“Some hunter-gatherer(HG) groups ate plant dominated diets – others ate more animal foods than plant foods. However, the foods consumed over time always fall within certain nutritional constraints which humans have adapted to thrive upon … our evolutionary nutrition.”
It is inspirational and important to see such a practical application of evolution. It has already exhibited tremendous benefits to early adopters in reducing illness, pain and suffering. Furthermore, just as it took time for the Copernican Theory to have practical applications to help humans (e.g., space flight), one might expect Evolutionary Theory to have similar delayed timing in regards to some practical application from it.
I am claiming that this is important precisely because it is the first practical application of evolution. It is derived from understanding human nutrition within our evolutionary context. It offers a new plateau for human health and vitality. The evidences are accumulating, and I am confident (as are others) that it truly will, at some point in the future become the new governing paradigm for human nutrition. To my knowledge, the connection was first suggested in 1967 by Dr. John Yudkin. Please comment below if you know an earlier peer reviewed publication or academic-oriented book. Dr. Weston Price was researching/writing earlier, but to my knowledge he never mentioned evolution.
I suggest it is most appropriately encapsulated as: “The Theory of Evolutionary Nutrition“. Just like at the beginning of the The Copernican Theory, The Theory of Plate Tectonics, and Evolutionary Theory – it is controversial but the evidence is accumulating at a fast and exciting pace (for those paying attention). Many people are benefiting … and adding to the incredible success stories (see the most popular blogs’/websites’ plethora of success stories noted in a previous post). There is often cherry-picking-opposition, convoluted thinking, partial understanding and/or disdain in the mass media and general nutrition field. Then, of course,there are always those, too – who don’t know what “theory” means in science.
For those who don’t know, a scientific “theory” means much more than a “fact”. It is a set of facts that are so many and so consistent – that they create a comprehensive explanation of an important feature of nature. The theory is then supported by more and more facts that continue to be gathered over time. It must be falsifiable, and this one certainly is; however, in the process of paradigm shift we are likely to have multiple “Piltdown Man” scenarios. These are shallow attempts at showing the theory as falsified or very questionable.
One of the most recent ones is a suggestion by science writers in the mass media that there is evidence that early man had a demonstrable dietary shift to grasses as a major component of foodstuffs. It is a ridiculous and irresponsible assertion sent to an unsuspecting pubic. Professor Loren Cordain takes them to task here on his wonderful web blog and site. Our saving grace on this Piltdown-like attack is the peer reviewed articles the science writers were referring to made no such claims. Expect more such attacks, because certain parts of the food and pharmaceutical industries, and even parts of academia, will feel very threatened when evolutionary nutrition starts becoming popular (or should I say even more popular!).
The good news is … taken together these situations bode very well as signs that we have discovered a new paradigm in science (see Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions for more details on the unusually slow and arduous and process). What one would expect in such a revolution is that now data, studies, facts, and examples will continue to accumulate … and at some point in the future be so robust as to finally overtake controversy and the more traditional paradigm.
The bad news is … this most often takes several generations! Ugh … the obstacles and obstinacy are unfortunately familiar to those of us espousing this elegant way to health.
Think of it as the ultimate “natural diet” – which includes in its consideration our history and prehistory of eating, not just all foods available in the natural world. Some foods in nature are poison or demonstrably sub optimal for certain species. This applies to all living organisms. Read what I think is a good synopsis of the foods that are compliant for humans at the Evolution Diet Chronicles.