Meat-Based Diet Made Us Smarter!

dentition_custom.jpg A little history lesson by Christopher Joyce with NPR teaches readers that when our ancestors added meat to our diet, they became leaner, smarter and more productive. The article is entitled "Meat-Based Diet Made Us Smarter," and it details how people transitioned from gathering vegetables, low in caloric energy, to expanding their diet to energy-dense meat proteins. It then shows how our ancestors learned to prepare the meat with tools and eventually fire, too. While most of you don't need any additional convincing that meat is an essential part of a well-balanced diet, I thought I would post this article to pass along to your friends. Enjoy!

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Our earliest ancestors ate their food raw — fruit, leaves, maybe some nuts. When they ventured down onto land, they added things like underground tubers, roots and berries.

It wasn't a very high-calorie diet, so to get the energy you needed, you had to eat a lot and have a big gut to digest it all. But having a big gut has its drawbacks.

"You can't have a large brain and big guts at the same time," explains Leslie Aiello, an anthropologist and director of the Wenner-Gren Foundation in New York City, which funds research on evolution. Digestion, she says, was the energy-hog of our primate ancestor's body. The brain was the poor stepsister who got the leftovers. Until, that is, they discovered meat.

By the way, have you voted in the BEEF Daily Kids and Cattle Photography Contest yet? Vote for your favorite among the top 10 finalists, and view the complete album here.