scratch-mark

The [Potato] Hunger Games

My apologies in advance for the “SEO Brilliance” in the title

In what world would it be appropriate where, owing to the cheapness, ease and availability of of cheap carbohydrates, industrial oils, and soy protein, folks would see the light and discover a whole food paradigm…but then spurn potatoes because it’s not low carb?

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CARBS!

It is about the carbs, a lot. It’s also about a lot of other stuff. It’s mostly about food engineering and marketing that in a land of plenty and cheap, you can pertty much eat all you want, when you want and that—THAT—is really the fundamental cause of obesity. Because almost any metabolically normal person could, with focussed effort, maintain a lean body comp on junk. I did it in my 20s. Lost 10-15 pounds on McDonald’s and going hungry….I had noticed that my Navy Khaki’s that were issued in Rhode Island as a Midshipman did not fit quite right almost 3 years later when I went to work for real. I got leaner at at 22, felt a lot better psychologically (connect dots).

But this is 30 years later for me. The general life damage was long since done: life, work, leisure…eventually not having to preen for pussy—and all the other stuff that got in the way year by year. And then, one day: I reached my own level of outrage.

Fast forward to now. paleo / Ancestral—just plain real food—is fantastic. And a potato is a real food. It just is. It grows in the ground, you dig it up, and you can eat it with little intervention. And it’s way easier to skin than a cat.

I haven’t measured my blood glucose once. In fact, I haven’t done that in years. I feel good eating a lot of potatoes mostly by themselves. Last night I had two, mashed, with some beef stock, reduced to thicken (zero fat, if it matters)…1.5 oz of roast beef chopped and added to the stock. It’s more than 16 hours later. I’m fine. Will eat soon. Took 6 hours after that 7pm meal to get tired enough to go to bed. But “I need to measure BG?” …And I don’t need to, should I happen to eat a 12-16 oz prime rib, baked potato with all the fixings and a salad smothered in blue cheese…and 2 hours later, I’m in a coma?

Occam’s razor?

This is just food. Probably the simpler you make it, the more one-off you make it, the less adverse consequences you’re going to feel. For example, I can eat just meat until I’m full, same result. Combine a lot of carb, protein & fat? Nope. It’s essentially scales of Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner all year round when you do that, and it feels like shit to me and I’ll be goddamned that I still do it now & then. Do the same thing, but in extremely modest portions? I feel wonderful. That, and a toke or two of marijuana will have Robert & I kicking Bea and Julie’s asses in spades until 2 am, easy.

My conclusion? It’s partly about volume, partly about volume in the context of a lot of fat & protein with a lot of carbs. Single out macros in a real food context and that works too.

…But please don’t go all doctrinal on me. That’s why I highlighted Gene’s comment in the last post. Completely unexpected—and I had an email exchange or two with obesity researcher, Dr. Stephan Guyenet, about this potato hack—Stephan got a bit riled, which I don’t begrudge in the slightest; and if truth be told, love it. Try it. Like it. I also had no idea he had blogged about Poutine last Friday which was referenced in the comment; so yea, I got a bit Pwned there but it’s fine.

This commenter Gene is emblematic of the flippant, macho attitude toward understanding ancestral diets that is common in this community.

The argument about hunter-gatherers having sumptuous feasts eating aurochs is absurd. First of all, if you believe in the evolutionary logic behind the paleo diet, then you believe that we evolved mostly in African eating African game, which tends to be extremely lean (though there were other sources of fat such as nuts). Second, even if we did feast on relatively fatty megafauna for a couple thousand years before driving it to extinction in Europe (though there is actually no evidence whatsoever addressing the question of how much fat our ancestors ate during that relatively brief time), that does not mean the food was overall highly rewarding, give me a break! Imagine eating a meal that consisted mostly of unsalted, unseasoned, tough, possibly gamey, meat with no intramuscular fat (a characteristic of modern breeds) but lots of subcutaneous fat. Yeah, careful not to max out your food reward there. Third, we don’t even know that those HGs eating megafauna in Europe were our ancestors.

