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Thread: The New Evolution Diet - Art Devany

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    The New Evolution Diet - Art Devany

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    I don't have time to really get into this like I want to, but shortly I will be away from a computer for a day or two. I wanted to get this down here, maybe get a discussion going so I have something to read when I get back.

    I found this kind of unsettling post at Hunt.Gather.Love. and was kind of blown away: Two Philosophies

    Melissa is talking about her thoughts while reading Art Devany's new book The New Evolution Diet. I have to say I'm kind of with her on this one, though really my level of knowledge on his "method" is scarce at best. I read some of his stuff at the beginning of the year, but wasn't about to fork over $40 to read his articles or join his forum when there were so many other great resources out there at the time.

    I was getting quite disappointed today reading Art De Vany's new book, which is out on Kindle. He's one of the godfathers of the paleo movement and it was though his essay and blog that I discovered this way of eating. A couple of years ago he put his blog behind a paywall and as a poor undergrad I didn't have the money to spare for it. I keep meaning to subscribe now that I have a "real job," but haven't gotten around to it. Apparently since our parting, my conception of this diet has diverged. Reading his book and Cordain's new cookbook I can't help but think "I don't eat like this at I even paleo?"
    Yeah, Paleo, not Primal, but still. This stuff makes you think:

    The food section of Art's book kind of breaks my heart and make me not want to read the rest:

    • "Red meat is fine, in moderation, but (white-meat) poultry is generally healthier."
    • "because the truth is that no fat is particularly good for you."
    • "But most common kitchen oils—canola, vegetable, corn, palm—are unnecessary. If you must cook in oil and want to do so at a higher temperature than permitted by olive oil, then use canola oil (made from rapeseed but called “canola” because it is a more felicitous name)"
    • "The occasional beet or raw carrot is fine, too."
    • "It goes without saying that butter and lard should be avoided completely."
    • "Make four hard-boiled eggs, but don't eat two of the yolks. Eggs are healthy, but you should skip the yolks now and then."
    The fuck?

    White chicken meat? No fat is particularly good for you? Skipping egg yolks and butter? Didn't I read shit like this 20 years ago in diet books? You should COOK IN CANOLA OIL??!!

    Art's comment to her under the blog post is the real kicker.

    As for butter and lard being Paleo, this is wrong. But, who really cares? In the modern world you cannot attain a lean body mass adding butter and lard to our already fat meats. Far too many calories.
    I wonder how many people are going to buy this book without even hesitating, because hey, it's Art Freaking Devany, and then regret it once they read that he "turned" on them. I'm guessing that's exactly what a lot of people are going to think.

    Just a heads-up to those folks here who had this book on the Christmas list this year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Cheshire, UK
    That's a shame. Seems like he's still a bit tied up in CW thinking... Bane, you want to send him photos of your terribly overweight torso obtained by eating fat, eggs and bacon?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Northern NJ
    I don't know if it's that he's into CW thinking or that he's trying to sell books to the masses by telling them what they want to hear. I don't know if Art had paleo/primal people in mind when he wrote the book you know what I mean?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I'd be more interested in his workouts he does at his age for future preservation. I want to age gracefully when I get to that point in like 30 years or so.

  5. #5
    Art and I agree on most of the general evolutionary and epigenetic concepts. We also go our separate ways on a few, too (as I do with Cordain). As you know, I'm the world's biggest fan of saturated fats, especially butter and lard. I love eggs - especially the yolks. I think chicken white meat without skin is evil (tasteless without a ton of work). And I stay away from canola oil. I guess I'd say don't let a few leftover CW aphorisms stand in the way of an otherwise good story.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    New York City
    On a side note, the article H.G.L. links in her post is fascinating. It's a profile of Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who is currently considered the Smartest Guy in the Room in financial circles. So guess what? He lives Primal/Paleo:

    But the biggest rule of all is his eccentric and punishing diet and exercise programme. He’s been on it for three months and he’s lost 20lb. He’s following the thinking of Arthur De Vany, an economist – of the acceptable type – turned fitness guru. The theory is that we eat and exercise according to our evolved natures. Early man did not eat carbs, so they’re out. He did not exercise regularly and he did not suffer long-term stress by having an annoying boss. Exercise must be irregular and ferocious – Taleb often does four hours in the gym or 360 press-ups and then nothing for 10 days. Jogging is useless; sprinting is good. He likes to knacker himself completely before a long flight. Stress should also be irregular and ferocious – early men did not have bad bosses, but they did occasionally run into lions.

    He’s always hungry. At both lunches he orders three salads, which he makes me share. Our conversation swings from high philosophy and low economics back to dietary matters like mangoes – bad – and apples – good as long as they are of an old variety. New ones are bred for sugar content. His regime works. He looks great – springy and fit. He shows me an old identity card. He is fat and middle-aged in the photo. He looks 10 years younger than that. “Look at me! That photo was taken seven years ago. No carbs!”

    This is risk management – facing up to those aspects of randomness about which something can be done. Some years ago he narrowly survived throat cancer. The change in his voice was at first misdiagnosed as damaged vocal cords from his time on the trading floor. It can recur. Also he has a high familial risk of diabetes. He is convinced the diet of civilisation – full of carbs and sugar – is the problem. The grand doctors who once announced that complex carbohydrates are good for you are, to him, criminals responsible for thousands of deaths.
    My favorite quote:

    Exercise must be irregular and ferocious.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by iniQuity View Post
    I don't know if it's that he's into CW thinking or that he's trying to sell books to the masses by telling them what they want to hear. I don't know if Art had paleo/primal people in mind when he wrote the book you know what I mean?
    Interesting question. In one case, it would be intellectual dishonesty. In the other, it would show an inability to change your mind or admit that you were wrong about something. Given Art's reputation, I'd guess the latter. In fact, I'd put money on it. Either way, I'll be saving my money.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    San Diego, CA
    Uncle Arty, nooooo
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    It appears Devany and Cordain have great difficulty saying three simple words: I...was...wrong.

    It's a shame. They're missing out on the wonderful sense of relief that comes after uttering the phrase.

  10. #10
    Paleobird's Avatar
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    Frankly, never having heard of Art DeVany before Mark posted about his new book, I don't have any pre-disposition to revere his every word. I too think it's kind of snarky of him to have his website for paid members only, the rest of you plebes will just have to do without. Also, I instinctively dislike people who trot out their academic credentials when they are dispensing advice about a completely different area of expertise. He prints PHd. all over the cover of his book and is addressed as "professor". Ok, he has a phd in Econ. I have one in Education. Neither of these qualifies us to give nutritional advice.

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