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Old 08-28-2009, 06:33 AM   #8
Darryl Shaw
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 681

Originally Posted by Mike Romano View Post
Do you have any studies that support those claims?
Evidence that humans are starch adapted primates -

Dates re. the development of the modern hunter-gatherer lifestyle along with relevant info re. mesolithic and neolithic eras can be found in The Human Past: World Prehistory & the Development of Human Societies by Chris Scarre.

Info on the lack of any physiological requirement for dietary fat other than the EFA's along with info on protein requirments can be found in the Manual of Dietetic Practice (4th edition) by Briony Thomas and Jacki Bishop.

Originally Posted by Mike Romano
Dunno, I have a hard time believing that vegetarianism is the way to go....anecdotally and evolutionarily. The very first day of my anthro 102 class we went over the decline of health that went along with the agricultural revolution in nearly every race, i.e. native americans, egyptians, etc. It's pretty standard stuff.....
The Tarahumara aren't vegetarians they just eat very little meat. As for the health problems associated with the introduction of agriculture they can mostly be attributed to rapid population growth and the spread of infectious diseases along with all the other problems you get when there's too many people living too close together with too little food. When there's enough food to go around and there's proper health care all those problems disappear.

Originally Posted by Mike Romano
also, evidence that we only started hunting large game 20k years ago? From what I have learned, it began during the acheulian tradition, about 1.2 million years ago....there is evidence that elephants were hunted around that time. That is to say nothing of saturated fat intake, but I am pretty sure intense hunting DID exist.
According to The Human Past by Chris Scarre the shift from an opportunistic gatherer-scavenger lifestyle to what we now consider to be the hunter-gatherer lifestyle occurred ~27,000 years ago and the evidence of the first arrow dates back to ~10,500 years ago. (note: those dates could be bc rather than years ago, should have made notes last night but I was tired). S. Boyd Eaton suggests that there was a gradual shift starting ~40,000 years ago to a modern hunter-gatherer lifestyle and if memory serves he puts the earliest use of spears in hunting at ~20,000 years ago although I suspect the use of spears and the bow and arrow goes back further but we haven't found the evidence for it yet.

Anyway what's important is those dates relate to our recent history and as we're all happy to accept that 10,000 years of agriculture hasn't been long enough to fully adapt to a grain based diet (note: I'm not certain about that theory anymore) perhaps it's time we started questioning how relevant the modern hunter-gatherer diet is to our health and how from an evolutionary perspective it relates to our nutritional requirements. Maybe we need to look further back in time to find our ideal diet because hunting and the regular consumption of animal protein didn't really become a big part our diet until quite recently and for most of our history as a species our diet was almost entirely plant based much like other primates.

How does all that relate to the Tarahumara then? Again this is pure speculation on my part and with the caveat that corn and beans are obviously not paleolithic foods and there could be a degree of genetic drift involved in their good health the question is this; what if the Tarahumara's plant based diet with a limited intake of animal protein and fats is closer to our ideal evolutionary primate diet than that of modern-hunter gatherers and is therefore better for our health?

Obviously I don't have any answers but it's all food for thought. (pun intended )
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