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Question for vegans - Page 2

post #21 of 32

you dont need very much to survive. how much is a regular women's calories suggestion today? for a moderately active woman usually 1600 to 1800. if you ate a chipotle burrito you'd only have enough calories left over to eat a salad and some fruit. or it would be oatmeal for bfast, salad and bread for lunch and a baked something with veggies for dinner. and maybe a couple fo fruit and handful of nuts for snacks. how many of us really eat our portion sizes or even the amount for the day? mind you this does not even include junk. 

 

the idea that we have to eat to full is also a recent concept. when the explorers landed in new england they could not understand why the natives didnt stash away food for winter. why did they sometimes starve and not eat their full. and the natives couldnt understand why the pioneers ate such copious amounts of food. some natives died from starvation and some of us die from overeating. 

 

all our cultural meaningful rituals are built around food. for the older cultures it wasnt. they did have feasts of course but it was more other things like dances and fasting that a community came together for. 

 

now we cant compare hunter gatherers with agriculturists because agriculturists worked hard. hunter gatherers lived a v. relaxed life with not heavy labor. so their nutritional needs were different. farmers eat huge meals coz they work that hard. 

 

so we cant think about yesterdays food with the eyes from todays food. the definition of food has changed immensely over time. a lot. even just from our parents generation to now. 

post #22 of 32
I'm not sure where you got the information about what the natives and the settlers understood. I think it's the Hopi tribes who lived in the Arizona and New Mexico area. We studied them years ago, when my son was younger, and I remember reading about how they would eat the older, stored food, after a harvest so it wouldn't get too old to eat. So those natives, at least, stored food. And more northern tribes probably did as well. They couldn't gather fruits and vegetables after the frost, or dig up roots easily after the ground was frozen.
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 

Thanks. With our more sedentary lifestyle a vegan diet sure seems a better option.


Edited by Neera - 11/19/12 at 5:36am
post #24 of 32

pek there's a difference between agricultural tribes and hunter and gatherer tribes. i was talking about say tribes like the algongian in the New England area. winter brought a whole different picture than spring and summer. they did store some food, jerky and pemmican were not really winter foods but were used as stored food, but not all tribes made them. even if they stored it didnt last beyond mid winter. jerky and p. are v. intenisve food - needing 5 pounds of meat to make one pound. 

post #25 of 32
Then what did they eat? Wasn't it in this thread that you said they ate meat more like a condiment? I'm just trying to figure out how they survived winters. It gets cold in New England.
post #26 of 32

on very little. there were deaths due to starvation. not too many but there were. during the lean months they'd eat maybe once in three or four days. now when you talk about the inuits or others far up north, they were at a whole different place.

 

there's a great history book that talks about this and i'll post it if i find it. 

 

ETA found it :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Changes_in_the_Land:_Indians,_Colonists,_and_the_Ecology_of_New_England

 

fascinating book

post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Then what did they eat? Wasn't it in this thread that you said they ate meat more like a condiment? I'm just trying to figure out how they survived winters. It gets cold in New England.

I think that maize was an important element in Native American diet, even in the Northeast.  This could be harvested in the fall and stored for the winter.  Meats were dried as well for use throughout the winter.  A lot of it depended on the tribe.  Native Americans were gatherers as well as hunters and they did practice some agriculture in the Northeast.  Winter also brought small game as well as fishing.  I think the idea of "condiment" as referenced above has more to do with the idea that meat in many hunter/gatherer cultures was not central to the diet.  It was certainly part of the diet, but not in the respect that is now.  My own dad doesn't think he is having a true meal unless the meal consists mostly of meat.  I think in the ancient and near ancient days, meat was perceived differently.  It was certainly a component of survival but it didn't define survival or diet, unless you lived in an area where agriculture and gathering was practically non-existent.  People ate what they could find, hunt, raise, store.  They really didn't have the choices that we do now in terms of immediate access to food.  It gets cold in New England but the cold is also ideal for long-term storage.  

post #28 of 32
Thanks, CatsCradle, that's what I had previously believed. However what was stated was they didn't store food. I believe they did store food.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Thanks, CatsCradle, that's what I had previously believed. However what was stated was they didn't store food. I believe they did store food.

but maize was not grown as far as the colder parts. warmer areas saw food eaten gathered and stored v. differently. 

 

so some tribes did not store food. they caught meat which was central to their diet during winter. some tribes had members who were hunter gatherers who lived in the highlands adn the same tribe in the lowlands were farmers. both tribes had very different philosophy towards food. 

 

the hunter gatherer did not grow maize. but their lowland cousin did. how maize was fairly new to the area when teh pilgrims arrived. its been there these last 1000 years. so just coz a tribe grew maize didnt mean the whole tribe had access to maize.

 

the hunter gatherers who lived in the mountains here in CA same thing. the mountain tribes had a whole different diet than valley tribes. however agribulture was never practised in CA. here too the highland tribes either came down to the valleys or lived on very little food in the mountains.

 

historically though man has never consumed as much food ever before as we do now.  

post #30 of 32
Thread Starter 

And now diabetes is a major problem for Native American Indians. Too bad.

post #31 of 32

actually diabetes showed up in NA populations in the 1800s when flour and sugar replaced their own meat, grains, veggie diet. and it continues to be so because they still have access only to the worst of the diets through food stamps or access in their reservations. amongst other things and other reasons. 

post #32 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

but maize was not grown as far as the colder parts. warmer areas saw food eaten gathered and stored v. differently. 

 

so some tribes did not store food. they caught meat which was central to their diet during winter. some tribes had members who were hunter gatherers who lived in the highlands adn the same tribe in the lowlands were farmers. both tribes had very different philosophy towards food. 

 

the hunter gatherer did not grow maize. but their lowland cousin did. how maize was fairly new to the area when teh pilgrims arrived. its been there these last 1000 years. so just coz a tribe grew maize didnt mean the whole tribe had access to maize.

 

the hunter gatherers who lived in the mountains here in CA same thing. the mountain tribes had a whole different diet than valley tribes. however agribulture was never practised in CA. here too the highland tribes either came down to the valleys or lived on very little food in the mountains.

 

historically though man has never consumed as much food ever before as we do now.  

I know that the Algonquin of New England and New York practiced a certain agriculture - particularly relating to the "Three Sisters" (maize, squash, beans) and did so hundreds of years before the first Europeans arrived.  New England and New York may get cold but the area has always had a huge agricultural component.  You don't really see mountains until you get into upstate New York and the northern parts of New England.  I agree that there was a different philosophy toward food in varying areas and that hunting was much more relied upon in Northern parts.  I also agree that historically humans have never consumed as much food as we do now.  I think it was common practice among the Algonquin and the Iroquois to go for days without eating.  Totally foreign concept to most of us. 

 

On a light note, I have a French friend who said that in France, it is not a negative thing to feel hungry.  She said that feeling hunger leads to joyful eating.  :)

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