4

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How much food variety is natural?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 07, 2011 at 3:43 AM

How much food variety do you think is natural for humans to get? Did most of our ancestors, most of which probably lived in fairly rich regions of the world, know of and eat dozens and dozens of types of foods? Or do you think they mostly subsisted on only a few?

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 08, 2011
at 05:16 AM

And the poison is often in the dose. The trick is to take a small nibble and then see what happens. And things in nature that are really poisonous often taste really bad as well. Another trick is to look at what birds and other animals eat. Often, food that a wide variety of other mammals can eat, will also be safe for humans. Follow the other animals, then only take a small nibble at first and see what happens. Plus you would have taste as a clue. If you were hungry, then your motivation would also be greater to try things. I myself have tried wierd stuff if it smelled good.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 07, 2011
at 06:20 AM

Absolutely, especially depending on where you live. Here in Pennsylvania the variety of wild edibles is vast. A good field guide to the edible wild plants of your region is a great resource to have.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on February 07, 2011
at 04:31 AM

And I grew up with access to woods and fields and found myself sampling lots of vegetation out of curiosity, and sometimes because others said to try it. There is a ton more safe vegetation out there in the natural world as opposed to poisonous varieties. And hunting small animals was also part of my experience. We could all live comfortably without corporations if we really committed to it.

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4 Answers

3
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on February 07, 2011
at 04:27 AM

local biodiversity is vast, along with seasonal variations. Look around (assuming you're in the northern hemisphere) when spring hits and take note of the diversity of plants that pop up, and how many produce fruit, seeds or nuts by fall. And fungi. Certainly our ancestors would have limited themselves to what ancestors before them had proven safe, but the diet would have been full of changes throughout the year. Without reliable storage and the threat of squirrels and other creatures, the diet would likely have been about whatever was available in a short period of seasonal time. Recreating that is not easy, but in my mind, it's something to keep in mind.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e

(2099)

on February 07, 2011
at 06:20 AM

Absolutely, especially depending on where you live. Here in Pennsylvania the variety of wild edibles is vast. A good field guide to the edible wild plants of your region is a great resource to have.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on February 07, 2011
at 04:31 AM

And I grew up with access to woods and fields and found myself sampling lots of vegetation out of curiosity, and sometimes because others said to try it. There is a ton more safe vegetation out there in the natural world as opposed to poisonous varieties. And hunting small animals was also part of my experience. We could all live comfortably without corporations if we really committed to it.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 08, 2011
at 05:16 AM

And the poison is often in the dose. The trick is to take a small nibble and then see what happens. And things in nature that are really poisonous often taste really bad as well. Another trick is to look at what birds and other animals eat. Often, food that a wide variety of other mammals can eat, will also be safe for humans. Follow the other animals, then only take a small nibble at first and see what happens. Plus you would have taste as a clue. If you were hungry, then your motivation would also be greater to try things. I myself have tried wierd stuff if it smelled good.

1
5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on February 07, 2011
at 04:25 AM

If our paleolithic ancestors were anything like modern chimpanzees we ate a wide variety of foods.

1
C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on February 07, 2011
at 04:01 AM

My bet is only a few. The penalties for getting it wrong can be quite severe.

0
A78b6ea3f3af17ec514d019a1f9cce25

(145)

on February 07, 2011
at 04:22 AM

I think it's difficult to tell depending on the region/climate we lived in.

I feel that meat would be our main source of energy and fruits and vegetables would suffice when we were grazing and searching for that "big kill."

This has always been a major question of mine so I would love to hear what others think!

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