Weekend Link Love – Edition 164

Installing an “Urban Jungle” play area, complete with trees, boulders, hills, and tunnels, has dramatically reduced the number of accidents and incidents of “pushing, hitting, and slipping” at a Scottish primary school.

Why a sales pitch is best given on a steep hill.

A candid interview with a former Big Food exec confirms what we basically already suspected to be true. Still, it’s nice to know for sure (or is it the opposite of nice?).

German scientists developed a new method for testing pesticide residue in farmed fish fed conventional vegetable matter; the results of the first studies to use the new method will soon be published. Here’s hoping I don’t have to rewrite my old post, eh?

Bloomberg posted a nice summation of the research on the addictive properties of processed junk food. One startling highlight: rats preferred hits of sugar/saccharine to hits of cocaine (and you know those research scientists have access to the pure stuff).

Paleo foods to feed a cold: saltine-less edition.

In a recent NPR report, we learned about a breastfeeding mother who fixed her kid’s acid reflux by giving up all soy, wheat, and dairy. Read that article, then go back to their hit piece on paleo, and laugh/cry at the absurdity of it all.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Nov 8 – Nov 14)

Comment of the Week

This experiment will no doubt result in adding to the population explosion.

– Commenter Sharon’s take on the long-term ramifications of engaging in an intentional power outage.

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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38 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 164”

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  1. I’m sorry to say that the paleo foods to feed a cold post is very timely this morning. My chicken soup is simmering on the stove (hold the rice, please).

    I was shocked to see the Bloomberg piece earlier this week. Shocked, but applauding.

    And I’m another one of those moms who fixed her kid’s colic by dropping wheat and dairy. That was 8 years ago and the beginning of my paleo adventure. (Because it turned out I felt pretty awesome, too, with my new-and-improved diet.)

  2. Is anyone else annoyed that the headline of the Bloomberg labels these foods “fatty” and then goes on to talk about sugary foods almost exclusively?

    1. Absolutely. I’ve seen this several times. Sugar is bad, but they still blame it on fat. Ditto for the “unhealthy fats and unrefined flours.” So I guess we can all live on unsaturated soybean oil and whole-grain bread. 🙄

      But I’m gratified to see that some researchers are using the anti-smoking movement as a model.

    2. I’m beginning to suspect that it’s a legal requirement to include sugary AND fatty together any time there is a discussion of unhealthy.

      Or maybe it’s simply that the powers that be have never allowed funding for a study of fat without the inclusion of sugary and/or carby.

      1. A spoonful of sugar makes the soybean oil go down.

        Which is easier to drink? Sugar water or melted fat?

        Fat is not addictive. In fact, eating fat discourages the eating of more fat, or anything else. Appetite suppressant.

    3. count me in as more than annoyed… angry is more like it.. THIS EXACTLY is why the rest of my family continues to have a healthy meat free (white) pasta night twice a week. I’m sure this article will get forwarded to me by more than one person who doesn’t actually read it or thinks that the research cited DOES actually prove that fatty food is addictive.

      Why are people getting fatter? Look no further…

  3. That NPR article is frustrating. The author says that the paleo diet doesn’t work because we’ll rely on factory meat? Do your research before coaching people on what to eat. Combined with the breast feeding article, you really can’t help but feel that the left hand is doing one thing while the right is somewhere else…

    1. If you follow that article’s “sources” (a word I’m using in the loosest possible sense, given how much of that article is about what the author “thinks” is true as a “almost 100% vegetarian”), her big reference on the nutrition front is a US News ranking of the “best diets.”

      Notwithstanding the speciousness of that as proof more generally, if you look at the criteria for the rankings it’s even more ridiculous. They rate heavily based on adherence to government guidelines, something the diet explicitly is controverting. It gets low marks for Ease, Nutrition, and Safety, purely on the basis of eschewing grains and dairy. It’s set up to fail these rankings – it’s not possible for an ancestral diet to score well because they’re not rating based on efficacy but on adherence to “accepted” practices. Everything else they state they “had no choice” but to score low because they did not have a lot of studies on it so they were forced to conclude that the diet was ineffective. Huh?!

