Monday, January 21, 2008

Hard to get food

I suppose I had better explain that previous reference to "hard to get food".

Long ago ... in the days before the corner grocery store and fast food joint, the human diet came in fits and starts. Grains came at one time of the year, fruits in another, roots in the winter, and leaves filled in the gap. And meat. Meat was a big deal. Meat was hunted and only later raised for slaughter. While you could grab an apple, or root around for a root, you had to really want meat and its bounty of protein and necessary fat to go hunt for an animal. So your body really had to crave it to make you want to go through the effort of tracking, killing and butchering.

Fast forward to the twenty-first century. There is a grocery store on nearly every corner (or at least the ones that don't have a McDonalds on them). Meat is no longer hard to get. Neither are vegetables. But that evolutionary survival adaptation - hunger - has not scaled back to adapt to our cornucopia.

This one may take a while. Most survival adaptations occurred during the breeding years and reflected easily in surviving to breed and breed true. For in caring for my mother, I have noticed: that while there are plenty of (grotesquely) fat middle-aged people at Golden Corral, there are only skinny octogenarians at the buffet restaurant they frequent. And they don't breed in captivity.

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