Paleo Politics (Don't Worry, Not a Partisan Question)

Answered on February 05, 2014
Created September 09, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Reading the link below in the American paleocon* magazine The American Conservative, I was struck by two things:

1) Many of the ideas we discuss here are most decidedly going mainstream. In fact, this site is probably an example of these ideas going mainstream.

2) The Paleo crowd is refreshingly free of political squabbles as the movement (I shudder to use that word, but there you are) is rather heterogeneous politically.

This led me to wonder the following: Revising dietary recommendations for public health, making it easier for artisanal producers to bring things to market, eliminating government subsidies for anti-nutritional crops, etc. are all political endeavors.

Is it possible to effect that political change without getting caught up in partisan politics? If so, how?

Or, perhaps, is the best attitude the one similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous: To not be "[A]ssociated with any sect, denomination, political group, or other organization...neither endorses nor opposes any causes."

I know this is more a question for bandying about than one with definitive answers. So moderators can feel free to delete! Won't hurt my feelings. But I really do think it is something worth airing.

Link: http://www.amconmag.com/blog/weighing-the-evidence/comment-page-1/#comment-80059

(*) Phrase has nothing to do with paleo nutrition. It is shorthand for "paleoconservative", and means, roughly, "political ideas consistent with what was considered conservative by people 100 years ago."


on September 09, 2011
at 01:25 PM

I don't think this question will stay open for long. Politics questions, even non-partisan, are not allowed here. We've tried to allow them in the past, but they have caused a lot of problems.

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3 Answers



on February 05, 2014
at 05:46 PM

This is a very old post and article that's been necromanced back to life... That said:

I wouldn't discount it - that CNN or US "News" and World Report, that it's "The Worst Diet Ever" means they want to quash the movement because they feel it's getting too strong and it would effect their advertising income from breakfast cereal and snack "foods".

Google has this bit of knowledge to share with us: http://www.google.com/trends/explore?q=paleo#q=paleo&cmpt=q

It's not a coincidence that the popularity has grown since the question was posted. The truth will eventually make its way out no matter what.

And if we add some of the competition we get, dare I say exponential growth for paleo while the others look... um.. as stagnant as stale bread?


The above graph indicates that the CNN/USNWR hatchet job was a last ditch failed attempt to re-steer the populous back into Cheerios-Twinkies-and-Wheaties land. They are afraid, very, very afraid and they should be. There's not as much profit in real veggies and real meat as compared to breakfast cereals which cost less than the box they're placed in.


on February 05, 2014
at 02:05 PM

Probably not possible to do this, I still don't think the movement is "powerful" enough. And the media is definitely not on our side, just look at the CNN piece about Paleo being "the worst diet ever" even when the diet and the sample menu presented were perfectly sensible. There's still far too much indoctrination going on with regards to nutrition, whole grains are still holy and sacred to most people, as is a whole lot of other junk food. Heck, ask the average person what they think about grape jelly with 100g of sugar per serving and they'll tell you it's healthy because it has fruit. Subsidies won't end anytime soon either, as much as I would like to see them eradicated, because politicians have realized paying people is the easiest way to get their vote. But who cares, we should just "live and let die" right? Let them eat cake....


on February 05, 2014
at 11:48 AM

I think this is a worthwhile question that could be discussed ...

I will post some of my thoughts on the matter... Ie that's it is impossible not todireclty or indirecly endorse or oppose any causes... No one is neutral and in theri choices and habits their political principles are manifested (hopefully, anyway, else what is the point of the princples...?)

As soon as anyone starts speaking for the 'paleo movement' (which i agree is heterogenous to some extent - the ideas of eating well can transcend tradiational conservative, liberal and radical lines to an extent, but there are always politilca implications/extensions that can be drawn out...

eg many people on this site have expressed notions about the role of big pharma, business etc, large corporate bodies, 'big govt'/govt in cahoots with corporations. These sort of ideas can be used in both traidtional 'right' and 'left' discourses... eg people inclinced towards thinking (and hopefully acting, else what is th epoint of the thinking??) in terms of 'left libertarian' type of approaches could be negative about how govts and ,arge capitalist organisaiotns in general are closely and systemically linked so that regulations and reserach that is often put out is done so in the interests or corpotariasm/profit/short term...

People of more conservaitve oriienation also can appeal to ideas of 'tradition', 'small govt' etc, being scpeticla of the role of governments in limiting autonomy...

To some extent these ideas can be linked anyway -- autonomy is the coomon stream in the approaches, although there are differings regrading epmhasis.

as for improving broad levels of nutrion adn health, it is impossible for politlcal matters to be divorced from it - politics is about everyday life and considerations - if it gets away frmo that then systems need changing, right...? Serving the people...?

The issues regaridng paleo, nutrtion aren't divorced either from broader issues of inequality, inequity, social justice... Subsidies may not need to be disbanded for 'antinutritonal crops' because they are 'anti nutritional- they need to be disbanded because they unfairly perpature a system (of unfainess) that sees dvelpoing world countries disadvantaged... Those in priviliged positions are in such positnos because they directly or indirectly exploit other people and historical sistuations, doing little or nothing to resist them or make something differnt, and better... Undue provilige is what a lot of us have - worrying about drinking tap water of not or this food or that is a luxury...

Perhaps if we all concentrated on addressing the broader systemic issues, with paleo nutrion as one facet, then we could help to create and contirbute to existing ways of knowing and being being changed, or at least altnerative systems being developed that are outside these systems. already farmers markets happen - people resits and make things different through their everyday practices. it is up to each of us who have relative mateiral proviilge to effect change in ourselves and around us, so that there a system of such inequity as exist now won't existi into the future...

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