Let’s Take Down Another Know-Nothing Dietitian/Journalist: Jennifer Motl

It comes to pass that every now and then, some dietitian—likely subscribed to various resources that newspapers use to source freelance writers for various things—gets a gig to write about “paleo.” Or “caveman,” or whatever. They botch it every time. Why? It’s very simple. They just assume that anything 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.

It’s about “balance,” “eat less,” and “exercise more.” The article in question: Should You Eat Like a Caveman?

It’s published in the blog of the Fredericksburg.com outlet, and I guess was published in yesterday’s (Sunday’s) health section in the print version.

Let’s take her down, just like at the time of this writing, all 28 commenters to her post have done. What a truly inspiring stelar community!

The controversial Paleolithic or caveman diet offers some benefits, many difficulties, and not much proof of how it affects the body.

Well, since it’s based in human evolution, we’re here. We’re here! We. Are. Here.


4 million years of evo, since we split off from pure tree swingers doesn’t suggest how it might “affect the body?” I understand that evolution is “controversial” (ignoramus club). But, at the same time, feeding lions lettuce would be laughed at by all but the most stupid vegans (redundancy alert).

Oh, yea, research. Yep. We need “research” to even suggest a hint of a whisper of a never uttered secret that it might be OK to just eat foods from nature as nature is. Well, OK. Cordain has published research going back to 1997. And there’s always Staffan Lindeberg. (Nevermind that paleo kicks Mediterranean ass every time it’s tried.)

The onus of proof is upon the one making the assertion. The assertion is either that a Food, Inc. and Drug, Inc. “diet” is best, or that a paleo diet is suboptimal. That’s why we call not-paleo a “Neolithic diet” (grains, legumes, derivatives and all other stuff to make money for Food & Drug, Inc.). Alright, bring on the silly, ignorant slogan: “caveman died young.” Yep, on average, they did. Let’s see how long you live, in the wild, with no backpack or “hydration” appliance. Or Motrin. Or Xanax?

Over the past few years, the diet has sparked best-selling books and lots of scientific debate. Proponents say it’s based on their best guess of what our ancestors evolved to eat 10,000 years ago.

“Evolved to eat 10,000 years ago?” Like, on a day? Oh, yea, it was the day—the very day—when everyone allofasuddensaid, “fuck this shit;” and then, “let’s just grow wheat, corn & beans.” And then, then (right after “let there be light”), we can have massive families, form religions to magically explain everything we can’t explain…and then, then…let’s have nation states to fight with each other…because football and baseball—and hockey—haven’t even been invented yet and we need something to both polarize us but give us a team to rally around. Let there be flags and mascots! …And nobody can have the same colors!

Go Neo! (But even Neo took the Red Pill.)

…But Cordain cites only four studies of the paleo diet supporting his position that it actually improves health. And all four studies involved only a few dozen people over a few weeks. That’s too few people and too short a time to convince me that the improved blood sugar and cholesterol levels he saw were due to anything other than weight loss.

To determine the diet’s effects, I would like to see studies of hundreds or thousands of people, and I would like researchers to track not just blood sugar and cholesterol levels, but actual rates of diabetes and heart disease over several years.

Not sure you can check blood sugar, cholesterol levels, heart disease and diabetes, but there’s alwasys anthropology.

Really. Check into it. I think it’s science.

You might also check into zoology. You know. It’s that other science where animals are studied as though humans kinda aren’t animals; and I’m not sure, but I don’t think they’re typically checking blood sugar, cholesterol levels, heart disease and diabetes.

And one must wonder, since they’re all on a paleo diet. For wild animals, they’re still on a paleo diet; or, evolutionary, if you prefer.

In “The paleo Answer,” Cordain doesn’t just imply that grains, beans and dairy are unnecessary. He writes that they’re loaded with toxic “anti-nutrients.” I found these chapters disturbing.

Stop the presses. Finally, scientific evidence. Jennifer Motl, freelance journalist, probably at about 20 bucks a pop (interesting number, given dark street corners in certain urban areas), is “disturbed.”

Well, fuck, I guess that just settles it. A registered dietitian is disturbed.

Although Cordain cited many small scientific papers, he didn’t have large, long-term studies to back up his assertions. He did, however, have some intriguing anecdotes from people whose health improved on his eating plan.

Yea, yea. “The plural of anecdote isn’t data.” Yea, yea, and how convenient, eh? especially when the onus of proof is upon you (see above). 4 million years of “anecdote” (scientific research didn’t get a super start until Food, Inc. and Drug, Inc. wanted to start selling you crap in a bag and among other things, began seeking out girls in high heels and short skirts on dark corners at 3am….oh, wait, that would be “freelance journalists who double as dietitians.”

Again, I would love to see more thorough research on hundreds of people following a paleo diet for years to see whether the majority of folks truly did end up with lower rates of diseases.

Pure, embarrassing ignorance. Even beyond the anthropology, hunter gathers have been studied for more than 200 years. Guess.

Continuing on….

The paleo diet is difficult. And while I’m not entirely convinced it’s worth the effort, I don’t think it’s a harmful diet.

Difficult how? As opposed to eating out of boxes, bags, and cans? I suppose she has a point. Fuck physiology. Fuck biology. Fuck chemistry…and fuck your health.

Just go with the flow. See all those fat people in fat mobiles? See all the elderly living the last 20 years of their lives in 20-pill-a-day misery and pathetic—fucking pathetic—dependance? Yep, the Kitavans have it all wrong. Who wants to live a virile, lean, active life up until the last two weeks where, like a wild animal, they just spiral down and die quickly, saving all their loved ones the misery and hardship of caring for them for an inordinate amount of time?

…And because it allows more fruit and thus carbs than the Atkins plan, I wouldn’t expect the kidney problems, muscle cramps and constipation found on many high-protein diets.

Utter bullshit. Too ignorant to comment on.

Still, I would encourage anyone with health problems to be monitored by a physician if he or she tries this diet, just to be sure, since it flies in the face of established medical advice to reduce meat and egg consumption.

Please. Whatever you do, never, ever “fly in the face of.” Bullshit metaphor.

The food groups the paleo cuts—grains and dairy—are not critical to life. People can get sufficient nutrients even if they avoid grains. And despite advertising to the contrary, I no longer believe dairy products are critical to healthy bones—studies show women in Japan, where dairy is unpopular, still have strong bones.

Wow. Revelation. A dietitian grudgingly acknowledges that foods that were not eaten for most of our evolution aren’t critical. It’s ‘OK’ to avoid them, at your own risk. But be careful of them ‘nutruints.’ Hey, maybe you can get enough replacing grains & legumes with animals. We’ll see.

…Alright. Now I have to be fair, because that’s just how I roll.

Many less-meaty traditional diets also promote low rates of heart disease and cancer: Think about the amount of rice consumed in Japan; the whale blubber eaten by Eskimos; the corn and potatoes that Andean cultures subsisted on; and the milk emphasized in certain southern African cultures.

These widely different eating plans appear to be healthy for these different populations. Whether it’s due to people’s genetics in different parts of the world or a result of all the physical activity they do is not clear.

That is by far and away the most astute thing I have ever read from a dietitian, almost making me regret some of the foregoing.

“”paleo is equator to arctic, sea level to 16,000 feet, and everything in between.” — me

What we do know for sure is that no matter what traditional diet people eat, when they switch to modern fast foods, they get lots of diseases.

OK, Jennifer, but what about modern slow foods? They come in boxes, bags, cans. They line the supermarket shelves.

Another important thing to point out is that our hunter–gatherer ancestors were a lot more active than we are. Even Cordain admits that a typical Paleolithic woman would tote her infant on her hip or shoulder for at least four miles while foraging for food—sounds like hard work to me.

Nonsense. Get on a treadmill at a 4 mile per hour pace. Plug in your weight, gender, etc. Watch your caloric burn. After about 30 minutes, down a beer and slice of pizza. Calculate the difference.

It’s all about diet. Exercise is great for a number of reasons, but it has absolutely nothing to do with being reasonably healthy and lean.

…I also wonder if the paleo diet is sustainable, due to its cost and effects on the environment. Researchers recently found low-income folks who receive food stamps would not be able to afford a paleo diet.

From an environmental standpoint, I wonder if we encouraged the whole world to adopt a high-protein diet, whether we’d have enough land to raise all the beef and chicken it would require.

Bullshit. A few people have done paleo on a food stamp budget. Easy. Crap, especially in terms of micro-nutrition, is the most expensive food on Earth. I can prove that with both hands tied behind my back and encumbered by a jock strap.

What we’re doing now is what’s not sustainable. We tear down natural habitat in order to grow grains to make bread, feed people beans, and feed cattle a diet that makes their rumen sick. You want sustainable? Cattle fucking eat grass on all those fields now supplanted to grow various grains and legumes. That gets you even started on sustainability, because I will maintain that cruelty is not sustainable. The only question is what gives way first: resource or conscience.

