When I think barbecue, I think about the magic of wood and charcoal, of fragrant smoke, of the heavenly smell of meat roasting in front of a charcoal fire. Yet most people have gas barbecues.
I was faced with a choice when I wrote Tender Grassfed Barbecue. Should I write it for charcoal barbecues, or gas barbecues, or both?
Writing it for both would give me the widest audience, and the most sales. Yet I chose to write it for charcoal only, though I did include a small section on how you could use a gas barbecue.
Why? Because our ancestors used wood coals, and 100 percent hardwood charcoal. I always try to honor tradition in my books, and there is no tradition in gas grilling. The traditional fuel is wood burned down to coals, or 100% hardwood charcoal. And it tastes so much better.
The Tradition of Cooking with Fire
Our ancestors cooked a great deal of their meat in front of fires. The fires were usually made of wood burned down to coals, or 100 percent wood charcoal, which has been used for thousands of years. The wood and the charcoal give a distinct and glorious flavor to barbecued meat, and have other cooking benefits that you do not get from gas.
I also like starting a fire, controlling it, adjusting the heat by how I adjust the vents, and adding flavor to the charcoal with wood and herbs. I enjoy looking at the coals, judging when they are just right to begin cooking.
I love the smell of meat roasting in front of charcoal, which mingles with the glorious smells of the fire to make my mouth water in anticipation of the joys to come.
And I love the flavor that comes only with the use of wood or charcoal, or both.
No gas grill can provide these experiences, though it is possible to get some wood taste into meat by using smoking chips with a gas grill.
And I believe that cooking with wood and charcoal adds something special to the meat, something that may even improve its digestive and nutrient qualities, since humans have been cooking this way since the beginning. I have no scientific proof of this, but I feel in my heart that it is true.
Many people who use gas barbecues talk about how they are much more convenient. But cooking with charcoal can also be very easy and convenient, as advances in barbecue technology has made it so much easier. I have developed a system, using a chimney barbecue starter, a drip pan, a meat thermometer, and a covered kettle grill, that is very easy to use and makes the most delicious barbecue I have ever tasted. This system is at the heart of Tender Grassfed Barbecue.
Starting the fire, controlling the temperature, avoiding flare-ups, and cooking the meat is very easy with this system, and I use it most days when the weather and the law allows.
And a little extra effort is so rewarding, in taste, in the pleasure of mastering fire, in the wonderful smells, and, best of all, in the delicious food it produces, which I love to eat.
Gas Barbecues Do Not Have the Magic of Charcoal
First of all, I have a confession to make. I have never used a gas barbecue. I have had friends with gas barbecues test my ideas on how to add some barbecue flavor, and have tasted the successful results.
But I have never used one. Not even once. That said, I respect the right of everybody to use the method of barbecue they prefer. And I have tasted a fair amount of barbecue cooked with gas. Some of it was good, but all of it was lacking, in my opinion. And what it lacked was the magic of wood and charcoal.
In my opinion, there is something magical about cooking with wood and charcoal, the qualities and tastes and textures it creates, which are like no others. And the smell, the wonderful, heavenly smell that makes my mouth water and gets me hungry in a way that no other form of cooking has ever done.
Finally, grassfed meat, my favorite food in all the world, and charcoal cooking were made for each other, being perhaps the oldest food of mankind, cooked in the most traditional way. This union of fuel and meat, when done right, appeals to a taste that seems to be coded into our very genes.
People have been eating meat cooked with fire for a very long time, since the beginning. People have only been using gas for barbecue since the twentieth century.
For these reasons, barbecue means wood and charcoal, to me.
We have been told, for decades, that butter and other animal fats will cause heart disease, obesity, diabetes, many other illnesses and death. Yet the purveyors of this claim were faced with evidence that could not be denied. The French ate huge amounts of butter and other animal fats, yet had low rates of these diseases, and were far less obese than other people. This situation was described as “The French Paradox.”
Some research was done, and some scientists explained the French Paradox by claiming that all the benefit came from drinking a glass or two of red wine daily, which supposedly counteracted the “harmful” effects of all that fat. This explanation never convinced me, because I knew that many other nations consume similar amounts of red wine and do not experience the better health enjoyed by the French.
