Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
15 Jul

Weekend Link Love – Edition 198

Because ninjas never sat down to type WordPress blogs.

Speaking of ninjas, let Al Kavadlo show you how to do a kip up.

Should we kill animals that kill humans?

A recent study suggests that “dense acellular carbohydrates” (in other words, grains) were found to promote inflammatory intestinal microbiota, as opposed to carbohydrates from “cellular tubers, leaves, and fruits.” Sound familiar to anyone else?

The Human Food Project quizzed a group of 37 microbiologists about their thoughts on diet and gut flora, including what a diet that promotes a healthy microbiome would look like. The results are pleasantly unsurprising.

New research shows that traditionally-shod runners who go barefoot for the first time immediately improve their running economy and adopt a shorter stride length.

All the more reason to support pastured (or at least organic) poultry: antibiotic use in chickens has been linked to bladder infections in humans.

Did you know that the Paleo diet is uncivilized, unhealthy, and untrue? That we’re just all a bunch of savage bloodthirsty heathens? Yeah, apparently it’s true. Seriously, though: a $50 gift certificate to to the person who comes up with the best comeback or rebuttal in today’s comment section. The Worker Bees and I will judge. Contest ends at midnight PDT, July 17 – two days from now.

Co-evolution, schmo-evolution; pit bulls are natural born killers. Right?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (July 15 – July 21)

Comment of the Week

Oh boy, you’re putting your foot in it again, Mark! ;o) *says the grandma who is younger than you and who is also interested in the science of it*

– Yup, I shoulda known, Janet and Estelle. My apologies to all the grandmas out there.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I just read a bit from Forks and Knives and I stopped reading at the “artery clogging” bit about this WOE. My husband,who had a heart atack from high cholesterol and plaque, just shocked his cardiologist with completely normal arteries. No plaque AT ALL!!
    So, that argument does not hold water.

    Honeybuns wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • i too could not get past the “the hunter-gatherer diet is REPULSIVE”

      … but’skuse me, my grilled kidneys with tripe and garlic sauce are being dished up… (hey honey! don’t forget the liver paste and oxblood gravy!!)


      ravi wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • and BTW – if you file-up and temper the down-side of your fork, you can cut through some knarly tendons and gristle and pretty much forgo the knife–

        ravi wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • Haha. Love it. I love how, like the ‘repulsive’ comment, the entire article is a series of quotes taken horrendously out of context. It is honestly a joke. I was so mad I don’t have a facebook any more, because I would to comment and rip that thing apart piece by piece. I am sitting here fuming with my copy of The Paleo Diet sitting next to me.

        Christina208 wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • I tried to reply to this article:

        This is what I wrote, but it got promptly deleted and I am blocked from further replies. Sigh. That’s what I get for trying to help some fellow former vegans out I suppose. If anything I was probably too conciliatory in an attempt not to alienate other vegans. That said, my last paragraph was not too nice I guess.

        peaceonplate, I eat a plant heavy paleo diet and ama a former vegan. Unfortunately my celiac disease has caused so mach intestinal damage that I could no longer tolerate any grains and developed a soyy allergy. Letting my vegan diet go was a very emotional and difficult process and I still only eat meat that comes from sustainably farmed and so-called ‘cruelty free’ sources. I do realize that this is not always fool proof. But, I make a reasonable effort to make sure the animals I eat are not tortured or slowly murdered or skinned alive. That hyperbole is a bit ridiculous in regards to the paleo diet, since it basically tells people to avoid factory farmed meat (the places that torture in various forms does tend to to occur). To say that people have ‘no issue’ with it is simply unfair. I wish I could eat only veggies but unfortunately after trying it, I cannot.

        I reject this article, and here is why.

        “The Paleo Diet: The Newest Promoter of Eating the Planet and its Inhabitants to Death”
        1)The paleo diet does not forbid ALL starches. They merely eschew the ones with extremely high glycemic indices, which can create problems with insulin regulation. For this reason, for example, white potatoes are avoided and sweet potatoes, a starchy veggie, are not. Grains are avoided not because they are a starch but because of their inflammatory properties.
        2)Dental records and bones from our paleolithic forefathers/mothers do indicate they were in better health that their neolithic counterparts, and on this point no counter evidence is provided
        3)Yes, I TOTALLY agree that civilization as we know it might not have taken place without the agricultural revolution. But if I can enjoy the benefits of the agricultural revolution while not actually eating grains because of my unique health issues, I don’t see why I shouldn’t do that. Furthermore, the agricultural revolution also led to humanity’s ability to mass murder via nuclear weapons, highly processed foods that are making us sicker than grains or meat in the their pure forms, AND indeed, animal cruelty in industrialized factory farms.

        “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth”
        1)Quote from this article: “I know of no large populations of primates who have been strict vegans (ate no animal foods at all)”. Sounds like plant-heavy paleo to me.
        2)Paleo diets, as Dr. Cordain himself will say, CAN be plant based. Mine is!
        3)Sexism: really? This has nothing to do with nutrition and sexism has persisted far past the agricultural revolution. It is invalid and utterly absurd, especially in a discussion about nutrition. Even if the post agri revolution world had had no sexism at all and our primal relatives were the most sexist people ever it wouldn’t tell us a thing about nutrition.
        4)The article listed does provide compelling evidence that SOME of our paleolithic foreparents ate an extremely plant heavy diet (95% in the article about tree bark). However, we are talking about a couple groups in one geographic area and apparently, they did eat meat. Once again, plant based paleo.
        5)Please do not confusing “cooking and preparing plant foods” as NOT paleo. I do that for my family every night.
        6) “People like to hear good news about their bad habits”. Trust me, giving up cereal grains was anything but good news for me. My bad habits of sauteed kale with wild caught salmon, or my giant salad for lunch, was a difficult adjustment after rice pasta with creamy tofu sauce. I certainly did not see the lifetime without white potatoes and cake as ‘good news about my bad habits’.

        GRANTED: I will totally agree that it is possible paleolithic people ate some cereal grains. However, anyone with common sense can probably imagine that those would be a far cry from the pesticide laden, genetically modified, overprocessed grains of today that are undoubtedly fueling the ever growing number of celiac cases.

        “The Hunter Gatherer Diet is Repulsive”
        The author uses a totally out of context quote by Dr. Cordain about how certain paleo foods might at first glace SEEM repulsive to somehow try to prove the entire diet is. This is utterly illogical and obviously was not his point any more than a vegan author saying “at first, a vegan diet might seem unnatural” could be used to say “HEY A VEGAN DIET IS UNNATURAL”.

        “The Paleo Diet is Nutritional Nightmare”
        Ah. At least we actually talk about nutrition. I will concede that the vegan way of life is a FANTASTIC diet for some- espeicially those with heart disease! I am not a fan of extremism on either side. However, for people with an autoimmune disease, like myself, the paleo diet is nothing short of miraculous.
        1)You compared the inuits TO ANOTHER HUNTER GATHERER GROUP. One that eats, apparently, plant based paleo! You did not, interestingly, compare them to vegan Americans. Plant based paleo is still paleo. So all you’re really saying is that animal fat heavy paleo isn’t as good for as you as plant based paleo, a fact that I along with many in the paleo community would wholeheartedly agree with you and does nothing to disprove paleo.
        2)Dr. Cordain’s use of the example of ‘rabbit starvation’ as somehow negating his protein recommendations (vastly lower than those who had ‘rabbit starvation’ and presumably would have starved one way or another) is absurd. Obviously no human could subsist only off of rabbit meat and Dr. Cordain is simply stating the obvious just like a vegan author might say subsisting off of only almonds and nothing else might also lead to health problems which would certainly not negate vegansism.
        3)I reject any study that links Atkins, which allows conventional meats, chemical false sweeteners, and other hazards to a paleo diet. Sorry.

