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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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December 28, 2009

Dear Mark: Did Grok Eat Grains?

By Mark Sisson
67 Comments

The Primal Blueprint, as our good readers know, is founded on the principle of evolutionary biology. This certainly applies to our view of what’s appropriate or not in terms of nutrition.  In short, what our long time ancestors ate during the course of 2 million+ years, we’re still designed to eat. Even the last 200,000 years of hunting and gathering, from a physiological standpoint, trumps the comparatively short 10,000 or so years since the Agricultural Revolution, when humans commenced widespread farming practices and prepared grains as a significant part of their diet.

An article published in this month’s Science Magazine presents archeological evidence that, according to its author, challenges this accepted timeline. A number of readers have written me about this story. Here’s one letter among the bunch….

Mark,

Please help me make some sense to this: Stone Age diet included processed grains

I’m a crossfitter in Colorado and most of the gym keeps a Grok diet and are confused about this article. Does this open the door to other minimally processed grains?

Let me give you the gist. Julio Mercader of the University of Calgary examined a variety of tools (scrapers, grinders, points, flakes, and drills) he and others retrieved from an excavation site in Northwest Mozambique. Based on dating of surrounding sediment layers, Mercader estimated the age of the oldest tools to be approximately 100,000 years old. Some 80% of the tools he found tested positive for sorghum starch residue, which – he says – suggests that sorghum was used as a food source at the time. Other residues found on the tools included African wine palm, African potato, the false banana, pigeon peas, and wild oranges.

Let’s suppose that Mercader’s dating estimates are correct. Let’s also suppose that the tools Mercader tested had indeed been used to prepare food, as the presence of other food residues suggest. First off, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the sorghum was also used as food. Tools, for prehistoric humans (if not for moderns as well) needed to serve multiple purposes, supporting not just food preparation but shelter construction and other daily living tasks. As one archeologist skeptic, Curtis Marean of Arizona State University in Tempe, explains, grasses were regular parts of “bedding” and “kindling.” Another critic, Huw Barton from the University of Leicester, questions Mercader’s assumption that the sorghum had been used for food based on the curious presence of the residue on tools not associated with food preparation, including drills.

However, the biggest stumbling block on the way to Mercader’s theory is sheer inefficiency. Just because evidence exists that they could, doesn’t mean that they did – with any regularity, if at all. I’m with critics of the findings like Marean and Loren Cordain, who argue that the full sequence of finding, collecting, transporting, processing and baking any kind of grain wouldn’t have been worth the effort for the nominal nutritional benefit gained. Make no mistake, the use of grains for food isn’t as simple as pulling and popping the seeds in your mouth. Even if you attempt to harvest the seeds by hand, a “tedious” process as Cordain notes, you’re still looking at a fairly lengthy processing. Raw, fully intact grains are indigestible for humans. The necessary preparation process involves – minimally – roasting (a relatively inadequate option) or fine grinding and baking (a better but more intensive method). Nothing from the excavation site shows any seed gathering tools like “animal skin containers” or baskets/pottery (too early for this time), as Cordain explains. Furthermore, there is nothing present at the site to confirm any kind of cooking preparation. As provocative as it is, it’s scientifically too big of a leap to make with any certitude.

Finally, even if the people of the Ngalue region did actually eat the sorghum as Mercader believes, there’s a big difference between suggesting grains were a significant and regular source of our ancestors’ diet 100,000 years ago and saying they were merely occasional – and probably desperation-induced – fruits of foraging labors. In times of scarcity, pre-Agricultural humans probably resorted to less nutritionally efficient means of “gathering.” It’s called the survival instinct, and it’s of little surprise that they might have been moved to a certain degree of ingenuity when their life depended on it. However, when the group was able to relocate or when traditional foods were in good supply again, logic dictates that they would have returned to their staple diets. The evidence supporting the use of the sorghum for food is relatively scant and virtually nonexistent when it comes to the gathering, processing and preparation of any significant supply. While Mercader’s research promps speculation to what an isolated group of early humans could have attempted on a small and likely very temporary scale, it doesn’t in any way rewrite the historical timeline on agricultural development – or evolutionary nutrition.

You know where I stand on Mercader’s study. I’m interested to hear what you all have to say about it. Shoot me your thoughts, and thanks as always for your great questions and comments. Keep ‘em coming!

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67 Comments on "Dear Mark: Did Grok Eat Grains?"

