“And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took [a steak], and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.”
An account from Gombe National Park, 2002:
The chimpanzee approached the two women, and at that distance they had no time to run and were too weak to do anything to protect their child, so he took the baby from the girl’s back, and moved off into the forest. When he was next seen, by one of the researchers, he was in a tree and the baby was dead, but after eating only a little portion he left the baby on a branch, descended the tree, and moved away, apparently to avoid the observer. Luckily the male was alone with no other chimps around, and so the researchers were later able to retrieve the baby’s body.
Cannibalism by paleolithic humans is a controversial subject, though neolithic people and pre-humans both seem to have practiced it.
Paleo diet internet forum, 2011, in response to the question, “Is the paleo diet sustainable on a global scale?”
“This more of an argument against overpopulation than against paleo.”
Beyond observing that modern cavemen share with their prehistoric cousins, or at least their televised versions, a difficulty with copulae, both parties to the exchange buy into some weird theory; the questioner that the Australian government does “understand that grains are a ‘new’ food, but they need to push it, or face issues with the food supply.” The other responds by saying, “peak oil/gas are real issues, as is the amount of clean water over the next several generations. As bad as it sounds, the world’s population needs to be decreased significantly.”
One of the paleo diet’s main medical proponents today, and the author of an eponymous book, is Dr. Loren Cordain. He describes it as “the one and only diet that ideally fits our genetic makeup,” and one that our species had used for the past 2.5 million years. The problem with that assertion—and it’s one he still makes in interviews and is widely repeated in the paleo web universe—is that the human species is not 2.5 million years old. The creatures walking around on two legs back then were about four to five feet tall and had brains less than half the size of modern man.
Humans’ dietary habits played an underappreciated role in the development of the species. Anthropologist Richard Wrangham persuasively argued in a 2010 book that it was cooking that spurred the development of the human brain toward its unusually large size, since cooked food requires far less energy to digest. Since then, the next most important change in the human diet is the introduction of baking and fermentation; bread and beer.
Controlled fire is a much older invention than bread; claims for its first widespread use range anywhere from 125,000 years ago to more than a million, whereas baking was not widespread until the Neolithic era (though there’s some evidence Paleolithic humans ate early forms of bread, which is awkward for today’s paleo-dieteers). In terms of boosting humans’ caloric intake, they’re comparable innovations. Abundant evidence exists that they consumed legumes and starches, both of which are forbidden by the paleo diet.
Bread, unlike meat or vegetables, goes hand in hand with civilization. It is the embodiment of social cooperation, of order itself. A sliced loaf is the benchmark invention to which all others are compared. The typical paleo-dieteer seeks to rid him/herself of gluten, and can be identified by an inability to order anything normal from a restaurant menu, turning down hors d’oeuvres, and wearing ridiculous shoes.
Paleo guru and clinical nutrition therapist describes why peanuts are dangerous:
There are hypotheses, but no concrete reason for the increase in allergic response to peanuts. One theory has to do with the aflatoxin present in most of the peanuts (and wheat, rice and other major crops) in the U.S.
Aflatoxin is a poison, and it’s regulated by the FDA. Today’s peanut butter contains vastly less than it did even 20 years ago. There have been no major studies linking it to peanut allergies.
Monsanto takes on something of a demonic status among some aspects of the paleo community.
It’s unfair to focus on the strange nutritional ideas in some aspects of the paleo community; they don’t all share them. But in general I think it’s fair to say most paleo-dieters believe two things:
- The modern system of mass food production is poisonous and/or corrupt
- The paleo diet resembles the diet of prehistoric humans
Both of these things have shades of truth, but are basically dishonest.
Am I saying the paleo diet is for misanthropes? Not exactly, it really is a mostly harmless collection of somewhat conspiratorial nutritional advice, common sense, and a dubious exercise program (stand more at work! lift heavy things!); and some aspects are even healthy. But that rejection of bread often goes along with rejecting society is no coincidence, and if we’re being honest, it helps to explain why the diet appeals to so many libertarians. The extremely circumscribed quality of the paleo diet fits, psychologically, with the paleo diet’s other antisocial aspects, but it comes at the expense of experimentation and variety, things I’ve always thought libertarians valued. They’re not having their cake or eating it either.