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The Age of Grain Consumption

An Article came up in 2010 about bread found at a site dating 30,000 years ago. Below is a response I sent via email to someone who sent this to me to poke a hole in my head: enjoy.

Carlos! So I guess you were receiving my emails. Thanks for sending this along. Very cool stuff, both anthropologically and nutritionally.

However, I am sure you are sending this to prove me wrong in some way or another. I would hope this is not your best shot. As I am not looking for argument or to be proved any one way. i have been wrong before and don’t have a problem saying so. This article, however, is nothing new at all. Lets break it down shall we,

The headline read “bread”. So most people will think of the bread at Kroger or in Paris when in fact the “bread” they are referring to is a flour that was cooked into a cracker like form. That is no surprise and this is not the oldest form of a thin bread-like substance being used. In fact, the oldest form of this is the use of Acorns (or acorn like species) as a paste and then cooked. So, what is this bread? The article confuses it’s reader by interchanging “grains” with “plant roots similar to potatoes”. We know from a lot of anthropological data that humans have been eating root vegetables (after soaking and cooking them) for quiet some time. Root vegetables are welcome in the paleo diet but not for someone trying to loose weight. I can assure you the potatoes they used were not the white ones you find in the store. White potatoes are never encouraged. Yucca, yams, and purple roots are fair game.

The basics of food science remains the same with or without this “new” finding. Would a group of people be healthier if they began eating real grains? This article sounds more like a group of people gathering food to live. Remember, it is Hunter-Gatherer. Meat was not always around like we have in stores. And there was a great danger involved in hunting. The preferred food was meat and organ meats and this has been true since our beginnings and still today. I wonder, after more research on these bones, how long they were eating these “grains” or “starchy roots”. Were they healthy still? I can guarantee the “grains” were not the same wheat today. Maybe they were starving and began eating something they could find. Every hunter-gatherer society has been found cooking and soaking their roots and vegetables. They cooked almost every food except honey, and honey was extremely rare. So to think this article shoots some hole in the paleo diet is just unfounded and void of reasoning and competency of the paleo-diet.

So we started eating grains 10,000 years earlier than the most recent data showed. Dig Deal. It’s science, and along with new evidence should be new understanding. If we became meat-eating primates 2.5 million years ago, that’s a difference of 0.4%.  Margin of error?. We don’t know EXACTLY how long grains have been in our diet. Anthropology relies on new fossils to add more pieces or the puzzle or make the puzzle bigger. Instead, we should say, “Humans began eating grains no later than 20,000 years ago, because that’s the evidence that we have.” Cool?

I have a solid background in reading science literature and always rather see the real study and data than someone at Reuters/Yahoo who clearly does not know much about the paleo-diet or the reality of anthropological data.

Others: Freetheanimal and huntgatherlove

And for your reading:






Good Calories, Bad Calories By Gary Taubes

The Paleolithic Solution by Robb Wolf

Catching Fire by Richard Wrangham

Man: His 1st million years

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

Western Diseases. An Evolutionary Perspective

Food and Western Disease

Enjoy, and have a good day. I hope you do read with an open mind. Just remember, most everything we learned in school is biased and likely wrong. There is a reason and a history behind everything and the failure to recognize that history is the recipe for repeated failure and ignorance.

The Lesson:

Stop worrying about the dates. The numbers will change. Probably not by much, but they will change. The actual paleolithic reasoning is a reference point. Then we start to look at the foods they did/didn’t eat. Then we grasp some biochemistry and health indicators through medical studies. Then we come to an understanding.

Does this sound familiar? Well it should. Think Dr. Loren Cordain.

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