Thursday, February 16, 2012

Paleo and Hunter/Gatherer Diets

I had the privilege to review a book called The Hunter/Farmer Diet Solution. The book doesn't come out until April 1st so I'm not going to talk too much about it but it got me thinking. The idea is that some people are Hunters and some are Farmers and that they should eat accordingly. I and my family seem to fall into the Hunter category.
Cool because I had two Paleo diet books from the library and maybe it was time to start eating a more Paleo or Hunter/Gatherer diet.
The idea behind the Paleo diet is that you eat what they would have eaten in the Paleo era. It's a gluten free, dairy free diet with some weird other rules. I didn't like the Paleo diet which was a shame because I loved the Hunter diet.
Neither diet has you counting calories, the concept is to eat like we should be eating if we lived in an era outside our own.
Interestingly enough, a group of friends and I have been discussing historical diets and I have been watching The Supersizers Go - a BBC show on historical diets (currently airing on the Cooking Channel).
All of this has gotten me thinking, which doesn't work with our American cheap diet experiment this month. We like to forage and are planning a year of learning to eat what we can find to help us maintain a food budget. That sounds a lot like living like a hunter/gatherer but we have access to a grocery store.
It's as if all this information is coming together to show me the perfect diet (not weight loss diet, just diet diet). I will have to use more modern storage to preserve what we acquire but maybe it's time to start getting rather serious about our foraging.
This year we are branching out and trying a different mushroom (as soon as we find it) or two if we are able to find them. We will harvest nettles and cattails this spring and search for wapato plants so we can harvest potatoes this fall. We may be picking arnica and other herbs for medicinal remedies. All this depends on us having the luck to locate these plants. We'll keep an eye out for more fruits and berries and nuts as the year goes on.
I still plan on making something with our acorns that are sitting in the freezer. I think I'll grind them up into flour and make acorn cakes.
We might get brave enough to hunt for wasp larvae and make the soup my son has been eyeing since he found it in a Native American cookbook.
I hope to find snails and learn to cook them.
It sounds kind of gross - some of these foods but I want to be a Hunter/Gatherer. I keep thinking about ways to grow my own food while living in an apartment. We've talked about raising guinea pigs for food since they breed rather rapidly (I know we had a ton when I was a kid) but I think they are cute and I haven't a clue how to turn them into food. My mom and I talk about learning to hunt and the problem is we are hesitant to take a life even though we have no problem eating meat and love meat.
So much to think about. Foraging might be a great way to stretch the budget but I also see it as learning a skill that may very well save our life some day.

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