7

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Any questions for Michael Pollan?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 01, 2011 at 11:06 PM

As part of the New York Times Magazine food issue, Michael Pollan is crowd sourcing questions here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/09/30/magazine/michael-pollan-food-questions.html

I asked him the rather obvious question, "What do you think of the paleo diet?" What would you ask him? How do you think he would respond?

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on October 03, 2011
at 06:04 AM

western diseases came not only with gluten but with refined sugars, vegetable oils,stress, malnutrition and environmental chemicals so at least he is right that not bread is suddenly making millions of us sick. But more and more people react to gluten and cereals are a suboptimal food so avoiding it is beneficial but you can be healthy eating some cereal products when never having been exposed to toxins, vegetable oils, sugars, malnutrition and stress. Though, no one on this planet right no is in this situation so cutting out cereals can only be beneficial.

Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:01 PM

Oh, goodness. I hadn't heard that quote. :-(

Cfb685af32e85f5fce6e5b8a38d429be

(48)

on October 02, 2011
at 12:41 PM

Michael Pollan doesn't accept at least one of the major premises of the paleo diet. Here he is on gluten-free diets in food issue: "Gluten has become the bad nutrient of the moment, the evil twin of Omega 3 fatty acids. Could it really be that bread, a staple of Western civilization for 6,000 years, is suddenly making millions of us sick? I'm dubious."

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on October 02, 2011
at 03:49 AM

Ask him! That's a good question, and I'd like to see if he answers. :)

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2 Answers

2
Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on October 01, 2011
at 11:42 PM

My bet is that Michael Pollan, being the exceedingly reasonable person that he is, will say that the Paleo diet is based on reasonable scientific evidence and has a lot of positive aspects to it, but he can't endorse it because ultimately it's not sustainable for the entire world to adapt.

I would ask him if he believes a diet based on evolutionary medicine COULD be sustainable in some form for a larger population.

--Sarah

Cfb685af32e85f5fce6e5b8a38d429be

(48)

on October 02, 2011
at 12:41 PM

Michael Pollan doesn't accept at least one of the major premises of the paleo diet. Here he is on gluten-free diets in food issue: "Gluten has become the bad nutrient of the moment, the evil twin of Omega 3 fatty acids. Could it really be that bread, a staple of Western civilization for 6,000 years, is suddenly making millions of us sick? I'm dubious."

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on October 02, 2011
at 03:49 AM

Ask him! That's a good question, and I'd like to see if he answers. :)

Aa69579f867333b08158c70e25f7daf1

(1826)

on October 02, 2011
at 11:01 PM

Oh, goodness. I hadn't heard that quote. :-(

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on October 03, 2011
at 06:04 AM

western diseases came not only with gluten but with refined sugars, vegetable oils,stress, malnutrition and environmental chemicals so at least he is right that not bread is suddenly making millions of us sick. But more and more people react to gluten and cereals are a suboptimal food so avoiding it is beneficial but you can be healthy eating some cereal products when never having been exposed to toxins, vegetable oils, sugars, malnutrition and stress. Though, no one on this planet right no is in this situation so cutting out cereals can only be beneficial.

1
F5b7743c4459ec929452e44030852c88

on October 03, 2011
at 05:00 AM

Michael Pollan is an extremely important voice, but he is not, nor is anyone, the final authority. Dr. Cordain is a better authority since he is focusing on nutrition more than he is focusing on industrial agriculture, which is Pollan's area. If we go back to Lucy, who walked upright prior to homo erectus, our digestive system is, for the most part, over 2,000,000 years old. Probably around eight to 12 thousand years ago starvation diet foods -- the cereal grains -- began to be grown in monoculture tracts, harvested, stored, and made into various prepared products, such as bread. This was an economic advance, and led to the rise of a more advanced civilization. But it was a setback for human happiness and health. No one digests grains in the wheat family well. We seem to have lost our taste for insects and Cordain does not include tubers which isolated, modern paleo people consume. Some people, like me, have subclinical gluten intolerance and some have a more extreme reaction, celiac disease. Some seem to do quite well with wheat family products, except look at all of the fat, fat, fat people walking around. So any health problems should first be addressed by stopping eating any refined sugars, any cereal grains in any form, and all dairy products except for organic, pasture-raised butter. Use only coconut, olive and fish oils. Eat smaller amounts of meat, and lots of greens and organic veggies. Winter squash replaces all starchy foods, except include sweet potatoes and carrots. Limit beverages to green tea and water free of impurities. Then people begin to get well. Powder Monkey

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