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Is Michael Pollan a closet Primal-er?

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  • Is Michael Pollan a closet Primal-er?

    I just finished "In Defense of Food" which is about 70% or more PB orthodoxy in its recommendations. He presents all the most compelling evidence against the lipid hypothesis, raves about GCBC, destroys CW nutritionism, slams soy and corn agriculture, etc. etc.
    He discusses lots of cases of carnivorous human groups living without western diseases - basically makes the complete paleo argument but comes out with a low-meat high-veg recommendation (not low fat, not vegetarian though), and it's not clear why he ends up there, since all the pieces of the paleo puzzle are part of his argument. I am curious what others think of this - he's probably the most influential food / nutrition writer out there.
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

  • #2
    "Mostly plants"

    Pff. He is dead to me. Raccoons do not forgive.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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    • #3
      I'd suspect he is wanting to reach your average thinking American with his writing - most of them won't make an immediate switch to grass fed pastured meats - in which case, I'd also say to limit meat and go high on the veg. Grain fed meat isn't something I'd base my diet around.

      Added to this - people just do not eat enough vegetables. period.
      Robin
      ~primal mama to 3~

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      • #4
        I think given the overall 'state of things' (as noctmama said about grain beef), the 'mostly plants' is a reasonable suggestion. He does say that there are a lot of versions of a good diet - he's looked at a lot of cultures.

        He's also big on the social/cultural aspect of food and that would be a bit of an issue he'd have with Primal/paleo as we tend to exist in isolation or as couples - it's not a community based movement YET, and also anything that causes stress around food is something he'd rightly take issue with.

        But the thing that irks me about the whole home-cooked traditional thing is that it's MOTHERS who inevitably get lumbered with more time in the kitchen. Part of the reason we've become fast food addicts is that you don't want to cook an old style meal when you get home at 6pm! There's a reason women used to spend a whole afternoon in the kitchen, and it wasn't boredom! ... ok I'll stop myself before I start really ranting... anyway... no. Pollan isn't.
        If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat? Tom Snyder

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        • #5
          oh I should add, the good thing about Primal is you can do it very simply - stewed or roasted meat, salad or cooked veggies - good beef doesn't need fancy sauces. I'm happy as larry with a simple baked chicken leg. So as a busy mum it suits me well!
          If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat? Tom Snyder

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tfarny View Post
            He discusses lots of cases of carnivorous human groups living without western diseases - basically makes the complete paleo argument but comes out with a low-meat high-veg recommendation (not low fat, not vegetarian though), and it's not clear why he ends up there, since all the pieces of the paleo puzzle are part of his argument. I am curious what others think of this - he's probably the most influential food / nutrition writer out there.
            Yup, I think so, too. But he knows if he crosses a line then most people will just tune him out.

            In the meantime...his advice would improve the health of at least 90% of the population.

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            • #7
              I consider him a gateway author. Reading "In Defense of Food" got me thinking, and I started searching out more information, which led me to PB. If he gets people thinking about making some changes, some may eventually end up here.
              Food should be fun--Thomas Keller

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Stabby View Post
                "Mostly plants"

                Pff. He is dead to me. Raccoons do not forgive.
                >_> I was under the impression (please correct me if I'm misremembering) that PB suggests that the bulk of your food be vegetables. Mostly vegetables, but relying on fats and meats for the bulk of your calories. I don't quite see the "mostly plants" thing as actually being non-PB.
                "A man in this world without learning is as a beast of the field."

                My Primal Journal

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Iskander View Post
                  >_> I was under the impression (please correct me if I'm misremembering) that PB suggests that the bulk of your food be vegetables. Mostly vegetables, but relying on fats and meats for the bulk of your calories. I don't quite see the "mostly plants" thing as actually being non-PB.
                  Yup, Mark's philosophy could be described as "mostly plants" as well. I do try for 50%+ of my intake by volume to be vegetables.
                  "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

                  I'm blogging again, at least a little bit.

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                  • #10
                    he wishes he was primal... he doesn't have the balls to kill something for eating it. LOL... j/k... i don't know much about this guy... my vegetarian friend lives by his words though...

                    I just told her i have no problem killing my own food . None. and thats true.

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                    • #11
                      Lemonfresh, basically everything in that book and omnivore's dilemna makes perfect sense. You and your veggo friend actually agree on a lot if he likes Pollan, though Pollan is not a vegetarian and doesn't recommend it.
                      If people did eat like Pollan recommended, we'd be way healthier, AND PB ingredients would be everywhere. It's just that he relies on China study etc. nutrition science to support a not-too-much-meat argument, after totally demolishing nutrition science in general. Very odd.
                      If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by tfarny View Post
                        Lemonfresh, basically everything in that book and omnivore's dilemna makes perfect sense. You and your veggo friend actually agree on a lot if he likes Pollan, though Pollan is not a vegetarian and doesn't recommend it.
                        If people did eat like Pollan recommended, we'd be way healthier, AND PB ingredients would be everywhere. It's just that he relies on China study etc. nutrition science to support a not-too-much-meat argument, after totally demolishing nutrition science in general. Very odd.
                        interesting! I'll have to actually read his book. . I did enjoy Food, Inc. The reason we don't see more PB food (i think) is because it's hard to market and you can't make money off it... and unfortunately... corn makes them a lot more $$$$.... especially fake corn..

                        Mcdonalds is too popular...

                        hell even i still have 'two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese and onions on a sesame seed bun' memorized.

                        This can't be good.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Iskander View Post
                          >_> I was under the impression (please correct me if I'm misremembering) that PB suggests that the bulk of your food be vegetables. Mostly vegetables, but relying on fats and meats for the bulk of your calories. I don't quite see the "mostly plants" thing as actually being non-PB.
                          It is the sentiment that matters. "Mostly plants" evokes a potent anti-meat imagery, no doubt about it.
                          Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

                          Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by geekgrrl View Post
                            oh I should add, the good thing about Primal is you can do it very simply - stewed or roasted meat, salad or cooked veggies - good beef doesn't need fancy sauces. I'm happy as larry with a simple baked chicken leg. So as a busy mum it suits me well!
                            And a crockpot. Primal pot roast or pork shoulder are both easy and tasty.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LemonFreshScent View Post
                              he wishes he was primal... he doesn't have the balls to kill something for eating it. LOL... j/k... i don't know much about this guy... my vegetarian friend lives by his words though...

                              I just told her i have no problem killing my own food . None. and thats true.
                              Perhaps you should read his The Omnivore's Dilemna. The last story is quite eye opening.
                              Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
                              Current weight: 199
                              Goal: 145

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