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You Are A Radical, And So Am I: Paleo Reaches The Ominous “Stage 3″

As the Mahatma Gandhi once said:

“First, they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.”

The paleo movement grew slowly for many years in the obscurity of Stage 1, and spent perhaps a year in Stage 2 being mocked as the “caveman diet”. Now, after several years of exponential growth and a stubborn refusal to be co-opted, we have finally achieved Stage 3, “Then they fight you.”

The latest example, of course, is the dismissive baloney pushed by the “experts” hired by US News and World Report, which ranks paleo dead last among 20 different diets—behind such food-free nutritional gimmicks as Slim-Fast and the Volumetrics Diet.

I have my differences with Loren Cordain, but his rebuttal is both comprehensive and devastating. Respect.

Also, the reader votes for “Did this diet work for you?” show that paleo is by far the most successful of the diets, with several thousand “Yes” votes and under 100 “No” votes. The only other diets to win more “Yes” than “No” votes were Weight Watchers and Atkins!

Update: The above is no longer true, as the Birdseed Brigade has apparently decided not only to upvote vegan and vegetarian diets en masse…they’ve decided to downvote all the meat-based diets, including Paleo, Atkins, South Beach, and Zone! (Thus illustrating the difference between our communities: we don’t attempt to silence or censor those who disagree with us.)

Previous to that, we’ve seen the repeated hatchet jobs on grass-fed beef by John Stossel (one in print and one on video), both of which use as their sole source non-peer-reviewed “research” from a scientist sponsored entirely by Elanco—a subsidiary of Eli Lilly that manufactures antibiotics and hormonal growth promoters for feedlot cattle, pigs, and chickens! President Obama’s personal trainer, in a breathtakingly stupid article, has called paleo “the newest nutritional fad”. (Solid rebuttal here.) And the avalanche of anti-paleo articles by “qualified experts” has just begun.

We might expect this sort of offensive from the American Dietetic Association and the American Diabetic Association, because anyone eating any variation on the paleo diet is essentially telling them “All of you have been completely wrong for decades, and your bad advice is killing millions of people each year.” And we might expect this sort of offensive from the PCRM, because they’re just a front for vegans and animal rights activists.

But why such hostility from the mainstream press? The paleo movement doesn’t have the anti-establishment politics of, say, the vegan movement—or, as far as I can tell, any clear politics at all. If anything, it tends towards a casual sort of conservative libertarianism, but that’s probably just because so many paleo bloggers are semi-retired techies. It seems unlikely that “going paleo” is the cause of anyone’s political beliefs.

The answer, of course, lies in the age-old admonition:

“Follow the money.”

Adding Value: The Foundation Of Functional Economies

An economy based entirely on selling the same things back and forth to each other for ever-increasing amounts of money is doomed to eventual collapse. As we found out just a couple years ago, flipping houses isn’t the same as having a manufacturing base and a world that wants to buy what we make.

Stated more generally, an economy is only sustainable to the degree that its participants add value by their actions. Factory workers add value by turning raw materials into clothes and cars and electronics; farmers turn seeds and soil and sunlight into crops; ranchers turn calves and grass into beef; engineers turn ideas into buildable products; truckers move things from where they are to where they’re wanted; cashiers and stockers and managers and janitors turn a locked building full of things into a system by which you can find what you want and exchange money for it; and so on. Added value – cost of design – cost of production = profit.

This is not to be confused with the labor theory of value, which claims that labor has intrinsic value, and indeed, is the only ‘fair’ measure of value. This is hogwash. It’s easy to spend years of effort and not add a single penny of value—because value is determined by the buyer, not the seller. It doesn’t matter how much time I’ve spent making a coat rack if it’s ugly and no one wants to buy it!

Moving ahead: the more value we can add, the more profit we can make. It should be obvious that one way to add value is to transform cheap raw materials into an expensive finished product.

Adding Value: Why Grains (And Soy) Are Profitable

There’s one big reason that industrial food manufacturers like Kraft (Nabisco, Snackwells, General Foods, many more), Con-Agra (Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, Healthy Choice, many more), Pepsico (Frito-Lay, Quaker), Kellogg’s (Kashi, Morningstar Farms, Nutrigrain, more) are huge and profitable.

It’s because grains are cheap, but the “foods” made from them aren’t.

One reason grains are so cheap in the USA, of course, is gigantic subsidies for commodity agriculture that, while advertised as helping farmers, go mostly to agribusinesses like Archer Daniels Midland ($62 billion in sales), Cargill ($108 billion), ConAgra ($12 billion), and Monsanto ($11 billion)—and result in a corn surplus so large that we are forced to turn corn into ethanol and feed it to our cars, at a net energy loss!

“There isn’t one grain of anything in the world that is sold in a free market. Not one! The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians. People who are not in the Midwest do not understand that this is a socialist country.”
-Dwayne Andreas, then-CEO of Archer Daniels Midland

“At least 43 percent of ADM’s annual profits are from products heavily subsidized or protected by the American government. Moreover, every $1 of profits earned by ADM’s corn sweetener operation costs consumers $10.” (Source.)

(And if you’re not clear on just how deeply in control of our government these corporations are, here’s another example: Leaked cables reveal that US diplomats take orders directly from Monsanto.)

That cheapness, however, doesn’t translate to profits for farmers or cheap food at the supermarket. Let’s do some math!

(Note: these are regular prices from the CBOT and my local supermarket, as of today. Supermarket prices will be somewhat cheaper on sale or at Costco.)

A bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds and costs $6.85. That’s 12.2 cents per pound.
A bag of Tostitos contains about 10 cents worth of corn, and costs $4.00.
That’s a 4000% increase.

A bushel of wheat weighs 60 pounds and costs $7.62. That’s 12.7 cents per pound.
A loaf of Wonder Bread contains about 16 cents worth of wheat, and sells for $4.40.
That’s a 2700% increase.

A bushel of soybeans weighs 60 pounds and costs $13.64. That’s 22.7 cents per pound.
A box of “Silk” soy milk contains about 4.5 cents worth of soybeans, and sells for $2.90.
That’s a 6400% increase.

In other words, it’s highly profitable to turn the products of industrial agriculture—cereal grains and soybeans—into highly processed “food”.

The Profit Aisles

It’s not the snack aisle, the cereal aisle, or even the bread aisle...it’s the profit aisle.


Note that the profit for the processors and middlemen comes out of the pockets of the producer and the consumer. Farmers are squeezed by the 12 cents per pound, and consumers are squeezed by the $4.40 per loaf.

In contrast, pork bellies cost $1.20 per pound today.
A pound of bacon costs about $5.
That’s a 400% increase…

…which looks like a lot until you compare it with 2700%-6400% for grains. Also, unlike grain products, bacon must be stored, shipped, and sold under continuous refrigeration—and it has a much shorter shelf life.

It’s clear that it’s far more profitable to sell us processed grain products than meat, eggs, and vegetables…which leaves a lot of money available to spend on persuading us to buy them. Are you starting to understand why grains are encased in colorful packaging, pushed on us as “heart-healthy” by the government, and advertised continually in all forms of media?

And when we purchase grass-fed beef directly from the rancher, eggs from the farmer, and produce from the grower, we are bypassing the entire monumentally profitable system of industrial agriculture—the railroads, grain elevators, antibiotics, growth hormones, plows, combines, chemical fertilizers (the Haber process, by which ammonium nitrate fertilizer is made, uses 3-5% of world natural gas production!), processors, inspectors, fortifiers, manufacturers, distributors, and advertisers that profit so handsomely by turning cheap grains into expensive food-like substances.

Conclusion: You Are A Radical (And So Am I)

Simply by eating a paleo diet, we have made ourselves enemies of the establishment, and will be treated henceforth as dangerous radicals.

This is not a conspiracy theory. By eschewing commodity crops and advocating the consumption of grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, and local produce, we are making several very, very powerful enemies.

  • The medical and nutritional establishments hate paleo, because we’re exposing the fact that they’ve been wrong for decades and have killed millions of people with their bad advice.
  • The agribusinesses and industrial food processors hate paleo, because we’re hurting their business by not buying their highly profitable grain- and soy-based products.
  • The mainstream media hates paleo, because they profit handsomely from advertising those grain- and soy-based products.
  • The government hates paleo, because they’re the enforcement arm of big agribusinesses, industrial food processors, and mainstream media—and because their subsidy programs create mountains of surplus grain that must be consumed somehow.

Is anyone surprised that a government which spends billions of dollars subsidizing the production of corn, soy, and wheat, would issue nutritional recommendations emphasizing the consumption of corn, soy, and wheat?

And this is why, despite all their rhetoric, the vegans end up on the same team as Monsanto and Pepsico: their interests are aligned.

They're everywhere.

I agree: this does look familiar.


In summary:

  • Expect more hatchet jobs against “paleo” in the media.
  • Expect more statistical manipulation marketed as “science”.
  • Expect outright scientific fraud in support of “hearthealthywholegrains” and in opposition to meat and eggs—particularly grass-fed, pastured, and local meats.
  • Expect more breathless news articles that purposely misinterpret archaeological evidence of a few specks of root starches to imply that Paleolithic humans ate a diet based on cereal grains.
  • Expect subtle attempts to subvert “paleo” by packaging ancestral varieties of grain (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth) and obscure fruit extracts (mostly made of apple and grape juice), and selling them back to us in colorful packaging.
  • Expect even more regulations and restrictions that destroy local, sustainable farming by forcing their nutritionally superior products into the commodity system, instead of allowing us as individuals to buy them directly—which, in the case of meat, we already can’t. (The regulations have got even worse since Joel Salatin wrote this woefully true article, “Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal.”)
  • Expect bogus scare stories in the media about the dangers of local meat, eggs, cheese, and produce from small farmers. Expect bogus salmonella scares and fraudulent inspections that claim meaningless or nonexistent bacterial contamination.
  • Expect school lunches to become even more disgusting and empty of nutrition. If you want your child to grow up healthy, expect to help them pack a lunch every day. Expect to be grilled by suspicious administrators who think you’re damaging your child by feeding them real food.
  • Expect friends and co-workers to see and believe this propaganda. Expect that you will have to defend your dietary choices against a steadily increasing chorus of suspicion and hostility.

None of this should discourage any of us from continuing to do what’s right for ourselves, our families, our children, and the Earth. We are healthy, we are happy, we are strong, and we will win because everyone else wants to be as healthy as we are.

