Monday, October 10, 2011

Pillar Envy

There sure has been a bunch of fighting in the paleodome this week.  Before, I was just bored with the Paleo's.  Now I am pretty much disgusted.  I had some time to think things over, and here's what I think is going on.

Jimmy Moore posted answers to his question concerning Jaminet's "safe starch" concept and all hell broke loose.  Either I can't remember where things are posted, or things have been seriously scrubbed.
Here are some links
Jimmy's post.
Posts on Paleohacks.
Jaminet's overview and response.

So, for background, Jaminet recommends "safe starches", and these are foods like potatoes and rice, foods that contain starches but don't negatively affect the gut like gluten-containing grains.  Other Paleo "experts" jumped on this concept and started trashing the people who have been the most successful on a low carb diet.  Of course, this behavior was a concern to the low-carb fans, so Jimmy's post attempted to bring more of the controversy out into the open.  To many low-carbers, there is no such thing as a "safe starch".
Jaminet pointed out in his overview blog that at least some people are able to keep a sense of humor throughout it all.  Some people haven't.  It seems like several of the luminaries lost it.

Now Jaminet, though I disagree with him on a number of points, is always polite about things and tries to keep the focus on the topics.  I like that.  Even though he did mention the quip about "pillar envy" I am afraid that many of Jaminet's most fervent readers will mis-interpret the comment.

Though I can no longer find the post, Harris really went after Kruse, posting that "they're" all snickering about him in their e-mails back and forth to each other and then tried to mop it up with an "honestly, I don't understand the infighting"-type message.  On the Paleohacks board, there have been many nasty sniping-like comments by Melissa (of hunt, gather, b*tch).  First it was trashing the low carbers.  Then it was going after Dr. Kruse, and commenting that Dr. Rosedale wasn't a real researcher and his studies showing the benefits of a low-carb diet weren't real studies.  She is really starting to sound more and more like Coach [redacted] at [redacted]  Arrogant.  Entitled.  Privy to esoteric knowledge the little people can't understand.  Coach [redacted]'s "One must be reading the correct research," comment comes to mind.

I think she was just mad that Jimmy didn't ask her.  You see, she fancies herself as heir to the paleo throne, and any official comments she may have had were not included.  She envies the pillar.  Now that the low-carb pillars have been toppled, she is ready for the inheritance.   Cordain's leadership status has fallen, Taubes has been discredited, Eades has been shunned as a has-been and off to the appliance section, Hahn and Kruse are just puffy and red-faced, Rosedale isn't a "real" doctor, etc. etc.  the new queen of paleo, claiming full backing by all those other real university researchers who use lots of fake people (lab rats) and real statistics can enter her court in her full regalia.  I think that Melissa has already picked out the new upholstery for the throne cushions and now she's irked when people like Kruse, Rosedale, Feinman, Su and others say "hey, wait a minute!"

It is stuff like this that decides what blogs I recommend, what blogs I merely follow and what blogs I generally avoid.  I originally started this blog for my fat buddies who were trying to lose weight.  In my next post, I'll discuss why I would place my bets on Rosedale and Kruse.  You can read it here.


  1. When you give an opinion in a gracious way, it's a lot easier to publicly change your mind later.

    Someone who gives an opinion in an arrogant way may be right, or may be wrong, but I can't stand to listen long enough to decide.

  2. When your life might depend on this your method of thought and action might get you killed. As a surgeon i have a duty to do no harm. Igf1 increases in cancer make cancer worse. Hence my comments to kurt and paul.

  3. I don't hold it against any of the pillars or wanna-be's to argue their POV passionately. This includes Kruse, Rosedale, Taubes, Davis, Harris, etc. They can all be considered rigid, arrogant, balsy, whatever. But then there are some who honor my anecdote and those who aren't listening. That's why you'll see Jack's blog on the right, and you won't see the archevore link there anymore. In the near future, I'll be adding more links to my front page. Some must-follow blogs are in my profile. I follow lots of others, and recommend many of them, but I currently do not recommend Melissa or Harris's blogs to my fat friends.

  4. Folks who have read my past posts know that I don't give a rodent's behind about research credentials. In fact, I have a whole series that makes fun of Harvard researchers. If I had to do a Sophie's choice, I would always choose the practitioner over the researcher. While maybe they have a narrow focus, it is usually anecdotally deep. Real clinicians seek to help people instead of merely advancing knowledge, and I like that.

  5. Lori, thanx for visiting! I can tolerate lots of arrogance if I think they are on to something. Kruse sometimes reads like a stark raving lunatic, then again, what if he's right? Melissa's blog and comments are derivative, the arrogance misplaced, so I can't tolerate her blog. I still read all of Harris' stuff, I just don't recommend it.

  6. I have no desire to be a dietary guru. I already have a job, and it's farming/promoting grass-fed meat. I have no desire to be associated with low-carb or high-carb and have no desire to put in my two cents on a low-carb blog like Jimmy's.

  7. One of the things that I took away from the Jaminet discussion on Jimmy Moore's blog is that glucose has uses in the body other than fuel. Everyone I've ever heard talk about the necessity for carbohydrate in the diet only relates to the need for glucose as an energy source, so this expanded my knowledge a little bit.

    Also, the low-carb hardliners assume that everyone's livers can produce enough glucose to meet the body's needs even in the absence of dietary carbohydrate. This might not be true for everyone.

    On the other hand, it might also be true that, for some of us, there is no such thing as a "safe starch", even in limited quantities.

  8. Melissa, thanx for visiting. We sure need more grass-farmers.

  9. Sam, thanx for visiting. I am not a low-carb hardliner and have only been doing VLC for a short time as part of the leptin reset. As I mentioned in other posts, I lost most of my weight on higher carb, very close to the low end of what Jaminet recommends.

  10. Sam, while I had heard about our body's need for glucose, I guess that if some people can't make it fast enough, they might have trouble. But one thing I think Jaminet is forgetting about is how quickly and completely people can become adapted to not burning through so many carbs. You can read some of my other posts (try the top post) here to see what happened to me. I did have differences in my stomach and tons of other adjustment issues when I went on the sleep medication. At first I thought it was due to serotonin modulation/gut response. Now I realize it is mostly because I severely cut out wheat. I also now know that in a couple of months, I had adapted so completely that even though I was at around 80-100 grams carb a day, I was in solidly in the sugar/protein-burning territory and my body still didn't consistently remember how to burn fat. Jaminet's recommendations will keep many folks in the sugar-burning camp permanently.

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