Hello Cruel World
Saturday, August 16, 2003
Part of a discussion thread on Yahoo Message Boards - see link
YAHOO Cultures & Community > Issues and Causes > Current Events > Sci / Tech Headlines > How Safe Is Our Food?
Re: Miocene era Wild-Type Diets R us
I only partially agree with you about the 'wild' diet. Looking at archaeological/palaeontological studies, and what is known of the diets of non-agricultural peoples found in the last century or two (e.g. South American jungle tribes, Australian Aborigines), from your list of what was not in the diet we do find evidence of these:
eggs (stolen from nests), grains, honey, nuts, roots & tubers.
Naturally there is a variety depending on the seasons, and they are in the non-cultivated form (e.g. the wild varieties of wheat or corn or potatoes) and some like honey would be rare treats, and there is often a wide variety, e.g. where we would just eat rice or wheat, they might have gathered half a dozen edible types of seeds in a day.
There is usually also a leavening of animal flesh - often small animals like lizards & the smaller mammals as well as birds & fish. (It was a bit of a shock to many people when it was discovered that primates killed & ate animals, including other primates.)
There might be many reasons why such conditions as you describe may still remain in the gene pool (those that are genetically based), including being carried in an unexpressed form by some (like haemophilia), being associated with good traits (sickle-cell anaemia), being useful in certain conditions (_mild_ forms of schizophrenia (controversially)), or only being expressed in certain conditions (some of which may be those created by modern life & chemicals).
I don't disagree that there are many harmful effects of current methods of food production, distribution, consumption & disposal, however.
It would be good, for instance, to help enable countries whose people are frequently on the edge of starvation to get a better diet (both more abundant & 'healthier') _without_ taking on the bad aspects of "western" food production, distribution, consumption & disposal.
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