But it was not until I had the pleasure of actually eating traditional French butter sauces that I realized the truth of the matter—it is the butter and quality animal fats that have the beneficial effect, not the wine.
It is the butter that helps give the blessing of good health.
My Fear of French Sauces
I did not always know about the benefits of traditional animal fats, like butter. Like most people, I believed the bogus “lipid hypothesis,” thought that butter was harmful, and avoided it. “Rich French butter sauces” got so much bad press that I never used them.
After studying the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, and eating a diet based on his discoveries, I experienced great health improvements. This meant eating a diet rich in traditional animal fats, including butter. Yet I still did not eat French butter sauces. Besides, these sauces were supposed to be very difficult to prepare. I had avoided them for so long that it did not even occur to me to try them, except occasionally in restaurants. The restaurant versions were boring and did nothing for me.
Rich butter sauces such as Hollandaise and Béarnaise are a big part of traditional French cuisine, often served with red meat. It did not even occur to me to put such sauces in my cookbooks, Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue, though I now realize they go wonderfully with grassfed meat. My mind still was influenced by the old mesmerism that French butter sauces were to be avoided, at all costs, though this belief was subconscious.
I was so wrong.
My New Appreciation of French Butter Sauces
When I was reading a traditional French cookbook, I turned to the section on sauces. As I started to read the ingredients of butter sauces, I realized that their main components were butter and egg yolks, two of the healthiest foods on earth, and two of my favorite foods. I actually became aware of the ridiculous attitude I had—if butter and egg yolks are good outside a sauce, why would they not be good in the sauce?
And, as I read the recipes, I came to realize something else. These sauces did not sound that difficult to prepare.
I prepared a Béarnaise sauce to go with some grassfed steaks two weeks ago. This was easy to make, though it required concentration. The resulting sauce was mostly butter, and had nothing in common with the pallid restaurant versions I had tasted before. It was absolutely delicious, and greatly enhanced the flavor of the grassfed steak without overwhelming it. But the real surprise was how good I felt. I always feel good after eating good grassfed meat, but this time I felt even better. Much better. The sheer enjoyment of the wonderful taste, the immense satisfaction of eating so much butter, and the wonderful combination of animal fat and meat, left me feeling full of energy and happiness, ready to do just about anything.
It struck me that this wonderful feeling of satisfaction, of enjoyment, of well being, was my body rewarding me for eating something wonderful, something highly nutritious. I never felt anything like this when I drank red wine.
I had exactly the same feelings of contentment, satisfaction, energy, and well being after I ate some homemade Hollandaise sauce on Mother’s Day, combined with some grassfed tenderloin steak.
To me, this solves the “French Paradox.” It is the butter. And my next cookbook will have easy, traditional ways of making these wonderful sauces.
Cattle have eaten grass and meadow plants for most of human history. These plants are the natural diet of cattle, and they thrive on it. Cattle eating their natural diet of grass (or eating hay in the winter when forage is scarce or impractical) produce the most nutritious and oldest food of humankind—grassfed meat.
Meat from cattle fed their natural diet of grass and meadow plants is full of nutrients that our bodies have adapted to use over the long years. Why would anyone want to mess with this perfect food?
The answer is simple—money. Producers can save a lot of time and money by using chemicals and drugs to increase the growth rate of cattle, and by feeding them grains and industrial byproducts.
Industrial byproducts that would otherwise be thrown out—as garbage.
Cattle should eat grass, not garbage.
The Prevalent Use of Industrial Byproducts in Feed
While all cattle start out eating grass, they are finished in different ways, usually in a feedlot. This period is usually at least ninety days, and often more. There is no grazing in a feedlot, and no living grass.
Most Americans are totally unaware of what is fed to finish most cattle. They are told that conventional beef is “corn fed”. This is only partly true. What is also largely unknown is the fact that corn and other grains are not the natural food of cattle, and cause the composition of their meat to be different than that of grassfed cattle. What is not publicized is the other things fed to conventional cattle.
