Discovering Your Inner Hunter-Gatherer: Q&A with Paleo Manifesto Author John Durant

Why do so many libertarians want to eat like cavemen?

"When I'm talking to a libertarian and I make the point that the USDA food pyramid is not god's truth, they're like, 'Oh, right, of course it isn't,' says John Durant, author of The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health. "It doesn't require a lot of persuasion that the official guidelines on diet are wrong."

Durant's book tells the story of how he discovered his inner hunter-gatherer, and it offers practical guidelines for how to transition to the meat-heavy low-carb diet favored by our Paleolithic ancestors—and a surprising number of libertarians.

Durant, who blogs at HunterGatherer.com and is also a proponent of barefoot jogging, was interviewed by the New York Times' John Tierney on December 4, 2013 at an event held at New York City's Museum of Sex, which was sponsored by the Reason Foundation.

For a different perspective, watch Tracy Oppenheimer's interview with evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk on "The Paleo Diet Delusion."

About 1 hour.

Shot and edited by Jim Epstein.

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  • Matrix||

    How much gambolling is required?

  • Sevo||

    The house always wins!

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Funny.
    There is an exercise movement within Paleo, but I doubt DFW Indian knew anything about either.
    Science shows exercise is good for general health, but not for weight loss.

  • ||

    Science shows exercise is good for general health, but not for weight loss.

    That is a misdirection.

    Muscle weighs more then fat by volume.

    Sure you don't weigh less but you sure look leaner.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    That is a misdirection.

    Pardon me for speaking imprecisely.
    Exercise has repeatedly been shown to be ineffective for reducing the fat content of bodies in great need of losing fat.

  • ||

    The 3 inch spear embedded in kennewick man's hip says:

    "Enough gamboling to avoid me."

  • Pro Libertate||

    To be sure, a true paleo diet would involve chasing prey for days, eating rotten food and anything technically edible, and fasting to simulate periods of drought or illness.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    I thought that the paleo lifestyle involved lots of sex between gorgeous, well-fed people. Or was every Earth's Children book a lie?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sadly, no.

  • ||

    solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short

    I don't know about well fed but if life is short then everyone would tend to be young...

    20somethings tend to be sexy.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Era ..... Life Expectancy at Birth
    Upper Paleolithic ..... 33
    Neolithic ..... 20
    Bronze Age and Iron Age ..... 26
    Classical Greece ..... 28
    Classical Rome ..... 20–30
    Medieval Britain ..... 30
    Early Modern Britain ..... 25–40
    Early 20th Century ..... 31

  • Evangelical||

    This is grossly misleading because it includes infant mortality and unnatural causes of death such as plagues owing to the fact that the sources (gravesites) often span centuries. For instance medieval Britain's life span was knowingly skewed by examining only subjects found in a known battlefield cemetery from the war of the roses.

    The paleo diet is your best chance to livr to 100.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    This is grossly misleading because it includes infant mortality

    These life expectancy at birth numbers take account of infant mortality. Besides, infant mortality increased after the Paleolithic?

    and unnatural causes of death such as plagues

    Plagues are unnatural?
    I mean other than frogs, hail, locusts, darkness and the like.

    The paleo diet is your best chance to live to 100.

    My experience suggests similar. Low-carb/high-fat has been how I have lost 135 pounds and kept it off for years.

  • Evangelical||

    Id like to add almost all of this skew is from the infant mortality. What you want is life expectancy aftet 5 years old when the immune system actually develops.

    This shows especially more ancient societies had long life spans. The wars of medieval europe and their plagues, and the hard life of a hunter with no medicine or trauma knowledge did make their lives shorter.

    Greeks and Egyptians lived into the 70s.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Ancient Egyptian mummies show rather severe arteriosclerotic lesions in spite of their diet and activity patterns being very much in line with American Heart Association guidelines.

  • JoeE||

    Also loads in the mouth taken during homosexual oral rape by superior males. Usually the paleos don't mention that.

  • sarcasmic||

    meat-heavy low-carb diet

    Sounds expensive.

  • SForza||

    Road kill.

  • From the Tundra||

    Neighbor kid's therapy chickens.

  • Steve G||

    So are heart attacks and cancer treatments

  • Live Free or Diet||

    meat-heavy low-carb diet
    Sounds expensive.

    Most of my Paleo and LCHF friends eat about the same amount of meat as before changing, but less sugar and grains, and more actual vegetables.