        “…contradicts the obvious”
        1)People have lived on starches… for 13 thousand years? Not quite 2.5 million.
        2)As I said earlier the agricultural revolution certainly led to great accomplishments among humanity. However that does not say anything either way about the nutritional benefit of paleo vs. vegetarianism. Alexander the Great ate grains. So did Hitler. So did Steve Jobs. So did Mother Theresa. So did Stalin. Your point?
        3)Utilizing the Blue Zones to try to prove a point about starch is ridiculous. Once again you are lumping ‘plant based’ and ‘unprocessed’ into ‘starches’. A huge logical fallacy when discussing this topic! Furthermore, most of those people in the blue zones eat SOME meat. (With the exception of the 7th Day Adventists, of course). So this just indicates that emphasizing unprocessed foods is good and that people should eat plenty of plants, something most paleo gurus would agree with.

        I have read books by Dr. Ornish and I have read the China Study. I have read “Skinny Bitch” and “Eating Animals” and “Quantum Wellness” and just about every vegan book out there- I was vegan for years before giving it up because of my autoimmune issues. NONE of them say “starch based” and ALL of them say “plant based”. Your constant references to starch in an extremely transparent effort to sell your book are utterly misleading and untrue.

        “Ecological Disaster”
        This might be true. However, the SAD diet has also led to ecological disaster. I don’t think the entire population of the world is going to adopt paleo anytime soon, so I will eat it while I can now, turn my back on all types of factory farming, buy local, and when the world does have an ecological disaster it will probably be due to factory farming and pollution far before it will happen due to sustainable meats and local organic veggies. Factory farming and pollution, by the way, are both by products of the agricultural revolution.

        It is true that civilization as we know it would not exist without the agricultural revolution. However, this has led to both good and bad and like I said, has no place in the discussion about nutritional merits.

        I believe this article was totally misleading while I have a tremendous amount of respect for T. Colin Campbell, Dean Ornish, and other vegetarian spokespeople, I am utterly disgusted at the lack of research and totally deceptive techniques of this article. I am disappointed that the author used the works of reputable researchers like Dr. Campbell to try to prove his own point about a so called “starch based” diet. Shame on you.

        You write a book called “The Starch Solution” and then criticize someone for giving ‘good news about bad habits’? Yes, white potatoes and insulin spikes are the road to good health indeed. (?) My guess is that that title is meant to entice insulin crazy sugar and carb addicted people whereas the book will ACTUALLY say what T.Colin Campbell and Dean Ornish already have- it is a plant based diet; not merely the starchy plants, that lead to better health. But, props for putting a potato on the cover. I’m sure a lot of people will get some wonderful false hope about that.

        Christina208 wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • What a great response. Thank you. I was a vegetarian for years, then “McDougall” starch based vegan last year. I lost weight when I just ate oatmeal for breakfast and salads for lunch and dinner. When I added starches at every meal as prescribed by the McD plan, my blood sugars begin to rise. My a1c jumped from low 7s to mid 9s in five months. Not a healthy diet for diabetes, or at least for me. Now I’m doing a mostly plant based low carb diet with small amounts of free range eggs, turkey and fish. I just started the plan this past week, so will check results in two months.

          John wrote on February 4th, 2013
    • No plaque AT ALL!! – I need to clean my teeth my often 😉

      Richard wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Carry on reading for even more misinformation. It is a hoot!

      Apparently it “takes 4,000 to 18,000 gallons of water to produce the beef used to make one juicy hamburger.”

      Yes, that one hamburger took up to 18000 gallons of water to be produced! How much would a whole cow take?

      Andy wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • UM, you guys- apparently “The Starch Solution” is an actual book?! I have been sitting here laughing aloud because it looks like a joke. The Starch Solution. Are you kidding.

      “The Starch Solution is an easy and powerful way to achieve the very best of health.” – Dr. Neal Barnard

      “You’ll be doing the happy dance when you read this book! Hallelujah, and bring on the pasta!” – Kathy Freston

      Well, I have gotten my laugh in for the week. De-evolution at its best. Take some krill oil, peeps.

      Christina208 wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • hey – there is a whole weight-loss diet called “Losing Weight with Bread”

        yes – really , no sh*t

        ravi wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • Yeah. And according to this jerk paleo is trying to give people good news that leads to unhealthiness by allowing the keep their bad habits? Right. I’m going to go eat some wonder bread with mashed potatos now. It’s OK though. I put transfat laden margerine in them. No animals had to endure the trauma of being milked to make ghee. So much healthier than my wild caught salmon.

          Christina208 wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Primal Living…bringing you civilization for 2 million years … and counting…

      TJ Crane wrote on July 17th, 2012
  2. The “dense acellular carbohydrates” link makes fats sound bad: “[…]with fat able to effect a “double hit” by increasing systemic absorption of lipopolysaccharide.” I like the idea of looking at food from the POV of “Is it made of cells.” Are there fats made of cells?

    Alice wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • (Obviously animals have fat cells…I was thinking more about coconut and olive oils).

      Alice wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • I think the point is that high fat in the presence of high dense acellular carb intake is really bad.

      I believe this is why you can have a scientific study concluding that fat is bad, when in reality, it’s the other stuff that is causing the problems.

      Graham wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Dietary fat has been found to increase LPS transport, but this doesn’t make dietary fat ‘bad’ anymore than making TLR4 ‘bad’.

      The real problem with LPS is probably intestinal permeability, FODMAPs and a weak immune system.

      Steven wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • So no intestinal permeability = no postprandial increase in blood LPS ? Interesting!

        Graham wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • Probably not. Cream by itself raises LPS by ~40%. But from Peter’s post what would seems to happen is LPS increases, the immune system’s activity increases, this lowers the gut bacteria until the immune system and gut bacteria strike an equilibrium.

          The problem may arise if this negative feedback system no longer works in the contexts above where the immune system is overwhelmed.

          Thanks for the question. I may add this to the post

          Steven wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • Steven,

        I tried to comment on your article, but couldn’t. Your discussion is obesity pathology is fantastic and I love an article that requires a table of contents and citations into the 90’s!

        Graham wrote on July 16th, 2012
        • Thanks Graham

          Steven wrote on July 16th, 2012
  3. Best response would be to send John McDougall, M.D. a dinner invitation, seeing how he thinks we should be practicing cannibalism in order to be authentic.

    About killing man eaters, yes, we should. And the edible ones, like the alligator, should go on the menu. And people who feed wild animals should be beaten about the head and neck. I grew up in Florida and it was pretty common knowledge that alligators tended to be fairly timid unless cornered or defending their nest. They become a problem when they lose their fear of humans, often due to ignorant people feeding them.

    Sandy wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • I live in Florida and I work on a beef ranch. I can honestly say that I drive by hundreds of the healthiest cows I’ve ever seen on my way in, and I’ve seen more than one alligator, too!

      Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • I don’t see why we have the right to kill any animal that happens to kill us. I don’t see why we think we have the right and domaniance over every animal. If an animal killed an entire village and threatened more people, yes, it should be put down. But overall, what gives us the right to control how Mother Nature works?

        Michael wrote on July 15th, 2012
        • Problem is, people have already destroyed how mother nature works in these animals. These animals that have to be killed have stopped being afraid of humans and started associating us with food. They didn’t just happen to kill a human out of the blue. And humans have always tried to change how mother nature works, sometimes even succeeding, such as selective breeding, which you can thank for dogs, cows, domestic horses and assorted other animals we live with. And yes, this often involved killing.

          Sandy wrote on July 15th, 2012
        • We have a similar issue here in Australia at the moment. There has been an increase in shark attacks in Western Australia, so the kneejerk reaction is to allow culling of sharks (even though White Pointers are a protected species). In reality, it is probably more likely a side effect of overfishing to feed the ever-increasing human population…the sharks are simply looking for something to eat.
          If we enter their territory, I believe we have to expect that there is a certain level of risk involved. When they start coming onto land looking for food in my territory, they should expect the same!

