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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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Real Food Is Best with Real Cooking

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

Real cooking makes holiday meals special, but it is great for everyday cooking as well.

Real cooking makes holiday meals special, but it is great for everyday cooking as well.

Many people are starting to realize that the traditional food of our ancestors, real food, is much better for us than the chemical-drenched industrial stuff turned out by the big food industry. Fruits and vegetables grown without chemicals, grassfed and pastured meats, real dairy, traditional fermented foods, and other traditional foods, have nourished humankind for thousands of years, and are so much better than the factory stuff, both in taste and nutrition. Real food generally is more expensive, and is harder to find. But it is truly worth it, as you feel so much better and are likely to experience great improvements in your health, vitality, mood, mental functions, and general quality of life. Real food does a great job of supporting the natural functions. After all, real food has been supporting our bodies for uncounted thousands of years, and our bodies have adapted to thrive on it. Factory food has only been around since the twentieth century, and new artificial ingredients and processes are introduced every year.

But real food comes with a hidden price. It is not convenient. If you are really going to switch completely to real food, someone in your family is going to have to cook it. And that someone might as well be you.

 

The Death of Real Cooking

Once, America was full of fantastic home cooks who were proud of their cooking. This was not limited to women, as many men were proud of their skill at barbecuing and cooking meat. Cooking knowledge was passed down from generation to generation. Home-cooked food was so good that restaurants had a very hard time competing, and had to struggle to provide food that was even better than home-cooked. This posed a huge problem to the processed food industry, as it slithered into existence. Why would anyone want to eat their dead, relatively tasteless food? Much research was done, and three answers were found:

The first was to claim that packaged, factory foods were more “scientific,” and modern. People in the early twentieth century were in awe of science, and this argument alone was enough to get many people to give up lard and switch to hydrogenated vegetable fats, for example.

The second was to claim that certain traditional foods were “unhealthy,” and to finance “scientific” research to prove the so called “unhealthiness.” This was even more successful, persuading hundreds of millions of people to give up the sacred foods of their ancestors for inferior processed substitutes.

But the third technique was the most effective. Convenience. Factory packaged foods were designed to be convenient to prepare. It was much easier to add a few ingredients to a mix, or heat something in the oven or a pan, than to actually cook from scratch. Or you could pour factory dry cereal directly into a bowl, add a few things, or not, and eat it with no preparation at all. The advent of the microwave made things even faster and more convenient, as you could “nuke” a huge variety of packages for just a few minutes, and have something resembling a meal.

It took absolutely no skill or knowledge to prepare food this way, and most Americans simply gave up on cooking. Today, it is estimated that two-thirds of American adults do not know how to cook, though they can pop a package in a microwave, or pour cereal into a bowl, or buy a pre-made salad at the supermarket. People eat a huge portion of their meals at fast food joints or restaurants. But this convenience comes at a terrible price. Malnutrition. Most Americans suffer from malnutrition without even knowing it. Processed and factory foods are far inferior to real food in supporting the natural functions of our bodies. Chronic illness is at an all time high, and many of the afflicted are young adults, which is something new and disturbing. In fact, the physical condition of American youth has deteriorated to such a degree that 75% of those who try to join the military are rejected as being physically unfit to serve.

I believe that switching to real food is the ultimate solution to these problems, and it certainly worked for me and many others. But you cannot get real food out of a package, or just nuke it in a microwave and expect to have a meal. Real food requires real cooking.

Many people complain about the cost of real food, but I believe in the truth of the old saying, “Pay the farmer or pay the doctor.”

 

The Return to Real Cooking

I cook just about everything from scratch, using real food ingredients. And the benefits to my well being have been enormous. I have gone from being chronically ill to healthy. If you are not used to cooking, learning how to cook might seem overwhelming. But it can be far easier than you might think. Real home cooking is simple, and consists of learning certain skills which are well within the abilities of most people. You do not need to be a fancy chef. And I will share a little secret with you. The more you cook, the easier it gets, if you are on the right path. Eventually, it becomes second nature, like riding a bicycle. And the real food you prepare will taste so much better. And you can take pride in the fact that every meal you make is truly nourishing and helping the natural functions of the people you feed, helping them to feel better and be better in every way. Another benefit is the sheer pleasure you can bring to others with a tasty, home-cooked meal of real food.

