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If you read the book Grain Brain, what did you think...

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Perlmutter has build a big empire based on BIG claims on very scant evidence.  Beware

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What Poppy said. Read with a huge grain (ha!) of salt. Google "criticisms of Grain Brain" and read.

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I don't eat a lot of grains but do not believe the Paleo hype. I think like everything what food makes you feel good is individual. I don't feel great eating as many grains as some do, although my digestion is MUCH better after treating my thryoid disease and taking probiotics (research-based after a round of antibiotics).  I think a lot of the issue for some people is that our diets are so high in sugar anyway these days that tons of grains just adds more to it (especially as the grains most people eat are the super duper processed variety). If you enjoy what you are eating and feel good eating it and are healthy don't go looking for trouble. If any of the above are not true I'd work on moving the diet towards more veggies and fruits and fewer processed foods  before jumping on any of these strict diet bandwagons. 

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First, I read the thread title as “What do you think of the book “The Great Brain” and I was all set to expound on the unreliable narrator. Then, I realized what you actually wrote. 

Having not read the book I am, in general, suspicious of ideas which claim one correct and true for all way to health, wealth, happiness, etc. I am doubly suspicious if the author or originator of said idea makes any money from the one true way of life. 

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I'm allergic to wheat, so I was primed to like it, but I thought it was poorly written and poorly researched. There's been plenty of archeological evidence that humans have been eating grains for longer than 100,000 years.

This is from 2009, and I've only heard confirmation since: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/humans-feasting-on-grains-for-at-least-100000-years/

Neanderthals also ate grain: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/people-and-culture/food/the-plate/2015/09/11/ancient-oat-discovery-may-poke-more-holes-in-paleo-diet/

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I have no known issues with grain, however, I wonder if people actually do digest grain better when it has been soaked? And then there is the issue of hybrids. Einkorn flour is marketing their products on the premise that the original - unchanged - grain is usually not causing as many issues. Does anyone have any comments on this?

Soaking grains is suggested in several nutrition books. I am just curious if there is someone who can say: "It's been so much better since I soaked the grain" instead of having to cut it out completely. 

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No clue.  I'll just say whenever I have some health complaint many people suggest I cut out grains.  Thing is, I don't eat grains.  So of course they figure there is something else I should cut out.  At that rate I guess I should stop eating because apparently food is killing me no matter what it is.  LOL

I'm done worrying about it. 

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41 minutes ago, SparklyUnicorn said:

No clue.  I'll just say whenever I have some health complaint many people suggest I cut out grains.  Thing is, I don't eat grains.  So of course they figure there is something else I should cut out.  At that rate I guess I should stop eating because apparently food is killing me no matter what it is.  LOL

I'm done worrying about it. 

 

It's really interesting that in the last 5 years or so, the standard advice for seemingly any ailment is to cut out a food group, or some particular combination of foods.

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10 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

I think it's pseudoscience.  

 

It seems a little suspect to me as well. I am not talking about those who have celiac or just know they feel absolutely better without grain but cutting out grain for just about anything that ails you seems a little overly broad. Generations before us have existed mainly on bread products with seasonal items. Of course, the bread was home baked most likely and perhaps no GMO grain existed back then. Maybe it's more of a "quality of grain" issue than grain itself? Or preparation method, like soaking as I mentioned above?

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18 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

It's really interesting that in the last 5 years or so, the standard advice for seemingly any ailment is to cut out a food group, or some particular combination of foods.


I do focus on low carb mostly because there are so many in my family with diabetes.  Otherwise, I probably would not.  I don't think it's an absolute must for everyone. 

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I read it because we have Alzheimer's in our family and a cousin had read it and believed that his advice would protect her from Alzheimer's. A friend had it and I read it/skimmed parts. It is mostly based on rodent studies. Mice have been "cured" of Mouse Alzheimer's" repeatedly without any carryover to human beings.  So just building such an adamant thesis on mouse studies led me to disregard it. Furthermore, the big epidemiological studies that have been done have shown that whole grains are part of the dietary patterns that do show a reduction  in risk of dementia. Those patterns also promote a lot of vegetables and fruits, nuts, olive oil,and legumes and go light on dairy and meat other than fish. Both the Mediterranean and MIND diets (Mediterranean-DASH intervention for neurodegenerative disesase) have those things in common. This is the book by the actual researcher on the MIND diet: https://www.amazon.com/Diet-MIND-Science-Alzheimers-Cognitive-ebook/dp/B06Y14KQZD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525386083&sr=8-1&keywords=Diet+for+the+MIND

It presents solid scientific data written in a way that is very accessible to a reader without a scientific background. 

