October 2007

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Vol: 10.10


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Geoff Bond

Nutritional Anthropologist

Evolutionary Biology

The Bond Effect The Bond Effect The Bond Effect
The Science and Art of Living the Way Nature Intended
Private Subscription Newsletter: $18.00 Annually
10th Year of Publication

We are independent of commercial pressure and say exactly what we think.


AS NATURE INTENDED: Sunlight is Human Food

Low Sunshine, Increased Broken Hips

Low Sunshine, Increased Pre-eclampsia


AS NATURE INTENDED: Physical Activity

Only 3% of UK 11-year Olds Get Enough Exercise



Lack of Sleep Doubles Risk of Death



Are Sprouted Grains Better?

Economical Consequences of the Savanna Model



Pregnant Women Should Eat Fish After All

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Retain Goodness Long after Purchase

"Take The Stairs" Signs Work

Don't Let Your Guard Down in "Healthy" Restaurants



Signed and dedicated Deadly Harvest



Official Statistics Misused for Political Ends

"Disrupt-then-Reframe" Technique Increases Sales

The Sound of a Name Sells



Garlic Helps Relax Arteries

"Fruity Vegetables" and Fish Reduce Asthma and Allergies

Omega-3 in Flaxseed Reduces Hot Flashes



Babysitting and Caring Grandmothers

Why Grandfathers Matter

Career Women Will Die Out

Step-Children Care less For Step-Parents

Ethnic Diversity is Not How Nature Intended



Peter Harris



Dr Günter Noll


Always consult your doctor before undertaking any health program


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Deadly Harvest Information Page

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Healthy Harvest Information Page

AS NATURE INTENDED: Sunlight is Human Food

Nature designed humans on the assumption they will be exposed to a certain level of sunshine. Without it things go wrong. [Ref 1].

Low Sunshine, Increased Broken Hips

Those women who had the lowest levels of the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, were 77% more likely to have hip fracture than those who had average levels [Ref 6]. 

Low Sunshine, Increased Pre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia, also known as toxemia, is a serious complication of pregnancy. It is marked by very high blood pressure and it threatens the well-being of both baby and mother. 

Those women who had the lowest levels of sunshine vitamin D early in pregnancy were 5 times more likely to develop pre-eclampsia [Ref 7]


AS NATURE INTENDED: Physical Activity

Nature designed humans on the assumption they will indulge in a certain level of physical activity. Without it things go wrong.

Only 3% of UK 11-Year olds Get Enough Exercise

Only one in five 11-year old girls had 5 minutes or more of intense activity per day. That compares with just two boys in five [Ref 8]. And that's as good as it gets! The authors observe that: "it is a sobering thought that children's activity levels actually peak at this age (11 years old) and decline precipitously during adolescence". [See "Take The Stairs" Signs Work later.]



Nature designed humans on the assumption they will receive a certain length and quality of sleep. Without it things go wrong.

Lack of Sleep Doubles Risk of Death

According to a study by Dr Cappuccio, consistently sleeping around 7 hours a night is the optimum for health; two hours fewer and the risk of death from heart disease doubles. [Ref 9]



Are Sprouted Grains Better?

Q. There is a bread product made from sprouted grain rather then the grain itself. A web article discusses ways to prepare grain so that, as it claims, it is healthy rather then detrimental. Here is the link. Is there a 'grain' of truth in this or no?

A. No. The writers of the article, Mary Enig and Sally Fallon, are well known evangelists for improving our food supply and they do sterling work for the Weston A Price Foundation (a USA consumer lobby group). In their article they articulately set out the natural and artificial drawbacks to grains. However, they then suggest that grains can be made edible if they are fermented or sprouted. 

Some of the drawbacks are indeed reduced only to increase others. For example in our newsletter of February 2001 we make the point that bread from sprouted grains has less gluten but gives a higher sugar rush.

So why bother trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear? Grains are not human food. AVOID.

