Farewell to [Debunking] Paleo

So apparently, there’s a new series of videos by some vegan advocate called “Primitive Nutrition;” and no, equally apparently, he’s not talking about the plankton and shit our way-way back bi-valve ancestors ate.

He picks and chooses his ancestors, just like we do, but perhaps a bit wayer back.

I think he’s up to 71 videos as I write this, and the view numbers go like this:

  1. The New Barbarians – 2,419 views
  2. I, Copernicus, Pt I – 566 views
  3. I, Copernicus, Pt II – 307 views
  4. Truthiness Paleo-Style – 252 views
  5. Truthiness Paleo-Style – 223 views
  6. A Novel Pitch for Low Carb – 271 views (It’s an Outlier!)
  7. A Diet in Your Genes, Part I – 174 views (Oops)
  8. A Diet in Your Genes, Part II – 160 views (The Trend, The Trend)

The thing to note is that all of the videos, all 71 of them, 5-10 minutes each on average, were all posted about the same time a week ago. Perhaps, from just a marketing standpoint, you’d want to toss a couple out there just to see IF ANYONE REALLY GIVES A FUCK before you Aspergers-esq put out 71 of them? Huh? Y’think?

I dunno. But to me, just this simple wisdom-of-crowd-source fact alone tell me there’s nothing to see here. “Move along, citizen.”

So he gets a good big bang from #1, an eighth of them are hearty shouls who extend a benefit of doubt, and it pretty much crashes from there to his cadre of True Believers (TM) who will be happy to suck his dry cock long after he’s dead. …Everyone should have a few of those.

Oh, did I mention his biggest hugest fan? He presented at the Ancestral Health Symposium in August at UCLA (I presented as well); …his soft-spoken, personal persona is so surreally unlike the very authoritative poster and replier to comments he was back when he was “paleo,” …and continues to be, as the same just-so authority now that he has once again, after 12 years, seen the light (once again). Did I mention that he has seen the light, once again, and you should too? Listen to his jimmy moore podcast to judge for yourself how he seems to be a ship without a sail, rudder, or paddle. Both Beatrice and I were just shaking our heads on the drive down to SoCal recently, when we heard it.

So he took clients’ money for 12 years, stuck pins & needles in them, gave them “CHINESE HERBS!!!” — and maybe a little philosophy like, the [communist] Chinese are the original anarchists, consulted them on “Alternative Health,” and gave them dietary advice which, according to him, was not working. Did I mention that he did this for 12 years? By his own admission?

So what about the videos? Is this total ad hominem on my part? No. This is dismissal out-of-hand, which I’ll explain in a minute. I watched only a few minutes of video #1, and simply couldn’t take it anymore. I wish I could give you some concrete reason why, but I can’t, as I believe I had to wake myself. …Couldn’t wait to get to the other 70 of them. But unnamed former paleo blogger sure could, and I guess I missed it, but…. They’re Greeeeeat!

They were presented to me by a commenter as “debunking paleo,” and it was in that Dr. Wahls post where she had used a high nutrition variation/density paleo diet to reverse her MS. So, think about that for a second. The commenter doesn’t go “wow, maybe I should rethink, and perhaps many others could benefit from this.” Nope, s/he posts anonymously as “paleo-debunked” and drops simply the link to the video.

Think about that, and the evil motivation behind it.

Then, tell it to Dr. Wahls.

…And then, breathe a Fuck You sigh.

Increasingly, things need to be dismissed out-of-hand. There’s too much information and too few hours in a life. Even valid stuff needs generally to be dismissed, trusting that if it really is valid, it’ll make its way. But most isn’t valid.

There is no “debunking paleo.” I’ll repost my reply comment:

Yea, you know, I clicked on that thing and could not get past a few minutes.

There is no such thing as “debunking paleo.” Paleo isn’t a diet, it’s a framework that includes equator to arctic/antarctic circle and sea level to 16,000 feet and everything in between.

What we can be sure of is one thing: our ancestors evolved eating a wide variety of animal and plant matter. That’s simply a fact. It will never go away and anyone attempting to hand wave it away is immediately dismissed out-of-hand. I won’t spend a second of my time on them. That includes [that blogger], as much as I like him personally (his in-person, soft spoken persona is so unlike his authoritarian blog/comment persona it’s surreal).

What is worthy to note is that some Paleos are just as off base as vegans. There is no single dietary prescription for all, no macronutrient ratios for all. You have to find out what works best for you, and if that’s a high starch diet from sweet potatoes and tubers with low-moderate fat and protein, then so be it and I’ll agree it falls under “Paleo.” But that’s simply _not_ going to be applicable for all.

Does that sum it up?

A final word about the whole “Alternative Medicine” crowd. You want someone with a serious head on his shoulders, grounded, consistent? Chris Kesser, and I hope I never change my view on that and it seems very doubtful.

This whole experience has reminded me why I instinctively have a generally dim view of some of the “artisans of health,” such as many in the chiropractic community, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, herbal remedies and the list goes on. I wanna say that, if you see “arts,” anywhere, run away!

The problem is, there’s no real foundation from which to work. Is it’s all ultimately in the realm of “arts,” — what I call a “hydra-headed” word — and you can never separate biology from psychology, which is to say: measurable, verifiable, repeatable therapeutic result from placebo…and placebo is real, but it should be marketed as placebo, not hocus pocus.

And so while the God I don’t even believe in knows, I have all kinds of problems with modern medicine: its methods, its beholden bent to pharmacology, its whoring for grants because that’s where the money is, etc. …And even though they deal in variable confounding — often on purpose — we are at least dealing with propositions that are usually testable or falsifiable in some regard.

…Someone emailed me the other day suggesting I do a Bullshit piece on something my friend Mark Sisson posted, that he the emailer didn’t believe in. I chose this, instead. Can you guess why?

Hey, why should an atmosphere of exploratory knowledge as concerns paleo evolve any less than we evolved? Everything evolved and evolves. As I’m writing this book and my editors are going back to old post from a few years back, I suffer some embarrassment to see with what assured authority I wrote with, sometimes. That’s a good thing.

But wait…. Take on Sisson? Look, if Sisson is your guru, it’s only because that over the years, he gives you an idea, two, or three for free. 365. It’s Mark’s Daily Apple. And if Mark is your guru, was it because he said something like “everyone else is full of shit, after 12 years of things not working, I’ve changed my mind and NOW listen to me?”

Was Mark your friend or enemy, nothing in-between, and did he ever give you any hint that was his condition for communion with him on his comment boards and forum?

Did he point you to many other sources of knowledge and insight at least once per week, lovingly?

…It’s always good to end on a note of juxtaposition.

Update: See Dr. kurt harris’ post: Don Matesz stumped by Tim the Enchanter. It’s his expanded comments on a Matesz post horribly taking Kurt out of context and misrepresenting not only his views from the beginning, but particularly his more evolved, current views. It’s very entertaining. An intelligent, witty smackdown. Don’t miss it.

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  1. Razwell on December 12, 2011 at 16:18

    Hi, Richard

    Nothing on your part was ad hominem. Nothing was fallacious. Nothing wrong with personal insults. You made a well reasoned argument and it certainly was NOT ad hominem.

    Although, I am sure many UNINFORMED Internet gurus who support the limp dick sounding voice of “Primitive Nutrition” would wrongly claim this.

    I am glad you brought up the word ad hominem:

    Too many people on the Internet MISUSE ad hominem thinking invoking an imressive Latin term wins them the argument. THIS is an excellent article on what constitutes an ad hominem which is fallacious. Actual instances of ad homienm are relatively rare.

    Most Internet gurus who accuse others of a fallacious ad homienm hominem are actually are committing the “ad hominem fallacy” fallacy.

    So, if they accuse you, you can show them THIS:

    Another one these Internet guru morons get wrong is accusing everybody of “appeal to authority”.

    Deferring to Stephen Hawking on a matter of physicis ( world renowned genius and expert in his field ) is not at all an appeal to authority that is fallacious. What would be fallacious is deferring to him as an expert on , for instance, horticulture , simply because he is the great genius physicist Stephen Hawking etc.

    Take care,


    • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2011 at 16:29

      That is exactly right, Razwll. AH is not about name calling, sarcasm, intimidation or anything like that. It is merely disregarding an argument _on the basis of where it came from_, solely. Most often, real AH is subtle, innuendo. T. Colin Campbell is unabashed in it, though his fanboys are too stupid to recognize it.

      I brought it up merely because dismissal out-of-hand, as I am doing with both the unnamed blogger and the video production wiz was not AH, as you correctly point out, but I foresaw that it could be fallaciously perceived as such.

  2. Lucas Tafur on December 12, 2011 at 18:52

    It is really “amazing” how in such a short time, he has auto-debunked himself. Any possible reputation left has been eliminated with his new post:

    • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 10:23

      So I emailed Kurt last night to let him know about that post. I won’t quote his reply to me :) but he has dropped two long comments on it that begins here:

      I like how he wraps up his 2nd comment:

      “I wonder, though, why didn’t you just quote old posts of your own from when you were “paleo” a mere 12 moths or so ago?

      “You’ve gone from near carnivory to MacDougall veganism in that time frame with no real explantation for why you are any more credible now than you were then.

      “Don, you’re like those alcoholics that quit the drink and turn to Jesus, and now chain smoke while eating donuts at AA meetings.

      “You go from one batshit crazy extreme to another, and now basically have zero credibility. And I’m not even counting the superstitious nonsense you tout about “traditional chinese” medicine, yin and yang and other pseudoscientific bullshit.

      “Please leave my name out of your dumb crusade against “paleo”, if you can’t quote me accurately or even bother to read my more recent writings.

      “Or just quote yourself to show how stupid paleo is.

      “You’ve got plenty of posts that would fit better than ones I put up more than 2 years ago.”

      —Or just quote yourself to show how stupid Paleo is. Ha!

      • Sean on December 13, 2011 at 10:52

        There’s so much awesome there. I love really pissed off Kurt.

      • Galina L. on December 14, 2011 at 04:52

        Probably, we should be grateful to Dan for giving Kurt a reason to produce such rant we all enjoyed .

      • Alex on December 13, 2011 at 11:02

        Kurt posted the complete rant on his own site:

      • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 11:19

        Indeed, and with lots of added goodies.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2011 at 19:36

      My goodness. Laughable.

    • Joseph on December 13, 2011 at 05:13

      He cannot think metaphysically: he misses the forest for the trees. He appeals to authority to make stuff go away. He resurrects the lipid hypothesis (without engaging any of the critical data: people who went to college for a few years believe it, so it must be true!).

      My question for him: Why are we fringe idiots worth converting back to the conventional wisdom? Why not just accept that people are going to make different decisions about their health, decisions which mean that they live (and die) differently? We cannot all live to be 200. We cannot all be healthy and happy all the time. We cannot all look to holy organizations like the FDA (the ADA, etc.) for our ten commandments. Some of us (Neanderthals) are going to do it our own way, and die. So what?

  3. Skyler Tanner on December 12, 2011 at 14:08

    “The problem is, there’s no real foundation from which to work. Is it’s all ultimately in the realm of “arts,” — what I call a “hydra-headed” word — and you can never separate biology from psychology, which is to say: measurable therapy from placebo…and placebo is real, but it should be marketed as placebo, not hocus pocus.”

    And in this realm you can never separate the treatment from the practitioner. Morphine works, no matter which doctors is administering the treatment. If the guru is a necessary part of the equation, it’s time to pack up and run…fast!

    • Paul d on December 12, 2011 at 16:23

      Actually Skyler. You are wrong. A number of meta-analyses “academic peer reviewed papers” indicate that the therapeutic reliance between patient and practitioner has a consistent moderate impact on treatment outcomes above and beyond
      treatment modality. It has nothing to do with the placebo effect. It has to do with how well the practitioner meets the goals of the patient and the tasks assigned. This also generalizes to some extent in drug treatments as well. So if the quality of the relationship and potential practitioner traits/behaviours do play a role as the research suggests, then people would be stupid to
      follow your advice. Paul d

      • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2011 at 16:31

        Paul d:

        Aren’t you splitting hairs?

      • Skyler Tanner on December 12, 2011 at 18:46

        I appreciate hair splitting as much as the next guy, and understand that doctor/patient relationship does influence treatment outcomes, but I stand by my statement. Go take some morphine and tell me how you feel if you want to experience my point firsthand.

      • Paul on December 12, 2011 at 23:19


        Been there and done that. Having sampled many different morphine derived analgesics (administered by different drs over time and prescribed pre and post-operatively), I can tell you exactly how it feels to me. Was the effect uniform as you suggest, absolutely not, and did it work, not always as expected or with the same impacts!!!! So I am not sure what your point is, since I have done what you suggested many times and still seem to be missing “your point”. For drugs that are designed to treat mood disorders, you can separate the practitioner and the effect of the drug, measure and quantify the differential impact. So you can remove the treatment from the practitioner. Paul D

    • Dave, RN on December 16, 2011 at 13:10

      Not always. Some doctors are very good. There are others I would’t take my dog to. Same discipline, big difference in skill.

      “Morphine works, no matter which doctors is administering the treatment”. Also depends. I’ve seen patients take massive doses of narcotics that would render other unconscious. Just depends on how much they are used to.

      But I get your point…

  4. Melissa on December 12, 2011 at 14:41

    Who the fuck posts 71 videos instead of a writing that people can read easily and look at the references? Sorry, I don’t have time to watch 71 Youtube Videos, especially given the number of real books out there on the subject written by people who are willing to put their real names and reputation on the line that I could be reading instead.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2011 at 14:45

      Im tellin’ ya, M: Aspergers.

      • David McCracken on December 12, 2011 at 15:24

        Ummm, Richard. Gotta take exception to that. I bet some of your readers are on the Aspergers spectrum. I bet some of your readers have family on that spectrum. I bet some of your readers have children on that spectrum. I’m not impressed with you using “Aspergers” as an easy label for something you don’t like. If you think this other person is stupid, boring repetitive, makes weird assumptions or whatever, say so. If you think he has “Asperergers” perhaps you could elaborate on what particular part of the spectrum this person resides on, and why. And while you’re at it, why it is relevant.

        And yeah, if you think I’m being cranky I am. It’s a stereotype. I’m from Winnipeg and I grew up hearing Ukranian jokes the way some other people grew up with Jew or Nigger jokes. I’m not a big fan of labelling with generalizations.

        For the record, yes, I do have a right to be cranky about people mis-using that particular term as an insulted or perjorative. And also for the record I have never been labelled as “Asperger” nor have i ever claimed it.

        You may not like being called out on this, and you may drop and F bomb about it. It doesn’t change that fact that this is wrong, and crass, and people need to stand up against it.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2011 at 15:35


        I consider myself, as does my wife, borderline Aspergers.

        Now whatcha gonna say?

      • David McCracken on December 12, 2011 at 16:09

        Whatever. Your use of the term is clearly meant to insult or demean. It is very obvious what you think of this person you are commenting on, and you summarize your disdain with the term “Aspergers”. You can do whatever you want, being a free world (at least for some of us) . I still think it is crass. Autism is a huge impact on my family, and I just cringe to see posts like this. I’m off my soapbox. Your blog, you’re free to write what you want, you encourage people to comment or criticize. I have.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2011 at 16:16


        Never forget these are just words and labels people use, for better or worse.

        Here’s the problem. In using such classifications rather than simply eschewing them always, from the get-go (even when it’s advantageous to use and label), Real people get wrongly labeled and identified, MOSTLY BY THEIR OWN FAMILIES WHO KNOW THEM BEST.

        …Such that, if someone uses such a label in reference to some moron to otherwise undesirable dumbs, the same family who labelled their relative then goes and get offended.

        Go figure.

        It’s insane. Don’t know how to fix it but for Jesus Christs’ sake, you know fucking good and well that I was not casting a hint of any disparagement on anyone you love, and we’ve known each other for a fuck of a long time.

      • David McCracken on December 12, 2011 at 16:40

        Yep, we have. I still wish you hadn’t slung the label. I know you weren’t slagging any of my family intentionally, but by using the term as an insult, well, that’s the connotation people then have for the term. People with cognitive impairment trying to figure out how the world works have a hard enough time as it is.

