Weekly Link Love — Edition 103

Research of the Week

When pigs made it to Europe, their genes were completely overturned.

The genetic formation of the first Americans.

We’re more likely to remember the locations of places where we consumed high calorie meals. Makes sense.

Religious rituals trigger endogenous opioids.

Late night eating tends to be a bad idea.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 451: Kyrin Dunston MD, OBGYN: Host Elle Russ welcomes Dr. Kyrin Dunston to the podcast, an OBGYN-turned-functional-medicine doctor.

Primal Health Coach Radio Episode 80: Laura and Erin chat with Chrisa Zindra Boyce, a leader in the Handel Group who specializes in helping people realize their professional visions.

Media, Schmedia

Should we re-introduce predators to wild areas without them?

Mexico blocks the sale of some “cheeses” for containing vegetable fat.

Interesting Blog Posts

Science should really stop ignoring small farms.

What might a “new morality” look like?

Social Notes

It really is that simple.


Everything Else

This is what they feed to diabetics.

The flaws of calorie counting explained.

Be like Rangers.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

This should be in every homeschooler’s curriculum: Traditional French butter making.

Interesting new online magazine: Hyperion. Some health content, some future-casting about cities and AI, and other interesting stuff.

Great question: Vitamin D is cheap, plentiful, and it works. Why aren’t we using it?

Interesting question: What happens when you sever the connection between hunter-foragers and their prey?

Do babies need to eat meat?: Yes. Pay-walled, but the answer is yes.

Question I’m Asking

What would you add to school curriculums if you had ultimate power?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Oct 9 – Oct 15)

Comment of the Week

“I wonder if increased dreaming happened at other stressful historical times? We’ve had them about every 80 years; the Revolution, the Civil War, WW2, and now (right on time). Strauss-Howe generational theory would suggest we are in a Fourth Turning, with an unknown large event still coming. Regardless what you think of that, historically we have not returned to an Era of Good Feeling without going through a massive calamity, larger than the last Fourth Turning was. Stay tuned, it might get worse..”

-Interesting question, jeff.

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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72 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 103”

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  1. Given ultimate power, school curricula may not be my first priority…

    Once getting around to it, I would add a legitimate kinesthetic element to education – especially early on when abstract theory requires less emphasis. Rather than separate gym class from science/math/etc., I would integrate them. With exception, physical principles are best understood in the physical sense.

  2. Wait, so does this mean people who are crazy for religion are opioid addicts? Marx, eat your heart out.

  3. What would you add to school curriculums if you had ultimate power? Answer: How to cultivate empathy. Latin and Greek, like in the 1899 entrance exam for Harvard. Instead of teaching to the test, methods used by Asian and European countries and old-time school houses. Coding. Cooking. Budgeting. Stoicism. Law. Art, music, drama.

    1. Concur. Some of those are still offered, but are sadly vanishing. Recently began teaching myself Latin and Ancient Greek – would have loved to have those options in school.

      Coding classes might become a reality, eventually. I was forced to take a typing class in high school, when it first became a requirement; I absolutely hated plugging away at that stupid typewriter, but it’s been the most practical thing I ever learned in school. Coding seems like a logical evolution from that.

      1. Like many other things, languages get rusty and fade from memory if you don’t use them on an almost-daily basis. Use it or lose it. That would seem to make Latin something of an impractical endeavor unless you’re in a profession that requires it.

        1. It does provide a common link between all the Romance languages, and many believe a knowledge of Latin helps in understanding the others (the same is said of Esperanto, on a broader scale). Latin, along with Ancient Greek, also provide much of the foundational terminology and sociocultural background of many elements of modern science.

          Sure, there is little direct benefit in understanding a dead language if you simply look at it as a means of communication.

  4. The New Morality: IMO, author is full of bull. Author says: “While there’s nothing necessarily invalid about this view (traditional morality view), I believe it obscures the significance and beauty of what a truly moral experience could look like.” He then goes forward to set up suggestions for his new morality that have no basis other than, at the personal level, “if it feels good, do it.” Sorry, I can’t buy that. Someone like Jeffrey Dahmer’s view of “Morality is a layering of noble actions and elements that impose a fullness into the experience of life” will be totally unacceptable. You must have that “traditional yardstick” in place to evaluate what is noble and fulfilling or you’ll have society collapse.

