Now maybe that's because because I don't pay much attention to them and simply haven't noticed. Or maybe it's because the authors undermine an important tenet of the "paleo-diet's" paleofantastical view of the Stone Age:
Secondly, in contrast to common belief, hunting probably played a less dominant role from a nutritional point of view compared with gathering, and on average, it makes up 35% of the subsistence base for present-day worldwide hunter–gatherers, independent of latitude orIn other words, if extant hunter-gatherers equipped with advanced stone tools and modern weapons have such low hunting success rates, it's probably not reasonable to assume that Paleolithic ones did much better. They likely relied more on subsistence plant foods and scavenged meats than they did on big game hunting. This notion contradicts a great deal of what I, at least, have seen in my brief sojourns through the paleo-diet realm, where you'd think hominids are descended from wolves or something, the way resident armchair anthropologists lionize paleo-hunting at the expense of paleo-gathering.
environment(27,37). For example, hunting by some surviving hunter–gatherers is still not very successful: the probability for a kill in !Kung bushmen is only 23%(37), and the subsistence of Hadzabe, as described by Woodburn(39), consists of 80% plant foods. In the Paleolithic, however, hunting might have been more productive, due to both higher animal biomass and hunter–gatherers not being displaced to marginal environments, unattractive for crop cultivation or cattle. Consequently, we chose the employed ratios within the range of the most commonly observed hunter–gatherer subsistence ratios(26,27).
For this reason, the team exclude from their studied ranges the possibility of Paleolithic diets gaining more than 70 percent of the their energy from animal-derived sources; a higher percentage seems inconceivable to them, given the technological constraints they note (to their credit). Personally, I'd say even the 70 percent range is being awfully generous, and would set the upper possible range no higher than 50 percent, and even that would be pushing it.
But that's just splitting hairs. What's more interesting to me about this paper isn't which foods it includes, but which ones it leaves out. The team focus their models on the conundrum of whether early man met his protein and fatty acid needs through various ratios of fish-to-plants-to-terrestrial mammal organs; and in doing so, they unknowingly reveal a confirmation bias in favor of the sorts of animals that modern Western humans prefer to eat.
In short, there are no bugs or worms in this paper. It's as though someone took a big can of Raid to the authors' paleo-imaginations. So steeped are they in their Western food bias and paleofantasies that the possibility of Paleolithic man fulfilling his nutrient requirements with a diet of creepy-crawlies never occurred to them.
But it should have. Insects, grubs, worms and other terrestrial invertebrates have long provided humans and other primates with nutrients, and continue doing so today in most parts of the world. The UN, at least, if not the paleo-diet movement, has taken notice.
What's more, insects have essential fatty acid and protein profiles comparable to poultry and fish. There's no good reason terrestrial invertebrates -- hell, let's just call them "bugs" -- should be excluded either from studies or lifestyles that purport to replicate H. sapiens' "ancestral" diet. But they usually are.
For the most part, bugs remain invisible to such researchers, and to the movement they spawned. By and large, paleo-diet bloggers and writers focus on the traditional American meat sources and indulge themselves in fantasies of a Paleolithic populated by spear-toting personal trainers. Bug-eating just doesn't sell books, I guess.
Entomophagy is conspicuously absent from this "paleo-diet" study, as it is from most of the paleo-diet movement that I have seen. And further, this study itself has been conspicuously absent from the "paleo" blogosphere. Both absences tell us more about the confirmation biases and paleofantasies of modern Western humans than the study itself can ever tell us about the trophic strategies of Paleolithic hominids.
I, of course, do not advocate eating insects or any other animals. But that's just me, and a bunch of other wacky vegans. Nonetheless, I'd be interested to see how popular these (allegedly) "paleo"-diet authors and bloggers would remain if they started admitting that the Paleolithic diet was probably more Fear Factor than Fat Head.
At least National Geographic, bless them, was kind enough to lend a pre-emptive helping hand with some handy bug recipes. Eat that, Cordain, Eaton, et. al.