There are some excellent resources for learning how to cook real food. The Weston A. Price Foundation has a series of instructional cooking videos on their website, which are very informative and well done. I also recommend Sally Fallon Morell’s excellent cookbook, Nourishing Traditions as a great basic cookbook. It is also full of valuable nutritional information. When it comes to grassfed meat, I recommend what I use, Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue. I use them regularly. I designed them to be easy to use and traditional. While the inspiration is traditional, I have adapted these traditions to the modern kitchen.

There are other resources, as well, but learning how to cook real food is a very important part of receiving the benefits of real food. Real food deserves real cooking.

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

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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Live Food, Dead Food

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Making organic sauerkraut in a Harsch crock.

Traditional homemade sauerkraut is full of life.

Human beings need live food to support their life and health. Food that is full of vitamins, enzymes, co-factors, and many other substances that exist naturally in the food of our ancestors. Our bodies know how to use these substances to support life and health.

Modern processed foods are full of chemicals and preservatives that have killed almost all the life in the food. Many so called “fresh” foods are irradiated, which kills the life in the food. Many of these foods will not spoil, because there is no life in them to spoil. These dead foods do not give us the nutrients needed to support the natural functions of our bodies, which require nutrients that can only be found in live food.

Traditional Foods Are Live Foods

Our ancestors ate live food. It was either fresh and unmodified, or it was preserved by traditional methods such as fermentation, drying, and smoking. These traditional food preservation methods actually used beneficial bacteria to increase the life in the food, often increasing the amount and quality of the nutrients.

Dr. Weston A. Price spent ten years travelling around the world, studying the diets of healthy traditional peoples. He found that traditional peoples eating the diets of their ancestors were free of the chronic diseases that plague modern humanity.

  • They did not have tooth decay, though they had no dentists.
  • They did not have cancer, or heart disease, or arthritis, or asthma, or allergies, or birth defects, though they had no doctors.
  • They did not have any form of mental illness, though they had no psychiatrists.
  • They did not have crime, though they had no police.
  • They kept their sight, hearing, balance, mental acuity, and mobility well into extreme old age, though they had no glasses, no hearing aids, no hip or knee replacements, and no prescription drugs.

What they did have was plenty of good live food in its natural state, free of added chemicals, brimming with enzymes, vitamins, beneficial bacteria, and other co-factors that were alive, not dead. While the diets of these people were diverse, all of them ate raw or very rare meat and/or seafood, though they also cooked much of their food. All of them ate the organs of animals and fish raw, or lightly cooked. All of them ate some form of fermented live foods. All of them ate some form of raw, live animal fat, whether in the form of pastured butter, raw milk, raw cheese, raw fish fat, or raw animal fat. All of them ate raw fruit and berries. All of them ate some vegetables raw. All of them preserved food by fermentation, or drying, or smoking. These traditional methods preserved or actually increased the life in the food.

Dr. Price also found that traditional peoples eating modern processed foods suffered greatly from every modern disease; had terrible teeth that they often lost; and often suffered from epidemics such as tuberculosis. The modern processed foods eaten by these sick people were dead foods from cans and jars, often filled with sugar, processed in such a way that they did not spoil.

Modern Foods Are Dead Foods

The food industry loves dead food. Why? Dead food lasts longer. Dead food will not spoil. As an example, some cupcakes have lasted 15 years without spoiling. See this fine article about 15 year old cupcakes. Dead food has a very long “shelf life,” which means it can be transported for weeks, and sit on shelves for months or years, and still be the same. Dead food increases profits.

