Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
29 Jul

Weekend Link Love – Edition 200

For this 200th(!) edition of Weekend Link Love I thought I’d try a slightly new format. Instead of a hodgepodge collection of links to start the blog post I’m going to break the links out into sections. Don’t worry. I’ll still be linking to and providing commentary on anything and everything I find interesting, but now you’ll know that THE latest, most important and intriguing research that was released in the last week, and THE blog posts everyone is talking about can be found here. It’s your one stop shop for catching up on what’s going on in the world of ancestral health and fitness published every Sunday. Let me know in the comment board if you prefer this little format change. Thanks, everyone!weekend link love

Research of the Week

Persistence-hunting, water-carrying, tree-climbing hunter-gatherers don’t actually expend more energy than lazy soda-guzzling Westerners, a new study has found, dispelling the popular notion that losing weight is all about burning calories. (Perhaps it’s the soda?)

Dying potato chips red caused test subjects to eat 50% fewer of them.

Average daily hours of television viewed, separated by country. I could excuse the US’ poor showing if it reflected Louie, Breaking Bad, and Game of Thrones marathoning, but I doubt that’s the case.

Interesting Blog Posts

One paleo blogger’s successful battle against high cholesterol (and she managed to avoid statins!).

Human ancestors were nearly all vegetarian, a Scientific American blogger says. What do you say? A $50 gift certificate to PrimalBlueprint.com to the commenter with the best response! (As judged by me and the Worker Bees. This contest ends midnight PDT, July 31.)

Media, Shmedia

Bryan (future Primal doctor) and Tracy (former math teacher, newly-minted MovNat trainer) Barksdale were recently featured in The Daily News out of Galveston, Texas, where they’ve been spreading the ancestral love.

This article on “the caveman diet” in The Vancouver Sun is less impressive, but fairly even-handed. I only counted a couple references to eating grubs, bugs, and rodents. And they didn’t even mention loincloths once.

Everything Else

I’ve talked about wheat germ agglutinin before, but this article really lays into the pernicious wheat lectin. Also: “Pandora’s bread box” is coined, which I think is just fantastic.

Thank heavens the Canadian authorities are finally cracking down on illegal frontyard gardens. Think of the children!

Recipe Corner

  • Richard Nikoley’s Fat Bread – it’s not quite like the real thing, but it’s not trying to be.
  • Get some beef, some okra, a crock pot? Baby, you got yourself an okra beef stew!

Time Capsule

One year ago (July 29 – August 4)

Comment of the Week

I love that research medicine is validating and reinforcing my love for Calvinball.

- Amen, T.D. Next, I hope they confirm the existence of sentient stuffed tigers.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. You’ve appealed to my anally retentive side with the partitioned info, and my childish humor with ‘Media Schmedia’. Bravo!

    Catie wrote on July 29th, 2012
  2. Praising Louie, GoT, Breaking Bad AND making an Arrested Development reference in one article? Just perfect.

    kobayashi wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • Yes! Carl Weathers! Baby, you got yourself a stew!

      Nick wrote on July 29th, 2012
  3. The article fails in many more ways than this but really all that is needed in response is to say that it’s the paleolithic diet, not the proto-human diet. The ancestors and cousins of our species are hardly the best indicators of what our own species is like.

    Xenocles wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • This is essentially what I was going to say. We should be looking at what our diets were when we stopped evolving, not when we were still in the process. It is also completely unfair to compare humans and monkeys. Sure we are genetically similar, but we have different evolutionary paths. We are also genetically similar to rats, but I certainly don’t want to eat a rat diet!

      Sarah wrote on July 29th, 2012
      • Yes. As Professor Steve Jones once pointed out we share 50% of our genetic material with a banana.

        Genetic, in a sense, is old hat now, anyway:

        http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1952313,00.html

        The point, as everyone posting here has pointed out, is pretty obvious. It’s irrelevant what non-human creatures live on and it doesn’t become magically relevant somehow just because those creatures are in our family tree.

