I love archaeology. You can critique the newspaper reporting of any subject you actually know about, not only paleo. Makes you think about all the stuff you read on subjects you don't have much background in.
It's strange that Yahoo has a different synopsis of the exact same study (by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) but says something quite different which in my mind is completely consistent with what we conceive of as Paleo nutrition. Here is how the Yahoo study described the findings:
"The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal on Monday, indicate that Palaeolithic Europeans ground down plant roots similar to potatoes to make flour, which was later whisked into dough."
This is plant roots and tubers, it is not grains. Guess it just goes to show you have to read the original source and cannot rely on others to characterize it for you, here is a link to the yahoo article.
After a few re-reads of the article I realize that it never meant grains in the neolithic sense. I guess I was just thrown off by the statement that they made in the first sentence.
Agriculture as we know it had to evolve over time. Man didn't just grab a rake and hoe one day and start planting rows of wheat and corn. The idea for using grains to create edible food had to start from one small idea, probably out of necessity. After having success in creating something edible to fill his stomach the idea of replicating it had to happen. The fact that a mortar and pestle was found in a cave doesn’t mean they sat around eating toast and jam all day. What it means is man found a new way to survive in less than ideal situations. What was probably a necessary evil to see these tribes or families through tough times should not be a staple of our diet. Look at the chronic health problems that have been observed since the wide spread use of agriculture.
If you pay attention to this article it has a very anti low carb anti Atkins anti Primal anti paleo diet sentiment in it right from the first sentence. Notice that he tells you how "Humanity’s Stone Age ancestors, long thought to have practiced a prehistoric version of the Atkins diet, may have eaten a balanced diet after all.” I can't help but feel that the author of the article had an agenda to fill and it wasn't to present the facts about an archeological find. He wanted to defend his cake and eat it too
There is some evidence that humans have eaten a bit of grain for 100,000 years. Any evidence about that is hard to find. But Paleo is the optimal diet not the only one that we can do OK on. There is no reason to think Grok ate enough grain to make any difference. We are designed to eat the plants that are part of primal, meat and whatever we have to eat to survive when the first two are scarce.
Ancestral Health Info
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Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.
Agriculture almost certainly started by accident and gradually over millenia, as people and their dogs disposed of seeds near campsites; when they returned to a campsite in the right season, they'd find lots of fruits & veggies had grown up there, allowing them to stay longer / helping them through a lean time, reducing their nomadic movement a bit. The site becomes a "must visit" because of all the nice composted soil and eventually they start to scatter their seeds on purpose before leaving to the next camping site. Repeat gradually for a few eons or so as the big game gets hunted to extinction, and voila you have agriculture. Agriculture appears always, shortly after the disappearance of the biggest local game animals in that area.
Read Jared Diamond (any book).