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Taking a Self Accounting: Losing Favor With The Who’s Who of Paleo

I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member. - Groucho Marx

November 2nd of this year will mark 11 years blogging. I’d break it down thusly:

  • 2003 – 2007: Strictly as a hobby / diversion / outlet. Never any designs on being full time, having an extraordinarily popular presence, or influence. I didn’t even open up commenting for about the first year. It went from about zero visits to 10-20,000 visits per month in that time.
  • 2008 – 2012: paleo happened. Low Carb happened. Food Blogging happened. No Soap / Shampoo happened. I became poop-u-lar. Got invited to speak places. Got implicitly held to standards external to me for both decorum and confirmation bias of accepted dogma. It went to about 80-100,000 visits per month during this time.
  • 2013 – 2014: Dumped all that shit and returned to blogging whatever I want, without a care in the world to anyone’s expectations of me. In terms of dietary dogma, I think for myself, consider everything, assume we’re all still wrong, but strive to be less wrong each cycle.

That last one rubs some the wrong way, results in bunched panties, etc. I was admonished the other day in an email, the same day I got tagged in a tweet by someone with 18 followers notifying me that I was irrelevant:

Make a list of the most interesting / meaningful / fun / engaging / smart people in your life over the last 5 to 10 years. Then ask yourself if those people are moving closer to you or if those people are moving further away from you.

And if they’re moving away from you, you might want to stop and ask yourself why.

It’s actually an excellent question and nobody ought shy away from it. But for me, it’s a really complex deal. My life has changed so radically in ways apart from the blog. So, let me limit it to the general paleosphere for purposes of this post.

As for making a list, that’s simple enough. I pretty much rubbed shoulders with all of the who’s who in paleo back in those heady days of 2009 – 2012, culminating in the high water mark that was the inaugural Ancestral Health Symposium, 2011, where I was one of the anointed speakers. I spoke at 2012 as well—just barely, thanks to Melissa McEwen and Seth Roberts’ persuasion, on the heals of ‘cuntgate’—but my caché amongst the tried and true was unmistakably waning.

But here’s where some measure of begging the question (assuming the premise) arises in that admonition, above. It’s both. There’s no doubt many of the great who’s who have distanced themselves from me. It’s pretty simple (and shallow) to chalk it all up to using the c-word, being labelled a misogynist in reams of out of context stuff, or inebriated blogging and social engagement for fun.

I think I get some credit for distancing my own self, too. The simple fact is, I just don’t operate like most other people in this realm. From my perspective, I see the vast, vast majority of them asking the same limited questions, advancing the same romantic paleo Myths, “debunking” the same stuff in exactly the same way, and striving to confirm the same set of assumptions and biases. Add to that endless whoring maneuvers to make lots of money off paleo (and some have made pretty enormous sums). Need I go into it? Endless gimmicks, same books, affiliate programs, summit launches. Mountains of paleo treats, dubious recipes, and baked goods in packages available for order.

I think everybody is always all wrong, including myself. But I strive to be less wrong tomorrow, so that I can look back and laf at how fucktarded I was today. By implication, I’m calling a lot of who’s who fucktards, and they’re perceptive enough to know that.

They don’t like it, and including myself is no comfort. They hate being wrong. I love and adore being wrong. There are exceptions. So far, I have a list of about 4 prominent who’s who personalities, for whom this doesn’t apply and have been more than willing to question everything. There’s probably more.

The other fallacy in the admonition is that if indeed it’s true that I’m distanced from all these great folk from the past, that it’s a net loss to me.

  1. If these are the sorts of people not continually questioning their assumptions and integrating every new piece of relevant data, how can it be my loss to no longer be tightly affiliated, in no way beholden or sensitive to their feelings?
  2. How about the new set of “most interesting / meaningful / fun / engaging / smart people in [my] life?”

It’s true I was being quite a pill on-blog in the 2012 timeframe. A lot of that was due to off-blog issues like closing down a business that I hated—but that also provided significant income over a long time. Pictures were changing rapidly for me on all fronts and I didn’t always handle it in the best ways.

But more importantly, other things happened too, that converged.

  1. I’d come to reject the LC/Paleo fantasy that “calories don’t matter.” No, a “calorie is NOT a calorie,” but calories count. The idea that so long as it’s LC/Paleo, one can be a glutton (first of all, supermarkets 5-min away are not “paleo””) struck me increasingly like snake-oil schtick.
  2. The “Potato Hack” clearly demonstrated to me that all of this is way more complicated than “carbs drive insulin drives fat storage.” More snake-oil schtick.
  3. I found the trend towards chronic states of deep [“nutritional”] ketosis by means of less and less carbohydrate, protein restriction, and eating sticks of butter alarming. I was miffed that many of the who’s who were going right along with it.
  4. I noted that while lip service was being given to the burgeoning science of the gut microbiome, it was limited to confirming Paleo bias and almost never new data that calls many Paleo assumptions into serious question.
  5. New science on C4 plant sources, and the recognition that it was starchy sedge tubers that were being eaten (and that baboons still eat in great quantity to this day) turns the entire Paleofantasy on its head in terms of man the animal and fat hunter. It’s getting little to no coverage (except here), all while the who’s who still think we should be talking about ketones.

Now it’s history. The potato hack led to resistant starch and a host of gut-bug stuff. Now it’s all over the place. I have more links from other websites to the more than 100 posts on resistant starch over the last 18 months, than links in the previous 5 years combined. The science on the gut biome is more paleo than “paleo,” and overshadows it. It’s where all the news and science is, now. Microbes have been evolving for billions of years. paleo is a blip on that map—a comparison often used to illustrate the puny Neolithic, compared to the rest of hominoid evolution.

So surely, my falling out of favor with many of the great who’s who must have come with significant consequences in terms of success with the blog, right? Well let’s look at the numbers.

  • Previous 12 months (Oct ’12 – Oct ’13) visits and page views: 1 million visits / 1.7 million page views.
  • Last 12 months (Oct ’13 – Oct ’14): 1.4 million visits (40% increase) / 2.5 million page views (47% increase).
  • Unique visits increased from 600k to 700k over the same period (17% increase).
  • I don’t have an exact count, but since the gut biome / resistant starch explosion, I’ve done well over a dozen podcast and print interviews, as many or more than the previous years combined.

How about the money?

Well, I started off misguided. The blog had never been about money, though I thought about various ways along the way. Once I closed the business, I was faced with lots of options and turning the blog into some sort of income stream was one of them. So, I joined a bunch of affiliate programs, participated in a couple of those “book bundle” deals where for only $39.95, you get 40 books you don’t need, a “$2,500.00 Value!”

All of that put too bad of a taste in my mouth, so I decided it would be a combination of Google Ads and Amazon Associates, or nothing. Why?

  1. Google primarily serves up ads according to your cookies. Accordingly, it’s pitching you stuff you’re likely to already have some need or interest in. The ads you see are not the ads others see.
  2. People primarily buy stuff from Amazon they want or need. In terms of me pitching stuff explicitly, everything is stuff I use myself and recommend. It costs nothing. Amazon pays me out of their cut.

So how’s it going?

Revenue from Google ads is more than triple (up 210%) over the last 12 months compared with the previous 12-month period. That’s dwarfed by Amazon. I’ll use screen clippings, otherwise you’re not likely to believe me. Number of items shipped went from 1,009 to 11,144 (1,045% increase) and retail revenue went from $16K to $285K (1,673% increase).

