Wealhtheow's Reviews > Evolution of the Human Diet: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable

Evolution of the Human Diet by Peter S. Ungar
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May 05, 2010

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bookshelves: non-fiction, historical, food
Read on May 05, 2010

I mostly skimmed this overview of early hominids and how they ate. Basically, increased food sources (mostly in the form of energy and amino-acid-rich animal proteins) means increased brain size. Also, current Western modes of eating are mismatched to what we actually need, obviously enough. I never wanted to be Indiana Jones, so the analysis of *how* archaelogists made their discoveries was a bit boring to me. Far more interesting to me was Table 19.4, "Historical and Industrial Era Food-Type Introductions" which lays this out:
Refined sugar (sucrose) 500BC, according to Galloway (2000)
Distilled alcoholic beverages 800-1300AD, according to Comer(2000)
Refined sugar (widely available) 1800AD, according to Ziegler (1967)
Fatty, feedlot-produced meats ~1860AD, according to Whitaker (1975)
Refined grains (widely available) ~1880AD, say Storck and Teague (1952)
Hydrogenated vegetable fats 1897AD, according to Emken (1984)
Vegetable oils (widely available) 1910AD, say Gerrior and Bente (2002)
High-fructose corn syrup ~1970sAD, according toHanover and White (1993)

Food history ftw! Also, this book exposed me to the word "retrojection", which I intend to use daily from now on.
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