This is an essay that I had to write for my first Wise Traditions Nutrition Certificate class that is part of the continuing education program at Hawthorn University.
All of the Primitive tribes that Dr. Price studied on his ten year journey fascinate me. All tribes that continued to eat the local foods that their families have been eating for tens of thousands of years had splendid health.
Those who began eating foods of modern civilization with refined flour and sugar suffered from ill health. The pictures shown throughout Nutrition and Physical Degeneration were startling and shocking. The negative effect that white man has on these now all but extinct hunter-gatherer tribes is beyond saddening.
Interest in Australia’s exotic wildlife
Out of all the tribes studied, the Australian Aborigines interest me the most. This is most likely due to the exotic wildlife that is present in Australia and non existent anywhere else in the world. The large variety of plants and animals (including plenty of insects) that was consumed was enlightening. This included kangaroo, emu, snakes, lizards, iguanas, ducks and even parrots.
Their method of capturing these animals for food was ingenious. This included setting up nets across trees and then throwing a boomerang above a flock of parrots whom then dove down thinking the boomerang was a hawk (a predator to the parrots). They gathered ducks by submerging their body in water holes up to their necks and covering their heads with sticks. Followed was the grabbing of a ducks legs and drowning them.
Importance of fat and toxins in plant foods
They knew the importance of fat to the point where they would not hunt kangaroo that were too lean unless they were on the verge of starving to death. It was simply not worth bringing a lean kangaroo back to camp. They knew when animals were their fattest from their close observance of nature.
In times of abundance, they hunted and killed as much as they could and consumed only the best and fattest parts of the animal. This is extremely contrary to what we do now a days which is avoid fat like its the devil.
A large variety of plant foods were consumed but were also properly prepared. They were well aware of the toxins in the plant foods and so they took substantial care in doing what they could to get rid of them such as phytic acid that binds to minerals like zinc, calcium and magnesium and prevents your body from absorbing them. They would soak foods for up to 10 days to reduce the physic acid.
Children taught how to live off the land
The children were taught how to live off the land in their early years in school including how to track insects and small animals.
Boys began throwing spears as soon as they could stand up straight. They had to learn how to go a couple of days without eating anything so they could more easily survive during times of famine. This final note is extremely contrary to today’s world. Most refuse to skip a meal as if they will die if they do. Some will eat up to 6 small meals throughout the day. I’ve learned that I love food but skipping a meal now and then can be extremely beneficial.
Hunting and gathering food
The Australian Aborigines were prime hunter-gatherers. Today’s society rarely knows where there food comes from. If we so choose, we can know nothing about how to grow or raise food or know where the food we put in our bodies comes from. Most of what is consumed is junk. This is the complete opposite of all the Primitive tribes that Dr. Price studied, especially among the Aborigines of Australia.
With that being said, one could hunt and gatherer all that he or she eats. However, this is not possible for all seven billion people living on the planet today. At the very least, one can buy most his or her food at the farmers market and learn exactly how the food was raised or grown. Growing a few herbs, veggies or fruits is a small task but enables one to grow their relationship with food.
Over the past two years I have become more and more conscious of what I put into my mouth. I have learned the truth about real food. I have thought about how are hunter-gatherer ancestors ate and have discovered how silly it is to shun fat, especially saturated fat. I may not hunt or gather and of my food but I do buy more food from the farmers market and my parents are growing tomatoes, mint and a few more herbs in large pots.
What about exercise and stress?
It would be nice to know more about how these people exercised. I imagine they walked on foot for several hours almost every day. Hunting, gathering, building shelter and tools gave them strength. I imagine they had lots of down time which only contributed to there supreme health. How did they store food? We have the modern refrigerator but it is warm year round in most of Australia.
What about stress? Was there any? Compared to the modern world, I imagine it was almost non existent. Most of us work at a job we hate for decades. For the Aborigines and other Primitive tribes, hunting and gathering was there job. It was there life. I imagine much more relaxed souls where today we are always uptight, flying around trying to get so much done. As long as the Aborigines had food, they did not have much to worry about it seems. All of life was fun.
We can learn so much from the Primitive tribes that Dr. Price studied. I am extremely grateful for all of the insight I have gained from reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. It makes complete sense to me how what we eat effects us in every way. It’s unfortunate that millions of people believe that nutrition has little to no influence on how our body operates.
What are your thoughts? I’d love to read what you think in the comment section below.