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Food for Health

Episode 4 We become tribal

At the end of the last episode we had our great, great, great Uncle Joe happily swinging from branch to branch in the trees – not being eaten by ferocious animals with big teeth and then it got cold and –


Where have all the trees gone

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And the trees just disappeared – which for a creature which depends on high speed swinging from branch to branch was not good news (at all).

One brave creature tried to avoid being eaten by the ferocious monsters living on the ground by throwing stones at it – but sad to say it did not work and he was eaten all up never to breed again.

But the other creatures looking on decided that being eaten up was not good but there may be something in the idea of throwing stones at ferocious creatures. So next time a ferocious creatures came along they all picked up stones which they threw with high energy as though they were about to be eaten – which of course they were.

But the ferocious beast at first ignored the hail of stones and got closer and closer when they began to realise that these stones really hurt and perhaps they weren’t all that hungry after all and anyway there was far more meat on an antelope which did not throw stones.

An epic day for the world

This was truly an epic day for the world as Great Uncle Joe and his mates realised that working together meant the difference between being eaten or eating so it became quite popular and our tribal characteristics – which exist to this day as can be seen at any Saturday football match.

Now we know how evolution works – people didn’t suddenly change and became matey and working together. May be Bert and Fred stuff this I am doing it my own way – which meant they were eaten up by ferocious creatures with big teeth so they had no kids and gradually the humans that survived evolved to be matey.

Life would have been wonderful and I could finish the story by saying – so they all lived happily ever after. The End.

But evolution is not that sort of story and along came the bad bugs which had this nasty habit of killing us came along.

About half the kids borne would die before they reached five years old, then another half by thirty and yet another half by the time the reached sixty leaving just a handful of old people who actually lived onto a ripe old age fulfilling a vital role for the tribe of caring and educating they young so they learned all the skills of survival.


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You stole my woman


But this high death rate had an after effect which lives on till this very day. Men quickly worked out that however matey they got around the camp fire it did nothing to actually increase the number of children and that women were really needed so they became a highly values item.

In those days there was no internet, high speed trains or even cars so although there were lots of tribes but they really had very little contract with each other.

But as happens in life sometimes they would meet up and at first they would certainly have been curious and maybe even a bit friendly until they noticed that the other tribe had women – which could be used for child bearing. So they stole them after which the tribes became much less friendly – in fact inter tribal war became a feature of life.

We know this from archaeology where many of the bones show clear signs of attack by human weapons.

This led to one of the strangest characteristics of the human race, the ability to provide intense support for members of your own tribe and intense hostility to members of other tribes. How do I know this – I watch the news. Story after story of conflict as leader leads his tribe into conflict with another tribe or more commonly one big company gobbling up other smaller companies to create neo-monopolies – a sad feature of modern society.

Of course it wasn’t all conflict – sometimes they traded. The classic case was the silk road. The Chinese had silk but no big horses but across the desert were tribes with really big horses but nothing nice to wear for a night of hanky-panky so they traded.

In modern times our understanding of tribe has changed. It can be a country or even a company where the workers devote their energy to ensuring the company makes as much money as possible.

That is how we get the mega food companies bragging in their annual reports of how many billion dollars they made in profits and how many millions of people they caused to have their legs chopped of from diabetes. (Spot the fake news?)

This may seem to have nothing to do with food and the modern health crisis but just wait – it’s coming.

Lets talk about that two legged creature with the wonder guts.


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