Be proud of your health and how you’ve attained it. Do not be pushy, but do not apologize for how you eat and live. And, most importantly, be prepared for the storm.

Live in freedom, live in beauty.

JS

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112 comments

Permalink: You Are A Radical, And So Am I: Paleo Reaches The Ominous “Stage 3″
  • Furthermore, paleo puts us closer to the producer, often with the ability to simply bypass and cut out the middleman; buying direct from the farm/er.

    This is something that governments are legislating against as the food corporations increase globalisation and mobilisation of food to the ridiculous point that one item of produce from the other side of the world costs less than the same item from the farm I can see outside my window.

    Changing eating habits removes people from the natural order of seasonal and local food – it takes effort to source local and requires knowledge to eat seasonally.

    Once divorced from natural knowledge, smart people become dumb beasts that can be herded when it comes to nutrition. Prey!

    Welcome to the global savannah.

    I have been looking forward to your next article and it did not disappoint.

  • Jan

    Why, yes, PCRM – I notice that my government spent $2,000,000 ripping off your bad dietary advice. It’s a good thing I’m eating paleo, or else my blood pressure would be dangerously high right now.

    Yet another excellent article, JS – it went directly to my FB page and Twitter feed.

  • Phocion Timon

    I have one inviolate rule: Never, ever, ever, never trust the government about anything. I am 60 years old and it has served me faithfully.

    In recent years a corollary has popped up: Never, ever, ever, never trust the media.

  • Brian Scott

    One of those things that bugs me when people denigrate this diet is how often they’ll keep saying “oh, you’re only losing water weight”. Certainly a large portion of weight you lose in the beginning is water weight.

    I seriously doubt I have over 80 lbs of water in me, though.

  • I had many of the same thoughts a while back – and considered the whole paleo movement rather as an insurgency.

    What cripples institutions is the loss of power that comes from cutting them out of the supply chain (be it a supply of knowledge or material goods).

    Paleo types are ignoring the govnerment's healthy eating advice and curing themselves of a range of illnesses – cutting out the authority of various heart, diabetes and obesity NGOs in the process, and removing the need for medicines and whole branches of advice from medical authorities.

    This also shows stark contradictions in the advice and guidance we have gotten from these groups and their affiliates.

    There is no leadership heirarchy in 'paleo' it is self organising, and so it cannot be controlled. It cannot be led nor directed by an appeal to authority.

    Now THAT is something that will scare governments and NGOs alike – when they realise they need us more than we need them!

     

    [Edit by JS: fixed the broken tags.

    Asclepius: since you've posted with a registered account instead of as a guest, you can edit your comment.  Go to the forums, make sure you're logged in, and click the "Edit" button at the top of your post.  You can also post directly in the forums, which gives you a much nicer editor, and they'll appear in the comment thread.]

  • Teddy

    This is a wonderful blog post. I am sharing this with LOTS. Thank you for writing this!

  • eddie

    great update!
    saw some of the “grass fed not beneficial” stuff on robb wolf’s site and read the loren cordain rebuttal yesterday.

    it is scary how close this stuff comes to conspiracy theory nut when you start explaining stuff to people though.

    i end up having to say something along the lines of “i’ve been reading up on this stuff for 5-6 years and gradually built up my knowledge and understanding over that time. looked at now it does sound a little conspiracy theorist when you see the end product, but that is not how i started”

    the worse one is the sunscreen one

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  • Dave, RN

    The fact that “they” disagree with eating Real Food and no grains tells me I’ve been on the right track for the past 4 years. Lost 30 lbs of fat from the gut and cured pre-diabetes as well. Can’t wait for my grass fed half beef to come next week, complete with liver, tongue, heart, marrow bones and suet.
    As you can see I work in healthcare. It saddens me when I see patients so obese they cannot hardly move or even leave home. And then the doc prescribes a low fat,low sat diet that’s guarenteed to fail to do anything for the patient, because yo know there’s those fat free snack cakes…
    The system is broken, and will never be fixed.

  • Bodhi

    Hot damn, another great one. Just when we see some of the Paleo bloggers trying to ditch the word “paleo”, J. Stanton stands up with a no-holds-barred blog post defending our name. I like it!

  • Keoni Galt

    This is not a conspiracy theory.

    No, it’s a conspiracy FACT.

    The very same media that promotes false health and nutrition info and markets grains to us all is the same entity that has literally programmed the minds of most sheeple to automatically shut down and default into disbelief as soon as “conspiracy theory” is mentioned.

    It’s a fucking pavlovian response.

    As soon as any conversation in which it is pointed out that there are huge financial entities that have worked in conjunction with the government to profit off of the ill health of the average consumer, and you cite things like the incestuous relationship between Big Ag and the Government (like Obama appointing a former Monsanto exec to head the FDA), some asshat simply says “that’s conspiracy theory” and the average brainwashed idiot immediately marginalizes and ignores the factual argument with UFO’s, reptilian aliens and satanic bohemian grove cults.

  • Crunchy Pickle

    Funny, it always seems to come back to money, doesn’t it? Thanks for the thought-provoking info.

  • Bill

    One crumb of comfort is that “the powers that be” eat the shite they hawk too. So suffer from the diseases of civilization along with the masses!
    There’s no super primal healthy cabal ruling and exploiting us. I reckon that is proof enough there is no conspiracy.

  • Asclepius

    @Bodhi – “Hot damn, another great one. Just when we see some of the Paleo bloggers trying to ditch the word “paleo”, J. Stanton stands up with a no-holds-barred blog post defending our name. I like it!”

    If I could upvote this comment I would. Superbly put.

    If you EVER come across someone commenting that ‘caveman didn’t use the internet etc…’, and if you ever come across someone who thinks the profit is in the cure rather than the treatment, be sure you are dealing with an idiot. Walk away.

    People who don’t get the ‘paleo thing’ are complicating it. It is broad enough that no one should get it wrong, and narrow enough to improve your health.

  • Anastasia

    Brilliant article. As a medical student, I am on a receiving end of pharmaceutical/industrialfood propaganda daily. A “pill for everything” is a traditional approach while using diet as the means of maintaining health is viewed with suspicion and mockery. In medical circles “alternative” is a dirty word. It’s sad that a whole generation of doctors naively believe in this new philosophy.
    I wish evolution would hurry up and select for true health, intelligence and common sense. Meaning us ;)

  • Emma

    As an Australian citizen, I like to believe that things are not as bad here, although I may be mistaken.
    I am able to purchase pastured lamb and beef easily straight from the farmer. There are several thriving farmers markets in my city from whom I can purchase organic and locally grown fruit and veg and I get raw milk delivered to my door by a farmer who prides himself on never giving his dairy cows anything but grass and silage for feed (yes I know dairy isn’t paleo, I’m more Primal than Paleo).
    Most of the anti-Paleo propaganda I read is posted on blogs or facebook by US residents, maybe the paleo/primal diet is just not as well-known here in Australia and so hasn’t triggered the powers-that-be into a response yet.

    Further to Dave RN’s comment above, as a nurse I also see the same non-sensical advice being given to my patients with obesity and diabetes. A breakfast tray for a diabetic patient contains cornflakes, skim milk, OJ and 2 slices of whole-wheat toast with margerine and jam. It makes my blood sugar rise just by looking at it, so I can only imagine what it does to my insulin-resistant patient!

    Great article as usual JS.

  • Kat Eden

    I love that you’ve taken the time to do the math here, thanks for a great article. Definitely one to share and come back to.

  • Timothy

    Phocion Timon: I daresay you repeat yourself.

    J. and others: “Follow the money” is absolutely right. Half of the present consumer economy wouldn’t exist if paleo entered the mainstream.

    To push the point further, here is a brief list of all the products that I used to consume, but haven’t purchased in over a year since going paleo:

    - Shoes
    - Beverages
    - Deodorant
    - Toothpaste
    - Sunscreen
    - Prescription drugs
    - Over-the-counter drugs
    - Medical services (excluding dental and chiropractic)
    - Anything with grains
    - Anything with sugar
    - Electronic games (well, okay, I bought one)

    I could go on, but you get the point. Much of the money I saved has gone instead to local farmers selling products that factory farms can’t provide, such as raw milk, unrefrigerated eggs and grass-finished beef. Multiply my experience by hundreds of thousands, and the established interests have a real problem.

    Billions of dollars are made each year off of fat, sick, and unhappy people. Education is all it takes to set them free, but you can bet that established interests won’t take it lying down. We’ll be lucky if they restrict themselves to lying propaganda. Anti-paleo legislation is probably not far away; they’re already cracking down on raw milk in many states.

  • Carl

    Bravo!

    I’m an An-Cap and I love how you linked ‘Value’ and the Paleo lifestyle.

    Also, spot on the Labor theory analysis.

  • Josh Clark

    Great article JS, for “being tired” I think you’ve belted out yet another pearler.

    If people are interested in the conspiracy FACT of Big Ag in America, check out the documentary Food INC. It outlines in detail what JS has mentioned in this article, including what grievances and roadblocks modern day farmers have to face. Whether its having their hands forced into certain livestock arrangements or being penalised for using copyright seeds which have naturally been blown onto their crops, it highlights all of these problems and more, the grief the end users absorb due to this level of corruption and misinformation from the highest level.

  • Chris Sturdy

    This is pure gold.

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  • Charles Shanks

    Great article. I used to eat all of the so called healthy products and followed the Uk diet advice given. Working in healthcare I also had a weight loss program running for my patients. For the last 9 months I have been following a Paleo diet ( well 85%, cavemen drunk wine didnt they) and have never been healthier or fitter. I used to spend every afternoon and evening with a huge bloated stomach and felt sluggish. No more bloating and now full of energy. The weight program I now run for my patients is all Paleo based with a bit of Crossfit based exercise and they are achieving amazing results. When people slag me off for being on a caveman diet I just show them before and after photos and let them work it out for themselves.

  • Nutrisclerosis

    This is a stellar article, I loved it on every level. Thank you for writing it. I am always so delighted when someone just tells it like it is all in on place.

  • js290

    In the article you linked previously about breakfast cereal, I find it interesting that McDonald’s is attacked for advertising to kids, but the cereal manufacturers are not. Kind of makes me wonder who’s funding the assault against McDonalds…

    Speaking of laissez-faire free markets: http://www.podiobooks.com/title/the-market-for-liberty

  • Peggy the Primal Par

    Putting it like that makes me want to cry. You describe reality without a doubt. And well said. That was a nice read. I don’t agree with you, though, that things will be ok for us. I think there are very few people who are willing to take health and happiness over addiction. It’s so complicated. It’s so difficult.

