Honey, My Mummy Had Heart Disease

      83 Comments on Honey, My Mummy Had Heart Disease

When I was in college, a psychology professor told our class about a phenomenon called selective blindness – the inability to perceive things that are right in front of you.  He described experiments conducted on kittens:  some were raised in environments where everything was painted in horizontal bars; others were raised in environments where everything was painted in vertical bars.  When the “horizontal” kittens were placed in a box with vertical barriers, they couldn’t perceive them and couldn’t find their way around them.  They would ignore vertical toys, but play with horizontal toys.  Same for the “vertical” kittens, only in reverse.

I thought about selective blindness last week when some researchers announced that, much to their surprise, well-to-do ancient Egyptians apparently suffered from heart disease.  Check out the opening paragraph from this story in the Los Angeles Times and see if you can spot the selective blindness:

CT scans of Egyptian mummies show that many of them suffered from hardening of their arteries, researchers said Sunday. Cardiologists have generally believed that atherosclerosis is a byproduct of the modern lifestyle, caused by eating foods that are too high in fats, lack of exercise and smoking. The new findings indicate that “we may understand atherosclerosis less well than we think,” Dr. Gregory S. Thomas, a cardiologist at UC Irvine, told a New Orleans meeting of the American College of Cardiology. It may be that humans “are predisposed to atherosclerosis,” he said, “that it is part of our genetic makeup.”

I give Dr. Thomas credit for admitting he and his colleagues may understand less about atherosclerosis than they previously supposed.  But later in the article, it becomes clear he was raised in an environment full of horizontal bars labeled fatty meat causes heart disease!

The Egyptians ate more fruit and vegetables and less meat than we do and their meat was leaner. They also led a more active lifestyle and were not thought to have smoked. Given that they developed atherosclerosis anyway, Thomas said, it becomes even more important to take measures to forestall development of the disease as long as possible, including stopping smoking, eating less red meat and losing weight.

Got that?  The Egyptians ate more fruit and vegetables than we do, ate leaner meat and less of it, and were more active — but they were prone to heart disease, so this proves we should cut back red meat and try to be more active.  Oh, and don’t forget to eat your fruits and vegetables.

Head.  Bang.  On.  Desk.

Here’s how the diet the experts tells us will prevent heart disease worked out for the wealthy Egyptians:

Thomas and his colleagues reported 18 months ago on a study of 16 mummies, in which they found hardening of the arteries in nine. Eight of those nine were older than 45 when they died.

In the new study, Thomas and his colleagues in the U.S. and Egypt expanded the study to 52 Egyptian mummies dating from about 1981 BC to AD 364.  They were able to identify arteries and heart tissue in 44 of the mummies and observed calcification — a clear sign of hardening of the arteries that is also seen in modern patients — in nearly half of them. That included 20% of those who had died before the age of 40 and 60% of those who were older than 40 when they died.

In their horizontal world, the doctors are confused by these findings.  They’re bumping into vertical bars and not even seeing them.  The vertical bars are sugar and starch in the form of honey, wheat and beer.  Here’s how one site describes the diet of the ancient Egyptians:

Bread was the staple diet of most Egyptians. The average kitchen was usually situated at the rear of the house, or on the roof. Mostly it was in the open, but may have been partially shade. Egyptian food was cooked in simple clay pots, using wooden utensils and stored in jars.

Beer was the national drink and was also made from barley. To improve the taste the Egyptians would add spices and it was usually stored in labeled clay jars. The importance of beer to the ancient Egyptians should not be underestimated as it was esteemed so highly that it was regularly offered as libation to the gods.

I understand.  I’ve been known to talk to God after indulging in beer myself.  But apparently, the real crowd-pleaser (and deity-pleaser) in ancient Egypt was honey, which was too expensive for the peasants, but a favorite among the royals.

Honey and beekeeping were very much part of the daily lives of the Egyptian people in ancient times.    Records show that it was used as a symbol for Egyptian royalty.   It was sought after by Pharaohs, who used it as gifts for their gods.  Honey was also found to be used when the ancient Egyptians died.   It was one of the materials used in their embalming.   Honey has been found in pots next to Pharaohs in their tombs to be used in the after life.

