Potentially interesting programme, perhaps?

Kind of following on from OlsBean's post really - but this might be of interest to some here. bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-296...

I must admit that I do from time to time think about the idea of us being modern men and women in cave-dwellers' bodies and a lot of what we eat plenty of (or do I mean only too much of?) nowadays just wasn't available to people in the era that our bodies have evolved to. E.g. cakes, pies, sugar (i.e. sugarcane / sugar beet products), chocolate, carbonated drinks, etc., etc.

Of course, our cave-dwelling ancestors did consume sugars, but that would mainly have been through the fruits and berries they foraged and from honey (if lucky enough to be able to get at that). And they would have eaten animal fats - though that would have been periodically rather than frequently, i.e., when the hunters of the group returned with an appropriate catch.

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  • You don't need to look all that far back to see the changes to the kind of food we eat. Our grandparents, or great grandparents, didn't have access to so much manufactured and processed foods.

    Eating 'old fashioned' or 'traditional' food can be a good way to stay healthy, because you usually have to make it yourself and it will not be full of unnecessary sugar or additives. The Meditteranean diet is just one example.

  • My generation seems to be the first to have "enough" to eat. I.e. sufficient to fill up on. With the post war availability of foods due to industrial processes we still act on 5 million years of instinct and eat while its there as you don't know when the next meal will be - and we cant say "Stop" without a struggle.

    It's noticeable Chinese people are getting bigger and suffering from the western diseases of tooth decay etc.

    I say industrial processes: Munitions factories started making fertilisers (similar chemicals)

    Tanks and bulldozers turned into tractors and motorway making machines.

    We used the war processes for peaceful purposes but it's had side effects as ever.

    ps I love Michael Mosely and indeed watched this program last night and set the recorder for the rest of the series.

  • This is very interesting and very relevant to the present day. For me, growing up in wartime, I did seem to eat a lot of carbs by today's standards, but none of them were highly-processed as are today's foods. Sweets were rationed and, living out in the country, going for the weekly sweet ration involved a 2-mile walk. 3 or 4 ounces, which is the amount that a kid would swallow nowadays and barely even taste it. A 100g bar of chocolate or equivalent. The trick was to buy sweets that would last a long time, boiled sweets etc. There were no snacks. After school dinner there was nothing else until I walked 2 miles home from school, and then tea would be quite 'carby', with bread and butter, pie, cake, scones. But we walked or cycled everywhere as a matter of course. Winter - a lot of 'warming' foods like porridge for breakfast, root veg to 'bulk out' whatever protein food was available. Yorkshire Puddings on Sunday eaten before the meat course, to make the meat go further! Meat was usually made to last several days - cold sliced, minced, made into e.g. cottage pie. I was a poor kid because there were no benefits of any kind. I lived with my grandparents, my aunt who was a polio survivor, and my mum who cleaned other women's houses. I don't remember ever being hungry or badly-clothed.

    What strikes me now is the availability of food absolutely everywhere, and the way it is pushed at us in TV ads late in the evening. Even if you don't feel hungry there is that suggestion 'oh why not have...' whatever is being advertised. Keep a supply in the freezer 'just in case'. And that's another thing which is different - fridges and freezers!

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