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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

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DISCLOSURE AND DISCLAIMER

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

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Food Can Cure

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Mashing sauerkraut: traditional sauerkraut is a good source of Vitamin C.

Traditional sauerkraut is a good source of Vitamin C.

What do scurvy, rickets, pellagra, and beriberi have in common?

  • They are all deadly illnesses that once ravaged humanity.
  • They have been eradicated in most of the world.
  • They can be easily cured.
  • They are not cured with drugs. They are not cured with surgery. They are not cured with radiation.

They are cured with food. Or, in some cases, with substances found in food that can be artificially made.

 

How Food Cures Work

The process for how food cures these illnesses is basically the same. A nutritional deficiency is corrected, and the body uses the needed nutrients to heal itself.

Scurvy is a perfect example of how the process works. It was identified in ancient times, and caused its victims to become lethargic, fatigued, and unable to function. As the disease advanced, teeth fell out, and the victim could actually die.

This illness was most common for sailors undertaking long voyages, where they spent much of the voyage eating only salted meat and biscuits. It could also be common in winter, when there was no fresh food in some areas.

It was discovered in 1932 that the illness was caused by a lack of Vitamin C. Our ancestors could not identify vitamins, but they learned to provide sailors with the juice of citrus fruits like lemons and limes during voyages, which prevented the problem. Many of our ancestors solved the problem of no fresh food in winter by regularly eating fermented vegetables, like sauerkraut, which contain ample Vitamin C.

In fact, the famous explorer Captain Cook, who undertook the longest known voyages in the era of sail, exploring much of the vast Pacific, carried barrels of sauerkraut on all of his ships, which prevented scurvy, and lasted for years, even in the tropics.

There are many such diseases, where a nutritional deficiency is the cause, and correcting the deficiency through food is the cure.

Since the information we have about nutrition and illness is incomplete, I wonder how many current diseases could be successfully treated by this age old method of correcting nutritional deficiencies.

Yet I have heard many reports of individuals who have healed themselves of all kinds of illnesses, including many that have been called incurable, by the use of food.

I think humanity would be much better off, if qualified scientists were to actually research whether many of the diseases that modern medicine cannot cure are in fact caused by a nutritional deficiency, and how that deficiency could be corrected.

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price, who were so healthy that they had no disease of any kind, kept themselves healthy by following the traditional diet of their ancestors. They had no medical care, or drugs, or surgery. Yet they were healthy, much healthier than the American people. We have much to learn from this, and I hope that science will put far more resources into researching this matter.

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.

 

Traditional Cheese, the Best Protein Bar

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Traditional Gouda cheese is a good source of Vitamin K.

Traditional Gouda cheese is a good source of Vitamin K.

I have often been puzzled by the popularity of various protein bars. Usually they contain one the cheapest, most processed, and least desirable of proteins—soy protein. They also include a variety of nuts, various sweeteners, perhaps some dried fruit, a variety of chemicals, and are usually low-fat or no fat. There are some more natural varieties, but even these do not come close to the ultimate protein bar—a slice of traditional cheese.

Traditional cheese, made from good, truly natural milk, with all of its natural fat, is fermented, which creates additional nutrients. Dry cheeses can be carried around in a wrapping, providing wonderful nutrition when opened and eaten. Such cheeses are rich in easily digestible protein, and have the natural fat that should always be eaten with protein. In addition to this, these cheeses are rich in many minerals such as calcium, and have a rich vitamin content, some varieties being especially rich in Vitamin K, a nutrient that is hard to get in our modern world.

Traditional cheese is often extremely tasty and satisfying, while providing a full range of vital nutrients. There are a huge variety of these traditional cheeses, so it is impossible to be bored, and some are so good that it is impossible for me to tire of their taste.

Many armies, from the ancient Greeks and Romans, up to the French Foreign Legion in the early twentieth century, would provide hard, dry traditional cheeses to their soldiers as part of their field rations. Shepherds and travelers in ancient, medieval, and even early modern times would often carry cheese with them so they would have something really good to eat while watching the sheep, or on their journey. Using cheese as a protein bar is a very old tradition.

