Take a big helping of a fantasy of our evolutionary past, stir in fears of modern dirt and decadence, and leave out incest and cannibalismby Jacob Mikanowski / November 13, 2014 / Leave a comment
Published in December 2014 issue of Prospect Magazine
Recently, Bobby Chang and Yrmis Barroeta have been experimenting with camel milk. Their restaurant, Mission Heirloom Garden Café, is set to open in Berkeley, California, in November and they still haven’t finalised their menu. The café is going to be the first exclusively “paleo” (short for Paleolithic) eatery in the Bay Area. Everything it serves has to mimic the diet our prehistoric ancestors had before the invention of agriculture. That means no grains, no soy and no sugar. It also means that Chang and Barroeta can’t use any artificial flavourings or additives, or anything that contains chemicals they consider harmful. The list of ingredients banned from their kitchen for containing “free glutamate” fills up a whole page.
In addition to forbidding countless foodstuffs, Chang and Barroeta want to make sure that the food they do serve comes from the best possible sources. All the meat has to be grass-fed, all the vegetables have to be organic and local, and the milk—well, milk is a sensitive topic. Many practitioners of paleo believe that milk has no place in an adult diet. It wasn’t drunk in the Stone Age and it exists only to fatten babies. But with camel milk, Chang and Barroeta think they’ve found a way around these doubts.
The milk they’ve chosen is raw (unpasteurised) and comes from an Amish farm in Missouri. It’s been credited with relie…