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Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo by Stanley A. Fishman
By Stanley A. Fishman
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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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The Hippocratic Alternative — Food

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

Bust of Hippocrates, the great healer.

Hippocrates, the great healer.

With the current controversy over medical insurance, our nation seems fixated on drugs and medical treatment as being the only way to maintain health. No doubt drugs and medical care can be necessary under certain circumstances, especially trauma.

But they are not the only way to stay healthy, under normal circumstances. The most famous and successful physician of ancient times, Hippocrates of Kos, had a very different approach.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

 

Modern Medicine

Modern medicine has a one-size-fits-all approach to disease. Every patient who is diagnosed with a particular disease is supposed to receive the same treatment. One size fits all. Often the same dose of drugs is prescribed with no regard for the body weight of the patient.

Usually, food is never even considered when treating illness. Drugs are the treatment of choice, though surgery is often used. The majority of treatments used for most illnesses are not even designed to cure the disease, but to help the patient “manage” the disease, by suppressing the symptoms. Many people have bad reactions to various drugs, called “side effects.” This can result in the prescription of yet another drug, which could have bad effects on the patient, which could lead to the prescription of yet another drug.

According to the Mayo clinic, and to CBS news, 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug. And many of these people take several prescription drugs. This statistic does not even consider over the counter drugs, which are also widely used.

Yet this huge amount of drug use has not resulted in good health for the American population.

Let me make this clear. Modern medicine can achieve some amazing results, such as reattaching severed fingers and limbs, and saving the lives of those who have suffered trauma. Yet in many instances, it “manages” rather than cures.

 

Hippocratic Medicine

Hippocrates had a very different approach. Greek medicine of his time was far more advanced than most people realize, and did use drugs and surgery. Contemporary Greek writings show that Greek citizens led long lives, often recovered from serious wounds, and were expected to put on heavy armor and fight in brutal hand-to-hand combat when needed, even into their seventies. Great emphasis was placed on personal cleanliness, and Greek doctors were very skilled at disinfecting and treating battle wounds, and many other injuries. They had many medications, compounded from plants and other substances, and were skilled at performing many kinds of surgeries.

Hippocrates was the most successful doctor of his time, and became famous. He became so famous that he was asked to come to Athens to stop a plague that was killing many people while the city was under siege. Hippocrates cured the plague, and ended the epidemic, by, among other things, getting the people to boil their drinking water.

Yet Hippocrates believed in treating most illness with what he called “regimen,” using food, exercise, massage, sleep, and relaxation as the treatments of choice. Only if these methods failed, or if the patient was incapable of using them, would drugs be used. Surgery would be done only if there was no alternative. Each patient was considered to be a unique individual, and the treatment would be customized for the unique condition of each patient. Hippocrates had great success in using these methods.

Many Greek physicians resisted his methods, because, then, as now, it was much more profitable to use drugs and surgeries.

This led Hippocrates to create new moral standards for physicians, placing the welfare of the patient before the profit of the doctor. These standards were set forth in the oath he created for doctors, the famous Hippocratic Oath.

In the 1930s, Dr. Weston A. Price studied many peoples who were eating the traditional diets of their ancestors. In every case, these people had perfect teeth, and none of the chronic diseases that plague our culture. This research is direct proof of Hippocrates’ belief that food was the best way to prevent and treat many illnesses.

 

What We Can Learn from Hippocrates

Modern medicine is too focused on drugs, radiation, and surgery as the only way to treat illness. I believe we could greatly drive down the cost of medical care, and be a much healthier nation, if doctors were actually trained in the Hippocratic methods of healing, and were required to be just as familiar with the healing effects of real food as they are with drugs. In fact, our whole society needs to relearn and use the benefits of eating real food, rather than modern factory foods.

Many individuals have reported enjoying good health and curing all kinds of illness just by eating the right foods, and avoiding the wrong foods.

We can still use modern medical methods when needed, but I believe they would be needed far less often, if our population was well nourished, and if doctors used Hippocratic regimen as the treatment of choice (when possible).

We would also have more success if we abandoned the “one-size-fits-all” approach, and treated each patient as a unique individual.

Finally, we need to return to the moral standards set down by Hippocrates. The main motive of doctors should be to heal people, not to make money. People who are mainly concerned with making money should go elsewhere. People who truly want to heal should be the doctors. The welfare of the patient must come before the profit of the doctor.

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

The Joy of Engaged Cooking, and Real Food

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

Engaged cooking resulted in this wonderful, delicious grass fed pot roast..

Engaged cooking resulted in this wonderful, delicious grassfed pot roast.

