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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.

—Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

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

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

One of the healthiest traditional fats, pastured butter.

One of the healthiest traditional fats, pastured butter.

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

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

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

 

The Physical Degeneration

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

 

The Plant Food Desire

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

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

 

The Animal Truth

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Butchers Tale, or Is Real Food Worth It?

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

7-bone pot roast cut up into steaks.

Cuts of grass fed meat.

I ran into one of my favorite butchers yesterday. He was trained the old way, when butchering was an art. He knows a lot about all kinds of meat. He can cut steaks and roasts that are so beautiful that they are like a fine painting.

He had just finished reading Tender Grassfed Barbecue. He said that he agreed with everything I wrote about nutrition. He could see it in the meat, over the many years he was a butcher. He had wondered for a long time why grain-finished meat looked so different, and was so full of blocky streaks of fat, rather than the fine marbling he looked for in a superior piece of meat. He said that he believed that most conventional foods were not that nutritious. And then he let out a shocker.

“I am still going to eat the conventional food. I know the grassfed meat and real food is much better for me, but it is too much trouble to change. It would just be too much work. And the better food is too expensive.”

I have heard words like these from so many people. It is too hard, too much trouble, and too expensive, to make the switch to real food.

Having reached the point where we eat nothing but real food and grassfed meat, I can tell you this:

  1. It is very hard to make the switch.
  2. It is a lot of trouble.
  3. It is more expensive.

And, many people will think you are nuts.

Is it worth it?

Absolutely. The blessings of good health and mental clarity that I have received from changing my diet are worth all the trouble, expense, and even being made fun of or being thought of as a nut. It has been like being reborn.

 

Health Is Much Better than Convenience

Many years ago, when I was twenty, my Dad asked me if I ever felt good when I woke up in the morning, full of energy, eager for the challenges and pleasures of the day. I honestly told him that I never did. I did not even know what he was talking about. When I woke up, I was discouraged, annoyed, short of breath, and in pain.

I thought I was eating a good diet, because the FDA inspected all food, and would not allow any food that was not good to be sold. I ate only conventional foods sold by big supermarkets, because they were cheaper, and “just as good.”

I thought I was well nourished, because I was big and looked powerful. And because I followed my doctor’s advice on what to eat.

I thought I was getting the best medical care in the world.

So why was I so sick, exhausted, and miserable?

I am convinced I was suffering from severe malnutrition, like most Americans. And I did not even know it.

Because it is easy to find, buy, and use conventional food, I had convenience. But I did not have health.

 

Making the Change

Eventually, things deteriorated to the point where the medical profession had no help to give me, and told me so. Rather than give up and die as predicted, I got furious. I got determined. I used my skills as a research attorney to find another way.

What I found was the website of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and the priceless information on their website enabled me not only to save my life, but become healthy for the very first time as an adult.

I knew I had to switch to real food. It was difficult. I had to drop most of the food items I used to buy. I thought I loved many of them, though in reality, I was addicted. I had to learn a whole new way of cooking. And we spent much more money on food than we were used to. And I had to deal with the fact that some of the foods I needed could not be bought, only made. Making homemade broth, especially skimming it, and straining it, seemed so hard. Learning how to cook grassfed meat was hard, especially when I kept ruining it and there was nothing I could find that taught me how to cook it. I wrote Tender Grassfed Meat to make it easier for others to learn how to cook this wonderful meat. Making my own fermented foods was hard, at first. And I really missed the factory foods I was addicted to.

But once I learned how to make broth, cook grassfed meat, and make fermented foods, it became familiar and easy. Still time consuming, but easy.

I learned how to find and buy real food, which became fun. And the extra expense became easier to accept, as we adjusted our spending priorities, realizing that nothing we can buy is as important as the good food that keeps us healthy. We also learned how to find sales and bargains, which really helped.

The addiction to the factory foods began to fade, as we ate much better real food alternatives.

Many of our family members, friends, and acquaintances thought we were too picky. Some got offended when I would not eat the conventional food they liked.

The convincing argument, the one that convinced me that real food was worth all the time, expense, and trouble, is this—I became much healthier. When properly nourished, the natural functions of my body kept me healthy, without any drugs. My mind became much sharper, and the occasional short term memory problems disappeared. The quality of my life became so much better, in every way.

Now I wake up each morning eager for the challenges and pleasures of the day, full of energy, and so happy to be here. I finally understand what my Dad was talking about, so many years ago.

