9

votes

Do you eat vegetables because you crave them or because you "have to"?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 26, 2012 at 4:18 AM

Imagine a hunter gatherer family 20,000 years ago that knew nothing about nutrition. There at their cave around dinner time, there you can see a huge portion of freshly cooked bison meat, organ meats, bison fat, also, a couple killed fish cooked and ready to be eaten, mounds of sweet oranges, grapes, super sweet mangoes found earlier in the day are in a basket and don't forget the sweet potatoes with honey that have been being cookeded throughout the day and are now warm and ready, maybe some full fat milk the cow had produced earlier in a large bucket, at the end of big heap of vegetables, carrots, onions, celery and often bitter leafy greens that had been gathered earlier in the day.
I doubt that last basket had one hand reach in. Did they really consume vegetables?

After a day of working theres no question these guys are going for all the other foods besides the vegetables, especially because they have no concept of nutrition. I'm going for everything that looks super tasty in front of me and disreguarding the rest. I would view most vegetables anything but food living 10,000 years ago. Why should they be a staple of our days?

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 27, 2012
at 06:21 PM

so does adequate fat, magnesium, and Vitamin C...

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 27, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Mmm - Kale Chips, Kale with Red Meat in Stew, etc..

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 27, 2012
at 06:19 PM

I don't particularly care for celery but other veggies I have craved from time to time!

3b3a449b6705e9ec8b141d0bd07c1a64

(1489)

on July 27, 2012
at 08:59 AM

I'm such a carnivore. I could take or leave veggies...grains however I totally would've hunted down. I love corn! haha

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 26, 2012
at 10:01 PM

I'm not sure you want to deputize someone who is promoting a low-fat, soy rich diet which has lots of rice and taters at it's core. Did you read her diet or just watch the talk?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:54 PM

It doesn't taste good. Now what? I haven't eaten in 16hrs at this point so...

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:22 PM

Ditto: "I'm basically a kid in a candy store at a farmer's market." The array of *colors* is hard to resist. Everything just *looks* so yummy. (But then again, maybe that's the whole "fruits & veggies are healthy" thing and I've been *conditioned* to feel that way? I dunno. A juicy roast is a thing of beauty, but there's also something mesmerizing about tables full of red & yellow peppers, zucchini, 4 different varieties of eggplant, and tomatoes in red, yellow, pink, green stripes, etc.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 26, 2012
at 06:17 PM

Yes! Kale or GTFO.

57bef671ea7e05631c9fa56f708bcaa9

(258)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:24 PM

It makes me crazy that my dog munches on grass. Sometimes I think he wants to go outside just to graze. I give him veggies, but apparently there's something about the yard...

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on July 26, 2012
at 01:36 PM

Agreed. That's why most of my veggies are soaked in bacon grease :)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 26, 2012
at 12:36 PM

Plants don't provide bioavailable nutrition? I think Dr. Wahl's might disagree with that statement. Did you mean calories?

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 26, 2012
at 12:33 PM

Haters gotta hate, trollers gotta troll...

Medium avatar

(3213)

on July 26, 2012
at 07:17 AM

I'm sorry, but this is a very stupid question. Bison, fish, grapes, oranges..... What is this, a supermarket?

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 26, 2012
at 06:56 AM

From another source: !Kung women provide the majority of the food, spending two to three days a week foraging varying distances from the camp, and are also responsible for child care, gathering wood for fires, carrying water, and cooking. Typical foods they might return with are mongongo nuts, baobab fruits, water roots, bitter melon, or !Gwa berries.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 26, 2012
at 06:54 AM

Furthermore, there is only drudgery in digging roots, picking berries, and trudging back to the encampment with the heavy loads and babies sagging in the pouches of the leather capes; there is no splendid excitement and triumph in returning with vegetables. The return of a hunter from a successful hunt is vastly different. The intense craving for meat, the uncertainty and anxiety that attend the hunt, the deep excitement of the kill, and finally, the eating and the satisfaction engage powerful emotions in the people.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 26, 2012
at 06:53 AM

Meat united people. A meal of life-giving meat was meant for all. On the day that Short/Kwi came home dragging the heart-shot ostrich that had charged him, the women in the camp stood up and started dancing, just from the joy of seeing the eat and from having a man like Short/Kwi living among them, bringing a bounty of life-giving food to share with his people. My mother wrote: 'Women bring most of the daily food that sustains the life of the people, but the roots and berries of the Nyae Nyae Ju/wasi are apt to be tasteles and harsh and not very satisfying. People crave meat. Furthermore, ther

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 26, 2012
at 06:52 AM

The meat of big game, large harvests of nuts, and large, delicious windfalls such as palm hearts were profoundly welcomed by all concerned, but months could pass before the people obtained these kinds of foods, foods that required sharing. Most of the time, people ate the berries, roots, and slow game obtained by ordinary, everyday gathering, usually but not necessarily done by women..."

