Written by Kenda Roberstson and Steve Moreau
What did our ancestors really eat? Whether we live in modern Orlando or ancient Florida, we still need the nutrients only grass fed beef, raw milk and other farm fresh foods can provide.
We know that ancient man did not cook spaghetti and meatballs, order pizza delivery or pick up large fries through a drive-through, but exactly what made up the caveman’s cuisine?
What we do know about our Paleolithic forbearers diet comes from the study of animal bones, and early hunting and eating utensils. Although there are varying opinions on what these ancient people consumed, many researchers believe that early man lived on a diet that contained large amounts of fat, particularly saturated fats from animals.
A collection of essays, “Ice Age Hunters of the Rocky Mountains,” reports that hunter-gatherers of the North American continent ate fatty meats from animals such as mammoth, camel, sloth, bison, mountain sheep, beaver, elk, and llama. They may also have consumed milk from some of these animals.
While Paleolithic sites have reveled plant food remains of seeds, berries, roots, nuts, leaves and bulbs, the amount of plant food in the caveman diet varied according to the climate and locality. For example, there were few plant foods in the diets of those in arctic climates, but in tropical regions, palm nuts and coconuts provided large quantities of saturated fats. Seafood in coastal regions would also have provided fat for primitive man, particularly omega-3 fatty acids.
Primitive people didn’t neglect their sweet tooth either. Many tribes ate a lot of honey. East coast American Indians consumed generous amounts of maple syrup. The Eskimo’s made fermented foods they described as tasting “as sweet as candy.”
Though we don’t know exactly what ancient people’s diet consisted of, we do know that fat played an important role in keeping them strong, healthy and alert. While we don’t have access to many of the foods of our ancient ancestors, we can still maintain more “natural” diets by including raw milk and cheese, grass-fed beef, pastured eggs and chicken, organic produce among the foods we eat. We can have the best of the modern world but our bodies are still on Paleolithic time.