Have any idea how many chickens could free range on an acre of grass…eating worms, bugs, and scratching through the desiccated remains of animal scat, making their yolks 5-10 times more nutrient dense than the average supermarket egg? 

It takes much more land to raise meat than to produce an equal amount of grain and beans.

This is so much bullshit.

Alright, let’s just go for the kill. What the fuck is an “equal amount?”

Since she didn’t specify, let me. To make it fair, I’m going to let her make as many loaves of bread as she can from the field. I’m just going to use the livers of the cattle that would otherwise graze there.

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

Actually, I’m being kind. One of these days I’m going to do a spreadsheet on each of those nutrients, using the numbers at the top of each bar, and really show how mutherfucking bankrupt any grain consumption is, nutritionally.

That, above all, is the worst thing about grains and legumes, and not the anti-nutriens and such. It’s the absolute nutritional deficiency anyone necessarily faces by making grains a large part of their total diet.


  1. Bixy on February 13, 2012 at 22:49

    “What we do know for sure is that no matter what traditional diet people eat, when they switch to modern fast foods, they get lots of diseases.”

    Modern fast foods – they would be made of, hmmm grains, industrial seed oils and fucking sugar! Which is exactly what the paleo diet cuts out!

    You dumb fucking fucktard. You just shot yourself in the foot. With a fucking canon.

  2. Kris on February 14, 2012 at 00:08

    In my mind, nutrition as an academic discipline = zero credibility. I’m pretty sure there is a lot more evidence in favour of the paleo diet, compared to the high-grain terror diet.

    • Barb on February 23, 2012 at 07:31

      There are Paleo nutritionists out there. Important not to paint all with the same brush.

  3. Sean on February 14, 2012 at 01:44

    Great stuff, Richard. As far as the money angle goes, that’s been thoroughly debunked. Remember the 7 day challenge I ran? Jonathan ate paleo for $27.75 for a week.

    According to Wiki,

    In the 2010 fiscal year, $65 billion in food stamps were distributed, with an average benefit per recipient in a household of $133 per month.

    That’s $33.25/week.

    Meanwhile, if you go here and crunch the numbers, as I did, you’ll find the average American spends $75.77/person per week.

    No, price is simply not an excuse for eating crap.

  4. Mike B on February 14, 2012 at 04:32

    I have to say thank you, I needed a laugh this morning.
    I love the attitude and science. Keep up the good work!
    Imagine what would happen if you through in the whole cow.

  5. Steve on February 14, 2012 at 04:53

    Two common responses I get from people who won’t in a million years give up their wheat and sugar-based sweets: 1) I guess there’s no way to know [what’s healthy]! 2) I guess all things in moderation! My responses: 1) Just because you can’t know for sure doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make informed guesses. 2) Make sure you include some heroin and arsenic in that moderation diet. I mean, these objections are complete cop-outs. Sugar and gluten are completely unnecessary to health. You can’t hide behind “there’s no way to know” and “moderation.” We do know that these things are unnecessary and likely harmful, and harmful things have no place in moderation.

  6. rob on February 14, 2012 at 05:00

    It seems that these days a lot of people just have a problem with eating meat in general, and they tie themselves into knots trying to justify their aversion to eating it.

    If Ms. Motl did a little self-experimentation and challenged herself to go an entire week eating nothing but natural, totally unprocessed foods (other than the application of heat for cooking), what she would wind up with looks a heck of a lot like Paleo.

    So what’s the problem? It’s the meat. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear a lot of people want to avoid eating meat. Is this aversion due to nature or nurture? We can say with absolute certainty it’s not due to nature, because we are evolved to eat meat, hence it must be due to nurture.

    For decades we have been programmed to reduce the amount of meat we eat to the point where people feel guilty if they eat a hunk of beef … for a few centuries the church conditioned people to feel guilty if they masturbated, under the new paradigm that is replaced with feeling guilty over eating a piece of cow.

    • Sean on February 14, 2012 at 06:17

      Well put, rob.

      I remember telling my wife a few years back that we ought to cut down on our meat consumption–pure guilt (I got better).

      • rob on February 14, 2012 at 09:33

        I think it would make a great subject for a cultural anthropology study, how did we get to meat avoidance, and how much does meat avoidance vary based on gender, social-economic status, rural/urban etc.

        I think that among the various factors involved in meat avoidance, health is the least significant, though the most often cited. A person with body image issues will avoid meat because it reminds them of their body image problem, and then couch the meat avoidance in terms of health … while ironically this behavior contributes to the body image problem, it’s a vicious circle.

        It’s a subject more appropriate for psychologists and anthropologists than dieticians. Why does this particular author have a bias against eating meat? Part of may be personal, and a large part of it is probably cultural.

  7. Aaron Curl on February 14, 2012 at 05:03

    “The United States is blessed with more arable land than any other nation on earth. Still, only about one-fifth of our land area (382 million acres) is used for crop production. Grazing land for livestock accounts for about one-fourth of the privately held land in the U.S. (525 million acres). In spite of a growing population and increased demand for agricultural products, the land area under cultivation in this country has not increased. While advanced farming techniques, including irrigation and genetic manipulation of crops, has permitted an expansion of crop production in some areas of the country, there has been a decrease in other areas. In fact, some 3,000 acres of productive farmland are lost to development each day in this country. There was a 4% decline in the number of acres in farms that over the last decade. In 1990, there were almost 987 million acres in farms in the U.S., that number had been reduced to just under 943 million acres by 2000.” Can’t remember the source.

    Paleo not sustainable is a fucking joke. Also, google U.S. a hundred years ago and look at all the trees and forests that cover the U.S. We fucking cut them all down to grow grains that make us all sick, weak and needy! Talk about not sustainable! I think the correct estimate is 10%….thats how much of the U.S. is covered in trees. People forgot the fucking world needs trees to survive! We forgot the earth was a living organism that we are connected to. We are responsible for the destruction!

  8. Tucker on February 14, 2012 at 05:23

    Not surprisingly, Jennifer Motl is a graduate of the Cornell ‘Division of Nutritional Sciences’ and an acolyte of T. Colin Campbell.

  9. Aaron Curl on February 14, 2012 at 06:23

    46 comments on the original article and not one comment supports her…..thats funny shit.

  10. Dave Dixon on February 14, 2012 at 06:59

    “I also wonder if the Paleo diet is sustainable, due to its cost and effects on the environment. Researchers recently found low-income folks who receive food stamps would not be able to afford a Paleo diet.”

    Darwin wept.

    • Tonya on February 16, 2012 at 05:34

      “Darwin wept”.
      LOVE it and I am going to start using it :)
      Richard how I wish you could meet my inlaws!

    • Angelia on February 16, 2012 at 13:32

      As a low income family, it has cost a bit more for me to eat paleo~ BUT only because my husband refuses to eat the way I do and fills the shopping cart with food I wont use or cook. O.O
      My kids seem to be transitioning fine, and my freezer is getting fuller and fuller with meat. I get frozen veggies from our local food share/gleaner group (cant wait for summer and farmers market and fresh veg and fruit field gleans!) and I give away all the bread they throw at us. (Or throw it away)

      I fed my family on less than $300 a month (family of 4) for three years. We have assistance for two more months and I’m stocking up while I can for sure~
      I CAN AFFORD PALEO! we are a One income family, and I CAN AFFORD Paleo because I COOK! Too many people believe that you only eat high end cuts of meat and super fancy veggies. I can do paleo with .99 cent chicken thighs and lean ground beef if I have to! Canned tuna and salmon are also nice.

      I could keep going on and on, but I’m really just saying what everyone else said. Anyone can do it, anyone can afford it. Its a matter of how LAZY our society has become, and how dependent on processed CRAP.

      • Galina L. on February 16, 2012 at 13:58

        Angela, ask butchers around, they normally cut off an extra fat meat and throw it away because everybody wants lean cuts, a very good chance they will give it to you for free or for a very small price. I use such fat for cooking and add it to lean ground meat, it is a good idea to get a meal grinder, manual one is really cheap. Explore organ meats. I understand not everybody eats liver and kidneys, but beef tong is really delicious, especially in chilly or reheated on skillet with garlic and butter. Chicken gizzards are really cheap, the same goes to jowl meat. Pig feet cooked till they fell apart are great in soups or as a base for a vegetable stew. I don’t think it is paleo to eat filet Mignon every day. Good luck with odd cuts. Snack s are a money pit!

      • Angelia on February 16, 2012 at 14:31

        I got a meat grinder a few years ago as a gift from my inlaws (people who know what I like!) BUT, we cant use organ meats~ Hubby has gout pretty badly, and it causes spikes in his uric acid in the blood and joints and causes some pretty nasty flare ups~
        We eat pretty well honestly~

        And beef tongue isnt innards~ Its YUMMY! =)

      • Galina L. on February 16, 2012 at 17:45

        Probably you will be interested to check it out.
        It is an unpublished chapter from the GOOD CALORIES BAD CALORIES about a gout.