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 26, 2012
at 06:52 AM

From the book "The Old Way" "By far the most important staple foods of the Ju/wasi were roots––the twenty-five kinds of bulbs, rhizomes, corms, and tubers. The other foods were either small, such as berries, or scarce, such as truffles, or seasonal, such as certain fruits or the spinachlike leaves. Roots were the everyday meal, and even in some cases were sources of water...For the Ju/wasi as for the people of the past, roots were excellent nutrition, and best of all, unlike fruits or berries, could be noted in one season and gathered in another, as few other creatures were competing for them.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on July 26, 2012
at 06:51 AM

They would not have oranges and grapes. There is no such thing as a wild orange. Wild ancestors of orange were found in Southeast Asia and were not introduced till much later. Wild grapes are almost inedible. They are not poisonous, but they are so tart (even when they are ripe) you cannot eat much of them. They also did not have super sweet mangoes - wild mangoes are not super sweet. No sweet potatoes either. They would probably have some wild pumpkin and wild watermelons instead.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:44 AM

Me too! So do my kids. What is with craving Kale?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:42 AM

Yeah, sometimes you do crave something "light", like a salad. maybe it is all the water, and probably the less intensive digestion too. I definately really feel like salad on the days I have it.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:24 AM

See my answer.... But if people only ate veges to get nutrition, based on science, wheres the evidence that people only started eating them in the last 50 years? lol.... The premise is weird! So is the notion of abundance presented. Honey is rare, orange, grape and mango like fruit would not have been available, only tart berries and local, less sweet tree fruit. Alot of tubers taste like arse, not like sweet potatoes at all. Both game and gathered food was not always available, people often starved and fruit is seasonal. Small game was more common than large game.

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on July 26, 2012
at 04:46 AM

This is true. They must have figured out at some points that plants are better digested and cause less GI distress when fermented, soaked, sprouted, etc.

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23 Answers

7
A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on July 26, 2012
at 04:47 AM

They help me poop.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 27, 2012
at 06:21 PM

so does adequate fat, magnesium, and Vitamin C...

6
Cfe88f41d0f90c6355a58eddbe78c9f8

on July 26, 2012
at 05:14 AM

Vegetables taste very good, and the variety is impressive. The most surprising thing about switching to paleo is how much my vegetable consumption has increased (along with my meat consumption). I find I am now buying just about every vegetable at the grocery store (...and I'm basically a kid in a candy store at a farmer's market).

I'd imagine our paleo ancestors would have appreciated the flavors of vegetables as well, along with other factors like convenience and nutrition.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:22 PM

Ditto: "I'm basically a kid in a candy store at a farmer's market." The array of *colors* is hard to resist. Everything just *looks* so yummy. (But then again, maybe that's the whole "fruits & veggies are healthy" thing and I've been *conditioned* to feel that way? I dunno. A juicy roast is a thing of beauty, but there's also something mesmerizing about tables full of red & yellow peppers, zucchini, 4 different varieties of eggplant, and tomatoes in red, yellow, pink, green stripes, etc.

5
449e19bbd371a87b653b9b8b56736005

(1567)

on July 26, 2012
at 04:47 AM

I love veggies AND meat. I can't make kale chips without eating all of them fresh off the cookie sheet. It's impossible for me to share, seriously.

5
F59d04be1acdc85dd1e6da34f43dc447

on July 26, 2012
at 04:34 AM

I don't think we should presume that paleolithic people were ignorant about nutrition. If that's true, then the whole premise of paleo becomes suspect. Also, I crave kale, daily.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 26, 2012
at 06:17 PM

Yes! Kale or GTFO.

4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

(4413)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:44 AM

Me too! So do my kids. What is with craving Kale?

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

(5150)

on July 26, 2012
at 04:46 AM

This is true. They must have figured out at some points that plants are better digested and cause less GI distress when fermented, soaked, sprouted, etc.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 27, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Mmm - Kale Chips, Kale with Red Meat in Stew, etc..

5
Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on July 26, 2012
at 04:25 AM

I dig veggies. Love meat, seafood, fruits.. but still dig my veggies and yes sometimes I very much crave something green.

