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Thread: What was grain's plan for survival?

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  1. #1
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    What was grain's plan for survival?

    So I read in the book that grains developed certain defense mechanisms to avoid being eaten. OK, so their idea was to subtly poison us, and hope that we'd figure it out 10,000 years later? It seems that a more direct approach would be more effective.

    Also, why do vegetables not mind being eaten?
    "Don't go in there, General, it's a trap! That's a grain chamber. It makes people like you into people like me."

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    This is what I have come to understand (I could be wrong< I have been wrong before!)

    I think it is that grains have developed defenses to avoid being digested. The husk and phytic acid (phytate) seem to be the issue.

    From wiki:
    "Phytate is not digestible to humans or nonruminant animals, however, so it is not a source of either inositol or phosphate if eaten directly. Moreover, it chelates and thus makes unabsorbable certain important minor minerals such as zinc and iron, and to a lesser extent, also macro minerals such as calcium and magnesium."

    There has been discussion of the phytates even removing nutrients from other foods and passing them through the intestines without absorbtion (possible cause for anemia?).

    Basically seeds have developed so they can be eaten and pass through the digestive track (without losing nutrients) and then excreted with the ability to germinate.

    Please correct me if I am wrong.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalHunter View Post
    So I read in the book that grains developed certain defense mechanisms to avoid being eaten. OK, so their idea was to subtly poison us, and hope that we'd figure it out 10,000 years later? It seems that a more direct approach would be more effective.

    Also, why do vegetables not mind being eaten?
    Yeah, I have been thinking this all the time. I think it's so stupid to say that "grains don't want to be eaten"
    Like anyone would feel bad 2 hours later after eating grains and automatically think "it must be the grains!"
    well then

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    Veggies have plenty of toxins as well. Eat some raw kale and see how you feel afterwards.
    “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 Chaohinon View Post
    Veggies have plenty of toxins as well. Eat some raw kale and see how you feel afterwards.
    or a raw potato
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    Grains do need special preparation to be digested...
    Their outer coatings are in place for protection so that when they are eaten they can pass through the digestive tract, then sprout where they land.

    Many vegetables are harvested and eaten by humans in an immature state(prior to flowering). But as long as some were left to do their thing this wasn't an issue.
    Most fruits (both sweet and non-sweet) have the seeds discarded instead of ingested (by humans at least)... this works for the plant I suppose.
    Others that have edible seeds generally have developed a symbiotic relationship of sorts where the seeds are dispersed via the eaters shedding them in there defecation once they leave the immediate area.

    Gadsie... some people really do get sick after eating grain products. Seriously. If you don't that's cool... But it doesn't make other people stupid.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chaohinon View Post
    Veggies have plenty of toxins as well. Eat some raw kale and see how you feel afterwards.
    Interesting... I used to eat big raw kale salads regularly. Never bothered me a bit, I loved them. I can't anymore due to a medical issue that I need to follow a low oxalate diet for, but kale never made me sick or feel unwell when I could eat it.
    Last edited by cori93437; 08-26-2012 at 09:20 PM.
    “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
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    And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cori93437 View Post
    Grains do need special preparation to be digested...
    Their outer coatings are in place for protection so that when they are eaten they can pass through the digestive tract, then sprout where they land.

    Many vegetables are harvested and eaten by humans in an immature state(prior to flowering). But as long as some were left to do their thing this wasn't an issue.
    Most fruits (both sweet and non-sweet) have the seeds discarded instead of ingested (by humans at least)... this works for the plant I suppose.
    Others that have edible seeds generally have developed a symbiotic relationship of sorts where the seeds are dispersed via the eaters shedding them in there defecation once they leave the immediate area.

    Gadsie... some people really do get sick after eating grain products. Seriously. If you don't that's cool... But it doesn't make other people stupid.




    Interesting... I used to eat big raw kale salads regularly. Never bothered me a bit, I loved them. I can't anymore due to a medical issue that I need to follow a low oxalate diet for, but kale never made me sick or feel unwell when I could eat it.
    I didn't call anyone stupid. I just think it doesn't really make sense for grains to "avoid being eaten" by causing digestive problems which don't occur directly. It would make much more sense to just have stings or something.
    well then

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadsie View Post
    I didn't call anyone stupid. I just think it doesn't really make sense for grains to "avoid being eaten" by causing digestive problems which don't occur directly. It would make much more sense to just have stings or something.
    The vast diversity of survival techniques among plants and animals is almost too much to comprehend. To pick one species and say it's particular defense mechanism doesn't make sense seems inappropriate. For example, should we criticize a snake for having fangs and venom when it might make more sense for it to have a thousand legs so it can run fast and escape?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadsie View Post
    I didn't call anyone stupid. I just think it doesn't really make sense for grains to "avoid being eaten" by causing digestive problems which don't occur directly. It would make much more sense to just have stings or something.
    Right, but it's not that grains want to be left to themselves. It's advantageous for them to get eaten and pooped out somewhere a little further away--and for that, they need to stay undigested.

    I get what you meant by the original statement--Hurting your attacker after it's killed you is not a good way to stay alive! : )

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjmc View Post
    Right, but it's not that grains want to be left to themselves. It's advantageous for them to get eaten and pooped out somewhere a little further away--and for that, they need to stay undigested.
    "It's advantageous for them to get eaten and pooped out somewhere a little further away"

    Is it?

    Is that how cereals generally re-seed -- by the agency of animals -- as opposed to dropping on the ground? Are you sure?

    "for that, they need to stay undigested."

    Where's the advantage to the animal then? There has to be some mutuality. If an animal eats a tomato, and gets nutrition from the fruit, but passes the seeds out in its stools, both the plant and the animal get benefit out of that "transaction". It's mutually beneficial.

    But you just painted a scenario where the animal eats the seed but doesn't digest it. Where's the mutuality? Why would the animal expend energy doing that?

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