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Paleo Diet vs. Permaculture Diet  RSS feed

 
Andrew Scott
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Is anyone working on explicitly connecting the dots between hunter-gatherer diets and permaculture? John Kitsteiner has written a little about it, but it didn't seem like he took it very far. I started a thread here a while back after seeing a lot of talk of permaculture in the paleo community and paleo in the permaculture community, but it still feels like this is an area ripe for inquiry. Both tendencies reference ways of existing outside of the industrial and grocery store paradigms, but it seems both still retain a heavy baggage from monoculture in their popular expressions.

Here's another stab at it: Paleo Diet vs. Permaculture Diet vs. Feralculture Diet, and I'd be curious if others are actively working to reconcile our shared hunter-gatherer ancestry while de-emphasizing foods that are clearly products of the agricultural [read: monocultural] revolution. Lawton mentions it in passing, so it can't be all bad, right?
 
Dayna Williams
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I'm very interested in this as well, just from a "what should I feed my family" perspective, and would love to hear other people's take on the topic. Thought I should let you know the link to the thread you started a while back doesn't seem to be working.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Andrew Scott wrote:Is anyone working on explicitly connecting the dots between hunter-gatherer diets and permaculture?


To me, they seem so contrary that I don't know if there are any dots to connect... Hunter/gatherer culture seems to me to be about constant movement. Movement from place to place in search of food, and movement as a means of social harmony. In other words, rather than being trapped in a house, on a farm, and with the same woman forever, hunter/gatherers are constantly mixing things up. Permaculture implies stability, and permanence: Tying oneself to the land, the infrastructure, the culture, and the people associated with the land. Sure, I can eat more berries, and catch more fish, and eat more nuts, but unless I radically change my philosophy towards ownership of land and people, I'll remain a sedentary farmer, and not a hunter/gatherer.

Hunter/gatherer implies food uncertainty, and routine intermittent fasting.

Permaculture implies food constantly being available either from the farm or from the pantry.

I'd expect radically different outcomes from these two types of eating and relating to the land.

 
Dayna Williams
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Joseph, I see what you mean, especially if you take "hunter gatherer diets" literally. I kind of took it to mean "Paleo/Primal diets" as we currently understand them. I know they're not really the same as hunter/gatherer diets, but they style themselves after them, with all of their "Grok on" terminology. So if that's what Andrew Scott was after in his Original Post, then the dots seem much easier to connect. I am continually surprised that there is less cross over between the two camps (Paleo and Permaculture), since they potentially have so much in common.
 
Lesa NeSmith
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Interesting.
I have been struggling with some of these ideas as well. Traditional Nutrition, paleo, permie....

Looking forward to more information and discussion
 
Justin Rhodes
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I actually started eating Paleo for health reasons, and our food bill skyrocketed.

HOWEVER, I quickly realized that the meat, veggies and fruits I was putting on the table could more easily be grown on my farm than with my previous diet (included lots of grains).
 
Andrew Scott
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Holmgren, Mollison, Lawton, and Hemenway all explicitly reference indigenous and hunter-gatherer lifeways. I'm gonna follow their lead and take permaculture to mean "permanent culture", and not "permanent agriculture". There's significant commonality between paleo dietary frameworks (i.e., food choices informed by evolutionary biology) that reject the monoculture paradigm of food and permaculture's rejection of the monoculture paradigm of, well... everything. It doesn't really seem like there's much need to justify this, it's simply a matter of how much we take permaculture at its core or how much we assume the baggage of a culture predicated upon agriculture.

 
Stephen Mayer
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Great topic! My family is on a whole food plant based diet and feel it is very much compatible with the permaculture concept. On our type of diet it becomes possible to grow closer to all of your food yourself ... And since minimality processed food is emphasized in our diet, we would have a rich source of everything we need out in the garden. My goal is to have animals ... Not to eat but to perform working capital to the farm (pigs and ducks to clear land, dogs to protect the forest, cats to keep the rodent population in check, etc.

Also I echo what Joe said here ... Paleo doesn't have any real scientific value. It's just another fad diet. Eating the plants and fruit you grow ... That is here to stay!
 
Andrew Scott
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Dayna Williams wrote:...the link to the thread you started a while back doesn't seem to be working.


