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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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We Need Real Restaurants Serving Real Food!

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

Ceramic old-fashioned restaurant. It must have had great real food!

Restaurants aren't what they used to be.

Do you ever get tired of the poor quality and high prices of most restaurants?

I certainly do. The main choice seems to be between chain restaurants serving large amounts of the worst factory foods, or higher-end restaurants serving tiny portions of somewhat better food. The taste is often mediocre at best, and if you are used to eating real food, your stomach will often rebel against what you have put into it. And the money you spent on this expensive meal could have bought you a large amount of excellent grassfed meat and real food, since restaurant prices can be so high.

I run into these problems in supposedly high-quality restaurants with great reviews and reputations, as well as the more pedestrian places. Even the smaller ethnic restaurants have similar problems. Most of the time, I count myself lucky if I do not get an upset stomach after eating at a restaurant. Just about all of the time, I go home hungry because the food lacks the nutrients my body has become used to when eating real food.

Enough is enough. Instead of accepting the current miserable situation, we need real restaurants serving real food!

The Problem

When I was a child and a teenager, many restaurants were excellent. They had to be. This was a time when most families had good home cooks, and most people just would not go to a restaurant unless the food was better than at home. This set a very high standard for taste and quality. Also, there were no GMOs, and much of the food was far more real than it is now.

We now live in a time where most people do not know how to cook. Packaged factory foods form a huge part of SAD (Standard American Diet). Most people have been brainwashed into thinking all food is the same. This lack of competition has allowed restaurants to get away with mediocre food, terrible ingredients, and huge prices.

The Solution

We should no longer accept mediocrity or worse. A meal at a restaurant should taste wonderful, use high-quality real food, be cooked and served under sanitary conditions, and leave you feeling satisfied after eating it. Nothing less is acceptable.

I have nine suggestions toward reaching this goal.

1.    Serve real food only.

This is crucial. Even restaurants that boast of the quality of their ingredients often use factory ingredients to save money. They often buy from restaurant supply companies that supply the cheapest factory food. Food should be organic or the equivalent, preferably local. One of the few restaurants that does it right is Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, which buys almost all of its foods from quality local farms and ranches. This is a good standard.

2.    Drop the factory meat and serve only grassfed and grass-finished meat.

This seems like a very radical suggestion, and it is. But the rewards of implementing it are immense. Grassfed and grass-finished meat is far superior in nutrition, much more satisfying to the appetite, and is perhaps the oldest food of humankind. It tastes much better than factory meat, when properly cooked. I have made this suggestion in a number of places, and the answer is always along the lines that grassfed meat is “tough.” No, it is not tough. Properly cooked grassfed meat is very tender. The chefs and cooks just need to learn how to cook it.

3.    Serve only wild fish.

Most restaurants serve only farmed fish, which are the nautical equivalent of factory meat. Farmed fish are fed a totally unnatural diet, and are far less nourishing than wild fish. Wild fish taste much better.

4.    Stop using modern vegetable oils, and use only traditional fats in cooking.

Almost all restaurants use modern vegetable oils. The favorite modern oils are soy and canola, as they are also the cheapest. These modern oils, which were never used prior to the twentieth century, have a terrible overbalance of omega-6 fatty acids, and are far inferior in nutritional value to traditional fats such as butter, lard, ghee, beef tallow, coconut oil, pure extra virgin olive oil, etc.

5.    Serve a full plate of nourishing food, and fill up the empty spaces.

Few things annoy me more than ordering an expensive entrée and getting a tiny serving, with plenty of empty space on the plate. When I was a child, you could not even see the bottom of the plate until you had eaten something. Now, tiny portions of expensive entrées are “plated,” which is a fancy term for increasing profits by shortchanging people on food while leaving large areas of the plate empty. This results in people going home hungry, or buying appetizers on equally empty plates to try to satisfy their appetites. While this may increase profits, it is not fair to the customer, in my opinion. While restaurants seem to love the “deck-of-playing-cards”-size meat servings pushed by the government, they still charge huge prices for these tiny portions.

6.    Throw away the microwave.

Many restaurants reheat a frozen entrée in the microwave, and serve it as “fresh.” Not only are there serious concerns about what microwaving does to food, but this practice is detrimental to both nutrition and taste. Freshly cooked food tastes much better.

7.    Keep it clean.

Many restaurants are downright filthy. Many restaurant refrigerators are not nearly cold enough. There is no excuse for this. Every kitchen, serving area, food storage area, dish, and utensil should be clean. No exceptions. Every refrigerator should be at least forty degrees, or colder. People often get sick from the filth in restaurants and their food, and this can always be avoided.

8.    Cook it great, every time!

Restaurant cooks and chefs are supposed to be professionals, who cook for a living. Every single dish they turn out should taste great, every single time.

I have eaten in many restaurants where a dish is good one time, and terrible the next. Many dishes are poorly cooked and mediocre. This can ruin a restaurant’s reputation. Good ingredients, properly cooked, taste great. It is that simple.

