4

votes

The Black Paleo Community

Answered on August 15, 2016
Created February 20, 2014 at 9:49 PM

I have heard so many theories about genetic diversity and that some races are more carb-sensitive, sickle cell theories and other ideas that based on RACE and our ancestry that we have acquired certain adaptations, resistances and mutations, but Im not here to debate that.

I always prided myself in being paleo and have bragged to my friends about how progressive and how all inclusive, granola (the slang term not the sugar laden grain concoction) and diverse the paleo community has been; but is that necessarily true?

I have successfully been paleo for 2 years and lost over 140 lbs and been very active in the community but from my introduction into the movement to the present there still isn't anymore people who look like me at the forefront of paleo/primal nutrition.

I've yet to see a credited African American RD, PHD, Paleontologist or even Nutrition Therapist endorse the paleo diet and lifestyle, let alone promote it whole heartedly. I have been unable to find one mentor in Paleo who was Black! Nope, not one. I couldn???t find one person who had a Paleo site, let alone a positive article on the diet.

I don't want to say this... But has being paleo become trendy and a social club ran by white backpacking nature loving crossfitters, paleo-nista type white yoga moms?

I don't believe that being Paleo is eurocentric but I believe the way it has been presented has been. Although there are certainly eurocentric aspects to how people talk about and implement various aspects of paleo diets. (Like all the weird fetishizing of pork diets, and tuber-shaming by a lot of euro-descended paleo/primal guys who dont come from such ethnic historical backgrounds.)

My question is where are all the colored folk in the paleo community?

Paleo is more accessible for the privileged, just like many other alternative lifestyles out there such as veganism. Just the fact that the paleo-sphere is almost entirely white, with a few scattered asians, it means a lot of the discussion, technical ideas and outreach aren't going to be inclusive and that we as a community need to question and find a new way to promote and outreach.

From a Nutrition/Dietetics Student who is Broke, Bold, Black and Paleo

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 28, 2014
at 02:44 AM

Perhaps modern soul food is the problem, according to this documentary (http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/soul-food-junkies/), soul food used to be good for you.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 27, 2014
at 08:38 PM

Maybe you missed my point.

African-Americans, in general are underrepresented in the diet communities. From a Bayesian stance, black people are not underrepresented in the paleo community given the conditional probability of their representation in a diet community. The real question is not, "where are all the colored folk in the paleo community?". The real question is, "where are all the colored folk in the diet/nutrition community?"

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 27, 2014
at 08:29 PM

Rock on!

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 27, 2014
at 06:13 PM

I am an RD and seeking my masters in Nutrition an Dietetics.

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 27, 2014
at 06:12 PM

This does not address my issues or answer my questions. Just another futile attempt at sarcasm or just a very poor argument and response not sure which you were shooting for.

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 27, 2014
at 06:10 PM

Great post and response

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 24, 2014
at 01:59 PM

12% is not 1/2.

Proportionally, the expected value is that .6 prominent nutritionists (assuming there are only 5) are likely to be black. So it would be more accurate to say, if half of one of those five celebrity nutritionists was black, that would be porportional.

In the US 13% of the population is black globally its 15% - 20% depending on how you draw the rings in the Venn diagram.

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 24, 2014
at 01:06 AM

I am enjoying it

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 21, 2014
at 03:24 PM

come to the east coast, we have a high cost of living and crab cakes!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 21, 2014
at 03:23 PM

That's an amazing coincidence that you just happened to google for something that only 7 hours before.... Also an amazing coincidence since googling "black paleo leaders site:paleohacks.com" does not bring you to this site. Curious.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 21, 2014
at 03:06 PM

This is a weird comment. I never said anything about a separate community. I asked whether African-Americans are active in any diet community.

7c5f836000909cb7ee91239a0c38a48f

on February 21, 2014
at 05:00 AM

I don't think it's about having a separate community or group it's about mentorship and representation within the community.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 21, 2014
at 02:26 AM

Flyover states aren't.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 21, 2014
at 02:25 AM

I'm catching up to ya, CD. I tacked on the early 30s so I would feel included. Want me to tack on mid-30s?

7391fdea260fa4b0e83182db365aaa20

(0)

on February 21, 2014
at 01:50 AM

Underground Wellness rocks!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 21, 2014
at 01:49 AM

And I upvoted for the conversation -- but I disagree that few people are ready for a color-blind society. I live in DC and work at an engineering firm. Lots of diversity no stigma,

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 21, 2014
at 01:45 AM

it matters when late 20s/ early 30s become early 30s/ mid 30s like me :)

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 20, 2014
at 11:57 PM

I like you, you're funny

Medium avatar

(238)

on February 20, 2014
at 11:51 PM

Cool, my first non white Paleo blogger bookmark. Next figure out why you are broke? Write a book! Instagram/Twitter - I'm too old to give a fk about those things, they give me a Paleo Headache.