4
De267f213b375efca5da07890e5efc25

(3747)

on July 26, 2012
at 03:26 PM

Skip two meals and then stick some celery in your mouth and then tell me it doesn't taste good.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 26, 2012
at 09:54 PM

It doesn't taste good. Now what? I haven't eaten in 16hrs at this point so...

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 27, 2012
at 06:19 PM

I don't particularly care for celery but other veggies I have craved from time to time!

4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 26, 2012
at 12:02 PM

Aside from the silly supposition that paleolithic peoples had a venerable smorgasbord in their cave at all times...

I do prefer my plants to animals. I crave various plants, for nutrition and for taste. I generally eat meat more out of obligation than desire.

4
Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:16 AM

I think eating veges along side meat seems subjectively to make it digest better, and moreso easier to eat. It also provides variety of taste and texture. This is at least part of why modern people put veges on their plate rather than just have a huge hunk of steak, and I am sure cave men where the same.

I am aware that vegetables are good nutrition, but the large part of why I put them on the plate is because it makes the food more palatable and managable to eat it with meat. The same is true going back into history before people knew anything about nutrition.

So I basically disagree with your premise that people are eating vegetables for vitamins and minerals. If they were they could just take a multi instead.

As far as paleo man goes, along side using veges for taste variation, ease of digestion and ease of eating, exactly as people have thoroughout history, they would also would have used vegetables to fill themselves up. Even low caloric food eases the pain of hunger. Watch "I am caveman" (or whatever that reality show was called), and youll see what I mean.

You paint a picture of abundance where paleo man had every option. Most of the time that would not have been the case.

Fruits, nuts, and eggs are all seasonal. Even tubers and other plants require correct identification in the gathering process, and being early man was nomadic, often he wouldnt have been familiar with the local flora. Tubers also require cooking, and there was some time before fire. Nuts and tubers are both hard work.

Modern huntergatherers spend alot of time passing on, and catergorizing what leaves, shoots, tubers and berries are edible. A nomadic tribe, as true hunter-gatherers are (go where the food is), would have less extensive knowledge. The wrong berry, leaf, shoot or tuber could kill.

If you were in a new region, you would only eat known plants, of which there may be few, and meats.

If it was the heart of winter, your only options would be meat, what few greens/veges might be available and tubers really.

Theres alot of evidence of traps for small game.

I think this would have been the most reliable method for getting food.

If you set a large number of traps, across the area, and re-set them regularly, 8 times out of 10 you'll get some small game. Meat does not generally require much identification, although there is some benefit to knowing how to trap, or hunt certain animals.

So there are multiple reasons why early man would have eaten what we now call vegetables, despite their relatively low level of calories etc. Alot of them are similar to why modern people eat vegetables, not as some sort of multi-vitamin, but simply because a plate with meat and veges, is easier to eat, digest and tastes better/is more variable, that simply eating a chuck of meat everyday. But even moreso, even though they are low calorie, they are filling, require amongst the least effort to gather, they are less seasonal than many other foods (except tubers and meat).

I also have no doubt that energy levels would have been noticably increased by the inclusion of certain foods, despite caloric content.

The story goes about sea salt, that the people who ingested it noticed increase feeling of wellbeing after doing so (probably they were lacking in sodium). Anyone lacking in a nutrient, who consumes it, will then feel better.

In this sense, nutrition is not something people would have been blind to. They just would have notices it in a slightly more ad-hoc manner, similar to how ancient herbalists noted the effects of herbs..

3
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on July 26, 2012
at 05:26 AM

Crave them!

This started with eating them whether I wanted to or not and now I LOVE them.

I didn't use to crave them and was surprised when this occurred. Now I must have them especially kale, chard, red cabbage and arugula. Weird.

2
1f91fa5584b27c2c7fc0cf1f97a386c5

on July 26, 2012
at 06:28 AM

I like to think that veggies have always been a staple simply for the utility of soaking up fat, grease and meat juices.

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on July 26, 2012
at 01:36 PM

Agreed. That's why most of my veggies are soaked in bacon grease :)

2
Medium avatar

(1240)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:28 AM

I definitely crave vegetables some days, but not all of the time. Lately, though, I find light up at the thought of having a big ass salad with a base of either romaine or iceberg lettuce, and I think that's due to it being so hot and my body craving hydration beyond sipping water all day.

