Ok.. I must first say that I love this book! I will definitely be reading this again.
I have lots of Paleo/primal/natural health books sitting on my desk to be read. So why did I reach for this one? Because I had seen an interview with John Durant where they discussed just one chapter in this book. The chapter called, “Moses the Microbiologist”, completely intrigued me. I had to get a copy and check it out.
I have heard other reviewers of this book say that it stands alone among other Paleo/Primal books. I have to agree. I have loved the other ones I’ve read, (see my review of The Primal Blueprint) but The Paleo Manifesto takes a completely different approach to the topic.
Despite the fact that he actually looks like a caveman, John is a pretty smart guy. He studied evolutionary psychology at Harvard. Yet even with his intelligence, this book doesn't come across "heady" and boring to read. There were several times I laughed out loud. The reason I believe this to be the case is because John is also a NYC New Yorker, which brings along with it a great smart-ass attitude and a sarcastic sense of humor. (I love New Yorkers) All of these traits kept me entertained and interested as I read.
Even though he does spend time discussing the paleo diet, John Durant's focus in The Paleo Manifesto is more historical and scientific. I learned so much. I found myself constantly wanting to tell random people what I had just read. It is that quality that places this book on my “re-read” list.
Among the things I learned is...
*The Mosaic laws were actually responsible for giving the Jews an advantage over other nations because they were healthier and stronger. Their hygiene practices were way before their time even though they didn't understand all their implications to the health of an entire nation.
*The exposure of extreme heat and cold is beneficial to our health and many ancient cultures included practices that involved either extreme into their religious and social activities. Sweat lodges, hot baths and arctic plunges are three examples of practices.
*Many ancient cultures included a raw animal product in their cuisine because raw food has great benefit to our bodies.
So, are you intrigued yet?
I have recommended this book to several people I know who are not necessarily interested in eating Paleo, but enjoy history and science. There is so much fascinating information in The Paleo Manifesto that I guarantee you will learn something and have the strong need to tell someone else what you just learned. Check it out.
To see more of John Durant, check out his website: http://huntergatherer.com