I am very new to Paleo, and I'm having a tough time understanding what makes a food paleo and what makes a food something to not eat at all. I'm trying to understand the fundamental ideology of what makes a food Paleo.
I'm not so oblivious as to not understand the "Eat what our Paleolithic Forbears Ate" but what I'm confused on is how do we determine the "What".
I'm not doubting everything, but only a few prohibitions are self evident, like no refined sugar.
So maybe lets start with an example, how does the paleo community know that legumes were not consumed by Paleo man?
I have seen the following reasons to not eat legumes: 1. It has lectins and anti-nutrients. 2. They need extensive cooking to be edible. 3. First evidence of farming is 6k years ago.
Unfortunately I don't find these arguments to fit the axiom of eat like a paleo man.
Number 1 is based on health benefits, not a bad criterion, but not exactly an ideological reason.
Number 2 The most current evidence is that cooking is 1.8 million years old, which puts it squarely in the paleo time frame, so i find the need for cooking unconvincing.
Number 3 is the most compelling, but just because legume farming started 6k years ago, does not mean they were not eaten before. I think it implies that they were at least eaten sparingly shortly before farming, but then again 6k and paleo are rather disparate.
So how can I independently verify for my self, the paleoness of food, with out taking the word of the writers and bloggers? What's the criterion that you use? what am I missing about legumes that convinces you they are not paleo?