Author Topic: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"  (Read 10321 times)

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Offline PaleoPhil

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"First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« on: November 08, 2010, 09:07:21 am »
Quote
First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition
Why did our ancestors eat each other? Simple: They were hungry.

By Jennifer Viegas | Thu Aug 26, 2010 05:20 AM ET
http://news.discovery.com/human/first-cannibals-nutrition.html

These practices were conducted by Homo antecessor, who inhabited Europe one million years ago," according to the research team, led by Eudald Carbonell. ....

They added that the butchery techniques identified at the site "show the primordial intention of obtaining meat and marrow and maximally exploiting nutrients. Once consumed, human and nonhuman remains were dumped, mixing them together with lithic tools."

This research offers an interesting contrast to that of Mary Doria Russell, although she studied the remains of Croatian Neanderthals rather than H. antecessor. As additional evidence is uncovered it will be interesting to see what scientists claim it reveals about various of our ancestors and whether it helps resolve the controversy (and maybe it will turn out that both Russell and Carbonell are right). As I stated in the past, my guess is that cannibalism was done for a variety of reasons. I think that food was probably a more important motivation early on and other reasons gradually assumed more importance over time (at least in the minds of the cannibals)--for example, the desire for mana (strength, power, social standing, etc.) by the Maori warriors of much more recent times.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline miles

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2010, 12:14:15 pm »
Interesting. Much mortal fighting between humans there is.
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Offline the PresiDenT

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2010, 01:32:34 pm »
i really like ur "discution aids". i think we should hold this as a modo for the forum. Some people come off kinda bold saying "this is the way and only way", which 99.99999% they may be right/true, but it should be this works for lotsa people or try this, not u r wrong ect
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Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2010, 08:29:38 pm »
thanks President
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline actup

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2010, 12:14:15 am »
hmm well if the economy crashes... at least we have all of these fat people running around LOL  ;)
What part do you think would be the most nutrient dense? Im sure diabetic liver tastes gross  -v

Offline djr_81

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2010, 12:38:02 am »
hmm well if the economy crashes... at least we have all of these fat people running around LOL  ;)
I wouldn't touch them in a million years. Look at the emphasis most of us put on grass-finished cattle over grain-finish cattle. Now think of how much worse the average human diet is and the greatly increased lifespan they enjoy.
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Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2010, 01:59:21 am »
Barry Groves recounted how some semi-reformed headhunters who stopped cannibalistic killing at the urging of missionaries still liked to dig up fat corpses after they were buried, but wouldn't bother with lean corpses.

If I remember correctly from past articles on evidence of cannibalistic butchery in Stone Age bones, the brain, marrow and tongue were preferred parts. There wouldn't be evidence of soft tissue butchery, but my guess would be that the liver and possibly other organs would also have been preferred, based on cannibalistic practices in modern times. The Maori apparently also ate small amounts of the muscle meat.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2010, 05:22:20 pm »
Well, it seems you have come round to my stance re cannibalism in palaeo times. Previously, you went on and on about "demonisation of the other" and such.
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Offline actup

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2010, 05:29:04 pm »
I wouldn't touch them in a million years. Look at the emphasis most of us put on grass-finished cattle over grain-finish cattle. Now think of how much worse the average human diet is and the greatly increased lifespan they enjoy.

XD  I thought the sarcasm was obvious. Most fat people smell horrible  -v

Offline the PresiDenT

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2010, 05:05:36 am »
hmm well if the economy crashes... at least we have all of these fat people running around LOL  ;)
What part do you think would be the most nutrient dense? Im sure diabetic liver tastes gross  -v

if anarchy happened and canabalism was neccesary for survival... BONE MARROW!!! it is the cleanest and least gross part in my opinion.
The price is wrong Bob

Offline actup

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2010, 05:30:12 am »
if anarchy happened and canabalism was neccesary for survival... BONE MARROW!!! it is the cleanest and least gross part in my opinion.

Too bad most people lack brains or heart... XD lol

Offline the PresiDenT

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2010, 11:19:17 am »
Too bad most people lack brains or heart... XD lol
lol, we should go see the wizard of oz!! i am sure he has some, i need to go home to Kansas
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Offline actup

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2010, 01:40:52 pm »
lol, we should go see the wizard of oz!! i am sure he has some, i need to go home to Kansas

Was that a metaphor? or are you really from kansas?