9.    Stop using chemicals and flavor enhancers.

No restaurant should use MSG or other chemicals to artificially enhance the flavor of their food. Not only can these chemical additives be harmful, they mask the taste of poorly cooked food, and deceive the public as to the quality of the meal.

Many in the restaurant industry will claim that these suggestions are too expensive. As recently as the 1980s, many restaurants had similar standards (except for grassfed meat). Restaurants have a great ability to buy food wholesale, and to negotiate prices, especially when they are buying from individual farms and ranches. But more to the point is that restaurants are already very expensive, and I see no need to spend money on poor quality restaurant food.

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

 

Aging in Reverse with Real Food—Then and Now

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


up a redwood tree
Creative Commons License photo   credit: 4johnny5   The redwood tree gets stronger and more beautiful with age.

 

My wife gave me a wonderful gift for Christmas. A DVD showing photos of our son when he was a baby and a small child. He looked great, and it was amazing to see how tiny he used to be. But there was someone else in some of the photos. Someone who did not look great. Someone who looked sick and strained, even at the happy times when these photos were taken. That someone used to be me.

These photos were taken from twelve to seventeen years ago. The man in those photos looks so much older, weaker, and sicker than I look today. The difference is so remarkable that I think it is worth describing. It is a living testimony of the difference that switching to real food can make.

The Skin—Then and Now

Then. The man in the photos has pale, pasty skin, quite blotchy, with a very unhealthy pallor. I remember that it was often itchy and irritated, with small growths that would come and go.

Now. My skin is smooth, supple, and a healthy color. It is hardly ever itchy and never irritated. The growths are gone.

The Mouth and Breathing—Then and Now

Then. The man in the photos always had his mouth wide open, and often appeared to be gasping for breath. I remember that I was on many medications for asthma and the constant respiratory infections I was afflicted with. I saw doctors frequently and occasionally had to be rushed to the emergency room when I got an asthma attack that the medication could not control. I remember that I could never get enough air, and could only breathe through my mouth. Often breathing and gasping for air would end with a nasty, painful hacking cough.

Now. My mouth is shut unless I am talking, or eating, or laughing. I breathe easily through my nose at all times. I hardly ever notice my breathing, which is effortless. I do not cough, or gasp, or choke. I am on no medications (over-the-counter or otherwise), and have not seen a doctor for at least nine years.

The Hair—Then and Now

Then. The man in the photos had dull, damp, thin, coarse hair that looked like it was about to fall out. I remember that I was losing hair, with ever growing bald spots.

Now. My hair is lighter in color, with a fair mixture of gray. But it is very thick, and gleams. It is soft and full-bodied. It never falls out. In fact, the bald spots seem to be shrinking a bit.

The Eyes—Then and Now

Then. The man in the pictures often had a look of pain in his eyes, even at the happy times when those pictures were taken. I remember that I was almost always in pain, with all kinds of discomforts, aches, and soreness—all over my body.

Now. My eyes are calm and serene. Many people tell me I have “kind eyes.” I usually feel good, with no pain or discomfort of any kind. When there is an occasional bump or ache, it goes away very quickly.

Posture—Then and Now

Then. The man in the photos is always slumped, whether sitting or standing. I remember that it seemed hard to hold my head up, to sit or stand straight, as I was so tired all the time. It was so hard just to get out of bed in the morning.

Now. I sit and stand straight naturally, without even thinking about it. I am full of energy most of the day and much of the night. I am eager for the day, which is always full of good things. I leap out of bed without effort.

What Did I Do Differently?

I switched completely to real food, in particular, grassfed meat, and stopped eating processed and factory foods. I followed the dietary guidelines of the Weston A. Price Foundation, modifying them a bit to eat only meats that are grassfed and grass-finished. It took years, but all my many illnesses healed, and I have had no need for drugs or doctors.

This is what real food can do.

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

My Real Food Plate

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

My Real Food Plate with grass fed prime rib, traditional sauerkraut, sourdough spelt bread with pastured butter and grassfed bison liver pate, raw cheese, smoked wild salmon, and fermented raw vegetable salsa.

My Real Food Plate (clockwise from top): grassfed beef and fat; traditional sauerkraut; sourdough spelt bread with pastured grassfed butter and grassfed bison liver pâté; raw cheese; smoked wild salmon; and fermented vegetable salsa.

“MyPlate” is the new brainwashing concept introduced by the U.S. government, since the horrid “food pyramid” did not convince enough people to eat the way the diet dictocrats dictated. “MyPlate” has bothered me ever since Jimmy Moore exposed its many problems in this great blog post: Harvard’s ‘Healthy Eating Plate’ Only Marginally Better Than USDA’s MyPlate.

“MyPlate” has somehow managed to be even worse than the “food pyramid,” which is quite an accomplishment, being a true route to dietary disaster, severe malnutrition, and rampant disease. However, the dietary guidelines have been effectively debunked by many, including the Weston A. Price Foundation  in Comments on the USDA Dietary Guidelines.

