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I’ll Have the Mammoth Steak, Extra Rare

Apparently a restaurant in Berlin is featuring a menu made up entirely of “paleolithic cuisine!” I’m not one for trendy food fads, but this is one I’d give a try. The only problem I see here is that quite a lot of the meat our paleolithic ancestors fed on are no longer available, possibly because we hunted them all to extinction. Some humans are revolted by that possibility, but it just makes me want to celebrate our species’ success as an apex predator. This cuisine seems a good way to do that.

I’m going to bet a paleodiet actually turns out to work pretty well for people in terms of weight loss, and controlling all the naughty stuff your doctor warns you about. It’s just a hypothesis, but we evolved as hunter gatherers, and didn’t develop agriculture until fairly recently. It seems reasonable that our bodies just don’t deal well with the types of food agriculture produces in abundance. Of course, we also didn’t live until 80 on average until very recently, and considering nature doesn’t give a flying rats behind about your fitness beyond prime reproduction and child rearing years, it’s quite possible we get sick and die beyond those years no matter what we eat.

But maybe if this cuisine catches on, it’ll create a market for using our biomedical technology to bring back the mammoth. Jurassic Park aside, I’ve always thought that would be a rather cool experiment.

10 Responses to “I’ll Have the Mammoth Steak, Extra Rare”

  1. ExurbanKevin says:

    Meh. This is nothing new.

    Way back in the early 70’s, I watched a TV show where Fred Flintstone ate a rack of ribs at the local Brontosaurus Burger stand. They’re just a bunch of hippies re-using an idea from the Flintstones, just like they do with pedal-powered “cars” and homes without electricity and running water.

    :)

    • Rob K says:

      That article was sensationalist and awful, but what from the Daily Mail isn’t?

      ExurbanKevin, you are incorrect about who these people are. You think this guy is a hippie? I am one of the people trying to follow a more paleo diet. Some are recovering hippies/vegans, but a lot of people who are into this are pretty hard-core libertarian. It’s all about not eating heavily processed foods, and eating stuff like what humans evolved eating. Put grains out of your diet for one month and see how you feel.

      The life-expectancy issue is a misconception. A lot of the short life-expectancy came from diseases, infections, and injuries that are no longer life-threatening issues and had nothing to do with the content of the diet. 40,000 years ago, a fall from a 30 foot cliff resulting in a severely broken leg meant almost certain death, but not anymore, and that has nothing to do with diet.

  2. Here in the near future the wife and I are both going Paleo. I have some friends who went on the diet and the weight loss was quite large.

    Many of them also said that they generally felt healthier after going on the diet. Hence the reason we want to try it. Not to mention the fact I could stand to loose some weight.

  3. Of course, to make the Cave Man diet work, you probably need the Cave Man exercise program, too. That involves shivering a lot (no central heating, and a fire requires you to cut down trees with a stone axe), spending days or weeks chasing mammoths, then learning to run like heck to get away from it, now that it is angry because you stuck a spear in its side.

  4. Rob K says:

    Or you could just do something like Movnat.

  5. Jake says:

    Heck with mammoths, I want mimmoths.

    I hear they’re good in a light butter sauce.

  6. Sigivald says:

    It seems reasonable that our bodies just don’t deal well with the types of food agriculture produces in abundance.

    Meh.

    I’m much more inclined to blame what health problems “we” have with not having to run around the way H/Gs do, or live on what we can scrounge.

    Abundance is a different problem from scarcity, I think is the “real problem”.

  7. For what it’s worth, when the ladies and I went paleo last year, I lost twenty pounds in two months with no exercise and no portion control. It can be very, very difficult to stick with–you realize that almost everything served outside your house has grains or sugar in it, and just how addictive grains and sugar are–but it’s an amazingly healthy diet if you can stick with it.

  8. Stretch says:

    Back in the ’70s a professor of anthropology at Some University I Can’t Remember started the paleo-diet craze. Also walked much more to reflect the Hunter-Gatherer life style. He had the same health and weight changes as noted above. His doctor kept a close eye on his health to make sure there were no ill affects.
    Anyone know if there was a long term follow up on him?

  9. P. Allen says:

    I’ve been on Paleo and doing Crossfit since June 15th, 2011. I’m down 50 lbs as of last week and feel better than I have in years. For those that want to try it, Paleo really starts to kick in re: weight loss after about 30 days of doing it.

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