Live foods spoil, which really hurts profits. The fact that live foods will spoil makes it much harder to transport them, requiring intensive refrigeration, or freezing.

The food industry developed chemical preservatives, substances that prevent food from spoiling by killing the life in the food. These preservatives change the food they touch, changing it into something that we were not evolved to eat, something that our bodies do not recognize or know what to do with.

Dead food is not limited to packaged foods. Pesticides are poisons, whose purpose is to kill. Some pesticides are designed to kill plants, and others are designed to kill insects. When they are in the food, they change the food, almost certainly killing some or all of its live qualities.

Genetically modified plants have been changed so they can survive huge amounts of pesticides without dying. This means that genetically modified plants have been sprayed with even more pesticides than ordinary factory crops. Other forms of genetically modified plants actually have internal pesticides that will kill insects.

Many fruits, vegetables, spices, meats, and other foods are irradiated. The purpose is to kill bacteria, but the radiation changes the food itself, into something different, something new and foreign to our bodies. The purpose of radiation is to kill, and radiation kills life, including much of the life in the food.

The food industry has now introduced nanites, tiny particles much smaller than a single cell, as a new way to preserve food. These nanites are designed to kill bacteria, and they will kill all bacteria, including the beneficial bacteria our bodies need to function properly. These nanites are often used in food packaging, and no labeling is required. It is not known what happens when these tiny particles penetrate our cells, especially the cells of our organs.

How to Eat Live Food

The basic rule is, if it does not spoil, don’t eat it. This applies to meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, milk, cheese, butter—just about every food.

  • Eat only real, basic food that humanity has eaten for many centuries.
  • It is also best to find foods that are raised and processed without the use of added chemicals, such as foods that are organic or the equivalent. Processed foods should be avoided. If you buy processed foods, try to buy foods packed in glass, to avoid chemicals and nanites in the packaging. Even organic foods can have chemicals in the packaging, as organic tomato cans are lined with BPA.
  • Avoid all foods that have been irradiated.
  • Avoid all foods that have chemical preservatives.
  • Avoid all foods that have been genetically modified.
  • Eat traditionally fermented condiments, such as old fashioned sauerkraut. Traditional fermentation actually increases the life in food.
  • Eat a large portion of your food raw. This can include high-quality dairy, fruits, and vegetables (though some vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, should not be eaten raw).
  • Eat only grassfed, grass finished meats and wild seafood. These foods are especially full of life when cooked rare, or eaten raw. As Sally Fallon Morell has pointed out in her great cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, the US Department of Agriculture has stated that parasites are killed if food is frozen for at least 14 days.
  • Learn about traditional foods, and how to prepare and eat them. I recommend Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon Morell. For grassfed meats, I recommend my own book, Tender Grassfed Meat.

Live foods give life, by supporting the natural functions of our bodies.

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

Seven Reasons to Attend the Weston A. Price Foundation Conference

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Wise Traditions Conference ~ King of Prussia, PA ~ November 12-15 2010

The Weston A. Price Foundation is having its annual conference on November 12 to 14, 2010, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. If I could go to any conference in the world, anywhere, this is the one I would choose, above all the others.

This conference has so many benefits: priceless knowledge; incredible seminars; the heroes of the real food movement who will be teaching, speaking and attending; and being surrounded by the nicest, healthiest, most enlightened group of people I have ever met. There is a feeling of wisdom, understanding, kindness, community, goodness, and life that is so strong you can practically touch it. There is so much to experience here: the incredible foods and products available from the vendors, and the wonderful real food that is served at every meal. If you are new to the world of real food, you will be amazed at how good it tastes and feels.

I encourage everybody who possibly can to go, and I thought I would mention just seven of the many reasons for going.

1.      The conference presents the very best information on food and wellness.

There is nothing you can possibly learn that is as important as what to eat, and what not to eat. This is the most important knowledge you can have, and most people are totally misinformed on the subject by a system that thrives on ignorance. Your physical health, mental health, emotional health, ability to fight off illness, fertility, ability to have healthy children, energy, immune system, happiness, eyesight, hearing, ability to focus, everything—depends heavily on your ability to put the right fuel into your body, so it can function properly.

