Thursday, January 17, 2013

Raw and Raw-Fermented Paleo Tubers

Before cooking there was fermenting. Human beings and pre-human ancestors have been eating raw Paleo starchy foods for many millions of years. This is something that most so-called "Paleo" dieters are not aware of. Most are also not aware of the fact that some traditional people bury their roots and tubers to ferment them, so as to make them more tasty and digestible. If someone tells you that a food must be cooked to be made edible, check into whether it can be made edible via fermenting (or bletting in the case of some fruits) before assuming they are correct. Here is some info on the topic:


> Raw Yam?,

African Species of Yam (Dioscorea) that are Edible Raw (these are not available in American supermarkets):
> Dioscorea bulbifera - the "air potato"/"potato yam" (native to Africa and Asia; apparently only certain varieties are edible raw per;
> Dioscorea transversa - Long Yam or Parsnip Yam (native to Australia):
Women Hunters - Ray Mears Extreme Survival - BBC

> Dioscorea batata (opposita; nagaimo; Chinese yam; yamaimo) - Mountain Yam (native to China;

> Gbodo: Nigerian fermented and dried or parboiled yam
-> Effect of local preservatives on quality of traditional dry-yam slices 'gbodo' and its products,


> Biochemical changes in micro-fungi fermented cassava flour produced from low- and medium-cyanide variety of cassava tubers.

Studies on bio-deterioration, aflatoxin contamination and food values of fermented, dried and stored ipomoea batatas [sweet potato] chips

Tubers as Fallback Foods and Their Impact on Hadza
Frank W. Marlowe* and Julia C. Berbesque

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Annual January Spike in Paleo Diet Interest

In 2010, 2011 and 2012, there was a spike in interest in the Paleo diet online in January (when people make New Year's resolutions to lose weight), and 2013 was no exception. Each year the spike gets larger. You can see it at Google Trends:

You can also see that the "Paleo diet" search term eclipsed "vegan diet"

and "vegetarian diet":

and even "Atkins diet". There's still quite a ways to go before "Paleo diet" reaches the level that "Atkins diet" was at in January 2004, though:

Interestingly, the interest in "Paleo diet" doesn't drop off substantially after January like it does with most other diets and dieting in general:

Could this suggest that people find that the diet works, stick with it, and continue to be interested in learning more about it for a long time afterwards? Is this one of the few diets that really does become a long-term way of eating instead of just a quick-fix fad?

CrossFit has contributed greatly to the growth in the Paleo diet trend and it too has experienced extraordinary growth in interest:

1.24.13 update: "Paleo diet" was the top diet search term for the week ending January 5th, 2013: "Gluten free diet" was also popular. The broad concept of the Paleo template is rapidly eclipsing all other diets.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Intelligent Tinkering

“If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.” - Aldo Leopold, Round River, 1993, p. 146