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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Jun-24-21, 06:44
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
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Default Brace yourselves! New grain research: history

A friend alerted me to this article, which is only one of a bunch of new ones from the latest research.


Quote:
Well before people domesticated crops, they were grinding grains for hearty stews and other starchy dishes.

...

The people who built these monumental structures were living just before a major transition in human history: the Neolithic revolution, when humans began farming and domesticating crops and animals. But there are no signs of domesticated grain at Göbekli Tepe, suggesting that its residents hadn’t yet made the leap to farming. The ample animal bones found in the ruins prove that the people living there were accomplished hunters, and there are signs of massive feasts. Archaeologists have suggested that mobile bands of hunter-gatherers from all across the region came together at times for huge barbecues, and that these meaty feasts led them to build the impressive stone structures.

Now that view is changing, thanks to researchers such as Laura Dietrich at the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. Over the past four years, Dietrich has discovered that the people who built these ancient structures were fuelled by vat-fulls of porridge and stew, made from grain that the ancient residents had ground and processed on an almost industrial scale1. The clues from Göbekli Tepe reveal that ancient humans relied on grains much earlier than was previously thought — even before there is evidence that these plants were domesticated. And Dietrich’s work is part of a growing movement to take a closer look at the role that grains and other starches had in the diet of people in the past.

How ancient people fell in love with bread, beer and other carbs


I have no quarrel with what looks like good research. But we're going to see lots of time frame distortion.

For instance, to me, this slots right into hunter/gatherer.

Quote:
Some of the earliest evidence for plant domestication, for example, comes from einkorn wheat grains recovered from a site near Göbekli Tepe that are subtly different in shape and genetics from wild varieties2. At Göbekli Tepe itself, the grains look wild, suggesting that domestication hadn’t taken place or was in its earliest stages. (Archaeologists suspect that it might have taken centuries for domestication to alter the shape of grains.)


We are still talking about blips of evolutionary time. Sure, our pre-agriculture ancestors still ate all kinds of things, for all kinds of reasons.

Quote:
In the past, it has been difficult for researchers to find hard evidence that our distant ancestors ate plants. “We’ve always suspected starch was in the diet of early hominins and early Homo sapiens, but we didn’t have the evidence,” says Kubiak-Martens.

Genetic data support the idea that people were eating starch. In 2016, for example, geneticists reported5 that humans have more copies of the gene that produces enzymes to digest starch than do any of our primate relatives. “Humans have up to 20 copies, and chimpanzees have 2,” says Cynthia Larbey, an archaeobotanist at the University of Cambridge, UK. That genetic change in the human lineage helped to shape the diet of our ancestors, and now us. “That suggests there’s a selective advantage to higher-starch diets for Homo sapiens.”


My bold. Because: does it?

This phrasing makes it seem like higher-starch diets are universally good for survival. However, that would only hold true when there's enough grains to become a large enough part of the diet. And that's going to depend on temperature and rainfall and average sunlight and all kinds of other factors. Because humans live in such a range of environments.

I continue to bring up the book, Death by Food Pyramid, because it remains the best source of genetic enzyme research. It explains why most of us have to craft their own, custom, low carb plan. Because one diet does not fit all.

Just as most of us suffered for decades being told "just eat less and move more." Even though we know NOW that this does not work for people with weight problems: a fraction of people can manage their excess weight that way, and they are never the people who truly have trouble managing their weight.

We all know the usual suspects will seize on this and beat it into everyone's heads.

IMHO, people put in such extraordinary efforts (as detailed in the article) for the same reason they have always brewed some sort of alcohol.

They want to.

And it doesn't mean the practice, especially to excess, is GOOD for us, does it?
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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Jun-24-21, 09:52
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wbahn wbahn is offline
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Imagine that our ancestors lived in areas that were highly contaminated with heavy metals and that we developed enzymes that allowed us to survive by eating food contaminated with heavy metals. Would that necessarily translate to a diet rich in heavy metals as being our optimal diet?

Is it not possible that our ancestors developed genes for dealing with starch not because starch is good for us, but because, unlike our other primate relatives, humans ranged far and wide and choosing an area to live was not primarily based on the area having adequate supplies of a limited selection of food.