You’ve got to really like honey to carry a pot of it into the next life.  But I’m guessing all that honey, along with the bread, beer and the other tasty treats, punched the Pharaohs’ tickets to the next life a little sooner than they hoped.  One description I found online of a meal from “the king’s table” listed bread, beer, meat, vegetables, fruits, honey, cakes, wine and oils.

Ah, there you go:  meat was mentioned.  This, of course, proves we should all cut back on red meat to avoid the kind of heart disease that afflicted ancient Egyptians who didn’t eat much red meat.

No, that doesn’t make any sense.  But in a horizontal world, it’s the best we can do.


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83 thoughts on “Honey, My Mummy Had Heart Disease

  1. Rahul

    This post clearly proves the point that just because someone’s a doctor clearly doesn’t mean he is God or knows it all, if he can’t use plain logic or common sense to figure out a simple situation (obviously due to his horizontal conditioning) how can you trust them on any other medical advice they give…I mean if they can so blindly believe that fatty meats are bad theory even when they are presented with alarming evidence opposing it….then you can be sure they are just giving you their medical advice solely on their knowledge from the medical literature they have ingrained in their head instead of using logic, common sense and/or a little self-investigation into this field (the know so little of..)

    That’s why (I’m sorry to say) I don’t trust most doctors.

  2. Brad C. Hodson

    Egyptian soldiers often carried a ration of 5 POUNDS of bread on them and little else. Bread was an incredibly important part of Egyptian culture. In fact, they ate so much of it that the Greek term for Egyptian soldiers was “artophagoi:” The Bread Eaters.

    Greeks, on the other hand, ate a diet heavy on meat, veggies, fruit, olive oil, cheese, and wine. To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence they suffered from the “diseases of civilization.” Unless rational thinking and legendary athletics could be considered diseases.

    Chris Shugart actually posted about this recently over at T-Nation:
    http://tinyurl.com/3unebfz

    That’s a good post.

  3. David

    Finally, some knowledge I can show off to my “historian of a fiance.”

    By the way, just started to track my food like you did in Fat Head and it’s really helping me curb my diet away from flour, sugar and starches. The calories I cut back on from minimizing my carbs is awesome; never thought I could be full and energetic on 1500-1800 calories a day (I’m down from 210lbs to 204lbs from 3 weeks ago just by following your advice).

    Those are excellent results. When you eat real food, you just don’t need as much.

  4. Rahul

    This post clearly proves the point that just because someone’s a doctor clearly doesn’t mean he is God or knows it all, if he can’t use plain logic or common sense to figure out a simple situation (obviously due to his horizontal conditioning) how can you trust them on any other medical advice they give…I mean if they can so blindly believe that fatty meats are bad theory even when they are presented with alarming evidence opposing it….then you can be sure they are just giving you their medical advice solely on their knowledge from the medical literature they have ingrained in their head instead of using logic, common sense and/or a little self-investigation into this field (the know so little of..)

    That’s why (I’m sorry to say) I don’t trust most doctors.

  5. Andy

    Sounds like the kind of diet that would make my nutrition professor super happy. I just had to do a paper on my diet, which came in at 58% of calories from fat (19% saturated), and explain why it was wrong because it didn’t fit the “MyPyramid” USDA recommendations. The moral is, whether its MyPyramid or an ancient Egyptian pyramid diet, I’ll stick to what I’m doing now thanks.

    Be sure to put some honey in your professor’s tomb. That’ll make him happy.

  6. Dominic DiCarlo

    I argued on my blog that it probably did cross their minds that the Egyptians were on the same diet that current government policy promotes. But they had to come up with a hypothesis that would not contradict the mainstream mantra, that is, eat carbs, avoid fat. Hence, they imagine genetics must be the cause of these cardiac events among the Egyptians. I’m sure they would not say it is a genetic issue for us – it must be the fat. Selective blindness is caused by being dogmatically attached to a paradigm where you are boxed in to a certain perception, whether vertical or horizontal. Think of how the Catholic Church in the late 20th finally admitted Galileo was right – the earth goes around the sun. The theological paradigm had them blindfolded for years.

