Don’t Eat Like Melody Cherny

It happens every now and then. Some veggie nutrition geek gets his or her first gig for a publication, and then maybe earns some healthy whole grains and hummus money.

If you Google Melody Cherny, it does appear that this is her first and only published article so far; an opinion piece in Food Safety News: Don’t Eat Like a Caveman. Her bio reads:

Melody Cherny is a graduate of the University of Washington, where she studied psychology. She lives in Washington, D.C. and works at the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP). Melody has been a long-time advocate for public health and nutrition, and has volunteered with the National Eating Disorders Association and the vegetarian Society of D.C.

I don’t see a comment count, but it’s a lot, perhaps around 150, and in scanning them and reading a good number, a rough guess would be that 90% are very pro-paleo, anti-Cherny. And of those, a large number are personal anecdotes and testimonies about what in most cases only weeks and months have done for these folks on a paleo lifestyle. While most do mention weight loss, what’s really remarkable in a “Golden Helmet” sort of way is the number of people who have dramatically improved their health from the lowering of blood pressure, to getting off a pharmacist’s shopping list of drugs, to better sleep, energy, sex, fertility and so on. Y’know, normal human animal shit.

So let’s delve, shall we? It’s going to be brutal, but I’ve decided to focus on the fats, logic and research…mostly. We’ll save the gratuitous hit & run for another time.

Fad diets tend to promise a lot, but they really rely on one thing: short-term weight loss and health. The paleo (Paleolithic) Diet is a very popular diet based on Dr. Loren Cordain‘s book, which asserts that the diet our ancestors may have followed more than two million years ago must also be the best diet for us today. The paleo Diet consists of foods that can either be hunted (meats and seafood) or gathered (eggs, vegetables, fruit, roots and nuts). It excludes grains, legumes, dairy, salt, refined sugar, alcohol and processed oils.

I’m not going to hit this in excruciating detail because a few solid points are better than boring exhaustiveness.

  1. How can a “fad diet[s]” be something “our ancestors may have followed more than two million years…?”
  2. How long has vegetarianism been in vogue, much less that “great nutritional experiment,” veganism, that excludes even the insects, grubs, worms and other primate meat our primate ancestors ate from 4 mil years ago to now? References for successful vegan cultures? None. Don’t exist. To be clear, vegetarians such as Indians that make heavy use of dairy are using animal products, do thrive, and seem to have a good handle on population growth. Still, they seem to have more chronic disease and die earlier than in the meat eating regions of India (Malhotra).

On that second point, Dr. Ravnskov summed up Malhotra.

For six years Indian researcher Malhotra registered how many died from a heart attack among the more than one million employees of the Indian railways.

According to Malhotra’s report employees who lived in Madras had the highest mortality. It was six to seven times higher than in Punjab, the district with the lowest mortality, and they died at a much younger age. But people in Punjab ate almost seventeen times more fat than people from Madras and most of it was animal fat. In addition they smoked much more.

Otherwise, how come reference only Loren Cordain‘s old book, published about 10 or so years ago? His newest book (The paleo Answer) was published only weeks ago. While I don’t know how many pages of references it has (I’ve not yet read it), I do seem to recall that the one she does mention has pages and pages of references to the scientific literature, quite a few by Cordain himself. This would compare to the, ahem…ZERO references in her article.


The paleo Diet claims to be “the world’s healthiest diet.” This is a pretty fantastic claim — if it was true and could be substantiated. As Food Safety News reported in June, the diet has not received particularly high marks for being backed by research.

Here’s what Food Safety News reported in June.

U.S. News and World Report, a weekly news magazine with a penchant for ranking things, did not think much of the paleo or “Caveman diet.” It ranked the Paleo diet dead last.

But in the two weeks since U.S. News issued its “Best Diets” report, a funny thing has happened. More people — far more people — have gone online to say caveman-style eating worked better for them than any of the other diets they’d tried.

As of mid-day Monday, more than 3,000 people said they lost weight with the Caveman diet, versus just 74 who said they did not. Only the Weight Watchers diet, which won the commercial plan category, came even close with just over 1,800 people saying the diet worked for them. Another 775 said they’ve tried Weight Watchers, but it did not work for them.

The Dash diet, which won the overall category, had only 95 people saying it worked for them, versus 457 who claimed it did not work.

You remember that deal, back last summer. If you check that link today, you’ll find most of the numbers for most of the diets little changed from when Food Safety News reported on it two weeks later. In that two weeks, lots of paleos went over to represent for the diet they had tried, hence the numbers. Then, being mentally compromised and thus way late to the party, the vegetarians and vegans held a virtual religious revival meeting, asked everyone to go lie—because they’re zealots first and foremost—and this is the best illustration you’re ever going to get.

On page 1—now, months later, and not at or before the first 2-week point, as reported by Food Safety News—the vegetarian diet has about 18,000 “it worked for mees,” compared to about 1,500 that it didn’t. Click to page 2, vegan diet. Surprise! 16,000 and 1,600. What a coincidence! Now, click to the dead last paleo diet on page 3: 6,000 “yes it worked,” to a whopping 24,000 who said “no it didn’t.” Draw your own conclusions, but mine is that vegans and vegetarians are so brain dead-zealous they can’t even deal honestly.

You can check the 40,000 comments on my blog, but comments along the lines of “I have problems,” “this doesn’t work for me,” or whatever, are a few dozen at very most, contrasted to thousands upon thousands saying it does. Same at Sisson’s place, and he has hundreds of thousands of comments, if not millions. Neither of us moderate comments. And, and, where are the ones in the comments on Melody’s own opinion piece testifying about how paleo “didn’t work for them?””

Uh, it’s only the opposite and that’s easy and fresh to verify.

So very many vegetarians and vegans, so far as I can tell, are fucking liars. F.u.c.k.i.n.g. liars. I’m not going to bother, but I’ll bet an enterprising reader can easily turn up the veg*n campaign somewhere on the Internet to rally the liars for that piece…to click click click.

I’m sure there are honest vegans and vegetarians out there; and I know so because some are confident enough in their own experience that they’re actually readers, even commenters here. They put up with me and my totally asshole demeanor and we usually get along fine. I’m guessing a few of them are going to shake their heads at this shit.

Onward. …But first, let’s make something clear. Folks often say we should be more allied with the Real Food vegans and vegetarians. Well, based on the above, that’s making it kinda hard for me. The rally against paleo is only intensifying, even to the point where a monotone, boring retard will put together 71 videos and spam every comment section he can, and then even lie about their nature (notice a trend?) in order to get people to click in.

Though consuming more vegetables, fruit, roots and nuts, and cutting down on sugar, salt, processed oil, dairy and alcohol is always a good idea, I do not agree that people should exclude whole grains and legumes from their diet. Nor do I agree that people will become healthier by consuming large amounts of meats, seafood and eggs.

Oh my, Melody Cherny doesn’t agree. Cool.

In the meantime—beyond the thrashing she’s already received in comments—what she’s finally going to learn is that excluding grains and legumes leaves a caloric deficit that must be filled with something, presumably food. Here’s a clue, Melody: paleos propose to replace those calories with food that’s far more nutritionally dense. Stop! Read that again, because that’s the very essence of what we’re dealing with here.

I’ll leave you in suspense for now, dear. The hanging thread is, of course, that if I’m right, it makes you look, well…stupid; that people will become healthier eating the same basic amount of calories but in a far less nutritionally dense package.

To say that we should eat like cavemen is short-sighted considering that we are much different today, as is our environment. Ancient man most certainly exercised more, had less chronic stress, drank and inhaled fewer pollutants, was exposed to fewer toxic chemicals and had a different genetic makeup (just to name a few).

We’re “much different?” Ever head of anthropology? How about genetics? Check into ’em. Really. And if you write checks to pay when you shop your groceries, check into debit cards. Really. Save us all some time.

…So now let me get this straight: taking you at face value, that we ‘exercised more and took in less of a toxic load,’ we should, therefore, eat less nutrition? You see, I’m setting you up to look awfully stupid. Sorry about that, but enjoy the healthy whole grains and hummus money anyway.

The paleo Diet promulgates the diatribe against carbohydrates. To set the record straight: whole grains (i.e. complex carbohydrates) do not make people fat or sick — assuming you stick to whole grains. Refined grains on the other hand are stripped of nutrients and fiber and are often enriched with a mere fraction of the nutrients they once possessed. Whole grains are an important part of a long-term, healthy diet. They provide ample doses of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

If Ms. Cherny thinks the “paleo Diet promulgates the diatribe against carbohydrates,” then it signals well that she’s not well informed. We know of native cultures in tropical regions who consume huge loads of carbohydrates—as much as 90%+ of energy. Conversely, we know of cultures in arctic regions who consume huge loads of animal fat—as much as 90%+ of energy.

Both are “paleo.” All enjoy the general health one would expect of animals in the wild, where environment is sufficient to meet nutritional and energy needs.

Now, add the other variable: elevation: sea level to over 10,000 feet where humans settle.

It’s certain this sort of sloppiness goes to her ignorant and apparent unwillingness to inform herself of the latest literature, books (Sisson’s Primal Blueprint, Wolf’s The paleo Solution, De Vany’s The New Evolution Diet—as well as the glut of cookbooks being published to market), and blogs—such as right here and many others.

Her nutrition stuff regarding grains is such tired nonsense that I just hate to go over it again. For one, stripping grains of the bran and germ actually lowers the anti-nutrient profile (at a cost of some of the nutrients and hence, the fortification). But it just doesn’t matter.

It’s a fucking red herring, and here’s why: pulling up part of this from the archives:

Screen Shot 2011 09 26 at 2 43 09 PM
1,400 calories of bread, about a loaf
Screen Shot 2011 09 26 at 2 43 28 PM
1,400 calories of beef liver, nature’s multivitamin
Screen Shot 2011 09 26 at 2 45 13 PM
1,400 calories of salmon

The important thing to glean from the above is the relativity. By that, I mean, look at the numbers at the tops of all of the bars that are off the scale. Compare those numbers: beef liver and salmon to the nutritional bankruptcy of “healthy whole grains.” You’re supposed to—according to the “authorities” and Cherny—reduce consumption of the two latter and increase consumption of the one former.

Look smart? Not unless you’re a fucking moron it doesn’t.

Or, how about a mere 4 ounces of beef liver? Don’t like liver? Fine. Chow down on 5 whole pounds of mixed fruit to approach equivalent nutrition, plus the sugar load.

(At this point, it’s becoming very difficult to not go overboard, making Melody look ignorant and moronic, and going full-on rant.)

…So, time to have a meal of grassfed beef, maybe a glass of wine or a scotch—yea, more likely—and settle down…

Legumes are also an important part of a long-term healthy diet, and include foods like beans, peas, lentils, soy and peanuts. Legumes are a nutritional powerhouse packed with fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, folate, magnesium and potassium. Whole grains and legumes like quinoa, beans, steel-cut oats and edamame will not make you fat — as long as you don’t over do it. Any diet that advises against consuming whole grains and legumes is focused less on your health and more on selling books.

Alright: paleo isn’t perfect. I just had a very satisfying meal of grassfed ground beef; oven cooked at 200 for an hour, finished in ghee to sear the outside. Pink from edge to edge. I deglazed with a bit of beef stock and then reduced quality balsamic vinegar for a sauce and still, this just pisses me off.

“Legumes are a nutritional powerhouse packed with fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, folate, magnesium and potassium.”

Anyone…let me repeat: anyone exposes themselves as a fucking moron when they say stupid shit like that…unless, of course, they’re talking about the Ice Cream Truck Diet. Yea, in that case, go for the quinoa. But you’ll do better with lentils, the most nutritionally dense legume.

Another problem with the paleo Diet is that it’s not environmentally sustainable if adopted on a mass scale — not to mention expensive (grass-fed, pasture-raised meats that the paleo Diet encourages are more expensive and less available than conventional meats). Ninety-nine percent of farmed animals bred, raised and slaughtered for human consumption in the U.S. don’t roam on grassy fields, but are confined in factory farms – -a far cry from the animals that our ancient ancestors hunted and consumed. Animal agriculture is also considered the greatest contributor to global warming — producing more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined.

Just more ignorance. I’ll just assume that Ms. Cherny just loves her authorities, who so well regurgitated the regurgitate she passes onto you.

According to our very own EPA, fully 200 million acres in the US alone are used for corn, wheat and soybeans. That’s one hell of a lot of land to return to its natural habitat of prairie and forrest, for flora and fauna of all sorts to thrive and be consumed by ruminants and predators—that in turn, fertilize that same soil…versus mono crops, the top-soil and environment killing mainstay of most veg*ns.

“Sustainable?” Who the hell knows? What we’re doing isn’t, so going back to a natural paradigm is a rational way to re-start—with past error in mind—and figure out the problem better going forward.

A final problem with the paleo Diet is that it promotes a high protein, low carbohydrate intake ratio, which puts stress on the body. High protein, low carbohydrate diets have been linked to high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer and kidney damage.

Ignorance. Reference previous statements regarding the diversity of the human migratory experience from equator to arctic, and sea level to in excess of 10,000 feet elevation, and everything in between.

…And everything in between. Where do you fit in? Where did you come from? Is your skin black, brown, light or lilly white? Are you an ectomorph, mesomorph or a fire-plug Eskimo? Or a hybrid? What mix of real foods works for you? I don’t know. And neither does Melody Cherny, in spite of her pretentious pretending to the contrary. And you may not know either. But you can find out—and you find out through trial and error. She won’t tell you but I will: you’re on your own. You don’t need me, and you damn sure don’t need her. But you do need a sense of independence, a functioning mind, and some information. I provide information for you to use. I don’t give diktats. I’m no authority, and unlike Cherny, don’t pretend to be one.

Based on the evidence available today, it’s smart to stand by a plant-based diet. Consuming more whole, plant-based foods benefits everyone’s health. The phytochemicals, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals that are abundantly present in plants are essential components of a long-term healthy diet. A whole foods, plant-based diet includes liberal quantities of vegetables, fruit and legumes, hearty amounts of whole grains, nuts and seeds, and sparing amounts of dairy, eggs, seafood, meat and refined sugar.

Way to take a stand! Bla. Bla. Bla. Is there someplace on the internet where this paragraph is readily available to copy/past at any moment’s notice?

I’ll go out on a limb: Ms. Cherny doesn’t know the meaning or import of “phytochemicals.” Let’s hint her. It simply means “plant compounds.” Know of any plants with “phytochemicals” that will kill your ass? Any clue as to how plants—other than fruit, which is designed to attract—defend themselves? Uh, phytochemicals, maybe? So while some are nutrients, some are anti-nutrients, some are toxins and some are poisons. Plants don’t generally have claws, teeth, or legs to run fast. Phytochemicals are their defense.

See, I just hate regurgitative dumbshits, and I loath the fact that it’s so very hard, if not impossible, to fix stupid.

I wish everyone who is jumping on the paleo Diet bandwagon the very best of health, but hope that in the end the “cavemen” will go for a more balanced approach and add legumes and whole grains back into their diet.

She wishes that “in the end,” you’ll give up the nutritional desity you’re enjoying in terms of preference, flavor, appetite…and replace it with bankrupt [food]stuffs that come in boxes and bags.

So if she does actually wish you the best of health, really, then it only goes to prove her abject ignorance in these matters.

I found two other blog posts about this topic and I encourage you to check them out (if there are others, let me know and I’ll add to the list):

  • Opinions Are Like A**holes, Everyone Has One
  • Don’t Eat Like a Caveman…

So I guess I’ll publish this and give dear Melody a ring in email. I’m sure she’ll be happy to hear from me.


  1. Paul Halliday on January 6, 2012 at 05:53

    The article was a personal opinion – it was conjectural and in no way backed by science, nor an actual understanding of the paleo diet. The author has no more credibility than anyone else commenting on a diet that they have not taken the time to understand.

    I wouldn’t waste your time …

    • Rip @ MIPWID on January 6, 2012 at 06:25

      Unfortunately, the vast majority of readers will probably read and accept the article as scientific fact without applying any objective thinking, especially if it backs up the grain-funded ‘truth’. I know I used to before I began to study nutrition.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 07:58


      As I said in another comment, well over 100 commenters to that article took the time to try to set things straight, so this is really for them.

      • Paul Halliday on January 6, 2012 at 08:24

        Fair point, Richard. Fair point.

        We’re at the stage where paleo is starting to main some real headway – there will be haters.

        On the one hand I am not interested – this is the way that I eat and I really don’t give a flying one if other people don’t want to; it’s their life. On the other hand, vilified enough, our way of life might well get pushed so far to the edge that it becomes difficult for people like us to live the way we want – I’m thinking of those sapling, like the Danes’ ‘Fat Tax’, Britain’s new green light for GM crops; saplings like this can grow into tall oaks!

        I don’t want my lifestyle to become a religion, and wonder how much we’re seen as cultists by those who don’t partake. I see the paleo lifestyle as much more loose than the ‘Paleo Diet’, but no less valid and with no less teeth! We’re beyond “eating like a caveman” and I think that phrase is the foundation stone, but also the in-joke for paleo people – sadly, that phrase is also the phrase that is being used to beat us.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 08:34


        Yea, I see what you mean. Currently, you can be paleo, keep to yourself, and rest assured you’ll be able to stay that way without interference. But let this thing get big enough, enough pushback and intended or unintended consequences can happen.

        On the other hand, what detractors like Cherny fail to realize as they put their finger in their ears to the deluge of positive testimonials—lalalalalala I can’t hear you and anecdote is not scientific data—is that this shit really works, it seemingly works for most people who try it and the results are often dramatic to the level of ridiculous.

        Let’s face it. THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS. And when it comes to the science, a choice between that and the science, fuck the science. It’s irrelevant to individual experience.

        The fact that it really works is ultimately the only thing paleo can rest on, and that it will, and I am pretty confident that we’ve barely begun to scroach the surface on this thing. Stand by.

      • Neal Matheson on January 6, 2012 at 12:45

        I was really worried for a while when it looked like the Govt here in the Uk were going to institute a “fat tax”. I don;t give a toss what anyone else does but it is important that we argue back against these healthy veggies or least present “our” case so at least people know that junk or veggie are not the only choices.
        The logic and (though I hate to use the phrase) common sense of the paleolithic paradigm I think will really change current nutrition. I even saw Rob Wolf and Dr Briffa’s books for sale n my local crappy chain bookshop.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 13:13

        You know Jonhn Briffa has a new book out, as of today or yesterday.

        We’ve exchanged emails for a while, and in his new book, I’m listed in the resources, amongst all the docs and PhDs, as a guy who “writes and irreverent blog on nutrition and exercise.” when I emailed to tell him I’d endeavor to hold up to it, he relied that it would be better to be irreverent than irrelevant.

        He mailed me a signed copy and I’ll be reviewing it soon.

      • Nathaniel on January 6, 2012 at 21:57

        Dr. Briffa is awesome! He is actually the first person who influenced me to let go of the conventional wisdom, starting me on the path to where I am today. There’s just something about his style that is so genuine and sincere that I couldn’t help but consider what he was saying with an open mind.

      • A.Stev on January 7, 2012 at 23:12

        Would a fat tax apply to meat? It likely would to lard (sadly) and to all the shitty trans-fats in junk food (thankfully). A fat tax is obviously fucking retarded, but I’m sure could get by paying more for lard and tallow and the like if it actually came to that, as long as the fat in my meat wasn’t taxed. It sounds stupid (because how would you measure the fat in a every cut of steak?), but doing stupid shit has never stopped the government.

        If they’re gonna tax anything, for crissakes tax sugar! Ban HFCS, and tax the fuck out of sugar.

      • Galina L. on January 9, 2012 at 08:32

        I also think that the less people are interested in grass-fed organ meats, the longer the staff stay cheep, on another hand, more conventional things I buy now are less saltier or fat, due to the misguided health message.

  2. Tyler on January 6, 2012 at 10:09

    What do you think of the US News’ UPDATED Best Diets list, released a few days ago?

    Paleo is still dead last.

    2.0/5.0 stars.

    And wtf happened to the voting? Did a bot go mad and downvote thousands of times? Last I remember it was like 6000 v 300:

    “Did this diet work for you?
    Yes 6237
    No 24059”

    • Richard Nikoley on January 7, 2012 at 08:41

      Not sure what leads you to think it’s updated, but in cant case, I’m pretty sure those are the same vote counts from before.

      • Tyler on January 19, 2012 at 15:44

        Maybe it was from the first unveiling of list, but I distinctly remember that the paleo diet had a high number of initial Yeses and virtually zero Nos.

        Am I imagining things?

      • Richard Nikoley on January 19, 2012 at 23:20

        No, thats correct. Read the post carefullly and follow the links. the vegetarian liars scammed it, probably because their nutritionally deprived brains can do no better than apes screeching in trees.

  3. Jon on January 6, 2012 at 10:29

    Fantastic post! The hits just keep on coming!

    Appreciate the link up to ispeakpaleo as well.

    Much obliged,


  4. Paul Halliday on January 6, 2012 at 12:13

    Result! “Melody Cherny” fed into google ( … and logged out) gets ‘Don’t Eat Like Melody Cherny’ as the second result after her Facebook page at the top.

  5. Andrew on January 5, 2012 at 22:38

    Just happened to find this about 3 minutes before your post went online… “An Inconvenient Cow: The Truth Behind the U.N. Assault on Ruminant Livestock“. It’s not a bad debunking of the veg*n sustainability and plowing ecosystems for petroleum fueled monocrops somehow mitigates climate change arguments.

    • James on January 8, 2012 at 12:22

      isn’t it common scientific knowledge that the rise of agriculture (imagine the first huge fields of wheat and other grains with the capability of mass long term storage) can be traced back to the very first and largest impact on the carbon footprint we have inflicted on this earth? crops started this green house gas imbalance long before the industrial age, and while they(crops) can cheaply sustain a large population. does that make it right? is cheap right at the cost of health? (both individually and globally) i don’t know…

  6. Aloka on January 5, 2012 at 22:38

    Wow! thanks for this.
    The stats on India are particularly useful for me as I am trying to spread the message of living the primal lifestyle here in India! It’s really hard when so many grain eating vegetarians are so outwardly thin and seemingly healthy. But like you mentioned, chronic illnesses are on the rise in a big way. Most of these skinny women have thyroid or PCOS and so many healthy looking people have borderline diabetes, heart attacks at a young age etc. So this helps.

    • Keerthy on January 6, 2012 at 08:36

      I wouldn’t jump to conclusions with the small excerpt of Malhotra study posted here.

      Rice is a staple in the South-Indian diet, whereas Wheat is the staple in most of North-India and especially the Punjab region. Per ‘Perfect Health Diet’ (PHD) rice is a safe-starch and wheat is a to-avoid/eliminate. So the study could be cited for either purposes.

      I am from Madras and have been eating 80/20 on PHD paleo for 4 months now. I am 6’2”, came down to 79 kgs from 85 kg in 4 months. Coarse body fat measurements show that my body fat percentage came down from 21% to 16%. My tummy got down to 34.5” from 38”. My Total cholesterol, Triglycerides, LDL, VLDL all reduced slightly (but still at high normal) and HDL has increased slightly. I am having a chronic headache (slightly nagging tension in the forehead and sides) for 3 years and it now seems slightly dull in intensity after going paleo.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 08:45


        I only quote that Malhotra study as a means of _falsification_ of the idea that meat and fat consumption tend to kill you faster than avoiding them.

      • Keerthy on January 10, 2012 at 00:07

        Yeah I understand.

        Strangely, the Fig-2 image in the Malhotra pdf shows South Indians as eating more rice, more ‘Meat, fish and eggs’ and more Vegetables than Punjab region. And also zero white.

        Also Punjab eats lots of wheat, more oil, leafy vegetables and generally more sugar.

      • Keerthy on January 10, 2012 at 00:10

        oops typo … should read ‘and also zero wheat’

      • Miki Ben Dor on January 6, 2012 at 19:38

        Indian Wheat is low in gluten. Monsanto tried to steal a patent on it. google “gluten india monsanto”

      • Galina L. on January 9, 2012 at 07:16

        Just for the experiment sake, try ketosis for 2 – 3 weeks for your headaches . It did wonder for my debilitating migraines.

      • Keerthy on January 10, 2012 at 00:09

        Yes, I am planning to go ketosis sometime soon.

        It is so difficult to do while in India. I just moved to San Francisco today (from Chennai) and once I get settled in here, am going to try low-carb paleo and hopefully ketogenic diets.

  7. Danika on January 5, 2012 at 23:06

    “whole grains (i.e. complex carbohydrates) do not make people fat or sick”

    Yo, Melody, nice article and all, but I’m fat and sick from eating grain. WHOLE GRAIN. I have every single symptom of Celiac disease, so let’s talk about how great whole grains are for me. Are they great when I’m fat and bloated to the size of two people, or when my skin is so cracked and rashy that I look like a burn victim? How about when the poops are so insane, I’m ready to disown my own body?

    I dunno, maybe I’m missing something, but no one here or at any of the HUNDREDS of Paleo sites around have done anything but offer tons of advice, recipes, and relevant information for living a healthy, relevant, value-filled life without shitty fat or crappy pain.

    Long story short: Fuck off, Melody.

    • Lauren R on January 6, 2012 at 03:09

      Glad you found relief with Paleo-type eating.
      I’ve been eating her version of unhealthy (gluten free) for thirty years and it’s so unhealthy that people ask me what I eat to stay slim and free of health problems…like GERD, allergic rhinitis, rashes, gut trouble. Just to name a few. The hunt gather love site has a good post about FODMAPS , too.