If I am going somewhere and need instant nutrition available, I always pack some hard, dry cheese, never a protein bar.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.

 

The Way of Broth

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Beef bone broth made from nutrient-rich grass fed beef

Beef bone broth made from nutrient-rich grass fed beef.

Once a week, I awake early in the morning. I will need the extra time. I am going to perform a task that will nourish my body with an almost magical concoction full of natural minerals, gelatin, marrow, and other nutrients, using what may be one of the oldest cooking methods. I have been doing this for over ten years, and my technique has evolved over time, becoming simpler and easier. Today I make bone broth.

 

The Tradition

Bone broth is one of the oldest human foods, and one of the simplest. Basically, bones and meat scraps are placed in a large pot with plenty of water, and simmered slowly until the bones and meat have released their priceless nutrients into the broth. Vegetables are usually added, as is salt. As the water comes to a boil, the scum that rises to the top is skimmed off and discarded. The broth is served hot, and slowly sipped, or used as the base for all kinds of traditional soups.

 

Why I Make It

Traditional bone broth, simmered slowly for at least twelve hours, is much richer in minerals, gelatin, and other nutrients than any broth you can buy at a market. It is now possible to purchase traditionally made broth, usually by Internet order, but this broth is so expensive that it makes much more sense to make my own.

 

The Ingredients

I have found that all kinds of meat, poultry, and bones will make great broth. At this point, I usually use leftovers, often with some raw scraps and bones left over from trimming various cuts of meat, and find that the broth is every bit as good as when I used only fresh ingredients.

I use only the bones and meat of grassfed/pastured animals or poultry. Our ancestors did not use feedlot animals, or meat containing artificial growth hormones, antibiotics, steroids, and other chemicals, and neither do I.

I use only organic or the equivalent vegetables. I do not want pesticide residue to be released into my broth.

I use only filtered water. My filter uses the reverse osmosis process, which is the only way I know to get rid of the fluoride. Fluoride, chlorine, and aluminum are usually added to tap water, along with other chemicals. I do not want them in my broth. Our ancestors did not have these chemicals in their broth.

Using reverse osmosis water is controversial, because the conventional belief is that you could suffer a mineral deficiency, because minerals are also removed by the filtering process. Since the mineral content of water differs greatly from location to location, I do not find this to be a good enough reason to have human-made chemicals in my broth. What I do know is that a great deal of minerals are released into the broth during the long simmering process, far more than any tap water would contain. I also add a fair amount of unrefined sea salt. This salt comes with all the natural minerals that are stripped out of factory salt, and these minerals also become part of the broth.

My bones and teeth are very strong, dense, and hard, so I know I have no mineral deficiency. On the contrary, I credit my daily mug of broth with helping to maintain my strong bones and teeth.

Many people add vinegar to bone broth, the idea being that the acid will cause more of the minerals to dissolve. I used to use vinegar for this purpose, but I have not used it for years. I like the taste much better without the vinegar.

 

The Cooking

This is so simple. You place a large amount of bones, sinew, meat scraps, etc. in a large stockpot (which is not aluminum). You bring it to a simmer, skim the scum off the top, add the vegetables of your choice, cover, and let simmer for at least twelve hours. Why twelve hours? An old French cookbook explained that scientists had tested the mineral content of broth, and found that twelve hours of simmering was needed to release a significant amount of minerals and nutrients from the bones into the broth. I usually simmer my broth for a bit more than 12 hours, but there are people who simmer it much longer. Their broth is probably more nutrient-dense, but I am happy with mine. After the broth is ready, it is strained and placed in containers. There are several ways to store and preserve it.

 

The Benefits

We each drink a big mug of hot broth every day, sipping it slowly, usually just before dinner. It is so refreshing and renewing, and helps prepare our bodies for digestion. The high gelatin content soothes the stomach, and aids digestion. We are also taking what I consider the best mineral supplement on earth, as natural as it could possibly be, in the way of our ancestors. The proof of these benefits is in our strong, dense teeth and bones, and the complete absence of any problems with our joints and bones. Many people have used such broths to fight off sickness and help the body recover from illness. In fact, there are too many benefits to list them all. These benefits may be why I get a happy feeling as I make broth.