  • Steve G||

    'bout time you showed up; been gettin kilt up in here today! lol

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I've had a bunch of appointments today, then something I promised to do with my kid, and now I'm off to a friend's house for the evening.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Finally, someone who recognizes the dangers inherent in the city state! Officer, am I finally free to gambol?

  • The Last American Hero||

    You are the Living Man.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    You forgot to splatter it with all the extraneous parentheses and odd symbols.

  • Floridian||

    I'm sorry but if you want be to buy your paleo lifestyle you yourself must fully commit. A well trimmed beard? Bullshit! Go full grizzly Adams or I consider you a huckster selling snake oil.

    Good Day Sir!

  • GILMORE||

    WHATS WITH THIS WOVEN COTTON CLOTHING SHIT?! INDUSTRIO-AGRICULTURAL HERESY!! NEEDS PELT!! HIDE!! BRAIDED INTESTINE BELT!

  • Floridian||

    Right!

  • ||

    I've seen nothing about Paleo that makes it much more than unsubstantiated bunk. There are pieces of it that are legitimate. But it strongly buys into the whole free-range/grass-fed/organic philosophy that has zero scientific underpinning.

    There are some positives. There is very strong evidences that we take in an excess of carbohydrates, particularly grains and sugars. That is a major player in weight gain. Atkins/Paleo will get you lean. Paleo tries to distance itself from Atkins, and they are right to an extent, but ultimately, its the emphasis on eliminating grains and sugars, which both philosophies share, that leads to the biggest weight improvements.

    Processed foods in general probably have more salt and fat than you really need. So their elimination can help as well. Shifting to minimally processed foods, particularly vegetables (canned/frozen/fresh) is a big win and a plus to the Paleo philosophy.

    I'm winding down my carbs now. Last of the Christmas cookies will be gone this week. Then phasing out breads and dairy, and, the hardest, Alcohol. This Friday will be my last drink until the end of February with two exceptions (New Years Eve and a friend's 50th).

  • ||

    There are some positives. There is very strong evidences that we take in an excess of carbohydrates, particularly grains and sugars. That is a major player in weight gain.

    What is wrong with grains and sugars? Could it be that we aren't really evolutionary adapted to eating them? Naw, evolution is unsubstantiated bunk.

  • Acosmist||

    Except evolution accelerated after the advent of agriculture, so, yeah, we're adapted to that.

  • ||

    "What is wrong with grains and sugars? Could it be that we aren't really evolutionary adapted to eating them? Naw, evolution is unsubstantiated bunk."

    Your glycolysis enzymes would beg to fucking differ.

  • ||

    Once more with tags...

    There are some positives. There is very strong evidences that we take in an excess of carbohydrates, particularly grains and sugars. That is a major player in weight gain.

    What is wrong with grains and sugars? Could it be that we aren't really evolutionary adapted to eating them? Naw, evolution is unsubstantiated bunk.

  • GILMORE||

    ""There is very strong evidences that we take in an excess of carbohydrates, particularly grains and sugars"

    (sound of Reminton 870 racking)

    'Look buddy, you and your diet are all well and good now.... but you say one more word about Beer, then you're going to be fertilizing my front yard.'

    BEER IS CIVILIZATION. ALL HERETICS MUST DIE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7gxHs02K_Q

  • ||

    Could it be that we aren't really evolutionary adapted to eating them

    That may be true, but Paleo doesn't stop there. It assumes that everything post-agricultural revolution is garbage. Organic is bunk. Grass Fed is bunk. If it makes you feel better go for it. But I've not seen anything that substantiates any sort of nutritional benefit to this.

    Simply put, in my view, you can't partially play the evolution card when that is the basis of the entire Paleo worldview. There are components that are true, but as a driving philosophy it is bunk.

  • Steve G||

    that's a bit of a strawman. Most folks who do paleo don't subscribe to any absolutes and use a large dose of realism.

  • GILMORE||

    This "most folks" argument is all well and good, but for the fact that the SALESMAN of this Paleo-robics fad happen to use the "absolutes" as the very measure of what makes the Paleo thing worthwhile in the first place. If it were simply a matter of "losing weight" or "improving cardio" these fuckers wouldn't have a pot to piss in, because there's a million ways to achieve both. NO = if you want to *make-money* in the Diet-Scam biz, you need to dress it up in a Moral Worldview such that whether you lose weight or not, you're a FUCKING SUPERIOR BEING FOR LIVING DIFFERENT THAN THOSE OTHER ANIMALS. Because you eat Raw Meat and jog over broken glass and old diapers sans footwear and wax rhapsodic about "ancient" bullshit while mentioning occasionally you got your undergraduate degree from Harvard in something something psychology, so IN YOUR FACE.

