Did your paleolithic ancestors eat seeds of wild grasses?

by 0 · April 08, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Did your paleolithic ancestors eat seeds of wild grasses?

I'm sure mine did.

I'm sure they ate grass seeds did because they lived to produce offspring who lived to produce offspring & etc and they would have needed the grass seeds for food at some point to avoid starvation.

My paleolithic ancestors did not have access to potatoes, squash, tomatoes or tropical fruit. They didn't operate a dairy.

In defining a paleolithic diet, I include small amounts of spelt and farro along with most of the vegetables developed by the horticultural geniuses of the Inca empire. I also include other horticultural wonders such as the chickpea. Notice I said horticultural wonders. Horticultural is after neolithic which is after paleolithic. Sometimes I eat cheese too.

I base my diet on whole foods that rely as little as possible on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels includes the feed stock to make pesticides and all the fuel for machinery to plant, harvest, irrigate, transport, process, package &etc.,

Do you have a better approach? I'd love to hear it.

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922 · April 04, 2014 at 09:10 PM

The Southwestern native americans made mixtures of grass seeds, dried insects, and berries, as preserved food for the cold season.

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0 · April 07, 2014 at 10:40 AM

For me Paleos think grains are the number one food villains in the human diet. Yes I agree that ancestors ate grass grains. Grains are all grass seeds for example Rice, Corn, oats , Barley etc are the seeds harvested from fields of grass. The negative health effects of eating grass seeds are HUGE.

1) They create gut irritation, inflammation, and intestinal permeability.

2) Spike insulin

3) Create massive cravings and many more

16813 · April 05, 2014 at 04:59 PM

@old_pusher I wanted to answer this as a comment, but I realize it'll be long, so here goes:

Exactly. I guess at it. I look at paleo as a path to eliminate toxic foods - not a historical re-enactment, even mildly toxic ones - more along the lines of the Perfect Health Diet (though I stay lower carb than that, and do carb refeeds on workout days.)

You might be surprised at the interbreeding that may have occurred - wouldn't surprise me if you had some viking blood too. :) run your genome through ancestry.com (or 23andme) then pass it through promethease or another service (grumble, grumble, effin' FDA, state of NY). That's what I did and found several health related issues.

Turns out I've got an MTHFR defect (mthfrheds), a vitamin D receptor defect, and a defect in disposing of ammonia, so while I do ingest tons of meat, I also now supplement with L-Arginine, extra D3, methyl-folate, methyl-B12, zinc, and am starting to feel even better than just on the paleo diet alone.

Promethease also showed a bunch of other stuff, some worrisome (prostate), others less important. But it's better to know than not know - was the best $100 + whatever promethease was, that I paid. :) I'm doing the rest of the family too as my wife had Graves (yes, had, it's in remission via strict paleo and meds) and one of my kids has a nut allergy, and I absolutely react to wheat and dairy. Some of it is genetic (promethease reported that I have higher chance of being celiac.)

Yes, avocados, oranges, coconuts are tropical plants, but they're very beneficial, so I consume them though my paleolithic peeps didn't originate in the tropics. Yes, bacon isn't from the paleolithic, but eating nose to tail is and boars were on the menu. Heck, computers, the internet, and most of modern life isn't paleo, but so what, we take the best of all worlds and make use of it.

The point is to learn what's lowest in toxins and eat that. Grassfed and pastured beasts, eggs, butter, wild caught fish are the key. Organic leafy greens and veggies also, the occasional yam or sweet potato, and plenty of 90%+ chcocolate, and bulletproof coffees.

The occasional cheat via coconut flour pancakes cooked in coconut oil with a high quality maple syrup, and the occasional tapioca flour pizza crust with buffalo mozzarella and I don't even miss the SAD. (It's funny, I'm allergic to all cow dairy, but not buffalo, goat, or sheep and it doesn't matter if it's fermented or raw.)

The thing I miss most is Guinness. Was my favorite beer. Oh well. Hard cider, tequila, vodka, single malts whiskey, and life goes on.

16813 · April 05, 2014 at 12:07 PM

So, your logic goes "I'm sure my ancestors ate X, because they didn't eat Y and Z" and I'm alive, therefore they did. Um, how do you know who your ancestors really were and what they really ate?

If you've taken a genome test, you'd see you've got "ancestors" from everywhere in different percentages. It tells you nothing about what they ate, how often they ate it, and how the modern equivalents to those things differ.

In one breath you say you define your paleolithic diet in a certain way, but base it on horticulture developed after it. So how is it still paleolithic? How do you know your paleolithic ancestors did the same, or didn't have access to to potatoes, squash, tomatoes or tropical fruit but had access to chickpeas?

Did they juice kale, apples and oranges as you do? http://paleohacks.com/answers/520644/view.html

:) What about coffee and avocado?

Sure, the less anyone relies of fossil fuels the better the for the environment, and the better the quality of the food.

So, indeed, how do you know they ate the seeds of grasses? And even if they did, or didn't how does that reflect on your ability (or lack thereof) to consume modern day grains? Just because they ate something and survived it doesn't mean they developed the enzymes to properly process it without side effects. Hell, even most Americans, the "A" in SAD eat half a lifetime of wheat products and don't develop major issues until they get older.

So again, how do you know?

At best, we can guess. I do know for a fact that both my parents and grandparents ate grains, and I suspect my great-grandparents did too. But how would I know what my ancestors from say 20KYA ate? All I can do is rely on archeologists and anthropologists to tell me. I've had my genome sequenced and know where my peeps come from. But it doesn't tell me anything useful in this area.

I do know that I have a strong reaction to wheat, barley, sometimes corn and cow dairy, and I didn't have any visible reaction until about 2007. What does that tell me about what my ancestors ate?

Nothing much.

Medium avatar
10068 · April 04, 2014 at 09:23 PM

Yes they ate some grass seeds, but they weren't tasty or nutritious until they could cook them. The easiest way to take the resistant seed starch and get human food value is to boil it in a pot. Cooking pots didn't exist in paleo times, hence part of the Paleo bias against grains. However, most of the Paleo bias is against refined grains stripped of their vitamins and minerals and used abundantly in processed foods. Many Paleos accept sprouted grains and edible seeds.

The only thing you could do better is to start gathering, trapping, digging, catching or shooting whatever wild foods you have in your area. You can also avoid fossil fuel-burning mechanized transportation by walking to the grocery store.

179 · April 04, 2014 at 08:33 PM

You've met your ancestors from 10,000 years ago? Wow, you're lucky. I only knew my grandparents.

Anyway, a good rule of thumb is to eat things based on how healthy they are, when consumed by the human body, rather than at what time period they were harnessed by humans. The Paleo diet merely proposes a hypothesis: "Eating a diet composed of foods which resembled our prehistoric human diet leads to a better health." It is up to science to test this hypothesis and evaluate its validity. For this reason, scientific studies about nutrition and physiology are useful in determining whether this hypothesis is valid or not.

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