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(An Ex-Instincto's Guide to Instinctive Eating--continued, Part E)

But most of these foods on the instincto menu weren't available to our pre-fire ancestors, were they?

Exactly. While instinctos praise wild food, they actually eat very little of it. Most of the foods instinctos eat are domesticated foods--clearly different from the wild foods our ancestors ate. Modern fruits are very different than wild ones. (See the Wild vs. Cultivated Fruit Table available on this site for a detailed comparison.) And farm animals, especially as reared these days, are not the same as game animals. (See just below for chart.) Grocery-store veggies are wimps compared to wild plants as well. (Companion chart also below.)


(average values per 100-gram portion)


Wild Game*

Domesticated Meat**

Energy (kcal)



Protein (g)



Fat (g)



Cholesterol (mg)



*43 species **4 varieties Source: Eaton, S. Boyd; Shostak, Marjorie; Konner, Melvin (1988) The Paleolithic Prescription, Harper & Row Publishers: New York. (p. 78, Table IV)





Average Content
(per 100 grams)

Number of Species with Data Available

Average Content of Common Fruit & Vegetables
(per 100 grams)

Dietary Fiber

12.6 g


0.58 g


131.0 mg


19.2 mg

Vitamin C

30.6 mg


28.6 mg


6.4 mg


0.4 mg


26.9 mg


13.3 mg


424.6 mg


190.9 mg

*153 species total. Source: Eaton, S. Boyd; Shostak, Marjorie; Konner, Melvin (1988) The Paleolithic Prescription, Harper & Row Publishers: New York. (p. 78, Table V)

**apple, banana, grape, orange, lettuce, celery, cabbage, tomato, potato, and bell pepper (chemically farmed, as found in most supermarket produce departments). Source: Nutrition Search, Inc. (John D. Kirschmann, director; Lavon J. Dunne, co-author) (1984) Nutrition Almanac (2nd ed.), McGraw-Hill.

Instinctos often use these differences as a convenient excuse for any less-than-expected result. And since no one I know of, instincto or not, eats only wild foods anymore, it becomes an annoying catchall excuse--along with "oh, it's just detox"--which has little possibility of verification or refutation in practical terms.

And besides its use as an excuse, this "oversupply" of domesticated foods screws up the whole premise of instincto--which says we can nourish ourselves Perfectly by following our sensory attractions--since our alimentary instinct was designed in interaction with a different supply of food than we have available now. In essence, the supply side of the supply/demand equation is a lot different now than it was for our pre-fire ancestors who are the model for instincto.

Natural Men vs. Modern Menu
The foods eaten by our distant ancestors and the foods eaten by civilized persons are nearly mutually exclusive.

So where do instinctos shop?

Today's large supermarkets are fascinating and frustrating places. Recently some chains have begun offering organic-foods sections in their produce departments, but for the most part they have what customers demand: the lowest-cost produce with the highest eye-appeal, which usually means chemically farmed fruits and vegetables. Yet the variety is staggering. We have fruits from all over the world in the space of a large room! Mangoes and papayas stand next to out-of-season air-freighted strawberries and hothouse tomatoes. An instincto paradise, you might imagine, until you taste these items. Fresh fruits and veggies suffer from transportation and storage. What we have gained in variety is counterbalanced by the relatively low taste-appeal of distantly-grown and out-of-season produce.

Fresh fish shops are also important sources of native foods, and many of the bigger supermarkets now feature a fresh fish area. Here we have fish flown in from various oceans to a single spot. Only the most scrupulous fish outlets make a clear and honest distinction between fresh and thawed fish. Farmed fish are sold in ever-increasing numbers, and these are sometimes not distinguished from wild fish. Nevertheless, a careful and questioning shopper will find native foods at the local fishmonger, provided s/he is in a city large enough to support a retail outlet.

Instincto-quality meat is not usually found commercially. Raising your own animals, or hunting, are the best options at present, unless you want to consider researching a game-meat wholesaler or can arrange for someone else to raise a raw-fed animal for you.

Comb honey is occasionally available, and many of the nation's yellow pages list honey producers who might sell a frame straight from one of their hives. (A frame is the wooden rectangle that "frames" the comb honey which hived bees build up. There are various sizes of such comb, weighing from about three to seven pounds.)

Yeah, but what do instinctos ACTUALLY eat?