    This shit isn't about "dieting"

    It's a MORAL FASHION ACCESSORY for vacuous hipsters

    I liked it better when they called it Atkins anyway

  • Steve G||

    This douche is not the salesman of this fad, not hardly. He's pretty fringe if you knew anything about this "movement" at all.
    The real spokesmen/cheerleaders for paleo/primal are along the lines of Wolf, Cordain, Eaton, Sisson. Do they write books? Who gives a shit, how would you get word out if you discovered something or were trying to change minds.
    Take a look at what Wolf is doing w/ the Reno Police/Fire Dept and reducing heart disease and tell me that it's just a fashion accessory. Take a broader look at the subject next time...

  • GILMORE||

    Sorry,

    As referenced below=

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01.....d=all&_r=0

    You may get a better idea here on why the Moral Fashion comment.

  • ||

    Most folks who do paleo don't subscribe to any absolutes and use a large dose of realism.

    (mirroring GILMORE)

    That's only because "most folks" see through the bullshit, particularly when they notice how empty their wallet is after trying to shop pure Paleo.

    MORAL FASHION ACCESSORY

    +1 Yuppie Scum

  • Steve G||

    Concur guys. In some ways Zuk in Paleofantasy is spot on, but only in attacking this more spiritual/moral strawman, but that doesn't mean the science behind ditching grains and/or dairy isn't there.

  • montana mike||

    Love my antelope breakfast steaks, a bit gamy but tasty.

  • ||

    That may be true, but Paleo doesn't stop there. It assumes that everything post-agricultural revolution is garbage.

    I only agree to Paleo in as much as it promotes simpler eating and actively counter-balances unconscious food consumption. I don't see Paleo-ers rejecting vaccines (at least not intrinsically) and abandoning metal alloys and AFAIK most are better described as passively Paleo. I could definitely fit the passive Paleo description, but more out of preference (I like fish, chicken, beef, tree nuts, and berries what can I say?) rather than any sort of diet or health regime.

    Other than that, I'm with you. The idea of a paleolithic diet in our modern world is a bit of an impossible anachronism. Our paleolithic ancestors ate poorly, lived terribly, and died young because. A more modern Asian diet of starving on rice would be preferable.

  • ||

    That may be true, but Paleo doesn't stop there. It assumes that everything post-agricultural revolution is garbage.

    This idiotic statement reminds me of that cartoon where the libertarian refuses to let the fire dept put out his burning house.

  • Steve G||

    I guess that all depends on what you've "seen" then, since if anything most of the legitimate paleo material out there is well referenced/cited.

    While I would agree that a lot organic/grass-fed/gluten-free internet content out there is crap, but it's not because there's nothing to it, it's that the yuppies getting behind it don't really understand WHY they are doing it. You go grass-fed instead of grain-fed for your meat to reduce the omega-6 consumption (if you don't understand why this is important, you're missing a key piece). I could give a shit how happy the cow I'm eating was before it died; I want it grass-fed for the proper fat content.
    You ditch grains not just that they are carbs, but because grains (and dairy) damage the gut lining causing a whole host of things that the linkages are just now starting to emerge. This is where paleo and atkins diverge a bit. Atkins hits the nail regarding the insulin bit, but doesn't give a crap about gut health. You reduce carbs to get insulin under control, but as long as you are insulin sensitive, most people should not worry about how low or high carb they are. The most effective 'dosage' of carbs is related to how active you are.
    ...and then there's "Primal" which is paleo plus dairy...but the dairy needs to be as close to raw as possible, but that's a whole other thread.

  • From the Tundra||

    Well put, Steve. I'm not quite getting the hate, here. The one service that the various paleo/primal/whatever guys have brought to the marketplace is a shit load more information about diet. Eat paleo-ish or don't, I couldn't give a fuck. Once again, there is more (non-government) information out there and more interest in nutrition and health.

    That's a good thing.

