I am just curious if our ancestors would have gathered and consumed lettuce and other various leavy greens with relish? Heaping them on a plate? Or was it a pained "ugh I wish I could have caught that fish but Im so darn hungry anything that wont kill me is gonna go in my belly" type of thing.
I am not trying to get into whether or not this is a good idea- I am just curious what you all think.
Dandelion greens taste good. So do wild scallions. By the time cooking developed, I suspect that fibrous greens might have been integrated into the diet if only for taste enhancement and variety. Also mushrooms. Paleo man probably enjoyed soups and stews and broth when the time and opportunity to enjoy such luxury periodically occurred. Surely by the time cooking over fire was in general practice, there must have been a history of experimentation with various "wild" greens (as with nuts, berries and mushrooms).
Plant materials are surprisingly inefficient calorie sources in a paleolithic environment. The majority of the natural "flora-mass" is bark and leaves, neither of which are easily digestible by humans. Protein and fat (animals) were the preferred sources of energy, and tubers, fruits, berries, nuts and seeds would provide more nutrition than greens in a food-scarce situation.
That being said, there are certain types of monkeys who ingest certain leaves and plants for their medicinal properties, a habit that early humans may have also developed.
I know a guy who flies supplies into the backcountry of Alaska in the spring, as soon as the weather allows. He says out of all the goodies he brings, the first thing everyone goes for are the greens. I know they aren't paleolithic, but they have been surviving all winter on fresh and canned meats and dry goods. I think paleo man probably grazed throughout the day on fruits and vegs when they were around, and when he couldn't catch enough meat.
Did we eat a ton of roughage? We aren't gorillas, and our digestive systems weren't designed to eat tons of it, but we do have an omnivore's digestive system, so plant matter likely was a significant part of our diet.
As pointed out by others, plant matter tends to be lower in calories than animal products. But there's obviously more to nutrition than calories. Plants, per calorie, have more nutrition than do meat products. But arguably, you can't easily eat the same number of calories of plants than you can of animals. Luckily, you don't need to eat a ton of plants to get a significant amount of nutrition.
I don't think so. All " roughage " does it scar the lining of the intestines which can lead to insufficient nutritional utilization. Think about it. Rub lard on your leg for minutes than rub greens and roughage? Roughage causes scarring and irritation. Imagine how this happens every day to your delicate intestines which are soft and smooth. I can't eat fiber. It just doesn't work. There is no point. Fat and animals is where it is at!!