1

votes

This is a hatchet job but it should be discussed. What critiques can you make of it?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 03, 2013 at 7:06 PM

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-paleo-diet-half-baked-how-hunter-gatherer-really-eat

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 04, 2013
at 01:59 AM

...the entire thing though is put together more like a long winded answer on a site like this, not the standard I think SA should be catering to.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 04, 2013
at 01:51 AM

ha. you obviously didn't read the article. The author states taht the idea of eating meat, nuts, vegetables, fruits, etc is healthy, and it's also agreed upon that refined/processed foods like white are unhealthy. That's where there is unanimous agreement. They differ on many points, one major one being the evolutionary process - that we can only thrive in environments that mimic those in our idealised, vague, and sometimes misunderstoood of the paleolithic Also, paleo is mainstream, that's why it's discussed everywhere. I can't believe this actually 6 upvotes. well...5 now

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 04, 2013
at 01:46 AM

ha. you obviously didn't read the article. Also, paleo is mainstream, that's why it's discussed everywhere. I can't believe this has 6 upvotes. well...5 now.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 04, 2013
at 01:45 AM

Well, I for one think the "paleo" moniker and movement is a little fucking ridiculous and full of pseudo-science on both ends, from those that are critiquing and those that are advocating, so I'm not put off by this article, but neither does is it anything really "new."

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on June 04, 2013
at 12:38 AM

Articles like this make popular science magazines that reach out to the masses look bad. Too bad that's more often than not the appearance these mags have.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on June 03, 2013
at 08:28 PM

You beat me to it - I wanted to ask that question. Good call. The article is nothing new. All those "writers" just don't understand what Paleo is really about.

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9 Answers

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3
6864d23c49952605b2a97d6256af804d

(726)

on June 03, 2013
at 08:06 PM

Comment #22 following the article is spot on. Well said, craigwut:

"I have to agree with other comments that this author is guilty of sloppy thinking and of arguing with ghosts. I'm not a paleo dieter, but I am a scientist who studies hominin evolution. The paleo diet has its problems, but it continues to frustrate me how hard it is to find honest and clear though about them.

This article is similar to the writing of Marlene Zuk, in that it argues against the most ignorant or most extreme members of the paleo movement, or perhaps more accurately, against the caricature of the paleo movement that resides only in the head of the author. Zuk went so far as to cite cherry-picked internet comments! Is the idea of paleo that threatening that no one will engage with the actual issues?

The paleo diet absolutely does not suggest that humans have not changed since the paleolithic. If you can't understand this most basic fact, please do not presume to "educate" anyone else about it."

7
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on June 03, 2013
at 08:11 PM

Does this article say anything original or is it literally all just cribbing off Zuk's book?

"hunter-gatherers eat different things" - no shit...kind of like Paleo dieters, who also eat a wide variety of different things?

"evolution didn't stop in the Paleolithic" - again, no shit. That's why some people eat dairy; they can handle it.

"modern foods are different from Paleolithic foods" - wow, I totally see the light! Clearly, Twinkies are just as healthy as broccoli because neither was around in the Paleolithic!

"atherosclerosis is found everywhere/at all times" - that's nice, now explain to me how that provides evidence for ANY diet over ANY other diet.

"Paleo people had high infant mortality" - because they all died of infectious diseases...which tells us NOTHING about their diet

It's like an unconvincing summary of Paleofantasy (which was an unconvincing book to begin with) with a cutesy infographic about the Hiwi.