Many view cooking as a boring chore, to be done as quickly as possible, with as little effort as possible. Others never cook, living on prepackaged meals, takeout, and restaurants. It has been reported that two-thirds of the American people do not even know how to cook.

I view cooking as an absolute necessity. Real food, the food of our ancestors, does not come in a plastic package you can nuke in a microwave. Sadly, real food rarely exists in restaurants, and when it does, it is extremely expensive.

So, if you are going to enjoy the vital benefits of real food, someone in your family is going to have to cook ,and it might as well be you. But I do not view cooking as a chore. Yes, it can be a lot of work, but it can also be an art form, one that brings health as well as joy, when done well. And the very act of doing it can be a lot of fun!

The key is to be engaged in your cooking.

 

Engaged Cooking

Some people just go through the motions when they cook, mechanically following the instructions in a recipe, just wanting to get it over with. This attitude leads to boredom, frustration, and usually results in a meal that is mediocre, or worse.

Not me. Every meal is an adventure, every time I cook it is different, and I have many rewarding experiences.

Here is why. Every food item is unique. I mean every single item of real food is somewhat different than any other. In other words, the T-bone steak I cook today is different from the one I cook in a week, even if it is from the same ranch, is cut the same way, and weighs the same. This uniqueness is true of every item of real food. No two grapes are exactly alike. every teaspoon of a particular spice tastes and behaves a bit different, even if it comes from the same bottle. Every individual onion has unique qualities, even from the onions that grew next to it and were harvested at the same time. The same is true of every individual bit of real food.

Nothing remains exactly the same, as change is the nature of life.

The same is true of the inanimate manufactured items we use in cooking. No stove cooks exactly the same, even if they come from the same manufacturing lot. Each oven has its own hot spots, and cooler spots. The size and shape of the oven also has an impact, as does the altitude. Burners, even on the same stove, vary in how much heat they give off, regardless of the setting. Every pan conducts heat a bit differently. No stove is perfectly level, and the tilt of the stove and oven also have an effect.

Climate, moisture, temperature in the kitchen, and other factors we are not aware of, change every time we cook.

This is true not only of appliances, but of barbecue fires. No two fires, even if made in the same barbecue, adjusted the same way, with the same fuel, will be alike, or will behave alike.

Everything matters, and everything is unique. And everything changes as time goes on.

What does this mean in cooking? To me, it means I pay attention to what actually happens when the cooking begins. Every cooking experience is unique. I pay attention to how the food is cooking, to how hot the oven or pan seem to be, to the smells of the cooking food. I make adjustments as I go, trusting my instincts. If something seems to be burning, or a sauce seems too thin, or the smell seems off, I take action. I make little adjustments, sometimes major ones. When you do this enough, there is a message in the sounds of the cooking, the smells, the look of roasting meat, the way the fat sizzles in a pan, that tells you things. This sense can only be developed by experience. But responding effectively to these messages is an art, and extremely enjoyable, exciting, even inspiring.

Now, this does not mean that I spend every moment a dish cooks staring at the dish, waiting for something to happen. For example, if I place a covered pot in a slow oven to cook for three hours, I will not stand by the oven for three hours. But I will peek into the pot once or twice, just too make sure that the simmering is taking place as it should. And I will come into the kitchen a couple of times, to make sure there are no smells or sounds that are out of place. And if all is going well, I know that I have done what I need to do, that meal, that time, that day.

The instructions in my cookbooks, Tender Grassfed Meat, and Tender Grassfed Barbecue, are as detailed as I can efficiently make them, and the recipes have been cooked by me multiple times, with success.

Yet even the most clear, detailed recipe is a road map. You still have to take the journey. If you follow the recipes, you can expect success. And, as you become an experienced cook, and begin to recognize things, you will begin to understand the magical messages of smells, cooking sounds, the look of the food, and you are in for a lot of enjoyment. And your food will get better and better.

Finally, cooking a great meal of real food is one of the best things you can do for your family, your friends, and yourself. The joy of a great meal brings happiness, and the nutrition provided by real food gives health.

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

Nourish the Terrain with Real Food

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

These pastured eggs with their deep orange yolks are a wonderful example of real food.

These pastured eggs with their deep orange yolks are a wonderful example of real food.

A debate between two nineteenth century French researchers ended up creating the core belief of the modern medical system.

Nearly everyone has heard of Louis Pasteur, but very few have heard of Claude Bernard.

Modern medicine is built on the germ theory proposed by Pasteur. Yet there is mounting evidence that Bernard, who had a different theory, was correct. In fact, Pasteur was reported to have blurted out the words “Bernard is right!” shortly before he died. The medical profession and mainstream scientific establishment claim that Pasteur never said this.

