1

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How did Grok get enough fat?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 03, 2011 at 12:31 AM

I've just been thinking about how hungry I get and how everyone here encourages me to eat fat by the spoonful. But I was thinking . . . Grok wouldn't have had a jar of coconut oil or a bowl full or ghee or bars of butter easily available, would he? I know he would have eaten fatty cuts of meat--the fattier the better-- but grassfed meat isn't as fatty as regular meat so he'd have to eat more to get more fat, right? He couldn't dip his chicken in liquid tallow like I do either. And he no doubt didn't have a lot of access to nuts all the time. So, how did he deal with this hunger thing without constant access to fat?

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 11, 2011
at 07:19 AM

"optimized for processing animal matter rather than plant matter" Leaves and twigs yes. Ripe fruit... not even a contest.

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on June 05, 2011
at 12:32 AM

yup, most humans spent the ice age IN THE TROPICS.

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on June 05, 2011
at 12:31 AM

That said, I agree with what others have said about the fat content of healthy ruminants. Use that stuff.

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on June 05, 2011
at 12:30 AM

I think a lot of paleos seem to see consumption of large amounts of fat as a panacea. It's not- saturated fat is fine, eat as much as you want, but I see no reason to go out of your way to eat more than naturally occurs in the food you eat. And don't be afraid of starch.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 04, 2011
at 01:29 PM

Thanks rhubarb. It's far from complete though. And I should have mentioned the many tribes in Australia, Africa, tropical Asia and South America, and the Pacific islands who traditionally practice rudimentary agriculture and whose main source of calories was traditionally fermented plant starches (mostly from tubers), other diet staples were usually whatever they could hunt or fish, coconut, fruits, vegetation. These people are generally very healthy as well, although they are also not lean the way humans who eat mostly fat are.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 04, 2011
at 04:57 AM

Great summary animalcule, thanks.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 04, 2011
at 03:04 AM

Steven, to my understanding it is correct that pastured animals have a lower overall body fat percentage compared to grain fed animals, as well as a different fat distribution (leaner muscles). For cows, the figures I've seen are around 20% for a grass-finished steer and 25-30% for a grain-finished (similar to human women on paleo vs SAD!). That's about 240 lbs of fat from a grass-fed steer as opposed to 326 from a grain-fed animal. It's a significant difference, for sure, but not one that leads me to believe our ancestors didn't eat plenty of fat from the large animals they killed.

3960d381831b80ad96164f34e2ab6030

(565)

on June 04, 2011
at 02:30 AM

As I thought that I pointed out in my post, I understand that grass fed meat is fatty. Is that the final answer to this question though? I know that Grok would have been eating the fattiest cuts of meat (or at least I think I know). But still, it seems like so many people on this site talk about adding fat to everything or just eating plain fat to curb hunger . . . how did they do that back then? Pemmican? Was that their source? Do we have any other examnples of people storing fat sources like that?

3960d381831b80ad96164f34e2ab6030

(565)

on June 03, 2011
at 10:54 PM

I understand that grass fed meat is very fatty. I've watched the videos, read the blogs etc. However, isn't grass fed meat less fatty than regular meat on the whole? I'm not saying it's "lean" but that it is "leaner". Is that incorrect?

Medium avatar

(19469)

on June 03, 2011
at 08:28 PM

I remember reading that statement as well (muscle was fed to dogs while organs, marrow, etc. were taken back for the tribe) but think that it was a different group than the Masai. The Masai are famous for eating huge quantities of dairy and supplement it by siphoning non-lethal amounts of blood from their cattle.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 03, 2011
at 05:17 PM

Wait, I can't tell: is this meant to tell us something about fat stores of the animals in question?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 03, 2011
at 05:14 PM

Lol at Ben; though I have to say I want to be a believer in that wacky aquatic ape theory. You know it's still a pretty common thing that kids are born with webbed toes. Maybe one day I'll become a scientist and figure this one out. @Pfw: Sprinting to avoid other humans could have been important for our development even if you weren't sprinting to avoid being eaten by your friend Grok. I assume you know this and you were just saying that we were getting far from the question. But it's important to point out non-food sprinting just to get all the factors clearer in our heads, etc.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:59 PM