  • Steven M. Platek, Ph

    Well put and accurate. It certainly does sound heavy of conspiracy theory, but I very much like how you dispel that with the value argument. Well done!
    I argue, daily, with people about this very topic. I teach at a college where there are “smart” people that, unfortunately, still are not smart about what they put into their bodies. Even some high power evolutionary biologists and anthropologists, presumably able to interpret scientific data and at the very least able to identify crap data and statistical manipulation, eat according to USDA.

    What worries me the most, personally, is what happens to my son. He’s 8 months old and people 1) completely ignore what we want him to eat (primarily paleo) and 2) act like we are doing him injustice… sometimes there are looks that make me feel like i’ve done something wrong. Then I look at the lil fella and he is the most active, attentive dude around.

    I talk about Paleo diet all the time, sometimes sounding preachy, I am told, but I feel it’s my responsibility as an educator to help people. I mean if we keep believing the SH**ty science of Keys then we are doomed to medical care for ever. Yes Rabbits fed saturated fat will die of heart disease… come on!

    Loved the article!

  • @Peggy: “It's so complicated. It's so difficult.”

    You are right! It is! The reason it is so is because we are so divorced from natural eating habits. I talked to my parents the other night and outlined what I'm doing and how excited I am about really looking at my diet and changing the things that need changing. My mother said … simply, “this is how your grandmother would eat” … “meals … no snacks … meat, fish and vegetables … and would walk everywhere”.

    That's my grandmother! How have we fallen so far from the path in only two generations?

    As I presented in my first comment, globalisation has been a big factor – having ALL food available ALL of the time has removed knowledge of seasonal produce; it's removed imagination around what to do, removed looking forward to food seasons. Furthermore, food has been channelled into narrower and narrower choices that we've found we have to supplement with beans, grains, pulses and so on. Food manufacturers are squeezing profit and designing our diets according to their bottom line, not our health and wellbeing … and, controlling the media that tells us what is healthy.

    I know YOU know this … I'm just saying it.

    It is a thought-provoking article, but there is work to be done to reclaim our natural diet. Taking the time to learn, to remember and to pass on, educating our kids, getting them practically involved in planting, sowing and reaping. Skills will be lost inside a generation and once we're helpless as a race, we'll be nothing more than a giant consuming herd.

    Time to bare our teeth and stand out as human. Learn, remember and pass on.

  • Asclepius

    @Steven M. Platek – I am in a similar situation to you. When I stop my kids from eating handfuls of ‘partycrap’ I get a few glances from (usually sick looking and obese) parents. Sure they can try some – but I am aware this is trick-food…

    A few times I have had the ‘everything in moderation line’ from parents, and if it has ever gone on to a deeper discussion I use the following example to undermine their confidence with current nutritional dogma (I have yet to hear a robust defense against it):

    “Ask your adversary (let’s call him ‘Jim’) what he thinks we should do to lose weight. If Jim is schooled in conventional wisdom, every answer you get will classify in to the following:

    •EAT LESS food, and,
    •DO MORE exercise.

    Emphasise this categorisation with Jim. Now suggest the following scenario;

    Imagine Jim were to invite you around to his house for a large, exotic and sophisticated supper. Jim will likely spend several hours in the kitchen preparing and cooking the food. Given this effort, Jim wants want you to ‘bring your appetite’. What would Jim suggest you do to COMPEL yourself to EAT MORE than usual (and so do ‘justice’ to his culinary efforts)?

    Jim’s suggestions will likely fall in to one of two categories:

    •Skipping a meal prior to the supper, or eating smaller portions in the meal(s) prior to the supper (basically ‘EAT LESS’)

    •Go to the gym or for a walk or do some other exercise (to ‘work up’ an appetite). This approach is essentially ‘DO MORE’

    You should see the paradox here; the VERY thing Jim would suggest you do to LOSE WEIGHT (‘eat less, do more’), is the VERY thing he’d recommend you do to COMPEL you to eat more (‘eat less, do more’)!”

    Definitley time to bare teeth!

  • Katie @ Wellness Mam

    Another great article, as usual! I’d noticed that low carb and paleo diets are showing up in the news a lot more lately, and in a negative way. Unfortunately, I agree that things are going to get worse before they can improve.

  • Paul:

    Exactly.  For instance, the idea that we can indefinitely continue growing crops on the same land, removing them from the soil they grew in (taking their biomass and nutrients with them), eating them, and flushing them into the nearest body of water instead of recycling our “waste” back to the soil…and that continual application of petroleum-based chemicals is a workable long-term substitute.

    Thank you.  I can't promise every week will be a blockbuster, but I will always do my best.

    Jan:

    “It's a good thing I'm eating paleo, or else my blood pressure would be dangerously high right now.”

    I laughed out loud!

    Phocion Timon:

    I think they're two tentacles of the same octopus.

    Brian:

    Humans are about 70% water AFAIK, so you have more than 80 pounds in you.  The trouble is that if you lose it, you die.

    People tend to lose a little glycogen/water weight in the first week if they go VLC/ZC…but once you're depleted, it's all real.  I recommend people pay more attention to waist size (and other body measurements) than weight.

    Asclepius:

    All powerful institutions need their subjects more than their subjects need them.  A government is nothing without subjects to tax and an army to enforce: people remain people regardless.

    Teddy:

    Thank you!  Please stick around, and make sure to look through the index for other articles you might like.  And if you want to support my efforts, buying a copy of my novel is the best way to keep gnolls.org updated and ad-free.

    Eddie:

    Anything sufficiently distant from the mainstream sounds like a conspiracy.

    I try to write articles that explain what we're doing in a non-conspiratorial way, so you can forward them to others. I hope they help.

    Dave RN:

    Systems rarely “get fixed”: they usually die because they've been outcompeted by better systems.  Continue to exemplify good health and keep that mindset: “I AM the new system.”

     

    [Splitting this into multiple parts because so many of you have important things to say....]

     

  • Bodhi:

    Don has ditched the label of “paleo” for personal reasons. That's fine, but he's tried to turn that into some sort of general indictment with some very shaky leaps of faith (e.g. “six fat statues means Late Pleistocene hunters were fat”…sure, just like Egyptian temple art means they were ruled by people with animal heads.)  I'm not going anywhere without solid evidence I can explain to everyone — and that I won't have to take down and pretend it never existed when Chris Masterjohn, Stephan Guyenet, and Kurt Harris all tell me I'm off in the weeds.

    Glad to see you back!

    Keoni:

    Absolutely.  Anything sufficiently outside the mainstream gets called a conspiracy.  The technical term, I believe, is “cognitive dissonance.”

    Crunchy Pickle:

    Yes, it does.  Most problems get a lot simpler once you ask “Who profits from this arrangement?”  (Or “Cui bono?” if you want to sound erudite)

    Bill:

    The rich have always eaten more meat, and the poor have always depended on the grains they farmed.  Back in the Middle Ages, the woods and other hunting grounds were property of the lord or King, and it was punishable by death to take game from them.

    Today, the very rich are so far removed from the world you and I inhabit that I have no idea what they eat.  But as far as the public figures, I agree: they've fallen victim to their own propaganda.

    Asclepius:

    Someday I'll write an article on the definition of a paleo diet.  (There is no “the” paleo diet.)

    Anastasia:

    How is it that medical professionals are taught that tiny amounts of drugs have a huge effect, whereas huge amounts of food have little or no effect?

    Emma:

    Thank you!  I certainly hope things are better in Australia…I can buy marijuana more easily than I can buy raw milk.

    Kat:

    It's not exact, since raw grains and pork bellies aren't the only components of the foods in question, but the relative margins are illustrative.  I'm glad it's helpful to you.

    Timothy:

    Absolutely.  A cancer patient adds substantially to the GDP by requiring very expensive medical care.  According to every economist and government official, this is a good thing: look at all the economic activity we're generating!

    Carl:

    Economics is more full of baloney masquerading as science than any other field I'm familiar with.  I'm glad you enjoyed my article!  Do stick around.

    And yes…LTV is one of those “so close, yet so far” theories…labor is indeed a necessary condition to create value, but it is not sufficient.

    [To be continued...]

  • Josh:

    Thank you! I would add “King Corn” to the movie list and Lierre Keith's “The Vegetarian Myth” to the book list.

    Chris:

    I appreciate the support.  Pull up a log and stay awhile…there's much more to come.

    Charles:

    I agree: not suffering the post-meal downtime is a major benefit of paleo.  And I'm glad to hear that you're treating people professionally…if we can just get about 10,000 more of you into the system we'll be set!

    Nutrisclerosis:

    Much appreciated.  Thank you.

    js290:

    AFAIK the breakfast cereal manufacturers get attacked by national organizations…but since it's hard for local politicians to ban breakfast cereal or national TV commercials, they go after what they can, which is the McDonalds restaurants in their jurisdictions.

    That's my theory, anyway.

    Peggy:

    There are hard times ahead, no question.  But none of us can fix the world: we can fix ourselves, we can help our family, and we can serve as an example to others.  Progress is the result of millions of individual decisions.

    Don't compare what you've done against the world: compare it against doing nothing.  If you feel like the world is against you, remember you're always welcome here.  And based on my web statistics, there are a lot more of us than you think!

    Steven:

    It's astounding that anthropologists can know the evidence, know the relative timescales involved, and still eat grains, isn't it?

    As far as your son and dealing with people trying to feed him junk, respectfully decline.  “We don't eat that stuff.”  When they ask why, ask them “Why do you eat it?”  Turn the situation around: they're the ones that need to justify their choices to you.  That's a much better start if they insist on pressing the point.

    Paul:

    Specialization comes at the price of dependence, and dependence comes at the price of slavery.

    Asclepius:

    That's a good way to deflect the discussion from ELDM into “Why do some foods leave me satisfied and some foods leave me still hungry?”  (i.e. the Chinese Food Paradox of “no matter how much you eat, you're hungry two hours later)  It goes back to my example that a Quarter Pounder has less calories than the average fruit smoothie at the mall…

    Katie:

    Absolutely.  Most paleo dieters are relatively normal people in other ways, and many have never had the experience of being part of a group considered “fringe” or “radical”.  I hope to contribute some preparedness to the movement, so that we're not caught flat-footed by the onslaught of blatantly false propaganda.

