2011 Paleo Community Survey

Some weeks back I was contacted by longtime reader and commenter David Csonka, who also operates a fine blog over at Naturally Engineered. He had an idea to create a survey for paleo folks to participate in so that all in the Paleo community might gain insights into what the allure is and perhaps, how best to promote and grow the movement.

And once you go over and take the survey, I’m sure you’ll begin to get a glimpse of how this data could prove interesting, especially to bloggers, authors, researchers.

The purpose of this survey is to collect information about paleo diet community members, including demographic information, medical conditions, dietary preferences, and physical activity.

Why should you participate?
The resulting data will be invaluable in terms of understanding the nature of the paleo movement. It will be provided to other bloggers and researchers with the goal of providing a clearer picture of how the paleo diet has affected the lives of its adherents. The survey itself is relatively short and should only take a couple of minutes to complete.

As well, several incentives for completion of the survey have been provided, and will be explained further at the end of the survey. These include a coupon code for Paleo Treats products and the opportunity to win one of several giveaway Amazon.com gift cards.

So, without further delay, please go spend a few minutes taking the survey.

And if you blog, please post a mention of it; and if you’re on Facebook or Twitter, please either link here or directly to the survey as you prefer, with a #paleo tag. Please retweet anyone else’s tweets you see on the subject.

Free The Animal is supported by readers like yourself shopping Amazon and CLICKING HERE to do so. Costs you nothing but sure helps out around here quite a lot. Anything you drop in your cart after clicking will support the blog, even if you don't check out for weeks or months later. Always appreciated.


  1. Brian Scott says:

    My country (Cayman Islands) isn’t listed. >.> Pretty used to that.

  2. if i were situated as many of the active bloggers are, i would surely also think that spreading the paleo diet to the unwashed masses is a great idea. I have zero heartburn when folks are finding ways to make a little extra pocket change (eg, Dr KGH’s recent syndicating of himself onto _PsychologyToday_ website) by a non-illegal, non-immoral activity.

    As someone who is situated to be BUYING the limited supply of non-factory food, i do think it’s a step towards higher food prices in my budget….

    • I spend less on food. Crap is expensive.

      • I spend a bit more, because I used to have a dinner of rice and beans every other day: those meals have been replaced with staples more nutritious but costlier (eggs, cream, and/or meat). Intermittent fasting has allowed me to cut back a bit, though, and eggs are pretty cheap where I live. (A confounding factor is that my family has grown by three members since I went Paleo.) I am always open to learning more about cheap, healthy food.

      • Yea…I spend a lot more than I did. Quality meat is a lot more expensive than crappy processed food.

      • For me in the overall, I don’t think it is. I have my CSA which is far cheaper than the supermarket, And I no longer have a pantry stuffed with cereals, crackers, chips, juice boxes, a freezer jammed with whatever people put in them and the list goes on and on.

      • Jeremy Voluntaryist says:

        My chest freezer is stuffed full of meat and frozen vegetables. It’s hard to store 20+ pounds of bacon without keeping it frozen. And the half cow wouldn’t keep if it wasn’t frozen.
        But my pantry is pretty empty now. I’m trying to think of what to do with all the empty space where the grains used to be. And to figure out what to do with my $$$ flour mill.

      • All of the CSA’s around here are more expensive than the supermarket $/lb unless I get on the 20lb/month plan. If I want grassfed outside of a CSA, it’s even more expensive than that. We’ll see, maybe there are others in the area I’m moving to that aren’t listed online.

      • I get 17lb per month from Marin Sun Farms, combo of beef, lamb, pork.

        The comparison between what I pay and the retail prices listed on the labels (for sale at local markets & such) is huge.

  3. The problem with spreading paleo to the masses is the image of paleo itself. A caveman diet with front man Lorein Cordain’s recommendation of very low carb and low saturated fat is just not going to make it far.

    Eventually the real leaders of the paleo community need to break off from the paleo “brand” and figure out something that is really mainstream

    • “Eventually the real leaders of the paleo community need to break off from the paleo “brand” and figure out something that is really mainstream”

      Nobody owns the word Paleolithic. Our job it to put out there what it really means, which can be anything from low carb to high carb low fat to high fat. What matters is what works best for each individual within the context of real, pre-agricultural styled whole foods.

      • Yeah for the people who actually get beyond how it is portrayed in the main stream as the low carb caveman diet and find little gems of knowledge like you, Kurt Harris and Mark. Although Mark already did what i proposed. Hopefully Kurts venture onto his new blog spot will get his ideas out there.

        For most, they will hear about “Paleo” and scoff at the absurdity of eating like a caveman and not eating their precious wheat, and never give it a real chance. This has been my observations with almost everyone i have tried to tell about the paleo diet, and why i wish there was something else i could call it.

      • Zach:

        While I’m OK with eventually going to a new description why buck the trend? Right now that’s the keyword people are searching for. OZ just talked about it on his program. How long until it get air time on Oprah, The View and all that other stuff.

        To my mind if you’re not talking “Paleo” you’re not in the game.

        I just installed a super-cool stats app called Chartbeat that gives stats in real time, and not just visits, who’s on what page/post, whether they’re reading, idle, or writing a comment, where they are coming from in terms of direct, search, referral and which referral sites and which searches.

        As I watch it scroll (I’m running an average of 50-60 visitors at any moment right now, people coming and going) through the search terms and phrases, I’m seeing a lot of “paleo”

      • As a for instance, the last 8 searches that brought a visitor, 3 had the word ‘paleo’ in the phrase and there were not any others mentioning any other kind of diet (atkins, low carb, zone, eyc)

      • You are right, any publicity is good publicity. I guess what i am frustrated with is that i dont actually eat paleo (dairy, potatoes, no nuts, very few fruit) yet to tell someone about how i eat i pretty much have to say the paleo diet and that usually ends the conversation. While a lot of good is coming from the original paleo diet i think most of the off shoots, especially Kurt Harris, yourself and others take it to a whole new level of health.