  8. julianne on January 6, 2012 at 00:00

    Awesome, thanks Richard for dissecting that.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 00:06

      What’s awesome is to hear from your beautiful self again. Loved meeting you at AHS. Harvard next August?

      • julianne on January 6, 2012 at 12:30

        How can I not respond to such charm! Fantastic meeting you too. Thankyou. Yes we are aiming for Harvard in August. The husband was very inspired by AHS last year.

  9. Txomin on January 6, 2012 at 01:27

    I wonder why you bother.

    Happy New Year, my friend.

  10. Sean on January 6, 2012 at 02:56

    Cherny, or Černy (or черный, I think), is a common Slavic name meaning black. Also, her first name is Melody. So you’ve just proved you hate music and are racist–I rest my case. Paleo is a racist, anti-musical fad diet!!!!!!!

    Everyone who agrees with me wiggle their fingers.

  11. Madbiker on January 6, 2012 at 03:45

    My favorite part of this rant: “is there some place on the internet where this paragraph is ready to cut and paste?”

    Richard, love these rants and takedowns. Unfortunately it’s hard to argue with veggies/v*gans and win, ever, because like any fundie they are married to ideology and not logic.

    What I don’t understand is that people who are purported to be educated and intelligent cannot see the evidence before their own eyes. Extremely frustrating for me is the use of outdated sources as the basis for arguments. Even Cordain has published new studies and modified his stance on fats in light of recent research and arguments in favor of eating more of them. This is disingenuous and misleading. When I taught rhetoric and logic in writing, I limited students to sources no less than three years old, unless they could convincingly prove to me why an older source was necessary, or if they were using an older source as a basis for contrast with recent research. Did this woman even learn the basic tenets of argument in college? I taught that stuff in high school, and by uni days it should be mastered. She apparently has not internalized that skill.

    The further back you go for evidence, the shakier your argument, especially when more recent evidence is being ignored. But this is also a tactic; it assumes that your readers know nothing of the recent research or published books and articles, and sets you up as the expert guide who shepherds the ignorant away from false information. Incredible frustrating, but sadly, it is the way of ALL of our mass media and popular culture.

    • Jeff on January 8, 2012 at 16:58

      “What I don’t understand is that people who are purported to be educated and intelligent cannot see the evidence before their own eyes. Extremely frustrating for me is the use of outdated sources as the basis for arguments”

      I couldn’t agree more. The funny thing is I just had a discussion with a nutrition “expert”, (she has a Ph.D and is an RD) about Paleo, which she thinks is a “fad” and grains, which she thinks we can’t be healthy without eating a whole shit load of them (I think she used almost the exact same arguments as Melody). I put up the whole exchange at my blog ( if you want to get a bit more frustrated and maybe a few laughs.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2012 at 08:00


        Wow. Pretty amazing. Sounds exactly like Campbell whenever he debates someone (me included, once).

        Here, let me put up the direct link to that post:

        I’ll also tweet it and put it on the Facebook Page.

      • Jeff on January 9, 2012 at 10:22


        Thanks for the shout-out!

      • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2012 at 11:15

        Count me embarrassed I stil have your book in my stack, along with a few others. I’ve read a good bit of it, but have yet to post a review, so I hope this helped.

        Feel VERY free to engage in comments and post links to your stuff, when relevant. I know you guys are evidence based and I very much like that on my bog, to help balance out my shit stirring and crap flinging.

  12. Tracy Longacre on January 6, 2012 at 05:14

    What a difference a word makes. She says that our ancestors ate this diet 2 million years ago, when the truth is they ate it FOR 2 million years (give or take). My grandparents ate this way, well into the 20th century.

    Also, I hate this reduction of “carbohydrates” down to “grains. Fruits and vegetables have tons of carbohydrates (energy!) with the added benefit of vitamins and minerals. Exactly what does one get from grains? Other than bloating?

  13. Andy on January 6, 2012 at 05:24

    I like how her bullshit shines through when she recommends staying away from grass fed meat because it’s expensive, while continuing to use conventional meat as an argument against paleo. Great.

    • Rip @ MIPWID on January 6, 2012 at 06:27

      Like McGyver, such ‘luminaries’ will use any bit of old shit lying around in their arguments, even though they are blatantly unfit for purpose (i.e. in this case, horseshit).

      • Sean on January 6, 2012 at 08:08

        Heh, heh, nice.

        And like McGyver, they are both rooted in fantasy.

  14. JoshS on January 6, 2012 at 05:33

    Actually she did mention lentils in her grocery list…

    But yeah…she, like all the other haters, miss the point entirely.

    Good article, Richard!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 07:56

      Oops. I’ll have to look into the lentil thing. Thanks for pointing it out.

      • JoshS on January 7, 2012 at 12:35

        It happens, no one is perfect. Well…except for me but there is only one of me so you are forgiven. :D

  15. JoshS on January 6, 2012 at 05:38

    “Ninety-nine percent of farmed animals bred, raised and slaughtered for human consumption in the U.S. don’t roam on grassy fields, but are confined in factory farms – -a far cry from the animals that our ancient ancestors hunted and consumed.”

    THIS talking point always bugs the piss out of me.

    EVERY SINGLE COW IN THE WORLD IS GRASSFED ON PASTURE. Confinement feeding is only for the last few months of their lives, it wouldnt take any more land at all (although the 200 million acres currently growing grain to feed cows would be better as pature) to produce all the beef in the country on pasture, it would just take more time.

    • tracker on January 6, 2012 at 19:07

      That statement she made is completely false. According to the USDA, only a small percentage of cattle are sent to feedlots at any given time, and the average time there is two to three months. Why? Because it wouldn’t make any business sense to have to feed your cattle all the time. Hello Ms. Cherny, unless there’s a drought, cows graze for free LOL

      And on that note, why are cattle sent to feedlots? To FATTEN them up on GRAINS. There’s some irony in that I’m sure.

    • rob on January 6, 2012 at 08:53

      I noticed that too, when I drive through Florida cattle country all I see are cows eating grass. Thousands and thousands of them, and they are eating nothing but cows.

      Big cows, baby cows, the whole lot of them eating grass and nothing but grass.

      • JoshS on January 7, 2012 at 12:35

        The Madison area is absolutely gorgeous pasture!! I love driving through there for work.

  16. LXV on January 6, 2012 at 06:23

    Melody Cherry? Parents, don’t do this to your kids. Cute names are cute and everything, but someday they may want to be CEOs, teachers, or writers attempting to be taken seriously.

    (I’m sorry for bringing down the intellectual level of your comments section Richard, but you did the well-thought mental takedown so effectively I was left with nothing but cattiness)

    • LXV on January 6, 2012 at 10:07

      Okay, MASSIVE fail on my part for misreading her last name. Melody goes much better with Cherny than Cherry. I apologize for bringing the IQ of the comments section down even further with my inane comment full of fail.

  17. Jan on January 6, 2012 at 06:34

    Yeah, I saw that tripe…it didn’t surprise me. Not one bit.

    But I have a favor to ask, Richard – as one of the few paleo food bloggers that was a food blogger before I went paleo, I’ve had many long-time readers “tsk tsk” me for removing those hearthealthywholegrains from my diet. Can I borrow your charts and use them in a post? I’ll give you full credit!

    • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 08:00


      Consider this blog your personal reference library to use anything and everything you think will help you in your efforts.

      With my compliments.

  18. Chris on January 6, 2012 at 06:56

    I don’t understand why vegetarians/vegans think it’s horrible to cut out “an entire food group” i.e. grains and legumes, but think it’s just dandy to cut out another entire food group – animals.

    • JoshS on January 7, 2012 at 15:56

      Because animals aren’t a food group to them.

      Convenient loophole, right?

  19. John on January 6, 2012 at 07:35

    So everyone, including people with celiac disease, would be better off eating whole grains? Sure thing, Melody.

    Also, most people who eat “whole grains” are just eating some food product that claims to have been made with whole grains (like store brought bread, or cheerios). The vast majority are not soaking and spouting their grains. Too much trouble for nutritionally poor food, just give me some liver and call it a day.

    And lastly, does opium produce important phytochemicals for humans to consume? What about poison ivy?

    • LXV on January 6, 2012 at 10:05

      Thanks for making me think about poison ivy in my mouth. Now my tongue won’t stop being itchy……

  20. tess on January 6, 2012 at 07:41

    unfortunately, it’s necessary to critique bullshit papers, books and articles, or the backed-by-science information is harder to find, for people who want more than fundamentalist dogma.

    otherwise, i’d say LET them eat this way and die off by their own nutritional ignorance — rid the pool of a lot of Stupid Genes.