And it makes the absolute best gravies and sauces.

Any way you look at it, traditional homemade broth is the best!

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

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

Dr. Weston A. Price Did Not Advocate Plant-Based Diets

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

One of the healthiest traditional fats, pastured butter.

One of the healthiest traditional fats, pastured butter.

Dr. Weston A. Price was, in my opinion, the greatest nutritional researcher of all time. He spent ten years actually visiting healthy traditional peoples, studying and recording what they ate first hand, and comparing the health of people eating their traditional diet with their relatives who ate modern foods. He discovered that people eating the traditional diet of their ancestors were much healthier than their relatives who ate modern foods.

Dr. Price recorded his findings in a book entitled Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, published in 1939. The book is difficult for many people to read and understand, as are many academic works.

Somehow, the rumor is spreading on the Internet that Dr. Price was an advocate of eating only plant foods. This is simply not true, as Dr. Price addressed the issue directly in his book.

 

The Physical Degeneration

Dr. Price was a dentist, in Cleveland Ohio. He noticed that each generation of his patients was less healthy than their parents, with decayed teeth, badly formed and crowded mouths, and deformed arches in the mouth. Clearly, something was very wrong. Dr. Price noticed how the American diet was changing, with more and more processed factory foods being eaten. Dr. Price believed that this change in diet might be responsible for the physical degeneration he was observing. But, what should people eat to be healthy? One day, Dr. Price saw a photo of a “primitive” man, who was grinning. The man had superb, perfectly formed teeth, with no signs of decay. Dr. Price decided that the diets of the so called primitive peoples might have the answer.

 

The Plant Food Desire

It is true that Dr. Price, before he set out on his ten year journey, believed that he would find that the traditional healthy peoples would eat plant foods only. Dr. Price, a gentle and very spiritual man, disliked the killing of animals for food, and thought he would find that people could thrive on plants alone.

Dr. Price, however, was a true scientist, more interested in learning the truth than proving his theory.

 

The Animal Truth

Dr. Price found, contrary to his expectations, that animal foods were crucial to a good diet. He stated that he had never found a group which was building and maintaining excellent bodies by eating only plant foods. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, page 279.

There it is. All the peoples he found with excellent health from a traditional diet ate animal foods, especially the fats demonized in modern nutrition. This is described in detail in his book, where every healthy people he found ate plenty of animal foods, and animal fat.

And Dr. Price also commented on the plant food only groups of his day, noting that they all had signs of dental degeneration, if they had been on the diet for an extended time. He also noted that their children had deformed dental arches. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, page 279.

As we can see, there is nothing new about the belief that people should eat only plant foods, as Dr. Price did most of his research in the 1930’s.

Dr. Price found that we need animal foods to be healthy, good real foods, not the foods of industry.

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

 

Eating the Whole Animal — Grassfed Beef Cheeks

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Beef Cheek Stew—melt in your mouth goodness.

Beef Cheek Stew—melt in your mouth goodness.

Every known hunting people, and most of our ancestors, would eat the entire animal, including all the organs, with the only exception being the parts that had other, more important uses. Like using sinew to make bows and bowstrings. This provided a huge variety of foodstuffs from a single animal, with the various parts containing different nutrients, textures, tastes, and great variety.

In modern times, we are told to eat only lean meat, from a limited selection of cuts. Most of the cuts served in restaurants and homes consist of lean meat, with all the visible fat trimmed off. For some people, the only meat they eat is boneless, skinless, factory chicken breasts, the most boring of meats—because it is “nutritionally correct.”

Our ancestors would have been surprised by this, as lean meat was their least valued cut, with some peoples actually reserving it for dog food. Cuts with lots of fat, and gelatin, such as organ meats and other areas of the animal, were preferred. These cuts had a much denser nutrient profile, full of the benefits of grassfed fat. And the gelatin contained in some cuts was highly prized, as it was known to help digestion and make strong bones.

This brings us to one of the traditional beef cuts, once highly prized, but now so neglected that most people have never tasted it—beef cheeks. Yes, they are cut from the facial area of the animal. And they look unusual, and fatty. And they are full of fat and gelatin. When properly cooked, they are tender, soft, easy to chew, and utterly delicious. They can literally melt in your mouth.