Ah. Looks like it's too late to edit. It's probably not super relevant to the discussion, but it was just a link to a thread in this same forum: Permaculture at PaleoFX
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I recently read "The Big Fat Surprise", which I got from the library. The author spends a fair amount of time reviewing the (lack of ) research that got the USDA and the American Heart Association to recommend and continue to recommend the low fat, and unsaturated fats diet as "hearth healthy". The (lack of) research that got the "Mediterranean Diet" to also be recommended by "health" professionals.

The author also delves into research that refutes the efficacy of those two diets, and supports the high fat low carb diet that Dr Atkins also supported. It is a real eye opener, fully documented and literature cited, but in language we all can understand.

What happened was a lot of politics. The benefits of the "Atkins" diet have not been disproven scientifically, they've been well documented, but are unpopular, denied print in the prestigious medical publications. The AMA doctors have to follow standards of care, which means the USDA recommendations and the AHA recommendations, despite the fact that they have been disproven time after time in the last 40 years. And even if the doctors themselves eat a diet high in animal fats and proteins, they still tell their patients to follow the AHA recommendations.

In fact, though the current modern plagues are multifactorial, one of the huge contributors to metabolic syndrome of obesity diabetes and heart disease IS the diet currently recommended by the USDA and the AHA, though recently they DID back off the condemnation of eggs (from healthy chickens).

So, I recommend that anyone really interested in a solution to our dilemma as omnivores (what shall I eat?) read The Big Fat Surprise. And when you're done with that, read "Missing Microbes" to understand another big contributor to our health plights. And have a better chance of avoiding them yourself, and preventing them in the next generation.

Thekla
 
Bradley Springer
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I actually found Permaculture through Paleo. The two go hand in hand, imo.

You don't have to be a vagabond to be Paleo. I think life on a homestead closely mimics the daily movement of our hunter gatherer ancestors. Homesteaders spend most of their day moving slowly, and occasionally lifting heavy things.


As for the health benefits, all I can say is use your own body as an experiment. I was a tad skeptical myself, but with an autoimmune disorder I really didn't have much to lose. Before and after blood work was all I needed to become a believer. And the subsiding of my symptoms was a huge relief.

I also must stress that sleep is probably the most important aspect of this lifestyle. Imagine early man finding a nice big patch of berries. They probably hung out for a few days not doing much of anything but goofing off and sleeping.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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My basic plan, adopted ~ 1970 is that if some humans from previous generations somewhere on earth, going back a loooong way would not have recognized it as food, then it's probably not the right thing for me. So far, not on any pharmaceuticals, no chronic conditions, in robust health at the advanced age of 64.

I don't know what "paleo" is, but if that fits, it's working for me!

Thekla

 
Andrew Scott
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:unless I radically change my philosophy towards ownership of land and people, I'll remain a sedentary farmer, and not a hunter/gatherer.


Assuming you're not advocating the ownership of people, though I agree that slavery has traditionally been the foundation of agriculture and farming (outside the temporary relief afforded by petroleum), I do wonder whether modern notions of government enforced property that can be accumulated and hoarded over generations is very compatible with permaculture. With Holmgren now self-identifying as an anarchist, I think there's a good case to be made for the current system of property being incompatible with permaculture.
 
Andrew Scott
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How about this as a starting point: How compatible is the cultivation of annual grains with permaculture?

Granted, Fukuoka grew a lot of rice, and it's absolutely possible to grow annual grains in polycultures in some places. But if we are truly listening to the land, will the answer ever be...

Dear Permaculturist, what I could really use right now is an annual grain crop year after year after year. Sincerely, The Land


It is my belief that annual grains are generally (not strictly) incompatible with permaculture. Of course, annual grains are generally (not strictly) incompatible with paleo frameworks.

Does that sound reasonable enough?
 
Joe DiMeglio
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Bradley Springer wrote:I actually found Permaculture through Paleo. The two go hand in hand, imo.

You don't have to be a vagabond to be Paleo. I think life on a homestead closely mimics the daily movement of our hunter gatherer ancestors. Homesteaders spend most of their day moving slowly, and occasionally lifting heavy things.


As for the health benefits, all I can say is use your own body as an experiment. I was a tad skeptical myself, but with an autoimmune disorder I really didn't have much to lose. Before and after blood work was all I needed to become a believer. And the subsiding of my symptoms was a huge relief.