      • Tony K on February 19, 2012 at 21:12

        I did a post on gout a while back, I synthesized info from Taubes, Cordain, and others.

        Check it out.


  11. Johnny Rieger on February 14, 2012 at 09:03

    I was just wondering if the nutrient information for the bread is just the grain itself or after the bread has been “fortified” with god knows what.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2012 at 10:02

      I used fit day, but it was a while ago and I can’t recall whether fortified or not, but I thnk so.

  12. Blitzkrieg on February 14, 2012 at 09:04

    Richard, I don’t think paleo style eating is possible nowadays albeit for the rich. And I can also prove it:

    If you converted all the land currently used for growing crops worldwide into grazing land for cattle humanity wouldn’t be able to produce even 1% of the calories produced by growing crops.

    You can sustainably keep about 2 cows on a hectar of grazing land and there are currently 693.954.900 hectares worldwide used for growing crops of every kind. If we could turn this land 1 to 1 into grazing land, which is not possible, we would be able to (sustainably) keep about 1.387.909.800 cows grazing on this land.

    One cow of 600 kg produces a total of about 225 kg of beef without bones but with edible innards included at about 220 calories per kg. That makes about 49.500 calories per cow.

    If we were to slaughter all of the 1.387.909.800 cows, which would be stupid because we wouldn’t have any left for next year, we would get a total of 68.701.535.100.000 calories.

    Total worldwide crop yield in 2009 was 2.500.037.128 tons at approx. 3.200.000 calories per ton. That yielded a total amount of calories.


    This calculation is rudimentary, dairy products are left out, but also the fact that you cannot kill the whole beef population. So the real number of calories which could be produced by turning crop agriculture into grazing land for cattle should be under 0.5 percent of the amount currently produced from crops. Even if we could magically somehow keep 10 times the above amount of cattles on a hectare of land we still wouldn’t be able to produce nearly enough calories to sustain current world population.

    You now also have an understanding of why not a single government in the whole fucking world will ever propagate paleo style food over a crop based diet. Because paleo on a large scale equals worldwide armageddon.


    Blitzkrieg // Feb 14, 2012 at 13:10 (Edit)

    You are right, I forgot a zero. It has to be 2.200 calories per kg and 495.000 per cow. So we go up from 0.5% to 5% of calories provided by crop. For fucks sake, lets say 20% because of maybe other mistakes I made.

    • David Csonka on February 14, 2012 at 09:32

      “Because paleo on a large scale equals worldwide armageddon.”

      The loss of affordable petroleum feedstock (for fertilizer/pesticides) and fuel (for farm equipment) to maintain industrial-scale mono-crop grain production will cause that anyway.

      The largest population bubble the world has ever seen is going to pop in the next 50-100 years, unless we magically develop some technology to produce food from shit, or people. ie. soylent green

      • Galina L. on February 15, 2012 at 19:32

        I am sorry it would sound offensive for most, but after reading your comment it crossed my mind that actually it is possible to produce food from shit if humans would agree to eat insects. I don’t propose to start doing it right away, but what we know about the future? Before we turn to the insects raised on shit as a food source, I hope other outlets would be explored like limiting waist, raising more goats, pigs, rabbits and chicken on table scraps. Right now some chicken are raised on worms thriving in cow’s shit.

    • Dave Dixon on February 14, 2012 at 09:34

      “Because paleo on a large scale equals worldwide armageddon.”

      You say that like it’s a bad thing ;-)

      Interesting note: is it just me, or are those who argue most strenuously against the paleo diet also those who wouldn’t last 5 minutes if subjected to the flame which forged humanity’s evolutionary heritage?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2012 at 10:07

      I think the numbers would change dramatically if you factor in dairy. So, you have the cows producing dairy and offspring, and the the bulls go to slaughter.

      Not sure what the figures are but it seems intuitive that over the life of a milk producing cow, many orders of magnitude of calories and nutrition are produced than just the meat of the cow.

      • Blitzkrieg on February 14, 2012 at 10:45

        75% of world population is lactose intolerant. And factor in, that todays breed of high performance milk producing cows cannot be simply kept outside grazing on the prairy because 1. they are very sensitive to cold and need to be milked twice daily. The infrastructure to provide shelter and milking would also negatively impact the number of cattle. Highly resistant cattle breed produce smaller amounts of milk and beef.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2012 at 11:22

        Lactose intolerant people typicaly do fine on butter, cheese, cream and other non-milk dairy products. BTW, the figures I recall, I think from The 10,000 Year Explosion, are more like 60% is lactose intolerant, and declining rapidly (tolerance is an 8,000 yr-old mutation, intolerance was the norm).

        I wonder if they shelter continually in the winter all the cows for all the dairy that comes out of Wisconsin. At any rate, it shouldn’t be to difficult to find suitable year round pasture for dairy cows.

        I was just googling around, checking milk production. Varied answers, but its one hell of a lot of calories and nutrition in a lifetime. One source said 25,000 “glasses” (12oz?) of milk per year and that a dairy cow can produce for 11-15 years. I’ll use 10 years, so 250,000 12oz glasses, that’s 3 million ounces, 18.3 cal per ounce of whole milk, almost 55 million calories, compared with 50,000 calories for slaughter, so 1,100 times more efficient. Two things not contemplated:

        1. A dairy cow is fed for a lot longer than a bull for saluter.
        2. But, the dairy cow will also produce one offspring per year, either a replacement dairy cow or a bull for slaughter.

      • Blitzkrieg on February 14, 2012 at 13:02

        Milk has 690 calories per kg and a modern western world high end milk cow produces an average of 7.000 kg of milk in a year which equals to about 4.830.000 calories per year. If half of the cows in my initial example would be kept for milk production and all were these high end milk producing breed we still could produce less than 50% of the calories provided by crop agriculture.

        Of course these modern milk cows live in barns, are fed on mash and get mechanically milked twice a day which is mandatory. Would we turn all crop land into pasture land for cattle to graze freely we couldn’t provide the infrastructure to have them milked twice a day because it is very labor intensive work even with milking machines.

        It takes about 10 minutes to milk a cow with a machine. Just the milking itself. Beforehand you have to bring it to where the machine is, clean the udder and put the suction cups on. Afterwards you have to take the device of and care for the udder. All of this twice a day. Good luck doing all this with free range animals grazing on the prairie. (In other more clearer words: it is impossible.)

        That means that you can’t even take todays breeds but had to go back to primal breeds which produce no more than the amount of milk needed by the calf. Like the Bison of the American Prairies e.g. which unfortunately are nearly extinct.

        Milk also spoils more rapidly and the sanitary conditions while processing and packaging have to be very clean. The transportation, packaging and distribution is also not trivial and needs lots of energy input for cooling and pasteurizing.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2012 at 15:03

        “In other more clearer words: it is impossible.”

        Sounds like something Joel Salatin might have been told when he decided not to house his chickens in big barns so eggs could be collected, but has them roam the whole property, rotating through each pasture at some point after the cattle have grazed and been moved to the next lot. So, he has mobile trailers he keeps in the vicinity of the chickens where they could go into lay.

        I see no reason you could not have mobile milking stations.

      • Blitzkrieg on February 14, 2012 at 16:23

        “I see no reason you could not have mobile milking stations.”

        Maybe the inherent stupidity of this idea would be a valid reason? Did you read my post? Oh wait, some other genius had the same idea: http://whitetrashrepairs.com/white-trash/mobile-milking-station/

        Ok, maybe you have a look at a real milking station. I will even provide you with the link: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01004/milking-machine_1004514i.jpg

        (and btw., thanks for editing my calculation)

      • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2012 at 16:29

        I’m talking about a very large platform that can be repositioned at various places (or a number of them). I’m not talking about taking the cattle anywhere.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2012 at 16:51

        Another design might be rather than having a huge milking facility requiring the cows to be concentrated around it, you have a bunch of smaller stations, but rather than mobile, stationary (around the pasture lands of the property) all connected by a network of pipelines to bring the product to a central facility.

        I may be mistaken but it seems I heard somewhere it’s no problem to get a cow to willingly come to be milked, as its a relief for them.

      • Omad on February 14, 2012 at 18:21

        “It takes about 10 minutes to milk a cow with a machine. Just the milking itself. Beforehand you have to bring it to where the machine is, clean the udder and put the suction cups on. Afterwards you have to take the device of and care for the udder. All of this twice a day. Good luck doing all this with free range animals grazing on the prairie. (In other more clearer words: it is impossible.)”

        Seems New Zealanders have been doing the impossible for a long time

      • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2012 at 18:28

        “Seems New Zealanders have been doing the impossible for a long time”

        Not to mention the producers of Kerygold (Irish, I think), which is distributed far & wide if not world wide and I can source pretty easily at Trader’s Joe’s, if not Safeway. Only issue is that Safeway only stocks the salted and I prefer the unsalted (add salt, if you need it).

