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Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo by Stanley A. Fishman
By Stanley A. Fishman
Link to Tender Grassfed Meat at Amazon
By Stanley A. Fishman



I am an attorney and an author, not a doctor. This website is intended to provide information about grassfed meat, what it is, its benefits, and how to cook it. I will also describe my own experiences from time to time. The information on this website is being provided for educational purposes. Any statements about the possible health benefits provided by any foods or diet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

I do receive some compensation each time a copy of my book is purchased. I receive a very small amount of compensation each time somebody purchases a book from Amazon through the links on this site, as I am a member of the Amazon affiliate program.

—Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat


Traditional Drink Cools and Restores Nutrients

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Cool, refreshing, nutritious traditional drink Ayran with electrolytes.

Cool, refreshing, nutritious traditional drink Ayran.

The United States is suffering from a widespread heat wave. The heat causes people to lose electrolytes, water, and minerals through sweating. Traditional peoples also suffered from hot weather. But they developed their own ways of cooling down. One of the oldest and easiest is a drink called Ayran, which also has other names.

Ayran was probably developed in Turkey, but it is widely used in the Middle East and the Balkans. While there are only two to four ingredients, the details and proportions differ, and there are many different versions.

Ayran includes old-fashioned, full-fat unflavored yogurt, and water. Salt is often added, sometimes mint leaves. The yogurt is full of nutrients that replenish a sweating body. The fat in the yogurt also provides energy. The salt not only replenishes lost salts, but minerals. The drink is very cooling and refreshing, and really helps deal with the heat. Ayran has no sweeteners and no chemicals, being a very pure drink.

It is best to use organic or the equivalent full-fat plain yogurt, which is what was used traditionally. Unrefined sea salt is ideal for this recipe, as it contains many minerals.

It is quite common for the traditional drink Ayran to separate in the refrigerator, then stir briskly with a long fork to solve this problem.

It is quite common for the drink to separate in the refrigerator. If this happens, a brisk stirring with a long fork will solve the problem.

Here is the version I like best:

Makes one quart. (You can double the recipe if you wish.)


1 pound full-fat unflavored yogurt, preferably organic or the equivalent

2 cups cold filtered water

½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or mixer. Blend for 1 minute.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  3. If the mixture has separated, stir briskly until it recombines, which should happen very quickly.

Serve and enjoy this cooling drink.

This post is part of Weekend Gourmet, Real Food Wednesday, Fight Back Friday and Monday Mania blog carnivals.

Finally! Modern Study Proves the Benefits of Grassfed Meat

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Tender grass-fed Porterhouse steak barbecued by Stanley A. Fishman

Eating this delicious grassfed steak will increase the omega-3s in your bloodstream. Much tastier than fish oil!

I have been convinced for a long time that eating grassfed meat is much healthier than eating feedlot factory meat. Our ancestors ate grassfed meat, and thrived on it. The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price ate grassfed and wild meat, and thrived on it. Many studies have shown that grassfed and grass-finished meats have much higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, a perfect balance of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids, and a much higher level of CLA.

But the factory meat industry has been able to produce other studies claiming that the difference in omega-3 fatty acid content between grass-finished and feedlot meat is minimal. It has also been claimed that any difference is meaningless, since the omega-3 fatty acids are supposedly destroyed when cooked.

Yet there has been no study on the issue of whether people actually get more omega-3 fatty acids when eating grassfed and grass-finished meat instead of feedlot meat. Until now.

An Irish study, reported in the British Journal of Nutrition has shown that people who eat grassfed meat have significantly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood when compared to people eating feedlot meat.

The study was of healthy people. All the meat eaten by one group was grassfed and grass-finished. All the meat eaten by the other group was feedlot meat. I assume the meat was cooked, as the abstract of the study would have mentioned if the meat was raw. After four weeks, the blood of the two groups was tested.

The blood of the group that ate grassfed meat showed significant increases in omega-3 fatty acid levels. It fact, the increase was so dramatic that it was comparable to the omega-3 levels of people taking fish oil capsules. The omega-3 levels in the blood of the group eating feedlot meat were much lower than the grassfed group.