    I’d consider it progress if it actually did cross their minds.

  7. Brad C. Hodson

    Egyptian soldiers often carried a ration of 5 POUNDS of bread on them and little else. Bread was an incredibly important part of Egyptian culture. In fact, they ate so much of it that the Greek term for Egyptian soldiers was “artophagoi:” The Bread Eaters.

    Greeks, on the other hand, ate a diet heavy on meat, veggies, fruit, olive oil, cheese, and wine. To the best of my knowledge, there is no evidence they suffered from the “diseases of civilization.” Unless rational thinking and legendary athletics could be considered diseases.

    Chris Shugart actually posted about this recently over at T-Nation:
    http://tinyurl.com/3unebfz

    That’s a good post.

  8. David

    Finally, some knowledge I can show off to my “historian of a fiance.”

    By the way, just started to track my food like you did in Fat Head and it’s really helping me curb my diet away from flour, sugar and starches. The calories I cut back on from minimizing my carbs is awesome; never thought I could be full and energetic on 1500-1800 calories a day (I’m down from 210lbs to 204lbs from 3 weeks ago just by following your advice).

    Those are excellent results. When you eat real food, you just don’t need as much.

  9. Anastasia

    Ah, yes, the power of the circular argument. I had a similar one in the hospital the other day.
    Unnamed dr: “This woman is an obese unhealthy diabetic. She must stop eating junk food made up of all that saturated fat.”
    Me: “Erm… she told me she was on Weight Watchers”
    Dr: “Then she needs to do more exercise like walking for an hour daily”
    Me: “She goes to the gym and rides a bike to work”
    Dr: “Then she is clearly eating too much fat”
    Me: “Weight Watchers is an extremely low fat program”
    Dr: “But look at her. She is obese. Ergo she is not following her diet. Or lying about her exercise.”

    I rest my case.

    That pretty much sums it up.

  10. Charlie Shaughnessy

    Yeah I highly doubt the Egyptians got too little exercise. What a silly statement. Smoking though, that could definitely do it.

  11. Andy

    Sounds like the kind of diet that would make my nutrition professor super happy. I just had to do a paper on my diet, which came in at 58% of calories from fat (19% saturated), and explain why it was wrong because it didn’t fit the “MyPyramid” USDA recommendations. The moral is, whether its MyPyramid or an ancient Egyptian pyramid diet, I’ll stick to what I’m doing now thanks.

    Be sure to put some honey in your professor’s tomb. That’ll make him happy.

  12. Chris

    It’s such a subtle collective mindwash! Looks like the Egyptians were enjoying “everything-In Moderation”….. People always say that, but they think they “know” that red meat with any fat on it isn’t included. Only chicken or fish or “lean” meat, and never ever pork chops! Because it gets repeated over and over and over.

    Yup, it’s the Big Lie. Keep repeating it over and over …

  13. Dominic DiCarlo

    I argued on my blog that it probably did cross their minds that the Egyptians were on the same diet that current government policy promotes. But they had to come up with a hypothesis that would not contradict the mainstream mantra, that is, eat carbs, avoid fat. Hence, they imagine genetics must be the cause of these cardiac events among the Egyptians. I’m sure they would not say it is a genetic issue for us – it must be the fat. Selective blindness is caused by being dogmatically attached to a paradigm where you are boxed in to a certain perception, whether vertical or horizontal. Think of how the Catholic Church in the late 20th finally admitted Galileo was right – the earth goes around the sun. The theological paradigm had them blindfolded for years.

    I’d consider it progress if it actually did cross their minds.