I also must stress that sleep is probably the most important aspect of this lifestyle. Imagine early man finding a nice big patch of berries. They probably hung out for a few days not doing much of anything but goofing off and sleeping.


I'm of the same opinion Bradley. Our paleolithic forebears were not all purely nomadic. Many of them were sedentary for at least part of the year, even if they were migratory. I mean, if food was available in an area, why leave? They also "tended the wild", replanting their favorite food items in larger quantities to ensure future supplies. Holisitc Management can be summed up as "raising migratory animals on sedentary landscapes" as Darren Doherty has said. Even crop rotation is a minor form of this if you think about it. If you have a food forest, you have a similar ecosystem to what our ancestors may have found in their travels - planting one is kind of "bringing the mountain to Mohammed" as it were.

One diet that I find to be nearly as unnatural as the modern American processed junk diet is veganism. (I think it's actually more of a belief system. From my experience, vegans seem to want everyone to join their faith based diet and claim the moral high ground as it's basis.) The fact is that a paleolithic person couldn't be vegan, because most of the foods vegans eat are the product of monocultures - grains, beans and nuts don't grow in sufficient quantity or regularity in the wild support such a diet, nor were the means to process them available if they did. I highly doubt that Homo Habillis ate tempeh kabobs or tofu-almond-wheatgrass smoothies! Never mind that humans have forward facing eye sockets (indicative of a carnivorous predator VS a herbivorous prey species), an omnivorous tooth set and that our brains would not have become as large as they are without sources of animal protein and fats. Our brains are basically a 3 LB lump of cholesterol, all that animal fat had to come from somewhere. (Wildebeest Bacon, perhaps?)

I think a permaculture diet would probably just be a blend of what grows in your climate, whether the emphasis is on meat or veg or a balance of both. Beans and grains are probably going to be a much, much smaller part of it due to the lack of large scale monoculture which is the only efficient way to produce them in quantity. (alas, sweet pasta!) To my mind, it should be fairly simple - an "eat what you grow, grow what you eat" type thing.

As Bradley mentioned, sleep is also vastly important to diet and health, as is the lack of continual, low grade stress. If you've ever looked into Robert Sapolski's work on stress, you can see how the two are linked. Nat Geo did a great documentary featuring Sapolski's work called "Stress: Portrait of a Killer" that is very enlightening. Sorry if that's a bit off topic, I'm not trying to troll, just passing on some info.

As for adopting any popular, advertised system of eating...meh, what's in it for me? I know what's in it for the people promoting it. Same as every other highly promoted diet. Our ancestors didn't have such nagging questions, because they didn't have mass media marketing machines foisting new fads on them daily. They ate what they found or grew - and our existence is proof that they got enough varied nutrients to carry on and reproduce. (the human method of which is also important to health...do I hear Barry White singing....?) ; )-

Bon Apetit!

 
Genevieve Higgs
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Could we maybe put together a rough definition of "permaculture diet"? Or is there already a link out there?

To me a permaculture diet might include foodstuffs that could be grown locally in a way that required low external input and was harmonious with the local ecosystem. Those foods would probably be consumed in season or put up in ways that used resonable storage and preservation options. Consideration of cooking/preparation techniques would be important. Avoiding chemical things that passed right through you and messed up your humanure would also be important.

So maybe things like seasonal dairy from the animal that browsed in your paddocks, the whole grains and legumes that you grew, the wine that you brewed up from surplus fruits would be permaculture but not paleo.

The coconut wraps and paleo bites that I see in my grocery store probably wouldn't be accepted as permaculture.

Another aspect to consider would be to question whether your interpretation of the paleo diet is sustainable in terms of your own health and financial resources.
 
Andrew Scott
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Genevieve Higgs wrote:Could we maybe put together a rough definition of "permaculture diet"? Or is there already a link out there?


Good question. Moving toward such a rough definition is partially what I'd hope this thread might achieve. I took a crack at it in this post, but I consider that a work in progress, and not definitive in any way.

Genevieve Higgs wrote:The coconut wraps and paleo bites that I see in my grocery store probably wouldn't be accepted as permaculture.