If you are interested in brain health, in addition to following one of those diets, other evidence-based lifestyle behaviors include physical exercise , getting at least 7 hours of actual sleep per night (ie  not just being in bed that long but sleeping that long) , avoiding obesity and high blood pressure at midlife,   treating hearing loss right away, refraining from certain categories of anticholinergic drugs, staying socially connected, continuing to stimulate your mind

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1 hour ago, Liz CA said:

 

It seems a little suspect to me as well. I am not talking about those who have celiac or just know they feel absolutely better without grain but cutting out grain for just about anything that ails you seems a little overly broad. Generations before us have existed mainly on bread products with seasonal items. Of course, the bread was home baked most likely and perhaps no GMO grain existed back then. Maybe it's more of a "quality of grain" issue than grain itself? Or preparation method, like soaking as I mentioned above?

There's one researcher (at the University of Washington, I think, but I don't remember exactly and I'm too lazy to Google) who believes at least some of the trouble people think they have with bread may not be due to the grain/gluten but to the rapid rise yeast that's used in most commercial bread nowadays.

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1 hour ago, Pawz4me said:

There's one researcher (at the University of Washington, I think, but I don't remember exactly and I'm too lazy to Google) who believes at least some of the trouble people think they have with bread may not be due to the grain/gluten but to the rapid rise yeast that's used in most commercial bread nowadays.

Or the additives.

I had to cut out commercial bread because of severe intestinal troubles. Pasta is fine, so for me it has nothing to do with wheat or gluten. Home baked bread is fine,as is barley in soups, etc. There is so much stuff in commercial bread, issues can stem from any number of things that are not grain.

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5 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

 

It's really interesting that in the last 5 years or so, the standard advice for seemingly any ailment is to cut out a food group, or some particular combination of foods.

For reals. Another mom told me a couple of years ago, almost like it was a dirty secret, totally whispering it once other moms were out of earshot: "Farrar, I just don't think diet is the cure to all problems."

(PS - I'm glad I was not the only one who initially misread the title as The Great Brain... ah, homeschoolers, my people!)

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I read the book but did not find it convincing, mainly because clearly people have eaten bread daily - “give us this day, our daily bread...” - for millenia. Also, though I have some digestive issues which improve with reduced wheat products, I have never experienced “brain fog.” I didn’t relate to that part at all. 

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6 hours ago, kitten18 said:

I generally think that grains are not good for most people. But, I don’t like Perlmutter. 

 

Why do you think that?

 

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Interesting that this came up because I started watching "The Magic Pill" on Netflix.  Perlmutter is interviewed in the documentary. I appreciate the comments and links here

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50 minutes ago, Quill said:

I read the book but did not find it convincing, mainly because clearly people have eaten bread daily - “give us this day, our daily bread...” - for millenia. 

In certain periods, 80% of consumed calories came from grains.

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My endocrinologist suggested I read it, so  I did.  I found it interesting, but I have hypothyroid and at the time I was creeping towards type 2.  I do try to eat less grain, but I still eat other carbs.  I feel better when I do this.  

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1 hour ago, Mbelle said:

My endocrinologist suggested I read it, so  I did.  I found it interesting, but I have hypothyroid and at the time I was creeping towards type 2.  I do try to eat less grain, but I still eat other carbs.  I feel better when I do this.  

There is a connection between Hashi's(and 90% of hypothyroidism is Hashi's) and Celiacs as they are both auto-immune diseases, although that doesn't mean everyone w/ thyroid disease has it, it is something to keep a look out for. Then you've got these people claiming all these things cross-react to gluten so if your Celiac you have to avoid them to but the "science" is utter crap, one of the prominent Paleo people even put out a retraction of it but you still here many push it.

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22 minutes ago, soror said:

There is a connection between Hashi's(and 90% of hypothyroidism is Hashi's) and Celiacs as they are both auto-immune diseases, although that doesn't mean everyone w/ thyroid disease has it, it is something to keep a look out for. Then you've got these people claiming all these things cross-react to gluten so if your Celiac you have to avoid them to but the "science" is utter crap, one of the prominent Paleo people even put out a retraction of it but you still here many push it.

