April 08 2012

Weekend Link Love – Edition 185

By Mark Sisson
37 Comments

The Primal Transformation Seminar will be in Torrance, CA tomorrow night, and Woodland Hills, CA on Tuesday night. Grab your last minute tickets here and come with all your questions for presenter Brad Kearns.

Researchers have found solid evidence that humans were using fire one million years ago, pushing previous estimations back 300,000 years. Unless those guys were using the fire to warm their antelope marrow to just under 104 degrees F, I’d say this is powerful blow against raw foodists.

Why do zoo apes get heart disease?

Check out Dr. Robert Lustig’s recent “60 Minutes” piece on the toxicity of sugar.

I know I don’t often promote extended runs of any kind, but this particular brand of 5k sounds very cool.

Speaking of minimalist/barefoot running, Vibram is facing a class-action lawsuit for making “false” and “deceptive” claims about its products, namely “that the barefoot footwear concept improves posture and foot health, reduces injury risk, strengthens muscles in feet and lower legs, and promotes spine alignment.” What do you think?

So it sounds like genes aren’t your destiny, and scouring your genetic sequencing for disease risk might not make that big of a difference if you don’t account for epigenetics. Where have I heard that before?

A new cookbook, written by three archaeologists, covers everything from Paleolithic to Bronze Age to Roman to Viking cuisine.

Fans of NomNomPaleo, check out Saveur’s latest blog contest: she’s a finalist for their “Best Special Diet blog.” I bet she’d appreciate a vote in her favor, as would the Primal blogosphere at large.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (April 3 – April 9)

Comment of the Week

Is eating meat ethical? Are Lions ethical? What about Honey Badgers?

– I think we can all agree that the Honey Badger exists in a realm where pedestrian concepts like “ethics” simply do not apply.

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37 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 185”

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  1. The Vibram suit and media attention irritates me a bit, because all of the issues get so conflated. Let me note first that I’m a big Vibram fan and wear my five-fingers all the time.

    I think going barefoot (real or simulated) is great, although Vibram’s claims are sometimes overblown. Most of the oft-cited evidence for improved posture, foot-health, etc., comes from studies comparing people who have gone barefoot for most of their life against people who’ve always worn shoes. Wearing Vibrams for a month, year, or even 5 years is not going to produce the same results. In addition, too many people are not careful about getting started in Vibrams, and too many people run on concrete, where Vibrams really are a bit of a concern, since the impact is so hard and uncushioned.

    At the same time, Vibram’s claims are neither false nor deceptive. Wearing Vibrams does promote all of the things they say, and so long as you’re careful (e.g., don’t run on concrete), you can avoid most of the major risks associated with Vibrams, while still seeing many of the benefits over time.

    1. Running on concrete is fine in Vibrams. Running TMTS in Vibrams on concrete – or any running TMTS in a barefoot/minimalist fashion anywhere – will only produce injury.

      I hope Vibram comes out okay, but part of me is indifferent since their drop in quality after they drastically upped production. I would wear my old KSOs more if they didn’t reek to the heavens. :o)

      1. Wear away, man. They’re washable and when you don’t have time to wash em, they’re freezable (which murders bacteria well enough) 🙂

    2. I love my VFF’s and my husband is such a convert that only the wettest PNW days see his feet in something more confining. All of their claims have proven true for us, but we don’t run. We love hiking in them and running about town in them. But it is true that your feet, and the musculo-skeletal system connected to them, get used to the shoes you wear. I’ve known too many women who’ll make a grocery run in sweats and 4″ heels because sneakers hurt their feet. We’ll certainly be following the case, but I’m sure it won’t take our beloved shoes off the market and so we’re not too attached to the outcome.

    3. I took a spill, down concrete stairs, in my business clothes and twisted my ankle/hit my shin so hard that one shoe ended up across the path. I lost a lot of skin and had to go to an urgent care place the next day for X-rays. With the force that I went down and the bruising/swelling that came with it, I 100% believe that if I had not been running the last year in my vibrams I would have broken my ankle for sure. If only I still had the pictures…scars are still there. Thanks vibram for keeping me from breaking my ankle!

  2. Thanks so much for the article on fire. I have always had a primal fascination with fire. My gut tells me that fire has LONG been central to the evolution of humans. Now, I have evidence to support my gut feeling. I love it!

  3. My two cents on VFFs: I never saw Vibram making those claims, but those of us devotees sure do! Best of luck suing that old “word of mouth” snake oil salesmas – he’s a real tough one to pin down. And to the first commenter: I run on concrete and trails about 50-50, as I think most urban primates are forced to do, plus go up and down big stony mountains that are similarly 50-50 dirt to stone ratio. Go ahead and run on pavement, just do it right.

  4. The best part of the 60 minutes piece is where they get the “expert” from the sugar industry who doesn’t ever really refute any of the research findings but falls back on “well i think you should eat a balanced diet.” Kind of how the government thinks … no thanks!

    1. Yeah that guy was cornered. He was presented with all the evidence and did not know what to say to counter it except that fallback line.

    2. I thought it was a bit awkward for them to interview him. I mean, he was a sugar cane farmer. Of course he doesn’t wan’t to speak on the negative effects of sugar, it’s his job!