The Economical Consequences of The Savanna Model

Q. My wife and I haven't bought a packaged food product (other then tuna or olive oil) for 3 months. Can you imagine what would happen to the U.S. economy if nobody bought manufactured foods anymore? It would collapse completely if everybody started following your guidelines! Moreover, a healthier population would bankrupt the massive health care and pharmaceutical industries. Clearly it is in the government's best interest to mislead us in order to retain commercial self preservation. Are you planning to write a book about it?


A. In Chapter Two of Deadly Harvest I discuss the immense commercial and political pressures disfiguring the government's policies. My newsletter articles cast light on the perfidious activities of the industry players [Ref 2]. Many others have skewered them, for example Eric Schlosser in his book Fast Food Nation (see my review on Amazon), Morgan Spurlock in his film SuperSize Me! and investigative journalist Kurt Eichenwald in his book The Informant where he exposes the conspiracy of food giant Archer Daniels Midland to rip off consumers. (Matt Damon is scheduled to star in the film)


However, you raise a more interesting question. Could the USA -- could the World -- sustain its populations if everyone adopted the Savanna Model? As long ago as 1995, Patrick O'Brien analyzed the prospect in the more modest context of the Mediterranean Diet [Ref 3]. The short answer is "No!". Quite simply, if all Americans, Chinese, Indians (and the rest) insisted on eating huge volumes of strawberries, lettuce and green beans instead of potatoes, wheat, corn and rice, several Earth-size planets would not be enough. 


So until the Earth's population is reduced to something like a tenth of its current size, you can expect all governments (American included) to continue subsidizing the intensive production of corn, dairy, soybean, sugar and wheat. And you can expect them to -- to have to -- manipulate and mislead their populations to consume them. See Manipulation Watch later.


Our Ironical Conclusion? Don't expect to see Deadly Harvest on the school syllabus anytime soon. We should be thankful that you and I know -- but that most of the world doesn't!



Pregnant Women Should Eat Fish After All

The debate about mercury in fish has created confusion for pregnant women. This leads to inadequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids resulting in risks to their health and the health of their babies. According to a new guidelines, women who want to become pregnant, are pregnant or are breastfeeding should eat a minimum of 12 ounces per week of oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel, and can do so safely. [Ref 13] The guidelines confirm that the alleged risks from mercury don't exist. Furthermore, fish are rich in selenium which is an antidote to mercury.


Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Retain Goodness Long After Purchase

Don't throw away that produce just because you've had it in the fridge a few days. Recent research by Belgian scientists shows that it keeps its micronutrient content (phenols, ascorbic acid, flavonoids) for many days after purchase. [Ref 19]

"Take The Stairs" Signs Work

What would it take to persuade you to take the stairs instead of the escalator at the mall or office? A team of British researchers found that messages on stair risers such as "Take The Stairs" and "7 Minutes of Stair Climbing Daily Protect Your Heart" boosted climbing by 190%. [Ref 20].


Our View? Mall operators and Office managers do your bit -- and install these signs! [See AS NATURE INTENDED: Physical Activity, earlier.]


Don't Let your Guard Down in "Healthy" Restaurants

A recent study suggests that when people choose "healthy" dishes in a restaurant they feel so virtuous that they let their guard down. They not only eat more, they reward themselves with extra helpings of unhealthy dessert. [Ref 19] The net result is worse than if they had eaten in a fast food restaurant. 


Our View? Doesn't apply to Natural Eaters, surely!


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Signed and Dedicated Deadly Harvest

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Personalize your present with a dedicated bookplate (choose your own words), and signed by Geoff Bond. Order it from our online shop.



We are under constant assault by the forces of misinformation and manipulation. Here are some current examples:

Official Statistics Misused for Political Ends

"A child born in the United States in 2005 can expect to live to nearly 78 years -- a new high -- according to a new report... based on [2005] death records..." Press Release by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. 