Kamal, by reading about the eating habits of every hunter-gatherer and pastorialist group that has been studied, and by seeing people butchering various animals, most of which have plenty of fat. When you kill any large prey, the primary energy source is the body fat, and we'd be too dumb to have survived and evolved if we didn't use it.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:26 PM

Good answer - I get very frustrated with those who define the fat levels of hunter-gatherer diets based on our narrow views of the edible parts of the animal as what you can easily get packaged in your local supermarket.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:09 PM

sprinting was much easier for early humans on the evolutionary path though because of their wings. Cmon guys, you have to keep up with the most recent research. Flight people, flight.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:07 PM

Rhubarb, i'd agree, and i think most research does, that eating good quantities of meat allowed/forced us to adapt with bigger brains and smaller guts. Sure. but that does not mean that we are thus not going to thrive on tubers/starch. We also have evolved amylase in our mouths. Also, put the whole evolution thing aside and just look at the results from a high starch diet - excellent athletic performance, excellent blood work, etc.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 03, 2011
at 09:49 AM

Sprinting is not a human hunting strategy. Obviously, sprinting for your life is something we can do, but given that we can only go a couple hundred meters and slower than most predators capable of killing us, it's obvious that sprint speed has not been selected for in that context. Evading other humans, sure. But unless you think human bodyfat was an evolutionarily significant component of diet, we're pretty far afield from the question here.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 03, 2011
at 06:09 AM

Very interesting! Thanks for the link. I'm still of the mind that the human digestive system is optimized for processing animal matter rather than plant matter, but very interesting all the same.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:57 AM

"Sprinting to get away from humans that want to hurt you..." Kind of like the way some (more or less) vegetarian primate species have canines: often physiology is not about food but about relations with conspecifics. Another pithy version of the idea: if you're a zebra you don't have to be faster than a lion, you just have to be faster than the other zebras.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:44 AM

Also: sprinting to get away from humans that want to hurt you, sprinting for fun, chasing your partner through the fields of tall grass, etc etc.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:29 AM

I don't think the Ice Age impinged much upon Eastern Africa, where we largely evolved. Thus, they would get carbs from fruits, tubers, and certain veggies.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:18 AM

"People have been rendering and using great gobs of animal fat for as long as we've been cooking with fire."...curious, where did you find this out? Truthfully, I'm a little skeptical.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:09 AM

Rhubarb- although I implied that big brains allowed us to find tubers, not reverse causally, there are definitely famous anthropologists who implicate tuber cooking in developing bigger brains...http://cogweb.ucla.edu/Abstracts/Pennisi_99.html

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:07 AM

Let's not forget: sprinting after a slowed animal, just injured by your projectile.

9f933fedd259b97a5369c3ee5dae3151

(341)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:55 AM

+1 pfw for the awesome image in my head. Slapstick!

Medium avatar

(5136)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:17 AM

they're pretty common here, which means in the days before industrialization they were even MORE common, and I can assure you, if it were legal to hunt anywhere at any time, I would have no issue whatsoever getting meat and fat.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:16 AM

Loss of land to development has meant loss of herds. Its pretty simple. I live near to nearly a million acres of national forest (and more in the other direction). So ... less development, more animals. In the year we've been here, my husband has seen 2 bears, we've seen a bobcat (I think it may actually have been a lynx because at first I thought it was a wolf so he was a big boy), elk, deer, porcupines, skunks, etc etcetc.. just because YOURE not used to animals around doens't mean it was always like that.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:11 AM

not a problem. Just go kill something. Many places had these kind of large predictable herds. I don't see it as much of an issue, and PERHAPS, though I just thought of this while typing right now and have no proof, it was cause for man himself to migrate to the north...