  14. Anastasia

    Ah, yes, the power of the circular argument. I had a similar one in the hospital the other day.
    Unnamed dr: “This woman is an obese unhealthy diabetic. She must stop eating junk food made up of all that saturated fat.”
    Me: “Erm… she told me she was on Weight Watchers”
    Dr: “Then she needs to do more exercise like walking for an hour daily”
    Me: “She goes to the gym and rides a bike to work”
    Dr: “Then she is clearly eating too much fat”
    Me: “Weight Watchers is an extremely low fat program”
    Dr: “But look at her. She is obese. Ergo she is not following her diet. Or lying about her exercise.”

    I rest my case.

    That pretty much sums it up.

  15. J. Stanton

    I’m pretty sure it takes a whole lot of beer to make people think stacking rocks in the shape of a pyramid until you die is a good use of your life. And it takes a whole lot of gluten exorphins to make people believe in the concept of “heart-healthy whole grains”.

    Add this to Hardin Village vs. Indian Knoll, and the litany of other evidence that grain-based agricultural diets have destroyed our health.

    I’ve done some stupid things after enough beer, but stacking rocks was never one of them.

  16. Sean

    Wealthy Egyptians found to have suffered the diseases of civilization, cardiologists warn we should live more like wealthy Egyptians, journalists are still idiots.

    Is there anything less tragic than the decline of print journalism? Too bad online powerhouses like the NYT and the BBC continue to employ these same idiots.

    I certainly don’t lament the decline of mainstream news media. If they were better at their jobs, they wouldn’t be losing nearly as many readers.

  17. Ginger

    As you said in Big Fat Fiasco, Tom, these people will either pretend not to see the black swan, or figure out a way to explain how it is not a swan or not black!

    I’ve used the Ancient Egyptians many times to prove my point. They weren’t fat people. They weren’t eating lots of steak. They lived on bread and beer and died fairly young. Aside from heart disease, they also died of infectious disease. They probably had diabetes, too. Meanwhile, my Plains Indian ancestors ate almost nothing but meat and were hearty, healthy and didn’t get sick until white people got here and forced us onto reservation diets, which were…………….. hmmmmmm……………just like Egyptians………….mostly carb, little meat if any. I don’t know how on earth these people who conclude grains are still healthy manage to delude themselves so well. Maybe it’s the beer!

    Your ancestors were also, according to white doctors who met them at the time, taller and stronger and healthier than those who sought to civilize them.

  18. Milton

    This is funny, because I just finished [i]Protein Power[/i] by Dr’s Eades, and one of the later chapters is on exactly this discovery; that the ancient Egyptians, who ate a diet straight out of our current government’s recommendations for good health, suffered ‘surprisingly’ high rates of heart disease, to say nothing of the wretched state of their teeth and gums. Considering how bad their dental health was, I wonder if dying young might not have been a preferable end. Having to gum your way through the same food that ground your teeth off sounds like a particularly horrifying form of torture.

    [i]Protein Power[/i] was published back in the mid-90s, by a pair of doctors who applied common-sense thinking to come to the obvious conclusion. It’s bad enough it took 15 years to get the mainstream media to pay attention; it’s worse when the attention goes to someone who applies spectacularly insane reasoning to interpret his findings.

    I have to admit, I saw a Protein Power informercial back in my vegetarian days and thought the two doctors must be quacks. I shared that story with Drs. Eades and Eades years later, as I was preparing to interview them on camera for Fat Head. Lucky for me they’re both blessed with a good sense of humor.

  19. Heidi P.

    This explains why it’s such a deal for me to change my thinking – esp. in regards to feeding my kids. I’m a newbie who sees and feels the results of no grains and more animal fats in my own diet – but I keep thinking my kids need those carbs. It’s so ingrained (ha) in my head. I turn to the web to reassure myself that they will be okay without bread.

    Interestingly, no bread with dinner has encouraged them to consume more veggies by their own choice. And I no longer hear, “I’m starving Mom!”

    That’s pretty common among people who eat low-carb. Despite what the anti-Atkins crowd believes, we don’t eat nothing but meat and cheese, so we fill our plates with more vegetables.