This upbeat assessment of the state of the nation's health is intended to fool people into thinking times are getting ever better.


Fallacy? The statistics are based on people who died in 2005 and born, on average, 78 years ago in 1927. No one knows how long a child born today will live! On current trends, an increasing number of children born today will not only have shorter lives than their parents, they will die before them. September 2002 and [Ref 4]. 


"Disrupt-then-Reframe" Technique to Increase Sales

Want to increase sales? Try this technique: first confuse your customers and then explain it simply -- they buy it! Using this stratagem, researchers dramatically increased sales of a candy bar in a supermarket. First they used technical jargon, unfamiliar pricing, or too much choice. They then restated the pitch in a more familiar way. 


This works best on "susceptible" customers who, in their disoriented state, cling gratefully to the first familiar piece of information. In this state they refuse to listen to additional information which might unsettle their decision. [Ref 5]


Our View? Such is the nature of the psycho-techniques -- in the footsteps of Edward Bernays, (p. 194, Deadly Harvest) -- carried out by food producers to influence "susceptible" consumers "to buy product they don't need and don't want".


The Sound of a Name Sells

Would you prefer to buy an SUV called a "Himmer" or a "Hummer"? More likely the Hummer say "consumer persuasion" researchers. People associate "u" sounds with largeness and reliability. In contrast they associate "i" sounds as in "mill" with small, sharp or fast characteristics. The researchers note that, new brands are frequently created and consumers buy more of them when the sound fits the product. Oh, and avoid the "yoo" sound as in "putrid" -- no one liked that for anything!


Our View? Such subtleties gnaw away at our subconscious while we fondly imagine we are making informed choices.



Garlic helps Relax Arteries

Eating two cloves of fresh garlic is one of the best ways to lower blood pressure and protect yourself from heart disease. It works by increasing production of the "rotten eggs" gas, hydrogen sulfide, deep within the body's cells. Furthermore, "the role of garlic in limiting cancer growth ... is well documented", says lead researcher Dr David Kraus, University of Alabama at Birmingham. [Ref 10].


"Fruity Vegetables" and Fish reduce Asthma and Allergies

Children who consumed more than 40 grams (1.5 oz) of "fruity vegetables" a day -- namely tomatoes, eggplants (aubergines), cucumber, green beans and zucchini (courgettes) - were much less likely to suffer from childhood asthma. [Ref 11

Furthermore, children who consumed more than 60 grams of fish a day also suffered fewer childhood allergies. This reinforces the protection afforded by their mothers eating fish during pregnancy.

The dietary effects were quite specific and other fruits and vegetables examined did not provide the same protective effect. Nor did other food groups included in the study, such as dairy products, meat, poultry and bread. [Surprise!]


Omega-3 in Flaxseed Reduces Hot Flashes

Initial studies by Mayo Clinic suggest that flaxseed reduces the incidence of hot flashes [Ref 12]. This chimes with earlier studies that show that omega-3 in fish oils help hot flashes in the same way. See August 2006.



Babysitting and Caring Grandmothers

In Deadly Harvest, page 218, we explain how there is an evolutionary reason why humans have a "grandmother" phase (i.e. living for another 25 years after menopause). The answer is that the grandmother's nurture was vital to ensure the survival of her grandchildren. 


Now a new study of foragers in Gambia, West Africa, confirms that children between one and two years old have twice the chance of survival if the maternal grandmother is alive; no other relatives had any effect. [Ref 14].


Our View? Try to work with the grain in your family too. Both the maternal grandmother and her grandchildren benefit from her caring role.


Why Grandfathers Matter

What about grandfathers? Why do men live on so long? This has long been a conundrum in evolutionary circles. Now Cedric Puleston and colleagues at Stanford University, California, think they have the answer. All through our evolutionary history, alpha males well into their 70's, have mated with younger, fertile females. In the words of Puleston, "The fatherhood of older men is enough to postpone the date with death because natural selection fights life- shortening mutations until the species is finished reproducing".


