Psychology, Biology and Ethics of Food – Lecture Two

The second lecture of this course embarks on one of the topics that I found most interesting from the introductory lecture last week. That is, it discusses the relationship between the modern-day food landscape and human evolution. Professor Brownwell paints a very clear picture of how humans evolved to get to the dietary behaviors we have today. He discusses how early humans would spend a lot of danger, stress, and calories to get the necessary food they need. He makes an interesting point here. Not only would it make sense for humans to strive for high calorie, high fat diets in these circumstances, it would also make sense for them to be lackadaisical and conserve energy at any point they can. Of course, when you change the landscape of food, these behaviors lead to the typical, overweight couch potato. He also points out that in an overabundance of food, an inefficient metabolism is much more condusive to health. These kinds of ideas make me wonder what kind of evolution could be in the future for humanity. Perhaps rather than going back to the old ways, we are headed towards a new age in human history. What kind of food behaviors and physiological changes will humans have in the future when they have adapted to the changing food climate?


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