By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
“People are missing out on the joy of fat. It keeps the meat tender, makes the meat taste so much better.”
These words of wisdom came from my friend Brian, head of the meat department at my local market. Brian is not only a master butcher, he is a classically trained chef who studied in France and cooked in Denmark. Brian knows grassfed meat.
We were talking about customers who want all the fat trimmed off every piece of meat they buy. These customers and so many others are truly missing out on the joy of fat.
The Joy of Fat—Taste, Tenderness, Satisfaction, and Nutrition
The natural fat on a piece of grassfed meat cooks down into the meat, keeping the meat tender while adding fantastic flavor and nutrients. The wonderful smell given off by the roasting fat is the best appetizer on earth, causing our bodies to prepare for digestion, and the joy of a great meal. You can roast vegetables like potatoes, carrots, peppers, celery, etc. right in the same pan, and the melting fat will brown them, caramelize them, and give them incredible taste and flavor that goes so well with the meat.
There is also the joy of satisfaction. Meat and vegetables cooked with grassfed fat are the most satisfying food on earth. After a serving of this delicious food, full of all kinds of nutrients, hunger disappears and the urge to eat and eat and eat that plagues so many people disappears. You stop eating because you are satisfied, and no longer want to. When your body has the nutrients it needs, the desire to eat is gone.
The fat from grassfed animals and wild fish has the natural ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 essential fatty acids, and contains many other beneficial substances that factory meat and farmed fish lack. This fat was cherished by our ancestors, who ate as much of it as they could, and our bodies have evolved to know how to use it. It is prime fuel for our bodies. More information on the benefits of animal fat is explained here.
All of the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price ate plenty of animal fat, from animals that were wild or pastured. Most of them ate as much fat from wild seafood as they could get. These healthy people had perfect teeth, and were free from the chronic diseases that plague us.
How the Joy of Fat Was Replaced by the Fear of Fat
Most people are afraid of animal fat. They fear that eating animal fat will clog their arteries with cholesterol, causing heart attacks and strokes. They fear that eating animal fat will make them fat. They fear that eating animal fat will give them all kinds of diseases. All of these fears are just not true. In fact, cholesterol is beneficial, as explained in this article: Cholesterol: Friend or Foe?
So why does the government, the news media, the medical profession, the food industry, the drug industry, and the educational system, all support and repeat this misinformation?
The answer is very simple—money.
It has been written that “Money is the root of all evil.” There is much truth in that statement.
Extensive marketing campaigns, backed by many “studies” based on incomplete, mistaken, or biased research, convinced the public to fear real fat. When people were convinced to avoid the most important nutrient, it had to be replaced with something. This created several very lucrative markets.
The Food Industry Makes Money from the Fear of Fat
Real animal fat satisfies hunger like no other food. When you remove fat, people are hungry because they are not getting the nutrients their bodies crave. When people are hungry they buy more and eat more.
This process was described beautifully by my friend Sarah Pope, of the Healthy Home Economist blog:
“. . . some brands of commercial ice cream are now called “dairy dessert” instead of ice cream as they have lowered the butterfat content so much it can no longer even qualify as ice cream. This is deliberate because when the butterfat content decreases, the customer EATS MUCH MUCH MORE and the ice cream becomes more addictive as sugar replaces the butterfat! . . . You can get addicted to sugar but you can’t get addicted to butterfat.”
Addiction and overeating makes a fortune for the food industry. The food industry favors products based on grains, sweeteners, artificial flavors and preservatives, and modern vegetable oils. These ingredients are highly processed, and the raw materials are very cheap for the food industry. The products they create with these ingredients lack vital nutrients, so the customer’s hunger will never be satisfied. Yet the ingredients are often addictive, so the customer will buy more and more of the product. This is why people can eat a whole bag of cookies and still be hungry.
