On one of many rambles through the telepathic experiment we call the INTERNET, I came across a fairly recent approach to eating called the Paleolithic diet. I suppose it’s not that recent, some 2.5 million years old. However, most of humanity have long abandoned that menu. So, an old fad that found purchase again in the 1970s, like the future rabid fame of Vanilla Ice on Planet Badrap year 6500.
Endorsed by a gastroenterologist with a name almost as difficult as his career title, the diet is a reflection of what Paleolithic humans ate, the hunter-gatherer meal plan prior to the advent of the agricultural revolution (I always imagine corn and wheat and rye forcibly TAKING OVER). Choice foods include meat, fish, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables. If you eat grains, legumes, sugar, SALT, dairy, potatoes and alcohol, Slarbar the ascetic caveman will clomp you.
NO BEER AND PEANUTS SAY SLARBAR! YOU GET HEAD CLOMPED!
Of course, this meat rich collection is very high in iron. It’s irony. But it’s also full of irony.
Can you climb a palm tree and find a degree at the center of a coconut? Is it possible to learn how to create a written language from the heart of the elk you’ve just slain for dinner? While spending all day searching the woods for tasty roots and mushrooms, is there any time to reflect and measure your strengths and weaknesses and imagine what you want to be when you grow up? And without salt, brother, you’re forced to hunt again in a few days or your family will starve.
Scientists discovered the fossils and other traces of Paleolithic Man, not by reading the detailed journals of prehistoric humanity, but by inheriting the gift of expendable time made possible by civilization. Scientists revealed what Paleolithic humans ate at the peaks of mountains of history, peaks thinly supported by years of personal study and experience and time, but deeper and wider down by the written thoughts of countless predecessors encapsulated in ponderings which take time, time, time.
And from where does this bountiful time to think and build cities and schools and universities and hospitals come? Shaping the focus of the anthropologist?
The farmer is the base of the mountain, and the foods he plants are its deep roots. The barley, wheat, rye, corn, lentils, peas, beans and potatoes. The milk from the sheep, goats and cows. The salt to cure the back of the pig so the family can have bacon for days and days. Beer from the barley to enjoy and alter the experience of men.
The farmer and his crops froze time for humanity. These foods that the Paleolithic diet denies are the benefactors of modern civilization, science and specialization.
It's the Irony Diet.
I am laughing.
Modern mathematics did not arrive in a vacuum of constant hunger and the efforts of every individual to locate food. It emerged from a store of grain, olive oil, wine and sausages cured with salt.
Effectively, here’s an equation for the Paleolithic diet:
-1 + 1 = 0.