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Publications [#357317] of Herman Pontzer

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Journal Articles

  1. Pontzer, H; Wood, BM, Effects of Evolution, Ecology, and Economy on Human Diet: Insights from Hunter-Gatherers and Other Small-Scale Societies., Annual Review of Nutrition, vol. 41 (October, 2021), pp. 363-385 [doi]
    (last updated on 2021/12/06)

    Abstract:
    We review the evolutionary origins of the human diet and the effects of ecology economy on the dietary proportion of plants and animals. Humans eat more meat than other apes, a consequence of hunting and gathering, which arose ∼2.5 Mya with the genus Homo. Paleolithic diets likely included a balance of plant and animal foods and would have been remarkably variable across time and space. A plant/animal food balance of 50/50% prevails among contemporary warm-climate hunter-gatherers, but these proportions vary widely. Societies in cold climates, and those that depend more on fishing or pastoralism, tend to eat more meat. Warm-climate foragers, and groups that engage in some farming, tend to eat more plants. We present a case study of the wild food diet of the Hadza, a community of hunter-gatherers in northern Tanzania, whose diet is high in fiber, adequate in protein, and remarkably variable over monthly timescales.


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