Food security and nutrition as the neglected missing links in cultural evolution: the role of the Sociotype

Food Security and nutrition were major drivers of cultural evolution by enabling sociotypic development and communal living after the Neolithic agricultural revolution. The sociotype is a construct, uniting concepts from the sciences and the humanities, which, together with the genotype, determines an individual’s phenotype (behavior) and, collectively, advances societal culture. The sociotype, ever-changing during life, has three domains – Individual, Relationships, Context. Nutrition interacts with each to ensure, respectively, the dimensions of food security – (1) utilization (metabolic fuel); (2) accessibility (socializing influences); and (3) availability (right to nutritious food).
The sociotype operates through multiple pathways, including diet-gene interactions, allostasis, microbiota, oxytocin, and culturally through mate selection, family bonds, social communication, political ideologies and values.
Food security, sociotypes and culture form a complex adaptive system to enable coping with life circumstances in health and disease, and to achieve sustainable development, eradicating hunger. Challenges remain in implementing this paradigm for society.
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