        The argument is so easy not just to question but actually to refute that one wonders why the article’s author bothered with it.

        Lewis wrote on July 29th, 2012
      • Humans have never stopped evolving. I agree otherwise.

        Earthstar wrote on July 29th, 2012
        • Seems to me that when evolutionary pressures such as availability of food, shelter and presence of predators are removed, true evolution is no longer possible. What we see now is more like random genetic mutations, some of which stick. I believe true human physical evolution hasn’t taken place in millenia…

          Marion wrote on August 5th, 2012
      • But rat meat is supposed to be high in testosterone, and we know testosterone builds lean muscle mass. ;)

        I got a kick out of durianRider. He censored me just last night on his inflamatory blog about Robb Wolf. I just posted what he censored over on Scientific American so his followers can read what my experiences eating vegan for several years VS primal, like I am now.

        Mark has never censored my posts on the rare occasions I’ve disagreed with him.

        Well, that worked up my appetite! Time for sliced steak on organic mixed greens topped with my balsamic vinegar and organic olive oil dressing.

        Grok on!

        Kenny wrote on August 3rd, 2012
        • … perhaps durianrider shares 95% of his dna with bananas?

          ravi wrote on August 5th, 2012
    • just watched a great YT presentation by Lloyd Pye – (of starchild skull fame) and he is presenting excellent discussions that the “missing link” from neanderthal to modern human cannot possiby be just one waiting-to-be-found skeleton – but would have to be 10 to 15 missing links to actually prove darwin’s evolution is functioning as claimed. we are just too damn different in so many physiological ways than these so-called ancestor primates –

      i think our “creation” story is waaaay different than we are told or have yet imagined – but for me, however we came to be genetically what we are, we most certainly lived as hunter-gatherers for thousands of generations and were thereby “selected” for the primal diet needed to survive. so, bring on the bacon….

      ravi wrote on August 5th, 2012
  4. Thanks so much for the love, Mark. I am soooo excited about the cholesterol story. Despite skyrocketing cholesterol numbers and their mantra that I should take statins for the rest of my life I was able to prove that they weren’t necessary.

    Alison Golden wrote on July 29th, 2012
  5. Another study showed people at 40% less when eating on a red plate. But calories aren’t really the problem, right?

    Three Pipe Problem wrote on July 29th, 2012
  6. Quote from teh Hazda article “. In fact, the Hadza spend a greater percentage of their daily energy budget on physical activity than Westerners do, which may contribute to the health and vitality evident among older Hadza.”
    So how do the americans match the energy expenditure of the Hazda to make up the deficit in physical activity? Chewing? Pressing the buttons on the remote?
    The article doesn’t cover that off so leaves a lot out.

    john wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • I noticed that, too, John. Huh?

      dragonmamma wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • i had the same question. do the hazda burn fewer calories when at rest?

      Dan wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • those who regularly run, jump and climb will become much more efficient at running, jumping and climbing.

      plus, plus-sized americans will burn a couple hundred more calories at rest simply by being heavier.

      but still, that shouldn’t be enough difference to explain away hours of daily activity.

      Dan wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • How about artificial lighting, and more waking hours.

      DRK wrote on August 2nd, 2012
  7. Question about the CT Heart Scan after reading the 1st link under ‘Interesting blog posts’:

    Does anyone know how expensive this scan is? If it’s a better indication of disease than a full panel of lipid tests, why don’t we just skip the lipid panel and have CT scans instead? I assume the price would come down if it became standard procedure.

    dragonmamma wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • Mine was $100 out-of-pocket. Yes, that’s right, hospitals do it as a ‘loss leader’. Imagine a population where that would be profitable? A score of 200 warrents a lifestyle change, a 2,000 would indicate bypass surgery.

      My Doc got a zero; I got a one. I always like to win, but I’m pleased with my second place!

