BRITONS embraced a "convenience food" lifestyle about 6000 years ago when they replaced hunting and fishing with dairy farming, scientists say.
Studies of old rubbish dumps and dirty dishes found the ancestors of modern Britain gave up their passion for fish and wild meats to begin a love affair with milk.
Early hunters feasted on venison and wild boar and ate large quantities of seafood, including seals and shellfish, research by the University of Bristol and Cardiff University found.
But when experienced immigrants introduced domestic animals 6000 years ago, Britons quickly gave up wild foods and fishing was largely abandoned.
Seafood was shunned for the next 4000 years, reappearing in the British diet during the Iron Age and becoming a significant part of it only with the arrival of the Vikings.
The findings come from a large-scale investigation of British archaeological sites dating from about 4600 BC to 1400 AD.