Updated: Jan 22
Can you actually get younger? And should you eat rats? We'll deal with the rat issue at the end so bear with me. I have ADHD. I tend to jump it around.
Yes, you can get younger -- in some respects anyway. I am living proof of that. Diet is one thing. But taking it easy is the real secret. Or, more correctly, figuring out how to take it easy the right way!
Taking it easy
Human beings are the laziest of God’s creatures. Come to think of it, God was lazy too. Almighty but took a day off after six days--hasn’t been around much, doing anything either. Fire him!
Sloth is an evolutionary trait, actually an advantage. Sheer laziness motivates our big brains to make us very efficient — so we can do things the easy way, without even thinking . Unfortunately, in modern America, without evolutionary challenges, you have the archetypal Couch Potato, convenience stores — and beer bellies.
We cannot undo evolution. We are always going to be “immediate reburn hunters and gatherers at our cores, which just happen to be in the stomach. We are just not very good at long term thinking-- only at immediate tasks, like stuffing our mouths the easiest way possible, having fun — singing and dancing--and sex which today is TV and the Internet and maybe politics. We are driven by our taste buds and our penises or vaginas.
Homo Sapiens? Haha. You wish!
We are not really sapient. For us, long term thinking is half fantasy, predicated by wish fulfillment, bias, and often times frustration. We only get up off the couch under threat or to pee. As mentioned, we are not limited by evolutionary challenges.
Our ancestors were gluttons when they managed to kill a big animal. But theirs was a feast and famine existence. Their was no refrigeration. You kill it: you eat it -- quick before it rots and the hyenas come. So sloppy joes and onion rings are in your genes -- and then, of course, in your jeans.
Today, of course, we face real threats but of a kind different from hyenas, which evolved to become the One Percent.
Climate change. Overpopulation. Mass extinctions. First of animals, then (naturally) of you and your kids.
Shortages of critical resources matter --that was the case at the beginning of the Holocene. Then we adapted because we got hungry. It wasn’t long-term thinking. We just chose the easiest ways to avoid dying. And our choices were "sapient" or optimal. .
We haven’t done anything about climate change because things haven’t gotten bad enough yet. And when they have it will be too late.
Today, pandemics make us afraid. Diseases do not discriminate. So, once again, it should be adapt or die. Suddenly people question the status quo. Or rather the status quo that used to be. But if the pandemic passes, we will revert to form. Homo stultus. (stupid)
Fortunately, some of the pro-social qualities that made us successful hunters and gatherers — specifically egalitarianism and reverse dominance psychology — and which were liabilities in the crowded, sedentary, hierarchical, institutionally sociopathic societies, which developed in the Neolithic — remain. Nature can be perverted by nurture but it endures.
Civilizations -- Syphillizations
Natural tendencies never went away, eventually undermining all human “civilizations” and causing them to collapse under their own weight, as a result of what you might call "cultural obesity".
That’s why no human civilization has lasted more than a few centuries, their most obvious defect being inequality — leading to war, and also disease, which always affects the poorest and weakest, those most affected by lack of access to good food and water. Mass migration was another factor.
Rome, feudal empires in Europe, and the Mayan empire all succumbed to disease as they reached what you might call “peak inequality” and of course contact with new biosystems as they made contact with other cultures.
Today, it is the turn of that most evil of evil empires — the US of A, the unhealthiest of unhealthy nations, culturally and physically.
The two factors most important in pandemics are overcrowding and mass migration or invasion. These two things necessitate supply chains that are complex locally and extended otherwise -- allowing diseases, old and new, to spread quickly. For example, the Bubonic Plague was introduced into Europe by rats on a single ship from Asia. It spread quickly through Europe’s overcrowded cities, already suffering from a host of local pathogens. The Spanish introduced European diseases to the Maya Empire which decimated their overcrowded cities, although the Mayans had already been weakened by parasitic infections, originally from Africa and then endemic.
A diet restricted to a few staples, leads to nutritional deficiencies and poor health. The Roman diet was abysmal, as was diet in feudal Europe. The Mayans were better off — but not in the cities. 21st Century America? Everything you need for a healthy diet is there. But red meat and sugar are our gustatory opiods. Donald Trump is the real Captain America.
