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 Processing food and impact on human evolution
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 09/01/2009 :  13:57:31  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
NPR interview.

The book.

Interesting stuff. The premise is that cooking and other types of processing of foods played a strong role in human evolution during the australopithecus-->homo transition by reducing the energy requirements of digestion. The nutrients in cooked/processed foods are easier for the body to use.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2009 :  00:04:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Now, that's a thought I'd never had. It also seems to ring true. It would mean that humanity began using technology to inadvertently alter its biological evolution just about when we first became recognizably human. A dozen or so years ago, I was wondering when we might begin to take a hand in our own evolution. Now I suspect we've always been doing it.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2009 :  04:51:49   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, looks like we've been at it for about 2 million years or so. That theme, our own actions impacting our evolution, is a pretty interesting one.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26004 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2009 :  06:24:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Now, that's a thought I'd never had. It also seems to ring true. It would mean that humanity began using technology to inadvertently alter its biological evolution just about when we first became recognizably human. A dozen or so years ago, I was wondering when we might begin to take a hand in our own evolution. Now I suspect we've always been doing it.
Even the simplest of bacteria ingest food and excrete waste, changing their own environment and thus changing the evolutionary selection pressures on themselves. Life can't help but modify its own fitness landscape. Bacteria don't do it with any more intention than early humans did with cooking food. In modern times, however, we can see where some of those modifications are going to go, and act to change the their course (sanitation, global warming, ozone depletion, etc.).

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2009 :  11:17:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Last year I tried to do a raw food diet for a week just 'cause I was curious what the recipes would be like and how I'd feel on it. I was shocked how much friggin' work and expense it was! You have to eat so much more to get the same amount of calories, which you can't do all at once, so I was constantly eating and constantly hungry for more. I managed to keep it up for 5 out of the originally intended 7 days. I suppose it would be possible to keep it up and get all the appropriate nutrients, but I certainly wouldn't have the time while working a typical full time job, and I definiately couldn't afford the extra costs for that much more food. One would have to simply be obsessed with food I think to manage it, and sounds like missing out on a lot else that life has to offer.

I will give the diet this - I learned that mashed up bananas with avacado on romaine lettuce is really tasty!

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2009 :  12:14:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by marfknox

Last year I tried to do a raw food diet for a week just 'cause I was curious what the recipes would be like and how I'd feel on it. I was shocked how much friggin' work and expense it was! You have to eat so much more to get the same amount of calories, which you can't do all at once, so I was constantly eating and constantly hungry for more. I managed to keep it up for 5 out of the originally intended 7 days. I suppose it would be possible to keep it up and get all the appropriate nutrients, but I certainly wouldn't have the time while working a typical full time job, and I definiately couldn't afford the extra costs for that much more food. One would have to simply be obsessed with food I think to manage it, and sounds like missing out on a lot else that life has to offer.

I will give the diet this - I learned that mashed up bananas with avacado on romaine lettuce is really tasty!
That's pretty cool that you tried that raw diet. Now you know why gorillas work so hard all day browsing. And they have a bigger gut, adapted for the purpose.

Still, a limited raw diet may be a trick people can use to reduce caloric intake. And some of the raw stuff is really tasty.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2009 :  12:50:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mooner wrote:
Still, a limited raw diet may be a trick people can use to reduce caloric intake. And some of the raw stuff is really tasty.
I tried it after finishing a school-year long contract. My plan for the summer and fall included trying to lose 25 pounds in a slow, gradual way through very controlled healthy eating and exercise. (I succeeded, btw, and at that point got pregnant while in tip top physical shape!) In addition to being curious, I thought the raw diet for a week would be a good way to jolt myself into thinking about what I'm eating and also broaden my tastes while being able to eat as much as I wanted without going over 2000 calories a day. It defintiely is an effective way to diet. I had trouble reaching 1800 calories per day those 5 days. And yeah, some of the recipes really are quite delicious and certainly unique. Of course if people use it as a crash diet the lose weight, they're probably likely to just gain the weight back again afterward since that tends to be the pattern with crash diets. But it can definitely be a great way to change tastes and try new things which can lead to healthier (more fresh fruits and veggies, less processed foods) eating. It also taught me the versitility of my food processor.

Okay, this conversation is making me hungry for a big bowl of blueberries.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 09/02/2009 12:51:58
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