          Amanda wrote on July 15th, 2012
        • As a Western Australian scuba diver I agree completely with Amanda. If I choose to be in the shark’s territory I accept the risk. Part of being a sentient and intelligent human being is accepting that there is a food chain and we won’t always be at the top.

          Great whites are, and should remain, a protected species.

          Mia wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • hey,
        where in fla is the ranch? I live in palm beach county. good beef there? always lookin for supplie!

        tcseacliff wrote on July 15th, 2012
        • They don’t sell direct, unfortunately. They wholesale it. Dinner on the hoof!

          Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
        • I was wondering the same thing! I’m in Tampa

          Chuck wrote on July 15th, 2012
        • You can check out the Eat Well site to see if there is a ranch close to you.

          Debi wrote on July 17th, 2012
    • Nah, this guy’s brains would taste like crap!

      Ashley G. wrote on July 15th, 2012
  4. Holy Crap Mark! That website is currently being torn apart. Really amazing how strong the paleo community is. Awesome job everyone!

    Max Ungar wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • My big contribution was to make sure everyone realizes that if you have an M.D. behind you’re name that you’re infallible, and that a “lay person” couldn’t possibly be intelligent enough to learn science and apply it, since learning is confined to the halls of medical school and teaching hospitals.

      Something new I learned from all the discussion… You must have earned “respect” in order to be correct – that seems to be these people’s most important criteria when judging scientific evidence.

      Graham wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • That’s what it ends up being all about.

        Mostly I’m pursuing a medical education (osteopathic) because no one will listen to someone with a minor in biochemistry, but they will listen to a DO (provided they know what a DO is…)

        Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • Medical doctors are practitioners, not experts. One of the public’s problems is its regard for doctors as experts, particularly when said doctors don’t actuallybdo research or even read literature.

        whistler wrote on July 15th, 2012
        • I’m working on a chemistry minor at the moment, and I’m trying to find out if there is a possibility for a DO/PhD program at the schools I’m most interested in.

          Here’s a link for you for the American Physician Scientist Association:

          And I’d deal with it first in the same way I dealt with the DO-DO in undergrad: question all the things. Second, I feel that having physicians who are also scientists is important, but you can’t change it by pointing fingers and talking about how it needs to change. I have the opportunity to be the change, as kitschy as that sounds, so I’m doing it.

          Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
        • Good for you, Kristina!

          Graham wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • Um thank you. I love how anyone who disagrees with this lifestyle decides to suddenly take the position (or maybe they had it all along) that listening to your body is a terrible idea.

        Christina208 wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • I’m glad that site is being torn apart after vegsource took down my totally civil comments that literally tore that article apart section by section. I at least take satisfaction in knowing they had to go to the trouble of reading at least part of it to delete it. Sadly though, the misinformation is still up there. Some people really don’t care about the truth and just want to pat themselves on the back for how ‘kind’ they are, even though another article on that site actually makes fun of the way paleo people look. (“Paleo Authors are Fat” or something like that. Vegans are so much kinder than us! Personal attacks and accusations of murder and deleted truths are a great rebuttal to actual evidence though, right?)

      Christina208 wrote on July 16th, 2012
  5. “If You Repeat a Lie Often Enough, It becomes the Truth”
    We were eating egg substitutes, margarine, vegetable oil, skim milk, whole grain everything, lean meat without bones and washing it all down with 8 glasses of water each day and at least an hour of cardio.
    If PRIMAL is a lie, I am happy to live the rest for my days in blissful ignorance munching on my chicken bones and playing in the sun. GROK RULES!

    Judy wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Agreed!

      Emily Mekeel wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • +1

      Annette wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • +1

      mars wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • +1!!!

      Allison wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • +1!!!!!

      doghug wrote on July 16th, 2012
  6. It’s pretty clear the Dr. McDougall is writing staunchly from the bastion of conventional wisdom. While I assume his medical training was from a time well before the Primal Blueprint was on the scene, his unwavering bias and barking out of well-established “facts” shows to me at least he is simply reacting, instead of learning.
    Modern health professionals must keep up with the latest stuff – it’s called “Continuing Education” for a reason. It is imperative that our health providers keep up with the times and evolve to meet the new standard of health.
    My advice go McDougall would be to do his duty as a medical doctor, health provider, and scientist and read the studies and objectively assess the information. If he has quibbles with the studies, then the best way to refute the Primal diet would be pick apart the studies.
    He either is so totally opposed on principle to learning anything that he refuses to acknowledge that there might be even a partial bit of truth, or he does not yet want to admit that perhaps the basis of his nutritional knowledge has been erroneous.

    Toothfairy wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Even the current nutritional education is provided by the same entities who provide CW: The ADA, the AHA, the USDA. Unless a doctor has a background in biochemistry, it’s just too easy to stop at the words “artery-clogging saturated fats” and accept it without trying to learn the physiological and chemical mechanism for that claim.

      Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • I totally agree.

      I can say that there is a glimmer of hope in the future. My friends and acquaintances who are currently studying are actually learning the right way, and I often discuss with them how refreshing it is to see the “conventional wisdom” slowly washing away.

      Dan wrote on July 16th, 2012
  7. Dr. McDougall’s piece is nothing other than a fine example of the fact that even scientists are capable of religious zealotry. Cherry picking scientific evidence, using a poor understanding of the diet he’s attacking, and using opinion as a persuasive element, Dr. McDougall makes it clear that in his mind, we cannot “all get along”.

    Thanks but no thanks, Doc. I’ll continue to be a free thinking human striving to live the best life for me, and I encourage others to do likewise. I may be biased with a general distrust of doctors (because of the institutionalized and unfortunate brainwashing their education and training resembles) but I have an even greater distrust of emotionally charged propaganda.

    May you find peace and peace of mind somewhere in the middle ground.

    yoolieboolie wrote on July 15th, 2012
  8. That Ninja Standing Desk is a really clever design. I’m tempted to get one even though I don’t have a laptop or a door to hang one on! Clever ad campaign, too.

    After watching Al’s Kip Up tutorial, my husband wants me to make that my new goal, just because it looks so cool. (By the way, I’ve also heard it called the Chinese Get Up.)

    dragonmamma wrote on July 15th, 2012
  9. My father had a Pit Bull babysitter growing up in the 40’s. I loved to hear stories of Tippy. My dad was a small kid, and small kids get picked on. Not my dad. His faithful friend by his side kept the bullies at bay. She was with the family 16 years, and was a kind, patient dog, unless one was going to cause harm to her family. Then she would only have to curl her lip back and give a low growl and people respected that. A great article! Thank you for posting it.

    Kari wrote on July 15th, 2012
  10. In the good Doctor’s defense, when I tried to do a low fat, vegetarian diet for a month I was in a pretty foul mood too.

    Robb wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • lol! so true

      yoolieboolie wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Enough said, there. For every hundred calories I counted, one more person out there should be glad I didn’t lose my mind and become the starving, mindless cannibal this man thinks I am now.

      Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • Ha! That’s awesome…

        Jess wrote on July 17th, 2012
    • i wish there was a way to measure the dysfunctional, aberrant logic and violent, abusive tendencies caused by CW –

      (as if we need a study to prove that one…)

      ravi wrote on July 15th, 2012
  11. Here is what saddens/angers me: Paleo followers and vegetarian followers probably have the same mindset, that is, to prevent/reverse disease and eat the best diet possible to obtain optimal health. While I am Primal, I don’t shy away from articles promoting the vegetarian lifestyle because I want to obtain ALL the facts. Unfortunately, the article for Forks Over Knives was heavily biased, sensationalist, and overwhelmingly uncited.

