Hunter Gatherers and History of Food

Darwinian process


    • We are programmed for food scarcity
    • Constantly alert looking for food
    • Search for seasonal Fruit, Nuts and Seed
    • Gather Summer Harvest and store Fat for Winter Hibernation
    • Fructose metabolic pathway is elegant for creating fat storage
    • ‘Addicted’ to look for sweetness as a safe source of food

One of the most basic survival mechanisms.

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We are designed as hunter gatherers to search out our local fruit supplies and wait until the end of summer for the fruit to ripen and then gorge ourselves upon it to metabolise it to fat for winter hibernation.  The Fructose metabolism pathway is elegantly designed to make us search for food, allow ourselves to take in vast quantities of it for the short time that it is available and then turn it into fat for winter hibernation.

The current historically unprecedented consumption of Sugar and Polyunsaturated Seed Oils combine in our diet to create inflammation in every blood vessel wall and in every tissue in every organ of the body. The inflammatory process makes everything susceptible to damage and disease.

It is not surprising that the body is not dealing effectively with the by-products of the metabolism of Sugar and Polyunsaturated Seed Oils. This is the model for Modern Disease.

Read about the Damage Process


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Hunter Gatherers


Hunter Gatherers for the last few hundred thousand years, whether or not as humans or apes, have been programmed for food scarcity. We are constantly alert, looking for food’ which leads to a heightened level of awareness. That survival instinct makes us intimately aware to look for sweetness in nature or in our pantry or shop.

The fruit available at the end of Summer makes us immediately attracted to it and it is a survival mechanism, a tribal clan would have known where fruit trees are in their local environment and would have made that a significant destination at the time of Summer harvest. At the same time other animals right through to insects would be in the same environment and competition for this food source would have been significant.

The Fructose metabolism pathway is elegant for making the most of that short term situation with a variety of mechanisms. The first is the immediate attraction to the fruit with both visual and taste stimuli.

There is a fairly immediate ability to encourage eating and gorging and then there is a subsequent regulation of GLUT 5 receptors in the small intestine to allow the transport of that Fructose in to the blood circulation. It is predominantly metabolised within the liver into fat  stores for Winter hibernation.

From an evolutionary aspect we have traditionally been accustomed to a diet high in animal fat and protein when found, and for the last several thousand years with the introduction of farming, the ability to take on grains as well as milk products with the domestication of animals. Fruit used to be seasonal as is honey production, and it is only with the introduction of modern fruits and processing of sugar cane and sugar beet and the later introduction of the manufacture of high fructose corn syrup that we have a high proportion of the normal dietary intake coming from simple carbohydrates such as sugar.

History of Food

If we look at the history of food consumption over the last hundred thousand years or so, the problems of Fructose and Polyunsaturated Oil entering our system in high quantities and frequency and creating health issues becomes obvious.

We have been designed to eat meat and nuts and metabolise those saturated fats for hundreds of thousands of years.

We have been designed to find local seasonal fruit and metabolise that to fat for winter storage for hundreds of thousands of years.

We have been designed to metabolise grains for probably that period of time and have been farming them for at least the last several thousand years.

We have been designed to metabolise milk products for the last few thousand years since the domestication of animals.

In the last hundred years we have almost exponentially increased our consumption of sugar products and now it is three times or more per day, 365 days of the year.

The introduction of seed oils which are high in polyunsaturated fats is a new phenomenon in the quantities we are exposed to.  These are really only available as a result of the industrial revolution and our systems are not designed to cope with the polyunsaturated oils in our system which are then exposed to oxidation within the blood vessel walls.

We are probably not designed to metabolise highly refined carbohydrates such as white flours and their products.

In summary, we are meant to eat our meat with its associated fat, the nuts that we find, the grains that we take in an unrefined fashion as well as have our milk.

We are designed to have fruit and sugar on an occasional basis but not to use it as a major carbohydrate component in our daily diet.


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