In the old days, when wise doctors used food to heal, beef cheek stews were prescribed to help with digestive problems. Some even recommended beef cheeks for those who were having problems with their face, such as recovering from an injury, or a skin problem. That is consistent with the line of traditional medicine that recommended eating the part of the animal that corresponded to the afflicted part of the human body, such as those doctors who prescribed beef heart for those suffering from heart problems.

But I must confess that the best part of beef cheeks are they wonderful texture and rich taste, when properly braised.

Cooking beef cheeks is easy. They can be slowly braised in a huge number of ways, with all kinds of flavorings and vegetables. Slowly cooked until easily pierced with a fork, they are wonderful. And the flavorful sauce you get is good beyond words. And cooking them can be as easy as placing ingredients in single pot and setting it to braise in a slow oven.

I am currently experiencing the joy of creating new beef cheek recipes, based on traditional food combinations. I love my work!

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

How Real Food Really Heals

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Apricot picking 1

photo:

In our heavily medicated culture, we have been conditioned to believe that the way to get well is to have a doctor diagnose our illness, and prescribe a drug for it.

We then expect to take the drug, and get well. In many cases, we do not get well. The symptoms are relieved, and we get some immediate relief, but the underlying cause of the illness is not touched.

Many people who try to use food first for healing treat it like taking a drug. For example, people with a sore throat will take a honey vinegar drink, expecting it to act like a drug and provide immediate relief. Sometime it will, sometimes it will not. Sometimes the underlying condition will disappear. And sometimes it will not.

This is because the food we eat does not act like drugs. No food acts directly to cure an illness. Instead, the food provides various substances to our bodies. It is the natural functions of our bodies that use these substances to actually heal us.

So, if eating a particular real food does not help, it is likely that something else the body needs is missing.

Eating a diversified, wide ranging diet of real foods is our best chance of giving our bodies what they need to stay healthy. And, if we avoid chemicals that deceive our senses, like the flavor chemicals put in processed foods, our bodies may actually tell us what foods we need.

 

How Real Food Helps Us Heal

If you try to use food to help your body heal, eventually you will realize that some foods that help you one time, will not help the next. But some other foods may. This is because the content and chemistry of our bodies is constantly changing, and our natural functions have many different ways of resisting disease and healing us, only some of which are understood. From my own experience, and the reported experience of others that I know, and from the rare studies in this area, I believe that our bodies know how to heal most conditions. But they must have the right ingredients to perform these healings, which could also be viewed as “repair jobs.”

Some of these ingredients are produced by our bodies. But other ingredients can only be obtained from food. Our bodies also need the right substances from food to make the ingredients our bodies produce. The key is to eat the foods that our bodies need for our natural functions to work well.

 

So How Do We Know What Foods to Eat?

Our ancestral food traditions give us a lot of information. These traditions emphasize a huge variety of real foods, prepared and combined in many different ways.

But the best guide we have is the craving for a particular food. Our bodies know what foods we need to eat, and make us hungry for them. Our ancestors could trust these cravings. But most modern people cannot.

Factory food and chemicals deceive our natural sense of what is needed.

We cannot trust these cravings, if we eat processed food, or food with chemicals. That is because these foods have chemicals added to them that fool our bodies into believing that the food contains something it does not. Flavor enhancers do this, and chemicals that make people crave a certain factory food do this. Large amounts of refined sugar do this, as do chemical additives. It is like trying to see a path when you have been given hallucinogenic drugs.

The only way to get our cravings back on track is to eat only real food, with no added chemicals. Once we do this, our bodies can recover their natural abilities to know what to eat.

 

An Example

Some years ago, the skin on my fingertips was drying, peeling, and splitting. I ate a good diet, and I tried various natural remedies, but nothing helped. I did avoid all processed foods and foods with added chemicals .One day, I visited a wonderful organic farm, where the soil had never been sprayed with chemicals. Some apricots were for sale at that farm, and I felt an intense craving for them. I should mention that I never liked apricots. But I went with the feeling, and bought a large amount of these apricots. Once we got home, I began eating them in large quantities. They were delicious, and I loved eating them. They were gone in a few days, and so was my skin problem. It never returned.

