The sheer volume of information out there arguing for and against the health of particular foods and preparations is extremely daunting. My presence on the bread front-lines of the battle gives me a detailed view, but not always clarity. I continue to believe that individuals are more unique that we realize and that the gold-standard has to be finding what works for you. I am very interested in the arguments made against grain consumption by people like Chris Kresser and am doing my best to keep an open mind and look at all the pro and con arguments from all sides. The nutrition we receive from a given food seems to be affected by our genetics and that of our food, growing conditions, your current health, preparation, and even to some extent our attitude. Things like nutrition labels are just averages that ignore most of these variables.
The question of when humans really started eating grains is a good one. This Spartan Diet Blog post summarizes some newer evidence that grain consumption might have been more extensive earlier than people thought. It does seem however that grains are a newer addition to the diet than say fruit and meat which primates still eat today, so I can see how proper preparation of the food might play a more significant role. Also the genetics of a particular population and their gut flora/fauna might have evolved over time to make it more nutritious for them. However today with all the global mixing of genes and food, the ability to digest something like dairy properly can no longer be expected to be confined to the places where dairy is readily available. The use of fire for cooking also is thought to have played a significant role in what we ate and how much nutrition it provided. A recent Spartan Diet post titled "The 6 qualities that transform bread from junk food to superfood" summarizes well with what I have been trying to do with the bakery. Here are my comments on their list:
Besides being nutritious and healthy for a given individual, I believe our food also needs to be produced in a local and sustainable manner. I don't think it will do the majority of people any long-term good, to base their diet around an over-harvested wild food or food that is primarily non-local. That is a perspective that I think a lot of "diets" totally ignore.