Another aspect to consider would be to question whether your interpretation of the paleo diet is sustainable in terms of your own health and financial resources.


Very important considerations, indeed. To my mind, "paleo" has been co-opted for commercial purposes much as I believe "permaculture" has been co-opted for commercial purposes. Companies not really following paleo frameworks, and not really practicing permaculture design principles (or ethics, but that's another can o' worms), seek to latch on to popular movements for marketing purposes. I think it is important not to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" with respect to paleo and permaculture alike.

The extension/synthesis I forwarded in the previously linked post attempts to make these concepts more resistant to being watered down by commercialization/commodification. Paleo, at its core, is about wild food. Permaculture, at its core is about wild ecosystems. That is not to say that I expect this to be limited to wild foods, but that keeping the idea of wild foods and ecosystems firmly in mind as a point of reference might help maintain focus and provide a common reference point that exists outside our cultural assumptions, particularly the cultural assumptions surrounding monoculture (which I believe is close enough to be used interchangeably with agriculture).
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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My entire life, I have chaffed against people acting like they own me: Whether that be teachers, bishops, bureaucrats, governments, banks, land-lords, bosses, or family members. As far as I can tell that is the heritage that I acquired by being part of an agricultural society. I mostly deal with them by taking my toys and going off to play by myself. I think that those sorts of issues wouldn't have the same impact in a mobile hunter/gatherer society.

My climate is ideally suited to growing annual grains. Rye is one of the most prolific wild plants in the unmanaged badlands around here. It grows during the winter when other plants are dormant. It competes very well with other vegetation. It thrives with our fall/winter/spring rainy season and dry summers. It is easy to harvest, and to thresh by stomping. A knife is nice to cut the seed heads from the stalks, but is not required. It is easily eaten by boiling, and less easily eaten as bread. I couldn't eliminate the annual wheat/rye from my farm even with a very concerted effort. They grow in the food forest. They grow in the badlands. They grow in the tilled fields. They grow in the pastures. Barley and oats I could eliminate. They just grow here, they don't really thrive. So in my area, I would say that annual grains are completely compatible with permaculture. And I suppose, by extension, incompatible with paleo-culture.

After I was introduced to the idea of a Paleo Diet, I lost 50 pounds because I stopped eating wheat. I didn't substitute other grains. I just stopped eating breads, pastas, cakes, gravies, etc. I don't feel inclined to return to eating wheat. Especially not now, when I have been clean for so long that I can feel the effects by the next day: I get bloated (7 lbs for a sandwich), and congested, and achy if I eat wheat. I eat rice from time to time, and corn. They donn't cause the distress to me that wheat does. I haven't tried ancient strains of wheat, or organic wheat to test if it's the -cides that are bothering me. I just found a food that was irritating me and eliminated it from my diet. I sure miss Whoppers and Jr Bacon Cheeseburgers!

The thing that I believe has most helped my health from following a Paleo Diet has been intermittent fasting... Mimicking uncertainty about where the next meal is coming from. If I really need to focus on getting some work done during a day, I'll skip breakfast and lunch, and not spoil the keto-adaptation by drinking anything sweet. That way I'm not bothered by sugar imbalances, and I can get a ton of work done with peak energy all day long. I just gotta drink enough water to make up for the moisture in the food I'm not eating. A ten day fast was the only thing that ever normalized my blood pressure. I figure that my body was eating itself, starting with the plaque in the blood vessels. And it was super easy with sufficient water. Unlike the religious fasts of my youth which banned drinking water during fasting. Today carbohydrates are just a food for me, they are not a required roller-coaster of feast/famine, eat and then be starving.

I might whine about being in my 50s and doing manual labor for a living, but when I look at people my age around town, 90% of them are much fatter than I am. I attribute that to minimizing the poison I eat, my sorta paleo diet, and to moving a lot at a slow pace, and lifting heavy things sometimes, and sprinting occasionally. I allow big-ag to grow most of my meat. That is not the slightest bit permaculture or paleoculture because the inputs are things like grains and soybeans that no self respecting wild cow would be eating.

Before: Standard American Diet.


After: Stopped Eating Wheat.


 
Andrew Scott
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Bradley Springer wrote:I actually found Permaculture through Paleo. The two go hand in hand, imo.