Now, that was not just the apricots, but many of the other real foods I was eating at the time, combining to give the natural functions of my body the ingredients they needed to repair my body. But the apricots did provide the missing ingredient, whatever it was.

Now, I am not saying to stop using modern medicine. It can be very helpful, even lifesaving, especially in cases of trauma.

But I am saying that I have found that supporting the natural functions of my body with real food, avoiding all factory food, and listening to what my body wants has been very effective in keeping me healthy, and in healing conditions that the doctors could not help me with.

Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.

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

The Elephant, the Blind Men, and Food Science

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Partial data is misleading.

Partial data is misleading.

The United States established national nutrition standards in the early days of World War II. The reason for establishing these standards was simple, yet of great concern. Approximately 15% of potential military recruits were physically unfit for service.

The government correctly determined that the problem was malnutrition. Thus, the national nutrition standards were established, based on scientific research. These standards have been revised several times over the years, based on more scientific research.

American institutions, the medical profession, the nutrition profession, and society in general tried to follow these standards, and many people did.

The result? Today, in 2013, 75% of potential military recruits were physically unfit for service.

In other words, the percentage of recruits unfit for service has risen from 15% to 75%!

Since the purpose was to improve the health of military recruits, the national nutrition standards are a miserable failure, by any measure.

How could this happen?

 

The Dangers of Partial Information

The problem with food science is that it is based on partial information. There is much about food and how it interacts with the body that has not yet been discovered. Partial knowledge can be very misleading.

The problem was perfectly described in a very old tale from India, one that goes back thousands of years. There are several versions, but this one will do.

Six wise men, who had much knowledge, had never seen an elephant. All of them were blind. They went to examine an elephant to decide what it was. Since they were blind, they had to rely on touch.

One wise man fell against the side of the elephant, and stated that the elephant was like a wall.

The second wise man grasped the tusk of the elephant, and declared the elephant was like a spear.

The third wise man felt the squirming trunk of the elephant, and declared that the elephant was like a snake.

The fourth wise man felt one of the legs of the elephant, and stated the elephant was like a tree.

The fifth wise man touched the ear of the elephant, and declared that the elephant was like a fan.

The sixth wise man touched the tail of the elephant, and declared that the elephant was like a rope.

All of their conclusions were reasonable, based on the data they had, and all of them were wrong.

Before one can determine the truth of something, one must be able to perceive the whole of it.

Food science has never had more than partial information on food, nutrition, and digestion, and has come up with conclusions that are often wrong, because the data is partial.

 

An Example of How Partial Knowledge Leads to Serious Errors

Back in the mid-twentieth century, food scientists reached a consensus that saturated fat was bad for health, and unsaturated fat was good. Since most saturated fat came from animal sources, and most unsaturated fat came from vegetable sources, the scientists claimed that vegetable oils should be used instead of animal fats. This recommendation was adopted by the authorities and institutions, and most people adopted it as well.

But these scientists did not know of the existence of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. We now know that these acids must be in a particular ratio, one that occurs naturally in the fat of wild fish and grassfed animals. There is much scientific evidence that an oversupply of omega-6 fatty acids is very bad for the body, causing inflammation, and contributing to inflammatory diseases like heart disease, cancer, and many others. More omega-3 fatty acids are found in saturated fat, while unsaturated fat is made up mainly of omega-6 fatty acids. Most vegetable oils have far too many omega-6 fatty acids, and are out of balance.

The scientists who recommended vegetable oil over animal fats did not even know that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids existed, let alone how crucial the balance was. This is very much like the blind wise men and the elephant.

The harm that was created by this partial knowledge is immense, as there is no telling how many millions of people got serious inflammatory illnesses because they followed this bad research. We do know that the occurrence of these diseases has increased enormously over time.

For example, 3000 people died from heart attacks in the U.S. in 1930. But, in 2004, 876,000 people died from heart attacks in the U.S.

