3

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If more Americans started eating a paleo diet would it cause a food supply problem?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 15, 2011 at 2:22 AM

If more Americans started eating a Paleo diet would it cause a shortage of grass fed beef, organic vegetables, pasture eggs, raw milk, etc.

Do you think about the supply and demand of Paleo foods before telling everyone you know about the benefits of eating Paleo?

D465d14cf5ef9da8436caf6435a5af67

(65)

on February 14, 2012
at 07:06 PM

If Paleo becomes mainstream, not all of those who are currently spreading the benefits and trying to convince people will have a chance to get gras feed beef any longer - a matter of price. I think that Paleo and industrial civilization are antagonist, you can't feed the masses with high quality meat. Therefore, I will not help making it popular.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 14, 2012
at 01:21 PM

There's plenty of demand for the current supply. My grandpa planted nut trees on a poor site using government projections that the demand for mixed nuts would skyrocket. Bad choice, leaving future generations of us with a thicket. Before the pipe dream of nuts, the farm had been used for raising grass fed beef. Impossibly expensive to go back to that now, and currently it supports a few deer and squirrels.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 14, 2012
at 01:11 PM

I've had to look at some screwy biofuel schemes over the past few years. They need unlimited fertile farmland, water and fertilizer to produce what some scientist has done on a garden plot. Reinventing the current high efficiency farming system to produce grass-fed beef would take commitment and planning, and would be opposed by 99% of the population.

1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

(10904)

on February 14, 2012
at 03:44 AM

This question has been asked quite a few times. http://paleohacks.com/questions/tagged/sustainability#axzz1mIpe66IN

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on October 15, 2011
at 03:46 AM

I'm seeing this happen. Both here in Santa Fe and back in Port Townsend, WA, where I used to live. The number of pastured meat producers has quadrupled in the last 5 years in the area around PT.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on October 15, 2011
at 02:47 AM

Thanks for sharing your insight Melissa. I also like visiting your website, lot of good info.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 15, 2011
at 02:45 AM

I'll say in my state your definitely right, and prices have increased a bit from my provider (guess that was why the monetary aspect of my post). I hope things actually even out a bit for those of us that truly appreciate the difference. I don't mind paying a bit more....but I REALLY dont mind paying a bit less.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 15, 2011
at 02:39 AM

Yeah I guess I was taking this supply/demand question to the monetary sense since as edward points out Melissa has aptly rapt up the sustainability issue pretty well in other posts.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on October 15, 2011
at 02:32 AM

Jay, I couldn't agree more with your comments. You left out the new iPhone with the unlimited data package which also seems to be more important than buying good food for most SAD eaters.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on October 15, 2011
at 02:27 AM

I think Melissa McEwen knows quite a bit about this subject?

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4 Answers

best answer

8
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on October 15, 2011
at 02:37 AM

Ack, I WISH we had this problem. The truth is that most grass fed beef farmers are not exactly raking in the dough, but there actually is a supply problem already. I am estimating, based on my own business, that demand already exceeds supply, but there is a bottleneck in the middle- processing, transportation, and distribution. We badly need infrastructural investment. Sadly, some of this is because in the 80s and 90s the government made these regulations that were based on what is appropriate for industrial producers. A lot of middlemen went out of business because of it and small slaughterhouses remain scarce. Things are getting better, but there is a lot of work to do. In general, with more consumer interest, there is more investment and thus the supply increases, we just need to smooth out bottlenecks caused by the government's bad policy.

But I sincerely doubt most Americans want to eat this way. Whenever I help organize a tech conference I try to suggest that we have other food besides bagels and pizza. People act like I'm nuts. One guy said "pizza and bagels is working for us, why spend more money?" I suppose they don't know or don't want to believe that those things aren't good for them because they are appealing and cheap.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on October 15, 2011
at 02:47 AM

Thanks for sharing your insight Melissa. I also like visiting your website, lot of good info.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 15, 2011
at 02:45 AM

I'll say in my state your definitely right, and prices have increased a bit from my provider (guess that was why the monetary aspect of my post). I hope things actually even out a bit for those of us that truly appreciate the difference. I don't mind paying a bit more....but I REALLY dont mind paying a bit less.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 14, 2012
at 01:21 PM

There's plenty of demand for the current supply. My grandpa planted nut trees on a poor site using government projections that the demand for mixed nuts would skyrocket. Bad choice, leaving future generations of us with a thicket. Before the pipe dream of nuts, the farm had been used for raising grass fed beef. Impossibly expensive to go back to that now, and currently it supports a few deer and squirrels.

7
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 15, 2011
at 02:28 AM

Nope...make your own choices. Information should be shared freely. What conclusions you come to and how you act on them are what make you an individual. Priorities are key. Some people will unabashadly sit there with a 200 dollar tv bill, 100 dollar internet bill, and eat out for 400 dollars a month and tell you most sincerely that buying grass fed meat is too expensive! Priorities...bottom line. Between quality food that sustains life, or lets face it, worthless entertainment that my be completely draining you physically and/or mentally. This is a short list of places where spending could be curbed to provide better food choices, I'm sure we could all think of much more.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on October 15, 2011
at 02:32 AM

Jay, I couldn't agree more with your comments. You left out the new iPhone with the unlimited data package which also seems to be more important than buying good food for most SAD eaters.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 15, 2011
at 02:39 AM

Yeah I guess I was taking this supply/demand question to the monetary sense since as edward points out Melissa has aptly rapt up the sustainability issue pretty well in other posts.

1
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on February 14, 2012
at 07:46 AM

My warped opinion: I think a paleo diet for 7 billion people, ok sorry, 300+ million Americans, is unsustainable. Even atm, with super hybrid cereal production, enormous amounts of people (on the planet) starve.

Have to go back to the reason for the Neolithic age itself. Overpopulation, mainly of herds (and tribes) and subsequent lack of and competition for grazing, having to move ever so much farther to find suitable grazing. It became easier to settle in one spot and grow food, both for the people and the animals.

Although on the American continent the native Americans seemed to be in ecological harmony with a paleo lifestyle... there was constant warfare over territory.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on February 14, 2012
at 01:11 PM

I've had to look at some screwy biofuel schemes over the past few years. They need unlimited fertile farmland, water and fertilizer to produce what some scientist has done on a garden plot. Reinventing the current high efficiency farming system to produce grass-fed beef would take commitment and planning, and would be opposed by 99% of the population.

D465d14cf5ef9da8436caf6435a5af67

(65)

on February 14, 2012
at 07:06 PM

If Paleo becomes mainstream, not all of those who are currently spreading the benefits and trying to convince people will have a chance to get gras feed beef any longer - a matter of price. I think that Paleo and industrial civilization are antagonist, you can't feed the masses with high quality meat. Therefore, I will not help making it popular.

1
5b0f25610421dc54a8373e7d3e4a0f94

on October 15, 2011
at 03:30 AM

I think of it every time. However, I would feel like a greedy creep keeping this wonderful truth a secret just so I can have a good deal on good food. I figure there will be a " lag time" where prices go up, but the industry will follow demand. Perhaps I'm being too optimistic, but if enough people start asking for grass fed beef, etc. perhaps more ranchers will go back to "old fashioned" production methods?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on October 15, 2011
at 03:46 AM

I'm seeing this happen. Both here in Santa Fe and back in Port Townsend, WA, where I used to live. The number of pastured meat producers has quadrupled in the last 5 years in the area around PT.

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