Searching for the Perfect Human Diet

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Recently, I had the opportunity to watch the film, “In Search of the Perfect Human Diet,” a documentary by CJ Hunt, who went on a ten-year global search to explore anthropologial understandings of the dietary evolution of our species. The film chronicles Hunt’s ten-year search to find the perfect human diet. The film’s website describes the movie as a:

documentary that bypasses common contradictory dietary bias and the recycling of confusion, by filming interviews and explorations with many of the world’s top scientists and researchers in the fields of archaeological science, paleo and forensic anthropology, nutrition and metabolism, biomolecular archaeology, and the emerging field of human dietary evolution.

Hunt has experience in television, broadcasting, and voice-overs, and thus he has a smooth presence in front of the camera. He became interested in nutrition after he went into cardiac arrest as a 23-year-old – due to a genetic defect – while jogging.

The film moves effortlessly though various themes, discussing the groundswell of interest in ancestral health. The film focuses on (1) the hard scientific evidence of what was previously unknowable, and that is that our ancestors ate a diet that today is called “paleo” or “primal”, and (2) how our species declined in health when domesticated grains and plant foods became our major source of protein. Hunt notes that this knowledge is a game changer.

The best part of the film is when Hunt talks to Loren Cordain, Ph.D, and visits with him on a football field that Cordain uses to show a sense of scale in human dietary evolution. This portion of the film should be seen by every layman in order to understand the impact of the modern human diet and its place in human history. Other paleo-primal authorities are featured, such as Dr. Michael Eades, Robb Wolf, Dr. Lane Sebring, Gary Taubes, Boyd Eaton, and David Getoff.

I was especially pleased that Hunt bashed the prevailing media and government message that meat and fat and animal protein are bad, and therefore we should eat less of these foods. He admits that he hopes that the work being done in the ancestral health community will serve to elevate public conversation to the truth, and that government officials will embrace truth when forming public policy. Additionally, the federal food pyramid gets no love in this film. CJ Hunt has been paleo-primal for five years.

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