focus on unappealing fall-back foods

NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Fall-back foods, for example, ground chaff and fruit peel and the shell of chicken eggs?

Thanks in advance
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Based on his studies of orangutans, primatologist Carel van Schaik of the University of Zurich has come to a very different view. “When food is scarce, orangutans go into energy-saving mode. They minimize movement and focus on unappealing fall-back foods,” he observed. Their strategy in this scenario is quite the opposite of innovation, but it makes sense.

-Scientific American
Source
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    If you're asking what fall-back foods are for orangutans, the article doesn't say, so it's difficult for us to agree that it means "ground chaff and fruit peel and the shell of chicken eggs."

    Fall-back foods, in general, will be foods the orangutans don't eat when there is plentiful food available to them.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Clearly, there are foods that orangutans prefer, and would eat if they could find them. There are also foods that are easier to find, but are not as appealing, or as tasty. Those foods that are plentiful and easy to find, even if the orangutans don't like them very much, are the "fall back foods": the orangutans can fall back on them when their favorite foods are unavailable.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Acceptable to whom, and in what circumstance?

    Please understand that it is possible to say things in English that are perfectly grammatical, but that are also meaningless. To speak of "fall back foods for humans" is grammatical, but what is it supposed to mean?
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Supposed there is a great famine, what do people eat then? "Fall-back foods" would be okay for them to eat?
     
    Last edited:

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    you are suggesting that other people should be regarded as "fall-back foods"!!
    Since we eat pretty much every other edible thing in our environment (I just had algae and grass in a protein shake), human flesh is the only fall-back food I can think of.
    Scientists can study the environment of orangutans and discover what edible things in their environment (ground chaff and chicken eggs are not part of their environment) are not eaten by them when other foods are available. This isn't easy to do with humans.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    Supposed there is a great famine, what do people eat then? "Fall-back foods" would be okay for them to eat?
    I've corrected the typo.

    When in a great famine, do people eat fall-back foods like ground chaff and corn cobs?

    Well, the question here is whether the usage "fall-back foods" is proper.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    :eek::eek::eek:

    "Who" is only used to refer to human beings; unless the people are eating their children or cooking their grandparents, you want to say "what do people eat then" -- unless you are suggesting that other people should be regarded as "fall-back foods"!!
    Needless to say it is a typo for what.

    There was a saying in ancient China: when man eats man, it is time to topple the dynasty.

    That is, when human flesh is served as a fall-back food, the government should be overturned.
     
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