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  • European/Northern Hemisphere

    I can't really find anything about this but i have a few questions.

    I'm white and live in the uk, what would my diet look like 10,000+ years ago? I'm pretty sure i wouldn't have had coconuts and sweet potatoes (or potatoes at all).

    So i guess my question is, what food stuffs are native to the UK/Europe?

    Thanks

    Sorry if this has been discussed before, cos i'm pretty sure it will have! Any links would be great cos the search function on the forum isn't very good :/

  • #2
    Try looking up Nordic Diet, it can be easily adopted to Paleo style, by substituting cold tubers such as beets and potatoes for sweet potatoes, and making emphasis on cold crops like cabbages, nordic fish, meats and dairy (including animal fat) and, if, wanted, buckwheat and millet (instead of rice). I am planning on doing Paleo-Nordic this winter.
    My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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    • #3
      I grew up in Germany with my mum growing a lot of her own veg. What you'd be able to grow on your own without the aid of greenhouses etc is probably a good starting point. Some things like potatoes are indeed imported, but I am not terribly up to speed what those are (other than nightshades).
      Something like eat the seasons could probably help in terms of looking at some lesser known foodstuff. Although the focus is on time of year, they do tend to stick with local as well.

      As for animals, the UK was pretty much one big forest, so deer, game of any kind, boar, and lots and lots of fish, seafood and seaweed I imagine. The coast is never very far. A few days trip for some easy fishing would be well worth it to nomadic or even somewhat settled Grok.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by grouchos_tash View Post
        I can't really find anything about this but i have a few questions.

        I'm white and live in the uk, what would my diet look like 10,000+ years ago? I'm pretty sure i wouldn't have had coconuts and sweet potatoes (or potatoes at all).

        So i guess my question is, what food stuffs are native to the UK/Europe?

        Thanks

        Sorry if this has been discussed before, cos i'm pretty sure it will have! Any links would be great cos the search function on the forum isn't very good :/
        You're what? Race doesn't exist. Stop being a racist.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by dado View Post
          You're what? Race doesn't exist. Stop being a racist.
          I think he was talking about his skin color, not his race. Like albino, or something. Some people have darker or lighter skin than others, even among family members sometimes.

          Relax, dado.

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          • #6
            During that time Northern Europe was inhabited by the Maglemosian culture. So basically Groks living in bands subsisting on hunting and fishing.

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            • #7
              I'm a viking age re-enactor and have studied the norse time period which isn't quite as far back but definitely before you could ship anything anywhere in a few days. Root vegies: beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips(rutabagas are a modern cross), onions. Most cabbage family plants although less refined. A multitude of green leafy plants that aren't commonly eaten now-I would look up a local wild forage or bushcraft group. Hazelnuts, acorns, plums, sloes, cherries, pears, apples. I believe the UK also has quite a few berries, that I wouldn't be familiar with living on the northwest coast of the US. There would be fish, shellfish and game, foraged eggs(mostly a springtime food). You would not see any nightshade family, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant. Cucumbers would be unlikely and squash not at all. Most beans are new world except fava, lentils and peas, as is corn(maize). Grapes are iffy, depending on how warm the climate is at the time. The viking age was warm and grapes grew in England far to the north of where they grow now. The vikings had barley, oats and rye and were aquainted with wheat but couldn't grow it. Honey would be a rare treat. This is hardly a comprehensive list and a lot of fruits and vegies were bred intensively to get what you see today. For viking age foods, the 'viking answer lady' website is good.

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              • #8
                no suggestions, but..

                I think it's a really valid question, and one I've wondered about in the past too. It seems more than possible that just as our skin adapted to climate (paler skin absorbing low levels of vit D better) so our bodies may have adapted to the available diet. Or perhaps, we didn't adapt to some things that other ethnic groups may tolerate better, such as the nightshades. I've always wondered whether it's really a good idea to stock up on so much coconut oil, turmeric, etc. when these cannot possibly have been part of our evolutionary diet (at least, not for a very long time). It would be very interesting if Mark could cover this some time.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dado View Post
                  You're what? Race doesn't exist. Stop being a racist.
                  Sorry if i didn't explain myself very well. I meant that because i have white skin, I'm obviously quite far removed from my original African brothers and sisters and so, if my skin has had time to evolve so could my dietary adaptations.

