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