Lion of the Blogosphere

Dietary double-standard

New York Magazine mocks Jeb Bush’s paleo diet, calling it “pseudoscience.”

Why don’t they mock Michelle Obama making the White House kitchen serve organic food, or Chelsea Clinton’s vegan wedding with a gluten-free wedding cake?

The answer is that there are stupid diets that are approved by the liberal media, and stupid diets that are mocked by them, depending upon the perceived politics of the dieters.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 19, 2015 at 7:15 AM

Posted in News, Politics

43 Responses

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  1. Incredible. Their bald, shameless hypocrisy knows no bounds.


    February 19, 2015 at 8:35 AM

  2. my friend likes to describe the paleolithic diet as “right wing vegetarianism”. i think there’s a degree of truth to that. i did the paleolithic diet fora w hile and, while i did lose weight while i was doing it, i’m not certain of its efficacy over just eating a restricted calorie diet. i do however feel there is something to the line of argument that restricting carbohydrate consumption suppresses (to an extent…) appetite , making it easier to lose weight and keep the weight off.

    james n.s.w

    February 19, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    • The problem with low-carb (especially if you go really low) is it takes all the pleasure out of eating. I’ve switched to alternate day intermittent fasting with no food-type restrictions. So, one day I eat from about 6AM to 8PM and then eat nothing (but drink water, soda, tea, etc.) at all the next day.

      This takes the weight off pretty fast and allows me to enjoy my food.


      February 19, 2015 at 9:51 AM

      • implying there is not a problem with deriving so much pleasure from eating


        February 19, 2015 at 12:59 PM

      • yes, and if you do keto as opposed to paleo, you *truly* take the pleasure out of eating. keto more or less cuts the protein out of food as well, meaning that your choices for what you can eat are so limited it will drive you insane and make eating boring.

        james n.s.w

        February 19, 2015 at 1:02 PM

      • james-

        i do keto, or close to keto (i do eat a lot of protein but only carbs from cruciferous vegetables), for about 25-33% of the year. i don’t mind it much except for how small muscle bellies get when they are not filled with glycogen. the first time getting into keto was somewhat difficult, but it becomes easier and easier every time.

        when i first go back on carbs they certainly provide a euphoric feeling, but the hedonic treadmill kicks in quickly so that to me they lose their appeal except for their purpose- glycogen and insulin for growth. i feel that food is a poor place to look for pleasure, because it provides a pretty poor, short term pleasure for the long-time tradeoff of poor health and obesity.


        February 19, 2015 at 3:06 PM

      • The problem with low-carb (especially if you go really low) is it takes all the pleasure out of eating.

        Once you’ve gone through induction and hit your ideal weight you can raise your carb intake back to 40-80 grams daily, or whatever amount you can eat without gaining weight. I recommend reaching your target weight and then losing 3 more pounds. It will give you some cushion in case you gain weight back from carb binging and need return to induction.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        February 19, 2015 at 7:53 PM

      • Why don’t they mock Michelle Obama making the White House kitchen serve organic food,

        The Gluten free diet – which many of these stupid reporters laughing at Bush are on since it’s the new trendy diet of the moment – also adheres to paleo’s low carb principles. The similarity between both diets is at least 70%.

        “Gluten intolerance” is just marketing cover so SWPLs can go on a low carb diet without being associated with paleo or Atkins.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        February 19, 2015 at 8:03 PM

      • There are three spins on low carb acceptable to SWPLs. They are Gluten Free, Dukan, and Mediterranean.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        February 19, 2015 at 8:05 PM

    • Although the Paleo diet is to some degree hokum, in that we don’t really know a lot about what cavemen ate, other than pretty much anything (also there should be more roots and grubs in the diet), but the basic thrust of it; low carb, does seem to be healthier, whether you are trying to lose weight or not.

      Mike Street Station

      February 19, 2015 at 10:18 AM

  3. Great observation. Do you find it oddly coincidental that the Times hates the meat and potatoes diet and endorses the “anto-toxin” gluten free diet — isn’t this just what one would expect? What are the chances the Times would be biased the other way?


