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Can You Be Paleo and Grow Your Own Food?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 11, 2013 at 2:14 AM

Since many paleo adherents choose to employ a very strict protocol of what "Paleo" is - where do the wise come down on the growing of one's own food? Is someone who has a garden and grows much of their produce engaging in a agrarian, neolithic practice? How does one reconcile the desire to be like "Grok" with the realities of modern life - especially when you actively engage in an activity (growing rather than hunting/gathering) that is considered by many to be where everything went wrong?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 19, 2013
at 02:19 AM

the premise of your question is that people did not grow their own food in the paleolithic. I reject that premise. Man certainly cultivated in the paleolithic, farming is highly likely.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 18, 2013
at 08:55 PM

Hey Marjory - great site! I am a grower of food for 15+ years and am very happy it easily marries with the paleo lifestyle, even if it isn't hunter/gatherer. Though I do WAY more gathering than most considering how much wild arugula and lettuce I have popping up in my garden!

6e7fd5e6b6bac84f326183c76e96b370

(298)

on May 13, 2013
at 03:23 AM

I don't have any intolerance, but I don't actually really like corn or white potatoes (except the occasional fry or taco). I agree though, everything you grow and pick yourself tastes better, a cherry tomato plucked from the plant, warm from the sun is the best little reward for gardening.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 11, 2013
at 08:00 PM

-1 for not being an answer, but a request. Then +1 for the cheeky Wegman's tribal warfare comment.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 11, 2013
at 07:58 PM

Oh I grow corn - nothing is like the corn you harvest yourself from your garden!!!

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 11, 2013
at 07:57 PM

I tend to think like you, @askrene - I want guidelines and protocols for a healthier diet and lifestyle choices, and I admit to getting frustrated with all of the simplistic, convenient caveman analogies. Thanks for your answer!

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 11, 2013
at 07:55 PM

WELL SAID!!! I asked this question not because I believe growing food is bad - I grow my own food - but because I see alot of die-hard "THAT'S NOT PALEO" dogma and I wonder where people draw their lines. Obviously, everybody on PH is engaging in neolithic activity everyday! Yet, there are always those who will answer "That's not PALEO" to a question. I find it an easy answer - who among us knows what was in fact happening over 10,000 years ago with any certainty?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 11, 2013
at 11:41 AM

Oh course if you have ever been to wegman's, the desire to engage in tribal warfare abounds.

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5 Answers

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7
6e7fd5e6b6bac84f326183c76e96b370

(298)

on May 11, 2013
at 03:20 AM

Grains and corn are bad, but to not enjoy gardening because of your diet is crazy. I assume you don't spear wild hogs, or stone birds to eat them, or pilfer their nests for eggs? I also assume you go to work in more than a loin cloth. The diet is a set of suggested protocols for better health and life, not a how to on how to be an extra on Discoveries "walking with cavemen" series. What could be more paleo/healthy, than knowing exact whats touched your food?

Greens, Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, any veggie that can be grown in your climate that you can eat, grow it. Gardening gets you out in the sun, gets you working, and makes friends (big gardens feed neighbors too). Not to mention, learn how to can, preserve, pickle and freeze for later use.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 11, 2013
at 07:55 PM

WELL SAID!!! I asked this question not because I believe growing food is bad - I grow my own food - but because I see alot of die-hard "THAT'S NOT PALEO" dogma and I wonder where people draw their lines. Obviously, everybody on PH is engaging in neolithic activity everyday! Yet, there are always those who will answer "That's not PALEO" to a question. I find it an easy answer - who among us knows what was in fact happening over 10,000 years ago with any certainty?

6e7fd5e6b6bac84f326183c76e96b370

(298)

on May 13, 2013
at 03:23 AM

I don't have any intolerance, but I don't actually really like corn or white potatoes (except the occasional fry or taco). I agree though, everything you grow and pick yourself tastes better, a cherry tomato plucked from the plant, warm from the sun is the best little reward for gardening.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 11, 2013
at 07:57 PM

I tend to think like you, @askrene - I want guidelines and protocols for a healthier diet and lifestyle choices, and I admit to getting frustrated with all of the simplistic, convenient caveman analogies. Thanks for your answer!

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 11, 2013
at 07:58 PM

Oh I grow corn - nothing is like the corn you harvest yourself from your garden!!!

3
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 11, 2013
at 11:39 AM

Please provide evidence that paleo man did not grow their own crops. And also that paleo man drove to the local grocery to "gather".

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 11, 2013
at 08:00 PM

-1 for not being an answer, but a request. Then +1 for the cheeky Wegman's tribal warfare comment.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 11, 2013
at 11:41 AM

Oh course if you have ever been to wegman's, the desire to engage in tribal warfare abounds.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on May 19, 2013
at 02:19 AM

the premise of your question is that people did not grow their own food in the paleolithic. I reject that premise. Man certainly cultivated in the paleolithic, farming is highly likely.

1
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on May 11, 2013
at 01:09 PM

It's not about re-enacting what hypothetical cavemen did or didn't hypothetically do; it's about eating to optimize your health. Home-grown vegetables are totally consistent with that.

OR, look at it this way: Grok didn't have crazy pesticides, herbicides, and random other stuff sprayed on his hydroponic lettuce, so neither should you. By gardening, you're producing food that's closer to the Paleolithic versions (although obviously not the same - I know the plants have been bred for sweetness etc. etc.)

0
E689b3ed322cfafaece8c7cee456ed52

on May 18, 2013
at 07:41 PM

I eat a paleo diet and I grow most of my own food. Actually, the paleo diet is about the easiest diet to grow - as grains are a lot of work - more so than greens, meat, other crops.

How else am I going to get quality meats? Especially the organ meats - I don't trust too many other sources except what I grow myself. You can eat a paleo diet without being a hunter gatherer. In fact so few people have the skills to live as a hunter gatherer you pretty much have to grow it. Did you know the average hunter gatherer had a range of 10 square miles per person? But you can grow a deeply nutritious (and sustainable) diet for yourself on much less than an acre.

Check out my free online resource for getting homegrown food on your dinner table. www.GrowYourOwnGroceries.org

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 18, 2013
at 08:55 PM

Hey Marjory - great site! I am a grower of food for 15+ years and am very happy it easily marries with the paleo lifestyle, even if it isn't hunter/gatherer. Though I do WAY more gathering than most considering how much wild arugula and lettuce I have popping up in my garden!

0
Cae27c561872e4d2514aa2da5c59f4cd

on May 11, 2013
at 12:39 PM

It's the best variaте from all!! Home-grown food is the best

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