Payleo™ Schneckenfeude

Several months ago, I began writing a post entitled Paleo Schneckenfeude, inspired by the concept of schadenfreude and the misfortunes brought on one faction of the paleo community by other factions, and vice versa.  I never published it up, because the "sell by" date had definitely passed before I had the time.  But I will use the title here, with the addition of the term Payleo™ to the IHC lexicon, courtesy of the latest high profile Guy to jump ship.
Schadenfreude [shädən froidə]  from the German: schaden (damage) and freude (joy).  
Enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others
Yes, it is fair to say that there is no love lost between me and most in the paleo wing of the IHC, and I am experiencing a tinge of guilty enjoyment in watching the coconut fed chickens coming home to roost yet again.

Schneckenfeude ...

The Evolution of Schnecken?

... because the infighting is often couched as disingenuous fauxtrage over "paleo" baked goodies ... like perhaps a paleo schnecken made with coconut flour and maple syrup, or almonds and stevia, or cricket flour and dates, or perhaps the latest flavor of Quest, Rx or Paleo bars.  Instead of, in the true spirit of paleo, gushing over the glory of snails.

Back in August, Jimmy asfakeapaleoposerasyouwilleverencounter Moore drove his Kerrygold bus back on over Heath Squier of Julian Bakery/Paleo Inc. fame.   Heath is connected with the primal Crime Dog Gary Collins and the two took to the YouTube airwaves to "expose" Jimmy and other paleo peeps.  The whole thing was rather ugly and personal -- some more about that here and here.   On the paleo side of things, the antics of Moore were ancillary to the schneckenfeude over the paleo label, and which sorts of baked paleo goodies were acceptable, if any at all.

You Say Schnehhcken, I Say Schnek'n ...

What ignited the schneckenfeude was not so much Jimmy, but when Diane "Paleo is a marketing tool" Sanfilippo got her memo and posted the below on Facebook:  

Again, not to defend Julian Bakery or Heath Squier here, but here are the ingredients of the bread pictured above:
purified water, organic coconut flour, egg whites, Psyllium Seed Powder, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Potassium Bicarbonate (Leavening), Salt.
OK ... so you can buy that (I have no idea if it is any good), or you can make it with Britanny Angell's recipe which includes:
Egg Whites, Coconut Flour, Potato Starch, Xanthan or Guar Gum, Baking Powder, Salt, Shortening (her favored brand made with palm oil), Sugar (coconut palm or organic cane), Gelatin, Water, Apple Cider Vinegar
The only difference here, besides there being more questionable ingredients in Angell's recipe is that one is made in a commercial bakery and the other in your oven.  I've said before, if I were going to eat "paleo bread", I'm more likely to choose the one I can buy and count on than mess with the expensive ingredients and risk the inedible flop.  (Baking can be tricky enough, baking with alternate flours and such can be a downright disaster if things don't go just right!)

If you narrow it down to recipes and products containing "technically paleo" ingredients, there really is no difference here.  That one takes place in a commercial kitchen/facility and the other in your home is a distinction without a difference.     IT'S BREAD.

"The In Crowd" Paleo ...

The lessons of Battle Paleo Bread were, in the end, not so much about whether such foods can or should be incorporated into a paleo diet.  No, the first lesson was of the hypocrisy of those who decry such "packaged paleo" products.   The main ingredients of the homemade version -- the flours -- are both processed, refined and packaged products.  So let's cut that ruse.    No, lesson one boils down to "my paleo is better than your paleo".  Collins is none too amused by young (apparently mostly women) paleos who have never had a real job or relevant training, achieving success with paleo cookbooks and online marketing.  And yet he is aligned with a man who basically inherited (took over) his business from his Mom and is equally ill-qualified in the realm.   Apparently whatever courting was done by Heath fell flat with the in crowd.

Who is this in crowd of which I speak?  Well, my term Incestral speaks to the tangled web of relationships.  The in crowd in the paleo publishing and food biz is anyone who can trace their lineage back to Robb Wolf and the Victory Belt "family".  The Sisson label pales in comparison.  Practical Paleo, Everyday Paleo and It Starts With Food -- Sanfilippo, Fragoso and the Hartwigs all got their starts as paleo celebs through Wolf, and VB knows how to get books on the NYT Best Seller list.  Even Sisson with his burgeoning publishing label cannot hold a candle here.  Indeed I think Sisson has quietly (and not so quietly) commissioned and had to cancel the commission of more books than have actually made it into publication.    And somehow, giving a book deal to just about anyone doesn't seem to have hurt VB's bottom line.  

But clearly Collins and Squier are not part of the in crowd, although they have garnered the sponsorship of one of the "movers and shakers" in paleo:  the folks over at Paleo Magazine who run ads for them.  Jimmy is besides himself over this and blogged about it many times, first expressing dismay over the initial ad shown at right, and most recently lambasting them for continuing to do business with Julian after the FDA flap.  However, unless and until Jimmy removes his promotion of the magazine through his affiliate banner on his website, he lacks the credibility to back his moral outrage.