    February 19, 2015 at 9:39 AM

  4. Also, the paleo diet is big in some MRA/manosphere circles, which the savvier liberal commentators might know about, which leads to some disdain for it.


    February 19, 2015 at 9:55 AM

  5. So, eating the diet humans evolved to eat is pseudoscience, but a diet stuffed with high gi crap that causes diabetes and cvd is fine?


    February 19, 2015 at 9:55 AM

    • Right on. The paleo diet preserves the least inflammatory, lowest-glycemic index foods , with the most essential nutrients per serving and eliminates all the industrially processed crap that is high in calories and low in nutrition.

      P.S> At least we know Jeb Bush believes in evolution.


      February 19, 2015 at 10:55 AM

    • Modern day stone age cultures (like indigenous tribes in the Amazon and Papua New Guinea) all eat some form of refined starch either from tubers or tree trunks; some produce foods that look remarkably similar to dumplings and pancakes from these ground up starches.

      The main sources of calories for americans are soda and refined grains in the form of bread and desserts. If a typical american gives up those three foods they’re bound to lose weight no matter what they call the diet simply by virtue of eschewing what previously was their main food intake.

      FWIW, I ate this way (not intentionally) while pregnant, gained 10 pounds and then just stopped gaining no matter what I ate. I think I went through an entire lamb and a small army of chickens over those nine months.

      slithy toves

      February 19, 2015 at 11:35 AM

  6. […] of the Blogosphere has a good post up about the media’s double standard when it comes to calling out presidential candidates […]

  7. Razib Khan took it on:

    A lot about nutrition is tied up to morality, and our ancient psychological fixations on the “purity” of food. That’s why no matter what people say about veganism, or paleo, or high/low fat/sugar/carb, in terms of its functional health consequences, it’s really about the values that you are projecting in terms of the psychology.

    (Razib’s emphasis).


    February 19, 2015 at 10:33 AM

    • The one time I probably will ever agree with JM.


      February 23, 2015 at 2:24 PM

  8. I imagine that before too long, people like Chait will be writing snarky columns about what kind of toothpaste Scott Walker brushes with and what it says about his politics.

    Sgt. Joe Friday

    February 19, 2015 at 11:18 AM

    • Yes, I am dreading the day reporters find out a Republican candidate uses a fluoride free toothpaste. When that happens, it’s over!


      February 19, 2015 at 12:01 PM

  9. It’s hard to prove that the paleo diet is the best one because there really isn’t any modern society where everyone eats like that and you can fly there and study it. Currently the longest lived people in the world are men in Iceland and women in Japan. I’ve tried to find out what dietary practices they have in common and it appears they both eat a lot of wild caught fish, some vegetables from their gardens and drink tea. The paleo advocates would probably agree these are good foods. What the Icelanders and Japanese don’t eat is Twinkies and a coke for lunch and a Big Mac for dinner. I’ve studied various healthy ethnic diets and tried to incorporate their principles into my own diet with very good results.


    February 19, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    • Icelandic food probably tastes lousy, so they eat less of it.

      And there are fewer grains and starches in Iceland because it’s not really a farming type of country. Their diet is very heavy in lamb and fish.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 19, 2015 at 12:07 PM

      • Mmmmm……..Icelandic sheeps head!!!

        Snorri Sturluson

        February 19, 2015 at 1:19 PM

    • The very best diet varies depending on the health of the underlying person. For example, foods high in iron are contraindicated in cancer patients. Viral infections proliferate in diets high in carbohydrates, especially fructose/sucrose. Ketogenic diets however are shown to enhance immunity against viral and bacterial pathogens and this is part of the reason (theoretically) why they are so beneifical in cases of alzheimers and dementia. OTOH, the research is clear that eukaryotic pathogens such as protozoa and fungi can metabolize ketones so a high fat diet will actually exacerbate these conditions.

      The research demonstrating the connections between health conditions and diet is ballooning at this moment in history.

