Early Meat-Eating Human Ancestors Thrived While Vegetarian Hominin Died Out | Observations, Scientific American Blog Network.
Vegetarians and vegans will balk at this, but one should realize that the fruits and vegetables we have today are quite unlike those we evolved to eat. Fruits were a seasonal rarity, small, hard to find, with animals and birds ravishing the treats. Vegetables, too, were fibrous, small, hard to find, and also eaten by animals. Grains were small and required much work/energy to harvest and hardly a staple in any culture before the dawn of agriculture. Nuts, when found, were also smaller, and delightful rare treats of tasty energy. Sugar was an even rarer treat, but often required a lot of effort to take from bees with unpleasant consequences. It’s no wonder that humans became omniverous, catching and killing animals and fish for food.
But, today, we have had 10,000 years of selective breeding of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, not to mention recent genetic modifications. We have an abundance of these that only requires stepping out of the car, walking through the grocery store parking lot, and buying more fruits and vegetables in one trip than our ancestors may have had in a month or more. The result is that we buy and consume sugar, flour, bakery products, fats, and other concentrated-energy foods that, in many cases, may be harmful to us, eliciting diabetes, obesity, carbohydrate addiction, and more.
This isn’t to say that produce is to be avoided, but moderation would be the operative word. Yes, one can exist exclusively on produce but it not only takes knowledge to assure adequate nutrition, but it can be overdone. Similarly, one can exist ALMOST on meat/fish alone– which is a concentrated form of energy, protein, and nutrients– but here too, extremes can be harmful. MODERATION is the key.
We, as a society, would be much healthier if we consumed all of our foods in moderation, paying attention to variety to assure balanced nutrition, and consuming modest quantities. But, we all know that already, don’t we?