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Thread: Stone Age Humans Liked Their Burgers on a Bun

  1. #1
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    Stone Age Humans Liked Their Burgers on a Bun

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    Saw this at a science forum

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...-in-a-bun.html


    Forget the idea that hunter-gatherers lived on low-carb meat diets. Palaeolithic mammoth burgers were eaten with a bun.

    Anna Revedin of the Italian Institute of Prehistory and Early History in Florence and colleagues analysed the wear-marks and traces of plants on 30,000-year-old grindstones found in Italy, Russia and the Czech Republic.

    This showed that they had been used as mortars and pestles to grind plants like cat's tail and fern roots, which packed a starchy, high-energy punch.
    I note that no claim is made that paleolithic men used grains. Do more modern hunter/gatherer peoples use grains? Or eat bread?

    Interesting, anyway, as I'm beginning to wonder if the PB should consider a few more starches in some form, for energy, though clearly not wheat.

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    Thanks for posting this one. Out of curiosity I googled for nutrition info on these but didn't spot anything. A few months ago Matt Metzgar had an interesting post about %s of plant and animal food in various hunter gatherer diets. In all except those living in Arctic tundra, plant %s were substantial. This is just additional evidence.

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    I suggest there's nothing wrong with starchy foods (apart from that modern one; wheat) They appear so important that we have evolved to have amylase, the first digestive enzyme to start breaking down our food, secreted right into our mouth, so that starchy food starts breaking down straight away in the mouth, to give us a tempting tickle of sweetness.
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    It does seem unlikely that hunter-gatherers would have had access to the sheer quantity of grains that we do. Just a thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TigerJ View Post
    Thanks for posting this one. Out of curiosity I googled for nutrition info on these but didn't spot anything. A few months ago Matt Metzgar had an interesting post about %s of plant and animal food in various hunter gatherer diets. In all except those living in Arctic tundra, plant %s were substantial. This is just additional evidence.
    Yeah, it's interesting. I love Mark's diet on a number of levels, but have actually been looking to put some more starch in my diet, though not wheat. I'm starting to lose too much weight for one thing, (148 pounds seems small for a 5'9" male - I was 157 when I started on this) and for exercise, I think I could use a little more energy. I'd like more variety in starch than bananas and sweet potatoes, much as I like them, which is a lot.

    I believe the Indians in south Florida, who were certainly hunter/gatherers, used the coontie root to make starch. The plant, which used to be everywhere in the understory, is nearly gone from Dade County, but there are a few still around. There are even a few in my yard, which is kind of unspoiled, even to the point of having the bedrock protrude up through the grass in places. I'm told my yard is "primal" enough that I could have it put into a covenant with the state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Cree View Post
    Saw this at a science forum

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/...-in-a-bun.html



    I note that no claim is made that paleolithic men used grains. Do more modern hunter/gatherer peoples use grains? Or eat bread?

    Interesting, anyway, as I'm beginning to wonder if the PB should consider a few more starches in some form, for energy, though clearly not wheat.
    Sure, they collected and ground some plants. Why should that mean that, as the New Scientist puts it, that we should "Forget the idea that hunter-gatherers lived on low-carb meat diets"? The consumption of some cat's tail at some times of the year doesn't mean that they were eating high-carbohydrate diets.

    Why put it like that? Is the New Scientist getting defensive about carbohydrate consumption? Why? Do they feel carbohydrates need defending or something? Maybe they're starting to realize that what Mark calls "Conventional wisdom' is wearing pretty thin, and they don't like it.

    Do modern hunter-gatherers use grains? There aren't that many of them left. Maybe it's better to look at the historic period. Some North American Indians gathered "wild rice" (a kind of water grass). Others, grew maize - many Plains Indians had been farmers, but, with the coming of the horse (and firearms) were able to give that up and exploit the buffalo as a food source. However, many seem to have continued to grow some maize. Some Australian Aborigines used a form of wild millet; they also gathered various types of starchy roots. Some Eskimos made use of tubers at some times of the year.

