What do you think is best- a Paleo diet sourced closer to home or a Paleo diet where you source food items, etc. from wherever they are available (eg online)?
asked bypaleohacks (78467)
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on March 23, 2010
at 01:20 AM
I find it pretty easy to eat local, but I am lucky to live in NYC where farmers markets and good butchers abound. I think it has been beneficial because it has weaned me of my annoying fruit addicted. I didn't eat much fruit at all this winter and I felt much much better than last year when I kept buying frozen imported fruit and imported "superfood" nonsense. I didn't get a cold or flu this season either and last year I had one or two.
I think human evolution didn't just stop in the paleolithic era and some of us are adapted for seasonal diets like the ones expounded in Sleep, Sugar, and Survival by TS Wiley. I wrote a little post about this one my blog. Some of the genetic differences in northern populations that they have found have to do with metabolism, which is pretty important IMHO and certainly has dietary implications.
I guess it's not really about local, but about seasonal, though eating locally usually means eating seasonally. I'm not going to pass up good meat from Texas, but it's pretty nice to be able to talk to farmers or even visit their farm to ensure the quality. I've definitely visited farms that marketed themselves as grassfed, but they were feeding some questionable things (corn silage) and had animals in pens I didn't think much of. Though in the age of the internet, you can certainly ask questions online too.
Won't ever give up coconut though :)
on March 22, 2010
at 12:55 AM
Does it matter?
I can't find grass-finished beef anywhere and the rare times I do it's usually ground or some cut I don't want or it's a blatant rip-off, so I order it frozen online, just ordered another 15lbs this morning.
As farmer's market season nears there will be oppty to buy local pastured meat, eggs, poultry, but most of these guys are waaaay out in the sticks and I'm not driving 75 miles to buy a freaking steak.
on March 22, 2010
at 12:42 AM
Better...how? If we're talking strictly from a health perspective it's not going to make a lick of difference, all other aspects being equal. If we're talking economics/systems/relationships I would vote 100 mile/localvore every time. However, I can't get everything I need at my farmer's market, so I get as much as I can and fill out the rest at the grocery store.
on March 24, 2010
at 11:55 AM
I'm all for eating as locally as possible, just on general environmental principles, not Paleo ones. I'm all for hunting and gathering as much as you can on Paleo principles.
I'm kind of lucky in that I live in a rural area, and there's a pastured beef operation ten minutes from my front door and a game farm that does red deer and wild boar at my local farmer's market. Factor in my hunting and fishing and our plans to raise chickens this spring (and possibly a couple of pigs next year), and that means we get most of our meat very locally.
We do a veggie garden every year too, and gather dandelion greens and wild parsnips when in season, so that helps with the carbon footprint of the agricultural portion of our diet too.
on March 22, 2010
at 11:58 AM
Supporting local farmers -- particularly those who are doing the right thing -- is very worthwhile, but I agree that for most people in most places it's not a complete food solution unless you're willing to personally start and run your own variation on Polyface Farm. I live in a rural town, 3 miles from an excellent good-meat farm and near 2 organic produce farms, and while I spend lots of money at each, I can't realistically squeeze in under the 100-mile rule for more than a few days at a time -- and that only in the summer.
on March 22, 2010
at 10:58 AM
In this day and age, eating a 100-mile paleo diet is pretty impossible even (and especially) if you live in the countryside and grow your own food ;). Hunter/gatherers moved where the food supply moved and would have roamed far and wide over large distances, either seasonally or to specific places like salt beds to find specific foods for specific things (it is well documented by people like Weston Price who travelled amongst h/g peoples that tribes people would walk for days at a time to visit the shoreline for fish eggs to give to pregnant and nursing women for example).
So, we have to define what we mean by local. Even if we lived off the land by hunting and gathering, the countryside in its current state could not support us unless we had a very large area to roam in - but then that could be exactly what you define as a 100-mile diet! But today, with so many more people living in smaller spaces, it seems more convenient to buy what we need from far and wide, whilst we stay in the same location.
When I was a vegetarian, I thought nothing of traveling long distances to buy certain foods from the health food shop, bad for the environment! but since eating paleo, I see no need to do that anymore, so I think a Paleo 100-mile diet is more feasible than other diets as it includes more food available right on our doorsteps, of course if we work hard at seeking out local producers, but even so, it is not going to be possible to get everything if we say, live in the centre of a city.....
Although, there are many things (supplements for example) we think we need to buy from the internet, when indeed the very same things can be found around us, for instance magnesium can be obtained from eating ground eggshell powder and vitamin D is found in blood sausages.
I believe therefore, we should attempt to eat within 100-miles of our home, in order that local businesses and enterprises be supported and we try to utilize every resource we have at our disposal, but sometimes (and indeed in some cases, most of the time) it is just not possible.
on March 21, 2010
at 07:49 PM
From a planetary perspective I think that a 100 mile paleo diet is best. I think that eating a 100 mile diet is also probably a lot easier when eating paleo. (I remember that the 100 mile dieters were always desperately searching for wheat from their region. They also didn't eat meat at the beginning of their diet year and I'm sure that made it much more difficult.)
Is eating from our localities better for our bodies? I don't know.