You might have heard about, or perhaps even tried the paleo diet by now. The trend has slowly become popular in the European market. Advocates argue that to become healthier, we must re-think our diet, and even perhaps remove food groups we previously thought as basic.
The paleo diet stems from a version of what our ancestors might have eaten during the Paleolithic era, over 10,000 years ago. The idea is to focus on food which could have been “hunted and gathered” during that time: Vegetables, fruits, seafood, meats, eggs, and nuts/seeds. Moving away from processed foods to more natural foods, is important to help maintain a healthy diet.
The paleo movement, which began in the USA, is now growing fast internationally. It has even started to gain momentum in Europe. The Mintel Group valued the industry at over USD 10.5bn worldwide in 2013, with a clear growth trend. This new market has mostly been pushed by a broad demographic trying to reduce their gluten or wheat intake for health reasons. Fordings believes that paleo could even be the new face of the entire “health movement”, giving it even more momentum. With over 1 billion people worldwide considered overweight, paleo and other high-protein diets have huge potential.
Although the health advantages are numerous, living the “paleo life” can be time consuming. For busy parents or career-focused individuals with a hectic lifestyle, it’s difficult to walk into a supermarket and pick up paleo-friendly food on the go. Most quick-and-easy foods are either bread oriented or have been highly processed, which is the exact opposite of paleo. Therefore the paleo diet requires discipline for anyone wishing to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Initial scientific evidence is beginning to prove that the basic arguments for the paleo diet are quite substantial. Communities around the world that lead “Paleolithic” lives have substantially less cases of heart/coronary disease and cancer. The introduction of processed foods and a higher intake of glutens found in wheat and other carbohydrate-rich grains has resulted in higher levels of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancers. Science has shown that our DNA has not really changed in the past 40,000 years, and hence the blueprint for optimal nutrition has stayed the same.
Fordings feels that big pharma and food corporations have deliberately stayed away from the paleo movement because they don’t see the money in it. As a result, paleo has remained a grass-roots movement until now.
Why, you ask? Governments don't want you to stop buying processed breads and cereals from the huge food conglomerates. The revenue large companies could make in the paleo industry is nowhere near the profits they make with processed foods. Furthermore, the core of paleo nutrition means eating unprocessed foods from local or small businesses that care about the quality of the food they sell, which would cut large corporations out of the picture.
Fordings believes this movement will revolutionize the food industry while promoting and raising healthy living standards for all participants. It will require more patience and discipline, but in the end will stimulate local and small businesses while tackling the massive global obesity problem.