The Father is in the "Out Crowd"

Although there were publications before his, including two books by Eaton & Konner, Loren Cordain is generally regarded as the father of the paleo movement.  His 2002 The Paleo Diet, pretty much started the modern paleo movement.  This creates an interesting dynamic because Robb owes a lot to Cordain -- after all, he was his "star pupil".  It's almost time for US News & World Report to come out with its rehashing on why Paleo is the worst diet on the planet, and Wolf to blog in response ;-)  (see Paleo™ ~ Still a Fad Diet in 2014, and Destined for More of the Same)   

But as predictably as Robb has twisted and turned every which way in the prevailing winds, Cordain has held steadfast to the core on the antinutrient fueled positions that grains, legumes and potatoes are NOT Paleo™.    When Robb's business partner in sham supplements -- Chris Kresser -- came out with his book, Cordain defended his "True Paleo" brand and tenets vehemently.  He was backed in these efforts by Gary Collins, who believes that primal fairy dust absolves him from any perceived hypocrisy (so dairy is OK because he is primal).  I blogged on this in To Bean or Not To Bean ... Why is That Even a Question?  following the appearance of Kresser and "the daughter" of paleo, Nell Stephenson (Paleoista) on the Dr. Oz show.  Stephenson is now or was formerly on Cordain's "team", and remains steadfast to the purest of paleo practices.  It was Stephenson who accompanied Cordain on stage for the first Oz show on paleo.   Robb pretty much took Kresser's side in all of this, and you can read all about it in this transcript of that podcast.   

Robb's book and website offerings are still very much in accordance with Orthodox Cordain Paleo.  This is in stark contrast to his podcasts and blogging in which he pretty much couches paleo as an elimination diet after which you can add back in whatever your body tolerates and whatnot.  Ignore that he has a supplement line developed for those who do not take well to low carb paleo, and nevermind the fact that the single most recognizable "brand" attachment to Wolf is his signature NorCal margarita (despite alcohol being decidedly not paleo).  Robb has also been crashing the paleo potato party for far longer than the Hartwigs' recent reversal that has now dubbed white potatoes Whole30 compliant.  This would be yet another food Cordain would cringe over.  

For all his foul mouthed bravado, Robb Wolf will never name names because he can't.  Oh ... unless it's someone he can use to rile up his fans (e.g. me).  Who is he talking about there on the right?  Or who was he talking about here:
I almost don’t want to write about my chow as the Orthodox Paleoites and Low Carb Jihadis always come knocking. Questions are welcome, however, bold unsubstantiated claims will be deleted. Quasi-religious missives will get a banned IP.
I’m THAT burned out on the food warz. ...
Again, nothing in Wolf's product lines and books reflects his new loosey goosey paleo.  Rather those Orthodox Paleoites and Low Carb Jihadis would find much to quote in those works that would apparently garner an IP ban for such unsubstantiated claims.   Think about that Robb.

Did I mention Incestral?

The quote from the above meme was shared quite a bit.  I don't know where Robb said it, but I first saw it tweeted by Mr. Calories Proper, Bill Lagakos ... who, incidentally, is a recent addition to Cordain's team!  Bill's boss is exactly the sort of orthodox paleoite Wolf is cursing at...

Another person who shared it in multiple places was Karen Pendergrass of The International Paleo Movement Group.  It would be impossible to give you one website name with which to identify Pendergrass because she has so many.  Near as I can tell, she's a self-proclaimed expert on sustainable farming who has been endlessly developing a certification for farms and packaged products.  I know her as the person crazy enough to undertake a DIY fecal transplant for unknown maladies (note: while I recognize the validity of FMTs for C.difficile, this was not the case, and DIY is ill advised to put it mildly).  Before you think I'm stretching things a bit on this tangent, Karen is behind the labels shown here.  Got in a bit of a FB tussle with Ms. Karen when she shared the Robb meme and I pointed out Robb's penchant for using high brow language to relate his message.   Apparently some see her as a leader.  Robb is a supporter of her work, whatever it may be.  I guess they share the sustainable agriculture and animal domestication angle in the paleolithic-inspired community.  Umm, I think there's a term for that ... if Webster's needs a picture ...  In any case, Karen is a supporter of Paleo Cookies, because if Paleo Magazine needs to use these things to sway folks in the waiting rooms at their doctors, don't fight it!

