About the Human Food Project
Nobody tells a giraffe how to eat. But for the first time in history, humans don’t know what to eat. We no longer know what human food is.
In just a few thousand centuries, our kind has gone from nesting in trees, to making stone tools and digging roots, to kindling fires, to subduing flora and fauna, to finally erecting massive cities and dropping rovers onto distant planets. For most of this evolution, our super organism (us and our microbes) adapted to a nutritional and cultural landscape that literally changed at a glacial pace. But more recently, rapid adoption of technology and need to feed a growing population a shelf-stable food supply, along with hyper-sanitized food and water, increasing rates of c-section births, formula in lieu of breast milk and antibiotics for every sniffle, we are now out of sync not only with the natural world, but with the microbial world as well. Therefore, it is correct to say that a great many diseases of the modern world represent a discordance with the ancient microbial world.
The biological reality that we are vessels to a vast microbial ecosystem is radically altering our basic understanding of medicine, nutrition, public health and the very scientific foundation of what makes us sick. The Human Food Project is an effort to understand modern disease against the back drop of our ancestral/microbial past. Through a better understanding of human ecology at different time scales, the coevolution of us and the trillions of microbes that live on and in our bodies is likely to open new doors to understanding. Fingers crossed.
Our efforts include through collaboration:
1. Diet and microbial health among San Bushmen and Himba pastoralists of Southern Africa.
2. Mapping the microbial diversity of the American and Global Gut.
3. Monitoring seasonal changes in the human microbiome among foragers and pastoralists in Tanzania.
4. The Chimpanzee Gut Microbiome Project in Tanzania.
jeff [A] humanfoodproject [DOT] com