Anyone that is genuinely interested in having the best possible health should make their own study of the titles listed in the bibliography in the back of this book. After you do, award yourself a BS nutrition. I draw certain conclusions from this body of data. I think they help a person sort out the massive confusion that exists today about proper diet.

First principle: Homo Sapiens clearly can posses extreme health while eating very different dietary regimens. There is no one right diet for humans.

Before the industrial era almost everyone on Earth ate what was produced locally. Their dietary choices were pretty much restricted to those foods that were well adapted and productive in their region. Some places grew rye, others wheat, others millet, others rice. Some places supported cows, others goats, others had few on no domesticated animals. Some places produced a lot of fruits and vegetables. Others, did not. Whatever the local dietary, during thousands of years of eating that dietary natural selection prevailed; most babies that were allergic to or not able to thrive on the available dietary, died quickly. Probably of childhood bacterial infections. The result of this weeding out process was a population closely adapted to the available dietary of a particular locale.

This has interesting implications for Americans, most of whose ancestors immigrated from somewhere else; many of our ancestors also "hybridized" or crossed with immigrants from elsewhere. Trying to discover what dietary substances your particular genetic endowment is adapted to can be difficult and confusing. If both your parents were Italian and they were more or less pure Italian going way back, you might start out trying to eat wheat, olives, garlic, fava beans, grapes, figs, cow dairy. If pure German, try rye bread, cow dairy, apples, cabbage family vegetables. If Scottish, try oats, mutton, fish, sheep dairy and cabbage family vegetables. If Jewish, try goat dairy, wheat, olives and citrus. And certainly all the above ethnic derivations will thrive on many kinds of vegetables. Afro-Americans, especially dark-complexioned ones little mixed with Europeans, might do well to avoid wheat and instead, try sorghum, millet or tropical root crops like sweet potatoes, yams and taro.

Making it even more difficult for an individual to discover their optimum diet is the existence of genetic-based allergies and worse, developed allergies. Later in this chapter I will explain how a body can develop an allergy to a food that is probably irreversible. A weakened organ can also prevent digestion of a food or food group.

One more thing about adaptation to dietaries. Pre-industrial humans could only be extraordinarily healthy on the dietary they were adapted to if and only if that dietary also was extraordinarily high in nutrients. Few places on earth have naturally rich soil. Food grown on poor soil is poor in nutrition; that grown on rich soil is high in nutrition. People do not realize that the charts and tables in the backs of health books like Adelle Davis's Lets Cook It Right, are not really true. They are statistics. It is vital to keep in mind the old saying, "there are lies, there are damned lies, and then there are statistics. The best way to lie is with statistics."

Statistical tables of the nutrient content of foods were developed by averaging numerous samples of food from various soils and regions. These tables basically lie because they do not show the range of possibility between the different samples. A chart may state authoritatively that 100 grams of broccoli contains so many milligrams of calcium. What it does not say is that some broccoli samples contain only half that amount or even less, while other broccoli contains two or three times that amount. Since calcium is a vital nutrient hard to come by in digestible form, the high calcium broccoli is far better food than the low calcium sample. But both samples of broccoli appear and taste more or less alike. Both could even be organically grown. Yet one sample has a very positive ratio of nutrition to calories, the other is lousy food. (Schuphan, 1965) Here's another example I hope will really dent the certainties the Linda Clarkites. Potatoes can range in protein from eight to eleven percent, depending on the soil that produced them and if they were or were not irrigated. Grown dry (very low yielding) on semiarid soils, potatoes can be a high-protein staff of life. Heavily irrigated and fertilized so as to produce bulk yield instead of nutrition, they'll produce two or three times the tonnage, but at 8 percent protein instead of 11 percent. Not only does the protein content drop just as much as yield is boosted, the amino acid ratios change markedly, the content of scarce nutritional minerals drops massively, and the caloric content increases. In short, subsisting on irrigated commercially-grown potatoes, or on those grown on relatively infertile soils receiving abundant rainfall will make you fat and sick. They're a lot like manioc.

Here's another. Wheat can range from 7 to 19 percent protein. Before the industrial era ruined most wheat by turning it into white flour, wheat-eating peoples from regions where the cereal naturally contains abundant protein tended to be tall, healthy and long-lived. Wheat-eating humans from regions that produce low protein grain tended to be small, sickly and short-lived. (McCarrison, 1921, 1936, 1982; Albrecht, 1975)

Even cows have to pay attention to where their grass is coming from. Some green grass is over 15 percent protein and contains lots of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium to build strong bodies. Other equally or even better looking green grass contains only six or seven percent protein and contains little calcium, phosphorus or magnesium. Cows forced to eat only this poor type of grass can literally starve to death with full bellies. And they have a hard time breeding successfully. The reason for the difference: different soil fertility profiles. (Albrecht, 1975)

When people ate local, those living on fertile soils or getting a significant portion of their diet from the sea and who because of physical isolation from industrial foods did not make a practice of eating empty calories tended to live a long time and be very healthy. But those unfortunates on poor soils or with unwise cultural life-styles tended to be short-lived, diseased, small, weak, have bad teeth, and etc. The lesson here is that Homo Sapiens can adapt to many different dietaries, but like any other animal, the one thing we can't adapt to is a dietary deficient in nutrition.

So here's another "statistic" to reconsider. Most people believe that due to modern medical wonders, we live longer than we used to. Actually, that depends. Compared to badly nourished populations of a century ago, yes! We do. Chemical medicine keeps sickly, poorly nourished people going a lot longer (though one wonders about the quality of their dreary existences.) I hypothesize that before the time most farmers purchased and baked with white flour and sold their whole, unground wheat, many rural Americans (the ones on good soil, not all parts of North America have rich soil) eating from their own self-sufficient farms, lived as long or even longer than we do today. You also have to wonder who benefits from promulgating this mistaken belief about longevity. Who gets rich when we are sick? And what huge economic interests are getting rich helping make us sick?