 

I do not have Hashimoto, but my Dad was diagnosed with celiac 45 years ago when It was almost unknown. He nearly died before they figure it out.  I have had the blood test and it did come back with higher numbers, but I have not gone to a gastro and I should.   

 

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2 hours ago, SparklyUnicorn said:

 

Why do you think that?

 

Mostly because of how much they raise insulin. 

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Something interesting I learned recently which might be quite relevant here:  when wheat is fully grown and ready to harvest, it gets sprayed with massive amounts of herbicide (specifically glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp).  This speeds up the desiccation that must take place before harvesting, so it shortens the amount of time it takes them to harvest the crop.  

And what are the effects on the human body of eating food that's contaminated with glyphosate?  Well, acute effects have been studied, but the effects of small amounts over the long-term have not been extensively studied.  Animal studies have shown that it disrupts the natural gut flora, killing off the good bacteria and leaving the bad to flourish.  And unhealthy gut bacteria doesn't just lead to digestive problems, it's also been linked to obesity, Alzheimer's disease, and a number of other health problems.  

So it may be that the problems that people experience from eating wheat having nothing whatsoever to do with the wheat, but with the herbicides that they're unknowingly eating with the wheat.  And by the way, many oat, corn, bean, and lentil crops are also sprayed with glysophate.  

So the solution might be as simple as eating only organically grown wheat, oats, lentils, etc. that have not been sprayed with glysophate, rather than avoiding those foods entirely, or even soaking, sprouting, or fermenting them.

Edit:  I was WRONG about this!  See plansrme's links below.  Mea culpa.

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16 hours ago, Bluegoat said:

 

It's really interesting that in the last 5 years or so, the standard advice for seemingly any ailment is to cut out a food group, or some particular combination of foods.

 

And then are the people who say "I don't eat food with chemicals". Like, what do they think food is made of?  Magic? The power of anti-science is strong right now.

 

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2 hours ago, soror said:

There is a connection between Hashi's(and 90% of hypothyroidism is Hashi's) and Celiacs as they are both auto-immune diseases, although that doesn't mean everyone w/ thyroid disease has it, it is something to keep a look out for. Then you've got these people claiming all these things cross-react to gluten so if your Celiac you have to avoid them to but the "science" is utter crap, one of the prominent Paleo people even put out a retraction of it but you still here many push it.

Soror - do you have any scientific links that support this?  I have also heard that research proves this out, but if I google info it all seems to be on websites by "doctors" who are selling books or supplements. ?   When I asked the PA at my endo's office about it (I have Hashi and I've been having some increased issues) she said she'd never heard that.

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17 hours ago, Laurie4b said:

I read it because we have Alzheimer's in our family and a cousin had read it and believed that his advice would protect her from Alzheimer's. A friend had it and I read it/skimmed parts. It is mostly based on rodent studies. Mice have been "cured" of Mouse Alzheimer's" repeatedly without any carryover to human beings.  So just building such an adamant thesis on mouse studies led me to disregard it. Furthermore, the big epidemiological studies that have been done have shown that whole grains are part of the dietary patterns that do show a reduction  in risk of dementia. Those patterns also promote a lot of vegetables and fruits, nuts, olive oil,and legumes and go light on dairy and meat other than fish. Both the Mediterranean and MIND diets (Mediterranean-DASH intervention for neurodegenerative disesase) have those things in common. This is the book by the actual researcher on the MIND diet: https://www.amazon.com/Diet-MIND-Science-Alzheimers-Cognitive-ebook/dp/B06Y14KQZD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525386083&sr=8-1&keywords=Diet+for+the+MIND

It presents solid scientific data written in a way that is very accessible to a reader without a scientific background. 

If you are interested in brain health, in addition to following one of those diets, other evidence-based lifestyle behaviors include physical exercise , getting at least 7 hours of actual sleep per night (ie  not just being in bed that long but sleeping that long) , avoiding obesity and high blood pressure at midlife,   treating hearing loss right away, refraining from certain categories of anticholinergic drugs, staying socially connected, continuing to stimulate your mind

 

This seems to be what you see with a lot of the fad diet books.  Someone has taken some very lab-centered work, and applied it in a very direct way to human diet.  Like, you feed a bunch of mice crazy amounts of whey and they get cancer, obviously milk is bad for you!  Sometimes it's even more abstract than that, it's just based on some chemical reaction seen in a lab environment.