  • Steve G||

    I agree. and OBTW, I'm a libertarian largely BECAUSE I went paleo

  • GILMORE||

    Explain to me the connection between

    A)what you put in your piehole because of your waistline concerns, and
    B) an organizing political philosophy

    because I missed it

  • Steve G||

    I'm not sure why I'm even humoring you since you seem to just want to pick a fight (with every html text effect you can muster), but here goes...
    After 40 yrs of getting mediocre results w/ conventional dieting and exercise, I stumbled ass backwards into crossfit (and later zone, paleo) and discovered everything that had been presented to me as conventional wisdom and infallable was nearly all bullshit. What to me was formerly a world where you either ate what you want and let genetics take over or you ate low fat and did 30-60 min of low impact cardio, was now a world free of the two paradigms or 'parties' if you will. And to me it's a world that not only gets me results, but also makes more sense for people in all sorts of situations (sick people, old people, etc).
    It also doesn't hurt that I'm an atheist so I've been doubtful of conventional wisdom and institutions for some time, I just didn't know where someone like me fit into things politically. Then Greg Glasman (crossfit) and Robb Wolf (paleo) come along who are both self-proclaimed libertarians and some of their political views leak out as it relates to their exercise/nutritional guidance and it just made sense and opened my eyes to this political philosophy. My apologies if either of these guys are not libertarian enough for this crowd.
    Happy.. Gilmore?

  • GILMORE||

    oH, nnooooooo!!! HE USED THE HAPPY GILMORE LINE...now Im MELTING, MELTING!!! WHAT A WORLD!!...and your little dog, too!!...

    So the diet 'worked' for you, and you coincidentally found their referenced political leanings to be a suitable complementary lifestyle fit.

    Ok. Odd, but whatever. I bet the communist-diet regime is probably just as effective FWIW.

    FOR THOSE THAT LIVE.

  • ||

    Show us on the doll where the paleo diet touched you GILMORE.

  • Steve G||

    "Odd?" Fuck off. At least I contribute and treat folks with respect...until they no longer deserve it.
    Go back to wherever you were hiding before this story hit the blog you schizophrenic whackjob.

  • GILMORE||

    Forgive me if I seemed 'disrespectful'. I failed to entirely connect the dots between successful weight-loss and political/economic theory, but I'll write that off as My Bad.

    And seriously, if I'm a schizophrenic whackjob, I feel bad for the rest of the regulars here now. I was the normal one! What happened??

  • Suellington||

    Ort.

  • mr simple||

    Didn't you watch the video? The paleo diet improves mental health!

  • GILMORE||

    UNLESS YOU LIVE IN A ZOO.

    H&R counts as zoo.

  • Steve G||

    It's all good Gilmore.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    Didn't you watch the video? The paleo diet improves mental health!

    Malnutrition is tough on the mental state.

  • From the Tundra||

    Oh shit, paleo is a gateway-diet! Please tell me you were a lefty before

    Seriously, how soon before it starts showing up on heath care questionnaires? Reason for coverage denial - too much awesome protein and fat.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    its the emphasis on eliminating grains and sugars, which both philosophies share, that leads to the biggest weight improvements.

    LCHF (like Atkins) is much more about weight loss than Paleo is.

  • mgd||

    But it strongly buys into the whole free-range/grass-fed/organic philosophy that has zero scientific underpinning.

    Actually, for my needs, this is a very important aspect, and there is scientific underpinning to it. Grass-fed/free-range animals have a much healthier balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fats. Same with wild caught fish compared with farm-raised fish. That's a huge difference to me, as I moved to the paleo diet primarily to control hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) by diet instead of drugs. After years of getting gradually stronger (and more expensive) prescriptions despite eating fewer and fewer fats, a move to the paleo diet has my lipid levels well within normal, and I've dialed back from over $120/month to $18/month for my prescription. This was my main goal, working from the assumption that insurance is not going to be around a whole lot longer unless something changes.

  • Sevo||

    So what's the current info on the earliest alky? All it took was some over-ripe fruit.

  • sarcasmic||

    A waterlogged beehive.

  • NoVAHockey||

    I've slept better and lost weight since adopting Paleo.

  • GILMORE||

    My dick grew three inches and I can squat a moose, if you can just hold the moose still.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    How many cock pushups can you do?

  • GILMORE||

    Pppt. You think I *count* anymore?

    Now, 'Inverted Cock Pull-Ups'... now *that's* a workout

  • Kid Xenocles||

    Trick question. One is really all you need.

