Introduction Of Farming Over 8,000 Years Ago Linked To Changes In DNA


Food and cooking items retrieved at a European Neolithic site: millstones, charred bread, grains and small apples, a clay cooking pot, and containers made of antlers and wood. Wikipedia: Neolithic

To me, the Paleo diet fails to adequately address the impact of evolution. The diet includes foods presumed to have been eaten by early hunter-gatherer humans, such as wild game, fruits, and vegetables. It excludes beans, grains, and all other farmed food, because, as a friend of mine put it, “that isn’t what we’re meant to eat.” But:

Agriculture Linked to DNA Changes in Ancient Europe, New York Times, Science, 23 November 2015

Now, in the first study of its kind, an international team of scientists has found that after agriculture arrived in Europe 8,500 years ago, people’s DNA underwent widespread changes, altering their height, digestion, immune system and skin color.

By studying living Europeans, scientists had already found evidence suggesting that their ancestors adapted to agriculture through natural selection. As tools to sequence DNA became more readily available, researchers even discovered some of the molecular underpinnings of these traits.

Maybe we’re meant to eat what we evolved to eat.

If the Paleo diet excludes grains because they are farmed, why doesn’t it also exclude farmed meats, poultry, fish, and eggs? Farmed fruit and vegetables? Farmed livestock and modern farmed produce are quite different from their ancient wild counterparts.

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