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Thread: Are we really genetically similar to the paleo men and women? page 4

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul900 View Post
    This makes sense. The negative effect of grains is not seen until later in life, as disease takes hold. And you rightly make the comparison with cancer, which is the same thing. Humans obviously developed mechanisms to prevent cancer taking place (by and large) until we have aged quite a bit.

    However, the difference is that these grains have been introduced and the body has had to deal with them for 10,000 years. As such, you would expect the body to have developed novel proteins in order to be able to deal with them, (so that they don't cause harm until we reach reproductive age and beyond). So lets take a case study of a child born today. The child will eat grains from Day 1 and probably live to the age of 70 when he or she will die of health related issues (we can't say for sure these are grain related health issues but I would concede that dietary choices most likely lead to the death of the person). So essentially the body has coped with daily consumption of grains for 70 years. Could paleolithic people have done that? WELL THEY ACTUALLY DID! Neanderthals ate grains. But we are very different to the paleolithic man.

    As an aside, the paleolithic man was all over the world so his diet depended on the environment. Paleo asians ate differently to paleo africans and paleo europeans and paleo americans etc. So do we look at our genetic heritage to look at what our particular paleo ancestors ate and then replicate that?

    And another thing about dairy, do you really think paleo people didn't drink milk? I mean seriously, of course they drank milk. This is another con that the paleo gurus try to pull.

    The fact of the matter is, NEANDERTHALS ATE GRAINS, THIS IS A FACT

    So people should think for themselves about paleo and have some common sense.
    deja vu. I think I argued with you on the Huff

    Life expectancy variation over time Life expectancy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    On the Huff someone posted a pdf about paleolithic people eating grains. The pdf was calling cattail a grain. Cattail is a grass but it wasn't the seeds (which are tinny) they were processing. It was the tubers which have to be pounded to get at the starch. It's a lot of work (I know because I've actually done it) gathering the tubers and processing them for the net calorie return. We questioned if it was worth the effort. I think the best and most efficient source of calories from cattail is the pollen.
    Cattail Pollen used as a Cake Flour - YouTube

    You can actually buy cattail flour online

    Cavemen Ground Flour, Prepped Veggies : Discovery News
    The food preparation tools were found to contain the remains of starch grains from various wild plants, including cattail rhizomes, cattail leaves, moonworts, the ternate grapefern, lady's mantle, burdock, lettuce roots, rye, burr chervil root, parts of edible grasses, edible seeds and more.

    Flour made from cattails -- which tastes a bit like the plant's distant cousin, corn -- seems to have been particularly popular.

    "Our experiments suggest that it is possible to mix this flour with water to obtain a sort of flat bread cooked on hot stones," Revedin said. "It is also possible that the flour was used in a mixed soup."
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leida View Post
    So, if the thesis is that the adaptations only develop to the harm that strikes early in life, does that mean that lactose intolerance exhibits its harmful effects earlier in life than the grain intolerance?
    Yes, but not in the way that you are thinking (I think). For any question about evolution/natural selection, you have to ask it like this: "Is an individual more or less likely to reproduce with this change in their genome".

    For LDH expression, the answer is obvious. It allows you to drink milk as an adult, giving you a caloric advantage over those who can't. This doesn't mean that dairy is healthy or unhealthy in the way we think about it. It just means that having access to extra calories in a time when calories were scarce gave people a big advantage.

    Grains are similar in that people who ate them had a huge advantage at the time (big pile of calories). The difference is that we didn't evolve a biological mechanism to digest grains, we developed technology to process and cook grains so that the biology we already had could digest them.

    The possibility of evolving mechanisms to neutralize any potentially negative long-term health effects of grains (or dairy or anything else) would require that long-term health problem to negatively reduce reproductive ability. I doubt that eating grains is correlated with having less babies, so that is not going to happen. We are talking about problems that are, for the most part, important for what we think of as health, but are not acute enough to be weeded out buy natural selection.

  3. #33
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    It is interesting how wide the spectrum of vegetation matter was, actually. Reminds me when we were kids and ate all sorts of wild plants roots and seeds. I have to try lady mantle actually, it will be super beautiful in a salad! There is an old movie about camping kids in the old country who have to eat cattails based on the local boy's example. So, cattails were eaten just like that in the 80'ies...
    Last edited by Leida; 11-23-2012 at 10:05 AM.
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  4. #34
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    For LDH expression, the answer is obvious. It allows you to drink milk as an adult, giving you a caloric advantage over those who can't. This doesn't mean that dairy is healthy or unhealthy in the way we think about it. It just means that having access to extra calories in a time when calories were scarce gave people a big advantage.