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Jeff P (P stands for Primal)
6 years 9 months ago

Mark –
Great explanation of this study. I heard about this in the past few weeks and the garbledy gook from others made no sense to me. What you mention is great – just because they found the “residue” does not imply a widespread generalization that overturns everything we know. If another tool used to dig was found with Saber Toothed Tiger poo, does that then mean they ATE that too?

Nick
Nick
6 years 8 months ago
Just got back from the mountains. My son’s and I practiced a few primitive skills while there. Both kids (9-12) got their first camp knives for christmas… it was time to learn how to use them. We practiced safe knife skills and whittling, built a fire without matches, melted snow and made hot chocolate. We also enjoyed a small cheese snack. The moral of the stoy: On my knife you would find oak and grass residue (firewood and kindling), and a little cheese residue. On my oldest son’s knife you would find a small amount of human blood (sharp knives… Read more »
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Lee
Lee
6 years 9 months ago
You guys, Mark and co., just proved my point against supposed Paleo advocates “proof” that our ancient ancestors were heavy meat eaters.. because they DID at times eat meat, doesn’t mean humans are MEANT or BUILT to eat meat… plus the “tools” used to hunt/kill animals-meat, or the “cut marks” on fossil animal bones, doesn’t prove anything… those spears, tools, etc were used LARGELY for protection for humans AGAINST large carnivorous predators.. same reason as residues, partial circumstantial evidence FOR eating grains as early as 100,000 years ago pointed out in this article, is shoddy at best… The human digestive… Read more »
Jon
Jon
6 years 9 months ago
Another important question to ask is why 100,000 years is the magic number of years required for humans to adapt to moderate grain consumption. Why is 10,000 years not long enough but 100,000 years is? This question could be asked in support of grain consumption or against it, but it’s important to point out that tolerance of grain can evolve rather quickly. Suppose there is just one famine in which the only source of calories was grain for some group of humans (presumably because grains are more easily stored). The result of this famine would be that anyone who could… Read more »
BlazeKING
BlazeKING
6 years 9 months ago

Well yeah…obviously those who ate grains and died quickly from complications would be weeded out but what about those who had passive problems with grains but could still live to reproductive age? Ahh now we see why there is such a prevalence of problems with grains today which occurs usually in the late teens and 20’s. That’s usually when autoimmune diseases appear like diabetes and crohn’s disease etc.

Jon
Jon
6 years 9 months ago

Yes, but Crohn’s disease is rare. Many people are allergic to seafood. Does that mean that seafood is not primal-approved?

Also, presumably an active case of Crohn’s disease would dramatically lower one’s expected rate of reproduction even if it didn’t appear until age 25. Even if such a 25 year old already had several children, they would be more poorly provided for than the children of his neighbor who didn’t have Crohn’s disease and remained productive and fertile until well into his 60s, 70s, and perhaps beyond.

BlazeKING
BlazeKING
6 years 9 months ago
I don’t know about seafood allergies. But I guess that could come from ancestries that didn’t fish or live near water areas. Could also be from the cooking of the seafood. If it is very prevalent, then I agree it shouldn’t be primal. Autoimmune diseases are not rare. It’s probably because grains are such a big part of the western diet now. Being poorly provided for doesn’t mean a child cannot grow up and reproduce. Also, perhaps wheat and other grains weren’t a big part of the diet in the past so it is only now that those diseases appear… Read more »
Jon
Jon
6 years 9 months ago
I agree that using grains for your entire diet is probably a bad idea. But you have to remember that even in societies that don’t have a diet loaded with refined grain, they still eat a fair amount of grain. As for poorly-provided-for children, are you suggesting that there is no historical statistical correlation between having healthy parents and growing up healthy and able to reproduce? Obviously you can find specific counterexamples, but that’s not what matters. What matters is aggregate statistics. For example, if someone with grain-tolerant genes (say someone who lives to 100+ in good health eating bread… Read more »
fbw
fbw
6 years 9 months ago

seafood allergies are an artifact of a polluted world, not so much the seafood itself. as evidenced by the fact that seafood allergy is usually shorthand for ‘shrimp-eating problem’.

Jon
Jon
6 years 9 months ago

This link suggests that seafood allergies are not merely an artifact of pollution:

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/news/20040713/seafood-allergies-common-adults

Moreover, the prevalence of such allergies appears to be even higher than clinically significant grain allergies.

What do you make of this?

