Today I got an email from my good friend Cassandra Forsythe. Cass is brilliant so anything she sends my way I take very seriously, and this email was no exception.
She forwarded to me a newsletter from the Metabolism Society (yes, we are geeks) about a new documentary being made called “In Search of the Perfect Human Diet.” It looks absolutely fascinating. Here is an excerpt from the newsletter:
“The film is an unprecedented global exploration for the solution to the epidemic of overweight and obesity, rapidly becoming the #1 killer in America. What I’d like to do is tell you a bit about why we’re making this film, how it began for me, and the “behind the scenes” moment that occurred over and over again taking us places we never expected. These unexpected developments have made the search for the “perfect human diet” an incredibly fascinating treasure hunt, one that will be a real eye opener for audiences everywhere.
At this moment in history we are losing the war with obesity, and losing badly.
Between 300- 400,000 American’s die every year from complications related to diet and obesity. Sadly, this crisis is not ours alone. The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that by 2015, 700 million adults will be obese worldwide.
As independent journalist-filmmakers looking for buried treasure, we had to go where others in our profession had not. If we were to genuinely dig to find the answers, the place to explore was outside of the present dietetic groupthink. So in the summer of 2006, it began. Over the last several years we filmed interviews with many of the world’s top scientists, authors, clinicians and researchers in archaeological science and medicine, paleo and forensic anthropology, nutrition and metabolism, and the emerging field of “human dietary evolution.” And what we’ve found are not new scientific theories and speculation- but definitive, scientific, fact-based answers; answers that, if taken advantage of, could solve our weight epidemic.
The first interview we conducted was with Professor Loren Cordain of Colorado State University, author of “The Paleo Diet.” Professor Cordain is a leading U.S. expert in evolutionary human nutrition. At the conclusion of our time with him, he added, “You know who you should go talk to is Mike Richards at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany…” And this kind of mention at the end of each interview is what ended up directing the course of filming. What I had in mind originally only had a few subject matter experts and authors here in the U.S. But these unexpected moments and mentions took us from excavations containing remains of Neanderthals and early modern humans in Jonzac, France, to the biomolecular anthropology analyses labs at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and more. Every destination provided more groundbreaking evidence of a “perfect” human diet that can’t be ignored.
What we’ve uncovered during this journey to solve the obesity epidemic is remarkable. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone, but what I can tell you is this – the solutions to our epidemic of overweight and obesity lie not in focusing on reworking the USDA Food Pyramid every 5-years, but in a vast area of overlooked understanding in nutrition – evolution.
If you would like to know more about the documentary or sign up on the DVD notification list you can do that at perfecthumandiet.com. If you wish to contribute – any amount helpful in assisting in the completion of the film. For business and strategic distribution alliances, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org”
Here is a youtube video of CJ Hunt (the creator) talking about this amazing documentary.
If you watched the video you probably noticed that this documentary notes that problems started around 10,000 years ago (if you are a regular reader of my blog you might already know where this is going). What happened at this point that changed the game? My answer (without actually seeing the movie): The Agricultural Revolution. The ability to farm grains and have ready access to it changed us from hunter-gatherers to farmers. Now this had the result of creating human civilizations, science, art, culture, religion, organized warfare, basically life as we know it today, so it certainly had its benefits. The downfall is that this drastic change in dietary intake, this great increase in grain consumption, caused some severe negative metabolic effects that we are suffering from today. Granted there is more than grains that are the problem: increased sugar intake, increase refined vegetable oil intake, decrease activity levels, etc., but it all started with farming.
I highly encourage you to check out this movie and sign up for the info. It will be an awesome experience.
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