NUTR SCI 132 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Wild Rice, Hunter-Gatherer, Subsistence Agriculture

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Lecture 3:
Evolution of the Human Diet (Ch. 1 Cont)
Ancient diet = hunter/ gatherer
Fishing in the artic, amazon basin
Food preservation necessary - drying meat
Small vegetable gardens
Plants, but not grass - lack enzyme
o People eat animals because they convert indigestible nutrients into digestible
o Animals also provide milk
Wild rice - Native is Wisconsin, provided high degree of food security (know have enough to eat)
o Other forms of rice not grown in water
Traditional Agriculture: nutrients return to soil after everything dies in winter and falls to ground
o In tropic, when things die they fall down & get taken up by vegetation, unfertile soil
Burn trees to return nutrients to ground & farm for few years then find new spot.
Corn - Central America - most efficient converter of solar energy in world (grows everywhere)
o Grind corn with rock lime, adds calcium to make tortilla flour (sometimes processing actually
adds to diet)
Potatoes - grown on terraces in Machu Pichu (created modern potatoes without toxins)
Cooking down tree sap
*****Lots of exercise because if you wanted to eat, you had to exercise
Most of time humans have been alive, we've been hunter/gathers (8/10 of human existence)
Food Security & Amount of Food:
Pre-Industrial: Plentiful food 38%, adequate 46%, Subsistence 12%, Minimal 4%
o Everyone had enough food (or else they'd die)
o Frequency of food shortage: Annual 24%, rare 29%, occasional 24%, frequent shortages 24%
Food shortage has been fact of human existence
o Extent of Shortage: Mild 36%, Moderate 4%, Severe 29%
Still have these genes that went through these type of shortages
Food shortages were seasonal - live off of fat when no food
Changes:
Subsistence agriculture - growing enough for family (maybe community)
o Wasn't a huge nutritional change - similar to hunter/gatherer
Development of modern diet - industrial revolution
o Grow more food w/ machinery, more of certain foods (changed balanced diet), could
process food
Went from scarce environment to abundant environment (now plenty of food & no exercise enforced
upon us)
Consequences of new, modern diet:
Health issues partly due to change in diet
Weight problems
Comparison in Diet Composition: (in calories)
Hunter/Gatherer
Agriculturist People
Modern
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