Fear of Fat Makes a Fortune for the Diet Industry
If you look at old photos of Americans at the beach taken during the early 20th century, you will be astonished at how fit almost everybody was. Obesity was very rare. Prior to the demonization of animal fat, most doctors had a simple and effective cure for overweight people who wanted to lose weight. Reduce the amounts of carbs and sugars, and eat a high-fat diet full of butter and other animal fats. These kinds of diets worked, because nothing satisfies like animal fat. There was no diet industry.
Once people became afraid of animal fat, these time-tested, high-fat diets went out the window, and the diet industry came to life. The diet industry has created a myriad of ways to lose weight, based on counting calories, eating a low-fat, nutrient-poor diet, and exhausting exercise. All of these programs are expensive. All of these programs are difficult to do, which allows the victim to be blamed when the program does not work. Typically, these programs work well for a few people, and some may lose a lot of weight on them, but the weight always comes back, and the victims end up fatter than ever, and are soon looking for a new diet program, which is always there. The severe malnutrition and exhaustion that many experience during such programs often leads to chronic illness, sometimes death.
The Medical Industry Makes a Fortune from the Fear of Fat
The fats of wild and pastured animals contain many nutrients that are found nowhere else, except in wild fish. Our bodies need these nutrients for the natural functions of the body to work properly. One of the most vital functions of our bodies is the immune system. When the immune system is compromised, people get sick with all kinds of illnesses. Another important function is the ability of the body to repair itself. Most of the symptoms of old age are greatly worsened when the body’s repair functions are compromised, again leading to illness, including the failure of organs, bones, joints, and the mind.
This causes people to seek relief from the medical profession, leading to countless prescriptions, surgeries, tests, radiation sessions, and other procedures that are expensive and often harmful. Many medical interventions never cure anything, but require the “patient” to have ever increasing amount of “care,” with huge profits being made from the “patient’s” illness. Many medical interventions create a new problem in the “patient’s” body, which requires yet more medical interventions, which creates yet more problems, until the cycle is finally stopped by death.
How We Can Rediscover the Joy of Fat
I did relearn the joy of fat. The first step I took was to follow the dietary guidelines of the Weston A. Price Foundation.
The second step was to find grassfed meat, and cook it with the fat on. I also learned the way of our ancestors and cooked all meat and vegetables with plenty of pastured animal fat, like pastured butter, real cream, beef tallow, duck fat, pork lard, lamb tallow, bison fat, and others.
If you are not used to eating fat, it is best to start with small amounts, so your system may get used to it. Use the best, most natural ingredients you can afford, and you too may rediscover the joy of fat.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Meat and potatoes were once so popular that the very term came to mean the very essence, the indispensible part of anything, the “meat and potatoes.” In terms of a good main meal, meat and potatoes were always there, and anything else was optional.
The attempts to ram grain and vegetables down people’s throats, as exemplified by the ridiculous food pyramid, changed this. Meat has been demonized as unhealthy in a myriad of ways. Potatoes, with their high glycemic index and starch content, have also come under attack, and are avoided by the low-carb movement.
Yet the combination of meat and potatoes is a very old tradition in Europe, one that goes back centuries, back to the introduction of the potato. It was the foundation of the diet (when people could get meat), and they thrived on it. However, the European tradition had a third component, perhaps the most important of all—fat. Fat that was almost always from animal sources, like butter, bacon, lard, beef tallow, lamb tallow, etc. Of course, animal fat is the most demonized food of all.
Demonization aside, the combination of meat, potatoes, and fat is one of the most nutritious and delicious combinations you can have in a meal. Most of our main meals feature this combination, and we thrive on it.
But it is crucial to use the right meat, the right potatoes, and the right fat. Together they create a wonderful balance, both in nutrition and pH balance, and are one of the tastiest food combinations.
The Right Meat Is Raised in a Pasture, Not a Feedlot
When most Americans think of meat, they think of the relatively tasteless, watery, mushy, greasy, nutrition-light factory meat that comes out of feedlots, having been fattened on GMO corn, GMO soy, and a variety of other unnatural feeds that can easily include rendered chicken manure. While this kind of meat is considered safe to eat, safe is not enough. This meat just will not work as part of the traditional trilogy of meat, potatoes, and fat.
