AirTalk for July 31, 2014

Paleo: Diet for an unhealthy planet?

Paleo Foodie Cookbook

Paleo Foodie Cookbook

Grilled Lamb Hearts and Liver with Spicy Chimichurri from the Paleo Foodie Cookbook.

Noshing on bread, pasta, potatoes and pancakes is so out of fashion that even having a slice of toast is thought of as "committing carbocide." The Atkins Diet started the trend towards high protein, even high fat, nutrition — and scared off Americans from consuming insulin-raising starches and sugars. Of late, the meat-centric diet is called "paleo" because proponents say our Paleolithic-era ancestors could not properly digest today's bagels and Oreos, and neither can we.

The New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert recently experimented on her family with a solid week of paleo. Beyond finding it tough to create recipes, she notes: "Pound for pound, beef production demands at least ten times as much water as wheat production, and, calorie for calorie, it demands almost twenty times as much energy." Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows beef cattle need 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than pork, poultry, eggs or dairy.

How do those findings impact your dietary choices?

Guest:

Elizabeth Kolbert, Staff Writer, The New Yorker


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