Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Paleo Diet

"The idea that eating like our Stone Age ancestors is good for you is growing in popularity, and it has become the latest health fad from Hollywood to Berlin. Shown, a museum diorama of hunter gatherers." Image Source: Der Spiegel.

The fashionable interest in prehistoric humans includes replicating their presumed Paleolithic Diet:
The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets.  ... Centered on commonly available modern foods, the contemporary "Paleolithic diet" consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.
The Paleo Diet does not actually date to 2.5 million years ago, but rather originated in 1975, when gastroenterologist Walter L. Voegtlin published The Stone Age Diet: Based on In-depth Studies of Human Ecology and the Diet of Man. This diet has become increasingly popular through the 2000s, especially in light of anti-bread movements. Curiously, the last time there was a widespread popular rejection of bread (Amylophobia - fear of starch) was during another boom and subsequent economic downturn during the 1920s and Great Depression.

Image Source: GEICO ad via OpenTable.

Sauvage restaurant, Berlin: "Sauvage is the first Paleo restaurant in the whole world. The original Sauvage opened her doors in May 2011 and started a food revolution." Image Source: Bangstyle.

Der Spiegel reported this week that the Paleo Diet is hitting Germany:
The "paleo diet" -- which supposedly mimics what our caveman ancestors ate -- has become a new health craze. But many scientists doubt that this hunter-gatherer cuisine of meat, veggies and fruit is as healthy as advertised, or even historically correct.

There are a growing number of people dedicated to the world of healthy food and starvation diets. Sometimes they try to convince their fellow human beings to join them in their strict approach to eating, advising friends and partners to cut down on beer consumption or give up bratwurst.

... In Hollywood, a number of actors fixated on staying fit, like actress Jessica Biel, have been seized by the urge to switch their diets to food our ancestors ate -- those who, as hunters and gatherers, roved the lowland plains and ate plants, berries and mammoth-meat steaks.
The paleo craze has now reached Germany. Within the last year, actor Moritz Sachs has outed himself as a celebrity fan of the diet. Over the years, viewers have seen Sachs, a character on the TV show Lindenstrasse, put on weight. Thanks to the paleo diet, the chubby actor has lost 18 kilograms, he claims.

Proponents of the paleo diet frown upon food that some health fanatics believe make people fat, especially when enjoyed in excess. This is especially true of carbohydrates, which are abundant in rice, wheat and potatoes. Sugar is also on the black list.

But the gurus of this trendy movement are interested in much more than keeping people's weight down.

The meat and vegetable fanatics are seriously convinced that mankind committed a grave sin by learning how to cultivate land more than 10,000 years ago, and that the resulting changes in nutrition led to disease and lingering illness. They are convinced that scourges of civilization, like arteriosclerosis, diabetes and high blood pressure, are all fruits of the so-called Neolithic Revolution. Fans of the paleo diet seem to overlook the fact that early farmers saved many of their fellow human beings from starving to death by growing grain in an organized fashion.

The restaurant Sauvage recently opened its doors in Prenzlauer Berg, a Berlin neighborhood traditionally open to experimentation. The restaurant composes its dishes exclusively in ways that supposedly reflect the nutritional habits of early man. The owners strictly dispense with milk products and bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. The caveman-style chefs prepare cheese substitutes with pureed nuts and root vegetables. One of the items on the menu is crispy lamb brain in a manioc crust.
The rewards for switching to this audacious diet include healing and detoxification, as well as a heightened sex drive, claims Sauvage manager Boris Leite-Poço. This is how the restaurateur describes his culinary creed: "When you adjust your eating habits to the paleo principles, you are feeding your body in the way nature intended."

But for nutritionists and biologists, this is nonsense. A "paleo fantasy" is what evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk of the University of Minnesota calls the diet trend. "Its supporters assume that, at a certain point in time, our ancestors where perfectly adapted to their environment. But these conditions presumably never existed," Zuk says critically.

... In addition, nutrition physiologist Alexander Ströhle of the University of Hannover in northern Germany notes that "there is no such thing as man's natural diet." According to Ströhle, there is no evidence that our ancestors were specialized to eat certain foods.
The Paleo Diet is indeed an odd, Millennial cultural rejection of what we conventionally see as the underpinning of all of human civilization - the Agricultural Revolution of 10,000 BCE. Other signs of this fad are Modern Primitive fashions, the paleolithic lifestyle, the National Geographic Genographic Project (the trace-your-evolutionary-footprint kits make great holiday gifts, according to Nat Geo), and proposals to clone mammoths and Neanderthals. Don't forget the ancient aliens conspiracy theories (see here and here) and the GEICO caveman ads from the early 2000s.

The GEICO insurance caveman ads. Video Source: Youtube.

Image Source: NPR Berlin.

There is a growing Millennial conviction that modern science allows us to plumb the depths of time, to uncover lost secrets of the pre-10,000 BCE age. Armed with computers and turn-of-the-Millennium genetics, no doors in the past are shut to us. We dismiss the whole 'canon' version of human evolution, and turn to the unwritten saga of humankind with data-crunching confidence, while high tech compresses, mish-mashes and dismisses history, as it was written up until now.

The National Geographic Genographic DNA scanning project. Video Source: Nat Geo via Youtube.

Hat tip for this story: Graham Hancock's Daily Alternative News Desk.

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