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For a few reasons, the Paleolithic Diet appeals to me. Despite the fact that the reasoning behind it is highly conjectural, the logic at play makes a lot of sense to me. The basic theory is that, because homo sapiens' primary evolution happened before the advent of agriculture, modern humans never adapted to a post-agricultural diet.

The key to good health, Paleo dieters claim, is eating the kind of food that was available to our Stone Age ancestors. Meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts should compose the bulk of the diet. Products of modern (i.e. within the last eight thousand years or so) agriculture, most notably cereal grains and excessive sugars, don't have a place in the diet. Excessive salt is also forbidden. Food can be cooked, although raw fruits and veggies are a big part of the diet.

Evolutionary biologists could argue the truth of that to death, but it makes sense to me. I also like it because the emphasis on lean protein and quality vegetables means the food can be delicious and still be considered healthy.

I visited the North Park farmer's market to eat at the "Not So Fast Food Truck," which bills itself as the "Paleo friendly" truck in town. As far as I know, it's the first dedicated Stone Age eatery in San Diego.

The truck's menu was mostly burgers and sandwiches, which were served on lettuce wraps instead of buns.

Yup, that's "protein style" at In n Out. No sense in ignoring it.

I tried a bison burger ($10) and some coleslaw ($4) as a meal. Bison is notoriously lean so the burger looked unappealing despite the thick slice of melted cheddar cheese and deeply caramelized onions on top. Despite the odd appearance, the deep flavor of the bison had a primal meatiness to it that suited the messy eating. Minimal salt made the taste of black pepper stand out. Ensconced in romaine lettuce leaves, it was like biting a slippery, green taco burger--pleasantly different.

The cole slaw had been augmented with sliced pears. Acidic flavors and crisp textures characterized the slaw, which I found to be a good compliment to the bison burger.

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This was a totally different way to eat, but it felt familiar because the basic items are all innocuous on their own. But try to go a whole day without eating bread. It's hard!

The rest of the truck's food has the sheen of healthiness to it: sides of fresh fruit and vegetables, salads, and coconut water instead of soda all made me feel like I was doing my system a favor. Because the $10 bison burger was modest in size, the cost of entry seems a little bit steep. More wholesome foods have a filling effect, which negates the apparent cost somewhat, but the price is still the biggest hurdle.

For the truck's location, follow it online at notsofastfoodtruck.com or find @notsofastfood on Twitter.

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Comments

Ed Bedford Aug. 10, 2012 @ 1:02 p.m.

What a great idea. What I really want to try is a Kumeyaay diet based acorns, fish and venison of the area. They say with acorn meat you can carry a little pack that will keep you going for days. What I want to know is how come all we illegal aliens (who've only been here 200 years, as opposed to the Kumeyaay and others' 10,000 years), not taken an interest in the food that comes most naturally to this land we live in and on?

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Ian Pike Aug. 10, 2012 @ 1:07 p.m.

I have heard that acorns are almost unbearably bitter (from tannins) but perhaps there is a way to make them palatable? Oak trees definitely contain some serious chemicals--when leaves fall off and get in water they turn it dark brown from the natural tannin!

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dwhitehead Aug. 10, 2012 @ 2:46 p.m.

Acorn meal is quite tasty if prepared correctly. The Kumeyaay washed out the bitter tanins. You can purchased acorn meal at Ranch 99 Market.

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Ed Bedford Aug. 10, 2012 @ 7:01 p.m.

DWhitehead: This is so true. Pretty sure that at Campo and the Warners Ranch area there are families who do it. I've tried to make it, got the paste, but hadn't got the tannins totally out.

But how crazy are we? Every region has its staple, like wheat in the temperate zones, rice in the tropics, potatoes everywhere (thanks, Central America for the gift!), tapioca, whatever. All fairly neutral carb-rich foods you use as the basis for your more tasty tidbits. 

And here in 'Diego, growing naturally, without the need for fertilizer, pesticides, special watering, oaks grow spontaneously! Bearing gifts! This is oak country, their home territory. Native Californians have been nurturing them for millennia! How many thousands of meat-rich acorns drop from every tree every year? The squirrels and woodpeckers can't handle them all...

My point is, why doesn't anyone ask the Kumeyaay people for help and their hard-won knowledge? Why don't we make and bake a truly San Diego bread from acorns? When you come to San Diego, why wouldn't you eat San Diegan food? 

See? You've got me rollin' here. What do you think? Let's go and see the Bread and Cie guy and see if Campo or Viejas or others would be interested...Ian: chief tannin extractor? Mr/Ms. Whitehead, expert liaison, me, head of cheering section? 

Meanwhile I'll certainly head for Ranch 99. I never knew you could get it from a store. Thanks for the heads-up.

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MitchellRay May 23, 2013 @ 12:21 p.m.

Old story, new to me "Caveman" ate a whole lot of insects at various life cycle stages. We know from tv challenges that they are hard to swallow. S/he ate the grubs. S/he ate worms and beetles and reptiles. S/he also very highly likely ate feces. Own any pets? This most obvious major part of the diet is most conveniently omitted. Everything romanticized provides comfort, apparently.

Regarding acorns, the tannins are leached out by repeated soaking and flushing or just place in the stream. There is often insects inside, so be prepared. After the water remains clear indicating tannins are mostly gone, lightly bake and peel or peel and bake (baking first kills insects). Next, place in jar with flavoring of choice, vinegar and red peppers provides a nice kick. A few days in the refri should suffice. The nuts are as hearty as macadamia, crunchy and heavy, delightful.

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