     

     

    Wow!  Judging by the statistics, this is my most popular article yet…thank you all so much for contributing and helping spread it!

    JS

  • Carbs and Dairy and

    [...] a healthy diet is “whole” grains (sorry, but it’s not a conspiracy theory – it’s a conspiracy fact), many people are loathe to give up grains.  And that’s fine, if – unlike me – [...]

  • Chris

    Kind of off topic of the post, but I saw this today and thought you might like a little chuckle about progress. Especially since I’ve seen this topic mentioned over and over again:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-senate-vote-marks-start-of-end-for-ethanol-subsidies-20110616,0,1793814.story

  • Laws of the Cave

    The more I read these kinds of articles, the more I want to just dip from America altogether.

    China caravan, anyone?

  • Chris:

    Good find!  Let's hope this is a sign that the end of ethanol subsidies is near.

    LotC:

    China wouldn't be my first choice.  I think you want someplace either progressive enough to allow direct dealing with farmers, or corrupt enough that a small amount of money fixes the problem.

    JS

  • Glenn Whitney

    Great – one of the best if not the best paleo oriented blog post written so far, anywhere. Congrats and thanks.

  • Tinkers

    Please don’t forget the drug & weight loss industries!! If type II diabetics went paleo, they wouldn’t need insulin (or at the least, a heck of a lot less). And there’s billions being made off of weight loss drugs that don’t really work.

    I really wish someone would ask dentists about teeth and paleo diets. Mine was impressed!!! And he informed me that the design of our teeth say we should be eating meat!

  • Chris

    LofC:
    It crosses my mind daily… But I’m with JS on this one – I think I’d jump ship to somewhere else. New Zealand seems promising (and has LOTS of outdoor things for us to do).

    America has kind of created a funny atmosphere in the world hasn’t it though? Even being from “liberal” California where things are a lot different, we feel the effects of the greater conscience as it were. I know a lot of local farmers here (thank goodness for them, otherwise I’d go insane) – and they’re constantly getting pressure to conform from the government while at the same time getting pressure from consumers here to NOT.

    JS:
    Most definitely – if there is one thing I want on the next ballot, it’s the elimination of subsidies. If people want a free market – LET’S MAKE IT A FREE MARKET and let *it* decide.

  • Canibais e Reis &raq

    [...] You Are A Radical, And So Am I: Paleo Reaches The Ominous “Stage 3″ [...]

  • Huh! Free market …

    Even pro-laissez faire governments constantly fiddle with the market, it's never going to be free. It's a market … and markets have sellers (and shoppers). The government is on the side of the seller, not the shopper. Those people have money and lots of it … and politicians do like money. This doesn't come as a great surprise to people like me – we've spent many years in the full knowledge that our governments are NOT on our side.

    Regarding fuel, we have a similar thing here with something called LPG. It's a bi-product of petrol production, almost akin to petrol, can run in petrol engines with some conversion and it's heavily subsidised. It's also NOT taken off.

    Bio-ethanol is again something which has not taken off, despite the flex fuel cars offered by Vauxhall (the UK's Opel, a GM owned company and one of the largest, most popular car manufacturers in the UK) and SAAB (part of the same overall company at the time and essentially the same cars … much like Chevrolet and Cadillac). We did read about some food scares in Italy, where grain would not be available for pasta given how much land is being used for the production of bio-ethanol.

  • js290

    @Paul Halliday…
    Question: how much government does it take to ruin a laissez-faire free market?
    Answer: Any amount.
    There definitely are no free markets here.

  • Tinkers:

    You're absolutely right, and the sickness industry is worth a whole another article in itself.

    Chris, Paul, js290:

    The situation as it stands is a very solid argument for the fact that our government doesn't represent the will of the people: it represents the will of money.  And the problem with complete laissez-faire is that corporations have just as much incentive to pervert the free market as governments do.

    Free markets are great…but they don't maintain themselves, since subverting them is always more profitable than competing fairly.  Furthermore, any regulatory agency is subject to corruption.  There's no easy solution: one cannot simply offload the responsibility of maintaining freedom, equality, justice, or human rights.

    JS

  • eddie

    things are looking up in the uk though, the government are looking to healthy eating experts for advice
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/nov/12/mcdonalds-pepsico-help-health-policy

  • This is the board that will be responsible for providing health, diet and nutritional information, guidelines and standards – absolutely no Doctors, but every seat filled with representatives from food corporations! How this is not regarded as scandelous, I don't know. Mind you, Lansley's Health Reform Bill is now in tatters so this might actually be old news. I'm an NHS employee and so I am duty bound not to talk much about this.

    More worrying is the dissolution of the Food Standards Agency (part of the bonfire of the quangos) leaving us with absolutely no idea whatsoever about the origin, production and ethics of the food we buy.

    The Food Standards Agency had gone a long way towards good and obvious food labelling – origin, production and ethics. Woodland reared chickens and eggs are easy to find, grass fed beef, naturally reared pork and so on. Once they're gone, there will be a massive backwards step in our ability to select supermarket food with clear information and clear labels.

  • Ray

    “By eschewing commodity crops and advocating the consumption of grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, and local produce, we are making several very, very powerful enemies.”
    I very much agree with this statement , the question is what represents a paleo diet , it is not as very straightforward as one would expect , various aboriginal communities consume different levels of protein , fats and carbs and the only way we can find out what is right for an individual is to find out our genetic heritage diet [ just about impossible ] of our individual ancestors or trial and error , maybe paleo is whole fresh foods incorporating all three major nutrients , this i think was the outcome of weston price’s journeys around the world and others , ie :

    The Kitava study
    The residents of Kitava lived exclusively on root vegetables (yam, sweet potato, taro, tapioca), fruit (banana, papaya, pineapple, mango, guava, water melon, pumpkin), vegetables, fish and coconuts [27-29]. Less than 0.2% of the caloric intake came from Western food, such as edible fats, dairy products, sugar, cereals, and alcohol, compared with roughly 75% in Sweden [30]. The intake of vitamins, minerals and soluble fibre was therefore very high, while the total fat consumption was low, about 20 E% [28], as was the intake of salt (40-50 mmol Na/10 MJ compared with 100-250 in Sweden). Due to the high level of coconut consumption, saturated fat made up an equally large portion of the overall caloric intake as is the case in Sweden. However, lauric acid was the dominant dietary saturated fatty acid as opposed to palmitic acid in Sweden. Malnutrition and famine did not seem to occur.
    http://www.staffanlindeberg.com/TheKitavaStudy.html

  • Asclepius

    Ray – even our genetic heritage may not be sufficient to determine an ‘optimal’ diet (not that I think you could identify such a thing). Phenotypic expression and the whole world of epigenetics suggest that what your ancestors just a couple of generations ago could influence how you develop now. For those third and fourth generation modern ‘neoliths’, this is a serious confounder:

    https://medical.wesrch.com/User_images/Pdf/62X_1264484543.pdf

  • TruthandJustice

    What I don’t understand is where the idea of subsidies came from in the first place, and how anyone thought it was a good idea to implement. All a subsidy is is the use of public tax dollars to pay for goods or services that most people do not want or are not willing to pay for at the price that providers/manufacturers are charging. If a company can’t provide their products/services at a price people are willing to pay, then why should the government intervene? Let them go out of business and let consumers spend their own money on products/services they actually want.

    I think the problem is that many politicians think we’re too stupid to make our own decisions in life and that we need them to be our nanny. What I want to know is where in the Constitution does it say that government has a right to spend our money and tell us what to eat? How ignorant these policy makers in D.C. are might actually be funny if not for the fact that the rest of us are the ones that are paying for their stupidity.

  • Define yourself, que

    [...] are few, but passionate, and will storm to the defense of their way of living, which currently is either ignored or actively disparaged by the rest of society. They took that US News study personally. Why? Because they are not “on” paleo, or [...]

  • eddie

    truthandjustice: i believe that it stems from electioneering in the 70′s when food price fluctuation was such a major concern that it became part of the election campaign to prevent the sudden rise in price of food.
    i’m from uk but i follow tom naughtons blogs (fat head and his own more political one) which is where i picked this up from.

  • JansSushiBar

    Actually, TruthAndJustice, you can thank FDR for farming subsidies, which were supposed to help farmers make it through the Depression as well as provide food to the masses (and were supposed to END once the Depression ended). Of course, they never should have been implemented in the first place, and they never went away.

  • Karen P.

    Excellent observations and so eloquently put.

    We’re making these enemies because it’s nearly impossible for these food companies and producers to make money off of Paleo. How do you market real food? And yes, the incredulity of my friends and family is interesting to see. What is so threatening to them?

    All we can do is live by example and keep fighting the good fight.

  • @Karen. P – “it’s nearly impossible for these food companies and producers to make money off of Paleo”

    I am sure they’ll try. We have already seen WeightWatchers let in paleo by the back door.

    I am surprise so many shoe manufacturers are selling ‘barefoot’ shoes with a straight face because not only is that an oxymoron, but it also goes firmly against everything they have been telling us for the past 40 years with regard to cushioning and shock absorption in footwear.

  • Mac

    So, you can’t really compare giant agri-business products and subsidies with the pasture raised beef industry, and especially if you’re looking at small, locally-raised cattle ranches. Take a look at the big cattle corporations and their subsidies and show me a cost comparison, or compare small grain farmers with small ranchers, then I might listen.

  • Andrés

    It seems to me that Tom Naughton’s insight (http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2011/06/11/weekend-bonus-anti-war-petition/comment-page-1/#comment-322708) is also applicable here: “On one hand, it looks like a pretty big conspiracy theory. On the other hand, if you’re not a little paranoid these days, it means you’re not paying attention.”

    For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, “Burzynski: Cancer is Serious Business” free till Monday 20:

    Certainly I am “a little” paranoid now.

  • Are the anthropological scientists getting involved, too? Previously, they were of the opinion that ancient man had little peridondal disease. But now … new findings show:

     

    http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/06/the-icemans-last-meal.html

    “… and was plagued by both periodontal disease and cavities …”

     

     

  • eddie:

    It's basically the same in America: check out who sponsors the American Dietetic Association sometime.

    Paul:

    Enforcing truth in labeling is one of the few legitimate functions performed by modern governments.  I should be able to ingest what I want…but I should be able to know exactly what I'm ingesting.

    Ray:

    This week's article addresses some of those issues.

    Asclepius:

    Epigenetics are scary.  The sins of the fathers, etc.

