Oh Conventional Wisdom- How I HATE YOU!
So I may have hinted at this before…but I LOVE a good diet and fitness debate. hehe
(And I’m apologizing upfront to any of my readers who are vegetarians…but I mean come on the comic is funny!) 🙂
For the first time this week I slept in (till 7 am!!! YAY!), and when I woke up Ryan had a nice article up on the computer for my post today – “The Paleo-Diet: Not the way to a healthy future.”
THANK YOU NPR!
First off, like many people you talk to, the author of this article Barbara King, got stuck on the fact that the Paleo diet is modeled on a hunter-gatherer diet. Most people get turned off of the diet because of this, which is why you hear people scoff at the idea of a “caveman” diet.
In this case Barbara King tries to prove that the Paleo diet DOESN’T in fact mimic the diet of paleolithic people. She even states that a true “paleo” diet may in fact be vegetarian:
Our ancestors began to eat meat in large quantities around 2 million years ago, when the first Homo forms began regular use of stone tool technology. Before that, the diet of australopithecines and their relatives was overwhelmingly plant-based, judging from clues in teeth and bones. I could argue that the more genuine “paleo” diet was vegetarian.
Ok that may be true…but then again we evolved into Homo form and those are probably the species more similar to our own so wouldn’t it make more sense to follow their diet than the one of a species that eventually EVOLVED into a hunter? Makes sense to me, but hey…
Again she tries to prove that the Paleo diet isn’t a true paleolithic diet. She states:
First, ancient hunter-gatherer groups adapted to local environments that were regionally and seasonally variable — for instance, coastal or inland, game-saturated or grain-abundant (eating grains was not necessarily incompatible with hunter-gatherer living). Second, genes were not in control. People learned what worked in local context for survival and reproduction, and surely, just as in other primates, cultural traditions began to play a role in who ate what.
In short, there was no single hunter-gatherer foraging strategy, and genes no more “designed” our eating behavior than they designed our language or our ways of relating between the genders.
I think most Paleo and Primal followers agree that Paleolithic people ate what was regional and seasonal. AND many Paleo and Primal followers TRY to follow that. Of course since we do get produce from other places, we do make exceptions especially if it is organic. I also think people following the Paleo and Primal diets do adjust them to fit the region they are from just like our ancient ancestors did. Plus like any “diet,” the creators and main promoters of these diets have to promote a BASIC set of principles to follow. It is up to the “dieter” to adjust it to fit where they are from.
Just like vegetarians. Just because someone is a vegetarian doesn’t mean their diet is the exact same as another vegetarian yet both are following the same BASIC set of principles outline by the person (people) who started/promoted vegetarianism. Sooo….what’s your point Barbara?
Oh, and also, our genes may not “design” our eating behavior but they do react better when you eat a certain way. I think all of the testimonials you can find in Paleo and Primal books as well as on blogs do prove this point. I mean just check out marksdailyapple.com and read a few of the testimonials there! (I mean shoot, if you are reading this blog and agree send me your testimonial and I’ll post it here as proof! haha)
OK! Next point! And the one that made me laugh out loud!
But the paleo-movement seems to doom (even if unintentionally) more animals to life and death in factory farms. A greater percentage of grain crops would also be diverted to rich countries’ animals and away from poor countries’ people.
Uhm has she done any actually reading about Paleo/Primal? Doesn’t sound like it! WE AVOID GRAIN FED ANIMALS!!! So uhm…the poor countries can have all the grains they want! haha
Most true followers of Paleo try to eat only grass-fed animals. We are trying to promote a Paleolithic lifestyle, remember Barbara. SOOOO we want animals that were raised in a way that mimics the way Paleolithic animals lived…aka roaming free and eating what they naturally ate (grass for cows, grubs for pigs and such!).
So actually the Paleo diet is trying to get rid of factory farms. We are actually promoting a diet that is more humane to animals (if you look at the “5” rating at Whole Foods those animals actually got to live out a very nice long life!).
So Barbara didn’t convince me. Anyone out there have something better? haha