      Kenny wrote on August 3rd, 2012
  8. In response to what did early humans eat..
    I also wondered how ofter early humans ate meat as well but then I came up with a few theories. There where billions more animals to eat and kill in those days…think of the buffalo and the dodo bird, easy to kill, easy to catch(with tools), which brings me to my next point, monkeys and apes if they wanted to eat meat more often they would have to start to make tools, and weapons because they aren’t really equipped to hunt other animals as we once were with just there physical abilities. Small things like rodents, bugs, and birds but nothing large enough for the males of the family to bring back for the rest. Meat is the first choice of humans still living a real primal lifestyle if you can’t get meat you eat vegetables and if you’re really struggling you plant wheat and get fat until you have a successful kill, that’s why our bodies don’t store fat when eating just meat, we have no reason to we are we are neither stressed or starving, we are at the top of the food chain, with low body fat and a high meat diet our sex hormones increase because its time to reproduce because times are good, because we are getting what our bodies need.

    DanielBI wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • love this. I am always confused when “militant vegans” suggest we are being morally corrupt by claiming to be the “top of the food chain.”

      Also, my kids BBC Planet Earth DVD series shows a group of chimps eating the young of a rival group. Not to say this is frequent, but eating animal flesh is eating animal flesh.

      yoolieboolie wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • Buffalo easy to kill, easy to catch?? Ever hunted buffalo?

      Cody wrote on July 29th, 2012
      • A buffalo jump is a cliff formation which North American Indians historically used in order to hunt and kill plains bison in mass quantities.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_jump

        Traditional Native American hunters weren’t rugged individualist (neither were the paleolithic hunter/gatherers, I suspect). They were rugged collectivists.

        Roger in Korea wrote on July 30th, 2012
        • excellent observation – rugged individualism in our distant past was more often rewarded with a quick death than healthy happy survival. we are addicted to this illusion of individualism and tend to interpret the world and all ancient worlds through this inaccurate filter – we are, by natural selection, collective creatures – and we have forgotten this-

          ravi wrote on August 5th, 2012
    • Well said sir, I agreee 100%.

      draz wrote on July 29th, 2012
  9. 200!!??!! Congrats!!

    And THANK YOU!!

    Dan wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • I agree – WOW, and thanks!

      Kerstin wrote on July 29th, 2012
  10. In response to the vegetarian thing: No, ancestors of humans were nearly all vegetarian. Human ancestors developed a case of bakonbraenitis, which increases the size of your brain but requires large quantities of meat to keep the disease from becoming terminal.

    Alex Good wrote on July 29th, 2012
  11. I think it’s entirely reasonable to expect or even assume that some early humans were forced into vegetarian – or even vegan – diets, albeit for short periods. Just as there were some civilizations (the Inuit, for example) who lived entirely off animals and their fat, there were likely those humans who in their travels and migrations found little or no animal life and ate only vegetables.

    But this in no way, to me, destroys the premise of the Primal Blueprint. Oh, wait, did I just quote the 89/20 rule?! If you’re a fit Grok traversing the land and find nary a rodent, bison, etc. to devour, you’ll probably make it on nuts and vegetables for a few weeks or even months. Truth be told, I actually can’t digest meat very well, so I don’t eat it, but I’ve managed to build an otherwise primal eating plan around it. Where I have eggs, I imagine this unintentionally meatless Grok probably had insects, which is of course the basis of vegetarians being able to sustain high B12 levels historically (err, now…not so much).

    What I think is very unlikely is Grok choosing to eschew meat. I imagine it would be easier for me in the wild to kill a bison than to pick as many nuts as it requires for me to stay a veggie.

    Amanda wrote on July 29th, 2012
  12. I love that cholesterol story. My levels had always been high… when i went in for my annual check the doctor nearly fell off his chair due to the improvement…

    the one change= primal

    @DanielBl- nice theories

    Patrice wrote on July 29th, 2012
  13. “Were.” Human ancestors WERE vegetarian. Then we grew a bit and learned better ;)

    JennaRose wrote on July 29th, 2012
  14. The fellow who wrote the Scientific American article thinks we should eat the diet that resulted in monkeys rather than the one that resulted in big brains.

