I am always slightly perturbed by the branding of what we do as "Paleo"... Cards on the table, I am a Christian...BUT I don't want to get into a creation/evolution/intelligent design kind of discussion here - that's not the point of the question. (I realise this appeal will likely be in vain, as the raising of the topic seems to inexorably attract people like a moth to a flame...but let the crowd decide!)
My point is this: I eat the way I do because I think it is the best for my body. In determining what I'm going to eat, it doesn't matter (to me) whether I evolved such that this way of eating is best for me, or if I was created in such a way. The science TODAY shows that it is best for me and that's why I do it. It's best for me NOW. I don't particularly care what was best for my Paleolithic ancestors. I don't care whether it has changed in the last x thousand years or not.
Some criticism is levelled at us all (illogical and poorly argued as it sometimes is) that we do not know what our ancestors ate, that different hunter gatherer tribes had very different eating habits, that we are trying to recreate the caveman experience in vain etc etc. And I wonder if the "Paleo" branding is at least partly to blame...
What do you think? Is the association with the past undermining the argument about what is good for us RIGHT NOW?
Meh, who is us? I don't have an agenda other than my own health improvements, so I don't think I can be undermined by a label. If my goal was to convert the world I'm sure I'd need a catchy brand-name.
Edit: Also the label would matter to me if I was selling books or website advertising/hits.
You have a good point, but we have to call it something, you could call it the pre-agricultural diet, but that might confuse people away from eating veggies. You could call it the super fun healthy time diet I suppose? I mean we have to label it something, paleo/primal/evolutionary diet brandings just seems to work, especially since there are so many books on the topic, it would really suck if they did not have one cohesive branding. Who cares what it is called, if you have to explain your diet to a bunch of creationists then don't use the word paleo, just say your on a diet that focuses on whole natural organic foods. That way you don't have to bring evolution into it.
Fad diets have boom and bust periods. Paleo is experiencing a boom period and like others, its popularity will wane over time. The question is will it be like Atkins which seems to truly cycle over time, or just another one-hit wonder? And yes, paleo is a fad diet, like other fad diets, when mentioned in polite conversation, you'll often heard a response filled with disdain.
The name has really nothing to do with it in my mind. The strike against paleo is its extreme nature. Many of us, myself included, eat a very loose paleo diet. We did our time and now we choose to eat good food that is good for us as well, whether or not if it fits into the paleo framework.
I personally just say that I don't eat grains or sugar and don't actually put a name to it in conversation. Once I did say paleo and the woman looked shocked and said "so do you go out and kill your own meat?" WTF?
Reread Genesis. Abel was a shepherd, an eater of animal products, and simultaneously the one God actually liked. God didn't like Cain- the grain eating brother killer. So, your Christian bethren who are misinterpreting God's permission to eat plants in Eden as meaning it was all vegan all the time in the Garden are just plain wrong. Cain and Abel are after the fall, but before God's explicit permission for folks to eat animal products. And if you read the curses as Adam & Eve are cast out of the garden, well, with a paleo mindset, they sound different- the curse is agriculture, or as I half-jokingly put it to one of my friends- the curse is in the food!
So, I don't know how many people really balk just because this is an evolutionarily based diet, but you may be able to make a case for it, even to a pretty fundamentalist audience. If you think of evolutionary theory as part of the framework that allows us to imagine hypothesis and then test them, then maybe you can focus on the success of the test rather than the this one idea that you disagree with that led to the test in the first place.
That said, I really don't know how many people are not eating paleo just because they are creationists or something. Most Christians aren't eating paleo for the same reasons everybody else doesn't- they like cookies too much. If it really seems to be a problem for someone, drop the evolutionary talk and try to show how what you are eating can be seen as consistent with the bible.
Agreed. Everytime I tell someone that "I'm Paleo", or "I'm on he Caveman Diet", or any similar statement, I inevitably have to deal with the jackass who remarks "Did Cavemen have almond milk HAHAHALOLOLOZZ!?!?!" when I tell them about a breakfast smoothie I made that morning. For my own sanity I think if it comes up in conversation in the future I'm just going to tell people I'm gluten/lactose intolerent, just to avoid retards.
Maybe, but the paleo world is a great place to get honest nutritional information, people in this community are open minded and generally very knowledgeable about nutrition, anthropology, biology and other cool stuff.
For me a paleo diet/lifestyle plan is not about pretending to be a hunter gatherer but aiming to follow a diet (and lifestyle) most appropriate for our genes.
Ultimately we may find ourselves discussing a gene diet and more specifically a gene diet specific to our individual genome.
Therefore another way to say paleo diet would be to say a gene diet.
What does being a Christian have to do with anything? Why do Christians feel the need to tell all and sundry their religious beliefs? That's a rhetorical question by the way.
In answer to your question--there are going to be people who disagree with anything one chooses to do/believe/say. If you call it Paleo, some may object. If you say you don't eat grains, others might object. Who the hell cares?
Now, if you were to ask me whether you think that Christians undermine themselves by managing to tell everyone that they're Christian, well, that's another story ...
There seem to be two totally different ways to come to a 'Paleo' conclusion. First (if you are convinced of the scientific evidence for evolution, which I am) then you treat humans like any other animal in need of nutrition. You find out what its natural food is and then give it to them. Job done.
The other approach is to use science to find out what is optimal for 'average human' nutrition. Lots of meta-studies, correlations and the odd rodent study thrown in. Seems to be your approach?
The fact they are zeroing in on the same nutritional conclusions gives me confidence we are on to a winner here. But ultimately I like the Paleo label because it provides scientific and logical structure around which we can generate and test hypotheses. Be it N=1 or N=1,000+.