This post is pure fiction. Any semblance to currently living bloggers is probably totally libelous, so you'd better stop reading now.
Here we go. First, let's set the scene. We're looking at the Magdalenian period, 18,000-10,000 years ago, the end of the last ice age. Wiki gives a nice overview here. These HGs are fully developed homo sapiens, a great deal more sophisticated, in all probability, than many of us around today. They're not loaded with omega 6 PUFA for a start.
A few more pieces of fairly hard data come from the UK Archeological Data Service, in particular a paper which is split in to two pdfs, here and here. For those who don't want to slog through the archeology-speak, these quotes give the flavour:
We're talking about reindeer hunting btw.
"In the autumn in particular, the herd [reindeer] is at its nutritional and weight peak, and can supply substantial quantities of a high-quality, fat-rich, storable resource for over-wintering"
"The toothwear for the one and two year old individuals [reindeer] indicates that the [mass] kill took place during the autumn at both sites, within a few weeks and a little later at Verberie than at Pincevent. The large size of the kill and the season point towards a hunt related to the autumn migration (at least at Verberie) (David, in press)"
"The primary use made of reindeer was, of course, nutritional. The autumn hunts indicated by the dental eruption sequences at Pincevent and Verberie would be designed to exploit the prey in its best condition of the entire year. The summer forage would have fattened up the herd to its maximum annual weight, and even more importantly, to its highest fat content. Both meat and marrow are important for the diets of reindeer hunters. Speth and Spielmann’s arguments (1983) about the desirability of fat in the diet are particularly pertinent for cold climate hunter/gatherers in the winter. The fat in marrow can supply twice as many calories per gram as protein can, and can allow efficient metabolism of the protein from meat. There are no whole bones in the faunal assemblages from Pincevent or Verberie. There are abundant impact fractures, systematically placed to open the medullary cavities for the extraction of marrow"
Not sure what Cordain would think of this. I believe we are supposed to eat the skinny ones in the spring, not store the fat ones from autumn. Pesky facts!
Anyway, that's the end of the facts. It might also be useful to know who Fanatic Cook is and to have watched at least one of the Terminator movies (Terminator I does the job nicely and I think it has that chase scene down the dry floodwater channel). Here we go:
The wind is moaning over the autumn landscape of northern France at the tail end of the last ice age. It's October and the snow has been over a foot deep for weeks. The reindeer have fed well through the short subarctic summer and are loaded with fat for the winter. Gatherable foodstuffs are sandwiched between the snow cover and the permafrost. No one is digging. There has been a slaughter of reindeer and the tribe has divided up in to groups to butcher them. There is work for the present and food for the winter in plenty. The sound of shattering bones means marrow fat for all.
Away from the encampment there is a smell of ozone in the air and the Terminator style electric blue globe flickers and crackles to deposit a human form in to the frozen landscape. Luckily for everyone, the new time machine transports clothes as well as Terminators. And a crucial bag of white powder.
The Terminator approaches the butchery site through the heaps of reindeer bones from many previous harvests on this spot. Literally thousands of bones, all shattered to allow removal of the marrow. She approaches the main decision maker of the tribe and his shaman, both busily engaged in extracting the solid saturated fat from around the kidneys of a recently killed reindeer. Small cubes of the still warm delicacy are given to the children who scamper around, these are real treats. The rest will be frozen in a matter of minutes and be available for winter feasting later in the year.
The babel fish in the Terminator's ear does its best.
Decision Maker (Chief, if you must), "Who's she?"
Shaman, "Looks like the angel of death to me. Wonder what the white powder in the bag is"
Decision Maker, "What's this diabetes she keeps going on about?"
Shaman, "High blood sugar"
Decision Maker, "Waddayamean, high blood sugar? My blood sugar has been 4.6mmol/l for the last 45 years and I don't see it budging any time soon. Can you change it?"
Shaman, "Watch the powder, it ain't crack or angel dust"
Decision Maker, "But I'm already on a high fat diet! I live on not much else every winter and the few leaves we get in the summer give me the gripes. Why do I need to eat her white powder to be on a high fat diet?"
Shaman, "Buggered if I know. Want to humour her? It might be like the Special K that last Terminator brought. Cracking trip, if you're a shaman"
Decision Maker, "I'm no shaman, I might get lost on a trip like that and never find my way back to reality, your call"
The shaman licks his finger, dips it in the powder, touches it to his tongue. The grimace and spitting are extreme. "Dextrose mono bloody hydrate! You lend me your spear mate, I was right about the angel of death!"
The shaman promptly saves mankind from hyperglycaemia for another 10,000 years, minimum. But not for ever. The next Terminator will drop in to Egypt, about 12,000 years later. The ground will be more fertile and whole grains will sow death far more successfully in the now warmer climate. No need for the white powder.
End of fiction. Now you can go read the abstract of the paper cited by Bix here if you feel like it, but please try to apply a little more comprehension than she does. Not difficult.