Grafting allows us to optimize a plant by combining an older rootstock with a new plant above ground to produce what we want. Our modern life, with its many easy-to-access options of labor reduction and easy calories, has been grafted onto our ancient rootstock that’s accustomed much simpler inputs.
The resulting combination isn’t flourishing. Our obesity rate is so high that fat now seems normal in many parts of the first world and the diseases of civilization (high blood pressure, heart disease, senility…) are accepted as an inevitible part of life. It doesn’t need to be that way.
Start by considering the time frames. Our rootstock, wild, were hunters-gatherers in small groups for about 2.5 million years. Then the first graft, farming – we started our agricultural timeline just about 10 thousand years ago. And our second graft, our modern industrial phase, started say 150 years ago. So we’ve been farming about .04% of our existence and pushing buttons for about .ooo6% of it. Our rootstock is ancient by comparison and not yet adapted to how some folks live now.
Anyway that’s a short introduction to an interesting TED talk from a doctor who had MS and followed all the best traditional approaches to her illness. When she was at the point of having to sit in what looks like a dentist’s chair most of the time she began to look into her way of eating and… I’ll let you watch the TED talk and see if you’re interested. Don’t worry, she’s not going around reenacting a hunter-gatherer life with a sharpened stick. But she figured out how to take the best of both periods of human existence.