    Let’s just go from the top shall we?
    1) Ketosis is a state of illness which promotes weight loss because people become to sick to eat: False. Operating of course on the premise that Hunter-Gatherers preferentially chose animal foods, they were in ketosis frequently which necessarily makes it a natural human state. Which means that ketosis does NOT equal illness. If anyone eats less while in ketosis it is because fat and protein are highly satiating and because the body is accessing its own fat for energy and this is a natural state, not an illness.
    2)Sexism promoting the consumption of meat over a “natural,starch based diet” is absurd. No one is going to willingly eat a diet (starch based) that makes them feel crappy because hunting is “sexy”. Men hunted, women gathered and BOTH groups were needed to feed the tribe. Also, women in general tend to be the ones caring for the children – would you take your toddler on a hunt? Honestly. Bottom line: animals were nutritious and made people feel good so they were willing to go out of their way to get them. I don’t have a source for this besides common sense and bits and pieces gathered over the year so feel free to be skeptical.
    3) The food supply for hunter-gatherers was different depending on local which resulted in a wide range of numbers as far as macronutrient composition of diet goes. The first column on page 33 shows it best. Fat was AS LOW AS 28% or as HIGH AS 58%, carbs as low as 22% or as high as 40% and protein as low as 19% or as high as 35%. This suggests that humans survive on a range of macronutrient compositions but in the paleo-sphere we tend to think that the IDEAL way to do it is higher fat and protein and lower carb with our carb sources being extremely nutrient dense and anti-nutrient (lectin, phytate) free (or else very low).
    4) “The Hunter-Gatherer Diet is Repulsive” Really? This is pure opinion, hardly worth a response.
    5) “Nutritional Nightmare” Okay, I will try to make this short and sweet: high carb is the TRUE nutritional nightmare! High carb diets wreak havoc on the hormonal systems of the body, most notably insulin. When insulin gets out of whack, everything gets out of whack and you end up with atherosclerotic plaques, AGEs, excess body fat, non alcoholic fatty liver, high triglycerides and small,dense LDLs, lowered HDL…etc etc. Excess carbs often make even moderate amounts of fat look bad on paper which is why I prefer to spend a decent amount of time in ketosis or, when I do eat carbs, they come from fruits, vegetables, and nuts/seeds. Also dark chocolate because that stuff is awesome!
    6) “Most people have lived on starch based diets” where the evidence is being gleamed from remnants of grain products on mortar and pestle relics or making assumptions. The Italian and Greek diets, for example, aren’t necessarily “low-animal” – they eat their fair share of lamb/fish/seafood/etc. They just also happen to enjoy their fruits, vegetables, and very MODERATE amounts of grain products. They don’t sit down to a heaping bowl of pasta each night and expect to remain slim and healthy.
    Lastly, evidence that I’ve seen from Sisson and others suggests that our high fat, high protein diets are what truly allowed us to become Homo sapien as we know it, not starch.
    I didn’t hit every point because I didn’t want to repeat the article author’s mistake and talk about things which I don’t know much of.

    Great Link Love mark!
    “Kip” it up, man!

    Emily Mekeel wrote on July 15th, 2012
  12. also, loved the pit bull piece. :) awww, puppies!

    yoolieboolie wrote on July 15th, 2012
  13. The majority of the greatest crossfit athletes in the world live by a strict paleo diet. Dr. McDougall believes that ketosis is an “illness” brought forth by low-carb/high-fat diet such as eating Paleo, thus achieving “illness” seems like the greatest benefit to reaching my personal health goals.

    “If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes truth” – Which is evident by our country’s adherence to the FDA’s ever changing food pyramid and the American obesity epidemic

    “The Hunter-Gatherer Diet is Repulsive” – To a bunch of overweight Americans suffering from high blood pressure, CVD, and diabetes. You gotta try it, it’s fun! (I recently added sardines to my breakfast omelettes and I am loving it).

    “The Paleo-Diet is a nutritional nightmare” – I had my blood tested a few months ago from living strict paleo:
    Triglycerides – 40
    HDL – 66
    LDL – 89
    …and my roommate thinks all the bacon I eat is going to kill me, hah!

    “Most people have lived on starch based diets” – Most people are overweight.

    “Widespread Adoption of the Paleo Diet Would Soon Become an Ecological Disaster” – See Mark’s posts about feeding the world on Primal.

    “Civilizations Could Not Have Thrived on the Paleo Diet” – I actually agree with Dr. McDougall about this statement. However, this does not mean that we as individuals cannot thrive by living Primal given that the foundation of our civilization has already been established.

    To be honest, I’m not looking for a $50 gift certificate, but I did need to get some of that off my chest. SAD friends, so I’m sure you can understand.

    Paul wrote on July 15th, 2012
  14. Part of the issue is people thinking that Paleo or Primal is a set of hard and fast rules and we all sacrifice babies to the paleo Gods…

    I have never come across a more informed group of people than those who eat primal.

    Graham wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • I agree with you, I’ve seen people lose weight and improve their health via diet changes in different ways. However, all of them had the common thread of drastic reduction or elimination of sugars and starches. The mistake I see a lot of times coming out of the Vegetarian/Vegan camp is this across the board condemnation of the main aspects of the S.A.D. without breaking it down into its parts and evaluating each. Plus because a lot of people adopt a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle for moral or ethical reasons that injects an emotional component into it that you just don’t find in other dietary schools of thought.

      Robb wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • I have to disagree, because I’ve seen both. I don’t ever go to paleohacks, for example, because the moment a person suggests anything that isn’t 100% pure paleo by-the-book, the personal, emotive attacks on that person start… exactly the same way the Everything-in-Moderation crowd attacts vegans and paleo eaters alike.

        It bothers me that food becomes so divisive. It’s supposed to bring us together, not tear us apart. Instead of finding common ground in pursuing real, healthy food, it’s an all-out turf war for cyberspace.

        Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
        • I haven’t spent much time there, but let’s try to fix it! The last thing we need is paleo/primal being another religion!

          Graham wrote on July 16th, 2012
  15. “Grandparents, women, and children did the gathering, while men hunted. Glory always goes to the hunters.”

    Clearly John McDougall never met Julie Foucher.

    Zach wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Please see this photo:

      Taken about 1910 by explorer & photographer Frank E. Kleinschmidt, it shows Inuit women leaving on a hunt. Note 2 of the women are Inuit; the third, the tallest, is Kleinschmidt’s wife, who the Inuit women taught to spearfish on the ice, as shown here. While Inuit men usually did the hunting/fishing, it was not unknown for women to hunt/fish together on occasion. This photo is in the Collection of the Library of Congress.

      HighlySkeptical wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Yeah, I found that really offensive. Even a woman with a baby on her hip can snare fowl or net fish. The hypocrisy of crying Sexism! while depicting women as helpless requires a special kind of asshat.

      em wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • Awesome comment em. Right on. Completely agree. When I went through school in Anthropology it was drilled into my head that we see all kinds of live ways in the cultural melange that is humanity… Women have and do participate in all ranges of activities in part because cultures are different but also because women are different. Some can’t wait to have a baby on their hip while others hunger for the spear. Just like men, just like anyone.


        Tim wrote on July 16th, 2012
      • AMEN. Also- it is utterly illogical and has nothing to do with NUTRITION. Even if H/G societies were sexist, so was EVERYONE post agri revolution and arguably more so- which doesn’t freaking matter because it has NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS ISSUE. Asshat indeed.

        Christina208 wrote on July 16th, 2012
  16. I can’t even begin to rebut this article.

    Firstly, there are dozens of ways to approach a “paleo” diet. You are referencing one book by one man.

    “Research published in the journal Nature (on June 27, 2012) reports that almost the entire diet of our very early human ancestors, dating from 2 million years ago, consisted of leaves, fruits, wood, and bark—a diet similar to modern day chimpanzees.”

    Exactly. Prehumans. No human posesses the enzymatic activity or the necessary gut bacteria to digest cellulose, the main component of your precious Nature Valley Carboard & Granola bars. In fact, only ruminants can digest and use it. That would be “meat,” to you. In a lot of societies in the past and even today where people don’t have toothbrushes, using fibrous plant material as a scraper to clean one’s teeth is a common practice.
    As to grain-eating, we didn’t experience bone diseases, short stature, or tooth decay until after adopting it as a food source, and the modern incarnation of most grains are nowhere near the grains that early cultures enjoyed. We also do not prepare them for consumption as they did, and therein lie just a few of the problems with modern grain consumption.