    T&J, eddie, Jan:

    Exactly.  American farm subsidies were originally designed to keep land out of production so that prices would stay relatively constant.  In the 1970s, Earl Butz (instead of repealing them) retooled them to reward volume production, a practice not coincidentally best performed by large agribusinesses.  King Corn covers this in detail.

    Karen:

    Yes.  Real food is best produced locally, by small farmers who can most efficiently use their land and water resources.  Industrial agriculture is only “efficient” if you ignore the fossil fuel inputs and the destruction of soil and water.

    And as far as friends and family, bread is the staff of life.  We're opposing some very old and powerful cultural norms.

    Asclepius:

    There are so many different kinds of shoes that it's easy to market them as “yet another shoe you need to add to your collection”.

    Mac:

    To whom are you responding?  I'm not sure I understand what you're saying.

    Andrés:

    The free viewing period has been extended.  I haven't had time to watch it yet, but it's on my list.

    Paul:

    From the article: 'The cavities, Seiler said in his talk, confirm that the Iceman ate a diet abounding in carbohydrates, such as bread or cereal, and reveal that he possessed a “heavy bacterial dose on these teeth.”'

    That's exactly what we're saying…bread and cereal = cavities.  It's well understood that mouth bacteria feed on sugars.

    JS

  • Thursday Roundup | T

    [...] J. Stanton at Gnolls, You are a radical, and so am I. I’ve also been noticing this incredible media backlash, not only against Paleo adherents but [...]

  • Stephen

    I agree with what your saying, but thought I’d correct your misunderstanding of the Labour Theory of Value.

    The theory actually talks about socially *necessary* labour time. And if you do some further reading, you will see that such a notion is not at odds with the coat rack example you gave.

    I would also highly recommend this famous letter of Marx to Kugelmann:

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1868/letters/68_07_11.htm

  • Stephen:

    Yes…but who decides what's socially “necessary”?  

    JS

  • Big Daddy T

    BEGIN QUOTE
    As far as your son and dealing with people trying to feed him junk, respectfully decline. ”We don’t eat that stuff.” When they ask why, ask them “Why do you eat it?” Turn the situation around: they’re the ones that need to justify their choices to you.
    END QUOTE

    And when you do that, and they spout the typical Vegangelical (those angry, hard core, unwlling-to-discuss-any-other-way vegans), ADA, balanced diet, China Study, grain subsidized stances…. Where do you take the conversation then?

    You should eat their way (just like they should eat yours?), and when you reject that and have THEM justify their eating habits, and they “do”…then what? Perhaps an article on that?

    Turning it around is great. But the SAD, or worse, a Vegangelical diet, are the ‘majority’. (I know the percents on vegans nationally is small, but vegetarians and vegans are FAR more accepted than us “low carb heathens”.) And yes, I use religious terms because it is a religion to most. And with that mindset, nothing I am going to say is going to convince them they need to drop their religion and join mine. (be it Roman Catholic, or the House of Porterhouse)

    So what is the next step in the refusal process?

    Thanks, great article, and I know I am off track, but I wanted to explore.

    Thank you,

    Scott “Big Daddy” T.

  • Scott:

    It depends if you want to invite conversation or shut it down.

    If you don't feel like talking about it, one option is to tell them “We're gluten-free.”  This is common enough nowadays that most people understand it and figure you're celiac or allergic.

    If someone gets all vegangelical on you, it's OK to be rude to them, just like it's OK to be rude to a religious proselytizer who won't get out of your face.  I don't argue with them unless there are witnesses, because they're never going to change their mind: arguing only matters if you're around other people who might be convinced one way or the other.

    If you've read this site long enough you should know both the short and the long versions of the basic arguments, e.g. T. Colin Campbell deliberately misrepresented the results of the actual China Study which are available for download by anyone, and which show that meat is protective while wheat is the primary association with heart disease.  (See: Denise Minger.)  I discuss a lot of the environmental issues in this article…but if you really want to dig into the details, you need to pick up a copy of The Vegetarian Myth.

    JS

  • AmyNVegas

    Powerful article- I will be passing on the link to friends, Thanks! Check out this video I watched last night from YouTube of a presentation of a study done by Stanford.[The Battle of the Diets: Is Anyone Winning (At Losing?)] He was a 25 year vegetarian and was doubting his way of eating after completing the study since the results completely shocked him. Even though Atkins was the diet used in the study, Paleo/Primal was more like what the participants on that plan actually ate when on their own for the year of the study. Even Stanford and Duke know we’re right. Wake up world!

  • AmyNVegas:

    It takes a long time to turn around the entire medical establishment.  Fortunately, we have the freedom to stay healthy by making our own dietary choices. Unfortunately, there is a lot of money to be made off of sick people, so we must be strong and vigilant in defending those freedoms and spreading the knowledge we have.

    JS

  • Don’t Let the

    [...] to continue on the path of real food wavering, please reference J. Stanton’s awesome piece, “You Are a Radical, and So Am I”. If I quoted it, I’d end up just copying and pasting the whole damn thing here, so do us both [...]

  • First, they ignore y

    [...] out this interesting article on the reaction we can can expect as Paleo becomes more popular. Share:Like this:LikeBe the first to [...]

  • Victor Venema

    TruthandJustice: “What I don’t understand is where the idea of subsidies came from in the first place, and how anyone thought it was a good idea to implement.”

    Food differs from other commodities in that you need it to live. Consequently people will buy it at any price, because they simply need it. Technically called prices of food are inelastic. Strong price fluctuations are undesirable. High food prices and hunger lead to unrests (it was one of the reasons for the Arab spring).

    Thus some subsidies, to cause some overproduction and stable prices, seems to be sound policy. The amount of subsidies has become too much, though. And it is bad for public health that much of the subsidies go to grains and sugar and almost none to fruits and vegetables. (At least in the EU.) The reverse would be better.

  • Victor:

    Most of US farm policy through the 1970s was dedicated to paying farmers to keep land OUT of production, thus keeping prices stable.  In the 1970s, farm policy shifted dramatically to subsidizing farmers to produce as much as possible via guaranteeing them a price for their crops, with the explicit goal of overproduction (and the unstated goal of shifting profits to processors and middlemen).

    See my recent article about commoditization for more on the subject.

    JS

  • First, they ignore y

    [...] is an  interesting article on what to expect as Paleo gains traction. Share:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  • anon

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve noticed things are not quite right all over the Internet: a lot of bickering, fighting, dissent, spreading of lies and general suspicion directed towards anyone who promotes the paleo diet. I have been banned from a forum this year, left another willingly, and struggle on another in which there should be no problem…. My testimony remains unchanged which is that I tried it all and have done it all diet wise: American junk food, aerobics, veganism, macrobiotics, The Zone, blood type (which I still more or less swear by). I was sick a lot as a kid, had a horrible adolescence and young adulthood meat free, and have spent the better part of 20+ years searching for the truth. People seem to resent this for some reason. When I proclaim how much happier I am eating “right” ;) people seem annoyed. My story is fairly dramatic in some ways though. I most definitely feel 15 years in to the higher protein diet and going on 7 years of consistent meat eating I have crossed over and am now a radical also. Working on the totally grain free thing, as always.

  • Criticism of the more functional paleo comes from within the paleo community, too, sadly.

  • anon:

    The aggressive reaction I get from challenging received dietary wisdom outside the paleosphere is only exceeded by one topic: the aggressive reaction I get from pointing out that fractional reserve banking is a scam by which a special class of corporations called “banks” have the special legal privilege to create money out of thin air — and which any of us would go directly to jail for fraud if we practiced ourselves.

    JS

  • Don't get me started on the banks … I have a particular dislike for money and moreso, the pursuit of money.

  • Weekly Recap –

    [...] Check out one of J’s older posts, You Are A Radical, And So Am I: Paleo Reaches The Ominous “Stage 3″. Unfortunately, our agrarian state society is so far from our nature, we’re all radicals. And [...]

  • Economic Establishme

    [...] it here. Related Posts:Szlague Diet success storyVitamin D – Cognitive enhancement & Circadian [...]

  • ~pjgh » Blog A

    [...] Stanton noticed that paleo had reached the ominous third stage but who would have thought that the fight would come from vegans? Yes, vegans of all [...]

  • Neurologists, Addict

    [...] for today, I’m going to set aside my “Paleo Diet vs. The World” argument, and simply consider the foods that almost all parties can acknowledge as [...]

  • Neurologists, Addict

    [...] for today, I’m going to set aside my “Paleo Diet vs. The World” argument, and simply consider the foods that almost all parties can acknowledge as [...]

