Hunter Gatherer

Brimming with ideas and a fascinating read. STEVEN PINKER, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

Buy Now

MEAT EATER: Steve Rinella book release on Oct. 2nd

We’ve got an awesome event coming up: Steve Rinella, TV host and hunter, will be talking to Paleo NYC about his new book, Meat Eater. It’s on Tuesday, October 2nd at 7pm. Admission is simply buying a copy of the book. You can get more details and RSVP here

Steve will talk about his new book for 20 or so minutes, then we’ll open it up to Q&A on anything from hunting for beginners, how to cook squirrel, ethical meat-eating, and more. Don’t miss it.

Here is Rinella responding to a vegan at a recent event.


BOOKD: Born to Run

BOOKD is a cool new web show — sort of a curated and condensed book club. Here’s their first feature, Born to Run, featuring Dan Lieberman, Chris McDougall, and yours truly. It’s well done.


NPR Morning Edition: We Evolved to Eat Meat

Interviewed on NPR Morning Edition, here’s an excerpt from the write-up:

But Durant says it’s a meat-based diet that was fundamental to early human development.

My colleague Chris Joyce has reported on how a meat-based diet helped make us smarter.

And paleoanthropologist John Hawks at the University of Wisonsin, Madison agrees. “We definitely evolved to eat meat.”

“When we look at the fossils of early homo (sapien) we see this immediate increase in the size of the body and also increase in the size of the brain,” Hawks explains.

Here’s the story with the full 7-minute audio.

You can almost hear the cognitive dissonance: NPR’s audience tends to believe in evolution, yet is also full of people ideologically set against meat. Solution? Make me sound like a meat-crazed carnivore who is only healthy despite eating meat. I’ll post some additional commentary a bit later.

Anyhow, it was a fun piece and many thanks to NPR.


The Great Erection: Standing Desks Are On the Rise

I did an interview with the New York Observer on standing desks. The reporter messed up my diet, but otherwise it’s a great piece.

“John Durant eats raw foods and lean meats [WTF?] as a follower of the Paleo Diet, and owns a lifestyle brand themed around mimicking ancient human behavior in modern times. He tried to build a standing desk in 2006, using a milk crate and a variety of objects he found around the Midtown management consulting office where he worked as an associate. The contraption lasted for two days. Standing at work felt awkward, and, judging by the sideways glances of his colleagues, it looked equally odd. “Coworkers think it’s goofy and they tease you about it,” he explained. “It makes them feel like they’re lazy. It’s like being the one person at the office birthday who turns down a piece of cake. ‘Just eat the cake!’” He sat back down for four years.”

I eat raw and cooked foods. I also eat lots of fat from both plant and animal sources.

Here’s the whole article, interesting throughout.


Paleolithic tea service

I’ve never seen evidence of a “Paleolithic Tea Service”….until now.

That’s in San Francisco somewhere. Thanks to Matt Stern for the photos.


This is just scary

Michael Tomasky defends Mike Bloomberg at the Daily Beast:

“Are bacon-cheeseburgers next? As a practical matter, no. Sodas are an easy target because there is nothing, nothing, nutritionally redeeming about them. But might there come a day when the New York City Department of Health mandates that burgers be limited to, say, four ounces? Indeed there might. And why not? Eight- and ten-ounce burgers are sick things.”

That’s just insane.


Message to Bloomberg: Salt isn’t bad for you

Hopefully Mike Bloomberg reads Gary Taubes‘ article on salt in the NYT:

When I spent the better part of a year researching the state of the salt science back in 1998 — already a quarter century into the eat-less-salt recommendations — journal editors and public health administrators were still remarkably candid in their assessment of how flimsy the evidence was implicating salt as the cause of hypertension.

“You can say without any shadow of a doubt,” as I was told then by Drummond Rennie, an editor for The Journal of the American Medical Association, that the authorities pushing the eat-less-salt message had “made a commitment to salt education that goes way beyond the scientific facts.”