The comment on the Kitavans is particularly bizarre. The Kitavan diet is low in fat and low-ish in protein, 69% carbohydrate, and is mostly plain steamed/baked starch foods (cooked in an earth oven), in more recent times with a few flavorings such as ginger or chili pepper. Sometimes they do use grated coconut or coconut cream in their cooking, mixing it with the starches, but at a total fat intake of only 21% of kcals, how much grated coconut do you think they’re eating? Common sense please. The Kitavan diet is not the hedonic extravaganza the commenter makes it out to be. The average Westerner would not find the Kitavan diet particularly exciting, but it would certainly be considered more palatable than what most hunter-gatherers eat.

Gene said “I just don’t buy that it’s necessary, nor appropriate to our being to have to spend our days deliberately making our food as bland as possible – as though all of our taste and olafactory senses, and their links to our reward system were there by accident or as some kind of Devil-sent temptation”. This is 100% straw man. Who said we need to “spend our days deliberately making our food as bland as possible”? That seems a far cry from acknowledging that reward/palatability is a factor in food intake and body fatness.

The argument based on religion (“Judeo-Christian self-flagellation”) is nothing more than a cheap rhetorical trick. I suppose he thinks the research on food reward was funded by the Vatican, or perhaps that Christian fundamentalists changed the results of these experiments to trick us into thinking that food reward is relevant. Give me a break.

Making up just-so stories and arguing based on philosophy/religion is always more fun than taking a critical look at the evidence from a position of scientific knowledge, but it only leads to confusion.

Probably, that’ll be the last comment like that I’ll be lucky enough to get from someone I have as much esteem for as I do of Stephan. On the other hand, he’s known me and read my blog—and we’ve chatted in person—enough over the years to have no illusions about me. So, having been delighted by him, it would be untoward of me to not reciprocate in kind. Just the way I do shit.

I count myself lucky for having motivated Stephan to go there. Do you have any idea what a temendous value Stephan has been to me, this blog, and by extension, readers over the years? Without a doubt, I have linked to him more than anyone else and why? Because he did very good posts about many primitive societies doing very well on a wide range of diet—from the almost all meat & fat Inuit & Massai, to the high carb Kitavan and Kuna, and much in between. And how about his huge series on the Tokelauans? You know, the super healthy island population that gets about 50% of their whole calories from saturated fat? That link gives you the links to all 8 parts of his series.

I’m not a Stephan basher and it’s difficult to imagine I ever will be. I have my very own sense of propriety in the actions that span a lifetime, I rarely consider small trivial ones, and I always count on character to win out in the end. Call me an optimist. So how did I respond? Here.

“This commenter Gene is emblematic of the flippant, macho attitude toward understanding ancestral diets that is common in this community.”

Perhaps. That really doesn’t draw any conclusion as to whether that’s 1) a good thing (you’re just assuming it’s not) or, 2) a logical and well deserved backlash to the morass of bad science that is the root cause of perpetuating the obesity epidemic (I’m drawing a distinction between origination and perpetuation).

Occam’s razor, a bit? After all these decades and all the research, it’s not crazy to ask the question: would we have been better off in terms of increasing obesity if nary one single scientist had ever looked at it, one media outlet had ever promoted them, one university—or food company that makes earmarked donations to universities—ever funded them? I think it’s an excellent question.

Obesity research, in terms of _effectiveness_, has been a dismal—actually, laughable—failure. Top to bottom and wall to wall. One may argue that obesity researchers do now have the (or many/most) right answers, but that the right message is not being delivered, whatever. Fine, then stop researching and shut up. Eh? Go find work that at least shows some results. We’re talking DECADES, here. Decades of abject failure.

I say this as someone who actually does find merit in the reward/palatability thing and I have no doubt that obesity is primarily a multi-factoral (based on individuals) result of:

  1. eating too much
  2. too often
  3. of foods designed and engineered to entice eating too much and too often

But this is not really a characteristic of ribs, ribeye steaks, prime rib or many/most other real foods for most people when eaten in the context of an overall real food diet regardless of individual macronutrient ratios.