  • thebakingfairy

    hold on to your grass fed horses, this is not yet a science-fiction dystopia, quit acting like it is. 1) you can still eat “paleo” if you so choose and no one is going to arrest you. 2) I don’t think your friends and co-workers would be that difficult to convince. After all they are living in the same society as you. 3) really? shed the term “paleo” and just go for “Real Food” “paleo” makes it sound like you want to eat nothing but what you can find in the woods, which is not exactly healthy either: even the Iroquios and Algonquins had to farm in order to supply all their dietary needs, I know a few Iroquois and Algonquins myself nice people actually, really know their stuff. Go spend a day talking with them, you won’t be under such naive notions then. and 4) quit hating on grain, you need to eat it. if you don’t you will find yourself feeling greasy and unhappy. People are omnivores, and we are evolved to eat grains, yes, even corn. However, only eat corn in small amounts as it is very high in calories, much higher than wheat, rice or any other grain. carbs are essential, and this diet is just another one of these low-carb diets like the Atkins, so yes, it’s just a fad. Am I condoning grocery-store-bought “health food” no, that’s got plenty of icky stuff in it. However, if you were to grow some wheat, and grind it yourself like people used to do, then I’d say sure eat it. Of course, everything in moderation, you should NOT be eating the kind of portions of grain that the government food pyramid recommends, but you should be eating some. Archaeology tells us that long before humans started farming THEY WERE EATING GRAINS. Even back on the African savannah, they were eating grains. They have found substantial amounts of grain in Paleolithic caves. Also realize that the people living at the sites where evidence of mostly meat eating was found WERE NOT MODERN HUMANS! that was Homo erectus, our ancestor, who had slightly different dietary requirements. I’d think twice about basing my dietary choices off another animal’s no matter how closely related. For example: I would not be silly enough to design a diet primarily based around termites even though they are highly edible and form a large part of chimpanzee diets. There is also archaeological evidence that humans were once prey (google Swartkrans for more info) and more recently scavengers, so shed the “eat like a predator” thing too, we’re not supreme predators, we’re predators when it suits us, prey when we fail and scavengers otherwise. What humans are, is really smart rats (the other really successful omnivore in the world). We get into everything, eat anything we can, and infest every square inch of the planet. We love to live in large groups and we do really well in the competition for food. We reproduce like crazy (we even, alone of all the mammals, have no estrus cycle so we can have 5 times more babies). Our altruism, cleverness, tool-making abilities, and culture allowed us to succeed (culture extends are memory so that we do not have to individually learn everything we need to know). Our linguistic abilities (which enabled the ability to disagree without killing each other), religious tendency (which allowed us to live in otherwise too-large societies), and invention of moral rules (which again allowed us to disagree without killing each other) made us the dominate species. Our ability to make surpluses of grain through domestication enabled the great civilizations of the past. There is anthropological evidence to back this up (google Catalhoyuk if you don’t believe me). Although it’s nice to think of ourselves as “the best predators” we are not, there are plenty of predators who are far better equipped than we are (i.e. the man-eating lions, and those guys were maneless). Quit dick measuring and start actually eating. and yes, I am assuming you are male, since no woman in her right mind would believe any of this crap, she would have the ancestral memory of thousands of years of gathering wild grains. Even the eskimos eat grains, smarty. Still not convinced: here’s more things wrong with your argument: Agave nectar is not a circumlocution for “table sugar” agave nectar is from the agave plant (duh) actually the same plant that gives us tequila. It is not “table sugar” any more than maple syrup is (also a sugar that comes from a plant). Besides, sugar is good for you in small quantities (which is the real problem with Agave nectar, it’s too sweet to be used consistantly). And finally, never peel your potatoes, the skin is the good part! sheesh! in fact never peel anything, the skins of fruits and veggies have wonderful nutrients and minerals in them that you can’t do without including: surprise! vitamin D. Just make sure you buy organic, or better yet, grow those fruits yourself. Do not however feel the need to eat citrus or bananas, if you don’t live in a place where they naturally grow (if you’re in Florida of course, go ahead and have some), you don’t need them. As for cooking with meat fat if you want to do it I say more power to you, but realize that the people who invented that technique were farmers who worked outside all day trying to grow wheat in rocky soil. Don’t do it unless you plan on exerting yourself fully for 16 hours straight. “vegetable oils” are not a lie, that’s an umbrella term for things like peanut oil, corn oil (this one IS to be avoided) canola oil, olive oil, etc. lettuce oil? broccolli oil? what universe do you live in? I for one have never seen these particular oils, and would probably throw a tantrum if I did. if you ate a balanced diet you wouldn’t need supplements, so the fact that your diet includes taking supplements means that it is clearly not balanced or “paleo”: Stone Age hunter-gatherers didn’t have supplements instead they had grains, and fruit skins. in addition, DO NOT get rid of legumes, they are excellent for you, perhaps the best foods you could eat with all sorts of great and wonderful vitamines and minerals that you DON’T get from other sources including potassium for those of us who don’t live in Florida, and nitrogen (not to be confused with nitrates which are bad for you), and often times iron, magnesium and other minerals (depending on what’s in your soil) iron deficiency is really not cool, it makes your brain fuzzy believe me, I have trouble with it all the time. Beans are not birdseed or rabbit food, they are People Food (birds won’t eat them, neither will rabbits, believe me I’ve tried this). Even for a committed carnivore beans of some kind are essential.Do I advocate eating soy everything? no, particularly not fake meat, as that is simply disgusting (and doesn’t at all replace meat). tofu in every form is just a way for vegans with low self-esteem to fit in with the general population. However, a nice meal of succatash (corn beans and squash, cooked together on an open fire) is a whole different matter. In fact that’s a perfectly balanced meal (as the Iroquois living in my hometown realized long ago, which is why they ate it all the freakin’ time) right there (all the starch, veggies, protein, sugar, fat and carbs you could need for a long day of working on a farm, or hunting in the woods) WITHOUT ANY MEAT! a good meat substitute that is very cheap and obtainable (and very “paleo”) are mushrooms, which your “diet-guide” completely glosses over, which is why I know your “diet” is just a fad. You have ignored nature’s greatest invention: fungi, in all their forms. Mushrooms have most of the same fats and other things that are in meat, but lots more vitamins and minerals as well. Some even taste a bit like meat. They are, like animals, incapable of photosynthesis, and can be easily obtained from the woods. You are not truly “paleo” and cannot call yourself that until you have gone foraging for mushrooms, hunting for meat, foraging for nuts and berries or something else like that. I am sorry, you do not know what it is to eat off the land, I do, I’ve had to do it in the dead of winter, in New England (even if only for a day, I have done it). As for dairy, well, take it or leave it, it’s not essential, but nice and won’t cause any problems if you do eat it. and finally: flaxseed oil (or linseed oil) is furniture polish yes (not to mention all sorts of other things like shampoo and varnish, and paint sealer), but it is ALSO food, and very good food, which although not necessary can be an excellent substitute for other fats, for those who aren’t exerting themselves to the max 16+ hours a day. I am of Welsh and Irish peasant heritage, and believe me while I enjoy my meat it is not something that I can or should eat all the time. My ancestors ate meat maybe 4 times a year (on the Celtic festival days), even back in the Iron Age, meat was difficult to get especially if you weren’t the one who owned the deer-hunting forest. My family ate lots of fish (which unfortunately I can’t eat anymore, because fish are now toxic since we dumped mercury and other crap in our rivers, another thing your diet seems to overlook) and lots of mushrooms and lots of veggies but not a whole lote of starches or meat fats. I am also an Anthro major, do your research, Paleolithic people ate meat maybe twice a week if even that, and that was only those who had a hunter in the family. They got most of their nutrition from roots and plants that they gathered. considering that I just poked enough holes in your argument to make it look like Swiss Cheese (and that was just off the top of my head, if I actually had a book in front of me I could likely have found more errors), I suggest you do some research and revise your theory. Humans are not the most effective predators on earth, which is why if you are on safari in Africa you still have to be aware that at any moment a leopard could eat you, and believe me you don’t stand a chance agains the leopard. We are however the most arrogant animals on the planet, but I happen to live in a place where despite all modern conveniences and technology every winter storm still threatens to wipe us out. Every cold snap could be the end of my pipes, which could make water leak onto my roof which could bring my entire house down around my ears while I sleep. So, what have I done about it? prepared myself with the knowledge of how to actually survive in the woods in winter should I need to, and by collecting as many seeds as I can. Seeds are wonderful things for those who need to carry large amounts of calories around with them all the time. They have lots of calories, lots and lots and lots (think about it, what are seeds? they are plant eggs, as with all eggs they contain the nutrients that the baby plant needs until it can grow on it’s own, which includes a prodigious amount of calories) put that way seeds don’t seem so much like bird-food anymore do they? and you can carry more seeds than beef jerkey (or even pemmican). Now, I know how to make pemmican, I know how to make a bow and arrow, and how to shoot it well enough to kill something. I know what berries to eat and which to leave alone so long as I am in the woods I grew up in. I could survive a winter in my hometown if the entire economy suddenly shut down, could you do that? no you’re just compensating for your small dicks by eating lots of meat and talking like macho men. Well, we’ll see who survives when the apocalypse comes me or you.

  • Lauren

    Well I don’t suppose anyone needs to feed that particular troll; she seems to have a gut full already.

  • thebakingfairy:

    I apologize for being unable to respond to your essay: I'm not smart enough to figure out where the line breaks should go.

    If you're willing to re-format it into a readable form, I'll do my best to reply.

    Lauren:

    I find there's usually an inverse correlation between the vehemence of a comment and the likelihood that the commenter will return to participate in a discussion.  However, it's a statistical tendency, not a hard-and-fast rule.

    JS

  • BT

    for the exercise I tried reformatting that rant and inserting replies to each point…but found the task tedious and pointless…each point has been adequately answered here anyway.

  • BT:

    That was my impression on skimming it.  As I noted above, most such comments aren't honest attempts to start a dialog: they're the Internet version of leaving flaming dog poop on your doorstep.

    JS

  • Daniel Taylor

    Has paleo reached a stage 4? Why are all these ppl falling off and suddenly to them, “paleo” is too limiting, or “not truly backed by science” (ahem Matesz), and other such rubbish. I believe that we have a lot of posers out there.

    In my line of work I spend a lot of time analyzing reports, doing interrogations, and exposing liars. I’m really good at it too. From what I’ve read, it seems that we have several bloggers that found something they could gain a following with and since paleo actually works and has become popular, they are now stirring up contentions in the community just to keep their hits high. Or perhaps they have a pathological need to “be different” and just can’t stand agreeing with anyone. Anyway, i think this is just plain stupid and it only serves to confuse newcomers who are really just seeking to improve their health. So when they get referred to said blog, it makes the paleo ppl seem flaky and well, rather superficial.

    Sounds to me like we have a bunch pontificators and they could put a dent in an otherwise scientifically sound idea. I’m not saying that all is lost or that any of that would actually happen but they can take away from something that has helped 1000′s by preventing certain folks from ever getting started. Evolving within a movement or ideal is natural and even preferred but we should be responsible to the noobs and try to present things with a consistent scientific basis, not by writing posts that have nothing to do with anything factual or even useful in a practical way.

    I’ve stopped reading all but a couple of blogs for this reason. Im all for progress but let’s not forget that we do have a responsibility to those that know less and confusing them is not the way to go about living up to that responsibility. We fail as leaders when we don’t carefully consider our words and post things that only have soap opera value. A person’s blog is their blog and their business. I don’t really care what one may post about. What I do care are about are all the sick people that need help, not blowhards. Idk, maybe that’s just me.
    Cheers

  • I think Don's problem was that he did not (appear) to understand that paleo is global and that there can be all manner of paleo diets; he just didn't find the combination that fitted him. In fact, the way he is eating now is a paleo diet.

    When diets get linked to money, I wonder whether the authors are so dogmatic that they discard evidence that doesn't fit their programme. I resisted Sissons' 'Primal Blueprint' book for having a “cheesy American beefcake” on the sleeve, fitted the description over everything I abhor about diet books. I'm glad I bought it, though – this is one of two books that I have retained, Paul Jaminet's 'Perfect Health Diet', the other.

    Paleo is scientifically sound, or as much of the science as I, and its interpreters can understand; not to mention, historically sound.