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 20, 2014
at 11:46 PM

You're right that was a rude and sad attempt at sarcasm and I apologize, I admit that it was backbiting just like your "I guess my outreach skills aren't very good" in a topic I find serious.But you think otherwise. It's fine.

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 20, 2014
at 11:39 PM

Instagram @IAMDWRECK

Twitter @IAMDWRECK

and you can join the Primal Club I started at my university if you'd like...

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 20, 2014
at 11:38 PM

www.dwreckfitness.com

Medium avatar

(238)

on February 20, 2014
at 11:31 PM

How many of any race MD's have endorsed Paleo? Not a lot when you consider how many MD's are in the US, 400-500K maybe. Why don't you start blogging and get others interested in it. Provide a link and I'll sign on and read it. I think you are just venting a frustration instead of taking it head on and doing it.

Medium avatar

(58)

on February 20, 2014
at 11:29 PM

Wow. There was no sarcasm or banter (attempted or otherwise) in anything I said. For someone who's trying to be inclusive, it's interesting that you've already made (false) assumptions about me.

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 20, 2014
at 11:22 PM

@Laura 48 your sarcasm and lack of creativity while trying to come up with banter has been dually noted but you didn't address the issue I raised in my question so you really didn't need to comment. I hope you continue to enjoy your bikram yoga and telling "people" about it all the time.

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 20, 2014
at 11:22 PM

Awesome I'l check him out thanks

Medium avatar

(58)

on February 20, 2014
at 11:19 PM

RUDE for down-voting, I was responding to, "we as a community need to question and find a new way to promote and outreach."

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 20, 2014
at 11:13 PM

That wasn't point, you didn't address my point which was there are not any African American Paleo bloggers, let alone MD's or RD that have endorsed the lifestyle because it's not inclusive.

Medium avatar

(58)

on February 20, 2014
at 10:44 PM

vote it up!

057388cd600c5538498344f7a5a614ba

(15)

on February 20, 2014
at 10:37 PM

I sometimes wish there was a like button your comments often make me smile samc :-)

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17 Answers

1
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on February 02, 2016
at 01:01 PM

Tons of comments and I am first to upvote the OP? 

0
Bfa2b38440723ade4f16d2e9172cdc2b

on August 15, 2016
at 07:15 PM

It seems to me that people that are part of this community look up to scientific articles and proof of health benefits. From my point of view it is not an idolizing community that seeks to find people that look like them to justify their identity within the community. Research papers don't have skin color and often seek to find a random representative population that is color blind. The only white faces I see around are people trying to sell me supplements, which are people I don't want to see either way. I do not believe this lifestyle is about identify, but if you would like to sponsor and mentor members black community and do outreach to expand exposure of the health and nutrition information that the lifestyle is based on. I believe that would be a very noble and great thing to do. The more people in our society that are healthy and functioning the better.

0
F53e9e742ab816ef618cd707a04be06c

on August 12, 2016
at 09:53 PM

Thank you for writing this. I've been looking for POC in the paleo community. My husband (Chinese-American) and I (Puerto Rican) jokingly call the diet prejudiced because it bans rice, beans and soy. What are we supposed to eat in our household? I tried Whole 30 for 2 weeks but found it too extreme. I do feel better though! There are some aspects of paleo I like but I don't like communities that assume it's easy and we all have the budgets for grass-fed beef and organic produce. I also live in Oakland (thankfully not in a food desert) but I understand why many communities would never accept this diet.

0
06893fda34891573e5cac39467704e67

on February 17, 2016
at 03:53 PM

I am considering creating an African (all Black People) paleo diet program.  My program will be a structured, paleo nutrition program, based on scientific nutrition. I program will be EXCLUSIVELY for the African Race (Black Race)!

...Scientific nutrition will solve EVERY nutrition-related health problem facing the African Race!

...The African Race must stop eating slave food. The phrase, "slave food" is the correct terminology for what many Africans call "soul food." The foods the white race forced the African Race to eat during slavery had virtually little or no nutritional value (low nutrient density). We, Africans, continue to eat that garbage because we still think and behave as slaves.

0
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on February 28, 2014
at 03:45 AM

Ok, I'm terrified I might say something racially insensitive here, as I'm not black myself, but nikkianetra has a point about food deserts. Could be the socioeconomic status of many and where they live, could also be culturally/traditionally rooted, with carb/grain/PUFA heavy traditional cooking (sorry if that sounded like a stereotype, just an observation from researching about Southern cooking/cooking differences among different regions/ethnic groups). And as for being an influential Black paleo nutritionist, I'm sure there's some out there, and if not, nobody's stopping you from being the first!

