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Thread: How long for paleo/primal to go really mainstream? page

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    Neely's Avatar
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    How long for paleo/primal to go really mainstream?

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    If at all...

    According to a lot of the books paleo/primal has gone from a small niche community to mainstream recognition. This might be true to some degree, I don't know, but it's clearly it is not achieved general recognition even if I only go by the amount of blank faces if I dare utter the word 'paleo' in general conversation. However, looking at the so called 'eatwell plate' today, which is the government guidelines as to what constitutes a 'healthy balanced diet' in the UK, I was pleased to see a lot of criticism of it in the comments below it:

    Eatwell plate

    At least a lot of the criticism comes down too many carbs. I've also come across several people recently on low carb diets - on some variations of paleo/primal. So I think that there is some sort of growing awareness against grains and too many carbs in general if not perhaps the paleo/primal diet in particular. I just wondered what people thought about this, if you think that paleo/primal or a version of it might go more mainstream in the future and if so how long? I know that Cordain said in an interview that if it were to grow more it would have to be a bottom-up approach as there would be no way that government authorities would massively u-turn on previous recommendations. If you have any opinion on the matter I would be interested to read it, thanks.

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    It'll take several more years.

    You see, the way most diets "go mainstream" is actually through fast-food and junk-food companies' sponsorship. Once something can be labelled "Perkins' Diet Friendly!" or someone can make a "Fish-Diet Ready-Meal", said diets "catch" on, as they receive a lot of publicity and studies into them can be funded by these companies, who now have something to gain.
    And the junk-food industries are trying to do it with Paleo. The problem here is, of course, that their manufacturing methods, ingredients and general idea of what food IS does not work with Paleo. So their "Paleo cookies" and "Paleo read-meals" get slammed by the Paleo community. After doing this a few times, they're beginning to see us as "non-consumers": a population they won't even bother catering to. Without them funding a few adverts and some research, the general population won't show an interest.

    However, Paleo will grow. Allow me to use an awesome analogy: Paleo is like a zombie apocalypse. One Paleo in a community regains his/her health. Their family sees how much good it has done and tries it. Their friends and their family's friends see how much good it's doing these people and try it. Their friends' families see how much good it's doing THEM and... you get the picture. As the community grows, we'll find more and more Drs and Nutritionists adopting Paleo viewpoints as they would have tried/witnessed it themselves. These people would get involved in further research, studies...etc. We just have to do it WITHOUT corporate funding and with, to be honest, all the opposite: corporate backlash. McDonalds, Nestle, Kraft... They aren't about to give up their loyal consumers. We'd have "counter-studies" and an explosion of "you're not eating enough bread"-style warnings/adverts.

    But still, you can't argue with good health: most people don't "quit" Paleo and those who do often return or incorporate it in their new diet. Someone who's Paleo and healthier than ever won't turn away from it because their vegan friend or a Warbutons-funded study tells them to. And, as the zombie-expansion takes place, we'll see a quick turnaround where Paleo suddenly becomes accepted, then, to some extent "normal".

    So yeah, a few more years.

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    It might not take as long as you think. It will probably start with people being encouraged to eat less grains, leading to changes in food recommendations. Here's an example of a change taking place in Canada:

    Hold the pablum: Give that baby some meat, new Canadian guidelines advise - thestar.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kochin View Post
    It'll take several more years.

    You see, the way most diets "go mainstream" is actually through fast-food and junk-food companies' sponsorship. Once something can be labelled "Perkins' Diet Friendly!" or someone can make a "Fish-Diet Ready-Meal", said diets "catch" on, as they receive a lot of publicity and studies into them can be funded by these companies, who now have something to gain.
    And the junk-food industries are trying to do it with Paleo. The problem here is, of course, that their manufacturing methods, ingredients and general idea of what food IS does not work with Paleo. So their "Paleo cookies" and "Paleo read-meals" get slammed by the Paleo community. After doing this a few times, they're beginning to see us as "non-consumers": a population they won't even bother catering to. Without them funding a few adverts and some research, the general population won't show an interest.

