What food would a wild human eat? The answer may surprise you!
As a civilization, our go-to sustenance is hardly static or predictable. One only needs to check out the local cuisine of a foreign country to realize that. So rather than trying to answer this question by assessing the infinite number of foods our ancestors ate just to avoid starvation, I think it’s most pertinent to give our attention to what we are best at eating. That is, which foods are easy to obtain and digest, give us good health and ample energy, and have relative low risks or side effects?
Last week, I went into some detail regarding human teeth, and what types of foods they are best suited for. (Spoiler: it’s not meat!) This week, I’m moving the microscope over to other parts of the human body that suggest that humans aren’t cut out to be the carnivorous type.
Even Usain Bolt wouldn’t be able to keep pace with the average gazelle for a second. How could we have a predisposition for meat if we never caught it? Spears and other weapons didn’t roll around until about 60,000 BCE – pretty recently in our species’ story.
By the time we started walking upright and proliferated from the jungles to the grasslands (about 1.5 million years ago, give or take), we entered into a competitive food chain that was way out of our league. We couldn’t contend with the agile predators of the plains, animals that were evolutionary veterans of chasing, hunting and killing. Our bodies frail, our gaits tipsy and our top speeds laughable, the potential prey was too strong, too fast or too sturdy for our kind to even think about killing. We also have flat, small mouths instead of fierce jaws and weak, pink fingernails instead of claws…. Good luck bringing down a wildebeest or an impala with only those tools!
As undignified as it was, early human tribes got most of their calories through scavenging. Just as we picked berries and nuts, so too did we grab a chunk of zebra steak after the lions had had their fill. We weren’t picky; if there was meat we would eat it, but we definitely didn’t have the capability to actively pursue it. When it came to the wily speed demons of the savannah, all we were eating was their dust.
Our taste buds.
If you’re a meat lover, you’re probably scoffing. Well my carnivorous friend, I contend that you have only been socialized to love meat. You don’t love meat the same way a tiger shark or a cougar love it.
When a predator makes a kill, the first thing it does is tear open the stomach area and chest cavity and dine on all the nutrient-rich organs inside. Things like the liver, kidneys and heart have all sorts of vitamins that muscle meat doesn’t have – this is how lions and tigers and bears can get away with not eating their vegetables. If a blood-logged, veiny organ doesn’t whet your appetite, but a sanitized, flame-charred steak on a plate, seasoned with peppercorn, sugar and tomato-based steak sauces, chili powder, citruses, and an endless list of other plant-based fixins does make you hungry, I have bad news for you: you might not naturally be a carnivore.
I could go on and on.
Our hearts struggle when we eat too much red meat, culminating in heart disease.
Our digestive tracks are extremely long and sensitive, as is the norm of an herbivorous animal.
Our stomach acid is less than 5% as strong as that of the typical carnivorous animal, meaning we don’t have the enzymes to quickly break down huge feasts of meat as most predators do.
Just some food for thought on the whole vegan thing!
Until next time!
P.S. If you like this, I have a lot more for you. Please be sure to request my free e-report “12 Baby Steps to the Best Shape of Your Life” at http://SliceYourAge.com.
Great blog. I never thought about being socialised into eating meat. I hate the thought of the rearing and slaughter process. I just have to bite the bullet and take a leap. My wife and kids love chicken and roast dinners. So it will be his and theirs dinners from now on. Great motivation. Thank you.