 

The Wisdom of the Ancestors—the Research of Dr. Price

I am not condemning valid, unbiased, well conducted scientific research. It can be invaluable. There is no doubt, though, at this time, scientific knowledge of food and its interaction with the body is only partial, and cannot be relied on in all areas.

But we have an alternative. Our ancestors (especially those peoples who were healthy) had cuisines and food combinations based on thousands of years of experience, passed down over the centuries from father to son, from mother to daughter. I try to eat according to these traditions, and to eat unmodified foods that were similar to what they ate. I have had great success, and so have most of the people I know who follow this path. Dr. Weston A. Price showed the way, with his study of traditional peoples who were free from tooth decay and modern disease, and we can follow his path.

This post is part of  Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.

Great Soil Means Great Nutrition, and Great Taste

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue

Cherry preserves from the rich soil of the Ukraine.

Here are the cherry preserves I am writing about. They tasted even better than they look.

There are times when I think I know a lot about food. Then I have a new experience and realize that I have so much to learn. This post is about the important lesson I was taught by a jar of cherry preserves.

 

The Cherry Preserves

I was in a store that had imported food from many lands. My eyes were drawn to a jar of cherry preserves. I do not eat fruit preserves, because they are always made with added sugar or some other kind of sweetener. Yet I picked the bottle up and looked at it. The manufacturer had used an incredibly beautiful color for the glass in which the cherries were packed, a magnificent cherry red that no doubt made the preserves look much better in the jar than out.

Sure enough, the few ingredients included sugar, and citric acid. I do not eat foods with added sugar, or citric acid. But I held on to the bottle.

The word organic did not appear on the bottle. I do not eat foods that are not organic, unless I know they have been grown in a way that is the equivalent of organic. There was no information about how the cherries were raised. But I held onto the bottle.

I noticed that the preserves were made in Ukraine. My grandfather was born in Ukraine. I remembered that he would never eat fruit. I asked him why, once. He said that after eating fruit in Ukraine, he could not stand the dead, lifeless, tasteless fruit in the U.S. That conversation took place over fifty years ago, when fruit was much better than it is now.

I bought the preserves. When I got home, I put some preserves on some heavily buttered spelt bread. I tasted them. Wonderful is too weak a word to describe the glorious taste. I immediately felt better, clearer. The preserves were not sweet, and they tasted like cherries. A deep cherry flavor I had never experienced before. The skins had been left on the cherries, there was hardly any liquid in the bottle, and the effect on my body was wonderful. I never tasted fresh fruit that was half as good. Not even the best organic fruit I could find. And as good as the preserves were, I was satisfied after eating two tablespoons. I looked at the bottle. Now that some cherries had been taken out, it was clear glass, with no coloring. The magnificent color was from the cherries alone.

Despite the added sugar, despite the citric acid, the natural goodness of these cherries dominated the experience.

I could not understand this. Then I remembered what my grandfather said, and about the soil.

 

The Soil

Ukraine just may have the best soil in the world. The best soil is actually black there, very thick. Incredibly rich in nutrients and minerals. It has been known for hundreds of years for the wonderful crops it produces, the incredible vegetables and fruits. No doubt much of the soil was damaged or lost under the brutal rule of the Soviet Union, which polluted much of the land with the poisons of heavy industry. But obviously much of the sacred black soil of Ukraine remains, and it was that soil that made those cherries so good.

For hundreds of years, people wanted to know where all their food came from, and paid particular attention to how good the soil or grasses were in a particular region. Food raised in a region famous for good soil was highly prized, and even the goodness of the soil of a particular farm was known in the community and valued. The desire for this important knowledge has largely faded away, as marketing and corrupt media and government convinced us that all food was the same. An apple is an apple. A cherry is a cherry. No matter where it comes from. One of the biggest lies about food that has ever been told.

The soil is crucial, our ancestors knew this, and that bottle of cherry preserves proved it once again.

I believe there was a day when most preserves and traditional processed foods were this good, a day that has long passed.

We have lost so much.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.

