thinking about a much larger topic, wanting some considered feedback
i'll start by triggering some people.
a lot of paleo-talk is #whitepeopleproblems. due to price, availability, and lack of adequate distribution models (not to mention lack of actually healthy food) the paleo/archevore diet is kind of impossible for the masses, especially poor and underserved masses.
i live near oakland, ca - there are LARGE neighborhoods with only liquor stores, no grocery stores. granted, a willful person can get what they need, but those who really need it aren't willful in that way.
in other countries they just don't have the luxury resources we do, and often subsist on whatever traditional foods they can get and process (often by hand).
however they seem robust due to still eating herbs and other medicines (like raw camel milk), which brings me to my subject line and question:
if a person is limited in whatever ways by their environment, wouldn't it benefit the paleo spearhead community to start really focusing on medicinal foods? foods such as wild plants, herbs and such, extracted or tinctured, in combination with the healthiest macro-nutrients (especially organ meats, raw marrow, etc)?
i have been eating paleo/archevore strictly since last september, but my real health advances are coming from medicinal teas and lots of herbal supplements. my monthly supplement purchases are often more expensive than my caloric food expenses! but it's worth it to me to maintain this, as paleo by itself seems lacking.
thoughts please, thanks
asked bydsohei (1791)
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on May 24, 2011
at 12:24 AM
1) You mention Paleo by itself is lacking. Can you please elaborate?
2) You mention that you are eating Archevore strictly and then in the same sentence your non-trivial consumption of supplements. This is arguably an oxymoron given Archevore is not pro supplementation with a couple exceptions
3) You mention that your "real advances" are coming from the medicinal teas / supplements. This appears to me as a classic n=1 pitfall. How did you come to this conclusion? Absent an intervention study with a control group, to assert that a salutary change has occurred and then attributing to something that at best could be a plurality of your diet is questionable.
I do not intend for this response to be overly critical so please do not misread the spirit with which I have written it.
Warm Regards, Aravind
on May 23, 2011
at 08:53 PM
I am not sure what your question is. There is a socio-economic problem. For the poor in this country, the easiest option is going to be to eat the cheap starches offered up in their stores. To change this, they must organize themselves and certainly can't rely on Liberals, who for the most part, still believe in the rotting corpse of capitalism. When I say that they can organize themselves, I am thinking along the lines of the food programs developed by the Black Panther Party and the Young Lords during the 60s, early 70s. Of course that would require a certain political and dietary consciousness that is rather lacking these days.
The problem with Paleo and WAPF types is not that they are contrarian. They are overwhelmingly upper middle class and, therefore not touched by this issue. More than likely they are in the ranks of people who would want to "drown social programs in a bathtub". Don't expect much support from that community for that reason.
on May 23, 2011
at 08:20 PM
I think you have a really good point in focusing in on food deserts in the cities, although I'm not sure I agree with your stance on "medicinal herbs" being of paramount importance. Massive nutritional gains and clearly visible improved outcomes could be made just by making high nutritional density foods like liver and bone broth available to nursing mothers, for example, in the inner cities. Programs like WIC are a travesty of monumental proportions.
The main problem I see is that the liberal groups that have historically been advocates for food justice tend to be vegetarians/vegans or sympathetic compatriots and push that agenda. These people have the most connections and funding for programs like this, and I could definitely see them being openly hostile. I think a really great PR move for paleo types and WAPF types could be allying with Michael Pollan types over things that we agree on (liver and bone broth, removal of sugar and processed flour) and glossing over the things we don't (grains and legumes) with regard to improving nutrition for poverty stricken people in food deserts.
The problem with paleo and WAPF types that I can see is the same as with libertarians - they are so contrarian that it is like herding cats. When some libertarians were trying to get a whole bunch of people to move collectively to a state where they could actually influence local politics, no one could agree where to move to and the project was discarded. It's frustrating.
I would certainly donate time and money to an effort that could amass some institutional support, such as providing grassfed beef liver and bone broths to pregnant/nursing mothers in inner cities.
on May 23, 2011
at 08:03 PM
Your monthly supplement purchases are ofter more expensive than your caloric food expenses? What are all those supplements you're buying?
And why does paleo itself seem lacking? Just wondering.
on May 23, 2011
at 10:01 PM
I love herbalism. Tell me more about your herbs!!!
on May 23, 2011
at 08:37 PM
In a time where I had nearly no spices or berries or supplements like that all of my health-relevant blood tastes seemed nearly flawless. I think that the usefulness of these things increases in proportion to the suckiness of the rest of the diet but these things aren't an adequate replacement for a good diet. What makes you think that spices and herbs and such is why keeps people on traditional third world diets robust when it could just be that to become really truly sick you need to eat industrial junk food? It is kind of difficulty to gauge how healthy someone actually is on the inside by "oh they're not dying, in fact they can do physical labor and not feel bad and nobody seems to have extreme inflammatory disease at the age of 60"?
At the same time there are a few substances that will be beneficial no matter how good the rest of your diet and lifestyle are. Cinnamon, curcumin, grape seed extract, green tea stuffs, silymarin extract, various berries, and some others are good and worth including. While inflammation, blood lipids, metabolic health, hormonal health, and nutrient status markers don't depend upon any kind of magical supplement or spice, some like the measures for AGES, oxidative stress and overall cellular life can be enhanced by various exogenous molecules.
on May 23, 2011
at 08:14 PM
I was totally messed up before I became Paleo and I also had to spend alot on supps while Paleo to get my health back. Now that Ive been Paleo for awhile and added organ meats I am able to drop all supps except for a few I take to keep my sinuses clear and my nightvision sharp. Organ meat is natures supplements. If you dont want to actually eat it you can take Now Foods liver powder which can be found online cheap.
The Bay Area is filled with organic grocers. If you not live near a grocery store they will deliver. Trader Joes has grass fed ground beef and Fresh and Easy has organic/but grain finished ground beef for only $4.99/lb. I understand that those in Oakland might not be able to afford full organic Paleo but even eating bulk meat and vegetables will drastically improve their health and will not cost much. I also live not far from Oakland and it is not some desert island. Even most of the poor people have cars, they are not just stuck with liquor stores. Also, like South Central most of the homes in Oakland are nice old school style homes with porches and yards. It is dirt cheap to get seeds and grow your own vegies. To act like people from these neighborhoods are not capable of doing this is a form of paternal racism IMO.
Also its funny how people always categorize wealth as "white people." You live in the Bay Area, you should know that East Indians and East Asians in general have more money then your average white person. White people are not the only ones capable of having resources.