These include substances which are industrial byproducts of the food industry. This includes the sludge left over from making soybean oil, the sludge left over from making canola oil, in fact the many sludges left over from making almost any vegetable oil. It includes the sludge left over from making beer and whisky, and other distilled beverages. These sludges, which used to be thrown out as garbage, are used to make feed for cattle, and sometimes food for humans, in the case of soy sludge. Most of these sludges contain chemical residues from processing, and most of them are GMO. In addition to this industrial sludge, cattle are often fed expired candy bars and bakery goods, loaded with sugar and other sweeteners, and chemicals. These expired goods are often served to the cattle when still in their plastic wrappers. Another product used to make feed for cattle is restaurant plate waste, which would otherwise also be thrown out as garbage.
The government says it is safe to feed these substances to cattle, so it must be safe. But safe does not mean ideal, or even desirable.
In my opinion, garbage should be thrown out, not fed to cattle.
The Blessings of Grass Feeding
Cattle have been fed grass and meadow plants, and dried grass, for most of human history. Eating rich, living grass gives many beneficial qualities to the meat and fat of cattle, providing invaluable nutrients including an ideal balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, CLA, and many others. These advantages diminish with each day in the feedlot, as the cattle are fed substances which are not their natural diet. See Health Benefits of Grass-fed Products.
Science has not discovered everything about nutrition, and new things are constantly being discovered. I believe that there are other nutrients in grassfed cattle which have not been discovered yet, which are also beneficial. What I do know is that humankind ate cattle raised on grass and meadow plants for most of history, and found the meat and fat of these grassfed animals to be a wonderful food.
I know from my own experience that nothing energizes and restores me like grassfed meat and fat, the favorite food of our ancestors.
Grassfed meat is also much tastier than industrial meat, if it is cooked properly. I know how to cook it, and it is my favorite food, for taste, nutrition, and feeling satisfied after eating.
Which is why I say that cattle should be fed grass, not garbage.
When I read older cookbooks about various cuisines, the author will say that the way to eat the best food is in someone’s home, where the really good food is cooked, not a restaurant. Now, restaurants are celebrated in many cookbooks.
If I never ate in a restaurant again, that would be fine with me. I get much healthier food at home, and it tastes much better.
This is a somewhat shocking statement in a nation where most adults do not know how to cook, and where more people are eating out than ever before. A nation where cookery is treated as a mystery understood only by celebrity chefs, and where the convenience of eating out and buying heat and serve meals has become a way of life.
It was not always that way.
It used to be that most families had at least one good cook, sometimes several, and people preferred to eat the good real food they had at home. Restaurants were for special occasions, and their food had to be really good or no one would go there. Unfortunately, that is no longer true.
The best real food is cooked at home.
The Trouble with Restaurants
I have a number of problems with most of today’s restaurants.
First: Food quality, or rather the lack of it. Most restaurants use cheap, factory ingredients. Many chain restaurants and fast food places do no cooking other than heating prepackaged food in a microwave. The food is prepared in a central kitchen, frozen, and then shipped to the various locations where it is actually served. When cooking actually occurs in a restaurant, the worst factory oils such as soy and canola are commonly used. GMOs, CAFO meat, and factory produce are the standard, because they are much cheaper than real food. In the rare place where quality ingredients are actually used, the prices are extremely high, and the actual quality is often not as good as advertised.
Second: Many people get sick after eating at restaurants, ranging from feeling stuffed and bloated to something serious. While poor quality food is a factor, often a lack of basic sanitation is the real culprit. If you want to see how bad it can get, just watch a couple of episodes of Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares.
Third: Many restaurants, especially those who claim to have higher quality food, serve tiny portions of the choice ingredients, combined with larger portions of something cheap. The current practice of “plating,” where food is arranged to be “artistic,” is usually just an ingenious way to serve less food to the customers, saving costs. Quite frankly, I see nothing attractive about spots and swirls of sauce, and vast expanses of emptiness on a plate.
Fourth: In most cases, wherever you go, the food is just not that tasty. Usually it is mediocre at best.
The emphasis on profit and speed is not consistent with good meals. And most restaurants just cost too much, always more than you would think, once you add in the tax, tips, and drinks.
Now, there are exceptions, restaurants that serve clean quality food, skillfully prepared, with decent portions. Most of these exceptions are extremely expensive, but there are a few that are reasonable.
Good luck in finding them.
