Paleo authentic...how important is it really?

Answered on March 05, 2014
Created March 04, 2014 at 10:51 PM

Ok...so this is a serious question. I am definitely NOT JUDGING anyone so please don't attack me for asking. I just really want to understand. I have basically been on Paleo for about a year now and do it about 98% of the time. I will admit to an occasional pizza/quart of ice cream/ dinner out that includes the rolls etc. The cost of doing this has been significant but worth it because obviously we are reaping the Paleo benefits, which I won't list off cause we all know Paleo rocks.

My question is...I see all the time on websites (where I get most of my daily paleo recipes and guidance) where people who are seriously authentic Paleo suddenly list things they buy that are not organic...like Trader Joe's nuts for example. Not organic at all, I'm guessing processed in big batches etc In my mind I would think that was a big no-no. (not being the paleo police, just asking opinions...) Or Non-organic Kale or non organic frozen items like berries. Or Wizard Worcestershire sauce which has soy. These things seem odd to me just thrown in and the web site... people who are very very popular don't seem to make any excuses for them (not that they have to, not my point). So I guess I am asking people how they feel about taking a few things in stride and not being super stringent about them or if it is really important to do the absolute best you can afford. Cause honestly I could use saving a buck or two, we are spending an absolute fortune on groceries, and some stuff at BJ's for example that isn't organic but is listed as gmo-free blah blah look like they could be a decent substitute. I kinda feel like I am missing out on the trick when I see these things online ... like I'm the only one who doesn't get that you don't really need to be quite so anal about it all lol. Anybody care to weigh in?

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3 Answers



on March 05, 2014
at 10:39 PM

There is no such thing as "cheating on PALEO" - there is just cheating on yourself - and everyone defines that differently. For most of us, eating this way has improved our health significantly, and so we do what we can, in the best way we can, and in the way that impacts us the best. We all have different reasons for adhering to this way of eating - some for better gut health, some to cut out processed foods, some to lose weight, some to go into ketosis and get super lean. When a system is this varied and can be tailored to so many different circumstances, there really is no such thing as "one way" and it is funny when people take it upon themselves to police the entire paleosphere. Some people can afford organic grass-fed and more power to them. Others do the best they can with Trader Joe's. Still others do 80-20 and incorporate regular cheat days. Some people eat carbs. These are all ok. Nobody is keeping score, nobody is going to get reported to Paleohacks.(well, not totally true, because some of those VLC people can get pretty agro when it comes to doing things the "correct" way! They might report someone to some paleo governing body) Everyone is doing what they can do according to their goals. And that is totally OKAY!



on March 05, 2014
at 12:28 PM

Yes Virginia, there are scoundrels who do cheat out there!

Not everyone does what's in their best interest, and some can get away with it without any symptoms. Doesn't mean they aren't hurting their health, just means they're not noticing the damage - it certainly might be minimal damage.

Talk is cheap.. It's like a bunch of teenagers bragging about how they ran across the street when the light was red and there was no traffic and they didn't get injured. Oooh, look at me, I ate a slice of pizza and I'm still alive... look how dangerous I'm living...

There's probably not much difference between one meal of organic kale and one meal of conventionally grown kale - but possibly if all you eat is the conventional version, you might start noticing effects from the pesticide residues. Then again, even organic kale is going to have pesticides, they're just whatever the FDA approved for organic produce. They might even be the same pesticide in some cases.

The real magic to "organic" is that it doesn't allow GMOs. So for whatever plants are GMOs (most of those are going to be grains and soy, but they can include zucchini, squash, alpha-alpha, possibly some apples), if you buy organic versions, you can avoid GMOs.

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on March 04, 2014
at 11:00 PM

Organic foods are better but that doesn't mean that they are Paleo. Paleo era food presumably just grew on its own, without farming, packaging, etc. Just try and buy foods that have no processing after the fact, don't have labels, etc. Buy high quality meats, grass fed if you can, just go for the cheaper cuts and learn how to cook them properly for best taste.

We try to do our best and I admit to being anal about certain things but a lifetime of eating junk being replaced by eating mostly healthy things is a vast improvement. Relax and do your best.

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