According to Conrad

[The German people] do not engage in arable farming; milk, cheese and meat form the greater part of their nourishment

Julius Ceaser (quoted in Walker 2003)

Two scary graphs

| Scary Figure 1

The graph above plots one genetic marker for adaption to wheat. A common misconception is that such analysis demonstrates that we have, at least largely, adapted to eating wheat?' What it actually shows is that we are still in the process of adaption. Clearly it will take far more that 6000 years to get the frequency close to zero. Another common misconception is that the process of adapting is good: it is not (even if being fully adapted can be). Adaptation occurs through survival of the fittest. In other words, for a population to adapt to wheat, wheat must kill the unadapted, or at least reduce their rate of successful reproduction. The process is clearing still occurring. Further, this graph is for just one marker of adaption - given the complexity of both us and wheat, it is unlikely to be the only one - consider the current rise in gluten sensitivity. Graph from Cordain 1999.

| Scary Figure 2

The graph above is easier to interpret, but just as scary. It says that tinkering at the edge of the Western diet is only tinkering at the edge of our health: freedom from Western diseases is possible, but clearly takes more than becoming 'low risk' according to some public health measure. if you want health rather than conformity, you have to change your diet radically from the Western norm. Graph from Lindberg 2010.

(There are a few more scary graphs here)

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Page last modified on March 14, 2014, at 08:34 PM