Nick L
Nick L
6 years 9 months ago
That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking. Lots of different time scales get tossed around–it’s logical that something that has only been introduced in the last 10-20,000 can’t have been adapted to that much (except for a few enzymatic changes, perhaps), but time periods of several million years will have definitely contributed to conditioning our metabolisms (but without entirely replacing the generalized metabolic aspects we share with other mammals). So where does a period like 100,000 years fit into this? I think if there were substantial evidence that we had been consuming large amounts of grains it would be long enough… Read more »
Tracee
6 years 9 months ago
I saw this surfing the net one day, but I forgot where. Someone had made a whole grain dish they titled “Bog Man”. It was based on the contents of the stomach of a very old mummified body found in a bog. Apparently it was full of grains. I just thought “Let’s hope Bog Man didn’t die of a stomach ache!”. All I know is that I feel better on a grain free diet. I suffered with undiagnosed Celiac’s and Crohn’s for 41 years. My child came out of autism 3 weeks into a grain free diet. I don’t really… Read more »
Jaaron
Jaaron
6 years 9 months ago
Tracee, this is exactly why these articles are intriguing to read, but ultimately I am going to go with what my gut is literally telling me. The proof is in the pudding, and my pudding is grain free, sugar free, and high in quality fat. Having overcome severe headaches, chronic and painful eczema, fatigue, and weight issues in less than 4 months…. well I will not be stopping my primal lifestyle anytime soon. I have experienced too much benefit to change anything. All the data backing up a paleo-esque diet is important to understand, but for me personally, it is… Read more »
BlazeKING
BlazeKING
6 years 9 months ago
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s 2 years ago after having some of my intestine cut out and the doctors said diet had nothing to do with it, it was genetic and drugs are the only answer. Right… I have had no symptoms or problems since I cut grains out of my diet, period. No drugs, doctors are baffled. I guess I am a crappy customer since I don’t need to visit the GI any more. I am also of northern descent. I remember hearing somewhere that they were the last to start consuming grains. And, of course, autoimmune diseases are… Read more »
Steve
6 years 9 months ago

Thanks for sharing your story. That IS the bottom line.

A good friend suffers from Crohns and is losing weight and feeling much better.

Me… I have lost 75lbs and I am an insulin and medication FREE T1.5 Diabetic.

And that my friends is all that really matters to me. 🙂

Steve

David
David
6 years 9 months ago

“because they DID at times eat meat, doesn’t mean humans are MEANT or BUILT to eat meat… ”

Given the archeological record, I think “at times” is a gross understatement.

David
David
6 years 9 months ago

Simply because humans can now tolerate grains doesn’t mean that they are healthful to consume. I’ve managed to tolerate them for 55 years now, but not without great cost to my well-being. Sure, grains are a wonderful option vs. starving to death in the short term, but unless that is really my choice, I will go without.

fixed gear
6 years 8 months ago

Very well said. Do you want to “tolerate” your diet and scrape by with adequate health. Or do you want to THRIVE on your diet?

Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 9 months ago
Did Grok consume alcohol? Did Grok imbibe in hallucinogenics? Probably some groks, somewhere, did it sometimes. But that doesn’t justify free reign to imbibe in these ‘delicacies’ ad lib and ad nauseum. Did Grok paint pictures of golden waves of grass on those cave walls? So far archeologists haven’t found them. I’ll stick to the poisons my system can handle, such as small amounts of alcohol (especially in the context of a diet high in saturated fats), rather than those that it can’t, such as large amounts of grain. Just remember that for human physiology, whole grain is sugar wrapped… Read more »
BlazeKING
BlazeKING
6 years 9 months ago

Lol good catch. I’ve never seen cave painting of bread, pasta and grainfields.

Mary
Mary
6 years 8 months ago

I once saw a bagel o_O

Grok
6 years 9 months ago

+2 for grain free cave art. LOL

Aaron, remember, many modern alcohols are made with grains! 😉

Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 9 months ago

And I enjoy grain alcohols, both beer and whiskey. I have tempered my beer drinking by substituting more wine. I have not tempered my whiskey drinking, but that’s always been a moderate consumption. Plus, I’m guessing that the distilling process removes most of the unfavorable compounds. I’m not going to give up some of the privileges/indulgences of modern civilization!

Grok
6 years 9 months ago

Just messin with you man.

I drink Kombucha like a rock star. It’s made with white sugar! I’ve tried other ‘sugars’ (honey etc..) but they didn’t taste as good. Plus, whats the point? It’s basically all the same stuff anyway.

Uncle_Bulldog
Uncle_Bulldog
6 years 8 months ago

Scrumpy’s Hard Apple Cider…Yummmmmm!!!
Organic apples and fermenting yeast only….the best!

Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 9 months ago

Just watched Robert Lustig’s lecture “Sugar: the bitter truth” and must amend my final sentence.

Whole grain is poison wrapped in toxins; refined grain is poison without the toxic wrapping.

That sums it up neatly.

Hat tip to Richard Nikoley.

Kaity
Kaity
6 years 9 months ago

If I remember correctly, Robert Lustig says that the sugar fructose is a poison. Grains do not contain fructose, but glucose.

From his lecture, I understood there was a pretty big difference. So much of a difference that the diet he recommends does not exclude starches, but high-fructose foods and drinks like fruit juice.

According to Wikipedia, Sucrose (glucose+fructose) is found in “honey, tree fruits, berries, melons, and some root vegetables.” Another name for sucrose is table sugar.

Not saying everyone should eat grains, of course. But personally, I’d eat popcorn before I’d drink apple juice.

Dave, RN
Dave, RN
6 years 9 months ago

I read somewhere that apple juice has more sugar than an equal amount of Coke.
Shameful. All those mommies putting apple juice in their kids baby bottles…
I have a friend that used to work at a public dental clinic. Kids would have apple juice, and sometimes even coke in their bottles. No wonder their teeth were rotting as they erupted.

Kaity
Kaity
6 years 9 months ago

No kidding, Dave. Poor kids.

Did a google search on sugar grams in soda pop verses fruit juice, and came up with this:

http://www.hookedonjuice.com/

Yikes.

Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 9 months ago

Kaity, thanks for the correction. I still include starchy vegetables in my diet (e.g., potatoes & sweet potatoes) which is broken down into ‘clean’ glucose in the body. But grains are evil for the most part, except for a little bit of white rice now and then, which also turns into glucose.

lbd
lbd
6 years 9 months ago
It’s a common fallacy to think evolution works only by survival. It is really survival and ability to reproduce and pass on the selected for genes. If the grain diet did not kill paleo man before reproductive age, then the next generation would have the same genetic makeup as the previous with no selection. Since there is substantial research to show that consumption of grains has toxic results that do not show up until old age – diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc. – there is no environmental pressure for natural selection to occur. Everyone always forgets the reproductive part of… Read more »
Jeff
Jeff
6 years 9 months ago
Natural selection could still be acting to affect longevity beyond the reproductive period. First of all, there is the time period necessary to raise one’s children. Secondly, as the amount of learned knowlege accumulated in a group (without ability to write it down), groups with more stored knowlege, in form of elders, would tend to outperform groups that had to rediscover everything on their own every generation. Someone who could provide instructions on dealing with a severe famine because he/she survived one 50 years earlier would be immensely beneficial to the group’s survival, encouraging the longevity of that group’s genes.
Kristin J
Kristin J
6 years 8 months ago

If hunter gatherers lived in groups of up to 30 people, perhaps the children were raised as a collective effort, thereby reducing the impact of an ailing parent on their offspring. Grain induced diseases could have been bad for the individual but only a small issue for the group as a whole. While it’s true that there would have been one less adult to help with daily activities, it’s also one less mouth to feed.

BlazeKING
BlazeKING
6 years 9 months ago

They are just ignorant. Believe me, if they were diagnosed with an autoimmune disease they wouldn’t be saying what they are saying. Mcdonald has a huge ego and isn’t that great anyways IMO. He just reiterates what others have figured out and puts his name on it. Not that great IMO.

iisierra
iisierra
6 years 9 months ago

Thank you Mark for clearing the waters in this topic!

Richard
Richard
6 years 9 months ago
I translated the following from a lengthy paper from a dutch scientist: Homo sapiens is approximately 160.000 years old and our genome mutates at a rate of appr. 0,5% in a million years. Since agricultural revolution we ate more carbohydrates from grains at the cost of vegetables and fruits. This change is unparalleled: no other in free nature living primate consumes grains regularly. At this moment eight species of grains provide for 56% of the world energysupply from food and 50% of all global consumed proteines. Without grains mankind would not have progresses as it did since the agricultural revolution.… Read more »
Michelle
Michelle
6 years 9 months ago
So this is my thought on this whole “sorghum on the tools” discovery. I think it sounds EXTREMELY plausible that the sorghum could have been used for shelter or for other uses. It grows up to 2m tall and its stalks are still used for creating thatched style walls (according to some research I just pulled by googling it). Anyway, so imagine this. You are a happy Primal Blueprint eater and have been for the last 2 months. You eat a bowl of rice…how sick do YOU feel?! Now imagine that you have been eating primally since you were BORN… Read more »
Katt
Katt
6 years 9 months ago

Unless I miss my guess, the use of grains as a staple part of the diet didn’t really come into play until the Younger Dryas. This was a dry, cold period when the gazelle herds stopped moving through the Levant. Keeping grains meant you didn’t starve. I’d bet that by the time the Younger Dryas was over, grains were a traditional part of the diet which people couldn’t imagine going without.