Grassfed and grass finished meat, the same kind of meat that was eaten when the meat-potatoes-fat tradition began, is a very different substance. Grassfed meat has incredible flavor, has a nice meaty texture, is not greasy, and is nutrient-dense, having the right ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, and a number of valuable nutrients that are often missing in factory meat.
Grassfed meat is the right meat.
The Right Potatoes Are Not Saturated with Pesticides
The potatoes eaten when the meat-potatoes-fat combination began were not sprayed with pesticides. Most potatoes in the United States are heavily sprayed with a multitude of pesticides, and are one of the most pesticide-heavy foods you can get. The only way to avoid this is to get organic potatoes.
Dr. Weston A. Price studied some of the traditional peoples of Peru, and found them to be free of chronic diseases and tooth decay. Organic potatoes were an important part of their diet, though they ate many animal foods and seafood as well.
The right potatoes are organic potatoes.
The Right Fat Comes from Animals, Not Factory Crops
The fat eaten when the meat-potatoes-fat tradition began in Europe was the fat of grassfed animals, or the fat from their milk. The one exception was olive oil, though olive oil was often combined with animal fats in cooking.
The fat that comes from modern vegetable oils just will not work for this combination, as it did not even exist when the meat-potatoes-fat combination began. These oils have a very high ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids, which is very undesirable. The fats that should not be used include: soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil. An excellent article on this subject is Know Your Fats Introduction.
It is crucial that the fat comes from grassfed and/or pastured animals, eating their natural food, so the fat will be similar to the fat available when the meat-potatoes-fat combination began. This includes butter, full-fat cheese, full-fat milk, full-fat cream, full-fat yogurt, full-fat sour cream, full-fat cultured cream, natural unhydrogenated pork lard, grassfed beef tallow, lamb tallow, bison tallow, and the fat from pastured chickens, geese, and ducks. These fats are extremely nutritious and lend an incredible flavor to food.
The right fat is the fat of grassfed animals, the fat from their milk, and the fat of pastured animals.
Meat, Potatoes, and Fat Balance Each Other
I have come to understand that traditional food combinations stand the test of time because they are beneficial. Time and time again, science has confirmed the wisdom of these traditions.
For example, it is known that it is important to maintain a body pH balance that is not too acidic or alkaline, with slightly alkaline being ideal. Meat is acidic, and potatoes are one of the most alkaline foods you can eat. They are a perfect balance for each other. This may explain why the meat and potato combination was so popular, as traditional peoples always seemed to know what foods should be eaten together.
The adverse effects of the high glycemic index of potatoes are avoided when the potatoes are eaten with plenty of good fat. The fat changes the way that high glycemic foods are digested and absorbed. Again, traditional peoples seemed to know this. In Europe, potatoes were always eaten with plenty of good, natural, traditional fat. Potatoes were baked with cream and milk, fried in lard, fried in butter, fried with bacon, made into casseroles with butter and cheese, covered with sour cream or butter, and combined with cheese and baked into pies. These are just a few of the thousands of ways fat and potatoes were combined. Even the poor would dip their boiled potatoes into butter, or eat them with full-fat milk or cheese.
All of the potato recipes in Tender Grassfed Meat contain plenty of good fat, and they are intended to be eaten with meat, following the tradition.
The food trilogy of grassfed meat, organic potatoes, and natural fat provides the body with an incredible combination of nutrients—leading to satisfaction and contentment.
The taste benefits of meat, potatoes, and fat are just as incredible. I know because I eat this combination almost every day, in many delicious variations.
Here’s to meat and potatoes—and fat!
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
The Weston A. Price Foundation is having its annual conference on November 12 to 14, 2010, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. If I could go to any conference in the world, anywhere, this is the one I would choose, above all the others.
