100 Million Years of Food

100 Million Years of Food

What Our Ancestors Ate and Why It Matters Today

Book - 2016
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There are few areas of modern life that offer as much information and advice, often contradictory, as diet and health: eat a lot of meat, don't eat meat; whole-grains are healthy, whole-grains are a disaster; and on it goes. Biological anthropologist Stephen Le cuts through the confusing mass of information to present the long view of our diet. In 100 Million Years of Food Le takes readers on an historic and geographic tour of how different cuisines have evolved in tandem with their particular environments, as our ancestors took advantage of the resources and food available to them. Like his mentor Jared Diamond, Le uses history and science to present a fascinating and wide-ranging tour of human history as viewed through what and how we eat. Travelling the world to places as far-flung as Vietnam, Kenya, Nova Scotia, and Iowa, Le visits people producing food using traditional methods as well as modern techniques, and looks at how our relationship to food has strayed from centuries of tradition, to mass-produced assembly lines dependent on chemicals that bring with them a host of problems.100 Million Years of Food argues that our ancestral diets and lifestyles are the best first line of defence in protecting our health; the optimal diet is to eat what your ancestors ate. In this clear-cut and compelling book, we learn not only what to eat, but how our diets are the product of millions of years of evolution.
Publisher: New York : Picador, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250050410
Branch Call Number: 641.3 LE S
Characteristics: 309 pages ; 25 cm


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Feb 17, 2018

The book takes a complex look at various diets throughout traditional cultures all around the world. Unfortunately, it's lacking in detail in a bunch of areas, and the results that it does report are usually contradictory. Some traditional diets crammed full of meat do very well. Others are based heavily on certain plans and also seem to work fine. I wish that the author would've been more cautious and just admitted that there's plenty science still does not know. The book is interesting but seems pretty incomplete.

Aug 23, 2016

The book wanders through the world and thru his subject, apparently at random, which frustrated me. But there's so much information that it's worth ones patience.
It was for instance, amusing to learn that caloric restriction cuts [only male?] sex drive. [Giggle.]. Having tried caloric restriction i can say it was a big disappointment- i didn't slim, but didn't lose libido either.

His conclusion that the Ornish diet [basically identical to the Okinawa diet] is best [for longevity] seems sensible, if unwelcome [it's bland so it must be good for you!]

He criticizes omega3 oils, zinc, and calcium, which is odd, and apparently a contrarian position. Is he right? I wouldn't know: diet is right up there with religion and politics for contentiousness.

Jul 07, 2016

An interesting read on the always trendy topic of what lifestyle and nutrition choices we can make to live long, healthy lives. Turns out it's not simple: we need to make tradeoffs, it can depend on our heritage, and our choices change as we age. The author's impish humour and fearless gastronomic adventures add to the entertainment. Dancing an Argentinian tango in Vietnam? LOL.

Apr 18, 2016

Fascinating. Some of what is in here you already heard about but this author goes into enough depth that it is not repetition to what most of all already know. A bit 'shopping listy' at times. Well recounted and with anecdotes and personal storytelling added in to what otherwise might not be that interesting a topic.


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