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

The French Paradox Solved—It’s the Butter

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

We have been told, for decades, that butter and other animal fats will cause heart disease, obesity, diabetes, many other illnesses and death. Yet the purveyors of this claim were faced with evidence that could not be denied. The French ate huge amounts of butter and other animal fats, yet had low rates of these diseases, and were far less obese than other people. This situation was described as “The French Paradox.”

Some research was done, and some scientists explained the French Paradox by claiming that all the benefit came from drinking a glass or two of red wine daily, which supposedly counteracted the “harmful” effects of all that fat. This explanation never convinced me, because I knew that many other nations consume similar amounts of red wine and do not experience the better health enjoyed by the French.

But it was not until I had the pleasure of actually eating traditional French butter sauces that I realized the truth of the matter—it is the butter and quality animal fats that have the beneficial effect, not the wine.

It is the butter that helps give the blessing of good health.

 

My Fear of French Sauces

I did not always know about the benefits of traditional animal fats, like butter. Like most people, I believed the bogus “lipid hypothesis,” thought that butter was harmful, and avoided it. “Rich French butter sauces” got so much bad press that I never used them.

After studying the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, and eating a diet based on his discoveries, I experienced great health improvements. This meant eating a diet rich in traditional animal fats, including butter. Yet I still did not eat French butter sauces. Besides, these sauces were supposed to be very difficult to prepare. I had avoided them for so long that it did not even occur to me to try them, except occasionally in restaurants. The restaurant versions were boring and did nothing for me.

Rich butter sauces such as Hollandaise and Béarnaise are a big part of traditional French cuisine, often served with red meat. It did not even occur to me to put such sauces in my cookbooks, Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue, though I now realize they go wonderfully with grassfed meat. My mind still was influenced by the old mesmerism that French butter sauces were to be avoided, at all costs, though this belief was subconscious.

I was so wrong.

 

My New Appreciation of French Butter Sauces

When I was reading a traditional French cookbook, I turned to the section on sauces. As I started to read the ingredients of butter sauces, I realized that their main components were butter and egg yolks, two of the healthiest foods on earth, and two of my favorite foods. I actually became aware of the ridiculous attitude I had—if butter and egg yolks are good outside a sauce, why would they not be good in the sauce?

And, as I read the recipes, I came to realize something else. These sauces did not sound that difficult to prepare.

I prepared a Béarnaise sauce to go with some grassfed steaks two weeks ago. This was easy to make, though it required concentration. The resulting sauce was mostly butter, and had nothing in common with the pallid restaurant versions I had tasted before. It was absolutely delicious, and greatly enhanced the flavor of the grassfed steak without overwhelming it. But the real surprise was how good I felt. I always feel good after eating good grassfed meat, but this time I felt even better. Much better. The sheer enjoyment of the wonderful taste, the immense satisfaction of eating so much butter, and the wonderful combination of animal fat and meat, left me feeling full of energy and happiness, ready to do just about anything.

It struck me that this wonderful feeling of satisfaction, of enjoyment, of well being, was my body rewarding me for eating something wonderful, something highly nutritious. I never felt anything like this when I drank red wine.

I had exactly the same feelings of contentment, satisfaction, energy, and well being after I ate some homemade Hollandaise sauce on Mother’s Day, combined with some grassfed tenderloin steak.

To me, this solves the “French Paradox.” It is the butter. And my next cookbook will have easy, traditional ways of making these wonderful sauces.

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


The Goodness of Grassfed Meat and Real Food

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

The deep orange color of the yolks shows that these are pastured eggs, rich with nutrients.

The deep orange color of the yolks shows that these are pastured eggs, rich with nutrients.

Grassfed meat and real food are more expensive, and much harder to get than factory food. Why should we pay the higher cost? Why go to the considerable trouble of finding real food and quality grassfed meat?

The answer is simple, yet profound.

 

  • Because it makes me feel so much better.
  • Because it enables the natural functions of my body to function better, keeping me healthy, with every part working well, from mind to toes.
  • Because it tastes so good, and makes me feel so satisfied.
  • Because eating properly prepared grassfed meat and real food makes me happy and content.

In a world that sells convenience above all else, it is important to remember that easy is not always best. Quality really matters, especially when it comes to food.

 

Good Health

Our bodies were not designed or evolved to live on pills and supplements, or on food raised with chemicals that did not even exist until they were invented in a lab. Humanity has eaten grassfed meat and real food for most of our history, and our bodies have adapted to use this wonderful fuel.

It is not just the individual nutrient that matters, it is the combination of nutrients, many of which have yet to be discovered. When we eat a balanced traditional diet of real food and grassfed meat, we need not worry about whether we are getting good nutrition that our bodies can easily absorb and use—because we are.