This conference has so many benefits: priceless knowledge; incredible seminars; the heroes of the real food movement who will be teaching, speaking and attending; and being surrounded by the nicest, healthiest, most enlightened group of people I have ever met. There is a feeling of wisdom, understanding, kindness, community, goodness, and life that is so strong you can practically touch it. There is so much to experience here: the incredible foods and products available from the vendors, and the wonderful real food that is served at every meal. If you are new to the world of real food, you will be amazed at how good it tastes and feels.
I encourage everybody who possibly can to go, and I thought I would mention just seven of the many reasons for going.
1. The conference presents the very best information on food and wellness.
There is nothing you can possibly learn that is as important as what to eat, and what not to eat. This is the most important knowledge you can have, and most people are totally misinformed on the subject by a system that thrives on ignorance. Your physical health, mental health, emotional health, ability to fight off illness, fertility, ability to have healthy children, energy, immune system, happiness, eyesight, hearing, ability to focus, everything—depends heavily on your ability to put the right fuel into your body, so it can function properly.
The Standard American Diet, “SAD,” results in severe malnutrition, illness, premature aging, the slow loss of every one of your body functions, the need for intensive and never-ending medical treatment, and a slow, painful death. The information presented at the conference can give you the knowledge to abandon SAD and eat a diet that will actually support your body functions, and improve every aspect of your life.
2. You may hear of miracles.
When I attended the 2008 conference, I was waiting for a seminar to start when two people sitting behind me began talking. It turned out that both of them had been diagnosed with terminal cancer many years ago. Instead of following the conventional approach of having their bodies destroyed by chemotherapy, they turned to real food instead. Not only were they still alive, they were thriving. Everyone I knew who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer soon looked like a concentration camp victim—a dying skeleton who could barely breathe. I turned around to look at these two people and was astonished at how healthy they looked. They looked healthier and more robust than most people. It is one thing to hear of a miracle, it is truly impressive to see one.
3. You can attend Sally Fallon Morell’s superb seminar on traditional foods.
I had the joy of attending this seminar at the 2008 conference. In one day, you learn enough to drop SAD forever and learn the secrets of a healthy diet. A diet that can restore the natural functions of your body, which will then get about their job of fixing everything that is wrong with you. Sally is a magnificent speaker, and she knows the subject like nobody else. I thought I knew a lot before I attended this seminar, but I learned so much.
4. You will be surrounded by the nicest, healthiest group of people you will ever meet.
Many of the people who attend the conference are so healthy that they literally glow, and are a walking testament to the benefits of a real food diet. People are friendly, accepting, excited, happy, and enthusiastic. These are people who have the courage and wisdom to think for themselves, who make good decisions based on reason and knowledge rather than simply obeying the authorities. The feeling of community was so strong I felt like I was always among friends. I have seen babies and toddlers at that conference who are so active, so healthy, so alert, and so enthusiastic, that they make other children seem lifeless by comparison.
5. You can meet and hear some of the best food bloggers in the world.
Some of the world’s best food bloggers will be attending the conference. These include my friends, Kimberly Hartke (Hartke is Online), Ann Marie Michaels (Cheeseslave), Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Sarah Pope (the Healthy Home Economist), Raine Saunders (Agriculture Society), and others. These bloggers give of themselves day after day, posting nutritional wisdom on their sites, fighting the good fight on issue after issue, making desperately needed information available to all, and telling the truth about nutrition and health amidst all the propaganda that poisons the media. You can actually meet them, and talk with them, and some of them will be speaking. This is a unique opportunity to actually meet and talk to the people who write the very best real food blogs.
6. You will be supporting the best nonprofit organization on the planet.
Attending the conference provides important financial support for the Weston A. Price Foundation, the best organization on earth.
Why is it the best? They know the truth about nutrition, and they have the will, the wisdom, and the courage to spread it, despite being under constant attack. Most Americans are deceived by propaganda into eating an unnatural diet that is starving and killing them—while making a fortune for the processed food industry, industrial agriculture, the supermarkets, the medical profession, the drug companies, the health insurance industry, and a host of other parasites who make their money by keeping Americans malnourished and sick. Poor nutrition makes everything worse, not only causing physical illness, but contributing to mental and emotional problems. Traditional peoples eating a healthy diet not only did not have illness, they did not have crime.
