grains

Wheat and Playing with Fire

 Over the years I've been involved in this community, I've met many many people who have seen their health improve when they eliminated wheat gluten from their diet. But I also see it as part of a worrying trend that relies all too much on self-experimentation and self-diagnosis. Often when I meet these people they are noshing on a burger without a bun at a regular restaurant or ordering a salad a restaurant like Hanna's Bretzel where gluten-free ingredients are laid side by side with non-gluten free ingredients.

The Grazing Primates

 I've seen the idea that there are no primates adapted to eating grains, but actually there is a primate that is better adapted to such a diet than any others. It's the gelada (Theropithecus gelada), which lives only in the Ethopian highland grasslands. The gelada is the only living member of genus the Theropithecus. Several larger gelada species once roamed most of Africa, including the terrifying giant gelada, which was around the size of a modern gorilla.

The many-venomed earth

 I've written before on how the typical "paleo" paradigm didn't fix my digestive problems. That's because paleo divides things into good and bad in a somewhat arbitrary manner. The reality is that good and bad are relative to the functioning of your body and your individual biology. As Dr. Ayers said in his latest post:

Storage:Possible Neolithic Agent of Disease

When humans started transitioning towards agrarian ways of life around 10,000 years ago, it wasn't just the types of food that changed. It wasn't just about more reliance on grains and less on meat, but about a fundamental change in the food system. True hunter-gatherers literally live day to day, not storing any food for later use.

Is rice paleo?

 Grains are evil. The people in the paleolithic didn't eat them. Amirite? Unfortunately, that hypothesis is contradicted by archeological evidence, but now there is genetic evidence that rice may have been domesticated earlier than thought. 

Fun with headlines: Did paleolithic people eat grains?

Great, a new pop-sci treatment of an anthropology paper that your Aunt Maude will forward to you with the implication that you should eat her whole wheat pancakes next time you visit. The article portrays this as some kind of ground-breaking research that totally changes our view of the paleolithic.

Traditional Grains

A reader left an interesting comment:

The Effect of Culture: Estrogenic foods

What is the most common non-paleo indulgence? In my experience, it seems beer is the vice of choice. Don't get me wrong- I love beer and it was one of the hardest things to give up, especially since craft beer was one of my big hobbies in college. But in the end, I did notice that the effects of it on my digestive health were very negative. But there is something else about beer.

It's funny because no paleo dude would be caught dead with a carton of soy milk or a tofutti cutie, partially out of fear of soy phytoestrogen.