Up until about 10 000 years ago, all human beings were hunter-gatherers. This means that they moved from place to place to find food. 

They would pick it, dig it up, fish for it, hunt and kill it. When they found an new food the only way to find out if it was edible was to just try it.  If it tasted okay and didn't make them sick, everything was well.However, as they risked trying out new foods, they must have sometimes gotten very sick and perhaps even died! 

As humans learned to make food storage vessels and other tools, and learned to cooking and preserve food, they were able carry safe and healthy food with them as they moved from place to place.

The first farmers

Around 10 000 years ago people started to grow some of their food. Some scientists think that the idea for growing food came about because the people noticed that seeds in pieces of fruits and vegetables that they had thrown away began to sprout and grow. From this they got the idea to collect and plant seeds to grow more of their own food.

8000 B.C. People began to grow food. Women planted seeds of wild grasses on cleared land. Their tools were digging sticks.

6000 B.C. Lake dwellers crush grain and cereals to make flour and then bread.

5000 B.C. Rice is grown in China.

4000 B.C Lemons, bananas, limes and oranges originated in Kashmir, India.

Wine is made from grapes.

3000 B.C. The Sumerians, (now Iraq) who invented the first writing, eat figs, wild cucumbers, honey and pancakes made with flour and onions.

Potatoes are harvested in the Andes Mountains in South America

2600 B.C. The Egyptians sun-dry fish and chicken.

From 2475 B.C. olives are picked and eaten or pressed to make olive oil. Getty Images

From 2475 B.C. olives are picked and eaten or pressed to make olive oil. Getty Images

2475 B.C. Olive trees are grown on the island of Crete. (Greece)

2000 B.C. Watermelons are grown in Africa.

1600 B.C. Apricots are grown in China.

From 1500 B.C. All the main food plants that we eat today are being grown by people somewhere in the world.

1000 B.C. The Chinese cut ice and use it to keep food fresh.

950 B.C. Peanuts are grown and eaten in South America.

551 B.C. Peaches are grown in China.


400 B.C. The Egyptians and the Turks grow and eat cauliflowers.

350 B.C. A Greek author writes a collection of recipes. It may be the first ever 'cookbook.'

325 B.C. Alexander the Great brings bananas to Greece from India. He also brings back the citron (like a lemon) to Greece.

200 B.C. The Japanese make salt from dried seaweed and use it to preserve foods. They also make soy sauce.

54 B.C. The Britons are making cheese.

Read about cheese here on kidcyber


700  Green beans and sweet corn are grown in the Americas.

Popcorn was also used by the people of Central America.

Watch a video about popcornhttp://thekidshouldseethis.com/post/78447101180

850  Coffee is discovered by an Arab goat herd in Ethiopia.

1148 Knights returning from the Crusades in the Middle East, bring sugar to Europe and England.

1280 In some parts of China there are restaurants where waiters serve food.

1400 Shops in Italy make and sell pasta. Men knead the dough with their bare feet.

1476 People in England make and eat meat pies.

1492 Christopher Columbus discovers sweet potatoes, capsicums and pineapples in the Americas.

1527 Tomatoes and avocados are taken to Spain from the Americas by explorers.

1528 Beans used for baked beans and bean stews come from North America to Italy and France. Native American indians are thought to have cooked the beans with fat and maple syrup.

1540 Potatoes from South America arrive in Europe. The French grow the plant but don't eat the potatoes.

1600 Strawberries were found growing in North America and seeds taken back to Europe by explorers.

Spanish explorers learned how to make a chocolate drink from the cocoa bean from the Aztecs in Mexico. It soon became popular in Spain, France and England. Getty Images

Spanish explorers learned how to make a chocolate drink from the cocoa bean from the Aztecs in Mexico. It soon became popular in Spain, France and England. Getty Images

1657 The first shop in London to sell chocolate opens. People drink the chocolate.

1667 Asparagus sold in England is called 'sparrowgrass'.

1750 The cantaloupe (rockmelon) was first grown in Italy, near the city of Cantelupe.

1762 The fourth Earl of Sandwich, John Montague, asked his servants to bring him some beef between two slices of bread. This was the first sandwich.

1809 A Frenchman, Nicholas Appert, was awarded a prize by the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte for inventing a way of keeping food fresh for some time inside glass jars. 

1847 Tin cans were first used to store food. The inventor was Englishman, Peter Durand

1875 The first canned baked beans are made.

1885 The hamburger sandwich is invented. 15 year old American, Charles Nagreen, put fried beef between slices of bread and sold it, calling it a hamburger.

Corn flakes were first made in 1898. ©Getty Images

Corn flakes were first made in 1898. ©Getty Images

1898 The world's first corn flakes are made and sold by the Kellogg Brothers

1899 Coca Cola is bottled for the first time.

1906 The word 'hot dog' was first used in America to describe a frankfurt served in a bread roll. Frankfurts originated in Germany and Switzerland.

1908 Tea bags are invented.

1940 The first McDonald's hamburger stand opens at a drive-in cinema in the United States.


Read about where our fruits and vegetables come from, see a map: