Debunking the Paleo Diet

Environmentalists advocate a so-called Paleolithic (aka Paleo) diet based on alleged natural, organic foods as being the best way to contribute to sustainability and a healthy lifestyle. Greens even claim that, instead of GMO’s, a plant-based agricultural food system reduces people’s carbon footprint that, in turn, reduces greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change. That also includes avoiding meat consumption. The Paleo Diet has become so popular that even vegans have adopted it with a hybrid version known as the Pegan diet.

But is the Paleo diet based on the diet of people who lived during the Paleolithic era? If so, how much? Dr. Christina Warner is an archeological scientist and is expert on ancient diets in which she weighs in during a TED lecture Dr. Warner did in 2013. She states the answer is not really any of that and explains why the Paleo diet has no basis in reality. She has excavated around the world, from the Maya jungles of Belize to the Himalayan mountains of Nepal, and is pioneering the biomolecular investigation of archaeological dental calculus (tartar) to study long-term trends in human health and diet. Dr. Warner’s work has been featured in Wired UK, the Observer, CNN.com, Der Freitag, and Sveriges TV. She obtained her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2010, specializing in ancient DNA analysis and paleodietary reconstruction.