  21. ChrissyV on January 6, 2012 at 07:47

    Ohhhh, and the Primitive Nutrition jerk is posting links to his stupid vegan videos under his screen name “Scientific Review”. Geez, this guy has a lot of time on his hands.

    • JoshS on January 7, 2012 at 15:58

      A small part of me wonders if that whole thing was orchestrated by a certain banana munching nutjob…

  22. patrick on January 6, 2012 at 07:56

    nice post. thanks.

  23. Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 10:28

    I just did a bunch of touch-up edits to the post to make it flow a bit better. Not too much in substance, except for this paragraph:

    “I’ll go out on a limb: Ms. Cherny doesn’t know the meaning or import of “phytochemicals.” Let’s hint her. It simply means “plant compounds.” Know of any plants with “phytochemicals” that will kill your ass? Any clue as to how plants—other than fruit, which is designed to attract—defend themselves? Uh, phytochemicals, maybe? So while some are nutrients, some are anti-nutrients, some are toxins and some are poisons. Plants don’t generally have claws, teeth, or legs to run fast. Phytochemicals are their defense.”

  24. Peggy Holloway on January 6, 2012 at 10:30

    I cycled through the sandhills of Western Nebraska last summer (age 58, 250+ miles in 4 days, on a very low-carb diet, but that’s another story) and was struck by the fact that those thousands and thousands of acres of land are not suitable for anything but livestock raising. I challenge the vegan/vegetarians to try to grow their precious grains on that land!
    It was incredibly beautiful and serene to pedal past miles of grazing cattle converting grass, which I can’t eat, into a wonderfully nutritious food I can use to fuel my very-insulin-resistant body – beef! It’s what’s for dinner!

    • Miki Ben Dor on January 6, 2012 at 19:59

      Cycle touring – The perfect reenactment of the Hunter Gatherers nomadic lifestyle. We do it in Europe mainly. What a wonderful feeling at the end of the day! Boy these HG had a fun filled life or what?

  25. Derek on January 6, 2012 at 10:53

    Nice post Richard.

    What would their arguments look like for grain and legumes if they couldn’t use “fiber” as an argument. A slice of sprouted grain bread only has 2 grams of fiber. You’d have to eat 4 slices (around 320 calories) to get the same amount of fiber (8 grams) as a cup of raspberries (about 65 calories). No wonder we have a weight problem. Not to mention that fiber is a possibly irrelevant nutrient.

    It’s similar to the arguments from individuals who have been brainswashed from the dairy industry. Most people have the same knee jerk response “Where am I going to get my calcium?”

    I’m sure the money to subsidize wheat, corn, and soy doesn’t impact the education we “nutritionists” receive at University. I wasted a good amount of money to receive a nutrition minor with my degree.

    • wmlamont on January 6, 2012 at 11:37

      Derek, just because you were taught that grains were healthy in your degree, doesn’t mean you need to believe it, teach it or support that in any way. Use your qualifications to legitimize the paleo movement, and the value of your contribution will be worth the time spent listening to lies. ^_^

      • Derek on January 6, 2012 at 13:53

        Agree. I made the statement about education because you can hear it in all of the dissenters dialogue (who all happen to be RD’s or “nutritionists”), echoing the same lines about fiber, vitamins and minerals. And the line that we all “need” them for a balanced diet.

  26. David on January 6, 2012 at 11:57

    AWESOME! just started Paleo. which led to label reading. which led to the shocking discovery that there are items in our food that I cant even pronounce. why are there additives in my yogurt, bread, canned vegetables, tuna, meats(saw a label that had an additive for freshness..HOW LONG HAS THAT COW BEEN DEAD?!?!), etc. the list goes on. go ahead…eat a block of cheese and a loaf of bread, see how you feel. I will be over in the corner eating my squash and salmon. thanks

    • Paul Halliday on January 6, 2012 at 12:06

      I won’t! I’ll be at the table, eating meat and vegetables. I suppose I could crouch by the fire, but I do expect the grain eaters will be on the floor picking up crumbs while its the vegans who shiver in the corner. Be proud, David! You are opening your eyes – there’s a beautiful world out there full of real food, clear water, clean air and nature in abound! You are a part of it, just as much as you are sustained by it.

  27. Andy on January 6, 2012 at 12:05

    A little more about Melody! ;-) What more would you expect from a new vegan?

  28. Donald on January 6, 2012 at 12:23

    This is the article I wanted to write. Thanks for doing a better job than I would have done.

    Also, how come nobody references the S. Boyd Eaton book? I know Cordain used it as a reference, but it is a well-written, and HIGHLY researched book, written by MDs.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 12:51

      I’d have to guess that it’s just the age of the thing and no other factors. Thing is, Eaton and Cordain only sowed seeds. As valuable as that was, it doesn’t make for how thngs turn now.

      Don’t know if I ever relayed this, but Bea and I, after chatting with Gary Taubes for 15 minutes in the lobby, meeting Chris Masterjohn and Melissa McEwan and setting up to give them a lift over to the pre-party at AHS, spent about an hour in the hotel bar with Loren and Pedro Bastos.

      Cordain was just flabbergasted over how his book sales had picked up over the last couple of years. He was giddy happy, and rest assured: it had nothing to do with the money.

      He’s just a good guy. How hard is that?

  29. Whitney on January 6, 2012 at 13:05

    The most comments food safety magazine will ever see.

  30. Danielle on January 6, 2012 at 13:08

    Thank you for this Richard. My family and I were vegan for a year and a half. Eating that way gave me a tumor the size of an egg on my thyroid and caused severe, undiagnosable symptoms in my three year old daughter (urinary incontinence, whole body pain that was so intense she would scream in agony, a foul fishy body odor and more) and severe food allergies in my newborn infant at the time. We have been living a primal lifestyle for almost a year now and my now 6 year old daughter has NONE of those symptoms any longer (unless grain of ANY kind sneaks into her diet mistakenly) my thyroid levels have completely normalized even with half a thyroid and our family has all healed from severe seasonal, pet and even some food allergies. In all of the time I spent vegan and in that world I NEVER heard any success stories that came even close to that. Now being part of the Paleo community it is ALL I hear. Every person in my life that has tried Paleo because of being inspired by our family’s success has had similar results in all different areas of disease. Yes, there is tremendous scientific data to support a Paleo Diet, however, as you mention, the proof is in the pudding and for us, the real-life results are what keep us devotees.

    • Neal Matheson on January 6, 2012 at 13:14

      It’s in that n=1 proof that Paleo gets its strength. I can honestly say (and I was never unfit) that I have never felt better.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 13:18

      There needs to be a “Fuck Yea” button for comments like this, right?

      I might just have to dig in and have my own custom solution done for that.

      • Stan (Heretic) on January 7, 2012 at 09:11

        Blogspot has a widget called “Reactions:”, wordpress may have something similar. The widget counts readers clicks in “Cool” or “Sucks” check boxes and it would be very easy to add an FY.

      • Craig on January 8, 2012 at 19:26

        DISQUS offers something like that too.

  31. Neal Matheson on January 6, 2012 at 13:09

    These people HATE US! We’ve got to get that, you e going to see more and more hacks and hachet jobs of Paleolithic eating because we offer a healthy way of eating that is based on science and logic. The cholesterol hypothesis is dying and event he SAT FAT (both,sadly,very alive here in blighty) monolith is cracking. The vegan-tarians are staring at the writing on the wall and they know it!
    These people are fanatics, if they tell you they eat the way they do for health ask them if they would eat fish, comes out clean in nearly any study you care to mention. Even their holy books don’t find fault. Don’t take any shit about mercury or overfishing when mackerel or herring are concerned. Many shellfish don’t have central nervous systems and are even beneficial to the environment when farmed.
    They will twist they will turn but the fact that veganism is not about health will come out, it is not about their health or yours it is an ideology based on emotion irrationality and self-hatred/ low self worth and they want you to validate their decision. I know plenty of pretty decent vegetarians, they are really nice people but I can honestly say I don’t know a single pleasant or non-fucked up long-term vegan, not one.
    Ready or not this massively noisy but tiny minority of the population are coming for us. They hate the fact that Paleo works, they hate the fact (BIOLOGICAL FACT) that human are obligate omnivores almost as much as they hate themselves.

    • Neal Matheson on January 6, 2012 at 13:17

      it lt good to et hat out of my system, thanks for giving us this space Richard. I have quite a good idea for an online paleo project if I sent you an email would it get through any filtering system you have?

      • Neal Matheson on January 6, 2012 at 13:18

        it felt, that
        (fat fingers, shit keyboard!)

      • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 13:27

        I see all emails. I can’t always respond to all, unless God increases the number of hous in a day, whilst simultaneously decreeing sleep requirements, but I do read everything.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 13:24

      Word, Neil.