Medium avatar

(5136)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:10 AM

ok, let me say a few things. i used to live (grew up) in downtown Chicago. There were no deer there. They were a novelty in life. Now I live in the UP of Michigan. Lots of deer. All the freaking time. They all sleep in my yard. I know where they go in the winter (to the lake, and also still to my yard) they have migration patterns that are easily predictable. Good lord, if I could kill one of these things legaly, it'd be brutally easy. Two of them chased my cat home! (I figure he neither knew of the deer killing laws not of their size). In other words, when animals were plentiful, fat was

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:07 AM

We didn't get big brains and small guts from eating tubers.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:06 AM

yes! pork was not always "the other white meat" and so on and so forth

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:05 AM

Very well said! To say that there isn't much fat on wild / grass fed animals is very naive, to say the least.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:45 AM

Did Harris used to say that too? I actually thought he was more the potatoes aren't gonna kill you-camp? And I suppose I throw more weight to Wolf's podcast, in which he pretty always maintains that paleo is not about low carb. Not anti it either but. Maybe the books out there and blogs carry more weight. Prolly just me. Oh well, starch is good, makes me work harder, smile bigger, and gives variety to food.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:47 AM

Ben- the first paleo book I ever read was the Primal Blueprint. Then I read Kurt Harris's blog. After exhausting those two sources, I was totally like "oh nooos, potatoes and green beans are totally not paleo!". But my nonpaleo nutrition friends were like "WTF? You can't find potatoes and green beans in nature and eat them?". To which I replied "Umm...maybe they have too many antinutrients or carbs or something?" Yeah, so now I'm of the opinion that no plants or animals are really that bad for you. It took me many months to realize that the corn in my frozen mixed veggies wouldn't kill me.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:41 AM

Absolutely agree, Kamal. But I still kind of fail to see why people always say paleo is anti-tuber, all about high fat, etc. It increasingly seems like it's only me who feels this way but I just completely fail to see paleo big names saying low carb. Other than of course sisson

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:31 AM

As I sit here devouring a mound of sweet potato fries, I couldn't agree more Kamal.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:23 AM

You know what makes a lot of sense to me? Tubers. Humans could find them with their big brains and take advantage of big storage depots of instant energy. Somewhere in the development of the "paleo diet", extra fat got the nod over moderate amounts of tubers, maybe as means to control blood sugar and other stuff. But really, tubers are where it's at. ("it" = raw material for fries)

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:22 AM

Grass feed beef is not very fatty? http://www.tribeoffive.com/2011/04/hunting-for-good-food-and-roaming-bison.html

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:20 AM

Are you in America? Please try to sprint after a deer or a turkey or any animal you might want to eat. Report back with results.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:12 AM

Yes sprinting for 100 meters in 11 seconds to get close enough to the animal that evaded an ambush to throw a spear.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:04 AM

Sprinting faster?! Humans are terrible sprinters. The fastest humans alive today, the products of the best possible training programs with the best chemical enhancement available, are significantly slower than pretty much any four legged prey animal. Ambush, trapping, weapons, persistence hunting, but sprinting? Ain't no way.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:01 AM

There's more fat on an animal than meets the eye. Brains, tongue, bone marrow, subcutaneous fat, possibly intestines, they look pretty fatty. It wasn't a super high fat diet but if you're killing stuff like water buffalo you can get enough fat.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:49 AM

Stop commenting and enjoy your buttersteak!

