I first looked into adopting a more Natural diet by studying the eating habits of our most Natural relatives, the chimpanzee. Chimpanzees are primarily frugivores, but must supplement their diet with additional sources of fat and calories. The easiest and most efficient source of fat and calories come from oil palm nuts, which brings about 50 calories per nuts and nearly all of those calories come from fat. Any chimp with a smooth stone surface and a good hammerstone can easily crack enough oil palm nuts to get all the calories and fat they need in a day.
Yet chimps habitually forgo up to a full day’s valuable foraging time in order to stalk, ambush and eat monkeys. The monkeys are faster and lighter, and can travel across high branches that would break under a chimp’s weight. The only way a troop of chimps can catch one is if they work together with a planned strategy. Jane Goodall reported how one male will deliberately make himself conspicuous in order to divert a troop of red colobus monkeys being chased by chimps straight into a hidden ambush. Usually this results in the capture of just one monkey, which the chimps immediately tear apart while the females below scream with excitement. A single colobus monkey only yields enough meat for each hunter to get only a morsel, plus extras for the begging females who will offer her throbbing, swollen genitals as payment for a bite of the precious delicacy.
Why would the chimps expend so much energy and forgo so much foraging time just for a few bites of monkey meat? Jane Goodall asserts that it’s all about status and power. The best hunters often become the dominant males of the troop. The male with the most meat gets the most ladies. And finally, it must just taste friggin’ awesome. From these observations, anthropologists have suggested that the earliest hominids used meat as currency, and meat was likely the very first precious, valuable item that man and great apes have ever known.
The Natural chimp diet was so intriguing that last year I decided to surprise Jon by offering him monkey stew for dinner:
It was so good and afforded me so much power and status that I no longer wondered why chimps would spend all day trying to obtain it.
With my cooking resolution in mind and with my continued interest in the Natural chimp diet, yesterday I made another chimpanzee dish.
Chimps are very territorial and aggressive towards foreign chimps. They won’t hesitate to attack a stranger they find threatening, and they are relentless and brutal. The tragic incident last year of the Connecticut woman with the pet chimp who attacked her friend luridly demonstrated the precise manner in which chimps attack their enemies.
They deliberately go straight for the face, then bite off the fingers. On other chimps they also bite off the genitals, but that’s less frequent in chimp-on-human attacks because the genitals aren’t immediately obvious and exposed. But the face and fingers are always the first targets when a chimp attacks.
With that in mind, I cooked something new last night.
Face and Finger Pie! Now with more face! Just like that Beatles song, “Penny Lane”- Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes/ Four of face and finger pies/ in summer meanwhile by -I had that song running through my head while I was adding the fingers.
It came out perfectly and was Naturally good! It’s also the first time I’ve ever made a pie. I’m so proud and Jon thinks this should surely lock me into place as the alpha female.