  • GILMORE||

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01.....d=all&_r=0

    Really what the world needs now is "Ancient Wisdom" as received by a 20-something NYC douchehat from Harvard* who has decided his path in life is to forgo his promising Online Marketing career (*because as we all know, Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Confucius, and Mola Ram all got their start in That 'Ol Timey Religion by first working in some low-end marketing gigs in Manhattan), but rather *Write a Fucking Diet Book*, which, next to "How to Have a Smarter Baby Than Your Neighbors"-Book, or "10 Secrets to Getting Rich In Your Sleep", is one of the easiest ways in the universe to collecting a quick buck ever conceived. But please! Don't get the idea this is a *money-making scheme*! NO! this time its *different*.

  • GILMORE||

    "New York might seem a challenging environment for the aspiring caveman. "

    Perish the thought! A third floor walk up is clearly "roughing it" for anyone for whom the lawns and garages of Evil Suburbia are inherently 'Anti-Evolutionary'. Also, its where everyone can *see you* doing it, and you can rub it in their fucking faces! what this generation needs isn't any political or artistic movement... no, they needs some *supercharged moral narcissism* to one-up all those vegan douchebags!

    "“I like New York, but it’s hard to sit in a Midtown office all day,” said Ms. McEwen, a slim brunette, who prefers the term “hunter-gatherer” to describe her lifestyle"

    "Fasting is a topic of banter at the Union Square West apartment where Matthew Sanocki and his brother, Andrew, live and run design-related e-commerce Web sites."

    ...They regularly grumble about vegans, whom they regard as a misguided, rival tribe. But much of the conversation is spent parsing the law of the jungle.

    This debate will never be solved until the Hunter-Gatherers confront the Vegan tribe in Thompson Sq Park and battle it out with sharpened sticks and stones.

    "Just in case he develops the right business model, Mr. Durant has bought the domain name hunter-gatherer.com. "

    Because what dragged mankind out of the primordial muck and into.... well, the slightly less mucky caves, was just the right *business model*

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm going to come out with the Monolith Diet, which will be launched when I erect a black monolith in Central Park, with the perfect proportions of 1:4:9. The focus of the diet will be on eating only very highly evolved food. And no, no human. That's a different movie and diet plan.

  • GILMORE||

    The Monolith Diet
    Mikey Says = "Its Full of Stars!"
    (head explodes)

    (*Mikey will eat anything)

    "Unfulfilled with Weight Loss?"
    "Those exercise machines have you 'Going Round in Circles?'"
    TRY THE MONOLITH DIET = WHERE INSTANT DEATH IS THE APPETIZER AND AND ONENESS WITH ETERNITY THE DESSERT

    "With the monolith diet, I stopped feeling bad about myself, because feelings were a construct of my organic nervous system, which has now been broken into so many electrons and carbon molocules... How the fuck am I even saying this?"

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't eat that.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    Technically anything alive today could be said to be highly evolved - or at least as highly evolved as is possible to date.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Let's go with complex lifeforms for the purposes of my sca--scheme. So octopuses. Edible Orchidaceae. That sort of thing.

  • GILMORE||

    I just imagined the most awesome Natural Diet promotion in the world...

    THE HAND-CAUGHT PORTUGESE MAN-O-WAR DIET

    (cue bearded hipsters dangling strands of poisonous jellyfish over their beards going:

    "When you get past the....arrhhhhhssss burning... you can..... arrrrhhhhhhh.... really...... rrggggggggg.....tashete..... .the nushrients...... which.... invigorate... eyyyyyyyyyy immune system!!....ARRGRGRGG PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!!!"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPbQs4Zc85k

  • Pro Libertate||

    Ditto sea urchins, which you must eat without tools.

    You could go with a whole diet based on hard-to-extract foods, like pomegranate.

  • GILMORE||

    "Dude, 90% of the nutrients are IN THE SHELL!...

    Which is why we've been doing this "All Shell" diet, where we scour the seashore for mussels, clams, snails, hermit crabs, etc.... then SMASH THEM INTO A CRUNCHY PASTE. You can add some Jellyfish for spice!

    Also = Coconut milk is all the rage right now... but have you EATEN THE HAIR?? Its like 200000X more natural and shit... you just chew it, and chew it, and chew it, and chew it, and chew it....