If the American people were to learn and follow the wisdom of the Weston A. Price Foundation, almost everybody would enjoy robust good health, and there would be little or no need for the factory food industry, the health insurance industry, the drug companies, and all the other parasites who feed off of the illnesses of the American people like vampires. The need for doctors would drop dramatically, and we would have the best possible solution to the cost of medical care—a healthy population that does not need it.
The Weston A. Price Foundation is on the right side of every issue, fighting bravely in Congress and many states to protect farmers, protect real food, challenge the propaganda, and confront the endless nutritional lies with the truth. They maintain a magnificent website, free to all, which has invaluable information about food and health. The information on that website saved my life. Unlike so many other organizations, nobody in the Weston A. Price Foundation is becoming rich from it, and you may be assured that every penny that goes to them is used to help their cause.
7. You can help make the world better.
We live in a world that is drowning in ignorance about food. We have forgotten the wisdom of our ancestors, which has been replaced by propaganda designed to make money. Everything most people are taught about nutrition is wrong. The truth about nutrition will be presented at this conference in hundreds of ways. Here, you can learn the real truth about food, and change your life for the better—not only your life, but the lives of your family, your friends, and everybody you influence. Each person who learns the truth about food is like a spark of light against the darkness of propaganda and ignorance. When we have enough sparks, we can unite to form a bonfire that can light the way back to truth and health.
I wish I could go to the conference this year, but I can’t. I have duties at that time that cannot be postponed and cannot be delegated. But I hope that you will do what I cannot, and enjoy the many blessings of this wonderful event.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Most medical institutions, and organizations recommend what they call the “Mediterranean diet” as ideal for human health. There is no denying that many of the European peoples living on the Mediterranean are healthier than Americans, though that is not much of an accomplishment, given how much factory food is eaten here.
The problem is that the “Mediterranean diet” pushed by the medical establishment has almost nothing to do with the real diet of the European peoples who live on the Mediterranean.
The “Mediterranean diet” recommended by the medical industry is very similar to the horrid “food pyramid” advocated by our government (though there are a few differences). The real Mediterranean diet had nothing in common with the food pyramid.
Contrary to the propaganda, the healthy peoples of the Mediterranean prized fatty pork, lamb, and goat, ate large quantities of unpasteurized full-fat cheese and milk, made heavy use of salted fish and brined vegetables, salty and fatty sausages, used butter and pork lard copiously in their traditional recipes, looked down on whole grains, ate small quantities of pasta as a side dish, hunted wild game such as rabbits and small birds, often went without vegetables, and generally ate as much saturated animal fat as they could get their hands on.
What Is the “Mediterranean Diet”?
There are a number of European countries and several large islands that border the Mediterranean Sea, including, Spain, Italy, France, Croatia, Serbia, Greece, Crete, Corsica, Malta, Sardinia, and Sicily. I have studied the traditional cuisines of all these countries, including their Mediterranean regions. While each cuisine is unique, they do have a lot of common characteristics.
The Medical establishment claims that the traditional diets of the Mediterranean peoples had the following characteristics:
- Low salt
- Low fat, rejecting animal fats in favor of fats like olive oil and canola oil
- Ate red meat in tiny portions, only a couple times a month
- Ate mostly fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains
- Ate fish at least twice a week
- Avoided all saturated fats
- Ate 9 or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day
Basically, none of these characteristics are accurate.
Mediterranean Peoples Ate Lots of Saturated Animal Fats
Almost every peasant kept a small herd of goats, or sheep. These animals were raised mostly for their milk, which was drunk raw, made into curds, made into a huge variety of full-fat cheeses, and widely used in cooking. The milk was unpasteurized and always full-fat. These dairy products were a huge part of their diet. The meat prized by the Mediterranean people was not lean, but fatty, consisting mostly of pork, lamb, and goat. Butter and lard were widely used in cooking, along with olive oil. While olive oil was widely used, it was used in addition to, not instead of animal fats. Canola oil was unknown, not even existing until it was invented in the late 20th century.
