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Questions about eating 'Paleo'

Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3700
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  76
I've come across quite a few references on these forums and have a couple of questions.
Over here, Weston A. Price and Sally Fallon are the names you hear in the permaculture world regarding diet.
To me, it seems that while Paleo/Price have many similarities, they differ in some pretty major ways, especially around eating animal fat and dairy products.
Are people referring to 'Paleo' as a sort of shorthand for 'what I eat', or to 'The Paleo Diet'?
Are people taking things that suit them from various ways of eating? For example, I don't like eating the amount of animal products most Weston A Price people seem to consume, but I love dairy products.
I've always presumed that Weston A Price and permaculture were kind of intertwined, but maybe it's a  New Zealand thing...
I hope this post isn't too garbled, and please feel free to go 'off topic', since there really isn't one in the end!
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Well, here's my two cents. 

The Westin Price foundation doesn't promote a single diet so far as I can tell.  They promote eating densely nutritious foods, and that can be a wide variety of things.  The patterns in traditional diets lead Dr. Price to believe that indigenous cultures seek out specific foods that have really high concentrations of certain nutrients - A and D are big ones. 

I'm more than halfway thru Price's book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, the book that started the whole "movement."  So I kinda halfway know what I'm talking about?    I've been following Nourishing Traditions for years now as a dietary guide, but only recently decided to go to the source.  It's a very interesting book and a lot more pleasant to read than I expected, actually. 

I know a lot less about the whole "paleo" thing, but it seems that less importance is placed on where the food comes from versus what it is.  For instance, the dairy thing.  Paleo people seem to think no human is ever supposed to eat any kind of dairy product.  WPF advocates high quality (and frequently fermented) sources of raw milk from cows that eat green growing grass, because there are nutrients in that milk that are not found in industrialized products, or in many other foods, period. 

For people with good dairy tolerances, milk in its whole, undamaged state is a wonderful food.  I'm really really happy I'm one of those people with lucky enough genes to be able to digest as much of it as I can stand to eat.  I'm not going to claim that that's everyone, though.  We all have to figure out what works for our body, lifestyle, and ethics. 

I'd say that Westin Price people are frequently interested in getting their animal products from local and responsible producers.  In my opinion, that makes the increased ratio of animal products in their diet environmentally responsible.  If the animal products you are eating are very nutritionally dense, you don't need to consume the same quantity as you would low quality products. 

From my limited experience...so therefore I'm probably wrong...in the states, veganism and vegetarianism seem to be really common in permaculture circles.  But then everyone is impressed and respectful if you kill your own meat.  Seems to me that Westin Price stuff is kinda "fringe." 
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1278
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
I think the whole thing comes down to really bad food in our stores. One of our DRs put it this way: "when shopping, stay out of the aisles". That is any preprepared food has things in it that are bad for you.... if the bugs can't eat it what makes you think you can? That was a few years ago and we are learning that even a lot of the fresh produce is not too good for us either. My son was allergic to eggs, red face even from touching them, then we got eggs not fed anti-biotics and he is fine with them. Some of his behavioral problems go when we get organic chicken that again has been fed food and beef that has eaten pasture. So much of our veggies are poisoned with chemicals or genetically altered. We are blessed to live close to farmers who grow good plants and animals and try to buy direct. We seem to end up with some game meat every year too.

Paleo, adds timing to eating, fruits were browsed, meats were hunted and veggies were stored and prepared, so veggies and meat together, but fruit alone.

Just my two cents worth.
Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3700
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  76
New Zealand cattle are pretty much free-range and grass-fed, so wheat in everything is less of an issue. here. That's not to say the industry is generally healthy or humane of course, just maybe less unhealthy and inhumane.
WPF is kind of 'mainstream' permaculture in NZ. While there's loads of vegetarians and vegans around, they would definately be in the minority in permaculture circles. Of course mainstream permaculture is a bit contradictory, and every fringe has its fringes!
Good to know about the timing thing, makes sense if the idea is to recreate ancient diets.
Warren David


Joined: Nov 18, 2010
Posts: 186
Leila wrote:
I've come across quite a few references on these forums and have a couple of questions.
Over here, Weston A. Price and Sally Fallon are the names you hear in the permaculture world regarding diet.
To me, it seems that while Paleo/Price have many similarities, they differ in some pretty major ways, especially around eating animal fat and dairy products.
Paleo doesn't include dairy. The Weston A. Price site does have at least two paleo articles though.

Are people referring to 'Paleo' as a sort of shorthand for 'what I eat', or to 'The Paleo Diet'?
It's shorthand for a paleo diet.

Are people taking things that suit them from various ways of eating? For example, I don't like eating the amount of animal products most Weston A Price people seem to consume, but I love dairy products.
Well obviously some people are eating various foods that are recommended on various diets.
Paleo is paleo. Your diet is either paleo or it something else.
Your main concern should be finding the foods that you personally thrive on whether that is entirely paleo or vegetarian or whatever. I found out that I was on a paleo diet after I had been eating the paleo way for some time. I had gradually eliminated foods that were problematic to me over the course of 8 years I think? I ended up with a fairly restricted diet. Some time later, I followed a link to an article about the paleo diet and I thought "Hey, this is the same diet I am on" I didn't know that my diet had a name and that other people were eating the same way I was! 
marina phillips wrote
Paleo people seem to think no human is ever supposed to eat any kind of dairy product.
Some do but not all. I only eat paleo but I really don't care what people put in their bodies. Some people seem to do ok with dairy and I'm fine with that. I'm allergic to dairy so I avoid it.

