Sunday, February 2, 2014

First Reader Response Ch. 2, Ch. 5

I can remember the first time I learned about the rise of agriculture and the life changing effects it brought to human beings as it grew in popularity.  In grade school we were taught that agriculture was life-saving for many people who chose to settle instead of adapting the nomadic lifestyle that had been the norm for so many centuries.  I was shocked when I learned of the negative effects plaguing populations who practiced agriculture.    

I consider agriculture to be a trade off, similar to many choices influencing biological fitness.  As humans adapted agricultural practices they were able to feed significantly more people and therefore, more offspring were produced.  However, the human race as a whole subsequently decreased in fitness as a result of the change form a vast nutrient-rich diet to a relatively unvarying nutrient-poor one.  Disease spread through new, large, populations, killing millions.  Those who could only afford simple grains, while still consuming food, died when they did not obtain enough vital nutrients not found in corn or wheat products. 

I wonder how our bodies are developing in response to these changes.  Even though it seems like it has been a long time since agriculture was recognized as the primary means to food production, in the grand scheme of life agriculture has infant-status.  It seems as though humans will continue to use agriculture to feed themselves; so, where does that put us in 100 years, 500?  Will people hear and understand Cohen’s message? Or will human bodies evolve to face the tolls of an agricultural diet? 

I would like to know more about other types of milk after reading Ch. 5 in Evolutionary Medicine and Health.  For example, many members of my extended family drank only soy milk after being weaned.  Does soy milk still contain a similar protein to IFG-I or a significant amount of protein?  Soy milk contains around 61mg of calcium (USDA).  Are those who drink non-dairy milk on a regular basis enable to absorb as much calcium? What about almond milk? Almond and soy are usually marketed as being high in protein, but not much else.  Are there detrimental or different hormones found in soy milk? I am curious! I wish the book touched on that a bit more, because soy milk is becoming an increasingly popular health trend these days.  

-  Christine 

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