I used to think they were stupid scientists doing this, but now I am cynical and inclined to think they are willing to pull in anything if they can write a hit diet book based on it.

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1 hour ago, poppy said:

 

And then are the people who say "I don't eat food with chemicals". Like, what do they think food is made of?  Magic? The power of anti-science is strong right now.

 

 

I think this is mainly vernacular for "I try not to eat anything grown with pesticides."

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40 minutes ago, PrincessMommy said:

Soror - do you have any scientific links that support this?  I have also heard that research proves this out, but if I google info it all seems to be on websites by "doctors" who are selling books or supplements. ?   When I asked the PA at my endo's office about it (I have Hashi and I've been having some increased issues) she said she'd never heard that.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2111403/

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/110310p52.shtml

It seems there is a divide amont Endo's plenty do know the connection but plenty don't. With autoimmune diseases once you have one you are more likely to develop multiple ones. But the thing is too a lot of dr's don't even test for antibodies to determine whether or not thyroid disease is auto-immune in nature because they think it doesn't matter. 

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Just now, Liz CA said:

 

I think this is mainly vernacular for "I try not to eat anything grown with pesticides."

 

That, and also I think what I think of as "constructed food".  Like, you take the stinky glandular fluid of a beaver and move a few molecules around, and now it tastes like oranges or something and you can add it to your flavourless orange extract.  My best-friend's mom when I was a kid worked in an industrial food lab at one time, and while some was pretty benign, some was not what I'd normally think of as food.

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31 minutes ago, Liz CA said:

 

I think this is mainly vernacular for "I try not to eat anything grown with pesticides."

Not necessarily. Many people think if you can't pronounce the ingredient you shouldn't eat it. An extreme example would be Food Babe, who has no idea what she's talking about. 

The thing is, since all food is made of chemicals, some of them will be at least somewhat difficult to pronounce. 

The whole "I don't eat chemicals" fad is just silly.

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31 minutes ago, Liz CA said:

I think this is mainly vernacular for "I try not to eat anything grown with pesticides."

Often those people are not aware that organic agriculture also uses  pesticides, including several synthetic ones.

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4 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Then those people are not aware that organic agriculture also uses  pesticides, including several synthetic ones.

And not necessarily harmless or less impactful on the environment. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/httpblogsscientificamericancomscience-sushi20110718mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture/

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2 hours ago, Greta said:

Something interesting I learned recently which might be quite relevant here:  when wheat is fully grown and ready to harvest, it gets sprayed with massive amounts of herbicide (specifically glyphosate, the active ingredient in RoundUp).  This speeds up the desiccation that must take place before harvesting, so it shortens the amount of time it takes them to harvest the crop.  

And what are the effects on the human body of eating food that's contaminated with glyphosate?  Well, acute effects have been studied, but the effects of small amounts over the long-term have not been extensively studied.  Animal studies have shown that it disrupts the natural gut flora, killing off the good bacteria and leaving the bad to flourish.  And unhealthy gut bacteria doesn't just lead to digestive problems, it's also been linked to obesity, Alzheimer's disease, and a number of other health problems.  

So it may be that the problems that people experience from eating wheat having nothing whatsoever to do with the wheat, but with the herbicides that they're unknowingly eating with the wheat.  And by the way, many oat, corn, bean, and lentil crops are also sprayed with glysophate.  

So the solution might be as simple as eating only organically grown wheat, oats, lentils, etc. that have not been sprayed with glysophate, rather than avoiding those foods entirely, or even soaking, sprouting, or fermenting them.

 

This is not true.  http://kswheat.com/the-truth-about-roundup-and-wheat-support-material

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/grain-of-truth/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jenny-dewey-rohrich/the-truth-about-toxic-wheat_b_6180498.html

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3 hours ago, regentrude said:

Often those people are not aware that organic agriculture also uses  pesticides, including several synthetic ones.

 

Yes, which is the biggest sham with organic labeling.  Drives me bonkers. 

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5 hours ago, plansrme said:

 

Well, darnit, I hate it when I inadvertently pass along misinformation!  Gah!  Thank you for the links.