There is something wrong with a lot of the food people are eating nowadays though. You only have to look around you and compare the body shapes you see today to  those typical in the 1970's for example. There's a big difference (pardon the pun). Not everyone needs to start eating like a caveman to improve their weight or health. If people just changed their eating habits to what most people were eating just a few decades ago, they would notice a change for the better. How many people were reading diets books in the 1970's? Not as many as now but generally speaking, most people were slimmer. It should be the other way around seeing how so many people seem to know so much about diet and nutrition nowadays.
Neal McSpadden


Joined: May 04, 2009
Posts: 269
This is as good a place as any to discuss the differences of some of the popular dietary groups.

Really what they all have in common is the idea that the standard American diet (SAD), which is no longer uniquely American, is not supportive of health in the long term.  Beyond that though, there are many differences.

The Weston A Price Foundation (WAPF) stems from the work of a Canadian dentist, Weston A Price.  About a century ago, he reasoned to himself that the huge problems he saw in his dental practice had to be abnormal in human history.  If people's teeth were so malformed, there is no way our ancestors could have eaten and given birth to us.  So, he went around the world and looked for populations that still ate their traditional diets.  What he found was that traditional diets varied quite widely.  From the mountain valleys of central Europe with their heavy reliance on cheese and dairy to the South Pacific islanders who ate lots of fruits, starchy root crops, and nuts, they all seemed to be in much better health than typical Westerners.  His conclusion (more or less) was that if we stick to our traditional eating patterns, and avoid huge amounts of sugar and refined grains that have been bleached out of existence, we will be OK.  Sally Fallon, one of the chief WAPers these days has a book called "Nourishing Traditions."  That title pretty well sums up their attitude towards diet.

The "paleo" folk take a different stance.  To them, "paleolithic food" means foods available to man before the invention of agriculture.  Foods developed after the invention of agriculture are "neolithic foods."  Some of the well known people in this field are Art DeVany, Loren Cordain, and Robb Wolf.  So a paleo eater would be perfectly happy eating what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate: meats (including organs and marrow), nuts, some fruits, wild vegetables, etc.  They would avoid all grains, sugars, modern fruits like bananas, legumes, domesticated nightshades like tomatoes and peppers, modern brassicas, and so on.  Dairy is one of those debated topics.  Some prehistoric people did probably have small herds of milk goats or something, so some include it and others don't. 

Then there are folks like me, who are in the "primal" camp.  Our approach is to combine the evolutionary perspective of the paleo crowd with a modern empiricist view on what actually makes us healthful.  So where a paleo person would reject the tomato, a primal person would say that although some people are very sensitive to nightshades and should eat them, most tolerate them just fine - so bring on the salsa.  Primal eaters reject sugars, grains, and legumes, but will include modern fruit & vegetable crops like brassicas that paleo eaters abstain from.  Like paleos, primals are split on the dairy issue depending on individual tolerance.

On the other end of the alternative spectrum you have groups like fruitarians and raw food vegans that either only eat fruit or only eat raw plant products.  As part of their definitions, they would also reject sugars and grains along with meat products.

Within each of these camps, there are differing opinions as to how much of the diet should be comprised of the three macronutrients: fat, protein, and carbs.  The WAPF, paleo, and primal groups are all considered "low carb" when compared to the SAD because the SAD includes large amounts of carbs as processed grains.  Paleo people tend to be high protein, primals are usually high fat, and WAPF tend be more evenly split.  Fruitarians and raw vegans eat pretty much only carbs.

So you see that the motivations and rationales vary quite a bit among the alternative health crowd, but they all share a rejection of the bulk of the modern western diet: sugars and grains.  Honestly, I think that shared viewpoint accounts for 70-80% of the improvements individuals see in their health on these different diets.

Anyways, hope that helps clear up some of the confusion on the different groups!


Check out my Primal Prepper blog where I talk about permaculture, prepping, and the primal lifestyle... all the time!
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
There seem to be several or many "Paleo diets" vaguely based on what some people think some paleolithic people ate.  I'm eating a modified "Paleo" diet in which I avoid grains to a large extent but still eat them a couple times a week.  Not being religious about it.  Just mostly avoiding grains and sugar.  I seem to be less hungry and losing weight gradually.  I'm following these guidelines:  http://www.nerdheaven.dk/~jevk/paleo_intro.php#menus

I'm eating a low-grain diet because I think it is a kind of diet I am more likely to be able to grow for myself, so I hope to gradually replace store food with food I grow until I'm eating mostly from what I grow, forage, or hunt.  I have not had much success growing grains so it doesn't make much sense to me to base my diet on them.  Besides, I think I'm feeling and looking a bit better lately, which is a benefit.  But that is just my own personal experience.  I am strongly of the opinion everyone's physiology is different and there is no such thing as a universal perfect diet. 

Paleo-style diets might make more sense to permies than grain-based agricultural diets, in my opinion. 