And you know this, Stephan. You’ve seen what tremendous benefits the Paleo/Ancestral movement has bestowed upon tons and tons of people over the last five years. It puts obesity researchers in short pants. Sorry, but it does. Yep, all these silly bloggers out there doing not only what the research community has failed to do for decades, but has arguably made worse.

Gene’s comment would be a perfect target for your criticism were it aimed at a group of Weight Watchers or any other group punishing themselves with various forms of crap in a box, denying themselves the pleasure of eating well—and he was admonishing them to raid the bakery and live it up.

Instead, his comment was in the context of a paleo group where people are trying to decide whether to eat potatoes plain, or with a bit of butter, salt, fat, etc.

And so after due consideration, I find your criticism pretty non-sequitur.

I hope everyone judges and evaluates that however they would. My indictment of obesity research is not directed at Stephan—he’s only been at it a short while formally. But I stand by it nonetheless.

There are a few things that puzzle me; so I’ll put them in bullets.

  • It is seems to me that reward/palatability is ultimately a study of psychology. Sure, you can deconstruct to biochemistry, but you’re still talking about psychology, because not everyone is susceptible to the marketing, reward, palatability, et al (chemicals, or hormones, are individual).
  • Stephan, in his comment, attempts to make the case that paleoman generally had an unrewarding or unpalatable food existence in comparison to us. But, context? He couldn’t call up a pizza. He was not 3 minutes away from a drive through. A 7/11 with microwave burritos was nowhere to be had and he didn’t have a freezer stocked with ice cream and convenience food…from freezer to table in 10. So, if you’re actually going to try to integrate paleoman into FRP, then do all of it. Oh, and oh…yea, how about a paper that honestly accounts for cannibalism in a FRP paradigm? …When you are hungry, cold and poorly sheltered, have trepidation about the next meal and from where it will come, gamey meat just might be psychologically rewarding and palatable. Y’think?
  • …Otherwise, please explain how all that FRP thingyness evolved in humans, please. Or, are you going to asset that we evolved a mechanism that we never commonly experienced, yet selected for in survival and reproduction…
  • I wait for a first sign that obesity research will morph into a measured trend where simple real food, ancestral methods, etc., will be emphasized. At it stands now, I cannot imagine current obesity research leading to anything but a quest for new drugs…perhaps even engineered “foods” that satisfy all aspects of FRP, but only for a short time; at which point the time-released engineered chemicals take sway and you feel like you just had a big ribeye steak.

Stephan knows what the real solution to obesity is. I’m banking on the fact that he’ll make a mark somewhere, sometime. When and if he does, there will be those like me who knew he’d do it eventually. Others will call it redemption…because when they got a PhD in biology and went to work for a respected obesity research lab, they all immediately—after proclaiming their principled resistance publicly—tossed their lean weight all over the place, told the media to fuck off, and changed the world within the space of a year. In that, Stephan ought hang his head in shame…had it happened.

…Yep, Stephan also had the option to just shut up on his blog. Sure, he could have lost that important social influence while working from zero on zero where he was. Good Choice!

He also had the option to add more perspectives of hypothesis and knowledge to what interested parties such as you and I already knew or suspected. Now, he’s in the belly of the beast. And we get a free front row seat. I’ve never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth, while at the same time, I can be shocked at the raw, never-done-anything-much presumptuousness of almost everyone else.

Entitlement is a fucking epidemic.

I’ll finish with this. I have never once been offended, threatened, or in the slightest sort been taken aback or perturbed by a thing Stephan has ever said. In the end, this may be my most important point. I have never thought that by his posts on reward/palatability, he was doing a thing to make his readers care less about real food.

