Week 8 - A Truly "Paleo" Diet

 

Dear Spoon Full Farm Family,

In keeping with a theme of “how we humans fit into nature’s patterns,” lets talk about cavemen and zucchini. 

We’ve all heard of the “paleo” diet. It’s supposed to be based on what our ancestors ate, before we settled down into agrarian societies. It’s supposed to be super good for us, because our digestive systems have evolved much less than have our food habits, over the last 10,000 years, and many chronic diseases seem to be caused by those habits. 

Eating like our ancestors would probably be healthy. But the popular “paleo” concept is indiscriminately devoted to animal fats (with a big emphasis on bacon), and completely mistrusting of any carb, and most scientists believe that such a diet is not actually “paleo” at all. In a wide-ranging, informative article, Dr. David Katz tells us:

“…the real experts in Stone Age nutrition think our ancestors — who, by the way, were foragers — consumed a wide variety of ever-changing plant foods that gave them up to 100 grams of fiber daily. We [today], on the other hand, eat an average of 15 grams of daily fiber.”

Wow! It’s amazing to consider that we evolved to eat six times more fiber than the “Standard American Diet” (SAD) provides. Six times! And that fiber came from “ever-changing plant foods.” Local, in-season, fresh (and probably dried, too) fruits and vegetables. Just like a Spoon Full CSA! 

While exploring the wild foods (berries, greens, flowers) that grow along the river here, I’ve noticed a pattern: brief superabundance

 
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For two weeks at the beginning of July, the serviceberry bushes hung heavy. At the same time, clumps of red currants brightened the understory of the pine forest here. The birds were busy and happy, and so was I (foraging is a delicious hobby). 

And now, all of a sudden, the berries are gone. 

Luckily, the zucchini is here! And tomatoes! And broccoli! They’re all delicious, and they are superabundant. If we had more gardener neighbors, we’d be leaving them zucchinis on their porches as pranks. But in three months, they’ll all be gone (except what we can, dry, or ferment!). 

 
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So here’s a stab at a “true" paleo diet: eat lots and lots of whatever plants are abundant in season. And while you’re at it, make sure those plants grew in healthy, biological (fungal) soil, as did the wild foods that our ancestors evolved on, before the depletions of large-scale agriculture. 

And you can tell your friends that you follow a truly paleo diet, while you enjoy your Spoon Full CSA. 

Without further ado, here is this week’s produce list (bold items in whole boxes only): 

  • Yellowfin summer squash
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Salad Mix
  • Basil
  • Cabbage
  • Fennel (Weekend only)
  • Cucumbers (Wednesday only)
  • More tomatoes!
  • Broccoli
  • Swiss Chard

And if you haven't already, you might try grilling the broccolis, or getting the cabbage drunk!

Enjoy the abundance; we'll keep it coming. 

Love,

Spoon Full Farm