Imagine the mortality rates without modern medicine! 80% of you reading this article would be dead.
Unless you lived like, say, American Indians used to.
Lessons from First Nations Peoples
By contrast to the colonials, American Indians in what is now the US and Canada had excellent diets but still succumbed to smallpox to which they had no immunity at all. European settlers also died as a result of smallpox. Their death rate, when infected was about 30% — or higher, thanks to inferior hygiene and food. But the American settlers had an inexhaustible supply of recruits from Europe to replace their deaths and a higher birth rate among their female slaves; ie: wives. And they made sure the Indians got the disease by supplying them with infected blankets as a bioweapon.
While the Six Nations were still a viable force in French-Indian wars of the mid 18th Century, bio-warfare eventually reduced their populations to the extent that they could no longer challenge the settlers militarily.
The colonists also supplied Native Americans with oils sugar, bread, and alcohol, the "white" poisons".
The Indians had micro evolved to accommodate a diet based on the local environment, however: they could not handle lactose or gluten or unrefined glucose like Americans, yet quickly became addicted to foods with these things in them. Their famous intolerance for alcohol, a sugar, is part of this.
Even after smallpox had been eradicated through inoculation programs, the standard of health among Native Americans (First Nations people in Canada) has suffered, with their lifespans shorted by a host of degenerative diseases, especially Diabetes Type 2.
Naturally, they are much more at risk for a disease like COVID 19, where co-morbidities are important. One can only guess at how many indigenous people might have survived, it their bodies had not been weakened.
In British Columbia in the 1860s, estimates of mortality from induced small pox vary but generally are higher than 70%, up to 90%, with tribes numbering over 6000 reduced to a few hundred. The colonization of the Americas was the first and greatest Holocaust and it continues today. Genocide was intentional.
The Indians that survived bio-warfare and direct slaughter ended up on reservations. Their ability to live traditional lifestyles was limited, first of all by lack of education: their children were taken from them and put into residential schools, fed a substandard diet that killed many and “de-educated”. When they returned to their reservations, they had no useful skills, little sense of their history or language and were dependent on government handouts. Yup. Sugar and salt. They did not starve: instead, they were condemned to slow death.
Apartheid might have been a step up since at least Apartheid openly acknowledged the racism of the dominant, white community.
Only recently has there been a movement back to traditional indigenous diets — with excellent results. It’s called the “Decolonizing Diet” program. This in fact a modified hunting and gathering diet, emphasizing a very wide range of natural foods.
Simple Cherokee succotash. Add just about anything
You would do well to de-colonize — or de-civilize — your diet.
An ageing young antivirus diet is basically a “de-civilized” diet.
Forget Paleo (based on the Great Hunter Myth)
Don’t eat processed foods, except occasionally. Don’t add sugar or salt to anything and beware of hidden sugar and salt. Eat the widest variety of vegetables, fish, de-fatted chicken and the like. Don’t eat bread unless you make your own. Eat brown rice. Eat fermented foods. If you are eating 40 different foods a week — good.
And forget breakfast. Bacon and eggs was part of an advertising campaigned engineered by Bernays for the American pork industry.
Eat like a hunter-gather, when you feel like it. Graze. Munch. Eat bugs if you want. Nothing like a crunchy locust or juicy cicada! You don't have to be vegan. But if you eat meat-- kill your own.
Should you eat rats?
Rats and mice? You may have to soon enough. Food shortages are predicted in less than 20 years. So what do we do when supply chains break down and your local supermarket doesn't have meat? Worldwide, a lot of don't have beef or pork. They a lot of their protein from insects, mice and rats. Yes, that's rat steak!
City rats carry human diseases and poisons. Fortunately, rat poisons are mostly warfarin, a carbohydrate based blood thinner degraded by heat. Toxoplasmosis cysts are killed by cooking above 67 degrees Celsius. That includes hantavirus--bubonic plague.
Insects? They eat crops coated with pesticides, so carry pesticides.
On the other hand, factory farmed beef, chicken and pork can carry all sorts of nasty stuff. If you don't care about the steroids and antibiotics in your steak, should you worry too much about a tasty rat or mouse.
I hesitate to eat rats. Some of them are just so cute!
Maybe eating people?