There are a million paleo oriented blogs out there, some great forums and excellent podcasters. Paleo is also throwing up some great and original thinkers, paleo doctors/MDs and paleoanthropologists.
For me, one of the first signs of a mature movement is splintering, and we see that in the paleosphere. We also have Ghandi's guide “First, they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”, from which we can estimate that paleo is at stage 3!
But maturation makes me think of a maximal point - and surely paleo has not peaked yet? Will we reach stage 4? Have we hit a tipping point yet and if not what will it take to make paleo 'tip'?
Celebrity endorsement of scientology didn't help their cause. Naysayers used Cruise and Travolta to mock that movement.
The Paleo lifestyle calls into question the whole organization of our civilization which in effect threatens the ruling class that has arranged and perpetuated this economy, imbalances and all.
Too many of their dollars are at stake, food corps dollars, insurance co. dollars, pharmaceutical industry dollars. The food companies own vast tracs of acreage throughout the United states. What they are selling and getting subsidies to grow amounts to hundreds of billions in capital every year and very little of it meets the standards set by advocates of the paleo diet.
They have sponsored and manipulated research, bought up scientific journals, funded accredited schools so they can control the curriculum and indoctrinate an army of future MD's, RD's and other medical professionals. If you play the game, they can still marginalize you despite your creds. The majority of trained "experts" in science and medicine will swarm and dogpile on you to vindicate their education. Giant food corporations can hide behind bad research and stake claims on the scientific authenticity of every article or finding large and small despite the fact that so much of what they pump into the mainstream media is so unscientific in so many ways. They can bury your work and continue to disseminate bad info. through their media channels.
We have been dreaming of a new way of life for generations, one where we have more free time more resources and greater health. We have always valued self-sufficiency and independence yet we remain complacent when it comes to growing our own food and investing in local communities.
And they control science.
And people believe that facts are facts and all science, proven.
Science will never be seen as a body of knowledge that is constantly changing, adapting and in flux.
It is the lynchpin of the establishment.
They use it to get what they want and keep what they hoarded.
First of all, ask yourself, "When do diets usually go mainstream?" They go mainstream when they ARE TRENDY.
You see. I think the assumption is that Paleolithic Diet will go mainstream because of its effectiveness. That's just not the way diets go mainstream. They go mainstream by virtue of their marketability (that's not to say that they don't have some underlying value). Yes, I agree that the way it will most likely happen is some actor/actress will tout it. Then all of Hollywood will take it up. It will become even more trendy than it already is. Of course, none of this might happen.
Already Paleo has a "hook" (I think that's what you call it). The whole image of a Caveman excites the imagination of a post-modern audience who has (understandably) become jaded to a computerized, alienated, dead world...in which they daily become more like the computers they operate.
Now the problem for Paleo is that it is losing that hook, I believe. Many of us on here have already seen that we do not do well on a strict Paleo diet (or what we imagine that diet to be). The whole idea of imitating our Paleolithic ancestors is losing the appeal it once had. So Paleo is becoming more of a loose orientation...a general direction....a starting point. In the few months I have been on Paleohacks, fewer people are defending their dietary choices based upon what "Grok" did. In my opinion, that's a good thing. However, I don't know if Paleo is as appealing without its Grok mascot.
Well, I'm not a celebrity but I am overweight so here goes..first about paleo as a movement, then, my 2 cents about what can be done about it.
1. I find it interesting to think of paleo as a movement, rather than diet or lifestyle only. UNESCO uses the term 'lifeway' to describe relationship between the inner self and the world holistically. Paleo seems to be myriad expressions of lifeways that both interconnect with and vary from one another. The connections are based in principles and health research surrounding eating ancestral foods, and also the need to get away from highly-processed food items, and the mega-businesses set up to semmingly make life easier for consumers or, to convince us we are inadequate. To be 'it'we need a lot of things, we need comfort, we need to stay in because of danger, and we need providing food for our families to be easy. Fortunately, paleo offers an antidote to contemporary popular culture with a fresh, alternative conceptual framework for thinking about being and thriving in the world.
Is it a movement? I'd say, it may be stirring into one. I do have concerns to not alienate people, like my neighbours:). I live in an agricultural area. Friends grow grain; most of these are organic producers.
2. I also find it interesting to think about paleo foods and moving like Grok (character in Primal Blueprint). Most people up to the second world war ate or had ready access to local, organic foods, where beef was all pasture-fed, chickens scratched around in the grass and dirt, and so on. There is a real role for seniors with stories and knowledge to share. Especially rural people lived Grok's life, and remained slim and fit. Anyone with a bit of a yard or containers for dirt can grow even a few things. We can encourage urban agriculture and become more locally self-sufficient, all those great ideas people have. It makes sense for enough paleo people to take up gardening so that others can barter or pay.
To think about paleo as a movement, to me is describing some sort of collectivity and collaboration. We don't need to go far back in history to learn about the healthy eating and moving lifeway for which paleos are striving.
Not an answer, but an observation.
Interesting Google Trends comparing Paleo diet with some common diet terms.
It's interesting to play around with limiting to certain countries (Switzerland ranks HIGH on Paleo Diet!) and the other options.
Paleo is on the verge of going mainstream. I have sensed this for the past few months and then my thoughts were confirmed with Robb Wolf's latest podcast. From the 10-20 minute time frame he went off about how close primal/paleo is to going mainstream.
It's setup perfectly and we all know that its not any fad. Its how we have lived for tens of thousands of years so how could it not go mainstream? How could it not take off? It is taking off but the growth is exponentially. Living as a caveman and helping others do the same is my profession - just like Robb, Mark, etc. I just do it in a different way.
I have insane goals for the primal community. Absolutely insane. The community is incredible.
Primal Con changed my life completely. It made me realize how important community is. I see newbies on my blog on a daily basis. The amount of paleo/primal books is amazing and the sales rank is astonishing.
It's oh so close. It's kind of here. Just not on the good news yet. Keep being patient!
It's not a movement. Clear and simple Sick people are going to cure themselves from Paleo internet pages. Then eventually going to be main stream knowledge, then it's going to be wild and crazy what happens after that.
Scarlett Johansson! Definitely! I would like to inform her on the details of a paleo diet, be her coach and trainer, her support in difficult times. And then she would feel great (and no doubt thank me a lot). She's already been spotted with Vibram Five Fingers, so that's a good start.
In case this would not work, it will at least have been worth the try ;)
One thing that occurs to me is that there is a chicken and egg situation. CW will not change until we see a decline in its profitability, and paleo seems unlikely to tip until it is profitable. Adam Smith tells us this...
We are seeing some profitability for paleo at a commercial level; just think of Weightwatchers' latest diet designed to capitalise on LC appeal, and of the footwear manufactureres now selling overpiced footwear advertised as 'barefoot'.
But Paleo goes against centralised authoritarianism - be it from established political, agricultural, pharmaceutical, and medical sources.
Furthermore, the food side of things is way more complex than offering freaky footwear. I consider paleo to be a grass roots movement with an agenda on the food-side of things rooted in buying local, fresh produce that is grown in a sustainable way, devoid of many 'modern synthetic chemical drivers and practices' used to boost productivity at the expense of sustainability.
This interpretation of paleo encourages a localised/dispersed system of ownership of the means of production which is diametrically opposite the centralised control we see in modern 'industrial agriculture'.
Looking at paleo from this angle, can the conventional (political and agricultural) powers EVER really take control of it? And if the answer to this is "no", if they cannot own or control it, then surely we face serious opposition to the 'tip'?