Zapparov urges a return to the dietary nutrition of our early human ancestors. Doing so, he argues, will eradicate degenerative diseases and prolong human life.
Using an approach that combines evolutionary and cell biology, genetics, anthropology, paleontology and environmental studies, Zapparov explores how and why industrialized food production causes today’s degenerative diseases—cancer, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis. Zapparov coins new terms such as “nooevolution.” Distinguished from biological evolution, nooevolution is created by intelligent life using a trial-and-error process and occurs at a pace much faster than that of biological evolution. Thus, Zapparov believes humans have developed systems of food production whose nutrition is “disanthropic,” or runs counter to, the cellular structure and metabolism that have remained largely unchanged since the beginning of our species. In an exposé of harmful food-production practices, beginning with the Agricultural Revolution around 12,000 years ago and propagated by modern technology, Zapparov sees a reversion to the hunter-gatherer diet of wild game and naturally prolific plants not only as a way to live longer (up to 150 years, he maintains), but as a political action against climate change. Zapparov uses a genome-based examination of cells to support a more “anthropic,” or beneficial, diet designed for optimal digestion and absorption. He provides brief analyses of current anthropic diets, such as organic and raw-food diets and vegetarianism, and he covers the limitations of each. Zapparov ultimately takes a more suggestive, less prescriptive approach to dietary modification, and he’s careful to call his ideas hypotheses that invite further research. Though an extensive notes section follows the conclusion, Zapparov spends little time introducing his sources, leaving the reader to either accept his research or conduct laborious fact-checking. At times, the prose becomes highly technical and requires knowledge of advanced biology.
Raises timely questions about the future of food and its relationship to both human life and the life of our planet.