I have also been thinking about the Weston A. Price Foundation Conference, which will begin this Friday, November 11, 2011,  all the wonderful real food they will serve, and wishing I could be there.

So I thought I would present “My Real Food Plate,” made up of what I actually eat, based on the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, the recommendations of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and what makes me feel good and healthy, while tasting wonderful. You can see “My Real Food Plate” in the above photo. After the photo was taken, I brought the plate to the table, and happily ate every bit of it. So you can see that I back my writing with my appetite, unlike the diet dictocrats. (You NEVER see them eating what they attempt to impose on the rest of us.)

These are the foods on “My Real Food Plate” (clockwise starting with the grassfed meat at the top):

  1. Grassfed beef and fat. This leftover roast beef, made from 100 percent grassfed and grass-finished beef (from U.S. Wellness Meats) has a perfect ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats, large amounts of CLA, and a wonderful range of vitamins, amino acids, and other valuable nutrients. I eat the little pieces of fat you see around the meat. The nutrition in grassfed fat is great fuel for our bodies. Grassfed meat is one of the oldest foods, going back to the Paleolithic Era and the very beginning, and our bodies welcome it. And it tastes so good!
  2. Traditional sauerkraut. This traditional lacto-fermented sauerkraut is made from nothing but cabbage and salt, and the fermentation process. It is also full of nutrients and enzymes, enhanced by the fermentation process. These enzymes help with digestion, and it is delicious. Sauerkraut is one of the oldest and most traditional foods in the world, going back to ancient China and beyond.
  3. Sourdough spelt bread. This bread contains only three ingredients: spelt, water, and salt. The grain is grown without the use of chemicals. A sourdough starter is used in making this bread, consisting of nothing but spelt and water. This bread is absolutely delicious, and easy to digest. It is covered with pastured grassfed butter, and bison liver pâté, as I always eat grains with plenty of good animal fat. This is one of the most traditional of breads, and is full of valuable minerals.
  4. Pastured grassfed butter. Real butter, full-fat, from grassfed animals, is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat, and utterly delicious. Butter is full of fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A and Vitamin D. Grassfed butter also is the best source of Vitamin K2, and contains many components that are great for our bodies. This kind of butter is one of the most valued and traditional foods in Europe, where people would eat it at every meal if they could get it.
  5. Homemade grassfed bison liver pâté. Liver is one of the most nutritious of foods, if it comes from healthy, grassfed animals. Liver is full of the perfect range of B vitamins, and many other vitamins and nutrients including Vitamin A and Vitamin D in a form that is easily absorbed by the body. Liver also has many amino acids and helpful substances, and high-quality fat and protein. Grassfed bison is one of the healthiest of animals, and its liver is a superfood. The large amount of pastured butter I use in the pâté helps make it delicious as well as even healthier. Liver pâté is yet another traditional food. Even people who hate the taste of liver can enjoy liver pâté.
  6. Raw cheese. This full-fat traditional cheese, made from unpasteurized, raw milk, is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. It is full of good fats, easily-absorbed quality protein, and many vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes. Since cheese is a fermented food, the nutritional value has been enhanced through the fermentation process. Raw cheese is one of the most traditional foods in Europe, and many other parts of the world.
  7. Organic apple wedges. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is ancient wisdom. Since I consider doctors and their poison drugs, radiation, and surgery to be the biggest single threat to my life and health, I do want them to be kept away from me. And I have not needed them for over eight years. In addition to protection from doctors, organic apples have many wonderful nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and special substances that help reduce inflammation and fight the effect of free radicals on our bodies.
  8. Smoked wild raw salmon. The delicious meat of wild salmon has been traditionally cold smoked to preserve it, which gives it wonderful flavor. The beautiful orange color of the fish is real, unlike farmed salmon, and the raw fish is full of minerals and nutrients abundant in the sea such as iodine and magnesium, and helpful enzymes. Smoked wild fish is one of the most ancient of foods, going back thousands of years.
  9. Homemade fermented vegetable salsa. Chopping various organic vegetables into tiny shreds and lacto-fermenting them is a traditional way to enhance their nutritional value and digestibility. The traditional fermentation process makes the vegetables easier to digest, and increases the vitamin content, while adding beneficial probiotics. This kind of salsa not only provides great nutrition, but aids digestion.

My real food plate is 100 percent free of GMOs, soy, modern refined foods, modern vegetable oils, modern grains, and all the other factory foods that comprise the Standard American Diet, known as SAD. Instead, my real food plate makes me HAPPY.

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

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Where’s the (Grassfed) Beef in the “Healthy Eating Plate”?

Real Food, Real Taste, Real Appetite

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

Photo of Fermented Cilantro Salsa from Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo by Stanley A. Fishman

Fermented Cilantro Salsa, part of our satisfying meal.

