Of course no one knows for sure what happened in the past. But people like
Loren Cordain and Mary Enig have made educated guesses, and shared them
with their peers for review and debate. See
http://maelstrom.stjohns.edu/CGI/wa.exe?S1=paleodiet&D=0 for details.
As far as the specialists can discern, roughly four million years ago our
species began differentiating from the gorilla and chimpanzee. Those ape-
like ancestors were forest dwellers. When the climate changed, they adapted
to living on the savanna. They learned to eat the leftovers from the lions
and jackals, which consisted primarily of brains and bone marrow, both of
which are high in omega 3. Their brains gre
w (and their offspring developed
a need for those "essential" fatty acids). Eventually our ancestors learned
to drive off the jackals and finally to hunt and kill on their own. That
was about one million years ago.
Around 10,000 years ago, someone in the Fertile Crescent discovered how to
grow and harvest grain, (hence my claim that 99% of our ancestors ate salad
and meat). There is clear evidence in the fossil record that their bones
were negatively impacted by the change in diet. Sally Fallon, in her book
Nourishing Traditions, explains all of the whys and wherefores.
A researcher in South Africa (his name escapes me) has indeed analyzed the
coprolites left behind at early habitation sites to determine what our
ancestors ate. And while it is not 100% conclusive, the basic pattern of
salad and meat is well documented. People like Weston Price (Price-
Pottinger Foundation) traveled the wo
rld in the 1930's, documenting what
the hunter-gather groups of that time ate. Again it was basically salad and
There is one thing you can defintely prove about what humans ate. Until the
end of the 19th century, sugar and white flour were not available to the
masses, and heart disease, cancer, and the other maladies of modern
civilization were rare or non-existent.
People will always try and make a buck. Right now, the food processors make
a lot more money on sugar water and carbohydrate fried in transfatty acids
than they do on fresh produce and organ meats. But if they figure out a way
to charge top dollar for the foods our ancestors ate, the TV commercials
will be full of new and improved lettuce and bone marrow ads. I can hardly
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