Offline miles

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2010, 03:18:54 pm »
Was that a metaphor? or are you really from kansas?

Maybe he's just a friend of Dorothy's.
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Offline actup

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2010, 03:31:54 pm »
Maybe he's just a friend of Dorothy's.

You know she has the bomb shrooms coming off those kansas cow patties. It would be nice if she didn't complain through her whole trip though, jeez.  -v

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2010, 12:04:06 pm »
Well, it seems you have come round to my stance re cannibalism in palaeo times.
Actually, this current thread is completely in step with my earlier one (http://www.rawpaleoforum.com/off-topic/were-neanderthals-more-spiritual-than-cannibalistic/msg15861/#msg15861). In looking back at the earlier thread, I think I see what may have caused you to misunderstood both me and Dr. Mary Doria Russell--possibly one or more of misunderstanding of Russell's opinions and assuming that I agreed with all of them, confusing William's opinons with mine, misunderstanding the point I was making re: demonization, and/or my poor choice of words in the thread title.

Russell didn't claim that there was no cannibalism by Neanderthals or anyone else. She has actually acknowledged the existence of cannibalism and she and other scientists that share her view, like Paleoanthropologist and archaeologist Jörg Orschiedt whose findings at the Krapina, Croatia Neanderthal site matched Russell's, have admitted that there could have been cannibalism by Neanderthals elsewhere, but mainly so far disagreed with other scientists about the frequency and reasons:

"We've documented starvation cannibalism (as with the Donner party) or symbolic cannibalism (a bit of heart ingested to gain a slain enemy's power).  We've even seen instances of "gourmet" cannibalism, but very rarely." (God, Baseball, and Science: An Interview with Mary Doria Russell
By Mary Doria Russell, Jill Neimark
http://www.metanexus.net/Magazine/tabid/68/id/8507/Default.aspx)

"That does not mean Neandertals never ate their own, however. Neandertal remains from other sites bear signs that they snacked on one another. But Orschiedt says some of those fossils, too, should be re-examined in light of his observations at Krapina." (Neandertal cannibalism? Maybe not, http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=neandertal-cannibalism-maybe-not-2009-04-02)

Nor did I even say that I agree with Russell and Orschiedt, which I don't fully and never completely did. I just found her research intriguing and different from the usual stuff. Just because I posted it and asked a question about it doesn't mean I agree with it all. I think what may have happened is that William interjected his normally extreme opinons and perhaps you confused his opinions with those of Russell and myself? As usual, William seemed to make out archaic humans to be perfect and implied that none of them were cannibals and that neolithic peoples (of which he is one) were and are complete degenerates and threw in mention of more of his pet anti-science woo from Velikovsky and McCanney, all of which I found too ridiculous for anyone to take seriously or to bother replying to. Could it be that you assumed that my lack of response to his nonsense was silent assent to his opinions? As I have stated many times before, I realized long ago at the Paleofood forum that most of Williams posts were too bizarre to bother with. Plus, replying to his strangest posts only encouraged him. He was impervious to reason and arguing with him only hardened his opinions. It's foolish to argue with him on his crazy pet theories.
 
If you look at all  of what I wrote, you'll see that I have never denied that Neanderthals practiced some cannibalism. I put the thread title in the form of a question: "Were NeanderThals More Spiritual Than Cannibalistic?" rather than a statement. It also doesn't even ask "Did NeanderThals Never Practice Cannibalism? which I consider an ignorant question. The answer to that one would obviously be that they DID practice cannibalism. The questions that scientists are actually currently debating are why and how often. I suspected then and I suspect now that there were multiple reasons why, though I'm not certain about it or anything else, for that matter. I don't have much idea on how often, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was somewhere in-between the extreme early high estimates (the high early estimates were part of what was used to categorize Neanderthals as non-human) and the lowest estimates. As usual, I am open minded on the subject and to whatever future evidence reveals.
 
