Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Food and Anthropology

For the latest edition of the Four Stone Hearth, there will be a food theme, so I thought I'd post some issues/questions that I have regarding food and anthropology:
  • To what extent did our ancestors eat a diet high in carbohydrates and sugar?
  • What is the significance of this regarding the prevalence of diabetes today? and how does this relate to the population differences in diabetes?
  • To what extent did marine foods contribute to our increase in brain size?
  • What's the deal with mannose and other sugars that degrade once vegatables and fruits are ripped from their plants or from their roots, but are supposedly vitally important, and lacking in our diet?
  • Does calorie restriction extend lifespan in humans? I don't think we'll know this "for sure" for several years.
  • Is a high protein diet healthy for humans? Did our ancestors consume a high protein diet?
  • What does the "optimal foraging strategy" consist of in today's modern environments? How might this differ between different SES levels and between different cultures?


Joe Pickrell said...

is there evidence that marine foods contribute to an increase in brain size?

Yann Klimentidis said...

I'm not so sure about actual brain size, but marine foods do have essential fatty acids that are highly beneficial for brain development and function. so, in fantasy world, it would be cool to test the null hypothesis that we were able to develop large efficient brains without any marine foods whatsoever.

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