Talk:Trophic level

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The objective of all of this is to get to the glucose whether directly by eating plants or indirectly by eating meat and fat. It's a striking omission that is included in most basic high school textbooks — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Then why don't you find a reliable source and add the point to the article. You are as responsible for what is in the article as anyone else! --Epipelagic (talk) 02:48, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Human trophic level[edit]

Could someone include in the article the human trophic level? Thanks, — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:26, 19 December 2013 (UTC)

Human trophic level[edit]

There has been a little bit of edit-warring regarding human diet. Human diet, of course, is somewhat of a sensitive topic, just like Climate Change, Abortion, and many others. Nevertheless it is important to treat modern scholarly consensus as the basis of the articles. Fringe theories, if they are sufficiently notable to discuss, should be carefully addressed in sections that are separate from discussions of mainstream scholarship. Perhaps some authors have personal feelings about the morality of animal consumption but that is entirely orthogonal to this article. The notion that humans are herbivores has been long discredited, despite efforts by some activists to keep this theory alive. It is only because of technological innovations over the last 10,000 years that vegetarian diets have become possible. But that does not change our biochemistry.

--MC — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:12, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

"The notion that humans are herbivores has been long discredited"

This odd strawman doesn't belong in this section. The question in context is simply "what is the trophic level of humans," and the information we need to consider is the relative proportion of food consumed from a higher vs lower trophic level. If you can support your claims that we used to eat huge amounts of meat and that the amount of plant consumption drastically declined as modern humans evolved, please share your evidence. The books you cite make no such claims. The book "Evolution of the Human Diet: The Known, the Unknown, and the Unknowable" by Peter S. Ungar, which you cite, does indeed argue that consumption of meat drove some of the evolutionary changes that helped make humans what we are today. However, at no point does it suggest that meat made up the biggest part of our diet. The chapter "Meat Made us Human" by the author's own text is not meant to oppose any previous claims regarding the percent of the human diet consisting of meat-- rather, his argument is focused on whether increased consumption of tubers was the cause or the effect of increased consumption of meat, and he argues that availability of meat drove the changes discussed. (Ie, did tuber gathering facilitate foraging for meat, or did foraging for meat require increased tuber gathering as a fallback for when the hunt failed?) In fact, he specifically states "If more commitment to terrestriality and meat foraging occurred at the beginning of the Pleistocene and if the higher-energy requirements of early H. Erectus could not be balanced with honey, then tubers would be a likely addition, providing the same mixed diet as Wrangham and colleagues (1999) describe, just a very different means to get to a more human division of labor in the food quest." Note that Wrangham's study is the one that MC is claiming has been discredited, but clearly, the opinion shared here (a controversial one) doesn't even attempt to challenge the proposed proportion of foods eaten by early man, only the reason they eat them.

MC accuses those opposing his views as being "activists," but considering the considerable uncertainty in the area, it's hard for me to believe anyone pushing uncertain information and drawing conclusions not arrived at in the sources is anything but an activist.

Here is an article more recent than either of the cited books:

" Some unresolved questions in this area of research are:

1. How important were animal resources to hominins (versus plants and other non-animal resources), and how did this importance vary by hominin species, time period, habitat, or other variables?

2. How does the amount of meat and marrow available for scavenging in modern ecosystems vary with the size of prey (e.g., Blumenschine 1987; Pobiner 2007), the species of prey, predator species, predator group size, and ecological variables such as season and habitat? Would any of these variables affect frequency and location of butchery marks, and if so, how (e.g., Pobiner and Braun 2005)? "

In addition, if the claims regarding diet have been settled, as MC claims, why are articles still being published that contradict this claim? His most recent work was published in 2011 (i can't access that) and the other from 2007. Meanwhile, articles such as this continue to come out. This 2015 paper argues about the relative importance of various foods in the ancestral human diet.

If someone wants to provide various views on this controversial topic, fine. Find some source that speculates on the trophic level of ancient humans. But stop stretching words to fit what you want to say. It's clear that at some point, our meat consumption increased. What is not clear is whether that increase mirrors today's humans (in which case, the data already provided that puts a number on the human trophic level already covers it, and the only think worth additing is that it used to be *lower*), or if it is higher than modern human intake (which none of the data has shown, and is still questionable as far as relevance-- in the history of humans, we ate lots of plants, then more meat, and now we're back to mostly plants. So what? Why is that so important to debate on a topic about trophic levels in general?)

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Dr.queso (talkcontribs) 22:45, 14 October 2015 (UTC)