  20. LCNana

    I gotta ask a question – and please don’t freak out over this as I’m committed to a low-carb WOE simply because I know it’s good for me. But, can we maybe discuss WHY people began to grow grains and eat them over what had been eaten before? I mean was it a means of survival when meat became more scarce and numbers of a given community rose? Was this a natural, inevitable occurance?

    If that’s the case what could these communities done differently? Would civilization have developed at all if agriculture had not been spread over the world? Would shear numbers have killed off easily available animals? I have read that even in the late 1700 the Iroquois were growing corn to supplement their diets as at least in upper NY state and Quebec they had hunted big game into very small numbers. According to the missionaries who lived with them these natives were in bad shape.

    So I guess my question is: as we know that meat and fat are the best diet for human health, why then did peoples begin to grow and eat grains? And secondarily, why do we see this as unnatural and why do we do everything we can to spread the word that this is NOT good for people?

    I do NOT want to discuss the fact that grains are bad. I know they are. But what the heck! For 10,000 years people ate them and I want to know what they could have done DIFFERENTLY to survive.

    I don’t dispute (and will not freak out over) the fact that people adopted agriculture at least in part because they’d hunted the big game to extinction. I don’t know if it’s possible to support a population of billions without agriculture. Probably not. But unless something changes, we won’t be able to support a population of billions for long, agriculture or no agriculture.

  21. Ellen

    Interesting that the Egyptians suffered from another disease of civilization: Cancer. All humans must be genetically disposed to cancer as well. Well, all humans except for those that eat lots of meat and fat, and no grain, like the Masai or the Inuit.

    But they must be genetically exempt from the rest of the human race. Yea that’s it, they’re special. We’ll just call that little bit of information a paradox and put it on the IGNORE pile.

    That “paradox” pile is growing rather large …

  22. Ginger

    As you said in Big Fat Fiasco, Tom, these people will either pretend not to see the black swan, or figure out a way to explain how it is not a swan or not black!

    I’ve used the Ancient Egyptians many times to prove my point. They weren’t fat people. They weren’t eating lots of steak. They lived on bread and beer and died fairly young. Aside from heart disease, they also died of infectious disease. They probably had diabetes, too. Meanwhile, my Plains Indian ancestors ate almost nothing but meat and were hearty, healthy and didn’t get sick until white people got here and forced us onto reservation diets, which were…………….. hmmmmmm……………just like Egyptians………….mostly carb, little meat if any. I don’t know how on earth these people who conclude grains are still healthy manage to delude themselves so well. Maybe it’s the beer!

    Your ancestors were also, according to white doctors who met them at the time, taller and stronger and healthier than those who sought to civilize them.

  23. Mike

    Now I know why you have a blog, and I don’t.

    Selective blindness indeed!! Nice application of a seemingly distant and academic phenomena.

    I wonder if the next thing the Medical Establishment will say is: “We are humans and humans get Coronary Artery Disease, please pass the bread”? I suppose anything BUT “eat meat, it is good for you”

    I love blogging. But I’ve got to install a forehead-pad on my desk.

  24. Milton

    This is funny, because I just finished [i]Protein Power[/i] by Dr’s Eades, and one of the later chapters is on exactly this discovery; that the ancient Egyptians, who ate a diet straight out of our current government’s recommendations for good health, suffered ‘surprisingly’ high rates of heart disease, to say nothing of the wretched state of their teeth and gums. Considering how bad their dental health was, I wonder if dying young might not have been a preferable end. Having to gum your way through the same food that ground your teeth off sounds like a particularly horrifying form of torture.

    [i]Protein Power[/i] was published back in the mid-90s, by a pair of doctors who applied common-sense thinking to come to the obvious conclusion. It’s bad enough it took 15 years to get the mainstream media to pay attention; it’s worse when the attention goes to someone who applies spectacularly insane reasoning to interpret his findings.

    I have to admit, I saw a Protein Power informercial back in my vegetarian days and thought the two doctors must be quacks. I shared that story with Drs. Eades and Eades years later, as I was preparing to interview them on camera for Fat Head. Lucky for me they’re both blessed with a good sense of humor.

