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Paleo/NT, Is Eating Dairy Natural? - Page 3

post #41 of 127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by caedmyn
Really it comes down to whether you believe in evolution or not. If you do, you have to follow the pre-conceived ideas that go along with evolution and accept that our ancestors were so primitive they were incapable of figuring out things like agriculture, herding, and properly preparing foods to increase the nutrient value. If you don't...well there's plenty of evidence out there to contradict evolution, and you can consider alternatives to evolutionary ideas.
I know Marie is going to do a much better job than I am of replying to this post, but there IS evidence of what our ancestors in the Paleolithic era ate & of their health. There is also evidence of how the health of Homo sapiens deteriorated in the Neolithic era when dairy was introduced & grains became a regular staple in their diets.

Personally, I don't know of any "evidence" that contradicts evolution.

Do you have any links to support this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caedmyn
Such as, perhaps the disease-ridden people actually were eating processed foods. Not processed in the way foods are today, but there's evidence that ancient Egyptians made "white" flour and weren't terribly healthy...why couldn't other populations have done the same thing?
post #42 of 127
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post #43 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by caedmyn View Post
Such as, perhaps the disease-ridden people actually were eating processed foods. Not processed in the way foods are today, but there's evidence that ancient Egyptians made "white" flour and weren't terribly healthy...why couldn't other populations have done the same thing?
Ummm...

Egyptians were Neolithic people initially, btw. (then Bronze Age, like say, the Hittites and the Babylonians...and then they became Iron Age People...like Greeks, Romans, etc.) So, yes...the Egyptians did over process their grains and they probably weren't particularly healthy. No more healthy than we are.

The PALAEOLITHIC is long before the Egyptians. Long before. Before agriculture...before domesticated animals. I can't argue with your belief system...but I have EXCAVATED out of the ground, untouched, human bone and other remains that date to the Palaeolithic period, which lasted from 500,000 BC to approx 10,000 BC in the Near East/Aegean area. This really isn't about a belief system. It is part of the world we live in.

Marie
post #44 of 127
Even though I don't believe in macro-evolution, I do believe in micro (adaptation and change within a species). As a Christian, I can think about what God's original foods for us were (I believe that we started out in the Garden of Eden and then our foods choices expanded from there).

I think that you could toss evolution all together and still find that some foods are more optimal than others for people. (I am not for or against milk-I can't have it anyway!)

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post #45 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by marieandchris View Post
I can't argue with your belief system...but I have EXCAVATED out of the ground, untouched, human bone and other remains that date to the Palaeolithic period, which lasted from 500,000 BC to approx 10,000 BC in the Near East/Aegean area. This really isn't about a belief system. It is part of the world we live in.
It's totally about a belief system. You believe in evolution, therefore you evaluate your findings based on your beliefs (although they're called "science").

I don't have links although I can recommend books. "Buried Alive" by Jack Cuozzo is a good start (if you look for it make sure to look at the author as there are several books with that title).
post #46 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by marieandchris View Post
<<snip>>our genetics dictate that the Palaeolithic way of eating is the way our biology (all of us) are supposed to eat. We became genetically human at the dawn of the palaeolithic period. Homo sapiens sapiens. We are the same people now as we were at the beginning of the palaeolithic period -- genetically, brain size, smarts, emotionally...language, sentimentality, art...we had it all by the time the palaeolithic period started. We have not adapted physically (genetically) to the influx of calories (with less nutritional value) that the neolithic/agricultural way of eating provides for us. This is a very very recent invention (Palaeolithic period begins 500,000 yrs ago in the NE. Compare that to the c. 10,000 yrs ago for the inception of agriculture.) People's health deteriorated in the Neolithic because of this.
I guess what I'm having trouble with is the inference that every dietary innovation since the NE is implicated with disease, while only foods that were part of a paleolithic diet are biologically acceptable. This seems like too big a stretch.

Yes, the archeological record clearly shows a decline in health among neolithic people, but that does not necessarily mean that including foods that were adopted in the NE (grains, dairy, honey, sea salt, etc.) into our modern diet is unhealthy. As I said earlier, there are number of factors that may have contributed to the decline in health.

One may be the over-reliance of just a few products of agriculture. Early agricultural societies focused their resources on relatively few products. They went from a paleolithic diet that included foods from a wide variety of sources to obtaining most of their calories from just a few. This doesn't mean that having milk or grains as part of a varied diet is bad for you, but perhaps having only milk or grains for your primary source of nutrition is not a great idea.