Puleston developed his conclusions after studying several hunter-gatherer groups: the Dobe !Kung (San) of Botswana, the Yanomamo of Brazil, and the Ache of Peru. He found indeed that old men continued to procreate with women 20 or 30 years their juniors [Ref 21].


Career Women Will Die Out

In Deadly Harvest, page 204, I explore the asymmetrical workplace situation between men and women. One paragraph ends, "If indeed she [the career woman] pursues a high-powered, all-consuming career at the expense of developing a family life, she might find that the harvest is bitter." 


Now Dr Lonnie Aarssen observes that women are genetically wired with a drive for motherhood. This drive can range from weak to strong. Aarssen goes on: "The drive to leave a legacy through offspring can be side-tracked by an attraction to legacy through other things like career, fame, and fortune – distractions that, until recently, were only widely available to men.” As a result, in the developed world, we are living through a period of widespread childlessness.


However, Dr. Aarssen calculates that genetic traits that lead women away from motherhood will be "bred out". The genes of women who choose career over children don't get into the next generation. Future generations of women will be descended from women with stronger motherhood genes; they will favor childrearing over a high powered career and the reproduction rate will rise again to normal levels [Ref 15].


Our View? Modern society mostly defeats the processes of natural selection. This is one remarkable instance of how it will operate in powerful ways to rectify the current dislocation in female fertility.


Step-children Care Less for Step-parents

In the first drafts of Deadly Harvest, I wrote at some length about the evolutionary sociology of step-parenting (which is common in forager societies). These passages did not make it into the printed book, but are still available in the "Author's Cut" for those who buy the electronic edition. They concluded that, with the best will in the world, forager step-parents are, willy-nilly, hard wired to be less committed to the genes in someone else's children than they are to their own.


Now Adam Davey Ph D of Temple University, Philadelphia, finds that the reverse applies too, at least in USA. Both mothers and fathers of step-children are only half as likely to receive support in their old age from a non-biological child as they are from their own [Ref 16]. 


Ethnic Diversity is Not How Nature Intended

In Deadly Harvest, page 199, I observe that, "From these insights [about in-group, out-group friction] we can predict that multicultural societies are likely to be more neurotic and stressful". 


Now Harvard University's Professor Putnam paints "a bleak picture of the corrosive effects of ethnic diversity". His research shows that the more diverse a community is, the less likely its inhabitants are to trust anyone – from their next-door neighbor to the mayor. “In the presence of diversity, we hunker down”, he said. “We act like turtles. The effect of diversity is worse than had been imagined”. [Ref 17]


Prof Putnam found trust was lowest in Los Angeles, “the most diverse human habitation in human history”. The data showed that the more people of different races lived in the same community, the greater the loss of trust. “They don’t trust the local mayor, they don’t trust the local paper, they don’t trust other people and they don’t trust institutions.” 


British Home Office research has pointed in the same direction and Prof Putnam, now working with social scientists at Manchester University, said other European countries would be likely to have similar trends. His 2001 book, Bowling Alone, on the increasing atomization of contemporary society, made him an academic celebrity. Policymakers were impressed and he was invited to speak at Camp David, Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.


A separate study shows how hatred between different ethnic groups erupts into violence. You don't have to know about the issues, the cultural differences, the religious incompatibilities or the local economics. All you need to know is the level of mixing. When groups live in ghettos there is less violence because they simply don't come into contact with each other. 


Professor Yaneer Bar-Yam and colleagues at the New England Complex Systems Institute in Cambridge, Mass. studied ethnic violence in former Yugoslavia and in the North East Frontier of India. These are both "multicultural" regions. The more the mixing, the greater the level of violence. [Ref 18]



Reader (and contributor) Peter Harris lives in Melbourne, Australia. He and his wife Sarah would like to meet like-minded, Natural Eating  Melbournians. If there are any of you out there, please email us: admin@naturaleater.com  and we will be delighted to put you in touch.



