Monday 3 June 2013

Reviews Paleofantasy? Maybe eating meat, nuts, fruit and vegetables is okay

Jason Collins has just written a review of Marlene Zuk’s book "Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live". Having read several reviews of this book, this review sounds like the one I would have written, had I read the book. (I am not the only one; many reviews were written based upon previous articles by Zuk and not based on her book. Jason Collins did read the book.)
... Zuk parades a series of straw men rather than searching for the more sophisticated arguments of Paleo advocates. Many chapters begin with misspelled comments that Zuk found under blog posts. While Zuk shoots the fish in the barrel, the more interesting targets are not addressed.
I had almost chosen as title: debunking a book that promotes a diet full of processed "foods", grains and sugar and warns for a diet of meat, nuts, fruit and vegetables. Fortunately, that super straw man title was too long. This one, Maybe eating meat, nuts, fruit and vegetables is okay, is straw manly enough; it can be hard find a good concise title.

My paleofantasy

To me, paleo is not much more than a productive generator of hypothesis and a good story that helps to bundle several suggests for life-style changes.

Although you can say, that it would be very surprising that a diet humans were eating for a such long time, a time largely without chronic decease, would be unhealthy in this modern age. Not impossible, but you would expect very strong proof, much stronger as, for example, the epidemiological study promoted by T. Colin Campbell in his vegan bible: The China Study.

And the narrative is good enough to encourage people to try a range of different diets and life-style options to see on which one they feel best and not stick to the officially healthy one, if it is not working for them. Just play and experiment, that is what defines us as humans.

Review by Hunt Gather Love

You can go to Hunt Gather Love, for a more technical and intelligent review on Paleofantasy from someone who "wanted to like this book". Another good related post from the same blog: paleo fantasies: Debunking The Carnivore Ape Narrative, makes clear that paleo hypothesis does not prescribe a diet of only meat, nor a low-carb diet.