Paleoman and trichinicosis?

by (40) Updated August 02, 2011 at 4:56 PM Created August 02, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Is trichinosis caused by poor factory farming methods? (feeding rats to pigs etc)

How did paleo man avoid it?

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2 Replies

11071 · August 02, 2011 at 4:56 PM

I think our paleo ancestors' stomach pH would have been much higher than most of ours, naturally protecting them from bacterial infections, parasites, etc.

7571 · August 02, 2011 at 3:47 PM

No, the parasite that causes trichinosis is found not just in domesticated pigs but in many wild animals. Obviously paleo man wouldn't have been eating domesticated pork but I guess he could have gotten it from wild game, though I have no idea if it was around in the paleolithic. If so I doubt paleo man "avoided it"; before modern medicine and sanitation, infectious disease was (and still is in some places) a leading cause of death. Having said that the majority of trichinosis cases aren't fatal or even severely symptomatic. Probably they had food customs/taboos involving not feeding certain foods to children, pregnant women, and other vulnerable people after noticing their potential to cause disease. That's found in pretty much all cultures, I think.

Edit: It's true that today one of the causes is feeding raw meat to pigs (including rats, yeah) and not all species of the worm cause disease in humans, so I don't think trichinosis would have been a concern for paleo man.

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