Local health advocate hopes to open all-paleo food truck

Josh Winnecour is determined to start up Asheville’s first all-paleolithic, gluten-free restaurant-on-wheels, and he needs the help of health-conscious Ashevillans to make it happen.

The “paleo” diet refers to the concept of only consuming local, organic food, which stems from the belief that humans are healthiest when eating in-season food from their own geographical areas, just as the hunters and gatherers did during early human history—no bread, no sugar, no dairy and minimal or smart starches, though according to Winnecour, the specific restrictions do vary.

“Two years ago, I learned of the term and started researching, just cutting back on grain, added sugar and processed food,” he says. “I saw a remarkable change in my fitness and health and weight. All of a sudden I had so much more energy in my athletic endeavors, and I didn’t get sick as often. It was definitely an eye-opening experience.”

Though there are many area restaurants and grocers who supply the ingredients necessary to facilitate the paleo diet, many paleo dieters have yet to find a location that sports a 100 percent paleo-friendly menu — at least for now.

Winnecour is currently running a Kickstarter campaign, which ends Nov. 2, to help raise funds for his all-paleo food truck, Fuel – Feeding Your Fitness. He and the 151 backers of the cause hope to raise $15,000 to fund Asheville’s newest addition to the food truck scene. At the time this article was written, the campaign’s funding sat at $14,323.

“There’s really not any [restaurants] here that are paleo-friendly,” says Joan Sprinkle, who has been on the paleo diet since about May. “There are lot of restaurants that sell organic food or all-natural, but they don’t put it together in a way that supports a strictly paleo diet.

“A lot of times when I was eating out, I’d have to get a salad with a chicken breast added to it, with no cheese or dairy-based dressings or sauces. It [would be] really nice to have the Fuel truck so I’ll have choices. I won’t have to worry about if it’s paleo.”

If fully funded by Saturday, Winnecour says he has plans to park his new food truck daily at the three local branches of CrossFit, as many members of this fitness training program have adopted the paleo diet to support their active lifestyles. Many members of CrossFit have expressed their excitement for Winnecour’s new entrepreneurial endeavor, as not many restaurants around town offer dishes they can eat. 

“I think you can pick your way through some menus in town,” he says. “But it’s a huge effort for anyone that is paleo to eat. You’re constantly trying to figure out what the potential hazards are on the menu. It can be really challenging, and you feel like you’re interrogating the wait staff.

“I think [Fuel] will popularize or maybe normalize paleo eating a little bit more, and it will definitely be a go-to option for folks in terms of eating healthier and clean while not having to worry, ‘How manufactured is my food?’”


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About Hayley Benton
Current freelance journalist and artist. Former culture/entertainment reporter at the Asheville Citizen-Times and former news reporter at Mountain Xpress. Also a coffee drinker, bad photographer, teller of stupid jokes and maker-upper of words. I can be reached at hayleyebenton [at] gmail.com. Follow me @HayleyTweeet

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3 thoughts on “Local health advocate hopes to open all-paleo food truck

  1. Jake Rathian

    “He and the 151 backers of the cause hope to raise $15,000 to fund Asheville

  2. Dionysis

    It’s easy to be critical, unless the facts are actually known. I actually know this person, and he already devotes a lot of himself as a medical professional by his work in a local non-profit health care entity, going way beyond the call.

    The funds that are being solicited would be a kind of small-scale ‘venture capital’ initiative. It’s not simply holding the hand out for money, like some vagrant.

  3. boatrocker

    I tried eating some leftovers in the back of my fridge left over from the Paleolithic Age- it didn’t work out so well.

    Even so, this paleo diet idea seems refreshing to me for several reasons.

    One, that pesky science thing once again confirms modern humans are omnivores (though reducing meat consumption seems logical as Americans eat too much), contrary to the PETA folks, aka the Scientologists of nutrition.

    Two, a paleo diet seems to support the hunter/gatherer model for humans which is a lot less tough on the land vs. forcing the land to produce plants that aren’t native to here anyway. Once humans stopped moving around after the Agricultural Revolution, the idea of land ownership developed, which resulted in the invention of warfare to protect it. Insert Pandora’s box allusion here.

    The only thing I’m confused about is the Kick Starter campaign to raise money for a food truck. That seems a little uppity for a profit driven business to ask for funds that way.

    As an alternative, couldn’t they just use a cart instead of a truck? The cart could be pulled by various local animals, deer, red wolves, panthers, river otters, etc.

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