Response to interview with Robb Wolf ABC RN 27 March 2014 – posted but substantially edited by moderators at ABC. Here is my response in full
Body image, meat, kinship and the primal are all expressions of a yearning for some sort authentic pre-modern human existence. The commingling of these desires has been expertly melded into Paleolithic fuelled Cross-Fit with the promise of an empowered ancestral human experience. Robb Wolf is a player in this mythologising. He is crafting a position that seeks ecological validation for sustainable meat consumption – to this end he is forging connections with landscape level conservation and rehabilitation through animal grazing (The Savoury Institute) – claiming the necessity, synergy and coupling of animal consumption to grassland carbon sequestration.
Unfortunately palaeolithic eating is motivated by distorted performance oriented and body image focused aspirations. It is bootstrapped to the questionably ‘functional’ exercise cult of Cross-Fit – a exercise product politburo with global reach through its network of franchised labs (aka gyms).
To circumvent these obvious criticisms of Paleo, Rob Wolf indulges in speculative evolutionary pseudoscience. His pet justifying evolutionary thesis for Paleolithic eating is the now repeatedly debunked ‘expensive tissue hypothesis’. His spurious and naive comparison of Paleo to the standard American diet, composed of industrially deranged ‘food-like substances’ is a feeble straw man.
A whole food plant-based diet is sustainable and associated with positive human health and performance outcomes. Meat consumption at the voracious, industrial and hedonic levels indulged in by the performance and body image oriented Paleo-crowd is globally unsustainable.
Narcissistic absorption with blood chemistry and body composition above all other moral, ethical and environmental concerns is the hallmark of anthropocentric paleo-fuelled primal dreaming.
My $5000 challenge to Robb Wolf is to personally kill everything he eats in order to confront his habitual and desensitised consumption.