This sounds plausible enough, right? Humans became human, as it were, with the emergence 1.8m years ago of a species called Homo erectus. This had a skeleton much like modern man’s—a big, brain-filled skull and a narrow pelvis and rib cage, which imply a small abdomen and thus a small gut. Hitherto, the explanation for this shift from the smaller skulls and wider pelvises of man’s apelike ancestors has been a shift from a vegetable-based diet to a meat-based one. Meat has more calories than plant matter, the theory went. A smaller gut could therefore support a larger brain. So far, so good? Well, via a commenter on Art’s private blog who called attention to this article in The Economist, maybe not. What’s Cooking? – The evolutionary role of cookery. And, so… Dr Wrangham disagrees. When you do the sums, he argues, raw meat is still insufficient to bridge the gap. He points out that even modern “raw foodists”, members of a town-dwelling, back-to-nature social movement, struggle to maintain their weight—and they have access to animals and plants that have been bred for the table. Pre-agricultural man confined to raw food would have starved. Start cooking, however, and things change…
Entries from March 2009
March 1st, 2009 · 18 Comments · Politics & Culture
March 2nd, 2009 · 4 Comments · Health & Fitness
I got this abstract from the Archives of Internal Medicine, courtesy of several readers last week (along with related articles), so thanks to one and all. ~~~ Background Recent studies suggest a role for vitamin D in innate immunity, including the prevention of respiratory tract infections (RTIs). We hypothesize that serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels are inversely associated with self-reported recent upper RTI (URTI). Methods We performed a secondary analysis of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a probability survey of the US population conducted between 1988 and 1994. We examined the association between 25(OH)D level and recent URTI in 18 883 participants 12 years and older. The analysis adjusted for demographics and clinical factors (season, body mass index, smoking history, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Results The median serum 25(OH)D level was 29 ng/mL (to convert to nanomoles per liter, multiply by 2.496) (interquartile range, 21-37 ng/mL), and 19% (95% confidence interval [CI], 18%-20%) of participants reported a recent URTI. Recent URTI was reported by 24% of participants with 25(OH)D levels less than 10 ng/mL, by 20% with levels of 10 to less than 30 ng/mL, and by 17% with levels of 30 ng/mL or more…
March 2nd, 2009 · 7 Comments · Health & Fitness
Think you know? Strawberry soft serve, perhaps? It’s mechanically separated chicken, step one in making chicken nuggets. Yum. (HT: Mark and this guy)
March 2nd, 2009 · 50 Comments · Health & Fitness
Big ebook fan for a while, now. I got the Sony a few years back, upgraded to the newer 505 model, but ultimately didn’t like having to use the computer and software interface to buy books (plus, Sony refuses to make a Mac version of it, and since my never-to-look-back switchover, I hated having use Windows, even on my cherished MacBook Pro). So, a few months ago I got the Kindle, and just last week, the new Kindle 2. Big hardware improvement. However, there is a drawback, which gets to the point of this post: you can no longer throw a book across the room, which is what I wanted to do last night — yet again — in my love / hate relationship with Loren Cordain’s book, The Paleo Diet. What I do love about it is the fundamentals, the principles: evolutionary biology, and pretty solid research into what foods our Paleolithic ancestors would have eaten, and hence, what we would be most genetically adapted to eating ourselves. What I hate about it is how, when politically convenient, Cordain seems perfectly willing to violate his principles. Skinless white meat chicken, lean meats only, trim the fat, lose the salt,…
March 2nd, 2009 · 6 Comments · Recipes
Just a 24-hour fast, today (family invited us out last night, sabotaging plans for a 36-hr). Very quick: Wild caught Salmon, poached in coconut milk with lots of dill (no such thing as too much), some celery seed; and fresh lemon, tangerine, and lime. The side is roasted eggplant and squash.
March 3rd, 2009 · 2 Comments · Health & Fitness
Well, Kristen was nice enough to go to the (no small) task of sponsoring this little drawing, thoughtful enough to email me about it, and so no way I’m going to pass on the chance to let readers know. Details here. Thanks, Kristen.
March 3rd, 2009 · 4 Comments · Health & Fitness
Reader Bryan emailed this last night. At first, I thought it was going to be a story of someone who went the standard ADA & drug company-partnership route, to gradually get people to pop more Metformin, Glucophage, et al, until that glorious day when the pill alone is insufficient and they have to start on the needle. Then, of course, the gentleman in this video — not to be anyone’s fool — would get on the internet — maybe he joins Dr. Bernstein’s forum and leans from other enlightened T2s — educate himself, and finally tell the ADA and the drug companies to go prey on someone else. He cures his own T2, as thousands have done via high fat, low carb diets, takes off a bunch of weight, and lives happily ever after. Bzzzzt! Clue number one? He’s still obese and sporting the classic visceral belly fat that’s so strongly associated with heart attack and death in men (GOINSULIN!). Now, here you go, parts two and three, each about two minutes. Part two is: Greg’s Triumph: Overcoming Insulin and Diabetes Fears. No, he didn’t triumph over a condition that’s curable for almost all T2s; he “triumphed” over his rational…