Factory foods raised with chemicals, GMOs, foods that have been irradiated, foods with chemical additives, are all new to humanity, and are different from the foods that have nourished us since the beginning.

How do we know if we are well nourished? We feel good, clear, with lots of energy. We experience a great deal of satisfaction and contentment. There is a wonderful feeling of satisfaction that comes after eating a good meal of real food, that can never come from eating factory food.

The chemicals they add to factory food can make it taste good, and can make us crave it, but it does not satisfy. In fact, one of the telltale signs of factory food is that you can eat a great deal of it and never be satisfied, always craving more. That is why people will eat whole quarts of factory ice cream, drink a gallon or more of factory soft drinks in a day, eat huge quantities of candy, and still be hungry.

With real food and grassfed meat, you eat, and your body knows when you have had enough. Then the desire to eat ends, and you enjoy the wonderful satisfaction that only real food can bring.

 

Better Taste

Real food and grassfed meat, properly cooked with traditional ingredients and methods, tastes so good it is hard to describe. The smell and taste of a grassfed beef roast cooked over smoldering charcoal is good beyond belief, as are countless other traditional dishes.

And it is not hard to cook this kind of food to the point where it is wonderful. It is not complicated. If you have great ingredients, you can enjoy wonderful, tender grassfed meat, and utterly delicious real food, with just a few ingredients and simple cooking methods.

Two days ago, we had a grassfed beef roast cooked in front of a hardwood charcoal fire, seasoned with no more than three ingredients. Cooking it was simplicity itself, being just a matter of a very simple marinade, timing, and adjusting the temperature of the fire by adjusting the vents once. Yet this beef was so good, so delicious, absolutely mouth-watering as it came off the grill with that heavenly aroma that only barbecued meat can have.

Yesterday, we had a pastured pork roast, marinated with a traditional combination of four ingredients, then roasted in the oven with one change of temperature. We sliced it thin, and enjoyed the incredible flavor and tenderness of the meat, enhanced by the traditional spicing. This meat was so good it was hard to imagine anything better, and most of the dinner conversation involved praising the goodness of the pork.

Yet, when we had enough, in both of those meals, the desire to eat ended, and we experienced the wonderful sensation of satisfaction.

My cookbooks, Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue, contain detailed instructions on how to cook wonderful grassfed meat—the easy way.

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

How Real Food Healed Me

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

Organic Greek yogurt, a traditional food.

Organic Greek yogurt, a traditional food.

Our ancestors did not reach for drugs or doctors when they had an injury. Instead, they tried to get the food that would enable their bodies to repair themselves.

Only the most serious injuries would require a doctor, and many traditional doctors would prescribe a particular food. The most famous and successful of ancient doctors, Hippocrates of Cos, said:

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

This seems primitive, in our modern age, which celebrates the wonders of medical science. Yet many of us have noticed that medical science is not always the best choice, due to its using drastic methods such as drugs, surgery, and radiation for even minor ailments. And most drugs only manage to relieve symptoms, while interfering with the natural processes of our body.

I had a minor but annoying injury a few weeks ago. I had a choice, and I chose food. And it healed me.

 

The Injury

While fooling around, I got a split lip. It was not that bad, but it would not fully heal. There remained a split in the lip. If the lip got dry, especially at night, it would get quite painful. At other times, it was annoying. After two months, there was no change.

I thought of going to a doctor, but the only thing they could do was give me stitches, or a drug. Having a needle going in and out of my lip had no appeal. Drugs scare the heck out of me, since they interfere with the natural functions or our bodies, and I would consider one only under serious circumstances.

I began to look for natural remedies for a split lip that will not fully heal, and I found none.

 

The Remedy

I saw some full-fat Greek yogurt in a store, made by my favorite dairy. This dairy has organic milk products, is extremely careful to make sure that its cows get no GMOs in their feed, pasteurizes their milk at the lowest temperature the law allows, does not vaccinate or drug their milk cows, and gives these cows wonderful treatment. In other words, it was my kind of dairy, and I have enjoyed their products for years.

I had never had this kind of yogurt before. It was tangy, very thick and rich with good animal fat. Without understanding why, I placed some of this yogurt against the split in my lip, and held it there. It felt cooling and wonderful. Within seconds, the irritating sensation in the split went away. I did this for a few days, several times a day. I noticed that the split was smaller after the first day. After about three days, the split was gone, and the lip was healed. After several weeks, it has remained healed.

