Monday, February 8, 2010

The trials of the mainstream

I keep an eye out on the internet for mentions of the paleo diet. There has been a flurry of interest recently - as I mentioned here - but I do not think some of the coverage is doing the concept any favours.

Focussing on raw meat (?!) is sensationalist and doesn't address the science, but hey it will sell papers.

To them it is just another fad diet.

I hate it when things I like become popular. It is like when you have a favourite band that you follow for a couple of years. Then they get a hit and everyone becomes a fan. Then the magic goes.


Chainey said...

I feel the same. Part of the irritation comes from having the concept either skewed in some way or dumbed down.

For instance I read something today about low-carb beer being marketed as being a "healthy" option.

But of course we suffer for our exclusiveness too. I waited months to try Vibrams only to find they didn't fit. I had to mail order two pair and return them over a period of about 3 weeks to establish that because nobody in NZ's biggest city had taken up the idea of selling them.

Now I'm looking for other minimalist shoe brands and just not finding them because few people have ever heard of the concept.

I think the most irritating thing is being mistaken for a bandwagon jumper when you've actually done your research and experimentation long before the "trend" hits.

It's kind of catch-22. I'm sure you - like me - want to see lots of people benefit from the diet and exercise principles we know to be sound, but at the same time we don't want it to be "the in thing" that people are doing mindlessly because everyone else is.

Vlad Averbukh said...

I'm the guy in the raw paleo story. I was hoping they would not focus on the raw part as much, I told the reporters that raw is not nearly as important as paleo. I'm of the opinion that we should try to get the word out on paleo benefits. Getting folks to eat more grass-fed beef and organic produce will greatly reduce environmental damage caused by conventional farming. Ofcourse, the way that this story was slanted, it may not help all that much.

Steve said...

This is one of my biggest beefs (no pun intended) with the mainstream media. Namely, they're looking at this the same way as the vegan-driven "raw food movement" - i.e. just another silly fad by some extreme fringe group.

For what it's worth, though, it doesn't bother me to be labeled an extremist. I mean, have you seen what constitutes the "average" out there?!?

Chris said...


thanks for the comment. I hope you didn't take offense at the post - it was not meant to attack you personally.

I just thought that the photo is giving the wrong message. As Kurt Harris says,

The diet is not about eating exactly what "cavemen" ate, or killing your own food. It is solely about duplicating what I believe are the key elements of the internal hormonal metabolic milieu that we evolved under from especially less than 1 million years ago to about 10,000 years ago. This is likely to be achieved not by eating specific things, but more by not eating specific things.

I know what journalists are like though - they make up their own stories, put words in your mouth and manipulate things to twist what you say. I've had my own problems with journalists in my day job.

Best wishes to you vlad - I appreciate what you are doing and trying to achieve.

Kurt G. Harris MD said...

I just posted a similar comment on Richard's blog about Art's video.

I like to see the message get out but U2 was just never the same band after "rattle and hum".

@Vlad, you represented well, it is not your fault - mainstream journalists are basically very stupid fiction writers who just use folks like us to construct their own narrative.