    (time passes)

    "and chew it, and chew it.... you can really taste the *sea air*... and chew it..."

  • Pro Libertate||

    We evolved from sea life, which, of course, was in the sea for billions of years before anything ventured on to land. So we should only eat foods available to such ancient life. Like plankton.

  • ||

    Technically, the whole water-wheel spins on fusion as the result of gravity. Anything less than a strict diet of pure protons is relatively modern and, counter-intuitively, inferior.

  • GILMORE||

    GALACTUS EATING ONLY LOW-RADIATION PLANETS NOW. DIGESTION, IMPROVED

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amUJOeuxpXE

  • ||

    “Like every other creature on the face of the earth, Godfrey was, by birthright, a stupendous badass, albeit in the somewhat narrow technical sense that he could trace his ancestry back up a long line of slightly less highly evolved stupendous badasses to that first self-replicating gizmo---which, given the number and variety of its descendants, might justifiably be described as the most stupendous badass of all time. Everyone and everything that wasn't a stupendous badass was dead.”

  • Brett L||

    This debate will never be solved until the Hunter-Gatherers confront the Vegan tribe in Thompson Sq Park and battle it out with sharpened sticks and stones.

    Gods, yes.

  • Pro Libertate||

    There's pretty good evidence that at least some of our forebears were scavengers. So if you really want to go old school diet, you should gorge on dead things you find on the ground.

  • Sevo||

    Pigeon poop is dead, isn't it?

  • Pro Libertate||

    You'd be surprised at what you'd eat when you're hungry enough.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Lets see here, a park full of Warty's vs. a park full of Tulpa's...GET YER TICKET RIGHT HERE! ONLY $1200, 3rd ROW! STEP RIGHT UP!

  • GILMORE||

    For historical reference, I believe this is apropos

    http://www.nytimes.com/1984/07.....as-52.html

    "James F. Fixx, who spurred the jogging craze with his best-selling books about running and preached the gospel that active people live longer, died of a heart attack Friday while on a solitary jog in Vermont. He was 52 years old.

    Mr. Fixx, a former magazine editor and the author of five books, among them ''The Complete Book of Running,'' was found at 5:30 P.M. by the side of Route 15 in Hardwick by a motorcyclist. Before the police arrived, several passers-by attempted to resuscitate the fallen runner, dressed only in shorts and without identification."

    I presume Mr Durant's Comeuppance would be something more along the lines of, "man found in terminal stages of rabes after bitten by Raccoon attempting to steal his Offal-Based Lunchmeat"

  • Sevo||

    Gilmore, it seems you have a very clear view of this scam, and you've made it humorous to boot!
    +1 smoke-signal to you!

  • ||

    It's not a scam. It's a sham.

  • GILMORE||

    THAT'S RIGHT! AND IF YOU ACT FAST, FOR ONLY $19.99 YOU TOO CAN GET THE ONE AND ONLY SCAM-SHAM CLEANING CLOTH, A $99 VALUE! BUT WAIT = THERE'S MORE...!

  • NealAppeal||

    Lifelong Health
    Paleos lived to be, what, 28-years-old? Granted it had to do more with risks of obtaining (or not obtaining) food. But that should be a factor into health. When humans stopped going on 3-day mammoth hunting expeditions and started corralling yaks and eating tamed foliage the risk left and allowed humans to start living longer. "Health" has so many different variables that can't be controlled by diet, exercise, medication, etc. Durant thinking that there is any wisdom in the way the "ancients" lived is just folly. His connection with libertarians is that they are skeptical of government diet recommendations? Of course, libertarians are just as skeptical of his BS diet as well.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    A lot of life expectancy has to do with the severity of the consequences of isolated incidents. Back in the day a broken leg had much more drastic implications for survival than it does today. That doesn't really have anything to do with diet and exercise, it has only to do with having medical treatment available and having a culture that allows you to make a recovery without starving or being eaten.

  • Sevo||

    ..."That doesn't really have anything to do with diet and exercise,"...
    Not sure about this. Grains and meats are the result of sedentary farming. Without that, I don't think we'd have had the population density to develop the 'safeties' of modern life.
    IOWs, I think modern science is a result of that farming and therefore of the 'diet'.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    Those are second-order effects, then. You know what I mean.

  • ||

    "IOWs, I think modern science is a result of that farming and therefore of the 'diet'."

    Exactly. The irony being the science behind the Paleo diet couldn't have been replicated without modern humans shifting away from a paleo diet.