        Don’t mind me; I’m just cranky about stuff like this.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2011 at 16:44

        Hey, I can only imagine how frustrating it can be, David. Actually, I can’t: not really, not day in and not day out.

        I’m sorry if it ever seemed I was insensitive to that. And if I’ve given you an opportunity for a well deserved venting, then, well, that’s what friends are for.

        Cheers mate.

      • Craig on December 18, 2011 at 10:40

        I’m an Aspie too! I know exactly what you mean by that comment.

      • John on December 13, 2011 at 15:17

        I too have a bone to pick with your post. I can’t remember what it is exactly, but I know I’m seriously offended by it because it related specifically to experiences in my own life that I consider incredibly negative, and therefore have no humor regarding. You have by-proxy attacked my self esteem and also diminished my will to live with your insensitive choice of language and lack of forethought as to my potential existence and the level of insult that I’m capable of experiencing. I hope that my particular mode of distress is currently politically correct so that you feel compelled to profusely apologize to me and anyone else that wants to get on this sweet victim train I just rolled up to the station.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 15:23


        While I wholeheartedly love your comment and the essential principle spirt and idea behind it, in fairness to David, he’s a long time friend of mine. We used to be in an email list I started ran and grew surrounding trading credit spread options on the SPX, and David was a mainstay. We corresponded often, spoke on the phone, etc.

        I doubt very much David would have taken his offense public were it not for that prior relationship. He’s not that kinda guy, I can assure you.

      • John on December 13, 2011 at 15:37

        I gathered from context it was a personal exchange…still hilarious to me though, the casual asshole reader, to see Richard Nikoley step back from being insulting :-)

      • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 15:43

        It’s all about keeping people guessing what might come next. My goal is to die with a number of surprises that went unused.

      • tess on December 14, 2011 at 08:32

        and here, i was all ready to congratulate Richard on his mellow tone and lack of vitriol in the article! what can i say — you can’t say anything that won’t push SOMEBODY’S button (and i have lots of those, myself).


    • Michael P (@PizSez) on December 13, 2011 at 15:38

      Amen! I almost never watch videos or listen to podcasts. I want to read and absorb the material, not watch or listen to it. And I read much faster than any audio or video plays.

  5. Sarah Madden on December 12, 2011 at 14:49

    It’s the arrogance I can’t get over. I love contrary views, it keeps me honest. I make a point of reading things that contradict what I think along with getting into debates with people who think differently, I learn something new with every one and I continue to learn and refine, you might say ..evolve? :)

    But with Don there are no shades of grey, no doubt, not lingering feeling of ‘well huh MAYBE I was wrong about something because I’m not feeling great eating like this anymore’, no.. it was a great discovery made by his brilliant mind and look at how foolish everyone is when they don’t IMMEDIATELY fall in line. How can he expect to have credibility with this about-turn if he doesn’t first have humility?

    • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2011 at 14:53


      I posted essentially this Q right to his face. He nodded, which I have no idea was agreement or understanding.

      I left it at that.

      • Melissa on December 12, 2011 at 15:11

        I just remember how adamant he was that factory farmed meat with added hormones wasn’t a problem. It’s the same attitude he has about soy milk now.

    • David Csonka on December 12, 2011 at 15:13

      It’s hard to promote an idea and be honest about your uncertainty at the same time. Especially so if you desire to profit monetarily from your idea.

      • wattlebird on December 12, 2011 at 20:22

        and, for what its worth, when one is uncomfortable with ‘uncertainty’, one grabs tightly onto something that feels secure, even if that ‘certainty’ is not so certain at all.

    • gallier2 on December 13, 2011 at 05:04

      This arrogance is especially annoying when he gets caught flip-flopping, as the commenter nothing91 perfectly showed on his blog, or when he gets caught on absolutely untenable propositions, like he did on the blog entry, that he removed afterwards, about fat and blood viscosity. That one was particularly telling, because after getting flak from Chris Masterjohn, Stephan Guyenet and many more, he didn’t somehow acknowledge his error but preferred to remove the whole blog entry with his comment section. Something I would never expect from Richard for instance, he would face his contradictions and errors and use it to become better.

  6. Josh Bobbitt on December 12, 2011 at 15:32

    I think this stuff is tough. People, very much, want an optimal diet. I mean shit, as a guy whose dad died of a heart attack at 58–I want to KNOW what that I’m doing to my body isn’t hurting it. I want to KNOW that I’m doing the right thing for my body, and to make sure I don’t repeat that.

    I think that’s what’s hard about this n=1 stuff. My body is sending me one set of messages, but I’m getting all of these other sets from all of these “authority” figures and it seems like the information is constantly shifting.

    It’s enough to drive a man nuts.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2011 at 15:41


      Take any given study, whether inclined to love or hate it, and consider the distribution.

      Do you fall in the fat part of the Bell Curve, or are you an individual outlier one way of or the other?

      No way around it, you have to do this yourself and I think a general Paleo framework is the way to go.

    • rob on December 13, 2011 at 02:32

      I also want to know that I’m doing the right thing for my body, so I take my clothes off and look in the mirror.

      Results matter, everything else is noise.

  7. Remnant on December 12, 2011 at 15:53

    “his in-person, soft spoken persona is so unlike his authoritarian blog/comment persona it’s surreal”

    It may be surreal but it is actually all too common: there is a certain passive-aggressive type — probably fundamentally insecure — that uses this approach as a means of social dominance. I think it works best on women and beta males (although the user of the approach is almost always fundamentally beta himself) because the superficial “we’re not arguing here, we’re just having a conversation” vibe makes it difficult for many people (Richard not among them) to engage directly in conflict with such a person. It is essentially an authoritarian leftist approach: the person is highly competitive and controlling but chooses to give off a personal vibe of “coolness”, niceness, etc. as a kind of plausable deniability that any such competitiveness, control or conflict is present. It is an approach one commonly sees among hippie (I say that literally, not with any disparagement), alternative movements / communities and … dare I say the word? …. cults. (For the latter, see DurianRider).

    I stopped reading this unnamed ex-paleo blogger a few months back when he deleted his own post after too many negative (but polite) comments were posted from the likes of Nikoley, Harris et al. As soon as he did that (again, note the leftist “airbrush it out of history tendency), I “got it” and stopped following his rss feed.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2011 at 15:59


      Actually, it was Masterjohn and Guyenet that spanked him in that fat-viscosity debacle. And yea, just removing it with no notice or mention (there were about 80 comments or so, including one or to from a fluid dynamics engineer who schooled him and spanked him on his assertion that “it’s a simple matter of physics…”) should have been enough to dismiss him forever.

      • Remnant on December 12, 2011 at 16:04

        Thanks for the correction, Richard. Because the post is gone I couldn’t double-check it against my memory!!

    • Txomin on December 13, 2011 at 04:45

      Nice elaboration on beta types.

    • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 11:25

      There have as often been right-wingers who have tried to erase various things from the public record or to at least excuse them away with asinine arguments or, since most of them aren’t intelligent enough (in my experience) to fake it with an argument, they resort to demonization of their rhetorical opponents. “You authoritarian! (oh that’s hilarious) You America-hater! You baby-killer!”, blah, blah, blah.

      It is an artifact of having a strong opinion. Happens on both the left and the right. Let’s be honest here, shall we?

      I *have* seen what you’re talking about though. It drives me apeshit because while I am a big old wimp in person and I hate arguing with people (mostly because my brain freezes up right where in a blog I’d get clever–dunno what it is with me and f2f verbal shit), I would rather someone act like a blatant asshole because then at least there’s a clear enemy to defeat. But there’s this certain breed of person (women do it too, and can be downright vicious with it in a quiet sort of way) who put on an act like they are “trying to take the high road.” When it’s quite plain they’re not.

      Recommendation: Suzette Hadin Elgin’s book The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense. She’s a feminist and a sci-fi writer, but the book itself is remarkably ideology-neutral in case you’re allergic to those types of people, and it gives you a set of tools for handling the passive-aggressive aggressor, without looking like they got the better of you.

      • Remnant on December 15, 2011 at 20:58

        Dana and Joseph, point taken. No political persuasion has a monopoly on mendacity and cover-ups (although it is pretty clear that in the 20th century, one side had significantly higher market share in this regard…) The only real distinction is between those who want to control other people and those who don’t. These days, it is rare to find a politician on either side who fits that bill. (In fact, today there is really only one: Ron Paul). That said, I do think Matesz’s particular tendency or expression of that penchant is what I could call “leftist”.

  8. Angelo Coppola on December 13, 2011 at 06:54

    Mr/s. PrimitiveNutrition is intellectually dishonest.

    In Part 2, he quotes Loren Cordain’s statement: “The notion that humans were meant to be vegetarian runs contrary to every shred of evolutionary evidence from the fossil and anthropological record.” But, he treats this statement as if Cordain is actually saying, “People were meant to eat meat.” He then goes on and on battling this straw man by focusing on the words “meant to eat meat,” as if Cordain is promoting a religion by way of the Design Fallacy. He makes this up out of whole cloth.

    In Part 3, he quotes my own mantra, “Human beings are not broken, by default.” He immediately twists this into, “If only we eat and live like a stone ager, we will be happy and healthy and trouble-free.” He then goes on to battle the straw man “humans are perfect,” using weirdly off-topic gyroscopes as his metaphor. For the record, his interpretation is completely off-base. If I say the “human eye is not broken, by default,” it doesn’t mean all eyes are perfect, or that no one can benefit from glasses, contacts, or corrective surgery.

    I think the Paleo community would welcome an honest criticism of the Paleo approach from the Vegetarian or vegan or any other community, as long as it is, well — honest.

  9. MountainDew on December 12, 2011 at 16:01

    “again, note the leftist “airbrush it out of history tendency””

    Those damn leftists Texas schoolboard members are at it again!

    • Joseph Stalin on December 13, 2011 at 02:39

      May they rot in Siberia, comrade! Omeletes and eggs, dah!

    • Joseph on December 13, 2011 at 05:01

      It was premature to say that leftists are the only ones to alter history. But the “airbrushing” metaphor restores balance: conservatives ignore the past by tearing it to bloody shreds; liberals by performing delicate plastic surgery. The end result is the same: statist propaganda!

      • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 11:27

        And there are other conservatives and liberals who want the public record to stand and who, in fact, on occasion attempt to bring it back into public consciousness. Howard Zinn and his take on history, for example, which of course is dismissed as “revisionist.” Well, *yeah*, when the historical record has been whitewashed (literally) and stuff’s been edited out to make the story look better than it actually was, it NEEDS revising.

  10. Josh on December 12, 2011 at 16:48

    I really don’t get the new stuff, with all the appeals to various government-funded sources. Should we listen to those folks just because they’re authorities?

  11. Carlos on December 12, 2011 at 19:54

    Hey, what’s so funny? I guess I don’t have a super duper blogger intelligence, but there seems to be more guffaws here than substance.

    I’m interested in knowing what the problems are with that blog post. Seems plausible to me.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2011 at 20:11

      Then put in the time to figure it out, Carlos. I already wasted too much time reading it.

    • Theo on December 13, 2011 at 02:04

      I don’t want to go into too much detail, but since Richard does not want to highlight while it is so funny, I will take a shot. In the article, Don cites highly political organizations like the American Heart Association and boards of “experts” to debunk certain aspects of the “paleo” framework as espoused by Loren Cordain, specifically. His argument is basically this: the prevailing opinion among scientists is X, therefore Y is false because if conflicts with X. Despite the obvious problems with this argument (I believe that doctors once agreed thought that blood letting was an effective cure . . .), it also pretty much debunks everything he has to say that doesn’t lock step with X*, therefore nullifying the entire existence of his blog as an alternative health outlet. Get it now?

      *I should note that he has a Masters in Oriental Medicine, something which, last I checked, was not mainstream or universally agreed to work. He also tried to espouse ancient Chinese wisdom as a foundation for dietary advice at one point, which somehow in his mind stands the test of rigor while paleo does not.

      • pam on December 14, 2011 at 02:45

        @ Theo,

        i really like your logic about him nullifying himself by appealing to mainstream authority. haha

        although traditional Chinese diet & philosophy is about moderation & balance between animal kingdom & plant kingdom.

        really weird that he talks about “flexibility” (taoism)
        methink he is rather combative & dogmatic for a Taoist.


      • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 11:29

        I’ve got someone knowledgeable (for a Westerner) about Taoism on my blog’s FB page who says the same thing.

      • pam on December 15, 2011 at 13:21

        Hi, Dana,

        A 2nd famous Taoist sage actually wrote a chapter describing how a butcher dissected & butchered a cow with “great ease.”

        so apparently, the Taoist sage must not have been a Ve*gan. Not only that, he must had observed how it was prepared.

        (i was once told by a TCM doctor to “eat more meat” for nourishment of my “Ying” composition.)


      • Remnant on December 15, 2011 at 21:19

        Yeah, “Chef Ding Cuts Up a Bull” from the Zhuangzi. Great story. But it isn’t really about meat per se; it is about learning a skill step by step from the ground up until you have mastered it, and then continuing to hone and maintain that skill so that it always comes naturally and “easily”. As it comes in the “Nourishing Life Force” chapter, one can take it as a metaphor for the health practice of nourishing and increasing one’s energy and power, which was (is) a quintessentially Taoist activity (qigong).


        In modern parlance, to describe someone as doing something “like Chef Ding cutting up a bull” is to praise that person for his skill and (seemingly effortless) craftsmanship in anything.

      • pam on December 16, 2011 at 17:08


        great link. thanks!

        yes, the story is a metaphor for life or any art.

        from the admiration of the skill of Ding, i just infer that the Taoist sage himself was not a vegetarian.

        (“effortless” is my goals in life as well.)


    • gallier2 on December 13, 2011 at 05:26

      Theo made one point why his blog entry is ridiculous (the appeal to authority), another one is that he asserts the the importance of the source of nutrients. The nutrients can be provided by plants but the same, or the even better ones can also be sourced from animal sources. The true initial origin of that nutrient is irrelevant, if it was, Don should eat poop and plankton to get his Vit B12 and his DHA respectively. A lot of the compounds found in plants have to be converted in expensive ways to be useful. 2 examples, ß-caroten and linolenic acid, both are easily found in plants but both have to be converted to be useful. Another one, Vitamin-C essential vitamine if you have to synthesize collagen, using a lot animal products containing collagen will reduce the need a lot, why synthesize when you can get it pre-formed and in good shape.

      • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 11:35

        If you have to convert the substance to get the nutrient, by definition you are not getting the nutrient. Any number of things can go wrong in the conversion process to prevent you getting that nutrient. I found that out the hard way with beta carotene vs. vitamin A. Coming to find out it’s an issue with folic acid vs. folate too–and you can’t health away *that* problem; if you are genetically incapable of converting much folic acid to folate, you had better eat more leafy veggies and liver, and quit leaning so hard on the multi. (I mean rhetorical, general “you” here.) How many of us even know about that problem to get tested? And getting back to beta carotene, how many people convert to veganism because they’re hypothyroid or diabetic, both of which conditions prevent conversion of BC to A? Whoops.

        I don’t know that you would actually be able to use animal collagen as collagen in your own body. It’s a protein and we are VERY good at digesting protein–so good that we have to inject insulin, a peptide hormone, rather than take it as a pill. (So much for the “meat rots in your gut” hypothesis. It’s not even meat anymore by the time it gets that far.) But the good news is that if you cut back on glucose sources in your diet, you wind up not needing as much C for *that* reason. In animals which make their own vitamin C, which is most of them, they manufacture it from glucose, and glucose and C enter cells by the same receptors even in humans. Less glucose = less competition for those receptors, which means you can use more of the C you intake. Wikipedia tells me that the more you take, the less you absorb, so taking less is actually a good thing–means you piss less of it away.

      • gallier2 on December 15, 2011 at 13:05

        You’re right, I was a bit sloppy with the Vit-C example.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 11:59


      OK, here you go, Dr. Kurt Harris shows you a couple of percentage points of what’s wrong with that article.

      The other 98% of it is just as bad.

  12. Carlos on December 12, 2011 at 20:32

    Why not make the time count for something by explaining the problems you evidently discovered with it?

    • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2011 at 20:40

      Carlos, not everything is worth my time. There is nothing to be gained by me. With this post I have entirely written off that blogger as off the deep end.

  13. Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 11:50


    According to Matesz in reply to Harris, the problem with Paleo is that everyone doesn’t come to the same conclusion.

    Oh, and a friend of his got cancer.

    Alright: Don Matesz is a fucking moron. There, I said it. I should have known better from the start when I looked at his bogus “credentials.” Moreover and worse, he has zero creditability — which is of course _justice_ — and worst of all, he’s profoundly dishonest and a bald-faced liar. He can go to hell.

    …And I fart in his general direction.

    • Bill on December 13, 2011 at 13:31

      Kurt Harris is to nutrition as Christopher Hitchens is to religion. Spot on!

      • Sean on December 13, 2011 at 13:59

        As long as the religion isn’t about being a neocon and playing world cop I think you are correct, sir.

      • Joseph on December 13, 2011 at 13:59

        Newsflash to Don Matesz: people get cancer! All of us. No matter what we eat. Improving your odds of avoiding the thing, or surviving it, is not the same as avoiding it altogether (which is a matter of luck, ultimately).

        There is nothing anyone can do to ensure that no one gets sick, ever. Nothing. We are not born to live without pain, suffering, and death: these are necessary parts of human existence. It’s not nice. It’s icky. Complaining to the gods that be (and their almighty agencies) isn’t going to change this reality. There is no rain dance you can do. The best one you come up with may just entertain you on your way to death (where we all end up anyway). C’est la vie.

      • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 11:51

        Cancer is not one of those diseases that we only discovered after we developed the microscope and the biopsy. It’s been a known disease for centuries, which is why we know President Grant died of it. As such, if it had turned up in any of the traditional indigenous populations encountered by white colonials and missionaries, we would have heard about it. Strangely, we seem to have only heard about it in populations already exposed to grain and sugar.

        That’s not to say those indigenous cultures never saw the occasional, very rare, very random individual who tripped over a uranium deposit and his face rotted off a year later. But it was *not* something that happened so often that they could be dismissive and expecting of it as a “part of life” like you’re doing.

        Not that I really believe I can avoid cancer through dietary changes at this point. I started wising up in my early 30s and it’s been a struggle even with that knowledge. It could be my damage has already been done. But I do think cancer is largely preventable–and with dietary and other personal habits, not with positive thinking or other woo-woo. In fact, I think diet’s even more important than carcinogen exposure, up to a point.

      • Joseph on December 15, 2011 at 12:13

        Dana, I include the rare individual here. And I am really talking about all illness, not just the kinds most popular in recent times (like cancer). People are born to get sick, and to die. Either some illness is going to kill you, or your body is going to fall apart naturally (for some reason). That was true millions of years ago, and it is still true today.

      • Joseph on December 15, 2011 at 12:16

        I guess my underlying point is that there are no cures for the individual that are silver bullets. Every treatment has a graveyard that we often overlook, a place where go all those who tried it and found it insufficient (even if, from the statistician’s point of view, it is a good treatment). There is no such thing as a medical silver bullet. You can improve your odds of winning life’s game, but you cannot guarantee that you won’t lose (and, in the long run, we all lose).

    • Sean on December 13, 2011 at 13:50

      I’d like to point out that I was quite skeptical of Don way back when.

      And a few days ago. I think we all saw it coming but I was slightly ahead of the curve in calling it out.

    • Skyler Tanner on December 14, 2011 at 05:42

      My mother died due to complications from stage 4 colon cancer in spite eating in a way closer to (if you want to call it that) Don’s now-vegan leanings. Mostly chicken, fish, fruits, veggies, and the odd sprouted grain.

      That should have saved her, right? Cancer only happens because of diet, especially a paleo diet high in fat and protein, right? Why didn’t her apparently woo-approved diet save her from the ravages of cancer?

      That’s right, because like the honey badger, cancer doesn’t give a fuck and gets what (or who) it wants.

  14. J. Stanton on December 12, 2011 at 21:34

    I stopped reading Don when he misquoted a figure from a paper I was familiar with by a factor of over 50…a figure which, if quoted correctly, would have instantly debunked his entire article.

    Richard, you said earlier that you had saved a copy of “Melting Point of Fats”. Perhaps it’s time to make it accessible to the world again? It’s a priceless combination of complete confidence in total baloney, and it’s tremendously instructive for anyone tempted to take Don Matesz seriously.


    • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 09:59

      not sure whether I still have it, but I believe someone has it in a Google doc somewhere or something. I think it was Chris Masterjohn.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 10:54

        Alright, I located the plain text of the post in my mail folders, so no images. I’ve put it in a Note on my FB page, along with a link to Masterjohn’s comment thread.


      • J. Stanton on December 13, 2011 at 17:08

        Thanks, Richard!

        It’s difficult to overstate how bizarre that post was at the time. Here’s what I wrote back in June:

        “Perhaps Don realized that it’s far more profitable to sell “Traditional Chinese Medicine” consultations to hypochondriac woo-woos than it is to sell Tanka bars and T-shirts to skeptical paleo eaters. And perhaps it has to do with his new wife.

        It doesn’t really matter. He’s using vague philosophical and historical arguments (do Egyptian temple paintings prove that Egypt was ruled by furries?), coming up with pseudoscience so bizarre he has to remove the article and pretend it never existed (“Melting Point of Fats”), and misquoting studies by a factor of ~15. I was considering debunking him, but he’s done a great job of digging his own hole.

        The end result is that I end up with more readers. I should probably thank him.”


      • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 17:16

        “The end result is that I end up with more readers. I should probably thank him.”

        As someone who went from maybe hundreds to tens of thousands or readers, with perhaps a few thousand die hards, there’s only one way to do it, with a 2nd condition that serves as corollary (condition 1 must be fully met first):

        1. be honest, consistent, get yourself a style or schtick and stick to it.

        2. when you fuck up, be harder on yourself than your readers.

        It’s an easy formula and as long as we’re humans, it will work.

        You know, the whole Chinese woo-woo crap really should have been a tip off from the get go. I’m a fucking moron for not seeing that. (see how it works?)

      • Theo on December 13, 2011 at 23:41

        See Richard, it is ironic that when I first stumbled upon Don’s blog, I loved it, and when I first stumbled upon your blog, I hated it. I found, and still do find, your style to be abrasive and often inappropriate. Yet today, yours is in my list of top ten blogs, while I no longer read Don’s. It is because I have come to understand you, and realize that you are a honest guy who isn’t afraid to fuck up. See how that works?

      • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2011 at 02:22

        I hope I understand and never forget it.

  15. Paul on December 12, 2011 at 23:02


    Speaking of evolution, and my extremely limited take on it, my observations of the human species and our adaptation to our environment in developed nations is “interesting” to say the least. An environment where high calorie, nutrient sparse, readily available “cheap” foods are combined with a sedentary, information overloaded, stressful lifestyle, what say ye to natural selection? If we endeavour to get lean, eat like our long dead ancestors, stay active etc, are we actually adapting to our new “environment”? Paul D

    • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 04:25


      Wasn’t there some animated film out a while back of a future world where everyone is fat, being carted about in fat mobiles?

      • gallier2 on December 13, 2011 at 05:35


      • Jon Cole on December 14, 2011 at 07:39

        Also reminds me of the 2006 film Idiocracy.

        “As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species…”

        “Clevon is lucky to be alive. He attempted to jump a jet ski from a lake into a swimming pool and impaled his crotch on an iron gate. But thanks to advances in stem cell research and the fine work of Doctors Krinsky and Altschuler, he should regain full reproductive function again.”

      • John on December 14, 2011 at 08:47

        Idiocracy was a great film. The only thing evolution really rewards (and the only thing it ever did) was successly producing offspring. It can favor pretty much any trait except for impotence.

        The Mating Mind by Geoffry Miller is fantastic if you’re interested in how human intelligence evolved in the first place.

    • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 11:41

      High calories never were the problem. Sedentary behavior’s only a problem inasmuch as you’re losing physical conditioning (and a whole bunch of epigenetics arguments about shortening lifespan *that* way, which I don’t come near to understanding yet). But food isn’t just fuel. It is also spare parts. What we’re doing with diet is the biological equivalent of having a car that’s not running so hot because some parts need replaced but instead of replacing the parts, we park the car and keep fueling the tank long after it’s spilled over. If we replaced the parts, the car would run correctly and the tank would be low by the time we stopped at the gas station. Eating, for us, is as if we were a car that could replace worn-out parts just by filling that gas tank. Unfortunately, most people into the subject of dietary health think all we need is a little less gasoline and a little more driving. But that’s a recipe for a breakdown as well.

      If we ate like our ancestors and moved like our ancestors then no, that’s not adapting to this environment, that’s living as though we were in the old one. But I’m not sure this is an environment any of us *should* adapt to. Here’s *my* question… If we all refused to participate in this new environment, would *it* die out? Or at least die back far enough that more of us could opt out? It’ll be interesting to find out the answer.

  16. Stabby on December 12, 2011 at 23:36

    Yet another vegan advocating a diet completely devoid of animal foods in all conditions, no middle ground at all, not even a measly 5 servings a week to improve nutritional status, just a bunch of ideology thrown in. Some of these arguments are so bad they remind me of politicians. I hate being reminded of them! You didn’t miss much, it is a callow attempt at making a nutritional argument. A cherry-picked epidemiological study here, an out-of-context rat study there, an appeal to authority everywhere you look. He even did the silly thing where you look at a population who just started to eat a whole lot of processed industrial crap, as well as more meat, and then insinuated that every one of these things contributed to an increase in disease rates, which couldn’t possibly be inferred.

    A lot of nutritional information was omitted. He was trying to argue that there isn’t any specific benefit to animal foods other than vitamin B12, which is pretty fallacious when you look at all of the bioactive peptides in it, especially when it’s grass-fed and cooked on low heat. He thinks that CLA isn’t a useful nutrient and even causes insulin resistance, but equivocates between the different isomers, and his only argument that it didn’t have health benefits was a lack of effect on fat-loss in humans, completely ignoring its role in preventing diseases like cancer. He thinks that phytanic acid from animal fat is harmful because he found one epidemiological study showing an association between serum levels and pancreatic cancer in a population that is scared shitless of animal fat so all of the most health-conscious people avoid it and the least health-conscious people get a lot of it at Mcdonalds. Same old story. It actually seems to improve insulin-sensitivity (in rats) and dairy fat definitely improves insulin sensitivity in many studies…

    So yeah, let’s pretend that we are an expert and have actually evaluated all of the evidence, then piss rainbows and end with a wag of the finger. I shouldn’t really write this off as a vegan thing, it is an arrogant, self-assured dogmatist thing, and some paleos are like that too, like you mentioned. There are a hell of a lot of things that I don’t agree with Loren Cordain about, but I’m still going to treat him as a valuable author because of the good aspects. Just like with T. Colin Cambpell kindly teaching us that animal protein detoxifies aflatoxin like nobody’s business and prevents tumor formation. Or David Wolfe who teaches that supplemental sulfur is like totally the greatest thing ever, but that acid-forming foods like those containing a lot of sulfur destroy your bones.

    But yeah, not a vegan thing, or a paleo thing, a dogmatist thing. But there just are a lot of the bastards.

    • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 11:45

      He’s so wrong about animal foods. I’d have bled out through my uterus by now if I had not wised up and gotten more real vitamin A. It’s a supplement, but it’s from fish liver oil, so it’s the real thing, as real as a capsule ever gets.

      I’m finding incredible benefit from vitamin K2 (menatetrenone/menaquinone-4/mk-4, not that natto shit) as well; I’m suspicious it’s improved my insulin sensitivity. That also comes from animals. No plant sources. No free ride here.

      I think a lot of those vegans are supplementing with the cyanide form of B12 just because that’s most of what’s available. They’re having to steal methyl groups from all that folate they are intaking, if so. I find methyl B12 far superior… but guess what, no plant sources. The tablets I take occasionally (not daily, I do get some B12 from red meat) are supposedly from a vegan source, but technically bacteria aren’t animals so I guess that’s OK. If I were vegan. But I will never be that stupid again.

  17. Asclepius on December 13, 2011 at 01:35

    1) “…that will be happy to suck his dry cock long after he’s dead” – the funniest quote I’ve read all year!
    2) Alternative medicine that works is called ‘medicine’. Anything else is ‘woo’.
    3) I can’t help feeling that Shari nailed Don’s position with this comment on PaleoHacks ):

    “I’m pretty sure the new wife [is] driving this bus to low-fat-ville. She got fat “eating paleo”. That was the nail in his paleo coffin right there. I think ultimately this comes down to compromise in order to have peace at home. She got the ring on her finger. No need to pretend to be paleo any longer. She wants to go back to low fat and she’s taking him with her. Yes women really are THAT good.”

    Now THERE is a comment that makes sense in the light of evolution!

    • Sean on December 13, 2011 at 03:17

      Beta. Male. (If true)

      I doubt any woman (or man) who actually manages to mold their spouses behavior enjoys the results. Personally, I’ve never seen it work out well.

      • Asclepius on December 13, 2011 at 06:31


        (All the same,I wish Don all the best and hope that he doesn’t take this thread too personally!)

      • Sean on December 13, 2011 at 07:38

        What a beta backpedal ;)

        I don’t wish Don any ill will, either, but he promised to respond to my rebuttal when he equated Newtonian physics to a rain dance (with the rain dance coming out on top) in the comments yet never got around to it.

        Since then he’s only become more intellectually dishonest.

        Don’s personal life is no one’s business but his own, and I have to admit I’m being an asshole also speculating whether his diet about-face was guided by being pussy-whipped.

        His intellectual dishonesty, however, is completely open game.

      • Asclepius on December 13, 2011 at 08:15

        “What a beta backpedal”

        Nice! I’m adding that to my lexicon.

      • Sean on December 13, 2011 at 08:54

        It was merely accidental alliteration, Asclepius.

      • Sean on December 13, 2011 at 09:39

        Heh, sorry, I couldn’t resist that.

    • Noah on December 13, 2011 at 12:36

      I listened to that Jmmy Moore interview with Don a while back. He sounded lost until a female voice in the background gave him some help. It was quite pitiful.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 15:10

        Ha, yes, Noah. Glad you remember that. She was in the background seemingly coaching him along much of the way, especially in the latter half.

      • Galina L. on December 14, 2011 at 04:49

        It was strange feeling – listening to a person, than to find out it was a puppet.

  18. Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 17:43

    A cool comment on that latest Matesz post:


    “I ain’t afraid of your Yahweh,
    I ain’t afraid of your Allah,
    I ain’t afraid of your Jesus,
    I’m afraid of what you do in the name of your god.
    Rise up to your higher power,
    free up from fear, it will devour you,
    watch out for the ego of the hour,
    the ones who say they know it are the ones who will impose it on you.”

    – Holly Near

    Is diet any different? No. I respect your courage to listen to your body, Don, but I no longer value your polarizing health proclamations.

    Nonetheless, thanks for inspiring me to value my body. I wish you the best in your dietary endeavors.


  19. Eegah! on December 13, 2011 at 04:34

    I haven’t read all the comments so maybe someone else has already mentioned this. In video#1 (I got all the way through it!) ‘Paleo’ was described as a “fad diet”, my understanding of ‘Paleo’ is that it is an omnivorous diet (although a few whackos do go for the ‘2lb of raw ground beef only per day’ version), now is that a fad? Haven’t we been omnivorous since before we became Homo Sapiens Sapiens, hundreds of thousands to millions of years back in time? (Aren’t our closest ‘cousins’ (chimps) omnivorous?) Yet the ‘unnamed’ places such great store in Chinese ‘wisdom’ which stretches all the way back two or three thousand years. I wish Don well, but his about face came only weeks after posting about how great he felt on Paleo, now he appears to be a vegan.

  20. Sean on December 13, 2011 at 06:32

    I’ve also recently had a go at our favorite ex-Paleo heretic.