The Traditional American Right to Eat Good Meat

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue
Steers and the Weaner
Creative Commons License photo credit: Gerry Dincher

We live in a time when the eating of all meat, any meat, is under attack. We are constantly told we must eat less meat, especially less red meat, or should eat no meat at all. We are given many reasons, which are false when it comes to grassfed meat. The attacks on meat never distinguish between the pure, grassfed meat of eaten by our ancestors, and the very different factory meat that eaten by most people.

Yet restrictions on eating meat are not new, and go back thousands of years. In most human societies after the advent of agriculture, meat eating and hunting were heavily restricted. Only the ruling classes and some of their servants were able to get enough. Before the founding of the United States of America, this was still true for most of the world, including Europe.

While most people think of well known American freedoms like freedom of speech and freedom of religion, most never think of a freedom that is just as traditional and possibly even more important—the right to eat enough good meat.

 

The Old Restrictions on Meat, and the American Difference

In Europe, most people ate very little meat. The policies of the governments prohibited most people from hunting, as all game was considered to belong to the crown or the nobility. People who killed a rabbit to feed their hungry family were guilty of the crime of “poaching,” and were often executed for that “crime.” While peasants and farmers would often raise animals, they would keep them mainly for milk. The surplus animals would usually be sold so the peasants could pay the high rents and taxes to the nobles and other landowners. In fact, in Ireland, the pigs raised by families were known as “the gentleman who pays the rent.”

The result was that most Europeans had to survive on a diet consisting mainly of grains, vegetables, seasonal fruits, with some dairy products and some fish. The result was a population so stunted and malnourished that a man of 5 feet 4 inches was considered tall, even into the nineteenth century.

Some of these people immigrated to the British, French, and Spanish colonies in North and South America. There were very few nobles and rich people there, especially in the British colonies. But there was a huge supply of wild game, and no one to restrict hunting. The early settlers learned a lot about hunting from the Native Americans, who were expert hunters, and much taller, stronger, and healthier than the first European immigrants. Anyone who wanted to hunt could, and meat immediately became a huge part of the colonial diet. In addition to wild game, pigs and cattle were imported, and quickly thrived on the almost unlimited grazing of the new lands, multiplying in huge numbers. Keeping animals for meat was cheap and easy, and these immigrants were able to eat their fill of good, grassfed and pastured meat for the first time.

 

The Benefits of Good Meat.

The research of Dr. Weston A. Price established the fact that people need animal foods, especially animal fats, to thrive and be healthy, and grassfed and pastured meat are perfect animal foods. The benefit of these foods was shown by the history of the United States.

The population of the English colonies in North America exploded, as people thrived on the meat-heavy diet. A number of people immigrated to these colonies just because they heard that even poor people could afford meat there. In fact, the diaries of immigrants, even in the early twentieth century, reveal that one of the most important motivations for moving to the Americas was the ability to afford and get good meat.

Not only did people live longer, but they were taller, stronger, healthier, and more independent. British visitors to the thirteen colonies were astonished at the height, strength, and health of the Americans, who often towered a foot or more above their English relatives. The genetics were the same, the difference was in the diet, and the Americans ate huge amounts of good, natural meat. A diet that only the wealthy and privileged could enjoy in England.

Good meat and fat nourish the brain, and these tall, strong people were very independent minded, would not just do what they were told, and took pride in thinking for themselves and making their own decisions. “Yankee ingenuity” became a byword in Europe. Eventually, these well nourished people founded the United States of America, defeated the greatest military power on earth in a bloody, yet completely successful revolution, and founded one of the best systems of government the world had yet seen. A system that had many flaws, yet allowed more freedom and personal responsibility than any system existing in Europe at the time.

These ideas were exported to Europe, and eventually resulted in the freeing of most Europeans, giving them a degree of freedom that they never had before.

The right to eat good meat has been a basic American freedom, and it is a right that everyone on earth deserves to have.

Switching to grassfed meat, using the grazing practices pioneered by Allan Savory, would greatly increase the supply of good meat and increase the amount of grasslands and water throughout the world.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.

 

 

The French Paradox Solved—It’s the Butter

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue
Colmar Alsacia
Creative Commons License photo credit: Fr Antunes

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.

This post is part of Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday blog carnivals.


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