Idle dreamer

Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3700
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  76
tamo42: what's the rationale behind no pulses? Toxins? Inappropriate timeline-wise?
I certainly get restricting grains, but am less comfortable with restricting simple carbs (I have no blood-sugar issues). How do people feel about potatoes?
tamo42 mentions many Paleos don't eat solanums. I'm presuming that's a "no Paleos in the New World" kind of thing?
This isall looking very interesting, on all sorts of levels. I'm going to do some reading, but I'd really like to hear from other people.
It appears that I eat much less meat products than either Paleo or WAPF recommends.
I'm good with that. I've got access to lots of eggs, but meat has to be bought.
Neal McSpadden


Joined: May 04, 2009
Posts: 269
Leila wrote:
tamo42: what's the rationale behind no pulses? Toxins? Inappropriate timeline-wise?


Both.  They are especially high in lectins, which can damage your intestines.

Leila wrote:
I certainly get restricting grains, but am less comfortable with restricting simple carbs (I have no blood-sugar issues). How do people feel about potatoes?


Potatoes definitely pack a serious amount of carbs, but as you point out, they are simple starches.  There is some argument over them, but the majority of people seem to favor substitutes like sweet potatoes and yams as starchy sources that have more nutrients.

Leila wrote:
tamo42 mentions many Paleos don't eat solanums. I'm presuming that's a "no Paleos in the New World" kind of thing?


Basically.  The ancestors of the modern tomato, eggplant, and so on bear so little resemblance to the modern versions that paleos avoid the whole group. 

Of course, this brings up one of the practical arguments against the literal interpretation of "eat like a caveman."  Our food supply has been altered in every area, so it might well be impossible. 

Leila wrote:
This isall looking very interesting, on all sorts of levels. I'm going to do some reading, but I'd really like to hear from other people.
It appears that I eat much less meat products than either Paleo or WAPF recommends.
I'm good with that. I've got access to lots of eggs, but meat has to be bought.


Eggs are eggcellent!
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Personally I eat any vegetable but avoid potatoes because of the simple carbs.  I don't have a problem with tomatoes, personally.  I guess some people don't eat them.  I don't eat anywhere near as much meat as the paleo diet recommends.  I think I could cut back even more, as I'm not losing weight very fast. I expect men tend to lose weight faster on this diet than women, but that's just a guess.

Leila Rich
steward

Joined: May 24, 2010
Posts: 3700
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
    
  76
Just reread a previous post of mine and notced I'd written [I] "am less comfortable with restricting simple carbs". That'd be complex carbs: I'm all for restricting simple carbs!
I think limiting grains further is something I need to do, but I'm cool with my 'modern' veggies, dairy, eggs and pulses (although as we don't really grow shelly beans commercially in NZ, I'll need to revisit that from a "can I fit enough in the garden", since food miles are an issue).
It appears I have sort of 'modified Weston A Price' eating habits. Gotta go and check my saurekraut...
Unsurprisingly, it looks like people are adapting all sorts ways of eating rather than adopting  'iets' wholesale.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
I'd say that WPF eaters DO eat grains, but they are properly prepared grains that have been fermented or soaked for a significant amount of time, or sprouted and re-dried.  They eat far fewer servings of grains than the standard american diet, and they are always whole and preferably freshly-ground.  Proper (long term) fermentation eliminates the toxins that are in all pulses. 

Lots of meat consumption is not an intrinsic part of the diet WPF promotes.  In cultures with little access to meat, eggs and milk are frequently the sources of the very important fat-soluble vitamins (A and D, the human body cannot manufacture them, and they are not available (in an absorbable form or in large enough quantity) in plant foods).  They are only found in the products of animals who eat green growing grass.  Free range chicken eggs are good sources of A and D, caged eggs are not. 

Sea foods are extremely important in many traditional diets, with some cultures going great lengths to obtain them -  even far inland.  Prices speaks of Peruvians who dried fish eggs and carried them up 15,000 ft mountains for their children and pregnant mothers. 

WPF really emphasizes the importance of of growing children (and both sexes of partners actively engaged in creating children) eating lots and lots of animal foods containing fat-soluble vitamins.  Price had a child who died at a young age of an infected root canal, and his deep concern for the health of children was a huge motivating factor in his research.  Most of the photos in his book are of children. 

Price investigated the vitamin content of different kinds of milk and found butter made from the milk of cows who eat quickly growing grass to contain significantly more A and D vitamins than other milk.  Milk from cows eating low quality hay is actually a poor source of these vitamins.  He encouraged people to clarify the butter from the best time of year and to use it as a vitamin supplement the rest of the year. 

Honestly, reading Price's work has re-enforced everything I've ever read about food in Nourishing Traditions.  The photos in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration speak volumes even without the written testament behind them.  They clearly show the drastic differences between the mouths and health of children with parents eating traditional foods and the mouths of children with parents eating the western diet. 

He was determined to prove that crooked teeth, narrow jaws, TB, and clubbed feet were not hereditary - he has many photos of families with children born before and after the road or port came to their village and gave them access to western foods.  The children born before the road are very different looking than the children born after - and presumably they both have similar genes to their parents, it's just the diet of the parents and children that has changed dramatically, with dramatic physical results in the offspring. 

I quite literally was moved to tears while looking at the photos of Seminole people in Florida.  They were so beautiful for so many generations, and ONE GENERATION of eating a vitamin depleted diet completely changed their facial structure and sent their health into a steep downward spiral. 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
marina phillips wrote:

I quite literally was moved to tears while looking at the photos of Seminole people in Florida.  They were so beautiful for so many generations, and ONE GENERATION of eating a vitamin depleted diet completely changed their facial structure and sent their health into a steep downward spiral. 