    PatrickP wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • :) Awesome.

      Meredith wrote on July 29th, 2012
      • +1

        yoolieboolie wrote on July 29th, 2012
  15. More work needs to be done with that study about the red potato chips. If I encountered a red potato chip, I would probably stop eating them too. However, I think it might have more to do with encountering something unexpected rather than my subconscious reading a stop sign. They should try the experiment with other colors. Also, they should try the experiment where all of the chips are an unexpected color. Would I eat an entire container of red chips vs. an entire container of blue chips? How about mixed chips?

    Sarah wrote on July 29th, 2012
  16. Great link on the cholesterol article. I really enjoyed that site. Thanks!

    Mark wrote on July 29th, 2012
  17. One thing that I haven’t seen as a response to the article is that while our ancestors may have been primarily vegetarian, it was the switch to eating cooked vegetables and the addition of meat to our diets that allowed humans to evolve as they did. The additional protein and calories, and the lowered digestive requirements meant that our brains could grow bigger (along with the needed brain capacity to stalk and capture the meat) means smarter humans and babies, which grow into smarter adults.

    AmandaLP wrote on July 29th, 2012
  18. Okay, even if we were herbivores or frugivores at one time, how could of we tamed fire of made tools doing that? I bet our ancestors were very curious, probably a Smilidon kill was pretty close to their home. So don’t you think that they would of atleast tasted the meat and thought that they could get more energy and think a little better? I don’t mind if we were herbivores at one point(Considering most other apes are herbivores) but I’d rather be a smart, bipedial omnivorous ape then an average, tree-dwelling herbivore.

    Peacemaker wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • And just one more thing to point out. Look at Chimpanzee’s, our closest cousin, they are so close to becoming as smart as us; they use tools, have social skills everything that defines us but a few things. They don’t walk upright, they don’t eat as much meat as us, and they can’t communicate with an actual language. All key components we developed after eating meat and taming fire(Oh, that’s another thing!) I think depending on where you or your ancestors come from that’s what you should base your diets off of. Now I’m not saying that you should eat bread because of that, but research the indigenous groups around that area, say the Sami people of Scandanavia(My primary diet, with exception of reindeer) and just learn what they eat. Not everyone is the same so follow your own path and don’t listen to everyone you meet.

      Peacemaker wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • If something else had made the kill there may have been little or no meat left. However, what they could do was crack the long-bones to get at the marrow, which is very nutritious.

      There’s a woolly mammoth carcase that bears marks suggesting that lions killed it but that humans took the kill off the lions at an early stage:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/17525070

      I’ve seen footage of Maasai deliberately hunting in this way — using lions to catch game for them. They keep an eye on the lions and when they kill, drive them off the kill. It’s obviously a dangerous hunting technique that takes a lot of guts, but in face of a group of humans armed with spears it seems lions will back down.

      Lewis wrote on July 29th, 2012
      • The excellent documentary, In Search of the Perfect Human Diet, covers this issue of humans scavenging the kill of other animals quite well.

        One of the excellent points that it makes is that other, stronger hunting animals like lions were not, in fact, able to bite through the skulls of their prey, and so, left that choice food — brain — behind.

        Humans, on the other hand, with their tool-making ability were able to come up with tools in order to break through the skulls of the left-behind carcasses of the prey and eat the choice brain portion.

        Thinking back to my early life, having had parents from the backwoods of N. Carolina, I recall eating brains and eggs for breakfast sometimes. I think they were pork brains and came in a can way back then.

        Roger in Korea wrote on July 30th, 2012
  19. Psst, Mark, I’m sure the pun was unintended when you talked of “dying” potato chips. Though eating enough of them might make you *die*, the word is “dyeing”.

    Congrats on the 200th WLL!

    Shebeeste wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • I also caught that but didn’t want to be the Spelling Police.