      Bring it on.

      And your comment gets a “Fuck Yea.”

      Now I know I have to do this customization, long as it doesn’t cost a fortune.

      • Neal Matheson on January 6, 2012 at 13:28

        thanks I’ll be in touch.

    • tracker on January 6, 2012 at 19:24

      I have personally known a few very nice vegans. But I’ve never heard them claim they’re vegan for their health, and they’ve not ever once preached to me about it (unlike vegan bloggers). I think that some are decent people doing it for a “moral” reason, but they have misguided morals. Misguided in that they think they’re helping the planet. They’re probably not really helping, but I’m sure it makes them feel good to think they are.

      I look forward to the day when airlines and other restaurants have a paleo option on their menu, much the way they have vegetarian/vegan options now :)

  32. Brett Legree on January 6, 2012 at 13:16

    I’m a bit late to the comment party, but hey, why not.

    My brother-in-law was vegetarian from the day I met him until about 8 months ago or so (my sister still is, unfortunately…)

    He was doing kettlebell training, after he saw me doing it, but he wasn’t really gaining much. He was sick all the time, too.

    Then, he saw how I was eating, and the results, and he switched just like that.

    Now he’s much stronger – surprise – and not getting sick very often – surprise.


  33. Gina on January 6, 2012 at 14:42

    I’ve seen the veg’s nasty attacks here and on other blogs’ comments, and their personal attacks of Mark Sisson on Youtube. What the hell gives? Why the venom? Do they think meat-eaters are devils or something? It’s scary and disappointing. And weird.

    Personal note, I spent Christmas in Sedona, and drove from L.A. to Vegas, then on through Flagstaff to break up the trip. (It was a dog-cation.) The stretch between Vegas and Flagstaff is so beautiful – miles upon endless miles of cow pastures, pine forests, rocks and hills. Deer farms too. Saw elk and goats. Thought of dinner, LOL.

    • Neal Matheson on January 6, 2012 at 15:09

      The nice thing about being a penniless troll living in a shack in the outback is it that no one will sue as they would just be throwing (lots of) money away.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2012 at 15:27

        Someday I have to write a post about the fear of being sued. For 20 years I have answered threatening lawyer letters with a Sharpie, by fax, with “Fuck You” or sme such equivalent written over the letter. I happen to have a business that deals with adversarial legal shit. My company settles cases “out of court.” Quotes are because, when you get sued, you’re in court. We settle them before trial. Been doing it for 19 years.

        I have never been sued for anything those threatening, intimidating letters were ever about, only a couple of unrelated true and valid business disputes.

        They only want to scare the shit out of you, and you should never let them do that.

      • Gina on January 6, 2012 at 17:09

        If they threaten you they aren’t going to sue. The lawsuits come at you unexpectedly. Then you have to find a lawyer who won’t suck you dry…

    • Paul Halliday on January 7, 2012 at 09:56

      I do recall a short while ago when some vegan was talked about on many paleo sites and looked him up. I got bored – simply put, he’s a nutjob!

      I never really got on much with vegans. I used to mix a lot with them around 20 years ago when I was a lot more anarchistic. The social circles seemed to be full of them. I always figured out who was vegan even before they said so.

      Vegetarians are a good bunch, though. I can understand their ethics, which are actually much the same as vegans but without the dogma, even sympathise. I grew up as a whole food vegetarian by virtue of my parents’ values. Now that meat production is more ethical, many vegetarians are quite happy to eat meat. Pescetarians are my kind of people – as a paleo guy, I could happily skip the meat. I love fish and shellfish!

  34. Primal Toad on January 6, 2012 at 15:47

    I’m glad you dissected this. I read this a few days ago, posted it on my facebook wall and got LOADS of comments. I may write something up about it soon too.

  35. Stan (Heretic) on January 6, 2012 at 16:20


    Regarding the “conspiracy of liars”, I recommend looking up an old story from about 10 years ago. Dr. Neal Barnard of PCRM encouraged people on Atkins diet, through his advertising, to file on-line reports/complains. People who experienced worsening of their health and were willing to file a class action lawsuit against Dr. Atkins (alive at the time). Barnard claimed to have collected thousands of reports, which he boasted publicly. When he eventually picked one case and brought it to a court it was thrown out because a so-called “victim” had a pre-existing health problem. The case was thrown out of court and he never tried again another one. I always wondered – what about the “thousands” of cases he supposedly had? I thought at the time that it must have been basically all bogus, unprovable fabrications or just lies. Otherwise why did he give up?
    Stan (Heretic)

  36. Kevin Smith on January 6, 2012 at 17:09

    Thank you Richard for pointing out the absurdity in arguing that because the modern environment is less conducive to good health we should eat a _less_ nutritious diet. I see this line of reasoning being used quite often, and it’s really irritating.

    • Alex on January 6, 2012 at 20:04

      The idea is to promote a vegan or vegetarian diet, and it simply doesn’t matter to these folks whether or not the arguments are actually factual. Meat rots in your colon! Meat leaches calcium from your bones! And, when these eating-disordered hippies fuck themselves over with their inadequate diet, they tend to sling even more bullshit: Oh, it must be a detox reaction! My vegan-diet-induced shitty health is a good thing!

  37. VW on January 6, 2012 at 17:53

    You haters ever hear of The China Study?

    Just kidding.

    • tracker on January 6, 2012 at 19:34

      You know I was just thinking about that study the other day while I was looking through a Chinese cookbook that was published back in the 1960s. There was an awful lot of beef and chicken in that cookbook LOL

      • Craig on January 7, 2012 at 06:29

        I live in China. Yeah, they eat rice, toufu and use a ton of soy and corn oil but the Chinese are NOT vegetarians what-so-ever, in fact they almost always eat the entire animal. I’ve managed to convince a few to cut the sugar and soy and start using lard to wok-fry their foods (as they were doing 20 years ago). Removal of some of these newer industrial oils and a Chinese food diet starts getting much closer to a more loosely defined / higher carb (mainly from starchy roots and tubers) “paleo” framework. White flour and wheat consumption is growing fast but it’s still rare to see overly obese Chinese but it’s going to change as the newer generation is being raised on a lot more cake, twinkies and bread and many university grads here have lost the ability to cook.

        Btw, great post Richard!

  38. tracker on January 6, 2012 at 19:33

    “But you can find out—and you find out through trial and error. She won’t tell you but I will: you’re on your own. You don’t need me, and you damn sure don’t need her. But you do need a sense of independence, a functioning mind, and some information.”

    Love it! Brilliant :)

    Remember, Ron White says, “You can’t fix stupid.”

    • Richard Nikoley on January 7, 2012 at 08:48

      I think Ron White got that saying from my grandmother. I remember her saying it all the time when I was a kid.

  39. Ashley North on January 7, 2012 at 05:34

    I really enjoyed reading this!!
    I just finished reading Loren Cordain’s new book, and the thing is seriously like 40% just lists and lists of references. He puts it all on the table. All Melody has to do is break down each study, one by one…..Good luck!! :)

  40. Kris on January 7, 2012 at 07:12

    I read Melody Cherny’s article and I’m pretty sure it zapped a few brain cells. Luckily, I think this post revived them.

  41. Chris on January 7, 2012 at 08:38

    Click around a little bit and you’ll find a picture of Melody Cherny, a mug shot if you will. She’s pretty cute. Hot, even. I like dark-haired chicks. Anyway, getting to my point: vegans go out of their way to make their diet appear to affect multiple aspects of their lives positively, from appearance to fitness to lifespan to everything inbetween. There’s a certain appeal to supposed ‘selfish’ effects (see: improved health, appearance, lifespan, financies, etc.) combined with an ‘ethical’ lifestyle choice (see: veganism). That is one appeal of the vegan diet: it is purportedly moral, while allowing you to still indulge in a Sex and the City lifestyle.

    This is really the core of the vegan coda that appeals to people. At one point, when I was a vegan, I even argued that eating meat was akin to rape, considering all of the far-reaching effects that, say, factory farming and gasoline consumption had on the planet and its inhabitants. I know better now. Mass vegan dieting requires these things, too. A part of me still cringes when I face the fact that an animal has to die for me to eat, but I don’t see why we can’t take a moralistic approach to meat: kill the animal painlessly, don’t factory farm, etc. I’m even planning to go back to hunting and fishing.

    The Native Americans had a respectful relationship with the planet and the animals, I don’t see why we can’t, too. And the simple fact is that we are evolved to thrive off of a Paleo-style diet. I see that now: I’ve always been very active, being involved in everything from triathlons to bodybuilding. In nursing school, I don’t have that kind of time anymore, but my new obsession is kettlebells. I took them up when I became a vegan, purchasing a 20-lb bell and eventually getting my hands on a 70-lb bell.