Home Cooked Meals Are Best
When you learn to cook, you set yourself free. You are no longer dependent on restaurants or packaged meals, but can select grassfed meat and real food, and be certain that you and your family are eating high quality food, which our bodies so desperately need.
You can keep a clean kitchen, and know that no one who eats your food will feel stuffed or sick from your cooking.
You will also find that it is much less expensive to do your own cooking, especially if you shop wisely for quality ingredients.
And here is another secret—most cooking is easy, once you have a little experience. In fact, quality ingredients such as grassfed meat and organic produce do not require much seasoning or skill to be absolutely delicious. My cookbooks, Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue, teach how to cook absolutely delicious grassfed meat—the easy way.
Grassfed meat and real food are more expensive, and much harder to get than factory food. Why should we pay the higher cost? Why go to the considerable trouble of finding real food and quality grassfed meat?
The answer is simple, yet profound.
- Because it makes me feel so much better.
- Because it enables the natural functions of my body to function better, keeping me healthy, with every part working well, from mind to toes.
- Because it tastes so good, and makes me feel so satisfied.
- Because eating properly prepared grassfed meat and real food makes me happy and content.
In a world that sells convenience above all else, it is important to remember that easy is not always best. Quality really matters, especially when it comes to food.
Our bodies were not designed or evolved to live on pills and supplements, or on food raised with chemicals that did not even exist until they were invented in a lab. Humanity has eaten grassfed meat and real food for most of our history, and our bodies have adapted to use this wonderful fuel.
It is not just the individual nutrient that matters, it is the combination of nutrients, many of which have yet to be discovered. When we eat a balanced traditional diet of real food and grassfed meat, we need not worry about whether we are getting good nutrition that our bodies can easily absorb and use—because we are.
Factory foods raised with chemicals, GMOs, foods that have been irradiated, foods with chemical additives, are all new to humanity, and are different from the foods that have nourished us since the beginning.
How do we know if we are well nourished? We feel good, clear, with lots of energy. We experience a great deal of satisfaction and contentment. There is a wonderful feeling of satisfaction that comes after eating a good meal of real food, that can never come from eating factory food.
The chemicals they add to factory food can make it taste good, and can make us crave it, but it does not satisfy. In fact, one of the telltale signs of factory food is that you can eat a great deal of it and never be satisfied, always craving more. That is why people will eat whole quarts of factory ice cream, drink a gallon or more of factory soft drinks in a day, eat huge quantities of candy, and still be hungry.
With real food and grassfed meat, you eat, and your body knows when you have had enough. Then the desire to eat ends, and you enjoy the wonderful satisfaction that only real food can bring.
Real food and grassfed meat, properly cooked with traditional ingredients and methods, tastes so good it is hard to describe. The smell and taste of a grassfed beef roast cooked over smoldering charcoal is good beyond belief, as are countless other traditional dishes.
And it is not hard to cook this kind of food to the point where it is wonderful. It is not complicated. If you have great ingredients, you can enjoy wonderful, tender grassfed meat, and utterly delicious real food, with just a few ingredients and simple cooking methods.
Two days ago, we had a grassfed beef roast cooked in front of a hardwood charcoal fire, seasoned with no more than three ingredients. Cooking it was simplicity itself, being just a matter of a very simple marinade, timing, and adjusting the temperature of the fire by adjusting the vents once. Yet this beef was so good, so delicious, absolutely mouth-watering as it came off the grill with that heavenly aroma that only barbecued meat can have.
Yesterday, we had a pastured pork roast, marinated with a traditional combination of four ingredients, then roasted in the oven with one change of temperature. We sliced it thin, and enjoyed the incredible flavor and tenderness of the meat, enhanced by the traditional spicing. This meat was so good it was hard to imagine anything better, and most of the dinner conversation involved praising the goodness of the pork.
Yet, when we had enough, in both of those meals, the desire to eat ended, and we experienced the wonderful sensation of satisfaction.
Barbecue season began for me yesterday. I opened Tender Grassfed Barbecue to the recipe for Roast Pork with Mediterranean Myrtle, in the Style of Sardinia. I marinated a pastured pork loin with traditional ingredients. I took the barbecue out of the garage, set it up, arranged the coals, lit the fire. I watched the first coals catch, and spread the fire to the others. I watched the flames as the hardwood charcoal burned down, filling the air with the fragrance of wood smoke.