Quite the contrary.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

31 Comments

  1. Joshua on November 30, 2012 at 16:16

    [i]Stephan, in his comment, attempts to make the case that paleoman generally had an unrewarding or unpalatable food existence in comparison to us. But, context? He couldn’t call up a pizza. He was not 3 minutes away from a drive through. A 7/11 with microwave burritos was nowhere to be had and he didn’t have a freezer stocked with ice cream and convenience food…from freezer to table in 10. So, if you’re actually going to try to integrate paleoman into FRP, then do all of it. Oh, and oh…yea, how about a paper that honestly accounts for cannibalism in a FRP paradigm? …When you are hungry, cold and poorly sheltered, have trepidation about the next meal and from where it will come, gamey meat just might be psychologically rewarding and palatable. Y’think[/i]

    I don’t think Stephan is quite as wrong as you do (though I do disagree with him) This paragraph seems to indicate that relative palatability is what matters rather than absolute palatability. If that’s true, then why haven’t we adjusted to the relative palatability of our current environment?

    As a counter to that, there are some foods that I consider godawful that I am still in danger of gorging myself on if I am not exercising some significant discipline.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 30, 2012 at 17:09

      “then why haven’t we adjusted to the relative palatability of our current environment? ”

      Socially, in knowledge, or genetic/biologically? They are three separate things, all related, but moving at different scales and paces.

      You are never absolved from your knowledge, ignorance, free will. You know what you out to do, and all who do cannot make appeal to cultural norms or genes.

      You are always on your own and the are never any exceptions.



    • gabriella kadar on December 2, 2012 at 11:06

      Maybe palatability is ‘whatever you are used to’. Remember, the Irish LOVE potatoes even though it is allegedly is it a food that is considered by many to have low palatability.

      For example, consider the bitter flavour element. There are people who are so used to sweet and salt, they will not develop a taste for any bitter tasting food unless they make a conscious effort to cultivate the change. It seems once people reach a certain age, if they have not developed a taste for olives, as an example, they are not going to adapt or enjoy.

      The huge emphasis on sweet and salt by the convenience food industry appeals to the lowest common demoninator: babies are cued in to sweet because after all human milk is sweet. Give a baby some sugar water and the crying from blood taking or vaccination stops.

      Sweet is soothing. Bitter is alarming. An awful lot of people never get past that stage of ‘palatability development’.

      Same with ripe cheeses, strongly flavoured organ meats, various bitter vegetables like dandelion greens. There is gross lack of sophistication for complex flavours and odours of foods which are highly desirable in other societies.

      Children need to be guided to learn that there are so many interesting and desirable flavours and smells in foods that are indeed palatable. But given the huge amount of processed stuff geared towards a limited ‘palatal comprehension and appreciation’ this education of the palate is entirely neglected by significant demographics in our population.

      Just taking a break here from removing and scraping up some crap vinyl sheet flooring in the kitchen. 4.5 hours of physical labour and I worked up a great sweat and could just kill some poutine right about now. Why do the job when I could pay someone to do it? Competency. It’s the good ole pioneering spirit. It’s meaningful exercise. Had a beer and now back to work. The floor should be dry by now.

      cheers



  2. Contemplationist on November 30, 2012 at 16:46

    The key really is that obesity research is a giant bureaucratic scam like many other ‘scientific’ scams perpetrated by bureaucrats on the public dole calling themselves ‘scientists’ or ‘researchers.’ Results will suffice to corroborate this theory. It’s time to junk the whole enterprise.

    • Paul on November 30, 2012 at 17:35

      Yep.

      Billions plowed into armies of expensive “talent” testing the effect of various rat chow mixes on rats.

      Useless for virtually anything but securing tenure.



  3. Paul on November 30, 2012 at 17:52

    lol…why post when you’ll just be deleted?

    How pathetic are you?

    • aminoKing on November 30, 2012 at 18:52

      Hey Jim you fucking gutless prick. Is worthless hit and run shit all you’ve got? Post a link to your blog so we can see what you’re offering the world for free. If you’re going to post anonymously, show some fucking respect and humility you cunt.



