You hear us rant almost daily about the ridiculous machinations of the modern medical establishment, namely the reliance on drugs and surgery to “fix” health issues that could often be better dealt with or eliminated with simple lifestyle changes. Modern medicine has become a bureaucratic, money-driven actuarial game wherein individual patient rights are routinely sacrificed for the greater good of large populations. And so you hear, “The operation was a success, but the patient died.” or, “We don’t care that you refuse to get vaccinated. You need to do it so the rest of us don’t die from an epidemic of this obscure disease.” Or “Despite debilitating side effects, this new drug appears to benefit 22% of patients who take it.”
Unnatural Acts: a Primal Approach to Jet Lag
One of the coolest things about being a 21st century “evolved” human is that we can travel to just about anywhere on this planet within a very short period of time and experience different cultures. All but our most recent relatives lived their entire lives never straying more than a hundred miles from their birthplace, yet we routinely hop on a jet, fly across the country or halfway around the world for a few days of travel and then return to our caves just as easily as playing a round of golf (or in my case, even more easily than golfing).
Another amusing “primal” tidbit, everyone: early humans chewed gum. Archaeologists have found a 5,000-year-old piece of preserved tree gum with clearly imprinted neolithic teeth marks. The gum is birch bark tar, which exerts an antiseptic effect on tissues. It’s likely that early humans chewed the phenolic tar to stave off gum infections. Move over, Trident.
Readers Mike and Danielle wrote last week inquiring as to what vegans can do to stay on a Primal Health path. The full letter is below, but I will draw from a few quotes first to give my thoughts on specific elements.
As you know, I am an omnivore and believe we have clearly evolved as omnivores. (For the record, my wife eats fish and certain protein powders, but is otherwise “vegetarian”; my 13-year-old son is 100% vegetarian and has never eaten flesh in his life; my 16-year-old daughter is omnivorous). Most evolutionary biologists will tell you that there has never been a culture that existed entirely without animal products of any kind, although apparently some Hindu sects claim to have done so. I question even that.
When was the last time you left your house without shoes? Hard to say? When was the last time you ran without shoes? Summer, circa 12 years old? If you are to listen to the growing number of barefoot runners out there you are truly missing out.
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