2

votes

Hard data on HG diets?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 02, 2011 at 6:53 PM

I am wondering if anyone has access to studies that analyze actual food portions from hunter-gatherer populations living today, and the micronutrient amounts in those diets. Just to make it clear, I don't actually mean guessing how much of each food they ate, but someone living with these people year-round (if they had seasons where these people lived) and measuring their portions every day.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 09, 2011
at 11:24 AM

excellent post, Paul. Thanks!

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on March 21, 2011
at 06:14 PM

Note that my question did not assume how useful knowledge of current HG diets might be, or whether we should use it at all. I asked it knowing full well the above objections. The fact remains that some of these current HG still have very healthy bodies, "marginal environments" or not.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 03, 2011
at 03:14 AM

I read the article over a year ago, but now I see the one paragraph that mentions Marlowe upon reading it again.

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on March 02, 2011
at 09:09 PM

Does this books contain details on their exact diet including micronutrient information?

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on March 02, 2011
at 09:08 PM

Unfortunately this does not contain a micronutrient analysis, and I am unsure if the diets analyzed are real HG diets.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 02, 2011
at 08:53 PM

Yeah, that's where I first read about Frank Marlowe and decided to go to the source.

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 02, 2011
at 08:30 PM

Here's an interesting article on the Hadza. It isn't a dietary study, but it's well worth reading: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/12/hadza/finkel-text

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 02, 2011
at 08:29 PM

Here's an interesting article on the Hadza. It isn't a dietary study, but it's well worth reading: National Geographic

Frontpage book

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4 Answers

3
9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

on March 31, 2011
at 09:57 AM

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 09, 2011
at 11:24 AM

excellent post, Paul. Thanks!

1
9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on March 16, 2011
at 08:56 PM

I highly recommend this guest post on Kurt Harris's blog. The writer, who lived for a time with the Kung, points out that it is very difficult to nail down HG diets. The groups still in existence today are often in marginal environments -- the fact that they still exist usually means they live in places no one else wants to live. Studying them may not be the best way to estimate the resources OUR ancestors had access to. What would they be eating if they had access to more productive land currently occupied by others?

It's hard to find existing groups that do not interact and trade with farmers/pastoralists. Also, researchers and visitors to these groups can be served a greater variety of foods than the people themselves eat on a day to day basis. The writer does mention that when his hosts had good access to meat, that was pretty much all they ate.

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on March 21, 2011
at 06:14 PM

Note that my question did not assume how useful knowledge of current HG diets might be, or whether we should use it at all. I asked it knowing full well the above objections. The fact remains that some of these current HG still have very healthy bodies, "marginal environments" or not.

0
Medium avatar

on March 02, 2011
at 08:05 PM

Edit: As far as micros go, it didn't really delve into that level of detail; you'd probably have to buy some scientific papers for that: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6WJH-458183Y-1Y&_user=10&_coverDate=02%2F28%2F2001&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=gateway&_origin=gateway&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1681616637&_rerunOrigin=scholar.google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=3fb957a4c418bc00d59c5d37d3b07949&searchtype=a

They would have almost certainly sourced most of their micros from organ meats, however. There are reports of vitamin A deficiency among some Hadza, so I can only assume that these individuals did not have access to liver.

I recommend choosing a particular group of HGs and reading a book completely devoted to them. The level of detail is far greater than a survey of many groups and you learn a lot of interesting things. I'm currently reading this book about the Hadza:

hard-data-on-hg-diets?

It's really a great book and very interesting, but it's not like I then come to the conclusion that I should live exactly like the Hadza. We can get a better understanding of things like the sexual division of labor that our ancestors likely had, as well as possible food taboos for the whole group as well as some members (the Hadza women don't eat certain cuts of meat that they call epeme for example).

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 02, 2011
at 08:29 PM

Here's an interesting article on the Hadza. It isn't a dietary study, but it's well worth reading: National Geographic

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on March 02, 2011
at 09:09 PM

Does this books contain details on their exact diet including micronutrient information?

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 02, 2011
at 08:30 PM

Here's an interesting article on the Hadza. It isn't a dietary study, but it's well worth reading: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/12/hadza/finkel-text

95eda9fa0cec952b482e869c34a566b6

on March 03, 2011
at 03:14 AM

I read the article over a year ago, but now I see the one paragraph that mentions Marlowe upon reading it again.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on March 02, 2011
at 08:53 PM

Yeah, that's where I first read about Frank Marlowe and decided to go to the source.

0
Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

on March 02, 2011
at 07:10 PM

this is an important reference, an article by L. Cordain and others http://www.ajcn.org/content/71/3/682.full?ijkey=KPJ8NPKvC6lVQ

8f08fb03fc5c2f44b7d5357e8a3ab1c5

on March 02, 2011
at 09:08 PM

Unfortunately this does not contain a micronutrient analysis, and I am unsure if the diets analyzed are real HG diets.

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