4

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Have we de-evolved from ourselves?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM

I wonder if we have gotten so far away from self awareness that we can't recognize what is truly good for us and what is poison? I would think our Paleo ancestors were able to distinguish poison, ie grains, from nourishment, ie meat. Now a days we eat so much unrecognizable "food" that being in a toxic state is natural. Any thoughts on this? Personally, as I've eaten real food, my body is much more aware of toxins. Any similar results?

2c657a0aca33e505e735477ddd68f4f2

on April 25, 2012
at 02:00 AM

On a continuum of proinflammatory grains, I'd put rice on the lower end of things just for the lack of gluten alone. And of course, we arent' even beginning to account for lifestyle in this assessment. We can look at plenty of well-aged people, say among the Kitavans or in South America, that don't rely on a the Japanese diet you mention.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on April 02, 2012
at 04:57 AM

I'm not sure their cheapness is WHY they're overconsumed. It's certainly a contributing factor to their ubiquity.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on April 01, 2012
at 01:17 PM

thhq--I can see that. Though I don't think it was the staple that grains became after agriculture. Even undercooked, it was certainly seasonal, and likely treated more like wild rice as an occasional addition, rather than a dietary staple. Even so, it is certainly not a 'toxin' or 'poison' and I've slid into that camp that says "the goal is to heal the gut, and expand food choices, rather than limiting them". In fact, my companion, a homeopath, says that the hallmark of dis-ease is the limitation of choices... by demands of body, mind, spirit, or community, which fits where my thoughts are.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 01, 2012
at 11:59 AM

From what I've been reading lately, Neolithic emmer wheat was eaten whole and undercooked by present standards. Making it into meal came later as new cooking methods were developed. This was WAY before soup - er, bone broth.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 01, 2012
at 11:50 AM

Grain containing foods are now the cheapest way to survive, but because of their cheapness they are easily overconsumed. We have only recently "de-evolved" from the idea that gluttony is a sin.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 01, 2012
at 11:41 AM

Grains have always been agents for human survival due to the ease of storage and portability.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 01, 2012
at 11:37 AM

Grains don't necessarily induce a decline in health. Look at the longevity of Japanese women before you condemn their diet as something that merely gets them to reproductive age.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 01, 2012
at 11:30 AM

Are we not neoliths? The human race has not eaten a paleo diet for 1000 generations.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on April 01, 2012
at 12:32 AM

+1. I'm about 15 months into paleo, and I'm finding that dairy is increasingly OK (after 12 years of not being able to touch it without running for the bathroom.) Haven't ventured too far into grains, but mostly just because I haven't had an opportunity to try what I would consider decent quality grain sources. I might have to get around to doing that.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on March 30, 2012
at 12:53 PM

I agree somewhat, but today, not too many people are teaching theirnkids what plants are poisonous, and sadly our grocery stores are filled with toxic "food"

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on March 30, 2012
at 12:51 PM

Hahaha, I love Devo.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on March 30, 2012
at 12:37 AM

it took about 2 years.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 29, 2012
at 07:07 PM

How long did it take for your gut to heal, if you do not mind me asking?

43873f3cea4f22f91653b0f5ec7ab9d9

(401)

on March 29, 2012
at 07:00 PM

Are we not men? We are Devo.

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7 Answers

9
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on March 29, 2012
at 04:44 PM

I would have to disagree on this.

First, grain, per se, is NOT poison. There are some people for whom it is not healthy -- particularly those whose guts are unhealthy and who are unable to digest or have an immune response to said grain. This does not mean that grains are unhealthy for everyone. It is likely that our ancestors did not eat grain NOT because it was poison, but because they did not have the means at their disposal to effectively grow it in useful quantities or to prepare it in ways that could be digested well. Instead, they would opt for foods that were able to be harvested while moving (since most of these individuals were migratory) AND which could be prepared in sufficient quantity to meet caloric needs using available technology.

This is why, once human beings sat still long enough to actually -cultivate- crops, grains were among the first crops cultivated and prepared -- because at that point in our history, we'd developed both the tools and the means (stability of location) to grow sufficient amounts of grain to be able to effectively access the caloric nature of the grains.

Second, most people who eat a standard diet, at least here in America, DO know that the processed and chemicalized foods they are eating are less than healthy for them. It is not ignorance, as much as it is issues of time, convenience, cost, and access that affect how most people choose to eat. The remainder KNOW that their diet is not optimal and is causing health problems, but they LIKE the food they are eating, or are too uncomfortable with change to stray away from foods that are familiar to them. If you ASK them whether or not they know that what they are eating is unhealthy, they will tell you that they DO know... but that, for one reason or another, they CHOOSE to continue with their poor eating habits.

I do think that elimination diets (which paleo can be considered to be) do cause a 'rebound' sensitivity to dietary items to which the person is already sensitized, but I am inclined to lean towards more recent interpretations of this increased sensitivity as being more about becoming aware of an unbalanced or unhealthy gut and ineffectiveness or absence of appropriate gut flora. I know that, for myself, once my gut had the chance to heal, I was able to broaden my exposure to certain things that I thought I'd never be able to eat again--and as long as I remain aware, and don't put myself back into the habits that overstressed my immune system and gut condition in the first place, I find that things like dairy and properly-prepared grains (including the liberal use of sprouting combined with fermentation) don't bother me any more than a stew of grain-fed meat, coconut milk, and sweet potatoes.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 29, 2012
at 07:07 PM

How long did it take for your gut to heal, if you do not mind me asking?