I should say that I had never heard of this before. I think that the good fat and probiotics in this very special yogurt caused the healing, but I cannot prove it. And I do not know why I did it.

Chris Kerston, of Chaffin Family Orchards, a chemical-free organic farm and ranch I admire, told me how his grassfed cattle would treat themselves by eating certain plants, which fixed them up. The cattle would select the plants themselves.

I am just guessing, based on this experience, but I think our bodies have a wisdom and knowing that can often help us. I listened to my instincts when I held the yogurt against my split lip, and it healed.

This story is anecdotal, unsupported by studies, is not a recommendation, is no substitute for the services of a medical professional, has not been reviewed or approved by the FDA, and is intended solely as a sharing of my experience.

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

To Use Your Food Senses, Eat Real Food Only

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

Hollywood Farmer's Market
Creative Commons License photo credit: JohnnyRokkit

Have you ever wondered why the sight, smell, texture, and taste of food is so important to us?

The answer is simple. Our bodies use these senses to decide what food should be eaten, what food should be avoided, to prepare the digestive system, and to tell us how much of a particular food to eat.

That is right, how much to eat. Our bodies do not follow calorie counting charts, but use sensory input to decide what to eat and how much. Every person is different, and our dietary needs vary from day to day. Our bodies have a magnificent system already in place to guide us with certainty as to what and how much we need to eat. Most of our ancestors trusted and used this system, and obesity was very rare.

But there is a problem in modern food that cripples our sensory food input—chemical flavor enhancers that are literally designed to fool and trick our senses, so our bodies think they are eating something they are not.

These chemicals create the equivalent of hallucinations for our taste buds, and appetite regulation system. They are completely legal, and fool the natural system we have for regulating our appetite and desiring food.

The only way to avoid them is to eat real food only, and avoid all factory foods.

 

Factory Foods Are Designed to Fool Our Senses

The food industry depends on foods raised as cheaply as possible, and demands that these foods have a long shelf life. The problem for the food industry is that the natural taste, sight, and smell of such foods is not very good, and people’s senses would reject them. The first factory foods that were introduced were almost completely rejected by the public, because their senses rejected them.

The food industry turned to science, and science came up with chemical flavor enhancers, and chemicals that change the very appearance, taste, and smell of the food. These enhancers are designed to trick the senses into thinking that a food is much more desirable than it is, and some of them actually make people want to eat more of that food.

 

Tricking the Eyes

These techniques fool the eyes by using chemicals to change the natural appearance of the food. One example is the use of carbon monoxide gas to make factory meat appear red, rather than brown or gray.

This fools the eyes, which do not find brownish or grayish raw meat appealing.

Other such techniques include putting chemical waxes on fruits, using gas to give a ripe appearance to fruits and vegetables, using chemical dyes in food, and others.

 

Tricking the Nose

The natural smell of factory food is often very bad. The food industry uses many different chemicals and processing techniques to remove the bad smells, and other chemicals to give a bland or enticing smell. This totally deceives our sense of smell.

 

Tricking the Taste

The natural taste of many factory foods is vile, and people will not eat food that tastes so bad. But chemicals are used in many products to hide the natural bad taste and add a good taste.

Factory foods are often bleached and deodorized with chemicals, to kill the horrible smell and taste of items like unfermented soy.

Chemical flavor enhancers are added to all kinds of foods. Scientists are able to use chemicals to add almost any desired taste to a particular food, and are constantly developing new artificial tastes. These chemicals not only make the food taste much better than it would naturally, but can fool our bodies into thinking they are eating something they are not. This confuses the digestive system and the appetite.

Chemicals are also added to many factory foods that make people want to eat more of the food, just because of the chemical. This causes many people to overeat, and is believed to be a huge cause of the rampant obesity that plagues the modern world.

 

When You Only Eat Real Food, It Is Natural to Eat Only what You Need

By avoiding foods with chemicals, we set our senses free to do their job of regulating our diet. It may take a while, but I have found that my senses tell me what I want to eat, and how much. When I have eaten enough of a certain food, I am no longer hungry for it. When I stop eating, I am happy, content, satisfied, and never stuffed or uncomfortable. I have no digestive problems when I eat real food. I can trust my senses to tell me what to eat, and how much, because they are not fooled with chemicals. And my health has improved so much.

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

A Video Worth Seeing about Truth in Food

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

 

Normally, I do not do blogs about YouTube videos. But this video is different.