Heartbreaking. 

So many people with Native American ancestry are ill nowadays because they are not adapted to simple carb diets.  They are adapted to complex carbs like corn and beans, but not flour and sugar.  So many have diabetes.  There are some efforts underway to re-introduce these people to their native foods.  I bought a cookbook from Native Seed/SEARCH about how to incorporate complex carbs like mesquite flour, cactus, beans, etc into the diet, even though I have very little Native American ancestry, I live in the Southwest and am interested in a regionally appropriate healthy diet.  It doesn't look like they offer that particular cookbook "Healthy Traditions" anymore.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Heartbreak is the word.  I feel like I just happened to be lucky in that my mom moved to an Alaskan fishing village a few years before I was born.  That and the amazing amount of seafood in the diet of my childhood are probably the main reasons I have been generally healthier than my little sister who was born under very different circumstances.  We both had pretty messed up teeth though.....mine are completely the result of modern orthodontics -- A profession that probably wouldn't be necessary if everyone's diet improved! 

Right, it seems that people who have much more recently been introduced to the simple sugars develop much more severe diseases much more quickly than people with genes who have been eating those simple sugars for a few generations.  Refined carbs do NO ONE any good though.  Eventually everyone suffers the same fate of contracting and dying from one of the western illnesses. 

The most depressing places Price visited were the areas where the western food arrived before the western dentists.  In remote villages in Canada, suicide from the pain of tooth ache was the number one cause of death in the native populations eating western foods, but too far out for the services of western dentists.  Seriously awful. 

Price looked at a whole bunch of ancient skulls, and perhaps as a nod to what paleo people are thinking we should eat - found the "immunity to dental caries" (his language) to approach 100% of the population's teeth.  Not a single cavity in thousands of intact ancient Peruvian skulls he analyzed. 
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1278
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
marina phillips wrote:
Price looked at a whole bunch of ancient skulls, and perhaps as a nod to what paleo people are thinking we should eat - found the "immunity to dental caries" (his language) to approach 100% of the population's teeth.  Not a single cavity in thousands of intact ancient Peruvian skulls he analyzed. 


I have also read that stone ground flour (whatever the grain) is not so good for the teeth. Bits of stone left from the grinding wear the teeth faster. One might wonder, however, if the starch in the grain also changed the dominant biology in the mouth making the teeth weaker as well. The bacteria that makes sourdough taste sour is mostly found ... in the mouth.... in plaque. I wonder what the biology of someone who doesn't eat starches is like.

BTW, this not a strike against sour dough breads. Any bacteria in the dough dies at 140F, finished bread should be 185 to 200F or so (minimum 85F for the starches to gel and form proper crumb). Also, the starches have been more pre-digested in sour dough breads leaving less food for the bacteria in the mouth.... and if it is really sour... the PH discourages the bacteria as well.
tel jetson
steward

Joined: May 17, 2007
Posts: 3087
Location: woodland, washington
    
  53
I've also heard concerns about aluminum in natural and artificial stones for grinding.  I've got a steel grinder that works well.

read a bread book a while back.  mentioned that bakers typically like the flour to be aged a bit before they use it.  that was from an aesthetic perspective, though, and not concerned with the health of the product.

a long life without sourdough sounds awful.  you can have my teeth if I can keep my sourdough.


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Warren David


Joined: Nov 18, 2010
Posts: 186
    Prehistoric People Ate Each Other, Bones Show
    A new method of identifying human gnaw marks on bones suggest early humans got nutrition from each other's flesh.

    By Jennifer Viegas
    Mon Dec 13, 2010 08:39 AM ET
    1 Comments | Leave a Comment

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THE GIST

    * Human gnawing and chewing marks have been identified on human and other hominid bones.
    * The findings support the idea that some prehistoric humans practiced nutritional cannibalism.
    * The newly identified signature for human bone chewing is also helping to determine what animals early hominids ate.
More here. http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/cannibalism-early-humans-bones-101213.html
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1278
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
tel jetson wrote:
read a bread book a while back.  mentioned that bakers typically like the flour to be aged a bit before they use it.  that was from an aesthetic perspective, though, and not concerned with the health of the product.

a long life without sourdough sounds awful.  you can have my teeth if I can keep my sourdough.


The aging is needed if you want a consistant bread. You either make the bread the same day as the flour is ground or you wait two weeks after grinding. Bakers sell their product and so want it to look the same from day to day as well as taste good. Taste doesn't change much, but the rising qualities do in that first two weeks. This is normally only a problem if you are buying flour, if you grid it yourself, you can grind and bake the same day and know what you are dealing with.

Part of my reason for changing diets.... besides health, is that I figure there are a number of things I may not be able to get in the future (coffee and bananas come to mind... even citrus) or that I may have to keep differently if I can't freeze them. I want to learn how to get around these issues now and learning how to preserve things is part of that as is eating things grown close by.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
But shouldn't you enjoy even more bananas and coffee now if you might not have them in the future?    Personally I don't need to practice up at being deprived or suffering.  I'm sure I'll suffer just fine when the time comes! 
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
Len - visit my blog!  A link is in my profile.  It's all about living without a freezer, or even a proper fridge (as we have for the last two years).  I live in a classic temperate environment (not as cold as some winters, but we do get snow) and learning to process and eat what grows in this climate is a passion of mine. 