    “In addition to the usual beef, veal, pork, chicken, and fish, a Paleo follower is required to eat; alligator, bear, kangaroo, deer, rattlesnake, and wild boar are also on the menu. ”

    Veal is not a requirement of the Paleo diet. Alligator is not a requirement of the paleo diet. However, wild game and alligator are delicious. Your argument is invalid.

    “This approach forbids starches, including all grains, legumes, and potatoes.”

    Again, you reference only one book written by a doctor of anthropology. Consult medically-verified and biochemically sound literature on the topic, and you will note that only grain and legume-based starches are forbidden, and it is for their antinutritive and inflammatory properties. Starchy vegetables like tubers, squashes, sweet potatoes, and flours made from them (like tapioca, for example) are non-inflammatory sources of carbohydrates that are more nutritious than grains and legumes, and these are permitted as long as they don’t comprise the bulk of calories.

    “No mention is made by Paleo experts about the frequent and habitual practices of nutritional cannibalism by hunter-gather societies.”

    That’s ONE example of cannibalism. Just one, and yes, it was a practice in some cultures to eat the heart or brain of one’s enemy in order to take his courage or intelligence into oneself. The Paleo diet does not require cannibalism, but it would certainly help mitigate the damage of a burgeoning population. You evidently lack the ability to do proper research however, so assume that your brain is safe from us. For now.

    “By nature, the Paleo Diet is based on artery-clogging saturated fats and cholesterol, and bone-damaging, acidic proteins from animal foods.”

    Saturated fats do not clog arteries. Fat doesn’t jump directly from your mouth to your bloodstream. Cholesterol is needed for proper cell repair and turnover, and is transported by LDL particles to repair vascular tissues. Plaque buildup happens when the vascular tissues, like arterial linings, get damaged (one cause of which is high blood sugar, which comes from a diet high in any kind of carbohydrate) and the LDL particles get oxidized and trapped within the lining.
    Saturated fats have also been shown to be protective against heart disease. Here:,,

    “…a diet very high in animal protein foods would cause a person to become seriously ill with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and eventually death from protein toxicity… For most people the dietary ceiling for protein is 200 to 300 grams a day or about 30 to 40 percent of the normal daily calorie intake. The Paleo Diet is as high as 35% protein. ”

    For a 2000 calorie diet, the current USDA recommendation (which shouldn’t be recommending dietary guidelines, since they exist to protect agricultural interests, not health) 200-300g of protein is 40-60% of dietary intake, not 30-40%. Invest in a calculator, please.

    A low-carbohydrate diet, say, 150 g or fewer per day of carbohydrate, consists of 30% of carbohydrate. If we assume approximately 35% protein, that means that the remaining 35% of the diet is comprised of fat. Fat is the body’s preferred source of energy, and when provided with sufficient fat, the body will not attempt to metabolize protein for energy and uses it instead for protein synthesis and other cellular needs.

    “Rabbit starvation” occurs when there is no fat or carbohydrate available fo energy, and protein is metabolized instead, resulting in nitrogenous by-products and other nasty things. In short, eat nothing but protein and you’ll poison your cells because they have nothing else to fuel themselves with. Eat fat with your protein and they will be fueled by fat, and use protein to build new cells, hormones, and enzymes.

    “Eating animal-derived foods causes our most common diseases for many well-established reasons, including the indisputable facts that they contain no dietary fiber, are filthy with disease-causing microbes (including mad cow prions, and E. coli and salmonella bacteria), and contain the highest levels of poisonous environmental chemicals found in the food chain.”

    Metabolic syndrome is caused by inflammation and insulin resistance, which both result from a diet high in carbohydrate. More carbohydrate means higher blood sugar (including those lovely “complex” carbs… they might take longer to turn to glucose, but that’s what they all do), and high blood sugar demands more insulin. If the insulin can’t keep up with the onslaught, insulin resistance results, causing perpetually high blood sugar. High blood sugar is also a cause of inflammation, and I refer you back to the topic of plaque buildup. Some studies:,,,,

    You’ll note that the explosion in metabolic disease only came about AFTER we began eating large quantities of grains, processed foods, and industrial vegetable oils. As of now, our meat consumption is higher than it was in the 1950s, but our consumption of grain products and corn-sweetened processed foods have increased by 45% and 39%, respectively. Given that there is more than one variable here, you cannot pin down meat consumption as THE cause of metabolic disease. (

    As to the disease-causing microbes, safe food handling is key. Additionally, the “poisonous environmental chemicals” come from the treatment of food crops with chemical pesticides, fungicides, et al. Feed an animal corn that’s been packed with toxins and the toxins bioaccumulate in its fat. The long solution to this would be to cease monocropping to make room for greater organic/environmentally friendlier production of fruits and vegetables (which only comprise about 5% of our cropland thanks to corn and grain subsidies) and sustainable livestock rearing. I’ll continue the logistics of that later.
    Since many of us can only use conventionally produced animal foods, we trim the fat to remove the bulk of this toxicity.

    I will also remind you that we aren’t eating a diet made of 60% animal protein. By volume, we’re eating mostly plant foods.

    “The most effective diets ever used to cure people of common day illnesses, like coronary heart disease, type-2 diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, arthritis, and obesity minimize animal foods and require people eat the bulk of their calories from starches, including grains, legumes, and potatoes (foods forbidden to Paleo eaters).”

    Inflammation and high blood sugar are the results of high-carbohydrate diets and the causes of these metabolic disorders. The people “cured” by these diets are also heavily medicated with statins, artificial insulin, anti-inflammatory medications, and hypertension medications. Additionally, the high-starch diet recommended to diabetics is fairly new. In the past, diabetics were cautioned to limit carbohydrate intake to REDUCE BLOOD SUGAR. Even my father-in-law has been told to limit his carbohydrates to control his TII Diabetes. Increasing the blood sugar of diabetics is a ridiculous notion. More studies:, ,,

    “Widespread Adoption of the Paleo Diet Would Soon Become an Ecological Disaster”

    You distinctly failed to mention the amount of water used to produce the massive quantities of largely inedible grain crops here in the US, which comprises the majority of cropland. Since most of it is not edible by humans, it is fed to ruminants in CAFOs or sent to be chemically processed to create food additives like hydrolyzed wheat protein, soybean oil, corn oil, and HFCS, which all demand huge quantities of water and toxic, volatile solvents to create. This also creates the massive price gap between fresh fruits and vegetables and cheap, processed foods. CAFOs also multiply the demand for water by requiring not only the water that the animals drink, but also the vast quantities needed to produce their feed.

    Using beef as an example, since I work on a beef ranch, grass-fed beef production does not require as much water as grain production or grain-fed beef production. Nor does it demand the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides, since ruminants will consume whatever grass is available to them in the region they are being raised in, and they fertilize the grass themselves. Mechanical dragging of the fields is sufficient. Lack of confinement reduces the incidence of disease and thus the use of antibiotics, thereby limiting veterinary interference to basic vaccines that protect the animals from vector-borne diseases.

    As for not being able to feed the world this way, eating a diet high in fat (remember we’re eating more fat calories than protein calories, here!) means eating less food. Because we are satisfied and because we are not dependent on carbohydrates for energy, paleo eaters do not eat five or six meals a day to control their blood sugar like high carbohydrate diets demand. Ultimately we eat a smaller quantity of food throughout the day.

    “Choose 10 close friends and family members. Which nine should die so that the Paleo people can have their uncivilized way?”

    Unless you do not get the news underneath your rock, you would notice that we are already approaching an unsustainable global population, and food production is not the only source of the squeeze on resources.The subject of population decrease demands a look at more than just a culling of humanity. There are societal and cultural factors that have created the population boom, such as preferences for large families or lack of the knowledge or resources to prevent them. So what’s the solution to maintaining both the earth AND our health?

