It’s so easy, a cave man could do it. Enter the paleo diet, one of many popular variants in a wide range of “food can set you free” philosophies luring us to give up our gluten and return to the wild.

The $60 billion diet industry finds an eager audience among Americans ever anxious to lose weight and live until 106. The industry is also well aware of the American penchant for social stratification, and how better to lord over the Taco Bell class than to declare yourself keto.

It was not always thus.

Sometime during the 1970s, university students raised the banner of vegetarianism, doubtless to annoy the establishment, and large numbers have remained annoying ever since. There is little reliable scientific research to substantiate diet claims regardless of Dr. Oz, who has come up with Pegan (paleo and vegan), but the society payoff for claiming oneself “Pegan” or “paleo” remains constant among one’s fellows.

Those trendy diets have as their basis the evil stemming from the dawn of agriculture, and the theory that we still have Stone Age stomachs, largely debunked by the fact agriculture enabled civilization as we know it and human digestion has adapted. If it hadn’t, we’d have been whisked off the planet long ago. It’s also next to impossible to ascertain what Paleolithic people ate, but it’s a safe bet you’re not eating it unless it’s giant beasts like sloths, mastodons, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, cave lions, cave bears, hyenas, horses, camels, giant deer, glyptodonts (giant armadillos) and woolly rhinos.

And while scientific and archaeological evidence falls on diet deaf ears, there may be something to the paleo.

Look at the number of troglodytes still around.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at

Martini Gala

It ain’t over till it’s over, but it is now. The Hilton hosted Healing House for the culmination of their Lafayette’s Absolut Best Martini fundraising campaign. High rollers bid at the live auction while others visited the bar and food in the foyer. Everything but the kitchen sink was up for grabs at the silent auction, and clearly, this was the place to be. In the main room were the martinis, and Ruffino’s frontman Jake Thibodeaux explained winners are based on several factors: quantity, quality and general opinion. Walking away with the title of Absolut Best Martini was Zea, while Bon Temps Grill took second and third went to Ruffino’s, while Fezzo’s, Zea and Bon Temps were the People’s Choice. Absolut-ly winners in their own right were Chip and Jennifer Jackson, Coury and Sarah Moss, “Cowboy” Kenny Klusman and Carol Trosclair. Fête’s unofficial Media Award goes to Ruffino’s, who knows how to meet the press.

In the Summer of '65

Still around also, the Lafayette High School graduating Class of 1965 held a reunion at Deano’s on Kaliste Saloom. Taking a rather long walk down memory lane were, among others, Ricky Smith, Don Allen, Vietnam vet Pete Louviere, Ann Dalme and Beverly Wilson, and plans were laid for next year’s 55th get-together. What we loved: That Don Allen was disappointed he didn’t get a gold star for bringing the press, and Charlotte LeBlanc had to remind Robert Sewell to stop talking. Once a teacher, always a teacher.

Doctor, Doctor

Women in Medicine convened for their annual luncheon at Ruffino’s on the River, thanks to founder Dr. Shirley Covington. “She started this, the first female internist in Lafayette,” said Dr. Patricia Cran. “She was the trailblazer for me. The young women here don’t realize we used to work seven days a week and took our own calls.” Guests lunched on Champagne, Sensation Salad and a diet-conscious choice of grilled fish or chicken, browsed Emily Grace Creations jewelry and Claremont Clay, and among those taking a well-deserved time-out were Drs. Deiadra Garrett, Lauren Luke, Kim Drew, Joan Marshak and Stephanie Hanson.

FOH Reception

Richard and Judy Kennedy opened their Louie Drive home to Friends of Humanities for a classy meet 'n' greet. This organization has mushroomed to a membership of several hundred, most of whom seemed to be there — it was elbow to elbow and “excuse me, please” for guests making their way to wine and the buffet table, the star of which was Mimi Provost’s Torte a la Provence. “We fund grants and have a liaison in the different colleges at UL,” said Linda Alesi. “Applications go before a committee.” Friendly and foremost were Steve Landry, Mary Landry, Melissa Marcotte, Cheri Kraft, Celia Foard, Dr. Patricia Cran and Mary Neiheisel.

Farewell Reception

The Petroleum Club gave John O’Meara a VIP send-off complete with Champagne. GM for nearly a decade and a half, well-wishers turned out to toast his retirement and bid him farewell. According to O’Meara, he plans to spend more time operating the grandparent shuttle, downsizing and selling the house and traveling. When asked if she was ready to have her husband around all day, Sheryl O’Meara said, “I don’t know, he hasn’t stayed home.” Saying their goodbyes amid meat pies and endive hors d’oeuvres were Stuart Clark, Robbie Mahtook, Frank and Kathy Randol, Frances Yates, Pam DeVille and Diane Hudson. Matt Soileau will act as interim general manager.