Every year it’s another fad, but the Paleo thing keeps popping up. You know, in some ways it does make sense to cut down on carbohydrates, if not avoid them altogether. I haven’t read that Paleo Diet Book, but Jared Diamond’s article makes some good points. What I really think is interesting is the grand narrative, or scope, of this theory, tying it into the development of different classes in society and different gender roles.
While farmers concentrate on high-carbohydrate crops like rice and potatoes, the mix of wild plants and animals in the diets of surviving hunter-gatherers provides more protein and a better balance of other nutrients. In one study, the Bushmen’s average daily food intake (during a month when food was plentiful) was 2,140 calories and 93 grams of protein, considerably greater than the recommended daily allowance for people of their size. It’s almost inconceivable that Bushmen, who eat 75 or so wild plants, could die of starvation the way hundreds of thousands of Irish farmers and their families did during the potato famine of the 1840s.
Over the last couple of months I did manage to cut down the amount of starchy and high-carb food we cook. We haven’t had pasta in quite a while, but it’s hard to give up rice and bread, and I think if you are going strictly Paleo even legumes are out.
And I love legumes.
However, I think keeping Paleo approaches in mind you can eat more consciously and avoid shitty (i.e. processed) food altogether. The Wife and I were both vegetarians for a long time, she stricter than I (and she’s still not ‘really’ a carnivore) and just recently started cooking with meat.
And say what you want, it’s hard to refuse a good lamb or beef stew.
PS: Check out the Latest in Paleo Podcast for more info on the diet. It’s not preachy and is more about healthy nutrition and eating in general, just with a Paleo spin.