Why is the controversy still important? Because the modern medical system, built on the Pasteur theory of germs being the cause of most disease, fails many people. Some of those people who found no help from conventional medicine turned to the Bernard theory without even knowing it, and restored their health.

With one important addition—eating real food.

I am one of those people, and I know many others.

 

The Two Theories

Most people are familiar with the germ theory of disease advocated by Pasteur. This theory claims that most illness is caused by germs, tiny organisms like bacteria and viruses. Since these organisms are the cause of illness, the way to cure illness is to kill the germs. This can aggressively be done through medication, sanitation, radiation, and other methods outside the natural defenses of the body.

In fact, the symptoms of disease are attacked by outside interventions such as surgery, drugs, and radiation—all aimed at killing the organisms that are blamed for the disease. This approach, which is the cornerstone of modern medicine, often does great harm to the patient, and often fails to cure them.

It can work, but it is common for the symptoms to return at a later date.

Bernard believed that the most important part of defeating disease was what he called “the terrain.”

The terrain is the body of the patient, and the natural functions of that body. Bernard taught that the body is full of bacteria, which are benign and helpful if the body is working properly. But if the body becomes weakened, or injured, or malnourished, some of these bacteria change and become dangerous, causing disease.

To Pasteur, killing the pathogens through outside intervention was the way to heal. To Bernard, strengthening the “terrain,” the body, enabled the body to heal itself, creating a condition where the bad bacteria became benign and helpful again.

 

What We Know Now

We know that killing outside germs through basic hygiene helps prevent disease. Yet we also know that the body needs beneficial bacteria to live, and killing too many of these bacteria has bad effects on the body, and they are often replaced with harmful organisms.

We know that antibiotics and other aggressive medical interventions can relieve symptoms, but they usually fail to treat the cause of the symptoms, which often return at a later date.

Yet we also know that many people who have no medical intervention recover from every kind of illness, and often do not see the symptoms return.

 

My Experience, and the Role of Food

I have had many illnesses over most of my life. I have had a lot of medical treatment for various conditions. At first, the treatment relieved the symptoms. But my body became weaker from the prescription drugs and other treatments. After some time, the symptoms always returned, and I would need more treatment. Eventually, I reached a point where the medical interventions did not work.

What saved me was an unwitting turn toward Bernard’s theory. I strengthened my body by switching to real food, and avoiding toxins. The real food and grassfed meat gave my body the nutrition it needed to function properly. As my terrain became stronger and stronger, I became healthier and healthier. I have not needed any medical intervention in over ten years.

I do practice hygiene, which gives my body less to fight off, and I believe there is a proper place for medical intervention when it is truly needed. But the best path I have found for myself is to nourish my terrain by avoiding toxins, including dangerous bacteria, and eating real food only. That way, the natural functions of my body keep it healthy. Many of my friends in the real food movement have had a similar experience.

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

The Lonely Truth, Real Food, Second-Hand Smoke, and Hope

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

The Flame
Creative Commons License photo credit: Aaron Escobar

Sometimes, knowing the truth can make you feel lonely and isolated.

Almost everyone who has switched to real food and grassfed meat knows what I mean. Nearly everyone you know eats factory food, and considers it normal. Most people accept what the media, the medical profession, the food industry, and conventional belief tell them about food. And when you reject factory food, you are often alone. People, especially family members, can get very angry at you, especially at social occasions when you will not eat what they eat. Or when you will not let your children eat the candy and other factory foods they want to give them. At the same time, they will be horrified that you actually eat saturated animal fat, plenty of real red meat, and butter. I have lost count of the times that friends and family members have claimed that my real food diet will cause all kinds of fatal diseases. Some of your friends and family may even consider you crazy.

In fact, the very fact of trying to eat only clean, wholesome food has been described as a mental disorder. See Eating Healthy Is a Mental Disorder? Nonsense.

It takes real courage to step out of the herd, to think for yourself, to learn and adopt a better way of eating. And it has consequences, both social and personal.

But take heart. Eventually, the truth that most people now reject will become accepted. The time will come when the truth about real food and grassfed meat will overcome the lies and biased studies that keep people eating factory food. But only if enough people stand strong and keep to their principles.

This is not a fantasy. I have had an experience where my “crazy” belief eventually became the conventional belief.

 

The Truth about Second-Hand Smoke

Second-hand smoke is tobacco smoke that you do not inhale from a cigarette or cigar, but inhale from the air. As a matter of common sense, tobacco smoke is tobacco smoke, and breathing it into your lungs will do harm, whether you get it from the air, or from a cigarette.