It corrects some of the biggest false ideas most people have about eating. The message is clear, simple, and compelling. Modern eating makes us fat and sick. Traditional eating, eating the foods humanity ate before industrial food was invented, keeps us slim and healthy. Too much exercise wears us out, and does not make us lose weight.

Eating high quality food is the way to go. Counting calories is a waste of time. Most diets are worthless. The basic, unmodified foods of nature are best. Sugary, starchy foods are the worst. The more natural, the better. Eat grassfed meat. And many other good ideas, clearly presented.

This is all good advice, and totally contradicts the false precepts of the Standard American Diet (SAD), the diet that makes Americans the weakest, sickest, most crippled rich people in history.

I have corresponded with Jonathan Bailor, the maker of the video. His goal is to spread awareness of his message so it can actually reach the mainstream. This is a magnificent goal, as the mainstream believes in SAD, diets, high-carb eating, factory food , calorie restriction, and exercising until they are worn out as the way to be healthy and slim. That sounds ridiculous even as I write it—but most Americans believe this nonsense.

Many of you already know the truth about food, but we are a tiny minority. Ultimately, if we remain a tiny minority, the corporations and governments will make it impossible for anyone to get real food, including us. Knowing the truth about food will do us no good if we cannot get quality food. The best protection we can get is to have our knowledge go mainstream, and Jonathon has a plan to get there.

Jonathon’s immediate goal is to get one million views of this video, as he believes that will get attention and engage the interest of many people. I do not know if he is right, but I hope he is. So I support his goal of one million views.

Ultimately, it is vital that most people learn the truth about food, the sooner the better. If everyone knew the concepts on this video, and followed them, the health and understanding of most people would greatly improve. And that is a worthwhile goal, which is why I am asking you to consider viewing the video.

If you like the video, please consider spreading news of it to the people you know, and inviting them to view it.

The more people who understand the truth about food, the better our chances of being able to have real food in the future.

Here is a link to the video:

Slim Is Simple .org – The Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort

Grassfed Fat, the Real Brain Food

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

Pastured butter—the best brain food.

Pastured butter—the best brain food.

We are seeing an epidemic of mental illness and poor mental functioning that may be without parallel in human history. The frequency of many mental illnesses is expanding an alarming rate. A huge and constantly increasing percentage of children are being diagnosed with learning disabilities. The psychiatric profession claims that the increase is due to “better diagnosis,” and that the problems were always there, but I disagree.

When I was a child, learning disabilities were pretty much unknown. So what is the cause of the vast increase in mental illness and learning disabilities?

In my opinion, it is malnutrition. To be more specific, it is the lack of enough good fat in most diets. Because the very saturated fats that our brains need to develop and function properly have been demonized and removed from the diets of so many people, especially children.

 

Our Brains Need Saturated Fat

We are constantly told that saturated fat, especially saturated animal fat, is deadly, and will clog our arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes. This theory has never been proven, but is generally accepted as fact, due to persistent marketing by the industries who make a fortune from this false belief.

Most people, throughout most of history, have cherished saturated animal fat as their most valued and sacred food. Heart attacks and strokes were very rare throughout most of human history, despite the widespread eating of saturated animal fat in large amounts.

The truth can be seen in the composition of mother’s milk. Nobody really denies anymore that mother’s milk is the very best and healthiest food for babies. Yet more than half the calories in mother’s milk is from saturated animal fat. Nature herself has thus proclaimed the need for saturated animal fat.

Our brains our made largely from fat, and need fat and cholesterol to maintain themselves and function properly. Our ancestors knew this, and many traditional remedies for grief and depression involved the eating of rich, fatty foods. People who had lost loved ones were constantly urged to eat fatty foods. It helped calm the mind.

Dr. Weston A. Price designed a special lunch program for some poor children in Ohio. He intended the diet to improve the health of their teeth. It was a diet very high in saturated animal fat, containing plenty of marrow, grassfed meat fat, butter, and whole milk. Not only did the teeth of the children improve substantially, but their performance in school went from horrible to superb, as reported by their teachers.

 

Grassfed Fats Are Better

Unfortunately, not all saturated fat is the same. Prior to the twentieth century, most saturated animal fat came from animals fed their natural diet. For grass eating animals such as cattle, sheep, and bison, this meant grass. The twentieth century saw the introduction of feedlots and grain feeding for these animals. The change in diet made their fat different. While the fat of a grassfed animal has a perfect balance of omega-3 fatty acids to omega-6 fatty acids, grain feeding causes a huge imbalance in the ratio, creating a great excess of omega-6 fatty acids. Excess omega-6 fatty acids have been associated with a number of illnesses. The chemicals used in the raising and feeding of factory cattle also changed the content of the fat, to something that had never been eaten by humans before. The change in the composition of the fatty acid ratio is shown in this chart and the accompanying article, Health Benefits of Grass-fed Products.

