Thursday, April 5, 2012


So, I've been reading about this awesome thing called "The Paleolithic Diet"- it's the idea that people were healthier in Paleolithic times and therefore we should only eat foods they would have eaten. It's true! It makes sense! Pretty much all of our modern health problems didn't exist back then; people were healthy. And at the root of this health crisis is food. And the environment, but mostly food. An amazing thing that I learned this week from Quanah Matheson- Coeur d'Alene tribal historian- is that European peoples during the Paleolithic were tall, healthy, beautiful people. Then they started eating wheat. And they became short and unhealthy and disgusting (they kept eating it! Most likely for economic/political reasons, I'd say). The average height for a fully grown man was 5' 4''! It took 2,000 years for people's bodies to adapt to the process of digesting wheat. I was blown away by this information. 2,ooo years!!! Today, Native American folks are burdened with a host of health problems- the worst being diabetes. We can thank the U.S. government for that. When the government placed tribes on reservations they agreed to provide them with food. "Commodity food" is what they call it. It's Crisco, bleached white flour with absolutely no nutritional benefit, hot dogs, and canned chili. Pretty much. Native people were used to eating very healthy, very natural diets, high in protein and fiber. Commodity food it most certainly was not. Hence, diabetes.
Anyway, the Paleo-diet consists of *real* meat, non-starchy vegetables, and moderate amounts of fruits and nuts/seeds. I thought it was funny that, on the website I saw, the Paleolithic diet foods list considers tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, beans, and quinoa to be no-nos as they weren't eaten during the Paleolithic era (so if they were involved it wouldn't be a strictly "Paleolithic diet"), but these foods are all native to the Americas. So, they should be included, especially if you have Native ancestry because then your body would likely be adapted to many of these foods:)
Dairy, soy, and wheat are basically the downfall of human health. Seriously, our bodies aren't meant to consume these things. Our bodies actually had to adapt to be able to process lactose, and many nomadic groups today (that have never consumed dairy) are lactose-intolerant. So, being lactose -intolerant isn't a strange mutation, being lactose-tolerant is a mutation. One that never should have happened.
Scientists agree, farming ruined everything.
Health, population, the chill 3-hour-workday hunter-gatherer lifestyle, everything. Basically, we have ipods now. And that's our redemption- our compensation, meant to make up for the autism, Alzheimer's, diabetes, candida, depression, over-population, pollution,...
You get the point, right?
I love being an archaeology major, I learn the best things:)