Thursday, July 24, 2014

it's not WHAT so much as HOW

All it takes is a title, sometimes, to set me off....

Those people pushing the boundaries of what "everyone should eat" may have part of their story right, but as usual there are a lot of loose ends fluttering in the breeze.  Yes, our free-living ancestors ate plant material when available and convenient.  But they weren't eating it the way most modern folks do.

From "tubers are okay" to "pan-fried in nut oil" is a big jump.  Do we sun-dry and ferment our potatoes?  Of course not (we probably wouldn't like them if we did).  But that's how Andean potato-eaters were doing it, and apparently thriving.

The vast majority of Americans (i haven't sufficient knowledge of everyday practices to indict preparation techniques elsewhere), even if they DO cook their own legumes from dry instead of just buying them in cans, more often than not only soak them overnight, or use the quick-soak method.  Softening -- that's the reason to soak beans, isn't it?  HAhahahahaha....

When it comes to subsistence vegetable foods containing protein, HOW they're prepared is absolutely critical.  If you say "legumes are okay" you HAVE to append that statement with "when you soak them to the point that they're beginning to ferment, because if you don't you're not only NOT getting the food-value you expect from them, you're also robbing your body of the nutrients in the other things you eat alongside."

I just don't understand the drive to get people to eat second-class forms of nutrition!  Beans and potatoes really don't taste good enough to be worth the bother!  They're useful as hell if you're in a survival situation, but my friends and i ain't THERE (yet).

The message seems to be coming from individuals who have gone out of their way to diversify their gut-bugs, and they're intent on feeding them.  I strongly suspect that "a good microbiome" is a SYMPTOM of health, not a determiner of it -- despite what happens when you put skinny-mouse bacteria into fat mice.  Just as obesity and naturally-occurring hypothyroidism are symptoms of malnutrition and energy misappropriation -- causality and DIRECTION-of-causality are sometimes tangled.

If i can get liver and oysters and lamb-chops, why the hell should i waste my appetite on BEANS?  Especially as we get older -- we have less appetite and less power to digest!  What we SHOULD eat for well-being are easily-absorbed nutritional powerhouses, not the scratching-the-bottom-of-the-vitamin/protein/mineral-barrel foods that fatten and bloat and promote inflammation.  Soaring blood-sugar and insulin spikes?  They may not be harmful in isolation ... but YOU can have them, not me.

Now, in the case of people who need to make the most of their food dollar, as we discussed yesterday, beans and potatoes are far-and-away better choices than the day-old-baked-goods aisle.  For conscientious vegetarians who don't care about the small animals that are killed in wheat-fields as much as cows, chickens and pigs, tubers and legumes are better than tofu, too.  And you can't beat a well-prepared Cajun-style red-beans-and-rice either, every once in awhile.  But all things equal (tolerance-wise), to go for the latter instead of the mussels in home-made tomato broth?  Insane.  ;-)

One could make an argument for all kinds of modern foods being "paleo" in character -- it means NOTHING.  Paleo is only a template for a healthy lifestyle that omits modern practices and foodstuffs which are KNOWN to be deleterious, like staying up half the night watching television, and eating things that require processing which destroys food value.  This is why nut-flour-based desserts really aren't "paleo" even if they only contain nuts, eggs, honey and natural flavorings -- they've violated the healthy spirit of the game if you eat them EVERY SINGLE DAY....

So YES, tubers and legumes are ancient foods, just like the nuts, eggs and honey of my example.  BUT THEY ALL HAVE TO BE EATEN IN CONTEXT.  If YOUR digestion can stand them, they're potentially nourishing.  BUT....

All vegetables "are trying to kill us," as they say.  Some people are killed more easily than others.  For the hard-to-kill to insist more delicate constitutions emulate them is self-aggrandizement, hubris and selfishness.  It's exactly like lactase-persistent people advocating milk-drinking in people who don't have the genes for it.  Like celiac people being told they just have to take their RS, and they'll be fine -- bread is the staff of life, after all.  ...EXACTLY.

 Like others before me, i find the "paleo" part of my blog-title to be misleading to others, and containing unintended connotations.  I'm too stubborn to change it, though, and i'll persistently defend the concept of non-NADism.  "Is it paleo/primal?" however, is a question not worth asking.  Say, rather, is it non-NAD -- the LAST thing i should eat regularly are the Neolithic Agents of Disease.

13 comments:

  1. I am sure eatable plants are paleo because humans are very opportunistic omnivores. However, it may be useful to imagine yourself living in some natural preserve close to your area and to try to make a mental list of eatable foods you may use to support your life year round. Good luck to collect a lot of legumes or tubers in a wild area even during right seazon.

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    1. it's true -- a lot of people seem to think there were edible plants and fruits all around, especially in the jungles, but people who live there say otherwise. i know certain tribes on this continent used to dig tubers in the right season, but it's not as though there were ACRES of them -- just pockets of growth in the right ecosystems. and i'm not familiar with ANY wild legumes: anybody else?

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  2. Hi Tess

    "If i can get liver and oysters and lamb-chops, why the hell should i waste my appetite on BEANS?"

    Don't forget steak, lobsters, scallops, salmon and rainbow trout. I'm saving the BEANS for when I get poor, very poor Ha Ha

    Kind regards Eddie

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    1. oh, i NEVER forget the steak, lobster, etc! ;-) though i must admit to enjoying a small bowl of borracho bean soup in the winter, at our favorite Mexican restaurants....

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  3. I just left a comment that ended, "Enjoy your flatulence!"

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    1. where's that "like" button?!! :-D

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  4. Ha ha...I'm with Eddie! I don't eat that other stuff because the yummier food takes up all the room in my tummy. Besides I was a VEGAN once that will cure you of potatoes and beans if anything will.

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    1. you and EB are stronger than i am! i tried vegetarianism for about a year back in the '90s, but i never could give up seafood. :-) i'm glad i came back to the meaty side!

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  5. Beans, beans the toot-ie fruit.. you know what we used to sing. All the foods that I hated as a kid, I hated because it made me feel sick... beans, fish, potatoes... I can't eat a single one of those now- big side effects.

    I notice that I feel good after eating from my proven food template. Yes, I could probably tolerate rice and soy (beans/corn, too) in an economic down turn or on a long trip to far away places.

    Hmmmm. Shellfish...

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    1. exactly why each of us has to eat a personalized diet -- different foods just make us feel good or bad dependent upon SO many variables!

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  6. Well food tonight is smoked mackerel served with a good salad variety, accompanied by a glass of white wine (might be two glasses - don't tell anybody lol)

    BEANS no.

    All the best Jan

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  7. I loved Wooo's expression of "peasant food". We are surrounded by these wonderful meats and high protein foods that people in other countries cannot afford or have no access to, and yet they stuff themselves instead on corn/sugar/salt/fake oil out of plastic bags, fried taters, rice, thick pasta. Don't even get me started on the ancient grains and the exorbitant prices they charge - give me the steak any day.

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