The Standard American Diet, “SAD,” results in severe malnutrition, illness, premature aging, the slow loss of every one of your body functions, the need for intensive and never-ending medical treatment, and a slow, painful death. The information presented at the conference can give you the knowledge to abandon SAD and eat a diet that will actually support your body functions, and improve every aspect of your life.

2.      You may hear of miracles.

When I attended the 2008 conference, I was waiting for a seminar to start when two people sitting behind me began talking. It turned out that both of them had been diagnosed with terminal cancer many years ago. Instead of following the conventional approach of having their bodies destroyed by chemotherapy, they turned to real food instead. Not only were they still alive, they were thriving. Everyone I knew who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer soon looked like a concentration camp victim—a dying skeleton who could barely breathe. I turned around to look at these two people and was astonished at how healthy they looked. They looked healthier and more robust than most people. It is one thing to hear of a miracle, it is truly impressive to see one.

3.      You can attend Sally Fallon Morell’s superb seminar on traditional foods.

I had the joy of attending this seminar at the 2008 conference. In one day, you learn enough to drop SAD forever and learn the secrets of a healthy diet. A diet that can restore the natural functions of your body, which will then get about their job of fixing everything that is wrong with you. Sally is a magnificent speaker, and she knows the subject like nobody else. I thought I knew a lot before I attended this seminar, but I learned so much.

4.      You will be surrounded by the nicest, healthiest group of people you will ever meet.

Many of the people who attend the conference are so healthy that they literally glow, and are a walking testament to the benefits of a real food diet. People are friendly, accepting, excited, happy, and enthusiastic. These are people who have the courage and wisdom to think for themselves, who make good decisions based on reason and knowledge rather than simply obeying the authorities. The feeling of community was so strong I felt like I was always among friends. I have seen babies and toddlers at that conference who are so active, so healthy, so alert, and so enthusiastic, that they make other children seem lifeless by comparison.

5.      You can meet and hear some of the best food bloggers in the world.

Some of the world’s best food bloggers will be attending the conference. These include my friends, Kimberly Hartke (Hartke is Online), Ann Marie Michaels (Cheeseslave), Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Sarah Pope (the Healthy Home Economist), Raine Saunders (Agriculture Society), and others. These bloggers give of themselves day after day, posting nutritional wisdom on their sites, fighting the good fight on issue after issue, making desperately needed information available to all, and telling the truth about nutrition and health amidst all the propaganda that poisons the media. You can actually meet them, and talk with them, and some of them will be speaking. This is a unique opportunity to actually meet and talk to the people who write the very best real food blogs.

6.      You will be supporting the best nonprofit organization on the planet.

Attending the conference provides important financial support for the Weston A. Price Foundation, the best organization on earth.

Why is it the best? They know the truth about nutrition, and they have the will, the wisdom, and the courage to spread it, despite being under constant attack. Most Americans are deceived by propaganda into eating an unnatural diet that is starving and killing them—while making a fortune for the processed food industry, industrial agriculture, the supermarkets, the medical profession, the drug companies, the health insurance industry, and a host of other parasites who make their money by keeping Americans malnourished and sick. Poor nutrition makes everything worse, not only causing physical illness, but contributing to mental and emotional problems. Traditional peoples eating a healthy diet not only did not have illness, they did not have crime.

If the American people were to learn and follow the wisdom of the Weston A. Price Foundation, almost everybody would enjoy robust good health, and there would be little or no need for the factory food industry, the health insurance industry, the drug companies, and all the other parasites who feed off of the illnesses of the American people like vampires. The need for doctors would drop dramatically, and we would have the best possible solution to the cost of medical care—a healthy population that does not need it.

