Title: Origins and Evolution of the Western Diet: Health Implications for the 21st Century
Speaker: Dr. Loren Cordain
Dr. Loren Cordain – Author, The Paleo Diet
Wow! What a warm welcome. Thank you so much Pensacola. So I want to thank Dr. Ford for the cordial invitation down here. Also I want to thank Roger and [Orthane] their courtesy for providing me with the house. So very much appreciate it. So let’s just go ahead and get into it.
This talk is based on a scientific paper our research group published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005 [http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/81/2/341.full], and to say the least I’ve got an incredible mileage out of this paper. It’s taken me all over the world. So as a matter of fact, I’m going to be — where am I going to be — I’m going to be in Rome in two weeks giving a similar talk. So lot of mileage on this.
All right. So any time we’re talking about the origins and evolution of the human diet, what we’re really talking about is the origins and evolution of humanity itself. And so let me walk you through this slide because this is going to set the stage for the rest the lecture. And if you look carefully up here, there’s a couple of key items that we need to consider.
The first thing is the word “Hominin” and what hominin means is a bipedal ape. And so what all of these little boxes here, these rectangular boxes, represent are hominin. So these are different species of our ancestral humans, and the length of the box indicates the time in the geologic record in which we find these fossils. And so these ones that are labeled in green right here, we’re not sure if these are apes or if these are hominins. So these are kind of the last common ancestors and you notice then that the period at which we became hominins and bipedal happened roughly 5 million to 7 million years ago.