While the full effect of the change in the composition of animal fats from grain feeding is not fully known, I am much happier eating the same traditional fats that humanity has always eaten.

The best way we can get the good saturated animal fats our brains need, in the proper form, is to eat plenty of fat from healthy grassfed animals. I eat the fat on the meat, use the grassfed tallow in cooking, and eat plenty of grassfed butter, milk, cheese, and cream.

Since I have done so, my mental functioning, which was always good, has improved greatly, allowing me to learn new things much faster and to think quickly and effectively. In fact, with my traditional diet, I learn more as time passes.

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

Real Food—The Best Way to Improve Schools

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

Pastured butter is an easy way to get vital nutrients from animal fats.

Pastured butter is an easy way to get vital nutrients from animal fats and it's delicious!

The poor academic performance of so many American schoolchildren is a matter of great concern. Over the years, more and more money has been spent on schools. Many programs to enhance education have been introduced. Class sizes have been substantially reduced. Many teachers have aides to help them teach. A host of administrators, counselors, special educators, and other specialists have been hired. Despite recent cutbacks, the amount of real money per child spent today is much higher than it was during my schooldays, yet the academic results are far worse.

It is clear that throwing more money to the schools will not fix the problem. We have been doing that for many years, and performance continues to decline. Money for education is important, but it is not enough.

Academic performance continues to decline, and the U.S. is far behind many other countries, nearly all of whom spend far less money per child on education. Why? Whose fault is it? The teachers? The schoolchildren? The curriculum? The parents? My answer would be—none of the above.

I am convinced that the real cause of poor academic performance is the Standard American Diet, known as SAD. The fact of the matter is that schoolchildren need proper nutrition for their brains to develop and function well, and many of them are not getting it.

SAD makes some kids appear to have learning disabilities. But the problem could be solved by feeding children the foods they need for their brains to develop and function well. The food is animal fat. The most demonized, yet the most desperately needed food of all

The Brain Needs Traditional Animal Fats to Develop and Function Well

Traditional animal fats such as butter, lard, beef tallow, chicken skins, fatty fish, and others are the best source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for the brain to develop and function properly. It is that simple. Cholesterol is desperately needed by the brain to function properly. In fact, mother’s milk is higher in cholesterol than any other food. Nature recognizes the need of children for cholesterol, and so should we.

Yes, cholesterol and animal fats have been demonized through massive marketing campaigns. The demonization is just not true. These vital nutrients promote good health, and are vital for survival. See The Skinny on Fats.

The current emphasis on avoiding animal fats and cholesterol deprives children of the nutrients they need for their brains to develop properly and function. How can they possibly learn and do well in school when they are starved of the nutrients they need for their brains to function properly? How can they be expected to behave well when their brains are deprived of the very nutrients needed to keep them in balance? The effect of nutrition on the brain and learning is described by Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation, in this excellent article: Nutrition and Mental Development.

Vegetable oils and factory fats lack cholesterol and lack omega-3 fatty acids. These oils and fats have a huge imbalance of omega-6 fatty acids that can cause inflammation and have other harmful effects. When you substitute vegetable oils and factory fats for animal fats, the children do not get the vital nutrients they need for their brains. It is that simple.

This problem is especially bad for children who depend on the government for food. The government provides free formula to two million infants. Yet the only formula allowed in the program is made from GMO soy, which contains a number of toxins and none of the vital fatty acids needed by developing brains.

The revised school lunch program only makes things worse, being virtually fat-free and severely restricting protein. It is a prescription for malnutrition and even poorer academic performance.

 

Real Food Has Improved Academic Performance in the Past

It stands to reason that giving the children the very nutrients they are deprived of, the animal fats that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and cholesterol are exactly what are needed. This has been done before, with great results.

Last week, I wrote of the school lunch program devised by Dr. Weston A. Price, and the wonderful results it had for some poor children. These children ate an early form of SAD—factory bread and pancakes served with lots of sugar and syrup. They had terrible teeth, poor health, and did terribly in school. Some had severe behavior problems. Dr. Price fed them a lunch rich in animal fat and meat, including plenty of bone marrow and butter. Not only did their dental decay stop cold, but two of their teachers sought Dr. Price out to ask why a particular child, who had been the worst student in the class, had now become the best student.