From Dr Günter Nöll, Vienna, Austria, biochemist and authority on edible wild plants. 

"Your book is, without any doubt, setting a standard in the field. I always admired the verve and perseverance with which you carried this project through. And I think I can judge it as I'm trying myself to bring out a book. In contrast to your penetrating enquiries into the relevant literature and research, I'm fighting against wind and weather when taking my pictures - on edible wild plants!"

[Dr Nöll makes valuable contributions to our Newsletters, for example: September 2003, August 2005, August 2006]


We will let you know when Dr Noll's book is published.

Always consult your doctor before undertaking any health program

[1] Marc Sorenson; Solar Power for Optimal Health, ISBN1-4243-1387-2.

[2] Pyramid Scheming: February 2002. Nestles Bottled Tap Water: October 2003. Truth in Labeling August 2005. Packed Junk for Lunch April 2001. Big Pharma Subverts NIH Watchdog June 2005. Big Pharma and Disease Mongering January 2006

[3] Patrick O'Brien; Mediterranean Diets -- Dietary Shifts and Implications for US Agriculture; Am J Clin Nutr 1995:61(suppl):1390S-6S

[4] Dr David Katz, Yale School of Medicine, Yale School of Public Health and Director of Yale's Research Center. Nutrition Conference, April 2002.

[5] Frank R.; The Role of the Need for Cognitive Closure in the Effectiveness of the Disrupt-then-Reframe Influence Technique; Journal of Consumer Research; Oct 2007

[6] Dr. Jane Cauley; Women's Health Initiative Observational Study; 29th Annual Meeting, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Hawaii, 2007

[7] Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children; Archives of Disease in Childhood; October 2007.

[8] Arch Dis Child. 2007 Nov;92(11):963-9. Epub 2007 Sep 13; Objective measurement of levels and patterns of physical activity. Riddoch CJ.

[9] Cappuccio, Francesco; Sleep, November 2007.

[10] Kraus, David, Benavides, Gloria; Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences, November 2007

[11] Chatzi et al; Diet, Wheeze and atophy in school children in Menorca, Spain; Pediatric Allergy and Immunology (September 2007); 18; pp 480 to 485.

[12] Pruthi S; Pilot evaluation of flaxseed for the management of hot flashes; J Soc Integr Oncol. 2007 Summer;5(3):106-12

[13] Guidelines for Seafood Consumption During Pregnancy; Maternal Nutrition Group in partnership with the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition; 2007.

[14] Shanley DP; Testing evolutionary theories of menopause; Proc Biol Sci. 2007 Dec 7;274(1628):2943-9.

[15] Lonnie W. Aarssen (2007); Some bold evolutionary predictions for the future of mating in humans; Oikos 116 (10), 1768–1778. doi:10.1111/j.2007.0030-1299.16170.x

[16] Davey, Adam; Advances in Life Course Research; September 2007.

[17] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c4ac4a74-570f-11db-9110-0000779e2340.html

[18] Lim, M., R. Metzler, and Y. Bar-Yam. 2007. Global pattern formation and ethnic/cultural violence. Science 317(Sept. 14):1540-1544.

[19] Pierre Chandon and Brian Wansink. "The Biasing Health Halos of Fast Food Restaurant Health Claims: Lower Calorie Estimates and Higher Side-Dish Consumption Intentions" Journal of Consumer Research: October 2007.

[20] Webb OJ, Eves FF. Effects of environmental changes in a stair climbing intervention: generalization to stair descent. Am J Health Promo 22(1), 2007.  

[21] Tuljapurkar SD, Puleston CO, Gurven MD (2007) Why Men Matter: Mating Patterns Drive Evolution of Human Lifespan. PLoS ONE 2(8): e785. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000785.



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