Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nitty Gritty

Okay, for my first topical post, I want to talk about something I've seen Richard Nikoley at Free the Animal refer to as the "Paleo Principle." I felt like he handled it very well, so I'll just summarize and let you follow the link if you're interested.

The fact that a valid scientific theory is predictive is something that the "just a theory" folks misunderstand and mis-state with regular frequency. The fact that Natural Selection is a predictive and valid scientific theory means not that the diets and lifestyles of tribal hunter-gatherers are perfect, but, to use a phrase that is stuck in my head thanks to Daniel Quinn, are "damnably hard to improve upon."

In other words, we were shaped by the "hands of the gods" or the blind forces of natural selection to match our primal diets and lifestyles. Our bodies are molded to be consumers of wild animal and plant food sources, not breads and muffins, not high fructose corn syrup, not Splenda, etc...

That being said (and argued all over the internet. Let's not do it here. We're animals. Lions are animals too. Nobody suggests Lions go vegan for the sake of their health.), here's a post suggesting that it's not just iron and B vitamins that you might have trouble getting as a vegan.

Now for a little clarification on one of the "Big 5."

What fresh meats includes:
Ground beef/lamb/animal of your choice
Steaks of beef/lamb, cuts of uncured pork, chicken pieces, bone-in or not
Seafood (fish, arthropods, bivalves, etc...)
Organ meats (Whatever you find appetizing. Or at least not too repulsive.)

What fresh meats does not include:
Cold cuts/deli meats
Bacon (See note below)
Hot dogs (Unless you buy the organic nitrate-free, all-natural kind)
Fancy and delicious forced meats and sausages, like soppresata, capicola, chorizo, etc...

Remember, I'm not saying don't eat bacon. Life might not be worth living if not for bacon for me and many people I know. The big 5 is about opting for the healthiest choices when you can bring yourself to. I love going out for cheese and charcuterie, and I eat bacon as an accompaniment to otherwise all big-5-approved salads frequently. I'm just saying I do my best not to make forced/cured/preserved/salty meats a dietary staple. And that's what the big 5 is all about!

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