on May 27, 2010
at 10:20 PM
Yes, there is a new certification label like organic. I was inspired to create it after I had several neuro-ataxias from eating "organic" labeled foods because they had been grown organically, and then had pesticides sprayed on them during transport. Unfortunately, they are still eligible to be labeled 'organic' and are misleading to consumers. I needed a safer choice.
The Paleo Diet literally saved my life. My undiagnosed Celiac's disease and leaky-gut was costing me my ferritin stores (20, not 120-150 like normal) and I had severe malabsorption, and I had become very ill, and slept for 36 hours straight at times. Within a week of being strict Paleo, my recovery was obvious and I knew that other people needed this, just like me.
It is increasingly important to me that it becomes visible, and known. Children born after the year 2000 will not outlive their parents due to diet-related diseases. This is not OK. I came to Dr. Cordain with this idea September 13th of 2009. Along with other ideas to increase awareness and create food safety.
I am happy that you found me, even though you found me during my complete mess! I am working with my THIRD web designer since December. As they say third time is a charm. I would have liked you to see the finished product first. I suppose it's too late for that.
With All Respect,
on May 27, 2010
at 09:33 PM
I hadn't seen this before but it's interesting. A little heavy-handed though...
A quick note about the organic label. The word "organic" is now controlled by the government. There are a few exemptions, but by and large in order to use this word for your products, you must follow certain government rules and pay a certification agency. It wasn't always this way. Organic used to be a private word stemming from an ideological movement. Many early organic farmers were against the government taking control of the labeling. They felt that this would divorce it from its holistic roots and make it just a bunch of arbitrary rules. There is evidence that this is pretty much what happened.
Given that paleos tend to be against government regulations like these, I would guess that any movement towards labels would be towards private labels and certification systems. Private labels are controlled by non-profits or private companies rather than by the government. Some examples are Biodynamic and Animal Welfare Approved. Probably the most famous, though they don't have anything to do with food, is Underwriter's Laboratory, a private certification system that has done an excellent job keeping products safe. This would be interesting and I have personally had some experience with people working to create private labels. The hardest thing that I know of with creating such private labels is building up a consumer base of people looking for the label AND/OR convincing stores to buy labeled products.
UL has done an amazing job building up its reputation to the point where while most consumers don't pay much attention to a UL label, most stores won't carry non-UL products because they are worried about getting sued for selling unsafe products.
I think the next big thing might be audited meat producers. I know a butcher working on such a system, which would involve audits of the farm evaluating everything from feed quality to slaughterhouse conditions. Right now it's a little chaotic and there have been a few cases of retailers selling meat as "local and grassfed" without being able to back up their claims.
Increasingly I do see products being sold as paleo that are full of sugar or grains. Unfortunately this seems like a marketing ploy, but eventually I think there might be a need for some sort of certification.
on May 29, 2010
at 04:29 AM
Response taken from my page from Dr. Pendergrass to a guy named Jeff
David C Pendergrass Jeff,
You ask very good questions.
I am with the Paleo Diet Foundation in Kansas. I am also a professor of biochemistry and physiology at the University of Kansas. In this capacity I can answer many of these questions.
The reference to the diet being in the DNA is simply the idea that the diet is in concert with evolutionary thought. The Paleo Diet is the type of diet that we humans would have evolved with over millions of years, rather than the type of current Western diet associated with obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Perhaps you are familiar with the history regarding organic labeling. A good synopsis of this can be found in Michael Pollen's books, In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma. Briefly, the organic movement was originally an attempt to create a government mandate of food consumption to guarantee that food consumers were getting foods that were grown without supplements, in natural soil, and without antibiotics, pesticides, or any other "additives." Like many such attempts, powerful agricultural lobbyists diluted the impact the organic label could have had on guaranteeing food safety in such a label.
The Paleo Approved label is indeed an attempt to establish a corporate-driven guarantee of food safety. As such, it must include a strong marketing effort as well as the standardized inspections of the manufacturers and food growers that includes the random testing for pesticides and antibiotics. The Paleo Approved label therefore (in the context of the Paleo Diet) through such testing and inspections will attempt to do what the organic label failed to do: guarantee natural unadulturated food!
My understanding of the label approval process is that on- site inspections are set up and random testing of products is part of the inspection. The testing of the products is to be done at independent quality controlled testing facilities using GC or HPLC separations followed by mass spec. The manufacuters pay a fee for the inspections and for the testing. The SOP (standard operating procedures) have been established for the inspections. The marketing is important to the manufactures who desire the label
Because the labeling process is so new, there is no governing body. However, the Paleo Approved label is supported by the author of the Paleo Diet, a researcher at the University of Colorado, Loren Cordain. Our foundation also approves the labeling process, but we are not a governing body. And to be completely transparent to you, so that you can trust what I am telling you, I am related to the owner, but am NOT involved in the Paleo Approved label.
Finally, to answer your last set of comments, I would respectfully disagree. If a person or company has a measurable system for standardizing methods and inspections, adheres to this stringently, and then gives a name (ie. label) to such a system, then it becomes inherently self proclaimed. Indeed, this model is the same as that used to establish that a food is Kosher. The rabbi's agreed to a system and set of protocols and food types, that establish the Kosher label. The manufacturers adhered to these protocols and food types, therefore they can put the Kosher label on their packages.
I hope that this answers your questions and concerns.
Sincerely, David Pendergrass, Ph.D.
on May 27, 2010
at 09:54 PM
Their blog page is located at http://paleoapproved.com/wordpress/. There appears to be a certification process that foods must go through to be 'paleo approved.' All of this appears to simply remove the uncertainty out of shopping in an organic food store by creating a special section of foods that fall within the range of paleo eating. A cool way of making shopping paleo easier for the layperson. Personally, I would rather hunt and gather for paleo food, even if it is in a grocery store.
on May 27, 2010
at 09:37 PM
As long as the inspection and follow up process is kept tight ship, I'd love to see metabolically safe food labeled as such
the problem still lies with the same reason paleo nutrition isn't mainstream...because there's no big money in tellin people to eat whole natural food
on May 27, 2010
at 09:32 PM
Well, it has a laugh out loud hilari-bad website: http://paleoapproved.com/wordpress/?page_id=5
I've seen rumblings on various paleo sites about creating some sort of paleo certification process for foods. I guess someone has decided to cash in and set it up.
on May 29, 2010
at 01:34 PM
How will you define Paleo? Maybe the answer is on that website, but since it's being re-worked and has been called horrible and a mess, I'm hesitant to visit right now... It just seems like everyone does Paleo a bit differently. Some include dairy but not nightshades or vice versa, and so many frown upon fruits and nuts. Would watermelon get the label? Tomatoes? Larabars? How about beef that isn't grass-fed? Non-pastured eggs? Kombucha? Butter? I think it's a potentially good idea, but what a challenge to work out all these issues!