But many years ago, the tobacco companies funded studies that claimed that second-hand smoke was completely harmless. And these studies were accepted as absolute fact, by almost everybody.

When I was eleven years old, almost everybody believed that second-hand smoke was harmless because of the studies. But second-hand smoke made me choke and wheeze, I was more sensitive to it than most people. When I was exposed to it, and breathed it in, I hacked and coughed and could not control it. My parents were concerned the first time this happened, and took me to a doctor. The doctor told them that second-hand smoke could not possibly harm me, and that I was “faking it.” If only that was true. My parents believed anything any doctor told them. They got very angry at me, and threatened severe punishments if I did not “stop it.”

Later that week, my father’s second-cousin, who had a PhD in something, visited our home. He started smoking, filling the air with second-hand smoke. I tried hard not to choke and cough, but my efforts failed. The PhD pronounced that my cough did not sound “real.” I said the smoke was choking me. He stated that studies proved conclusively that second-hand smoke had no effect on anyone, and that I must be faking it. He told my parents that I should see a psychiatrist. As far as my parents were concerned, that was the final word. After all, he was a PhD. They refused to listen to me, and I was severely punished.

Seeing the psychiatrist made things even worse. He insisted that the studies proved that second-hand smoke could not affect anyone, and that I was faking it for other reasons. Since I knew I was not faking anything, and that the smoke made me choke, I would not “confess,” which angered him. He finally told my parents that I would not cooperate and was defying him. Fortunately, psychotropic drugs were not routinely given to children at that time. However, my parents inflicted more punishments on me, but no amount of punishment could stop me from choking and coughing when I breathed second-hand smoke. My parents lost all respect for me, and treated me with contempt. We became adversaries, and I was very unhappy. I thought something was wrong with me, that I was a bad person. It terrified me to think that I might be faking it without even knowing it. At the age of eleven, I began to believe that I was crazy, to some degree. My schoolwork and social life suffered greatly, because I was not the same child.

When I became a young adult and made my own decisions, it suddenly hit me that I was the only one who could possibly know how tobacco smoke affected me. No matter what those studies found, they did not study me. I decided that what I experienced had to be real–for me.

I avoided tobacco smoke whenever I could, and breathed as shallowly as possible when I could not. On social occasions, I politely asked people not to smoke, telling them I was sensitive to it. Many people would agree to what I asked, and many would not. I lost a lot of potential friendships that way, but I stayed true to what I had learned from my own experience.

Over the years, many people who suffered from second-hand smoke came to realize that the studies were wrong. They organized and made their voices heard. They got the attention of some scientists, who began to reinvestigate the issue. These people held their ground and insisted that what they had was not a mental illness, but actual harm from second-hand smoke.

Many years later, the fact that second-hand smoke is almost as harmful as smoking was proved without doubt. All the biased studies paid for by the tobacco companies were wrong. Laws that restricted smoking were passed to protect people from this harmful second-hand smoke. I had been right, all along, even when I was an eleven-year-old boy.

The truth about second-hand smoke finally broke through the deception and biased studies, and became accepted.

The same will happen to the truth about real food. The sooner the better.

The Truth about Real Food Will Come Out

If you try to eat only real food, and to protect your family and children from factory food, you may feel alone. But you are not alone. There are more of us every day, and the movement is growing. Keep going with what you know is true, and do not be discouraged by the lack of knowledge of those around you. They have received a huge amount of propaganda designed to keep them eating factory food, and they get more of this propaganda every day.

And something wonderful is happening. The biotech industry financed a number of studies claiming that GMOs were harmless and the same as other food. This is the reason behind the fact that GMOs are not labeled. Yet an initiative that will require the labeling of foods containing GMOs is on the California ballot this November, and is still winning in the polls despite the massive marketing campaign against it that has been financed by Monsanto and other giants in the biotech and food industries. You can find out more about how to support Proposition 37 at: Yes on Prop 37.

I encourage you to politely and calmly continue to do your reasonable best to eat real food, and reject factory food, when possible. Eating real food is much better, and the fact that most people do not know this does not change the truth about food.

The more people who know about real food and spread the word, the sooner our truth will spread. And the day will come when everyone knows the truth about food. And that will be a great day for everyone except a few greedy corporations.

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

“Just Eat Real Food” Means Just Eat Real Food, Not 20% Junk

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

This beautiful grassfed meat is 100% grassfed and 100% real—much better and tastier than anything that comes out of a factory.

This beautiful grassfed meat is 100% grassfed and 100% real—much better and tastier than anything that comes out of a factory.