    However, Paleo will grow. Allow me to use an awesome analogy: Paleo is like a zombie apocalypse. One Paleo in a community regains his/her health. Their family sees how much good it has done and tries it. Their friends and their family's friends see how much good it's doing these people and try it. Their friends' families see how much good it's doing THEM and... you get the picture. As the community grows, we'll find more and more Drs and Nutritionists adopting Paleo viewpoints as they would have tried/witnessed it themselves. These people would get involved in further research, studies...etc. We just have to do it WITHOUT corporate funding and with, to be honest, all the opposite: corporate backlash. McDonalds, Nestle, Kraft... They aren't about to give up their loyal consumers. We'd have "counter-studies" and an explosion of "you're not eating enough bread"-style warnings/adverts.

    But still, you can't argue with good health: most people don't "quit" Paleo and those who do often return or incorporate it in their new diet. Someone who's Paleo and healthier than ever won't turn away from it because their vegan friend or a Warbutons-funded study tells them to. And, as the zombie-expansion takes place, we'll see a quick turnaround where Paleo suddenly becomes accepted, then, to some extent "normal".

    So yeah, a few more years.
    Well said! I think you laid out the scenario perfectly.

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    If I'm doing it, it must have achieved a measure of mainstreamness. I'm a pretty ordinary person.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Highest squat: 167.5 x 2. Current Deadlift: 190 x 3

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    x2. If I found it, it's getting around. I'm usually the last to find out about anything...


    Turquoisepassion:
    Knifegill is christened to be high carb now!
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    the buttstuff...never interested.
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    Kochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuck416 View Post
    Well said! I think you laid out the scenario perfectly.
    Zombies are a brilliant way of getting any point across, eh?

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    Neely's Avatar
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    Yes I think there is a certain level of awareness about it - this website/blog is huge for instance and is one of the biggest health blogs on the web. Mark's book also sold well in Amazon charts etc, but it is hardly on a par with say vegetarianism for example. If you say to someone who asks that you are eating paleo/primal they hardly respond with 'oh yes are you?' But rather with 'what are you on about?' or words similar - it's not mainstream mainstream. I mean what percentage of the population eat paleo/primal? I have no idea. Is it as much as 1%? Probably not even close to that, maybe close to that in some form of low carb/gluten free type, but how many people genuinely call themselves paleo/primal eaters or are even aware of it? It might be different in the US but it doesn't seem that that many in the UK, at least in my personal experience. Interesting replies though. Cheers.

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    I only found out about it because of Crossfit, and even so, it took me quite a few months to start considering it seriously. No one I know outside of the gym has ever heard of it. When I told my 250-lb vegetarian friend about it, she was horrified and explained "But you NEED carbs to function!" It's especially unfortunate because she's Aboriginal and her and her extremely obese family (she's the smallest one) are a perfect example of people who have been affected by SAD the most and would benefit the most from paleo/primal.

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    I do not think it will ever go mainstream. Most come this way because they have made a choice, they are curious about health and nutrition and are willing to do something about it.Most do not even get there.


    Researching all aspects of health, nutrition and doing something about it eliminates probably 90% of the population. Say you have 10% of the remaining population who discover paleo/primal. Most of that 10% will not accept paleo/primal as their answer for all kinds of reasons. That leaves a small percent of people who will buy into paleo/prima after researching health and diet. How many of you have told family,friends etc what you are doing and got a response like you just grew horns? "Oh, your doing the Atkins diet!" You then try and explain some principles and watch their eyes glaze over. Nope. This way of living is not for everyone. Requires too much evaluating and change for the majority of people.

    The other aspect is that even within the community you have such a wide spectrum of people and ideas which has had a lot of people at odds with each other the last year or so. Low carb vs people who eat a lot of carbs. You have all kinds of people who come on this forum and start arguing how Sisson's Primal is not sound and then proceed to tell people their version of paleo/primal.

    The way is not for everyone, and that's kind of a shame but there is nothing that can change that.
    Last edited by Moochy; 10-30-2012 at 09:22 PM.
    Primal/Paleo is not for everyone, it's for those who have committed to understand.
    READ THE BOOK! ...as Robb Wolf says: "Trying to convince people to save their own ass will burn you out."

    Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for -- the pure enjoyment of food. Anthony Bourdain

    and yes, calories DO count my little piggies

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