You don't have to be a vagabond to be Paleo. I think life on a homestead closely mimics the daily movement of our hunter gatherer ancestors. Homesteaders spend most of their day moving slowly, and occasionally lifting heavy things.


Joe DiMeglio wrote:

I'm of the same opinion Bradley. Our paleolithic forebears were not all purely nomadic. Many of them were sedentary for at least part of the year, even if they were migratory. I mean, if food was available in an area, why leave? They also "tended the wild", replanting their favorite food items in larger quantities to ensure future supplies. Holisitc Management can be summed up as "raising migratory animals on sedentary landscapes" as Darren Doherty has said...

I think a permaculture diet would probably just be a blend of what grows in your climate, whether the emphasis is on meat or veg or a balance of both. Beans and grains are probably going to be a much, much smaller part of it due to the lack of large scale monoculture which is the only efficient way to produce them in quantity. (alas, sweet pasta!) To my mind, it should be fairly simple - an "eat what you grow, grow what you eat" type thing.


Yes. All important points. There are completely sedentary hunter-gatherers, and "nomadic" hunter-gatherers might only move 4 times a year? 8 times a year? There's a lot of cultural variation these words obfuscate. There are certainly hunter-gatherer bands that move camp 60+ times a year as well. I prefer the simple sedentary or non-sedentary, because I think this captures most of the cultural differences, and without implying things "nomadic" implies. In other words, I do not mean to imply some level of vagabond requirements for the purposes of this discussion. Now, sedentism does seem to play a role in social interactions among HGs, but that is probably beyond the scope of this thread.

I think a conceptual bridge can be found in Toby Hemenway's "Liberation Permaculture" talk at PV2. He's connecting the dots between horticultural societies and permaculture. Without getting too far into the anthropology, many similarities can be found between hunter-gatherer societies and horticultural societies. What I'm getting at here is that I'm not trying to equate hunter-gatherers with permaculture, but trying to see where they meet in the middle, and how thinking about hunter-gatherer diets might improve permaculture design.

 
Andrew Scott
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I allow big-ag to grow most of my meat. That is not the slightest bit paleo because the inputs are things like grains and soybeans that no self respecting wild cow would be eating.


Right. And this kind of meat production is not the slightest bit permaculture either. Can we chalk this up as another link between paleo and permaculture?
 
Jason Silberschneider
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Justin Rhodes wrote:I actually started eating Paleo for health reasons, and our food bill skyrocketed.

HOWEVER, I quickly realized that the meat, veggies and fruits I was putting on the table could more easily be grown on my farm than with my previous diet (included lots of grains).


This is an excellent point! Eating healthy (paleo) food that is purchased from a supermarket is expensive. But you can grow almost all of it for free.

Buying crappy food from the supermarket is very cheap, but very expensive - if not impossible - to grow yourself. Most people opt to buy cheap crappy food from the supermarket than grow free, healthy food because that's hard work.

I think jack spirko's "Mostly paleo, most of the time" is a pretty good starting point for a permaculture diet.
 
elle sagenev
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elle sagenev wrote:The paleo diet does not exactly fit with the time period it claims to be replicating.
 
Burra Maluca
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elle sagenev wrote:The paleo diet does not exactly fit with the time period it claims to be replicating.

I think for the purposes of this thread it's best to think in terms of what the paleo diet consists of, not whether or not it's historically accurate.

As I understand it, the general definition is something like "a diet that consists of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit and excluding dairy or cereal products and processed food." Which I think would fit in very nicely with anyone who grew or foraged their own food and didn't want to grow grains or keep dairy animals.
 
elle sagenev
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Burra Maluca wrote:
elle sagenev wrote:The paleo diet does not exactly fit with the time period it claims to be replicating.

I think for the purposes of this thread it's best to think in terms of what the paleo diet consists of, not whether or not it's historically accurate.

As I understand it, the general definition is something like "a diet that consists of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit and excluding dairy or cereal products and processed food." Which I think would fit in very nicely with anyone who grew or foraged their own food and didn't want to grow grains or keep dairy animals.


I find nothing wrong with the diet, though I must admit I find it's extreme following on a lot of social media a bit annoying. I do think the amount of meat promoted for this diet may be a bit excessive. I've never had a meatless meal so I'm not going to judge that.