    Grains are similar in that people who ate them had a huge advantage at the time (big pile of calories). The difference is that we didn't evolve a biological mechanism to digest grains, we developed technology to process and cook grains so that the biology we already had could digest them.
    I understand now. I found that argument confusing because of the similar advantage: access to calories & proteins. That's said we did develop technology to consume dairy by fermenting it and eliminating most lactose (and almost all if you consider cheese). However, we did consume fresh milk from an early age, and that is likely why we continued to consume fresh milk even when fermented products became available?
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    That makes sense. Why we insisted on consuming fresh milk is all speculation. My vote is on competition. If you slurp the milk down before anyone else gets it, you are guaranteed to get some. Waiting around for it to ferment or get processed takes time and cooperation. Humans are capable of this, but not consistently good at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirlot View Post
    Yes there may be evidence that they ground grains, good source of calories but not a sustainable way to eat. You need close to 70sq ft of modern high yield wheat to make one loaf of bread. If we look at natural grasses I would guess you would need a field between 140-200 sq feet to make one loaf. I can not imagine a hunter gatherer cutting, thrashing and grinding a drive way full of grass everyday to make a loaf of bread....that is not sustainable.
    But take a handful of early wheat, roast it, and it sustained Roman soldiers from day to day. However, I don't recall celiac Roman warriors; so maybe sickly celiacs didn't survive to be enlisted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paysan View Post
    But take a handful of early wheat, roast it, and it sustained Roman soldiers from day to day. However, I don't recall celiac Roman warriors; so maybe sickly celiacs didn't survive to be enlisted.
    The Roman empire came into existence more than 8,000 years after the end of the Paleolithic.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paysan View Post
    But take a handful of early wheat, roast it, and it sustained Roman soldiers from day to day. However, I don't recall celiac Roman warriors; so maybe sickly celiacs didn't survive to be enlisted.
    Did the soldiers go out past the walls, walking through the grass, cutting off the stalks with their swords until they cleared a minimum of 200 sq feet probably closer to 400sq feet (assuming yield from modern wheat is anywhere from 3-6 times more than early goat grass), separate the seeds from the chaff, grind it, to make 1 load of bread? I think not.

    Unless you have farmers and and society based around crops eating grains is not a sustainable way to feed yourself.
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  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Scientist View Post
    You are making the mistake of directly comparing the two environments. We live in a world where grains (and sugar, and nearly everything else) is freely available year round. A paleolithic community would have had chronic food shortages, making it impossible to over-eat consistently.
    You are making an assumption that the environment to survive was identical everywhere. We don't have any evidence to support it and you will never have that evidence and you will always be left in a field of speculation. There are no records to prove that shortages of food were everywhere across the entire human populations across the globe. One can even argue that there was an overabundance of food in certain places.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Scientist View Post
    They also would have been much more active than we are. I think that the downsides of grains are most pronounced when they are over-consumed and combined with a sedentary existence. The paleolithic people we are talking about would not have had the option to over-eat. In fact, archeological evidence clearly shows that when a population of people transitions from a hunter/gatherer strategy to agriculture, their health (evidenced by shorter stature and smaller bones) declines. Grains allowed populations to explode in number because total calories increased, but this just spread more calories among more people, leaving each individual short on food and especially short on nutrients because of grain consumption instead of animal/plant food. So, you are right in one way – we are very different from paleolithic man in our environment. We are not significantly different genetically for the vast majority of our genome.
    Which paleolithic people are you referring to? Which archaeological evidence do you have in mind? Is it coming from the Nile or is it postglacial areas of Central Europe? Or is it archaeological evidence if there is any from the equatorial areas of the planet? What do you mean by sedentary? Do you mean that when people moved from hunter/gatherer they became sedentary? Or is this more recent phenomenon? Which paleolithic people in your opinion did overeat and which ones didn't? How do we know whether they overate or not? This is all very speculative.
    Last edited by KathyH; 11-24-2012 at 05:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KathyH View Post
    You are making an assumption that the environment to survive was identical everywhere. We don't have any evidence to support it and you will never have that evidence and you will always be left in a field of speculation. There are no records to prove that shortages of food were everywhere across the entire human populations across the globe. One can even argue that there was an overabundance of food in certain places.
    This is easy – no records needed. Look at estimates of historical world population. The number of humans on our planet stagnated for hundreds of thousands of years. Ask any evolutionary biologist what happens to a population that has a food surplus and no major predators to keep population in check. As soon as agriculture and domesticated animals come around, population booms due to the food surplus – even with the increase in infectious disease that came along with it.




    Quote Originally Posted by KathyH View Post
    Which paleolithic people are you referring to? Which archaeological evidence do you have in mind? Is it coming from the Nile or is it postglacial areas of Central Europe? Or is it archaeological evidence if there is any from the equatorial areas of the planet? What do you mean by sedentary? Do you mean that when people moved from hunter/gatherer they became sedentary? Or is this more recent phenomenon? Which paleolithic people in your opinion did overeat and which ones didn't? How do we know whether they overate or not? This is all very speculative.
    This is just silly. We have detailed first-hand accounts of observations of hunter-gathere peoples that survived with their traditional lifestyles intact into the last several centuries. These populations range from the inuit in northern North America, to previously uncontacted South American tribes, to aboriginal Australians. They all moved and exerted themselves much more than we did. Hell, people in western countries were far more active than us just a few centuries ago before cars and mechanized farm equipments were available. So whether we are talking about paleolithic people or early neolithic people, or even late neolithic people up to the 19th century, there is an abundance of evidence that they were far more active than we are. Nobody needs archaeology to prove this.

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