Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Awesomest Paleo Book Ever

by Chris Masterjohn

I wasn't going to reveal this until next year, but I've been inspired by Melissa McEwen's recent review of the worst paleo book ever to reveal my plans to unleash the awesomest paleo book ever in the spring of 2012.  In fact, the more I reveal about this book in coming blog posts, the more and more awesomer it will get.

The book will be entitled The Efficient Evolution Diet: Living Paleo in a Neolithic Age.

The basic premise will be that we can be even more paleo than paleo people could by taking advantage of recent advances in neolithic technology that allow us to fulfill the goals of paleo folks more efficiently.

Here are the basic dietary and lifestyle guidelines.
  •  Essential Fatty Acids.  Paleolithic man ate many fish.  Fish contain omega-3 fatty acids with 5 and 6 double bonds that were likely important in the development of the human brain.  Although the advent of fish farming has allowed man to obtain the same fatty acids in a much more ecologically conscious way, we can now grow these double bonds using far fewer resources by utilizing what I call the corn plant, whose kernels contain similar omeaga-6 fatty acids with 2 double bonds.  Since there are fewer double-bonds, we need to procure corn oil in roughly three times the amount that paleolithic man had to procure fish oil, but corn is not only easier to hunt because it doesn't have any fins, but America also contains vast tracts of land that are otherwise doing nothing but providing forrests for the housing of the excess deer population.  Whereas paleolithic man would have hurt himself trying to shoot these deer with arrows, we can "kill two birds with one stone" by subsidizing the replacement of these forrests with corn fields that can, in turn, be used to provide the essential fatty acids sought after so diligently by paleolithic man in the form of fish.  The United States government has a high credit rating at its disposal that can be used to leverage borrowed money for these subsidies from foreign governments as well as from its own central bank.

  • Carbohydrates.  Our paleolithic ancestors went to great lengths to procure digestible carbohydrates.  In fact, evidence suggests that wild versions of our own plants were so poor in calories relative to fiber, vitamin C, and other nutrients that our [(great)*106]-grandparents had to gather large amounts of these foods just to obtain enough glucose to fuel their brains.  We can now obtain the same quantities of glucose with much less time spent not only gathering but even eating by refining the flours of wheat and other grains.  By simply removing the germ and bran, new technologies can yield large quantities of easily digestible starch.  There is only one problem.  Some evidence suggests that our paleolithic forebears did not consume gluten, a protein in wheat.  Luckily, modern science can again come to the rescue.  A nutritious substance now known as chlorine gas can be used to heavily bleach the flour and destroy the gluten molecule.  In fact, this is one of the reasons that cake flour makes cakes that are so fluffy.  The fluffiness of such cakes also makes eating them much more efficient, as paleolithic man would have taken far more time to chew through the excessively fibrous plants available at the time.  Unfortunately, a very small percentage of the population with gluten intolerance, termed celiacs, still cannot tolerate cake flour.  This problem can likely be avoided by utilizing larger amounts of chlorine gas during the bleaching process.

  • Light and Vitamin D.  Our paleolithic mothers and fathers had much darker skin than modern Caucasians and thus were likely to have much lower levels of a dangerous hormone named vitamin D, which is able to contribute to excess accumulation of calcium.  Those of us with lighter skin can achieve the same results by avoiding sunlight or by using artificial tanning creams.  The world was also far less populated with humans during the paleolithic area, and consequently they used much less energy.  We can obtain similar results by substituting energy-efficient fluorescent lights for more outdated types of illumination.  We can thereby sustain our current population size while consuming amounts of energy closer to those consumed during the paleolithic era.

  • Philosophical Materialism.  Current anthropological evidence suggests that paleolithic people may have been deeply spiritual people.  However, a close inspection of this evidence reveals that the spiritual beliefs developed during the paleolithic era were largely aimed at making sense of the world that paleolithic people saw around them.  We can make sense of the world much more efficiently by using the scientific method and can avoid the interpretive mistakes made by paleolithic groups by rigorously assuming that nothing exists outside of what both a) can be tested by the scientific method and b) has already been tested by the scientific method and shown to exist.  Since we cannot prove a negative, assuming negatives can allow us to maneuver very swiftly around any limitations that the scientific method currently has.  In this way we can achieve the same spiritual goals as paleolithic people, but can do so to a much greater extent with fewer errors.
I have thus far observed the effects of this advanced form of paleo diet in over 3,000 of my patients.  The single side effect I have observed is that some people feel this form of paleo is so efficient that it's "like I'm not even doing paleo."

In most cases, this results in a feeling of enormous success and self-congratulatory behavior.  Overwhelmingly, I have found that my patients' self-esteem increases on this diet.  Occasionally, however, it produces some cognitive dissonance.  I have found that in all cases thus far observed, this dissonance can be resolved by engaging in a highly useful exercise called caveman roleplaying

Dressing up like a real caveman while hunting corn, gathering cake, and musing about the death of religion under fluorescent lights can be an incredibly healthy exercise that can make one shout out "This is easy and I feel like I'm really doing paleo!"

Want this paleo book to get more awesomer?  Give me some feedback! I'd love to hear about your experiences with the Efficient Evolution Diet.  If you send me your picture eating cake in a caveman costume, you may even find yourself on the front cover!