I think if we could make a permaculture diet a fad it would be far healthier than a paleo one as it would be far more locally based. It is the kind of diet I hope to start eating, and it will include our home grown meat.
 
August Hurtel
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I found Christina's talk to miss the point, although I see many people currently using the word paleo as missing the point too. An evolutionary perspective helps us generate hypotheses about what is an appropriate environment versus what isn't. Thus, in addition to keeping the grains, legumes, and in some cases, dairy to a minimum, we do things like try to minimize artificial (especially blue) light and get enough sleep to encourage proper circadian rhythms.

One of the things I noticed, especially back in 2007 or so, was that the early assumptions were rather low in salt and fat. Well, we sort of found out through experimentation that those assumptions were wrong. They were based on analysis of foods, but did not take into account human behavior motivated by preference- think about deer at a salt lick, or a hunter-gather picking the fatty bits over and above the lean meats. So we build a better over-all picture and then move on. In some cases, the difference between modern life and the paleolithic means that we deliberately do things that aren't natural- like intentionally supplementing with D or magnesium.

Anyway, I found silvo-pasture as the most like answer. To the thread's question. Chestnuts and hazelnuts fit in very well with the paleo diet, as does grazing animals. I think there also needs to be a lot of aqua-culture. I don't know how much that info has penetrated into the paleo or permaculture world, but the levels of dha necessary to grow our big expensive brains means we would do well to have about a third of our diet coming from seafood.
 
Badger Johnson
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Hi all,

What a great topic. I see a great amount of intersectionality between a "permaculture diet" and a paleo diet.

A paleo diet is meant to be easy on the body to digest, nutrient and energy dense. Many athletes are paleo because it keeps them light on their feet. A permaculture diet is presumably one that a permaculture farmer or gardener could grow, and even though we hold Saint Fukuoka's no-work mentality in high regard, we definitely also need the same benefits as paleo claims to offer. Plus, we are uniquely positioned to feed paleo people. We usually have livestock integrated into our systems, unlike mainstream farms, so the usual vegetarian critique about grains being grown for cows instead of humans is not so applicable, as we're building synergy between livestock and vegetation components of the system. Also, we have a great diversity of crop species under deliberate cultivation that lends itself to the nutrient density and diversity that paleo people are after. For instance, even at a broad scale on heavily mechanized farms, we have tremendous crop diversity. http://wppresearch.org/research/ The Woody Perennial Polyculture research project in Illinois (and hopefully coming for replication to Missouri and a few other places soon) has an alley cropping system of Chestnut, Hazelnut, Apple, Grape, Currant, Raspberry being grown together, plus forage for animals between and beneath. That's got many of your needs for carbs, fat, protein, antioxidants and animal products met without destroying the soil through tilling. Such a system enjoys a very high land equivalency ratio, and so it's not only a land sharing, but a land sparing strategy for wildlife conservation folks- and for feral paleo folks who want wild places to wildcraft their greens from, or whatever.

Also. There is probably an implicit critique of monoculture in paleo, if we spend just a second unpacking it, as paleo people are abstaining from annual crops- no grains or legumes. This shades into the GAPS diet for people with autoimmune disorders pretty quickly. And I think it shades into permaculture's critique of civilization. Are permaculturalists complicit in the 10,000 year old mistake to settle for being sedentary, in comparison with wild and free hunter gatherers? I think we're coming around to a paradigm that goes beyond that binary, thankfully, as it's been killing us ever since we've made the switch. One of my mentors wrote this piece 18 years ago, and it is highly salient to just this point: http://mountaingardensherbs.com/index.php/paradise-gardening/ The point is, I think there is a rich intersectionality between the agroforestry of permaculture, and the diet of paleo, not even hiding below the surface. Planned ecosystems have always been in the wheelhouse of the hunter gatherer. Consider how North American First Nations folk were incredibly savvy ecosystem engineers. Ecologists are just waking up to this fact, with their use of prescribed fire, girdling trees, planting seeds of their favorite species in and around any semi-permanent settlement. I just saw a presentation by historian Alexander Darr at the Association for Temperate Agroforestry conference, looking at the awestruck conquistadors on De Soto's 16th century expedition through the American Southeast. So much abundance, so little work, their systems were based off of having game parks with persimmon, paw paw, wild plum, hickory and walnut as dominant species around their villages.