    But what I really agree with is not calling bullshit on Sisson, even if I was razzing you for being his shill a while back. The guy is the real deal, even if I find his penchant for self-promotion to be a bit over-the-top at times. MDA is always an interesting source of info, Mark is well-informed and never dogmatic. Do I occasionally disagree with something he writes? Of course, but I don’t agree with everything anyone writes. A healthy sense of skepticism and and a healthy penchant for not accepting spoon-fed information is not the same thing as throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

  21. lowly on December 13, 2011 at 09:00

    Please help a simple ESLer here. I don’t get if Don has created and posted the videos himself or not. Sorry if my stupidity is too obvious, but if you find Dons wordy posts a bother to read, imagine my discomfort! :-)

  22. Josh Bobbitt on December 13, 2011 at 11:43

    Lord, this stuff is off the rails.

    This seriously makes me want to stop using the term “paleo” altogether. This whole argument is the kind of thing that completely undermines the credibility of this whole movement.

    I think that my strategy, from this point on, is to tell people that I’m gluten intolerant, and that I believe in real food, and that I’m just going to silence the chatter from folks who only seem to be concerned with keeping this argument going.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 11:54

      I disagree.

      People are human, arguments and shit slinging happen. Go live in a Monastery promoting an unnatural existence if you seek tranquility and freedom from human strife.

      I also disagree in the sense that those 71 videos, Matesz’s behavior and a host of other things serves mainly to illustrate that “Paleo” is making enough of a mark and gaining enough attention that it is worth people’s time to attack it.

      Bring it on.

      But relax; feel free to sit on the sidelines, let other people do the dirty work, and pretend it doesn’t matter.

  23. Galina L. on December 13, 2011 at 12:24

    Guys, he is doing that for his domestic harmony. Probably, living according to the Matriarchal principles is very Paleo. It doesn’t matter you don’t like him anymore, his new girl-friend is happy, it is important for health to get laid . I know, what I just said looks like a pretty low argument, somebody suppose to be criticized on his views or opinions, it just that I can’t hold myself to higher standards at the moment. People keep changing points of view, it is like grow of minds. It happens 180 degree only when opinion depends on outside output. Lets Duriander read Don’s blog.

    • Theo on December 13, 2011 at 17:10

      I think it is less that he changed his mind that is upsetting people, but more so his arrogance. Whenever he changes his opinion, it is like he has seen the light and now wants to force you to see it too.

  24. Matthew on December 13, 2011 at 12:41

    I live in New York State. In January the world is white and covered in snow. What am I supposed to eat, if animals are off limits?

    I feel embarrassed for this Matesz character. Dr. Harris having so viciously and succinctly ripped apart all of his arguments. I’m with Galina.

    • Greg Evans on December 13, 2011 at 16:51

      You need to listen to episodes 11 and 12, wherein you learn to migrate to “Refugia” and mingle your genes with more adapted homo sapiens during your ice ages.

  25. realfoodtoeat on December 13, 2011 at 14:30

    really, it just demonstrates that the brains logical processes are primitive and more so for some special people. there is a best selling book about this presently but can’t recall the name offhand as I read the review a few weeks ago!

    I have been following this on PaleoforLife blog ‘latest news’.. until its kicked off I suppose.

    so thanks for pointing out the obvious as we could take pity on the unfortunate person driven possibly by a procreation instinct.

    all that male aggression could be driven to something positive.. 50 push ups please.

  26. Peter on December 14, 2011 at 06:01

    Question to Paleo crew? Why do Paleo crew always uses siluettes of fine featured individuals of a clearly caucasoid types holding a spear? I am referring to the picture Richard has at the top his page, and to the AHS logo with the couple. Why not use siluettes of pictures of real hunter-gatherers, instead of some imaginery BS?

    • Josh S on December 14, 2011 at 12:31

      Because we hate native people?

      Or because Richard is a white guy and like black people painting black jesus and black santas people make their “icons” in their own image?

    • Jared on December 14, 2011 at 20:05

      Hot stuff right there.

      2 hot pregnant chicks and a couple of lean little dudes.

    • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 12:20

      Maybe because those people are still hunter-gatherers while 99 percent of white folks no longer follow that lifestyle which is exactly what’s wrong with us, at least from a dietary standpoint? It’s useful to have a visual goal to inspire you, sometimes.

      OK, I pulled that number out of my ass. But is it wrong?

      • Josh S on December 16, 2011 at 13:52

        Or just because the commenter decided that he could play the race card to make paleo folks OMGTEHRACIST and there is no real comeback because the point of the comment is so redonkulously stoopid?

  27. Mark Demma on December 13, 2011 at 16:54

    If you listen to the Jimmy Moore podcast Don went on after his big reversal, you can hear in the background his new girlfriend coaching him what to say. I’m with Galina here. The reason for his conversion is pretty damn simple – he started dating a veggie chick and she is pretty insistent that he become one too. Sorta like having to convert to any other religion because your S.O. has strong beliefs. But seriously, listen to it again and turn the sound up to hear her telling him what he should say. It just goes to reinforce Wolf’s mantra of “let’s not turn this into a religion, people” that folks in the paleo/ancestral/primal/whateverthehellwearenow camp not check in our brains at the door and become just as orthodox and inflexible. I checked out Don’s site again for the first time in a while and man he’s really gone full tilt and become a true believer in the veggie orthodoxy. She must be really hot.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 17:03


      I kinda dismissed it at the time (BTW, there are refs to her coaching in that podcast by Noah and I further up in comments) but at AHS I met Don and his new wife first at the presenter party at Aaron Blaisdell’s house, and then I saw them before they both took off back to AZ right after his presentation first day.

      …Anyway, she was clearly the Alpha. She was all worried that because Don was going up against Wolf (on day 1, the presenter rooms were a 5-10 minute walk from each other — day 2, 5-10 seconds) that nobody would come and see him and she was pleading with everyone who would listen to come listen (I got this from Beatrice, because I basically ignored her).

      That said, for her age, she is hot in my view. So there you go.

      • Mark Demma on December 21, 2011 at 09:32

        Yeah, and while I don’t think musings of hen-pecked motivations counts as vitriol, it is true that conjectures of Don’s motivations are pretty moot. In my journey to drop from 320 lbs to 165, I really didn’t give a crap about whether it included meat, any particular macronutrient or philosophy attached, I just wanted something that worked. I’d already experienced health problems: my gallbladder and part of my pancreas had to be removed, I was pre-diabetic and had sleep apnea. When facing the prospect of dying way before my expire date, I was very motivated to find something that would work. Though this journey, I think I’ve hopefully learned that you can’t get too dogmatic about stuff. For instance, I’ve been adding more of the dreaded carbs back into my diet after I’ve started doing strength training. Snarky-ness about whether the new wifey is hen-pecking him to veggie land aside, if you read through what his blog has turned into I just don’t see much useful information, just a lot of regurgitation of a lot of CW BS that most thinking people have long since known enough facts to laugh off as not credible ages ago. I’m not seeing any new useful information there, or really any good credible reason for the massive 180. Could his diet have needed lots of tweaking after being really low carb for a while? I’m sure it could. Welcome to what everyone else has been saying, or at least coming around to, all year.

    • Curtis on December 13, 2011 at 17:52

      The vitriol espoused on the worthless rants and comments on this site show where the true cult mindset is. Some of you people, including Dicky Nicky, can go on quite the rant.

      As far as Mr. Matesz’s wife being heard in the background of “Livin La Vida Low Clue” interview with him as a guest, so what? It shows that his wife supported him and was present at the time of the interview and doesn’t mean that he was relying on her for any answers, much less being coached. It would be the same as people watching a debate on TV about a topic they are passionate about and speaking their mind when they think an important point should be made. Also, I would imagine that any diet-themed conference with a talk, by say, Gary Taubes, would have people in the audience making comments to each other as various pet topics of theirs became the subject of the talk. Doesn’t mean those people are coaching the Taubester.


      • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 18:00


        “The vitriol espoused on the worthless rants on this site…”

        Worthless to whom?

        To _whom_, Curtsy pussy boy? You see, I see comments here, in case it escaped your attention.

        See? Do you grasp the implication and the connection?

  28. Unamused Mouse on December 13, 2011 at 17:13

    Richard, of course it’s your choice if you wish to (enthusiastically) respond to these idiot sticks, or, you can ignore them and continue enjoying your health, your family, your job, etc. etc.

    If you find yourself getting extremely wound up over them, it might be time to learn how to ignore them so they don’t cause a spike in your blood pressure… :)

    • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 17:31

      I don’t know if you’ve noticed UM, but lately I have toned things down, a bit. I just haven’t had the urge, or sporting urge.

      But trust me, this is sporting, for me. I feel at my best when I’m embroiled in controversy and if it doesn’t come to me naturally then I’ll fucking create it! :)

      • Unamused Mouse on December 13, 2011 at 19:12

        Well, that’s different, then. Have fun with it. :)

      • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 19:13

        Until I get bored and haul my hang glider out of the garage.

  29. Rick on December 13, 2011 at 18:14

    Kurt Harris a gold scamming (his perpetual ad on his page), Porsche hocking “Comments Off” on all posts censoring (denialist), calorie-counting rice-krispie eating http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/09/humans-on-cafeteria-diet.html?showComment=1317325771172#c1990998363208902456 “too old” to care, cancer giving radiologist who just “wings it” with no apologies.

    Doesn’t even click links when the evidence is put right in front of him http://robbwolf.com/2011/09/13/the-paleo-solution-episode-97/#comment-47146 He doesn’t believe in any studies that refute his ideology at this point in his “too old” for this age. He has become irrelevant and so have his “NADs” and ridiculous group-think acronyms that remind me of terrible writers that fill the diet book shelves.

    Yes “Farwell” Bob Saget Fathead looking trash

    • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 18:17


      What, did you email Kurt once and didn’t get a response?

      I have his cell phone number. You just have no style. Kurt is more discerning that that.

      Now go fuck off. All day long is just fine.

      • Rick on December 16, 2011 at 14:14

        “All day long is just fine.” are you going to censor me and not click links I post like Kurt Harris?
        Explain exactly what was going on with your head @39minutes:

        From youtube comments:
        “exactly. you would expect an ‘expert’ to at least say the terms properly. I’m not a stickler when it comes to opinions, which im actually very open to, but MITOCHONDRIA is a scientific term that has a specific way to say it.
        Imagine someone listening to this guy and researching, MITO CHANDRIA.

        yea, he called mitochondria (meeto chandria)
        how SEVERELY UNFORTUNATE this guy has a popular blog

        Why is he fat???

        He is kinda fat..’

        Are you still on leangains? What’s going on? Why didn’t you mention the BCAAs pre fasted in the lecture.

  30. Kurt G Harris MD on December 13, 2011 at 19:00

    Rick is a guy who thinks alcohol is metabolically the same as a baked potato, so I would not expect much comprehension here.

    But I’m bored right now so I’ll try anyway.

    1) Not a scam, man. An affiliate relationship. Bet you wish you backed up the truck at $750 like I did, huh?

    Then you could afford to be “irrelevant” all day long, the way I am. Irrelevance is perhaps the ultimate luxury, wouldn’t you say?

    Utterly oblivious to what little pricks like you think or even whether my blog gets 40 K unique visitors a month even when I have not blogged in 6 months and shut off comments arbitrarily at the drop of a hat. Means nothing to me. Nor does your frustrated desire to “contribute” comments there.

    Don’t you just hate that?

    Nothing is more enraging than people who can afford Porsches and do not seek or need your approval, wouldn’t you agree?

    2) Calorie-counting? Never. Not once. No idea what I’ve eaten on any given day.

    3) Oh yeah. You’re that CIH following Taubes nut-swinger * from Stephan’s blog.

    4) Learn some radiation biology. It will do you good.

    5) You’ve hacked my computer and know what links I click on? Tell me more.

    6) What is my “ideology” exactly? I’m curious to know. Not believing nonsense and eating real food cooked at home?

    7) The spelling is “farewell”. Missing an “e” there. And Saget maybe, but Naughton? Are you blind?

    * Hat tip Nigel Kinbrum.

    • Nigel Kinbrum on December 14, 2011 at 06:57

      Hat tip appreciated!

      Interestingly, Rick’s name links to a series of talks by Dr Michael Greger (the vegan MD). For no apparent reason (possibly brain trauma brought on by excessive face-palming while watching the first video posted by Don), I left a comment on that post containing a link to Dr Greger’s lectures from 2003.

      Dr Greger stated that large studies showed no difference in overall mortality between omnivores, vegetarians & vegans and that vegans had a much higher risk factor for degenerative brain diseases. He also recommended that vegans take a large number of supplements.

      • Kurt G Harris MD on December 14, 2011 at 19:32

        Greger is probably mostly accurate if he says that.

        Interestingly, populations that have you drawn and quartered with your entrails burned in front of you when you turn 70 have about the same lifespan as other groups, but I’d still rather not be part of them.

        I mean, avoiding the kind of diseases I see in the overeating obese is plenty enough for me. Any “overall mortality benefit” is a bonus.

      • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 12:13

        Or the undereating obese. We exist too. Although this one had pretty good trig and cholesterol numbers last year for still being so big. Haven’t gotten any of it checked this year yet, might put it off til after my surgery next month.

    • becky yo! on December 14, 2011 at 14:46

      Kurt, Bob Saget is famous for his stealth-awesomeness so I guess that’s a compliment!

      • Kurt G Harris MD on December 14, 2011 at 19:19

        Saget also does an unbelievably filthy stand-up routine, which is hilarious if you remember him from the squeaky clean television show he was in

    • Rick on December 16, 2011 at 15:09

      “1) Not a scam, man.”
      You and your Gold brokers are certainly scamming old folks:
      “How many older folks losing their life savings to this scam?”
      http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/glenn-beck-fox-hosts-golden-advertiser-goldline-investigation/story?id=11197000 Under criminal investigation for 19 charges
      You and your artificially created libertarian/Foxnews hype bubbles. Explain how your affiliate scheme is different than Glenn Beck’s right now. You do realize you’re taking money directly out of US circulation (cash flow, hurting jobs and screwing today’s youth) to inflate some fantasy that tricks grandma out of her money when it pops.

      “Don’t you just hate that?”
      Must be comfy on the top *feeling* like some oppressive They Live overlord.

      “Don’t you just hate that? Nothing is more enraging than people who can afford Porsches and do not seek or need your approval, wouldn’t you agree?”
      I took the out-of-the-blue Porsche hocking as a sign of desperate financial straits. Perhaps failed radiology as you have blogged about.

      “Calorie-counting? … Rick is a guy who thinks alcohol is metabolically the same as a baked potato”
      Never once did I mention a “potato” or say I agree with your “CIH” labels, acronyms (a sign of a poor gimmick writer). I mentioned your rice krispies habit and what is food like your “wood chips” reference. I say it hormonal/enzymatic dysregulation: insulin, cortisol, adrenaline, LPL enzyme. Line 118, 310 GCBC What determines belly fat accumulation? Testosterone hormones. What about gynecomastia? Estrogen imalances. Why does an alcoholic look like this:
      http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/09/humans-on-cafeteria-diet.html?showComment=1317250019187#c2172740256912072364 is it “determined by caloric excess” as you say in that thread.

      “What is my “ideology” exactly? I’m curious to know. Not believing nonsense and eating real food cooked at home?”
      Do you eat rice krispies or not? I have linked to you saying this in the above thread. You keep having these broad “Archevore! recommendations” never really pinning yourself to anything and changing/wiggling everything as soon as your gatekeeper Stephan posts something for the blogger zeitgeist. You’re just like Don changing except he actually looks at the studies (not merely bloggers) and dissects studies line by line with comments open for him to be challenged.

      “The spelling is “farewell”. Missing an “e” there. And Saget maybe, but Naughton? Are you blind?”
      Great typo catch +1 for you on the Internet why don’t you go “tweet” about it! You look exactly like Tom Naughton who also looks like Bob Saget (you just need the Michigan matter-of-fact accent)… explain why he is still overweight now. Physiological insulin resistance.

      Another thing disgusting about you is when you reference ‘self-immolating’ http://is.gd/mdUd6L and “quartered with your entrails burned in front of you when you turn 70” (quote is below) as if it’s some witty remark (once again coming off as someone who talks big and never actually watches or reads something himself):
      http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=174_1321894265 video wake up call

      • Kurt G Harris MD on December 16, 2011 at 21:28

        Hey Rick:

        “You and your artificially created libertarian/Foxnews hype bubbles.”

