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“A large fire was made in a depression in the sand, and stones and shells were heated. Small green branches were placed on top of the stones and the wallaby was flung on these. After 5-10 minutes it was taken off the fire, placed on a layer of green leaves, and the singed fur was removed with a tomahawk. The first cut was made horizontally on the ventral surface at the level of the anus, and the next on the dorsal surface along both sides to sever the leg muscles. Another cut was then made from the anus to the neck. The viscera were pulled out; and the kidneys, liver, heart and lungs, and the omental and mesenteric fat were separated from the rest, and cooked [directly] on the hot stones and coals for 5 minutes [Editorial note: allowing the fat to seep into the fire]. The cooked lungs were used to soak up the blood inside the carcass and then eaten. The offal was regarded as a delicacy by everybody and a certain amount of squabbling always followed its distribution. The tail was cut off, and during the cooking was put on or alongside the body. The carcass was laid flat, dorsal side downwards, on the hot stones and ashes and the body cavity was filled with hot stones. Sheets of paperbark formed a cover over the animal, and sand was scooped out to make an oven. Wallabies weighing 15-20 pounds were cooked for 25-35 minutes. Everything edible was eaten except the stomach and intestines. The skull was cracked open to get the brain, and the bones were broken to extract the marrow.” [Source: Anthropology and Nutrition, vol. 2 of Records of the American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnheim Land, ed. C.P. Mountford (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1960).]
“Roasting, baking, and steaming (water is poured over hot stones as at a Polynesian luau) are techniques used by recent hunters and gatherers and are probably ancient. While all cooking procedures affect the nutrient content of food, these traditional techniques are relatively healthful. Baking and roasting reduce the fat content of meat [note: so long as you don’t retain fat of juices] while steaming (in contrast to boiling) minimizes vitamin loss. Furthermore, none of these methods add fat. Recently studied hunters and gatherers do not fry their food, chiefly because they lack appropriate cooking vessels….
“Nonstick pans should be used to cut down on fat or oil. Or, oil can be spread lightly with a paper towel. Vegetable oil sprays now available achieve the same result mechanically….
“With poultry, remove skin and visible fat. Defat gravies with a bulb syringe or skimmer.”
“Late paleolithic humans must have obtained, on average, between 20 and 25 percent of their calories from fat. Of this, polyunsaturates exceeded saturates; a typical P:S ratio might have been 7:5 (which can also be expressed as P:S = 1.4:1).”
“Between 1910 and 1976, the consumption of fats in the United States increased by about 25 percent so that, currently , fat makes up about 42 percent of the calories consumed by average Americans. Of this fat, more that twice as much is saturated as polyunsaturated. This level of fat consumption is unprecedented in human evolutionary experience, and results in diseases that kill us, but that are uncommon in countries where fat represents a much smaller proportion of the diet. In rural Japan, for example, only 10 to 12 percent of daily calories come from fat (with a P:S ratio of approximately 1:1) and the prevalence of coronary heart disease among the Japanese is only a small fraction of ours.”