The Weston A. Price Foundation is on the right side of every issue, fighting bravely in Congress and many states to protect farmers, protect real food, challenge the propaganda, and confront the endless nutritional lies with the truth. They maintain a magnificent website, free to all, which has invaluable information about food and health. The information on that website saved my life. Unlike so many other organizations, nobody in the Weston A. Price Foundation is becoming rich from it, and you may be assured that every penny that goes to them is used to help their cause.

7.      You can help make the world better.

We live in a world that is drowning in ignorance about food. We have forgotten the wisdom of our ancestors, which has been replaced by propaganda designed to make money. Everything most people are taught about nutrition is wrong. The truth about nutrition will be presented at this conference in hundreds of ways. Here, you can learn the real truth about food, and change your life for the better—not only your life, but the lives of your family, your friends, and everybody you influence. Each person who learns the truth about food is like a spark of light against the darkness of propaganda and ignorance. When we have enough sparks, we can unite to form a bonfire that can light the way back to truth and health.

I wish I could go to the conference this year, but I can’t. I have duties at that time that cannot be postponed and cannot be delegated. But I hope that you will do what I cannot, and enjoy the many blessings of this wonderful event.

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

The Blessings of Bread and Butter

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Traditional food combination of healthy bread and pastured butter.

Toothmarks show that this is the right amount of butter, as inspired by Sally Fallon Morell.

Bread and butter were so traditional in Europe that they were usually served at every meal. In fact, the expression “bread and butter” meant something solid, valuable, and indispensible. Both bread and butter have fallen into disrepute recently, and are rarely eaten in their traditional forms. This is a pity, because bread and butter in their traditional forms were incredibly nourishing and formed the indispensible basis for every meal.

What Happened to Bread and Butter?

Butter in its traditional form was one of the most nourishing foods known in Europe. But butter was demonized in the United States and then the rest of the world. The reason for this was simple—the makers of artificial fats and margarine had a product that was totally inferior to butter, both in taste and nutrition. These artificial foods were not initially welcomed by the public, who preferred the traditional fats that had nourished their ancestors for thousands of years.

The manufacturers of the first artificial fats had a real problem. Their products were so inferior in taste and nutrition, that nobody who could afford real fats would ever buy them. Unfortunately, the manufacturers came up with a marketing strategy that is still heavily in use today. The strategy had two major points. The first was to claim that traditional fats like butter, which had been known to be the most nourishing and valued of foods, actually caused heart disease and other illnesses. This was blatantly untrue, but intensive marketing campaigns and questionable “research” convinced the public that butter and other traditional animal fats were unhealthy. The second focus of the marketing campaign was to claim that artificial fats were “more scientific” and healthier. This is also untrue, as shown in the article “The Skinny on Fats.”

Bread used to be made from sprouted grains and/or by a sourdough process. Both of these methods neutralized the antinutrient substances contained in grain and caused the bread to be more slowly digested, which helped to avoid insulin problems caused by an overload of carbohydrates. This traditional bread became very rare, and was replaced by modern versions that were made with heavily refined flour. The grain was no longer sprouted. People were eating a type of bread that they had never eaten before.

The Tradition of Bread and Butter

Traditionally, bread was always eaten with plenty of butter. The two foods complemented each other. The butter facilitated metabolism, digestion, and the ability of the body to absorb nutrients. This butter was always made from the whole, unprocessed milk of grassfed cows, and was loaded with all kinds of vitamins, minerals, and a very special nutrient that Dr. Weston A. Price referred to as “Activator X.” The bread, made from sprouted grains, and often fermented by traditional sourdough methods, contained important nutrients, and provided a perfect vehicle for the butter. Just about every traditional European cuisine began each meal with this kind of bread and butter, which was considered absolutely essential for good health and digestion.