2012  2013
Oct 2012 – Oct 2013
2013  2014
Oct 2013 – Oct 2014

So, while some part of me does lament that I’m not quite part of the in-crowd club as I once was, I feel pretty decent about what I’ve accomplished. I also feel pretty decent about some of the new alliances and affiliations I’ve formed, with people more inclined to question what they know, over searching for bias-confirming “facts.”

Moving on in life is part of life itself. C’est la vie. Evolve or die. For this and all of the forgoing reasons, I must conclude that I generally know what the fuck I’m doing.

Self-accounting complete, for this round. Ongoing, always.

Update 11/7/2014: It’s come to my attention that some people think I made $285K from Amazon last year. To clarify, this was the gross revenue to Amazon for the items shipped. Associates get a percentage of that, generally 6-8.5% depending on the item, as well as sales volume during the month. I believe my take was roughly $22K.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

95 Comments

  1. Dave on October 19, 2014 at 11:35

    Just keep doing what you’re doing, Richard. This is one of only a handful of sites I check-in on without being prompted by email marketing reminders etc.
    I find most of the paleo and health bloggers incredibly bland and fake. And there’s no doubt that a fear of compromising immediate sales, and relationships, is behind their reluctance to experiment and admit to being wrong in the past.
    Fucking pathetic when you think about it.
    I have no doubt that this blog will go from strength to strength whilst others’ credibility will inevitably crumble.
    Better to be true to readers and therefore in it for the long-haul.
    Best,
    Dave

    • Steve on October 19, 2014 at 15:19

      Right on. This is one blog we can count on for original ideas, real life experiments, links to other original thinkers, etc.

      Much appreciated

  2. CDLXI on October 19, 2014 at 11:35

    The Who’s Who ……meh.
    Just shows you are a bit quicker and more honest to figure some thing out.

    We actually have a street named Meh in our tiny town.

  3. Travis on October 19, 2014 at 12:18

    “loosing”. Laf.

  4. Duck Dodgers on October 19, 2014 at 12:30

    Interestingly, Cordain tried to refute the June 2013 revelation by the National Academy of Sciences that multiple studies had shown increased C4 intake from eating sedges. But, his argument was fairly weak as while he acknowledged that the researchers had concluded that plants likely contributed to the bulk of C4 intake, he responded, “Nevertheless, when the isotopic data is triangulated from archaeological, physiological and nutrition evidence, it is apparent that the C4 signature in ancestral African hominin enamel almost certainly is resultant from increased consumption of animals that consumed C4 plants.”

    Well, no. Unfortunately for Cordain, anthropologists had already tossed aside the idea of a carnivorous hominid, since dental morphology did not present as carnivorous and hominid tools were too primitive for butchering when the timeline showed a significant jump in C4. And just a few months after he wrote a formal letter to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences complaining about the findings, researchers from Oxford University discovered that it was indeed Tiger Nuts that contributed to higher C4 intake in P. boisei making his scrambled rebuttal look fairly weak.

    If I remember correctly, researchers showed evidence that these early hominids ate nutrient-dense sedge tubers, ate termites and likely scavenged animals when they could obtain them.

    So, I guess you could say Cordain tried to refute the National Academy of Sciences, but he soon quit once the evidence piled up against him.

    • Dan on October 19, 2014 at 16:37

      Ecologically, this still doesn’t add up as we debated in that older post. If there was an abundant supply then why did the population of hominids not grow proportionally to it like every other animal species does to their food supply. If there was an abundant food source that we primarily ate, and yet the hominid populations remained low, this suggests an ecological paradox. Some part of this picture is missing. Not to say they didn’t eat tiger nuts but if it was the primary food source there should be an increase in human population sizes in proportion to it.

      I like Loren Cordain and he presented his argument before the tiger nut paper. It was in relation to grasses and sedges and in that context his arguments make sense.

      Also, my other question is did humans move off from the Tiger Nuts onto other diets. For example, modern hunter gatherers did not eat tiger nuts or as much? Then one has to ask why.

      I think these are important questions. I think what Richard, and you, are proposing is interesting and I’m going to enjoy seeing how it develops. But I would hate to throw the baby out with the bathwater and for the pendulum to swing to another extreme end of a spectrum.

    • Duck Dodgers on October 19, 2014 at 18:03

      Dan, I did my best to address your questions in the previous thread, though you never responded to my last comment. We know the Egyptians relied heavily on Tiger Nuts. But harvesting enormous quantities of tiger nuts for grinding into flour required a ton of digging, by hand. And this was typically done by lower-class slaves. Today, the Spanish use custom-made digging machines to dig up the tubers. These chufa-harvesting machines do not even exist in the US.

      Wheat was far easier to harvest in massive quantities, as the harvest did not require digging to obtain the wheat berries.

      Furthermore, tiger nuts and chufas were bred by the Egyptians into a cultivar that is not invasive, which could be planted near other crops. It would have taken a lot of skill for them to achieve this.

      Contrast this to the Paleo Indians in North America who knew not to plant their yellow nutsedge (the natural “weedy” version of tiger nuts) anywhere near their maize or sorghum. In fact, at the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Connecticut, the researchers found starch granules from the sedge tubers on their tools. But, the sedges were never cultivated near their crops—they were harvested from the marshy area where they grew naturally.

      I should also point out that the Egyptian “cultivated” tiger nuts are not as cold-tolerant as the weedy versions are. So, the cultivated tiger nuts will only grow well in warm soils—like Valencia, where they thrive now.

    • Duck Dodgers on October 19, 2014 at 18:06

      And to clarify, it was the tools of the 9,000-year old Paleo Indians at Mashantucket that were discovered with starch granules on it—indicating that the Paleo-Indians relied on the weedy sedge tubers, but they didn’t attempt to cultivate them (it required too much skill).

    • Daniel on October 19, 2014 at 22:04

      Duck, I know I didn’t reply I felt that conversation had reached a natural conclusion, I certainly wasn’t trying to be rude.

      I guess the question to me is whether tiger nuts, or tubers in general, were a primary source of food for hunter gatherers. The posts and studies you present give me the impression that tiger nuts were everywhere and easily harvestable. I draw this conclusion because in your post you mention there incredible abundance and growth rates, and how the paper you mentioned talks about how it would take a few hours to get enough calories for the day. If this was true, however, it would mean we would expect to see a population increase in hominids to match that abundant food source (if this was their primary food source). Every ecological study that tracks predator and prey populations (even if prey is grass) shows that predator populations grow in relation to the prey population. This pattern was not seen with hominids, as you mentioned, the species had a low population level at the time.

      The alternative is that these tiger nuts are not easily obtained, more difficult to harvest, which is maybe what you are suggesting with your above comments. Or it wasn’t as abundant. In any case this kind of goes against the idea that this could have been the primary food source at all times?

      They have measured one individual from a specific location, and a specific time period. A snapshot of one fossil is good evidence of what we had in our diet, but not strong enough to make claims that this was a dominant food source for all of the population during that period. I think this is why these papers indicate how easily obtainable tiger nuts were to give the impression that it could easily have been a major food source. But this doesn’t mean it was, and if it was then why don’t we see that population increase.

      I have no doubt whatsoever they are used, and probably a lot. My question is whether it was, in fact, the mainstay of the diet. My hunch is that it was not a preferred food source but one that supplemented the diet as can be seen from this paper – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19350623

      I’m not trying to prove anything here or be argumentative. I would simply like to explore the idea of how important tubers were in the evolution of our species – it’s an important question.

