Eat more wild food!

by admin on November 19, 2012

I do not like to put labels on things but if someone asked me, “Are you paleo, raw, vegan or what?” I would have to say, “I am wild”.  I think that diets should be tuned to the individual for best results, and staring with an ancestral diet is a great place to start.  I am a Any modification of an ancestral, biologically adapted is going to be better than the standard American diet.  If your goal is to closely follow the diet of indigenous people, (if you claim to be “natural” you should) then it would make sense to consume as much wild food as possible- these are the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.

Arthur Haines (of the Delta Institute of Natural History) has made a fantastic video (linked below) that does a great job in explaining why we need to be choosing plants that are as wild as possible for maximum nutrition and medicinal benefit.  Modern agricultural vegetables are simply herbs with the medicine bred out of them- and this is not good.   To get maximum benefit out of the paleo diet, you need to consume wild plant foods, or alternatively, cultivated plants that are as close to their wild progenitor in form and taste as possible.

Wild Ground Cherries

Wild Ground Cherries

Plants that have a “bitter” or more flavorful taste- indicates the presence of phytochemicals that our human ancestors once ingested on a daily basis.  You want the plants that look most like the wild species in form and flavor.   In the example of nuts– hazelnuts, brazil nuts, pecans, and acorns are great choices.  They have undergone less modification, and have lost the least amount of nutrition and phytochemicals.

Another good test is, if planted, will it escape your garden?  Or, have its genetics been so severely altered that it cannot live without human assistance anymore?  Wild plants can obviously thrive without human assistance, and this vitality is exactly what we want to be eating!

Evidence has shown that when our human ancestors started cultivating plants and using cultivation on a widespread basis, we were able to detect adverse health effects in their skeletal remains.  If you ONLY consume cultivated foods, then these health effects will be manifest.  Only in an industrial society, where our awareness has been muted and we have largely lost our connection with nature, do we allow this to happen.  This video also briefly mentions the “tameness gene”- which is an evolved human genetic change that is partially responsible for our conundrum… EAT MORE WILD FOOD!

Click here to watch Arthur Haines’ “Plant Foods of the Paleo Diet”.

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