Dr. Price and the Swiss

Dr. Weston A. Price studied the diets of traditional peoples who were noted for their lack of chronic illness and robust good health. One of the peoples he studied lived in a rural area of Switzerland. These people ate superb grassfed butter slathered on traditionally made rye bread. Dr. Price studied the butter eaten by these people, sending samples to the United States to be analyzed. He found that this butter had an undiscovered nutrient which he called “Activator X.” Dr. Price’s research showed that people who had a plentiful supply of Activator X were much healthier than those who did not. The best source of Activator X in traditional European diets was butter. No wonder just about every European people would traditionally eat bread and butter at every meal.

How to Follow the Old Wisdom of Bread and Butter

If you want to enjoy the traditional blessings of bread and butter, it is crucial to have the right kind of bread and butter. The modern factory versions are not what our ancestors ate and are different substances.

The very best butter comes from cows who have been traditionally raised on green growing grass. Their butter is at its very best when they have been eating green, living grass, and traditional peoples timed their butter making to take advantage of the season when this grass was available. Butter like this is available today, but you have to make an effort to find it. Some local farmers make this kind of butter. Some nationally available brands that I have enjoyed are: Pastureland (sold by US Wellness); Trader Joe’s Organic Sweet Cream Butter (salted); and Kerrygold.

Traditional breads are made from sprouted grains and/or traditional sourdough methods, from grain that has not been sprayed with chemicals.

The Weston A. Price Foundation has done a wonderful job of identifying the right kind of bread and butter to eat. The best source that I have found for making traditional bread is Sally Fallon Morell’s magnificent cookbook, Nourishing Traditions. I have achieved wonderful results from To Your Health Sprouted Flour.

It is crucial that the right amount of butter is used on the bread. Most people have been trained to put a thin, pitiful, stain-like smear of butter on their bread, on the rare occasions when they allow themselves butter. The proper amount of butter to use is shown in the photo above, which was inspired a statement by Sally Fallon Morell that there should be enough butter on the bread to show toothmarks in the butter.

What does bread and butter have to do with grassfed meat? Traditionally, bread and butter were always served before the meat in Europe, and provided a wonderful appetizer that helped prepare the body to absorb the wonderful nutrients in grassfed meat.

Disclaimer: I do receive a very small amount of compensation if you buy Nourishing Traditions through this website. I do not receive any compensation if you buy any of the other brands mentioned in this article.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday Blog Carnival at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

This post is part of Fight Back Friday Blog Carnival at Food Renegade.

Beautiful, Nutritious, Delicious Bones

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Tender grassfed Porterhouse steak cooked by Stanley A. Fishman

Grassfed Bone In Porterhouse. It tasted even better than it looks.

There is a very old saying,”the nearer the bone, the sweeter the meat.” This saying celebrates the traditional knowledge that meat on the bone is valuable, both for taste and nutrition. The meat right next to the bone is sweeter and tastier, flavored with bone marrow and other substances that enter the meat during cooking. Grassfed meat cooked on the bone has so much flavor that spices are often unnecessary. I prefer to cook grassfed meat on the bone. Bone in meat has great nutritional benefit. Bone in meat is more tender. Bone in meat cooks more evenly. And it tastes so much better.

Why Most Meat Cuts Are Boneless

Most of the meat cuts sold today, including grassfed cuts, are boneless. There are several reasons for this. Bones are heavy, and most meat is shipped a long way. Cutting off the bones reduces transportation costs. I have talked to grassfed farmers who do not sell bone in meat because they are afraid the bones will penetrate the plastic they ship their meat in. The emphasis on lean meat promotes the use of boneless cuts, as bones contain fatty substances such as bone marrow. Carving bone in meat requires more effort than dealing with boneless cuts. Most people think of bones as waste, and do not want to pay for them. Actually, bones have tremendous nutritional and culinary value.

Bone In Meat Is More Nutritious

Bones are made up of minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and many others. When you put your mouth on a bone, the saliva in your mouth dissolves some of these minerals, which thus enter your body. Your body knows exactly how to digest and process these minerals and the cofactors which come with them. Need minerals? Eat the meat next to the bone, and you will get plenty, in a form that your body can easily assimilate and use. Also, you can suck discreetly on a tasty bone.