    • Duck Dodgers on October 20, 2014 at 08:03

      Daniel,

      I’m familiar with the Hadza as an example. National Geographic recently referenced that sentiment, explaining that most anthropologists believe that these “fallback” foods likely made up the majority of the diet, as the hunters usually come back empty-handed.

      National Geographic : The Evolution of Diet

      They even use the Hadza’s reliance on “fallback” foods in the article to prove their point.

      “Every ecological study that tracks predator and prey populations (even if prey is grass) shows that predator populations grow in relation to the prey population”

      Well, I believe that’s a gross oversimplification. For instance, if that rule were always true, we’d expect to see anteaters everywhere, since there is virtually an unlimited supply of ants. But that isn’t the case. Clearly there are other factors involved that limit populations (higher prey, disease, etc). With hominids, the factors limiting populations were likely disease and infant mortality (just guessing).

      “I draw this conclusion because in your post you mention there incredible abundance and growth rates, and how the paper you mentioned talks about how it would take a few hours to get enough calories for the day. If this was true, however, it would mean we would expect to see a population increase in hominids to match that abundant food source”

      Let me clarify. It supposedly takes 3 hours of foraging for a single hominid (like P. Boise) to obtain 80% of its calories from tiger nuts. If you are gathering for two or more, it will take longer. If you are gathering tiger nuts for a population of people, you need the skills of agriculture and lots of slaves—which is what we see in Ancient Egypt.

      In other words, it’s “easy” for a single hominid to gather tiger nuts for 1 or 2 individuals. But it’s much harder to gather other people’s tiger nuts. You need slaves or machinery for that.

      Finally, P. Boisei was not just a “snapshot”. P. Boisei was one of the most successful hominid species—its reign lasting millions of years. Though we aren’t descended from them, the same shift in C4 isotopes was simultaneously observed a wide array of hominid species, as shown by multiple studies covered by the National Academic of Sciences announcement last year. So, this isn’t just one snapshot. It’s actually many snapshots showing the same thing over and over again as homo moved into the grassy savannas.

      Now, another clarification… P. Boisei is only significant because it had the largest levels of C4 of any hominid—nearly 70%! Combined with its dental morphology and dental calculus, all signs point to high tiger nut consumption.

      But, Homo was a bit less (50-55% C4), indicating that our diet was more varied than P. Boisei. If we consider that Homo consumed animal foods, and we know they did (we are omnivores after all), then we can imagine that early humans probably consumed tiger nuts alongside a wide variety of foods. I never said that homo sat around just eating tiger nuts all day.

      P. boisei is mostly useful because its diet probably wasn’t very varied (and it did evolve with a very unique jaw musculature…the called it “nutcracker man”). But, as I pointed out in my last comment in that other thread, we still see evidence that our direct ancestors ate starchy sedges as well as Neanderthals and early humans ate them too. But, again, I never said that humans sat around eating tiger nuts all day. They were likely just part of a varied diet.

      I think that tiger nuts were used to fill in the nutritional holes in the homo diet and were a reliable source of carbohydrates. Tiger nuts are very rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, Vitamin E and folate. Not coincidentally, these are the very nutrients that are often lacking from a modern “Paleo” diet.

      So, while tiger nuts are easy for a foraging primate to pluck right out of the ground and chomp on—dirt and all. I think that tiger nuts are a massive pain in the ass for agriculture. The Egyptians figured out how to cultivate them, and even turn them into flour, but it required a ton of work and skill. Unlike wheat, tiger nuts are by no means easy to harvest in large quantities. The Paleo Indians at Mashantucket only used wild/weedy tiger nuts as a supplement to their maize and sorghum, but never figured out how to cultivate them—nor did they care to.

    • Dan on October 20, 2014 at 13:54

      So it is these comments in your post…

      “So, did our ancestors purposefully shun the nutrient-dense starchy tubers that were all over the African savanna? It’s highly unlikely given their high nutrient density, extremely easy harvesting, their year round availability and long-term shelf life. They were invasive too, with a single tuber able to produce 2,000 plants and 7,000 tubers in a single growing season. No hunting spears or tools were required to eat them—just a human-like grip to dislodge the tubers, by pulling up on the blades of grass, and an omnivorous mouth with a few molars for mastication. Easy peasy.”

      “The thought of our Paleolithic ancestors avoiding all of the invasive energy-positive plants around them”

      and comments like this in the comments section…
      “Early hominids were relatively low in numbers (estimated between 10,000 and 100,000 individuals at any given time) and lived upon an enormous continent with enormous savannas. A single sedge tuber will produce up to 7,000 tubers in a single growing season. It’s crazy invasive. A single tuber can overgrow an entire field in 3 years! But, more importantly, hominids were nomadic—constantly moving from site to site. So, it’s unlikely they would have run out of these tubers. These tubers were basically under every grassy plant in Africa (like this). So, I find it highly unlikely that the optimistic count of 100,000 hominids could devour every blade of grass in the African savannas. Furthermore, the tubers were hardy and winter-proof. And their high nutrient density meant that you only had to eat a few handfuls of these little tubers get 2,000 calories. It would have been extremely easy to survive on them”

      ..that led me to draw the conclusion that you were saying there was an overabundant supply. As I have stated if it was this abundant you would see an increase in their population. This is not a overgeneralization this is a pretty fundamental process in ecological research, species populations will grow to reach a carrying capacity in relation to their prey. Your anteater example is a bit reductive because there are many predators of ants (do you know how many ant eating insects there are…A LOT). Now you even said yourself tiger nuts are incredibly invasive (which I will get to shortly). So I still have to ask the question. Why did we not see massive population shifts. Given this food source was found under every tree then why be nomadic? As you say yourself no farming would be needed ‘just hands’. It wouldn’t matter that it takes two hours per individual to gather the food, it sounds so abundant that each person could get their own food anyway because of this abundance. And farming wouldn’t be needed – if it was this abundant. You don’t see massive population increases in relation to this ‘abundant’ supply and this just simply doesn’t happen in ecology.

      So I can only draw the conclusion that tiger nuts were not a primary food source OR if they were they were rare enough that hunter gatherers had to search for them, explaining their nomadic lifestyle and low population, but both hypotheses tend to go against the idea that these were super abundant and the primary part of out diet.

      So just two more off topic things. Firstly, they measured the C4 levels from the enamel. I imagine that this could stick around in the enamel for quite some time from a starch base resource. Thus, hypothetically, it is possible that even if they ate tiger nuts every few weeks this would be lurking in their enamel and give the impression that we ate that all the time? I still don’t think we can draw conclusions as to the quantity of those tubers in the diet.

      Thirdly, and definitely a pet peeve. Invasive means a species has invaded a geographical region that they are not native too. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are growing or reproducing really quickly, although in a lot of cases it does. But I would be careful using that word in that context because it can be misleading. Tiger nuts are native to Africa, and so any growth they have where they are termed ‘invasive’ in the literature is growth outside of that region. It is incredibly common for invasive species to grow rapidly outside of their native range as they don’t have natural controls from the ecosystem and so their population grows unabound. But mostly their populations do not grow that rapidly in their native areas. This is a long winded way of saying – just because they grow quickly in the USA and are banned, does not mean this will happen in Africa or their native regions – and in terms of paleo nutrition this is what we are talking about.