I've read that freshly ground flour (and we use steel plates in our grinder cause I don't want worn down teeth) has weak gluten.  I don't know how the aging of flour increases the strength of the gluten, but apparently it does.  I've had to really work to figure out how to get a satisfying loaf out of truly fresh and truly whole wheat flour.  I'm getting there.....soured dough can have it's own time line that doesn't perfectly match up with the heat trajectory of my wood stove......

Price thought that saliva had an ability to "re-mineralize" teeth when the person had enough minerals in their diet.  He has some pictures of this happening - he came back to the states and started putting school children on an anti-cavity diet.  They got one meal a day at school - a bone broth soup with whole grain rolls and lots of butter.  They also got a teaspoon of vitamin rich butter and cod liver oil.  Seriously, there are photos of cavities closing up - the body is regenerating tooth enamel around the cavity.  Most of these children had more than ten cavities in their mouths before starting his program.  They didn't get any more cavities during the years they ate that ONE meal with proper nutrition in it.  As soon as they didn't have access to that food anymore the cavities continued to increase. 

None of the isolated groups he found with near perfect teeth had access to dentists.  None of them brushed their teeth.  He described teeth being covered in a green slime, but no cavities.  Hygiene has nothing to do with keeping teeth and gums healthy - as long as the diet provides the vitamins you need. 

Price noted that even in cultures where the teeth were worn down to the pulps - common in northern areas because chewing on leather is part of the softening process - hard calcium deposits prevented the pulps from being exposed to air or infection.  Even the old skulls he examined with worn teeth (from manually mashing grains between stones) did not have evidence of rotting teeth. 

I've read (in Jared Diamond's book Guns, Germs, and Steel) that cannibalism was common in areas where animal protein was scarce.  It's part of recycling as many minerals and nutrients as possible. 

I think how much starch a person needs to eat is directly linked to how much they move around.  On days when I have to shovel a whole bunch of poop (or ride my bike six miles to the post office, or something) I find myself craving a big batch of potatoes or waffles or something like that - for breakfast.  I usually don't eat carbs at the evening meal.  Lately, with our generally lowered activity levels during winter, we've been eating two meals a day. 
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1278
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Ludi Ludi wrote:
But shouldn't you enjoy even more bananas and coffee now if you might not have them in the future?     Personally I don't need to practice up at being deprived or suffering.  I'm sure I'll suffer just fine when the time comes!   

The idea is not to start suffering, but rather find new enjoyable foods that do the same things for me as the normal foods I eat now. I still drink 2.5 cups of coffee a day as it helps even out my energy level with a low thyroid. I would be happy to find a plant that grows here that also has caffeine in it. I had to learn to like coffee, so I can learn to like something else too.

It would be nice to have other things that balance out citrus beside bananas. Not just as a replacement but also as an addition. Not just in case I can't get things any more, but also because a lot of these things that are grown in ways that make them even less healthy than they might otherwise be.

Anything that is grown in large quantity, to be shipped great distances to be consumed by a large percentage of the population, is a great target for "money making" over/before "health" styles of growing. Things that grow locally that are small demand foods might be safer now too.

We have a son who is very sensitive to chemicals used to grow food fatter/faster/profitably most notably anti-biotics. We are buying all our meat from local farms for this reason. Fruit and vegetables are the other things we like to buy local. I am trying to grow filberts to replace almonds.... I am not sure about the almond growing practices.... I have not heard anything bad about them (other than they are more worried about the loss of bees than most people), but because it is "big business" the chances of big chemical use or GMO are greater. It is his main source of "flour" or "milk" right now.

So you might say I have a list of reasons for looking very carefully at our current diet.
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1278
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
marina phillips wrote:
Len - visit my blog!  A link is in my profile.  It's all about living without a freezer, or even a proper fridge (as we have for the last two years).  I live in a classic temperate environment (not as cold as some winters, but we do get snow) and learning to process and eat what grows in this climate is a passion of mine. 


I have seen it... and we do have a cool room and have pickled things like cabbage. My main concern is keeping meat for any length of time. To get good meat you have to be willing to take a side... both because that is how they sell them and also because it has to last till the next time they are ready to cut up some more....animals take time to grow 
                                    


Joined: Nov 08, 2010
Posts: 147
Location: Anoka Sand Plain, MN Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 43
i wonder if anyone is working on a book thats like a journalistic account of this movement tracing back to weston price etc.  there are people who take his work as gospel (and likely distort it in the process) and others I've come across who dismiss him as a misguided dentist.  This thread rightly seems to be staying somewhere in between.

the stories about green teeth, yikes!
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
We butchered a lamb in September, temperatures were still in the 70s and 80s.  We hung the cleaned carcass in the cellar for three days (temps in the low 60s in there) and served half of it during a birthday party for my partner.  Then I made a very strong salt solution (10%, enough salt to float an egg) in a five gallon crock, jointed up the rest of the lamb and submerged it in the salt water.  When we wanted to eat some of the meat, we'd get it out and soak it in a few changes of fresh water.  It was the tenderest, nicest tasting meat ever.  We kept it in the salt water for another ten days as we ate a some every couple days.  Not LONG term keeping (it was only 28 pounds of animal, including the bones), but gave me a lot more confidence in our ability to keep meat around without a freezer or fridge. 

I've kept that crock with brine in the cellar, we aged a chicken in it for three days in October.  The fresh water soaking is totally necessary or the meat will be too salty to eat.  Haven't any more animals to dispatch to the dinner table since that chicken....sigh. 

