Skip to comments.New Insights Into Healthful Compounds In Native American Diets
Posted on 10/10/2006 7:17:41 PM PDT by blam
New Insights Into Healthful Compounds In Native American Diets
In an advance toward understanding the early California Native American diet, food scientists have identified the full range of phytochemicals in tanoak acorns.
Acorns were a staple in the diet of early Native Americans in California, comprising up to 50 percent of total food intake, Alyson E. Mitchell and colleagues note in a report in the current (Oct. 4) issue of the ACS biweekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Acorns are still used by Californian Native Americans -- special processing is needed to make the nuts edible -- to make acorn flour and soup.
Past research has indicated that acorns have higher levels of healthful tannin compounds than other nuts, so Mitchell's group set out to identify the specific hydrolyzable and condensed tannins in acorns. These same compounds are found in wine, cocoa and other foods with health benefits.
Researchers identified more than two dozen specific compounds, in what they termed a first step toward understanding the role of those compounds in Native American diets.
Firewater, makes acorns and insects edible.
(Come to think of it, that means they must have invented microwave ovens. Wonder what they plugged them into? A currant bush?)
Are these beneficial ingredients in all the casino buffets?
And what was their life expectancy while on such a "healty" diet?
Firewater - go to sleep with honey sweet running fawn - wake up with moldy bear dung cloud.
"In an advance toward understanding the early California Native American diet.."
I kind of like Magwa's diet (Last of the Mohegans)- the heart of your enemy fresh cut from his breast.
Isn't it ironic that they never even invented the wheel?
The article could have gone more in depth. And how are the acorns processed? Soaking with water to leech out poisonous stuff? How is acorn flour made? Recipes?
Have you ever eaten any Apache "acorn stew?" You haven't lived OR DIED until you have. LOL!!!!
Back to the wheel, they had no pack animals in the area, and only one--the llama--in the Americas. It would seem that alpacas could also be pack animals, but this is from 1491.
What is the substance, in modern terms?
Seriously, I do happen to know a little about acorn flour - in old Japan they used to steep them in ponds dug for that purpose. I don't know if the modern Japanese do it the same way but when I lived there my neighbors used to make these weird little unleavened cakes out of the flour, more of a curiosity than actual nutrition. My old landlady told me they'd gather them during WWII to stretch the rice rations. Amazing what you can do if you have to.
Yes - the high-tannin oaks like the Red Oak take a lot longer than the low-tannin ones like the White Oak. You can tell by biting into one if it needs more soaking. Tannin won't kill you but it tastes pretty nasty. OTOH, it will cure leather...
Much appreciated, again.
Skeletons show rotten and broken teeth. Signs of advanced malnutrition, deficiency diseases, repeated incidence of starvation. Lots of social violence and abuse too.
No matter what they tell you, it wasn't "Song of Hiawatha."
Depends on where you are.
More often in California you have worn, not rotten or broken, teeth. Cavities are extremely rare. Most of the diseases you mention are scarce, and violence/abuse is far from universal. In the area I study it is minimal.
You can eat acorns if you have to, but if you have enough game meat, berries, tubers and fruit, it is probably best to leave dubious foods alone, and by this I mean foods that have to be soaked, sprayed, danced around or prayed over to become edible. I don't eat anything that has to go through a filtration process, except whiskey.
Actually, quality chocolates and freshly popped popcorn, even if or especially if popped in a little canola oil, can be quite healthful. Tannins, fiber, vitamins.
Poor grade, too sweet chocolates, not so good. Theatre popcorn, and it's store bought equivalents, soaked in pretend butter stuff and dusted within an inch of it's life with msg-like salt product and 'flavors', not so good. ;-)
Acorns are more nutritious than wheat. They simply need to be ground up and soaked in water for a while. That removes the bitter tannic acid.
Deer eat acorns straight off the trees and do fine, although the meat gets a stronger flavor.
The fresh water streams and rivers in this area (Mobile) are the color of tea from all the oaks in this area. The soil is very acidic too.
Uh, yeah, right. (A chiming sound in the background, stifled by the sock BtD is stuffing over the mike.) Unhealthy, well, we wouldn't want...uh...'scuse me for a minute, the microwave is calling to me... ;-)
Rotten and broken teeth were common the world over until recently.
How about water?
So the acorns are: ground into a mush; mixed with water and soaked--for how long?; drained; and then dried into flour?
...sooo...to be correct...it's White Oak with fish and Red Oak with meat?
One web site mentions the "hang the ground acorns in a cloth bag in your toilet tank" method.
"Rotten and broken teeth were common the world over until recently."
Still are in lots of places...
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Tannin is present in red wine. Chocolate and a fine Cabernet...look, it isn't because I like it, it's for my health. Yeah...yeah, that's it...
Being a Ewell Gibbons-type myself, I've tasted a few acorns. Trust me, there is a reason we modern folks don't eat them.
They have to be leached in repeated changes of water. Once won't do it.
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Toss me on the primitive foods ping list. I had no idea that we even had such a list going.
What next? Lightning-out-of-anus-while-brushing-teeth ping list?
Oops. Have that one too ...
At least she lived to tell about it.
Hunt and gather, hunt and gather, never a moment to one self...please add me to this ping list, thanks.
The research of dental Doctor Weston Price (early 20th century) gives evidence of a different story. The primitive diets of many peoples over the globe provided excellent teeth and bones. See his book, "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration"--the pictures alone are fascinating.
Using the kitchen faucet works a lot better; warm running water for about 15 minutes should do it.
Native Americans usually used repeated washings in cold water, so it took a lot longer.
Grinding the acorns in stone bowls and leaching the mixture on a bed of sand added a lot of grit to the diet. This wore the teeth quite a bit, but that, and the lack of sugars, resulted in very few cavities. There was more risk of tooth loss from wearing into the pulp cavity, as in the areas which relied heavily on acorns the teeth were often seriously worn by age 30-40 (especially the first molars).
"Shhhh!!! The movie's about to begin," she whispered, not really hearing what he said over the sounds of crunching popcorn and candy wrappers - her own! ;-)
Correct except for the canola oil part. Canola is one of the worst modern foods in existence. Butter is much healthier.
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