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    joelwlcx's Avatar
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    Questioning veggies

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    So, I watched the movie "Fat Head" the other day. Great movie, makes "Super Size Me" look like a load of crap (bologna, actually). I noticed that one of the speakers brought up a great point, that humans react to a small number of flavor cravings: sweet, savory/fatty, and salty. These mean fruit and sugary roots like yams or carrots, and meat.

    But, I can't imagine any reason to eat leafy veggies other than the vitamins/minerals/antioxidants. But early man didn't know about these. They just ate what their body told them to. My question is... What instinct lead man to eat leaves?

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    Throughout most of the last 3 million years our ancestors scrounged for any food they could find. They couldn't afford to be picky eaters. "Eeeeewww, leaves. I want barbecued eland!"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hedonist View Post
    Throughout most of the last 3 million years our ancestors scrounged for any food they could find. They couldn't afford to be picky eaters. "Eeeeewww, leaves. I want barbecued eland!"
    The evidence strongly, strongly suggests otherwise! Though I know this is a common "Grok" idea on this site, it's just not true.
    The average modern HG (who has been in almost all cases pushed into marginal environments) spends very little time gathering food and does not eat "anything they could find" by a long shot. What they have is a ton of accumulated wisdom about what plants and etc. are good/nutritious to eat, for whom and when. They spend a lot less time working than we do.
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    If you were hungry and you saw animals eating the leaves, you'd eat the leaves. I've taken to eating maple leaves at random to get people to ask what's up. It's fun. Try it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfarny View Post
    The evidence strongly, strongly suggests otherwise! Though I know this is a common "Grok" idea on this site, it's just not true.
    The average modern HG (who has been in almost all cases pushed into marginal environments) spends very little time gathering food and does not eat "anything they could find" by a long shot. What they have is a ton of accumulated wisdom about what plants and etc. are good/nutritious to eat, for whom and when. They spend a lot less time working than we do.
    Not sure how relevant modern HGs are. They are not our ancestors. I'm re-reading The Old Way about the Bushmen before contact with "civilization." About as close to our Grok ancestors as you can get. And they scrounged for anything they could find (while dreaming of barbecued eland.) But I certainly agree about the accumulated wisdom of HGs.
    Last edited by Hedonist; 07-06-2011 at 10:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by joelwlcx View Post
    So, I watched the movie "Fat Head" the other day. Great movie, makes "Super Size Me" look like a load of crap (bologna, actually). I noticed that one of the speakers brought up a great point, that humans react to a small number of flavor cravings: sweet, savory/fatty, and salty. These mean fruit and sugary roots like yams or carrots, and meat.

    But, I can't imagine any reason to eat leafy veggies other than the vitamins/minerals/antioxidants. But early man didn't know about these. They just ate what their body told them to. My question is... What instinct lead man to eat leaves?
    Hmm I don't know about that, I find things like greens and spinach delicious and definately would miss them a lot if I had to give them up.
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    everyone has their own taste buds to some vegetables are tasteless to some their delicious it all depends!

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    It depends on your taste buds and how you were raised. I was raised in a scarcity of fruit and vegetables, where they were only available in season from grandma's garden or imported to the local Market from the southern regions, and in winter it was grandma's jams and pickles of every sort (ever tried pickled garlic?), plus carrots, potatoes, beets and cabbages.

    I have not tasted broccoli and celery (!) till I turned 23 yo. Brussel sprout and cauliflower was a treat available in a frozen mix (not sure why it didn't have broccoli? maybe it didn't grow well in Bulgary?) you had to stand in line for in a special store when it was imported from a friendly, southern EE country. Bell peppers and eggplants still give me extasy, because I spent the whole year salivating waiting for August-Sept when they will be on the markets from Ukraine. And I can't even describe the trials absolutely everyone went through to raise and preserve the tomatoes, that were mostly ruined despite the hours of advanced seeding, covering and manure-gathering. My mom grew tomatoes in broth pots, moving them 2x a day from one side of the appartment to another, where there was most sun.

    I am sure the hunter-gatheres had the same responce to leaves when they popped out of the ground! Just like I jumped on onions and letuces when they came up in grandma's garden! And trust me, when spring came, I scoured the city yards and forest for the first tender nettles (yes, NETTLES) and sorel to get that green after a long winter on pickles! In fact, I still mourn the demise of my sorel in the move, since it's no spring for me without a sorel soup! Spinach is good, but not as flavorful.

    That upbringing I think is what lead to my cravings distributions: I have no idea why people would crave pastas, pizzas, donughts and burgers. On the other hand, everything that has fruit on it is still makes me shaky at the knees. I am a fool for spices and herbs as well, because I grew up on parsley, dill, horseradish, black pepper, and, rarely, cayenne.
    Last edited by Leida; 07-07-2011 at 05:36 AM.

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    My life was much like Leida's. Still us sort of. Winter is often eight straight months of never-ending snow and sub zero temps. Veggies in winter are scarce or rotted. After all those months if nothing but frozen meat and lumpy winter squash, leaves look delicious when they come up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knifegill View Post
    If you were hungry and you saw animals eating the leaves, you'd eat the leaves. I've taken to eating maple leaves at random to get people to ask what's up. It's fun. Try it.
    Most tree leaves are edible but don't taste great. However, if you can find Basswood trees, those are tasty! One of the only places I have found them nearby is in front of our Glass Museum. Wigs people out when I go picking their leaves for my salad.

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