    • Dan on October 20, 2014 at 14:04

      ^correction. Both the hypotheses suggest they were not super abundant OR the primary part of our diet.

    • Dan on October 20, 2014 at 14:24

      So I just read the article from PNAS – http://www.pnas.org/content/110/26/10513.full.pdf

      I found this interesting. “For instance, the hypothesis that P. boisei principally consumed C4 sedges around watercourses suggests that it had a highly constrained distribution across the landscape, little competition for preferred dietary resources, heightened interaction with aquatic predators, and increased susceptibility to climatically or tectonically driven changes in water availability.”

      That would explain why the population did not grow rapidly. Of course, this also suggests that the tubers were not abundant as well and limited in distribution, which is what I suspected. It almost seems like there were quite distinct populations based on where they were living (i.e most of the C4 increases occurring in East Africa).

    • Duck Dodgers on October 20, 2014 at 18:16

      Dan,

      Good points. It does seem that these particular tubers tended to thrive in the wetter locations, which makes sense. Clearly I was incorrect that they were “everywhere”. And, it seems that even the Paleo-Indians at the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Connecticut were said to have harvested these grassy tubers from their nearby marsh. And I believe the tubers may still be growing at the marsh on that site even to this day.

      I will point out that the studies specifically mention that baboons (Papio) also competed for the tubers, and still eat them even today.

      None of this was my theory to begin with, so if I misrepresented the studies, I certainly apologize for that. I’ll quote from the more recent Oxford study which I attempted to base the post on and you can make of it what you will:

      From: Baboon Feeding Ecology Informs the Dietary Niche of Paranthropus boisei, by Gabriele A. Macho (2014)

      For P. boisei, in contrast, corms probably constituted the main staple food which, given their physico-chemical properties, conceivably selected for the species’ unique dento-cranial morphology (and bearing in mind the larger quantities consumed due to body mass scaling alone). As is the case for baboons [7], regional, individual and seasonal variations in diet are however expected, as implied by isotope results also [17]. What is noteworthy is that exclusive reliance on only one food source seems unlikely though (as it would be for other hominins)…

      …Hominins differ, even among themselves. Unlike P. boisei, A. bahrelghazali teeth are buttressed and relatively thin enamelled [79]. Excessive consumption of corms can therefore be ruled out and a diet of predominantly tough foods is implicated. If confirmed, this may indicate that, although morphologically more generalised than P. boisei, A. bahrelghazali could have been more specialised behaviourally. Regardless, on the basis of the present analyses it is suggested that P. boisei, like extant Papio, was a dietary generalist, albeit with a preference for corms. It probably was an ecological generalist too. Despite feeding predominantly on savanna C4 foods, P. boisei appears to have occupied fairly wooded well-watered environments [80–82], where corms are known to thrive. This eurybiomic strategy seems to underlie the evolutionary success of P. boisei. With the disappearance of deep-water lakes and the onset of an arid cycle at about 1.45 Ma [83] the availability of corms would have declined, while competition with Papio and the more encephalized Homo for alternative resources would have increased. These factors, either in isolation or in combination, are probably responsible for the demise of P. boisei.

      The study shows a nifty little map explaining where in Africa these tubers tended to thrive and where P. boisei was believed to have lived. It does seem likely to me that hominids would have wanted to live near reliable water sources anyhow, but now I’m generalizing again.

      The evidence suggests that tubers were eaten by hominids, but again, P. boisei was clearly unique in favoring them as a staple. Homo clearly had a more varied diet, but given that tiger nuts were one of the first cultivated crops in Egypt, it seems likely that they played some role in our Paleo past.

      At any rate, your knowledge has definitely helped refine our knowledge on this topic, and I can’t thank you enough for that.

    • Duck Dodgers on October 21, 2014 at 09:09

      Dan wrote: “Invasive means a species has invaded a geographical region that they are not native too. It doesn’t necessarily mean they are growing or reproducing really quickly, although in a lot of cases it does. But I would be careful using that word in that context because it can be misleading. Tiger nuts are native to Africa, and so any growth they have where they are termed ‘invasive’ in the literature is growth outside of that region. ”

      So.. since you’re the expert in that area, I wonder what you make of this paper about other sedges (nut-grass) that are very similar to tiger nuts and were known to have been eaten by hominids:

      From: Cyperus rotundas L. (nutgrass) as an example of a major planted available to predynastic populations and its exploitation

      Nut-grass sems to be stimulated into more active tuber production by soil disturbance such as could result from digging wild tubers. In modern fields where Cyperus rotundas is established as a weed, cultivation merely makes the infestation worse (Holm et al 1981: 13-17). Equivalent effects have been observed for other wild root foods. For the wild Dioscorea yams, Hallam (1977, 1983) noted that the mere process of harvesting with a digging stick leads to their increased abundance and spread. Jones and Meehan (in press) have noted the same phenomenon in both yam tubers and Eleocharis corms exploited by the Gindjingale. Gott (1982) suggested a range of similar effects for root foods used by southern Australian Aborigines, including reed-mace (Typha) rhizomes, the root tubers of wild orchids, a Triglochin, and a salsify (Microseris). She concluded that this regime of firing, gathering and digging might well be regarded as a form of “natural” cultivation on the part of the southern Australian Aborigines.

      Disturbance from harvesting nut-grass, however, could have had additional advantages not seen in some of the other root food plants. In most Dioscorea yams, for example, the stored nutrients of the previous year’s tubers are reabsorbed early in the growing season and translocated into newly forming tuber(s). In nutgrass, by contrast, the old tubers are retained and simply become more woody and inedible. The soil becomes choked with old tubers, and the plant as a whole comes ever less productive of new succulent tubers fit for human consumption.

      Annual harvesting of nut-grass tubers can largely prevent this buildup of old, woody tubers and thereby be even more effective in stimulating rapid production of young tubers than is the regular harvesting of wild yams.

      So, I wonder if one can qualify sedges as “invasive” when they are dug up and disturbed, which then causes them to grow beyond their normal/natural bounds?

    • Daniel on October 20, 2014 at 19:29

      Duck, thanks for the reply. I can completely buy the idea that they were a staple in pocketed areas where there was water. It reminds me of another study that suggested that our brains grew due to our reliance on water based food. I can’t remember why – if I recall it was to do with DHA. But this would quite nicely fall inline with that also.

      To me the question was simply how much tubers were eaten and there is no doubt in my mind they were important – it’s the how important we need to figure out. I’m sure as research starts to come out we will learn more. And I loved your posts by the way I’m just a geek when it comes to Evolution and Ecology so I like to discuss the details.

    • Duck Dodgers on October 20, 2014 at 20:24

      Me too! I think the lesson I’ve learned in my casual research on the topic is that hunter-gatherers ate whatever energy-positive foods they could find. It didn’t matter if it was animals, insects, termites, sedges, acorns, honey, fruits or seeds—whatever kept them alive and supplied their nutrient requirements. They were probably starving a lot of the time and my guess is they mainly selected foods that provided net positive energy yields. Depending on their location and environment, I suspect the ingredients to satisfy these requirements were rather varied.

      To me, tiger nuts are simply a food, with a fascinating history, that many people in the Paleo community hadn’t considered before 2014. I mean, it was considered a candy during WWII! And I think it’s kind of fun to re-discover a food like that. But, of course, there are probably many lost foods that will be rediscovered as time goes on.