JERF, which stands for Just Eat Real Food, is the best nutritional advice I have ever seen. And in only four words. This terrific phrase was coined by Sean Croxton, of the Underground Wellness Show. I try to live up to it, and the results have been amazing in every way. If you just eat real food, you will avoid many toxins, and get the nutrition your body so desperately needs. But to get these benefits, it is important that you just eat real food, and nothing else, to the best of your reasonable ability.

Yet there are those who are claiming it is okay to eat any junk food you want, as long as you do it no more than twenty percent of the time. While that would be so convenient and make things so much easier, it is just not true. While eating real food eighty percent of the time is much better than eating junk food most of the time, shooting for eighty percent is just not good enough, in my opinion. If you want to enjoy the full range of benefits that comes from a real food diet, it is important to do your best to just eat real food. If you are eating twenty percent junk, you are still eating a significant amount of junk, which will affect your body, and maintain your addictions to various factory ingredients, like processed sugar. After all, junk is junk, and should be avoided to the extent possible.

We did an experiment last week, dropping off the real food wagon and allowing ourselves to eat the junk food we wanted for one major meal. It was a mistake, as is described below.

But the bottom line is this—if you want the full benefit of real food—JERF. Just Eat Real Food.

 

The Real 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 concept in terms of diet was created by Mark Sisson, one of the most influential people in the Primal/Paleo movement. It was created to help people make the significant diet and lifestyle changes advocated by his program, the Primal Blueprint, without feeling bad if they could not do it all of the time. The concept was that if you do eighty percent of the program, you will receive substantial benefits. Yet some people have taken the 80/20 rule to mean that you only have to eat real food eighty percent of the time, and it is fine to eat any junk you want for the other twenty percent of the time.

Not only is real food a distinct concept from The Primal Blueprint, the eighty/twenty rule was never meant to be a license to eat junk twenty percent of the time. Mark Sisson himself made that very clear. Here is a link to an article by him that explains what he meant: 80/20 Revisited

If you read the article, you will see that he advocates trying for 100 percent compliance with the program, but not kicking yourself if you can only reach eighty percent. That is not a license to eat factory junk twenty percent of the time.

 

My Experiment in Eating Some Junk

My wife and I have been just eating real food, to the best of our reasonable ability to do so, for many years. We tried for 100 percent real food, but did not feel guilty for the times when we did not make this goal because of circumstances. Our path is to do the best we reasonably can to just eat real food, but not to feel bad about the occasions when this does not happen. We have seen enormous improvements in our health, energy, productivity, happiness, attitude, general joy of life, and ability to deal with whatever happens. If the medical profession and drug industry was depending on people like us, they would go broke, because we have no need for them.

Yet I do miss, from time to time, some of the factory foods I was addicted to. And the truth is that avoiding toxins and eating only real food is not easy. It can be awkward socially, in restaurants, at parties, at family dinners, where toxic factory food is often served. It is so much easier just to go along with the crowd and eat as they do. After reading some of the advocacy for the version of the eighty/twenty rule that allows you to eat any junk you want in the twenty percent portion, we decided to investigate. After all, the idea that we could maintain all the benefits of real food and eat any junk we wanted twenty percent of the time was tempting. So, last Friday night, we dropped off the real food wagon and ordered a pizza from a large chain that we used to frequent before we switched to real food. We got our old favorite toppings, though I could not bring myself to order a topping that contained feedlot beef.

After I took the first bite of pizza, I was astonished at how I immediately wanted to eat more and more and more of it. The taste was mediocre, yet I wanted to keep eating and eating it, to wolf it down as fast as I could cram it into my mouth. Normally I prefer to eat slowly, thoroughly chewing my food before swallowing it. I was astonished by how strong the desire to wolf it down and eat more was. As we continued to eat the pizza, I became aware of an overwhelming thirst, something that never happens when I eat real food. When I discussed this with my wife, she also had the desire to eat more and more of the pizza, and she also got very thirsty.

While I have no scientific proof of this, I am convinced there was something added to the pizza to make me want more of it, and something in it that made us very thirsty, perhaps so we would order factory soft drinks.

We finished the pizza, and still felt hungry and unsatisfied. Yet we wanted more and more of the pizza, an urge we resisted. I also felt bloated and uncomfortable, a feeling I never have when I just eat real food. There were other uncomfortable digestive consequences, as my body tried to get rid of the chemicals and toxins in the pizza. I also had some headaches, something that I normally never get. And I was low energy and tired. After two days of just eating real food, I was fine. Since then, we have tried to eat one hundred percent real food, and we have been fine, without any of those unpleasant symptoms. It is clear that the “you can eat twenty percent junk” rule did not work for us.