    1. Agreed….

      I challenge anyone to explain to – for example – a Viking raider that pillaging, rape and enslaving are morally wrong when these activities benefit him, those that are most important to him…. and make him feel alive and fulfilled as a barbarian warrior.

      Arguing that morality should be subjective is arguing that it all comes down to utility , whether physical or emotional. The result is that we end up trying to do the maths on whether the benefit to a majority justifies costs to the minority….. costs like slavery or genocide.

  5. I would insist on history and logic being significant parts of the school curriculum.

    History because we have 10,000 years of recording how human beings have responded to different circumstances, and whether those responses have be3n helpful or destructive.

    Logic, because unless we know how to THINK, all the experience and data in the world is useless.

  6. Very timely post with a great vision. I just bought another bottle of primal kitchen avocado oil and both my husband and I think it may get not be just avocado oil. It smells and cooks differently than other bottles we have used. Is it pure avocado oil?

    1. If I’m not mistaken, primal kitchen sells both cold pressed and refined varieties of avocado oil and they have different cooking properties/tastes. Perhaps you bought the variety you don’t normally choose?

  7. Thanks, Mark;

    I have been enjoying your avocado mayo for years as I take control of my health and well being.

    In addition, I am avoiding anything in plastic so I appreciate your glass container. There are other avocado mayo products out there in plastic containers. Crazy.

  8. I see the world getting more health conscious. People wanting a better quality of life, without all the guilt and finger wagging. I see DNA issues addressed and people able to overcome most health concerns !

  9. I loved today’s Sunday with Sisson! Your vision is shared! Its why I am becoming a PHC. I too want “to see seed oils eradicated.” Because people want them to be. I want to see our store shelves lined with nothing but the best our food is meant to be.

  10. Why not the pickles? Is Citrix n lactic juice ok to drink in your water?

  11. I will be that grandma! Slowly I have set the seeds in my children . Sometimes I think people look at me like I’m weird about food, but I don’t care. My kids watch and listen. I can see them repeating my ways. Not always, but I find myself surprised when they do. Some take years, others not at all, yet. Thanks for sharing & teaching.

  12. Keep the dream alive!!! I FEEL it – we will get there!!! Thanks for the inspiration every Sunday!!!!

  13. That would be awesome, but you have to get the price point down especially since COVID has hit the restaurant industry so hard. It is not economical for them to use beef tallow for fries. I only see that in high end reaturaints and even then it’s probably a blend.

    1. +1 Butter is quite affordable though. Otherwise healthy fats do tend to be quite expensive. Maybe they’ll switch to high oleic seed oils, that’d be a big step up.

  14. As a libertarian, I appreciate how Mark Sisson the businessman has subtly and ethically combined with Mark Sisson the public-spirited, health-minded evangelist. He lives the motto of “doing well while doing good”.

  15. Industrial seed oils are a topic that I’d say over 98% of the population is utterly clueless about.

    I think there needs to be a plan for how to make their eradication happen.

    Maybe Food Babe (Vani Hari) can go after the fast food industry and get them to switch to something healthier like coconut oil, lard, or tallow. Or perhaps target a specific restaurant chain or company.

    I think we need something like that to happen.

  16. To continue your Sunday with Sisson.

    In addition to Primal Kitchen and other like-minded companies taking away consumer demand for seed oils,

    I see Diana Rogers, Alan Savory, Polyface farms, and the like taking away reasons to supply those seeds in the first place,

    I see myself and the rest of the Ancestral Health Society, and PaleoFx, and other like-minded groups taking away the ignorance that allows such toxic products to flood our supermarket shelves, restaurant fare, and our bodies,

    I see the mass reduction in degenerative disease, chronic disease, and cancer,

    I see hope for a better world, where history books will discuss the crazy things we did with industrial seed oils “back then” in the same vein as talking about how the Romans used lead pipes to bring water into towns and homes, or how we used lead paint in the mid 20th century.

  17. Yes, it is not about who gets the credit, but about helping and waking people up!! Very good humble and gracious most to show generosity and not greed Mr. Sisson!!! Thank you! If only all of my loved ones would choose this, respect this and support these choices!!! BUT yes, I really like the PK products with olive oil for my salads, etc.