We had a wonderful dinner last night. Grassfed rib steak marinated with herbs, and sautéed in pastured butter. Organic potatoes roasted crisp and tender in a shallow lake of pastured pork lard. Carrots fresh from the farmers’ market, simmered in water so full of butter that the carrots caramelized when the water evaporated. Homemade fermented salsa, full of nutrients, and tangy, refreshing flavor. Everything was beyond delicious. But some food was left over. As wonderful as it was, all three of us stopped eating when we were satisfied.

One moment, I was hungry for more of these wonderful tastes. After I swallowed the next mouthful, it was enough. The hunger ended instantly, and I stopped eating. My desire to eat more was gone. Naturally enough, I stopped eating. I was satisfied. I was content.

I was not stuffed. I was not bloated. I felt great and renewed. I just was not hungry anymore.

What happened? My sense of taste and smell directed me to eat the food I needed by making me hungry for it. Since everything I ate was real food, with real tastes, my senses could accurately determine how much I needed to eat to get the nutrients I needed. When I had the nourishment I needed, the hunger ended naturally, at that moment.

Obesity was unknown to the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price, and was rare among people eating a real food diet. But obesity and overeating are an epidemic in the United States today. People eat and eat and eat, and eat some more, and are still hungry. It seems like their appetite is permanently on, and they can never get enough.

Why? I am convinced that the answer lies in the poor nutrient content of factory foods, and the deceptive stimulation of our appetites by chemical flavors made in a laboratory, along with the horrible nutritional guidelines pushed by industry and their servants in our government.

Factory foods lack the nutrients contained in real food, so we are not satisfied when we eat factory foods. Processed foods have no good taste of their own, so industry has developed chemicals to fool our bodies into thinking that we are actually eating tasty and nutritious food. The natural taste and appetite mechanism of our bodies is deceived by these chemicals, and can no longer accurately determine how much we need to eat.

These chemicals, created by chemists in a laboratory, never existed until the twentieth century. These chemicals can recreate almost any taste. I once saw a show on television that went to a lab that made these chemicals. Small glass bottles were labeled with various flavors, including “charcoal-grilled hamburger.” The visitor to the lab closed her eyes, and tasted a small piece of bread that had a tiny amount of the chemical added to it. She said it tasted just like a charcoal-grilled hamburger.

When you see the words “artificial flavors” or  “natural flavors” on the long lists of ingredients on a food label, you can be almost certain that chemical flavors have been added to the food. These chemicals are added to almost all fast food. Not only do these flavors make food taste much better, they can make you very hungry for it.

This could be an explanation for why so many people overeat. A chemical deceives your senses into making you hungry for the food you are eating, but the food does not contain much of the nutrients you need. If not for the chemical, your natural senses of taste and smell would make the nutrient-poor food taste bad, and you would not eat it. But the chemical deceives your senses, as it was designed to do, and you want more and more of that food. But, no matter how much you eat of it, you will still be hungry, because it does not actually have much of the nutrients you need. This causes people to eat more and more of the factory food, which increases profits for the seller of this concoction. And the nation gets fatter and fatter.

I also believe that some of these chemicals are deliberately designed to make us hungry, so we will eat more of the product.

The food guidelines pushed by industry and the government ban saturated animal fat, a nutrient that is crucial for human nutrition, and one of the most satisfying of foods. A lack of this fat contributes to hunger. This results in hungry people devouring factory foods that can never satisfy their appetites because the needed nutrients are just not there. Great profits for the food industry, and great suffering for a malnourished, hungry people.

I tested this theory last week. There was a particular fast food I used to love, and could never get enough of. I had not tasted it for ten years, but I still remembered the taste, and still desired it. I went to the fast food place, and ordered a small portion. I had decided that I would eat one bite, and see how it made me feel. Well, I took that first bite. I was astonished to find out that the food tasted EXACTLY the way I remembered it, even though it had been ten years. I then found myself greedily wolfing down the rest of the food, even though I had intended to eat only one bite. I was ravenously hungry for it, and not at all satisfied. I wanted to buy more. Fortunately, I started to feel slightly sick and that helped me leave the fast food place before I bought and ate more.

After all that, I still crave that fast food, even though I felt sick after eating it.

What is the solution? For me, it is to eat no processed, artificial, or fast food, and to eat the most pure traditional foods I can find, cooked from scratch. Foods like organic (or the equivalent) fruits and vegetables; traditional full-fat milk, butter, and cheese; traditionally fermented foods like old fashioned sauerkraut; grassfed organ meats; and, of course, grassfed meat and fat, the most satisfying of all.

When I only eat these real foods, my taste and appetite mechanism functions perfectly, and I stop eating when I am satisfied, which happens with every meal. I eat all that I want to eat, letting my appetite control how much I eat. When I am satisfied, I stop eating. And I find that I am satisfied with smaller portions as time goes on, and the needs of my body are satisfied.

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

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Three Great Reasons to Attend the Annual WAPF Conference

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

Wise Traditions Conference ~ Dallas, TX ~ November 11-14 2010

Anyone who reads my books or this blog will soon learn that I often refer to Dr. Weston A. Price and the Weston A. Price Foundation. There is a very good reason for that. The information presented by the Weston A. Price Foundation enabled me to save my life and restore my health. Much of the very same information that saved my life and restored my health, and more, will be presented at a wonderful conference in just a few weeks.