    • Dan on October 21, 2014 at 02:37

      It’s a bit of an irony that back when I ran my old blog in 2009 I really hated how the low carb movement stole paleo. It never made sense to me. Now I find myself eating low carb, not because it is paleo, but because I want to see if it can reduce my appetite. So far it’s not working so well. But I want to get ketoadapted before I make that call.

    • Gemma on October 21, 2014 at 03:11

      @Dan

      Could you explain in simple words why you hope that “ketoadaptation” (whatever that is) will help you in weight loss?

      If you should take anything from reading this blog, it would be that long term appetite control and body composition, or rather health in general, is controlled by healthy gut microbiome.

    • Duck Dodgers on October 21, 2014 at 09:20

      And Dan, in addition to the study I just referenced, here’s a fantastic 2009 paper on these sedge USOs that appears answer a lot of your questions on habitat and accessibility, competition, etc.

      Shallow-Water Habitats as Sources of Fallback Foods for Hominins

      What do you think of that? I found it really interesting.

    • Dan on October 21, 2014 at 13:24

      It’s interesting but not invasive. By definition an invasive species is one that has ‘invaded’ a non-native region. So if the species is found in it’s native range it simply cannot be invasive (slightly oversimplifying but works for now).

      What is interesting, however, is that invasive species tend to only invade habitats that have changed due to human disturbance. The current theory coming out is that this occurs because the habitat has now changed, and the native species are no longer adapted to his newly altered habitat, which opens a doorway or niche for invasion by exotic species. So what I was looking at is how turbidity and pollution causes massive ecosystem changes in freshwater bodies, and when this happens you see a natural decline in native species (that are not tolerant to high turbidity levels), and the exotic species that has invaded (found at about 500 fish per 50cm squared) is tolerant to turbidity. So in short, an alteration in habitat changes the playing field and allows new species to invade as they are more adapted to that environment.

      So back to your example. By cultivating the tubers you are effectively altering the local habitat (even if that is on a small spatial scale). This obviously seems to benefit a particular type of tuber. It’s interesting because it almost seems like a symbiotic relationship between humans and these tubers – and if that is true then it would hint at a long coevolutionary history. Or we might just have benefited from creating a microhabitat that the plant naturally does better in. Either way it is interesting.

    • Dan on October 21, 2014 at 13:32

      Duck, yeah so I think we nailed it. And again this has really sparked my interest along the lines of a land/water interface for evolution in the East African rift valleys. It seems there is something critical in that. As I said I’m gonna post about this but would love it if you could take a look given your background on the Anthropology side of things.

    • Dan on October 21, 2014 at 13:35

      I think keto adaptation is like hacking your DNA. In might not be natural but from what I have read it can cause some large reductions in appetite, which is my problem. Unless I try it, and become ketoadapted, I can’t in all good conscience, rule it out. So I want to try it for a month to see if it works, and if it doesn’t, I will be eating more along the lines of what Richard is proposing (with a twist).

    • Gemma on October 21, 2014 at 13:47

      @Dan

      Many people were harmed by trying ketogenic diets. If I were you, I would not be playing with health in such a way.
      Try intermittent fasting perhaps, but not such a nonsense as “nutritional ketosis”.

    • Duck Dodgers on October 21, 2014 at 13:52

      Dan,

      Surely you’ve looked into the plethora of research regarding prebiotic plant fibers such as resistant starch, yacon root, glucomannan, etc., to increase satiety?

      Those seem like far more natural approaches than embarking on a macronutrient-starvation protocol. If you are not familiar with that research, you’ve come to the right place for guidance.

    • Duck Dodgers on October 21, 2014 at 14:02

      By the way, your description of plants either interacting with, or filling in the void of, human interaction brings up a very interesting topic. Have you ever listened to the podcast, Backstory? (I’m a history guy, can you tell?)

      Listen to the first segment in this episode, where they look at what the American “native” landscape looked like when early European settlers arrived.

      Backstory Radio: Untrammeled — Americans and the Wilderness

      It turns out that there were hardly any trees in the New World when they arrived. For at least 10,000 years, the Indians would constantly burn the trees and forests and clear out all the land. All of the “wilderness” we think of in America is mostly new forest growth.

      And Richard would find this incredibly interesting, since they talk about how modern conservationists don’t even realize that the idea of preserving American forests and fighting forest fires is actually a modern intervention. They explain that these landscapes evolved under constant fire conditions and now there are consequences to that modern intervention of forest preservation.

      In that sense, the forests of New England and the New World are probably filled with invasive species (or whatever the proper term is) that we just imagine as being native.

    • Duck Dodgers on October 22, 2014 at 19:51

      I was in South Africa a few years ago, and in Kruger National Park they are constantly setting controlled burns to enormous areas of land. At night you can see the fires raging from far away, lighting up the sky. We rode through one of those sections. Here’s a photo of what it looked like:

      The ground was still smoldering at times.

    • GTR on October 22, 2014 at 18:23

      Australian Aboriginals also were using fires for changing the flora.

      http://anpsa.org.au/APOL3/sep96-1.html

    • Duck Dodgers on October 22, 2014 at 19:43

      Great find, GTR! I like this quote:

      From: The Impact of Fire: An Historical Perspective

      Based on knowledge of the use of fire by traditional Aboriginal communities, who see burning the landscape as “cleaning up the country”, and to a lesser extent on ethnohistorical accounts, it is clear that fire was used by Aboriginal people primarily while they were hunting (Kimber, 1983; Nicholson, 1981). However, there were other beneficial consequences. Fire would recycle nutrients and promote new growth, which would subsequently attract herbivores. Many plants were favoured by regular low intensity burning. A burning pattern consisting of frequent, low intensity fires removes the woody understorey, and allows many of the grasses, orchids and lilies to flourish. Orchids and lilies often possess underground storage organs or tubers, which were eaten by the Aborigines (Cribb and Cribb, 1975). Studies of the burrawang, Macrozamia communis, in southern NSW showed that fire could increase the productivity of cones 2-3 times, and although the seeds of this plant are poisonous, Aboriginal people had developed the technology to eradicate the toxins by treatment with heat and running water, and Macrozamia seeds were an important food source (Beaton, 1982).

      So, given that this was widely practiced by North American Indians too, apparently it was very common for man to set fire to “clean” the landscapes. As we see in that Backstory episode (above), there were hardly any trees in North American when Europeans arrived. And wildfires seemed to encourage tuber growth in some plants. It sounds like it produced more food for them in the long run.

      Before the control of fire, the fires would just happen naturally. I wonder if living near shallow-water offered some protection from such natural events.

  5. Doofus on October 19, 2014 at 12:51

    Lustig was eating loads of carbs with bagels as a mainstay in that first pic.People were pointing fingers st him for eating such junk carbs and I think he then went semi LC and the new pic is the result.Which guides me to next question…Richard can you show a pic from today of yourself.I am not looking for ripped abs but rather a healthy looking face and no rolls of fat hanging over the belt.

  6. Jennifer on October 19, 2014 at 13:33

    Richard,

    It’s true you are a pompous asshole; however, that’s part of what I love about you! The other part is that you continue to explore and to admit that your ideas are a work in progress, that you might be wrong.

    I’m loving your recent stuff about high starch, low protein, and low added fat, which is what I’ve been roiling over in my mind for a bit now and toying with experientially with some promising results… I think you’re really onto somethin’ for some folks.

