Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Diet for the Urban Troglodyte - 02. Raw and not so Raw

Perhaps you remember the movie “The Quest for Fire”. Fire has been important in the step from caveman to urban troglodyte. French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss had published in 1964 “The Raw and the Cooked”, a study of Amerindian mythology. But let’s not go astray. Most food for the caveman had been raw. Cooking comes later. So the urban troglodyte should eat a good amound of raw food.

There is of course hype and that’s raw foodism [1]. Raw foodism means eating mostly raw and unprocessed foods. I think the second attribute is very important. Trying to get rid of food additives, which are used for longer shelf life instead of promoting a healthy diet. Wikipedia: “It may also include simply processed foods such as various types of sprouted seeds, cheese, and fermented foods such as yogurts, kefir, kombucha or sauerkraut, but generally not foods that have been pasteurized, homogenized, or produced with the use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers, industrial solvents or chemical food additives.” This goes even further and then it’s necessary to use only organic foods. Just an idea!

The caveman didn’t have pottery or iron pots over the fire, so forget about cooked veggies. There might have been game on the spit.

The urban troglodyte might include fruit, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds and grains.
Legumes are tricky, only some could be digested raw. Some beans are even toxic, if eaten raw.
The caveman didn’t have dairy and I’ll show you later, why dairy products should be taken cautiously.
Raw eggs are possible, if you’re not a vegan, but actually a bad idea. Raw eggs and not cooked eggs contain avidin, which binds to biotin (a B group vitamin) and prevents its absorption. The Japanese have a habit to eat a raw egg at breakfast and have no problems with biotin deficiency. Another argument against raw eggs are salmonella, actually nowadays not so much of a problem. By the way cholesterol isn’t the big argument against eggs. Eggs have more ethical implications as the male chicks are killed shortly after hatching.
The caveman might have looked for honey, but actually the amount eaten would have been very low. The vedda (indigenous group of people in Sri Lanka) used honey to preserve dried meat. But this practice is already way off the caveman; nowadays there aren’t vedda living in the forests, their culture has been assimilated by tamil and Singhalese culture.

To sum it up, the diet for the urban troglodyte promotes lots of raw and unprocessed foods, but some cooking is needed.



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