    To make a long story short: while vegan, I could not manage more than 20 swings with that 70-lb bell. No matter how much I trained with it. Now? 200 swings. In a row. Madness.

    Great blog. I really enjoy it, and just wanted to bring up the fact that we, as ‘Paleors,’ or whatever, need to go out of our way to point out of the positive life effects of the diet as vegans do along with explaining a moral and ethical approach to it.

    • becky yo on January 7, 2012 at 12:02

      That is one appeal of the vegan diet: it is purportedly moral, while allowing you to still indulge in a Sex and the City lifestyle.

      and that includes the cupcakes!

    • Paul Verizzo on January 7, 2012 at 20:26

      Not so sure about Sex in the City, or anywhere else with vegans. Not only is there lots of anecdotal evidence of diminished libido, there was a site I visited a few months ago where the guy was PROUD of his lack of interest in sex. Claimed his other, was, too. “Now we can just cuddle.” Weird, weird, weird.

      Indians, BTW, were not the environmentalists we like to portray them as. Before horses, they would run the buffalo over cliffs by burning the prairie. Most of the animals were never harvested, but left to rot. Too many. In the winter, their horses would eat all the bark on the young cottonwood trees, killing them. There wasn’t an environmental ethic, they were too few to have the impact that we do today. At least they understood that the earth was the source of everything; there are moderns who still don’t get it.

  42. Robert Cooney on January 7, 2012 at 12:42


    I’ve seen the “90% of calories from carbohydrates” thrown around before. I find that figure to be highly unlikely and would need further verification before I started quoting it as gospel. 10% of calories for fat and protein? Thin, very thin.

    Cooney, MD

    • Richard Nikoley on January 7, 2012 at 13:04

      Hey Robert

      Can’t recall the population but it’s in PNG, some island. Stephan Guyenet covered it in his AHS presentation on Food Reward. The video is online at the Astestry Foundation section on Vimeo.

      Actually, I thnk he said 95% carb.

  43. Tin Tin on January 7, 2012 at 14:29

    High carb? Some island in PNG? That has to be Kitava, right?

    “Kitavans eat a diet of root vegetables, coconut, fruit, vegetables and fish and have undetectable levels of cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke and overweight. Despite smoking like chimneys. 69% of their calories come from carbohydrate, 21% from fat and 10% from protein. This is essentially a carbohydrate-heavy version of what our paleolithic ancestors ate.”

  44. A.Stev on January 7, 2012 at 23:19

    “Eat a balanced diet” = “I don’t have a fucking clue what the hell I’m talking about so you should just eat some of everything and hope something works.”

    If it didn’t used to be an animal it’s not food, it’s either a garnish or poison.

  45. Sebastiaan on January 8, 2012 at 03:30

    MASTERPIECE! Great & thoroughly. Clearly another nitwit who didn’t take the effort to learn & understand what she’s talking about. But I find it difficult sometimes to blame ‘them’, since this is still the way we were all drilled to think. We paleo-dudes freed ourselves from this, and we know our ‘truth’ is not what we too thought it to be, due to the way we were brought up or informed. We learned to think for ourselves again and we know it’s different. The majority of people still believe the old crap and though I think that’s stupid, I don’t really blame them, because I know how much time and effort it took me debunking all of it and find my own truth. But hey, if you don’t know exactly what you’re talking about, then you should’nt publish this kind of crap… zo again: masterpiece, great read and really appreciate your sense of humour.


    • Richard Nikoley on January 8, 2012 at 11:28

      Thanks Sebastiaan.

      Not sure why your comment got held up in the spam filter, but you’re out of purgatory now!

  46. rob on January 8, 2012 at 09:53

    Still don’t get the thing about being respectful to the animal and the land before eating a steak, I have never in my life been disrespectful to a cow … I do in fact buy their flesh from Publix supermarket and eat it, but it’s not as if I scream invectives at the steak while chewing it.

    There is no need for me to thank the cow or the planet before devouring its flesh.

    If I pelted a cow with a paintball gun just for kicks that would be a terrible thing to do, but that has nothing to do with eating the flesh of that paintball-pelted cow once it has been slaughtered and butchered. Socio-pathic behavior towards living creatures has nothing to do with your diet, regardless of what you eat or don’t eat.

    • Chris on January 9, 2012 at 05:34

      Rob, that’s great that you’ve got it figured out, but ‘screaming invectives,’ as you call it, is necessary for some people to promote awareness of what exactly goes into putting food on someone’s plate: either for themselves or others. Just as many engage in prayer before meals, others take a moment to be aware of all that goes into putting food in front of them. If that’s what it takes they should go for it.

      • rob on January 9, 2012 at 09:55

        If people want to pray before eating that’s their business, I paid good money for the food at Publix so I don’t see the need to thank anyone or be aware of what goes into putting the food on the plate, what goes into putting food on the plate is my shelling out a few bucks at Publix.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2012 at 11:06

        One time many years back at a family gathering for thanksgiving, someone was going around with a video camera before dinner asking everyone what they were thankful for.

        Typical bullshit, out of everyone’s mouth.

        When they came to me: “I have no one to thank but myself.”

        You can imagine how that went over. I didn’t flinch.

      • Chris on January 9, 2012 at 12:44

        Guys, who said anything about thanking anyone? Its not about thanking anyone. It is simply good to take a moment to meditate on what is in front of you, why it is there, ponder what it all means. Maybe it means nothing to you. Maybe you guys are just cold materialists, and Paleo for you has no spiritual aspect. That’s your call. But there is no separating the fact that by being respectful towards all life, we ultimately end up respecting ourselves. Everything is connected. That’s not religion, that’s physics.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2012 at 13:11


        Really. [yawn].

        It just makes no fucking difference. It doesn’t. Now, you’re welcome to engage in your humbling woo as much as you want.

        Not interested and I have never, ever experienced anything where that bullshit actually helped me rather than hurt me.

        I love my family and friends, but in this specific context when they engage in the bullshit you admonish, they are but little chicks who eat regurgitate; I can deal with it, but if it’s a choice, i’ll take the pumpkin pie.

        It’s bullshit, Chris, humbling yourself like a little girly. Instead, fantasize about maybe going out and slitting a throat and eating the liver.

        My 2c.

      • rob on January 9, 2012 at 14:06

        When I purchase the hunk of cow, it has been dead for quite a while, it is too late to be respectful towards the cow.

        I am respectful towards living cows, which for the most part means staying the hell out of their pastures, other than that there isn’t much I can do to be respectful to the cow.

        Treating animals badly is sociopathic behavior, I think we can all agree that everyone should refrain from sociopathic behavior, but there is nothing remotely unethical, immoral, unmindful or sociopathic about my buying a hunk of cow at the supermarket and eating it … my ethical moral and mindful obligations begin and end with paying for the hunk of cow.

      • Chris on January 9, 2012 at 14:39

        You’ve never taken a deep breath and calmed yourself? Never stopped and watched a sunset or sunrise, or been awestruck nature, or life? I doubt it. This is what I admonish: awareness. I’m not religious. Far from it. We all engage in this ‘bullshit,’ as you call it, it is programmed into our genes. If being aware of my personal effect on life makes me a ‘little girl,’ well, then, I guess little girls have more sense than most people. Lucky them.

      • Chris on January 9, 2012 at 14:43

        rob, pick one: you either care about what goes into putting your cow on the plate, or you don’t. You can’t callously lift your nose at people who engage in some sort of meditation in their eating process while simultaneously being concerned about how your food got there while claiming that you don’t care. Pick one. Yeesh.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2012 at 16:24

        It’s funny to me that you thnk your way of experiencing life is necessarily superior to mine.

        There’s no need of humbling yourself to experience it, and that’s the antagonism.

        Fuck humility.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2012 at 16:28

        If rob does work himself around to be thankful, I hope it’s that he has the capacity to be really hungry and do something about it.

        Humility not required for that.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2012 at 16:36

        WORD rob.

      • Chris on January 9, 2012 at 12:45

        You see no need to be aware of what goes into putting the food on the plate? Doesn’t sound very Paleo. Doesn’t sound very conscious.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2012 at 16:29

        Oh, see, the other shoe drops. Now it’s not just a desire, but a “need.” like, your micronutrients won’t be absorbed, otherwise,

  47. Weekly Roundup #5 | Ideal Man | The 21 Convention on January 8, 2012 at 14:51

    […] Nikoley. After this particular annihilation, people will be more cautious from now on before they write anything that begins with the title […]

  48. noah on January 9, 2012 at 13:49

    “I have no one to thank but myself.”

