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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Reassessment of the Nutritional Value of Pinus monophylla

  • Author(s): Farris, Glenn J
  • et al.

The growing field of paleo-nutrition calls for ever more precise data. Whereas P. monophylla has been accepted as an important vegetal food for the Great Basin peoples, the nutritional data show it to be an even more remarkable food item than it appeared to be based on the earlier and more commonly used analytic report. In particular, the former emphasis on the exceedingly high fat content must be reconsidered. The importance of this high carbohydrate food item in the Great Basin may well lie in the lack of such food products as acorns (as in California) or corn (as in New Mexico and Arizona). To each of these food items, by contrast, the nutritional qualities of the dominant pine nuts in each area would seem quite complementary. Further nutritional research will shed greater light on the accuracy of this conclusion.

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