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on March 30, 2012
at 12:37 AM

it took about 2 years.

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on April 01, 2012
at 12:32 AM

+1. I'm about 15 months into paleo, and I'm finding that dairy is increasingly OK (after 12 years of not being able to touch it without running for the bathroom.) Haven't ventured too far into grains, but mostly just because I haven't had an opportunity to try what I would consider decent quality grain sources. I might have to get around to doing that.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 01, 2012
at 11:59 AM

From what I've been reading lately, Neolithic emmer wheat was eaten whole and undercooked by present standards. Making it into meal came later as new cooking methods were developed. This was WAY before soup - er, bone broth.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on April 01, 2012
at 01:17 PM

thhq--I can see that. Though I don't think it was the staple that grains became after agriculture. Even undercooked, it was certainly seasonal, and likely treated more like wild rice as an occasional addition, rather than a dietary staple. Even so, it is certainly not a 'toxin' or 'poison' and I've slid into that camp that says "the goal is to heal the gut, and expand food choices, rather than limiting them". In fact, my companion, a homeopath, says that the hallmark of dis-ease is the limitation of choices... by demands of body, mind, spirit, or community, which fits where my thoughts are.

6
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on March 29, 2012
at 04:47 PM

I think this presupposes that evolution is a process toward perfection, when in fact it's about adaptation to conditions. And by adaptation, I mean that those who aren't as fit die off. So you could say we're currently evolving toward becoming folks who can survive on Wheat Thins and Cocoa Puffs.

And I don't think grains were ever seen as poison. They were seen as stability for lean times and they knew how to best process them to minimize effects. The problem comes when we depend on them for too much of our nutrition.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 01, 2012
at 11:50 AM

Grain containing foods are now the cheapest way to survive, but because of their cheapness they are easily overconsumed. We have only recently "de-evolved" from the idea that gluttony is a sin.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on April 02, 2012
at 04:57 AM

I'm not sure their cheapness is WHY they're overconsumed. It's certainly a contributing factor to their ubiquity.

4
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on March 29, 2012
at 04:20 PM

I'd say much of what you're talking about was only ever cultural. Even certain tastes only hold their power from prior association and experience, not through innate knowledge. Our sense of disgust helps in extreme circumstances to avoid disease - particularly with waste or rot - and we retain that well enough. Knowledge of less obvious poisonous plants would always have been taught though I think.

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on March 30, 2012
at 12:53 PM

I agree somewhat, but today, not too many people are teaching theirnkids what plants are poisonous, and sadly our grocery stores are filled with toxic "food"

3
De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on March 29, 2012
at 06:46 PM

I think we have but not just in that way. Humans evolved all over the planet, slowly spreading over tens of thousands of years. However, migration was slow so pockets of locally unique genetic pools existed. Today, people move all over the place and make kids with whoever. We're each composed of fragments of adaptations to different environments.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 01, 2012
at 11:41 AM

Grains have always been agents for human survival due to the ease of storage and portability.

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on March 29, 2012
at 04:52 PM

Honestly, how can we possibly know?

In the harsh reality of our beginnings, family/tribe members saw adults and children die from accidents including poisonings. One way or another we either learned to avoid those hazards or we developed tolerances and/or immune protection. Those who didn't learn aren't part of the gene pool today unless they were lucky enough not to expose themselves.

In less acute situations, such as eating grain, some survived by accidentally using optimal storage and preparation methods--which were copied over time through family/tribal culture--and others used less desirable methods and either died out or survived with compromised health as many people do today. In mild cases, those who did the wrong thing are probably still in the gene pool.

1
2c657a0aca33e505e735477ddd68f4f2

on March 31, 2012
at 11:22 PM

Obviously our ancestors did not have the ability to distinguish food that is suboptimal but palatable and capable of sustaining life long enough to reproduce from food that is optimal for personal health. Sure, they probably shied away from dining on hemlock after Bob ate some and keeled over. But grains don't necessarily elicit an immediate decline in health. Thus, the association of grains chronic, yet survivable diseases was overlooked in favor of a perceived increase in returns on labor.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 01, 2012
at 11:37 AM

Grains don't necessarily induce a decline in health. Look at the longevity of Japanese women before you condemn their diet as something that merely gets them to reproductive age.

2c657a0aca33e505e735477ddd68f4f2

on April 25, 2012
at 02:00 AM

On a continuum of proinflammatory grains, I'd put rice on the lower end of things just for the lack of gluten alone. And of course, we arent' even beginning to account for lifestyle in this assessment. We can look at plenty of well-aged people, say among the Kitavans or in South America, that don't rely on a the Japanese diet you mention.

1
2a0f1afde303eadc422d015fc22f7512

(1118)

on March 29, 2012
at 05:34 PM

I think so...I was sitting in a work meeting the other day watching various people munching on...pretzels, candy, sandwiches...not a single person was eating something I felt was good for them. I've been following a whole30 protocol and eliminating so many foods that I'm highly sensitive to them now. I recently tried dairy again and the first time it made my skin itch...the second time it made me miss half a day of work to spend in the bathroom. A recent cocktail left me foggy and hungover a whole day after. When you remove some questionable foods then try them one by one it becomes really clear.

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