I am not Jewish, but I am fascinated by where cultural practices come from, among other funny little obsessions (I am the only person who has attempted to recreate and wear the ancient Roman version of the bra :-D), and this research forms a major part of my work today.
All in all, after all these years of research and living and working in other countries, I have come to the following conclusions ...
Almost all cultural facets and practices "make sense" in their time and geographical place for one reason or another, and these reasons are usually kinda practical once you discount the religious or traditional aspect. Take meat type: as a general rule, colder countries eat more pork and beef, warmer countries eat more lamb (and many have a prohibition on pork and some on beef).
Why is this? Well, it could be as simple as climate and economics. Populations in colder countries in the past required more fleece products for clothing, so people didn't consume so many sheep because they needed next year's fleece from those animals (and they didn't have as many flax sources for linen). Warmer countries didn't require so many fleece products, so they ate their sheep and they couldn't raise as many cows to create a major meat source because their countries' climate did not allow for long grasses to grow (this is one of the reasons why North Africans hardly eat any beef, despite there being no religious prohibition on the meat).
Colder countries with more hardcore climates seem to require more leather as well ... so what you end up with is colder countries eating more pork. Warmer countries end up eating more lamb and mutton.
Again, blood products are a bit of a disaster in a warmer climate where there is no refrigeration; in a colder country, however, this is not so much of a problem and they are a vital source of nutrients.
The pork prohibition is fascinating though, and, in fact, was the thing that sparked my interest in this field about twenty five years ago when I came across a reference to evidence that the pork prohibition among certain peoples in the Middle East is very, very old -- far, far older than people realise, like "start of civilisation in the ME" old. The hypothesis was that it possibly originated as a protectionist measure on the part of one sheep-rearing tribe who simply did not want to trade with another tribe who bred pigs. But, furthermore, when you look at other cultural connections -- honour cultures amongst peoples who live in mountainous areas and rely on wandering ruminants, how you keep certain livestock and what conditions you require to rise them etc -- you star to realise how keeping pigs does not exactly fit with a certain kind of lifestyle in certain conditions; in short, you can't really live in a mountainous or hilly area where there are other hostile tribes around.
However, the other side to this is that when you transfer certain cultural practices to another time and/or place, they can fail abysmally and end up as highly dangerous practices -- look at what happened to Indian vegetarians when they first came to Britain in the 50s; they suffered from chronic anemia because British fruit and veg had less animal residue than the fruit and veg in India.
To take another example: shatnez. To me, this makes a lot of sense when you consider older textile processes -- in short, it would be a bugger to wash. Wool, at the best of times, can be a nightmare. Ceremonial robes of other cultures that mixed linen and wool probably just wouldn't have ever been washed, and to the "cleanse conscious" early Jews, such an idea would have probably been anathema.
I have gone on a bit here :oD. Sorry, it's just that it is one of my obsessions and I can get a bit carried away.
So, to finish, you could argue that that kosher restrictions were kinda "paleo" if you consider that the spirit of "paleo" means consuming to the best of your ability, health and gene expression within a certain environmental context at a certain time. Had I been the member of an early nomadic tribe wandering around in the ME, I probably would have thought twice about mixing dairy and meat in the same meal for the simple reason that in a warmer climate, there's a risk of contaminating two lots of foods if either the dairy or the meat is off.