                  Obviously I don't have any way of knowing who my ancestors are or where they were hanging out over 10,000 years ago. My mother has dark curly hair and olive skin, which to me could suggest the Mediterranean and my dad looks like a Viking (tall and broad with ginger/blond hair). So where does that leave me? Choosing between beets or tomatoes? Haha!

                  Thanks for the replies everyone, they've been really interesting! I might start experimenting with my diet again!

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                  • #10
                    I have wondered about this too! I eat quite a bit of coconut (oil or butter), which I obviously would not have had access to way back when!

                    I am of (mostly) Danish descent, but American living in the Northwest...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by grouchos_tash View Post
                      I'm white and live in the uk, what would my diet look like 10,000+ years ago?
                      Fish and chips, beans for breakfast, and maybe a little vindaloo.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by otzi View Post
                        Fish and chips, beans for breakfast, and maybe a little vindaloo.
                        Or like 95% of the women at work, Special K, Weightwatchers microwave meal, 9000 low fat (mega super high sugar) cereal bars between meals and 2 bottles of wine

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dado View Post
                          You're what? Race doesn't exist. Stop being a racist.
                          Racism entails believing your race is superior to that of another, and that this qualifies for action.

                          Ethnicity and race are facts, no matter how much you're in denial. A poodle and a bulldog are the same specie, but they are different breeds (aka Race). The OP wasn't at all being offensive towards any other race. One aspect of race is skin color. Some people evolved to have lighter skin because their environment caused them to be less exposed to sunlight. The lighter skin allows them to absorb more vitamin D with less sunlight. There are thousands of genomic differences both known and unknown.

                          The OP wants to understand his genes in order to optimize his diet. If you think that's racist then you're much too sensitive.
                          Last edited by Bosnic; 11-10-2011, 06:53 PM.

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                          • #14
                            FWIW, I always state my race as Human but often wondered the same.

                            I'm a Northern European mutt; Dutch/German/Irish/English/andwhoknowswhatelse, and so white (also White) that I glow in the dark. I hate hot weather, love Winter and would rather die than live anywhere a palm tree would grow. I don't like any fruit except for berries but particularly dislike tropical fruits.

                            My husband is the exact opposite on all counts, but he's not white (nor is he White). Same species, different breeds, for sure. And different optimal foods? Probably. We agree 100% on BEEF and BACON though.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bosnic View Post
                              Racism entails believing your race is superior to that of another, and that this qualifies for action.

                              Ethnicity and race are facts, no matter how much you're in denial. A poodle and a bulldog are the same specie, but they are different breeds (aka Race). The OP wasn't at all being offensive towards any other race. One aspect of race is skin color. Some people evolved to have lighter skin because their environment caused them to be less exposed to sunlight. The lighter skin allows them to absorb more vitamin D with less sunlight. There are thousands of genomic differences both known and unknown.

                              The OP wants to understand his genes in order to optimize his diet. If you think that's racist then you're much too sensitive.

                              Good to see some people still have some sense in this world. Race is not, and has never been “socially constructed” as that goes against all basic evolutionary theory and human migration. When a species migrates and becomes separated, they adapt to their environment. This separation causes a species to develop distinct traits that relate to its environment. This is called evolutionary adaption, which in turn creates a sub-species, or “race”. Every animal on the planet has undergone this process. Humans are not exempt from basic biology.

                              As Bosnic has pointed out, skin color is an exemplary example of a racial difference between two human groups. Sub- Sahara Africans have black skin in order to slow down the collection of vitamin D from the intense sun rays. A person from Scandinavia has white skin to optimize vitamin D since the sun is less intense.

                              As to the topic at hand, this has always intrigued me, since different people groups would have adapted to their environment and ate what was available. This seems obvious, but how does it apply to us today? Are humans in general adapted to eat a broad range of items, even if they were not available to all humans at all times? Or is their merit to an ethnic based diet?

                              How does miscegenation factor in? I, for example, am part Gallic and Mediterranean. I am not an expert in prehistory, but I would assume my Irish ancestor’s diet would not have been the same as my ancestors living on the Italian peninsula. Do I receive dietary benefits from this mix, or are they irrelevant?

                              All very interesting stuff, not sure there is a clear answer though.
                              Started 9/5/11 at 212lb
                              Last weigh in 12/10/11 at 188lb
                              Goal: 160

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