Dr. Bill Schindler is the director of the Eastern Shore Food Lab at Washington College where he is also an associate professor of archaeology and anthropology. Two years ago he co-hosted the National Geographic show The Great Human Race. He spent the last year abroad continuing his hands-on research and professional development by immersing himself and his family with indigenous and traditional groups around the world to learn about their food and diets. As an experimental archaeologist and primitive technologist his specialties are in recreating technologies of the past to better interpret our ancestral diets. His current focus is learning how to translate the outcomes of that research into something meaningful for modern day diet and health and is working to fuse lessons from our ancestral dietary past with modern culinary arts to create a food system that is relevant, accessible and meaningful to modern Western life.
We got into so many interesting things like the development of humans and how it tracked with food technology, drinking blood and milk with pastoral tribes in Africa, eating brains, ancient food preparation and hunting, my favorite topic - nutrient density, and so much more. It was so enlightening talking to him, I’ll stop talking now so you can have a listen.
I have to mention the Food Lies film. Preorder on Indiegogo to support its creation and this podcast. Thanks!
Dr. Bill Schindler is a professor at Washington College in Maryland Director of Eastern Shore Food Lab https://www.washcoll.edu/departments/eastern-shore-food-lab/ His whole life has led up to his career and interests His dad took him into nature and he learned to deal with taking an animal’s life even though he didn’t enjoy it Also grew up with mom and grandmother in kitchen cooking - realized it was all connected Learned to hunt and make tools as our ancestors did He became what’s known as an experimental archeologist Almost every single primitive technology made is related to food. Every tool and invention was based on getting food, processing food, storing food THe realization of the different types of food processing made all the difference Food processing of the past all focused on INCREASING nutrient density All modern food processing focused on money savings, shipping, shelf life, etc. Modern food processing also DECREASES nutrient density Not everything new we do is bad though Dairy is a hot topic. Just because we didn’t always consume it or other mammals don't consume it past a certain time in their life, doesn't mean it’s not healthy (if you tolerate it) Everything changed 3.4 million years ago when we made the first tool Humans are one of the weakest species on the planet on our own Our bodies and brains were quite small before we created tools to access meat Our digestive systems are actually pretty inefficient. We need to process our food with tools and fire to feed our large brains We have bones from Ethiopia that have butcher marks on them from this time, as well as impact fractures to get bone marrow inside 2 million years ago the invention of fire and some other hunting techniques were monumental for our species Humans started off as scavengers Once we started actually hunting ourselves we had first access to the animals we killed so therefore all the most nutrient dense, choice parts like the organ meats, etc. Results in a huge increase in body and brain size and women catch up in size to men more We mimic other animals in techniques of acquiring and processing foods Our biology isn't set up to eat meat like other carnivores - humans are set up to use tools and technology to consume nutrient dense animal products As we changed our diets, our bodies adapted to it. Homo sapiens wouldn’t have made it 300,000 years ago if we didn’t develop these