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On 5/3/2018 at 6:24 PM, Laurie4b said:

I read it because we have Alzheimer's in our family and a cousin had read it and believed that his advice would protect her from Alzheimer's. A friend had it and I read it/skimmed parts. It is mostly based on rodent studies. Mice have been "cured" of Mouse Alzheimer's" repeatedly without any carryover to human beings.  So just building such an adamant thesis on mouse studies led me to disregard it. Furthermore, the big epidemiological studies that have been done have shown that whole grains are part of the dietary patterns that do show a reduction  in risk of dementia. Those patterns also promote a lot of vegetables and fruits, nuts, olive oil,and legumes and go light on dairy and meat other than fish. Both the Mediterranean and MIND diets (Mediterranean-DASH intervention for neurodegenerative disesase) have those things in common. This is the book by the actual researcher on the MIND diet: https://www.amazon.com/Diet-MIND-Science-Alzheimers-Cognitive-ebook/dp/B06Y14KQZD/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525386083&sr=8-1&keywords=Diet+for+the+MIND

It presents solid scientific data written in a way that is very accessible to a reader without a scientific background. 

If you are interested in brain health, in addition to following one of those diets, other evidence-based lifestyle behaviors include physical exercise , getting at least 7 hours of actual sleep per night (ie  not just being in bed that long but sleeping that long) , avoiding obesity and high blood pressure at midlife,   treating hearing loss right away, refraining from certain categories of anticholinergic drugs, staying socially connected, continuing to stimulate your mind

 

I've heard Alzheimer's referred to as type 3 diabetes.  Don't know if there is any truth to that, but yep.

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On 5/4/2018 at 7:19 AM, regentrude said:

In certain periods, 80% of consumed calories came from grains.

I think the question is then..what was their health like? Life expectancy? Etc? (no answers, just asking questions, lol. But I believe the premise is that health deteriorated once people became agricultural and started eating grains.)

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39 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

I think the question is then..what was their health like? Life expectancy? Etc? (no answers, just asking questions, lol. But I believe the premise is that health deteriorated once people became agricultural and started eating grains.)

 

That's what they claim, but really, how could they possibly really know that?  

Even dogs are adapted to eat more grains than wolves.

I am thinking maybe of writing a book saying that we should absorb all our food through our skin, like our cellular ancestors.

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On 5/4/2018 at 7:19 AM, regentrude said:

In certain periods, 80% of consumed calories came from grains.

 

5 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

That's what they claim, but really, how could they possibly really know that?  

Even dogs are adapted to eat more grains than wolves.

I am thinking maybe of writing a book saying that we should absorb all our food through our skin, like our cellular ancestors.

I'm thinking that should be fairly possible to tell from fossilized skeletal remains? As far as health, age at death, etc.

That said, i ate processed sugary cookies today with my afternoon coffee and enjoyed them immensely. 

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6 minutes ago, Bluegoat said:

 

That's what they claim, but really, how could they possibly really know that?  

Even dogs are adapted to eat more grains than wolves.

I am thinking maybe of writing a book saying that we should absorb all our food through our skin, like our cellular ancestors.

LOL!! You'll make millions and be a Youtube star!  

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13 minutes ago, Rosie_0801 said:

People were eating grains long before agriculture. 

Truth. Although I imagine the percentage of diet changed over time as agriculture flourished. But agriculture also impacted humans in other ways, including larger groups so more disease spread, etc I'd bet 

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18 minutes ago, Ktgrok said:

Truth. Although I imagine the percentage of diet changed over time as agriculture flourished. But agriculture also impacted humans in other ways, including larger groups so more disease spread, etc I'd bet 

and it also gave humanity better food security, the ability to settle, and a food surplus that freed up part of the population to do other things than acquire food .

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12 hours ago, regentrude said:

and it also gave humanity better food security, the ability to settle, and a food surplus that freed up part of the population to do other things than acquire food .

Yes. It allowed art, philosophy, science, etc. to emerge. When people didn't have to constantly worry about food they could use those big mammal brains for other things.

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13 hours ago, regentrude said:

and it also gave humanity better food security, the ability to settle, and a food surplus that freed up part of the population to do other things than acquire food .

 

1 hour ago, Lady Florida. said:

Yes. It allowed art, philosophy, science, etc. to emerge. When people didn't have to constantly worry about food they could use those big mammal brains for other things.

Oh, absolutely! I have no desire to return to a hunter gatherer existence. I'm just saying that IF life expectancy shortened, there could be other factors, like easier spread of disease, that caused it, not just shift in diet. 

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