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Punctuated Equilibrium?

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  • #31
    1

    [quote]

    Shine, when people here talk about selective breeding, it's usually couched in negative terms. But wouldn't you think that that at least some of it is GOOD? The breeding of broccoli, for example, which is very nutrient dense and considered a super-food. Just saying "oh, such-and-such a food didn't exist before man developed it" (potatoes, for example) isn't really a valid argument for saying we shouldn't eat it.
    </blockquote>


    I used the example of broccoli with the thought that not all food processing is inherently bad. I guess I am then analogizing various methods of food processing in order to increase palatability and available nutrients: tubers were cooked, grains were fermented and soaked, and broccoli was born of selective breeding. (I am completely going out on a limb and should probably include a giant disclaimer that this is all just speculation. I am not purporting to have facts or evidence.)


    Ultimately, my point was that *we* did not evolve or adapt to consume these various foods. Instead, we modified the foods to become suitable to us. To what degree we were/are succesful in this endeavor, I do not know.

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    • #32
      1



      Shine I find domesticated plants to be an interesting issue as well.


      I would think that how idoneous the plant is as a new dietary component would depend on what plant we are talking about.


      Domesticating plant&#39;s with particularly high concentrations of starch in it by making it palatable and (at least apparently) non-toxic was probably a response of adapting to ecosystems with a low provision of food resources.


      These plants might have allowed some communities to survive. But to thrive? I doubt it.


      I still stand behind the idea that, if we do not need potatoes to thrive, and their free consumption can result in multiple health problems, why consume it at all?


      We can stretch the arguments as much as possible and provide a semi-comfortable foundation to eat potatoes without feeling guilty about it, but everything seems to suggest that the prime and basic dietary staple of our ancestors were meat, fat and readily available and naturally palatable plant foods.

      “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
      "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
      "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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      • #33
        1



        Maybe processing certain foods is more effective than others? For example, perhaps soaking and fermenting oats is able to render a product more edible than the results of applying the same processes to wheat or rye. But again, this does not address the underlying issue. We are seeking the optimal diet upon which our bodies will thrive, not the bare minimum of edible nutritive matter upon which we can survive.


        I&#39;m still stuck on the idea of defining the point at which food processing can be considered detrimental; while I don&#39;t think there is a case against broccoli, wheat evidently remains a problematic source of nutrition even after lengthy processing. I guess it&#39;s a question of balance between minimal modification to the wild food and the quality of the end result.

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        • #34
          1



          I fully believe that there&#39;s just *no* way we can truly eat what our "paleolithic ancestors" ate.


          I don&#39;t think any of our food is the same at all. We&#39;ve messed with the world, and the world has changed.


          Species have been domesticated, plants have been crossbred, fruit has become more sweet, etc.


          I think we can&#39;t *really* eat the foods that we were "meant" to eat.


          But I do think that we can find the "chemical" equivalents to them (or at least close.)


          Basically, what are we adapted to eat from a chemical/biochemecial/nutrient level? And in what quantities?


          I think processing foods gets us into trouble because we can basically take fruit, which has a good deal of fiber to blunt absorption, take out the fiber, concentrate the sugar, and then throw it into a glass and *sugar bomb* ourselves. (That&#39;s an issue of quantity, although we know we can biologically eat fruit sugar.)


          So some processing causes some quantity issues.


          And then there&#39;s the "quality" of food and what we actually can eat that helps us reach optimum levels of health, etc.


          In regards to what we&#39;re "adapted" to eat (quality), it gets complicated, because as humans we&#39;re pretty interesting in the fact that we can eat a *ton* of stuff and get away with it for a long time.


          We may not have optimal health, but we can extract calories and survive.


          One of the things that we technically *can* eat is wheat, and from a macronutrient level, it has carbs... but if you take a look closer at it... wheat also contains a ton of toxic elements (lectins, and anti-nutrients.)


          We have not adapted to those as a species, and "diseases" like celiac are evidence of that.


          So I think the real issue is finding foods that we can thrive on (even though they aren&#39;t in the same exact format as our ancient ancestors ate.)


          And then grouping those foods into a way that has good ratios as well (such as O-3 to 0-6, % of carbs, % of protein, etc.)


          Theoretically, I think we could at some point synthesize the perfect human meal replacement "goop." It would be something completely foreign to our "caveman" ancestors, and it would probably be good for us from a nutritional level... but may be very boring

          -Sean

          www.SeanBissell.com

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          • #35
            1



            I think optimal is probably a better word than thrive in this context. We know that humans have thrived (that is to increase their numbers and out compete other species) on grains, but we are hardly in an optimal state at the moment.


