Fresh from its ribbon-cutting in November and on the heels of a gala Victorian Dining Experience during Chestertown’s Charles Dickens Christmas Weekend, Modern Stone Age Kitchen and Eastern Shore Food Lab has arrived in town as a new fooderie with a 3-million-year-old pedigree.
Anthropologist Dr. Bill Schindler and his family are on a mission to offer a different approach to food. By that, Schindler means that his years of field research led him to a crossroad: how to approach the human relationship to food, not as “what we eat, but how should we eat,” the cultural context of our consumption. And to do this, Schindler dedicates his life to understanding the origins of the human diet.
No longer affiliated with Washington College’s academic program, the Eastern Shore Food Lab continues its mission with Modern Stone Age Kitchen and Rise by Brianna Bakery in a combined effort to conduct research and to provide delicious and healthy food to the community.
“I’m convinced that the answer to modern dietary issues can be found through a comprehensive understanding of our deep dietary past and our diverse dietary present. My goal is to use an ancient approach to food using modern technology.”
If you caught Schindler’s 2016 National Geographic series “The Great Human Race,” you would have followed the anthropologist’s year-long stone-age field trip across the globe as he and survivalist Cat Bigney learned how to survive only using the same techniques as early mankind.
That experience, along with his family’s globals research to learn about still existent traditions in communities and families—and how they nourished themselves—led Schindler to reframe his thinking about food through the lens of ancestral diets.
“What we forget in the modern mass industrial food processing machine that we have today that’s processing most of the food most of us consume is that we’re skipping a lot of the traditional steps,” Schindler says.
Schindler believes that many of the health problems humans are experiencing today.
“Today’s health problems are not just a product of food choices. Our relationship with food does not exist in a vacuum. That is why diets don’t work – they are always out of context because they do not consider all of the other aspects of “life” important to us. How we acquire, process, store, share and consume food is uniquely human and embedded in practically all aspects of our lives. Learning to eat like a human again is really about learning to live like humans again,” he writes on his Eat Like A Human website.
For Schindler, this means that we must find food as nutrient-dense as possible and prepare it using methods that release those nutrients and make them bioavailable to our bodies.
For those who want to know more about Dr. Schindler’s message, his in-depth explanation—and recipes!—may be found in his newly published book, “Eat Like a Human: Nourishing Foods and Ancient Ways of Cooking to Revolutionize Your Health.”
The Modern Stone Age Kitchen, Eastern Shore Food Lab, and Rise by Brianna Bakery are located at 236 Cannon St. in Chestertown
The Spy caught up with Dr. Schindler to talk about his philosophy of food, Modern Stone Age Kitchen, and home of Rise by Brianna Bakery, as they open their doors to Chestertown.
This video is approximately nine minutes in length. To see what they have to offer, go here. And go quickly, their pizzas sell out fast.