  • ||

    Why is that ironic?

  • ||

    Because you touch yourself at night.

  • ||

    Right Alanis.

  • brec||

    A lot of (average) life expectancy has to do with infant and childhood mortality. A life expectancy of 28 or 30 or so is quite different from those ages being the typical age of death.

  • mgd||

    This. The life-expectancy statistic causes more confusion and muddled arguments than any other statistic I can think of.

  • Steve G||

    I would agree that the more mystical aspects that he preaches are doing more harm than good (see nearly all the comments to this post), but the diet itself has got a solid scientific foundation.
    And the whole 'short, brutish lives' argument is a red herring since life (and infant mortality) was a completely different animal a few thousand years ago which kinda dicks w/ "average lifespan" juuuust a bit.

  • GILMORE||

    " the diet itself has got a solid scientific foundation."

    No doubt, and no one disagrees with that.

    But I don't see this guy selling this as nutritional infotainment

    He's selling an image of a mythic past when people were *superior* for whatever fucking imagined reasons. And he's selling people a mental formula for adopting their own social-posture where they too can pretend to be 'rejecting modernity' in favor of some bullshit moral purity which is partly achieved through occasionally starving oneself.

    AKA = "Hipster Hairshirt"

    I will never take any "paleo" motherfucker seriously who lives in NYC. You want to sell me that bag of contrived bullshit? Make like Survivorman and live in a pile of sticks in the tundra. After you've survived 5 seasons, you win your "No Bullshit" award. Until then, take your jerky and dangle, Flintstone.

  • Tman||

    There are some hilarious quotes from this piece...

    Archaeologists Officially Declare Collective Sigh Over “Paleo Diet”

    “The notion that we have not yet adapted to eat wheat, yet we have had sufficient time to adapt to kale or lentils is ridiculous. In fact, for most practitioners of the Paleo Diet, who are typically westerners, the majority of the food they consume has been available to their gene pool for less than five centuries. Tomatoes, peppers, squash, potatoes, avocados, pecans, cashews, and blueberries are all New World crops, and have only been on the dinner table of African and Eurasian populations for probably 10 generations of their evolutionary history. Europeans have been eating grain for the last 10,000 years; we’ve been eating sweet potatoes for less than 500. Yet the human body has seemingly adapted perfectly well to yams, let alone pineapple and sunflower seeds.”
  • Sevo||

    I'm betting (successful) life on earth evolved to eat other life on earth, including newly found sources of nutrients.
    Dead-ends eat limited diets; Pandas come to mind.

  • ||

    In a rare display of professional consensus, an international consortium of anthropologists, archaeologists, and molecular biologists have formally released an exasperated sigh over the popularity of the so-called “Paleo Diet” during a two-day conference dedicated to the topic.

    Strawmen are certainly hilarious, yes.

    A conference dedicated to debunking paleo? Since I know of a lot of paleo-ish types who are archaeologists, anthropologists, etc, this sounds like a cherry-picked "consensus". How come the article didn't have any details or links to this so-called conference?

    Europeans have been eating grain for the last 10,000 years; we’ve been eating sweet potatoes for less than 500.

    Apparently Sumeria is now in Europe, that's nice to know. Certainly wheat adaptive genes have migrated to Europe along with agriculture, we have certainly adapted partially to wheat. Does that mean we are fully adapted or that it is an optimal food like it is for birds who've been consuming grass seeds for a much longer time? It is quite disingenuous to pretend that paleos aren't aware of the anti-nutrients in new world nightshade plants. But disentangling this reminds me of trying to explain the "SOMALIA ROADZ" false libertarian argument to a flaming liberal.

  • Tman||

    Snark buddy, it's satire.

    You of all people!

    I am disappoint.

  • ||

    Sorry...it's evening here, I was distracted, Poe's Law, mumble mumble....

  • Tman||

    Whilst the article is indeed satire, the points that are made have some merit, which is the fact that "cavemen" were omnivores. If available they would've eaten twinkies by the caseload if it meant they didn't have to starve.

    I think the paleo diet is probably good for you, but I love bread and potatoes and pasta. I'm not interested in living in a world without home fries, sandwiches or home made linguini. Of course over processed foods are bad for you, but we in the West have the luxury of having "diets" whereas the other half of the world doesn't have this luxury. They instead are required to eat what's available.