 

My Eating Rule—JERF, But Don’t Stress

I try to eat real food one hundred percent of the time, yet I am fine with the fact that I will not always meet that goal. I will carefully make sure that every item of food that enters our home is real food, and nothing else. I will cook and serve nothing but real food. Once you get in the habit of doing this, it becomes a routine, and being healthy and functioning better is well worth the time, trouble, and additional expense.

The problem comes at social gatherings and restaurants, where most of the food is never real. I will often eat a large snack of real food at home, rich in animal fats, before I go out. This helps protect my body from the toxins I may ingest, and satisfies my hunger before I am exposed to factory food. When offered desserts and food items that I should not eat, I politely decline them without trying to preach the merits of real food. If it seems like an explanation is needed, I calmly and quietly explain that I am on a strict diet for my health, which is absolutely true. Most people will accept that explanation. I will eat whatever seems the closest to real food, from what is available, and I will not eat very much of it. In a restaurant, I will carefully choose food that is as free of toxins and as close to real food as I can find, and I am not shy about asking the waiter for details. I also try to eat only at restaurants that have something that is good to eat, even though I avoid most of their menu.

Now prior to eating the pizza, we had done our usual best to just eat real food for the rest of the week and the rest of our meals, so the pizza was far less than twenty percent of our diet. But it was far too much. The benefits of just eating real food are so great that we will not throw them away to indulge in junk, or to fit in with the crowd. And we do not feel deprived because we enjoy our real food so much. There is such a huge variety of foods we can eat, and they are so much better and so much more satisfying. And we do follow a rule set down by Sally Fallon Morell, the founder and president of the Weston A. Price Foundation—never eat carbs without plenty of good animal fat.

But the main rule I follow is simple, profound, and it works—JERF. Just Eat Real Food.

This post is part of Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, and Freaky Friday blog carnivals.

Eating Healthy Is a Mental Disorder? Nonsense!

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue
Arlington: Courthouse Farmers Market
Creative Commons License photo credit: cliff1066™   Is it a “mental disorder” to make a pleasant trip to a Farmers’ Market to buy healthy organic produce?

The real food movement is a real problem for the food industry and the medical industry. More and more people are refusing to eat foods containing artificial ingredients. More and more people are refusing to let doctors tell them how to eat. More and more people are avoiding foods containing toxins, chemicals, and preservatives. More and more people are thinking for themselves. Can’t have that. People should do as they are told, by those who know better. So the powers that be are turning to a tried and true method of controlling the masses.

The methods used to keep people ignorant and compliant are many, and the tyrants and exploiters who live off the fear and suffering of others have used a huge variety. One of the most despicable methods is to label people who dare to disagree with conventional belief as crazy. Nowadays, the term of choice is “disorder,” which can be used to condemn any dissenting opinion and dismiss those who hold it as having a mental illness. That way, the truth of the dissenting opinion is never addressed, and the people who have it are condemned, made fun of, often institutionalized, and sometimes killed. Most people become afraid to even consider the dissenting opinion, for fear they will be labeled as mentally ill. A very effective way of killing free thought and preserving the status quo.

The latest use of this freedom killing method is the creation of a “mental illness” called “Healthy Eating Disorder,” which is usually called by the scientific-sounding name they picked for it, Orthorexia. Rhymes with Anorexia, which helps invoke the fear of a known disease. If it sounds like a mental disease, it must be a mental disease, right? If you avoid foods that contain chemicals, preservatives, GMOs, or any toxins, you are mentally ill with this so-called disorder. I kid you not. Psychiatrists have actually been quoted saying that this is a “serious mental disorder,” which can lead to “malnutrition,” social isolation, obsessive behavior, and many other horrible consequences, including death.

In other words, if you try to avoid eating toxins, if you try to only eat the healthy, unmodified foods of our ancestors—you are mentally ill and should be treated with psychotropic drugs. I suppose the only way you can avoid being labeled mentally ill is to eat the worthless factory foods industry promotes without hesitation or complaint.

This is nonsense. But it can and will be used to control our behavior. Unless we reject this evil and cynical fiction for the nonsense it is.

 

Some Examples of How Accusations of Mental Illness Were Used To Maintain The Status Quo:

Most people have never heard of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss. Yet Dr. Semmelweiss has saved the lives of more women than anyone who has ever lived. During his time, and before, in Europe and the U.S., many women died from a horrible, painful disease. It was called childbirth fever. Fatality rates ranged from fifteen to eighty percent. A woman was at great risk of getting this horrible disease every time she gave birth. Many millions of women died from this illness.