    Two of the greatest dietary revolutions are: first, the passing into the neolithic, with domestication of animals and the cultivations of crops, and second, industrial food – really, post WW2, the advent of margarine, I think being the first serious fail and then how we've managed to get sugar into absolutely everything that we eat. Corn is not so much a big deal this side of the pond, but I gather folks in the US cannot move without bumping into the stuff.

    Even eating a pre-WW2 neolithic diet, it wasn't that bad and for folks who largely did, refining to a paleo diet was not a huge step.

    What worries me is the growing trend towards, “I'm more paleo than you”, even to the point that hate mail is being left on paleo bloggers websites by paleo people! Fine, you don't “do” dairy … I do. Fine, you don't “emulate”, well, other paleo people do. Fine, you don't ever eat bacon, well, many do.

    Paleo is a wide spectrum and I think it is more important to focus upon the approach than the diet. Bloggers like J, here, or Richard Nikoley begin with the approach. Writers often being with the diet – to make a diet book.

    Is it paleo, or is it simply a gluten-free real food diet?

    Beginning with the approach develops an attitude. That attitude might well lead to people pontificating on their own blogs, which might read as an ego. So be it. I always try to read opinionated blogs as if I as sitting with then enjoying a beer and shooting the breeze. You see the subtleties in what people are saying then.

    Again, just as paleo is a wide spectrum, the paleosphere (blogs, websites, books and so on) is a wide spectrum – there's room for the straight down the line diet researchers, like Jaminet, lifestyle “gurus” like Sissons and Wolf and then the folks who come straight out of left field with a completely new approach, like J.

    It'll go through phases and go through trends. Some folks will want to be heard, arguments will happen, but if it can be as civilised, reasoned and with a real respect for the other party, as was the case with Jimmy Moore and Paul Jaminet over starches, I think we'll be alright in the long term.

    If not, and people fall out, leave, whatever … more meat for the rest of us!

  • Daniel Taylor

    Right on, Paul! What a great attitude, I agree with you completely although I do maintain that responsibility is paramount. Something that is not lost on our dear J STANTON.

    Since you have some well informed opinions, what do you think of this Ray Peat? He’s gotten off into aspects of biochem I’m not familiar with yet, so I’m floundering without a jumping off point. Not that it matters: I am a Gnoll and have decided this is my home. I’ve never joined any kind of group, intentionally or by proxy, but this is where I belong. I still find an ever present need to challenge all my own and other’s ideas. Alas, I am an iconoclast by nature….

    How’s the car detailing going, btw? While I’m here I’m gunna look at those pics you posted a while back again. Simply beautiful! I find anyone that has that kind of personal pride to be a constant source of inspiration. It parallels my own innate need for completion in a very incomplete world.
    Cheers!

  • Hey Daniel – Ray Peat is a new one to me. I'll absorb what he has to say. J's recent article about the pitfalls of nutritionalism really struck a chord with me – I enjoy the science, if someone else can distill it for me, but in the end I rely upon principles. That may well mean I eat something non-paleo, don't get sick and consume it blissfully unaware until it's pointed out. Then, I'll ask about it.

    Fact is, we know very little about what makes the human body and how it works. We know a lot more about it than we did when Da Vinci was making his first documentation and that was a lot more than we knew a hundred years prior. Imagine what we'll know in another hundred years. To that end, I guard against scientific facts – they don't tell the whole story.

    Luckily, paleo massively pre-dates science which is a mere sliver of a second on the clock of human history, so attempting to emulate that is the cornerstone of paleo. Science today helps us work out which modern food is okay to eat.

    Yeah, I'm a Gnoll – there is an attitude to paleo, which marks us apart from gluten-free eaters, real food eaters and organic/pastured eaters. We'll have a lot of cross-over with those people, but we're a very organised set of fiercely individual people who can work as a pack when it comes to problem solving, resourcing and finding new ground. Beyond paleo, 'The Gnoll Credo' introduces us to a number of concepts which define that attitude. Many of us attracted to this website already held those concepts; just didn't have the words for it. Is the internet Gnoll? Well, when I whoop, it's often here and my calls are responded to. You know what I'm saying …

    Regarding Detailing, I'm still very much enjoying it and hope to bring our black SAAB 900 convertible back to its full glory this summer. The edges are getting a bit tatty. I've some roof work to do and some painting around the sills and bodykit, but after that … polishing, refining and burnishing.

    I actually do very little on my own cars – wash and dry regularly, wax regularly over a nice glazing cleanser and try to keep on top of wheels and that damn shiny exhaust I have on my red SAAB 9-5 Aero. There are plenty more pictures and writing about detailing on my website, which I won't derail this topic by posting, but it's there in my profile.

    Today, I've been building a wall. Yesterday, I was, too. Britain has a vernacular style for what is called “dry stone walling” – building a wall that holds together under its own strength, rather than with cement. It is an art, a skill and puts you very much in touch with the stone you're working with which can be all sorts of sizes, lengths, depths and heights. Working with each stone to find its friends and neighbours is frustrating at first, but like so many activities in which we have to just let go and have the subject tell us how to work, tuning out and just letting it happen it the best way forward. When you find stones that just lock together naturally, you then have to work around it.

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dry_stone

  • Daniel Taylor

    Yeah Ray Peat is new to me as well. He seems to advocate eating lots of sugar but everything else is paleo. Not sure how that works….

    I suppose we find ourselves here bc we don’t know much about the body. I love this site bc of the atmosphere JS imposes on it: it’s very inclusive and since we actually talk to each other and he replies to most all the comments posted so I always get a very tribal feeling which I suppose it fitting.

    “Many of us attracted to this website already held those concepts; just didn’t have the words for it.”

    Very true, sir. When I finished TGC, I felt like I had found something that hadn’t ever been lost. Like the Buddhist story of the jewel sewn into the traveling monk’s sleeve. It was there all along.

    So the stone walls you build are like the ones we see in the idyllic country Pictures we see of Britain? That’s what I had in my head anyway.
    I think I’ll pop over to your site and check it out. Didn’t know you had one. I’m really at a turning point in my life where Im tired of my career and I have all these things that I’m way more passionate about and having a blog and a website about this is one of them. My wife has MS (we are treating it somewhat successfully with an uber strict paleo diet of course-we embarked on this way before the now famous TED video which is an awesome one btw) so after we get some things straight I’m leaving all non-essentials behind and I’m starting over at bottom. It’s super exciting.

    Anyway, thanks for chatting with me. Always nice to make new friends!
    Cheers

  • (There's a lot here so I'll be taking it message by message.)

    Daniel:

    I wrote this comment at Perfect Health Diet, and it applies to what you've said as well:

    * Stirring up controversy is much easier than doing science.

    * N=1 isn’t science even if you’ve got letters after your name.

    * I’ve found none of it interesting or convincing so far…and some of it is flat wrong.

    Moving ahead: The bar has been raised.  What was interesting in 2008 (hmmm…maybe saturated fat isn't so bad after all) is no longer worthy of attention.  It takes careful, patient, hard work to add to the knowledge of the paleo community in 2012 and beyond…

    …and there are some who aren't willing to do that work.  Instead, I see bold, unsupported pronouncements, personal attacks, and pot-stirring.  I agree that it's absolutely detrimental to the community, and to all the people who just want to get and stay well.  This is too important a goal to be diverted from by those who value ego gratification over the advancement of knowledge.

    Please continue to point people here, to gnolls.org: I promise to maintain it as a calm, reasoned, reliable source of information.  And I must tip my hat to others in the community who continue to do useful work: people like Paul Jaminet, Chris Masterjohn, Jamie Scott, Ned Kock, and Peter @ Hyperlipid.

    Paul:

    I have no plans to abandon the 'paleo' label, because it's the best description for what I do that doesn't require additional explanation.  I'd rather deal with occasional “caveman diet” gibes than having to continually explain some term I made up.

    And I fear the current problem isn't people being “too paleo”…it's people who are either bored with paleo, or don't want to do the work to advance the state of knowledge, and are passing off N=1 as science.  Kurt Harris saying “The idea that starch or even gluten are per se NADS is wrong” is basically the endpoint of this erroneous line of thinking.  Gluten is fine?  Really?  I believe some biochemistry is in order.

    “Corn is not so much a big deal this side of the pond, but I gather folks in the US cannot move without bumping into the stuff.”  Absolutely…our government subsidizes its production so heavily that we are forced to turn it into ethanol and feed it to cars at a net energy loss!

    Daniel:

    I find Ray Peat to be a mixture of interesting insights and biochemistry — and utter bunk masquerading as such.  I think a lot of people like him because it gives them an excuse to down ice cream and sugar (“It's for my thyroid.  Really!”)  Your body temporarily ramping up thermogenesis in order to dispose of sugar far in excess of your body's ability to store the energy is not the same thing as fixing your HPTA dysfunction.  I don't recommend becoming too distracted by it.

    Far more important, though, is that being a gnoll goes far beyond diet and exercise.  I'm concentrating on it right now because there is much of importance to be learned, and I enjoy being able to teach people why eating like a predator works so well…but as you know from reading TGC, it's just the first step of a very long journey.  The real journey is the future of humans.  Is it the endless servitude of agriculture, or the proud freedom of the hunt?  Most people don't even know that we have a choice…and that is where our task begins.

    Paul:

    I've been doing a lot of trailbuilding the past few years…there's lots of drystone work involved, though it's mostly under the tread and only partially visible.

    Paul and Daniel:

    “When I finished TGC, I felt like I had found something that hadn't ever been lost.”  

    Writing TGC was similar: I was remembering events that had already happened, not making them up.

    I do my best to be open and welcoming…but I can't force anyone to participate.  gnolls.org is a community because you, and people like you, make it one.  

    JS

  • Daniel Taylor

    JS: You never disappoint.

    Because I’m so vocal and opinionated I direct someone here at least once a day. I stayed up super late last night talking to two of my friends about the paleo lifestyle and your site was the first one I told them to go to. The others I save for when I email them my bookmarks list.

    Gnolls.org has what all the others lack, and that’s the ATTITUDE. There is so much more to this than diet, like you mentioned, and they will need the attitude and mentality shift to truly understand just what our genetic heritage means for our future. It’s not enought to eat butter and steak, lifts weights, and sleep 10 hrs a day. We must think and feel the way we are meant to as well (although without those things dialed in, the mentality of a predator is lost-mostly, not getting into that here).

