The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off. Gloria Steinem
So how do we, as a national (world-wide?) movement position sensible Paleo more firmly into the mainstream consciousness? This is a question that continues to vex those of us who sincerely wish to bestow the many blessings of Ancestral Wellness to the masses. Or, in a less-than-philanthropic sense, those of us who wish to avoid going down with the ship of SAD-eatin’ fools on which we happen to be marooned.
Take a look at the following Google Trends chart, a comparison of “vegan diet” (in red) vs “paleo diet” (blue). The full chart with associated number breakouts can be viewed here. Also, notice (the linked view) that Austin far and away leads the pack in Paleo inquiry. Epicenter of Physical Culture, anyone? 🙂
Robb Wolf brought up this rapidly-approaching-critical-mass idea in the PFX12 Affecting the Future of Healthcare and American Food Policy MasterMind panel discussion. As an interesting aside, checkout the disparity between “search volume index” and “news reference volume”. People are searching for information that the “news” is not, as of yet, up to the task in providing. And maybe that’s good “news”, if we in the movement are able to credibly fill that information void.
Attempting to nudge the mainstream in the right direction is, if one is to listen to the hardcore Paleo-gensia, an anathema to the very soul of the movement. If Paleo were a religion, it certainly would not be evangelical Christian. And as a card-carrying libertarian, I get it. Let them eat cake (quite literally) if they’re too frackin’ lazy to figure this out for themselves. Down-the-rabbit-hole biochemistry aside, who cannot see the elegant simplicity (and truth) behind going grain, dairy and legume free?
The problem is, we can’t just load up our self-righteous, Pilgrim-Paleo asses and drift to some new, pristine shore. There are no pristine shores remaining, as this crappy SAD diet (and it’s wicked mistress, diseases of modernity) are wrecking the entire planet. Go off-the-grid if you want — and I’m cool with that mind you (because for any other of a myriad of reasons, I’d do the same) — but the repercussions of this insidious infestation will hunt you down and, in some way, reek utter havock over your hard-fought-for quality of life. You won’t be riddled with diabetes, but you can bet your sweet ass you’ll be paying in some form or fashion for those who are. No, this is one thing I’m willing to burn precious life force fighting against mainstream ignorance for.
For me, that vehicle for this broad outreach looks to be the Paleof(x) entity, or some branch thereof. Efficient Exercise has also initiated a concerted, like-minded push, bringing Dan French (the doctor of rhetoric!) on board to help craft a palatable and digestible, mass-media-acceptable message.
Does a watered-down, mass-media-friendly message somehow taint the “purity” of the Paleo message? I don’t think so; no more, in my way of thinking, than does popular discussion of string theory dilute the purity of the hardcore science. There will always be those of us who geek-out on the biochemistry behind why any of this stuff works to keep people healthy. The masses, though — and we have to realize and accept this — just need to know (from legitimate sources) that this diet is effective, and how to effectively implement that diet alongside smartly-programmed resistance training.
In health, fitness and Ancestral Wellness –