The medical profession of the day could do nothing to cure childbirth fever, and treated it as a normal risk of giving birth.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss, a Hungarian obstetrician, began doing something remarkable. He began washing his hands before assisting in childbirth. Semmelweiss noticed that his patients did not get childbirth fever. He assisted a number of women, from the rich to the poor, and they did not get this horrible disease that was so common. Semmelweiss decided that all who assist with childbirth should thoroughly wash their hands. He vigorously advocated his theory, and was astounded and dismayed when most doctors refused to wash their hands, despite his findings. He wrote letters to newspapers, letters that offended the medical profession. The doctors denounced Semmelweiss as insane. Semmelweiss was lured into visiting a mental institution. When he realized that the real purpose of the visit was to commit him, he tried to leave. He was savagely beaten by the brutal thugs used to control the inmates, and committed. His wounds became infected, and he died within two weeks. An autopsy revealed severe internal injuries from the beating.

Yet Semmelweiss had managed to publicize his findings enough that more doctors began to experiment with them. Eventually it was realized that childbirth fever was caused by the filthy hands of doctors and some midwives. And it became standard practice to wash and clean the hands before assisting in childbirth. Childbirth fever almost completely disappeared.

The old Soviet Union had a problem. Many of its citizens were complaining about the harsh conditions and constant shortages, and were expressing their opinion that the system did not work. The government decided that, since Soviet Communism was the best governmental system on earth, anyone who questioned or criticized it must be mentally ill. Tens of thousands of Soviet citizens were drugged or sent to mental institutions for questioning the system. The very fact that they complained was taken as proof they were mentally ill and needed “treatment.” This so-called mental disorder disappeared when the Soviet Union was overthrown.

Both Dr. Semmelweiss and the Soviet citizens were perfectly sane. Yet they were labeled as mentally ill and forcibly committed and/or drugged. Their real crime was to find a better way of doing things that threatened the established powers of their societies.

 

Now Comes Orthorexia

When I first read an article treating Orthorexia as a serious mental disorder, I thought it was a joke. Unfortunately, it was not.

The basic theory of this non-existent “disorder” is the idiotic claim that being concerned about the content and quality of your food is a mental disorder that requires treatment.

If you avoid foods containing toxins, pesticides, or particular ingredients such as soy, sugar, corn, or GMOs, you are considered mentally ill. That is nonsense! If a “disorder” claims that not wanting to eat poison is abnormal and crazy, then the disorder is nonsense. Most people in history, over the entire globe, were deeply concerned about the safety and quality of their food, and paid a lot of attention to it. It is only in modern times that people have blindly eaten whatever the food industry places before them. I consider it vital to consider the quality and content of my food, and my health has improved greatly as a result.

Some of the “symptoms” of this phony “disorder” are so ridiculous that I cannot understand how anyone can take them seriously. Here are some of the most idiotic:

 

Planning the Next Day’s Meals in Advance

Really? I plan the next day’s meals in advance all the time. In fact, I have a general idea of what will be eaten during the week, which enables me to know what foods to purchase. Is there anyone on the planet who sincerely believes that this is a sign of insanity?

 

Feelings of Happiness, Satisfaction, Esteem, or Spiritual Fulfillment from “Eating Healthy”

This is a problem? Eating real food does create feelings of happiness and satisfaction. What is wrong with that? Do I feel good about the fact that I carefully select and prepare the best real food I can get for myself and my family? You bet I do. Do I feel fulfilled when I eat a great meal of real food free of toxins and chemicals? Of course I do.

And I am certain that all of my many friends in the real food movement have the same experience, and most of humanity has had and cherished this experience throughout history. This is a “symptom” that everyone should be blessed with.

 

Noticeable Increase in the Use of Supplements, Herbal Remedies, and Probiotics

Well, this must be the ultimate proof of insanity. Anyone who does not use Big Pharma’s drugs is crazy. Anyone who finds a cheaper, safer way to health is crazy. Anyone who tries to make up for our nutrient-depleted soils by taking supplements is crazy. Anyone who uses probiotics instead of drugs is crazy. Certainly this has nothing to do with corporate profits. Actually, this “symptom” has everything to do with profit.

I could give further examples, but I have made my point.

Orthorexia is not a mental disorder. In fact, if the entire human race had the “symptoms” of this “disorder,” and insisted on clean food free of toxins and chemicals, we would all be much better off.

In closing, the very fact that the real food movement has a phony mental disorder being used to try to control us is an admission that we are being heard, and that there are more of us every day. We should not give any credibility or consent to this cynical attempt to control us and should always call it what it is—nonsense.