Read more about the author, Chris Masterjohn, here.


  1. At first, reading the corn oil paragaph, I thought "Wha-a-a-a-t? But Chris is so intelligent, I will trust that I will eventually see the wisdom of this". Except it got more ridiculous. Yes, I'm not the sharpest pencil in the box when it comes to 'getting' some humor.

  2. Might-o'chondri-ALDecember 7, 2010 at 4:00 PM

    Your task is to translate that tome into every language.

    But first, the author must annotate it - to show the decline among university freshmen of the "kissing disease" mono-nucleosis is not due to their lips , but a result of innoculation from earlier acts of horizontal fluid transfer.

  3. Heh. Chris, I'd love to contribute, but you don't want to see me in my leopard hide suit.

  4. you got me, while reading the first two paragraphs i was like, wow hes going to outline his book now? this early?
    Then of course i continued reading. Hunting corn wut

  5. In my humble opinion, the ultimate paleo diet book, based in part on Weston Price research, has already been written: "The Wellness Project."

  6. One can get highly concentrated "therapeutic doses" of these important Neo/Pal nutrients by combining many together and forming a compound "coctail" called pancakes with corn syrup.

  7. *hysterical* This was absolutely priceless: "musing about the death of religion under fluorescent lights can be an incredibly healthy exercise that can make one shout out "This is easy and I feel like I'm really doing paleo!"

  8. I like the part about eating cake!

  9. I think it would be important to include at least some discussion on the known fact that obesity protects against disease, unless you eat butter:


  10. Very funny.

    Maybe it could also use some confusion over what "evolution" means.

    In biological terms it's a matter of organisms changing so as to fit their environment - finches beaks becoming longer (or shorter) as need dictates. Note, there's no teleology here.

    However, in ordinary usage it tends to mean "has got better" and is usually freighted with assumptions coming out of 18th-century Enlightenment thought - "historical theodicy" if you like. According to one literary critic, one can find the clearest emotional expression of this attitude in Keats's _Hyperion_.

    It's possible to exploit the different uses of the term, so you can always say something like "We've evolved beyond that" while also implying that anyone who doesn't agree with you must be "unscientific", because, you know, evolution is a part of biology which is a science.

    OTOH, maybe you've done this implicitly already. :-)

  11. I had to check the calendar. Nope, it isn't April 1st. So, I guess I just don't understand...

  12. You forgot to include a link to the trailer.

  13. This is fantastic, and I think it works. I mean, did you see William Zabka in Back to School at that caveman party? Dude was a beast.


    Oh crap though. I forgot most modern Paleo-style living yields a bunch of 120-pound midgets due to their inefficient constraints. I think you've solved that puzzle though.

  14. Responses to everyone.

    First, to everyone who was confused, I deeply apologize. The first indication that this is satire is the horrible grammar in the opening paragraph. The first Google result for "awesomest" is from the Urban Dictionary. The grammar gets worse as we move on to "more and more awesomer." I certainly thought my advocation of increasing the national debt in order to subsidize corn oil would give it away. :)

    However, I accept and appreciate that my humor is sometimes unclear.

    I would love to see Paul hunting pancakes in a leopard suit. Obviously!

    Ned -- a humor tag, I didn't even think of that!

    Mike, the word "evolution" means many different things both inside and outside biology, and it certainly isn't limited to "a change in the proportion of alleles within a population over time" within biology. Cultures usually evolve too, but I don't think it's generally driven by biology.

    Byan and Matt, Rick Ross and William Zabka are my heroes now.

    Texas, thanks! :)


  15. Ha! your writeups are normally all poised and articulate and stuff. don't worry chris. your readers are smart. they have to be to keep up. it's 'healthy' to poke fun every now and again, so long as it's not inappropriately insensitive. the reason this is funny is that it's so proposterous that it couldn't be true... and yet it's true.

    i saw that 'we need to procure corn oil ..." and i was like huh? then it became immediately apparent what was going on.

    well played.
    jack k

  16. Satire or sarcasm? Not sure it will selll well but I like it.

    I want to see the section on hydrogenated oils, HFCS, and GE grains.

  17. Exactly. That's been my whole problem with Paleo: Doing it the old sucker's way like nature. Finally someone's using their brain to streamline a bit. It sounds pretty well thought out. What could go wrong?

  18. Great! We can now have our cake and eat it too :)

    This book will be praised by the big food/medical/pharma establishment and you will get rich!

  19. Highly nutritious chlorine gas...

    And lets just substitute some light bulbs for sustainable living haha...

    You must be british - humour is way too dry!

  20. You mean me can eat cake now? Oooooooooooga!

  21. Funny - I thought Chris might be British because he referred somewhere to beef dripping, which I didn't think was an American usage (I thought you referred to it as tallow, but perhaps I'm wrong there).

    I'm glad it was satire though; I got worried when I noticed the posting date was not 1st April.

    Mike Ellwood, Oxfordshire, England.

  22. you mentioned our [(great-great-great-great etc)]-grandparents

    "no-one's that great"
    James Thurber

  23. You forgot to link to the book.


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  25. Wow. Thank you alot for this post!