    • michael on November 30, 2012 at 19:27

      There’s nothing wrong with disagreeing with how Richard is interpreting this potato body hack. I visit many blogs, sometimes the info is useful to me, sometimes it’s not. I don’t quite understand why you would keep coming to a site just to watch the individual as you say “degenerate”. Seems like a waste of time to me, not to mention shows a characteristic trait that I wouldn’t really consider favorable.
      well,
      to each his own,
      so i guess enjoy the watching, and by the look of Richard’s personality, you’re REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY hurting his feelings (maybe even shedding a tear) with that well thought of zinger. put that mind to good use and write something worthwhile.



  4. lolo on November 30, 2012 at 18:41

    tatters are starvation food… if i had to choose “eating a lot of” one food. for the rest of my life it would be… eggs. 20- 30 a day. done

    • Richard Nikoley on November 30, 2012 at 19:14

      Lolo

      Thanks much for exposing your ignorance so those who’ve been following can laf asses at you. You ‘re ignorant, pretending not to be. bonus laf.



  5. lolo on November 30, 2012 at 21:08

    well, ok maybe i expressed myself poorly. but in fact they are TO ME. as in onces i eat a single tatter im starving… LOL. you can laugh at me now… cheers

    • Richard Nikoley on November 30, 2012 at 22:52

      Ok, maybe I was a bit harsh. I was probably pissed off at something else for a minute that I no longer remember about.



  6. Cow on November 30, 2012 at 21:13

    Richard, is you see Nova Science last week? Is reveal that 4 months old baby will condone beat down of muppet that choose Corn Chex if baby has chosen Cheerio! 100% of time, infant has violent prejudice against that which have even most trivial difference than itself. I think is same that account for much of academic/real food divides …and also, it confirm what Cow always know -that human babies is evil bitches!

    • Elenor on December 1, 2012 at 05:56

      Hello Cow!
      I’m not sure if it’s “difference” or different value. Have you seen this excerpt from the TED talk (or the whole talk, also worth the time) on primates, food reward, and difference? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KSryJXDpZo (It’s just under one minute long.)

      This sort of … measurement…. is built into human genes… Dunno if it’s in cow-genes, but I’m sure you’re prefer delicious food to not-so-delicious food, just as human babies do. (Or is it just that ALL primates are evil bitches!?) {wink}



  7. David brown on December 1, 2012 at 00:23

    Excerpt from the Introduction to “Food for Nought: The decline in nutrition” by Ross Hume Hall, PhD, 1976

    “Nourishment of the American populace has undergone a startling transformation since World War II. A highly individual system of growing and marketing food has been transformed into a gigantic, highly integrated service system in which the object is not to nourish or even to feed, but to force an ever-increasing consumption of fabricated products. This phenomenon is not peculiar to the American scene and occurs in every industrialized country. The United States, however, has progressed furthest in the transformation. Man can never be more than what he eats, and one would expect that a phenomenon with such profound effects on health and wellbeing as a radically changed system of supplying nourishment would be thoroughly documented and assessed by the scientific community. Such is not the case. The transformation has gone unmarked by government agencies and learned bodies. Government agencies, recipients of the public trust, charged with protecting and improving the public’s food, operate as if the technology of food fabrication rested in pre-World War II days. Scientific bodies, supported by public funds and charged with assessing and improving the public’s health, ignore completely the results of contemporary methods of marketing food…Failure to monitor and to appreciate the results of rapidly moving technology produces a brutal effect that forms the central theme of this book. Technology founded on mechanistic laws clashes head on with the processes of a natural world which adheres to very different laws. Modern industry, ignoring these biologic laws, molds and manipulates natural processes to suit and to promote its own mechanistic and economic goals.”

    Richard, for what it’s worth, my approach to sound health is pretty simple. Eat good quality (micronutrient dense) food with reckless abandon, avoid industrial seed oils as much as possible, and occasionally enjoy small portions of foods and beverages containing added sugars and/or refined grains.