      • Blitzkrieg on February 14, 2012 at 19:05


        Good luck introducing this model of highly industrialized dairy production in Second and Third World Countries. (Yeah, the term “World” encompasses these poor fuckers, too who make up for 90% of world population.) Besides all the other arguments against the possibilty of substituting crop with milk who obviously don’t really register with you guys.

        But as I think you probably will discount everything I write anyway I will stop now.

      • noa on February 16, 2012 at 06:44

        Don’t waste your time with the brain fogged vegan and its bad math and rethoric. Mobile milk stations has been in production since 2007. Who do you think asked for them? Organic cattle farmers.


      • Blitzkrieg on February 16, 2012 at 09:47

        I am no vegan. I eat mostly meat, eggs and vegetables. How come you genius don’t realize, that substituting staple foods with 50 $ / kg organic meat is not possible.

        I bet the next idiot will come and tell about kobe cattle and how they aren’t even milked by machines but by hand and even get to drink beer and are massaged thrice daily.

        Look at food prices nowadays for staples like rice and wheat and compare them calorie for calorie to standard industrial mass-produced milk.

        You can’t even write “rhetoric” correct. So yeah, I think you genius are perfectly suited to eval my math.

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

        “calorie for calorie”

        Sure, but how about nutrient for nutrient? Dave Asprey (bulletproofexec.com) estimates that a staples based SAD diet would require about 20,000 calories per day to get healthy levels of all vitamins and minerals. I haven’t seen his actually figures but this reminds me to have a look. For example, see the bread vs liver vs salmon example.

        So perhaps the proper comparison is calorie for 10x calorie.

      • Galina L. on February 16, 2012 at 10:54

        Ya, we are idiots but you are so smart that you think your only available option of eating normal healthy meat is the one $50 a kilo. There are two types of people, some see only problems why nothing could be done, others see solutions how to achieve what they want to achieve. I am not a genius, but , unlike you, I found ways to eat paleo on a budget because I am very creative and I think eating pastured meat and especially fat is important for health. How do you think you can solve world problem of feeding rising population if you are obviously unable to figure out how to obtain high quality food for yourself at reasonable price? Think about yourself as a smart one if you can, from my perspective your are just a fool with an attitude, people like me would be always ahead of ones who are like you, and it is the paleo way to survive.
        No one can predict in advance how people would solve problems in a future. It is not how life works. In real life problem arrives first then individuals are trying to figure out how to wiggle out of it, and accumulative desire of group if people creates a demand and means of satisfying that demand appear. It is how a meat counter appeared in our local natural food store which used to sell mostly to vegetarian crowd. Wall-mart nowadays sells chicken and turkey raised without hormones and antibiotics because of rising demand. Soviet Union tried to plan everything, but micromanagement of the demand-supply chain didn’t work at all.

      • Blitzkrieg on February 16, 2012 at 12:54

        Tell it to these people: http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm#Number_of_hungry_people_in_the_world

        Of course there are a lot more people who aren’t hungry because they have enough rice and other staple to get by barely. But thats it. No flat TV and no Whiskey in the afternoon.

        How comes that a well travelled guy like you is unable to look further thanhis “front yard”.

        It doesn’t matter if someone can afford 500 or even 1500 calories of the vitamin and mineral densest food there is because medium-term he is going to starve.

      • Blitzkrieg on February 16, 2012 at 12:55

        Galina, I think you missed the point completely. But if you want to call yourself an idiot then please, go ahead. :-)

      • Galina L. on February 16, 2012 at 18:54

        You expected the next commenter to be an idiot , but in order to keep conversation from being completely pointless , probably it would be unreasonable to dwell on it.
        From reading your comments , I got an impression that you are a “nothing could be done ” person. My point was that problems are usually being solved only after a society demands a resolution. Why did you bring the numbers of hungry over the world? World hunger is not a problem here. Until so many people are content to live on rice, corn, soy , there is no enough demand to convert an agricultural land into a pasture. I am talking about people here, in USA, hungry people all over the world press no demand on what is going on here , and the amount of hunger in the Asia, for example, makes no difference for our buying decisions. Yes, they barely manage to have enough rice, sad , but what do you expect people in the US to do about it? If enough customers demand enough pastured dairy farmers will produce more pastured dairy. People in USA spent very small portion of their income on food, more people would buy higher quality food if they decide it is worth it.

      • Greg on February 17, 2012 at 00:25

        Ok, Blitz, I’m no expert, but I do know that it takes more energy to grow our crops than they return (I’m too lazy to look up the numbers at the moment). Not sustainable. Large and growing dead zones in our seas and oceans from nitrogen runoff, also not sustainable. Don’t forget that much of world hunger stems from political cises and war, not merely food production issues. And finally, cows are not the only source of meat. Biodiversity=good and sustainable, monoculture=bad, eventual Armageddon.

      • Blitzkrieg on February 17, 2012 at 06:57

        I was simply trying to answer (for myself too) why government and affiliated entities propagate the “food pyramid” contrary to known scientific facts. Even when all of this “fat is bad” started nearly 60 years ago, there were enough people opposing this paradigma.

        Evidence even was manipulated: http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/02/cholesterol-presentation-between.html

        Of course there is a financial benefit to some which of course then try to lobby the “right” facts. Even if there was none the government hat to be opposed because of the implications of prapagating a meat based diet.

        I just tried to find out what those implications might be on a greater scale. This has nothing to do with any problems I might have or not or a “nothing could be done” approach. After all people die of hunger right this time who don’t care about a “yeah-CHACKA-everythings-positive-and-gonna-be-good “attitude”. Sometimes reality is what it is. (“Sometimes” of course in a sarcastic meaning.)

    • Sarah Jane on February 14, 2012 at 11:32

      I’m really confused about some of your numbers. Where are you getting 220 calories/kg for beef? 49,500 kcal/cow seems really, really low.

      • Blitzkrieg on February 14, 2012 at 13:10

        You are right, I forgot a zero. It has to be 2.200 calories per kg and 495.000 per cow. So we go up from 0.5% to 5% of calories provided by crop. For fucks sake, lets say 20% because of maybe other mistakes I made.

        @Richard: Could you please correct my calculation?

      • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2012 at 14:56

        I appended the correction to the quote.

    • Shane on February 15, 2012 at 09:20

      Wonder what percentage of all those crops currently go to feeding animals, biofuels and other non food uses? As they aren’t then being used to feed people, does it make sense to compare total crop yield in calories to estimated total beef yield in calories? I also wonder how much waste is in there (I think it’s pretty high) and how much “hunger” could be eliminated with more efficient delivery & waste reduction.

      Wouldn’t one also have to factor in all the animals that can share pasture with the cows that can provide extra calories.

      Then we have all the marginal grazing lands we could use for other breeds like sheep & goats.

      Can’t forget the pigs, who can conceivably be kept almost anywhere and fed a wide variety of food sources. I wonder how many calories could be obtained simply feeding pigs restaurant waste alone. We have 4 different types of garbage and recycling right now, could conceivably make it a fifth and have food scraps from homes sent to feed pigs?

      Backyard production of food could also factor in. Everyone with a pair of their own laying hens?

      I don’t think the cure for world hunger is to stop eating animals or even reducing our animal consumption. It seems to me that the biggest issues are waste & delivery of food to hungry people.

  13. IcarianVX on February 14, 2012 at 09:23

    How much of your crop yield went to feeding people?

    I burn about 2 tons of corn per year in my corn stove and utilize at least 300 gallons of biodiesel made from rapeseed (usually). The 300 gallons works out to about 2.5 acres of rapeseed used (http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_yield.html). I can’t find specific numbers for how many calories of rapeseed are produced per acre, but there is a general idea of 1 ton per acre here:

    So if we use those numbers, we are looking at 4.5 tons of “crops” as you have called them. At your calculation of 3,200,00 calories per ton, you can remove 14,400,000 calories just from me getting from point A to B and keeping my ass warm all winter.

    Just doing my part to kill off ecosystems.

    Oh, and the corn that I source comes from a local, non-GMO corn that is grown specifically for feeding cattle.

    • Blitzkrieg on February 14, 2012 at 10:58

      By “crop” I mean corn, wheat, rice, barley, rye, millet and oat. Source is

      Worldwide fuel production from crops is estimated at about 110 million tons. That equals 5% of total production which is not really a significant factor.

      • Tom Higgins on February 14, 2012 at 13:49

        2 more things to consider in your calculations –

        1) How much of that crop land is currently devoted to feeding cattle anyway?

