But we are omnivorous…

“We are omnivorous — our teeth are adapted to both vegetables and meat, and our jaw is more adapted to chewing meat than gorilla jaws are.  It is true that many omnivores eat very little meat, but humans have been cooking food for at least 250,000 years, and we have been using bows to hunt for at least 18,000 years. There were thousands of hunter-gatherer societies where hunting was a major source of calories before the rise of Western civilization.  Eskimo’s, Inuits, and all other Arctic tribes subsisted on primarily meat, getting their vitamin C from whale blubber. The tribes of North America were largely hunters, especially in the plains and mountains where there were buffalo.  There is evidence that mammoths and other large animals were hunted (admittedly over-hunted) around the world over 10,000 years ago. The Batek of Malaysia, the Pygmies of the Congo, the Mongolians, and most other societies I have researched in my anthropological studies have subsisted largely on meat-based calories.”

The interesting thing about studying these primitive societies, is that the ones who often ate mostly meat seem to be also linked with the shortest life span and the same health problems. Eskimos regularly live to about the age of 40. Of course with modern medicine, we aren’t quite in the same situation as Eskimos, as now we have treatments for a lot of the problems meat can cause. Like high cholesterol and the like.  However, what I do find interesting is the large amount of people who have reversed many illnesses through largely well-balanced plant based diets. One of my favorite books on long living groups of indigenous people is a “healthy at a 100” by John Robins.
we have spent a considerable amount of time as species eating cooked foods and the like and developing all sorts adaptations to the foods we eat.  But is it possible that there is a more efficient way of eating for our bodies?  I think the most interesting argument I’ve seen showing that our bodies are more alike that of a mostly vegetarian omnivore, are the ones looking at our digestive system. Since we have a long gut, like other primates, it allows for us to obtain the nutrients from plants, yet from meat and milk tend to go bad through this system, and our bodies need to create more acidity in order to buffer the microorganisms from getting us sick. Excess acidity in our bodies lead to things like heart burn, as well as actually leaching calcium from our bones.  Milk isn’t actually a good source of calcium– in fact its been shown the opposite, which is why the countries with the highest milk consumption also have the highest osteoporosis rates.  And the countries which have the highest consumption of green foods for the calcium source with little to no diary — most asian countries minus India, have little to no osteoporosis issues.  (An interesting study done on animal protein and cancer called the china study — is one of the biggest nutritional studies ever done and they found some really interesting correlations)

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