100 Million Years of Food

100 Million Years of Food

What Our Ancestors Ate and Why It Matters Today

Book - 2016
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"There are few areas of modern life that are burdened by as much information and advice, often contradictory, as our diet and health: eat a lot of meat, eat no meat; whole-grains are healthy, whole-grains are a disaster; eat everything in moderation; eat only certain foods--and on and on. In One Hundred Million Years of Food biological anthropologist Stephen Le explains how cuisines of different cultures are a result of centuries of evolution, finely tuned to our biology and surroundings. Today many cultures have strayed from their ancestral diets, relying instead on mass-produced food often made with chemicals that may be contributing to a rise in so-called "Western diseases," such as cancer, heart disease, and obesity. Travelling around the world to places as far-flung as Vietnam, Kenya, India, and the US, Stephen Le introduces us to people who are growing, cooking, and eating food using both traditional and modern methods, striving for a sustainable, healthy diet. In clear, compelling arguments based on scientific research, Le contends that our ancestral diets provide the best first line of defense in protecting our health and providing a balanced diet. Fast-food diets, as well as strict regimens like paleo or vegan, in effect highjack our biology and ignore the complex nature of our bodies. In One Hundred Million Years of Food Le takes us on a guided tour of evolution, demonstrating how our diets are the result of millions of years of history, and how we can return to a sustainable, healthier way of eating." -- Publisher's description
"Travelling around the world to places as far-flung as Vietnam, Kenya, India, and the US, Stephen Le introduces us to people who are growing, cooking, and eating food using both traditional and modern methods, striving for a sustainable, healthy diet ... Le contends that our ancestral diets provide the best first line of defense in protecting our health and providing a balanced diet. Fast-food diets, as well as strict regimens like paleo or vegan, in effect highjack our biology and ignore the complex nature of our bodies"--Amazon.com.
Publisher: New York : Picador, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781250050410
1250050413
9781250050427
Branch Call Number: 641.3 LE
Characteristics: 309 pages ; 25 cm

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bhg0010
Feb 17, 2018

The book takes a complex look at various diets throughout traditional cultures all around the world. Unfortunately, it's lacking in detail in a bunch of areas, and the results that it does report are usually contradictory. Some traditional diets crammed full of meat do very well. Others are based heavily on certain plans and also seem to work fine. I wish that the author would've been more cautious and just admitted that there's plenty science still does not know. The book is interesting but seems pretty incomplete.

c
callig
Aug 23, 2016

The book wanders through the world and thru his subject, apparently at random, which frustrated me. But there's so much information that it's worth ones patience.
It was for instance, amusing to learn that caloric restriction cuts [only male?] sex drive. [Giggle.]. Having tried caloric restriction i can say it was a big disappointment- i didn't slim, but didn't lose libido either.

His conclusion that the Ornish diet [basically identical to the Okinawa diet] is best [for longevity] seems sensible, if unwelcome [it's bland so it must be good for you!]

He criticizes omega3 oils, zinc, and calcium, which is odd, and apparently a contrarian position. Is he right? I wouldn't know: diet is right up there with religion and politics for contentiousness.

j
JLMason
Jul 07, 2016

An interesting read on the always trendy topic of what lifestyle and nutrition choices we can make to live long, healthy lives. Turns out it's not simple: we need to make tradeoffs, it can depend on our heritage, and our choices change as we age. The author's impish humour and fearless gastronomic adventures add to the entertainment. Dancing an Argentinian tango in Vietnam? LOL.

j
JHCL
Apr 18, 2016

Fascinating. Some of what is in here you already heard about but this author goes into enough depth that it is not repetition to what most of all already know. A bit 'shopping listy' at times. Well recounted and with anecdotes and personal storytelling added in to what otherwise might not be that interesting a topic.

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