Originally Posted by Nancy LC
Kitavans don't (or didn't) eat grains. You won't find grain eaters on small islands like theirs. Grains don't grow well in tropical climates other than maybe rice, but they weren't agriculturalists. Their diet is really well documented and I've never heard of them fermenting anything, although perhaps they figured out a way to ferment something into alcoholic drinks. If you come across something otherwise, I'd be interested in seeing it.
On fermentation: as far as I know, you can process many different foods using fermentation methods, they don't have to be grains to warrant that treatment. Relishes, ketchup, vegetables of all kinds have been processed using the lactic-acid fermentation method to preserve them for centuries. I think it's even called "putting up the beans" in parts of the US???
I also recall reading in one of Barry Groves' books about some processing treatment which involved fermentation being used in Africa for some kind of grain or possibly some other starchy food (yams???). It really does seem to be an almost universal phenomenon in cultures which are no longer nomadic, because, using this method, people could store and preserve foods easily, long before refrigeration was available.
When I read about the Kitavan diet on Stephan's blog, I did actually write to him and ask if he knew about whether they fermented anything they ate, but he said he hadn't ever seen anything about whether they did so. He also said he would be interested to know if they did, but in the Swedish guy's stuff, he hadn't found any reference to this.
And whilst I admit that it may in fact be true that accurate records were made of what these people ate, attention might not
have been paid to how
the foods were prepared: if the researchers didn't think this was relevant, and merely the naming of the foods was enough, they may not have even thought to consider this - possibly very significant - element of their diet.
Just my two cents...