I was attempting to summarize Russell's view with the thread title, but in retrospect I see that the word choice was poor, because spiritual/ritualistic cannibalism is still cannibalism and ritualistic burial doesn't mean that some or all of the flesh couldn't still have been consumed, as some cannibalistic tribes have been documented doing. I wonder if that title also contributed to your confusion. It's the reasons for cannibalism that are debated by scientists, much more so than the fact of cannibalistic practices.
 
If you check out these quotes by me in that thread, you'll see that I acknowledged that Neanderthals (and Maori) practiced cannibalism and that the demonization comment was not a denial of cannibalism:
 
[Russell] hasn't settled the issue completely and the controversy rages on, but she has forced scientists and the wider public to re-examine their assumptions, which is generally a good thing.
 
Her view seems to be that most--not all--of [Neanderthal fossil bone evidence] was misinterpreted and she produced a scientific method for assessing the evidence that is increasingly becoming the standard. Still, the debate rages on and I'm sure that the other camp will come up with some counterpoints of their own.
[I don't mean to boast, but I was rather prophetic with this one, although the latest dig evidence wasn't specifically regarding Neanderthals and so don't directly address her claims, but they do indirectly suggest that she may be underestimating the incidence of cannibalism for food and other nonspiritual purposes by Neanderthals.]
 
Our ancestors were not perfect, and neither are we.
 
Yes, our ancestors made some big mistakes....
 
[The Maori] are one of the few people amongst whom some openly and unashamedly talk about past cannibalism.
 
I don't know who's more correct [Russell or those she disagreed with], and I'm keeping an open mind on the subject.
 
Yes, I agree that cannibalism has been used for multiple purposes.

 
So you see, I acknowledged the existence of cannibalism among Neanderthals and more recent traditional peoples. Any assumptions you made to the contrary could have been based on misunderstanding or other reasons unrelated to my actual views.
 
Quote
Previously, you went on and on about "demonisation of the other" and such.
That single comment (I didn't "go on about" it) wasn't a denial of any cannibalism by Neanderthals or even archaic H. sapiens sapiens, it was a response to this quote re: Maoris:
 
the Maori were simply brutal cannibals, and that...is...that
And even with this I didn't disagree that the Maori were cannibals, just with the over-the-top unscientific language describing them as "brutal" and saying "that...is...that" with emphasis, as if brutality and cannibalism were their totality or essence or something. I don't believe it was bad enough to consider a really big deal or debate it if you disagree, though, as it could have been inspired by William's own over-the-top language and thereby would be somewhat understandable. I was tempted to respond intemperately to William at times in the past myself. My main point was that the comment did fit well with Dr. Russell's point that scientists and the public tend to make exageratedly negative assumptions about Neanderthals and other archaic/"primitive" peoples, likely unconsciously, starting with the early portrayals of them as dumb, savage, apelike, sub-human brutes that engaged in extremely extensive cannibalism solely for food. In the USA Neanderthal is still a synonym for dumb, brute, savage, backwards, archaic, subhuman, etc. A quick check of an online dictionary reveals that:
 
"an unenlightened or ignorant person; barbarian.
a reactionary; a person with very old-fashioned ideas."
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/neanderthal
 
"2. a crude, primitive, reactionary, etc. person"
http://www.yourdictionary.com/neanderthal
 
There was more to the Maori than brutal cannibalism. I don't want to overstate the point, however, as most moderners are unaware that cannibalism does not automatically equate with brutality (as you pointed out, early Jews and Christians even regarded human sacrifice as the ultimate sacred rite rather than brutal) and the quote was somewhat understandable, given that it was in response to the usual extreme and bizarre rhetoric of William and maybe I should have cut some more slack given that William could frustrate people.
 
I was wrong about one thing and am happy to admit wherever and whenever I err. When I wrote that "They [the Maori] are also, AFAIK, the only near-hunter-gatherer-culture that has regained dominance in any nation in the world" I was actually thinking of the Fijiians. I was reminded of that when I recently read some articles on Fiji that a friend pointed me to.
 
