If you have any annoying friends who follow the Paleo lifestyle (it's a lifestyle, NOT a diet), they'll gladly regale you with tales of how humans are biologically designed to be carnivores, how this way of eating totally fuels their WODs and Murphs, and how hunter-gatherers were healthier than today's sitter-eaters, even though they had to dodge things like unpredictable weather, hungry saber-toothed tigers, and a lack of medicine.
Still, the logic appeals to a certain everyman common sense: After all, what did our prehistoric ancestors eat if not for animal meat, animal fat, and broth made from (yes, animal) bones?
Turns out, mostly plants.
Hunting for berries and gathering greens isn't as exciting as trudging through the elements to take down a wooly mammoth, but it's probably a more realistic picture of what our Paleo ancestors were doing for food. A 780,000-year-old collection of edible plants found in Israel points to a more plant-based diet for humans at the time.
The discovery is the first time researchers have identified such a wide variety of plants that early humans had access to and likely consumed. The findings revealed more than 55 types of edible plants among the remains, including seeds, fruits, nuts, stems, and leaves.
It makes sense, considering the hunting technology of the time likely consisted of a bunch of males with crude spikes trying to take down animals that were probably superior in size, strength, speed, and agility. Plants stay put. You don't have to chase them. They're usually pretty much fine raw.
So it's more probable that our Paleo ancestors were half-assed vegetarians who indulged in the occasional piece of meat, rather than the other way around.
Oh, and they probably ate bread, too.