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New studies showing grain consumption 3.5 million years ago?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 04, 2013 at 4:55 PM

I was wondering if anyone in the Paleo community has addressed the new studies showing that hominids were consuming grasses, sedges and succulents 3.5 million years ago? 4 studies here under June 3: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/recent

Discover Magazine's take on it: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2013/06/03/even-our-ancestors-never-really-ate-the-paleo-diet/#.Ua4YaZwQPxU

5cb72179fcddcee6a6b570dc80269a1a

(78)

on June 05, 2013
at 07:06 PM

This. Like Trevor says, they ate what they could but grains were not a staple. Big difference compared to today.

A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b

(1031)

on June 04, 2013
at 11:50 PM

I'm over this pseudo-scientific bullshit. Don't understand their motivations and I really don't care anymore.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on June 04, 2013
at 07:00 PM

I was just thinking out loud.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on June 04, 2013
at 06:30 PM

Frankly, when I think CAM plants, I think pineapples, cactus, or agave - not "a small subset of grasses unique to the tropics."

E791387b2829c660292308092dc3ca9b

(831)

on June 04, 2013
at 06:29 PM

This was pretty much my take too and I was a little frustrated that the Discover post left out the fact that they can't actually tell what part of the plant was being eaten.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on June 04, 2013
at 06:10 PM

+1 for tubers .

B2379df17e386c4455996b186731db5e

(209)

on June 04, 2013
at 05:34 PM

I think too many people are caught up on this "paleo" label...it's just a model to see what works for you.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on June 04, 2013
at 05:14 PM

"I'm not worried about when man started eating grains. I'm worried about whether grain consumption leads to my personal optimal health." -This.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on June 04, 2013
at 05:14 PM

"'m not worried about when man started eating grains. I'm worried about whether grain consumption leads to my personal optimal health." -This.

  • E791387b2829c660292308092dc3ca9b

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7 Answers

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8
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on June 04, 2013
at 05:47 PM

Ok, I'm referring to the cliff notes (Discover Magazine) article here... So they suggest that the shift from C3 (trees/shrubs) to C4 (grasses) plants happened along time ago. Well, duh, I say. What happened? Our forest dwelling ancestors left the forests and started to inhabit the grasslands. What eats grass and lives in the grasslands? Meat! Follow the carbon from plant to animal to human, that seems reasonable to me. Not to mention, the authors fully admit (at least in their abstracts, I'm not reading any more papers today) they cannot differentiate between seeds, leaves or tubers (all of which are C4 plants), just one of which seems to be calorically dense.

So it's another hatchet job on the paleo diet by yet another pathetic "science" magazine.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on June 04, 2013
at 06:10 PM

+1 for tubers .

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on June 04, 2013
at 07:00 PM

I was just thinking out loud.

E791387b2829c660292308092dc3ca9b

(831)

on June 04, 2013
at 06:29 PM

This was pretty much my take too and I was a little frustrated that the Discover post left out the fact that they can't actually tell what part of the plant was being eaten.

Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on June 04, 2013
at 06:30 PM

Frankly, when I think CAM plants, I think pineapples, cactus, or agave - not "a small subset of grasses unique to the tropics."

7
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 04, 2013
at 04:58 PM

I'm not worried about when man started eating grains. I'm worried about whether grain consumption leads to my personal optimal health.

From my N=1 -- the answer is no.

Ultimately, the dwarf wheat we consume now is not even on the same page as some grasses that man might have stumbled across.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on June 04, 2013
at 05:14 PM

"'m not worried about when man started eating grains. I'm worried about whether grain consumption leads to my personal optimal health." -This.

B2379df17e386c4455996b186731db5e

(209)

on June 04, 2013
at 05:34 PM

I think too many people are caught up on this "paleo" label...it's just a model to see what works for you.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on June 04, 2013
at 05:14 PM

"I'm not worried about when man started eating grains. I'm worried about whether grain consumption leads to my personal optimal health." -This.

2
3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on June 04, 2013
at 06:09 PM

Interesting article. Not as interesting as what happened more recently with the discovery of tools and fire and an ice age. I guess if we go back 10 million years, our diet was even more dissimilar to what we need to eat today. I'm not a chimp and I don't eat like a chimp. I'm not a protohominid or Neanderthal either. I'm an ice age survivor!

2
936e5ac720655b3f92a6b4b68647cb7f

on June 04, 2013
at 05:32 PM

grass and succulent eh? well, that doesn't sound like ground and processed wheat so it makes sense.

early humans were eating anything they could. meat and fat and veggies wherever it could be found. grains are edible afterall. it was not a staple though.

Plus, Monsanto has made damn sure that grains and corn and soy will never be edible again anyway.

5cb72179fcddcee6a6b570dc80269a1a

(78)

on June 05, 2013
at 07:06 PM

This. Like Trevor says, they ate what they could but grains were not a staple. Big difference compared to today.

1
04a4f204bc2e589fa30fd31b92944549

(975)

on June 05, 2013
at 02:57 AM

I choose to avoid grains because there are very few kinds that I tolerate anyway, and I would rather nourish myself with nutrient dense food that will actually make me feel full. I have a hard time believing that our Paleolithic ancestors ate grains unless they were starving. Or if they ate the stomach of a grain eating animal.

1
91451db3488201f51e85e6a69a6e0f89

(198)

on June 04, 2013
at 06:58 PM

I think this argument of dating grain consumption is silly. Okay, so maybe it threatens the logical underpinnings of the "paleo" marketing, but it doesn't change the fact that there are some people who suffer pretty dire health consequences as a result of gluten exposure. Regardless of whether we starting eating it 15 minutes ago or 15 million years ago, if it has negative consequences for your health, jettison that shit.

0
3e213af46c3c91e2c28d8489e4e3fec3

on June 05, 2013
at 12:55 AM

The whole "we've found evidence of early grain eating" thing seems to be the only argument anti-paleo folks cling to with consistency. I ditched grain from my diet in July of 2012, and went from an uncomfortable 220 lbs, to a much more comfortable 160 lbs today. They can recycle that "research" all they want. The results speak for themselves.

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