Permaculture is pushing back against the many headed disease complex that happens when people stay put and live off of empty calories. At our best we're pretty dang paleo.

Cheers,

Badger Johnson
Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Agroforestry
203G ABNR, University of Missouri- Columbia
(859) 801-3137
bbjc7d@missouri.edu
linkedin.com/in/BadgerJohnson

"Not even are the forests and the spots in which the aspect of Nature is most rugged, destitute of their peculiar remedies; for so universally has that divine parent of all things distributed her succours for the benefit of man, as to implant for him medicinal virtues in the trees of the desert even, while at every step she presents us with the most wonderful illustrations of those antipathies and sympathies which exist in the vegetable world." -Pliny
 
Cj Sloane
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August Hurtel wrote:I found Christina's talk to miss the point,...


Agreed. I watched it a while ago & wondered why she was being so literal. Yes, they might have eaten a little grain 15K years ago but it couldn't have been more then a very small percentage of their diet.

I've been eating high fat, low carb since January & lost 21 lbs. It's a little stricter than Paleo (except for dairy). Mostly meats and greens. My summertime treat is a cup of frozen berries with HWC.

My focus is on growing perennials to feed my livestock which will then feed me.

Acorns are my favorite example of a paleo food which would be great for livestock but not necessarily people because it's a high carb food. Remains were found from a Moroccan cave from 15K years ago and the diet was mostly comprised of acorns. They had many of the diseases of western civilizations including cavities. This sealed the deal for me. I'll let my animals eat the higher carb foods I grow, and then I'll eat them!
 
Andrew Scott
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One thing CJ and Badger (and others farther up the thread) are touching on is looking at landscapes with an orientation toward encouraging animal habitat rather than for first-order human consumption, or production for exported/transported animal feed. There seem to be rippling effects when this perspective is adopted instead of the monoculture mindset.
 
Ashley Reyson
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I found Christina's talk to miss the point, although I see many people currently using the word paleo as missing the point too.


I couldn't agree more! I regard the paleolithic label on this diet as questionable facts that make a good marketing story for a way of eating that my body agrees with. I also find paleo diet and permaculture diet entirely compatible, based on how I define the words. As Lewis Carroll wrote, "When I use a word... it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

What I want to eat interests me more than the labels. Although it's generally compatible with permaculture and primal, it's a moving target as I learn more about my body, and about horticulture. I want to eat delicious healthy animals, eggs, vegetables, etc. I want meal locality measured in feet and inches rather than miles. My horticulture skills are young compared to many here, and I've never kept animals. I'm currently examining my preferred diet and it's intersection with my skills to determine what to learn next.

Earlier this week, I agreed with my wife to define at least half a dozen meals that meet these criteria:
  • Ingredients primal-ish.
  • Prefer meals within the cooking capabilities of the three young chefs learning in my home (ages 10-17).
  • Prefer ingredients first that I already produce, second that I can conceivably produce, and third that I already source locally from producers I trust. Goal: zero grocery store blind sourced stuff.


  • What a learning experience for me!

    I'm unwilling to give up eggs, so I need to at least find a local producer I trust, and perhaps experiment with HOA stealth chickens. That sounds like fun!
    I used to eat little bacon, but I'm using it more and more. So I need to find a trusted local producer until I move beyond the HOA.
    Fortunately, I have a beef producer I trust, who delivers to my area from their farm 300 miles away. I'd like to shrink that number. Or eat more bacon and eggs which I like better.
    I'm experimenting with aquaponics to produce my own catfish. Either that or chickens will be my first animal food that's neighborhood local.
    I grow many greens, tomatoes, peppers, beets, etc. - or rather my daughter does.
    We're adding some herbs this year, and the big new experiment will be sweet potatoes. Next year we'll have berries too.

    Target meals inform design choices in yard.
    Permaculture design (in progress) with guidance from those horticulturally beyond me informs possible meals.
    Five years ago I hadn't heard of jujube. Five years from now I may be eating them regularly.
    A affects B affects A. And I learn. How fun!

    Last night I ate beyond organic ground beef cooked with sliced beets, radishes, cauliflower, and beet greens. Only the cauliflower and the coconut oil we cooked in came from blind sources.