All that Dr. Price changed was the food they ate at one meal. The schools, parents, teachers, and children did not change. Good nutrition alone was all they needed to go from being complete academic failures to being the best student in the class.

This is only one example. There have been many description of how feeding schoolchildren a diet rich in traditional foods during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries greatly improved their academic performance and behavior in school. Many of the educators who worked with poor children made sure they arranged a good lunch for them as a vital pre-condition for their being able to learn. It should be mentioned that the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price, all of whom had diets rich in animal fats and cholesterol, had no mental illness, and no problems in educating their children, who had to learn skills that were far harder to use and master than the easy-to-do tasks typical of modern life.

 

A Solution Worth Trying

The solution I suggest to fix U.S. schools is new, yet very old. Have an affordable school lunch program that will present students with foods rich in traditional fats such as butter, whole eggs, full-fat hormone-free milk, rich meats, bone marrow, and other animal foods that nourish the brain. Give them generous servings, and let them have seconds if they want to. Ban all GMOs, vegetable oils, and factory foods from the program. Give them real food only. If we do this, we can expect the same kind of vast improvement that was noted by Dr. Price, so many years ago. Yes, it will cost money, yet I submit that there is no better area to spend the money on. With proper nourishment, there is every reason to expect that children will be able to focus on school and learn. It has been done, time and time again. Clearly, the current system is not working. Real food is worth a try, and will have other benefits, such as good health and better behavior. It worked for Dr. Price and others, and it can work now.

Related Post

The Best School Lunch Ever — Designed by Dr. Price

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

 

When Organic Tests No Better, Check the Soil, and the Bias

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

Magnificent olive trees thriving on the rich soil at Chaffin Family Orchards.

Magnificent olive trees thriving on the rich soil at Chaffin Family Orchards.

Recently, another study claiming that organic food has no more nutrients than conventional food was published. Since this study appears to defend the chemical-laden conventional food, it has been widely spread by the mainstream press. Yet several important factors should be noted about this latest study.

First, it provides no new data, but is a review of approximately 200 previous studies.

Second, nearly all studies of this nature, including most, if not all, of the studies they reviewed, are done by universities who are completely committed to supporting conventional agriculture, and receive large donations from Big Ag and the biotech industry, including Monsanto.

Third, and most important, it completely ignored, as do nearly all studies of this type, the most important factor in how many nutrients will be in food—the soil.

 

The Fatal Flaw in Conventional vs. Organic Studies

Have you ever been puzzled about why almost every study comparing organic food to conventional food finds no difference in nutrients? I have. It just does not make sense. Yet university study after university study finds no real difference. The answer was given to me by a farmer who attended a famous agricultural program in a well known university. I will honor my promise to keep his identity confidential.

This farmer, while a student, assisted with agricultural studies and is completely familiar with how they were conducted. Universities and food research organizations have their own land, or land that they use to raise crops and animals for studies and experiments. When they study the qualities of crops or animals, they raise them on their particular research land. Since nearly all of the research they do involves conventional farming, this land is heavily spayed with pesticides on an ongoing basis, and artificial fertilizers are regularly used. This has the effect of greatly depleting the natural nutrients in the soil, and filling the soil with substances that block the absorption of nutrients.

When “organic” farming is done on this land for the purpose of a study, the same blasted, depleted soil is used that had previously been used to raise conventional foods.

Since the nutrients are not there in the soil in the first place, plants that are grown with organic methods on that dead, depleted soil do not have more nutrients than conventional food raised on the same soil. The plants and animals cannot absorb nutrients which are not there. The same chemical residues that block the absorption of nutrients in conventional agriculture will block the absorption of nutrients when organic methods are used on the same poor soil.

This fact alone makes all of these studies fatally flawed.

 

The Database for the Study Is Flawed

A study relying only on other studies has all of the flaws of the studies it relies on. Most of these studies were conducted by researchers beholden to Big Ag.

So many studies these days are nothing but an analysis of other studies. I do not consider this method to be of value, since studies of this type rely on all the bad information gathered and interpreted by the previous studies. This is particularly true in this case. The agricultural research done in this country is completely dominated by conventional and high-tech methods, especially GMOs and Bio Tech. Chemicals rule, and GMOs are touted as the solution to every problem. The reason for this bias is obvious—money. Big Ag and the biotech industry make huge grants to agricultural schools, with Monsanto leading the way. In fact, one of the largest and most respected agricultural schools in the nation has been called “Monsanto U” by its students. My anonymous friend was openly mocked by his professors when he questioned the desirability and safety of GMOs. Funding is also provided by the Federal government, which appears to only fund research of conventional agriculture and GMOs.

