paleo

Paleodrama: Why I stopped posting on my blog highlighting pseudoscience and bigotry in the paleo community

I occasionally get comments here with the insinuation that I stopped posting on paleodrama because I "lost" or realized "boys will be boys." I didn't stop posting, though I rarely post there now. For the uninitiated, paleodrama was created to highlight incidents of sexism and other bigotry in the "paleo" community, as well as the most obvious examples of pseudoscience.

Paleofantasy

Author: 
Marlene Zuk
Pic: 
Though much maligned in the paleo diet community, this is a book you should give a chance. A great primer on evolutionary biology and a caution against making too much of paleolithic "just so" stories.
Reading Category: 

Invisible Women of Paleo

 I'm thrilled that Grub Street shut down its entire Chicago department so that instead of writing about Chicago’s vibrant food scene, they can publish garbage like this: The Rise of the Lady Paleos: How a Dubious Diet Aimed at Men Appeals to Women, Too.

What really struck me is how they linked to the New York Times article from 2010: 

Paleo Fantasies: Debunking The Carnivore Ape Narrative

Every two years or so I notice a cyclical trend in the online “paleo” community. It’s the resurgence of dogmatic carnivory. It has two main themes: plants are “poisons” that cause most of our health problems and humans “evolved to be” very low carb. Always an undercurrent with some very zealous devotees (“The Bear” of Grateful Dead fame was probably one of its most prominent popularizers), it suddenly finds popularity among normally more moderate people, picking up some non-paleo low-carb followers in the process.

Breaking Up with Paleo

 I occasionally get emails and tweets admonishing me for being hostile to paleo and low-carb, having moved on and having to take a glancing blow behind me. It’s not an unfamiliar experience– I received the same when I stopped being vegan.

The truth is that I’m not hostile to paleo, low-carb, or vegan. All three represent food subcultures that taught me a lot about food and how it affects my health. I am thankful for that. Unfortunately all have quasi-religious underpinnings that can be detrimental to health. They are also hostile to critics.

The Paleo-Political Continuum

 Recently a friend sent me this piece on the "paleo" diet and libertarianism in The New Inquiry, which quotes me. It is well-written and thought-provoking, even worth reading if you probably disagree with the author's politics. I myself had thought of writing something similar for awhile, because at some point it's just too interesting how the diet-self-identity movements have become associated with various political leanings. My own are somewhat nebulous.

Evolution is True, Evolution is Important

 I want to explore the evolution of the evolutionary nutrition concept and how evolution was lost from it.

Top 1 Reasons I'm Not Paleo

 Cheeseslave wrote a post titled Top 10 Reasons I'm Not Paleo. Not surprisingly, it upset a lot of people. Which is funny, since it didn't exactly bother me. I'd love to see that furor directed against woo-bearing charlatans who call themselves "paleo" and mainstream media publications that make anyone who doesn't eat garbage look like a weirdo. 

Either way, I don't need to write a long post about why I'm not paleo. I just need one bullet point. So here it is: the Top 1 Reason I'm Not Paleo:

Troll Files: Ingredients in "paleo" bars

 A week or so ago I got an email advertising a new "paleo" product. I've written several times about various products parasitically riding the "paleo" bandwagon. Most of them suck. 

Media and Fad Diets

 If you've been reading this blog long enough, you'll know I have a rather dim view of reporters. Besides a tiny number I count as friends, I've had some bad experiences where I spent a lot of time working with them, only to see the final story had major errors. Getting cut out entirely is better than that.