The REAL paleo diet: Researchers find Stone Age people ate surprisingly large amounts of fish

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Billy-o

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Apr 19, 2018
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There are a load of shellfish middens and clam gardens on the salish sea... huge they are. Thousands and thousands of years of people munching away and then throwing the shells over their shoulder on the beach.:) And then the salmon come in huge numbers.

Shame is that there is red tide now. Mean-minded blooms of algae which harbour themselves in bivalves and and paralyse you to death if you eat them. Hilarious, eh? When all you really want to do is sit on the beach sousing steamed clams in vodka and chili sauce.
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Make yourself a Budhcrafters Bloody Mary.
Vodka with Heinz Ketchup and Chilli sauce!

Do not shake.
Do not stir.
Gulp!

Huge shellfish and clam middens indicate that even the Paleo people were lazy, just like us.
Our middens are full of takeaway boxes.
 
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Robson Valley

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I think what marks the real Paleo diet are methods of food preservation unlike much that we can do in this day and time.
Potentially, it has always been a display of "feast and famine" with techniques developed to avoid that as best they can.
That in turn became the driver for cordage, weaving and storage containers.
Europe and the UK cannot be much different that the BC coast or inland.

Coastal First Nations used stone weirs along the rivers to trap salmon for spearing. They still do.
Parks Canada scuba divers have photographed the weirs in 70' of sea water when ocean levels were lower, thousands of years ago.
Inland tribes used weirs to trap rainbow trout in the spawning creeks, their middens are meters deep in fish bone.

Haida still cultivate clams and oysters. Kwakwaka'Wakw, everybody.
Every sandy spot in every nook and cranny of every coastal inlet is "culturally modified" for mariculture.
It's very subtle until you know what to look for (don't take too much.)

Billy-o: I heard the Red Tide was gone out of the Salish Sea. True?
 

Robson Valley

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Agriculture. . . . mariculture, pretty much the same thing.
All of this goes hand-in-hand with artificial selection = what shall we grow?

I would not be surprised in the least to learn of fishing weirs and mariculture examples, all around the UK.
 

Robson Valley

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Crap, anyway. That must have been a horrible hit to First Nations survival, a thousand years ago.
I've read accounts that the juice off a single cooked oyster would kill a person.

"The Salish Sea" is a name that few of you will find on any map. The Salish are an were a very large and powerful First Nation
on the south British Columbia coast, down into what is now Washington state.
The Salish Sea is the inside ocean district from about Naniamo in the north to Puget Sound in the south.
 

Billy-o

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Just by there it is the Salish, Musqueam and Tsleil Waututh nations who are acknowledged ... its all complex and detailed, you know this.

Sort of relatedly, I spent some time trying to find out more about Oscar Pettiford once ... just too complicated for me to piece it all together. Going to have another go soon
 

Robson Valley

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Speaking of a "Paleo" diet, have a look at what's come up with the Tlingit, Haida and Timshian growing high-yield potatoes
which are probably genetic clones of potatoes that they brought back from Chile. Or maybe Russian traders did it.
Imagine! Meats from the ocean and a carb source like potato?
 

Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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And greens from the glades and foreshore!

Did those people hunt much? Land based and water based mammals?

Unless potato cultivation was common in all of Western Americas, from South America to the area today called Alaska and Canada, I would imagine it was the Russians that gave them that opportunity to grow easy and tasty carbs.
 

Robson Valley

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Potatoes are native to the Andes of Chile & Peru. Inca actually freeze-dried potato.

The Haida and Tlingit and Tsimshian built 60' seaworthy western red cedar boats.
They are known to have raided and traded all down the coast, even before the Russians showed up.
In my life time, there's never been mention of potato cultivation, except along the coast.

Across the continent to the east is the bison culture. Then add the trinity of Beans, Corn (maize) and Squash.
I have Bird Woman's Garden Book, a reprinted account of native paleo agriculture on the great plains.

Hard to hunt on land along the BC coast because the scenery is mostly vertical.
The density of the west coast boreal forest tends to exclude most foraging animal species.
They need "edge" and sunlight and regenerating forests, as from fire.
Prime boar grizzly habitat is 100m edges along a south-facing avalanche track.
They don't live in harmony with deer.

