Rebecca Earle Review

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Article Review After reading “If You eat Their Food…”: Diets and Bodies in Early Colonial Spanish America, by Rebecca Earle, I was left with the impression that early Spanish settlers were very ignorant of any civilization or race outside of their own. I realize that the early Spanish might not have had much contact with different races or civilizations other than their own, but one would think that they would at least assume that no matter what food a person consumes, or the region one lives in cannot physically change your race. In defense of the Spanish I can understand why they were shocked at first when they discovered the Amerindians, because they differed from the Spanish in almost every way. When the Spanish first arrived they noted that the Amerindians were very timid, dark skinned, had straight hair, and lacked beards, which was very confusing to the Spanish because they prided themselves on their beards. In the article it states that the Amerindians also suffered from less stomach sicknesses, rarely went bald, and rarely developed gallstones. I can see why all of these characteristics led the Spanish to believe that they themselves might turn into Amerindians if they adopted their diets and lived in the same climate zone, because up until that time food was thought to shape the body. It states in the article that Spaniards believed that they would not suffer from any ailments or the damp climate of the Americas if they ate primarily Spanish food. An example of Spanish thinking when it came to diet, is that when they first arrived to the new world they were fearful of losing their prized beards because of the different climate, but since their beards were inherited from there Spanish ancestors they would not be at risk of losing them if they continued to consume only food from the old world. This is where I disagree with the Spanish. In the article it

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