Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hunter Gatherers

If you are interested in Primal / Paleo / Evolutionary Fitness you should read this article in the National Geographic on the Hadza

They grow no food, raise no livestock, and live without rules or calendars. They are living a hunter-gatherer existence that is little changed from 10,000 years ago. What do they know that we’ve forgotten?

The Hadza do not engage in warfare. They've never lived densely enough to be seriously threatened by an infectious outbreak. They have no known history of famine; rather, there is evidence of people from a farming group coming to live with them during a time of crop failure. The Hadza diet remains even today more stable and varied than that of most of the world's citizens. They enjoy an extraordinary amount of leisure time. Anthropologists have estimated that they "work"—actively pursue food—four to six hours a day. And over all these thousands of years, they've left hardly more than a footprint on the land.

I'd read the magazine at my girlfriend's parents' house on Sunday, but hat tip also to Open Water Chicago who has written about them before

The key takeaway here is to realize that, while your lifestyle may be drastically different from that of a hunter-gatherer, you are essentially the same human being. And when you deviate too extremely from the diet and activity patterns that have been ingrained into your genetics for over 50,000 years, you are likely to experience some “push back.” Unfortunately, this usually takes the form of such niceties as hypertension, impaired glucose tolerance, atherosclerosis, and type II diabetes.


Steve said...

Thanks for the shout out! I really enjoy reading the items on your site as well. Keep up the great work!

Robert said...

After reading the article, I was browsing through the photo gallery and there were two tid-bits I found interesting: there was a photo of two Hadzas men squatting while cleaning a kill and a caption said that the calories they get from fruit and meat is equal.