        I recommend you put all of your net worth into treasury bonds right now. Precious metals are indeed just a scam invented by me and Glenn Beck. In fact, central banks are not accumulating gold at unprecedented rates and gold has not risen in price for 10 out the past 10 years. This is all propaganda by right wingers like me and Glenn Beck. I think you should cut this out and paste it to your refrigerator and look at it in 5 years and then tell me what you think.

        You are not just a knee-jerk lefty, you are an especially stupid one, I guess.

        “I say it hormonal/enzymatic dysregulation: insulin, cortisol, adrenaline, LPL enzyme.”

        Yes, you are quite the articulate wordsmith, Rick.

        “What determines belly fat accumulation? Testosterone hormones.”

        I see you have mastered the mysteries of mammalian metabolism too. No wonder you think the metabolic difference between alcohol and starch is only due to “hormones” ; )

        You are awfully angry at someone who you claim is “irrelevant”, it seems to me. Maybe you can write some comments on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket for comfort? That may help with the existential angst you are obviously feeling right now.

        The strange thing is, I don’t give a fuck what you think, so why do you give a fuck what I think? This is really puzzling.

        “You’re just like Don changing”

        Yes, I am secretly a vegan shamanist but have kept it a secret from you out of spite. JUST TO ANNOY YOU. Happily, this seems to be working very well.

        Rick, it’s OK. I know you are just another sorry wanker living in his mother’s basement.

        You could start your own blog, I suppose. Pity you can’t write or even trash-talk your way out of a paper bag.

        But at least you have mastered human physiology and economics and I thank you for teaching me so much.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 17, 2011 at 07:23

        Here’s a fun fact for you…

        If I attempted to pay my IRS bill with a $1 United States Eagle (one ounce silver), the IRS would only accept $1 towards my bill instead of the actual market price (about $30).

        If I sold my house and accepted 100,000 $1 Silver Eagles as payment (about three million dollars market value), I would be taxed at the three million dollar mark, instead of the one hundred thousand dollar mark.

      • Nathaniel on December 17, 2011 at 10:44

        Hahaha, I love this. Pissed-off Kurt Harris is just as entertaining as pissed-off Richard, in his own unique way!

      • Kurt G Harris MD on December 16, 2011 at 23:25

        And thank for showing up here at FTA to remind me how puerile and banal people like you can be.

        Sometimes I forget and it’s always good to be reminded.


  31. Paleo Diet News – Wednesday Link-Love » Paleo Diet News on December 14, 2011 at 10:00

    […] Farewell to [Debunking] Paleo […]

  32. Peter on December 13, 2011 at 22:45


    youtube-video series are nice, you can add plenty of references that the reader will automatically, visually, see without having to click into them.

    I recommend the videos 62-65 which cover China and Denise Mingers novel wheat-analysis. Also, in the “infamous section” there’s great stuff on the Ancel Keys seven country study.

    I started with paleo-style eating few weeks, and stopped it immeadiately once this appeared. This channel is pretty compelling stuff.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2011 at 23:42

      Yea Peter, pretty compelling stuff. Bet we’re gonna watch those view numbers just skyrocket now,


    • Alex on December 14, 2011 at 06:00

      I won’t watch the series for the same reason that I won’t listen to Robb Wolf’s podcasts: If it’s not something I can take in at reading speed, my lifelong ADD attention span will tune it out very quickly. I tried watching video #2, and it would have been excruciating to keep listening to it.

      Additionally, commenters on Denise’s site report that the video response to her consists of logical fallacies, which doesn’t speak well for the entire series.

      • Kurt G Harris MD on December 14, 2011 at 19:36

        If you can read text in a linear fashion and hate listening to podcasts and watching videos you don’t have ADD, you are normal.

        Don’t let the hypertrophied-thumb iPhone addicted types convince you otherwise.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2011 at 19:39

        Seriously cool video to watch, but can you imagine the thumbs on this guy?


        If there was a world championship thumb wrestling comp, I’d seriously consider trying to sign as his agent.

      • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 12:15

        I have a smart phone but vastly prefer texting (and I normally spell correctly unless I run out of room), Twitter, Facebook and emails as opposed to phone calls. I would much rather read a person than hear them. Plus, there’s evidence afterward.

        Then again, I’m old enough to have been a bookworm as a kid without a computer beckoning me away into Stupidland.

    • Antti E on December 14, 2011 at 06:45

      “I started with paleo-style eating few weeks, and stopped it immeadiately once this appeared. This channel is pretty compelling stuff.”

      Yeah, right. You’ve been trolling various Paleo & LC blogs for months(at least), always with the same tune. If you find those videos compelling, it doesn’t take much to convince you.

    • Melissa on December 15, 2011 at 12:45

      Yes, because you CAN’T click on them, you can’t read the originals unless you zoom in, type the document name into Google, and hopefully find it. So you are stuck relying on this guy to tell you what is going on.

  33. Chris Highcock on December 13, 2011 at 23:39

    I wonder what the expert panels think of Traditional Chinese Medicine?

  34. kristen on December 13, 2011 at 23:44

    @peter That’s awesome to hear! Considering no one here seems to have actually watched the entire series their comments are uniformed and uneducated.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2011 at 02:25

      Watched the entire series? I didn’t get past 2 minutes into #1

      In this case, ignorance is truly bliss and I will forever remain proudly ignorant.

      I spoke of rejection out of hand for a reason and I damn well fuckng meant it.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2011 at 06:05

      As well, plenty have reported in comments in this post, another one and elsewhere about the self serving hack job represented in those videos nobody but True Fans want to watch.

      “To taste the ocean takes but one drop.” – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  35. kristen on December 13, 2011 at 23:46

    Uninformed * sorry about that my auto correct doesn’t agree with me

  36. Neal Matheson on December 14, 2011 at 02:29

    Vegantarianism has been the “healthy” diet for years vegantarianism is firmly locked into the cholesterol-lipid hypothesis, this is now being challenged by a food movement which is offering a healthy way of life without the monastic dreary (self-hating) puritanism of diets offered by Ornish etc.
    Whereas Veganism is a religion , Paleo is a science. I honestly don’t see any splits or schisms any more than any other aspect of human endeavor. Fundamentally Paleo people say the same things, health is your birthright, don’t eat processed foods the lipid hypothesis is deeply flawed, debate after that is based on your personal goals and circumstances.
    For the Vegans, Paleo is a major challenge to their healthy status and so ‘Paleo must die’ Delenda est Paleo. Those who identify or are sympathetic towards archevory or paleo-eating can expect to see more of these kinds of videos, more trolling, more libelous defaming allegations. I didn’t bother responding to the original comment as it looked like a less aggressive version of the nonsense Durian-wanker spouts, but I was wrong the fruit idiots are clearly pushing an agenda, while the first of these videos do a good job at making a hatchet job look like an objective assessment. 71 vids? who has that much time?

    • Neal Matheson on December 14, 2011 at 02:30

      Apologies for spelling/grammar mistakes but I got called to a meeting before I could proof-read it.

    • Curmujeon on December 18, 2011 at 06:50

      They must really, really HATE Paleo to have gone to that much trouble to produce all this crap. Maybe they’re losing too many vegies to Paleo! I say “they” because this is the product of more than just one person.

  37. Peter on December 14, 2011 at 02:32


    I didn’t watch the first clip myself either, that was a bit of boring. I went straight to number two….and kaboom…rock& roll. Paleo debunked from the waist down! I see you had Ulf Ravnskovs book in your favourites, there’s a great stuff about him, I though actually buing the book, but just out of sheer comedy value, though :)

    I am sure those viewer numbers are starting to skyrocket when people like you write about it. You have tons of readers.

    Ulf is presented in many clips, but these ones particularly good.


    • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2011 at 06:28

      Knock yourself out, Peter.

      What you others apparently don’t understand is that I am prescribing almost nothing and proscribing very little: Eat from a wide variety of real, whole plant and animal sources in whatever quantities and ratios work best for you, and avoid grains/legumes, sugar and vegetable/seed oils…industrial processed foods in general.

      This is what “Paleo” _is_. It’s not zero or low carb BS, it’s not high protein BS, and it’s not even high fat BS, because the human species did not evolve on a single dietary regime. They evolved from the tropics to the arctic and from seashore and lakeshore to desert and high altitudes and everything in between. And different foods were available everywhere.

      Any video series that attempts to “debunk” such simple, straightforward advice in favor of a host of proscriptions and prescriptions everyone should follow is just plain Bullshit and does not require any time or attention at all.

      Sure, he’ll get some more views for sure. He’s over 4,000 on #1 right now, but the proportional viewings are even worse. Very few are going beyond 1 & 2 and it will forever remain that way.

      • Nathaniel on December 17, 2011 at 10:49

        This is what so many people seem to forget! I think Kurt Harris was the one who originally made this point the best (back before he moved past the “paleo” paradigm): Paleo is a diet of avoidance. It’s not about eating certain foods, but avoiding certain foods!

        We can debate all day about what to eat, but it is extremely clear, both from the empirical research and from just thinking about it evolutionarily, that we should not eat industrial vegetable oils, grains, and anything that is highly processed.

        I’d like to see someone refute that.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 17, 2011 at 13:54

        I would agree that it was Kurt who really made the emphasis proscription over prescription.

        I hit that point a few times in the book. It is far more proscriptive than prescriptive. There is some prescription because it’s for beginners, but not in emphasis.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 17, 2011 at 13:56

        The other thing I had to keep correcting the editors on is that this is not a low carb book. I kept having to correct high carb to excessive processed food carb, etc, and lots of other variations.

  38. Neal Matheson on December 14, 2011 at 05:12

    Just a thought; why do fish never come into these conversations? If someone becomes vegan because they believe that meat is unhealthy they have (by definition) given up fish and seafood too. Why? I am not aware of any studies linking fish with any diseases (save top predators) why are herring, mackerel or even clams not eaten by those who become vegan because of health concerns?

    • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 12:17

      It’s all that protein, dude. It rots your bones. Never mind that (1) animal protein comes with glutamine, its own built-in buffering agent and (2) bones ARE MADE OF PROTEIN.

      Yes, I know. I don’t get it either. But hey, more for me.

  39. Peter on December 14, 2011 at 05:51


    have you thought about that perhaps vegans are aware of studies linking fish to ill health? And, those that do for ethical reasons (the bulk of them) simple don’t care.

    The fish story is based on the omega 3’s. Fish doesn’t produce this fatty acid itself but gets this via sea plants or by eating other fish that has gotten it via sea plants. Why simple not go to the source (flax seeds, dark green leafs, walnuts) instead of taking a package with little but good and loads of bad (saturated fat, cholesterol, toxins, etc). In american business jargon there’s a sayin’ “cut the middle-man”. Some people apply that to nutrition as well.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2011 at 06:30

      “The fish story is based on the omega 3′s. Fish doesn’t produce this fatty acid itself but gets this via sea plants or by eating other fish that has gotten it via sea plants. Why simple not go to the source (flax seeds, dark green leafs, walnuts) instead of taking a package with little but good and loads of bad (saturated fat, cholesterol, toxins, etc). In american business jargon there’s a sayin’ “cut the middle-man”. Some people apply that to nutrition as well.”

      The ignorance in that quote is astounding.

    • Kurt G Harris MD on December 14, 2011 at 19:48

      “Why simple not go to the source (flax seeds, dark green leafs, walnuts)”

      Because they are NOT the source of the n-3s you need, which are DHA and EPA. DHA and EPA are not found in plants.

      You literally cannot eat enough plants to provide the short chain N-3s that will be converted into enough long chain ones to do you any good.

      Grass fed beef and pastured butter work fine as well as fish.

    • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 12:19

      Except the omega-3s from the plants are not the same as the omega-3s from the fish, and the fish are better converters of that stuff than we are.

      Same story with beta carotene. Vegans are like, “Why not just eat beta carotene and convert it to vitamin A yourself?” I gave myself reproductive health problems following that philosophy, which by the way a lot of omnivores practice too, and I have reason to believe it caused my daughter’s birth defects as well. Newsflash? Not everyone CAN convert beta carotene–and no one bothers lab-testing anyone to see who’s got that problem and who doesn’t.

  40. ChrissyV on December 14, 2011 at 06:15

    Combie…WTF? Why so much vicious anger toward your fellow man? I thought you guys were all for a peaceful world? Why don’t you channel your energy elsewhere? The holidays are upon us. Go volunteer in a soup kitchen. You know, It’s quite cold here in Michigan, so I don’t think a date smoothie would be received all that well.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2011 at 06:35

      I deleted his posts and banned him. Never commented before (I searched), and first comments are a round of bullshit and insult. I’ll take almost anything from regular commenters who are otherwise generally contributing something, but I won’t take an ounce of shit from a 1st timer. They have to earn their _privilege_ to say whatever they want here.

      • ChrissyV on December 14, 2011 at 06:44

        Ahh, thanks Richard…I noticed he’d been deleted. Fabulous post and really passionate comments.

  41. Peter on December 14, 2011 at 06:21

    Sorry, Nikoley

    I don’t mean to spam your blogg, I just wanted to address few things to Neal. Then I am off.

    Neal, you take a glimpse to paleo-style science by starting to watch the video serie, start from video 2 and proceed chronologically. (Just wait a bit until the vids start workibg again, at the time of writing them they did not function).


    Basically you can destroy whatever hypothesi in relation to diet by using American cohorts where everyone shares identical food habits, well not everyone, the health concious people choose low-fat potato chips instead of the regular ones. You can read more about that on the China Study.

    Paleo is officially debunked, and vegans are throwing parties. This video series got convinced that paleo is another pseudoscientific BS fad diet.

    Anyway this Channel is the best that has ever happened to paleo. Now paleo-crew can easily whether f.e Inuits or Masai make up an example of a healthy folk (videos 27-28 on Inuits), or they learn about the story of the seven country study, along with the logic of cholesterol deniers and. Fantastic. Chapter on Denise Minger and China 62-65 highly recommended. If you guys are serious with your hypothesis you must answer to this critique. But then again, paleo is not about science, never has been. It’s blogging silly things and making ad hoc evolutionary statements.

    • Asclepius on December 14, 2011 at 07:22

      Peter – what of those of us that have tried veganism for several years and found that a ‘paleo’ approach has made us bigger, stronger and feel much better?

    • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 12:21

      Veganism is a scam and it would kill me if I followed it and especially if I did not take supplements. End of story. Until you can solve me, you don’t have an argument.

  42. Neal Matheson on December 14, 2011 at 06:43

    Honestly mate, after your last two posts I can’t be bothered.

  43. Peter on December 14, 2011 at 07:24

    ^Com’on this is priceless stuff. You’ll learn a lot.

    “In 1957 Yerushalmy and Hilleboe using the same datas-set from which Keys had shown strong relationship with dietary fat and atherosclerosis, pointed out even stronger positive correlation between animal protein intake and the incidence of coronary heart disease”

    Modern nutrition, in health and disease, 1998


    • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2011 at 07:52


      That is quite enough links to those videos already. If it wasn’t clear already, I do not wish to promote them on my blog. Everyone is capable of searching YouTube for them if they wish to waste their time with someone suggesting that the results they have obtained on a Paleo diet that they see with their own eyes and feel in their own bones are bogus and they ought rather listen to some dweeb instead.

  44. Peter on December 14, 2011 at 07:31

    “Peter – what of those of us that have tried veganism for several years and found that a ‘paleo’ approach has made us bigger, stronger and feel much better?”

    Veganism simple means no animal products. Other than that it can be anything. I wouldn’t be too healthy by drinking coca-cola and olive oil all day along. Try f.e whole-food veganism. Just make sure you get plenty of calories. That’s an achilles knee for many vegans. We are brought up in the culture of meat and dairy. These foods provide plenty of calories in a tiny package. With veganism, one has to increase the volume. More bites, that is. If you are a young male, aim for atleast 3000kals, if you bigger, go for more. That’s lot of rice and potatoes.