Gordon
Gordon
6 years 9 months ago
An analysis of the bones of a woman dug up in Britain determined that her diet, circa 4500 years ago , was the same as a wolf’s diet. In other words all she really ate 4500 years ago was meat. This was recent in Man’s history. One point about autoimmune diseases. They are linked to vitamin D deficiency. No one with adequate vtamin D gets them regardless of what they eat. Man is a daytime hunter, and usually a midday hunter in hot climes because other animals cannot sweat but must “pant” to cool off. This gives man a big… Read more »
Icarus
Icarus
6 years 9 months ago

Peter over at Hyperlipid had an interesting post up recently where he argued that overt vitamin D deficiency – rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults – really only manifests if meat is lacking in the diet, i.e. vegetarianism/veganism. I wonder if there is a connection between meat eating and vitamin D? Besides meat actually containing the vitamin, which it usually does not (pork fat being the exception.) It’s something to think about, in any case.

Here’s the post:

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/12/vitamin-d-and-uv-fluctuations-2.html

Gina
6 years 8 months ago

Check out Brian Peskins work on cholesterol and vit D
http://www.brianpeskin.com/index.htm
I have been in nutritional circles for a long time and Brian’s voice is one of pure science. Great info.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all!

Gina
6 years 5 months ago

Hmmm I have come to believe differently as of late…live and learn!

Mistizoom
Mistizoom
6 years 9 months ago
I think Mark’s last main paragraph is correct – “there’s a big difference between suggesting grains were a significant and regular source of our ancestors’ diet 100,000 years ago and saying they were merely occasional – and probably desperation-induced – fruits of foraging labors”. It would be foolish to think that humans *never* ate grains then all of sudden 10,000 years ago came up with agriculture and started cultivating grains after having no experience with them. It was probably a gradual shift, so there would have been some grain eating for people to desire to cultivate it. But I think… Read more »
Icarus
Icarus
6 years 9 months ago
Dairy is sometimes brought up as a neolithic food that humans – at least some of us – were able to adapt to consuming in only ten thousand years. However, mammals are defined in part by the mammary glands we use to feed our young. Drinking cow’s milk, and drinking milk into adulthood, are new, but milk itself is a very, very old food and thus definitely a real one. And, even though the nutrient ratio of milk differs highly from species to species, the actual ingredients list is pretty much the same because the raw materials needed to build… Read more »
Icarus
Icarus
6 years 9 months ago

One last thing: the great apes, including humans, are all relatively slow breeders. For slow breeding species, 10,000 years is not a very long time at all. And it’s worth noting that the vast majority of the human population loses much or all of the ability to digest lactose into adulthood, sometimes at a very early age, so as a species we haven’t *really* adapted to that one yet, either.

Dave, RN
Dave, RN
6 years 9 months ago

I still contend that raw milk, especially goat milk, is paleo. I think in times of want, Grok knew that he needed to keep that mama goat and not eat it, but saw that the baby goats did well on the milk. Not so much of a stretch to get some himself. A rich source of nutrients, and fat, and non of the casein that causes problems for many…
That’s my justification for continuing with the raw milk…. 🙂 just stay away from the store bought stuff…

Lee (not the Lee from the top of this post)
Lee (not the Lee from the top of this post)
6 years 9 months ago
Going back even further to our primate ancestry we see primate species, extinct and extant, subsisting on fruits, vegetables, bugs, and meats. I think we’d be hard pressed to find any primate that ate or eats grains. Certain aspects of evolution are slow while others are fast. Our digestive tract is much shorter than even our closest chimp cousins. A shorter digestive tract is an adaptation to a richer diet, i.e. MEAT. But that took millions of years to happen. In a different way we are now undergoing a very fast evolution, in the form of diabetes and other carb… Read more »
Richard
6 years 9 months ago

evolution just boggles my mind sometimes. It’s amazing. I wonder what’s the future for the human race, will we become meat eaters of veggies or not polarize at all? We can all just eat raw or vegan diet and it makes you feel amazing!

