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Raw paleo and food re-enactment

Posted Oct 16 2009 10:03pm


OK, I can't help it. Like most bloggers, I sometimes follow links to whoever is feeding into my site.

My stats show 41 feeds to my site from "Raw Paleo" forums.

My impression of the Raw paleo idea and the "hygiene hypothesis" indeed comes from some of the postings on this forum, in addition to having read nearly everything at (which I link to in my resources)

Maybe my impressions are all wrong, so I looked for a central repository of Raw Paleo principles and found this, which sounds like it would be the place to find a Raw Manifesto, if there is one:

Palaeo articles 

«  on: May 19, 2008, 06:42:32 PM »



Here are some articles by the author Ron Hoggan on the negative effects of grain- and dairy-consumption(all from a cooked-palaeo perspectiv):-

I haven't read the whole article linked but it does not seem to have anything to prohibit cooking in it, as the site description admits. 

Is it or is it not a tenet of "Raw Paleo" that one must not cook food and that it is unhealthy to eat cooked food?

If it is not, then what would necessitate a raw paleo subculture? Saying some of your food can be or should be raw, but it's OK to cook some of it, cannot be it, as that fits with both the SAD and every other diet as well.

Who cooks lettuce?

My impression that in the Raw Paleo world the avoidance of heating things is the core principle, and what you are eating is secondary comes from the very structure of this forum.

Here is a list of the different diets that apparently qualify:


Raw Paleo Diet to Suit You 


Omnivorous Raw Paleo Diet

Animal products with some veggies, berries, and non-domesticated, wild fruits added to the mix.

358 Posts 

23 Topics

Last post by  SkinnyDevil

in  Re: Experiment

on  Yesterday at 08:16:32 PM


Carnivorous / Zero Carb Approach 

Not literally zero carb but eating only from the animal kingdom: muscle meats, organs, and fat of sea, sky, and land animals alike -- the raw meat diet for humans.

912 Posts 

83 Topics

Last post by  Paleo Donk

in  Re: How did you transiti...

on  Today at 01:56:54 AM


Wai Dieters

High in fruit; low in a limited selection of animal foods; raw vegetables and dairy are forbidden.

22 Posts 

3 Topics

Last post by  TylerDurden

in  Useful anti-cooking stud...

on June 04, 2009, 09:50:03 PM


Instincto / Anopsology

Eating raw, unprepared and unmixed food - mono-eating.

49 Posts 

2 Topics

Last post by  Iguana

in  Re: Explain INstincto Di...

on July 26, 2009, 05:31:03 AM


Don't tell that other zero carb place, but it looks like some folks here think some vegetables are OK!

Even more horrifying to both of us (VLC and ZC), there is a small group that, adhering to the "raw is most important" theme, seem to think it's a good idea to eat a high-fruit diet, something called the "Wai diet".

Can you see how I get my impressions of the Raw idea?

Now, I read a lot of blogs and forums and this one is no different than most, with some intelligent commentary and some otherwise. Lex has his journal there and I recommend it, it is a good read.

Here are a few comments from a poster there (not Lex) that although amusing, don't tend to disabuse me of my skeptical first impression.

These comments were all made in reference to my writings here.

"In my view, promoting dairy as somehow Paleo is anti-science until someone comes up with at least a shred of evidence that Paleolithic peoples regularly drank milk for at least tens of thousands of years or that it is biochemically identical to suet, marrow, brain or intramuscular fats"

So now the definition of science is that we cannot eat a food unless we prove the impossible. That it is biochemically identical to another food (which since it is not that food, it cannot be). Anyone who reads my "what is panu?" entry sees clearly that I am interested in excluding food where we have evidence of harm. Definitions of "paleo" which just means old, after all, are all over the map. I have defined my terms carefully and until the terms paleolithic and nutrition are copyrighted, I will use them to communicate my ideas freely. I explicitly state my emphasis on metabolism over food re-enactment.

Paleolithic food re-enactment, where no one must eat of any food that cannot be definitively proven to be exactly the same as something extant before the arbitrary date of the birth of agriculture, is an impossible fantasy. Even if you could do it what is the point?

Why eliminate a food or practice without solid contemporary evidence of its harm? Why presume the only criterion of health is provenance and history?

Why make it puposefully harder to eat without compelling evidence of harm?

The syllogism seems to be: Some diseases can be caused by what we eat due due to evolutionary discordance. Some foods have evolutionary discordance because we have not had enough exposure to them for long enough. If you avoid any food we have not eaten for at least hundreds of thousands of years, you will be healthy.