I know people who hang a skinned cleaned deer in a corner of their cabin all winter, in a bag so bugs can't attack it.  They cut off the meat they want to eat as they want it.  The outside dries out and becomes like a hard jerky, while the meat on the interior keeps getting more tender.  I'm not saying I'd do this, but it's good to know that keeping meat (of a high quality, from a healthy animal, butchered cleanly and properly) is possible without relying on the modern tactic of "storing below 40 degrees."  It's more a matter of taste.  Aged venison does not have that "gamey" flavor for which it's so famous.  It develops other flavors as it sits around, I'm sure eventually the aged taste would be unpalatable for some. 

Price saw the devastation of the western diet up close and personal, in many mouths all day long.  He set out to find populations that did not have access to western foods, to see the differences in their teeth.  Luckily the time period that he traveled was riiiiight before the isolated places on the globe became very rare indeed.  He had to travel by foot, horse, boat, plane to get to the places that western foods could not yet go. 

He was not funded by anything but his own dental practice's profits, he knew that if he took any organizations money his research would be seen as biased.  I'm a believer.  I'm glad he saw photos as an important part of proving his thesis, like I said, they speak in powerful non-words. 

A lot of people talk about him without reading his words.  I wonder if the people who think he was a misguided dentist have read his book.  I wonder if they have their own deep seated biases that influence their decisions more than all the information and evidence that is clearly laid out in his book ever could. 

He seems to have been very sincere about discovering what kind of diets made people so dramatically unhealthy and so radiantly healthy.  He was surprised to find that there was no culture he studied that did not use animal products.  He states that this finding was a disappointment, actually. 

I've heard some people say that the modern day foundation is just an arm of the "animal product establishment" but I really think that's about as far from the truth as it gets.  They do NOT advocate eating industrialized animal products, in fact I think WPF is one of the biggest champions of buying and eating locally and responsibly produced foods. 

For the record, he recommends that people brush their teeth, but only for the sake of aesthetics and other people's perception of your face/breath. 
Warren David


Joined: Nov 18, 2010
Posts: 186
marina phillips wrote:I think how much starch a person needs to eat is directly linked to how much they move around.
We don't actually "need" starch. It's more to do with how your body has got used to using starch for energy. I havn't eaten any starch in years and never feel the need for it even though my work is very physical.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
What do you eat?  And what is "very physical?"
Warren David


Joined: Nov 18, 2010
Posts: 186
Marina, I do a lot of construction work in the area. It's quite mountainous here so even fairly simple jobs can be very strenuous when you have to do them on an incline. I'm burning up getting on for 5000 calories a day.
Most of my calories are from eggs and fatty meat (I don't enjoy lean cuts). I eat vegetables too but usually  very low calorie veg like leafy greens  and courgettes (zuchini).  I don't eat any starchy vegetables at all and very rarely eat fruit.
I don't crave starches at all now. When I ate pretty standard meals like most people do, I would crave sugars and starches every couple of hours. I weened myself off starches and sugars  slowly.
There have been many other benefits for me too but I just thought I would address your questions for now.
                    


Joined: Oct 23, 2011
Posts: 0
No joke that an incline makes an otherwise easy job a tough one.  That's awesome you've found a diet that works for you, Warren.  When we start having pigs to slaughter and ferment a lot more of our calories will come from fatty meat as well.  I'm looking forward to it!

I've noticed that when I have a generous quantity of saturated fat with my starch, I eat a lot less of the starch and I feel fuller for many more hours.  Like, instead of two waffles/muffins with very little butter, I have one or even a half of a grain serving and put LOTS of butter on it.  I don't crash before lunch and get jittery and pissed off at everything, I just get hungry (six or more hours later instead of four or fewer hours later) and stop for more fuel. 

Used to think I was hypoglycemic, like my mom, but a change in diet that fixed all that.  I also notice that I don't crave seriously sweet sweets (as in desserts) anymore.  About the sweetest thing we eat these days is our own made apple butter, with very little added sugar (rapadura). 

I like agave nectar as a sweetener too, it's supposed to have a low glycemic index and my bodily reaction confirms this. 
Warren David


Joined: Nov 18, 2010
Posts: 186
marina phillips wrote: That's awesome you've found a diet that works for you, Warren.
Thanks. Yes it works for me and will work for many other  but some people may find they do better on or prefer leaner meat or can get away with eating more carbohydrates. Find what works for you.  Maybe it will be identical to mine or maybe not? It doesn't matter as long as it works.
marina phillips wrote: I don't crash before lunch and get jittery and pissed off at everything, I just get hungry (six or more hours later instead of four or fewer hours later) and stop for more fuel. 
Oh how I remember those horrible crashes. A mate that I used to work with said he always knew when it was nearly break time because I would start  getting very irritable!
Nowadays the hunger creeps up nice and slowly and I don't get irritable. 
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
I think there are some important strengths to the paleo diet, but would like to point out an important oversight:

The philosophy behind that diet assumes that little evolution has occurred since our time as hunter-gatherers. This is verifiably false: our digestive enzymes have shifted in measurable ways in response to a greater availability of grain, and to adult consumption of milk, among other examples. We have evolved to suit the domesticated plants and animals allied with us, just as they have evolved to suit us.

