A Physicist on Paleo Eating

I dont usually do post any more that serve primarily to link up or quote another’s work, but I’m making an exception.

I structure my nutritional philosophy around the notion of the Paleolithic Principle. The principle is that the human animal has been around and eating a relatively consistent diet for a couple of million years with Homo Sapiens being around for almost 100k years. It was only really with the introduction of the neolithic age that technology brought new foodstuffs to consume such as dairy, grains, and the other modern cultivars of plants that we eat. The paleolithic principle states that we have not fully adapted to these new types of foods and hence they may be harmful to our health, on a case by case basis.

These new sources of food were introduced roughly 5000 – 7000 years ago, which is perhaps some 300 generations worth of time. Humans, being long-lived, evolve quite slowly. Humans, being highly social sentient apex predators, also don’t necessarily experience the same degree of natural selection as other species. The question is then, just how well adapted are we to these neolithic food groups?

That’s physicist and sometimes commenter here, Robert McLeod, blogging at Entropy Productions. Go read the whole thing. I know from recent comments and emails that there are a large number of "newbies" here, and Robert’s post is a very sound introduction to both theory (the paleo Principle) and practice. So, you newbies print it out, read it, practice, and then read it once per week. I guarantee that your understanding and practice will converge.

You shall, in time, become expert yourself, which is my ultimate goal for everyone. Damn all those who would keep you ignorant and needy.

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  1. Robert M. on November 2, 2009 at 09:32

    Hey thanks a lot Richard. Yeah I know I don’t post a lot. Opportunity and motive are sometimes lacking.

  2. John Campbell on November 2, 2009 at 09:59

    Richard, thanks for the heads-up – an excellent post. Some ideas just make so much sense and Robert McLeod outlines the logic of the paleo lifestyle very well.

    Anyone can make this as complicated as they like. They can research things to their heart’s content. But basically we are magnificent animals, well adapted to our environment, when we remember the environment we are so well adapted to.

    Healthy living is not really that complicated, although there are certainly lots of details to be worked out.

  3. collagen on November 2, 2009 at 20:38

    I have read the article based on Paleo Eating.I found this post very attractive as it contains very informative in nature.Healthy living is not really that complicated, although there are certainly lots of details to be worked out.I want to know suggestion of others.

  4. LeonRover on April 22, 2010 at 15:21

    Hello Robert, I read Robert McCleod’s post when it came out. This was my response.

    “Robert, a very thoughtful post, thank you for sharing your personal judgment on the considered decisions of what you eat and why. It strikes me as being scientific in that old fashioned description: empirical. Of course, when the subject is oneself, each of us has to find out how well any generality fits. An individual has its own responses to particular foods and conditions – another example of the interaction of genetic inheritance with the environment of place, time and the parents who brought us up. Does a particular food nourish or produce a bad reaction, immediately or over time?

    One sucks it and sees!

    Perhaps it is time for a term other than Palaeolithic to describe the eating patterns prevalent before the Neolithic Agricultural revolution, further changed by the Industrial Agriculture typified by Sugar in the 18th Century and which has ended up now with Fast Food, subsidised corn and CAFO beef, together with the demonization of Saturated Fat as poison.

    Sadly, I myself have not come up a pithy phrase, but I believe that a different set of words could trigger a new Meme.

    Appreciate your writings.”

    In the context of the relevance of “paleo” to healthy eating, Robert’s view of it as a guide for self-testing is what is of interest to me, as it is the way I approach the subject of eating to live.

    Suck it and see for oneself!

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