Meat of the Matter

They’re at it again! In the first installment of what one might call its “back to nature”

series, the NY Times wrote about a couple in New York who were on a yearlong quest to live with almost no carbon footprint by eating only locally grown food, using no carbon-fueled transportation and eschewing paper, including toilet paper.

Then The Gray Lady (or should we call it the Farmer’s Daughter) wrote about “a small segment of the green movement” who have “come to regard the refrigerator as an unacceptable drain on energy, and is choosing to live without it.”

Now, in the January 10 Sunday Style section of The Times (OK, I’m a little behind in my Sunday Times reading) Joseph Goldstein writes about the Paleo movement, a group (“10 or so”) whose members “seek good health through a selective return to the habits of their Paleolithic ancestors.” Adherents, such as Manhattanite John Durant, eat mass quantities of meat, and then fast to “approximate the lean times that his distant ancestors faced between hunts.”

While Goldstein refers to this lifestyle as having an “indisputable macho component,” he doesn’t mention whether or not Durant hunted for his meat with spears and slingshots (probably not). Or if he cooked it over an open fire (doubtful).  (One Paleo eats his grass-fed beef raw, often eschewing a fork.) But Durant does keep a meat locker in the corner of his living room, just the way his ancestors would have if they had invented refrigeration before fire.

The cavemen (there is one woman in the group) who follow the Paleo diet say it gives them uncommon strength and endurance, just like their ancestors, who, says one anthropologist were “considerably stronger and in better shape” than 21st century humans. That’s the good news. The bad news is that real Paleo men and women rarely made it past the age of 30.

Steak tartar, anyone?

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