The Weston A. Price Foundation will be having its annual conference in Dallas, Texas, from Friday, November 11 through Sunday, November 13. There are also some activities on Monday, November 14. You can sign up for the conference and get more information here.

I recommend that everyone who can attend this conference do so. Here are the reasons for my recommendation:

Knowledge

It is said that the truth will make us free. Here, the truth can make us healthy. There will be more invaluable knowledge presented on human health and nutrition at this conference than anywhere else on earth. There will be many lectures and classes, presenting the best real food and alternative health information available anywhere. I believe that the key to human health is great nutrition. Most people suffer greatly from malnutrition. Most people know very little about good nutrition, as they have been misled by those who exploit them. The theme of this conference is “Mythbusters,” and the invaluable truth about nutrition will be presented along with the busting of nutritional myths. This is information you can use to make your life much, much better.

Many of the leading people in the real food and alternative health movements will be speaking, including famous alternative physicians like Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, Dr. Thoman Cowan, and Dr. Joseph Mercola. Also speaking will be Sally Fallon Morell, the founder and president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, my friends Kimberly Hartke and Sarah Pope, and many, many others. The information they have to share is invaluable.

Food

This is probably the one time that you can not only trust that the food at a conference will be good and healthy, but something to really look forward to. All meals will be available at the conference, including special selections for those who are gluten-intolerant. Grassfed meat is featured in the menus in a big way, along with pastured pork and a multitude of healthy, delicious, real foods ranging from wonderful grassfed butter, to the finest fermented foods such as traditional sauerkraut, many wonderful cheeses, to all kinds of real vegetables, Most of this food is from some of the finest producers in the world, such as U.S. Wellness Meats, Pure Indian Foods, Miller Organic Farm, and many others.

It is usually so hard to find food worth eating when we travel. At the conference, not only will the food be well worth eating, it should be delicious!

People

The first time I attended the WAPF conference, I was astonished at how healthy most of the people looked. So many of them literally glowed with health and vitality. I will never forget the sight of babies and small children raised on a real food diet—they were so alert, so happy, so alive that they made most other children seem like sleepwalkers in comparison.

People were so friendly, so welcoming, so committed to helping others. We had so many wonderful conversations, and heard so many great stories about how people had use the Weston A. Price wisdom and real food to heal all kinds of illness and to improve the health of themselves and their families. It is such a joy to be in a place where just about everybody you talk to really understands about nutrition, and knows the truth about food and medicine. It is so inspiring to hear how people have restored their health and become healthy in natural ways, often by real food alone. It gave us a great sense of community, and confirmed once and for all that there are many other fine people on the same path, enjoying the same benefits.

If you go, you can expect a wonderful, delicious, inspiring experience that you may never forget.

This post is part of Monday ManiaReal Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday Blog Carnivals.

Grassfed Saturated Animal Fat Should Not Be Taxed

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

Natural, unhydrogenated, pastured pork lard.

Taxing this lovely, artisan pork lard is a crime!

Denmark is a nation that is famous for its high-quality butter, cheese, and pork, which all contain large amounts of health-giving saturated animal fat. Now Denmark has decided to place a heavy tax on all foods containing saturated animal fats. The tax is scaled to the amount of saturated animal fat in the food, so lard would have a 35% tax on its consumption.

Saturated animal fat from healthy animals is a key part of the traditional Danish diet, but that was ignored.

Most of the Danish people oppose this tax, but that did not seem to matter to the Danish legislators, ninety percent of whom voted for the tax.

The legislators claim that taxing foods based on the amount of saturated fat they contain will force people to eat “healthier” foods, increase lifespan, and avoid disease. None of these things are true.

The basic human right of the Danish people to choose their own food was ignored.

Now, Finland, Britain, and Romania are all considering imposing a tax on saturated fat consumption. The goal is to force everybody to eat a “plant-based” diet.

Aside from the fact that no government has the right to control what we eat, this is a very bad policy. Saturated animal fat has been demonized, but is actually a vital nutrient needed by human beings. Since crucial vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K are fat-soluble, our bodies need this fat to properly absorb the vitamins. Saturated animal fats contain substances that keep the mind sharp and functioning, and help the immune system. Saturated animal fats provide many other nutrients that our bodies need and expect, and modern vegetable oils just do not contain these nutrients. A detailed article explaining the truth about fats is The Skinny on Fats.

For most of human existence, humans ate a Paleo-style diet that was animal based, getting most of their nutrients from wild animals, fish, and shellfish, though many roots, fruits, nuts, and vegetables were also eaten. The whole animal was eaten, including all the organ meats, and the bones were chewed on and often made into broth. We and our bodies have evolved to thrive upon animal foods. All animal foods contain saturated animal fat, and that is what our bodies have evolved to use. By making it harder for us to afford the very food that our bodies need to stay healthy and thrive, the government will make people sicker and weaker.