  5. Re: Genes – not surprising, after all your genes aren’t trying to kill you.

  6. Time between opening this page and hitting “send” on an email to the team behind the archeological cookbook asking how I can get ahold of it: approximately 120 seconds. Coolest thing I’ve seen since ever. Thanks, Mark 🙂

  7. If we’ve been using fire for 1 million years, how come some of us still have problems getting the BBQ lit?!

  8. Great stuff. One correction on the second link. These are human “ancestors”. Humans themselves have only been around for about 200,000 years.

    1. Exactly. It means Homo Erectus evolved into Homo Sapiens eating (at least some) cooked food.

      Since meat had been part of our ancestors’ diets for over a million years at that point, the fact of meat in the diet probably already had its evolutionary impact.

      Perhaps meat evolved them to be smart enough to learn how to control fire, and then cooked food spurred the evolution into homo sapiens..

  9. Curious how it’s a “powerful blow” to raw foodists? Just because some guy cooked his food (allegedly) 1 mil yrs ago doesn’t mean that food still doesn’t lose nutrients or enzymes when cooked. I don’t think I’ll start cooking all my veggies any time soon over this (or eating cooked nuts or seeds or cooked milk etc.)

    1. Yeah, I’m not sure I get that, either. Perhaps some vocal raw proponents claim that our ancestors were 100% raw? Or that the only healthy way is 100% raw? I’m merely guessing.

      I should mention that I think the raw movement is kind of cool. Omnivorous raw diets are not so different from PB/Paleo in either intent or dietary content. Raw foodists can and do eat raw fish, steak, and eggs as well as veggies, fruits, nuts, etc.

      I don’t know that we need to pit different philosophies against each other. I prefer a mix of raw and cooked food, but why should I care if someone commits to 100% raw? If it’s done right, it’s still infinitely better than SAD!

      1. I completely agree with not pitting food philosophies against each other. I was vegetarian (never raw or vegan) for several years because it felt right at the time, but I got sick of the anti-meat propaganda and outlandish claims about blocked up colons and people not being designed to eat meat and what not that seemed so foolish. I started eating meat again for various reasons, such as how I felt, finding awesome local farmers, and paleo and primal websites that made sense to me. But some days, esp. in hot weather, I still crave a big batch of veggies and no meat. I really hate to see people bashing each other for what we eat. We’re all searching for a better alternative to SAD and what’s good for one person, or at one time of their life, might be horrible for another, who knows?

  10. In case any of you were wondering about voting for NomNomPaleo, I have 4 words for you: bacon and guacamole sammies! ‘nough said.

  11. I love my Vibrams and have found all those things to be true. They should have known better with all the other similar lawsuits out there, but I think it’s sad that our society is so eager to sue for stupid crap like this.

  12. If it wasn’t for Mark Sisson, there would be no Nom Nom Paleo. For reals. Thank you for the initial and continual inspiration. 🙂

    1. I was just thinking about this the other day…how many informative and wonderful spin-offs there are from MDA. Mark must have a very full heart.

  13. I wear a Fila brand toe shoe rather than the vibrams. The Filas have the wonderful flexibility but more protection against the often toxic conditions found in and around truckstops. Still not an all weather shoe, but I wear them as much as possible. My back, feet and legs love them.

  14. The problem with Vibram is that there claims need to add “After you’ve changed the way you walk and run you’ll experience these benenfits…”

    It took me a solid 3 weeks of walking before I could run and now I can’t go back to “normal” shoes. Seriously, normal shoes hurt now. I tried for 1 day and my knees/shins/ankles etc.. were all aching after a few hours.

  15. I really need to get my hands on that ancient nordic cookbook. An order has been placed. Unfortunatley it’s not available in swedish, but danish will do.

  16. This is great the 60 minutes post didn’t tell me anything new per say, but what little sugar I was holding on to will now go where the rest of it went.

    Signed up for the S.F. conference can’t wait to get there.

    Fire on my bird great but my steaks I still love tartar. It try to find a balance of what works for me.

    Poor monkeys when are we going to leave them alone or at least let them run in that 5k.

    Nom Nom Rocks. Love her recipes.

    I hope Vibrams wins but I have a feeling no good deed goes unpunished and the courts are not about finding the truth of the matter.

    That archaeology sound like fun, but I like more spice in my food and I am glad that here and now it is at hand. love that chicken tikka.

    Last but not least, i read that bit on genes and how it may come in handy but not how they first thought. Did anyone else pick up on how quickly they turned to “Then we can determine who would benefit from statins and other drugs…”

    All interesting posts and a great Monday read for me. Cheers everyone.

  17. I need something to cover my vibrams. I can’t go to work with them, but nothing else feels good!

  18. Love my Vibrams. Maybe they were overzealous with their claims from an advertising perspective, but since I started wearing them, I have ZERO knee pain (which was excruciating in “normal” shoes), no shin splints which were more than common for me, and I ENJOY running long distances which I NEVER used to.

  19. Link Love are my favorite posts … I’m really enjoying the Domestic Man blog ..
    which I wouldn’t have found without reading this blog 🙂