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

Fields Family Farm fields at texas.net
Thu Sep 9 12:23:54 PDT 2010

Bah.  I accidentally sent in the middle of typing that, I didn't even get a
chance to proof-read it.

Anyway, I'll finish.  Few question the effectiveness of the tetanus vaccine.

If you're wondering about antibodies to food-borne bacterial toxins, here
are some recent studies on mice building antibodies to the botulism toxin:


Sadly, those are just the abstracts.  I'll try to find a complete article I
can link for you.

Finding studies of human antibodies to food-borne toxins is tougher, as
modern society is ramped-up to prevent exposure.  When we find a new
aboriginal tribe, one of the first things we do is show them modern food
preparation and storage methods to help them avoid food poisoning - we don't
stand back and test how they're handling the food poisoning they're already
exposed to.

I'll keep searching for good references/articles for you.  I should
eventually find more.


On Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 2:12 PM, Fields Family Farm <fields at texas.net> wrote:

> On Thu, Sep 9, 2010 at 8:54 AM, Daniel Myers <dmyers at medievalcookery.com>wrote:
>> > -------- 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.
> While Homo sapiens sapiens first diverged around 200,000 years ago, Homo
> sapiens sapiens is a sub-species of Homo sapiens, which has been around much
> longer.  And even then, many anthropologists consider the split from the
> chimpanzee/bonobo line about 6.5 million years ago to be the origin of
> 'humanity'.  At the least, Homo erectus, Homo ergaster, and Homo
> heidelbergensis, dating back 2 million years, are considered to be 'human'
> by anthropologists such as Milford Wolpoff.  But, I'm flexible.  If you wish
> to call our large-brained, upright, tool-using ancestors something other
> than humans, I'll go with it.  What shall we call them?  Proto-humans?
> Yes, 'humans' (H. sapiens sapiens) have been hunter-gatherers for much of
> their history, but it wasn't recorded history.  Humans didn't start record
> keeping until they advanced to agrarian societies, which meant they were no
> longer hunter-gatherers - at least not the ones recording.
> Anyway, as 'proto-humans' diverged from the other great apes, and gained a
> larger brain, their diet changed as well, to support this new brain, which
> needed more fats and proteins.  As part of their diet, they scavenged and
> ate carrion.  And, because of this diet, their immune system changed
> somewhat as well.  One theory is that humans evolved a more acidic digestive
> system, as a result.  Some vultures and other carrion eaters also have this
> adaptation, though to a greater extreme, in that it protects against a large
> part of the bacteria they eat.  This theory also explains 'heartburn' as a
> result of malfunctions of this heightened acidic digestion.  If I remember
> correctly, chimps don't get heartburn.
> As a hobby, I read recent science articles, abstracts, even journals when I
> can get hold of them.  Most of them are on the web, but sadly, most also
> charge for access.  So giving references for some of what I read can be a
> problem.  But, luckily, a quick Google search turned up a supporting source
> that I can quote and link for you.  From Evolution, by Jean-Baptiste de
> Panafieu, Page 94 (emphasis mine):
> "Between man and chimpanzee there is barely a 1% difference in the overall
> sequence of the DNA...  However the differences are distributed throughout
> the whole of the genome and therefore affect most of the genes.  This does
> not always affect the synthesis of the proteins, whose functioning is
> controlled by the genes, but the activity of some is markedly modified.  The
> most different genes have to do with the sense of smell, with hearing, *digestion,
> and the immune system*. Our ancestors' evolution was subjected to powerful
> selection pressures that left traces in our genome.  They mainly concern *resistance
> to microbes*, the production of ova and sperm, DNA function in the cells,
> and nerve cell activity.  These genes shaped by selection probably played an
> important role in our ancestors' survival and reproduction.
> ...
> Adaption to an environment more open than the equatorial forest, with vast
> stretches of savannah, remains one of the most plausible hypotheses (for man
> walking upright).  Man is not only a good walker, over *some two million
> years* he has also shown all the characteristics of a good long distance
> runner.  *With a brain larger than that of his ancestors, early man needed
> a diet richer in fats and proteins*, because that organ devours so much
> energy.  *It was probably important for him to be quick to find the
> carcasses signaled by vultures circling, after the large predators had their
> meal but before the arrival of the other carrion eaters*.  These archaic
> men may have also hunted by chase, pursuing prey over long distances to
> exhaustion..."
> Here's the link:
> http://books.google.com/books?id=zIjkHwTJJFEC&pg=PA94&dq=carrion+eater+immune+system&hl=en&ei=nB6JTMjgFIKC8gb415ifBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false
> If Google books doesn't take you directly to page 94, just enter 'carrion
> eater immune system' into the search field.
> Of course, Jean-Baptiste de Panafieu is a professor of 'Natural Science',
> not anthropology, but he's following the generally accepted current
> science.  And he's French.  For all I know, 'Natural Scientist' may be what
> the French call their anthropologists/biologists.
>> > 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.
> Are you questioning the effectiveness of antibodies against toxins in
> general?  Or just food toxins?  Against toxins in general, there's a long
> history of building immunity to organic toxins.  Those that get snake-bit
> often enough eventually become immune.  The same is possible with many
> plant-based toxins.  If you're looking at bacterial toxins, the tetanus
> vaccine actually protects against the toxin, not the bacteria, and few q

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