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Friday, August 5 • 5:00pm - 6:00pm
The First Supper - Luke Comer

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What is the indigenous diet of humankind? We explore this question in this talk, entitled The First Supper, by using the theory of evolution as our guide.

More specifically, we cover the evolution of our human foodways--that is, how we evolved to sense nutrients in our environment, then move towards, capture, process, digest and metabolize and synthesize those nutrients--as well as use our intelligence, creativity and culture for that same purpose. And through understanding our foodways, we can better understand our indigenous diet--and answer the question above. We start our story of our evolution at the Big Bang with the creation of the four organic atoms that later bonded into the macronutrients (sugars, amino acids and fatty acids) and eventually formed into cells, plants and animals and then humans. Along the way we concentrate on two "common ancestors" who laid the foundation for our own foodways: Eukaryotic cells and Chimpanzees. Since Eukaryotes exist in us, as well as in all animals, we can learn so much from them about the underlying nutritional needs and various metabolisms of our own cells. Since Chimpanzees are frequently used as models of our common, hominoid ancestor, we can see in them the origins of our own foodways, especially our considerable similarities.

We then cover the next seven million years of Hominoid evolution. While our common ancestors/chimps lived and ate mostly in the lush trees, eating primarily fruits, tender leaves and small amounts of other animals, our ancestral hominoids, like Australopithecus, slowly evolved to live both on the ground and in the trees. While maintaining much of their ancestral diet, they also integrated other foods from the ground, especially starches, such as tubers, sedges and grains, as well as greater amounts of animal foods, especially ones with greater amounts of fats. Later in our evolution, our ancestor, Homo Erectus, processed their food through grinding and cooking and other methods, making that food easier to digest and less toxic. Through these changes all aspects of our foodways became more efficient and powerful, allowing us to evolve three of our most distinguished human traits: our enormous brains, vast culture and greater metabolism.

We then develop our model of our universal human foodways--while being ready to explore that question: what is the indigenous diet of humankind? It’s the diet that provides the proper ratio of nutrients to optimize our various metabolisms--while also being easy to digest and lower in toxins. Accordingly we will discuss the proper ratios of macronutrients to each other, including fatty acids, amino acids, sugars and fermentable fibers and other nutrients as well. We will also cover the possible problems in various types of diets, including the extreme ones. Even though we humans have universal patterns in our foodways, we are also able to adapt to different foodways. In the cold arctic, the Inuit subsist almost entirely on animal flesh while the Hadza, in the arid desert, subsist mostly on plants and only smaller amounts of animal foods; so these two people are not only eating different foods but also different nutrients. We explore some of the ways we further adapt to our foodways--through such traits as intelligence, culture, nutrigenetics, epigenetics, and chemical synthesis. During Neolithic and Modern Times, we continued to evolve and adapt to our foodways through many mechanisms but not fast enough to keep apace to our cultural evolution through modernization. So we thus discuss some of the ways that we humans are maladapted to the foodways that surrounds us that potentially cause enormous compromises to our lives and culture. Through hearing the big history of our biological existence, we encounter another way of interpreting our existential self--while also developing better tools to avoid dietary hype and to formulate our own First Supper--thus optimizing our biological self to better express our mythic self. I have been conducting research on The First Supper for around ten years now; and my research assistant, Rebecca Cox, for around three years. We will launch our website and social media and publish the first of several books within the year.

Luke Comer is the author of the novel, "Yoke of Wind," about a slave revolt on an island off the coast of Florida; the creative director and executive producer of the rock opera, "The Portal"; the executive producer of the music and transformational festival, "Arise"; and the executive producer and creative director of the small, experimental trance-dance called "Ride the Dragon"; and the author and executive producer of the upcoming project, one decade in development, called "The First Supper," about the relationship between human evolution and nutrition. He is an investor in the privately held Ebsco Industries, which, amongst other things, disseminates scholarly and popular content for libraries worldwide and builds towns based on new urbanists principals. While working in different mediums, he nonetheless uses many of the same artistic techniques and motifs in all of his work. Through his exploration of human biological and cultural evolution, he attempts to identify the fundamental needs of humanity that are not met in modern society--and then devises ways to fulfill those needs. He owns, produces, publishes and controls all of his own work but loves to collaborate with others.

Friday August 5, 2016 5:00pm - 6:00pm MDT
7 - Workshop Tent