1

votes

Is there a paleo lifestyle?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

I understand that "modern paleo" so far includes a number of people with many things in common regarding diet, several things in common regarding fitness and more or less open minded. As of modern paleos today, there are great variations in attitudes, social standing, sexual preferences, you name it which means that comparing "modern paleo" to the lifes led at hunter gatherer societies is extremely far-fetched. Some modern paleo may closely follow a paleo diet and be 100% a corporate man while someone else might live in the wild mountains, many are straight, some are gay, many are libertarians, some are liberals, etc, etc. I mean could we say, beyond a way to eat or exercise that there is something as a (modern) paleo lifestyle, in terms of common values, practices, ideas? Again I am not talking about innuits, hasdas or Amazonian indians, but about people like ourselves, and whether we can (so far) talk about a lifestyle, or we should restrict ourselves to diet, and exercise.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on March 16, 2011
at 06:06 PM

Eric the whole point of my question is whether there are things that identify modern paleo people, beyond diet and fitness. Of course most people went paleo for health reasons and that is perfect, the question is whether or not there are other issues, a "lifestyle" that includes most of us.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on March 16, 2011
at 04:48 PM

Dana, this is a great answer. Thanks for those links. If you have not read them already, I could suggest Paul Shepard's 'Coming Home to the Pleisocene', and one I recently read: David Abram's 'Becoming Animal'.

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on March 16, 2011
at 04:37 PM

I wish I could plus ten this; though I hesitate to apply a "paleo lifestyle" brush to all of us, you stated very nicely how I feel about a great many things.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on March 16, 2011
at 04:32 PM

Dana thanks for this profound answer. I am at work now, I will look at the references later. Cheers!

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:55 PM

@Ignacio & Stephen - right on.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:44 PM

@Ignacio: Absolutely!!!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:43 PM

The FDA has finally made its food-rights policy crystal clear. Here’s the agency’s position, made evident in their response to a lawsuit filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund: They believe you have no absolute right to any raw unprocessed food, unless the FDA says it’s okay They believe you have no right to good health, except as approved by the FDA They believe that there is no right for citizens to contract privately for their food

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:41 PM

err over 25k.but not yet large, under 25k, they have to use a farmers market.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:40 PM

if you go into the policy issues, you may have to talk about subsidies to agriculture and grains too. It would not be just freedom to choose food but also why some products are being promoted with public money.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:40 PM

Health inspection regulations regarding small farmers under $25k. Doesnt outright restrict, but makes it more difficult.

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:26 PM

Raw milk legislation is the big one, really.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:20 PM

cynarin how do the government or medical community recommendations (even if they are misguided) interfere with your freedom to choose your own food?

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4 Answers

7
F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 16, 2011
at 04:29 PM

It does seem odd to me that people will go far enough to decide to adopt a diet that they hold to be more healthful because they "evolved" on a diet like that, but they won't look at other aspects of their lifestyle that might be running counter to their body's evolutionary expectations (not a great way of putting it but you know what I mean, I hope).

There is a lot of mythology surrounding the alleged meaning of human existence. For instance, most people who extol survival of the fittest have no idea what that actually means--they think it means they get to beat up weak people, or that Nature will beat up weak people, or that the purpose of human evolution is to produce perfect humans, when of course none of that is true. (Short answer: There is no known purpose to human evolution, or any other kind either.)

This all plays out in interesting ways, socially speaking.

One thing to keep in mind about the "Neolithic" is that it was the age of domestication, including domestication of humans. A lot of what seems to be going wrong with humanity today stems from that domestication. Part of the process of domestication is locking up the food and not letting people obtain their own for themselves. The ability to obtain one's own food is part of what distinguishes adult animals from immature, and neotony (or "being childlike") is a hallmark of domestication. Next time you hear a Paleo adherent extolling the virtues of surplus private property on "libertarian" grounds, think about that. (You can't have "liberty" if someone else owns all the food.)

I hesitate to advocate a prescriptive formula for human living. I can't control anyone else's life. But if you're interested in reading other people's perspectives on human domestication and our responses to it, you could do some research on the human rewilding movement. Urban Scout is an interesting blogger in this genre. Jason Godesky's Thirty Theses are a more academic look but very thorough. (I don't think he's completely happy with them, but as an introduction to the rewilding school of thought, they are very useful.) Daniel Quinn is almost more of a poet, but again, his work will knock your brain sideways. That'll get your feet wet. And there's lots more out there.