But there's millions of salmon, marine mammals and ocean fish like halibut.
Cultivate clams, mussels and oysters. Tide goes out twice a day. Pretty easy to destroy an entire area by careless foraging.
So endless opportunities for shoreline modifications for cultivation.

"Here's a bucket and a shovel. Walk down the beach to where you see the rows of rocks.
Start digging at the far end of the middle sandy patch."

AND, learn how to effectively preserve your abundant food.
These rivers are salmon-free for at least 10 months of the year.

Land plants, seaweeds and add the high yield, high carb of potatoes.
 

Billy-o

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Apr 19, 2018
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What sounds like fun is the sturgeon hunting. Fifty foot pole with a spear on the end. Stand up in a boat and poke the seafloor until you get one ... then wheeeee! I should imagine :lol:
 

Robson Valley

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Sturgeon here hang in deep holes in the Fraser River. Like 90' of water.
Place like that just upstream of Mission where my Mom lived for years.
Biggest she ever saw landed wasn't 500 lbs.
A dead chicken or road-kill on a 3" shark hook is about right.

Dead salmon, etc swirl into those pits and the sturgeon suck that up.
First Nations would tie the fish to a shore-line tree and cut pieces off it.

Now, there's lots of sport fishing for sturgeon in the lower Fraser> Langley, Mission, Chilliwack.
It's all about measurements, tagging, photo opportunities and bragging rights, then release.

Garbage cans of the river. There's better things to eat.
 

Janne

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Their eggs are nice though. Lightly salted. Home made buckwheat blinis. Home made Kefir made from whipping cream. A glass of well chilled Vodka.

That is true Paleo Cuisine!

I like my vodka to rest in the freezer. My freezers are set to -28C or lower. Vodka gets a silky texture.

Most bottom living fish and most crustaceans are trashcans. Tasty still.

Smoked Sturgeon is fantastic too.
 
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Robson Valley

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I think that Paleo distilling skills might have left a lot to be desired.
But, the early experiments with fermentation must have been popular.
From time to time, I catch reports of early clay containers known to have been used for beer & wine.

Imagine a single-car garage. 300+ salmon flayed and hanging from the rafters in a week+ of gentle alder wood smoke.
Long cord chains of clams, mussels and oysters as well. It's just hazy in there. Not like creosote tar.
East of the Rockies, a couple hundred bison on smoke poles.

Despite all that, and a BIG part of the Paleo diet, was the responsibility of the Chief and the Elders
to try to ensure that everybody had enough food. I guess we will never know how often that failed.
Crop failures, food storage failures, small garden sizes.

The American southwest was once a thriving and productive region. The trinity of beans, squash and maize/corn.
Then, about 1100 AD or so, a long sequence of droughts drove everyone away.
 

Janne

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I joked, Vodka is a recent addition to the superior drinking culture in Scandinavia and Russia!
Before, I guess they enjoyed the same as the First Nations, a brew made with berries and some interesting mushrooms mixed in!
 

Robson Valley

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Firewater came with the White Man.
There isn't much of a fermentable carbo sugar nature along the coast.
Get into an old burn for a feed of raspberries. A fw handfuls.
The wild strawberries are fantastic but pea size. $20.00/250ml jam in a Farmer's Market is a bargain.
5(?) species of blueberries but they rot off really fast.
We have wild Sorbus (Rowan) and Craetegus but they're icky to eat, certainly fermentable.

British Columbia has more biogeoclimatic diversity than all of the rest of Canada combined.
From sopping rain forest to searing sage & cactus deserts. Rain shadows and lighting shadows.
Whatever First Nations do or did here, it's very regional.

Just east of me is Jackson Flats, a really strange landscape of sand dunes. The dunes are bespeckled with what look to be dog feces of all sizes and shapes, almost black. Those things are all very much alive, living their odd-ball lives.
 
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Janne

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Feb 10, 2016
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Aha, so a virtually alcohol free society?
Could a difference in the alcohol metabolizing enzyme amongst them be a result of this?
The Same that have a more 'pure' Same DNA have a higher incidence of the lack of this enzyme.
Not that it stopped my Same troopers from imbibing.......
 

Robson Valley

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Bingo. First Nations have the genetics for a depleted alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme.
They are impaired faster and longer than Caucasians. Certainly a source of misery and conflict.