        2) Meat comes from more than beef – it also comes from sheep, goats, rabbits, elk, deer, moose, alligator, goose, duck, chicken, salmon, trout, bass,… Not all sources of protien require arable land to produce. Even the herbavores can eat from places that you could never plant a crop.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2012 at 15:07

        You forgot bugs, by far the largest source of protein on earth. Termites alone dwarf the entire rest of the human and non-human animal population in terms of sheer mass.

        This is one area where some form of processing might be worthwhile, in order to render the source more palatable.

      • Razwell on February 14, 2012 at 15:56

        Awesome point. Humans ate PLENTY of insects, and they are superb nutrition. Termites grub worms- all stuff Les Stroud ( Survivor Man) would recommend LOL !

        I am sure Paleolithic humans exploited bugs and insects, eggs etc. They were probably huge insectivorous, at least in the tropics.

      • gallier2 on February 15, 2012 at 05:33

        You forgot pigs, how could you have forgotten pigs? Half of Europe and Asia would starve if it magically disappeared.

      • Blitzkrieg on February 16, 2012 at 09:58

        The idea was to turn land used for producing “plant-food” into land used for sustainable meat production _PALEO STYLE_! So the cattle are perfectly in line with the (here and elsewhere) propagated “paleo-way” of eating free-range organic grass-fed beef.

        So one idiot then starts with mass-producing dairy which can’t even be consumed by 75% of world population and would be far too expensive even if it could be.

        Some other guys then start with growing insects on shit as a viable possibility. I don’t even know what to say to that and this is a rare occurence.

        And last but not least here he is, the devout pig lover. Whats next? Mobile milking stations for male pigs as a viable source of providing protein to the people?

      • Richard Nikoley on February 16, 2012 at 10:15

        You know what?

        I have become weary of your continual condescending tone. I’m used to taking it myself, but your constant referring to other commenters as “geniuses,” idiots, stupid, etc. has now run its course and you are banned for life here.

        Nobody ever gets a second chance.

      • Galina L. on February 16, 2012 at 13:28

        O, no, Richard, I just offended that moron with a remark that he shouldn’t approach world problems because he couldn’t solve his own ones and hoped he would take my bite, but you managed to ban him first!
        Rest in piece in a spam filter, Blitzkrieg.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 16, 2012 at 14:12

        Alright, everyone starts off on a new foot.

    • IcarianVX on February 14, 2012 at 09:25

      I don’t mean my comments to be contradicting yours. Just illustrating that the calories per acre thing may or may not be all it’s cracked up to be as an argument.

  14. Rocco Privetera on February 14, 2012 at 09:25

    Richard: re your comment on chickens on arable land, I’d love to see some data (or at least the math) by someone like you or a farmer on comparison of chickens vs grains per acre coupled with your nutrient density comparisons you do. I think that would be a helluva one-two punch.

    A quick internet search shows me 30-50 bushels of grain per acre (let’s say 40) at 60 lbs per bushel = 2400 lbs which renders into about 1680 lbs of flour. x1400 calories per lb = 2352000 calories.

    Meanwhile I’m finding a lot of variance on cows per acre (anywhere between .2 cows to 2, in this case pairs of cow/calves) so let’s say 1 cow. A meat cow (again, a quick search) gives 715 lb carcass that supposedly 150 lbs of fat and bone are trimed off of for retail which I’m going to include (why toss the yummy fat and bone?). 800 calories per lb of lean grassfed beef. This equals 572000 calories. Per year? Not sure.

    That’s about a quarter. Given the nutritional data (and the fact that I am totally ignorant about how many cows per year and, well, math) it’s easily a break even calculation in terms of protein and nutrients (in protein cals the cow has x5). Which defeats the “grain is better than cows per acre” mindset.

    And that’s not even scratching the surface. All the casual websites I browsed to get the above suggested running chickens and goats in the same space, which would up those calcs for meat even more. Factor in all the land available for grazing not suitable for planting. Factor in land improved by animals on it.

    Of course we’re talking sustainable farms (not one with 50 cows in vats on one acre). But in any event, the dry “plants better per acre” math could stand some light.

    One might argue that the cals in carbs is 5-6 times higher lb for lb in terms of pure calories, to which I reply, this isn’t a race to grow lbs of poison, you know? it’s a race to grow lbs of food. If my land only grows a quarter as many lbs of meat as it does lbs of gut-wrecking gluten, well, good?

  15. Rocco Privetera on February 14, 2012 at 09:27

    LOL – three internet nerds slinging numbers with three different outcomes.

    • Sean on February 14, 2012 at 09:52

      Yeah, I’m totally digging it. I would like to see a definitive answer on this and I find all the stats and responses quite interesting.

    • IcarianVX on February 14, 2012 at 10:09

      Yeah – we are trying to wrap our heads around it and it is winding up weird. Good discussion though.

  16. ari-free on February 14, 2012 at 09:44

    The efficacy of the Mediterranean diet (high in legumes and low in saturated fat) is demonstrated by real science (i.e controlled double blind studies) and not ‘evolutionary’/Romantic assumptions (the low fat vegans use the same evolution argument to claim we should eat just like gorillas and chimps!), self-experimentation and just plain guesswork.
    I’ll stick with empirical science.

  17. Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2012 at 10:58

    “The efficacy of the Mediterranean diet (high in legumes and low in saturated fat) is demonstrated by real science”

    Indeed, and I never knock a Mediterranean-style diet, and I say style because I’ve lived in the south of France and travelled all over France, Italy, Spain and Greece and the diets are highly varied. What’s common is that they contain lots of fresh, real food, plenty of animal products and they are not particularly low in saturated fat (particularly for the French). Similarly, since humans migrated all over the Earth, from equator to arctic, high altitudes with different food sources in each environment, there’s no one “paleo diet.”

    But absolutely. If I didn’t eat Paleo my diet would be more like a south of France Med diet. I did well eating that way for 2 years in the early 90s and recall that upon my return to the states I put on 10-15 pounds in very short order. In a sense, my actual diet is very close to Med, primarily eliminating the pasta, bread and sugar and replacing those calories with more nutrient dense calories like meat, fish, fowl and the like.

    “…and not ‘evolutionary’/Romantic assumptions (the low fat vegans use the same evolution argument to claim we should eat just like gorillas and chimps!), self-experimentation and just plain guesswork.”

    That’s quite a conflation. Regarding what actual h. Sapiens likely ate over the last 200K years is nothing like arguing we should eat like chimps.

    The other problem with your reasoning is that self-experimentation is entirely valid and in many cases superior to clinical intervention research. That’s because all such research has a distribution of effects on individuals. No matter how you slice it, you’re going to have to determine if or how any particular intervention works in your individual case. And c’mon, check out the thousands of testimonies from paleo folks on the various forums and success categories on this blog and others, like Sisson or Wolf. Check out some of my video interviews with some of these people. In most cases, it not only involves weight loss but normalized blood pressure, blood glucose, autoimmune disorders, digestive issues, etc.

    And it makes perfect sense this would be so, just as it makes perfect sense that if you were feeding a lion grains and veggies and switched him over to offal & meat, his health would improve.

    OK, so now let’s check the science. Here are links to research of pitting a Paleo diet head to head with a Mediterranean diet, and links to analysis of those studies by Dr. Stephen Guyenet, an obesity researcher.

    A Palaeolithic diet improves glucose tolerance more than a Mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischaemic heart disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17583796

    A paleolithic diet is more satiating per calorie than a mediterranean-like diet in individuals with ischemic heart disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21118562

    Paleolithic Diet Clinical Trials. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/10/paleolithic-diet-clinical-trials.html

    Paleolithic Diet Clinical Trials Part II. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/10/paleolithic-diet-clinical-trials-part.html

    Paleolithic Diet Clinical Trials, Part V. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2011/01/paleolithic-diet-clinical-trials-part-v.html

  18. O Primitivo on February 14, 2012 at 11:45

    The problem with nutritionists (and journalists wannabe nutritionists) is that they don’t have a clue of what they’re talking about, and that, even if one puts all the relevant information in front of them, they still don’t get it. So one must conclude they’re just plain studid, or they haven’t studied yet enough (or none) epidemiology, biostatistics, human evolution, biology, immunology, anthopology, etc. Or both!

    • LeonRover on February 14, 2012 at 12:41

      Well said ,O Primativo.

      Alexander Pope noted same in1709:

      A little learning is a dangerous thing;
      drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
      there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
      and drinking largely sobers us again.

      (Beware those shallow draughts – they will not float your boat.)

      I, for one, miss your blog: you brought many interesting items to my attention.

      A belated Thank you.

      You usually managed to bring som

  19. Razwell on February 14, 2012 at 12:39

    You’re right, Richard about exercise being for health, and not substantially reducing body weight long term. Kudos.

    This Jennifer woman’s advice is not at all congruent with a pioneering scientist such as Dr. Douglas Coleman.

    I have seen plenty of fat amateur marathon finishers in my life. The elite professional guys have the naturally lean build to start with.

