Originally Posted by savithny
Many good points, and another one is this: We read about all these different "ideal" traditional diets, and people:
1) Assume that it is the whole traditional diet that is beneficial
2) Assume that if some of something was good for traditional people, more of it is even better.
3) Figure that eating the "best" beneficial foods from a bunch of different traditional diets must be be best of all
No one, traditionally, has ever lived on a diet that included fatty coldwater fish, avocados, and large amounts of ruminant bone broth. It's simply impossible.
Humans are highly adaptable omnivores, and as we spread out across the planet, different groups adapted to their different environments by evolving environment-specific diets. Not every aspect of every traditional diet was "ideal" to the human condition; it was simply the best adaptation available for people living in that particular place and time. Through trial and error -- and almost certainly through people getting sick or unhealthy or infertile -- groups dveloped the optimal diet for human beings living in that specific area.
But when you start to pick and choose bits and pieces, you're almost certainly upsetting a delicate dietary balance, whatever you do. You might combine two traditional foods practices from cultures on opposite sides of the planet and create a combination which is actively unhealthy -- because each of those practices evolved to fit into a larger picture of food intake. Something that was beneficial to traditional people who ate it in moderate quantities for three weeks a year might *not* be beneficial eaten in larger quantities every day. And something that traditional people ate int he months when their preferred foods were not available is not necessarily "healthy" just because "traditional people ate it."
What does that have to do with bone broth? Well, if you think about hunter-gatherers or early farmers, they had bones ... as many bones as animals they killed. They ate bones in proportion to the meat from the rest of the carcass, and consumed the whole animal and then extracted marrow from bones via boiling. If you're just buying lots of bones over and over and processing them, you're not eating broth in balance with the rest of the animal. Is that bad? Maybe, maybe not! But it's certain possible that considering bone broth in isolation, and thinking of it as a neutraceutical product rather than as something to do with the bones after you strip off the meat, is leading people to consume it in ways that may in fact not be the most healthy way for most human beings....
Some very good points here. It gets even more complicated too. Many of the foods that are available to us today are a whole lot different than the ones consumed traditionally. Plants and animals have been bread for sweetness and lean muscle content. Oceans are polluted, and soil is depleted. Additionally, it's pretty much impossible to know exactly how much of what they ate, and even if we did know, it's pretty much impossible to obtain a diet in the same quantities and qualities as any of the traditional diets out there. Then, you get into the problem of lifestyle. Diet is not everything, and our lifestyles do a lot to determine our caloric needs and our Vitamin D intake, for example. Then, even if we could imitate diet and lifestyle, there is the problem of pollution. Pollution affects our health and nutrition in so many ways. We think about the damage it does to our bodies, but we forget that our body is doing everything it can to repair that damage, and it uses our nutrients to do so (especially antioxidants). Besides attempting to eat clean and avoid other exposures to contaminants, we almost need an unnaturally vitamin/mineral rich diet to compensate.
It's easy to get discouraged that nothing is good enough, so why even try to follow a "traditional foods" diet anyway if it's not going to really be a traditional diet? For me, the answer comes in looking to science. Dr. Price and others added scientific evidence to aid us in understanding. We can look at the evidence about GMO's, new methods of growing (aquaponics, etc), sustainable seafood, nutrient-rich foods, deactivating anti-nutrients, hormonal/adrenal issues, gut health, allergies, oxidative stress/damage, disease treatment, food and social health, employment, etc, and work out an informed balance. There is no "perfect diet," so I'm very skeptical of anyone saying that they eat a perfect diet.
Then, there's the issue of what we're given/what we ate as children. I will always have one leg longer than the other (the bone is longer), a long face, and a high and narrow palate. A lot of the teeth problems/lack there-of and measures needed to keep our teeth may have to do with what we are given, not just what we do. These are things that we understand better through Dr. Price. Degeneration is progressive, generation by generation, and deficiencies can damage our very genes. Thankfully, it appears that healing is progressive as well, as mothers with narrow faces and palates can give birth to babies with nice, round faces, etc.