    One can speculate about evolutionary adaptation but what good does it do? We are what we are. Our bodies have specific requirements for nutrients as well as limitations regarding the capacity to adjust to excesses, shortages, and imbalances in nutrient intake. Want to be healthy? Experimentation, like you do, is the way to go. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    As for obesity research and the public health, modern industry, as Dr. Hall terms it, has shaped both the content of academic instruction and public policy to far greater extent than most of us are able to imagine. http://www.drjaywortman.com/blog/wordpress/2012/06/14/this-is-how-it-works/

  8. Alex on December 1, 2012 at 04:35

    The potential problem with obesity research, is that, axiomatically, it requires research; and research, of course, requires ignorance. That is, if we know the answers – and heaven forbid it be so simple as eating peasant food (potatoes and organ meat) – we can afford, to an extent, to end our searching. Certainly we needn’t invest, as another commenter put it, in novel rat chow experiments.

    But this is a potential problem, and a general one too. I don’t think this is what we see from Stephan, who hardly needs my (or anyone else’s) approval for the work he does. He has demonstrated a consistent willingness to explore the past, to challenge current dogma in his field, and to advocate for the sorts of things people should be eating. He is not looking for a miracle cure, simply the mechanism by which that which has always worked, works.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 1, 2012 at 07:33

      You can count me in as one rooting for his to make a make and significantly change things over time.



  9. rob on December 1, 2012 at 06:58

    I think it all comes down to psychology at the individual level. Science is relevant to populations but not so much to an individual.

    Success = X% diet Y% exercise

    Nice formula but what makes people adhere to a diet program or an exercise program?

    Desire, lust, vanity, shame, pride, fear, anger, and most of all, faith. All psychological factors. So ultimately you get

    Success = X% diet Y% exercise = Psychological factors

    or

    Success = Psychological factors

    If you believe that eating 8 radishes for breakfast will ensure that you do not feel hungry again until late in the afternoon, what effect will you get from eating 8 radishes for breakfast?

    Right now I am convinced that eating 1 pound beef and 1 1/2 pounds potatoes for dinner will make me feel like King Kong in the gym. It will work until I stop believing in it.

    • rob on December 2, 2012 at 15:15

      I don’t think that what Paleolithic people ate is terribly relevant to an individual, it is certainly of scientific interest, just as when I took Cultural Anthropology the Yanomami tribe was of interest.

      You can take a statistically relevant part of a modern culture and compare them to say, the Yanomami, compare rates of heart disease, compare rates of obesity, and arrive at the conclusion that what the obese in the present day U.S. need to do is [blank].

      Cold comfort.

      This person

      http://yababoon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/people-of-walmart-returns.jpg

      Needs to emulate the Paleothic diet of people of [Yanomami?]

      I like the idea of people experimenting with various diets and finding what works for them as individuals, but the value of arguing over what people ate 10,000 years ago eludes me.

      If this person had a choice between spending 20 minutes a week with
      (a) the most knowledgeable person on the planet regarding Paleolithic diet; or (2) the best motivational speaker on the planet

      Which should he choose?

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Htyr08bPHJc/T_7hpya70vI/AAAAAAAACnA/EHJeJ9LYx9w/s1600/fat+rascal.jpg



    • rob on December 2, 2012 at 15:42

      You have the case of “Eating Paleo cured my Goiter!”

      Which is a damned fine thing, who wouldn’t want to cure someone’s Goiter?

      But then you have the questions of whether:

      (1) The Goiter ever existed in the first place
      (2) The person suffering from the Goiter actually ate Paleo
      (3) Was it the belief in Paleo that cured the Goiter that may or not have existed, or was it eating Paleo that cured the Goiter that may or not have existed.

      There is no way to answer that, and thus there is no real hard science, there is only Psychology.

      In any case the dietary habits of Paleolithic cultures probably had nothing to do with it.



    • marie on December 2, 2012 at 16:00

      Agreed rob, and I’ll do you one better, blindly emulating Any particular diet is silly.
      However, while it’s questionable enough to be arguing modern diet based on the few known pieces of evidence of what people ate in the paleolithic (other than to get few clues as to likely evolutionary adaptations), it’s downright ironic that some people try to argue based on pure Speculation of what people ate in the paleolithic period.



