The nutritional factor

Roman Deambrun instinctively at
Thu Sep 9 01:56:37 EST 1999

John wrote in message <936797496.738982 at>...
>Socially, Western civilisation with all its processed food has achieved
>something of a miracle. We risen apes apparently have a cerebral volume by
>yet another measure of cerebral activity that indicates our ideal group
>is circa 150 individuals and here I am communicating with thousands. The
>miracle of Western Culture is that it does hang together so well, albeit
>with some nasty wounds needing attention.

I didn't mean to "attack" Western Culture or any Culture. If the idea does
by itself (and I know it does), it is independently from me. I don't want to
take away pot from the farmers or the bottle from Hamilton (no offense I'm
just kidding). All I'm saying or writting in this case is that when we study
behavior, neurological circuit or conciousness we should be aware of the
fact that chemicals coming from food can interfere in the process.
I don't want to promote any type of diet either, there are enough (sometimes
fanatic) people doing that all over the world, It is really not my cup of
tea if I can say it that way.
My approach is an other one: under *experimental conditions* trying to
exclude all possible source of psychoactive chemicals and observe what's
happening. Is human behavior as we observe it today matching to one
generated by our genetic make-up or are psychoactive substances interfering?
I've observed a convincing difference and I was thinking it would be
interresting to share my observations with specialist who have the skills to
do a better studies than I did. What I can do is to bring people together in
a group 20-40 individuals who feel comfortable in the idea of living in a
non processed food environment for some time and provide a unique "field of
observation". Maybe a collaboration with neurobiologist and researchers from
other fields would be possible on this project. That's the idea I'm trying
to promote.

>I'm not buying into this at all. Read some anthropology or history. We have
>been at each others' throats long before processed food came along. Even in
>our most natural state we are natural born killers, there are no angels
>here. Be wary of those who claim to be so. The first time I heard of
>Rousseau I knew he was a fool.

I'm not drawing a perfect picture here, I wrote "*increasing* conflicts and
tensions". Conflicts and agressions, I think, are a part of human condition.
Agressions and reconcilliations are part of the game in a primate's life, in
both non-human and human. From what I have been able to observe: for a
conflict that could normally be resolved, when an agression coming from one
individual goes "to far", it breaks the relationship and the chances to
reconcilliation. An agression that goes "to far" can be induce by new
chemical substances, I've observed this in multiple switching from one food
environment to the other. Now, this does not mean that conflicts can not be
resolved in a processed food environment and it does not mean that all
conflicts are easily resolved in a non processed food environment, it is
simply one more element we have to deal with. The agression-reconcilliation
process which is certainly induce by our genetic make-up seems to be very
"sensitive" when it comes to influences of new chemical substances.

>Forget about this processed food\natural food dichotomy. The sword needs to
>be much sharper than that.

I know that many researchers target a specific psychoactive suspected
molecule an analyse its effect.
I was thinking it would be better in this case to come from the other way
around, starting as close as possible to "ground zero" an introduce one by
one food products we suspect being psychoactive.

>Processed food is not a planetary phenomenon, probably still less than 50%
>eat processed foods, the greater part of the world is cerebrally

Well, in South Africa I saw people starving next to a generous mango tree.
And unfortunatly, trees are cut for their wood in order to cook manioc.
I understand that nourish a man and his brain needs more than a few mangos
but I know too that tropical fruit are extremely rich in nutrients and they
grow easily. Maybe this could be a possible temporary/partial solution for
Africa and other tropical countries, at least.

>Instinct are antithetical to large societies, I can't see we should be so
>anxious to return to a normalised instinctive response. Screw Freud I'll
>happily and un-neurotically repress mine and don't know a soul who doesn't.
>What's your point? You seem to be assuming "the more natural the better".
>I've read history and anthropology and don't like that idea at all.

If we do not exclude the nutritional factor for experimental reasons we
might not observe human nature but human nature under influence of
psychoactive substances.
We might find something better then we think...
I agree, history doesn't speak in favor of mankind and I understand your
concerns but believe me there's hope... :)

>> In going back to the life condition of hunter-gatherer before food
>> processing a human experimental group can provide new information in
>> research fields related to human nature exploration. Such empirical
>> makes it possible to separate cultural influences from pure instinctive
>> behavior. Cultural influences are changing from one country or region of
>> world to another. Instinctive behavior is common to the human race
>> regardless of  location and culture. This is the part which is the most
>> interesting to study in our case.

>In relation to human beings at least, what constitutes a pure instinctive
>behaviour? I don't see how such a thing can exist in such a messy brain.

Evolutionary psychology is looking for specific neurological circuits that
can be found in every human brain.

Roman Deambrun
Research and Observation Center of Human Instinctive Behavior

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