  18. When you love vitamin D so much that you literally spew commas and semicolons all over your paper. ?

  19. I get the impression that many doctors and nutritionists think that because diabetics tend to be overweight, diabetes is caused by fat, so patients need to lose weight by restricting fat. Sugar is good because it makes a “healthy” diet appealing and if whole grains are included, the sugar doesn’t count anyway. Every health insurance company newsletter I get has a recipe for something low-fat, sweet, carb-laden, and “healthy.”

  20. As a corporate executive chef, I constantly see what my customers are told is healthy is anything but. I have spoken with other like minded chefs that are on the same page as exactly what you’ve described here. I’m doing the best I can to teach friends about this, one friend at a time. Please keep up the good work.

  21. I see a world where healthy movement is the norm. Where eating responsibly/regeneratively raised meats is standard practice. Where eating meat is viewed as the healthiest option for us as humans and for our planet.

    I see a world where it’s citizens are well fed, strong & healthy, and hence kinder and more patient with each other.

    Starts with us (me)

  22. It was beef tallow that made McDonald’s fries taste so special when I was a child. Then people started eating fast food daily and then the whole thing about not eating saturated fat, and suddenly they were being fried in soybean oil–and had zero flavor. I never eat them. Garbage calories that I can’t even consider an indulgence. Yes, we need to reconsider how we’ve structured our food system. Too much corn and soybean–not enough biodiversity and care for the animals and plants being raised, and the soil/land that support them. Read Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma. A masterwork that looks at how f-ed up our food system truly is.

  23. Mark,

    I share your vision and that is why I became a PHC!

    I also remember when McDonald’s used beef tallow for their fries way back when and then the low-fat craze took over the world! And, sadly, the world still thinks of coconut oil in the same way.

    I just have to say that if I don’t have PK mayo in my fridge or pantry, I kind of go through withdrawl! This grandma makes a fabulous caesar dressing using it and I, kind of, can’t live without it! I’m dairy free except for grass-fed butter and sheep or goat milk cheese. So I use pecorino romano and it is delicious!

    Keep having your visions and your dreams…they are slowly coming true!!

  24. Dear Mark,
    I’ve been your loyal subscriber for quite a few years, and I want to thank you for all your dedication to the community.
    I thought the truth lies somewhere between paleo/primal/keto… But does it really?
    I recently came across this Mucusless Diet Healing system by the late prof. Arnold Ehret, an old book for sure, but with some ideas that made everything I know spin on its head.
    Mainly he says we are frugivores, and the fats and meats create lots of mucus in the body, which was definitely an issue for me.
    Now I took an extended fast and all mucus is gone, I sleep great, mind is clear…
    I am thinking to use myself a a guinea pig and explore this diet.
    Any thoughts on that?

    Thank you,


    1. Radu.

      Keep in mind that while you were fasting, your body was getting almost all of its nutrients from fat. The fat on your body. Yet you tell us that you got better?

      As for arguing that humans were frugivores…. fruits are very seasonal, do not store easily and are eaten by other species, often before they are sufficiently ripe to suit our palate. What kind of evidence is presented?

  25. I have a vision where factory farming is literally thought of as immoral and unethical. Where regenerative farms are exploding in population. Where the family farm thrives and is not forced to
    use pesticides and herbicides in order to get crop insurance. I think it’s happening. I look in the stores and I see more healthy options than ever before.
    I also envision a day when the American culture rejects the processed food restaurant model in favor of more fresh, natural food restaurant choices. I envision a day when most people are around their normal weight per BMI, and they don’t even think about it because we favor to eat natural foods rather than processed foods.

  26. I only see one flaw here. Avocados are high in salicylates and many people need to eat low salicylate, including me. I really don’t know if avocado oil itself is high, but do not want to take a chance. Do you happen to know the level of salicylates in avocado oil?

    1. I don’t know about salicylates but to me avocado oil tastes AWFUL. As does the mayo made from it. I also hate avocados. I can’t understand the craze over them.

  27. Stopped eating Papa Johns Pizza cause one of their four ingredients……. soybean oil listed proudly on the front of the box.

  28. Love this! Totally on the same page. The oils used in restaurants are the number 2 reason (Covid 19 is number 1) I avoid eating out. Just easier to prep my own healthy food. I’m 61. I think I represent.01% of people my age who even have a clue as to what’s going on with our food supply ?. But the needle is shifting albeit very very slowly.