Mediterranean Peoples Ate Lots of Salt
Salting food was the main way of preserving food, given the warm climate, and the Mediterranean peoples were masters of salting fish, cheeses, and meat. They had hundreds of traditional recipes for meat sausages, which were heavily salted to preserve them, and contained a large amount of animal fat. In the inland areas, most of the fish consumed was salted, and dozens of traditional recipes were developed for cooking salted fish. In fact, salted fish is still very popular, even though fresh fish is now widely available.
Mediterranean Peoples Ate Red Meat Whenever They Could Get It, Eating As Much of It As They Could
Meat is perhaps the food most prized by the peoples of the Mediterranean. Meat was often difficult to get, as the flocks of sheep and goats were needed mainly for their milk, and the people were often poor. Nevertheless, pigs were widely raised, and made into a multitude of sausages, which were eaten throughout the year. There are thousands of recipes for pork roasts, chops, stews, and braises. Lambs and goats would be barbecued whole for special occasions and holidays. The meat eaten on these occasions was not served in tiny portions, but feasted on. Various kinds of grilled lamb were a beloved specialty in every one of these countries. Veal was also a favorite, when available. Most peasants hunted the abundant rabbits, and various small birds, and ate them whenever possible.
Most of the people would have liked to eat meat much more often than they could. In fact, many of the immigrants that came to the USA from these countries were lured to the USA by the stories they had heard of cheap, abundant meat. But even in Malta, where most meat had to be imported and was very expensive, meat was eaten at least once a week.
Mediterranean Peoples Were Often Short of Vegetables, and Put Fat on their Bread
Because of the often arid climate, vegetables and fruits were only available in season, though many were preserved by drying. There were a number of times during the year when little fresh produce was available. Beans and potatoes were widely available, and often eaten. Grains usually meant bread, which was usually not whole grain, and usually eaten with butter, or olive oil, or pork lard. In fact, raw pork lard smeared on bread is a traditional combination in rural Italy.
Mediterranean Peoples Did Not Eat Fish at Least Twice a Week
Most of the people in these countries lived inland, often in the mountains, and avoided the coast, though there were some coastal cities and fishing villages. There were two reasons for this. First, many coastal areas were infested by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Second, pirates were a real danger during most of the history of this region. These pirates specialized in raiding coastal villages, and most of the villagers responded by moving inland, to the easily defended hills and mountains. Most of the food in these areas was of animal origin. Fish was eaten (especially when meat was forbidden during Lent and other such religious events), but it was usually salted or dried. Because of the lack of roads, it was very hard to get fresh fish to the hills and mountains, even on islands like Corsica and Sardinia.
Mediterranean Peoples Did Not Eat Nine or More Servings of Fresh Produce a Day
As discussed above, the variety of available fruits and vegetables was limited, and seasonal. The supply of food was often limited, and it is doubtful that most people ate nine servings of anything a day. Most calories came from dairy products, the full-fat cheeses and milk produced by the herds.
The Origin of the Mainstream “Mediterranean Diet “Was Based on What the People Ate During a Wartime Food Shortage
The first doctor to write of the “Mediterranean diet” was stationed in poor coastal areas of Italy, in 1945, during the last days of World War II. Food—especially the most valuable foods such as meat and butter—were in very short supply, and the hungry people ate whatever they could get. If they ate their bread dry, it was because they could not find fat to put on it, because of the food shortage. To portray what they ate during this wartime food shortage as their traditional diet was a mistake.
The “Mediterranean Diet” Is Really the Medical Diet
The medical and food industries have tried to portray the low-fat, low-protein, high-carb diet they favor as being traditional. It is not traditional. In fact, no traditional people anywhere, in all of history, ever ate a diet like this. “Mediterranean” sounds a lot better than “medical,” but the diet they advocate is the medical diet. The only thing the medical diet has in common with the Mediterranean diet is the first three letters of their names.