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100 Million Years of Food de Le
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100 Million Years of Food (2016 original; edició 2018)

de Le (Autor)

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544377,264 (3.77)No n'hi ha cap
"Traveling 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. "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. Traveling 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.… (més)
Membre:ohlonelibrary
Títol:100 Million Years of Food
Autors:Le (Autor)
Informació:Picador Paper (2018), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Newark Center, 9781250117885

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100 Million Years of Food: What Our Ancestors Ate and Why It Matters Today de Stephen Le (2016)

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Es mostren totes 4
More informative and entertaining than your average "I traveled here to learn this and had this adventure, then I traveled there and had that adventure" books that are more travelogue than honest attempts to teach you what you thought you were there to learn... Le really does go back 100 million years, to when we ate bugs. He wonders why paleo diets never emphasize all the great reasons we should be eating insects. It's a really good observation.

And Le does cover a lot of ground, from insects to vitamin-deficiency diseases of the early 20th century; but he keeps going back to those millions of year ago, because he's an evolutionary biologist. And that’s an entire field that irks me. He keeps repeating the facile advice to "eat what your ancestors ate" - meaning not bugs in this case, but the cuisine from your particular area of ethnic origin. Great, Stephen, you're 100% Vietnamese. What do you tell someone who's half Vietnamese, half Nordic? Or part African, part Scots-Irish, part Native American, etc.?

Plus, it's just facile to say that "If people have been eating in that style for hundreds/thousands of years, it must be good for them!" Well, kind of, but, it's not always that simple. It's not simple, for example, to figure out which elements of a cuisine are mere centuries vs. millennia old. And it's plain old not always true that everything people have been doing for any length of time must be good for them. It just has to not kill too many of them before age 20 or so.

He's also too focused on micronutrients. Instead of talking about dairy's fat content in the context of a modern Western diet, for example, he'll talk about the nutrients that milk offers. Vitamins aren't the issue anymore in making best decisions about what to eat.

Yet, I liked learning about authentic Thai fish sauce. I begrudgingly acknowledged value in reading about the bugs (still no interest in cricket cuisine, sorry). I found it enlightening to think about food promoting immediate health vs. longevity (one is sometimes at odds with the other). And as I said, his writing and insertions of personal anecdote into the story were above average in holding my interest. ( )
  Tytania | Jan 1, 2019 |
One thought that kept recurring while reading 100 Million Years of Food was how thoroughly this all seems to put paid to the idea of "Intelligent Design". Because my overall conclusion from all of this is, lord, these bodies are not well put together. We are, apparently, evolved to seek out food that is sweet, but because of this we not only develop our crops for sweetness at the expense of other, more healthful, attributes, but the sweetness really does go straight to our hips. And hearts. And teeth. The diet of Western civilization leads to the the "diseases of Western civilization": "obesity, type 2 diabetes, gout, hypertension, breast cancer, food allergies, acne, and myopia"… Diet contributes to myopia? That's still something I need to research. Must remember to ask my ophthalmologist. I saved this: "children who play outside more frequently were found to be less nearsighted" – because THAT explains a lot. (Vitamin D deficiency? The activities that take the place of playing outdoors? I was doomed from the start.)

What kept startling me throughout the book was the assertion that – kind of as Susan Cain revealed that introversion is inborn and can't be easily ignored – there is just nothing you can do about some things, because one's dna has a lot to do with how well one does (or doesn't) thrive in a given environment. Stephen Le uses himself as the exemplar: the area of the globe his ancestors evolved to adapt to, Vietnam, supports a diet which is wildly different from what he grew up with in 20th century Ottawa, and perhaps there is a connection to the fact that his mother only survived her mother by a couple of years. Traditional cuisines adapt to the ecology native to a place, and the people of the area adapt to the traditional cuisine. The book slanted a different light on emigration for me: perhaps there is a bone-deep reason why some people don't thrive when transplanted… which, given the human urge to explore and wander, leads me back to amazement at the human body's fallibility. (Aha, there it is: "when Europeans started to populate sunny colonies in the Americas and Oceania beginning a few hundred years ago, and people from the tropics, like my parents, moved in the opposite direction, to frigid climes, the wonderfully adapted skin color suddenly became a liability.")

Oh, and then there's the little fact of multiple cases of "such-and-such is good for you, but if you succumb to the usual human thinking that 'if some is good more is better!" you will suffer or perhaps die"… Like: "Animals that browse too much on isoflavone-rich plants, such as ewes feeding on clover, can become sterile". And "Others worry about vitamin D deficiency and pop vitamin D pills, but the problem is that no one knows exactly how much vitamin D is a healthy dosage or how vitamin D supplements influence our immune system and increase our risk for diseases like cancer." Or the fact that eating animal products make you grow taller and stronger and all sorts of other good things, but will kill you earlier in the end. Or "In 1966, researchers in Israel observed that the incidence of multiple sclerosis increased with better sanitation, such as cleaner drinking water, less crowding, and the availability of flush toilets." Or "For middle-aged people, consumption of cholesterol and fat is likely to improve mood and sex drive, while there is not much evidence for long-term weight loss”.

Counterintuitive much? No wonder we're all so messed up.

The writing is a lot of fun. ("She brought a bottle of her home-brewed fermented soybean sauce to our house. It smelled like old shoes and tasted like tofu would if it went to a bar, got drunk, was mugged on the way home, and woke up with a hangover.") This is pop science at its best – mass quantities of excellent (if often depressing) information presented in a compulsively readable manner, and carried along by the author's own background and experience. One place this, hilariously, shows up is in the brief quotes that head each chapter:
The supreme irony is that all over the world monies worth billions of rupees are spent every year to save crops . . . by killing a food source (insects) that may contain up to 75% of high quality animal protein. — M. Premalatha et al., "Energ y- Efficient Food Production to Reduce Global Warming and Ecodegradation: The Use of Edible Insects"

If you eat that ant, I'll never kiss you again. — Ex- girlfriend during camping trip
I finished the book with a handful of nascent crusades roiling around in my heart – Save the red squirrels! Get everyone (except perhaps me) eating insects! Exercise (after one more chapter…)! Stamp out MSG (also known as autolyzed yeast, sodium caseinate, hydrolyzed vegetable protein)! Make sure all hospitals and nursing homes have only sunny and south-facing windows! Find whipworm eggs online - ! Wait. No. Not that one.

I received this book from Netgalley for review. ( )
  Stewartry | Feb 7, 2016 |
An informative writing on the changes of diet over the millenia can affect what and who we are today.
I was given a digital copy ofthis book by the publisher Picador via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review. ( )
  Welsh_eileen2 | Jan 23, 2016 |
Part history and part memoir, 100 Million Years of Food: What Our Ancestors Ate and Why It Matters Today by Stephen Le presents an anthropological survey of foods from our ancestor's diets to our modern diets. I learned much from the science presented in the book, really enjoyed Stephen Le's personal stories, and agreed with its ultimate message that fad diets don't work.

Read my complete review at: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2016/01/100-million-years-of-food-what-our.html

Reviewed based on a publisher’s galley received through NetGalley ( )
  njmom3 | Jan 6, 2016 |
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Around the world, people are increasingly beset with vexing conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, gout, hypertension, breast cancer, food allergies, acne, and myopia. (Introduction)
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"Traveling 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. "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. Traveling 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.

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