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Extinct Species of Early Human Survived On Grass Bulbs, Not Meat 318

Philip Ross writes "Fresh analysis of an extinct relative of humans suggests our ancient ancestors dined primarily on tiger nuts, which are edible grass bulbs, settling a discrepancy over what made up prehistoric diets. According to a new study published in the journal PLOS One, the strong-jawed ancient hominin known as Paranthropus boisei, nicknamed 'Nutcracker Man,' which roamed East Africa between 2.4 million and 1.4 million years ago, survived on a diet scientists previously thought implausible."
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Extinct Species of Early Human Survived On Grass Bulbs, Not Meat

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  • by KingOfBLASH ( 620432 ) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @11:25AM (#45931997) Journal

    You should do some more research into the Paleo diet before posting such nonsense.

    Most of it is about avoiding foods that your ancestors 100 years ago, and perhaps 10,000 years ago would not define as food (depending on how strict you are).

    Highly processed foods (e.g. twinkies) very rarely end up being healthy for you, and often contain ingredients your body has not evolved to digest. Case in point: high fructose corn syrup. The pathway for your body to get rid of it involves directly converting it into fat in your liver. Burn enough fat you may be OK eating that twinkie, but in general, it's healthier to avoid.

    In addition, there are more strict versions of paleo that avoid things like pasta and bread because, while perhaps not as bad for you as a twinkie, there is some evidence that it's not processed by your body as efficiently as meats and veggies.

    The interesting thing is if you actually read a book on Paleo they'll point out the grey areas. For instance, we evolved to drink milk some 100,000 years ago. Depending on your background, you may be more or less able to handle milk.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 12, 2014 @11:49AM (#45932081)

    humans did not evolve to be vegetarians is a nonsense statement. evolution implies there is no intent.

    [citation needed] on the supplements.

    i've been a vegetarian for 26 years. i do not take supplements. for many years i biked up to 100 miles a day, including a 3100 mile month. now it could be, i'm a stan lee superhuman, but i doubt it.

    my personal suspicion is that like other areas in dietary research, there's a lot of self-affirming bullshit floating around.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 12, 2014 @12:16PM (#45932219)

    "Not evolved to digest". Appeal to nature fallacy! []

    Also please stop using computers. Man's eyes were not evolved to read computer screens and mankind's fingers were not evolved to used keyboards.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Sunday January 12, 2014 @12:53PM (#45932385) Homepage Journal

    I sit in front of my computer all day, too, but I've never had a weight problem. If anything, I have a problem keeping it on. Of course, I drink water all day rather than soda, and when I eat at a restaurant I usually take half the meal home because it's just way too much food.

    As to the anonymous idiot you responded to who said "Man's eyes were not evolved to read computer screens and mankind's fingers were not evolved to used keyboards," what a moron. Computer screens and keyboards were designed to work with the fingers and eyes we evolved. HFCS wasn't.

  • by KingOfBLASH ( 620432 ) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @01:03PM (#45932457) Journal

    No, actually not. The paleo diet stresses it's not just eating meat that's healthy, but healthy cuts of meat.

    Our ancestors would have slaughtered and killed a buffalo that had spent it's days running around all the time.

    Modern humans eat a cow that's been force fed grain to make it fatter.

    One is healthier then the other. And certainly eating grass fed beef is both delicious and more healthy.

    The problem (and the reason I am no longer paleo) is the difficulty it really is to be "healthy." Pretty much if you're not rich you're fucked. And forget about going out to a restaurant and getting something to eat.

  • by dugancent ( 2616577 ) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @01:12PM (#45932511)

    True. My girlfriend is vegan and she takes B12 supplements, which is fine by me. The way I see it, it's much more environmentally friendly to produce a B12 tablet then it is to grow, slaughter and cook an animal.

  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Sunday January 12, 2014 @04:27PM (#45933575) Journal

    57 million people died during WWII, yet the Earth finished it with 20 million more people than it started with.

  • by cusco ( 717999 ) <> on Sunday January 12, 2014 @09:18PM (#45935175)

    Go stand in the sun near the equator for an hour, or run through elephant grass, or move through a thicket, and then tell me if you're still of the same opinion. Clothes are not only for the cold.

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