      But, as I am trying to demonstrate, the ideal diet depends on the underlying health condition of the patient. And while there is a theoretical “perfect diet” for all healthy persons, controlled for ethnicity, there is no ideal diet for all sick people — the ideal diet must be crafted to support the body response to the underlying illness. And some diets will always be bad.


      February 19, 2015 at 1:33 PM

  10. First of all, it’s written by Jonathan Chait, who is an imbecile.

    Second, as a source he sites Scientific American. Whatever that magazine once may have been, it is now an entirely compromised component of the Megaphone. It has zero credibility and publishes entirely based on political point of view.


    February 19, 2015 at 12:23 PM

  11. I’d think that Icelandic food fills you up very quickly, it’s all stuff with heavy texture like shark, dried fish, lamb and some dairy. Their growing season can’t be longer than 8 weeks and the terrain is bumpy.


    February 19, 2015 at 12:44 PM

    • Not to mention it’s a volcanic rock.

      Sgt. Joe Friday

      February 19, 2015 at 12:53 PM

    • The fish would be good for you. The lamb and dairy are grass fed which would be better for you. I’ve seen grass fed butter in health food stores imported from Iceland. Despite the short growing season, they can grow some things like potatoes, carrots, cabbage, kale and cauliflower in their gardens. They can also pick wild berries. They also have lots of geothermal energy and have geothermally heated greenhouses to grow things like tomatoes or grapes. An American urbanite would probably never have a garden he can get fresh vegetables out of, would never pick any wild berries or wild anything else, and would eat non grass fed meat and dairy lower in omega three fats and CLA.


      February 19, 2015 at 6:14 PM

  12. Nutrition is maybe the prime domain of enterprising individuals running personal science and then aggragating the results. Old science is threatened and therefore dismissive in much the way newspaper men were dismissive of bloggers 10 years ago.

    I could only get through a few inches of the Chait piece. Paleo diets are necessarily opposed to grains. Paleo is supportive of ancestral methods of food preparation. So beans and grains are supported if properly prepared (soaked) in WAPF. Paul jaminet supports white rice, etc. Most Paleo supports high fat dairy such as butter and ghee — unpasteurized (raw) milk is also supported at large. Paleo universally condems exracted seed oils, gluten grains, high fructose corn syrup and non-real food addictives such as dyes and colorings and flavor enhancers.

    I personally find the evidence in favor of eating primal overwhelming. I have personally seen people resolve digestive disease and autoimmune conditions by coming to understand these principles. I also realize it’s a long bridge to cross to convince someone else. In fact, I have a lot of money invested in whole food enterprises, that is how overwhleming the results are that I personally witness. And once you see a person overcome a condition like I have you realize that the businesses who do this have a customer for life.


    February 19, 2015 at 1:23 PM

    • Placebo effect?

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 19, 2015 at 1:24 PM

      • You can’t lose weight and gain muscle mass via placebo effect. Some “I just feel better” responses are possibly effected by it, but not physical changes.


        February 19, 2015 at 1:57 PM

  13. Chronic health conditions are massively influenced by chronic infections. The body has a couple of arms of immune response and different dietary inputs affect the immune response. This is the main principle we are learning and this is underneath the paleo movement. It’s largely a movement of sick people (SCD, GAPS, PHD, etc.)

    Paul Jaminet has the leadning blog on the health facet IMO. Give it a read a little bit, It’s overwhelmingly convicning.


    February 19, 2015 at 1:38 PM

  14. You know, there’s some hypocrisy on the Left too. The Paleo people tend to be VERY into organic, free-range, grass-fed, all that stuff that’s supposed to be the preserve of Progs. Paleo is a movement very much against industrialization of food, which is supposedly a Lefty thing. It’s one more piece of evidence that the Left/Right or Dem/Rep split in America is fundamentally contrived by TPTB for the purposes of divide and conquer. People can’t really vote their interests when every politician fits into Box A or Box B.


    February 19, 2015 at 1:55 PM

  15. Dr. Andrew Weil was talking about the organic and free-range stuff along with “anti-inflammatory diets” long before it caught on with the big rush of SWPL’s. However, his teachings have never caught on that well with them, and I’ve never understood why. Maybe it’s because he advises aspirin therapy and other strange daily supplements that won’t go over well with that crowd.


