Saturday, March 6, 2010

the paleolithic diet

... no, really, what people in paleolithic times ate.

A group of scientists over at the University of Canada have discovered extensive use of grains centuries before farming, which kind of puts a crimp in the whole 'paleolithic diet' idea, and it means that we're cleverer and more ingenious and more omnivorous as a species that people ever thought. Also, it maybe explains my deep-seated love of 'drates; I never went on the South Beach Diet or the Atkins Diet because they restrict the carbs I'm allowed to have, and I just can't live without bread. I can stand shifting what kinds of bread I have, but not the very existence of it.

I'd rather be fat, thank you.

Anyway, the study shows that wild sorghum and other grass grains were gathered and processed in bulk in a manner equivalent to how it was done after the advent of farming, and since all these grains were found with bones of things we already know they ate, we can assume they were eating the grains too (although it would be awesome if there was some totally unbeknownst use for ground and boiled grains that didn't involve eating...). It doesn't say in the article, but the forum I found the link in points out that the simplest and most 'primitive' way to eat grains is just to crack or crush them, boil them, and eat them like porridge. Which sounds awesome to me.

I've had oat porridge, of course (as well as oatzoto, oats prepared like risotto), and I've had cream of wheat and grits / corn pudding / polenta, but I'm woefully illiterate in the wider array of grains cooked this way. It's one of the things I meant to get to when I was eating strictly seasonally last year, but we never had the money for a real investment in grains; without a Whole Foods or a decent bulk grocery around here, they're expensive and hard to find, and online shops sell them for, like, seventy-seven million dollars an ounce (this may be exaggeration).

Still, if it was good enough for cave men...

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