So as you can see, it's all a tangled mess of loyalties and ties.  I am sympathetic to how difficult navigating such relationships can be ... this past year or so has been quite an experience with some new relationships, strengthening existing ones, and some disappointing missteps and let downs.  I understand full well that not everyone needs to be on the same exact page, or even in the same chapter to find value in working together and/or learning from one another.  But a lot of this mess is the doing of the folks in question and their inability to establish and stick with any core framework and ethics.  This has resulted is a grain-free trail mix of pandering pontificators who say one thing and often do another.  Worst of all are those who will say anything and waver and paleo waffle depending on what they think the audience wants to hear.  Sounds like my buddy!   And then you have those who display what I call fauxtrage (pronounced like a Canadian!) over the misbehavior of selective *others*.  Speaking of which ...

That Guy Flounces from Paleo!

to be continued .....


Kitty said…
I love the reversals. Who could have predicted that potatoes aren't poisonous and too much butter will make you fat? Um, everybody.
John Smith said…
They should form their own gangs and engage in rumbles.
charles grashow said…
Emmie said…
I find the tendency to make any eating plan into some type of religion (specific dogma and banning of heretics) to be more than a little disturbing. Both the Paleo, Primal, and Low-Carb world seems to attract the nutty, IMO. It's just food, for heaven's sake!
Gordon said…
Disturbing, but normal, apparently. Check this out:
Robert said…
Well-done, Evelyn.

Regrettably, I followed these numbnuts for several years, and, ultimately, ended-up with several health problems. It's been about 16 months that I've been trying to recover.

So, my current conclusion is that perhaps it's not a good idea to eat very-low carb, do excessive exercise, and intermittently fast for 12-16 hours at a time. Maybe it works for the 20-somethings, but not us almost-50-somethings.

But, I blame myself.

While I experienced a great deal of cognitive dissonance following the ever-morphing recommendations, thank God I never ate "...5 local pastured eggs cooked in salted Kerrygold grassfed butter with garlic spices and a whole stick of unsalted Kerrygold grassfed butter..."

No Moore nonsense.

Robert said…
Well-done, Evelyn.

Regrettably, I followed these numbnuts for several years, and, ultimately, ended-up with several health problems. It's been about 16 months that I've been trying to recover.

So, my current conclusion is that perhaps it's not a good idea to eat very-low carb, do excessive exercise, and intermittently fast for 12-16 hours at a time. Maybe it works for the 20-somethings, but not us almost-50-somethings.

But, I blame myself.

While I experienced a great deal of cognitive dissonance following the ever-morphing recommendations, thank God I never ate "...5 local pastured eggs cooked in salted Kerrygold grassfed butter with garlic spices and a whole stick of unsalted Kerrygold grassfed butter..."

No Moore nonsense.

Sanjeev Sharma said…
has raw milk faded from paleo?
I used to see it a lot more often

what made me link the below video here: (watch about 2 minutes here)

the overall item:
Sanjeev Sharma said…
PS: what I find especially disturbing about the raw milk BS is, its rise is CONCURRENT with the anti-vaccine movement plus relative lack of new antibiotics over the last couple of decades.

The 2 misguided movements plus that stall (in research resulting in new products) are creating a perfect storm for a return to the days of widespread infectious diseases.
MichaelGWS said…
Is raw milk dangerous? I know this is a link to a Paleo Guru but how far off is his analysis? Looked into the data myself and he seems to be on track here.
Rosie May said…
It makes you wonder, raw milk seems to occupy that Paleo hinterland where reality morphs to fit whatever is trending, it's all guts and thyroids it seems at the moment so raw milk will have it's time in the limelight.
Bris Vegas said…
A three year old recently died in Australia after consuming raw milk sold for 'cosmetic purposes'.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
zero increased benefit has been proven

therefore even a 1% raised risk is not worth it; watch the 2nd video below, deaths are being traced back to it, not just diarrhea.

"Here, take this pill: only one in a trillion chance it'll kill you"

K's playing to his audience- he knows he'll alienate some by telling them to stay away so he doesn't.

The other reason to take higher risk would be cost, ie, if the raw's cheaper, but K doesn't write about that.
StellaBarbone said…
In the late 1980s, in California, I worked with a guy who lived in a commune (and worked as an engineer, Nigel!). He had belly pain for several weeks and started losing weight. He finally went to a conventional doctor and was diagnosed with intestinal tuberculosis from raw milk given by an untested cow. We think of Tb in cows as an obsolete disease, but there are still some pockets and reservoirs of disease in wild animals. I know that California has a reputation for crunchy granolahood, but we also have an aggressive consumer-oriented government/nanny state (depending on your political views). Bovine Tb could easily flair in a state with less ag monitoring.
Steve G said…
You should start subheading; "The Caveman Asylum"
charles grashow said…
Well, my wife and I drink raw goat milk. The farm is inspected by the state of NY and the owner does her own testing as well so we are not concerned at all.
carbsane said…
I just think that the sheer magnitude of our dairy industry precludes widespread raw milk use. I think it should be accessible and regulated/tested/monitored, but I don't see how such could be upscaled.