    P.S. There’s an Internet guru who displayed his lack gross of knowledge of the scientific literature on exercise and weight loss , who has recently attacked Dr. Eades again. I’m sure you’ll see this person’s article . LOL !

  20. Todd Watson on February 14, 2012 at 12:49

    Well, maybe if she waited the length of time she felt comfortable with while also ON a Paleo diet, she would see results much sooner. Instead, she is preaching the SAD fire-and-brimstone sermon. I always feel these people are like politicians and in cahoots with big business. Otherwise, they would be more skeptical. How can you NOT be more skeptical in this day and age regardless of dietary belief?

  21. rob on February 14, 2012 at 15:10

    As far as sustainable goes, I don’t see how that is even a factor. I have maybe 30 years of life left, I think I can be excused for being egocentric in what I choose to consume … I’m going to choose to eat what best suits my needs.

    A mentally ill person might object “Yes but if everyone on the planet chose to eat as you do, bad things will happen …”

    I’m not responsible for everyone on the planet, and I’m not responsible for the global ecology, I’ll be gone in the cosmic equivalent of the blink of an eye … during that blink of an eye in deciding what to have for dinner I think I can be excused for eating something that suits my goals, rather eating what, in highly disputed theory, might suit generations of other people’s yet unborn children.

    I eat a steak, and in 2050 someone in India dies?

    The “sustainable” argument is the strongest possible evidence that arguments regarding diet in the U.S. are not based on reason, they are based on a form of mass hysteria … those people need a shrink, not a dietician.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2012 at 15:24

      I think the sustainability argument is a red herring, since in no way is everyone ever going to eat like this, or even close. You can take India pretty much out of the equation, since it’s a largely vegetarian country, based on thousands of years of culture and religion. Asia is not going to be a big factor because they like their rice and evidence suggests to me that rice is not a large negative factor in health like wheat is.

      And I have my doubts about corn, too, being all that bad, especially if prepared by soaking/sprouting first, as they do in many healthful regions of South America. I eat organic corn tortillas now and then, sprouted, and with nothing but corn, water and lime juice.

  22. Alexandra on February 14, 2012 at 15:53

    It will be difficult for most Dietitians to keep an open mind. In order for them to fully make the switch, they will need to acknowledge that much of what they learned in college and beyond, and have based their careers on, is wrong. Dietitians will also have to face the fact that what they have been telling people to eat and feeding people (as in institutional dietitians) each and every day of their working lives, has, at the very least, done their patients no good and quite often has harmed them… Not to mention the countless patients that have deteriorated, suffered and died early because they believed that the therapeutic diet ordered for their diabetes or heart disease, or whatever, was based in solid science when it actually wasn’t.

  23. rob on February 14, 2012 at 16:08

    Eating meat, with a side order of conflicting emotions


    Finally a journalist gets it right, it’s not about health, it’s about emotions.

    • Sean on February 15, 2012 at 05:50

      I think you are spot on rob.

      Also I had to laugh at this

      “We’re schizoid, as a culture, on meat eating,” notes writer Michael Pollan, who has grappled with this own internal conflicts on the consumption of animal flesh. “We love the taste and what having lots of meat has always signified — status, wealth — but at the same time it’s hard to overlook the high cost of meat-eating: to the environment, to the workers, to the animals and to our own health. It’s no wonder we’d be conflicted.”

      The workers? Pollan is such a Marxist idiot. Whenever I eat a steak I think of the terrible cost to the workers of the world. They should like unite or something. And yes, having access to a nutrient dense food has signified status. So has having a house to live in. I don’t feel conflicted about wanting or having either one.

      • Sean on February 15, 2012 at 05:51

        Meh, blockquote fail.

      • Joseph on February 16, 2012 at 08:28

        Does Pollan live in a tent eating only what vegetable matter he can scrounge, drinking standing water from cesspools? Does he feel guilty because some people cannot even manage to stay alive this way? Does he feel guilty every time he uses his two arms (since some people have only one, or worse, none)? Does he feel guilty for every step he takes (since some people lack legs)? I appreciate the place of compassion that he is coming from, but there needs to be a rational push-back against the guilt he is peddling. Feeling guilty does not do people good: it makes the healthy sick (when they punish themselves), and leaves the miserable folk miserable still. (I can flagellate myself all day, but this won’t give clean water to anyone in Africa. Bitching and moaning about my having two strong arms is not going to make things in any way better for me or for an amputee.)

        I see Galina beat me to the same point (below).

      • Galina L. on February 15, 2012 at 06:51

        People did number of stupid things in the name of social justice or some other utopias . Why to put your own health in a disadvantage? People who try to be saints are really annoying and not completely harmless, very often they cause more damage then others who just take care about themselves and their families and do not try to solve global problems on personal level. It is unnatural and un-paleo to be engaged in a self-sacrifice in order to follow an idealistic idea. Social guilt? I have non, it is not my responsibility to think how low income people spent what they have. What is next? Try to avoid sex because some people have a dysfunction of erection?

      • Sean on February 15, 2012 at 08:28

        “What is next? Try to avoid sex because some people have a dysfunction of erection?”

        You mean to say you don’t feel guilty when you have sex? What are you, some sort of monster?

        Galina, this had me really laughing. The non-native English word order makes it all the much better. I can picture my no-nonsense Czech wife saying the exact same thing.

      • Galina L. on February 15, 2012 at 10:10

        You are welcome, Sean. The more I live in an English-speaking environment, the more I am falling in love with the language, it is a joy to read and hear efficiently-constructed sentences. It didn’t make me a perfect user yet, I started a little bit late – after 32 years old. My ascent is another issue, people don’t seem to mind much but I do.

        I think we, who spent some years in socialistic utopia like me and your wife, developed more intolerance to nonsense because we had way too much of it . Here is the possible root of the no-nonsense approach. I feel in my mind to be less politically correct than many people around me here in USA. There is pointless to steam over social injustice. Life is unfair, it is normal, get the best of it personally.

      • Sean on February 15, 2012 at 11:52

        Isn’t ironic that the people who grew up in socialist “utopias” are the most practical and realistic?

      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2012 at 12:31

        There are a million ideas and integrations packed into that simple realization, Sean.

        Or, how come a Vietnamese boat person who had to be rescued by the US Navy in the south china sea gets to the US and is a multi-millionaire inside of a few years?

      • Galina L. on February 15, 2012 at 12:51

        There is too much religion here, especially in the South. The only people who are skeptical of religion among those I met here are ones graduated from catholic schools. It is ironic as well that catholic schools are doing as fine job of raising atheists as socialistic governments raising generations of no-nonsense people.
        It may be useful to come to the realization how little you should trust others and how much rely on yourself. Disappointment works like immunization shot.

      • Sean on February 16, 2012 at 04:36

        I was talking about this with a friend the other day and had an interesting realization on this.

        The thing about communism was that just about no one took it seriously. Here at least it was a big joke. The problem with socialism is that people really believe in it. People really believe that we need a nanny-state or there’ll be starving hordes of children roaming the streets with machetes or something. Also, people think if we could just take all that money away from the evil super-rich (except Michael Moore) and give it to the poor, everything would be perfect.

      • Galina L. on February 16, 2012 at 05:43

        At least now we know what would happen is we take money from the reach and give it to poor. Nothing good. Former poor stop being poor because they have money now , but that wouldn’t cure their hunger for more money because they are still hungry and poor in their head, which makes them super greedy. How would you like such combination in a government official? The another nonsense I hate is the notion that poor people would govern , and former kitchen aid should be able to govern. Now one seemed to understand than former cook would just turn into ignorant bureaucrat. Such ideas result only in the rise of the amount of ignorant clerks with exaggerated sensation of a self-importance, who just can’t understand that micromanagement stop working when the object of management reaches certain level of complicity(among with many other things). Instead of self-government we have now the rise of army of ignorant bureaucrats. There is a social mobility in a normal society, and people who were low-class and among disadvantaged could move upward due to their talents, but is a completely different thing when dirt-poor individuals are considered morally pure and are moved up just on general principle.
        I am sorry socialism happened in my country and spread over other countries, but sometimes I think it was necessary for humanity to conduct such experiment in order to determine the value of utopian dreams. It didn’t work in every single country. Sstill some people are blind. I think vegetarianism is another utopian experiment but in the field of nutrition. The same desperate attempt to make some unnatural thing work by bunch of idealistic fanatics.
        Sorry, I really went on rants recently.

      • Joseph on February 16, 2012 at 08:31

        I like your insight, Sean. We are destined to believe the lies we have not disproven to ourselves.

