We generally don’t associate fast food and the Paleo diet, unless you are thinking of hunting down that gazelle or rabbit, but fast food, as in McDonald’s or Burger King? That seems like an oxymoron! Well someone in Denmark has put the two concepts together and will be opening a Paleo diet fast food restaurant.
The brain child of “Palæo” is Thomas Rode Andersen, head chef at the Michelin-starred Kong Hans in Copenhagen. Apparently he’s been championing the Paleo diet in Denmark for several years. From the Guardian:
There will be hot dogs and pizzas, but no buns or dough; meat, fish, berries and vegetables, but no starch, refined sugars or dairy products. This is fast food that’s fit for a caveman.
While modern Nordic cuisine has catapulted the Danish capital to the top of the culinary world, the chef behind takeaway restaurant Palæo looked for inspiration from the stone age – or palaeolithic period – to create “primal gastronomy”.
“Bread is the devil,” says Thomas Rode Andersen, 43, who has created the menu for Palæo and is head chef at the Michelin-starred Kong Hans in Copenhagen. After divorcing in 2005 he started dating a younger woman and swapped late-night beers and snacks for “paleo” food and exercise.
In the last couple of years he has become something of a poster boy for the paleo movement in Denmark…….
Andersen knows, like so many of us, that the food of our modern society is causing disease and obesity. His goal is to provide a paleo diet version of fast food instead of standard fast food.
The menu includes “meatza”, essentially a meat pizza turned upside down with a base of organic ground beef topped with baked tomatoes, pickled mushrooms and parsley pesto. For the hot dog, the sausage with wild leeks comes in an egg-based wrapper, while the risotto is made of small kernels of celeriac shaped to look like long-grain rice.
Sounds great so far. Meatza is a perfect Paleo diet fast food for this restaurant. So are the “hot dogs” Who needs a bun? And risotto made from celery root, that could be tasty!
Some critics say the original caveman diet was more varied than suggested, pointing to archaeological studies that show traces of grains found on grinding stones dating back 30,000 years.
Cornell McClellan, who is the personal fitness trainer for Barack Obama, also questions whether it is possible to mimic a prehistoric diet. In an article for the Chicago Sun Times, McClellan wrote: “Our stone age ancestors were not eating factory farmed meat, which is full of chemicals and hormones. Unless you have a spear handy and access to unlimited buffalo, you are going to have a hard time truly eating like a caveman.”
I don’t think anyone is saying that our Paleo ancestors would not have eaten grain at all. Simply not nearly as much as we eat today. Because of the over load of grain and it’s toxic effects, we have gotten sick. and need to avoid grain to get well. And the idea that we cannot go out buffalo hunting is a little too simplistic. Yes, we don’t want factory farmed meat which is full of hormones and antibiotics, but do have grass fed and pastured meats available from the likes of Nick Wallace of Wallace Farms and US Wellness. No spear needed!
Andersen says he is fed up with being known as the “stone-age chef”, but believes he has a duty to champion the diet because too many people walk around “feeling like hell”.
“It’s all about going back to something original, going back to what we are designed to eat and the way our bodies are designed to work, and nothing to do with what we have come up with in the interim 10,000-12,000 years.”
So, could it work? Could a Paleo diet fast food restaurant actually be a success? Could it even over take McDonald’s in popularity? I wouldn’t go that far yet! First, people have to make the connection between the food they eat and why the “feel like hell”. So far, the remedy for that condition is to pop a pill. But perhaps restaurants like “Palæo” will shift the conversation. I know I will be watching with great interest on this side of the pond.
What do you think of an idea like a Paleo diet fast food restaurant. Do you think it has a chance? Could one work in your neighborhood? Please leave your comments below. And please share on Facebook, Twitter! Thank you!