As a corollary to this, early agricultural societies marked an interesting change in social structure. Where many hunter/gatherer societies conferred status to those individuals who had resources that they shared with members of their group, we begin to see the rise of kings/priests, slavery and conscripted labor, hoarding of wealth and resources, (i.e., hierarchical social structures) with the development of early agricultural societies. The implication of this is that there is now a significant portion of the population that does not have access to adequate nutrition, both because they relied too much on a few agricultural products and because they were poor. Excavations of the tombs/barrows/graves of ruling class members showed that they had greater stature and enjoyed better health than their subjects.

I'm sure there are other factors too that go along with the transition from a nomadic, hunter/gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural one. These are just two that strike me right off the bat.

Just because neolithic era civilizations adopted milk and grains into their diets, while our paleolithic ancestors didn't, does not mean that they are inherently unhealthy for us. It does not mean that we are biologically equipped to tolerate and even thrive on these foods. As omnivores (with a genes that have evolved for millions of years prior to the appearance of homo sapiens sapiens), our survival strategy is dependent on being able to tolerate a wide variety of foods, even novel foods. This is not to say that there is no genetic variation among the species however. That's one of the way that adaptation works.

Sorry to rant, but if we could have a discussion about the actual specific benefits or disadvantages of milk, that would be one thing, but this idea that it is somehow not "intended" for us just seems illogical to me.

Marie also wrote:
Quote:
Sure, raw milk is better than pasturized (absolutely) but it was meant for BABY COWS and is a perfect food for them. Humans are able to ingest milk at the beginning of their lives, human milk, but loose the enzymes that allow for the full digestion of milk after infancy (which, of course was extended 4,5,6 years for many cultures!) So, we are supposed to ingest milk early in life, but we loose the ability as adults.
But there are lots of foods that don't allow us to "fully digest" them. If that a criterion for choosing a particular food, many fruits, greens, and vegetables would be off-limits by this reasoning. I guess I need some explanation here. What do you mean by "full digestion"?

Metasequoia wrote:
Quote:
I know Marie is going to do a much better job than I am of replying to this post, but there IS evidence of what our ancestors in the Paleolithic era ate & of their health. There is also evidence of how the health of Homo sapiens deteriorated in the Neolithic era when dairy was introduced & grains became a regular staple in their diets.
Yes, there is evidence, but be careful of what conclusions you draw from this evidence. If grains and milk became a staple of one's diet, to the exclusion of other foods, I believe that yes, one would be in for some rather serious health problems. But that does not mean that grains and milk cannot be included in a healthy diet, and that they are not themselves healthy foods for the people who can tolerate them.

Please don't get me wrong. I think most of the features of a Paleo diet sound great. I'm paraphrasing Marie here - wild game, fish, birds, greens, berries, fruit, olives, eggs... Great! Yum! I think Marie forgot to mention bugs. That was an important staple of many Paleolithic diets, one which I don't see too many people promoting, but whatever... I just don't think that just because a food appeared in our diets a relatively short time ago (just a few thousand years), means that it needs to be excluded.
post #47 of 127
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marieandchris View Post
I can't argue with your belief system...but I have EXCAVATED out of the ground, untouched, human bone and other remains that date to the Palaeolithic period, which lasted from 500,000 BC to approx 10,000 BC in the Near East/Aegean area. This really isn't about a belief system. It is part of the world we live in.

Marie
That is SO cool, Marie. Just amazing.
post #48 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by yllek View Post
One may be the over-reliance of just a few products of agriculture. Early agricultural societies focused their resources on relatively few products. They went from a paleolithic diet that included foods from a wide variety of sources to obtaining most of their calories from just a few. This doesn't mean that having milk or grains as part of a varied diet is bad for you, but perhaps having only milk or grains for your primary source of nutrition is not a great idea.

I couldn't agree more. We are omnivores. If we are eating dairy/grains/legumes in moderation, I'm sure we would derive nutritional value that would outweigh the negatives. We are, however, eating it too much, and our bodies are just not capable of handling it, and this is where the genetic/palaeolithic nutritional pattern becomes part of the argument. Milk and milk proteins are everywhere, in almost every meal for our entire lives, unless we consciously try to avoid it. THAT is the crux of the problem. Our diets are too relient upon two foods: wheat and dairy...almost to the exclusion of other things (and when I say we, I mean the general American public...not Mothering.com specifically.)