What foods do long-time instinctos actually eat? Which are their favorites over time? The tables which follow show the relative "taste" pleasure that long-time instinctos say they experience with various foods. In general, the foods in the upper groupings are known for providing repeated and intense pleasure. This does not mean that foods from a lower group might not taste fantastic at times. However, the best apple-eating experience would not likely exceed the best papaya-eating experience in terms of sensory pleasure. ;-) Further, a durian is more likely to taste outstanding on a far more regular basis than an apple might. (You'll just have to trust me on this one. But if you're like others who had thought their willpower was unbreakable, you'll probably be reduced to a whimpering mass of truly tingly shivers after your very first bite. ;-) )

Keep in mind that this is a list of favorites for long-time instinctos. Most mis-nourished people will not be attracted to the strongest foods which are found in the upper groups. Instinctos say that experience shows the instinctively nourished organism "opens up" to these foods as old denatured foods are "detoxed from the body."

Or so the theory goes. Personally, I still have no great attraction to eggs or liver--though I keep trying and trying. ;-)

There is potential for the unintentional misuse of a listing such as the one that follows. The upper foods are not "better" than the lower foods. Regardless of where, or whether, it occurs on this list of long-time instincto favorites, any particular undenatured food might be best-suited for an individual at a given moment. So this list is not a ranking of instincto foods from good to bad.

The list is also not complete. It's simply a sampling of some raw foods according to the relative pleasures found by instinctos eating them over several years. Foods in Group I are known for the "ecstasy" they often provide the long-time instincto. (As ecstatic as sex, you may ask? Well... I refuse to answer on the grounds that either choice might incriminate me. ;-) ) A practiced instincto is likely to have had very pleasurable experiences with most of the foods in all groups (a polymorphically perverse pleasurizer, you might say), but the higher-grouped foods have likely been more attractive, more of the time, than the lower-grouped foods. This listing is also "skewed" by the availability of particular food items in France, where nearly all long-time instinctos live and from whence "official" instincto theory emanates. France imports many fruits from southeast Asia as well--fruits which rarely appear in U.S. markets.

It is the rare instincto who can obtain the Group I and II foods on an exclusive and regular basis. Wild foods are often very difficult to obtain. It is likely that liver and other organs from wild animals would top the listing, but wild organs are so infrequently available that this is not presently known. Fine tropical fruits are very costly and of poor quality in most developed countries. Yet like any other animal on earth, instinctos live within a particular environment characterized by a limited food supply.

The following list is based in large part on similar lists compiled by Dr. Jacque Fraedin, an instincto theorist who lives in France. (He was an associate of Burger's who broke away from him early on.)


Group I

Land Animals Organs, esp. liver and kidney.
Wild duck and game meat in general.
Insects, esp. grasshoppers and bee larvae.
Bone marrow, esp. soft.
Seafood All crustaceans, esp. crab, lobster, shrimp.
All mollusks, esp. oysters, urchin.
Fatty fish, esp. mackerel, sardines, herring.
Juicy Fruit Champedek, mangosteen, rambutan, lychee, figs, papaya, sapote, cherries, wild berries.
Heavy Fruit Durian, dates, dried figs. (Also comb honey.)

Group II

Land Animals All naturally-raised meat, esp. pig, mutton, rabbit, cow, chicken, turkey, goat, etc.
Eggs Birds' eggs (chicken, duck, quail, etc.).
Fish roe (any, but esp. from fatty fish).
Juicy Fruit Mango, jackfruit, guava, pineapple, citrus, grapes, melons, passion fruit, pomegranate, cactus fruit, cherimoya, red banana, "small" banana, watermelon, young coconuts.
Heavy Fruit Lucuma, raisins. (Also jarred honey.)
Black zapote.

Group III

Juicy Fruit Tree-ripened, organic fruit in season.
Plums, strawberries, peaches, persimmon.
Vegetables Organic "fruit-vegetables" in season.
Avocado, tomato (esp. cherry tomato), cucumber, bell pepper, sweet corn from the stalk.

Group IV

Heavy Fruit Dried banana, dried apricot, etc.
Nuts Brazil nuts, almonds, pistachio, pinon.
Juicy Fruit Organic apple, pear, apricot.
Commercial pineapple, banana, persimmon.
Commercial plums, peaches, strawberries.
Vegetables Organic vegetables in season, including:
Artichoke, cauliflower, mushrooms, fennel, cabbage, broccoli, sweet potato, lettuce, etc.
Commercial avocado.

Group V

Nuts Walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts.
Juicy Fruit Commercial apple, pear, apricot.
Vegetables Commercial tomato, cucumber, cauliflower, cabbage, artichoke, bell peppers, etc.
Animal Food Dried meat, dried egg.
Seafood Dried fish, dried shellfish.
Seeds Sprouted beans, sunflower, alfalfa, etc.

Any instinctos out there poring over these tables? I would love to hear feedback from any long-term instinctos about the listings above--do you find it is representative in your experience? [Instinctos! You are hereby directed to contact Kirt to rapturize in mutual revelry about your most ecstatic food experiences.]


(How Trustable is the "Taste Stop"? The Lure of Hedonism and Overeating)

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