There’s a neat little statement as Edward Gibbon compares the doomed Romans to their future steppe tribe conquerors. Gibbon makes the point that the tribes are composed of folks who had likely never tasted bread.
Granted, this is a pretty blatant stereotype. Not every Hun or Vandal spent their lives drinking only goat milk and eating fire roasted meat right off the bone. Gibbon is only using the idea to make a point about how a hard living martial culture can destroy a weak culture, even one as old as the Romans.
I think this is roughly what the paleo goons are going for. It’s more a hardcore thing than a nutrition thing. It’s a fad, a selling point to display generally how folks choose to live their lives. The concept of living one’s life and food intake in the hard living martial culture category. Rather than reaching for a box in the cereal aisle.
But I’d always found it weird when the paleo goons adopted the Gibbon model and shut down bread or grains or glucose in their diets. Now the news reports that bread has been in the human diet for over 10K years and the headlines question whether the paleo folks can now eat bread again?
Well, sure, why not. I guess? But really, whatever, who cares? Because honestly, please keep in mind the key thing the paleo folks should remember is that cars are only about a 100 years old. So since humans weren’t using cars in 3746 BC, the paleo crowd should probably stop driving cars.
I’ve also begun seeing more and more ‘advice’ from ‘experts’ that humans beings have no business drinking straight juice. The summary of this wisdom is that take an orange. You can eat an orange or two and that’s a pretty decent sized snack. But a glass of orange juice comes from like seven oranges. The idea is that no human would ever be able to eat the natural sugars of seven oranges in one sitting. So a person has no business drinking juice, at least in any large quantity whatsoever.
This is all well and good except that like bread, humans have been drinking juice for thousands of years and somehow we all haven’t burst into flames. Hey I’m all for progress in culture and our diets, after all, life saving surgery is a pretty cool thing.
But I guess all this paleo or anti-juice stuff just kind of rubs me the wrong way. Our lives and modern culture is pretty cool, but to think that all of a sudden we’ve got all the answers is pretty darn arrogant. That somehow after say 5K years of food and drink, that we’re the first generation to be wise enough to forgo bread and juice.
If folks want to eat, drink, or not bread and juice then whatever. That’s a personal choice. I just can’t stand the self righteousness of it. Or the need to redefine arbitrary standards when they’re confronted with reality.
Eat what they want. Drink what they want. Or not. It’s all good. Just don’t wear it on the sleeve, shove it in other folks faces, and think they’re better than others (and all of human history).