    I find veganism to be best shot for those who want to eat huge meals without increasing the risk for various cancers, MS, Rheumatoid arthirisis, CHD, Alzheimer and other diseases associated with the consumption animals and animal derivived products. It’s a safe bet.

    • Matthew on December 14, 2011 at 07:47

      The most obnoxious part about this whole Paleo thing, is that we are all naturally open minded and tolerant of the beliefs of others.

      Sometimes I really hate the fact that we have to suffer moronic commentary like this. Then again, every once in a while you find a gem I suppose.

      Please Please Please Richard, can’t we just delete all the comments we don’t like and sit around and talk about how great and smart we all are.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2011 at 07:54

      “I find…”

      For _whom_?

    • Asclepius on December 14, 2011 at 08:59

      “Veganism simple means no animal products. Other than that it can be anything…Try f.e whole-food veganism. Just make sure you get plenty of calories.”

      This was my approach to veganism. I tried to make sure I got plenty of calories and was conscientious that I followed a nutritionally complete vegan diet. There were plenty of wholefoods and a lot of attention to detail to try to make it work. Also I had to snack, often just to stave off occasional hunger shakes.

      But here’s the rub. For me to try and get it to work veganism DEMANDED attention to detail. It demanded a lot of attention to food groups and general preparation. It required some supplementation and I had to seek out processed foods (soya milk and the like), to get the protein I needed with my active lifestyle. Read that last sentence again….how could nutrition have ever brought me to such a position? Veganism is rife with talk of ‘natural’ and yet my diet seemed to rely heavily on the industrial process.

      Paleo rapidly got me (10%) bigger, stronger and leaner VERY quickly. With paleo there was and is no attention to detail, nor micromanagement of my diet. I just avoid saddling up with the three horsemen, avoid legumes and generally eschew processed and packaged food.

      This means I now eat a big piece of quality meat/offal, and a load of veg. The veg often has a seasonal bias. Sometimes I eat higher of starchy tubers, sometimes lower. Sometimes I skip eating (and that is something I could NEVER do as a vegan nor vegetarian), without so much as a second thought. It is all so easy with none of the discomfort of chronic hunger that veganism brought me. There is very little of the planning and forethought that veganism required.

      In fact, if society broke down my diet in principle would be largely unchanged. I could hunt and forage and things would look pretty much the same on my plate.

      So are you suggesting this transition, this change that I have found massively beneficial to my life, is actually harmful to me; somehow alien?

    • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 12:24

      I say again, veganism is a scam and would kill me if I followed it, especially if I did not take supplements. And if you HAVE to take supplements to follow a diet, and not just because you neglected to eat one food allowed on that diet, the diet IS NOT SPECIES-APPROPRIATE.

      I can’t convert beta carotene well enough (if at all) to meet my vitamin A needs. I WOULD DIE WITHOUT VITAMIN A. And before I died I would go blind, very painfully, and lots of other shit would go wrong too.

      • Asclepius on December 16, 2011 at 02:31

        “[Veganism] IS NOT SPECIES-APPROPRIATE”.

        Precisely. It is a neolithic, middle-class indulgence requiring an industrial crutch. That is not to say that it isn’t well-meaning (and misguided).

  45. Galina L. on December 14, 2011 at 07:36

    So, Paleo got debunked in vegan circles. How bad! What a strange turn of events! Irony aside, Don’s new series look more like initiation in veganism than debunking anything, who would be influence by such BS besides guys who are already in the cult?

    • Alex on December 14, 2011 at 07:50

      It’s like radiometric dating being debunked in creationist circles.

      • Kurt G Harris MD on December 14, 2011 at 20:04

        That’s perfect.

        Honestly I can’t see why ANYONE gives a damn about being “debunked” by fanatics of any kind, whether vegans, creationists, breatharians, whatever.

        Who cares?

        Do we care if others foreswear money or sex or the internet? Do we argue with them about it when they tell us these things are bad?

        No, we ignore them.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2011 at 07:58

      “…who would be influence by such BS besides guys who are already in the cult?”

      Well that’s the nature of a cult that proscribes and prescribes tight and restrictive edicts for all. Their tunnel vision and cloistered thinking is such that every new thing is extremely compelling, the very thing that will now convert everyone. When it doesn’t, one merely waits for the next new extremely compelling bit of wisdom from on high and NOW everyone will be converted.

      Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Ad infinitum.

      • Curmujeon on December 18, 2011 at 12:34

        Who would listen to the whole series if they weren’t in the cult? Even for them it’s a waste of time since they are already converted. Maybe it’s Sunday school class. Gotta reinforce the belief!

  46. ~pjgh » Blog Archive » Coming in From the Cold on December 14, 2011 at 07:37

    […] template in Beyond Paleo and this is very much at the forefront of Kurt Harris‘  and Richard Nikoley’s mind in their responses to the recent debunking paleo […]

  47. Peter on December 14, 2011 at 08:09

    “Well that’s the nature of a cult that proscribes and prescribes tight and restrictive edicts for all. Their tunnel vision and cloistered thinking is such that every new thing is extremely compelling, the very thing that will now convert everyone”

    Richard, it’s simple, you either want to learn new stuff or you don’t. I am personally for health, I am not for nostalgia which means I don’t have to eat like my grandfather. And, let’s not pretend, debunking the cholesterol deniers and Ancel Keys bashers is not a tough job. Extraordinary ideas require extraordinary evidence. You guys fall too easily on the “the whole-world is againts us” and “big pharma made up the cholesterol hypothesis to rip us off”-fallacies.

    The paleo hypothesis just is not convincing.

    You can surely gain benefits with paleo, a poor diet wins even poorer one.

    • tess on December 14, 2011 at 09:35

      Peter, it’s NOT new stuff — we’ve heard it ALL before. and it’s STILL nonsense.

    • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 12:25

      Is it nostalgia when you wait to cross the street til no cars are coming, exactly the way your mommy and daddy taught you to do?

      Or are you rather practicing a good habit you learned from your parents that will keep your dumb ass from being flattened in the street?

  48. Seth on December 14, 2011 at 08:34

    Yeah, I don’t know what there is to debunk about eating real food, while avoiding certain grains and sugars. The only ones making money off this “fad diet” in my sphere are local grass-fed beef and pork providers at my weekly farmer’s market. I suppose it’s frustrating for certain people to have widespread pushback on the stigma against animal products that’s taken hold over the last fifty years, but fuck ’em. Keep pretending that the death (part of life) and suffering (do what we can to curb it, I agree) are totally absent from your beloved agriculture.

    By the by, I’m just as inclined to have a dinner of just sweet potato and brussel sprouts as I am burgers or pork belly, as the spirit and stomach move me. My wife and I were vegetarians before paleo struck a chord with me one year ago. Not an easy transition, but the uptick in my cooking skills and sudden appearance of a mid-section far slimmer than at any time in our eleven year relationship has a way of silently justifying itself.

    I watched the first video in that series. That his first salvo was a swipe at certain exercise practices as some kind of failure in re-enactment told me all I need to know.

  49. Tim on December 14, 2011 at 08:50

    I have read The China Study and fine critiques by Masterjohn, Minger and the like. I watched Forks Over Knives and read critiques (Minger’s the definitive). Don’t think I’m going to bother with watching 71 videos. Some of the best vegan material available simply makes an ancestral whole foods omnivorous way of eating look that much better. Maybe these videos would hold the info that sways me. But too little too late.

  50. Joseph on December 14, 2011 at 11:37

    Peter, the real problem most of us have with your data is that it presumes a greater degree of certainty than epidemiology makes possible. Even Denise Minger (who could teach you a thing or two about epidemiology) cannot offer statements as strong as the ones you make continually (in your posts above). Correlation is not causation, even when it is relatively strong correlation, and there are not uniform categories of foodstuff out there in real life like “meat” — real meat comes in different shapes and sizes, from different sources, and its impact on human health is similarly various. (You might actually die from ingesting certain meats in real time: no one here is saying that you must eat that rancid steak rare, because some imaginary Paleo hypothesis demands it.) When you come trying to sell epidemiology as something it is not (a source for uncomplicated dietary truth, i.e. a double-blind, peer-reviewed study), and then compound the problem by misreading epidemiology (as greater men have before you: don’t feel too bad) — creating imaginary categories like “meat” that you don’t deconstruct at all — you have already lost most of us. If we want that kind of pablum, we know where to get it: there are plenty of “reputable” authorities (PhDs, MDs, etc.) selling it already. (Notice that their credentials do not render them impervious to human nature: like all of us, including you, they too are fooled by randomness: the difference between us and them is that we know we are fools, whereas they think they are God’s gift to the world. It’s fine to be an ass, until you refuse to admit it.)

    • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 12:30

      I don’t think I have yet encountered mention of any study “proving” meat dangerous that accounted for all variables, including the level of grain consumption.

      Think about it. In this day and age (though, thank God, this is changing), “health-conscious” means “eating lots of plants and minimizing meat intake.” It also means things like “avoiding smoking,” “getting adequate exercise,” and “sleeping 8 hours a night.” Well, we know those three latter behaviors are healthy (whether you believe smoking causes lung cancer, breathing in all those pollutants in the smoke still isn’t good for you), and that practicing them can at least improve your general health even if it doesn’t lengthen your lifespan significantly.

      Now, someone who is NOT “health-conscious” doesn’t give a shit about exercise, tends to sleep five hours or less a night as they can get away with it and oftentimes they will smoke too. But instead of their worse health being blamed on one of those three behaviors, the fact they are still eating lots of meat is what’s trotted out for scrutiny.

      Something else people forget is that someone who is not health-conscious and who is still eating meat is probably also eating refined grain and sugar with it. Think: the hamburger with the bun, the bacon and eggs with the biscuit, the spare ribs with the sugary BBQ sauce.

      No-brainer. But of course, vegans think it’s the meat.

      • Joseph on December 15, 2011 at 14:50

        Nice. Thanks for saying that.

  51. Galina L. on December 14, 2011 at 14:07

    I wonder, does the Paleo debunking means the Don’s future absence from the next AHS? May be if it is, the event would attract more people like Dr. Harris?

    • Alex on December 14, 2011 at 14:14

      Replacing Don with Kurt would be a huge win for sound science and intellectual integrity.

  52. John on December 14, 2011 at 15:34

    Will eating red meat kill us? I sure hope so, then we won’t have to deal with idiots like Don Matesz anymore.

  53. Alex on December 14, 2011 at 20:26

    Colpo weighs in on the segment that addresses him:


    • Richard Nikoley on December 14, 2011 at 21:48

      Wow, Alex. It took like an hour, but I read the whole fuckin’ thing and it’s pure gold. Pure gold, with like what, over 20 references, most of them primary? Fuuuuuck.

      Yea, I saw his still ignorant reference to me at the end. Fuck it. Don’t care.

      • Neal Matheson on December 14, 2011 at 22:33

        That was fantastic, he’s quite angry about it!

    • Sue on December 14, 2011 at 22:28

      “Pee Pee doesn’t just eat plants, he must smoke them too.

      Pee Pee is full of Poo-Poo.”

      Hilarious by Colpo. Haven’t read it all.

  54. Peter on December 14, 2011 at 22:34


    Colpo doesn’t even realize he dumb he looks like by pushing lines along these:

    “It was Ancel Keys’ shamelessly biased Six and Seven Countries studies – epidemiological studies – that really got the anti-saturate, anti-cholesterol ball rolling(15,16). Never mind that the countries involved in his studies were handpicked to support his idiotic agenda. At the time of his Six Countries charade, data on fat intake and mortality was actually available for 22 countries. When a pair of non-biased researchers subsequently plotted the data for all 22 countries on a graph, instead of just six, guess what happened to Keys’ strong, positive, linear association between fat intake and mortality?”

    The above is complete upper pseudoscientific BS which Ravnskov and Sisson came up with. The writer has no clue. I highly recommend the Keys series of the videoclip for everyone.

    • Brian on December 15, 2011 at 09:54

      He cited in the next sentence which you cut off the following study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13441073

      Unfortunately, I cannot find a copy of the paper online. However, I have found another paper published in the Journal of Nutrition which cites it and makes a similar claim (21 countries and 22):

  55. Peter on December 14, 2011 at 22:51

    Folks make sure to keep your cholesterol below 150mg/dl, according to the Framingham study and tons of epidemilogic accounts you are pretty heart disease-proof with figures below the magic threshold.

    If you still after wathicng those videos are stupid enough to believe high-fat paleo is a way to go, then maybe you deserve to get one of those sympton-free, but leathal strokes.

    • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 12:31

      If I get a stroke it’ll be because I’m a migraineur and because three of my four grandparents died of strokes. But thanks for playing.

    • Jared on December 15, 2011 at 13:41

      Like how in Japan saturated fat is negatively correlated with stroke death?

  56. Peter on December 14, 2011 at 22:54

    Yuo are pretty much heart-disease proof with digits below 150mg/dl, that is. Not single person in the US has ever been (heart)operated with numbers below the magic threshold.

    • Chris Tamme on December 15, 2011 at 09:42

      That is so stupid it is laughable. Then why did my MIL suffer a heart attack when her TC has never been measured over 150. Most ridiculous statement I have ever heard. I fear people that speak in absolutes.

    • Jared on December 15, 2011 at 13:40

      Complete and utter lies. How can you repeat this bullshit without checking it first?


      Mean is 174 +/- 47

      Ridiculous lies…

      • pam on December 15, 2011 at 22:21


        thanks for posting the study.

        but it is depressing to read their conclusion:

        “…. lower LDL goals and for developing effective treatments to raise HDL….”

        “treatments” is probably drugs.



      • Jared on December 15, 2011 at 23:17

        If you find the full-text of the study, it says that only 7.8% of patients had HDL above 60, and only 1.4% had HDL above 60 mg/dl AND LDL less than 70 mg/dl. So I guess that’s the basis of their recommendations… I’m in agreement with others that this is probably a silly thing to do. That it’s just window-dressing.

        What’s funny is that if you look at the numbers in the high HDL group, there is no clear correlation between decreasing LDL and being hospitalized. In fact, it’s inversely correlated past 70 mg/dl of LDL. The higher the LDL, the lower the number of people hospitalized.

        This means that if we really want to window-dress people up the most. We should get their HDL above 60 ng/dl and their LDL above 160 ng/dl. By the post hoc un-logic used in this paper, that would give people only a 0.7% chance of being hospitalized for heart disease (vs 1.4% for the ‘ideal’ number ranges). Even if they could only get their LDL between 130-159 they would still have lower ‘risk’ than the lowest LDL numbers (1.1%).

        Maybe high HDL is a better indicator of health? What does saturated fat do again?

      • gallier2 on December 15, 2011 at 23:28

        Just a little remark (I haven’t read the paper), may be the people with low LDL were not hospitalized because they were directly dead ?

  57. Sue on December 14, 2011 at 23:39

    They haven’t been operated on but they died of heart attacks because they were not seen as a risk.

  58. Suzie on December 15, 2011 at 00:30

    Please tell us which video you got that one from. Oh never mind. Or perhaps you have a link to a real study?

  59. Joseph on December 15, 2011 at 05:34

    Peter, people have died with numbers below the “magic threshold” (which is not magic: if you are determined to eat a particular diet, it may help you live a little longer than otherwise; as long as you are determined to have inflamed arteries, you don’t want too much stuff in them). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21160131.

  60. Peter on December 15, 2011 at 05:52

    That’s the problem when amateurs get their hands on a study, the complete neglect of context. We know by now that cancer lowers cholesterol. In the context of healthy plant-based diet, the lower the cholesterol the better.

    • John on December 15, 2011 at 08:45

      So should we all try to get cancer to lower our heart disease risk? It lowers cholesterol, after all…

  61. Peter on December 15, 2011 at 05:55


    that stuff actually comes from the study by Esselstyn. Well, not the study itself, but the book “reversin’ heart disease”, People, and we are talking people in their millions who we have good stats about, not some obscure tribes, who eat plant-based diets and have on average cholesterols under 150mg/dl are immune to heart disease, cancer & stroke

    • Cathy on December 15, 2011 at 06:22

      oh yes, the “I read it in a book, therefore it must be true” argument. This guy is unbelievably lame. What I don’t understand is why he is wasting his time and ours. Of course, if I think too hard about it, I’d have to wonder why I bothered to respond.