    Did you change your own diapers?

    Gratitude is good for the endocrine system.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 9, 2012 at 16:16

      Oh, my mistake. Every Xgiving necessarily goes back to the groveling point, which seems to be the point.

      Yea, no man’s an island,

      Thanks for the wisdom, Noah,

      What would I do without you?

      If there’s ever a way to figure out how to exclude you from making a point a 5th grade reader might be able to Grok, I’.ll keep it in mind.

  49. noah on January 9, 2012 at 16:38

    Too touchy, my post was funny.

  50. Chris on January 10, 2012 at 13:46

    So anybody with even an inkling of humility in their bones is, as Richard would no doubt call them, ‘a worthless piece of shit fucking brain dead pussy’. I’ll be sure and swing by this blog for my sweeping generalization needs in the future.

    • Richard Nikoley on January 10, 2012 at 14:10

      Don’t project, Chis. I was only talking about you.

      • Chris on January 10, 2012 at 15:18

        Really, Rich? From an earlier response you made to me:

        “I love my family and friends, but in this specific context when they engage in the bullshit you admonish, they are but little chicks who eat regurgitate; I can deal with it, but if it’s a choice, i’ll take the pumpkin pie.”

        Friends, family, strangers responding to a post on a blog. It’s all just varying degrees of the same thing or something, right? But whatever, man. It’ a free country.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 10, 2012 at 16:12

        What’s the context of the reply?

        Thing is, Chris, I can be anyone’s worst enemy or best friend and it always depends upon context.

      • Chris on January 10, 2012 at 16:42

        You tell me, Richard. Look, I was simply trying to provide a different viewpoint than Rob, and it looks like it’s kind of spun out of control. I enjoy your blog, but I kinda feel like I’m being attacked here. Perhaps I am simply misunderstanding something somewhere. Perhaps we are all. And that sucks because the comments is one of my favorite parts of this blog. Maybe I’m just doomed to prompt people to argue with me. Whatever the case, I still like the blog. Maybe I should just not comment.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 10, 2012 at 19:55

        You might be right and I might be wrong. I deal with so many comments over the day it’s possible I mix something up.

        In any case, comment away. You are always welcome and don’t mind me, too much.

      • Chris on January 10, 2012 at 21:01

        Thanks, Richard. A lot gets lost in translation in Internet exchanges; what is, in my mind, gentle suggestiveness could come across as patently aggressive, and vice versa. I find that when I sit down in realtime with people we agree on most things or are more willing to consider what we’re hearing. I really enjoy your work on the blog. Even so, I know for a fact I won’t get the full gist of what you mean. Thank you for reminding me of that.

  51. WRS on January 11, 2012 at 11:54

    Wish this guy would have read this blog entry before writing his opinion peice. May have changed his views slightly.

    • Sarah on January 11, 2012 at 15:40

      The comments on that piece are comedy gold. I haven’t read them all, but this is by far my favorite, and I don’t think it can be beaten:

      Our progenitors through the first ten or so generations were on plant based diets. See Genesis 1:29. These guys lived very, very long lives. (Adam 900 , Methusalah 965- based on a 360-day year) per Genesis 9:3. Not until all Noah’s neighbors perished in The Flood, were people allowed to eat meat. Lifespans plummeted after that. Literally.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 11, 2012 at 16:13

        Oh my.

        Now, keep this in mind: that person probably votes.

      • Sarah on January 11, 2012 at 16:20

        Yep, and I assume that at least on social issues, it votes against everything I’m in favor of – like baby-killin’, and homos getting married.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 11, 2012 at 17:14

        The distinction is I’m guessing you have no interest in forcing her to get an abortion or eat pussy.

      • Sarah on January 11, 2012 at 19:06

        Right. I mean, I do have to admit that I’m beyond pro-choice and often pro-abortion – when I hear someone is pregnant, 9 times out of 10, in my head I’m rooting for abortion. But you’re correct; I’m not in favor of forced abortion, nor forced sex of any kind. And that’s exactly the distinction that’s lost on the bible-thumpers. I think it’s because they feel like it’s a personal affront when people do things they don’t approve of, and they feel as though they’re being forced to participate in something they don’t want to just by being aware of these things happening, and because they don’t understand the difference between emotion and logic, to them it’s all the same.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 11, 2012 at 20:27


        Coming from the insanity, that’s not it.

        Such behavior is besmirching the world and they are going to suffer judgment because God is going to lose patience.

      • Sarah on January 11, 2012 at 20:39

        I do my best to avoid any interaction with those people, so I’ll take your word for it. But you know, for someone who’s supposed to be omnipotent and omniscient and whatnot, god seems like a capricious immature asshat.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 11, 2012 at 21:20

        Cut to the chase. If omnipotent, total fuckwad.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 11, 2012 at 21:21

        Or,,to put it another way, my own principles would not allow me communion with such an asshole.

      • Richard Nikoley on January 11, 2012 at 21:22

        I’ll gladly burn in hell, first.

      • Chris on January 12, 2012 at 03:24

        Rudimentary observation quickly leads one to ascertain that God was made in man’s image and not the other way around.

      • Sarah on January 12, 2012 at 11:20

        Well based on what Richard wrote about the Bible-thumpers suffering judgment because the sinners will make god lose patience, I’m now picturing god as that douchebag football coach/gym teacher who always made the whole class take a lap just because one person misbehaved. You know the guy I’m talking about, right? I think every high school has one.

  52. mtnrunner2 on January 15, 2012 at 09:05

    Fad diet… two million years. Love it.

    Regardless of what particular diet one chooses (I think there are legitimately healthy variations on the themes), two things stand out at this point in history:

    1) Eat good foods (fresh, nutritious, etc.)
    2) Don’t dose your body with sugars all the time

    Cherny violates #2 by necessity.

    As far as sustainability goes, it’s a good thing but should not be held above personal health and safety. By that self-sacrificial rationale, we should all just dig a hole, crawl in and die, because the Earth would certainly suffer fewer impacts without us. Instead, we need to do the best we can do for both our own lives and our surroundings. It’s not either/or.

  53. JenB on January 15, 2012 at 16:57

    Holy cow (so to speak). Okay, Melody Cherny ticks ME off, too. I’m tired of this garbage! Two years ago I was eating the “healthy” diet (and had been for some time): very low in fat, lots and lots of veggies and whole grains and fruits. Also two years ago, it was taking me 40 to 60 minutes to walk my dog to the corner and back, I was so sick, and I was gaining weight to boot despite mild exercise like walking, gardening, and cleaning house (okay, I’m a hard-core housecleaner)—all I could handle doing. A simple supermarket trip required rest breaks because I was so easily exhausted. I have a nasty autoimmune disease, too, but had finally found a doctor who actually cared (!) and was helping me through proper medication.

    I somehow found out about raw milk, hunted down a fantastic local dairy where the cows truly ARE happy, and gave it a try. I began buying pastured eggs and beef as well as that milk (to which I didn’t have the unpleasant reactions I do with pasteurized milk). Thanks to the raw milk crowd, I found out about paleo, primal, and traditional foods. Figuring I had nothing left to lose—my husband and I both thought I was going to die, I was so ill—I began cooking everything in butter, bacon drippings, and coconut oil. More meat, no grains (especially after finding out I’m celiac), still plenty of veggies, some fruit. But lots of meat and oodles of eggs.

    Within six months I’d dropped 30 pounds with no change in my other habits and felt AMAZINGLY better. My father and uncles, happy to see me perked up and feeling alive again, happily stuffed my freezer with (forest-fed, ha) venison. I’ll never have my health up to the same levels others do because of illness, but I can’t believe how much better I feel now. I lost ten years of my life, when all I had to do was eat plenty of fat, butter, meat, and veggies.

    Don’t tell me this doesn’t work. Great balls of fire…why don’t people think for themselves about this stuff? Oi.

    All right, rant over. I’ve been lurking for a while and enjoy the blog, but for some reason this raised my hackles…!

  54. […] feed for the past year or so, through his publicized online debates with raw-fruitarians and his rebuttal to an ill-researched anti-Paleo essay. Needless to say, I’m quite a fan. He starts off with […]

  55. […] that contradicts their Food, Inc. and Drug, Inc. financed training has to be wrong. I last did Melody Cherny. Now it's time to do Jennifer […]

  56. The Paleo Rag | Let’s Take Down Another Know-Nothing Dietitian/Journalist: Jennifer Motl on February 16, 2012 at 11:27

    […] that contradicts their Food, Inc. and Drug, Inc. financed training has to be wrong. I last did Melody Cherny. Now it’s time to do Jennifer Motl.   Read More […]

  57. […] Don’t Eat Like Melody Cherny […]

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