  24. David on February 14, 2012 at 20:36

    What I find most amusing is that a person with a B.S. in Nutrition, Food, and Agriculture (hmm…how tied is this degree to neolithic farming?) is saying someone with a Ph.D. in Exercise Science on the Health & Exercise Science faculty at a major university and doing research in nutrition and exercise doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  25. Didier on February 15, 2012 at 02:06

    Hey. You stated, in the article, that -while it’s great for a number of reasons- exercise has absolutely nothing to do with being reasonably healthy and lean. Now I’m new to paleo and still trying to figure out what’s best for me. I believe I’ve sorted out my diet well enough and have learned what works and what doesn’t. However, I’m also very lazy and hate exercise. I once read an article by Taubes in which he stated that it’s what we eat and our own body’s make-up that determine how active we are; thus the jock isn’t working harder than the couch potato, he’s just predisposed to be more active. My question is: Can I rely on diet alone to get a 6-pack, or must I exercise? If I must, how much and how intensely?
    I’m an 18-yr old, 6-ft, male who currently weighs 75kgs (and because I have no history of exercising or engaging in sports, there’s very little muscle to account for those 75kgs, it’s mostly just fat as far as I know).

    • Galina L. on February 15, 2012 at 06:31

      It is important not to be a sedentary person. In many countries people stay healthy just by moving a lot during their day. I think one hour of exercise a day and 23 hours of sitting or sleeping is unhealthy as well. Make sure you do not spend all your time on your butt.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2012 at 08:32


      Exercise is a big topic, lots of things to do. You might find something you like and not have to spend lots of time at it. This is one reason I like deadlifts. Super compound, you can do them heavy, so like 2 sets of 5 reps per week is enough.

      How about walking, or taking a hike in moderately hilly terrain?

      How about a few sets of pushups and pull-ups per week?

      • Didier on February 15, 2012 at 13:44

        I walk about 6 km a day, to go to college and back to my place. I’ve never thought of it as exercise, per se. I can do at least 10 pushups per day. And maybe a few dumbell squats. I don’t want to give myself a lot to do, since I have a history of quitting exercise after the novelty has worn off (after 3days-1week).
        Do you think that’s a good enough program?

      • Didier on February 15, 2012 at 13:47

        It seems to me that what you’re suggesting is more of a warm-up than actual exercise. I’m used to thinking of exercise as hours spent in the gym.
        Does paleo make you more ripped with less intense and shorter exercise?

      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2012 at 13:48

        I firmly believe that walking and hiking hilly terrain is the most paleo exercise of all.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2012 at 13:49

        Oh, and on short walks, carry something heavy, like a deer carcass.

      • Didier on February 15, 2012 at 14:12

        Great! I’ll add 15 kgs of metal to my backpack.

      • Didier on February 15, 2012 at 14:13

        I’ll actually try it.

      • Didier on February 15, 2012 at 14:13

        at least once.

      • Michael on February 16, 2012 at 09:47

        Richard, You just reminded me to order one of the following. May be a better option for walking around the neighborhood than a deer carcass.


      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2012 at 13:55

        I assumed you were familiar with my exercise regime. Never more than an hour per week. 2 sessions, 30 min each, but make it count.

        You lift fuckimg heavy.

      • Didier on February 15, 2012 at 14:14

        10 kgs – 15kg dumb-bell exercises is all I can afford right now.
        How long before I start to see results?

      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2012 at 15:56

        If you you don’t get sore, you’re not seeing results.

      • Galina L. on February 16, 2012 at 10:01

        I am not sure you will be interested in my advice, but look at Yoga without prejudgement. First of all , think about all hot girls who are usually in a yoga class, but be aware some are vegetarians. Secondly, it really tones your core muscles (6 packs included) and upper body, just make sure to find the right instructor who could make class engaging for guys. Out of all things I did, yoga is something what I can be done better and better year after year after year. You would never regret it.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2012 at 16:33

        I have never spent more than an hour in the gym since this began. Twice a week, 30 minutes, lift heavy and make it count.

      • Blitzkrieg on February 16, 2012 at 10:05

        Google “crossfit” and look at the pictures. This is how you get to look with short (like 15 minutes) but very intense exercise. I personally think it unlikely fot the majority of people to look “ripped” without exercise. On the other hand its also unlike to win the lottery but some people do beat the odds.

        If you look lika a coat-hanger with skin on it you certainly won’t get any more muscle by just eating “the right way”.

    • Shane on February 15, 2012 at 09:27

      No 6 pack abs from sitting on the couch. I tried.

      • Didier on February 15, 2012 at 13:37


      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2012 at 13:42


        Now get your lazy ass off the couch, Didier!

      • Galina L. on February 16, 2012 at 10:04

        I hate to admit my 19 yo son looks like a guy with 6 packs doing nothing for it physically (lazy brat). He eats Paleo, though.

  26. Tony Mach on February 15, 2012 at 04:14

    Dear Dr. Free Animal,

    I went on a Paleo low-carbish diet a year ago. My Cholesterol was 212 before I changed my diet. Unfortunately I don’t know my HDL/LDL of back then, as it wasn’t tested. Today I got the result of my latest blood tests. The Cholesterol is now at 262. The HDL is at 47.5. The LDL is at 165.

    Furthermore, have gone from 94 kg to today 87 kg and I am unable to loose any more weight.

    What should I do? Please advise me based on your personal gut feeling and your lack of scientific studies. The only answer I want to hear is to ignore the HDL and LDL in my case. After all, if HDL and LDL are good, it is caused by Paleo (and the Paleo community takes credit for it), and if it is awful we can ignore it. Right?

    Relativistic regards,
    Tony Mach

    • rob on February 15, 2012 at 05:57

      You need to stop getting your cholesterol tested, nothing good ever comes of it.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2012 at 08:54


      Here’s my past posts on cholesterol:


      A recent 3-part interview with Chris Masterjohn on Cholesterol:


      Of particular note, here’s what Masterjohn wrote on his own blog regarding part 3 of the series:


      “My latest podcast interview with Chris Kresser is now up. We discuss therein what I consider the most likely reasons why someone switching to an ancestral diet would develop cholesterol levels outside the range of non-industrialized populations eating traditional diets rich in saturated fat and low in polyunsaturated fat, the upper range of which I consider to be about 220-250 for total cholesterol, with increases being of concern primarily when they are either greatly elevated above this range or when they are more moderate but constituted primarily by an increase of non-HDL-cholesterol so that the total-to-HDL-cholesterol ratio increases substantially.

      “We discuss these not as causes of heart disease, but as metabolic markers. For that reason, we discuss “good” reasons why this might happen transiently (such as correcting obesity or fatty liver) and “bad” reasons why it might happen more permanently, the latter of which require corrective action. These “bad” reasons mainly include hypothyroidism secondary either to an elevated ratio of plant goitrogens to iodine (which I discussed in great detail in my Thyroid Toxins Special Report) or to excessive carbohydrate restriction.”

      Hope that helps. BTW, Masterjohn’s blog generally is a wealth of info on cholesterol. As far as creatine and urea, go, no idea but it’s not impossible I suppose that there’s some relation.

      Bottom line is that I have no idea whether or not you should be concerned, whether this is indicative of an underlying problem needing attention, or whether it’s a good thing.

      My gut feeling, if you will, is that you are probably restricting carbs too much, especially if you’re not losing weight. You’re probably not losing weight because you’re eating about the amount that someone at 87kg would eat at your activity level. In other words, when you went paleo at 94kg the added satiation got you to spontaneously reduce your intake, and the weight came off. You might need to experiment with restricting calories or intermittent fasting.

      Any idea what your caloric intake has been and your macronutrient ratios?

      Best wishes.

      • Shane on February 15, 2012 at 09:29

        That was a very decent response to an obvious troll.

      • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2012 at 09:37

        “always keep ’em guessing.”

        That’s my motto.

      • clarevh on February 15, 2012 at 10:40

        Thanks, Richard!
        Even if Tony wasn’t looking for that kind of response, I’m sure there are plenty of people who appreciate it (me, for one). It reminded me to go listen to those podcasts. I respect both of those guys, and Chris Masterjohn’s research is always enlightening.

    • Razwell on February 16, 2012 at 06:54

      Hi, Tony :)

      I would recommend that you look into Dr. Rader’s work on HDL efflux capacity. There are plenty of cultures with very LOW HDL’s who seem top be in great cardiovascualr health and do not have events much. Please look into Dr. Steven Nissen lecture where he discusses Apo A1 A Milano and a tiny village in Italy where evrybody has an HDL of only 21 or so but almost zero coronary artery disease. The elderly have very flexible arteries. ( the lecture is on my blog )

      This ” very low HDL , but super low coronary events” thing has recently been a common theme I have heard. Dr. Esselsyn and Dr. Furhman ( don;t worry, I am not vegan ) have commented on this AS WELL as Dr. Steven Nissen. Science is a group effort and this very intersting observation IS worth noting. I do believe they are all on to something.

      The original cholesterol hypothesis and the traditional cholesterol tests tell us NOTHING about our risk, nor do they predict events. They are outdated. However, the tests for HDL efflux capacity is not out and when it is it will be expensive most likely.