  62. Peter on December 15, 2011 at 06:10

    That’s why the video serie PrimeNutrition is heaven for all fad dietist. it’s never been easier to check whether personal trainers and cross fit gurus have it correct. Most of you are dogmatic fool, but some are interested in these issues. It was almost painfull to read Colpos post since his bogus claims are mostly covered in the video serie already (ancel keys, “absence” of heart disease among high fat tribes, low cholesterols measured pots mortem, etc)

    • Theo on December 15, 2011 at 06:52

      Peter . . . Please. Give me any nutrition theory that hasn’t been “debunked” at least once. I have seen people “debunking” that sugar is bad for you (see Ray Peat). I have been people “debunking” that rotting meat is bad for you (see Aajonus Vonderplanitz). I have been researching health and nutrition from every perspective for almost two years now and I will tell you this: Anyone who claims to know the absolute truth about what is best for you is no longer an open-minded researcher, but instead a religious leader who invokes closed-minded pack behavior among his die-hard followers. I call them religious because they only take data that supports their view, while discarding the rest as bad science, and vehemently oppose anyone with differing opinions without ever bothering to understand why the other person thinks differently. I think low-carb is one such cult, as I think is “paleo”, and veganism, and vegetarianism. What you sir, do not understand, is that you have traded free-thought for comforting security, and in the process you have become a slave. Goodbye.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 15, 2011 at 07:08

        Yes Peter. I think I’ve given you a fair hearing and stage to advance your views. But for this post and comment thread at least, don’t you think we’ve gone on long enough?

  63. Free Asian Animal on December 15, 2011 at 10:01

    Has anyone considered that perhaps Matesz is no more legit a representative of traditional Chinese medicine than he is of paleo? Both an all-meat and all-plant diet is fucking moronic from a TCM perspective. And suggesting that everyone, regardless of physical needs, follow the same dietary prescription – holy shit, is the guy smoking powdered tiger dick?

    Actually, it’s this whole tiger dick thing that pisses me off. I’ve used TCM my entire life, and I assure you that I have never ingested tiger dick or any similarly phallic items. My aunt was recently dying of Hepatitis C despite state-of-the-art medical treatment, and it wasn’t until she switched to herbal treatments that she was cured. I assure you that she did not take any tiger dick decoction, either.

    I and most of my friends and family use Western medicine and TCM as complements rather than alternatives. Would it be cool if TCM could fit tidily into a Western medical paradigm? Well, maybe. It looks to me like most people in this country become interested in TCM due to some unresolved Asian fetish, and I’m not sure what the licensing requirements are to become a “doctor of Oriental medicine”. But just because some individuals posturing as authorities on what’s been WORKING for us for a longass time are irresponsible assholes, doesn’t mean that what we’re actually doing and using is woo-woo garbage.

    And back to the tiger dicks. It was an aphrodisiac for emperors because what’s the point of a harem of countless concubines if you can’t get it up for a marathon fuck session lasting all night, night after night after night? Desperate copulatory circumstances demand desperate measures, and unfortunately, some ideas die hard among retards.

    So please. Stop gratuitously invoking the tiger dicks as something central to TCM, as it’s mightily hard not to do so without coming across as racist. I love the “don’t give a fuck” theme of this blog, but when something rubs me the wrong way – as a human animal – I make myself heard.


    • Free Asian Animal on December 15, 2011 at 10:04

      clarification – I’m not sure what the licensing requirements are in this country, but back in Asia, the education and licensing requirements are often damn rigorous.

    • Christo on December 15, 2011 at 11:01

      thanks for posting that. throwing the baby out with the bathwater as we say…TCM is great and Don is in no shape or form representative of what that system has to offer.
      I checked his blog a few weeks ago for shits and giggles and he was on about some nonsense arguing that strength training reduces need for protein. Sure OK everyone in the history of strength training since forever is wrong and some middle aged dude who sits behind a keyboard all day never lifting anything heavy is right because he dug up an obscure study that supposedly backs his silliness.

    • Remnant on December 15, 2011 at 21:08

      I am agnostic about TCM but there is simply no doubt that — to the extent it is done well anywhere — it is much more sophisticated and performed at a higher level in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and other places where it continues to be a living tradition. The literature and knowledge base on the subject is absolutely huge … and very very little of it is in English. And, as with many traditional approaches, there is a more art than science to it, which means being learning directly from long-term practitioners is crucial. I think much of TCM in the US is extremely amateurish and badly done, usually by people with little or no Chinese language ability or real training. Also, it tends to attract a certain kind of person in the US, one who is a bit too drawn to alternative “spiritual” movements generally. Caveat emptor applies to TCM in general, but it applies in spades in the US. (As of course the same principle applies to mainstream medicine too nowadays, although for different reasons.)

      • FAA on December 16, 2011 at 15:16

        Very true, Remnant. I can’t help thinking that it’s hucksters like Matesz who got ephedra banned. Some people decided – probably told by the likes of Matesz – that it would be a magnificent metabolism booster, took it in inhuman doses, and made the mistake of dying. Ephedra is used for COLDS, not weight loss. And it’s my remedy of choice when I get sick, but now it’s a total bitch to get a hold of.

        AFAIK, TCM doesn’t have any magic metabolism booster herbs. But then again, we haven’t exactly had obesity problems in much of our rice-eating history.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 16, 2011 at 07:05

      Well, Free Asian Animal, looks this is the post where people’s sensitivities get offended. First it was the Asperger’s deal up above in the comments and now this.

      It reminded me of this comment:


      “I too have a bone to pick with your post. I can’t remember what it is exactly, but I know I’m seriously offended by it because it related specifically to experiences in my own life that I consider incredibly negative, and therefore have no humor regarding. You have by-proxy attacked my self esteem and also diminished my will to live with your insensitive choice of language and lack of forethought as to my potential existence and the level of insult that I’m capable of experiencing. I hope that my particular mode of distress is currently politically correct so that you feel compelled to profusely apologize to me and anyone else that wants to get on this sweet victim train I just rolled up to the station.”

      • Theo on December 16, 2011 at 07:10

        That comment is a total win.

      • FAA on December 16, 2011 at 12:02

        Hi Richard,

        Well, I think my bone to pick (more with the comments than your post) was articulated pretty clearly, and the mode of distress not politically correct enough to look like a sweet victim train. But yes, I concur that that quote was a rather witty rejoinder ;)

  64. Paula on December 15, 2011 at 10:38

    This is a tad off the subject but I enjoy reading and learning from what Richard writes and love his straight forward style and I wanted to share my experience from a follow up visit with my “doctor” yesterday.

    Brief background: several years ago I followed a vegan and then pesce vegetarian lifestyle for over 3 years. My formerly good health slowly deteriorated during that period. I was angry, irritable, developed autoimmune issues, thryoid issues and was miserable. My cholesterol level was a “healthy” 155. In desperation I gave Paleo/Primal nutrition an 8 week try. . .

    Fast forward to nearly 5 years later, almost 52 years of age and I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been. I make my living in fitness and sport a year round 6 pack post menopausal. Every marker on the complete blood panel was the best it has ever been. 3 years free of autoimmune issues, thryoid ideal, crp < .2, A1c 5.5, fasting glucose 77 and every other marker spot on. In the follow up he made suggestions of what I should do "to get my cholesterol down." total 244, HDL 118, Tri's 53, LDL 112. In all his genuine ignorance he suggested a "lowfat vegan diet" and quoted studies from Dean Ornish. WTF? Is he for real. If I was opposed to that, he rx'd a protein powder he sells that may lower it. Why, I asked would I want to lower my cholesterol? His response, "to prevent heart disease". But, I said it's high because of the HDL and the CRP is sub .2. Yes, he said "but you want to lower HDL because high levels like that are indicative of neurologial issues". Hmmm, anyone ever hear of anything like that?

    Well, I thanked him for his "advice" but no thanks and explained it was time to go home for dinner. . . a grass fed ribeye with some lovely veggies sauteed in my freshly rendered lard from happy pastured pigs.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 15, 2011 at 12:11


      You probably have no idea what you’re talking about and surely don’t know what’s best for you. Listen to Peter. He clearly knows what’s best for you.

    • Alex on December 15, 2011 at 12:13

      When I got involved with Transcendental Meditation, back when I was 21, I became strictly Indian style, lacto-vegetarian for two years. At that point, I started having intense cravings for poultry, and for the next couple decades, I would eat a little chicken or fish stir-fry 2-3 times per week. Other than that, my diet was predominantly whole grains, beans, veggies, and fruit. As I got older, the blood sugar swings became worse, I became more lethargic, and I started putting on weight because no amount of new age hippie woo or observational data on Asian diets will ever change the fact that a starch-based diet is the absolute worst thing for *my* body. Going lowish-carb at age 42 was life changing, and eight years later, I still feel great and at my best when I eat low-ish carb, with an emphasis on not eating starch. I’ve done lots of experimentation, and reintroducing starches on a regular basis always results in increased appetite and unwanted weight gain.

      I ditched TM a long time ago, but I still live in the heart of the TM movement in SE Iowa. From what I’ve heard, B12 deficiency and T2 diabetes are not uncommon in the meditating population. And, for all the flowery talk of perfect health and immortality, to my eyes, decades of vegetarianism isn’t doing a lot of those aging baby boomers much good. From my own life and observations, the idea of veganism or vegetarianism as a *universal* panacea for ideal health is laughable. Sure, some people can do well on a vegan/vegetarian diet, but some people absolutely do not.

      • Dana on December 15, 2011 at 12:38

        Truthfully, I don’t think anyone should eat a starch-*based* diet. A diet with starch *in* it, sure, fine, you might need extra glycogen or something because sometimes tigers chase you. But as the base of anyone’s food pyramid, no. Processing that starch burns up B vitamins (and possibly A and chromium and some other stuff), and you need those for other things actually going on in your body–so if you don’t need it for the energy, skip it and eat more fat.

        Yeah yeah, I know, X indigenous group eats lots of tubers. My response to that is, we can’t totally rely on what indigenous groups are doing NOWADAYS as an example to what diet any of us should follow because *all the good land has been taken from them and they are no longer allowed to be nomadic in most cases*. One thing about us, we make the best of where we are and what’s available to us. And sometimes even then we get it wrong, which would be why the Anasazi died out, for example. But poverty food is poverty food and it doesn’t matter if you’re Stone Age or in cyberspace. If it’s plant-based poverty food it’s particularly bad. It amazes me how many of us defend eating lots of this stuff but cringe at the notion of liver–another poverty food which actually does us some good. Must be that “food reward” thing everybody is so excited about. Funny how the folks most ardently defending food reward as a hypothesis also tend to recommend the foods highest in said reward, at least in terms of what a modern American would find to taste good. It’s not Doritos liver chips in the grocery store making people fat.

      • gallier2 on December 15, 2011 at 13:20

        Dana, you should comment more often, you ade my evening. Love how you dish out, thanks.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 16, 2011 at 06:51

        For a while there, her comments were popping up literally faster than I could read them.

  65. Contemplationist on December 15, 2011 at 15:55

    I don’t get this trashing of ‘paleo’ from Kurt. I’m not referring to his thrashing of Matesz which is well done, but the general disapproval of ‘paleo’ thinking. It’s like the SDS members who grew up to be business consultants being embarrassed by their membership in the 60s. Really, is it that bad? I’m a blog-ivore, I read tons and tons of stuff online and I haven’t come across a single ‘movement’ which is as Bayesian as paleo. The turn from low-carb to being okay with potatoes happened practically within two weeks, and the vast majority seemed to be okay! Now white rice is fine too. Then Chris Kresser and obviously our Richard here have upgraded the diet to a ‘template’, and most people in paleo seem to agree! So, a few bad arguments is enough to disassociate yourself Kurt? I don’t understand this. I think the ‘movement’ as a whole has been as rational and evidence-based as I can see. Maybe I can’t see much.

    • Joseph on December 16, 2011 at 06:12

      Maybe you should listen to Mat Lalonde’s talk from the Ancestral Health Symposium ). He talks about the problems with “paleo” as constructed by many of us uncritical types (who lack the chops to do more than parrot scientists, who may or may not be idiots).

      • Contemplationist on December 18, 2011 at 16:21

        The problem with Lalonde’s talk is that he’s comparing apples to oranges. The popular paleo diet propaganda is vastly more scientific than popular vegan/vegetarian or ‘whole grains are great’ and ‘fat makes you fat’ dogma. He should compare popular paleo to other popular diet paradigms, and the scientific to scientific.

    • Jared on December 15, 2011 at 18:22

      He did increase the version number.

    • Kurt G Harris MD on December 15, 2011 at 18:57

      ‘I think the ‘movement’ as a whole has been as rational and evidence-based as I can see. Maybe I can’t see much.”

      Do you think DeVaney and Cordain are rational and evidence-based based on their books? I don’t.

      I can’t characterize anyone who thinks “dairy” is a cause of cancer and claims to have considered the peer reviewed literature carefully on the subject as “rational and evidence based”.

      “The turn from low-carb to being okay with potatoes happened practically within two weeks”

      Oh, so this was supposed to have occurred in steps? Or was I supposed to notify you of my meal plans every day so you could catch it early? As it happens, I always ate potatoes in my stews and such. My blog posts reflect the evolution in my thinking, as does everyone’s I suspect. I once ate low carb. Then I didn’t. Then I blogged about it some.

      I am losing points for not having a logically coherent and STATIC “system”? Are these style points?

      Cordain has me beat for consistency, no doubt about that.

      The problem with paleo is precisely that people stick to0 closely to a basically made-up framework. The framework is useful, but should modified or abandoned when it conflicts with new experience or understanding.

      I blog for my own purposes. If you don’t like what I “trash” or what I eat, or when I announce what, then don’t read it.

      • Kurt G Harris MD on December 15, 2011 at 19:09

        It seems to me if you disagree with more than half of what is held dear by a large “movement”, you have two choices. You can try to change everyone’s mind to believing that the version you came up with is “better”, or you can just kind of go your own way and say whatever you actually think. Either approach will be unpopular.

        You’re not going to win with everyone no matter which way you do it.

        I view the animosity from both paleo diehards and low carbers as a mostly a feather in my cap, so no worries.

      • Seth on December 16, 2011 at 06:20

        I’m fairly certain Contemplationist put forth the quick turnaround on potatoes as a positive thing, i.e. a sign of the movement remaining flexible and not overly entrenched.

      • Kurt G Harris MD on December 16, 2011 at 09:43

        OK, after re-reading it I can see that. It’s a bit hard to separate out his objections to my stance from his general comments.

        So if the point is that there are so many versions of paleo that I am painting with a broad brush. then fair criticism.

        So when I say “paleo”just substitute “most paleo” or “some egregiously unscientific paleo” or whatever.

        I do think that Don’s past and current reasoning both illustrate the flaws in “paleo” methodology, regardless of whether the actual paleo diet we end up with is healthy or not.

      • Contemplationist on December 18, 2011 at 16:20

        Sure there are flaws in paleo methodology as there are in any methodology.
        And I do think DeVany has a unique contribution to paleo that hasn’t been discussed much – his model of metabolism as a distributed economic system, which I think is ingenious. Yes his other stances may be unscientific, but as a fan of Rothbard, do you think he was right 100% of the time? I find Rothbard’s denunciation of fractional reserve banking pretty unscientific myself.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 18, 2011 at 17:25

        Interesting. You thinking on your own on that? See I think fractional reserve banking so long as voluntary is fuckimg ingenious.

        I also think credit is responsible for virtually all human advancement. Credit, fundamentally, is the ability to sell your future labor right now.

        Obviously, I am at odds with many libertarians.. It’s not the mechanisms, but that they are subject to monopoly force in every way..

      • Contemplationist on December 19, 2011 at 12:23

        Yes Richard

        After reading endless holy writs of denunciation from Rothbardians, they still haven’t convinced me of supporting a BAN on a voluntary activity. I am assuming free banking here as existed in Scotland circa 1840s. Modern banking is a whole new animal.

  66. Sue on December 15, 2011 at 17:34

    “I don’t get this trashing of ‘paleo’ from Kurt.”