    Gathering some kind of wild grains/grass seeds probably does go right back. It's been found fairly recently that exploitation of sorghum seems to go back some 100,000 years - way back.

    The "Paleo Diet" proponents are likely wrong to jump to the conclusion that people in the remote past didn't exploit these foodstuffs. However, the New Scientist seems to be going to the other extreme when it suggests that we have to "forget low-carb diets". This stuff just isn't around all year; what's around depends on your latitude and climate anyway; and, besides, people wouldn't necessarily bother with it at all when meat was plentiful ... on the other hand, when particular plant foods are in season maybe it's a chance for a rest for the hunters. I know of one 18th-century North American source which seems to suggest that the maize harvest was looked upon in just that way. Maybe it was the same for wild plants.

    Sally Fallon and Mary Enig suggest, reasonably enough:

    Present day hunter-gatherers employ special preparation methods for carbohydrate-rich foods. Acorns, for example, are soaked in water and lye to remove tannins; tubers are buried in the ground, pounded or cooked in hearth ashes; seeds are soaked, pounded and allowed to ferment in various ways. It is safe to assume that the ancient hunter-gatherers employed similar techniques to neutralize the many enzyme inhibitors, irritants and mineral blocking substances found in tubers and seeds. In fact, a large portion of the primitive woman's day was spent in just such preparations-pounding, soaking, sieving, souring and putting the finishing touches on various types of root and seed foods. The men, on the other hand, divided their time between dangerous hunting forays, in which physical stamina and strength was at a premium, and periods of idleness when they would work on their weapons-and gossip.
    http://www.westonaprice.org/traditio...n-cuisine.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by DianeThePurple View Post
    It does seem unlikely that hunter-gatherers would have had access to the sheer quantity of grains that we do. Just a thought.
    Word. It would be naive to claim that hunter-gatherers never touched grains, but to take this information as an excuse to pound bagles is just beyond stupid.

    And even if we were to go as far as to assume that HG's ate a lot of grains, that still doesn't excuse the fact that most conventional grain products are (A) hyper-processed, and way too easily digestible, (B) compounded with sugars and veg. oils (I actually tried to hunt down some tortillas with no soybean oil a few months back, no luck), and/or (C) not properly treated through fermentation (the Romans only had access to proper sourdough, and were pretty fit).

    Even with the maximum amount of leeway given to the presence of grains in one's diet, there's still no excuse for eating wonderbread, whole grain bread that contains soybean oil and HFCS, heavily processed pasta, Subway sandwiches, and whatnot. The vast majority of hearthealthywholegrain manufacturers are just junk-peddlers, giving you maximum cheapness and minimal nutrition in return for maximum profits.
    The whole concept of a macronutrient, like that of a calorie, is determining our language game in such a way that the conversation is not making sense." - Dr. Kurt Harris

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    Quote Originally Posted by localad View Post
    I suggest there's nothing wrong with starchy foods (apart from that modern one; wheat) They appear so important that we have evolved to have amylase, the first digestive enzyme to start breaking down our food, secreted right into our mouth, so that starchy food starts breaking down straight away in the mouth, to give us a tempting tickle of sweetness.
    I tend to think that tolerance for starchy foods increases as you get closer to the actual Paleolithic metabolism: significant amounts of activity with no pre-existing insulin resistance. For example, a lot of paleo/primal athletes find they need more carbs than are typically recommended to support their performance. Today though, when most people already have metabolic issues, and when many of us are tethered to a desk for 8+ hours/day, starches can be a real problem. Personally, I've been noticing that I feel best when I time my starchier meals to precede or follow more intense activities.
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    Despite the article's title, it doesn't claim hunter-gatherers were eating grains. They were eating roots -- cat's tail and fern roots -- 30,000 years ago. No grains.
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    i know that the native americans used to use ash to process their corn, it made it more nutritious and digestible?

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