    And, like others have said, yours in the only site I frequent daily, and feel titilated when something new comes up.

    Plus, I can say PHUCK! here whenever I want.

    Keep it up, prick. You are my kinda guy!

    • Richard Nikoley on October 19, 2014 at 13:44

      Jennifer:

      Laf. I love forwarding those sort of stuff to Beatrice. Keeps her on her toes!

    • pzo on October 22, 2014 at 14:30

      Total agreement, first paragraph there! While I am 180 degrees from Richard in matters of government and voting, I respect his non-kneejerk way of arriving at his beliefs.

      The only blog I check daily. OK, sometimes more frequently…..

  7. Simas on October 19, 2014 at 13:41

    Great job, Richard! I would probably still be in Paleo fantasy world, if not for your blog! I’ve read all posts on RS in a few days. Eye opening. Next week I’m going to raw food/vegan conference(although I’m not in that boat) with Caldwell Esselstyn and few others, just want to challenge my beliefs even more.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 19, 2014 at 13:46

      Exactly. Needless to say, vegans are wrong. We’re solidly omnivores. But as Denise so modestly put it, what can we learn from them?

      Is their wrongness a bloodspot for us?

      What is there to fear?

  8. Diana on October 19, 2014 at 14:23

    Keep it up! Been a longtime lurker and this post inspired me to comment. This is the perfect example of not selling out. Most of what we think of not selling out is unnecessary self-censorship/avoidance of self-promotion. I hope your success inspires other people to not give/say what “people” want (to hear) .

  9. Dave from Oz on October 19, 2014 at 15:06

    Richard, I know you hate people blowing smoke up your ass, but you are truly a breath of fresh air (yeah…imagine that!). I’ve been reading your blog, on and off, since way back in about 2010 or so and have unsubscribed and resubscribed a number of times – unsubscribed each time because I thought you were an arrogant fucktard (love that Nikoley-ism!) who didn’t give a shit what other people thought.

    I’ve recently resubscribed again because you are an arrogant fucktard who doesn’t give a shit what other people think. You’ve challenge the mainstream Paleo folk, and I actually like that. No one else is doing your type of critical thinking on this subject.

    Your content over the past year or so has been incredibly eye-opening for me (and seems so for many others); Resistant starch, the Inuit ketosis myth and recent lower fat, higher starch aspects are particular highlights.

    Keep doing what you’re doing Richard. Sterling job, sir!

    • Richard Nikoley on October 19, 2014 at 15:26

      Ha, Dave, mate.

      Is it something in the way I move? Treats you like no other lover? 😉

  10. Kate+Berger on October 19, 2014 at 15:39

    Onward and upward, Ricardo. BTW, it was today’s post on FB by one of the Paleo celebs that brought me back to you. Even in your most negative, you are missed.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 19, 2014 at 15:59

      Duping the overhead of Facebook has been wonderfully liberating.

  11. Dan on October 19, 2014 at 16:42

    Richard even when I wasn’t doing paleo anymore your blog was the only one I checked. I’m interested in what you have to say. I don’t always agree with you but I think you are genuinely interested in helping people out.

  12. Dan on October 19, 2014 at 16:48

    Oh and I should add. One of the reasons I stopped blogging in the first place with DarwinsTable way back in 2010 is because of the nut jobs it attracted. As I slipped into it it was about the science and most of the blogs reflected on that. But then it just became this ridiculous movement where all of a sudden shampooing was bad as you mention. It went from rational thinking to “I like paleo because I get to live how I FEEL I should’. aka natural, in touch with nature, unprocessed etc. Well cancer and HIV are pretty natural too but you wouldn’t want to mimic either of them. Anyway, I still resent how these hippies came along and metaphorically raped what paleo was. When I think of paleo now I wince. But there is still a part of me that tries to think or talk about paleo as it once was – a science project:) And I guess that is why I like you – because you see through that crap too.

  13. Nicole on October 19, 2014 at 16:51

    Thank you. I’m a sensitive soul, and sometimes you take me back a bit, but despite that I feel loved here. After a couple of successful years following standard paleo/primal, I started going backwards and got sicker the more compliant I got. I was stumbling across truths from my own experience, and you were the only one saying that you were finding the same thing. The thank you is because you followed that up. You followed this trail to a lot of people’s health salvation. Thank you continuing on.

  14. Hugh Anderson on October 19, 2014 at 17:22

    Good write up, and timely, because it addresses what certain fucktards missed: you are not a part of the paleo in-crowd anymore and haven’t been for several years. Paleo’s persona non grata & gadfly of sorts, yes, but a mover & shaker for “the cause,” no.

    I remember well cunt-gate, which was closely tied to Jack Kruse-gate, and my telling of that period is that it had a lot to do with some people trying to codify capital-P Paleo as a movement and ideology…and power and profit center, shhhhhhhhh. And here comes “Dick” Nikoley with his gendered insults (Oh noes!!! nevermind that calling you a dick was itself a gendered insult) shitting all over that effort by letting every wackjob into the cage match of ideas to see which one was left standing. I’m sure there was a “heel, boy” command issued from various corners of the paleo community, but it seems that hand got rabidly bitten.

    There’s a reason I still check your blog to the exclusion of most other paleo blogs. Because it’s more than paleo, which I was done with years ago anyways. I still follow Russ Crandall at the Domestic Man, which I found from a guest post here, because I like his recipes & I like the mellow non-preachy vibe he puts out. I follow Melissa McEwen because she’s smart as balls and a good writer. Ned Kock, Stephan Guyenet, and Emily Deans again because I like their vibe. That’s my short list.

    I still wish Kurt Harris was saying stuff on the Internet (maybe he is?). For a minute I was willing to put up with Carbsane’s mind-bludgeoning writing style to see him in the comments section.

    • Dan (a different one) on October 19, 2014 at 22:15

      “I still wish Kurt Harris was saying stuff on the Internet”

      Yep another solid mind lost to the noise.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 07:58

      “I’m sure there was a “heel, boy” command issued from various corners of the paleo community, but it seems that hand got rabidly bitten.”

      A little bit, but not much. I know a number of people went to Sisson to intervene but Sisson is a smart man and told them: ‘you have to understand, Richard truly does not care what you think.’

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 08:05

      Curiously enough, Kurt got more pissed at me than anyone. Not only about that, but also previously in entertaining Kruse like I did. We eventually worked it out, though it was never as cordial as it had been.

      Then, he dropped off completely. After about 3 emails went unanswered, I let him be. Plus, he was in a different place too. Set for life, sold his radiation practice, retired, and I believe his wife was selling her dental practice. He was ready to move on and I’m a ‘well good for you then’ kinda guy. Zero hard feelings.

  15. Mart on October 20, 2014 at 07:49

    imoressive Amazon numbers – congrats! But what do you take home out of that?

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 08:21

      That’s to be seen. Because of volume I’m at the highest levels of % now, which is about 8% or so, though it carries by product. The other thing is, it didn’t really jump into high gear until about April, so beyond the initial spikes, that’s more like about 7-8 months worth.

      My aim is to keep it going but keep it real. I don’t want to be a place where almost every post is about selling something.

  16. Pam M on October 19, 2014 at 19:49

    This may not be the best place to ask this but weren’t you going to come out with a book with Tim Tatertot on the resistant startch stuff? I’ve looked all over your site and don’t see any updates on it.