  10. neal matheson on December 2, 2012 at 10:44

    I ddin;t read the article fully but just to pull the good doctor up on a few points….
    There is absolutely NO evidence at all that H.sapiens hunted mega fauna to extinction in Europe NONE. There is very little evidence that H.sapiens even hunted mega fauna let alone hunted it to oblivion H.sapiens largely ate reindeer at the peak of the Ice age and indeed appears to have followed predation patterns similar to extant reindeer hunting peoples (the fatty one’s being preferred) I am increasingly dismayed at seeing this “fact” repeated endlessly by folks espousing ancestral or prehistoric modes of eating.
    Knowledge of the Paleolithic or indeed extant HG peoples is truly risable in this community.

    There are strong DNA and archaeological links between modern European populations and Ice age populations, some 30% of central European DNA can be traced to the middle east and perhaps suggests a limited migration of the LBK cultural complex. Of course this is irrelevant to thiose not of European descent and doesn’t change the fact that the lion’s share of our evolution took place in Africa.

    • marie on December 2, 2012 at 14:55

      This.
      Neal, thanks for the sanity check.



    • Joshua on December 3, 2012 at 07:19

      The absence of evidence is not falsification. I think both you and Stephan are stating your case too strongly. H. Sapiens rise and megafauna extinction are well correlated, but correlation does not indicate causation. I personally think we may have been a contributing factor, but I highly doubt we were the cause. I’d guess that the environmental conditions that were favorable for H. Sapiens were unfavorable for megafauna.



    • neal matheson on December 4, 2012 at 12:15

      Hi Joshua there are plenty of H.sapiens archaeological sites documented in Europe, megafauna appear not to have made up much if any of the diet. H.sapiens co-existed with mega fauna in Europe for at least 60,000 years. It is quite a stretch to say we had much if anything to do with the megafauna extinctions in Eurasia, let alone the ol “we ate the all ‘cos they were tasty” nonsense often spouted by some paleo people.
      There is much better evidence for North America but it is still contentious.



    • Joshua on December 4, 2012 at 13:27

      I personally like the comet/meteorite over North America theory for the NA megafauna extinction, and for the elimination of the Clovis people.



    • LeonRover on December 3, 2012 at 07:33

      “lion’s share” . . . Africa

      It is usual that the females pack-hunt the prey then LeonHunter steps in and gets Leon’s Share.

      EGBDF now reads EBGBLDF (Every Good Boy Leon Deserves Favour)

      LeonRover certainly approve – but only in Africa, not in Europe or Norte Amerika.

      (I must re-read the Jared Diamond Trilogy: Guns . . . , Collapse and Rise & Fjall . . . )



  11. Paolo on December 2, 2012 at 00:38

    A very interesting article on hunters gatherers diet:

  12. Beatrice Webb on December 2, 2012 at 17:18

    [stupid cunt’s stupid cunt stuff, deleted.]

  13. John on December 3, 2012 at 08:15

    When you look at the history of low carb diets, one thing jumps out at me- historically, up until about 1970 or so, they were all whole food diets by default. High omega six vegetable oils and artificial sweeters weren’t that popular, and if you go back far enough, didn’t even exist. When Atkins published his first book in 1972, it was sometimes refered to as the “Steak and Salad Superdiet,” which are two very real foods. If you go back and look at William Banting’s diet, he wasn’t eating Carb Smart tortillas or drinking Low Carb shakes. He was eating real food, avoiding refined junk, and even drinking 3-7 glasses or wine or spirits a day. Most of his food was probably more nutrient dense, and his food was probably more local, organic, non-GMO, pasture raised and grass fed, even though none of those terms were trendy yet. So yeah, his diet was low carb, but it was also real food. Maybe that was even more important. I think the success you and others are having with the potato diet hack are backing that up.

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