        Right now what i see is a big surge in paleo publicity and also a lot of divergence from the original diet made popular by Cordain and Wolf, either because people dont want to be associated with the trendiness and the zealots that come along with that or they people that there are more optimal ways to eat.

      • “Right now what i see is a big surge in paleo publicity and also a lot of divergence from the original diet made popular by Cordain and Wolf, either because people dont want to be associated with the trendiness and the zealots that come along with that or they people that there are more optimal ways to eat.”

        Yep, sure. You’re right too in that what does Paleo mean, anymore, but I think that’s exactly where it needs to go.

        What is paleo? It’s hard to say because it’s not any prescription.

        So we’re talking a new dietary paradigm (as much as I hate that overused, manipulated word) as opposed to a dietary prescription. Basically:

        80% + real, whole foods from among all meats, fish, fowl, offal, veggies and starchy veggies, fruits, nuts and dairy if tolerated.

        …Figure out what works best and for God’s sake, switch things up; seasonally, daily, what you feel like, whatever.

        What we have to sell is that this is the most delicious and satisfying diet on the planet IF, you lighten the fuck up and enjoy.

      • Very true, paleo brings much more to the table then any other so called diet and trying to not be associated with that would be a mistake. Also i think the divergence whether it be EM2 or Primal just adds to the depth of paleo as a way of life and not just a fad diet.

        Whatever, im along for the ride and right now i am liking where its going.

  4. Funny that you can only be single, married or single again by divorce or seperation (what exactly is the difference?).
    Marriage is just not for me- not that I don’t want to share the rest of my life with my partner, I absolutely do! But don’t need to sign a contract. Wouldn’t make a difference to me (or him).

  5. Wish I could reword a few questions slightly, like the definition of strenuous exercise, however the survey looks great overall, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results.

  6. gallier2 says:

    There were some questions I couldn’t answer correctly. The only sport I practice is squash, I chose martial arts because it’s the nearest fit I found.
    I cook less than 1 hour a day as we have a pretty good canteen at work, so the 2 to 3 hours on weekends do not make a big difference.

  7. I liked the question on supplements though there were a few I take that weren’t on the list. Though one of them has 27 different ingredients so it would be hard to cover them all.

    • “there were a few I take that weren’t on the list. Though one of them has 27 different ingredients so it would be hard to cover them all.”

      are you taking supp’s because of a known deficiency (through testing) or just as a precautionary measure ??

      which supp’s ??

      • Just the usual pre-workout mixes to get me wired at the gym. Plus whey protein and a handful of other stuff weight-lifting related stuff.

      • “Just the usual pre-workout mixes to get me wired at the gym”

        care to elaborate ??

        “Plus whey protein and a handful of other stuff weight-lifting related stuff.”

        care to elaborate ??

      • Lean Gains has a good section on weight lifting supplements, the big ones right now are whey protein, creatine and a pre-workout supplement.

        Every supplement maker has their own product re pre-workout drink, and also post-workout though I don’t bother with the latter, I just have something to eat after working out. They tend to contain caffeine or other stimulants to give you an energy boost

        Here are a couple of popular ones


  8. Jacqueline says:

    OT – but it appears that Owsley Stanley (The Bear) has been killed in a car crash in Queensland, Australia. I saw it here first, this morning:

  9. Hopefully the results are released publicly. Some of us are curious…

    Of course, I was doing this kind of thing long before I’d ever read the word “paleo”, so I’m a bit hesitant to associate myself with some fad or products, or brainless movement for the easily conned to follow.

    Guess the 10% coupon for junk food was a bit a piss-off. Isn’t pre-made garbage antithesis to “paleo”-type stuff? What a joke.

  10. Create a new phrase and market the brand ?

  11. http://blog.zeroinginonhealth.com/

    At the very end “for more click here”

  12. Lynn McGaha says:

    The survey didn’t have a choice for widowed, so I answered single. There’s also no choice available for an unmarried person living with someone else. On the question that asks if your family adheres to paleo, respondents should be given a choice of not applicable. The survey forces single, widowed, divorced and maybe even separated respondents to give a bogus answer to that question, undermining the validity of the answers.

    • I don’t recall what the actual choices were, but for me, there’s alone and together. So single could encompass all degrees of being alone and married could encompass all degrees of being in some form of relationship.

      That will probably make the data better, not fractured along lines of everyone’s pet peccadilloes.

      • I don’t mean to be harsh toward your loss, and I’m sorry about that and have no idea what it’s like. But I must say that in the context of the survey for what it is, I doubt we’re going to gain insight separating degrees of single and degrees of “marriage.” The point is, is compliance hieghtened of compromised, one or the other.

  13. Lynn McGaha says:


    I wasn’t trying to be whiny about my particular non-relationship (widowed) not being available as a choice. If I remember correctly, married, single, divorced, and separated were listed as choices, and I think one other. If the survey thought the delineation between those various categorizations was significant, I thought someone needed to know they’d omitted some categories. I’m with you about thinking alone or together would probably be suffficient as categorizations for the purpose of this survey.

    I took some coursework in designing surveys about 20 years ago. It’s surprisingly complicated to design a good survey and avoid bias. I think most surveys would benefit from a small trial run to flesh out all the omissions and confusions that arise. Most of us don’t think outside our own box well enough to think of all the potential ways someone might answer or think about a question. For instance, by delineating various degrees of singledom other than widowhood, I got the feeling that the survey designer didn’t expect anyone “older” to be answering a paleo survey. If respondents feel uncertain about which answer fits their situation, it tends to muddy the data.

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