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Grains, Rice, Corn, etc. Whats their purpose...?

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  • Grains, Rice, Corn, etc. Whats their purpose...?

    If these foods are not for human consumption, then what is their purpose? Mark argues that not even cattle or livestock should be eating these items as feed, either.

    In my mind all these plants must have a purpose, but if not to be eaten, then why do they exist? What use do they have?

  • #2
    Humans may not be able to thrive at optimum health eating grains, but they can certainly survive eating grains, and for the vast majority of the world's population, it's about sheer survival. The invention of the much-villified-around-here hybridized dwarf wheat, for instance, saved billions of lives.

    I'm not judging you or anything, but it's a very sheltered, very privileged lifestyle that allows one to question why grains even exist.

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    • #3
      Humans are not the typical diet of any animal either. I guess that means we have no purpose either?
      Some of you may die, but that is a risk I'm willing to take.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by heatseeker View Post
        Humans may not be able to thrive at optimum health eating grains, but they can certainly survive eating grains, and for the vast majority of the world's population, it's about sheer survival. The invention of the much-villified-around-here hybridized dwarf wheat, for instance, saved billions of lives.
        I disagree. I think millions of people have and do thrive with grains in their diet. I wouldn't say everyone who eats grains is in poor health and not living optimally. There are countless people who eat grains and live healthfully into their 80s, 90s and beyond.

        Many developed countries have zillions of confounding factors that contribute to poor health. It's not just grains.
        Last edited by j3nn; 02-11-2013, 01:06 PM.
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        • #5
          If these foods are not for human consumption, then what is their purpose? Mark argues that not even cattle or livestock should be eating these items as feed, either.

          In my mind all these plants must have a purpose, but if not to be eaten, then why do they exist? What use do they have?
          Because if it can't be exploited by h. sapiens then it might as well not exist? Who made you the center of the universe? How selfish can you really be before the irony gets too thick and you start laughing? A plant exists to reproduce, grow and populate its environment. Don't start thinking it matters to the species of plant as a whole if some hairless monkeys start eating some of them. I ask, To what use are we to corn? Why do we exist at all if corn cannot use us?
          Crohn's, doing SCD

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          • #6
            These grains, as they exist now, are only the way they are because of selective breeding/cloning/gene manipulation.

            In the way distant past, they were used as cheap filler when real food wasn't available. Hmm... that seems to be what they are used for, now. Very cheap filler, meant to stimulate appetite and fill the stomach (while emptying pockets?), without actually providing quality nutrition.

            Over time, and especially recently, the health effects of using these substances have been showing up worse in each subsequent generation.

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            • #7
              Without these grains (and oil), we would never have reached even close to 7billion people on the planet.

              Whether or not you believe 7billion is too many or not is another story.
              "It's a great life, if you don't weaken.". John Buchan

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              • #8
                Mice and rats eat grains.
                "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                B*tch-lite

                Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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                • #9
                  Looking down most any supermarket aisle at the stuff on the shelves and the people buying it, I'd have to say the main [anthropocentric] "purpose" of grains in the US is padding profit margins on things like breakfast cereals, Doritos and Coca-Cola--and, more indirectly, those of the drug-makers and healthcare complex that treat the diseases of Western civilization. Maybe certain people somewhere can live healthy lives that include grains as a major energy source, but I'm definitely not one of them.
                  6' 2" | Age: 42 | SW: 341 | CW: 198 | GW: 180?

                  “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”
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                  • #10
                    I wish corn were Primal Approved! I love corn!

                    Corn is such an interesting plant. It originated in Mexico as a grass-like plant called Teosinte, which looks nothing like the corn we know. Often thought to be 'dumb cavemen' the natives of Mexico 7,000 years ago interbred Teosinte and crossbred the results for thousands of years creating all different kinds of corn (popcorn, sweet corn, field corn, cold-weather corn, drought resistant corn, etc...). Corn is completely dependant on man to survive. If you planted a field of corn and left it alone, allowing the seeds to pollinate and sprout on their own, you would no longer have nice corn, and it would die off within just a few years.

                    The natives of Mexico traded their corn varieties as far away as Maine. The folks back then also used corn plant material for clothes and things like baskets and sleeping mats.

                    How did the 'dumb cavemen' eat corn? They soaked it first, then either dried it and ground it into corn meal or roasted the soaked kernels over a fire, known as hominy.

                    Modern sweet corn is an aberration of the original corn, genetically modified and specifically bred for increased sugar content and eaten whole. Same as the corn we use for corn meal GMO'd to increase starch content.

                    I bought seeds recently of an heirloom variety of corn that I'm planning on growing this summer. If it does well, I'm going to try the soak and roast hominy method to eat it--just out of curiosty. Do you realize that native americans subsisted for thousands of years primarily on corn, beans, and squash? I'm sure a deer would have been welcome and meat was amply consumed, but when their numbers outpaced local game--it was the '3 sisters' that sustained them. Three Sisters (agriculture) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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                    • #11
                      I'm with knife on this one.

                      Heatseaker, how did the creation of modern wheat save "billions" of lives? I am in the dark (and slightly skeptical, but that's what I always am).

                      M.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by PainTrain View Post
                        If these foods are not for human consumption, then what is their purpose? Mark argues that not even cattle or livestock should be eating these items as feed, either.

                        In my mind all these plants must have a purpose, but if not to be eaten, then why do they exist? What use do they have?
                        Wait... if a plant or that plants fruit/seed isn't for human consumption then "what is it's purpose" existing?

                        Is that pretty much your question.

                        There are lots of things on this earth that if you ingest them you DIE.
                        Seriously. Flat out die.
                        From some of them you die almost immediately... others it takes a little while and you suffer miserably in the process.
                        Some are plants, some are animals.
                        What is the purpose of any of those things existing.
                        /head desk.
                        “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
                        ~Friedrich Nietzsche
                        And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

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                        • #13
                          War in the 1960s in the Indian subcontinent had led to a huge famine. What wheat was growing, wasn't yielding high amounts of product because it was literally tipping over from being too top-heavy. The introduction of high-yield dwarf wheat in India and Pakistan essentially saved the entire subcontinent from starvation. Wikipedia Norman Borlaug for more on that story (he got the Nobel Prize for creating the dwarf wheat, bringing it to the subcontinent, and saving all those lives).

                          I disagree. I think millions of people have and do thrive with grains in their diet. I wouldn't say everyone who eats grains is in poor health and not living optimally. There are countless people who eat grains and live healthfully into their 80s, 90s and beyond.
                          .

                          True. I was speaking from an evolutionary biology standpoint, since we are on the Primal forums, after all, and the OP was talking about why Mark specifically nixes grains.

                          But in opposition to your statement, I don't agree with you that people whose diets are high in grains (a significant portion of their diet is what I'm talking about; I'm not talking about people who have pizza once a month as part of their 80/20) are living optimally. Some may not be in poor health, but they're not living optimally. In my opinion. YMMV.
                          Last edited by heatseeker; 02-11-2013, 02:22 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by otzi View Post
                            I wish corn were Primal Approved! I love corn!
                            I can do w/o corn, but popcorn makes me sad that it is not.
                            65lbs gone and counting!!

                            Fat 2 Fit - One Woman's Journey

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                            • #15
                              In the past they had their uses. The development of grain and agriculture brought Paleolithic man from hunter gatherer tribes to established agrarian community that settled down and gradually evolved into societies.

                              Some types of grains and rice were genetically altered to be grown with higher yield and with less water, and they did help save lives in drought ridden areas of the world like Africa and India where famine is still a great problem.
                              Last edited by Damiana; 02-11-2013, 03:17 PM.
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