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A fascinating new exploration of what we eat and how we live, and the health consequences of denying our complicated evolutionary history with food.
There are few areas of modern life that offer as much information and prescriptive advice, often contradictory, as the arena of diet and health: eat a lot of meat, abstain from meat; whole-grains are healthy, whole-grains are a disaster; get a lot of sunlight, sunlight causes skin cancer; eat everything in moderation but increase your exercise; eat as much as you want but concentrate on your metabolism, and on it goes. Biological anthropologist Stephen Le cuts through the confusing mass of information to present the long view of our diet and relationship to what we eat.
In One Hundred Million Years of Food, Le takes readers on a historic and geographic tour of how different cuisines have evolved in tandem with our particular environments, as our ancestors took advantage of the resources and food available to them. Like his mentor Jared Diamond, Le uses history and science to present a fascinating and wide-ranging tour of human history as viewed through what and how we eat. Travelling the world to places as far-flung as Vietnam, Kenya, Nova Scotia and Iowa, Le visits people producing food using traditional methods as well as modern techniques, and looks at how our relationship to food has strayed from centuries of tradition to mass-produced assembly lines dependent on chemicals that bring with them a host of problems.
In One Hundred Million Years of Food, Stephen Le argues that our ancestral diets and lifestyles are the best first line of defense in protecting our health; simple prescriptions like paleo or vegan diets in effect highjack our biology and ignore evolution, resulting in the current explosion of chronic diseases and allergies. To put it simply, the optimal diet is to eat what your ancestors ate. In this remarkably clear-cut and compelling book, readers are shown not just what to eat, but how their diet is the product of millions of years of evolution.