  17. doGnuts on October 19, 2014 at 20:37

    How is Art Devany doing with his paywall? He is an economist you know. He knows about the economy. Unlike you Richard he was a professor. He knows about the economy Richard.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 08:16

      Art moved away from that some time ago. Unfortunately, much had passed him by by then.

  18. JCB on October 20, 2014 at 04:08

    Congratulations on getting paid to do what you love! Something for all of us to aim for…

    Just came across this, via Paul Jaminet:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/8566598/

    which seems to imply that raw (as opposed to cooked & cooled) potato starch increases colon cancer in rats. It’s quite an old paper (1996). I wondered if you’d come across it and what you thought? I’m not sure how close rats are to humans in terms of generalising from one to another in this context.

  19. Alan on October 20, 2014 at 05:40

    Richard, I have been reading your blog for about 2 months now. I love your eloquence, and lack of eloquence. I admire your fearless pursuit. But, I would love to have you explain how you recommend that an obese person, should proceed, given your evolving outlook, in order to lose weight. Seems you lost yours with LCHF, and now you have the luxury of changing your lifestyle. Where does one begin, when you are no longer subscribing to the traditional Paleo theory? Please spend a minute on a concise answer. I would appreciate it.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 08:29

      Alan:

      What’s going on here is my continual search to find what probably might work best for the most people most of the time, with the outlier exceptions, but I have to let others worry about them.

      I’m coming to think that the answer is very simple: beans. Lots of beans, small portions of protein, little to no added fat. The satiation levels are off the scale for me. Try beans as primary staple, and I don’t give a fuck how you prepare them.

    • Gemma on October 20, 2014 at 09:48

      @Alan

      Hey, Richard might be VERY right with beans. Or legumes in general (include chickpeas and lentils as well). They are satiating, you risk no “low carb high fat” associated health risks, full of beneficial lectins 🙂

      And if you have never heard of potato hack for weight loss, give it a try.

    • Anand+Srivastava on October 22, 2014 at 02:12

      So I guess Tim Ferris was right after all with his Slow Carb diet :-).

    • Richard Nikoley on October 22, 2014 at 14:54

      I’m eating beans as a serious staple, almost every meal. Never felt so satisfied and satiated.

      Just put 2 smoked ham hocks, 1lb package of navy beans, onion, quart of chicken stock all in a crockpot. It’ll be almost my exclusive food for 2-3 days, along with some fruit, eggs, whole milk.

    • pzo on October 22, 2014 at 14:57

      I shied away from beans due to the paleo lectins paranoia for years. And I’ve always loved them. My mother grew up in Brazil and black beans and rice is the national dish.

      I have been upping the beans and lentils in the last year, just ‘cuz I love them. And then I did my BG tests after eating lentils………….I thought my glucometer was having a bad day.

      Nope, upon more experiments, it turned out that most of the carbs in lentils and beans appear to be fiber and therefore resistant. The legumes “spike” insulin no worse than meat, or thereabouts.

  20. Reader on October 20, 2014 at 07:57

    I keep coming here for the one in ten or twenty or fifty posts where there is some new useful information. Like about that book about vitamin K2, or about resistant starch.

    But there is a price to be paid for those occasional useful posts, and that is wading through the 50% or more of the rest of them that are the author congratulating himself for being such a don’t-give-a-shit rebel.

    Note: a real don’t-give-a-shit rebel doesn’t have to write posts about how he doesn’t give a shit because he’s such a rebel. He’s just who he is and he doesn’t feel it necessary to keep explaining how he doesn’t care what people think about his vulgarity or how people don’t like him anymore.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 08:24

      “I keep coming here for the one in ten or twenty or fifty posts where there is some new useful information.”

      I get it. Kinda like the guys who goes out to the clubs every Fri and Sat nights, even though he only gets a hookup once or twice per year.

      “Note: a real don’t-give-a-shit rebel…”

      How the fuck would you know? You keep going to a place were you might only get off 1 in 50.

    • Reader on October 20, 2014 at 08:45

      Richard Nikoley’s debating strategy, boiled down:

      (1) Get butthurt because someone said something critical. Don’t consider whether there is some truth to it, at least for a while, when you will write a post about how you are just such a don’t-give-a-shit rebel that sometimes you fly off the handle and say stupid shit.

      (2) Insult the person in sexual terms. Because that’s how a real don’t-give-a-shit rebel who takes life on his own terms talks.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 09:41

      Anonymous “Reader”:

      I’m No True Scotsman, either.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 10:53

      …Or, for that matter, a solipsist, projecting my singular view upon those who only popped in here 2 months ago, having zero perspective on the history.

      No worries. Anonymous Reader will tell you all about it, for his perspective is the only one that truly exists.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism

  21. EF on October 20, 2014 at 09:02

    Richard sells honesty.

    It’s what brings me to this website. Hard to find these days. It’s refreshing. Most people hate honesty and don’t want to hear it. Do I agree with everything Richard says? Of course not. But I like what he’s selling.

    Yes, we all have to sell shit in this world. Life is 99% bullshit. Living is finding that 1% that matters. For me, that 1% does not include asking myself whether teff is paleo before I dive into that plate of zilzil tibs over injera at my favorite local Ethipoian restaurant. But I do know that it was made from scratch with real food by a lovely Ethiopian woman who’s name I know. Yes, teff happens to be tremendously good for you. Hmmm, maybe that’s why people have been eating it for thousands of years.

    Paleo is now marketing schtick – hijacked by entrepreneurs as a quick way to make money on the internet be regurgitating semi-science based claims with a pretty website.

    Paleo was just another datapoint in my quest to eat nutritious food that tastes great. For that I am grateful.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 09:45

      “I dive into that plate of zilzil tibs over injera at my favorite local Ethipoian restaurant.”

      It was only 2 nights ago I thought damn, we NEED Ethiopian again. I swear to doG: give me Ethiopian, Thai, and Indian and I could never eat another kind of food.

      And BTW, the resto we go to has both the wheat and teff injera. We go for the latter.

    • EF on October 20, 2014 at 10:00

      I need Vietnamese and Japanese food in there too – probably Korean too, damnit, just throw in Asia.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 10:14

      And if a very evildoer forced you to choose only one?

    • EF on October 20, 2014 at 10:28

      If asked 100 times I would say French 51 times and Japanese 49 times. Between the cheese, meats, and bread, French is hard to beat.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 10:51

      I’d have to go with Indian, given only one evildoer choice. 🙂

    • EF on October 20, 2014 at 10:56

      Not bad! I love me some Indian too. What’s your go-to dish? I like Saag either lamb or paneer.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 11:52

      All the lamb dishes, all the chicken dishes. Special place in heart for butter chicken.

    • Anand+Srivastava on October 22, 2014 at 02:15

      India is a big country.
      With Indian, you could have north Indian, North East Indian, and South Indian. Totally different food styles.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 22, 2014 at 14:55

      Yes of course. Wherever you get meat based curries. 🙂

  22. Steve on October 20, 2014 at 09:07

    It really is simple, yet people seem to want to complicate it too much. A few weekends ago, my wife and I visited a little village here in Costa Rica, way out in the mountains. The people that live there are completely self-sufficient. They live off of the land. They eat what they grow/raise. Do they need to study/research to determine what their ancestors ate?