This string of syllogisms has broken links all along the chain, but let me take the easy route and demolish it with one word:


Eating raw honey is biochemically indistinguishable from equicaloric amounts of sucrose refined from cane sugar or beets or high fructose corn syrup from an archer-daniels-midland tank car. It is absolutely certified historically paleolithic as it is as old as bees and the plants they pollinate. Contemporary HGs eat it every chance they get. That it was devoured with relish by any hominid who could find it historically is as reasonable a an assumption as one could make

It is also just as metabolically poisonous to eat pounds of raw honey as an equicaloric amount of mountain dew or coke classic. It will have exactly the same effect on your insulin sensitivity, your liver and your weight.

I invite all paleo food re-enactors to randomize themselves into two groups, one getting (let's keep it reasonable) 40% of calories from completely historically paleolithic honey, and the other getting it from neolithic butter (let it be evil store-bought pasteurized butter from grain fed holsteins, even!).

Come to my clinic in 2 years, and I'll do a free ultrasound guided liver biopsy and have it analyzed by a pathologist at my own expense. This will make a highly publishable scientific paper of great interest, I am confident.

The most important evolutionary discordances are not binary choices of good and bad foods but a parametric deviation from paleolithic patterns of food consumption. This is true for carbohydrates in general, for fructose, and for linoleic acid (which is essential, after all). It may even be true for grass seeds, even though the tolerable amounts are much, much smaller.

"I do not know of a single other scientist or doctor of the now hundreds in the field of Paleolithic/evolutionary nutrition and medicine that agree with his view on this. It is he who has cast aside science and adopted religion in this area, not me."

I guess I and Stephan and Dr. Michael Eades are all in the same church. Along with those ignorant Masai pastoralists. I'd like to see the list of the hundreds of doctors with interest in paleonutrition (however defined). In addition to me, there is Dr. Eades, Dr. Davis (heart scan blog), Dr. T at nephropal (don't know his real name) and Dr. Boyd Eaton who as it happens is also a radiologist. Eaton is the only MD I am aware of who might absolutely prohibit dairy.

"Instead of using his admitted limited knowledge of paleoanthropology as an argument against RPD, the more objective, scientific approach would be to say "I don't know much about paleoanthropology, so I'll just have to say 'I don't know enough about the RPD to comment knowledgeably about it."

I beg your pardon. I have not admitted a lack of knowledge of paleoanthropology because there is nothing to confess. It is indeed my reading in paleoanthropology that makes me so highly skeptical of claims that cooked food is per se unhealthy or historically novel. Where is the peer reviewed literature or symposium making the case that cooking is less than 10,000 years old? I have already stated there is no current clinical evidence for the harm of cooking. Anyone with a full-text peer reviewed article proving such can email me the article through the site and I promise I will review it.

I suspect a possible economic motive here. That is the only rational explanation I can think of. I wouldn't be surprised if his practice is in one of the dairy states. If so, his pronouncements on dairy, like those of the dairy-funded WAPF, become even more suspect and have to be taken with a grain of salt. People like Cordain, Lindeberg, Phinney, Eaton, etc. would then be much more believable on the subject. They do not appear to have any ties to dairy and not surprisingly do not consider it at all Paleo.

So now this genius has proved he hasn't even read my site as it takes exactly one click from "about me" to figure out I am in practice in the dairy state of wisconsin. I am in fact so beholden to our state's dairy industry that I buy all my butter from a cooperative in Minnesota!

My site is entirely self-funded and this jackass has simply exhausted his own credibility by resorting to such a lame ad-hominem.

Finally, anyone who reads here regularly knows my take on dairy in the PaNu scheme.

If you are lactose intolerant, avoid the dairy with lactose.

If you are allergic to milk protein, stick to clarified butter.

If you want to cover the theoretical possibility of immune issues, even after wheat and excess linoleic acid are removed from your diet, then by all means eliminate all dairy and supplement with K2

Until I see evidence that all dairy is dangerous for all people, I refuse to treat it like wheat or fructose.

I refuse to make a blanket warning against a class of foods that are cheap, delicious, available and have huge health benefits for most (if not all) people.  I have had huge success with my approach, and much of it hinges on weaning people off wheat and sugar. I would have had many more failures than successes if I threw out the the dairy baby with the neolithic agent bathwater.

Regarding cooking, I have never uttered or written a single word advocating cooking, I have only defended the heating of food against the claim that cooking makes otherwise healthy food "toxic". There is no rational scientific basis for such a belief.

Don't be a fanatic and think for yourselves.


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