100 Million Years Of Food Book Summary - 100 Million Years Of Food Book explained in key points
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100 Million Years Of Food summary

Stephen Le

What Our Ancestors Ate and Why It Matters Today

4 (147 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

'100 Million Years Of Food' by Stephen Le explores the evolution of the human diet and how it affects our health today. Le challenges modern food myths and offers insights on how to eat for optimal health.

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    100 Million Years Of Food
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    The insect- and fruit-based diets of our early ancestors wouldn’t work for us today.

    If one of our first ancestors walked into one of today’s supermarkets, he’d be stunned by the options. After all, the difference between the overflowing shelves of contemporary grocery stores and the dinnertime options available to our ancient ancestors could hardly be greater.

    Our earliest ancestors, who emerged around 100 million years ago, lived in the trees of tropical forests and primarily ate insects. That might sound gross to us now, but insects are actually a calorie-rich source of vitamins and iron.

    In fact, insects would still make a great addition to the modern human diet. But for us to attempt to live only on bugs wouldn’t be so smart. Our ancestors had enzymes that allowed them to break down the exoskeletons of insects, which are made of chitin, a substance that we can no longer digest. Another problem with eating bugs is that they can trigger allergies and produce harmful toxins.

    But in moderation, the consumption of insects would be a great boon to modern food production. For instance, crickets produce about 50 percent less carbon dioxide than cows per pound and convert feed into calories 12 times more efficiently.

    Nonetheless, our ancestors transitioned away from creepy crawlies around 60 million years ago. Around this time, the climate began cooling and, as the air grew more humid, the first fruit-bearing trees emerged.

    During the same period, our ancestors lost the ability to synthesize vitamin C, which is essential to preventing cell damage. They only survived this change because they could get plenty of vitamin C from fruit.

    So around 30 million years ago our ancestors became full-time fruit eaters. However, eating too much fruit can also be bad since fruit contains fructose, something our body can only metabolize so much of; overconsumption can lead to insulin resistance and pancreatic cancer.

    The actor Ashton Kutcher learned this the hard way. When preparing to portray Steve Jobs, Kutcher followed the tech CEO’s fruitarian diet for a month. After just 30 days, Kutcher was hospitalized with pancreatic issues.

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    What is 100 Million Years Of Food about?

    100 Million Years of Food (2016) is about the foods our ancestors ate and how that diet relates to our eating habits today. These blinks will take you way back in time to explore the evolution of eating. They’ll explain that, while there’s no one-size-fits-all diet, there are a few general rules to abide by.

    100 Million Years Of Food Review

    100 Million Years Of Food (2016) by Stephen Le dives into the intriguing history of human food and provides valuable insights into nutrition. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its fascinating exploration of how our ancestors' diets still influence us today, it offers a fresh perspective on nutrition.
    • The book covers a wide range of topics, from evolutionary biology to cultural practices, providing a comprehensive understanding of our relationship with food.
    • Through engaging storytelling and a wealth of research, it presents complex scientific concepts in an accessible way, making the subject matter engaging and thought-provoking.

    Best quote from 100 Million Years Of Food

    As it turns out, there is some scientific justification behind the connection between meat, mood, and sex.

    —Stephen Le
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    Who should read 100 Million Years Of Food?

    • Anyone who is dissatisfied with their weight or health
    • Readers who are on the lookout for reliable dietary recommendations
    • History and food lovers

    About the Author

    Stephen Le is a visiting professor of Biology at the University of Ottawa. He holds a PhD in biological anthropology from UCLA. This is his first best seller.

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    100 Million Years Of Food FAQs 

    What is the main message of 100 Million Years Of Food?

    The main message of 100 Million Years Of Food is that our modern diets are not in harmony with our evolutionary past.

    How long does it take to read 100 Million Years Of Food?

    The reading time for 100 Million Years Of Food varies depending on the reader's speed but typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is 100 Million Years Of Food a good book? Is it worth reading?

    100 Million Years Of Food is worth reading as it explores the fascinating history of human nutrition and offers insights into improving our modern diets.

    Who is the author of 100 Million Years Of Food?

    The author of 100 Million Years Of Food is Stephen Le.

    What to read after 100 Million Years Of Food?

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