    1.) Waste reduction in the first world. There is no reason for the amount of industrial and consumer waste we produce. The cloth bag and reusable container movements are a start.
    2.) Energy solutions in the first world. Infrastructure creates the difficulty in having clean, cooperative methods of transportation and energy usage, which would in turn reduce waste.
    3.) Food as food, not politics. In countries like ours, we grow money, not food, and the emphasis is on selling commodity crops and not promoting the health of the people. This has been an ongoing battle since monocropping was subsidized in the US, and complacency is costing us our health.
    4.) Population control in the first and third world. Dozens of factors create the large populations of people globally, including lack of education, lack of resources, and cultural expectations. By turning priorities away from traditionally large families to sustainable communities, we could halt the population explosion.
    5.) Reallocation. The resources being spent on keeping sick monocrops alive and processing the massive excess into the foods that are poisoning us must be reallocated to raising real food. Instead of engineering processes that make it cheaper and easier to eat otherwise inedible grain products, interdependent systems must be built that make real food production as efficient and sustainable as possible, something that environmental engineers are working on as we speak.
    6.) Tradition. Returning to traditional food preparation makes the entire scheme of real food more sustainable. Consumption of organs and using bones to make soups instead of just lean cuts of meat ensures that more food is provided by each animal and none is wasted. Our grandmothers did it and were far healthier than we are. I repeat again that the Paleo diet is mostly fat, not mostly protein, so meat consumption would be higher, but not nearly as high as your alarmism suggests. I’ll also repeat that less food is being consumed overall because of the high satiety. A topic The Paleo Diet (the book) does not address is the preparation of certain foods to reduce their antinutritive and inflammatory properties. Properly prepared by soaking or sprouting, some legumes and non-gluten containing grains can be eaten without incurring negative effects on the gut or on blood sugar. Does this mean that the Paleo Diet per Dr. Cordain’s book wouldn’t be followed to the T? Yes, it does. But these suggestions do not adulterate the basic premise of following a paleolithic diet, which is that modern, processed foods are injurious to ourselves and to the planet, and returning to whole, real food brings health back to the world.

    Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Kristina, FTW!

      Graham wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Kristina, you did what I wanted to but was too lazy to. Well said.

      Christina208 wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Nice work :)

      Paul wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • she’s got this one! nice! shooting down all the prehuman evidence for why we should be eating plant based! so much misdirection in this guys article!

      miked wrote on July 17th, 2012
  17. Civilization is in the eye of the beholder.

    To me, uncivilized is a way of eating that enslaves humanity to a diet comprised of the commodities of industrial agriculture for the benefit of big business.

    To me, uncivilized is a diet that nurtures pandemic diseases of modernity for the benefit of big insurance and big pharma.

    To me, uncivilized is a body of self-annointed experts that disempower human beings from accepting their personal responsibility for fostering their health for the benefit of big universities, big medicine, and big government.

    To me, uncivilized is advancing a personal agenda through calculated lies intended to play on human emotion.

    When I wake up every morning I can look at my reflection in the mirror without a twinge of regret. Be honest, Doc, can you say the same?

    Geoff wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • ^^^ agreed, indeed.

      yoolieboolie wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • ++1

      mars wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Well of course the doc. can! That’s why he can defend his position so well — his position is morally superior!

      Delete the last line, post it in the FOK comments section, and claim your $50 gift certificate!

      jake3_14 wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • +1!

      ravi wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • I think you mean self-appointed, not self-annointed.

      Cynthia wrote on July 16th, 2012
  18. I’ll take the babies brain deep fried in coarse ground wild rice, you can have the super sweet ice cream. anyone else out there eaten a person recently, can’t decide what side to have??

    Batesie wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • My fiance had to have something on his face cauterized last week, and he said it smelled like bacon when the dermatologist started soldering his face. I’d say anything that goes with bacon should therefore complement a person very nicely. Including more bacon.

      Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
  19. Dear Dr. McDougall,

    I am writing to thank you for showing me the light. For a period of time, I was seduced by the primal way of eating and living. You can see how I would have fallen under their spell. They promise increased energy, better health, mental clarity, and more sex — all while eating bacon, steak, delicious coconut curries, and chocolate chilli. I mean, it’s basically the perfect con, isn’t it?

    It wasn’t until reading your post that I realized this group had a much more nefarious agenda than helping me live longer, healthier, and happier. No, it seems their real goal, as you suggest — was to eat me. Me! A human being! Their promises of bacon and brisket were no more than an adult version of the witch’s candy house in Hansel and Gretel. It was a lure, meant to fatten me up and increase my deliciousness. Needless to say, I was repulsed.

    After this horrifying realization, I continued to dig deeper into this rogue community. I found myself thinking of your quote from Dr. Cordain, where he wrote: “Without them (starches, like wheat, rice, corn, and potatoes), the world could probably support one-tenth or less of our present population…”

    I found myself wondering … what if this was more than a simple observation on the over-population of our planet? What if it was … a clue? A thinly-veiled hint at the paleo movement’s greatest plan? Was Dr. Cordain sitting in a giant leather chair somewhere, pressing his finger tips together and cackling maniacally as he contemplated his world domination?

    Yes, I realized I was onto something. It is my belief that the paleo community intends to attempt to take over the world, and kill off, enslave, or possibly dine on 90% of the world’s population.

    I’m sure this will come as no great surprise to you, as you seem to be able to clearly imagine the depths of depravity within this community. But I urge you to do more than write bitter blog posts about it — we must act. Soon.

    If we are going to mount a counter attack, though, we have a lot of work ahead of us. I mean, have you seen these people? I don’t mean to alarm you, but a lot of them are pretty darn ripped. Many of them seem to be involved in something called “Crossfit”, which originally I thought seemed quite benign, but now I realize must be a part of their militia training. I’m afraid we will have a difficult time defeating them. I propose we look into the possibility of robot sharks. It may be our only hope.

    Until then, I would like to make you an offer. I will gladly stay in the primal community, posing as one of them, learning to eat as they eat and live as they live. You know, to be a mole for you. It will take great sacrifice on my part, but I am willing to do it. That is how deeply I believe in our cause.

    Yours in gratitude,

    andrea. wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Everyone watch out for this double agent!

      AD wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • LOL!! I think you probably just scored yourself a gift certificate!

      Bebe wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • ^^^ This girl has WIN, in spades.

      Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Guess what the good doctor peddles:

      TJ the Grouch wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Bloody Brilliant!

      Brahnamin wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Awesome!

      Amber wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • “Meat is good. Vegetarians might disagree, but this is because they’re scared, weak people who are afraid that if the world runs short of cattle, they’ll be eaten first. They’re right.” – Chaos n Pain

      Clare wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • Who wants to eat a vegetarian? Yuck! They probably have way more O6 than O3! The only good thing about them is– wait for it–


        Quiet Reader wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Hahaha!!!

      Kitty wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • I hope you are a writer, Andrea. You are hysterical and your comment was the only thing that made my massive irritation after reading that piece subside.

      Christina208 wrote on July 16th, 2012
    • Oh MAN that was friggin’ hilarious. I vote for Andrea!


      Tim wrote on July 16th, 2012
  20. Someone googled “why paleo is bad”

    Patrick wrote on July 15th, 2012
  21. I left my 2cents in the discussion. The article is biased and provocative, but what can we do, we cant’ save the entire world

    Claudio wrote on July 15th, 2012
  22. In the name of Asclepius! That Dr. McDougall should have his medical licence revoked.

    I’m starting to think doctors should have to have their licences renewed every five years or something like First Aid certification has to be. Maybe we could filter some of these morons out or at least make them better informed.

    A.Stev wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Revoking this idiot’s medical license won’t make a difference. You cannot argue with “stoopid”. As a retired physician, diabetic, I lost 58 lbs. on paleo, my blood chemistry looks great and I look forward to many long years of enjoying my retirement. We all need to learn and to take responsibility for ourselves and our health.