            I am afraid we are pretty stuck with artificially selected species that make up our diet. There is very little left and you certainly can&#39;t buy anything else in the store. Thinking about what is available in the wild probably brings a pretty long list, but hunting and gathering doesn&#39;t really fit most of our life styles. Something like wild mushrooms and fiddle heads may be some of the only things in the grocery store that have not been breed my man. Everything else would have been selected artificially, clearly some more than others. Back to SS&#39;s rant about "feeling good" I think we have to stick to the science (and vetted by the gut check :^ ) to help guide us on what is and is not detrimental.


            PS.. yeah what sean said

            It's grandma, but you can call me sir.

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            • #36
              1



              Meal replacement goop, eh? Two words for you, Sean: Soylent Green!

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              • #37
                1



                @Sean: But if absolutely no foods remain in their original state from Paleolithic times due to mankind&#39;s modifying and processing everything, then all methods of food processing cannot be automatically bad. If processing food were inherently bad and always detrimental to us, then how has our population continued to rise exponentially? (I am being extremely liberal with the term processing and using it encompass selective breeding, domestication, and cooking--basically any method of in which humans modify a food source from it&#39;s wild state.) I completely agree that the food processing techniques of the past century have produced little (if any) consumables that are beneficial to our bodies. Also, not all processing has been equally successful: selectively breeding broccoli wins, and soaking/sprouting wheat still loses.


                I guess the idea that I am wrestling with is that we have modified our environment rather than adapting to it. But this seems to override the laws of evolution in that we have negated the environmental factors which drive natural selection. It would seem that the agricultural revolution actually *stopped* our evolutionary process by providing an abundance of food on which even the weakest could have at least survived. Is it possible for a species&#39; genetic development to come to a grinding halt? What happens then, ever-increasing genetic diversity as the population is never thinned out?

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                • #38
                  1



                  I guess if I introduced to the theory that we evolved from aquatic apes it would really open the discussion.


                  This isn&#39;t a joke. The theory makes a lot of sense and is hard to dispute.


                  http://tinyurl.com/lymcns


                  This link is the first of 5 on youtube from a documentary on BBC.

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                  • #39
                    1



                    Vick, it&#39;s funny that you mention the aquatic ape hypothesis, I watched a video a couple of days ago mentioning it:


                    http://tinyurl.com/nlrhjw


                    Forward to 2:33 if you want to jump to the relevant part.

                    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                    "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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                    • #40
                      1



                      I guess he is saying that it is easy to shove aside evidence if you choose not to agree with it. The largest brains in animal world belong to whales, dolphins (aquatic mamimals) and humans (former aquatic mamimals?). Did you know the most efficient way to get enough vitamin D is not by lying in the sun (which is a great help) but by eating fish that are high in fats and oils? Why would we need a vitamin that is best gotten from a fish if we didn&#39;t evolve by eating them?


                      Personally I think if this line of thinking has merit it supports less grain and more seafoods... animal and vegetation that is grown in water or near moist conditions. That was my reason for raising the topic.


                      I think he is the same type of scientist that would think we are all whacko pursing a primal lifestyle because there is no long term study to support our diet.


                      According to that line of thinking we are following this because we feel better and success stories that appear here do not provide long term scientific proof that it works.


                      Vick

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                      • #41
                        1



                        What the video is trying to convey is, I think, that it&#39;s all about evidence, and there is no evidence to support the aquatic ape idea.


                        There is merit in the associations and creativity behind the idea, but that&#39;s about it.


                        Contrary to the aquatic ape hypothesis, the basic tenets of the PB are supported by evidence.


                        Additionally, I think that the burden of proof is CW, not on the PB. The PB is the default diet. We can argue about details like types of plants or tolerance to such and such, and that it might be impossible to recreate the exact diet of our ancestors. But the principle still holds.


                        CW, on the other hand, suggests that it&#39;s ok to eat new foods, and that many of the "old" foods are bad for us. And go figure, research keeps pushing towards the PB and against CW.


                        So following the PB is not about doing what feels good and getting inspired by success stories. I personally love beer and pasta, and many people do not lose weight as fast as with other diets. But I stick to the PB because it makes sense. Thats the difference between going Primal/Paleo and going to WeighWatchers.

                        “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                        "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
                        "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass." -Martin Mull

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                        • #42
                          1



                          100 years ago there was no evidence to support that the planet Pluto existed. It was found.


                          Anyway let&#39;s not beat this to death. I enjoy expanding horizons... not just my own.

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