When the coals were ready, I placed the pork loin in front of the fire, added some Mediterranean myrtle leaves to the coals, put the cover on, and inhaled the fragrant smell, feeling great satisfaction.
I adjusted the vents to control the temperature, added coals when called for, and enjoyed my mastery of the fire. The smell of the burning coals, fragrant leaves, and roasting meat made me so hungry.
I was enjoying one of humankind’s oldest experiences, cooking real meat in front of a real fire.
It got even better when the meat was finally ready, and I cut thin slices of fragrant pork, and tasted the flavors of the meat, the herbs, and the wood. So good. So satisfying. So old, yet so new. And utterly delicious.
The Goodness of Barbecue
Barbecuing meat has been associated with health risks, based on various studies. Yet our ancestors, and the peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price, cooked most of their meat in front of a fire, without developing the diseases indicated by the studies.
A review of the studies on the subject led me to realize something important. The risk factors were always associated with cooking the meat over direct high heat. While most Americans associate barbecue with cooking directly over a hot fire, whether charcoal or gas, our ancestors rarely did this.
By cooking their meat in front of, but never directly over, the fire, they avoided scorching their meat, and avoided the risk factors identified by various studies.
Concern has also been expressed about some chemicals that are released from burning wood, such as creosote. Our ancestors had this one covered as well, as they invariably burned their wood down to coals before placing the meat in front of it. By the time the wood burned down to coals, the chemicals had burned off. Our ancestors often cooked with natural charcoal, which was and is made by partly burning wood. This process also burns off the toxic chemicals.
It is just about certain that most of our ancestors cooked their meat in front of the fire, and that this is the oldest human way of cooking meat. Our bodies have no doubt adapted to the combination of meat cooked with wood coals. I cook grassfed meat in many delicious ways, and enjoy all of them, but real barbecue has always been my favorite. Grassfed meat is humankind’s oldest food, and wood coal fires are humankind’s oldest way to cook it. The meat and the method go together in delicious perfection.
The Taste of Barbecue
Cooking with fire gives grassfed meat a flavor, texture, and tenderness that cannot be matched in any other way. I usually cook with charcoal, as it is much easier than burning wood logs down coals, and is the oldest cooking fuel after wood itself. I only use lump charcoal, or briquettes made from 100 percent hardwood charcoal with a starch binder. This helps recreate the traditional flavors, and makes for a fire that is very easy to control.
I barbecue grassfed beef, grassfed lamb, grassfed bison, pastured pork, and sometimes chicken or even wild fish. No matter what I make, I love it.
Barbecuing can be very difficult, or very easy. I prefer easy, and have perfected a simple method to cook meat in front of the fire, not over, control the temperature, and produce absolutely delicious barbecue meats. This method is detailed in Tender Grassfed Barbecue, along with more than a hundred delicious traditional recipes for many kinds of barbecued meats. I am getting hungry now.
Our ancestors did not reach for drugs or doctors when they had an injury. Instead, they tried to get the food that would enable their bodies to repair themselves.
Only the most serious injuries would require a doctor, and many traditional doctors would prescribe a particular food. The most famous and successful of ancient doctors, Hippocrates of Cos, said:
“Let thy food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be thy food.”
This seems primitive, in our modern age, which celebrates the wonders of medical science. Yet many of us have noticed that medical science is not always the best choice, due to its using drastic methods such as drugs, surgery, and radiation for even minor ailments. And most drugs only manage to relieve symptoms, while interfering with the natural processes of our body.
I had a minor but annoying injury a few weeks ago. I had a choice, and I chose food. And it healed me.
While fooling around, I got a split lip. It was not that bad, but it would not fully heal. There remained a split in the lip. If the lip got dry, especially at night, it would get quite painful. At other times, it was annoying. After two months, there was no change.
I thought of going to a doctor, but the only thing they could do was give me stitches, or a drug. Having a needle going in and out of my lip had no appeal. Drugs scare the heck out of me, since they interfere with the natural functions or our bodies, and I would consider one only under serious circumstances.