    I do.

    • Alex on December 15, 2011 at 18:49

      So, what’s his issue? The “OMG! He ate a potato!” crowd?

  67. KKC on December 16, 2011 at 06:02

    Very interesting comments, all ’round.

    Don lost me with his fat Venus post.

    Now, I would like to give props to Chef Rachel, she of thehealthycookingcoach.com

    The former Mrs. Matesz has remained admirably silent during all of this, ably pursuing her own work. That we should all demonstrate such class!


    Your “D.M. stumped” post needed to be written, and sir, you wrote it well.


  68. Peter on December 16, 2011 at 07:11

    “Yes Peter. I think I’ve given you a fair hearing and stage to advance your views. But for this post and comment thread at least, don’t you think we’ve gone on long enough?”

    Yes, sir. This will be last one, for now on.

    Damn, I wish someone would make reality TV out of you. You could be casted as your typical meat-eating, fat and macho redneck who is put on McDougall diet for six months. We’d see a total make-over, you’d become healthy. No calory counts, eat as much you like. A healthy, whole-food, plant-based diet. We’d make you heart-attack proof.

    Thanks for your patience and tolerance :)

    • Jared on December 16, 2011 at 07:22

      I thought Richard was already healthy, didn’t count calories, and eats as much as he likes?

      Fuck your heart-attack proof bullshit.

      • Theo on December 16, 2011 at 07:31

        Peter claims that paleo is tunnel-minded, yet manages to be completely tunnel-minded in regards to veganism. He probably disagrees with the scientific consensus that humans have been eating meat for millions of years. Why? Because . . . well . . . because meat is bad for us. Evidence is no longer necessary when you’ve already got it all figured out.

      • al-209 on December 16, 2011 at 11:41

        from what I can tell, the high fat paleo, don’t count calories taubesian approach doesn’t seem to be working too well for Richard anymore. If one compares his appearrance in his avatar, fairly lean and looking in pretty good shape, to his appearance in the AHS video on Vimeo, gut and moobs, it looks like he’s peaked on this particular diet. Same happened to Jimmy Moore. Don Matesz is trying to tell you that diets are like horses for courses. You eat what diet suits you at which time in which context. Seems almost like Paleo 1.0 with its inherent calorie restriction works when your overweight/obese, but the returns diminish and eventually you start to pack it on again unless you alter what you eat and how much you eat. just sayin…

      • Theo on December 16, 2011 at 11:58

        Actually, I’m not sure what you are “just saying.” I understand the words you said, but I wasn’t really able to get a coherent message from your post. Generally, if you want to insult someone, it is most effective if you write clearly enough that they can understand you.

      • Joseph on December 16, 2011 at 13:10

        I think he was saying something like, “Don’t eat the same stuff all the time. It might cause imbalances.” Or it might not, depending on what it is. If he is going to use Richard as our model, then we should all be careful to avoid injuring ourselves with too much strenuous physical exercise. Injuries require continuous rest, which leads to weakness, fatness, etc.

        The only valid underlying point is that we don’t have a silver bullet cure for every person’s medical problem. Since we never claimed this, we’re good.

      • AL-209 on December 16, 2011 at 13:28

        In my defence, trying to be completely coherent while typing on an ipad on a bus is not the easiest thing to achieve.

        What im just saying is that taking an approach to diet that assumes that a particular way of eating is suitable for an individual at all times in all contexts is, in my opinion, wrong.

        Take the case of someone obese. They get on high fat paleo and they lose weight. Ive done high fat low carb and ive tracked my calories. You dont eat that many really. So they are eating a hypocaloric diet for their bodyweight and the excess weight drops off. They feel great. They tell the world about it. THIS is how we are supposed to eat.Then they hit the point where the weight loss stalls, but they are still not where they want to be and those carb cravings still wont abate, so they start researching safe starches and add some in. As calories dont count on high fat so they keep munching away, the weight maybe starts to come back on…They may feel healthier than before, but there are no doubt still niggling problems and maybe new ones appear. If they replaced some of the fats with starches instead of adding them on top maybe things would be different…maybe if they they slowly replaced a load of those fats witha load of starches/fruits etc they would feel even better.

        Then take a long term vegetarian. They felt great when they started but somthings not right. They are weak, thin, maybe anaemic etc etc, so they try a new way of eating, adding meat in and going paleo. They feel awesome.They tell the world about it, THIS is how we should eat. But then maybe they start doing a bit to much meat and fat and they start to pile the weight on, the problems arise etc etc. So they start to think that maybe there was something about that veg and starch after all. Sounds like Don Matesz a little bit.

        You may think the chinese approach is “woo” or whatever, but i think that to do so is a bit small minded. Balance is the key to everything. Sometimes it might mean sacrificing a few ounces of grass fed ribeye though.

        I think maybe Don isnt going about this revolution of his in the best way,by using videos from a clearly biased vegan, but those videos do contain some good info (they do not nmake a case for 0% meat whtsoever tho, and recommending that is its downfall). Don hasnt flat out said “Go Vegan” and he certainly looks better for his new approach. Richard even says so in the AHS post comments on Dons site. Richard recommends Don change his avatar as he looks much better than the old one. Then a few short months later he is calling him a moron and publicly ridiculing him. On the other hand, richards appearance on his AHS video is overweight, with a gut and moobs, quite a contrast to his avatar. No improvements lately it seems. Maybe richard will update his avatar and prove me wrong.

        Richards a big strong fella Theo, im sure he can handle someone pointing out that he didnt look tip top in his video. Im not really trying to offend him, but if i have i wont feel the slightest bit bad. Offending people is Richards specialty.

      • Christo on December 16, 2011 at 14:09

        the first 2/3 of this post is extremely insightful.
        I see low carb and vegan as diets that can be used to correct certain conditions but not necessarily long term.
        High fat was awesome for me to heal some things but lately I realize this is a bad long term approach.
        My liver chi was stagnating ;)

      • Theo on December 16, 2011 at 14:15

        I thought you were a troll, so thank you for clarifying. I actually agree with a lot of what you say about balance and figuring out what works for you, realizing that one “plan” is not the be-all-end-all, and that what works for you might not work for someone else (this is also a lot of what Richard espouses, more and more so recently). I also agree that Chinese medicine is not always “woo” and I actually have used various approaches stemming from TMC to improve my life and health.

        My main objection with Don is his attitude, as I outlined in a previous post. Frankly, I’m happy that eating more plant-based improves his health. But that doesn’t mean his ideas are right for everyone, as his posts would imply.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 16, 2011 at 13:53

        I’ve already made it clear in various posts and comments in other posts that I put back on 10-15 pounds because I succumbed to a cervical disk injury and was in chronic, excruciating, I might blow my brains out pain, virtually 24/7 for almost 3 solid months. I could not work out at all, and frankly, didn’t give much of a shit about anything. Problem went away for a while, I went back to the gym, was getting back on track and then at the end of June, wham, same thing again.

        I was still in much pain right up to the time of the 21 convention and though I might cancel, but it subsided and I have been making my way back slowly ever since.

        It has absolutely nothing to do with Paleo not working. Nothing.

      • AL-209 on December 16, 2011 at 14:18

        If your diet was right you surely shouldnt have put that weight back on.? Isnt it at least possible you were still eating too much of the wrong type of things and were balancing it all out with excessive exercise which eventually exceeded the capabilities of your body? Which obviously sets u back in the health stakes..and led to weight regained. Indigenous folks dont exercise any more than they have to, and they generally are generally strong and fit, and dont know what obesity is. Or what a paleo diet is. They are just in balance with what they are doing, whatever it is.

        Oh and hard to tell exactly, but only 15lbs regained? C’mon…..Really??

      • Richard Nikoley on December 16, 2011 at 14:24

        No no no no no, and I’ve explained this. Virtually no cooking, eating out, eating the wrong things and was too much self medication in the form of alcohol. do you understand what excruciating, chronic pain can do to someone? obviously fucking not.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 16, 2011 at 14:26

        un duh, i lost lean mass too. the scale is the scale.

      • AL-209 on December 16, 2011 at 14:44

        Actually ,having once upon a time been the recipient of a very quick and vicious knee lock i do understand what its like to be in chronic pain as a result of acute injury. Weed was my crutch back then, so if booze is your thing, and it helps, who am i to judge?

        Hypothetically speaking then, what im saying isnt possible? High fat low carb ad libitum diets in the absence of exercise cant put that amount of weight on in that time scale as long as it all organic and grass fed and no NADS etc?

      • Richard Nikoley on December 16, 2011 at 14:51

        No idea. In my case I was eating a lot of crap at restaurants, most meals. Anyway, I’ve taken half that gain off, am back in the gym – no idea the cause of the injury, but taking it easy for now. I still get intermittent pain, but mild and short lived. Kurt Harris actually looked at my MRI images and said the herniation was normal for a guy my age. What wasn’t normal was the pain and length of time. I posted about TMS if you care to look it up.

      • AL-209 on December 16, 2011 at 15:15

        Well seeing as you are a prominent diet blogger with a forthcoming book, you should have at least some idea…shouldnt you? Health isnt about just weight loss and the slow healing and abnormal pain are clear warning signs for you.

        Im not gonna try and argue this out with you Richard. You clearly have a fair bit invested in this line of thinking so even if you did have doubts about it (not saying for one minute you do) it would be difficult to show doubts about paleo. I mean, look whats happened to Don as a result of not toeing the line. Ridicule from his peers and torrents of abuse from anonymous know-all commenters who havent a fraction of the intellect hes got. Personally i think hes been quite brave, if not a little misguided.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 16, 2011 at 15:39

        You asked:

        “Hypothetically speaking then, what im saying isnt possible? High fat low carb ad libitum diets in the absence of exercise cant put that amount of weight on in that time scale as long as it all organic and grass fed and no NADS etc?”

        I misread it, which is why I said no idea. In my case—cause I’m the only one I can speak for—I doubt I’d have gained any weight if I had kept my diet clean, high fat, etc. In fact, I’d have probably lost some weight. Because I do all the cooking around here and my wife is always very busy with work, I went to restaurants, and burgers, fries, sandwiches and such were comforting, as was the booze. I’ve blogged about this but I literally didn’t care what happened. I stated very plainly to family members that no matter what, I would not live with this level of pain with no let up indefinitely. They got worried. Luckily, I beat it, then beat it again when it came back and beat it still again when it returned very recently. Each time it returns, it is with far less intensity and the duration is shorter. Last time, only a few days.

        As for Matesz, having seen the interaction between he and his wife at AHS and talked to others who did as well, I take serious stock in the speculation that that’s what’s driving it and consequently, don’t find what he’s doing the slightest bit courageous. Hell, you can get a taste yourself if you listen to his interview w Jimmy. Listen for his wife coaching him in the background, increasingly frequent the longer the interview went on. Now tell me where you’re _ever_ heard something like that before in this community in general.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 16, 2011 at 15:45

        The pain wasn’t really abnormal. Millions of people suffer like that (ask Harris and McGuff, the guys who turned me on to Sarno). What it was is that the pain could not be explained by the injury. But you’d have to look up my posts about Sarno and TMS. Explains it all. You might check out the comments too too see how many other people have had similar experiences.

      • AL-209 on December 16, 2011 at 15:53

        The relationship he and his wife have is their business. Speculation about why he has made this about turn isnt really the point. What he (or his wife via him, whatever you want to think) is actually saying is what matters. I dont know Don, but having watched his AHS presentation he just comes across as one of those guys whos actually a bit shy and doesnt handle public speaking too well. Doesnt make him wrong. You may not have respect for someone who allows their wife to influence them, but whether she has or hasnt its still a bold step to make because he takes the flak when it come down to it.. Personally, i wouldnt want people publicly speculating about the dynamics of my marriage. Would you?

      • Richard Nikoley on December 16, 2011 at 16:02

        Did you see the flack he didn’t take in the Melting Point of Dietary Fat post, that had 80 comments, many from Guyenet and Masterjohn, and he deleted the post summarily without notice, without mention, without any sort of retraction.

      • AL-209 on December 16, 2011 at 16:19

        Actually yeah, I did. I have the post cached in my rss reader and i had a brief look through the comments via a link from this site. One thing i did notice, and i would have to re-read to be sure this is right, was that no-one tackled the study directly,even when challenged to do so, they just focussed on Dons interpretation of it. Seems a mistake on his part to have deleted it. I think hes taking even more flak as a result of deleting it tho, because as the contents and comments are still out there, it serves no purpose to have done so.

        Im not arguing that the guy is infallible, just that taking into account his past contributions he deserves a little more respect, and i think discussing his marriage is out of order.

      • AL-209 on December 16, 2011 at 16:29

        In any case, getting schooled by Guyenet and Masterjohn isn’t the worst thing in the world is It? On the other hand, getting schooled by, say, Harley Jonstone would be quite distressing…

        Jk I haven’t actually heard that podcast…:)

    • Paula on December 16, 2011 at 07:53

      A McDougall diet will make you weak and sick. And what the hell is wrong with rednecks?

      • AL-209 on December 16, 2011 at 13:36

        if you follow it for too long and become deficient, yeah it will, so dont. but could it make an obese person thin again and clear up excess related health problems? Well, thats what they say it does isnt it?

      • Sue on December 16, 2011 at 14:59

        That’s right, if you follow it for too long will become deficient. I completely agree.

      • Paula on December 17, 2011 at 04:11

        A lot of “diets” could make an obese person “thin again and clear up excess related health problems” is they stopped eating so much crap and made some postive changes. We’re wanting long term health and longevity and McDougall, vegan or the like it aint’

      • AL-209 on December 17, 2011 at 10:30

        So your saying that hflc is the way and the truth for longevity and health? If so, Your just as dogmatic as the vegans. The truth is some where on the spectrum in between. Where will depend on who you are and what you need at what time.

      • Richard Nikoley on December 17, 2011 at 13:50

        Paleo is equator to arctic, sea level to 16,000 feet and everything in between. Avoid the crap, and then you have to figure out what works for you, and it may not even be constant, ie., seasonal, as we have different levels of activity, cold exposure, etc.

        It’s complex, but not impossible to figure out on an individual level.

        When someone asks, do you eat zero, low, moderate or high card, I answer YES.

  69. Alex on December 16, 2011 at 07:34
    • Bill on December 16, 2011 at 07:56

      Spam is definitely not allowed!

      This sketch is more apt to this thread.

      • Alex on December 16, 2011 at 08:02

        “This sketch is more apt to this thread.”

        No, it’s not.

      • Theo on December 16, 2011 at 08:24

        Yes, it is.

  70. Joe on December 16, 2011 at 13:01

    I love it when spammers misspell their keywords. :-)

    • Theo on December 16, 2011 at 13:24

      It’s like they are not even trying to act like a real post. If everyone instantly knows it is spam, then what’s the point?

      • Joe on December 17, 2011 at 13:04

        They’re trying, all right, but they don’t really speak English.

        Probably some teenager in some Bangladeshi sweatshop.

  71. Dave, RN on December 16, 2011 at 13:56

    “I hold a master’s degree in philosophy” = first warning sign of the highest order.

    Chinese medicine: Say all you want, but my dad had neck pain most of his life. Surgery years ago did nothing. I have a relative who’s a chiropractor and also practices acupuncture. While visiting, she offered a session on Dad. He figured “what the heck. Can’t hurt”. That was 5+ years ago. His neck was pain free immediately after the session, and continues to this day. You can call it “woo”, but his single woo session eliminated his pain. I’m sure it doesn’t always work. Nothing always works, medically. But all you have to do is find that one thing that does, even if you don’t understand it.

    And I just don’t get vegans. What do they think the plains Indians lived on, foraged berries? They ate buffalo. And did well on it until us white folks put them on reservations and gave them rations of flour and sugar. Now American Indians are among the most unhealthy demographic in the US. I don’t wonder why.

    • Jeffrey of Troy on January 8, 2012 at 11:13

      Chiro is not woo. Surgery is appropriate when it’s appropriate, not when it isn’t. Same thing with chiro. Neither is always and everywhere the only thing you need; that doesn’t make either one woo.

  72. […] Farewell to [Debunking] Paleo […]

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