  25. Heidi P.

    This explains why it’s such a deal for me to change my thinking – esp. in regards to feeding my kids. I’m a newbie who sees and feels the results of no grains and more animal fats in my own diet – but I keep thinking my kids need those carbs. It’s so ingrained (ha) in my head. I turn to the web to reassure myself that they will be okay without bread.

    Interestingly, no bread with dinner has encouraged them to consume more veggies by their own choice. And I no longer hear, “I’m starving Mom!”

    That’s pretty common among people who eat low-carb. Despite what the anti-Atkins crowd believes, we don’t eat nothing but meat and cheese, so we fill our plates with more vegetables.

  26. Walter

    I also didn’t read Protein Power when I first saw it in the store, because of the title and assumptions about high levels of protein being bad for you. Mike Eades has said they didn’t like the title, it was the publisher’s choice. It might have hurt sales.

    I’m using Google Chrome and the post and each comment goes two inches past the Fat Head banner.

    There’s some where between an 1/8th and a quarter of an inch between each comment and that lines up with the banner.

    The part that says: 24 Responses to “Honey, My Mummy Had Heart Disease”

    lines up with the banner.

    Hope this helps.

    Something in our WordPress template, I guess.

  27. fredt

    Love your posts but what have you done to your formatting? It is now so wide that I have difficulty fitting it into a 22 inch screen and be able to read it. My eyes are poor.

    It looks fine on my monitors. What browser are you using?

  28. monasmee

    Like fredt, I’m getting the same oversized website look here using Safari 5.0.5. Other websites show up no problem.

  29. David H

    I just “love” the double standard for animal foods… I saw a BS article talking about bone density, and it said that we may be getting too much vitamin A and it could harm our bones. And they said eat less meat and throw the yoke out of eggs. Yup, one second meat is crap with no vitamins, and then when the media is talking about vitamin A, we’re magically picking on the very food that supposedly is said to have no nutrients. Yup, Lets only mention meat as nutritious only in the negative context. It couldnt possibly be the “healthy whole grain cereals” fortified with vitamin A that overloads us, we dare not insult them… On another note I noticed am interesting new detail about raw vegetables, considering we mostly serve them raw in the US. Most cultures ate them cooked (which in America we don’t) Because about half of the 52 “wonderful” phytochemicals in greens, half may be carcinogenic. And also we eat about 1.5 grams of naturally occuring pesticides everyday in greens. So blindly promoting veggies won’t truly be helpful. Also cooking applies heat and causes cells to burst which makes the nutrients more available, Apperently the absorption of nutrients in some greens is 3%, becuase most of the nutrition is trapped in the fiber. Making the cells burst under heat releases nutrients and absorbtion climbs to 50% and also destroys some of the toxins in the greens such as goiterogens. Look at most East Asain nations, they always cook their veggies not because they are greedy and only want flavor, but they know what they’re doing

  30. monasmee

    Oversize Update: the extended wide look only appears after I click on “Responses” with “Leave A Reply” at the bottom of the page where I’m typing this.

    Otherwise, The Fat Head home page appears normal.

    Sheesh. No idea why that happens.

  31. Lori

    @LCNana, Brian Fagan addresses the question of why humans adopted agriculture in his book Cro Magnon. He believes it had to do with climate change at the end of the Ice Age.

    As for living without agriculture here and now, I doubt if we could. But going back to practices like eating the whole animal and keeping small livestock like chickens and rabbits in the city are two things that could help people have affordable animal foods. In fact, there’s an initiative coming up for vote to “decriminalize Denver’s chickens.”

    That’s why we’ve set a goal of buying some land here in Tennessee. We’d like to raise more of what we eat.

  32. Walter

    I also didn’t read Protein Power when I first saw it in the store, because of the title and assumptions about high levels of protein being bad for you. Mike Eades has said they didn’t like the title, it was the publisher’s choice. It might have hurt sales.

    I’m using Google Chrome and the post and each comment goes two inches past the Fat Head banner.

    There’s some where between an 1/8th and a quarter of an inch between each comment and that lines up with the banner.

