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Increasing portion sizes in 1,000 y of Last Supper art

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Old 03-24-2010, 04:24 PM   #1
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Default Increasing portion sizes in 1,000 y of Last Supper art

Anybody see the stories about how, if you look at paintings of the Last Supper, the portion sizes depicted have gotten bigger over the last 1,000 years? Here's a link:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20100...godly-portions
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:01 PM   #2
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It's very interesting how portion sizes vary by culture too. I think it was an Andrew Zimmern show I watched, in which he was visiting a tribe of rainforest or jungle hunter-gatherers. Every so often, the men decide to go bat hunting. It seems to be more of a "treat" than an everyday part of their diet. They go out and hunt these small bats, and bring back enough to share with the whole tribe. What they consider enough to share, meant that everyne got about half a bat (and each bat was only about the size of a songbird), so basically everyone got less than an ounce of meat. One or two bites and that was it. Hardly seems worth the trouble, but everyone looked forward to this "treat."

Hubby and I love shopping second hand and antique shops (although when it comes to buying, it's more likely to be at Goodwill), and I was reading that many people who collect antique or vintage dinnerware are looking for the serving platters to use as dinner plates. Or people complain thinking they're buing a complete dinnerware set and ask "where are the dinner plates," because what they thought was a salad plate WAS the dinner plate.
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:15 PM   #3
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There was a book a couple of years ago called The 9-Inch "Diet". The author was inspired to write it when he bought an older house and found that his dinner plates wouldn't fit into the kitchen cabinet: because when the house was built the typical dinner plate was smaller than it is now, 9 inches across instead of 11 or 12
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:53 AM   #4
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This thread is really interesting, and it reminds me a lot of the which came first the chicken or the egg debate. Did we start making bigger plates because people's appetites increased, or did people's appetite increase because they could fit more food on their plates? Or, as I'm sure it is, is the issue a lot more complicated than that?

I think so many people's concept of "full" is no longer based on what they are actually feeling; I think it has more to do with the perception of how much they have eaten. (I believe people are way out of touch with their bodies' signals). If putting food on a smaller plate makes people feel like they are getting enough food, because the plate is full, then I think a lot of people should go back to eating on smaller plates.

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Old 03-25-2010, 10:51 AM   #5
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HIJACK The article to which I linked in the OP said that of foodstuffs recognizable in the various portrayals, pork was visible in 7%. Wait a minute: pork? Were those artists doing their homework if they thought Christ et al. would have been eating pork ??? END HIJACK
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Old 03-25-2010, 01:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ANOther View Post
HIJACK The article to which I linked in the OP said that of foodstuffs recognizable in the various portrayals, pork was visible in 7%. Wait a minute: pork? Were those artists doing their homework if they thought Christ et al. would have been eating pork ??? END HIJACK
The presence of pork would not have been meant literally, it would have been symbolic of the Christian abolition of the Jewish dietary and sanitary laws. I've not memorized bible passages, so I can't recall specific scriptures, but there are several in which Christ explains that people do not become unclean by what they eat or touch (Jewish sanitary and dietary laws), but what they think and do. Essentially giving Christians permission to eat anything.
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
The presence of pork would not have been meant literally, it would have been symbolic of the Christian abolition of the Jewish dietary and sanitary laws
Ok, get out the wet kugel noodle and give me 20 lashes, I forgot about symbolism
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:31 PM   #8
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picking up the hijack again...
I'm not so sure about the "symbolism"...this may be more "artistic license with little or no sensitivity to historicality."

If you look at Acts 10-11, the disciples freak out when they find out what Peter did with Cornelius, and about Peter's vision. It's very clear, at least to me, that the disciples were keeping the dietary laws during the ministry of Jesus.

1 Corinthians 10:25-6 is Paul's way of dealing with a similar issue, but this congregation is probably not all "Jewish" like the disciples were (being in Corinth, it's Paul's congregation made up largely of gentile converts).

That's just my take as a washed-up material culture person (art history buff) and sortof-good seminarian.
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