BTW -- the elite status graves that we excavate are still riddled with these "modern" diseases. They didn't die of starvation or anemia like their poorer relatives, but they were still plagued by diseases that are not present in palaeolithic populations.

Marie
post #49 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by caedmyn View Post
It's totally about a belief system. You believe in evolution, therefore you evaluate your findings based on your beliefs (although they're called "science").
This debate...about the Neolithic & Palaeolithic. When certain foods were introduced to the diet of modern humans has little to do with a belief system. The Neolithic & Palaeolithic are periods of time long after evolution (whether you belief in in it or not, to entertain you for a moment) has taken place. These periods are well-attested to throughout the world over and over and over, much like gravity and the fact that the earth is round. Humans used stone tools, then better stone tools, then bronze tools, then iron tools. Humans were hunter gatherers, then developed agriculture. These periods of human development are based on our technological know-how, not on evolutionary periods. So you are essentially confusing two things and arguing against something that is tangential to this conversation.

Marie
post #50 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by marieandchris View Post
This debate...about the Neolithic & Palaeolithic. When certain foods were introduced to the diet of modern humans has little to do with a belief system. The Neolithic & Palaeolithic are periods of time long after evolution (whether you belief in in it or not, to entertain you for a moment) has taken place. These periods are well-attested to throughout the world over and over and over, much like gravity and the fact that the earth is round. Humans used stone tools, then better stone tools, then bronze tools, then iron tools. Humans were hunter gatherers, then developed agriculture. These periods of human development are based on our technological know-how, not on evolutionary periods. So you are essentially confusing two things and arguing against something that is tangential to this conversation.

Marie
Never mind, I'm not going to bother. My point was, that I do not believe in either evolution or the billions/millions of years timeline, whether you are talking about it pre- or post- evolution. There is plenty of evidence against the "primitive to sophisticated" theory of human development. But with your belief system, if you find a tool, etc in a particular layer that is too sophisticated for that layer/time period, you simply say it must have migrated from a different layer.
post #51 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by marieandchris View Post
I couldn't agree more. We are omnivores. If we are eating dairy/grains/legumes in moderation, I'm sure we would derive nutritional value that would outweight the negatives. We are, however, eating it too much, and our bodies are just not capable of handling it, and this is where the genetic/palaeolithic nutritional pattern becomes part of the argument. Milk and milk proteins are everywhere, in almost every meal for our entire lives, unless we consciously try to avoid it. THAT is the crux of the problem. Our diets are too relient upon two foods: wheat and dairy...almost to the exclusion of other things (and when I say we, I mean the general American public...not Mothering.com specifically.)
The SAD is indeed a problem, for reasons that go way beyond the over-reliance of wheat and dairy, however. Those two ingredients are not my main issues with the SAD by any stretch. And the way those ingredients are processed by our a food suppliers are of far more concern to me than whether or not our paleolithic ancestors had those ingredients in their diet.

Now whether "our bodies are capable of handling" those ingredients is an interesting question to me. For one thing, there is a certain amount of genetic variation among us. Some of us can tolerate grains and dairy better than others. I'm Korean; my husband is Jewish with roots in the Middle East, Russia, Lithuania, and England. I can have cups of milk (even pasteurized) without a problem; he can't. This is not what I would have expected, but .

As others in this thread have suggested, many of us can better "handle" these ingredients, depending on how they have been processed.

More later... ds is needing some lovin' now.
post #52 of 127
But, is being able to "handle" them sufficient? Most people can "handle" high fructose corn syrup. Doesn't mean it's good in any respect for any person.

Yes, some people can tolerate less perfection in their diet than other people can. This is important for social and emotional reasons. Food is *so* much deeper than what's good for our bodies. It's so emotionally linked to culture and emotional well being. In an ideal world, we would live in a culture where we only ate the foods that are perfect for our bodies and this wouldn't be an issue. In the real world, we were brought up eating ice cream when it's stinkin' hot out and drinking hot chocolate when we come in from the cold; eating Cadbury eggs and nitrate laden ham on Easter and white flour and sugar cookies at Christmas; relaxing over a cup of tea with sugar in the morning and meeting friends for coffee on the weekends. Etc. etc. etc. Giving up those connections is beyond hard. I mean, I think for most people, their health would have to be seriously, seriously compromised to make them make such a tremendous break from those emotional and social fundamentals.

