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.
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.