  29. I’m a 72 years old grandma who shares your vision! I believe there are quite a few of us out there.

  30. Yes! I have been using avocado and olive oil for a few years now but found your mayo in a local store. I had been reluctant to order a lot from PK since I’m in Canada.

    I bought it mainly to support this vision!

  31. Kraft/Heinz foods now owns Primal Foods. Mmmmmm….
    Let’s start with that philosophy since big food conglomerates are the ones that put all the crappy stuff in mainstream food products and market the heck out of it!
    But who knows? Maybe it will help drive some prices down on PF products?

    1. That happened what one or two years ago at this point? I don’t think prices are going down anymore. I’ve bought the mayo once $9 a small jar, and hated it (I don’t like avocado) but loved PK collagen bars, BUT can’t eat them anymore because they have egg whites now : / . The bars were worth the $3 to me but not the mayo. Also Mark posted about why he made that decision, and I think it’s smart to get it in Wal-Mart and other stores for more people to access.

  32. Hi Mark,
    I read your Sunday with Sisson (Oct. 18). Right on, Brother! It’s only been 100 years since seed oils were invented and people started selling them. That’s a blink of the eye, in terms of human evolution. It might seem disappointing to think that it will take another 100 years to get rid of them, but it’s likely. Every avalanche starts with a single snowflake! Keep it up, my friend!

  33. Came over from the Sunday with Sisson email. I have to say I love all the work you have done to get the word out on healthier eating/living. I have been making my own avocado (or olive) oil mayo for years and converted quite a few of my friends to not buy the typical “bad” oil mayo. Love your products, but so many of them are packaged in plastic, so they won’t get bought by me. Please try to reduce the single use plastics. Thanks and take care!

  34. I saw the post about the Banana Pancakes on a Low Carb Diabetic Social Media group I am a member of – they went off on the ADA!

  35. Even the olive oil mayonnaise has soybean oil…

    But the pk mayo is ~16x more expensive than the soy. It needs to be 2x to get the adoption. Machine harvesting to get avocado oil price down?

  36. This will def (still) be me in another 10 years (65 now). I’ve always lived healthy. But a dozen years ago I became ill and was diagnosed with multiple auto-immune and other related conditions. My sons already followed you, so I joined them in Paleo (minus dairy – casein of course). I stayed with it, learned to buy, cook, live just that little bit further and anyone who hasn’t done so can’t imagine the positive difference these changes make! 4 years back I crossed England on foot in a week, I do tango showcases, and have been painting full time. Yes, I WILL be 75, and doing exactly as you dreamed someone could 🙂

  37. Dear Mark, I wasn’t sure where else to send this, so here it goes. I’ve been an adherent of yours for years now and it has changed my life as well as many others I have shared you with (lots of primal blueprint books as Christmas gifts over the years). My wife and I are about to have our 2nd child. There are no good baby formulas out there that I can find. We plan to breastfeed (my wife breastfed our first for 19 months) but things doesn’t always go to plan and we would like a decent backup option. Ever consider making a baby formula product that adheres to primal principles? I think it would be a wonderful thing for all your followers that end up struggling with breastfeeding. Thank you for all you do.

    1. There are organic options at Whole Foods, I’m sure that’s a good place to start. If your wife already breastfed before and is healthy, I don’t see any cause for concern, but maybe I’m just not as prepared, I winged it with my kids and had plentiful milk supply but I’m really young and healthy. I personally would trust your wife’s wonderful body, it’s what it’s made for : )

  38. More grass fed meats, uncured deli products, better healthier food choices all around. I am hoping more choices are available for everyone, regardless of income level…The more choices we have for healthier food, the more opportunity we have to lower the price , so that all people can afford to take advantage of fixing healthier meals for their families.

  39. I can definitely feel it and see it! I was just talking to my husband this morning about this very thing. About how much the world has changed since I first became interested in a better health and fitness way! Grass fed beef was unheard of. We used to have to share a whole cow! Things have come a long way in a few years for sure. Grain free, gluten free…couldn’t find anything. Now there are bunches of stores with tons of stuff. We’re on the right track!

  40. I see a world where factory farmed meat doesn’t exist, where we only eat the humanely raised and healthy meat. A world where my grandson can get a healthy meal at school that isn’t processed food from a can.

