If you still don’t know what the Paleo Diet is, allow me to me explain: the name comes from the Paleolithic era, and the diet bases itself on the presumed food regiment of our ancestors from 2.6 million years ago, they were hunter-gatherers who ditched grains, dairy and legumes in favor of meat, nuts and veggies.
It’s kind of a nostalgia thing, see? And it’s starting to get big. I mean, you can now find Paleo-certified brands in over 1,700 Walmart stores and, as of right now, big food players like General Mills are buying up smaller, Paleo-certified companies, gearing up to make a space for themselves amongst the hearts and pantries of the Paleo faithful.
But what exactly does it mean to be Paleo-certified and who does the certifying?
The Paleo Foundation’s website says the criteria for certification derive from: “current research, archeological records, paleogenetics, sustainability concerns, proposed health benefits, and input from various leading health experts of the Paleo Movement.” But between the divisions in the scientific community over the evidence to support its benefits and the lack of regulation pertaining to these privately run certification organizations, the Paleo craze stills feels like something consumers should carefully look into before considering.