There definitely have been times when I've only craved something fatty or starchy, and during those times I think I do reduce my consumption of raw salad veggies but do still eat some because I think I ought to.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:42 AM

Yeah, sometimes you do crave something "light", like a salad. maybe it is all the water, and probably the less intensive digestion too. I definately really feel like salad on the days I have it.

1
194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on July 26, 2012
at 07:16 PM

A meal of protein and fat feels much better in the digestive system if I have some roughage following it, pushing it through.

Also, though I don't crave the taste of kale, I do notice that I feel better, almost like a kale high, the hours following its consumption.

1
6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:48 PM

I love veggies & meat & often crave both of them. :) Sometimes when I haven't really eaten a lot of vegetables, I find myself really craving them more. I think it's because I'm craving the micronutrients. I sometimes wonder if it's water I'm craving as well, but I drink a lot of water everyday, so I'm not sure about that.

1
E3d94ade13110237db50b944f89e98bd

(245)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:13 PM

I love kale and spinach and squash. I would eat them even if I didn't know they were healthy! Also I see my dogs and cats chew grass often and figure their bodies are inducing a craving to address some deficiency or imbalance. Humans are surely no different!

57bef671ea7e05631c9fa56f708bcaa9

(258)

on July 26, 2012
at 05:24 PM

It makes me crazy that my dog munches on grass. Sometimes I think he wants to go outside just to graze. I give him veggies, but apparently there's something about the yard...

1
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 26, 2012
at 07:49 AM

I definitely crave root vegetables and eat them a lot. And gathering vegetables is a bit more reliable of a food source than taking down a wild animal. Just sayin'.

1
56e59609362978a9dcb390fdeb45427f

on July 26, 2012
at 07:48 AM

An interesting article on Ray Peat's view on vegetables

http://raypeat.com/articles/articles/vegetables.shtml

1
Da12b342d4959f5bd776c0f00b072a6c

on July 26, 2012
at 04:53 AM

Love but don't crave greens because NEVER go a day without eating them .

Lived in Papua New Guinea for some years and greens was very much part of traditional eating of the indigenous people, even though they would have had no formal knowledge of nutrtition. Our house staff who lived in a small house in our back garden, grew pumpkin vines and gathered and cooked the young leaves as part of their evening meal. Local markets in Papua new Guinea and Vanutau are overflowing with green produce.

1
0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

on July 26, 2012
at 04:45 AM

I think vegetables were most likely used as a "supplement" to meats rather than an actual meal in and of itself. Plants also provide very little in the way of bioavailable nutrition. Plants are more useful for detoxing purposes rather than nourishing purposes. Fermentation helps a bit.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 26, 2012
at 12:36 PM

Plants don't provide bioavailable nutrition? I think Dr. Wahl's might disagree with that statement. Did you mean calories?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 26, 2012
at 10:01 PM

I'm not sure you want to deputize someone who is promoting a low-fat, soy rich diet which has lots of rice and taters at it's core. Did you read her diet or just watch the talk?

0
61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on July 27, 2012
at 03:50 AM

I crave and enjoy vegetables. There are a lot that I really enjoy - kale, collards, avocados, tomatoes, all kinds of lettuces and hot peppers - but I don't make myself eat the ones I don't like just because they might be healthy.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 26, 2012
at 10:05 PM

I don't crave, don't like and really don't want to eat leafy greens. They are bitter and disgusting (to me) no matter how you cook them. If I have to drown them in vinegar and bacon fat to make possible to choke down I don't see the point. I don't really believe that Paleo-man was going to eat something that made him gag. We have a sense of taste for a reason.

0
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on July 26, 2012
at 02:18 PM

Adding vegetables to my diet was a big improvement for me, raw carrots, tomatoes, spinach, avocado etc, it makes meals so much nicer and gives variety, and even if vegetables are supposedly not healthy to die hard paleos then at least subconsciously they make me feel better (though I personally believe the right ones are very healthy), they make your meals much nicer as well, I couldn't imagine eating just meat eggs and fat all day it would be terrible, paleo is about inclusion more than exclusion I believe

0
Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

on July 26, 2012
at 01:32 PM

Nope, seems I'm in the minority here but I only eat veggies because I have to. I'd love to live on meat, seafood and fruit but my instincts tell me this probably isn't best.

It's not that I don't enjoy veggies along with my main course, but I definitely don't crave them. It's all about the sustinance.

-2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 26, 2012
at 04:37 AM

That's easy: Because Jimmy Moore says to - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AApLutV44c.

Duh!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on July 26, 2012
at 12:33 PM

Haters gotta hate, trollers gotta troll...

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