The fossil record shows what moving to a plant-based diet can do. The skeletons of humans before the invention of agriculture showed tall, strong people with dense, healthy bones, often with no sign of disease. The skeletons of people after the spread of agriculture were often a foot shorter, with thin, fragile bones, and showed the mark of many diseases.

History shows that the ruling classes in agriculture-based societies often reserved meat and other animal foods for themselves, forcing the peasants to eat mainly grains and vegetables. Medieval Europe is a great example of this practice, where only nobles were allowed to hunt wild game, and most of the meat produced by agriculture was taken by the nobles, their soldiers, and the upper classes. The term “meat eater,” meant someone of importance. The meat- and fat-eating classes were taller, stronger, more intelligent, healthier, and lived much longer than the peasant classes, whose access to meat and fat were strictly limited. A common person who hunted wild game was considered a “poacher,” and would be hanged if caught.

The meat shortage in Europe persisted well into the nineteenth century, when the high cost of meat made it too expensive for most people. In contrast, meat was cheap and plentiful in early America, with plenty of wild game, no poaching laws, and many domestic animals who thrived in the new land. Many people immigrated to the United States because they heard that even poor people could afford meat there. Of course, the meat was high-quality wild game, wild fish, wild shellfish, and grassfed and pastured animals. The curse of factory meat had not yet been invented.

Writers at the time of the American Revolution noted that the Americans were much taller, stronger, and healthier than the poor classes in Europe. Americans, eating a diet full of animal fats and meat, were noted for their intelligence, inventiveness, and ability to innovate and get things done. “Yankee ingenuity” became a common phrase because of these qualities.

History shows us that eating animal foods, in the form of grassfed and pastured meat and fat, is very beneficial to human beings. It is the food that is most natural to us. Dairy-based fats such as butter, unprocessed milk and cheese, yogurt, kefir, and others, have also been shown to be very nutritious, especially when eaten in their traditional forms, and made from pastured dairy animals.

Bad laws such as the Danish fat tax are actually moving us back to the Middle Ages, making it harder for us to afford the foods we need to support the natural functions of our bodies, and pushing us towards a plant-based diet that may be fine for herbivores with four stomachs, but not for human beings.

This tax will benefit large industries, and nobody else.

The food industry will benefit because it makes much more money on plant-based refined foods, such as dry cereal, which are very cheap to produce.

The medical industry will benefit because more people will be sick because of inadequate nutrition, which will mean more profit from medical services and drugs.

If the call for a fat tax reaches your nation, it is important to fight it and preserve our rights to eat the foods our bodies need.

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

Where’s the (Grassfed) Beef in the “Healthy Eating Plate”?

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Grass fed meat, roast potatoes, and cabbage for a Christmas holiday feast.

This is my plate, grassfed meat, potatoes roasted in beef fat, and vegetables sauteed in bacon fat. Very satisfying!

I will never understand how the bureaucrats and academics who try to control every aspect of our lives think. Why do they believe that posting a graphic of a plate divided into brightly colored sections labeled “Fruits, Vegetables, Protein, and Whole Grains” would convince anyone to change the way they eat?

Come to think of it, that graphic is a lot more attractive than photos of the industrial food they want us to eat.

No matter how silly, the multicolored plate divided by labeled sections is apparently the state of the art in food persuasion, as we now have another plate to tell us what to eat. Harvard has come out with its own version, entitled the “Healthy Eating Plate.”

This “Healthy Eating Plate” is pretty much identical to the government’s “MyPlate,” though the size and shape of the colored blocks is a bit different.

  • Fats, the most important food group, are completely missing from both of them.
  • Both plates include large amounts of vegetables.
  • Both plates include large amounts of whole grains.
  • Both plates include large amounts of fruits.
  • Both plates avoid the “M word” (meat) and include a relatively small section labeled “Protein.”

In other words, an even more extreme version of the old food pyramid, a high-carb, very low or no fat, low-protein diet. The same diet that has ruined the health of the American people and led to an epidemic of obesity and disease. The fact that these sorry, worthless guidelines have failed completely over the last twenty years means nothing. The motto of these people seems to be—if it fails, and fails again, and fails always—do it again, and do more of what has always failed.

But the academics provide us with more detail as to what these sections mean. Protein means fish, beans, nuts, lean chicken. Red meat is to be avoided. In other words, there is no place for red meat on the Harvard plate. Not even grassfed meat.

Nowhere does either plate differentiate between industrial food and real food. Nowhere does either plate point out the immense difference between grassfed meat and factory meat. Nowhere does either plate refer to the presence of chemicals in food. GMOs are not even mentioned, as if they do not exist.

This is a serious matter, because the Harvard plate supports the government plate. The government imposes its food guidelines on schools, the military, and a host of programs and institutions. The people who are forced to follow these guidelines could be deprived of all red meat, with no consideration of the difference between grassfed and grain-fed.

