Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Rhinoceros and spinach?

with 2 comments

The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that people on the Paeleo diet are deluding themselves into thinking the average caveman ate his rhinocerous with a side of calorically empty green vegetables. I mean, when was the last time you saw a wild lettuce? And if you were hungry, would you really go looking for one?

To quote The Simpsons:

Hey, if a boar can survive here, there must be a source of food! Look, he’s licking slime off that rock! That’s what he’s been eating — slime! And there’s enough slime for all of us! We’re saved!The kids look unsure. That night, they roast the boar over the fire.

Mmm, all that slime made the boar extra tender! Episode 5F11, Das Bus

I contend that lettuce always has been and always will be just a garnish. It’s pointless. It pokes you in the mouth when you eat it, it doesn’t have a particularly nice taste, and it doesn’t have any calories in it. It contains a small amount of antioxidants, but as we know, antioxidants are bad for you!

There’s plenty of evidence for hunting, not so much for gathering. Depictions of and tools for “gathering” seem to be limited to 1. honey, 2. berries and fruit, 3. grains, seeds and nuts, 4. roots, 5. insects, worms, and shellfish. Fruit didn’t exist in the same form as it does today. It was much smaller and because it wasn’t grown in monoculture, much lower in salicylates. In colder climates, honey, fruit, grains, seeds, and nuts are very seasonal, come in brief gluts, and are pretty hard to collect. Roots, insects, and shellfish are less seasonal.

There’s also evidence that Paeleo man and woman collected and processed the grains that grew in the ashes of their savannah bonfires. In warmer climates, the diet is not necessarily more diverse. Neolithic, partially domesticated hunter-gatherers tend to rely heavily on one or two staple energy-rich plant foods – whether that be grains, corn, various tubers, cassava, or coconut. For example, the !Kung derive 50% of their calories from one nut – the mongongo nut.

We know agriculture was accompanied by a decrease in height and health (arthritis is a classic Neolithic disease). But did we really “suddenly” start growing and eating grain crops overnight, if we had never eaten them before? I imagine it more likely they had always been a small part of the diet but were suddenly elevated to staples when the weather got warmer at the end of the ice age, and we ran out of big game.


Written by alienrobotgirl

4 July, 2006 at 3:09 pm

Posted in Historical Diets

2 Responses

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  1. I enjoy your blog. It is good to see somebody question “accepted” diets and dogmas. Question everything, and have the courage to accept the answer.I follow a 90% raw paleo diet with no vegetables and believe that there would be enough food for everyone on the planet if we ate fatty meats and guts instead of grains, fruits and vegetables. The farmland is much better used as grazing grounds for cattle, sheep etc than for grains, fruits and vegetables. Strangely enough, one gets all the the required minerals and vitamins from egg yolks, raw fatty meat, very lightly fried (raw in the middle) liver and cod liver oil. Strange truth.Enough digression. Thank you for an excellent blog.


    6 July, 2006 at 10:16 am

  2. Thanks Anon, what a great comment! Lately I’ve been contemplating giving up the veg altogether as a bad lot, especially since there’s barely anything I can eat that’s in season at the moment! I eat at least four eggs a day and one serving of vegetables if I can be bothered to cook any (I imagine some people would gasp in horror at this!). If one day I am able to get hold of really, really fresh and unusual organ meats like spleen, lights, tripe, chitterlings, sweetbreads, fries and brains, I would definitely commit to it. I have a long-term dream of raising my own chickens and lambs so I can!

    Alien Robot Girl

    6 July, 2006 at 11:46 am

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