Also be aware of word games. A lot of the words used to discuss this issue are culturally loaded. Wild vs. domesticated, civilized vs. not, someone is going to take offense sooner or later at the language you try to use. It's an occupational hazard of thinking outside the box (or the cage), and you might as well get used to the idea now.

Have fun. I sure am.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on March 16, 2011
at 04:48 PM

Dana, this is a great answer. Thanks for those links. If you have not read them already, I could suggest Paul Shepard's 'Coming Home to the Pleisocene', and one I recently read: David Abram's 'Becoming Animal'.

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on March 16, 2011
at 04:37 PM

I wish I could plus ten this; though I hesitate to apply a "paleo lifestyle" brush to all of us, you stated very nicely how I feel about a great many things.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on March 16, 2011
at 04:32 PM

Dana thanks for this profound answer. I am at work now, I will look at the references later. Cheers!

3
1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

on March 16, 2011
at 03:07 PM

We, in general, believe that we should have the freedom to find and consume the foods that make us feel our best, and freedom from government/medical establishment/lobbyist/etc. interventions in human diet that would prevent us from achieving these ends.

Everything else is delightful variety.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:20 PM

cynarin how do the government or medical community recommendations (even if they are misguided) interfere with your freedom to choose your own food?

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:55 PM

@Ignacio & Stephen - right on.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:40 PM

Health inspection regulations regarding small farmers under $25k. Doesnt outright restrict, but makes it more difficult.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:41 PM

err over 25k.but not yet large, under 25k, they have to use a farmers market.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:40 PM

if you go into the policy issues, you may have to talk about subsidies to agriculture and grains too. It would not be just freedom to choose food but also why some products are being promoted with public money.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:44 PM

@Ignacio: Absolutely!!!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:43 PM

The FDA has finally made its food-rights policy crystal clear. Here’s the agency’s position, made evident in their response to a lawsuit filed by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund: They believe you have no absolute right to any raw unprocessed food, unless the FDA says it’s okay They believe you have no right to good health, except as approved by the FDA They believe that there is no right for citizens to contract privately for their food

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on March 16, 2011
at 03:26 PM

Raw milk legislation is the big one, really.

1
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on March 16, 2011
at 05:03 PM

I'd like to steal from Kurt Harris and transform his 'creating an evolutionary metabolic milieu' into creating an evolutionary social milieu and an evolutionary psychological milieu. And noting that the 'bio', 'psycho' and 'social' are heavily interdependent!

That is, not re-enacting the ancestral past (although each can do what he likes).

E.g. Mindfulness, in its modern sense, is probably not truly paleo, but for many people very beneficial for health and wellbeing. It creates a physiological/psychological state that probably recreates the state of mind/being that our ancestors had (more or less). Meditation is the 'technology', the 'trick' that does it.

Very analogue to HIT, it is not really natural, but a technological manner of recreating a state that is beneficial, inspired by evolutionary/ancestral reasoning.

(btw, I don't practice any true meditation, I prefer barefoot nature hikes and walks, always on the look for birds and small game. Maybe that is re-enactment?)

The thing I am not able to do, is advising people how to recreate that psychosocial milieu. I've got some ideas of how to do it for me and my familiy, but that is personal experimentation, even though we feel fine...

0
24d67557966cdfc748fc2b12053e6a23

(335)

on March 16, 2011
at 05:18 PM

This reminds me of the "Is it period?" discussions that take place at SCA events.

It's not paleo to sit, typing on a computer, discussing paleo things, in English, wearing these clothes.

I went paleo for health reasons. Unless you're Innuit or living in a country that doesn't mind, it's nearly impossible for legal reasons to incorporate most aspects of primal living. Sitting for 8 hours a day in front of a computer isn't very healthy, so I try to move more. At home I'm considering making a standing desk.

You do what you can. My grandma lived to be 93 without following a single paleo guideline.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on March 16, 2011
at 06:06 PM

Eric the whole point of my question is whether there are things that identify modern paleo people, beyond diet and fitness. Of course most people went paleo for health reasons and that is perfect, the question is whether or not there are other issues, a "lifestyle" that includes most of us.

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