I just ran across this entry in Wikipedia that claims there is evidence that humans have been eating land snails since the Pleistocene: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Land_snail#Snails_as_human_food
I haven't seen snails or clams or mussels or other freshwater gastropods come up in any paleo discussions, blogs, books (not that I've read any in their entirety), etc. Since our ancestors would have spent most of their time near fresh water lakes and streams if possible, they'd have been eating not just a lot more fresh water fish, but also crustaceans like crayfish, mollusks like bivalves (clams, oysters, scallops) and gastropods (snails). Depending on the region, Grok would have seen bears, raccoons, otters or other animals prying the shells apart and then done the same, no?
(In that sense, I guess this question relates somewhat to the question I asked last night about why we can't just smell something and know if it's good or bad for us.)
I'm suddenly thinking a New England style clam chowder made carefully could be a very yummy paleo soup/stew! Butter, cream, clams, potatoes, onions, a hint of celery... mmmm!!!
So, this has me wondering: what other sorts of foods Grok would have had on his menu that we might still overlook today?
Westerners generally find the idea of eating insects disgusting (and I'm not fond of the idea myself), but I expect that lots of paleolithic H/G groups probably ate plenty of them.
Organs. People talk about liver this and organ that a lot but I know about 10 paleo folk and I am the only one who regularly eats any. And even at that, I only do liver, and it's not very frequent. At least not in large amounts. I dont think many paleo people really eat a good amount of organs.
Iodine from sea vegetables is probably though the most glaring, dangerous thing lacking in paleo people's diets.
I have eaten most things that run, crawl, fly or swim, including snails, crickets, grasshoppers, ants, bees, fish roe, clams, squid, etc. The world is abundant with healthy food, trouble is most people, esp in the west have developed a very narrow idea of what can be eaten. On the farm, when I was a kid, we used to shoot starlings (a smallish bird) lured with dog-food and then roast the breasts only (little meat anywhere else) over a fire. I have eaten prairie oysters, moose-nose soup and a Filipino dish made of fermented pigs blood. Hmmm starting to get hungry now lol.
Yeah, this is where 'eating like my ancestors' and I come to a parting of the ways. My Maori ancestors would have eaten a thing called a huhu grub - looks like an overgrown maggot and wiggles like one, too. Apparently has a high protein value, but eeeeuw. Fish, definitely a big part of paleo food in this part of the world - lots of my friends still go diving for their dinner!
Until the middle of the 20th century that was a popular dish in Germany and France: Soup made from cockchafer / may bugs.
Then the may bugs were fought with insecticides and are now rather rare - and today nobody would eat this soup any more...
Here in the UK a lot of shell fish are eaten - oysters, mussels, winkles, cockles - but I draw the lone at Whelks! (They are like giant snails and are very very rubbery. Yuk!) Crabs, oysters, prawns, shrimps, fresh water crayfish. They are all delicious and full of nutrients.
I'm quite sure our ancestors would have seen birds eating snails and worms and eaten them too but I don't think I could. And anyway, modern agriculture has almost made the worm an endangered species - if humans started using them as a food source, that would be the end of farming!