    What permaculture/paleo-ish meals are you eating that I can learn from?


     
    Burra Maluca
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    How about the meal our family had a few days ago?



    A rather nice fish caught by hand in a local river and grilled over the stems of rockrose.
    Green beans from the garden.
    Lamb's quarters foraged from the garden.
    Served with slices of home-grown lemon, a sprig of rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil from trees grown half a mile away where the wild boar roam.

    It seems like a near perfect blend of paleo and permaculture to me.
     
    Joseph Lofthouse
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    Ashley Reyson wrote:What permaculture/paleo-ish meals are you eating that I can learn from?


    I normally skip breakfast and lunch when working in the fields. Mimics food uncertainty. I might graze on weeds, roots, or veggies while working. Lambsquarters is my favorite weed to eat in the garden. There is a lot of it. Turnips, radishes, and carrots are my favorite roots. Peas fresh off the vine are my favorite all time eat-in-the-garden food. Boo hoo that the season is so short. I grow a lot of berries, They don't often make it out of the field. During sweet corn season I eat ten ears of corn in the field for every one that makes it to the house to get boiled.

    I had a lady tell me one time that she couldn't buy a smallish muskmelon because she was going out of town in 4 days and didn't think she'd be able to finish eating it before then. I might eat 5 or 6 muskmelons in the hour or so that it takes me to pick the patch for market. Can't take seconds to market, but I sure can enjoy them myself!!!

    Hmmm. Weird. I rarely eat anything in the garden that belongs to the nightshade family.

    My meals at home generally consist of soups or stir-fries containing whatever happens to be in season from the garden, combined with whatever meat I score from the farmer's market.

    The one crop that I can't grow that I eat fairly regularly is turmeric. It's such a foreign crop that I can't do more than fantasize about getting enough genetically diverse seeds/tubers to attempt localizing it to my garden.
     
    Cj Sloane
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    Burra's meal is a perfect example of paleo that the woman in the video would've mocked. Although someone from 15K years ago couldn't have eaten that EXACT meal, it would be recognizable. Green beans & olive oil would be foreign probably but they'd understand plant & fat. What's missing is bread, pasta, rice & dairy.

    Well done.
     
    Cj Sloane
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    Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
    I normally skip breakfast and lunch when working in the fields. Mimics food uncertainty.


    As I stated earlier, I do IF (intermittent fasting) which is a pretty popular paleo habit (now & then). Eating very low carb helps even out blood sugar. When your blood sugar crashes you get really hungry.
     
    August Hurtel
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    One of the interesting, more recent things I have been pondering is whether or not some of the issues we think we are having with certain foods are actually coming from emulsifiers and other things put in. As an example, I used to think I couldn't handle very much heavy cream, but there is a local dairy that sells some heavy cream that only has cream in it as an ingredient.
    I tried it, and found that I could eat a lot of cream without issue. This isn't a raw dairy (it is illegal where I am) and I don't think it is labelled organic- although they could well be better than organic. Organic is a bunch of paperwork few folks down here can afford.
    Additionally I have heard there was some research on emulsifiers suggesting they cause problems in the gut- acting as a detergent, and subsequently the gut flora gets a lot closer to the gut lining. I think this was on methylcellulose and polysorbate 80. But I have also noticed the organic things put in organic products give me problems. A while back I went around looking at cream cheese and I found the one that didn't use gums was a lot easier to digest than the organic ones that did.

    So, for the first time, I am actually thinking there may be value in having a dairy cow around. I don't have much luck with milk itself- I suspect it is casein, but I could always convert it to feed for other animals.
     
    Thekla McDaniels
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    Sorry, I don't know how to make the quote thing work, but about the turmeric... Joseph, I think from the Cache Valley. Is that the one in Utah? Our local health food store had fresh turmeric root. I bought a nice healthy piece and put it in a pot with some good soil and it grew in to a beautiful plant. I am in Western Colorado, so I think our climates a re similar. I had the plant inside for the winter, don't know if you have the ability to do that, but the root made itself into a much bigger root, and kept my inside air cleaner/more oxygenated through the winter.

    Just thought I'd mention it. I think the hard part might be getting viable root as opposed to dried powdered stuff.

    Thekla
     
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