I see the Paleolithic theories as ideal. I see NT and it's ilk as being an intermediary step. It provides for less-dangerous preparations of milk and grains, less dangerous varieties of sugar, as well as providing tools like ferments that help us overall with our digestion so that we can tolerate these less-than-perfect diets better. It's a lot easier emotionally to use raw milk and raw honey in my tea than ditch it entirely. Easier to bring sprouted-grain-and-rapadura cookies to a party than try to tell your kids that they can't touch any of the treats at all. Better to drink a kefir smoothie than binge on ice cream. The NT foods, to a great degree, look and feel like the foods we're used to, and they *are* whole foods, which is inherently a huge step up from the crap everyone else eats. I do see cutting out dairy as the perfect solution. But I ain't no where near that yet. Same with grains and beans. But preparing those foods in ways that make them more digestable is a good intermediary step. At least in the case of grains and beans, it also compels me to eat less of them because they take so much more effort to prepare.
post #53 of 127
What is the evidence again that the Paleo where so healthy? How has this conclusion been drawn? Are there really that many bones of Neanderthals lying around that scientists can draw the conclusion that they were free from disease? Just curious. Also, I ran across a journal article yesterday that discussed the findings of cavities in Neanderthal teeth. I'm just not sure if scientists really have a complete picture yet. If the Paleo Neanderthal people had health that was so superior to modern humans, then why did they die out and modern humans take over? I would like to see some actual studies or articles discussing the health of Paleo people - please share your links. I know that the Paleo people had one thing on their side and that was the lack of widespread contagious diseases because back then the world was sparsely populated and I guess the different groups didn't come in contact with one other. I think that alone could be a reason they were healthier, maybe not so much what they ate.

Kim
post #54 of 127
Someone tell me again why milk is bad for you (esp. if you are not lactose-intolerant)?
post #55 of 127
Tara, I don't think you're equating the nutritional value of milk with HFCS, but the implication is there. Whether or not people can "handle" HFCS in the short-term is utterly beside the point. There is no nutritional benefit to HSCS. But raw milk and cheese and yogurt? If you can tolerate lactose and casein, there's plenty of good stuff in dairy.
post #56 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by caedmyn View Post
If this is true, then why does Dr. Price's research directly contradict this?

What you guys are forgetting is that Dr Price compared people eating their traditional agrarian diet ( with soaked grains and cultured milk etc) to people eating a modern diet. He did NOT compare people eating a agrarian diet with people eating a hunter/gatherer/palaeolithic diet.

I think we all agree that eating fermented/soaked grains and cultured raw milk is better then eating hoo-hoo's and pizza. The question being asked in this discussion is rather, can we find evidence that eating no diary and grains might be healthier across the board then even eating them modified by fermenting and soaking...

Tanya
post #57 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimbernet View Post
What is the evidence again that the Paleo where so healthy? How has this conclusion been drawn? Are there really that many bones of Neanderthals lying around that scientists can draw the conclusion that they were free from disease? Just curious. Also, I ran across a journal article yesterday that discussed the findings of cavities in Neanderthal teeth. I'm just not sure if scientists really have a complete picture yet. If the Paleo Neanderthal people had health that was so superior to modern humans, then why did they die out and modern humans take over? I would like to see some actual studies or articles discussing the health of Paleo people - please share your links. I know that the Paleo people had one thing on their side and that was the lack of widespread contagious diseases because back then the world was sparsely populated and I guess the different groups didn't come in contact with one other. I think that alone could be a reason they were healthier, maybe not so much what they ate.

Kim
Correct me if I'm wrong, but we're not descended from Neanderthals, they're a whole other species . . . so the real evidence for comparison would be with homo sapiens of those times. But I agree, I just don't buy that there are enough remains left over to get a complete picture.
post #58 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by yllek View Post
Someone tell me again why milk is bad for you (esp. if you are not lactose-intolerant)?
I honestly dont think milk is all that bad for you if you can tolerate lactose and casein. The same with grain if you have a pancreas that can handle the load of carbohydrates and you can digest gluten.
But here is my argument: I believe most of us dont and cant. However we are not aware of it and think that our current state of health is just what it is. Read my previous post regarding working as a nutritionist in a clinic...99% of the clients my collegues and I saw were sick because of an undetected food allergy ( all of them either gluten or casein)and broadspectrum nutrient deficiencies. And eating a food that you are allergic to can cause a load of other issues, adrenal burn out, leaky gut syndrom etc.
Now get this, all of the people had gone through the regular medical channels, often for years, and NONE of them had ever been told they may have a food allergy. Most didn't actually believe it until they did an elimination diet and saw for themselfs.