    No, they eat what is natural to them. The bulk of their diet consists of starch – corn, beans, rice, plantains, etc. Some dairy, eggs, fruits and vegetables on the side, but not too much. Actually, to see exactly what the main diet is here in Costa Rica, simply do a google image search for “costa rica casado”. The “casado” is the name of our main dish, and it is what the majority of Costa Ricans eat for lunch and dinner. It typically consists of white rice, black beans, plantains, some form of tuber, a salad, and a small piece of meat (chicken, beef, pork or fish). Served with a glass of fresh fruit juice.

  23. John on October 20, 2014 at 09:44

    I used to hit your blog after the others, on the occasion that I’d think to, in my early days of Paleo knowledge searching (2010). For the past year or so I only check your blog regularly.

    OTOH I’m not really actively searching for health/paleo information at the moment, and I’m loving the political/societal posts.

    After countless hours of paleo reading I’m left with “eat real food.” Now with your material its “incorporate SBO’s and resistant starch.”

    Reading posts about questioning everything and seeing through societal stupidity is whats most enjoyable to me (and how I got into paleo in the first place with a google search “is saturated fat healthy” that led to me to an article MDA.)

  24. Denis on October 20, 2014 at 10:27

    Well done, sir! 🙂
    Thats an ass full of money for doing a thing your love! That´s what life is about. Keep on doing such a great job. I really appreciate your work!

  25. Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2014 at 11:16

    “I really appreciate your work!”

    Well keep hitting that Amazon link on the sidebar when you shop.

    Other day, Jason tweets me that he hit my link to go shopping. His shopping list came to $400. That’s 3 nice Hamiltons my way, didn’t cost him a cent extra.

    • Clay on October 23, 2014 at 15:20

      Damn, I didn’t even know that. I’ve ordered from Amazon thru your link before, but didn’t know I could support just going from your site. I spent a couple hundred last night on all the King Diamond and Mercyful Fate vinyl reissues and a limited Captain Beyond reissue. Can’t go back but I’ll remember next time I get a late night desire to drop a couple bills on old shit I’ve long owned in most formats 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on October 23, 2014 at 20:32

      No worries, Clay.

      Even my parents forget, sometimes. 🙂

      Thanks for the thought and especially for dropping in to read my screed.

  26. Sally Oh on October 20, 2014 at 13:28

    Love your blog and your “I don’t give a fuck” attitude. Sick to fricking death of invites to a FREE WEEK OF TALKS WITH POOP/DETOX/GLUTEN EXPERTS. And the fear-mongering that goes with it to sell it… I got one from two well-known guys that really pissed me off. Something along the lines of “if you don’t fix your poop mechanics, you will die a slow horrible death and get cancer too but if you just sign up for this summit, you will live forever and you can hire us to do other stuff.”

    Maybe those weren’t their exact words, but it was along those lines. Truly annoying and over the edge.

    There is a fly in the Paleo ointment and those experts can hear it buzzing but they haven’t spotted it yet. Paleo is great, has helped lots of friends but there is more to nutrition and health… Maybe the whole thing is coming back to WAPF (Weston A Price Foundation) and whole foods, a little of everything, just with real sourdough instead of grocery bread.

    Paleo careers will end, blogs will die unless those peeps keep investigating. Sweaty palms.

    Good article, I needed to read that. Thanks!

  27. AnarkhosRivaz on October 20, 2014 at 13:55

    Fuck being a parasite.

    For the last month all of my Amazon shopping was getting handled via Richards link, and that will be the standard moving forward as long as I’m continually visiting the blog for the knowledge and entertainment it provides.

    Raw honey, red palm oil, and a ball gag are chilling in my shopping cart as we speak. That’s that good shit.

    • Sally+Oh on October 20, 2014 at 14:16

      Did you get the one with the mask?

    • pzo on October 23, 2014 at 04:42

      Watch out for those cheap Chinese restraints. The metal links aren’t up to an, um, energetic woman. Or whatever your partner is.

  28. pzo on October 22, 2014 at 17:09

    One of the things I most loved about my last gf is that she embraced the word, “cunt.” She called it Conscious Union, No Thought. It was really freeing to have a woman who thought much like a man. No need to pretend offense, or be offended.

    For that alone, I miss her.

  29. Bret on October 23, 2014 at 14:18

    I just relistened to Stefani Ruper’s interview of Paul Jaminet on LLVLC. When she asked how PHD differed from the paleo diet, Paul replied that the PHD was more paleo than these other things called paleo diets. Clever line, but so true.

    The paleo celebrities call their advice paleo (or rather Paleo, being patented by Cordain), but if they are going to embrace arrogance and hide from dissonance, then they are full of shit and therefore do not represent paleo advice.

    Forget them. Hiding from the truth means they are self-serving profiteers. No different from Bank of America, only less successful. As you said, it’s not in your interest to be associated with such people, unless you wish to share in their enrichment via snake oil. Which I know is not the case.

  30. GTR on October 27, 2014 at 05:27

    @Duck, @Richard – have you thought of summarizing all these data you provided, eg. by makin a hypothesis (eg. Paleo people were not VLC) and putting all these arguments together into the Bayes equation? It seems to be a fasion now to do this, with the newest example being the ancient historian Richard Carrier doing it for the question of the historicity of Jesus (2 books – Proving History about the method, Bayes theorem, on the historicity of Jesus – actual use of the method).
    Just providing a list of arguments, without any sumation of the final result seems to be not enough.

    • Duck Dodgers on October 27, 2014 at 06:02

      GTR,

      Well, these are hardly our theories. We are just quoting the literature on USOs and hominids.

      Julia Lee-Thorpe and Gabriele Macho—both of Oxford University—seem to be among the leading proponents of the importance of USOs in the hominid diet. It’s their case to make and they seem to be doing a pretty good job of it so far.

      So, it’s not our hypothesis. It’s just what these particular researchers are saying.

    • GTR on October 27, 2014 at 06:36

      @Duck – my point is not about sources, but about summaries. Right now you have provided like a long list of points to the readers. The opponents (Eades etc.) have also provided their lists. So the readers are left with like 2 giant lists of points of information… But no final result! And it’s quite invonvenient to be left with long lists…

      To have a final result you need to somehow sum all those various points in the overall final result. One of the common way of doing this is using Bayes theorem as a summary equation, the final result; that gives you a probability of your theory, and probability of the opposing theory. How to do this for historical cases is in the book above.

    • Duck Dodgers on October 27, 2014 at 09:20

      Well, math was never my strong point, so perhaps someone who specializes in Math and statistics can take a crack at it? I’ve already wasted way too much time on digging up this stuff 🙂 Need to get back to work.

  31. Ron on October 27, 2014 at 22:03

    “Paleo’s” big deal for me is N6:N3… huge game breaker. Eliminating grains was big in the beginning, because it enabled me to lose all my fat & achieve optimal weight. Now, I’m able to eat all the safe starches I want & never think about weight. The icing on the cake is optimizing my gut health. 2 tbsp of potato starch every day, & occasional Prescript Assist capsules & I don’t think about anything… I have a 365-plus-day winning streak of perfect digestion.

  32. Richard Nikoley on November 7, 2014 at 08:31

    Update 11/7/2014: It’s come to my attention that some people think I made $285K from Amazon last year. To clarify, this was the gross revenue to Amazon for the items shipped. Associates get a percentage of that, generally 6-8.5% depending on the item, as well as sales volume during the month. I believe my take was roughly $22K.

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