Nutritionist and professor of anthropology and sociology at the University of Georgia, USA, Pr. Abrams has also teached at the University of Tokyo and at the University of Mexico. As a specialist in nutritional anthropology, he has conducted anthropological studies in Alaska, Mexico, the Yucatan, Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and the Middle-East. He is the author of 8 books and 156 scientific publications, and a member of :
- American Anthropological
- American Sociological Association
- Scientific Research Society
- International Commission on Food and Food Problems
- Advisory Board of the National Foundation for Nutritional Research
- Committee on Nutrition of the American Anthropological Association
- Georgia Academy of Science.
According to the scientific research of palaeontologists, the human species has existed on Earth for several million years. For over 99 % of this time, man was a hunter-gatherer, until the end of the Palaeolithic era.
Palaeolithic man had no choice but to choose his nutrients amongst whatever was edible and available in his natural environment. As a hunter-gatherer, he ate plants and animals in their natural state, as found in the wild. He followed the seasons when picking fruit, which he consumed ripe, with nuts, berries, and wild plants. He ate animals that he captured with his bare hands or with simple stone tools: small and large game, birds, insects, worms, reptiles, fish, shellfish, eggs, and even certain spiders. The remains of human skeletons from the Palaeolithic era show that these people had practically no dental decay and that they were in exceptionally good health . Their diet was obviously particularly healthy.
About 10 000 years ago, man entered the Neolithic or agricultural era, which also saw the development of the use of fire to prepare food, that is to say cooking. With the advent of agriculture, man had to work harder than before to plant, grow, and harvest cereals. With time, the quantity of cereals that were consumed increased until they became man's main food (wheat, bread, biscuits, flour, etc.). At the same time, the state of humanity's health deteriorated to such a point that today, if we take dental decay and degenerative diseases as indicators of a population's health, these disorders have become endemic.
With time, man learnt to produce and preserve greater and greater quantities of food thanks to agriculture, processing, preservation, and the preparation of food before consumption. In doing so, he modified the nature and the quality of the food he consumed and he considerably reduced its variety. For example, the staple food of most human beings today is limited to wheat, rice, millet, sorgo, manioc, potatoes, and beetroot, and even sometimes just one or two of these foodstuffs in a given region. It should be noted that none of these products is consumed in its natural state: all are cultivated and altered by heat (cooking) before being eaten. In the Palaeolithic era, man consumed none of these foodstuffs or very few of them.
Our Palaeolithic ancestors ate a great variety of natural raw foods, without altering them, and they apparently lived in good health on this diet, which remained practically unchanged during the three or four million years of humanity's development.
As a result of our hunter-gatherer origins, and because human genetics evolves very slowly, the natural raw diet of our ancestors is undoubtedly the most ecological today, still perfectly adapted to the human species. Modern scientific knowledge in the field of anthropology and nutrition show that we can live better, easily achieve better health and halt the current process of degeneration of the species, simply, as this book proposes, by adopting a raw natural diet.
Pr. H. Leon ABRAMS