      Trav wrote on July 29th, 2012
      • I missed it, thanks for ‘sharpening’ me up.

        Kenny wrote on August 3rd, 2012
  20. FAT Bread (link): Maybe I missed something; however, I could not see where / how to make the coconut butter in the fat bread recipe?

    John D. Pilla wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • John, the coconut butter you can buy. Artisana makes a product (called coconut butter), as does Nutiva (called coconut manna). You can also use shredded coconut meat, (just introduce it in the beginning and let the eggs do the work, as for the macadamias). However, the desiccation process for shredded coconut meat sweats out a lot of the fat. To equalize with coconut butter, it takes about 8.5 level tablespoons of coconut oil. This is why in my nutritional analysis where I used shredded coconut as surrogate for coconut butter was off (see the update at the end of the post). When I adjust for the more fat in coconut butter, the macro ratio changes to 88% fat instead of 80%, but the micros don’t change much. Still [more] fatty, just as nutritious.

      Richard Nikoley wrote on July 30th, 2012
  21. “IF we want to return to our ancestral diets, the ones we ate when most of the features of our guts were evolving, we might reasonably eat what our ancestors spent the most time eating during the largest periods of the evolution of our guts. If that is the case, we need to be eating fruits, nuts, and vegetables—especially fungus-covered tropical leaves.”

    No…we want to be eating the diet that enabled humans to evolve large brains, discover fire, and invent the wheel (along with art, music, language, and stories). Therefore, an argument based off any of our ancestors before Homo sapiens is a deliberate misdirection. Additionally, it’s not just about the evolution of the gut in our primate ancestors, but more importantly, the gene regulation that diets influence (and all the new discoveries about our gut microbiota).

    We need to see an article titled “Humans Were Nearly All _____________,” not “Human Ancestors Were Nearly All…” well, anything.

    The author alluded to this idea in the article and mentioned that further study could convince him. So why this article that doesn’t address the actual question at hand?

    Mark wrote on July 29th, 2012
  22. I’ll give you several comments: If our ancestors were vegetarian then why are we even here now? How many vegans & vegetarians survived the Ice Ages? NONE.

    That’s why all the ancient cave paintings by early man are of bison and the other ANIMALS they revered, respected and subsisted on for food, clothing, tools & implements. Ever notice you don’t ever see or find cave paintings of broccoli carrots & potatoes? Hmmm, why do you suppose that is?? Next chance you get try making a pair of moccasins out of potato skins, see how that works for you.

    Dumbasses. People like that writer with such meager brain power must be vegetarian themselves and are proof that ‘education’ does not equal intelligence nor does it confer common sense.

    cancerclasses wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • There’s really no need to hate on vegetarians. Some of us are quite bright. I think humans have always, rightfully so, respected the animals they’ve eaten more than the vegetables or the fruit. The only culture that respects some vegetables and fruits the way others respect animals is Jadists. Even omnivores who eat large quantities of meat, I think, at least realize the intense efforts and energy given to the task of raising healthy, nutritious animals. I believe Grok, with necessary hunting and sprinting, etc., to get his food, would have realized that animals for food are much more dear (or deer…haha) than are veggies or fruits simly because they’re that much less reliable. Animals can run away; there’s no hope for the zucchini.

      Amanda wrote on July 29th, 2012
      • Which is why the plant oftentimes tries to poison you. The animal generally stops trying to kill you when the butchering starts.

        leoncaruthers wrote on August 1st, 2012
  23. Not sure that Rob Dunn (or Scientific American) read his own article.

    Complete title fail.

    Meredith wrote on July 29th, 2012
  24. Thanks for including my Okra Beef Stew recipe in your roundup :) I love what you are putting out there into the world and I am thrilled to be a part of it.