A second, less important point: we don't have good information on the processes, microbes, or herbs that were a part of human diet in the distant past. These can sometimes have a great influence: for example, the Masai diet is not particularly healthy unless certain saponin-bearing herbs are included. These herbs seem to be important for cardiac health, and presumably influence the digestion and/or metabolism of animal fat. Many, many other examples exist of ethnological studies that revealed subtle traditional processes crucial to making a particular traditional diet work.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Joel, your statements are true for some people but may not be for others.  People of European descent probably have the physiological changes you mention but others from the New World or other places may not have.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Ludi Ludi wrote:
Joel, your statements are true for some people but may not be for others.  People of European descent probably have the physiological changes you mention but others from the New World or other places may not have.


This is absolutely true: we each have adapted to the diet of our ancestors, as recently as the past few thousand years.

In much of the new world, this means elevated levels of amylase (IIRC, by a factor of up to four vs. hunter-gatherers) in response to diets rich in corn (aka maize) or potatoes.

People adapted to a diet rich in mesquite flour seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum, and become especially unhealthy on a diet with high-glycemic-index foods.

In any event, speculating about the paleolithic, and assuming that no one's digestive system has evolved since then, isn't always going to lead to the truth.
Warren David


Joined: Nov 18, 2010
Posts: 186
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
I think there are some important strengths to the paleo diet, but would like to point out an important oversight:

The philosophy behind that diet assumes that little evolution has occurred since our time as hunter-gatherers. This is verifiably false: our digestive enzymes have shifted in measurable ways in response to a greater availability of grain, and to adult consumption of milk, among other examples. We have evolved to suit the domesticated plants and animals allied with us, just as they have evolved to suit us.
Not so. Not everyone is suited to  grains and milk which is one of the reasons why many people get on very well with the paleo diet. My ancestors as far back as I can tell, originate from the British Isles, so according to your post I should be "evolved" to a diet including grains and milk. The fact of the matter is, those foods are some of the worst things for me to eat.
Another thing. I am in much better shape and fitter than than everybody I know that is around my age (50 in January) and am a little tired of my podgy friends telling me I'm on the wrong diet. I am definitely in better health than I was when I was 40 when I was still eating the foods "we" had supposedly "evolved" to eat. At age 40 my health got so bad that I thought I was heading for an early death. A change in diet fixed my health.
Tyler Ludens
pollinator

Joined: Jun 25, 2010
Posts: 5326
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
    
  20
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:

In any event, speculating about the paleolithic, and assuming that no one's digestive system has evolved since then, isn't always going to lead to the truth.


You seem to be assuming things as well.    Making broad statements about how "we" have evolved to eat such and such is making the huge assumption that those you are addressing in this thread are basing their diet choices on "assumptions" about their evolution or lack of it, rather than on their own personal experience.

Isn't it ok for people to try to find the diet that suits them without you making statements about other people's "assumptions"?

Why is it important for you to have the "truth" and for others not to have it? 
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Ludi Ludi wrote:
You seem to be assuming things as well.     Making broad statements about how "we" have evolved to eat such and such is making the huge assumption that those you are addressing in this thread are basing their diet choices on "assumptions" about their evolution or lack of it, rather than on their own personal experience.

Isn't it ok for people to try to find the diet that suits them without you making statements about other people's "assumptions"?

Why is it important for you to have the "truth" and for others not to have it?   



Every source I've read regarding the paleo diet begins with a discussion of a supposed lack of evolution since paleolithic times, and outlines a project of restoring people to the diet they are adapted to.

This amounts to a claim of scientific authority, by which diet evangelists (a vocal minority among any group that adopts a new diet) seek to influence others' behavior. A claim of scientific authority is powerful precisely because it opens the details of the claim to criticism, within the scientific definition of truth, and based on further study: claims that human evolution ceased at the end of the previous ice age have been well and thoroughly refuted by anthropologists.

When I say "we are adapted to the diet of the past several hundred generations," I speak for the entire animal kingdom. Because diet is a matter of life or death, we (animals) all adapt very quickly to diet-based selection pressures. Every family, of course, has a different set of ancestors, and I didn't mean to imply that everyone has identical dietary adaptations: in fact, I meant to emphasize known and potential differences among populations.

There are valid and important reasons to adopt standards of truth that sit outside scientific practice. One obvious and essential reason is that science is silent on many aspects of personal life and daily existence: many, perhaps the vast majority, of the information we need to function is only available as a direct observation, an anecdote, an assumption, a habit, or an intuition. But as someone with scientific training and access to current scientific literature, I feel a responsibility to correct errors once a particular discussion is framed as having a basis in science.
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1278
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:

This amounts to a claim of scientific authority, by which diet evangelists (a vocal minority among any group that adopts a new diet) seek to influence others' behavior. A claim of scientific authority is powerful precisely because it opens the details of the claim to criticism, within the scientific definition of truth, and based on further study: claims that human evolution ceased at the end of the previous ice age have been well and thoroughly refuted by anthropologists.



As far as I know, our (humans and other animals too) genetics change continuously from birth to death as we evolve from babies to old farts. I am sure there are adaptions that occur along that path. Yet pasture fed cows are healthy ... grain fed, no fresh air, no light cows are not. Considering the shortness and number of their generations... one would think they would have adapted by now and be healthy (er?). There seem to be things that are more fixed than others (perhaps by design, though truth be told none of us were there to see... A matter of faith either way) So diet could in fact be more fixed than evolved.... That is, there seem to be things that are fixed and things that can adapt, and things that adapt quickly and others slowly. And... just to stir things up some more, genetics is not all that passes information from generation to generation.... at the very least disease response is passed by a mothers milk... and even the collection of bacteria in her birth canal.