This is very important, because the Standard American Diet (SAD) is totally unbalanced in favor of omega-6 fatty acids. Most Americans have a large imbalance of omega-6 fatty acids.

An excess of omega-6 fatty acids has been associated with a substantially increased risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity, rapid aging, and many other problems. Many doctors advise their patients to take fish oil capsules to help with the imbalance, as a proper balance can help reduce the risk of all these illnesses.

I would much rather enjoy the wonderful taste and tenderness of grassfed meat, as a delicious way to increase the omega-3s in my blood.

In other words, I will continue to eat grassfed meat as a way to support the natural functioning of my heart and body. I will also continue to eat grassfed meat because it tastes so much better.

Now we finally have a well-conducted scientific study that confirms the lessons of history, tradition, and common sense—grassfed and grass-finished meat is much better than feedlot meat.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday, Fight Back Friday and Monday Mania blog carnivals.

When It Comes to Meat — Study the Studies First

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Cows on a hillside eating green grass.

Grass—the ideal food for cattle

It was the first hour of the first class on my first day in law school. The teacher, a man who actually practiced law during the day, and taught it at night, wrote a statement on the blackboard. I can still see the words in my mind. “There is no truth.”

Being a believer in the truth of science in that time, I had to challenge that. I asked, “But what about scientific truth, established by properly conducted studies?”

The teacher, an attorney of vast experience, answered—“No matter what position you take in a lawsuit, you can always find an expert to support it, and the expert can always find studies to support his position. You will find an expert who will testify that 2 plus 2 equals 3, and the other side will find an expert who will testify that 2 plus 2 equals 5. And each of them will find studies to support their completely contradictory positions. That is why there is no truth, at least not when you are practicing law.”

After more than a quarter century as an attorney, I found his words to be absolutely true. Whenever there was an issue of science, psychology, medicine, or just about anything else, each side in the lawsuit was able to find an expert, often a superbly qualified scientist, to support their position. And every expert was able to find studies to support his or her support of that position.

This is not to say that every scientist is corrupt. But it does show that scientists who study the same issue often come up with results that contradict each other. The differences arise from the details of the study, the assumptions made that will be accepted as fact but not tested, and the bias, both subconscious and actual, of a scientist whose future income depends on pleasing the customer who is paying for the study. It is crucial to understand these factors before you accept the conclusions of a study as true.

Let us look at the studies on meat, for example. We have been bombarded for the last fifty years with study after study that claims that meat is unhealthy. According to various studies, meat causes heart disease, cancer, strokes, aging, and many other illnesses. In fact, if you believe all of these studies, it seems impossible for humanity to exist—given the fact that most generations of humans ate mainly meat and fat, you would have expected our ancestors to have died out from all these diseases long ago, rather than thriving and multiplying.

I have read study after study about meat. And one crucial fact emerges—nearly all of these studies treat all meat, whether raised with or without artificial hormones, raised with or without subtherapeutic antibiotics, fed their natural diet or an artificial one, fresh, or heavily processed meats loaded with preservatives and artificial chemicals, as being the same for the purposes of the study.

I have always found the assumption that all meat is the same to be flawed. This assumption makes it impossible to tell if the results are caused by the meat or by the chemicals, hormones, antibiotics, and preservatives added to some of the meat.

Two Swedish studies have shown how vital this detail is. The first study, done on Swedish women, treated all meat as being the same, and found that eating “meat” increased the risk of stroke. This study was heavily publicized by the Reuters news agency.

The second study, done on Swedish men, differentiated between fresh meat and processed meats. This study found that fresh meat made no difference in the risk of stroke. This study also found that eating meats processed with chemicals and preservatives did increase the risk of stroke, as shown in this article.

The conclusion I draw from these studies is that it is the chemicals and preservatives added to processed meats that are to blame for the increased stroke risk, not the meat itself.