      You can expect that sort of garbage to pass as research in something as shallow as US News, but I had a little higher standards for NPR, an organization that is usually rather thorough. Granted, this is just this one contributor’s blog, but I hope her published research is a lot more rigorous than this, which amounts to “I think this would hard, unsustainable, and some people take it pretty far, therefore it’s objectively bad.”

      Oh, and it’s particularly bothersome to me the people who trot out the “paleo sounds fine and well, but it’s not practical for the world’s population.” argument. Which is a total red herring – that may very well be true, and it points again to the serious resources problem the earth faces, but it doesn’t make it somehow less correct an answer to the question of whether primal is the right lifestyle for humans generally. How we implement it for a global audience is another, a difficult one, maybe one that cannot happen, but it doesn’t refute the evidence that it’s how people *should* live.

      1. Imagnie how much healthy meat could be produced if the countless millions of acres dedicated to wheat and corn were instead dedicated to growing beef and buffalo.

    2. It’s frustrating but is ready to be left alone. I saw it a while ago. Robb, Diane and Liz talked about it on the Balanced Bites podcast a couple weeks ago.

      I’m not worried about these types of articles. The growth is way too big and Robb Wolf is doing way too much. And, Mark’s blog continue to explode. More and more primal/paleo blogs pop up every day.

      The AHS was huge and I’m sure next year will be crazy better. Maybe because I’m attending?…

      1. Agree with you here that really the people that want to learn about alternative health away from mass media and government influence will do so regardless of what some off-shoot articles say. What really irks me though is that this is a professional in my field who should have almost a priority of interest in the paleo community but instead she’s decided to use her energy to be a contrarian for the sake of being contrary (because it’s quite obvious she hasn’t done her research). I’m rather annoyed at the anthropologists that see this as some sort of challenge to the work of anthropology rather than an incredible grass roots health movement that has every best interest in human health.

  4. unbelievable, i can’t believe the rats would prefer sugar to cocaine!! that is really telling, sugar is HIGHLY addictive!

  5. The Bloomburg article tied fat to sugar and processed carbs. Very misleading.

  6. I agree that some folks DO take Paleo/Primal to the extreme in trying to “live like Grok” in all aspects of their lives… and unfortunately, they’re the ones that detractors tend to focus on. Compulsive Authenticity almost never goes over well when trying to convince skeptics that something great isn’t just a new fad.
    If those same detractors would just LOOK at those of us who are trying to eat just a little better, move just a little more, refusing to support big “food” and pharma interests, I don’t believe that they’d be quite so dismissive of the whole idea of ancestral nutrition.

  7. Hi Mark!
    I’ve just finished reading your book and it’s great! Sorry for off topic but can you tell me what do you think about 1.M.R. supplement? Is that something good or not? A friend of mine who exercises a lot takes it, and he has Crohn’s disease.
    Best regards,

  8. Anyone else notice in the Bloomburg article that all of the studies mentioned site high sugar foods as addictive and the author decides to throw in “fatty foods” for fun?

    1. I doubt the author threw in the title for fun, that almost never happens. It’s usually the editor that does the title, and it’s a carefully crafted thing. Yes, the article talks almost exclusively about experiments involving sugar. But nobody wants to hear that SUGAR is addictive! Fat’s the devil! Look at the comments under the article and see the outrage… It didn’t go unnoticed.

      1. Bloomberg posts a link to the emails of both the article author AND the editor. Should somebody contact the editor (Reg Gale) and call him out on the obviously misleading title?

  9. WRT the Bloomburg article… Maybe Ricky Bobby really should have snorted those Lucky Charms that were tape under the car.

  10. I checked out Bruce Bradley’s blog http://www.brucebradley.com/ He has some interesting research — check out how “natural” so many natural additives are.

    Sadly, he still seems to think that saturated fats are bad. Perhaps we can help to educated him on this front as well?

    1. I really enjoyed that interview and am glad to have found an honest dude. I’ll be reading his blog from here on out for sure!

