Primitive Diets

by Leisa on February 14, 2009

I thought this was a good post from a couple who write regularly about raw food:

Primitive Foods: Not Always Ideal?
Last night we were over at Justin’s parent’s house, and right before we left we decided to turn on the television for a few minutes.

The Travel Channel was on. The show that was in progress was featuring a tribe from somewhere in South America.

We were immediately fascinated because at the moment we turned on the TV they were showing the tribe foraging for dark berries. One of us thought that the berries might be related to açaí. As we watched we found out that supposedly these berries are poisonous unless boiled for 24 hours. Ok. Those berries are obviously NOT açaí. We kept watching.

Next the camera crew showed us how the tribe grew manioc root. Like the berries, manioc root is also poisonous. To make it edible this tribe squeezes out the juice from inside the tuber, and dry the pulp in the sun until it becomes a flour. This stuff is definitely NOT maca. We kept watching.

For their protein this tribe hunts for fish. The fish were incredibly small, about the size of a big goldfish.

According to this show, these three things were the staples of this tribe’s diet.

Over the past year JS and I have been researching the material by Dr. Weston Price, a dentist from the early 20th Century who went all over the world in search of what various cultures ate, and how their food affected their bone, jaw, and tooth structure.

The tribe we saw on TV last night is a far cry from Weston Price’s examples of beautiful straight teeth. Everyone we saw in this tribe had very crooked teeth, and even crooked gums and jaws.

What we found even more disturbing was that the children truly appeared malnourished, with distended stomachs. All of the adults looked like overweight Americans, only since they were naked they had no tan lines, and the color of their skin looked incredibly sunburnt.

From what we could tell from this TV show, this tribe eats 0% raw food. Zero. Every plant in this tribe’s environment appears to be poisonous and needs to be cooked.

What’s the Lesson Here?

There is no lesson, but it really got both of us thinking about what is the natural diet for humans. If you look into Weston Price material, you will see that all the various cultures he studied ate very differently from one another depending on their geographic location.

And that is why it seems that perhaps there is no “one size fits all” kind of diet for anyone. Including raw food.

Especially for raw food.

I’m feeling very thankful for all the foods I have around me. And as wild foraging season is about to begin here in our neck of the woods in Minnesota, I am looking forward for foraging for berries… and not worrying about boiling them for 24 hours.



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