    Tarah @ What I Gather wrote on July 29th, 2012
  25. Grok the vegetarian. He dug up giant carrots on his hunting trips and rode a T-rex to church every Sunday to partake of wheat, the staff of life. :roll:

    oxide wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • Grok wouldn’t get near the giant carrots as they were the T-Rex’s main food. When they weren’t munching on carrots they were playfully cavorting with the unicorns in fields of daisies.

      Honest, a vegan told me so it must be true!

      Andy wrote on July 30th, 2012
      • You guys crack me up… :)

        Marion wrote on August 5th, 2012
  26. Mark, I like the format change. Nice organization!

    Goldie wrote on July 29th, 2012
  27. Re; vegetarian ancestors.

    Dear America,
    Catch up with science.

    - Whilst this stunning ‘look at the gut and try to hold it up against other animal guts to see which fits best’ approach just screams good science, the authors may wish to look into genes. I hear the human genome was cracked a while ago now…
    – And if you do look into it, you will find any number of genes and variations associated with meat eating. You will also find certain populations die living of plants; has anyone told the Evenks to just go veggie in the Siberian winters? (Indeed their legendary intolerance to grain alcohol comes from their having adapted so well to meat and fat that they can’t even digest carbohydrates in that quantity well any more).

    dan wrote on July 29th, 2012
  28. Not to divert from the contest, but I live in an area that allows front yard gardens to encompass whole front yards and I will testify to the fact that few look as beautiful or are as well maintained as the one featured in the article. Generally I would like to see HOAs taking the brunt of the responsibility, but in their absence 30% seems like a reasonable amount.

    Matt McCandless wrote on July 29th, 2012
  29. For the vegetarian theory:
    In my culture there is one classic saying: “The pig is the best vegetable!” ;)

    Corina wrote on July 29th, 2012
  30. If by vegetarian you mean “meat eater” than yes, I agree.

    Juli wrote on July 29th, 2012
  31. Wheat lectins…
    consider also oleosins. These are the fat-binding proteins in seed and grain fat droplets. Sesame oleosins are a trigger for sesame allergy.
    The toxic core protein of Hep C Virus has a similar protein sequence to oleosins.

    George Henderson wrote on July 29th, 2012
  32. “Human ancestors were nearly all vegetarian, a Scientific American blogger says.”

    Natural selection is cruel sieve, and those species that can’t adapt become extinct. That our distant vegetarian relatives are now all extinct is the pure and simple proof: Vegetarianism doesn’t work as a survival strategy for hominids.

    They’re all dead. And we omnivores are not. There is no other necessary factor to consider in an evidence-based discussion of evolution.

    HighlySkeptical wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • +1

      mars wrote on July 29th, 2012
  33. I love the new layout, Mark! When my Sundays are lazy enough that I can settle in with your news of the week it will be much easier for me to prioritize which to read first ;)

    I do love reading all the comments for the comeback contests, too!

    Grok on!

    yoolieboolie wrote on July 29th, 2012
  34. I’m all for being allowed to grow a garden in your front yard but…I wonder what type of lovely toxins those veggies absorb being right next to what looks like a normal usage road.

    Dave wrote on July 29th, 2012
  35. I am so glad this human diet article came up this week. It’s so funny because a vegetarian friend of mine just posted this to my Facebook wall a few days ago and here is the response I gave to her:

    The title is a little misleading because, as the author admits, he is not even concluding that our human ancestors were vegetarians but instead that they ate a greater proportion of vegetables. A fact that I would not disagree with from a “paleo-minded” standpoint. In fact, this author’s idea that a “paleo diet” should be rich in fruits, nuts and vegetables is right on target with a paleo diet. Though obviously the difference lies in his position on meat eating. He makes an interesting argument but one that is not very well supported. The first research he sites does not actually support his argument that our ancestors ate primarily vegetable matter but instead suggests simply that their diet “included plants.” Another point I would have to agree with. In my mind everyone’s diet should include plants.
    He goes on to argue that we can get a good idea of our ancestral diet from observing the diets of certain monkeys. That is not going to give a very accurate picture. What the author fails to recognize is the fact that while we are closely related to chimps, when we split in the evolutionary line we evolved to be better suited to eating meat and the chimps to be better suited to plant matter. So we both include animal and plant matter in our diets, just in different ratios. This difference is observable in differences in our teeth and in our digestive systems. (And the fact that he brushes aside the fact that humans have less large intestine in relation to small intestine [a point that would suggest a diet of less plant and more animal matter] saying it doesn’t prove that we didn’t eat less plant matter but just that “we are more likely to fart” makes me question how much he actually knows about the human body to begin with. [Farting is a sign that the body is having difficulty breaking down food. So he is essentially saying we are designed to have difficulty digesting our foods.])
    Near the end of the article, the author suggests different people being better suited to eat different foods. This is another point that I agree with and think it is a good message for his article and that he should make that his main point and encourage experimenting with your diet to find what works best for you and educating oneself in how foods really work with the human body.

    Ben H wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • I like your thoughtful and respectful response. I gathered the same ideas from the article, and feel the title really misleads. You break the points down nicely without calling the author an idiot (which he clearly is not).

      Joy Beer wrote on August 1st, 2012
  36. Repsonse to article

    Things which I found rather odd were that there was not mention about the increase of brain size which correlates with the decrease in gut size. Something had to occur to allow the transition of biomass from one region to the next. That had to be Fat, animal fat specifically. Another thing was he mentions amylase in the article and immediately attributes amylase increases due to agriculture, however, I amylase was something which most likely come about as a result of starchy tubers which were scavenged, not because of agricultural development.

    Judah wrote on July 29th, 2012
  37. I can’t improve on the many good rebuttals to “Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians” but will nonetheless add my own comments.

    1) He cherry-picks his timeline: that of chimp-like semi-vegetarian apes; he mentions the insectivorous ancestor of primates, but then proceeds to ignore that much-longer period.
    And what is more relevant, the tree-dwelling common ancestor of 7 million years ago, or the latest 3-4 million years when the major adaptations of walking upright, killing large mammals, fire, and other selective omnivorous activities took place? The 5% genome change from chimps is immense, and could easily encompass the change from a near-vegetarian to a more complete omnivore.

    2) The proper proxies for a paleo diet are not chimps, but rather existing hunter-gatherer populations, both extant and historic, representing the tendencies over the last few million years. Medical studies support this view, considering the absence of the severest modern diseases from H-G lives, and the health problems of vegans.

    3) He compares colobus monkey guts to those of cows? That’s just flat-out wrong.

    4) So, we ‘DID’ [sic] adapt to agriculture? The medical and anthropological evidence suggests otherwise, that we are far more adapted to a meat-and-veggie diet, than to an grain & legume diet that is short on meat and fat.

    BillP wrote on July 29th, 2012
  38. The thing about arguments for our ancestors eating a “mainly vegetarian diet” is that the wording is what gets people. Vegetarian can mean many things: Someone who eats lots of vegetables, or someone who eats no meat. Honestly, yes, our ancestors ate a lot of “vegetarian” things, but those included vegetables, fruits, nuts // seeds. They ALSO hunted for and ate meat // fish // game. So a “mostly vegetarian diet” can mean many things, but the truth is, is that it makes people think that most of our ancestors didn’t eat any flesh. No. Eggs, meat // game // seafood were all essential staples in diets worldwide ever since the dawn of time. It’s all about what was accessible and what was not.

    Katelyn wrote on July 29th, 2012
    • You really got to the heart if it. “Mostly vegetarian with a little meat” is what vegan bloggers use all the time to try to disprove paleo- funny since that description is far closer to the way of paleo than the way of veganism.

      Christina208 wrote on July 31st, 2012
  39. Humans = Hunt animals…Make beer…talk to Aliens…

    Dave PAPA GROK Parsons wrote on July 29th, 2012
  40. My diet is mainly vegetarians. Omnivores are good, too, but I draw the line at carnivores.

    Moshen wrote on July 29th, 2012

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