sick. Maybe certain foods can make you feel a little smarter. Are there certain food trends among the worlds intellectual elite which are worth mimicking?
Assumptions: Holistic and Comparative.
A diet does not exist in a vacuum. I assume that there are food chemistries which make the sum of the foods eaten different from the individual parts. Perhaps Leibnitz ate a normal German diet plus an additional 2 pounds of herring a month. Well, you couldn't eat a ninth century Southern Italian diet plus 2 pounds of herring to achieve the same effect.
In the same token, there are situational factors that effect the chemistry of brain, body and food intake. For instance, water quality. Most likely the smartest people in the world were not eating food prepared with water from the sewage system. It is difficult if not impossible to judge the water quality of places from a historical point of view. It is even difficult to judge the water quality of present towns. There are so many trace elements that have a positive and negative effect on the diet that keeping track of these items vs. apparent IQ would be a full time job in and of itself.
Another situational factor may be the way foods are prepared. Bread vs. Pasta. Or salted foods vs. pit fired meats. Who knows what impact these things have on the way the body is able to incorporate or use the food.
However, if it turns out that all the worlds smartest people ate a diet heavy in grains and completely avoided pork... well guess what, that is an important trend which can only be determined comparatively.
In order to undertake this study Aceize will be compiling 'food biographies' for various individuals of impressive intellectual stature - aka, Smart People. These individual biographies are an attempt to provide a holistic view of a smart person's diet. These 'food biographies' will in turn be aggregated to display the top foods eaten and avoided by all the person's examined on the site.
In the absence of hard data regarding a person's food or water situation, we will substitute what is known about the general living conditions of the time and place that the person lived. For instance, if we are looking at Rasputin, it will be considered acceptable to look at the general diet of the Russian aristocracy during that time period. This general information will be kept separate from known information regarding the individuals.
Where is this information coming from?
Books, articles, and readers like you. If you have information, PLEASE, PLEASE feel free to add a comment to an article. If this thing gathers up some momentum perhaps the process of adding information will become more streamlined, but for now leave a comment and we will add the information as time becomes available.
Got a favorite person who is not on the list? Add a comment to this post.