I began to look for natural remedies for a split lip that will not fully heal, and I found none.
I saw some full-fat Greek yogurt in a store, made by my favorite dairy. This dairy has organic milk products, is extremely careful to make sure that its cows get no GMOs in their feed, pasteurizes their milk at the lowest temperature the law allows, does not vaccinate or drug their milk cows, and gives these cows wonderful treatment. In other words, it was my kind of dairy, and I have enjoyed their products for years.
I had never had this kind of yogurt before. It was tangy, very thick and rich with good animal fat. Without understanding why, I placed some of this yogurt against the split in my lip, and held it there. It felt cooling and wonderful. Within seconds, the irritating sensation in the split went away. I did this for a few days, several times a day. I noticed that the split was smaller after the first day. After about three days, the split was gone, and the lip was healed. After several weeks, it has remained healed.
I should say that I had never heard of this before. I think that the good fat and probiotics in this very special yogurt caused the healing, but I cannot prove it. And I do not know why I did it.
Chris Kerston, of Chaffin Family Orchards, a chemical-free organic farm and ranch I admire, told me how his grassfed cattle would treat themselves by eating certain plants, which fixed them up. The cattle would select the plants themselves.
I am just guessing, based on this experience, but I think our bodies have a wisdom and knowing that can often help us. I listened to my instincts when I held the yogurt against my split lip, and it healed.
This story is anecdotal, unsupported by studies, is not a recommendation, is no substitute for the services of a medical professional, has not been reviewed or approved by the FDA, and is intended solely as a sharing of my experience.
Lamb has often been a traditional food for Easter. My family will be enjoying a grassfed leg of lamb this Sunday, using traditional flavorings. Lamb may just be the most popular meat in the world, enjoyed in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, not to mention Australia and New Zealand.
But usually not in the United States. Americans generally dislike lamb, and rarely eat it. Many Americans who taste American lamb find it gamy and not tasty.
But there are specific reasons why some American lamb tastes this way. The right kind of lamb, raised on its natural feed, properly spiced and cooked, is some of the most delicious meat you will ever eat.
The Problems with American Lamb
American lamb used to be wonderful, especially lamb raised in the west, by experienced Basque shepherds. But times have changed.
Most of the lamb in the world is grassfed only. But not in the United States. Most American lamb is finished on grain. This causes the lambs to grow bigger and faster, and increases profits. However, lamb, more than any other meat, tastes like what it eats. Most of the grains fed to lamb are the same GMO corn and GMO soy fed to factory cattle. Grain feeding, in my opinion, totally ruins the taste of lamb. Grass feeding, on rich pastures full of wild herbs, can give a wonderful taste to lamb.
Another problem is that much American lamb comes from breeds developed for wool, not meat. These wool breeds often have a bad taste and smell that meat breeds do not have.
American lamb is also too big, which has a negative effect on taste. The standards as to what can be called lamb are quite lax in the U.S., and older animals can now legally be sold as lamb. The selling of older lambs also contributes to the size problem.
Here is an example. A leg of lamb in the U.S. often weighs eight to ten pounds, or even more. In most other countries, a leg of lamb is closer to four to five pounds in weight.
Lamb also needs to be cooked properly. Traditional cuisines cook lamb with a variety of herbs, spices, vegetables, and marinades that really enhance its taste and provide absolutely wonderful meat. Americans generally do not know how to cook lamb.
The Grassfed Solution
Lamb should only be grassfed, in my opinion. The flavor is far superior, especially if the pasture is good, and it also has the health benefits of grassfed meat. Grassfed lamb can be found in the U.S., though it can take some effort. I have also found good grassfed lamb in the U.S. that is imported from New Zealand. Some imported and domestic grassfed lamb can be incredibly expensive, so it pays to shop carefully and compare prices.
Lamb should also come from a meat breed, rather than a wool breed. There are some breeds that are supposed to be equally good for meat and wool, but I personally prefer the flavor of a meat breed, raised on grass.
I also try to buy meat from smaller lambs, as I find the flavor to be milder and superior. This can be a challenge, but is well worth the effort.
