To Paleo or not to Paleo?

(Photo credit: Library of Congress)

(Photo credit: Library of Congress)

That seems to be the question these days, as the Paleo Diet is sweeping the nation. Today, two Real Southern Men take on this dicey topic with two very different points of view.

First, RSM Jerrod Brown explains why his take on Paleo is not only good for you, but authentically Southern in his soulful piece, “Reclaiming the Traditional Southern Diet.”

Then RSM Wayne Franklin takes a snarky, satirical look at the problems with the reasoning behind the Paleo Diet in “Grits from Heaven: Why I don’t do Paleo.”

Read up and chime in. Do you do Paleo?


4 Responses to “To Paleo or not to Paleo?”

  1. Interesting comparisons, but Jerrod doesn’t address the Paleo diet as a whole, in my opinion. He’s really just described a more natural diet: eliminating chemicals (which are abundant in all pre-packaged and processed foods); eating free-range, chemical free, naturally fed meat sources; reducing consumption of wheat, which – let’s face it – is all chemically altered at this point; eating local produce which is hopefully organic.

    It’s certainly a healthier way to eat and it does work, but it describes most of the currently popular diet advice out there right now, which is basically “stop eating chemicals!”

  2. These articles gets at several interesting questions about how culture interacts with how we make decisions. Do we sometimes eat foods that are emblematic of Southern culture because we strongly identify as Southern? And if those foods are unhealthy (or unhealthy in large quantities), do we eat them anyhow? Are we consciously prioritizing Southerness over health?

    On the other hand, do we just eat what we want and then selectively deploy our Southern identity to rationalize an emotional choice? I’ve seen a man clean a plate of fried chicken and mashed potatoes declaiming his faithfulness to our Southern heritage, and yet when a serving platter of collard greens made its way ‘round the table, his relationship to Southern culture was flexible enough to let him eschew the leafy greens.

    We all have complicated relationships to food. Culture’s definitely part of that, so talking about how one’s Southern identity contributes to how we eat is a great addition to your website. Thanks!

    My own family’s experience was that, until the arrival of modern grocery stores, they’d grow as much food as they could in the summer, can vegetables like crazy before winter, and maybe butcher a hog and a calf. What came from the store were things like sugar, flour, and coffee. They all stayed quite fit, but that had less to do with conscious food choices than enforced portion control and hard-working farm life.

    • Thanks. We wanted to treat the subject with the same soulfulness (in Jerrod’s case) and satirical good humor (in Wayne’s case) with which Southerners approach every topic. I hope we hit the mark.


  1. What is The Paleo Diet? - February 22, 2013

    […] To Paleo or not to Paleo? […]

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