Ever since I started on this journey almost a year and a half ago, I have been voraciously reading books and blogs, listening to podcasts, watching videos and generally inundating my brain with as much information as possible about diet, overall health and disease, obesity, permaculture and farming…the list seems endless. During this time I have helped more than a few people begin their own journeys towards a Paleo lifestyle. My general recommendation is to read The Paleo Solution, get one (or more) of the cookbooks that appeal to their interests and ask as many questions as possible, clear out the pantry and get cracking.
So far this has worked pretty well. Clearly over the past year, the Paleo movement has taken off in a way I have hoped for, but could not truly have imagined. At work and for my family and friends, I’m less of an oddity and now the guy people know they can ask random food/health related questions.
However, there are still a great many people who really don’t understand what “going Paleo” means or why they should pay any attention to this “new, weird, fad diet”. I am constantly amazed at the articles that continue to pop up in various media outlets and blogs that still get much of the core tenants wrong.
To that end, I have been eagerly anticipating a well crafted documentary that clearly defines what it means to be Paleo. A film that anyone from a reasonably intelligent middle-schooler to someone’s parent, grandparent or, god forbid, someone in the media, could understand and “connect the dots”.
Enter CJ Hunt, broadcast journalist, producer and host of “In Search of the Perfect Human Diet“. Like so many who come to Paleo, CJ’s story is a journey from serious illness to good health by way of a quest for the “truth” about human health. And what a quest it is. “Search” goes back through the paleolithic record as CJ meets with scientists and experts of all flavors to determine who our ancestors were and what they were likely eating millennia ago and how that diet effected our evolution and development into the people we are today.
The journey is a fascinating one. Even though I knew the basics around much of what is covered by the film, I still learned a great deal and found the telling quite enjoyable. The conversations with the experts are informative and accessible.
Besides the paleolithic record, time is spent discussing more modern scientific forays into understanding Why We Get Fat. Gary Taubes weighs in here (pun intended) to introduce us to some of the heroes and information from his book of the same name.
Certain studies and narratives are nicely illustrated and very effectively help to share the history in a fun way.
Loren Cordain shows us (with the help of a football field) the relative time we have been eating neolithic foods (wheat, grains, etc) compared to the time we have eaten in a paleolithic fashion. Quite a powerful visual.
Dr. Lane Sebring even takes CJ to a local supermarket in order to clarify what foods are / are not Paleo. For the folks who are just learning what it means to be Paleo, this could be very helpful as trips to the market can be daunting because of the sheer amount of crap and temptation in every aisle.
Other folks you may have heard of like Mike Eades, David Getoff and (however briefly) Robb Wolf also make appearances in the film.
While the subject matter is vast, I feel the filmmakers did a good job of covering many of the important facets of a complex picture. Once you’ve begun you’re own exploration into Paleo, there are many more avenues of study and ways of tweaking for your specific individual needs (unique snowflake). That said, anyone who is currently Paleo or would like to help introduce friends and family to the concept of going Paleo can certainly start with a viewing of this film to get the conversation started.