      As somebody who likes to be a good scientist, I am not ready to throw away ALL things lipoprotein completely .

      I am allowing for the possibility that there IS validity possibly to HDL efflux capacity and LDL particle sizes. But Ancel Keys and the AHA , as well as the NCEP sponsored fraud is agenda driven speculation and arbitrary numbers.

      Don;t stress about traditional cholesterol tests :) If you are eating in a way that does not damage the delicate endothelium, and you produce very abundant nitric oxide in your arteries , you should have low risk. Dark green leafy veggies are superb for arteries.

      Take care,


  27. Tony Mach on February 15, 2012 at 04:21

    Plus, I forgot, creatinine and urea are increased. I didn’t know the values before going Paleo, but I plan to ignore them, as they have clearly nothing to do with Paleo. I just know. Please confirm to ignore these values.

  28. Galina L. on February 15, 2012 at 06:24

    During his first year in university my son was required to use a meal plan. He spent $2000 per semester in the cafeteria and also some more money eating out of campus. This year he switched on a Paleo and spent $800 of cash during his first semester on everything personal hygiene items included. Probably, he didn’t spent his money wisely all the time, but nothing is more wasteful than eating prepared and prepackaged food. I always wander how people on food stamps can afford breakfast cereals .

  29. Christoph Dollis on February 16, 2012 at 01:50

    Kind of sort of related to take-downs, or maybe a climb-down.

    Watch and listen to what Dr. Oz says at the 2:12 mark.

    Did he actually admit that out loud?
    Note:you can find links to part 1 and part 3 of the Stella family on Dr. Oz here.

    • Christoph Dollis on February 16, 2012 at 01:53

      Sorry everybody! I messed up the first of the two links in my comment. Here is the link to Dr. Oz’s admission:

      Watch and listen to what Dr. Oz says at the 2:12 mark.

    • Christoph Dollis on February 16, 2012 at 01:55

      Grrrr. I thought I knew how to do this.


      Watch and listen to what Dr. Oz says at the 2:12 mark.

    • Razwell on February 18, 2012 at 09:02

      Nice link, Christoph.

      But, right after that admission by Oz , they do the soy nonsense. LOL !

      There is this guy on my block who became vegan and eats a lot of soy over the last year or so. He is SO fem now. Very substantial change from what he used to be. Very fem legs and lower body from what he used to be.

      I named him “soy buttocks . ” LOL !!!!!!

  30. Richard Jones on February 15, 2012 at 11:59

    The sustainability for the world is such a hypothetical cop out bullshit arguement. The fact that someone is willing to research piles of internet sourced data to spit out arguements by GROSSLY over simplifying the subject is sickening. Yet so many people do so in order to try and overwhealm the opppsing side with inssurmountable data that isnt even relevant. Someone wants to sound smart to be the ‘GOTHCA!’ Hero of their belief.
    Not everyone in the world will change, not every animal or crop is used the same, and not every piece of land will be used the same; just to BEGIN to point out conflicting variables. Its not simple, and it will never be more than a theoretical situation.

    See how I tried to use big words, probably misspelled :-), to sound semi-intelligent? ( Prob not, really )


    • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2012 at 12:37

      WORD^2 Richard Jones.

      • marie on February 15, 2012 at 13:44

        Well, as for existing numbers, here’s the official ones from the UN for crop land, rangeland and pasture, worldwide of course (external tid-bit: unlike us here, there are many parts of the world, eg. Australia, where Most of their meat is range or pasture fed).

        Most of the useful numbers are in the first couple of pages.
        This is a sustainability report, so among many effects like water usage etc, they also calculate what would happen (how many people fed/or not) if you switch the {crop+rangeland} that is currently used for animal feed over to crops for human consumption. But that’s the only ‘switch’ type calculation that they do (not, for.eg. calculating the effect of maybe switching more crop lands to rangeland) -so other calculations we’d have to do on our own.
        But they do conclude with at least two interesting recommendation, among many, that as a whole the world needs to Decrease feeding animals cereals (!) and that the world needs to ” Support farmers in developing diversified and resilient eco-agriculture systems”.
        Here’s also the link direct to the conclusions page :
        From their mouth to God’s ear? (ooops, what can I say, age-old meme :-)

  31. Trish on February 15, 2012 at 17:20

    Talk to a vegan and this is what you’ll learn (other than that they’re complete fucking morons):

    1. They are city dwellers or live in a college town. If you find a vegan in the country, they will still have been city-born or lived in an urban environment for a while but they want to be all crunchy and grow their own food. The chances of them having lived in New York, San Francisco, Portland, OR, Seattle or DC at one point or desperately wanting to live in one of those places is disproportionately high.

    2. They are invariably under the age of 40. Every once in a while you’ll stumble across one in their fifties. You can tell because they look 70.

    3. If they’re male, look for the vegan girlfriend standing close by. The power of pussy for male pussification purposes is very strong.

    4. They are from the very least an upper-middle-class background and therefore have never known a day of true hardship in their lives.

    5. They rarely eat actual vegetables. Their diets are filled with beans and soy and pasta and Amy’s frozen dinners. Maybe a bagged salad once in a while.

    6. If they brag about their cooking skills their recipes are usually for desserts or some variant of pizza or fake meat. They also love their condiments–salsa, hot sauce, mustards, sriracha, etc.

    7. They will blame any of their numerous physical ailments on genetics, age or the weather, even if they inadvertently let it slip that they hadn’t experienced an ailment before going vegan (this applies mainly to dental issues in my experience).

    8. The younger they are, the more likely they’ve been raised by the first generation of parents who were told that their kid would shoot up a high school or not make it into Harvard if he/she were told “no” or was subjected to any sort of rejection, failure or criticism.

    BTW this article comes from the paper in Fredericksburg, VA, about midway between my current hometown of Richmond and DC. It frequently advertises itself as a DC suburb. The pretentiousness spreads southward …

    • Richard Nikoley on February 15, 2012 at 17:37

      Trish, a bit confused by your last para. Is the comment origina to you? If so , you just wrote part of the next FTA blog post.

    • Razwell on February 16, 2012 at 06:56

      LMAO @ 40 but look 70. SO true. LOL !!!!!!!!

  32. 1 month NO CARB diet ... anyone has tried? - Part 2 - Page 546 - www.hardwarezone.com.sg on February 15, 2012 at 18:08

    […] post from Richard Nickoley as usual…hahah Too explicit to post here though Let's Take Down Another Know-Nothing Dietitian/Journalist: Jennifer Motl | Free The Animal Read the comments […]

  33. Trish on February 15, 2012 at 18:52

    The last paragraph was about the origin of Jennifer Motl’s column, sorry for the confusion. Everything else is me. What can I say, vegans amuse me.

  34. Chris on February 15, 2012 at 21:35

    Heh. Richard, whenever you do these posts on dietitians, I notice they are always female, and my animal brain always sends me searching for their pictures. I always find them, and I am always reminded, almost instantly, of the vegan chicks I ‘put in work with’ as the kids say. They’ve always got that crazy look to them, which I was led to believe was passion when I converted to veganism. Really, they’re just hungry. That’s not a sex-starved look, that hunger in their eyes, the slightly-bothered twitch of their lips. They need meat. And not that kind. Which I was glad to oblige. Until, y’know, problems from the diet. Ugh.

    Anyway. Just wanted to get real for a minute. All this science talk was making me feisty!

  35. Richardo on February 16, 2012 at 11:12

    Have you seen the latest shi*t???


    First, meat is unhealthy. Now, eating meat is eomotionally conflicting. This is what Mr. Adam Carolla calls first world problems. When we put emotional attachement towards meat eating, while people in other countries (maybe except India) CRAVE good ol’ animal flesh.

    Delicious AND good for you? There must be a catch…

  36. TheGermanHerman on February 16, 2012 at 13:36

    No seriously, if I promise to keep it civil from now on, would you give me a second chance? After all I think I contributed somewhat to the discussion, didn’t I? And saying that nobody ever really gets a second chance, is again kind of funny considering how you make (made?) your living. So maybe you would reconsider? Please?

    If not then grant me one last question, as I read further above that your favourite exercise is the deadlift. What is your current max rep?

    Answer me that and I promise I will never bother you again, if you really want me gone.

    Best regards my dear Richard

    • Richard Nikoley on February 16, 2012 at 13:47


      Look, I don’t mind harsh dialog here at all, but not when it goes on and on and on. You hit and you run, like I do.

      • Blitzkrieg on February 16, 2012 at 13:50

        Back again. Thanks :-)

      • Richard Nikoley on February 16, 2012 at 13:52

        I still need to find which of your IP addresses I banned but will be able to do that when I get over to me computer.

  37. […] Let’s Take Down Another Know-Nothing Dietitian/Journalist: Jennifer Motl […]

  38. […] Clear Thinking, Drawing Distinctions and North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition vs Steve Cooksey, Diabetes Warrior […]

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