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

Feast Without Fear — on Real Food

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

Santa's Workshop is the newest addition to my wife's Christmas Village collection this year.

Santa's Workshop is the newest addition to my wife's Christmas Village collection this year.

The holiday season has come. It should be a time of joy, a time to celebrate. Wonderful, special meals have always been part of the holiday season, but an ugly new element has entered the scene in the last few years—fear. Every holiday season, we are barraged with fear—fear of getting fat, fear of eating fat, fear of indigestion, fear of getting sick, fear of cholesterol, fear of heart disease, fear, fear, fear!

We are told, over and over again, to count calories, eat low fat, substitute dead factory foods for the rich, traditional holiday foods of our ancestors—where is the joy in that?

All of that fear is nonsense, if you eat properly prepared real food. Leave the factory products in the supermarket, and buy grassfed meats, grassfed organ meats, pastured pork, pastured poultry, traditional dairy, wild fish and seafood, organic or the equivalent fruits and vegetables, real pastured butter, traditional fermented foods, and make this the basis of your holiday feasts. You will not only enjoy a magnificent feast, but feel much better after eating these truly nourishing foods.

There is nothing to fear about eating real food. Nothing.

The Joy of Feasting

Almost every culture on Earth has celebrated holidays by enjoying a special meal, or meals. The finest meats, fish, vegetables, and almost every other kind of food were carefully prepared by traditional methods, and served in quantity during the feast. Many of the best recipes were specially designed for the holidays, and served only at that time. The Christmas feast was so important in old England that wages often included a fat goose at the holiday season—so even the middle and poorer classes could enjoy a special holiday feast. Fear of the food was not even an issue for most of our history, and the feasts were cherished, looked forward to, and enjoyed, with great gusto. Feasting is one of the most universal and traditional human joys, and a feast should be an occasion for pleasure, joy, and good fellowship for all.

This joy is often absent in modern times, where carefully designed propaganda has convinced many people to be afraid of food, especially the rich holiday specialties enjoyed by our ancestors. Fear ruins joy.

Real Food Feasts Are Good for Us

Not only is joy great for human health, along with being a great deal of fun, but the traditional foods of the feast are great for the natural functions of our bodies. Often these meals center around special cuts of meat, poultry, and fish, cooked in a traditional manner with rich sauces and side dishes. If real food is used, we are talking about grassfed meat, pastured pork, pastured poultry, wild fish and seafood, and flavorful organic fruits and vegetables. We are also talking about plenty of pastured butter, pastured cheese, and the wonderful saturated animal fat that comes from the pastured animals. These foods are exactly what our bodies crave, and give us the nutrition we need for our natural functions to work at their very best, which leaves us satisfied and feeling wonderful. When we eat a well-balanced meal of real food, we are getting all the nutrition that we need.

Traditional foods that are eaten at this time are often especially rich in the nutrients that our bodies crave.

Even though many traditional holiday desserts come with sugar, the traditional forms of these desserts are loaded with butter, cream , lard, egg yolks, and other sources of saturated animal fat that help protect our bodies from the effects of sugar. And the original forms of the desserts contained far less sugar than modern desserts.

When we are eating real food, our bodies regulate our appetite by what we actually ingest, because there are no phony chemicals or dead foods to con our bodies into overeating.

Many people equate feasting with feeling bloated or stuffed. I used to, until I switched completely to real food. I have never felt bloated or stuffed since.

Our Holiday Feast Plans

We have four feasts during this holiday season: Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. We start planning the menus right after Thanksgiving, and look for the best real food we can find.

This year, we will have grassfed prime rib for Christmas Eve, redolent with the unique, mouthwatering flavor that only grassfed prime rib has, along with a plethora of delicious side dishes.

For Christmas, we will have a pastured goose, stuffed with a traditional apple stuffing roasted inside the bird, with crisp goose skin—one of the most delicious things on earth, gravy from the drippings, and other wonderful side dishes.

New Year’s Eve will bring a pastured pork loin roast, with a magnificent fat cap, marinated with Polish seasonings, roasted on a bed of apples, surrounded by roasting potatoes crisped to perfection by the melting pork fat, and many other wonderful side dishes.

New Year’s Day itself will bring another prime rib. Why two prime ribs? Since we eat only grassfed beef, we could not decide whether to get a prime rib from U.S. Wellness Meats or Homestead Natural Foods. Both have wonderful meat, yet the flavor is quite different because the plants the cattle graze on are quite different. We solved the problem by getting both, and having them on different holidays. Besides, a major holiday is a perfect excuse for the expense of prime rib, a cut we all love.

How much will we eat? As much as we want, no more, no less. And we will feel wonderful.

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