I never thought I could not handle gluten. I was a vibrantly healthy woman, maybe a little plump, maybe a little moody sometimes and well, dont we all crave chocolate? Untill I decided to do an elimination diet just to know what it feels like ( since I was recommending them to my clients left and right). Well, I guess that what I thought was vibrant health was just a pale comparison to what it really could be. Even though I spent my days advizing people about food allergies, I did not recognize one in myself...

What I am saying is that I think many of us dont actually tolerate grains and dairy as well as we think we do.

But not to say all of us. I also did an dairy elimination diet and found I can eat that without any trouble. Northern European stock...

Tanya
post #59 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by HerthElde View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but we're not descended from Neanderthals, they're a whole other species . . . so the real evidence for comparison would be with homo sapiens of those times. But I agree, I just don't buy that there are enough remains left over to get a complete picture.

Absolutely! Neanderthals were a different line of human that died out. We find their bones alongside (briefly) modern homo sapiens sapiens in Europe. We are not descended from them.

I think that people who have not done any reading in the field of archaeology assume that we get "lucky" to find palaeolithic remains...that the past is a very rare chance find. Nothing could be further from the truth. There are thousands of palaeolithic sites all over the world that have provided one or more inhumation since archaeological work began.Europe, China, the NE, not to mention Africa, Russia, the caves in northern SE Asia, Indonesia...the list goes on. The all tell us much the same story, just with local variation. Only recently (last 40 yrs or so) have the bones been investigated for disease. I can look up some books and articles and get back to you...but they are found mostly in academic libraries and in archaeological journals. I have access to them at Bryn Mawr College; another archaeological/anthropological library would also have them.

BOOKS could be written about just the bones of palaeolithic peoples. They have been written. The "neolithic question" of why certain disease begin to appear during this period has been fodder for discussion since the 70's. I simply can't give you, here, on Mothering, a complete bibliography. If people are seriously interested in a bibliography, PM me, or post it. I might be able to find a few articles that people can access on-line. But this is going to take me some time, so please PM/post only if you are serious about reading into this subject in some depth. I understand, and appreciate, the skepticism behind posts like "show me the evidence!" -- but, is that truly a request for bibliography?

Please know that I am only providing what I've learned from over 10 years of archaeological work in my field (Greek & Near Eastern prehistory) and I'm not trying to convert any one. Sure, some people might be able to tolerate milk better than others; same goes for wheat/grains/legumes. I am simply trying to provide what I've learned and seen. I am also, by necessity, simplifying the issues. I am a supporter of NT diets; I feed my kids dairy (rarely) and grains/legumes a good deal. I buy sprouted grain foods. It is HARD to see fairly clear evidence that the food you love isn't good for you (especially eaten in the quantities we consume.)

Gotta run,
Marie
post #60 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by caedmyn View Post
There is plenty of evidence against the "primitive to sophisticated" theory of human development.
Oh, I don't buy a "primitive to sophisticated" model at all. Most archaeologists don't. There was a time when people accepted that (about 75 years ago) as true, but no more. Humans were fully human at the beginning of the palaeolithic period, and we had the same brain capacity, the same ability to reason, love, fear, develop tools, etc. as we more recent humans do. We, now, just have different tools and access to information on an amazing scale. They had different skills and tools...if we were suddenly put back to a palaeolithic cave environment, they would consider US primitive and completely lacking in any redeamable skill. So no, I don't think of them as primitive; I have nothing but profound respect and admiration for our palaeolithic and neolithic (and bronze age and iron age ancestors.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by caedmyn View Post
if you find a tool, etc in a particular layer that is too sophisticated for that layer/time period, you simply say it must have migrated from a different layer.
That is an incredibly simplistic analysis of archaeological field methods. I would say you've probably done no reading or studying of archaeology as an investigative tool. In fact most archaeological work (I'd say about 95%) of it is done without finding any intrusional material whatsoever. Sure, if we find a coke can in an archaeological layer thought to be pristine, we are pretty sure we that some contamination has crept in somewhere. And that does happen. But it has never ever ever happened that we found, say, pottery in a palaolithic level, over and over again, but then disregarded it because it doesn't fit our world view. Same for tools made of metal. See my earlier post...THOUSANDS of excavations over 100 years have told a similar story, no matter where you are in the world. Like gravity, when something is tested and tested and tested and found to be true, it moves from being a theory into the realm of undeniable reality. It isn't a "belief."

Marie
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