In Part I, I discussed the first three of four talks at the recent Ancestral Health Symposium that were actually devoted to -- or supposed to be in some fashion -- "ancestral diets". The IHC has a long history of co-opting select aspects of such dietary practices to fit the current interpretation of the hunter-gatherer-inspired way. If the deluge of cookbooks from all corners are any indication, there will be no letting up soon of the trend to
cauliflowpaleoize all "inferior" but nonetheless delicious and often cultural staple foods. But now, in a most bizarre twist, we've reached the point where imposing "paleofied" versions of ancestral diets on these very peoples went off without a hitch, or seemingly any notice of the supreme irony of it all.
This assault on ancient humanity was culminated in a presentation by Gideon Mailer, PhD. I took a screenshot of his title slide for visual impact here. So that you won't need to clienlarge, the credo below the AHS peartichocock (I think it looks like a cross between an artichoke and a peacock) reads: "the human ecological niche and modern health" .
When the AHS Program was first announced and I read the abstract for this talk, I knew folks were in for a load of garbage.
How can a professor in the humanities - and not the sciences - raise awareness about ancestral health principles within a large public research institution? How can young college students - many from wheat/soy-growing economies - learn about ancestral health principles through the early-US history survey course? And why is Minnesota an ideal testing ground? The University of Minnesota system benefits from public-private partnerships between its scientific research and agricultural grain interests. Yet two prominent groups in the state - Scandinavian descendants and Native Americans - are particularly amenable to ancestral health principles. By studying early-American history (c.1400-1900) many of these and other groups might "Decolonize the Diet", moving away from grains, legumes, and a low-fat paradigm - a new and exciting project uniting the historical study of early America and contemporary health initiatives in the Great Lakes region.