    February 19, 2015 at 2:09 PM

  16. I’m surprised you missed the obvious HBD angle there, one that John Durant (author of the Paleo Manifesto, and a Harvard alumnus) noted on Twitter:

    Dave Pinsen

    February 19, 2015 at 5:22 PM

    • Recent ongoing divergent evolution is “obvious” when it comes to diet,

      Diet isn’t a good example of differential evolution. While there are surely some differences in tolerance for types of food, high fat, low carb diets seem universally effective across races.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      February 21, 2015 at 11:22 AM

  17. This looks like NYT another sideswipe at Libertarians, who defended Atkins and have popularized Mediterranean and Paleo alternatives as part of consumer control of medicine. NYT doesn’t like vaccine choice either.

    Jeb Bush BTW gets along with the Libertarians and has even published articles in Libertarian-oriented books. His main advisor ( at least as Governor) is a libertarian scholar. This is not to say he’s a libertarian but Florida is a L/libertarian stronghold, they’ve basically redesigned the government there, and most Florida politicians of any prominence know better than to piss the pro-libertarians/friendlies off. This may be another reason NYT is snarking Bush.


    February 20, 2015 at 12:32 AM

  18. Paleo is not pseudoscience. I know it’s a sample size of one, but both times I’ve gone paleo and cut back on carbs while increasing meat and fat consumption, I lose weight while making no other changes in my life. I know another person who did it and she lost a bunch of weight, too.

    biz markee

    February 20, 2015 at 1:04 AM

  19. Food has a moral/religious dimension not unlike sex. They both fall under “purity” on the list of moral values. You’ll see this with the focus on sustainable, organic, natural, ethically raised, wild caught, etc. It’s also why people freak out over pesticides and GMO. For some of these vegans, eating an animal would be like a fundamentalist having premarital sex. Like fundamentalists, most vegans stray at least occasionally. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak… and tasty! LOL

    There’s some science behind some of the claims but there’s a lot more to it than just the science. There’s also a major class status dimension in the choice of foods. Most proles will eat anything that tastes good. Usually only upper middle and upper class care about how healthy their diet is. The exceptions being orthodox who eat for religious rather than health reasons and weightlifters who eat to gain mass. Though some bodybuilders really are into health.

    The theory behind the Paleo diet is sound. However, their assumptions aren’t. People have always eaten grains (wild seeds, etc) and have had agriculture for 5K years. That’s about the same length of time people have been eating dairy.And people have evolved the enzymes to process it. For those who think there hasn’t been enough time, I recently read an article discussing that some of the fastest changes over the last few thousand years have been in genes that process wild plant toxins. I’d imagine those genes are being lost since people aren’t eating as many toxic wild plants. On the other hand, I’m not convinced the paleolithic diet was as high in meat as proponents claim. I’m sure they ate meat if they could get it. But I doubt they got it more than a couple of times per week. The bulk of the diet was probably vegetation.


    February 20, 2015 at 2:44 AM

    • On the other hand, I’m not convinced the paleolithic diet was as high in meat as proponents claim. I’m sure they ate meat if they could get it.

      I agree paleo advocates’ history of human diets is inconsistent with what researchers know is true of earlier human diets.

      They (as well as Dukan and Gluten free proponents) could be spinning how much meat humans ate to distinguish themselves, for marketing purposes, from Atkins. Atkins always emphasized his diet was a high fat one. He also warned against a high protein version of his doctrine. If paleo emphasized the same fat-protein ratio as Atkins there wouldn’t be books to sell.

      I broadly adhere to Atkins’ Maintenance phase recommendations (40-80 carbs a day), while sometimes reverting to Induction for a few days if I gain weight. On my own version of Atkins, I don’t eat protein beyond what I did before because I have high fat intake.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      February 21, 2015 at 11:39 AM

  20. All diets based on anything but calories in/calories out are stupid. It really is that simple. There are many industries out there devoted to convincing individuals that the simple is really complex, though.


    February 23, 2015 at 2:23 PM

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