The best diet for humans has been known for a long time. Dr. Weston A. Price discovered it and described it after ten years of on-location research in his 1939 book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. The people who ate this diet functioned so well that they were literally free of disease and obesity. A good guide to this diet is the Weston A Price Foundation’s Dietary Guidelines. These are the diet guidelines that should be adopted, though the choice of what to eat should be left to each individual.

Instead, we have guidelines that are focused on profit, not health.

As for me, I will continue to eat plenty of grassfed red meat, pastured pork, wild seafood, organic or the equivalent produce, traditionally fermented foods, real dairy, and lots of grassfed animal fat.

I reject both plates completely.

This article was inspired by a brilliant post by my friend Jimmy Moore, Harvard’s ‘Healthy Eating Plate’ Only Marginally Better Than USDA’s MyPlate.

This post is part of Fight Back Friday blog carnival.

Eating the Whole Wild Fish

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
crab galore
Creative Commons License photo credit: phoosh

Why does a blog devoted to grassfed meat mention fish? I eat fish too. I consider some seafood to be important for a balanced diet.

But more importantly, the quality of most fish sold in the U.S. has become just as compromised as the quality of feedlot beef.

Today I had an absolutely fantastic whole wild fish for lunch, which inspired me.

Farmed Fish are Not the Same as Wild Fish

When I was a child, just about all fish were wild, eating their natural food, which was usually a smaller kind of fish. Fish were often very fresh, often caught near the place where they were sold, and packed with all kinds of nutrients that they received from their natural diet. Fish were also very cheap, except for a few very expensive varieties.

In some areas (especially Asia), freshwater fish were farmed in tranquil ponds, ponds that were full of the natural food of such fish.

Times sure have changed. Most fish sold in U.S. stores have been farmed and frozen. The fish at fish farms are fed a variety of substances, but the feed often contains substantial amounts of GMO soy, something that was never fed to fish before. Much fish feed consists of various kinds of fishmeal, which consists of the bodies of smaller fish that have gone through industrial processing to be turned into meal. Other substances are also used, which are not part of the natural diet of fish.

I have not seen any studies, but wild fish eating their natural diet tastes much better to me than any farmed fish. When food is natural, truly natural, the way it tastes is a message to you from your body as to whether you should keep eating it. I believe this to be a good indication of how nutritious the food is. Obviously, the use of chemicals and flavor enhancers can confuse this taste system, which is yet another good reason to eat only food that is free of chemicals and unprocessed. Good food is also satisfying, meaning you do not have to eat huge amounts of it to be satiated and full. I have found farmed fish to be watery and tasteless. Farmed fish never satisfied me.

The oceans, lakes, and rivers have become seriously polluted, and some of the pollutants find their way into the fat and flesh of some fish. Mercury especially is a concern.

Even the wild fish you buy may have been frozen twice, if it is cut into fillets. That is because these fish are frozen when they are caught, then shipped to China where they are defrosted, cut into fillets, and refrozen, then shipped back to the U.S. to be sold in the markets. They are often defrosted a second time and put on the counter.

Fish has also become very expensive, farmed or wild.

Most people only see fish in the form of boneless, skinless fish fillets. This was not the way our ancestors ate fish. Wild fish were caught, and often cooked the same day, whole, with all their nutrients. Large fish were often cut into thin strips, and dried or fermented to provide food that could be stored. Some medium-size fish were preserved by smoking and salting, as were pieces of larger fish. Some fish were cut up and preserved by salting. Salt cod became a staple food all over Europe.

How I Find Healthy Wild Fish

It took a while, but I finally found a way to get wild fish that satisfies me.

The best way to get fish is to catch your own, preferably from waters that are only lightly polluted, and process them yourself. This is beyond the circumstances of many of us.

What I do is buy small or medium-sized whole fish, and cook the whole thing in one piece. Best to leave the head on for flavor, but you do not have to. I will later use the bones and head for fish broth, a wonderful elixir that is said to cure anything. There is an excellent recipe for fish broth in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell.

I try to buy fish from the less polluted waters such as Alaskan waters.

The small size of the fish means that it has not absorbed much mercury.

The fact that it is whole means it has not been filleted in China, with the necessary defrosting and refreezing.

The fact that it is wild means that it was eating its natural diet when caught, and should be rich in nutrients.

I will also buy fillets if they appear to have been frozen only once, and have not gone the China route. A few wonderful markets process whole fish and cut them into fillets themselves, rather than subcontracting the job to China.

I will even buy flash-frozen fish fillets, as flash freezing of a quickly frozen fish preserves freshness (though it can never compare with a truly fresh fish), if I am convinced that it was only frozen once.

Just like grassfed meat is vastly superior to the industrial variety in taste and nutrition—whole wild fish are far superior to the farmed variety.

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

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The Blessings of Pastured Pork Lard

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Natural, unhydrogenated, pastured pork lard.

Natural, unhydrogenated, pastured pork lard.