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:47 AM

Yeah, some of us old paleo dudes need some more fat and cholesterol to keep our minds sharp...as I sit here eating a steak drenched with coconut oil and butter. And later tonight I am going sprinting on the golf course...after all the fat golfers riding around in golf carts go home and eat their neolithic foods.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:46 AM

Yeah, some of us old paleo dudes need some more fat and cholesterol to keep our minds sharp...as I sit here eating a steak drenched with coconut oil and butter. And later tonight I am going sprinting of the golf course...after all the fat golfers riding around in carts go home and eat their neolithic foods.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Dex, think you only read the subject. But can I just add/say that perhaps old paleo dudes didn't get as much fat as some of us eat. I know I know, they went after the fatty bits first, Brains are high fat, they cracked marrow. Yesyes. But you kill one animal with 5, 10 friends and you gotta share. Just saying that paleo guys maybe didn't eat high fat as routinely as some of us do.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:38 AM

(i think he means dietary fat)

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10 Answers

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8
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on June 04, 2011
at 04:11 AM

Steven, the unifying trend of all the traditional pastorialist and hunter-gatherer diets I've been able to find more in-depth information about is a very high intake of animal fat, most often supplemental. The fat is collected from the animal, set aside, and then refined and used for a variety of food purposes.

*The primary calorie source of the traditional Inuit of North American tundra, and Yupik/Yuit peoples of upper Siberia, was the rendered fat of their very fatty prey (seal, whale, muskoxen, caribou) which they stored and transported in giant sealskin bags.

*Non-farming Native Americans were relatively fast-moving nomads, and hunted large game as their primary food source. They made the kills they couldn't eat fresh into pemmican, which is 70-80% fat. And the staple of their diets through the winter.

*The Khoisan 'Bushmen' of Africa were reported to have very high animal fat intake in the days when most of them still hunted and gathered traditionally, and to this day they especially prize the eland (largest antelope in Africa) for it's high body fat which is eaten ritually. Khoisan people who have adapted to the majority local cultures by becoming cow herders are notable for refusing to grow crops and buy many grains to eat, preferring to live mostly on the meat and milk from their animals, and foraged plant foods.

*We've all heard about the Maasai; they used to be hunters, but have been cow-herders for some time now, and this traditional diet of milk, cow meat, and cow fat supplemented with some vegetables/tubers (what can be found in dry grassland) is very high in fat.

*A huge number of traditional Mongolian herding cultures still exist in the inaccessible steppes. 30% of the people in the country are nomadic herders! They raise reindeer, goats, yaks (kept especially for the fatty milk), sheep, cows, camels (not used for milk or meat) and horses; butterfat is a main source of calories, and they eat a lot of mutton and goat which is high in fat. They even put butter in their tea. Due the difficulty of transporting anything, many eat amazingly little dry goods/Western foods...

*The nomadic traditional Bedouin survived primarily on the meat, fat, milk and milk fat of their animals (they call their clarified butter, an important component in many dishes, samn), and on dates.

*The traditional Sami people (reindeer herders) of Finland eat tons of animal fat. Butterfat is a major calorie source. Great info on the Sami diet, lifestyle, genetics and disease incidence here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2080452/ Makes me feel like I'm on the right track.

There's a lot more out there, but it's basically more of the same. Every (ETA: pastorialist and hunter-gatherer) culture studied which doesn't farm mass amounts of grains or live directly next-door to grain farmers pushing their product on them, gets a large majority of their calories from animal fat. Humans who farm grains get most of their calories from carbohydrate. Based on this I don't see anything excessive or unusual in the recommendations to 'eat more fat' (60-80% of calories).

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 04, 2011
at 01:29 PM

Thanks rhubarb. It's far from complete though. And I should have mentioned the many tribes in Australia, Africa, tropical Asia and South America, and the Pacific islands who traditionally practice rudimentary agriculture and whose main source of calories was traditionally fermented plant starches (mostly from tubers), other diet staples were usually whatever they could hunt or fish, coconut, fruits, vegetation. These people are generally very healthy as well, although they are also not lean the way humans who eat mostly fat are.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 04, 2011
at 04:57 AM

Great summary animalcule, thanks.

8
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on June 03, 2011
at 02:57 AM

Yes, Grok ate 'fatty cuts of meat'. He also stripped tens of pounds of subcutaneous and visceral fat from every large 'grass-fed' herbivore he brought down, and he and his family made very good use of it.

Grass-fed and wild animals have less intramuscular fat, AKA 'marbling' through a cut of meat. They do not have low body fat - most ungulates have great gobs of body fat, unless they are starving.

