Tuesday, July 3, 2012


That was Little Red Ridinghood to Grandma, but I'm wondering...

…about cause and effect with the foods we eat.  Just coincidentally this month, in our Bathroom Reading Basket are “Can Technology Save Breakfast” in the June issue of Smithsonian, and “We Didn’t Start the Fire…Homo Erectus Did” in the July/August issue of Archaeology. What has one article to do with another: basically, it’s how they got me to thinking about teeth. 

In the Smithsonian article, part of its annual “Foods Issue”, a writer enlightens us on all the ways the various food conglomerates are trying to pack more nutrition, with less salt, sugar and artificial ingredients, into what we eat and drink for breakfast.  Yes: “and drink”! It appears they can get all the good stuff into good-tasting, quick-to-drink liquids. I’ll drink to that! They’re more interested in cereal grains, milk products, and fruits, of course, but I’d like to know if there’s any research into liquefying good old bacon and eggs. Well, now that I really think of that, it might be what we already have: soup. And there-in lies a quick memory of mine about how my Mom – she must have been way ahead of her time - used to prepare a huge mug of soup for my brother’s breakfast each morning. He’d drink the soup as he got ready for school

So now we come to the Archaeology article which starts with these sentences: “Some paleoanthropologists believe that people have been eating cooked food, and therefore making fires, for millions of years. The evidence for this, so far, has been evolutionary changes in hominin skeletons, such as decreasing tooth and jaw sizes.” 
Did you note the “decreasing tooth sizes”?  So there I was, getting a visual on home sapiens of the future.  In eons to come, I see us – them – as homo sapiens edentulous. Just think: no more teething at any age - I had a hard time of it when my wisdom teeth came in nice and straight but painfully – and no more visits to the dentist. Who wouldn’t love that?

Perhaps those depictions of the little ‘Martians’ are really us, come back as time travelers, with the large craniums from being great thinkers, huge eyes from looking at computer screens all day, and small, narrow jaws from sipping, not chewing, our food. 

It’s too bad I won’t be around to see if all of this is true.


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