I am aware of only one study that reviews the effect of grassfed meats on human health, but that study is the most extensive ever done. Dr. Weston A. Price studied traditional peoples eating the diets of their ancestors. Dr. Price actually visited every people he studied. The study lasted ten years, and is described in detail in Dr. Price’s magnificent book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. Dr. Price did not let bias interfere with his analysis—a very spiritual man, he had hoped and expected that these healthy peoples would be vegetarian, but faithfully reported the fact that they thrived on animal foods.

Most of the peoples studied by Dr. Price ate plenty of meat and fat as part of their traditional diet. The meat was grassfed or wild. No chemicals. None of these people had cancer, or heart disease, or stroke, or any of the chronic diseases that plague modern society.

Part of the findings of Dr. Price’s study is that grassfed meat and fat do not cause disease, but support the natural functions of the body, enabling these people to thrive. This is a conclusion I completely agree with.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday blog carnivals.

Related Post

Who Was Weston A. Price?

Traditional Barbecue Methods Are Worth the Effort

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Pastured pork spareribs barbecued the traditional way.

Pastured pork spareribs barbecued the traditional way.

Convenience has a high price. I just threw out an old cookbook that was all about making cooking easier by using prepackaged mixes, canned soups, broth cubes, microwaves, and other modern ways to make cooking easier. The main cooking skill you needed to use this book was the ability to open packages. Nothing was mentioned about the miserable nutritional profile of such “foods,” or about the effects of all the chemicals and preservatives. Or the fact that real cooking tastes so much better.

Convenience is a big part of modern American barbecue. Gas grills, pellet grills, premade factory sauces, premade factory rubs, premade factory marinades, all make barbecuing so convenient. The problem is that this convenience destroys the very factors that make true barbecue so delicious and nourishing.

I used to barbecue on an electric-powered grill that used wood pellets as fuel. You could actually set the temperature for how hot you wanted it, in degrees just like an oven. All you had to do was make sure the hopper was full of pellets, and then turn it on. It was easy to use. I thought the food cooked on it had a nice flavor, much better than any gas grill.

Well, a funny thing happened in the two years I spent writing my upcoming barbecue book. I decided to try to recreate traditional barbecue methods. This meant making a real fire, with real lump charcoal, or hardwood briquets that were made completely from hardwood, or burning hardwood down to coals. This meant making all my own marinades and bastes, from scratch. I got a common kettle grill that was powered by nothing but my own body and the fires I built in it. I used this grill to cook every meat recipe in the book, at least twice. And the barbecue I produced on this traditional style grill was so much better than the pellet grill, there was no comparison.

It was less convenient, and took a bit more effort. But it was worth it.

I decided that I was going to make the most traditional American sparerib barbecue I could, for a friend who came over two days ago.

I made an heirloom baste that was developed in the 1930s, by simmering various fresh vegetables and spices for hours, straining the liquid, and refrigerating it overnight, then adding a few traditional seasoning liquids, and simmering it again.

I used this baste as a marinade for some pastured spareribs, which sat in the baste for two days.

I built a fire out of hickory wood and hickory charcoal, and burned it down to coals, using tongs to move various pieces so they would fit properly in the fire bed.

I drained the ribs, boiled and strained the baste that had marinated them.

I made a rub out of various traditional spices, and sprinkled it all over the ribs.

I cooked the ribs slowly, first with moderate heat, then with low heat, basting them every 20 minutes, for two and a half hours.

We were rewarded with spareribs that were so good it is hard to describe them. So tender, with a nice pink smoke ring, and the kind of deep, smoky barbecue taste that can only be created by real barbecue, with a real fire, made with real fuel. That taste was so outstanding and memorable that I am still savoring it, two days later. It was the real thing.

No gas grill, no pellet grill, no processed condiments will ever come close to producing the real thing.

It was well worth the effort.

This recipe for spareribs is advanced, but I was trying to make the best ribs I possibly could, in the old style.

I intentionally kept most of the recipes in my upcoming barbecue cookbook simple and easy to make. All of these recipes rely on the magic of real fire, real fuel, real seasonings, and real grassfed and pastured meat to make totally delicious and nourishing food.

This post is part of Fight Back Friday and Monday Mania blog carnivals.