Mike
Mike
6 years 9 months ago

Hey mark! Just thought I’d say you’ve won another convert. this is day four going primal and this web site is great. I’m getting a copy of the book too. Thank you for all the great info. Oh and BTW, am I just a little bit more Grok because I don’t hold to evolution? 😉

Jamie
Jamie
6 years 9 months ago
Thank you Mark. I am a 44 year old man that has worked out on and off but eaten terribly. I bought the book right before Thanksgiving. Started primal right away, even through Thanksgiving. I started dropping weight which was needed and feeling great. No sugar crashes, great energy, sleeping better etc. A week before Christmas I started baking the traditional treats and for a week went off the primal lifestyle. Wow what a difference. Weight went up, constantly tired, craved sugar like crazy. I got back on track Sunday and am already feeling the benefits. Just wanted to say… Read more »
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fixed gear
6 years 8 months ago
“Raw, fully intact grains are indigestible for humans.” This is really the entire rationale for not eating grains. I like that we as a species have figured out how to cook our food, but understand, it’s a form of processing. If you want to go back X number of years, before agricultural revolution, before fire, and try to decide what foods, occurring in nature are fit for human consumption, then it would have to be foods that don’t require cooking to be edible. And that would mean no grains. Even if grains weren’t indigestible, the argument concerning the sheer amount… Read more »
Frank Taeger
Frank Taeger
6 years 8 months ago
Hi Mark! I have been in this discussion with some med students and doctors and while we are all in agreement on living primal as a basis for health, one of them had an interesting point we couldnt yet fit into how Grok might have lived. It appears that a lot of the corpses found from neolithic times, ESPECIALLY the female ones have shown damaged or misaligned spines suggesting that they spent a lot of their time in life actually kneeling with their backs bent towards the ground. This position, we assumed, might have been in correlation with their grinding… Read more »
Don Radina
Don Radina
6 years 8 months ago

Gathered grains have a great advantage in that they can be stored for later use. Our great ancestors had all day long and did almost nothing else except hunt and procreate.

Just soak the grain in water, soon they sprout and are extremely nutritious and digestable. Nothing could be easier. A small amount goes a long way. I do it every day. Our ancestors were more in tune with the environment than you give them credit for.

Sprouted grains left to ferment make mead. Mead doesn’t spoil and is fun to drink.

Carrie
Carrie
6 years 5 months ago
One thing to keep in mind with the “did Grok eat grains” debate is that it is almost a moot point. Our modern grains are VERY different from what prehistoric man would have eaten, if he had the desire to do a little harvesting. Of further interest, note that in the last 100 years, the gluten content of wheat has DOUBLED, driven by our selective breeding of the plants. Corn doesn’t look at all like it did 200-300 years ago. Don’t get me started on GMOs! In setting aside the difference in it’s composition, we (as a society) eat a… Read more »
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G
6 years 19 days ago

This doesn’t really destroy the study; it’s just a Paleo-rationalisation of it. Nothing specifically wrong about what you said Mark – nothing that jumped out at me – but it’s not conclusive.

Don Radina
Don Radina
6 years 19 days ago

It was simpler back then. So many try to put modern perspectives on our ancestors. Milk left at room temperature will be digested by friendly bacteria (yogurt), is highly nutritious and we are well adapted to both the milk and bacteria. Grains left at room temperature will sprout or ferment into highly nutritious foods without any work. Because we have such a symbiotic relationship with these foods I tend to think they have been part of our diet for a very long time.

G
6 years 1 day ago

Don, you reminded me of these:

http://www.springerlink.com/index/v8v8k7u142082726.pdf

http://www.springerlink.com/index/l42381226827k547.pdf

Articles on increased nutritional availability from sprouting/fermentation of pulses and grains.

G
6 years 1 day ago

Carrie, I agree about the rapid and recent changes in wheat (gives me hellish indigestion) but sometimes I think Paleo people overestimate the slowness of adaptation. Dairy is a relatively recent adaptation and it is complete in many populations.

Suvetar
Suvetar
5 years 5 months ago
What I always see on discovery channel is primitive cultures grinding up plant matter (after its been dried) to make face or wall paint. I mean, how big is the tribe? How big was that grinder and the tools? Why would 1 person grind up a tiny bit of grain in a mortar and pestle when the tribe is 20+ man strong. Back in those days it was all community meals..not “Oh, the neighbor (1 foot away hut) is having chicken and we’re chewing on banana peels..damn”. Community hunts leads to community meals. I could almost guarantee those tiny grinding… Read more »
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