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Hominins were already eating meat 1.5 mya

Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 49 Snotzenfartz


    Is the author claiming that hominins were dependent on meat at that time?

    That would be strange because the huge numbers of healthy vegetarians show that we no longer are.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Is the author claiming that hominins were dependent on meat at that time?

    That would be strange because the huge numbers of healthy vegetarians show that we no longer are.

    That's an interesting subject worthy of a separate thread, most likely in another forum XD I have only known two strict vegetarians in my life and neither of them were healthy people.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,624 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    Is the author claiming that hominins were dependent on meat at that time?

    That would be strange because the huge numbers of healthy vegetarians show that we no longer are.
    also a lot of animals that we'd consider to be herbivores will take meat if given the opportunity

    having access to protein would mean that you could use lower quality food for energy and so use a wider variety of resources.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,624 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    From YLYL

    A4dG-BcCUAIVct-.jpg:large


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,043 Mod ✭✭✭✭Wibbs


    Is the author claiming that hominins were dependent on meat at that time?

    That would be strange because the huge numbers of healthy vegetarians show that we no longer are.
    The thing about humans is we've evolved to be incredibly adaptable when it comes to diet. We'll eat and survive and thrive on damn near anything. If it crawls, runs or swims someone has eaten it. Ditto for plants. Even horribly poisonous plants a bunch of humans somewhere have worked out how to render it safe and nutritious. It's one reason(IMHO) why it can be difficult to find the optimum healthy diet, the one size fits all. We've continued to evolve too. There have been more changes in the human genome in the last 15,000 years than in the previous 40,000 and the vast majority were food related.

    On the meat front, animal protein gives us a couple of advantages. One of these is its bigger bang for the buck calorie and nutrient wise. It's less "expensive" to digest. Look at cud chewers and their large guts. Look at mountain gorillas. They have to sit around all day eating. Secondly freshness is easier to judge.

    Most of all IMH a switch to animal protein allowed us to migrate all over the world into many different environments. A herbivore is more specialised unless it's a grass eater, even then that's seasonal and they have to migrate locally. Drop a fruit eating animal into an Irish winter and it'll starve to death, drop a tiger into same and it's got a lot of food choices.

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,624 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    Wibbs wrote: »
    Even horribly poisonous plants a bunch of humans somewhere have worked out how to render it safe and nutritious. It's one reason(IMHO) why it can be difficult to find the optimum healthy diet, the one size fits all. We've continued to evolve too. There have been more changes in the human genome in the last 15,000 years than in the previous 40,000 and the vast majority were food related.
    How long have we been cooking / using fire ?

    Even things as ancient as crocs pre-process food , letting it soften up a bit.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,043 Mod ✭✭✭✭Wibbs


    How long have we been cooking / using fire ?
    Million and a half years IIRC

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 49 Snotzenfartz


    It's probably no coincidence that brain expansion really took off around this time. If you cook your food before you eat it, it doesn't need as much digesting. You can reduce the size of your gut and make it a bit easier afford a bigger brain. :pac:


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,624 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    You can reduce the size of your gut and make it a bit easier afford a bigger brain. :pac:
    Unless you are a cephalopod :pac:
    If the octopus brain wasn't limited in size by being wrapped around the gut they'd probably have hotels on Mars by now


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 49 Snotzenfartz


    But it would stink of fish!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 714 ✭✭✭feelgoodinc27


    Wibbs wrote: »
    It's one reason(IMHO) why it can be difficult to find the optimum healthy diet, the one size fits all. We've continued to evolve too. There have been more changes in the human genome in the last 15,000 years than in the previous 40,000 and the vast majority were food related.

    Off topic, but the paelo/primal diet is pretty popular on the nutrition forum and as the name suggests takes the presumed diet of the paleolithic era as the diet that we are built for, so it advocates plenty of meat and veg. But grains are considered the devil as we supposedly haven't adapted to their consumption.

