First ever food in history to be used for more than it was

January 07, 2016 Yael Greenberg


It’s not a secret that food is frequently used to placate people into doing anything for you (depending on how good it is). Most negotiations take place over wine-ing and dining, partners cook their best meals to receive approval of an unusual request, and a lot of marriage proposals happen in restaurants.


So who first used tasty food to their advantage and what was that meaningful meal? Well, we can never be sure, but we think it was Jacob, from the Bible. Yes, that long ago. And that meal was (… drum roll! …) red lentils!

In fact, his brother was ever so hungry that he even forgot the proper name for lentils (“Let me eat some of that red stuff, for I am famished!”).

Jacob, of course, was just waiting to use his brother’s hunger to his advantage. He held a plate of lentils in the air for his brother to catch. He was much taller and played basketball (well, if basketball had existed back then). His brother, Esau, was much more inferior. After a few minutes of this silly game, Jacob cut straight to the chase.

“Esau,” said Jacob. “Give me your birthright and I’ll let you eat the red stuff.” This basically meant that Esau would now be the second son and not the first, as he had appeared from his mother’s womb.

Esau said nothing. He was disgusted by his brother's attitude. He silently took the plate, ate it up and left.

Such is the story of the two rivaling brothers, a bowl of red lentils, and the first food used to get somewhere in the History of Man.


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