Of course Grok could dip his fowl in liquid tallow. People have been rendering and using great gobs of animal fat for as long as we've been cooking with fire.

ETA: If you doubt my claims that grass-fed beef and various wild herbivores have plenty of body fat for the taking, pls to watch youtube videos of butchering said animals. Grok didn't let any of that good stuff go to waste.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:05 AM

Very well said! To say that there isn't much fat on wild / grass fed animals is very naive, to say the least.

3960d381831b80ad96164f34e2ab6030

(565)

on June 03, 2011
at 10:54 PM

I understand that grass fed meat is very fatty. I've watched the videos, read the blogs etc. However, isn't grass fed meat less fatty than regular meat on the whole? I'm not saying it's "lean" but that it is "leaner". Is that incorrect?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:18 AM

"People have been rendering and using great gobs of animal fat for as long as we've been cooking with fire."...curious, where did you find this out? Truthfully, I'm a little skeptical.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:59 PM

Kamal, by reading about the eating habits of every hunter-gatherer and pastorialist group that has been studied, and by seeing people butchering various animals, most of which have plenty of fat. When you kill any large prey, the primary energy source is the body fat, and we'd be too dumb to have survived and evolved if we didn't use it.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on June 04, 2011
at 03:04 AM

Steven, to my understanding it is correct that pastured animals have a lower overall body fat percentage compared to grain fed animals, as well as a different fat distribution (leaner muscles). For cows, the figures I've seen are around 20% for a grass-finished steer and 25-30% for a grain-finished (similar to human women on paleo vs SAD!). That's about 240 lbs of fat from a grass-fed steer as opposed to 326 from a grain-fed animal. It's a significant difference, for sure, but not one that leads me to believe our ancestors didn't eat plenty of fat from the large animals they killed.

6
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:58 AM

It's highly likely, at the beginning, us lowly humans were scavengers. Fortunately we were reasonably smart scavengers that could make tools and the like to break open bones and skulls to get at the lovely fat and good protein in the marrow and brains.

The other animals that would like to eat us and who made the kill in the first place didn't have the smarts to access the skull and bones for the goodness inside.

2000 calories is about 220g of fat, which isn't that much, kind of like a big handful.

As we became better hunters and better scavengers for that matter, we would of had more and more of the kill to ourselves, and access to plenty of fat, of which we eventually learnt how to keep to consume later on.

So getting enough fat, wouldn't of been overly difficult most of time. And when it wasn't you'd use your own.

Edit: A bit of an after thought.. Another good question would be to flip it and ask, How did Grok get enough carbs? During Ice Age there would of been infrequent and very little edible plant matter around. Fat would of been the dietary staple.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:29 AM

I don't think the Ice Age impinged much upon Eastern Africa, where we largely evolved. Thus, they would get carbs from fruits, tubers, and certain veggies.

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on June 05, 2011
at 12:32 AM

yup, most humans spent the ice age IN THE TROPICS.

5
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:49 PM

It is obvious that 99% of the people on this site have never hunted and butchered their own meat. We always hunted when I was growing up and a large part of my family, that lives farther north, still hunts & fish to supplement meat. Wild meat is rarely marbled but there is lots of fat to be had on most animals, this includes buffalo that my uncle raises that never see grain of any kind. Fat is energy dense so a little goes a long way. My ancestors also made pemmican and some of my family still does, a little bit is very filling. Perhaps the debatable point is the frequency of which fat from animals was obtained. We will never know what our species ate or how much they ate in the distant past, but one thing I do know from listening to stories from our elders is that when you have to hunter/gather food on a daily basis in order to survive you become very efficient and knowledgeable about your natural environment and how to use everything to your advantage. We 'modern' humans have a very narrow view of what we consider food, nature provides a bounty of food sources if one knows how & where to look for them.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:26 PM

Good answer - I get very frustrated with those who define the fat levels of hunter-gatherer diets based on our narrow views of the edible parts of the animal as what you can easily get packaged in your local supermarket.

