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:
- The Paleo diet was a tool I used to learn about applying evolutionary biology to modern health problems. It doesn't define me as a permanent lifestyle that focuses on identity and demonizing so-called "neolithic non-foods" like grains, which distracts from the real enemy, the processed industrial food industry that churns out nutritionless garbage designed to be addictive with no consideration for human, animal, or environmental welfare. I'm not "paleo," though I eat in a way informed by our evolution as a species.
I think defining your identity based on a diet is a bad idea. I had enough of that as a vegetarian and a vegan. And absolutism means your diet doesn't degrade gracefully. In web development, the concept of graceful degradation is an important one. It means you can develop fancy widgets for websites that are snazzy in the latest best web browser, but designed in a way that they are still functional even in an older or less capable web browser. Being committed to real whole food is a better rock to stand on than adherence to a "diet." It means that if I go out to eat I order home-made tamales or tacos rather than binging on processed pizza, soda, and candy.
Plus, I end up eating meat, fruits, seafood, and vegetables most of the time anyway. My favorite thing to say to people who say "Well, people have been eating bread for thousands of years!"
"Great! Got any three-day fermented einkorn bread? I'll gladly eat that."
Most of the time, the bread they have is store-bought and made with industrially processed bleached flours and tons of additives. Not healthy, not delicious, not worth it. Of course, I make exceptions. I suppose the 80-20 rule has fallen out of vogue, but for me it works quite well. Given I have none of the alleles associated with Celiac, do not test positive for it, and self-experiments show that gluten per-se has no effect on me, I do indulge in so-called "bad" food sometimes. But it's not a staple of my diet and I'll generally only have it if it's at a nice restaurant or in a foreign country.