It is also important to know how to cook the lamb, and to use some of the traditional flavorings that have enhanced the flavor of lamb for thousands of years. My cookbooks Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue have many delicious recipes for lamb using traditional ingredients. These include garlic, green herbs such as rosemary and thyme, traditional olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and others.
Here is a link to a recipe for grassfed lamb that I developed for Easter, which is an example of how good grassfed lamb really can be.
Have you ever wondered why the sight, smell, texture, and taste of food is so important to us?
The answer is simple. Our bodies use these senses to decide what food should be eaten, what food should be avoided, to prepare the digestive system, and to tell us how much of a particular food to eat.
That is right, how much to eat. Our bodies do not follow calorie counting charts, but use sensory input to decide what to eat and how much. Every person is different, and our dietary needs vary from day to day. Our bodies have a magnificent system already in place to guide us with certainty as to what and how much we need to eat. Most of our ancestors trusted and used this system, and obesity was very rare.
But there is a problem in modern food that cripples our sensory food input—chemical flavor enhancers that are literally designed to fool and trick our senses, so our bodies think they are eating something they are not.
These chemicals create the equivalent of hallucinations for our taste buds, and appetite regulation system. They are completely legal, and fool the natural system we have for regulating our appetite and desiring food.
The only way to avoid them is to eat real food only, and avoid all factory foods.
Factory Foods Are Designed to Fool Our Senses
The food industry depends on foods raised as cheaply as possible, and demands that these foods have a long shelf life. The problem for the food industry is that the natural taste, sight, and smell of such foods is not very good, and people’s senses would reject them. The first factory foods that were introduced were almost completely rejected by the public, because their senses rejected them.
The food industry turned to science, and science came up with chemical flavor enhancers, and chemicals that change the very appearance, taste, and smell of the food. These enhancers are designed to trick the senses into thinking that a food is much more desirable than it is, and some of them actually make people want to eat more of that food.
Tricking the Eyes
These techniques fool the eyes by using chemicals to change the natural appearance of the food. One example is the use of carbon monoxide gas to make factory meat appear red, rather than brown or gray.
This fools the eyes, which do not find brownish or grayish raw meat appealing.
Other such techniques include putting chemical waxes on fruits, using gas to give a ripe appearance to fruits and vegetables, using chemical dyes in food, and others.
Tricking the Nose
The natural smell of factory food is often very bad. The food industry uses many different chemicals and processing techniques to remove the bad smells, and other chemicals to give a bland or enticing smell. This totally deceives our sense of smell.
Tricking the Taste
The natural taste of many factory foods is vile, and people will not eat food that tastes so bad. But chemicals are used in many products to hide the natural bad taste and add a good taste.
Factory foods are often bleached and deodorized with chemicals, to kill the horrible smell and taste of items like unfermented soy.
Chemical flavor enhancers are added to all kinds of foods. Scientists are able to use chemicals to add almost any desired taste to a particular food, and are constantly developing new artificial tastes. These chemicals not only make the food taste much better than it would naturally, but can fool our bodies into thinking they are eating something they are not. This confuses the digestive system and the appetite.
Chemicals are also added to many factory foods that make people want to eat more of the food, just because of the chemical. This causes many people to overeat, and is believed to be a huge cause of the rampant obesity that plagues the modern world.
When You Only Eat Real Food, It Is Natural to Eat Only what You Need
By avoiding foods with chemicals, we set our senses free to do their job of regulating our diet. It may take a while, but I have found that my senses tell me what I want to eat, and how much. When I have eaten enough of a certain food, I am no longer hungry for it. When I stop eating, I am happy, content, satisfied, and never stuffed or uncomfortable. I have no digestive problems when I eat real food. I can trust my senses to tell me what to eat, and how much, because they are not fooled with chemicals. And my health has improved so much.
As more and more people are giving up factory food for something real, the industry has come up with a sleazy, deceptive argument to get us back to buying their chemical-filled concoctions—guilt.
If you try to avoid toxins, GMOs, chemicals, and try to eat the pure foods of our ancestors, you are a snob, and a bad person.
This is absolute nonsense, and I have written a guest blog explaining why.
The real food movement has become a threat to industrial food producers. People are realizing that real food is much better. Industrial food manufacturers are trying to demonize real food and the people who eat it. They claim:
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