3960d381831b80ad96164f34e2ab6030

(565)

on June 04, 2011
at 02:30 AM

As I thought that I pointed out in my post, I understand that grass fed meat is fatty. Is that the final answer to this question though? I know that Grok would have been eating the fattiest cuts of meat (or at least I think I know). But still, it seems like so many people on this site talk about adding fat to everything or just eating plain fat to curb hunger . . . how did they do that back then? Pemmican? Was that their source? Do we have any other examnples of people storing fat sources like that?

3
637042e24e38a81dfc089ef55bed9d46

(826)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:56 AM

Organ meats. I may be wrong but I thought the Masai ate mostly organ meats and fed the muscle meats to their dogs....

Medium avatar

(19469)

on June 03, 2011
at 08:28 PM

I remember reading that statement as well (muscle was fed to dogs while organs, marrow, etc. were taken back for the tribe) but think that it was a different group than the Masai. The Masai are famous for eating huge quantities of dairy and supplement it by siphoning non-lethal amounts of blood from their cattle.

2
23cdea3bba94e17d2b58b525773d0c0a

(729)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:57 AM

I think it has a lot to do with how domesticated livestock has been bred lean... I hope that makes sense.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:06 AM

yes! pork was not always "the other white meat" and so on and so forth

0
03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:01 PM

Others have pointed out how livestock has been bred for leanness for at least 40 years (which is about 20 generations in the case of cattle; even more for chickens or hogs). But even beyond that, there's just a big difference between wandering to a fresh patch of grass every day, versus wandering around the same pasture that's just big enough to support the herd you're in. Techniques like rotational grazing and mob stocking help to restore the natural way herbivores eat, but they're still relatively rare. Even wild animals like deer don't eat the same way their ancestors did, since human activity restricts them to smaller areas of timber or grasslands.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 03, 2011
at 05:17 PM

Wait, I can't tell: is this meant to tell us something about fat stores of the animals in question?

0
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on June 03, 2011
at 03:17 AM

I took this from the Archevore blog but grassfed meat has PLENTY o' fat. It's just not marbled. Check out this grass finished Buffalo. Once grok started hunting big game he probably had plenty of access to fat. http://www.tribeoffive.com/2011/04/hunting-for-good-food-and-roaming-bison.html

0
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on June 03, 2011
at 01:12 AM

This is one of my hang-ups with the "eat more fat" camp, because:

  • Grok would only have access to fatty meats and really oily fish once Grok made it way up North, probably descended from the same genotypes as Polynesians, by boat, and blubber became part of the diet. That was way after paleolithic man.

  • Grass-fed beef is not very fatty

  • Wild animals like deer are especially lean, with the exception of those which hibernate.

So, I don't see the evolutionary support for eating lots of fat and strictly or nearly all meat (again, except way up North and much later, and with a population living a dramatically different lifestyle that we or other populations tend to).

While some do just fine on this type of diet, I don't understand how it can be called "paleo" if "paleo" is based on evolution and the real world paleolithic man inhabited. Where most are in agreement is that grains, sugar and anything highly processed are definitely out. After that, it's a smorgasbord of diets.

As for scavenging, our closest cousins, the chimps, don't scavenge. That said, they have very different teeth, etc., and there is great variability among primates as to diet, so it's anyone's guess whether we did or not. A lot of omnivores do.

