Sic Semper Socktopi

Welcome to my Autohagiography.

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Location: United States


By the way - How much is the fish!?

Also, this really sounds like he's saying "transforming the jews! We Need your support!"


One year ago, I took issue with Micheal Pollan's assertation that there is something wrong, harmful, or unfortunate about the "limited" number of species we eat. Pollan argued that since 2/3rds of our calories come from 4 species (soy, corn, wheat, and rice) and humans have 80,000 species to choose from (who knows where Pollan got this number), we aren't eating enough species. I rebutted, based simply on intuition:

Most tribal people probably ate less than 100 species or plants and animals, and excluding the animals, I wouln't be surprised if an even higher percentage of their plant calories came from even fewer sources than in our diets today. We get wheat and rice and corn, but until 500 years ago, each of those crops was the sole staple of different regions. Mayans ate corn, probably a lot of it, and Japanese ate cart loads of rice, and Europeans subsisted on bread. Yes they also collected weeds from the field, but as a source of nutrients a cartload of rice and a cartload of weeds add up to a diet based almost entirely on rice.

Therefore, I propose that despite the radical indutrialization of our food supply, we eat a more diverse number of plants than ever before in human history. Only 100 years ago, no human had ever eaten a mango and an avocado on the same day. And yet I eat those all the time. Plus cherries and blueberries, and sometimes dragon fruit and kiwano melons.

Now there is some scientific research into the subject. Interesting stuff. They write “that a single (BIG MAC) meal contains about 20 species is impressive, given that some human societies – those that are largely unaffected by current globalization trend – commonly include only 50 to 100 plant species in their entire diet.” But they also touch on the importance of not decreasing our existing range of food choices.

I agree with Pollan's concern for eating a wide variety of plants, but in general, I think we already are.