I just want to clobber everyone over the head with a baseball bat that says "EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY IS A BASIS FOR HYPOTHESES, NOT AN UNQUESTIONABLE DOGMA"

7
A8d58043341edc4950ed34844cb250a6

on June 03, 2013
at 07:50 PM

It's the same argument as always, that people on the paleo cannot eat the same as their ancestors because the sources are not around. I think we knew that already. The author is arguing against ghosts and imagined characters and does not have a grasp on what the paleo diet is, thinking that is a definitive diet like other mainstream diets with set rules for everybody, and not a framework from which to experiment with and build upon. I don't understand why all these articles are always so negative, I mean how can a ton of vegetables, fruits, meat, nuts and good sources of fat be bad. The addiction people have with bread and pasta makes it impossible for them to imagine getting rid of it and anybody else who does must be crazy.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 04, 2013
at 01:51 AM

ha. you obviously didn't read the article. The author states taht the idea of eating meat, nuts, vegetables, fruits, etc is healthy, and it's also agreed upon that refined/processed foods like white are unhealthy. That's where there is unanimous agreement. They differ on many points, one major one being the evolutionary process - that we can only thrive in environments that mimic those in our idealised, vague, and sometimes misunderstoood of the paleolithic Also, paleo is mainstream, that's why it's discussed everywhere. I can't believe this actually 6 upvotes. well...5 now

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 04, 2013
at 01:46 AM

ha. you obviously didn't read the article. Also, paleo is mainstream, that's why it's discussed everywhere. I can't believe this has 6 upvotes. well...5 now.

3
42cd0feeeda5fa2e2fe1c4fd8255073a

on June 04, 2013
at 01:15 AM

I'm not going to bother critiquing the 'academics' of the article, but rather, make a point to say that this is just another person ragging on it as a 'diet' as opposed to a lifestyle.

Instead, their diet is largely defined by what they do not do

stab me in the heart. I'm bleeding everywhere folks.

For me, I feel like I can do so much more than I have ever been able to do because of the paleo lifestyle.

-it encourages people to reclaim their health so we're not relying on convoluted medical systems and big pharma to bail us out when our sick bodies leave us no other choice

-educating and making nutritional information readily available to the general public to help them make more informed decisions about what is in their food so we can take back control over the choices about where we spend our dollar and what we put in our bodies

-getting people excited about exercising and having fun while doing it

-reconnecting people with important values in life like community and relationships

-caring about the environment and the our food systems. most of us support local, organic, non-gmo and ethically produced food

When you can change your mind and your way of thinking, and doing so in good health, you can change your life.

2
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 03, 2013
at 08:13 PM

  1. This article is about a month late to the party

  2. The author falls into the same straw man fallacy that the "paleo fantasy" author did

  3. Yes it is hard, yes the food is radically different. So what? Should we just not try?

1
91451db3488201f51e85e6a69a6e0f89

(198)

on June 03, 2013
at 07:49 PM

I can't even bring myself to read this thing, because I know how terrible it's going to be and how little "science" it's going to actually contain.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on June 04, 2013
at 12:38 AM

Articles like this make popular science magazines that reach out to the masses look bad. Too bad that's more often than not the appearance these mags have.

1
9da9ea5b1915986bda75ef9bc825c31c

on June 03, 2013
at 07:22 PM

I like how the best critique they can find regarding it is "It can be too extreme"

0
5cb72179fcddcee6a6b570dc80269a1a

(78)

on June 04, 2013
at 02:33 AM

I knew I shouldn't have, but I read the damn article. And of course, it left me fuming. It's as if the writer has never taken a critical thinking class. There were no good points or anything "New" that the Paleo community has not known about - for quite some time.

Paleo is not a prescribed diet. It's a basic understanding: Modern foods generally suck. Mutations and epigenetic influences notwithstanding, the human body for the most part, prefers foods of completely natural origin. Again, for the most part.

And that thing was on the Scientific American website? I'm so livid, I don't even want to check.

-1
Medium avatar

on June 03, 2013
at 11:17 PM

Is it just me or do some of the biggest opponents to the paleo diet ignore key points, like paleo isn't a 'meat-only' diet (for most people.)? I see that all of the time, and look at my 2/3 plate filled with veggies, and think,

this-is-a-hatchet-job-but-it-should-be-discussed.--what-critiques-can-you-make-of-it?

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