What makes sense to me is about 50-50 meat and veggies, reasonable amounts of butter or coconut oil, and fasting or IF as one wishes, but it's not something I plan. If I start getting weird cravings, then I know it's a good time for a brief fast. That's what seems to be optimal for me.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:41 AM

Absolutely agree, Kamal. But I still kind of fail to see why people always say paleo is anti-tuber, all about high fat, etc. It increasingly seems like it's only me who feels this way but I just completely fail to see paleo big names saying low carb. Other than of course sisson

76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:31 AM

As I sit here devouring a mound of sweet potato fries, I couldn't agree more Kamal.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:16 AM

Loss of land to development has meant loss of herds. Its pretty simple. I live near to nearly a million acres of national forest (and more in the other direction). So ... less development, more animals. In the year we've been here, my husband has seen 2 bears, we've seen a bobcat (I think it may actually have been a lynx because at first I thought it was a wolf so he was a big boy), elk, deer, porcupines, skunks, etc etcetc.. just because YOURE not used to animals around doens't mean it was always like that.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:22 AM

Grass feed beef is not very fatty? http://www.tribeoffive.com/2011/04/hunting-for-good-food-and-roaming-bison.html

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 02:45 AM

Did Harris used to say that too? I actually thought he was more the potatoes aren't gonna kill you-camp? And I suppose I throw more weight to Wolf's podcast, in which he pretty always maintains that paleo is not about low carb. Not anti it either but. Maybe the books out there and blogs carry more weight. Prolly just me. Oh well, starch is good, makes me work harder, smile bigger, and gives variety to food.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:47 AM

Ben- the first paleo book I ever read was the Primal Blueprint. Then I read Kurt Harris's blog. After exhausting those two sources, I was totally like "oh nooos, potatoes and green beans are totally not paleo!". But my nonpaleo nutrition friends were like "WTF? You can't find potatoes and green beans in nature and eat them?". To which I replied "Umm...maybe they have too many antinutrients or carbs or something?" Yeah, so now I'm of the opinion that no plants or animals are really that bad for you. It took me many months to realize that the corn in my frozen mixed veggies wouldn't kill me.

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:07 AM

We didn't get big brains and small guts from eating tubers.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:23 AM

You know what makes a lot of sense to me? Tubers. Humans could find them with their big brains and take advantage of big storage depots of instant energy. Somewhere in the development of the "paleo diet", extra fat got the nod over moderate amounts of tubers, maybe as means to control blood sugar and other stuff. But really, tubers are where it's at. ("it" = raw material for fries)

Medium avatar

(5136)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:10 AM

ok, let me say a few things. i used to live (grew up) in downtown Chicago. There were no deer there. They were a novelty in life. Now I live in the UP of Michigan. Lots of deer. All the freaking time. They all sleep in my yard. I know where they go in the winter (to the lake, and also still to my yard) they have migration patterns that are easily predictable. Good lord, if I could kill one of these things legaly, it'd be brutally easy. Two of them chased my cat home! (I figure he neither knew of the deer killing laws not of their size). In other words, when animals were plentiful, fat was

Medium avatar

(5136)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:17 AM

they're pretty common here, which means in the days before industrialization they were even MORE common, and I can assure you, if it were legal to hunt anywhere at any time, I would have no issue whatsoever getting meat and fat.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:09 AM

Rhubarb- although I implied that big brains allowed us to find tubers, not reverse causally, there are definitely famous anthropologists who implicate tuber cooking in developing bigger brains...http://cogweb.ucla.edu/Abstracts/Pennisi_99.html

B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 03, 2011
at 06:09 AM

Very interesting! Thanks for the link. I'm still of the mind that the human digestive system is optimized for processing animal matter rather than plant matter, but very interesting all the same.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:11 AM

not a problem. Just go kill something. Many places had these kind of large predictable herds. I don't see it as much of an issue, and PERHAPS, though I just thought of this while typing right now and have no proof, it was cause for man himself to migrate to the north...

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:07 PM

Rhubarb, i'd agree, and i think most research does, that eating good quantities of meat allowed/forced us to adapt with bigger brains and smaller guts. Sure. but that does not mean that we are thus not going to thrive on tubers/starch. We also have evolved amylase in our mouths. Also, put the whole evolution thing aside and just look at the results from a high starch diet - excellent athletic performance, excellent blood work, etc.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 11, 2011
at 07:19 AM

"optimized for processing animal matter rather than plant matter" Leaves and twigs yes. Ripe fruit... not even a contest.