Animal fat is demonized in our society, and this includes pork lard. People are brainwashed into thinking that eating pork lard, or any animal fat, will “clog” their arteries, causing heart attacks and strokes. Animal fat seems to be blamed as the cause of almost every conceivable disease. This is truly ironic, as animal fat, especially pork lard, was the most popular cooking fat for most of humanity, throughout most of history.

The traditional diets of two of the healthiest peoples studied in modern times, the Georgians of the Caucasus, and the Okinawans of the Pacific, were quite different in the actual foods they ate. Yet both of these healthy peoples did share a favorite food—pork lard and fatty pork. Despite the fact that these healthy peoples ate large amounts of pork lard, along with fatty pork, heart disease and strokes were very rare for them. Both of these cultures were known for a very high number of people who lived to be 100 years old, or older, and were healthy at that advanced age.

The truth is that traditional peoples whose religion did not forbid it loved pork lard and animal fat, and ate huge amounts of it. Not only did they eat it and cook with it, they would often use pork lard to treat damaged skin, and as a moisturizer.

Pork lard has many uses in cooking, and excels in all of them. Breads, biscuits, pies, and cakes made with pork lard come out especially delicious, and the fat in the lard helps counter the glycemic effect of the grains.

Pork lard is perhaps the perfect frying medium, having a very high smoke point, cooking at an even heat, and providing a wonderful flavor to the foods fried in it. In fact, pork lard was the traditional fat used for stir-frying in Chinese cooking, and is still perfect for it, enhancing the flavor of every dish. Pork lard (along with duck and goose fat), was used for making confit, a way of cooking and preserving meat in large amounts of fat.

Though pigs are omnivores, and not grassfed, I use a lot of pork lard in my recipes for grassfed meat. I use pork lard to sauté other meats, which gives them a nice flavor. I will also rub pork lard on various grassfed roasts, especially those which lack fat. The lard keeps the meat moist, adds great flavor, and causes any vegetables added to the pan to come out caramelized and delicious. The flavored pork lard from such a roast is also perfect as a base for gravies or sauces, making them utterly delicious. The ancient Chinese would often fry other meats in pork lard, just for the flavor. I have tried this, and it is delicious.

But it is very important to know your pork lard, just as it important to know all of your food.

I would not even taste most of the pork lard on the market, and I avoid it. If that sounds odd after I have been filling this article with praise for pork lard, there is a reason. Most of the pork lard sold in the U.S. has been hydrogenated, which means that it has had an additional molecule added to its structure through artificial processing. Not only does this create a fat which never existed in nature, it affects the nutrition and the taste. But the food industry invented this kind of modified lard because it can be stored at room temperature, and can stay on the shelf for a very long time.

I make a real effort to eat food only in a natural, unmodified state, and it creeps me out to have the very molecular structure of a food altered for profit. It is now accepted that hydrogenated fats are bad for human health. I strongly dislike the taste of hydrogenated lard.

All of the benefits of lard described in this post came from real, unmodified lard, the kind that will actually spoil, and must be refrigerated or frozen. The best of this lard comes from pastured pigs, from heritage breeds, who are raised in a traditional manner, rather than being stuffed with GMO corn and GMO soy. This kind of lard is actually very good smeared on bread, like butter, and has a pleasant, nutty flavor. This is the only kind of lard I use or recommend.

Natural, unmodified pastured pork lard is wonderful for cooking and eating.

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

Raw Vidalia Salsa Provides Balance for Grassfed Meat

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Raw vegetable salsa made with organic Vidalia onions

Raw vegetable salsa goes so well with grassfed meat.

Many traditional peoples would always eat vegetables with their meat. Since meat is acidic, and vegetables are alkaline, this helped them maintain a proper pH balance in their bodies.

It is a German tradition to eat plenty of vegetables with steak, and a Latin American tradition to eat a raw vegetable condiment with meat, in the form of a salsa, chimichurri, or Pebre.

My upcoming barbecue book includes several such recipes for raw vegetable condiments. This recipe did not make it into the book, because I invented it last week, and the book is done except for the index, which is well on the way. It is a very tasty and satisfying recipe, so I thought I would print it here as a gift for my readers.

This recipe combines the sweetness of organic Vidalia onions with traditional salsa ingredients to form an absolutely delicious side dish for any grassfed meat. The fresh vegetables are full of enzymes and other nutrients, which will help with digestion. While it calls for organic ingredients, the equivalent of organic is just as good.

INGREDIENTS:

5 ripe red organic tomatoes, finely chopped

1 medium organic Vidalia onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 organic red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 organic green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

¼ cup fresh organic cilantro leaves, finely chopped

2 stalks organic celery, finely chopped

2 tablespoons unfiltered organic extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon unfiltered raw organic apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce

1 teaspoon freshly ground organic black pepper

1 teaspoon coarse unrefined sea salt, crushed

1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon organic hot sauce of your choice, depending on how hot you like it (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed. Let rest in a covered bowl for an hour before serving. Tastes best at room temperature. You can refrigerate this for a few days, if you have any left.

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


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