Sunday, May 31, 2015

"Honey and Bread: An Evolutionary Story"

Fascinating essay on plant defenses against herbivory (previously) by Mr. "Elite Overproduction", Peter Turchin.

[P]lants are constantly waging chemical warfare against most animals. There are zillions of animals that love eating plants, and plants really resent it. I can kind of relate to that, because my wife, who is an avid gardener, hates herbivores with a passion (especially when she finds in the morning that deer ate her favorite hostas).

Plants cannot take up a Kalashnikov and start shooting herbivores, but over the millions of years they’ve been evolving increasingly effective methods of protecting themselves against herbivory. The most effective way for them to fight back is by chemical warfare.
This would be why De Vany calls bread "poverty food".


CP said...


There are three major types of nutrients that our bodies need to grow and maintain themselves: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Sugars can cause diabetes. Some sugars, like fructose, are actually fairly toxic. Complex carbohydrates, like starch, are rapidly broken into sugars (the process actually starts in the mouth), so they can be equally problematic. Proteins, when broken down, yield nitrogenous waste products, like uric acid, which can crystallize in the joints and cause gout.

Fats come in two varieties: unsaturated and saturated. Unsaturated bonds are less stable than saturated ones and can react with other compounds resulting in toxicity. So the safest and healthiest food that we could possibly eat is saturated fats. This of course goes against the whole dietary consensus that arose after World War II – but that consensus is completely wrong, and is unraveling.

Steve said...

A lot of plants use the 'Google model'.

In other words, they give you a free product (fruit), but that product inserts a tracking cookie (seed) into your gut, so that everywhere you go, the Google product (plant seeds) go with you.