  11. I love the last paragraph on the food addiction article:

    Food industry lobbyists don’t buy that argument [that their food is addictive] — or even the idea that food addiction may exist. Said Richard Adamson, a pharmacologist and consultant for the American Beverage Association [huh, interesting combination]: “I have never heard of anyone robbing a bank to get money to buy a candy bar or ice cream or pop.”

    You’d have to be pretty hard up to have to rob a bank to be able to afford them. Heck, in the near-term they are cheaper than real food. It only gets expensive in quantity, so by the time you get to the point where you need so much that your food bill is as expensive as a drug habit, I doubt you’d be in any condition to rob a bank.

    1. and

      “Food company executives and lobbyists are quick to counter that nothing…is wrong with what PepsiCo Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi calls “fun-for- you” foods, if eaten in moderation.”

      But you can’t eat them in moderation, not for long anyway. And you know it. You designed them that way. Your argument is invalid.

      1. Nor do they really expect anyone to consume their goods in moderation–they realize that most of their customers are not consuming their product in moderation, but saying this makes for a reasonable sounding, politically correct sound-bite, but it’s certainly not consistent with their business model nor good for the bottom line. Typical big-food double-speak.

        It’s all nonesense anyways–these products are damaging in any amount.

  12. No, no, no… it’s not “Why a sales pitch is best given on a steep hill.” it’s “Why a sales pitch is best given while gettin’ yo gangsta lean on.”

  13. I attended a lecture at Harvard Law where Dr. Lustig built a case for regulating sugar in the same way as tobacco/alcohol (taxes, access) because of the addictive properties as well as showing it to be the principle culprit behind the obesity epidemic.

    I can’t say he convinced me on the action plan (or sugar as the only thing) but his evidence for sugar having drug like effects was compelling.

  14. I LOVE that “green play area”! Perhaps we can just stop bulldozing forests instead? 😉

    Favourite part of the Big Food guy’s post:

    “Q. What are three things you think every consumer should know about Big Food?

    1) Big Food is profit-driven. Don’t be fooled into thinking a brand or the food company that owns it cares about you or your health.

    2) Think critically. Most claims and advertising by Big Food companies are meant to manipulate you, not educate you. Read your labels and do your research.

    3) There is no free lunch. Over the long-term, you always get what you pay for. Cheap food is very expensive once you add up the true costs — like the taxes you pay to subsidize Big Food companies, health consequences like obesity or diabetes, the devastating harm to our environment, and the inhumane treatment of animals raised within the industrialized food system.”

  15. Mark,

    Your article on why Grok lived past the age of fertility had some good ideas, but here’s an alternate theory… What if Grok remained fertile much longer than modern humans do? Tony Randall fathered two children after age 75, so is this really that far fetched? Could female menopause be considered a disease of civilation, and women on a primal diet remain fertile until their 60’s, 70’s, or much longer?

    1. No. Menopause is a very real and natural experience for all women: hunter-gatherers, westerners, primals alike.

  16. I really enjoyed reading about the natural playground, that seems like a really innovative idea but apparently these are fairly common in Germany(?) according to some of the information I found.. I’ll definitely try to pass this information along to our school board members and facilities staff here!
    The only issue I had with the “Big Food” article was the statement “Cheap food is very expensive once you add up the true costs — like the taxes you pay to subsidize Big Food companies..” I wish he would have expanded on this, as I think that could potentially be one of the strongest arguments to make against these companies. Maybe I missed it in his blog, but he doesn’t address it much there either it seems. I guess my thought process is that all these people who say stuff like “Don’t infringe on my right to buy whatever I like (i.e. by regulating the industry or the companies themselves) in whatever quantity I want” could possibly be forced to take a different view if they realized just how corrupt the entire system is. JMO.

    1. I should probably have clarified what I wanted him to expand on.. “The taxes” portion is what I meant. What subsidies does the government provide for them? What does that mean in terms of the taxes we pay? Those are the questions I wish he would address a little deeper. Especially considering the “insider” knowledge that he has.