Who will be the paleo luminary who tips paleo into mainstream culture? Is it even possible or even desirable? Do you care, as a paleo eater?
The reason I ask is this: the other day, I had the opportunity to have a conversation with a member of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Committee. Between sounding like a bumbling fool and espousing saturated fat benefits, I managed to get lost in the science. In other words, she knew way more science than me, because she is a biochemist extraordinaire. Her knowledge of enzymes and pathways overwhelmed my simple views on oxidation and fatty acids, and I had to concede some important points.
But...I know there are paleo people out there who can handle their own both scientifically and charismatically. Sisson is crowd friendly and knowledgable, for example. Robb Wolf is young and tied into the crossfit crowd, with a biochem background. Kurt Harris is a straight shooter with a medical degree. Stephan Guyenet is knowlegable neuroscientist and doesn't ruffle feathers.
The tipping point (sorry for the hackneyed language) could come from another best-selling book, from a researcher publishing a landmark study, or from some unknown way. Who do you think can do it?
asked byKamal (24543)
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on April 07, 2011
at 08:28 PM
I think it's Robb Wolf. His background (and his material) suggests that he has a great grasp on the science side. I'm sure studying under Dr. Cordain helped :-)
on April 08, 2011
at 08:22 AM
1. Who will be the paleo luminary who tips paleo into mainstream culture?
I don't know honestly. We can speculate you need to be nice and shiny smiled but what about Bukowski ? I think different people reach out to different people. Zen Stephan and F Bomb Nikoley have different fanbases.
I just checked the Wikipedia article about the Atkins diet and I found it very interesting that the first book was written in 1972 but the height of popularity was in 2003/04 (and bankruptcy in 2005). Thirty years is a long one and we aren't there yet.
As for community effort, we need to start picking up celebrities and transforming them to "paleo" eaters. Kamal got dibs on Audrey Tautou and I on Emma Stone.
2. Is it even possible or even desirable?
I think it can be possible as a trend, having a peak for about a year and then declining. Some people's heads are just too hard no matter how powerful the effects of "paleo" might be. Fat makes you fat, sleep is overrated and it ain't no thang like a "crunchy sweetened popped-up corn cereal" thang.
As for desirable, hm. Mo' money, mo' problems Biggie said. Maybe it's the same with exposure. From my point of view, I don't see anything really new. Old players published books, that's good but I think that would have happened regardless of any "paleo movement growth".
My main concern is monetization of "paleo", whether through "paleo foods" or 453564 consultants who offer "JUST FOR 4.99 a month".
3. Do you care, as a paleo eater?
I would like a better and bigger selection of real foods in my area but I think mainstreaming paleo will bring 85% increase in "PaleoFoodsOhMyGodZ" with natural sweeteners and natural additives and hemp wrap and whatnot and a 15% increase in real food.
Same might happen with information. Will we get 85% new "paleo" religion leaders who will "banish you from the cave" if you'll eat potatoes and 15% good blogs ?
And in all, I'm quite happy in the underground, makes me feel special ;)
on April 09, 2011
at 02:01 PM
There needs to be many, not just one, if it is to ever get beyond being another fad diet in the eyes of public. It needs to get enough publicity from various sources, that people start to recognize it as a way of thinking, new approach, and not short term weight-lost solution. If it is presented in magazines as "diet of the week" it will lead to nowhere. We need more academics teaching it on a regular basis, textbook contributors, etc.
This kind of changes take time, and need many feet to stand firmly on the ground.
on April 09, 2011
at 06:20 AM
I plan to take care of it next thursday.
On a serious note, I don't think it needs to be a single person. I tend to think of paleo through a sort of contagious disease framework. Each person who succeeds will lead to others trying, and succeeding in turn. As long as we don't get hijacked by some luminary spreading disinformation, we should grow exponentially. The key point is that it works, it is science driven and it has the conceptual flexibility to help all comers, whereas all other diets either fail or succeed with a heap of misery.
on April 09, 2011
at 08:02 AM
I think they all have different merits. I love Kurt Harris, I love his "give a **" attitude and obvious intelligence, although Robb Wolf is really like-able and clearly very knowledgeable too, I also really like Chris Kresser, and Chris Masterjohn and Evolvify, I think we're really lucky to have so many likeable AND knowledgeable "go to" people in the "Paleo world" Seriously, the list goes on. Chris Kresser obviously has the advantage of having a working practice so observationally he is fantastic. I would recommend any/all of them to anyone.
on April 09, 2011
at 01:03 PM
I have high hopes for Mat Lalonde. He's definitely got the science part down, is young and super friendly. Heck, he looks like a model. That oughta be a plus in today's world.
Definitely agreed about the Taubes/Owen Wilson connection. It's the nose and that constant smirk.