Bones also contain bone marrow, a fatty substance that is extremely nutrient dense, and is invaluable in making your own bones strong and healthy. Bone marrow is released into the meat during the cooking process, making the meat more nutritious and sweeter. There have been few, if any, scientific studies on the nutritional value of bones and bone marrow. However, there are some very old “studies,” conducted by our ancestors, the traditional peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price, and even wild animals.

Traditional People Knew the Value of Bones

The earliest habitats of primitive humans were found in caves. Many of those caves had one thing in common—a large pile of smashed and split animal bones. It is universally agreed that those bones were smashed and split to get at the bone marrow.

Traditional cuisine is full of references to bone marrow, which was eaten in many forms, and highly prized. The most prized meat in early Europe was the chine portion, a cut of meat reserved for the elite members of society, the heroes. Ancient Irish warriors fought to the death for the right to eat the chine portion, also known as the Hero’s Portion. Even the mightiest warrior in the Iliad, Achilles, cooked a chine portion for himself and the other great heroes of the Greeks. The chine portion was the same cut as a modern rack of lamb, or prime rib, or pork rib roast, except that the chine bone was always left on.

The Native Americans would actually use heavy rocks to pound bison bones into powder, which was made into a nourishing broth.

For most of history, meat was always roasted on the bone. Even stews had bones added to the pot, and the pieces of meat often contained bones. Many traditional peoples would chop chicken and other soft boned meats into pieces, so the marrow and other nutrients would be released into the pot during cooking. These traditions are still carried on today, in traditional cuisines all over the globe.

Several of the peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price, particularly the Inuit, split the bones so they could eat the marrow. All of the peoples studied by Dr. Price ate foods made with bones, often in the form of bone broths. These people had excellent teeth, strong bones, powerful immune systems, and were robustly healthy.

Finally, predators such as lions, wolves, and coyotes value the bones of their prey. After eating the liver of their kill, these animals will crack the bones for the marrow and chew on them, often leaving the lean meat for the scavengers. If you have ever given your dog a bone, you can see that dogs also have this traditional wisdom. Chewing on the bones is one of the best ways that these animals can get necessary minerals.

Meat on the Bone Tastes Much Better

Prime rib of beef, Porterhouse steak, T-bone steak, and lamb chops are bone in cuts that are popular even today. These cuts are very expensive and highly prized. Our ancestors ate a much wider variety of bone in cuts. Sirloin steaks, strip loin steaks, lamb roasts, beef roasts, pot roasts, pork roasts, and stews were all cooked with the bones. Almost all poultry was cooked with the bones, as were most fish. The reason for this was that the bones add so much flavor, as well as nutrition. When you cook meat on the bone, the marrow and other substances from the bones actually flavor the meat, adding succulence and a depth of taste that just does not exist with a boneless cut. The bones also help keep the meat moist, and help conduct heat throughout the meat so it cooks more evenly. If you are cooking the meat in liquid, the bone marrow, gelatin, minerals, and other substances from the bone enter the liquid, imbuing it with wonderful flavors, and causing it to thicken into a wonderful, flavorful sauce. There are a number of traditional recipes that call for adding extra bones to stews, pot roasts, and even the roasting pan to add these flavors to the dish. Meat is always tastier when cooked on the bone.

How to Add the Benefits of Bones to Your Diet

The simplest way to enjoy the benefits of bones is to cook bone in cuts. These are cuts of meat that still have the bone attached. When you eat the meat, do not be afraid to chew all the meat off the bones. Do not hesitate to discreetly suck on the bones, especially if you can get some of the marrow. You may find this to be immensely satisfying, as I do. Of course, don’t swallow any bones.

Another great way to enjoy the benefits of bones is to make real bone broth from the bones of pastured animals, simmered for many hours so the nutrients of the bones are released into the broth. My cookbook, Tender Grassfed Meat, has a number of such broth recipes, as does Sally Fallon’s magnificent work, Nourishing Traditions. Tender Grassfed Meat also includes a number of recipes for cooking bone in meat.