We ate what we could. We watched what other animals ate and gave it a try, especially when our normal food stuffs were scarce. Those that could do a better job of metabolizing those unusual substances had a slightly better chance of surviving and reproducing. Over time, we developed the ability to metabolize a much broader range of substance. That does NOT mean that just because we CAN metabolize them, that they are good for us, just that we can survive on them long enough to have kids.
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Old Thu, Jun-24-21, 10:13
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Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
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A major factor that has been forgotten is until recent times in the US, food required work to aquire and consequently we regularly went hungry. Fasting. Forced fasting. Grains allowed for storage to fill the hungry gap. In other cultures it was mantiok, no sure of spelling on this root that was dried for storage. Many cultures found a starch, grains or roots, that stored well just to survive.

Humans have made use of many food options, the underlying issue is we are living longer than those people before 1950 but with the excess ( and crappy) food we are in an age of diseases due to those excesses.


The Upper class Egyptian pharaoh s were notably obese....we just don't hear that detail. And had significant health problems due to overeating.


To fix the over storage of calories aka love handles and lard butt, cutting the grains and carbs is what allows the body to get healthy again. And of course, planned fasting.

Food is definitely a complicated issue....
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Old Thu, Jun-24-21, 12:51
Zei Zei is offline
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Non-domesticated wild grains don't seem to me from a logic perspective like they'd have made a major calorie contribution to a pre-agricultural diet due to the time and energy expenditure versus calorie yield it would take to gather very much of the stuff unless they found a bonanza of it growing someplace.
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Old Fri, Jun-25-21, 02:46
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zei
Non-domesticated wild grains don't seem to me from a logic perspective like they'd have made a major calorie contribution to a pre-agricultural diet due to the time and energy expenditure versus calorie yield it would take to gather very much of the stuff unless they found a bonanza of it growing someplace.


Or, considering how well it stored, we could have had some kind of grain storage pre-agriculture, which got saved up for the occasions described?
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  #6   ^
Old Fri, Jun-25-21, 04:48
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Benay Benay is offline
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Dr Claire Cassidy, an anthropologist, studies the human remains of two separate groups of native Americans - hunter gatherers and agriculturalists.

Her findings . . .

The difference between the 2 groups was astounding in relation to bone development, caries, obvious signs of metabolic disease.

Her magnificent doctoral dissertation has been largely ignored in the diet wars.
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Old Fri, Jun-25-21, 15:00
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deirdra deirdra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms Arielle
In other cultures it was mantiok, no sure of spelling on this root that was dried for storage.
Manioc AKA Cassava

Even though I don't go looking for roots, in the course of 48 years of field geology I've dug a lot of holes. Many plants have roots with bulbous parts. I'm sure indigenous peoples would know which can be eaten and which can make you sick. Being perennials, their roots would be in the ground even after their leaves have fallen or been eaten by ruminants. If starving, it would be second nature to dig around to look for anything edible. And if on the move it makes sense to carry portable foods just in case you cannot find food, like we do on backpacking trips.

Last edited by deirdra : Fri, Jun-25-21 at 15:14.
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  #8   ^
Old Thu, Jul-08-21, 07:56
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GRB5111 GRB5111 is online now
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I find human dietary studies fascinating due to some of the conclusions reached. At best, we can identify food types and macros associated with human health and disease for that matter. There can be no definitive conclusion reached other than to track major changes in human dietary habits based on food types consumed. We are omnivores and we are opportunistic when survival is at stake. Today, we humans are in the midst of a major dietary change with the consumption of manufactured and processed foods never before seen in history. We also are in the midst of an epidemic of major metabolic health issues never before recorded at the scale experienced today. If we consider the food types consumed most commonly throughout human history, it shouldn't be hard to separate them from those causing the suspected health issues that have spiked since the 20th century. It's reasonable to associate these newer, manufactured foods as root cause candidates for our current and common metabolic health issues. In this context, chasing the question as to whether humans consumed primarily plants or animals in the past seems unlikely to lead to an informed conclusion.
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