Just about all agricultural research done in these institutions is on conventional methods and GMOs. The extent of how bad and biased this really is was shown during debate on the most recent farm bill. Senator Jon Tester of Montana introduced an amendment that would require that just five percent of federally-funded agricultural research be devoted toward the development of classic non-GMO seeds and biological diversity in seeds, as opposed to the current zero percent. That amendment was killed. Which tells us that one hundred percent of federal agricultural research funding, which goes to the very institutions that do agricultural research and studies, is devoted to GMOs and similar unnatural methods.

Do you trust institutions whose funding is targeted solely toward supporting Big Ag and GMOs to be unbiased when it comes to research that affects the value of Big Ag and GMOs?

 

The Healthy Peoples Studied by Dr. Price Got Far More Nutrients than We Do

Dr. Weston A. Price spent ten years traveling the world to learn about nutrition. He studied a number of traditional peoples who ate the diets of their ancestors. Dr. Price sent over twenty thousand samples of their foods to be studied in the U.S. It was found that these peoples got far more vitamins and minerals than modern peoples, often five times as much or more, depending on the nutrient. All of their food was organic. All of their food came from soils and environments that had never been sprayed with chemicals, or subject to artificial fertilizers. All these peoples were careful to rest, restore, and fertilize the soil they used, using totally organic methods. Dr. Price wrote that many of the nutritional deficiencies suffered by modern peoples were due to the poor, depleted soil that was used for farming. I might add that the soil he wrote about was far less depleted than the soil we use today.

Dr. Price considered good soil to be the foundation of nutritious food, and devoted an entire chapter to this subject in his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.

Yet this latest study totally ignored the quality of the soil used to raise the food in the studies.

 

Grassfed Meat Is Far Superior to Factory Meat, and Depends on Good Soil

Like almost all such studies, the issue of whether the meat people ate was grassfed or factory meat was totally ignored. But the truth of the matter is that grassfed meat contains far more nutrients than factory meat, containing far more omega-3 fatty acids, much higher levels of CLA, and many other nutrients. This has actually been established by studies, whose information is superbly presented and summarized in this excellent article at EatWild.com, Health Benefits of Grass-fed Products.

While most grassfed beef is not organic, it is raised with methods that are the equivalent of organic, and it must be raised on soil that is rich enough to support good grass, or the cattle will not thrive and fatten. Many grassfed ranchers use traditional rotational grazing methods to enrich their soil and improve their grass.

 

Truly Organic Food, Grown on Good Soil, Is Much More Nutritious than Conventional Food

I have eaten organic food that seemed quite ordinary, and organic food that filled me with energy, made symptoms disappear, and made me feel like I had just taken a drink from the fountain of youth. The difference? I am convinced it was the soil. Much organic food is grown on soil that was once used for chemical agriculture, which ruins and depletes the soil.

But some organic food is grown on clean soil, free of chemicals, which has been carefully nurtured with traditional methods. I have eaten fruit and meat raised at Chaffin Family Orchards. The fruit, eggs, and meat from this farm is raised on land that has never been sprayed with chemicals. Land that has not been tainted with artificial fertilizer. Land whose fertility is carefully nurtured and preserved by traditional methods, such as rotational grazing.

The first Chaffin food I ate was some organic apricots. The skin on two of my fingers was quite dry and was peeling and cracked in a few small areas. I thought it was due to the hot, dry summer and not drinking enough. While apricots are not my favorite food, these apricots were delicious beyond dreams, I felt so good and renewed when I ate them. Within two days, the skin on these fingers had healed completely, as if it had never been damaged. I had been eating plenty of organic fruits and vegetables before I ate the Chaffin apricots, and I am convinced that it was the good soil that made the difference. There was some nutrient in those apricots that my body used to heal the dry skin. Anecdotal? Totally.

But let us remember something. Humans have been learning and passing down information for tens of thousands of years, maybe longer. All of that knowledge was anecdotal. Modern scientific studies have been around for less than two hundred years, and would have never been invented if it were not for the anecdotal information that came first. There is old saying—experience is the best teacher. What I learned from the Chaffin apricots taught me to appreciate the value of food grown on pure, rich, chemical-free soil. I trust this experience far more than any number of flawed studies.

Based on the knowledge of how agricultural research is conducted today, the work of Dr. Price, and my own experience—I am convinced that organic food, or the equivalent of organic, raised on good soil—contains far more nutrients than conventional foods.

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

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