[Sca-cooks] Leftovers, questions and discussion [long]

Daniel Myers dmyers at medievalcookery.com
Thu Sep 9 06:54:25 PDT 2010

> -------- Original Message --------
> From: Fields Family Farm <fields at texas.net>
> Not that I'm claiming that there was a recent mutation involved in this.
> Most anthropologists have humans starting as scavengers and carrion eaters.
> We would have had a potential resistance to spoilage toxins, and even the
> bacteria, built in for millions of years.

Having a degree in Anthropology, I can tell you that the above paragraph
is incorrect on almost all counts.  Humans have been hunter-gatherers
for most of recorded history (changing to agrarian only relatively
recently), and before that were unlikely to have been carrion eaters. 
The best model for pre-civilization human diet is that of chimpanzees
and gorillas - which are omnivores and/or vegetarians - and neither is a
carrion eater to any significant degree.

There is no built in resistance for spoilage toxins or bacteria, or
potential thereof - at least not any more than exists in any other
animal that has an immune system.

The human species has only existed for at most 200000 years and
therefore can't have had anything built in for millions of years.

> You're right.  The bacteria and the toxins are both dangers.  But antibodies
> can/will be developed to not just the bacteria, but also to the toxins,
> given sufficient exposure.

I have not read any texts or articles on antibodies and food toxins, but
I would be surprised if they were common or all that effective.  I would
expect that often, "sufficent exposure" to many food toxins (e.g.
botulinum) would likely be fatal.

- Doc

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