Dear Friends,

Can you name this Beautiful Creature?

Look at this picture here. Symbiogenesis? Well, it’s not exactly two species working together for their mutual survival, but can you imagine sitting on the trunk of this huge African bull elephant, being his friend, and he being yours? It certainly would open-up ones heart towards these marvelous creatures, and motivate us to figure out a way to live side by side, respectfully. That’s exactly what happened to this young girl, named Tippi, who isn’t a child any more. She’s 23 and living in Paris. For the first ten years of her life, Tippi lived with her parents amongst the Bushmen of Namibia, befriending and bonding with the hunter/gatherer people and the marvelous wild animals of Africa all around her. In this clip she takes us back to her African roots—Tippi.

Last week we began our discussion about Paleolithic Man and Neolithic man. In Tippi we have a merger of these two ways of living and surviving. I too had my own experience with a hunter/gatherer type society during my two years of living as a Peace Corps volunteer with the Yapese people of The Western Caroline Island in the Western Pacific. The Yapese spent each day hunting and gathering—fishing, picking wild fruits, berries, vegetables, and also engaging in a little gardening, having a small patch of horticulture—growing a variety taros and sweet potatoes. I joined with them in all these activities. Like the Bushmen, they too dressed with minimal attire, for the men that meant a loincloth, the same garb I also wore for two years.

The bottom line: my daily diet, while in Yap, was fresh vegetables, fruits, root vegetables, seeds, seafood, and lots of drinking of young coconut water. We didn’t eat sugar, grains or dairy. I was strong and healthy on this diet, and so were the Yapese people. As a public health official, I conducted a two-year epidemiological study on the state of Yapese health. In terms of the chronic diseases physicians deal daily in their practices today, the Yapese had none—no cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, neurological disease, autoimmune disease. They were a very healthy people. Their lives consisted of plenty of fresh organic food, a clean unpolluted environment to live in, lots of exercise in the process of getting food, dancing and walking everywhere they went, no worries as to their physical survival, and plenty of socialization—everyone belonged.

As we moved into the Neolithic Revolution around 10,000 BCE, we encounter the advent of agriculture with its monocultures of grains and the domestication of animals such as sheep, goats, camels, buffaloes and cows, adding grain, milk, and regular consumption of meat—new dietary and life style elements for the Neolithic man.

There is another new component to the Neolithic diet for us to contemplate: the fermentation of our food—the microbial world, our symbiotic friends. When you think about it, the fermentation of food most certainly occurred in Paleolithic times, spontaneously, as food decomposes naturally into a fermented or putrefied state. In fact, fermented foods were very likely among the first foods consumed by human beings. Freshly killed meat, if not eaten immediately, would have begun to decompose rapidly, or 10,000 years ago when the first camels were milked and the milk left out it was either consumed within a few hours or else it would sour and curdle, turning into something like buttermilk.

There are two possible paths in the decomposition of food—putrefaction or fermentation. The result can be either good for our health, or make us very sick and possibly kill us. It all depends on which bacteria that take hold and most rapidly grow. Empirically we learned this long ago. We learned that, most of the time, if something smells bad, not to eat it. Of course, it wasn’t until after Pasteur, that we learned that putrefaction is caused by bacteria such as species of Clostridia, Listeria, Staph, Kleseilla, Enterococci, Salmenella, and E coli.

Most of the time, but not always, putrid food turns slimy and stinks badly of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and solids—smells that help us to identify rotting food. If the decomposition is dominated by the fermentation pathways of lactic acid organisms, mostly bacteria of the Lactobaccilus and Bifido genera, plus a wide variety of beneficial yeast organisms, then we can have some very beneficial outcomes for our health and our taste buds, due to their metabolites assisting our digestion, their production of vitamins, and importantly their production lactic acid and of bacterocins, which inhibit pathogens such as those that cause the spoilage of foods. Lactic acid organisms not only help us to digest our food, but protect us from pathogenic organisms. In fact, we are in the process of discovering how they work synergistically with our underlying immune system—the GALT.

Historically, fermented foods of all kinds were part of the typical dietary habit of many civilization as the Neolithic Revolution unfolded. Many of the longest living societies attribute much of their robust longevity to their regular dietary intake of lacto-fermented foods. A practice modern society has forgotten for a time and now is beginning to take seriously.

To be continued…

Sincerely yours,

Seann Bardell

Clinical Note:

In the making of sausage (fermented meat) what is one of the most highly used organisms? The answer is Lactobacillus plantarum.

The fermented meat industry is a very tricky business for meat is very susceptible to decomposition by dangerous pathogens. In the sausage industry the practice of using L. plantarum with a little sugar on the fresh meat allows the plantarum to grow fast, produce its inhibitory bacterocins and thereby inhibit the bad guys. The byproduct of their fermentation is carbon dioxide and water and healthy short chain fatty acids, and of course the sausage taste so many love.

Our Original and Beta Glucan Synbiotic Formulas have L. plantarum in them. Now you understand why we have chosen these strong bacteria. They help keep Clostridia, E-coli, Staph, and other potential pathogens at acceptable levels.

The Last Quiz Answer:

This is a red fox taking dinner home. This, not-so-little, fox is living symbiotically on the farm described in the video, The Farm for the Future. Once more I have linked you to this priceless video.

Here is an amazing fact or two for you: The red fox is a very adaptable carnivore and has the largest distribution of any wild land mammal in the world! They are the top predator in the UK. Check out this: The Fox Website.

“More than 5,400 employees work through a network of over 90 offices in over 40 countries around the world. On-the-ground conservation projects are active in more than 100 countries.” This is a quote from The World Wildlife Fund’s 2010 Annual Report.It’s Tuesday evening in Washington DC, I have been here lecturing and meeting with doctors here all day. In my travels walking the streets of Georgetown, I came upon a gorgeous building that is the home to The World Wildlife Fund. I went in for a visit.

Sixty years ago, on the 29th of April 1961 a group of high minded scientists, royals and philanthropists issued The Morges Manifesto, a detailed analysis of the critical state of the world’s wildlife and a clarion call for the creation of an international organization to raise the funds necessary to save wildlife form extinction.

For me it was one of those serendipitous events, I was able to spend time interviewing one of the staff zoologists whose work focused on the Congo. More on our conversation in another newsletter, but check them out—The WWF.