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One day in the shower (which is where I do my best thinking), I had a lightbulb moment. What I realized in that instant has had a profound impact on every aspect of my life ever since. What I recognized is that almost every single prehistoric technology ever created over the past 3 ½ million years has something to do with food. Whether it be acquiring food, processing food, sharing food, redistributing food, or storing food, technology was inseparable from our diets. I realized that humans are one of the weakest species on the planet. We have an incredibly difficult time getting food and an even more difficult time safely and fully digesting food. What makes us different than any other animal on the planet is that we create technologies that allow us to make food safe, nutrient-dense, and bio-available for our bodies. This can be simple, like creating a sharp edge of a stone to butcher and rub two sticks together to create fire to cook food or, slightly more complex like fermentation or nixtamalization. Humans are not biologically designed to safely and effectively digest almost all of the foods that we consume. However, here is the kicker; we have built bodies and brains that require many of these foods that can only nourish us when we use technologies to make them as safe and nourishing as possible. The truth is that over the past several million years, we have outgrown our digestive tracts and domesticated ourselves. In fact, the food-related technologies our ancestors created literally built us as a species both biologically and culturally. The role of technology can not be separated from our food and needs to be a part of the decision-making process for how we feed ourselves and our families.
Armed with this new perspective, I knew I was on the right path to find the answers I had been searching for my entire life. But, even more importantly, I realized that answers I needed were to an even more important question – The question we should all be asking ourselves is not what we should be eating, but rather HOW? More specifically, how do we approach food and make use of ancestral and traditional technologies to make the food that we eat as safe and nourishing as it can possibly be for our bodies?