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grains date back 100,000+ years

gretchen

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Nov 30, 2012
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The paleo crowd says the reason we don't tolerate grains is because they are a "neolithic" food which was only introduced 10,000 years ago. Actually, scientists and researchers have found evidence of grain use as far back as 100,000 years ago:
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/obs ... 000-years/


The question is, if we've been eating grains for so long, why don't we tolerate them?
 

kiran

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Well, we do "tolerate" them to some extent. However grains do have chemical defenses, and we can't be sure we've disabled all of them by cooking, soaking etc.

There are also hard to digest proteins like gluten.

Grains are just more sand in the gearbox of life. ;p
 

Edward

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Are you craving grains Gretchen? Just kidding.
gretchen said:
The question is, if we've been eating grains for so long, why don't we tolerate them?
"People who read Weston A. Price come away with the message that all that matters is eating whole foods. That rye, wheat, and oats were in the diets of healthy populations which logically justifies that these foods are o.k. to consume. In the book Ancient Iraq, I was fascinated by the impact wheat seemed to have on the population when it first started being consumed. Early adapters in the Mesolithic period were riddled with carries and bone deformities. It is impossible to say for certain whether it was the wheat in those times which was the causative factor. We can speculate with current evidence from modern usage of wheat, but will fall short of the scientific proof that is the Holy Grail for some. For all intents and purposes they could have been growing wheat to make beer. My observations have been that early wheat was rich in protein. Some plant proteins aren't particularly healthful. I noticed that successive generations of wheat farmers began selecting for high-starch content which consequently lowered the total protein. Trying to make desirable flat bread out of high-protein wheat is almost impossible unless you like brick. In modern baking, low-protein wheat flour is used because it gives the finished product desirable characteristics and the high-starch content a pleasant taste. With these developments it seems that though high-protein wheat did cause problems, high-starch and low-protein wheat caused fewer problems and allowed life to go on by the Neolithic period. In the early middle of the 20th century there was what seemed to be a push for protein rich foods. This push caused farmers to select for protein-rich wheat because at this point the prevalence of carries and bone deformities started to occur again. Speculation aside, ancient wheat, and the grain products that were commonly used in cultures that Price observed to be healthy are not the same grain products used today; both refined and unrefined versions. There are very few mills that still use stone or limestone grinding wheels which would have added calcium. Those that subscribe to Price’s account tend to believe that it is modern foods that cause problems. Modern varieties of grains are indeed modern. On observation however, that simplification seems unsupported." ~Edward, "Your Ideas on Nutrition are Superstitious", p. 5 (Sorry, not publicly available yet.)

Grains have been used for thousands of years even prior to the Neolithic period, there is evidence that grains were used far back (as in the SA article) but we don't know to what extent as there is still disagreement among most anthropologists. Further from the book Ancient Iraq, http://amzn.com/014012523X:

“The people who presumably lived there part of the year and spent the winter in the nearby Shanidar cave ate wild goat, wild sheep, wild pig and red deer, as well as fish, fresh-water muscles and turtles.” p. 40

“All the skulls studied were of the Protomediterranean type, and many showed signs of trepanation and disease, notably tooth decay.” p. 40

“In the cave as in the camp the stone tools were microlithic flint flakes or ‘impoverished Zarzian’ type and bigger implements, such as grinders, querns, mortars and pestles, which did not exist in Lower (sic) Palaeolithic times and were most probably used to pound wild grains and pigments.” p.40

It is probable given some recent archaeological excavations that modern timelines for agriculture are off by thousands of years.

If I recall correctly, I don't have the source immediately available, during WWII soldiers where having digestive issues with refined wheat. When they added calcium the problems resolved.

I would say that the basic reason some don't tolerate wheat is multifaceted (I think one primary reason is the increased level of protein in modern wheat and lack of minerals, but that is not the complete story). I would say it is probably somewhat related to the same reason some people don't tolerate starch or any food for that matter. There is no getting around the fact that most developing countries survive on starch and beans and grain products and don't have the same health issues as modernized countries. Somewhere on my hard drive I have the diet of local Masai around the Iten area of Kenya from 2011 which I collected for a research project, the diet is rich in starch and beans and sugar and corn oil. I will post that. In Ethiopia, teff (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teff, http://www.teffco.com/) is popular for making traditional flat bread (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Injera) and is rich in minerals such as magnesium and calcium.
 
J

j.

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gretchen said:
The question is, if we've been eating grains for so long, why don't we tolerate them?

Maybe we tolerate them, but that there also other things which we tolerate more.
 

gretchen

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j. said:
gretchen said:
The question is, if we've been eating grains for so long, why don't we tolerate them?

Maybe we tolerate them, but that there also other things which we tolerate more.

This could be true. I've been doing some Atlantean research the last week or so and ran across this blog post which actually puts grain consumption in terms of an ancient context:
http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogsp ... lture.html

Other things I've read is that Cro-Magnon man, which is what Atlanteans probably were, were bigger than we are:
http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/201 ... n-man.html

So maybe they could tolerate grains because they were taller and bigger (and therefore could use the calories). However, I also believe the Paleo people who say grains made us shorter could be right also........
 

Winblo

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This is not specifically about grains but some scientists also seem to believe that the development of agriculture/farming practice caused a significant increase in the thyroid hormone T3 production in humans.


Did agriculture increase T3 thyroid levels in humans?


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15142639


"While our Paleolithic ancestors subsisted on a very low carbohydrate/high protein diet, the agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago brought about a significant increase in dietary carbohydrate. These nutritional changes have increased T3 levels significantly."


Since the growing of grains has been such a big part of agriculture for thousands of years I wonder if the eating of grains played a role in the increase of T3 in humans?
 
J

j.

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Winblo said:
"While our Paleolithic ancestors subsisted on a very low carbohydrate/high protein diet, the agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago brought about a significant increase in dietary carbohydrate. These nutritional changes have increased T3 levels significantly."

Didn't they have fruit?
 

pboy

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we started cultivating grains to have a steady supply of beer!
 

4peatssake

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pboy said:
we started cultivating grains to have a steady supply of beer!
:cheers
 

Winblo

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j said,


Didn't they have fruit?


I would definitely think they had fruit back during the Paleolithic era. And humans were more than likely eating more fruit than grains during the paleo era.

But since most fruits are much less tolerant of cold weather I would doubt if the cultivation of fruits was near the magnitude of the cultivation of grains. Plus most grains can be harvested the same year that you plant them. And you can save and store the seeds from grains to plant every year. So, relatively quickly, you increase your food production and carbohydrate consumption by the planting and eating of more grains. But many (though not all) fruiting trees and plants can take many years before you can expect to get a harvest of a single fruit. And thus planting fruiting plants on a large scale was probably much more difficult than planting of grains on a large scale.

Plus in my personal experience with growing fruits and grains, fruits are much more difficult to grow than are grains. such as rye, oats, buckwheat, corn and etc.. So, in my opinion, the dramatic increase in carbohydrate consumption that was seen after the Paleolithic era was probably due more to the cultivation and increased consumption of grains rather than the eating of more fruit.

But I am sure that the cultivation of fruit added to the increased consumption of carbohydrates that was seen after Paleolithic era.
 

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