0
4d02f36d095504a11725d01148343ad4

on February 24, 2014
at 01:06 PM

We are out here! I am African American as well. This diet is expensive sometimes, and lots of people of color live in "food deserts" where good produce and high quality meat is hard to find without a car ride somewhere else. So some of the lack of black faces in Paleo is about class.

Another part I think is about culture . . . I just moved to the South and the traditional black diet, much like the Mexican one, is all about carbs - cornmeal, white flour, fried food, macaroni & cheese. Not that the traditional American white diet is any better, but we as black folks do celebrate good times with certain types of foods that make a leap to Paleo emotionally tough (at least for me!)

Another part is genetics - what I find missing in all of this is what are the right types of foods to eat for people with the genetic characteristics most black folks have? Lots of us are lactose intolerant, lots of us are vitamin D deficient, many of us are hyper-fibroid prone which is being linked to metabolic syndrom and insulen resistance, and at least one book I read claimed that African American women at least can be healthier at higher BMIs than white or Asian women. I'd like to see more research on Paleo and African Americans, because I do think we would find interesting stuff that would lead us to adapt this diet. Too bad I am not a nutritionist, so can't do it myself, lol.

Some people think just by mentioning race and that you don't see any people that look like you, that that's racism or ignorance. To them I say - take a trip to a non-white country, and you will see how fast you will be looking for white people to hang out with. Not because you hate others (after all, you took the trip to meet different people in the first place), but just because ITS FRICKING LONELY when you are the only one that looks like you anywhere. Any activity that involves economic privildege (and Paleo does) is going to be a place where a black person probably doesn't see tons of other black folk. It's not racism or whining to point that out - it's just trying to put yourself into the equation.

That said, OP, don't assume there aren't alot of POCs in this movement. There are tons of us. I know tons of black/brown/red/yellow Paleo folks, Whole30ers, Crossfitters, etc. How many prominent nutritionists do any of us know, really? 5? Black people are 12% of the population, so if 1/2 of those five celebrity nutritionists was black, that would be proportional. Only if it dips lower than that do we need to cry "conspiracy" [this is my attempt at sarcasm ;) ]

We are out here!! Its good to stand up and be seen.

Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on February 02, 2016
at 01:00 PM

I am interested in your comment about African-Americans having dark skin and being Vitamin D deficient. Classical theory, popular wisdom, has it that darker skin was a genetic adaptation to the fierce African sun and the super quantities of Vitamin D it would engender, and that lighter skin was an adaptation to the lack of sun in the northern climes, and thus creating a race of folks who are melanin-challenged. 

If this theory is correct, has it in any way been proven that African-Americans, transplanted from those hot climates, would have a very large tendency to be lacking in Vitamin D?   

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 24, 2014
at 01:59 PM

12% is not 1/2.

Proportionally, the expected value is that .6 prominent nutritionists (assuming there are only 5) are likely to be black. So it would be more accurate to say, if half of one of those five celebrity nutritionists was black, that would be porportional.

In the US 13% of the population is black globally its 15% - 20% depending on how you draw the rings in the Venn diagram.

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 27, 2014
at 06:10 PM

Great post and response

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 28, 2014
at 02:44 AM

Perhaps modern soul food is the problem, according to this documentary (http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/soul-food-junkies/), soul food used to be good for you.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 24, 2014
at 11:12 AM

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi" You should become that RD, PHD, or Paleontologist who promotes paleo you wish to see. We sure need more of them.

Off the top of my head, Sean Croxton is a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist. He's not always outright paleo, but he's always been friendly to the Paleo community.

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 27, 2014
at 06:13 PM

I am an RD and seeking my masters in Nutrition an Dietetics.

0
7c5f836000909cb7ee91239a0c38a48f

on February 21, 2014
at 04:58 AM

I was just googling "black paleo leaders" and was lead to this forum the fact that I had to google that and have been paleo for years speaks volumes. I don't think the issue at hand is that minorities black or Latino want a Seperate sect of paleo like paleo vegans or keto paleo or prodairy/pseudo-grain paleos, it's that they want to be represented and have a voice in the community.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 21, 2014
at 03:23 PM

That's an amazing coincidence that you just happened to google for something that only 7 hours before.... Also an amazing coincidence since googling "black paleo leaders site:paleohacks.com" does not bring you to this site. Curious.

0
F92f0b6a3fe3d45a489e020076904f2f

on February 21, 2014
at 02:12 AM

I am Mexican and have been paleo for more than a year.. I believe there are two issues here, culture and access.

Honestly, it is hard to convince my Mexican relatives to try paleo because the average Mexican diet is based around corn, vegetable oil, carbs, sugar and soda (I'm not talking about Taco Bell, but real Mexican street food and such). How do you convince someone who has had a side of tortillas & rice and beans three times a day for their entire lives that they should rethink what they eat? That is a huge hurdle to overcome... it is going to take several generations, especially when conventional doctors are totally counterprductive to the cause.