      TJ the Grouch wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • “We all need to learn and to take responsibility for ourselves and our health.”

        That process would be a lot easier (especially for the masses of people not good at thinking critically) if morons like this weren’t out there peddling mumbo jumbo and hiding behind a medical degree and confusing people.

        A.Stev wrote on July 15th, 2012
  23. I can’t imagine anyone other ADM, Cargill, Monsanto, and the shills for these corporations caring what I eat.

    Groundhog wrote on July 15th, 2012
  24. Honestly, the question about animals that kill people was just trolling. Of course it’s completely situational. If a drunk breaks into a tiger’s cage and gets eaten, should we label the tiger a man-killer and kill it? Of course not. If there is a rabid, aged or injured man-killer stalking and killing people for food in the wild, sure, kill it.

    You have to be careful about the exact circumstances and also understand the impulse to retaliate. Too often in history, the impulse has roots in the farmer’s hatred of all ‘vermin’ or ‘predators’, and his dissociation from the real natural world, not to mention an exaggerated profit motive. Leading to programs of extermination that have been grossly misapplied to wild animal populations.

    BillP wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • BillP! How dare you advocate a measured reasoned response that respects nuance and context. For shame! (Not that I’m saying that’s not something people do here… just that people don’t do it much period)

      Isn’t pretty much everything best dealt with in this way though? Yet what I like to call ‘Binary thinking’ where people just reflexively choose one side or the other of an issue is far more common.


      Tim wrote on July 16th, 2012
  25. Three steps to a more civilized primal experience:

    1. Always wear a tie or an ascot during mild cardio,

    2. Whilst partaking of meat and offal (using a knife and fork of course), remember to extend your pinky finger,

    3. During play (ascot optional), remember to encourage your comrades with cheers of “good show old chap,” or “I say – capital frizbee toss my good man!”

    Michael wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • That might be the greatest thing I’ve ever read!

      Nigel wrote on July 17th, 2012
  26. Yeah, I’m posting twice today, but now that I’ve gone over the sore points of that article, I have to ask (and I asked the commenters over there, too):

    Why do we have to constantly attack each other over how to eat? Not everything works for every person. I’ve cured my own prediabetes, lost weight, and achieved beautiful lab results eating Paleo. One of my close friends does it eating a vegan diet. Other friends of mine do vegan+fish, paleo+dairy, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo+traditionally prepared grains… We run the gamut between high fat, moderate fat, moderate carb, low carb, plants, animals… the only similarity is that we all eat whole food and skip the cheap, chemical-laden processed foods.

    Enough with the dietary secularism! Why do we spend so much time convincing ourselves that we’re all beautiful, unique snowflakes right up until we talk about nutrition, and then it’s “You MUST eat vegan,” “You MUST eat whole grains,” “You MUST eat low-fat,” “You MUST eat dairy,””You MUST eat Paleo,” or “You MUST eat X,”? Enough is enough!

    We need to start eating for health instead of eating to push an agenda.

    Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • I think you are right Kristina.
      Why all this negativity? Our goal is the same. Health and richer lives. Who cares if one does it Paleo and another does it Vegan. We need to remain focus.
      I am Paleo myself but I respect and admire all who makes an effort to change their life to the better.

      Tanja wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • Why? Because it’s sad to see sick children. :(

        I see fat kids, scrawny kids, pale kids with allergic shiners, kids on daily meds for all sorts of ailments that kids shouldn’t have… All things we know will go away if their parents just fed the poor things real food.

        em wrote on July 15th, 2012
        • I’m all about fighting for real food. It’s the arguing about which real food is the “realest” that bugs me. Get to the “real” part and let it be.

          Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • have to agree with kristina – i am appalled that our “civilized” world tolerates people with serious eating disorders like veganism to literally starve their children in the midst of affluence and plenty. after several attempts to sincerely and heartfully communicate this to several young vegan parents whose shy (frightened) waif-like offspring were clearly suffering for their parents ignorant – no, downright stupid choices.

        they will diverge genetically if they survive – our brains have already shrunk by 10% since the advent of agriculture – to continue down the herbivore path will simply lead them to become herbivores with all the characteristics of a cow.

        ‘course – then they’ll be tasty…..

        ravi wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • I’m not sure who your comment is directed to exactly… I realise you’re trying to be the ‘voice of moderation’ but I think you’re missing the point.

      Paleo is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of ways of eating; it’s pretty flexible (there are very few “you MUST”s), but this whole idea of “everyone is different” only goes so far. There ARE things that are near-universally bad that people shouldn’t eat.

      ‘Anything goes’ is just as bad as super-strict ‘Eat only this specific way’. The people here DO eat for health rather than an agenda… we only ‘fight’ to defend the actual evidence from people like McDougall and his ilk who deny or try to obfuscate it.

      A.Stev wrote on July 15th, 2012
      • Paleo isn’t an umbrella term to everyone. To some, there is no “mostly paleo” or “paleo plus dairy.” There are just as many absolutists in Paleo Land as there are everywhere else. My theory is that we have more Crossfitters, so the meanness is reduced by self-preservation. It SHOULD be an umbrella term, but unfortunately there’s divisiveness here, too.

        And my idea of “everyone is different” doesn’t extend to the SAD or CW. I simply mean that as long as you’re doing what’s physiologically and biochemically correct, then to you-know-where with everyone else.

        In my idea of everyone getting along, and idea that evolves constantly as I learn more about biological processes and biochemistry, everyone must ensure that he or she is getting all 10 essential amino acids, everyone must ensure that he or she gets all the important vitamins and nutrients AND sufficient fat intake, both saturated and unsaturated. Everyone should assess their response to carbohydrates of all kinds and adjust accordingly. Beyond that, EVERYONE should try a few elimination-reintroduction diets to see what makes himself or herself tick.

        Until you isolate the things that make you feel good and bad, you can’t say for certain that you can eat “everything in moderation,” which is why that buzzphrase irritates me. After each person has self-experimented, they can decide what will work. Maybe certain seeds are okay if they’re sprouted. Maybe beans are cool if prepared a certain way. Maybe dairy is an okay source of fat once every few days, but not daily. Maybe less meat makes you feel better, or more. Maybe X amount of fat doesn’t work, but Y does.

        So I guess it’s not really “anything goes.” It’s “anything that you have personally determined is suitable for your optimal function and enjoyment of life goes.”

        Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
        • If your ‘anything goes’ policy *doesn’t* apply to CW or SAD then what’s your point exactly?

          This Dr. McDougall is promoting CW and bad science, not a “Can I handle a little dairy or not?” or a “Am I doing what’s biochemically correct?” approach.

          Sure, we all have the same goal of being healthy but even you admitted that not every approach (CW & SAD) works. We can’t all just get along, explore our biochemistry together and not fight when there are people who are promoting completely invalid approaches. We *have* to fight when people try to push BS as science. The only agenda I see people on this side of the debate trying to push is that good science be accepted.

          I, and I don’t think anyone else here, needs a lecture on self-experimentation and ‘finding what works for you’. This is MDA; like half the posts here in the past 6 months have been about that.

          So, if you’re not arguing that we should be more forgiving or cooperative with people like CW Dr. McDougall or that “anything goes”, I don’t get what your point is. You’re not saying anything everyone here doesn’t already know or anything that’s really related to the topic; it was a completely non sequitur comment.

          A.Stev wrote on July 15th, 2012
        • I’m sorry if that’s what it sounded like. I should proof my posts to see how they sound instead of assuming they say what I’m thinking they say.

          I was expressing my frustration with the rigid attitudes and emotive attacks everywhere, not just from people like these guys who would know better just by having an organic chemistry textbook in the same room.

          The people who aren’t getting along are the people who have already decided to eat real food but keep sniping at each other over purism.

          Looking back I obviously wasn’t clear and didn’t bridge the gap between the conversation and my thoughts.

          Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • I understand your frustration with this behavior. I used to feel it too but I’ve moved to a different place where I feel that even though I’m not out there judging people, looking to find their faults and point them out, others are and that it doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong and I am right… just that we are different. It’s not paleo or veganism that’s to blame, it’s people. People can get dogmatic, people can be rigid, people can look to place themselves above others. I don’t believe it’s something we can change. It just is.

      The judgers can go on judging others, be they vegan or paleo or whatever other personal axe they’ve chosen to grind. I will continue to try to wag my finger less and live with acceptance and compassion more.


      Tim wrote on July 17th, 2012
  27. Dr. McDougall makes a fortune off his line of “Dr McDougall’s Right Foods” line of crappy processed grain-based grocery store shelf pseudo-food.

    Nuff said.

    mars wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • totally.

      “John McDougall, MD, is medical director of the McDougall Program”

      DUBS wrote on July 15th, 2012
  28. I started reading the forks over knives post, but then I remembered that article on The Onion about the open-minded guy who realized he spent his entire life listening to bullshit. So I just went back to eating my Big-Ass Salad =)

    Val Karpov wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • You can’t argue with salad. I think we should have a meeting with this doctor over salads and see what kind of vicious flesh-eaters we are then.

      Kristina wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Hahaha the onion , brilliant .

      We should be just open minded enough that our brains don’t fall out.

      alex wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Just read the Onion article, hilarious!

      I’ll also take the liberty of quoting it: Dear Dr. McDougall, “your idea isn’t good and you are wasting our time and you need to shut up right now.'”

      dutchess759 wrote on July 17th, 2012
  29. Usually, when you have someone espousing something so vehemently, they have an ulterior motive involved.

    My observation suggests to me that Dr. McDougall so strongly believes in his lifestyle, he cannot possible understand why other lifestyles also make sense to some people. We as humans have the same problem with Religion, Politics, or anything else that can polarize viewpoints. In his case, I imagine that he also has money riding on people believing him. No offence Mark – I know you do to because of all of the wonderful merchandise you sell to people who love the Primal lifestyle.

    That said, perhaps we should turn our attention to what I’d like to call the unbiased third party.

    Gary Taubes explains in layman (or caveman) terminology the science behind why insulin has become the enemy. He even provides some graphic (though clinical) imagery to support it. So, while at times a bit over the top with his science, the book has one thesis – Insulin is the enemy.

    While Mark and Dr. McDougall have certainly started a polarized debate, something that the internet does a very good job catalyzing, I’d suggest going outside of Paleo for validation. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Paleo lifestlye. But, not because Mark sold it to me, trust in ACCURATE science did.

    Jason Lowenthal wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • You make a great point! As with any argument – people are very committed to their viewpoint and are unlikely to keep an open mind.

      I think the part of the article at Forks that made me the most sad is the response in the comments. The supporters of the article wanted to know why so many paleos were reading it! What? I’m sorry. I must have been too busy stuffing my face with bacon to realize that I am not allowed to read articles with a viewpoint in opposition to my own. As a librarian and a champion of discovering knowledge, I am deeply saddened.

      These posts have definitely made my LOL though. Yeah for primal!

      Allison R wrote on July 16th, 2012
  30. rebuttal” the starch solution uses exactly the same formula as “Paleo” eliminate the processed shit and eat whole food.”

    in summary , try to get the bulk of your calories to maintain your weight eating as much bland starch as possible and watch the pounds fly off.

    At a certain point you want quality of life not just to weight less.

    The tag line of His book(yes he’s selling a book to free you from paleo) is as the eating plan for the (debunked) The China Study.

    He praises starches ability to create Large civilizations then chides civilizations for their destructive farming practices ( but only that of animals) .

    He calls “Paleo eaters” uncivilized then cites the dietary preferences of Ancient Mass Murders as proof?

    “The ancient conquerors of Europe and Asia, including the armies of Alexander the Great (356 – 323 BC) and Genghis Khan (1162 – 1227 AD) consumed starch-based diets. Caesar’s legions complained when they had too much meat in their diet and preferred to do their fighting on grains. Primarily six foods: barley, maize (corn), millet, potatoes, rice, and wheat, have fueled the caloric engines of human civilization.”

    alex wrote on July 15th, 2012
  31. Since the americas were not in the european radar until 1492 it would have been an impossibility for the romans to have even known about corn or potatoes (which are new world crops), much less eaten them. Just a little heads-up.

    marika wrote on July 15th, 2012
  32. Just like the movie “Forks over Knives,” I wasn’t able to make it very far in that article…prop-a-gan-da!!!

    Graham wrote on July 15th, 2012
  33. In the USA, civilized = consuming subsidized kibble; Healthy = medicated; Truth = 65% obesity and mounting. Is our lifestyle uncivilized, unhealthy, and untrue… YES IT IS! We are Primal. We are going “against the grain”. We chose to munch plants and animals over kibble. We play in the sunshine rather than plugging into the Borg. We seek to redefine what is civilized, healthy, and truthful! Grok on!!!

    Jamie wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Love this point; several other readers have noted this “Doc” is very much influenced by mainstream media and government “science,” etc, but I think this comment says it so simply. What is civilized or uncivilized anyway?! And if it’s defined by some power- or fame-hungry propagandist, why the hell should we care what’s civil or uncivil? We’re totally making t-shirts that will say “Against the grain,” by the way, thanks for the inspiration :)

      Liz wrote on July 15th, 2012
  34. Forksoverknives;

    Well, what a load of lies in there to boot as well as just bashing meat… how did this guy become a doctor?

    I think the best, meat-eating, barbarian response comes from Robert E Howard’s Conan:

    ‘Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing’.

    Run, you bandy legged, pudgy little icon of civilization; the barbarians are coming to eat you.

    dan wrote on July 15th, 2012
  35. That article is so full of untruths it’s not even worth the trouble of rebutting.

    First, he associates the human diet with that of a primate which never evolved a large brain by eating meat. Then he claims that the reason why we don’t compare our diet to primates is because of sexism.

    Then it just gets worse from there…

    Chris wrote on July 15th, 2012
  36. Not mine but I think it fits, thanks for the site.

    If you hear that someone is speaking ill of you, instead of trying to defend yourself, you should say: “He obviously doesn’t know me very well, since there are so many other faults he could have mentioned.”

    Jodie Jantz wrote on July 15th, 2012
  37. The article claims that grains are good because they allowed the rise of civilization which allowed for conquerors like Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan to form great warring empires.

    In summary, grains are good because killing and wars are good.

    Chris wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Seriously, right? The invention of private property, wealth, government? I mean, antibiotics are awesome (when used judiciously) and I love being able to expect that all my children will survive to adulthood. But let’s face it, “civilization” is a mixed bag.

      Also, can we get a big “thank you very much” on behalf of all the hunter-gatherer societies, whom he does not consider “civilized”…? This article is just dripping with Western Male bias.

      em wrote on July 15th, 2012
  38. Two points come to mind. First, follow the money. from his website, 10 day live in program:
    Full Participant
    (medical care, laboratory, etc.)
    $4,360/person (double) $4,960/person (single). Hmmm, and they give Mark a hard time for selling some supplements.

    Second, THUNDERDOME!! Two men enter one man leaves, Grok and Dr.McDougall. Odds anyone?

    Tercio wrote on July 15th, 2012
    • Right, the live-in program: it’s a safe bet, since nothing will get fixed, he’ll have plenty of repeat customers.

      BillP wrote on July 15th, 2012
  39. “If you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth”
    Ancel Keys comes to mind.
    SAD diet proponents come to mind.

    “They base their hypothesis largely upon a flawed review of contemporary hunter-gathers”.

    Ancel Keys based his hypothesis largely upon his own flawed review of the Mediterranian diet.

    I could go on, but I think you get my drift.

    Jo tB wrote on July 15th, 2012
  40. Every society that adopted grains has shown a decrease in health and more importantly, brain size. So we devolving as a global populace. Sorry but I dont want my great grandchildren to be monkeys because of quaker oats.

    Bobert wrote on July 15th, 2012

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