Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Inaugural Post

Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is the first ever post from Escape the Herd. Welcome and thank you for reading. Myself (Chuck P) and a good friend (Don J) (edit, Don is no longer posting) will be posting information on evolutionary health. What is evolutionary health? Essentially it is the theory that in order to achieve and maintain optimal health we need to eat like our ancestors ate. This practice is not just a "theory". It has been studied by thousands and adopted by millions. It makes sense to so many because it is so simple. You can eat what animals you can kill and you can eat whatever plant you can eat right after picking with the caveat that they were foods that cavemen ate.

Let's get this out in the open, our posts will be based on knowledge gained from reading we have done (we do a LOT of reading on this subject). We are not scientists or doctors, although many of the research we read is done by scientists and doctors. Our philosophy of eating like our ancestors is not new. It has been around for a long time but every day modern society is dangerously further away from eating like our ancestors.

Before the agricultural revolution of the last 10,000 years, our ancestors had very little means to process their foods. What ever they could kill or whatever they could harvest, they ate that directly. They were amazingly keen enough to avoid foods they knew made them sick. This avoidance was learned and passed down over generations. One example, grass seeds, were avoided because they caused severe gastric distress. Today grass seeds, in the form of wheat, are processed, made palatable, and eaten in abundance (but the stuff that make humans sick is still in the wheat products). Some have an immediate reaction to wheat, others have more delayed reactions in the form of autoimmune diseases developed over years (rheumatoid, celiac, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, etc.).

Unfortunately, the last 10,000 years which we have lived in the agricultural revolution has been only a drop in the bucket in relation to the 2.33 million years of the evolution of our species. For demonstration purposes, imagine that the evolution of man were to be spaced out over 365 days or 8,760 hours. The agricultural revolution in which grains were refined to be eaten and more recently consumption of vegetable oils and grain fed animals became popular, this time would only represent the last 38 HOURS in the entire 8,760 hours days of the evolution of our species. Not nearly long enough for our to bodies adapt to eat things we did not eat in the previous 8,722 hours.

That is why we believe we should eat a diet based on meats, vegetables, nuts, and fruits. It is the most logical if you were to be truly objective. Is it really healthier to take out natural foods and replace them with new, processed foods our body does not have the ability to tolerate in the long term??? Visit primitive tribes living a primitive lifestyle today and you will see zero or EXTREMELY rare cases of obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These are all diseases that plague modern societies and are on the rise despite the continued advocation of a supposedly healthy low fat, high carbohydrate diet built on the highly processed foods our bodies do not recognize.

Just for a moment, step back, look around at our population and tell me if we are getting healthier. Despite the myriad of diets and medications, as a whole we are getting sicker. Hopefully what you read here will help you open your mind to the possibility that what we have been told to eat is in fact not what is best for our health.



Marty said...

I agree CP and think lack of exercise is the other leading cause of the conditions you list. During the "previous 8,722 hours" we were all probably walking a lot more and burning a lot more calories. I read an article about the extreme longevity of Mediterranean goat herders with a diet rich in olive oil. Many people read this and started eating olive oil - not focusing on the fact that they walked for 8-10 hours a day up and down hills.
Looking forward to more posts!

Chuck said...

You're right about the movement of our ancestors. Most of the time they walked and sprinted when needed. Exercise did not exist, that was called survival.

Lee said...

I am starting to come around Charles...looking forward to reading more.

Chuck said...

Keep an open mind and you might get blown away.