Sorry, there’s no rum on her menu
On April 15, Violet Mosses Brown officially became the world’s oldest living person after the last record holder, Emma Morano from Italy died at the age of 117.
Brown, who hails from Jamaica, is also 117 years young and was born in March of 1900. She credits her many years on Earth to loving her family, her church, and her love of a few delicious Jamaican food choices.
"Really and truly, when people ask what me eat and drink to live so long (sic), I say to them that I eat everything, except pork and chicken, and I don't drink rum and dem tings," Brown told The Jamaica Observer.
Brown additionally noted to the Observer that she enjoys eating locally grown produce such as sweet potatoes, breadfruit, oranges and mangoes. She also likes "fish and mutton, and sometimes she will have cow foot."
Cow feet have a long history in Jamaican food culture. As Jamaican-recipes.com noted, “Back in the old days, the 1600s and 1700s, you know, during the plantation era, the upper classes would take the best parts of the cow when it's killed and leave the so called fifth quarters (head, feet, tail, internal organs, and skin) for the hired hands and slaves.”
Jamaican Recipes added that the workers took the fifth quarters and made “delicious delicacies,” including cow foot stew, that are still enjoyed today by many people in Jamaica, “including the upper classes.”
Brown isn’t the first of our record-breaking elders to share a little wisdom on what to eat to live a long, and hopefully happy, life.
When she became the oldest living person, Morano told reporters she credited her longevity to eating a raw egg every single day, as well as her strict sleep schedule of going to bed at 7 p.m. each night and waking before 6 a.m.
However, both women’s longevity likely has less to do with raw eggs and feet and more to do with genetics and the improvements in modern medicine over their respective lifetimes. As the National Institute of Aging reported, life expectancy improvements “are part of a major transition in human health spreading around the globe at different rates and along different pathways. This transition encompasses a broad set of changes that include a decline from high to low fertility; a steady increase in life expectancy at birth and at older ages; and a shift in the leading causes of death and illness from infectious and parasitic diseases to noncommunicable diseases and chronic conditions.”
But getting to 117, and perhaps even longer, may soon be available to humans the world over. Several millionaires and billionaires, including Joon Yun, Paul Allen, Sergey Brin, and Larry Ellison, have all invested serious cash in the life-extension business. As Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation, told The Daily Beast, “Death makes me very angry, it doesn't make any sense to me. Death has never made any sense to me. How can a person be there and then just vanish, just not be there?” Maybe with all his hard-earned money none of us will ever have to discover what the after life is all about.