Sunday, 06 February 2011, Sierra Oscar
Many moons ago
Many moons ago; there was this Aussie farmer growing wheat and trying to make a crust; as you do, when he was invaded by a plague of rats.
He could have called the Pied Piper but instead he called his mate Bruce and Bruce was right over.
“No worries mate,” said Bruce, “I have more rat poison than you can throw a stick at.”
They put the rat poison around the place and sure enough the next day there were dead rats everywhere and his silo of grain was safe once again. Time went by… The rats came back…
What happened? The poison killed most of rats but some survived and evolved and became immune to the rat poison; they had little babies and the little babies were immune to rat poison. The little babies grew up and they and little babies and soon the famer and his mate Bruce had a new plague of rats; super rats immune to rat poison! We can conclude that immunity is passed down genetically from one generation to the next. The ability to evolve is at a price; millions of rats died from the poison; some suffered horribly but survived and acquired immunity. There was a price to pay.
Meanwhile, or maybe later; many miles away, a guy sits on a beach on a tropical island waiting for a coconut to drop in his lap. He gets a bit bored and ponders whether to go fishing. It sounds idyllic living on a tropical island and doing virtually nothing but there can be problems. The water can run out if it doesn’t rain and you have to drink that milky stuff in the coconuts! You can’t go to the market to buy anything; you catch fish, grow stuff and get your salt from the local salt mine!
The local rumour is that there is a war and the island could be invaded; but everything is fine when the Yanks arrive with their ships, planes, bubblegum, nylons and over sexed sailors. Things are good for a while, no more going down the salt mine; it’s bad for the skin. The Yanks build an air strip and give all the hot island babes nylons. Then people started to get sick and the Yanks came to the rescue again; they flew in an expert to investigate. The salt the Yanks had was plain old sodium chloride and not rich in iodine like the salt from the salt mines. The islanders must go back to getting their own salt rather than having it free from the Yanks and lying on the beach all day. Now, iodine is known to be toxic, but also it can prevent cancer and so it is obviously good for the islanders; but would it be good for the Yanks?
Many years later…
Many years later in England, a doctor, Richard Mc Carness wrote a book called “The Stone Age Diet” in which he argued that the price we pay for evolving and becoming used to new foods was too high; people got sick, they died and he was a psychiatrist and so he was worried because he found that some people were going really nuts. It appears that some people even eat really weird foods, go nuts and then go into politics!
What did people eat in the Stone Age? They didn’t eat tigers and lions, tigers and lions tended to eat them. We know they interbred with Neanderthals; hence the emergence of the dreamless ones… They didn’t eat elephants or mammoths either… I don’t think they sat on the beach waiting for coconuts to drop either. We also have to look at what they have eaten since the Stone Age to fully understand how we have evolved and the problems we may have if we eat ‘new’ foods or additives; like sodium chloride. Research has shown that sodium chloride is bad for us. I found that the research that showed that the lecithin in eggs prevented us absorbing cholesterol was interesting; now they would have eaten eggs in the Stone Age. They may not have been chicken eggs; they would climb a tree and take whatever eggs they could get. They do say that berries are very good for you; blackcurrants have six times more cancer preventing vitamin C than oranges.
I think we can take a good guess at what out ancestors ate and what we are ‘used’ to by looking in the mirror and checking out our skin colour, eye colour, hair colour and so on. If you have an oriental appearance; your ancestors probably ate rice. If you look like you belong on a beach sitting under a coconut tree; maybe your ancestors ate citrus fruits and maybe even coconuts? If you have blue eyes, you could be of Nordic descent and so your ancestors may have eaten game and berries. I have whitish skin, brown hair, brown eyes and I’m typically Anglo- Saxon and so eggs, berries, game and European herbs and plants would have been eaten by my ancestors. I have an antibody against gluten, the protein in many grains; but those grains are farmed and that is relatively new. The production of milk is a relatively new thing too; especially on a large scale.
There are a lot of questions that remain unanswered about our foods and which ones are truly super-foods that will keep us not only healthy but stop us going nuts. I think more research should be done and done with that quotation I mind:
“One man’s meat is another man’s poison.”
I was going to cook Chinese stir fry for dinner; I’m not so sure now…
I like this blog; I’ll post it after editing on my own blog!
I’ll be back…
And until then, read more from Mike: In which you get to know . . .