    The part that says: 24 Responses to “Honey, My Mummy Had Heart Disease”

    lines up with the banner.

    Hope this helps.

    Something in our WordPress template, I guess.

  33. Lynda

    Hi Tom – interesting reading as always from you! Now, off topic (from your post) is my partner’s comments regarding food in America. He and a work colleague just returned this morning from the NAB conference in Las Vegas (we live in New Zealand) – my partner attends this every year. One of the first comments they made on the way home from the airport was how sweet all the food was while away. Coffee was sweet without added sugar, breakfast was sweet and even the chicken apparently had a caramel type coating!

    They said that when they went to fine dining restaurants the portion size was normal and the food good quality but it made us realise why so many of the low to middle class people over there are obese. The size of the meals in the more mainstream restaurants were ridiculously big. They said that all of the guys there were craving vegetables and unsweetened food… makes you think how dumbed down the food over there really is now.

    The other lasting impression from them both was the number of morbidly obese people they saw as compared to even a few years ago over there. Many apparently on motorised scooters and wearing breathing masks, too fat to walk. Clearly the low fat, high carb diets are working well 🙂

    It’s easy to consume huge portions of refined carbohydrates, especially if they’re sweet. Many people can finish off entire boxes of cookies or party-size bags of chips. The more you eat, the more you want.

  34. monasmee

    Oversize Update: the extended wide look only appears after I click on “Responses” with “Leave A Reply” at the bottom of the page where I’m typing this.

    Otherwise, The Fat Head home page appears normal.

    Sheesh. No idea why that happens.

  35. Lori

    @LCNana, Brian Fagan addresses the question of why humans adopted agriculture in his book Cro Magnon. He believes it had to do with climate change at the end of the Ice Age.

    As for living without agriculture here and now, I doubt if we could. But going back to practices like eating the whole animal and keeping small livestock like chickens and rabbits in the city are two things that could help people have affordable animal foods. In fact, there’s an initiative coming up for vote to “decriminalize Denver’s chickens.”

    That’s why we’ve set a goal of buying some land here in Tennessee. We’d like to raise more of what we eat.

  36. Lynda

    Hi Tom – interesting reading as always from you! Now, off topic (from your post) is my partner’s comments regarding food in America. He and a work colleague just returned this morning from the NAB conference in Las Vegas (we live in New Zealand) – my partner attends this every year. One of the first comments they made on the way home from the airport was how sweet all the food was while away. Coffee was sweet without added sugar, breakfast was sweet and even the chicken apparently had a caramel type coating!

    They said that when they went to fine dining restaurants the portion size was normal and the food good quality but it made us realise why so many of the low to middle class people over there are obese. The size of the meals in the more mainstream restaurants were ridiculously big. They said that all of the guys there were craving vegetables and unsweetened food… makes you think how dumbed down the food over there really is now.

    The other lasting impression from them both was the number of morbidly obese people they saw as compared to even a few years ago over there. Many apparently on motorised scooters and wearing breathing masks, too fat to walk. Clearly the low fat, high carb diets are working well 🙂

    It’s easy to consume huge portions of refined carbohydrates, especially if they’re sweet. Many people can finish off entire boxes of cookies or party-size bags of chips. The more you eat, the more you want.

  37. Misty

    @ what LCNana said: there is a movie called National Geographic: Guns, Germs and Steel. (it’s on netflix) I watched it a while back and it has a lot of what you’re talking about. our history is defined by being able to farm barely, wheat, and other grains. (among other things) highly recommend watching it. but it does not define what we should be eating now!

    I believe Jared Diamond, whose book inspired the documentary, called agriculture the biggest mistake in human history.

  38. Misty

    @ what LCNana said: there is a movie called National Geographic: Guns, Germs and Steel. (it’s on netflix) I watched it a while back and it has a lot of what you’re talking about. our history is defined by being able to farm barely, wheat, and other grains. (among other things) highly recommend watching it. but it does not define what we should be eating now!

    I believe Jared Diamond, whose book inspired the documentary, called agriculture the biggest mistake in human history.

Comments are closed.