  41. Hey, that grandma happens to be my wife…but she’s not that old

  42. Love this love this! Walmart does already carry some things, but you have to search. Be wonderful if the bad stuff was not there for sure. I am that 70 plus year old grandmother and try to eat the good stuff. Two grandkids out of five try to eat like this too. The others and my two adult kids sometimes do, but not as important to them. Extended family mostly not good. Starts with me. Keep on, keep on. Love the Sunday with Sisson. Always makes you think. Thank you.

  43. Love your vision!! I’m the 69 year old using the PK mayo and pickle juice in my deviled eggs!
    But… anything wrong with the pickles??

  44. Would love to try some of the Primal Kitchen products, such as salad dressings. Very frustrated I can’t have any of them. I’m allergic to avocados and have severe GI symptoms. I wish there were some alternative offerings for those of us who wish we could eat avocados, we all know they’re a wonderful “good fat”, but can’t. Just “food for thought” for future products.

  45. Hooray! Thank you so much for this uplifting piece! So comforting, that people are waking up to better things to put into their bodies!

  46. We are your poster couple for the grandparents going for the avocado oil and straight mayo! We are 60 and 70 respectively and live outdoor lives in Jackson Hole, WY, skiing, biking (1200 miles this summer), hiking, and kayaking. I also teach yoga and my partner is a PSIA accredited ski instructor. I believe VERY strongly that our longevity is probably genetic but our ability to enjoy these added years is due to our Paleo Diet (Nom Nom and Whole 30 and your website).

    Thank you for your weekly column – it is a highlight of my week. Keep the great advice coming!

  47. Restaurants are far far off…with food allergies, I have to ask many questions if we eat out — one that usually exposes them is when I ask for butter – real butter. They say, sure, let me get some, and I stop them and ask if they cut the butter with margarine? Yep, nearly all restaurants do this!

  48. Love your vision! This has been my vision since the early 90’s when restaurants all fell for the nutritional lies about industrial seed oils. Growing up real French fries cut fresh and fried in beef tallow were a Saturday treat with lunch.

  49. Your column today was great. There is hope for the world after all when we make healthy food choices. Go avocado oil!
    P.S. I exercise daily while I watch health YouTube’s. I’m 73 & rocking it.

  50. I see me dying in pain if they don’t mark all those foods “made with avocado”…. While I love them I have a bad reaction to them. Not everyone ‘loves’ avocado…. 🙁

  51. Get the recipes you see online and in books to change their ingredients non-seed oils and I think we’d have our revolution.

  52. I see small scale urban and suburban farms, that are worked, and organized by the people of the community. I see the food scraps, and waste fed to chickens, and earth worms then made into compost with wood waste, and weeds harvested by community supported workers. I see row crop farms converted to pasture for grass fed beef, chickens and hogs. I see the once prairies restored to the original fertility, water retention, and carbon sequestration.

  53. I love avocados. Eat them almost daily. I know the benefits of Avocado Oil but I use them whole Tuna Salad and no mayo at all..

    There are 10 gms of fiber in a cup of avocado. What happens to that when the oil is removed?

    I fear it may be thrown away or used as a fiber filler in processed food where again it is just thrown away.

    Thank you. Really appreciate knowing the answer to my question.

  54. Would love to buy your products but as a Canadian l cannot justify the 30% hit for them. Would be nice.

  55. what would i add? how to cook. i cannot believe that 1. they don’t teach a little of that every year, and 2. in most places it’s completely gone. we started doing it as a program at the library and most of the kids have never peeled a potato.

  56. I’m a teacher. My sisters are teachers. My parents are teachers. My grandparents were teachers.

    Frankly, the pandemic has made me less skeptical about the unschooling movement.

    We have very arbitrary standards for education–how many years, how many weeks out of the year, the seasons we hold school–and somehow, education has become a rote procedure children and young people are floating through and not only not learning but also finding learning and self-improvement boring, perfunctory, needless, and unsuccessful.

    While I think the social element of school is important, kids don’t spend enough time with their parents, and they don’t do or experience enough that is now considered enrichment (music, art, languages, theater, field-trips, engineering, physical activity–when I worked at a junior high, what passed for PE was just painful to watch–everyone hated it).

    Why are they even spending 7 hours in school?

    Oh, because their parents need child care. Not that I’m blaming working parents, but employment in this country is its own different mess.


  57. The documentary film ‘Alive Inside’ is a must watch. The music you grew up on is alive and well in your brain.