I noticed one thing I didn't before. You wrote that "the evidence of cannibalism is endemic throughout all the hominid species right up to homo erectus." Russell studied Neanderthals, not earlier species like H. erectus and prior hominids. So your quote was irrelevant to my thread topic on Neanderthals and you even agreed completely with Russell when you later wrote: "The problem seems to be that her notion of secondary burial requires some sort of religious belief. That would certainly apply to the Neanderthals given clear burial rites etc." That was precisely her point, that Neanderthals had "some sort of religious belief" and practiced multi-part burial, so you apparently mistakenly perceived a disagreement with both her and myself. From what I can tell in that thread, we were in almost full agreement. So it looks like it was much ado over nothing.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2010, 12:13:35 pm by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2010, 06:35:30 pm »
No, I did NOT confuse your posts with William, I was quite obviously referring to your past posts. At the time, you tried to claim that cannibalism was nowhere near  as prevalent in the Palaeolithic era(re mention of "demonisation of the other") as most people claimed it was. But more and more evidence shows that cannibalism was a mainstream practice in palaeo times.


There was 1 scientific kook who went to a real extreme,recently trying to claim that cannibalism did not exist at all at any period, or at least was not practised as a social norm but just occasionally done by various freaks within all societies. Of course, he is in a long line of deluded Noble-Savage theorists who did not like the notion of HGs practicing something considered in modern times to be repellent.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 08:30:14 am by TylerDurden »
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Offline raw-al

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2010, 12:01:06 am »
Too bad most people lack brains or heart... XD lol
"No I know I have a heart... 'cause it's breaking! The "Tin Man" from "The Wizard of OZ"
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Offline actup

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2010, 04:45:52 am »
"No I know I have a heart... 'cause it's breaking! The "Tin Man" from "The Wizard of OZ"

Wonderful lol!

I was referring to the general public. If we had to eat them it would not be very nutritious, since most people are seemingly brainless and without a heart.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2010, 07:40:21 am »
It just occurred to me that the title of this article is a little questionable. I doubt Homo antecessor was the first hominin cannibal, since chimps and gorillas occasionally practice cannibalism too, as I think I've written about before back when that fruitarian was here.

No, I did NOT confuse your posts with William, I was quite obviously referring to your past posts. At the time, you tried to claim that cannibalism was nowhere near  as prevalent in the Palaeolithic era(re mention of "demonisation of the other") as most people claimed it was.....
Well I didn't write that, but at least you seem to recognize that I haven't claimed that there was no cannibalism during the Stone Age. Still, I'm sensing hostility from you. Are you really trying to understand me on this, because if not there's not much point in my trying to clear up the confusion. No offense intended, but I get the sense that you're coming at this with the aim of ridiculing rather than trying to understand.

It's OK to disagree and debate, but we're all on the same raw Paleo diet team here. Let's please try not to lose sight of that, try to understand each other and give each other the benefit of the doubt. We have enough critics and enemies outside this forum--we don't need more inside it.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 07:55:33 am by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2010, 08:39:58 am »
I merely noted, with pleasure, that you had changed your previous stance re cannibalism.
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
" Ron Paul.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2010, 09:02:46 am »
I see you said "with pleasure," which answers my question--you're obviously more interested in ridicule and misrepresentation than in understanding. My "stance" hasn't changed, so you either misunderstood it in the original thread or in this one and we'll have to agree to disagree on it because it's obvious that you aren't going to make any effort to learn the truth [about what my real stance is and my words mean].
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 09:59:03 am by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline TylerDurden

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #22 on: November 24, 2010, 09:50:04 am »
"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods."
Albert Einstein
"During the last campaign I knew what was happening. You know, they mocked me for my foreign policy and they laughed at my monetary policy. No more. No more.
" Ron Paul.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #23 on: November 24, 2010, 09:52:35 am »
I don't set myself up to be the judge of truth. I don't have to set myself up as a judge to know my own mind.

"Seek first to understand, then to be understood." --Stephen Covey

And if you want to take pleasure in one of my screw-ups, you can do that with my mixing up of Maori with Fijiians. That was pretty forgetful on my part.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 11:41:25 am by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline actup

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Re: "First Cannibals Ate Each Other for Extra Nutrition"
« Reply #24 on: November 24, 2010, 12:33:19 pm »
"Isn't there already a thread for quotes?" -- actup90  :o

 

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