  • ||

    I'm not interested in living in a world without home fries, sandwiches or home made linguini.

    I'm not interested in living in a world where I have to buy new clothes every year just because mine don't fit.

    That's the real issue with food/weight. It's simply about priority. Which is more important, consumption enjoyment or self-image? Obviously no right answer. The image obsessed will be ridiculed by the overweight, and vice versa.

    Frankly, I hate being overweight (been there) and I hate giving up my favorite foods. For me, it's general moderation with periods of cleansing to "make weight". Probably just as unhealthy a compromise as drinking all the beer I want to drink, but Fuck It, it does have the added benefit of pleasing my equally image conscious spouse.

  • Tman||

    Just because you eat home fries, sandwiches or home made linguini doesn't mean you have to be a fat ass.

    Eat less, exercise more. It's pretty simple, really. A few years ago I noticed that I had reached the last belt loop and decided it was time to change my habits. I started hiking more than I used to, and ate less than I usually did. Voila, belt loops reduced. I didn't need to eliminate any grains from my diet to accomplish this.

  • ||

    Eat less, exercise more. It's pretty simple, really.

    Yes it's simple. And moderation means that you don't have to give it up altogether. But you do have to manage quantity and frequency. And that in itself is still a compromise.

  • Raymond Luxury Yach-t||

    There is little evidence that exercise leads to weight loss http://nymag.com/news/sports/38001/

  • From the Tundra||

    ...but I love bread and potatoes and pasta.

    Eat them. Enjoy them. The caveman part of it always struck me as nothing more than marketing shtick (that seems to work, btw). The best way, in my opinion, to sum it all up: eat more single ingredient foods and move more.

    ...whereas the other half of the world doesn't have this luxury.

    Not sure why this matters. We are wealthy and we have choices. You can have my bread and I'll opt for your grass-fed steak (and a beer). Choices and a market to fulfill them. Sounds pretty fucking sweet to me.

  • ||

    Omnivores, no doubt about it, even papyrus was a fallback food 2-3 million years ago. Doesn't mean it is optimal or we should eat it instead of a Big Mac.

    I think one of the big advantages of the evolutionary diet framework it has gone some way to help debunk the myth that sat fats are unhealthy but processed seed oils and "hearthealthywhole grains" are magic.

    Being aware of the benefits or drawbacks of what we eat is just more info to do with what we want.

  • GILMORE||

    DEAR WHITE INDIAN =

    Why have you forsaken us?! We are here for you now, yet you have gamboled away into the ether...

    (off in the distance the sound of a rams horn blowing...)

    No, SHIT. I WAS KIDDING!!! STAY GONE!

  • GILMORE||

    As a side note = despite my criticism of the entire idea of selling "Ancient Wisdom Diet Books", and the notion of the Caveman-Culture as a popular lifestyle aesthetic (particularly in NYC)... I do like how this guy Durant comes off in the video... seems quite the solid dude, and far from being anything like the Leader of the White Indian Tribe...

    I do think he misses the plot a little bit when he talks about breastfeeding. But that's complicated. at least there's a lot more at play there than simply what appears 'healthiest' for kids.

    It also seems to go off the rails at some point and turn into a discussion of "how does this apply to {insert just about fucking everything}". The best point I think he made was, "this isn't some hippy-dippy theory of everything; I just want products/services available to me that enables me to live/eat the way I want" People still seemed to brush past that and dive straight in to things like, "How does this apply to mental health?" WTF? ("there are no crazy animals except in Zoos!"... insert further open ended speculation on how paleo-something applies to everything despite protests to the contrary)

    Then, the inevitable, "how political can we make this?" and "TEH JOOS!"

  • KimInGA||

    I eat paleo for one reason. It works. It got rid of my digestive issues and freed me from counting calories in order to maintain weight. Eating plain oatmeal and nonfat yogurt sucked. I was always hungry, my hair was thin and I had increasingly bad digestive issues (the details of which I won't delve into, because, well, GROSS). I don't follow the diet verbatim, but I do pay attention to new scientific data that's presented by some of the paleo "leaders" out there. I appreciate that they are willing to revise their recommendations when new data presents itself, which is a lot more than I can say for our government and its stupid food pyramid. Fuck you, grains layer of the pyramid. You inflicted pain and grossness on me for a solid decade. No more.

  • Santa.Claus||

  • LIFE.time.opertunity||

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