While, back then, the evidence merely failed to demonstrate that salt was harmful, the evidence from studies published over the past two years actually suggests that restricting how much salt we eat can increase our likelihood of dying prematurely. Put simply, the possibility has been raised that if we were to eat as little salt as the U.S.D.A. and the C.D.C. recommend, we’d be harming rather than helping ourselves.

Read the whole thing. And stop worrying about salt.


Locality and decision-making

I have increasing distrust for decision-making as the unit gets further away from the individual and family.

Individual – Drink as much soda pop as you like or ban it from your own diet, I don’t care.

Family – I have no problem with parental authority to ban soda pop for their children. Some families do, some don’t, others restrict it in various ways — either way, it’s not a big deal.

City – Of any level of government, I have the most tolerance for local, city-level decisions. I can live with individual cities deciding whether they want to welcome fast food restaurants or not — and many already do.

StateWould strongly oppose a soda pop size restriction.

Nation – Don’t tell me what I can or can’t put into my body.

United Nations – Can you imagine the UN trying to ban the size of soda pop? Laughable.

The city — or city-state — is actually the best place for experimentation with rule systems. Just look at Hong Kong or Singapore.  I’m looking forward to more free cities when they get off the ground in Honduras. The city-state is where most of the innovation should take place, because they’re easy to leave if people don’t like the rules.


On the NYC ban on big sugary drinks

A few people have asked me what I think about Bloomberg’s city-wide ban on sugary drinks above 16 oz.

When it comes to rule-making, I subscribe to a view that looks at “exit” and “voice”.

  • Voice is influence on how the rules are made (e.g., voting).
  • Exit is being able to leave and go somewhere else if you don’t like the rules (e.g., emigration).

When the power of exit is high (city-level), I have fewer problems with more restrictive rules. If you don’t like them, just leave.

When the power of voice is high, people have control over the actual rules – so it’s more or less self-governance.

The big problem is when there are weak powers of voice AND exit. This is the case with federal legislation, since my vote has a negligible effect on the rules that get made (no voice) and moving to another country bears substantial costs (no exit).

So that said, here’s how I think about the recent ban.

Politics

  • I have far greater tolerance for these types of decisions when they are made at the local level.
  • For a city-level decision, it’s easy enough to move to another city if it is that important to someone.
  • I like that Singapore exists as a possibility in the world, even if I’m not going to live there myself.
  • I would be strongly opposed to anything like this at the state level, and vehemently opposed to this at the national level.
  • There are certain fundamental rights, like owning a firearm, that American cities should not be able to ban.

Health

  • Soda and sweetened drinks probably are the single most important factor contributing to obesity.
  • My big concern is that Bloomberg doesn’t know what’s actually healthy, even though he has the over-confidence typical of technocrats.
  • For example, his war on salt is totally misguided and not even supported by the existing scientific evidence.
  • I’m afraid Bloomberg is going to go after cholesterol, fat content, and stuff like that — which is totally bogus, and may even result in more deaths.

So I’m not really up in arms about this specific ban, but I’m not excited about where this is all headed.


Institute for Justice takes the case of paleo blogger, files suit

BREAKING NEWS

You may remember that the state of North Carolina tried to shut down a paleo blogger, Steve Cooksey, for giving paid health advice. Today, the Institute for Justice filed a lawsuit challenging the occupational licensing laws on constitutional grounds.

We don’t take this stuff lying down.

One of the employees at the Institute for Justice, Bob Ewing, is a friend and unsung hero who has been spearheading a lot of this behind the scenes. (Bob attended the New York City Barefoot Run the last two years, and Bob, my pal Michael Malice, and I will be speaking together in June at a Foundation for Economic Education seminar down in Atlanta.)

From the press release:

Arlington, Va.—Can the government throw you in jail for offering advice on the Internet about what people should buy at the grocery store? 

That is exactly the claim made by the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition.  And that is why today diabetic blogger Steve Cooksey of Stanley, N.C. has teamed up with the Institute for Justice (IJ) to file a major First Amendment lawsuit against the State Board in federal court.”

Here’s the fun caveman video that IJ put together on the case:

Here are a few more links on the case:

And here’s a great video on the absurdity of most occupational licensing around the country. The vast majority of it just defends existing special interests from competition.