0
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:35 AM

He didn't get fat. Only the sabre tooth tiger got fat on humans. Get too fat equals food for tiger.

There were no fat grokman/grokladies 300000 years ago. That is why sprinting is in our genes.

That is why Wallace and Darwin called it evolution..survival of the fittest. We are a living testament that Grok was not fat. Now we are a living testament of how screwed up our nutrition is.

Edit: Oh well! Color me pink! He got his fat by sprinting faster, along with his family unit, than the animals he killed to eat. Ate the brains, liver, stomach, intestines, heart first then the muscle.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:38 AM

(i think he means dietary fat)

9f933fedd259b97a5369c3ee5dae3151

(341)

on June 03, 2011
at 03:55 AM

+1 pfw for the awesome image in my head. Slapstick!

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:46 AM

Yeah, some of us old paleo dudes need some more fat and cholesterol to keep our minds sharp...as I sit here eating a steak drenched with coconut oil and butter. And later tonight I am going sprinting of the golf course...after all the fat golfers riding around in carts go home and eat their neolithic foods.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:12 AM

Yes sprinting for 100 meters in 11 seconds to get close enough to the animal that evaded an ambush to throw a spear.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Dex, think you only read the subject. But can I just add/say that perhaps old paleo dudes didn't get as much fat as some of us eat. I know I know, they went after the fatty bits first, Brains are high fat, they cracked marrow. Yesyes. But you kill one animal with 5, 10 friends and you gotta share. Just saying that paleo guys maybe didn't eat high fat as routinely as some of us do.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 03, 2011
at 09:49 AM

Sprinting is not a human hunting strategy. Obviously, sprinting for your life is something we can do, but given that we can only go a couple hundred meters and slower than most predators capable of killing us, it's obvious that sprint speed has not been selected for in that context. Evading other humans, sure. But unless you think human bodyfat was an evolutionarily significant component of diet, we're pretty far afield from the question here.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:04 AM

Sprinting faster?! Humans are terrible sprinters. The fastest humans alive today, the products of the best possible training programs with the best chemical enhancement available, are significantly slower than pretty much any four legged prey animal. Ambush, trapping, weapons, persistence hunting, but sprinting? Ain't no way.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:47 AM

Yeah, some of us old paleo dudes need some more fat and cholesterol to keep our minds sharp...as I sit here eating a steak drenched with coconut oil and butter. And later tonight I am going sprinting on the golf course...after all the fat golfers riding around in golf carts go home and eat their neolithic foods.

4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on June 03, 2011
at 01:20 AM

Are you in America? Please try to sprint after a deer or a turkey or any animal you might want to eat. Report back with results.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:57 AM

"Sprinting to get away from humans that want to hurt you..." Kind of like the way some (more or less) vegetarian primate species have canines: often physiology is not about food but about relations with conspecifics. Another pithy version of the idea: if you're a zebra you don't have to be faster than a lion, you just have to be faster than the other zebras.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:49 AM

Stop commenting and enjoy your buttersteak!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:07 AM

Let's not forget: sprinting after a slowed animal, just injured by your projectile.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 03, 2011
at 12:09 PM

sprinting was much easier for early humans on the evolutionary path though because of their wings. Cmon guys, you have to keep up with the most recent research. Flight people, flight.

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on June 03, 2011
at 04:44 AM

Also: sprinting to get away from humans that want to hurt you, sprinting for fun, chasing your partner through the fields of tall grass, etc etc.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on June 03, 2011
at 05:14 PM

Lol at Ben; though I have to say I want to be a believer in that wacky aquatic ape theory. You know it's still a pretty common thing that kids are born with webbed toes. Maybe one day I'll become a scientist and figure this one out. @Pfw: Sprinting to avoid other humans could have been important for our development even if you weren't sprinting to avoid being eaten by your friend Grok. I assume you know this and you were just saying that we were getting far from the question. But it's important to point out non-food sprinting just to get all the factors clearer in our heads, etc.

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