    I assume that the food related changes in the genome would be related to agricultural practices, in effect rubbishing the claims of paelo/primal diets?


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,624 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    Off topic, but the paelo/primal diet is pretty popular on the nutrition forum and as the name suggests takes the presumed diet of the paleolithic era
    oddly enough surveys of existing hunter gatherers show they have roughly the same calorific intake as we. So that means paleolithic peoples probably didn't burn lots of calories obtaining vast quantities of low grade food (elephants do this) instead cherry picking.

    really the key question is did they store food ?
    seeds and fruits would be seasonal if you weren't still living in the tropics

    and if they were storing nuts my guess is they'd store other seeds and grains too

    how many of the paleo diets consist of large amounts of shellfish ?
    140,000 years https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blombos_Cave


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,043 Mod ✭✭✭✭Wibbs


    I assume that the food related changes in the genome would be related to agricultural practices, in effect rubbishing the claims of paelo/primal diets?
    Well it's still going to be a waaaaay better diet than the average western diet, but yea it's "authenticity" is a bit sus on that score. The other problem is which paleo diet do you emulate? As the good Capt'n points out some damn near gorged on shellfish, some ate an almost completely meat diet. Some Neandertal groups have diet isotope profiles like wolves, while others had a more varied diet with plants involved. Actually on the grains front they discovered pretty recently that Neandertals ate "processed" grains as they found the tiny remains of same stuck between their teeth. Prehistoric digestive wholegrain biscuits :D. Maybe porridge. It seems they had the gene for gluten tolerance, or they were eating so little of it it didn't cause a problem.

    Yea the gene changes seem to refelct the agricultural revolution in date and type. Again these things aren't uniform. EG Europeans for the ost part can digest cows milk, whereas people from India can't. Gluten tolerance varies from group to group too. Alcohol tolerance is another obvious one. Highest in Europeans, lower in Asians and very low in populations like native Australians. Eskimos have bigger livers to deal with their traditional meat diet and so on. So it's very difficult to pin down an optimised diet for all humans. EG soya is considered "healthy" and likely is for Asians who've been exposed to it for over 2000 years, but it's a very novel protein to say a lad from Donegal whose only been expsed to it in the last two decades.
    really the key question is did they store food ?
    Chances are high they probably did. Post Erectus humans anyway. Turning grains and nuts into cooked biscuits is one way as they can be stored for quite a while. I recall watching a programme on a neolithic practice of cooking hazlenuts which released way more carbs than the raw and when cooked they remained edible for over a year. Given Neandertals came up with a sophisticated method of making very strong pine pitch "superglue" that required very precise "cooking"(one stage required an anaerobic environment) I'd be surprised if they hadn't cottoned on to this kinda thing with cooked grains and the like. Smoked meat can last a long time too. Living in more ice age environments you also have a winter fridge for storage.

    Ranged against that though is Neandertal teeth have a tendency to show interrupted enamel growth because of periods of famine. Then again they required a lot more calories than we do. Near double. We're lean burn humans and it could be one reason we're here and they're not.

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



  • Registered Users Posts: 714 ✭✭✭feelgoodinc27


    Thanks for the detailed replies, it really shows that there is no definite diet that we are built for.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 49 Snotzenfartz


    Well, we know we're adapted to a cooked diet. Try following a raw food diet and see how quickly you become malnourished.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 60,043 Mod ✭✭✭✭Wibbs


    Thanks for the detailed replies, it really shows that there is no definite diet that we are built for.
    Pretty much. The only dietary addition we don't seem to have caught up with is refined carbs in the amounts we eat them today.

    Rejoice in the awareness of feeling stupid, for that’s how you end up learning new things. If you’re not aware you’re stupid, you probably are.



  • Registered Users Posts: 30,746 ✭✭✭✭Galvasean


    Wibbs wrote: »
    Million and a half years IIRC

    If you remember correctly? I didn't think you were that old Wibbs! :D


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