There's little question, at least in Cordain's mind, that the Paleolithic Diet is meat-based:
"The fossil evidence as well as the ethnographic evidence from groups of hunter-gatherers studied in historical times suggests that the diet of pre-agricultural humans was derived primarily from animal based foods."Shall we replace our shipments of grain to these countries with lean meat and seafood? Is that a realistic prescription?
- The Paleolithic Diet and Its Modern Implications: An Interview with Loren Cordain, PhD
Let's look at the planet as a whole. Is this diet a reasonable approach for feeding the bulk of the world's 6.6 billion inhabitants? Cordain: "Without cereal grains, there would be massive starvation of unprecedented proportion on the planet." And a Cordain-approved reader review: "... only about ten percent of the world's population could be adequately sustained on a Paleo-compatible diet."
Which 10% does he suggest we spare? I found his answer chilling:
" ... in most western countries, cereals are not a necessity, particularly in many segments of the population that suffer most from Syndrome X and other chronic diseases of civilization. In this population, a return to a Stone Age Diet is not only possible, but highly practical in terms of long-term healthcare costs."1He suggests we spare those people in western countries whose economic resources allow them to arrive at middle age with chronic diseases, but sacrifice those whose journey beyond youth may be cut off by hunger and malnutrition? Ouch.
I can't say I always make my food choices based on how they affect the rest of the world's population. But I'm not writing a book recommending how people should eat. If I was, I might have researched this aspect a smidgen more.
Cartoon by Clay Bennett.