It's also about access. I lived in Oakland (which is mostly Latino and black) and if you're trying to find produce nearby your house... yeah good luck with that. Liquor stores sell candy and hot pockets on every block but going to the grocery stores is a whole trip.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 21, 2014
at 01:44 AM

This is a ignorant comment from a paleo-typical person. Is there a strong black community for any other diet? I tried to search for Atikins, DASH, and Mediterranian -- Nothing.

I found a couple for Weight Watchers, and one for African-American Diet. But honestly I question whether it's Paleo -- or diet in general that lacks the racial diversity. Perhaps there's a stigma in the black community -- but that's something well beyond my area of expertise.

7c5f836000909cb7ee91239a0c38a48f

on February 21, 2014
at 05:00 AM

I don't think it's about having a separate community or group it's about mentorship and representation within the community.

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 27, 2014
at 06:12 PM

This does not address my issues or answer my questions. Just another futile attempt at sarcasm or just a very poor argument and response not sure which you were shooting for.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 21, 2014
at 12:09 AM

A good observation. I agree, there's few people of color represented in paleo circles… (I am not a castle in real life, but rather the archetypical paleo: geeky white male late 20s/early 30s). Does it matter? I'm all for a color-blind society, but I know that few people are ready for that… diversity of thought and perspective is important.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 21, 2014
at 01:49 AM

And I upvoted for the conversation -- but I disagree that few people are ready for a color-blind society. I live in DC and work at an engineering firm. Lots of diversity no stigma,

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 21, 2014
at 01:45 AM

it matters when late 20s/ early 30s become early 30s/ mid 30s like me :)

0
929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 20, 2014
at 11:22 PM

@Laura 48 your sarcasm and lack of creativity while trying to come up with banter has been dually noted but you didn't address the issue I raised in my question so you really didn't need to comment. I hope you continue to enjoy your bikram yoga and telling "people" about it all the time.

0
929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 20, 2014
at 11:20 PM

@Laura 48 your sarcasm and lack of creativity while trying to come up with banter has been dually noted but you didn't address the issue I raised in your question so you really didn't need to comment. I hope you continue to enjoy your bikram yoga and telling "people" about it all the time.

0
8819942abbe81717f2f5a3739a464823

on February 20, 2014
at 11:18 PM

Ok. I'm sort of proving your point by only being able to cite the one example, but what about Sean Croxton?

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 20, 2014
at 11:22 PM

Awesome I'l check him out thanks

7391fdea260fa4b0e83182db365aaa20

(0)

on February 21, 2014
at 01:50 AM

Underground Wellness rocks!

0
Medium avatar

on February 20, 2014
at 10:08 PM

I don't know anyone else who is paleo, white or otherwise... I tell people about it all the time but I guess my outreach skills aren't very good. Could be because I'm defensive.

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 20, 2014
at 11:22 PM

@Laura 48 your sarcasm and lack of creativity while trying to come up with banter has been dually noted but you didn't address the issue I raised in my question so you really didn't need to comment. I hope you continue to enjoy your bikram yoga and telling "people" about it all the time.

Medium avatar

(58)

on February 20, 2014
at 11:19 PM

RUDE for down-voting, I was responding to, "we as a community need to question and find a new way to promote and outreach."

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on February 20, 2014
at 10:07 PM

Yes us white folks thought up this diet on purpose to exclude all non whites. Brilliant I must say!

Seriously man you are trying to create something that you have no proof of being true. A few scattered asians? How do you know this? From my profile pic you can assume I am a white cow, beyond that what do you know?

I'll tell anyone I know - if they ask, what I eat and recommend. I surely am not going across the street to my newest neighbor, a younger African American in a white upper mid class neighborhood that he looks a bit chubby and should join me on my Paleo journey.

Peace!

057388cd600c5538498344f7a5a614ba

(15)

on February 20, 2014
at 10:37 PM

I sometimes wish there was a like button your comments often make me smile samc :-)

929568ff8ad195b09f6a522de4b3e5ab

on February 20, 2014
at 11:13 PM

That wasn't point, you didn't address my point which was there are not any African American Paleo bloggers, let alone MD's or RD that have endorsed the lifestyle because it's not inclusive.

-1
73b277050f500ea1ee6d68d0b68e189c

(-10)

on February 01, 2016
at 02:20 PM

Well as samc 213 said this diet was created for the white race. If you research and read some of the commentary on the subject, what lets you know it is not for people with melanin is they specifically speak about when they were cave dwellers, (Neanderthals), and how they ate then. Even though they did not eat many fruits vegetables and nuts because there were none around for the most part because everything was frozen this being one of reasons they lived in the caves.

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