Interested in why you eat what you eat? Don’t miss a special talk, entitled “From Ardipithecus to Agriculture: The Science of Diet and Human Evolution,” by New Paltz’s own Dr. Ken Nystrom of Anthropology and Evolutionary Studies. The talk will be held Monday, March 10 from 5:30-7 p.m. in Lecture Center 102.
With increased public awareness of the nature of the industrialized food complex and the health consequences associated with a typical ‘westernized’ diet, there has been a considerable amount of discussion in the popular media regarding the diet of our ancestors, centered principally around the question of what we have evolved to eat. In this talk, Nystrom will discuss the methods that scientists use to reconstruct diet in our earliest hominin ancestors (from approx. 5 to 2 million years ago), focusing principally on direct forms of evidence such as biogeochemical analyses and dental microwear. He will then move on to discuss the biological consequences of the shift from food foraging to food producing, a process that began in the Near East approximately 12,000 years ago. Here the conversation will shift to how biological anthropologists document changes in health and fertility associated with this change in subsistence strategy.
A reception will follow.