    The need for a tribe is genetic as well and your attentiveness to not only the science, but the comments posted and the emails sent helps to make this a home for us too. Although we are all leaders, there has to be voice since humans are just so damn lost at this point in history.

    Thank you for not shirking your RESPONSIBILITY. We all have responsibilities to fulfill whether they be to a spouse, a child, your employees, the human race in general, or all of them at once.

    I am changing my entire life at this moment. I’m working on my personal trainers liscense while I maintain an 80 hr a week job and take care of wife who is struggling with a chronic pain disorder. It’s hard but I remind myself everyday that I only get one shot in this life. Just one. There is no reset button, no bearded hippie in the sky, no eternal peace crap. All that mess makes one weak and complacent. I cannot waste my time on stupid ego games, political or religious fetters, or trying to make another dollar.

    Well. We certainly have a job ahead of us and you will be hearing more from me- I’ve decided to stay and while I need my breaks from all this (as we all do) I won’t be vanishing.
    Cheers

    Oh yeah, Peat smelled like woo woo to me; prob another “almost paleo” site propped up by BigAgra.

  • Eddie

    Awesome post, you’ve completely nailed the issue. The only thing I can think of to preserve our sanity is another Gandhi quote:
    “We need to be the change we wish to see in the world”.
    Short of being forced at gunpoint to surrender my grass-fed beef and eat hummus, I’m going to carry on living the Paleo lifestyle and let the results speak for themselves!

  • Daniel:

    Thank you.  Our task is monumental — but that's fine, because our task is joyous.  It is the task of reclaiming our evolutionary heritage, both as humans and as a species.

    I wish you the best in the transformation of yourself and your family!

    (However, I sincerely doubt Ray Peat is a shill for anyone.  I think he's smart, well-intentioned, and not entirely correct.)

    Eddie:

    Keep speaking out.  When Steve Cooksey is facing fines and jail time for telling people with a disease of impaired glucose metabolism to eat less glucose — while the “dietitians” continue giving advice that, quite literally, kills millions of people each year — it's no time to remain silent.  

    JS

  • Susan

    JS,
    I had no intention of becoming a radical, I just was determined to find health. I’m alarmed and repulsed by the truth that the promotion of human suffering is so profitable. I’m also feeling a little vulnerable as the only gnoll in my neck of the woods. I can’t decide whether to curl up in a ball and cry, or just go eat a little more meat. I am comforted in my paranoia to hear from the rest of you out there. Where is our tribe meeting after the apocalypse? Please wait for me…

    As for thebakingfairy, I’d rather just step in the flaming dog poop rather than try and read that again.

  • MasterNinja

    As we speak out, we have a duty to be informative without being hateful.  Remember that people have been told by so called experts for decades that eating the way we do (Paleo, Primal, Ancestral, whatever you want to call it) is unhealthy and barely short of evil.  The sheep should not be blamed for the shepherd's stupidity.  We need to look at our knowledge as a gift we are sharing, without letting it become contentious. 

    The fact is that the comparison is easy to make.  I ask people daily, “Why should you take dietary advice from the government of the fattest people on Earth and the “experts” they taught? Really??? When there are so many examples of relatively effortlessly fit, healthy people who follow an ancestral nutrition plan, you still listen to the conventional wisdom?”

    That is only the dietary component.  Too many of us have been suckered into wasting many years in pursuit of monetary and status goals.  I picture the gnolls saying, “Nerga, nerga, nerga.” and then laughing at our expense.  Gah! I can give countless examples of people who live simply and with minimal attachment to “stuff” who are much happier than many people of great wealth.  As well as my own experience of being on the debt/work treadmill.

    In all of this, it is easy to give in to hard feelings, but shouldn't we who have heard the song of our blood understand that a life full of memories and good relationships is important enough to not be so forceful in our spreading the word that we alienate the very people we are trying to educate.

  • MasterNinja

    Susan said:

    JS,
    I had no intention of becoming a radical, I just was determined to find health. I'm alarmed and repulsed by the truth that the promotion of human suffering is so profitable. I'm also feeling a little vulnerable as the only gnoll in my neck of the woods. I can't decide whether to curl up in a ball and cry, or just go eat a little more meat. I am comforted in my paranoia to hear from the rest of you out there. Where is our tribe meeting after the apocalypse? Please wait for me…

    As for thebakingfairy, I'd rather just step in the flaming dog poop rather than try and read that again.

    Susan, being the only gnoll means an unhindered hunting ground.  :)  I get your point, though.

  • Susan:

    As you continue to eat this way, you'll grow stronger both physically and mentally — and the lack of local packmates will bother you less, because you'll be stronger than those who oppose you.  Feel free to find support here when you need it.

    As for myself, after the apocalypse I'll be summering right here at the lake and wintering down in the Carson Valley, just like the Indians used to.  (Unless I've moved.)

    MasterNinja:

    I've heard it said: “Don't take diet advice from a fat man, or cooking advice from a thin man.”

    Status for gnolls is much simpler than it is for us.  It starts with who your mother is (or was), and is only maintained by your ability to justify and protect it, by ability or force.  They don't really comprehend the idea that an elaborate hat, or something abstract like “money” or “laws”, could give someone else a “right” to eat first or live on an area of land.

    And you're right: don't be a vegan.  Q: “How do you know if a stranger is vegan?”  A: “Don't worry, they'll tell you.”  But we can't afford to be wallflowers, either…if someone is spreading misinformation, polite disagreement is warranted.  (And, if appropriate, a link to one of my articles.)

    JS

  • [...] Stanton recently noted that Paleo has reached “the ominous stage 3” in the growth of a movement. (If you haven’t read this article, read it. It is [...]

  • Ahsan Irfan

    Having followed Paleo (both as a personal WOE and on blogs and such) for a while, I have come to the conclusion that if we value our own futures, as well as the futures of our children, it would be best that we consider a move to the third world, where such government control is less ominous.

  • Ahsan:

    Someone will always be attempting to exert that sort of control…if not the government, then some guerilla insurgency or drug lords (which are often the same thing).  The question is “Are the things they want control over things I care about or disagree with?”

    JS

  • [...] is an  interesting article on what to expect as Paleo gains traction. Categories: -, Health | Leave a [...]

  • WalterB

    RE: Epigenetics it’s sins of the mothers basically I would think. We get most if not all our mitochondria maternally and, of course, prenatal nutrition.

  • WalterB:

    I believe epigenetic changes can also be passed down via the father.

    JS

  • WalterB

    “Chercher la femme.” in French translates into “Follow the money.” in English.

  • WalterB

    And you are correct about the father’s health affecting the child. In particular as men get older the chance of the child having Downs Syndrome increases, apparently less if the man is in good shape.

  • WalterB:

    I laughed.

    JS

  • Rand Lee

    I’m a lifelong compulsive overeater currently in a 12 Step program for my eating disorder. I have osteoarthritis and am about 90 lbs overweight (down from 180 lbs overweight). I suffer from advanced systemic candidiasis that makes sticky smelly enflamed patches between the folds of my skin and in my armpits. As a result of all this, I am on a naturopath-directed food plan: meat, vegetables, no fruits, no grains, no sugars of any kind, very low dairy. I have been on this almost-paleo eating plan for over a month now. My candidiasis is already much better. My brain fog from sugar is receding. I am not sure what I weigh, but I know it is less, because my clothes are getting looser. And best of all (this is for Gnollers for whom the idea of a Higher Power is not an ego trip or a sign of mental weakness) without the sugar being poured down my gullet constantly, I have had some spiritual experiences that are changing my attitudes towards intimacy and death. Do I have cravings? Sure. But so far my Higher Power has helped me eat according to plan, which is sort of a miracle, because I am a chronic relapser in 12 Step language. I credit the paleo diet (which just happens to gibe with the Blood Type Diet for me as an O+) for much of this healing process.

  • Rand:

    It sounds like you're basically eating a ketogenic version of Paleo, which is indeed an excellent strategy for treating candidiasis.  (Tip: apple cider vinegar is an excellent topical treatment for candida, and for fungal infections generally.  Just rub it on.)

    Another benefit of ketosis is improved mental function, especially if your metabolism is impaired.

    You'll find that your health continues to improve over the coming months and years, though more slowly — as I've said many times, “You didn't screw yourself up in two weeks…don't expect to fix yourself in two weeks.”  And you'll also find that cheating becomes less and less tempting as you continue to enjoy the benefits of staying on point and inhabiting a healthy body.  Food cravings aren't just mental weakness — they are greatly exacerbated by a dysfunctional metabolic and hormonal environment.

    I'm glad to hear of your success!  Welcome.

    JS

  • lol bro

    For the fifty years prior to adopting paleo/home made sauerkraut I have had teenage anroexia (ages 14-21), lifelong myo-facial pain, two rectal surgeries, abdominal hernia surgerty, and chronic indigestion.

    I have been paleo + daily home made sauerkraut for three years now. Magic!

    One stunning realization for me is that for the previous 50 years pre-paleo I have lived in a dream-like, fuzzy-minded state. Now on paleo my mind has become clearer, my emotions more even, and – amazingly – I have become interested in maths and engineering to the point that I, with no previous knowledge, have recently designed and constructed 1) a classroom toy/model that illustrates various applications of conic sections 2) a new form of construction blocks for children. Engineering, maths and physics now interest me.

    What is the basis of this? I suspect it has to do with a lessening of chaotic messaging from the intestines through the enteric system to the hind brain, allowing the forebrain to operate better/be more dominant.

    Just a theory.

    Other improvements in my health include the fact that my system of fascia is in much better health (flexibility, strength posture).

    In fact, today, my health is just great.

    Viva Paleo! Viva!

  • lol bro:

    I’ve also noticed my mind is clearer since I’ve been paleo: I talk about this in Eat Like A Predator, because everyone’s so fixated on the weight loss that they neglect to mention the other advantages!

    I suspect the lifting of mental fog involves a combination of several factors that impede clear thinking on the SAD:

    • Continual blood sugar swings due to lack of metabolic flexibility
    • Ghrelin is neurotrophic. We are smartest when we’re a bit hungry — but if we’re constantly snacking in order to “keep our energy up” in the face of impaired met flex, we never get that boost
    • Gluten exorphins
    • Low-level allergic reactions and intolerances that slow us down both mentally and physically

    And we don’t know enough about gut-brain to understand what might be happening, but it’s entirely possible that it is a factor.

    Whatever the case, I’m glad to hear of your success. Welcome home.

    JS

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