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Food In The Bible: Fish!

In the Bible, we are called to be “fishers of men”. We’ve also heard the story of the 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Jesus used fish to prove his resurrection to the disciples by telling

them where to cast their nets. Fish were a large part of life, in the ancient world. It was food, fishing provided jobs to men who would go out and bring the fish back, Usually, the fish could be cooked on a spit, or in some cases, directly on the charcoal. In the Roman empire, there was a difference between eating fresh or preserved fish. Most of the population ate preserved fish while the wealthier, top tier of society ate fresh fish. Also, fresh fish was more the main dish component, or smaller fish could be used in appetizers, sauces, as condiments, but more often than not, it was the preserved fish that was used as an appetizer. Like today, there are certain types of fish that can get more money than others. This also translated to giving “status” to those who could eat it or gave it as a gift to impress others. Another factor was the location. If you lived directly near the sea, you had more access and therefore, an easier time, getting the fresh fish because of a larger availability. So while, Corinth in Rome, (which is where we get the book of Corinthians, derived from Paul’s teachings and answering of their letters)had higher status people and lower status people, they were closer to the coast, therefore ordinary people were also eating the fresh fish that the elite was.

A marine archaeology paper I found, states that in the first century AD expenditure account from Roman Egypt offers clues about historical fish prices. The fish he references is an unidentified blackfish from the Nile, (the korakinos) stating that this fish’s price was between 1 and 2 obols per fish.

This also equated to two loaves of bread or six eggs, meaning that ordinary people COULD afford this fish. (I found that information here )

Modern-day today, we have a whole range of fish and their prices that range just as much. The most expensive fish you can order to eat is Japanese Tuna, It is used for sushi and they're also endangered. So the Japanese government restricted tuna fishing to get the consumption rate down of the Japanese Tuna Fish. A still pricy fish, is the Wild King salmon fish. It is also one of the hardest species to catch each year and costs about $100. In today's nutrition, its recommended we have 8 ounces of seafood a week. Fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins D and B2 (riboflavin)

So from then to now, fish is still a staple in our diets, its still good for us, and we'll probably still be eating it for centuries to come.

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