All that to say... I think our bodies have certain needs to be healthy. Some things we can get from more than one source and some of  us have adapted to the source most available where our ancestors lived. Other things are hard to get except certain places. However, the current standard north American diet is full toxins and lacking too many essentials to be adapted to. Reaching back in time makes sense.... how far? I'm not sure, how long does it take the coating on our teeth to change to a different material so our current diet doesn't melt it? I think  we have a lot less understanding in all of this than we like to say. As with just about all of the topics in these forums, experimentation must be used to find the best diet for each one of us. At least, that is my opinion
Warren David


Joined: Nov 18, 2010
Posts: 186
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
Every source I've read regarding the paleo diet begins with a discussion of a supposed lack of evolution since paleolithic times, and outlines a project of restoring people to the diet they are adapted to.
It seems to me that too many people are too busy arguing about whether "we" are adapted to the paleo diet or not.
I really don't care what some scientist, historian, nutritionist or anyone else says either for or against the paleo diet. I don't need backup.  It works for me and many other people no matter what the naysayers say. I have proved to myself that it has worked very well for me and as far as I'm concerned I am the most important person in my life and it is my duty to myself to be fit and healthy.
Why must people argue about something that actually works? I just don't get it?
If anybody here is doing something better then let's here all about the health benefits of it please?
Logan Streondj


Joined: Nov 02, 2010
Posts: 45
    
    1
Warren David wrote:
It seems to me that too many people are too busy arguing about whether "we" are adapted to the paleo diet or not.
I really don't care what some scientist, historian, nutritionist or anyone else says either for or against the paleo diet. I don't need backup.  It works for me and many other people no matter what the naysayers say. I have proved to myself that it has worked very well for me and as far as I'm concerned I am the most important person in my life and it is my duty to myself to be fit and healthy.

Ya well I'd like to see some before and after pics.
Based on youtube there is only one guy with them on Paleo diet.
He claims to have lost 50 pounds, but still weighs a whopping 330 lb.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWH745knGlY
and he does weight lifting to burn calories.

Personally I went from 176lb on a meat-starch diet
to 135lb on a salad, starch and fruit diet,
with no workouts other than walks to the park,
stabilized at 145 when started adding oil to my salad.

Honestly It's also much easier to walk now,
since my muscles only have to lift my skin and bones.
I lift and carry more than my body weight using a hiking backpack.

here is a video of a couple going from american diet to raw food:
http://www.youtube.com/user/MyHealthierMe#p/u/14/p9-5JT-qlOI


Why must people argue about something that actually works? I just don't get it?
If anybody here is doing something better then let's here all about the health benefits of it please?


Raw Veganism cures diabetes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0Le4VjQPlg

Can look and feel much younger
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TR8FyZ75l4

Here is a 109 year old Raw Vegan:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fa4uf335LW0

Being a raw foodist means you get lower total calories,
Here is a scientific presentation about Calorie Restriction.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-BryiHNHbw
Warren David


Joined: Nov 18, 2010
Posts: 186
elspru wrote:
Ya well I'd like to see some before and after pics.
Taken about 6 months ago at age 49.
I don't really have any before pics to compare with because I've never been overweight but I was flabbier around the waist at one time.
My reason for eating a paleo diet is because it has improved my health so much. I tried vegetarian and vegan but both just made matters far worse

Before paleo I was suffering with...

Lower back problems
Dry skin
Sinus problems
Chest infections
Candida
Low blood sugar
Pains throughout my digestive system

All gone after switching to a paleo diet.

You quoted me saying this...
Warren David wrote:Why must people argue about something that actually works? I just don't get it?
If anybody here is doing something better then let's here all about the health benefits of it please?
but you didn't actually reply with anything of your own. Anyone can post links. I'm more interested in reading of members own experiences.
Len Ovens


Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1278
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  15
elspru wrote:
Ya well I'd like to see some before and after pics.

Pictures don't tell much.... I went from 210 to 175 and certainly look better.... I don't know about my energy level though. No change in diet, just a change in job. I walk a lot with weight at fast pace. I started to gain weight after my thyroid had to be nuked (Knowing what I know now I might have tried some other things first). So perhaps for someone with a slow thyroid my energy level is not too bad. I don't eat a lot of starch (no commercial processed foods) mostly meat, fruit and veggies. I would be quite happy to eat it raw.... but I am not so sure of my bodies ability to deal with what it comes with. I have had too much of the effects of what I used to eat left I think.


Personally I went from 176lb on a meat-starch diet
to 135lb on a salad, starch and fruit diet,
with no workouts other than walks to the park,
stabilized at 145 when started adding oil to my salad.


Sounds like you have found what works for you. Is the starch from the same sources in both before and after? Mine has changed to only things I make myself... That makes a difference. The main two are wild yeast bread and granola.... perhaps I should have mentioned nuts too. I have been sick less and recovered quicker than before as well. It is really hard to know how healthy we really are just by how we feel... in fact, I think probably mans medical knowledge has yet to really figure it out. We are each pretty much an experiment finding out what works best long term for each of us.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://permies.com/battery
 
subject: Questions about eating 'Paleo'
 
cast iron skillet 49er

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