Is the Paleo Diet Sustainable?

Feb. 3, 2016

Engineers get into a lot of trouble when their designs fail. Think about the consequences of a collapsing bridge or a broken aeroplane wing. Failed software systems can also have catastrophic consequences for human life.

Why is nutrition science any different? Poor food choices have far reaching consequences for both the individual and society as health care costs spiral out of control.

Yet still we have obese vegan nutrition professors sipping diet coke as they teach dogma with no basis in science to impressionable young students. This madness has to end!

Diana Rodgers is helping with bringing an end to the madness by embracing the traditional Registered Dietician education, whilst practicing everything she’s learnt through her interaction with real food pioneers Robb Wolf and Matt LaLonde.

Diana has found that by working from within the system, with a credible certification, she’s likely to affect much more change in our current establishment nutrition policy.

This isn’t her only concern though. Diana has also become a champion of sustainability. She’s fighting the good fight when it comes to paleo-bashers, and meat haters, who say this way of eating isn’t sustainable for our environment.

As the owner of a working farm, Diana is here to show us just what it will take to not only eat for our optimal health, but also the optimal health of our environment. From her interesting perspective of nutritionist and farmer, Diana has some great insight into the Paleo State of the Union and where we must go from here.

Thinking about sustainability is part of a logical progression that starts with adopting a real-food diet. Are you at that point yet? What plans do you have for keeping your paleo sustainable? Let me know in the comments below.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Diana Rodgers:

0:00:00    Sustainable Dish website.

0:00:33    Diana's story on her site.

0:00:45    Robb Wolf.

0:01:18    Diana has coeliac.

0:01:32    Diana is close to becoming a Registered Dietician (RD).

0:01:48    Paleo State of the Union Paleo FX panel.

0:02:21    Chris Kresser is teaching practitioners.

0:02:34    Mark Sisson.

0:02:50    Robb and Diana are more interested in sustainability.

0:03:05    Savory Institute.

0:03:28    Paleo convention in Berlin.

0:03:53    Veganism is popular in Germany.

0:04:09    AHS New Zealand talk.

0:04:40    Julie has converted vegetarian and vegans for health reasons.

0:05:04    How do you reason with these people?

0:05:31    Religion is out.

0:05:46    Diana's rebuttal of the Outside Magazine's article.

0:06:10    WHO Red Meat causes cancer.

0:06:24    Well managed cattle improve soil quality.

0:06:48    Herbivore poop is required for a healthy soil microbiome.

0:06:56    The soil retains more water.

0:07:05    Monocropping damages soil quality.

0:07:43    Diana's farm just outside of Boston is mostly a vegetable farm.

0:08:04    Chickens eat the vegetable matter.

0:08:59    What is holding people back from the sustainability questions.

0:09:18    Sustainability doesn't sell books, it’s not not lucrative.

0:09:57    Sustainability is not including in an RD education.

0:10:25    Diana works at a hospital that still uses styrofoam.

0:12:09    Why become an RD?

0:12:22    Blood sugar and digestion has always been a problem for Diana.

0:13:18    Weston A Price.

0:13:35    Sally Fallon and Robb Wolf said go get your RD.

0:14:23    Diana started a practice but didn't feel like she had the tools.

0:14:51    Wanted credibility.

0:15:05    Matt Lalonde.

0:16:31    Most of the professors are obese vegans.

0:16:58    Biochemistry is sound.

0:17:11    There's no coaching included in the syllabus.

0:17:32    Diana got rejected from internships with a 4.0.

0:17:51    Lawyer thought it was related to Paleo.

0:18:25    Real Food Radio podcast.

0:18:42    Blog post about house call rotation.

0:20:35    Lack of critical thinking in the younger, more impressionable students.

0:21:04    Weight Watchers not working.

0:21:23    Now she's doing a Whole30.

0:24:20    How do we make sustainability into Paleo from the start?

0:24:48    It's a natural progression.

0:25:08    The Homegrown Paleo Cookbook.

0:25:25    Container and community gardens.

0:26:18    Community gardens bring people together.

0:26:35    Volunteer at a farm in exchange for food.

0:26:53    On the East Coast, you go to the farm to collect your food, not the other way around.

0:27:26    This creates a sense of ownership.

0:27:56    Education programs including sheep shearing.

0:28:15    Growing farm lovers.

0:28:37    Small farms face a lot of pressure from housing development.

0:30:15    Local versus sustainable.


0:31:25    CAFO (industrial farmed) beef versus CAFO chicken or pork.

0:32:13    Go to the farmer's market and talk to the vendors.

0:32:42    CAFO chicken and pork never see the light of day.

0:33:00    Antibiotic resistance.

0:33:59    Defending Beef.

0:34:06    Interview Modern Farm Girls podcast.

0:34:46    Local might trump organic in some situations.

0:35:25    Chickens do pretty well on grain.

0:36:05    Pigs also do well on grain.

0:36:17    No soy.

0:37:00    The Whole30 works because the rules are very clear.

0:37:20    Real life is grey.

0:38:48    Julie has got to the place where she can consider sustainability.

0:40:40    Diana recommends fixing yourself first.

0:41:37    Modification not radical change.

0:41:50    What about parenting.

0:43:31    Knee jerk reactions when first adopting Paleo.

0:43:49    Kids can end up food hoarding.

0:44:24    Whose breakfast is healthier?

0:44:48    Old beliefs die hard.

0:45:08    Kids can get stressed by not being able to articulate.

0:45:33    The kids eat whatever on play dates.

0:45:57    Diana encourages the kids to think about how they feel after making poor food choices.

0:46:25    Food and sleep are means to an end.

0:47:13    A little moderation goes a long way.

0:48:18    Really great market is called Staff of Life.

0:49:13    Ivy already recognises the gluten free concept.

0:50:03    The gift of being able to make the connection with the way you feel.

0:50:56    Michelle Tam's Nom Nom Paleo.

0:51:55    Sustainable Dish website.

0:52:08    Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts On the Go.

0:52:52    Diana is focussing on finishing her RD.

0:53:09    Sustainability book in the planning.

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