Plant Foods of the Paleo Diet

This video is intended to help people think about the modification of plant foods and how those changes relate to the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet was designed to mimic the wild foods of indigenous people. Unfortunately, many plant foods recommended by authors of this diet bear little similarity to the wild plants that were used to create them. As a result, they possess fewer nutrients, have altered phytochemistry, less fiber per unit mass (i.e., more sugars), and have distorted essential fatty acid profiles (compared to similar wild foods). This is especially true of modern produce, where uniformity of ripening, ability to withstand long periods of transportion, and similar qualities are considered important (no where is nutritional density factored in). Paleo Diet authors that are promoting fruit smoothies and other foods over actual wild plants or minimally modified cultivated plants would best serve their followers by learning about real wild foods and passing on that knowledge.


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Comment (0)

  1. Enjoyed this vid as is customary with your vids; i went to your website looking for the list you mentioned about plants with their phytochemistry intact, if you could steer me to it that would be great ; )
    thanks for sharing your knowledge

  2. My coworkers laughed when I told them I was going to get rid of fat with "Lean Body Stagger", but then they saw the results. Google "Lean Body Stagger" to see their reaction. (You should see their shock!)

  3. Where can we get information on which wild foods can be found at the grocery store? Or how to eat authentically Paleo? Is there a book? I live in the suburbs, I have no idea how I could find a place to forage for wild foods.

  4. I would love to see pictures of the wild progenitor plants that you mention, next to pictures of the modern varieties (for comparison). A picture says more than a thousand words 🙂

  5. What passes as food not, pressed upon an unsuspecting public, is sad. And seedless grapes are probably much better than anything in a package, which usually contains GMOs, trans-fats, & chemicals from the packaging. BTW, many plants are naturally 'hermaphrodites' – having both male & female reproductive parts. Seedless plants from species which naturally produce seeds would be more acurately termed 'infertile'.

  6. What species of oak do you get your acorns from Arthur? Also, i noticed you have not posted a link to the modern plants most similar to their older forms. Have you made the list yet? If so please tell me where to find it.



  7. Yes, I do eat the seeds of wild graps (Vitis spp.). Though we often take a portion of the harvest in good years to make grape juice, with bears little resemblance to that purchased in supermarkets (much richer).

  8. To the people looking to start eating wild foods, I would recommend Samuel Thayer's books Nature's Garden and The Forager's Harvest as the best books for straight up foraging. John Kallas' book Edible Wild Plants: Wild Food From Dirt to Plate for edible weeds. And of course Arthur Haines has an excellent book on the many different uses of wild plants called Ancestral Plants. All great books to teach you how to start healing yourself and our ecosystems.

  9. Whoops! I wasn't done–you've helped me develop the side of me I lost when I "grew up" and got a job. Keep these coming and I can't wait for the list the other commenter asked for.

  10. Thanks for shedding light on the subject, could be interresting to know how to gather wild food and store them etc for modern life people.

  11. Interesting ideas. It is important to note that there is a huge difference between selective breeding – which often included/includes perpetuating naturally occuring variations in wild species – and GMOs. Soil fertility esp trace & micro-minerals in soils is as much or more a factor in nutrient density of plants as the variety. DIVERSITY in the diet was also key for healthy people of any epoch.

  12. I'm developing a list that you are describing. It is not comprehensive, but will include a number of species to help guide people who would like to east less modified plants (i.e., plants with more of their nutrition and phytochemistry intact). I should be done in a couple of weeks and will post it on my website. I'll post a link here so you can find it.

  13. The acorn (fruit of the oak tree) was a staple throughout North America (and other continents) anywhere the oaks produced large enough acorns. It is a free wild food, rich in minerals and contains all 8 essential amino acids (i.e., it is a complete protein). Yet, I've never seen a paleo author demonstrating its collection or preparation. It is always about what cultivated food can be found in the store. Why wouldn't a paleo author try to bring people forward to real wild foods?


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