This post is part of Fight Back Friday Blog Carnival at Food Renegade.

Two Simple Rules for Good Nutrition

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Sheri's pastured eggs frying in cast iron pan

These beautiful pastured eggs were raised by my dear friend Sheri. Note the beautiful orange yolks full of nutrition.

Understanding nutrition may seem hopeless. There are hundreds of books, thousands of articles, thousands of studies, dozens of conflicting theories, and endless advertisements. All this information can be very confusing. But you don’t have to know all of it. I enjoy the benefits of great nutrition by following two simple rules.

Rule Number 1: Eat only the natural, whole, and unmodified foods humankind has been eating for thousands of years.

Rule Number 2: Eat only those natural, whole, and unmodified foods which have been raised, processed, and prepared by the methods humankind has used for thousands of years.

Following these rules has literally taken me from constant chronic illness to robust good health. Here is why I follow these rules:

Rule Number 1: Eat Only the Natural, Whole, and Unmodified Foods Humankind Has Been Eating for Thousands of Years

Our bodies know how to digest and handle natural molecules, especially those that humankind has been eating for thousands of years or longer. For thousands of years, our bodies have adapted to digest these molecules, and this knowledge is passed down in our genes, and in the very makeup of our bodies. We are born with it.

When we eat foods made up only of natural substances that our bodies are programmed to digest, our bodies and organs know exactly what to do. The nutrients are extracted from the foods and used to nourish, fuel, and regenerate our bodies. The waste and toxins are identified and removed from the body.

Unfortunately, now humans eat foods where the very molecules have been modified into something no human body has ever been programmed to deal with. This started a few hundred years ago with refined sugar and refined flour, increased enormously in the 20th century, and is very common today, with all kinds of hydrogenated foods, trans fats, many thousands of artificial laboratory-made and/or modified foods and chemicals, artificial fertilizers, pesticides, livestock raised on feed that is not part of their natural diet, the use of artificial hormones and antibiotics, and other unnatural foods.

Our bodies literally do not know what to do with these new molecules, which do not exist in nature and are created by technology.

Rule Number 2: Eat Only those Natural, Whole, and Unmodified Foods which Have Been Raised, Processed, and Prepared by the Methods Humankind Has Used for Thousands of Years

The knowledge of how to raise, process, and prepare food has been passed down over many thousands of years. This knowledge represents the collective experience of many millions of our ancestors, who learned over time how best to raise, process, and prepare food. They knew a lot more that they are given credit for.

For example, they did not have refrigeration, but they knew how to preserve food, by natural fermentation, smoking, drying, salting, and many other methods, including cold storage and freezing when permitted by the weather. These methods often increased the nutritional value of the food.

Our ancestors knew how to process foods so the nutrients were available, often by soaking, sprouting, fermenting, and other such methods.

Our ancestors knew how to cook foods so as to preserve and enhance the nutritional value, and how to combine different foods into nourishing meals.

Our bodies adapted to the traditional methods of raising, processing, and preparing foods over thousands of years, and know how to digest such foods.

Modern methods of raising, processing, and preparing food change the very molecular structure of the food, once again giving us molecules that our bodies do not know how to digest, or what to do with.

Even the most natural and traditional foods will have their molecular structure and content changed by modern methods such as: cooking with very high heat; using cookware made of space age materials like aluminum and the metals in non-stick cookware; irradiation; microwaving; hydrogenation; modification; homogenization; preservatives; artificial colors and flavors; and many other modern methods of dealing with food. Again, our bodies do not know what to do with these artificially changed molecules.

The result of following these two rules is that you know what food to put into your body and your body knows what to do with the food you put into it.

How I Follow These Rules

Learning how to follow these rules is simple, though it is a lot of work. The blessings of good nutrition are more than worth the effort. And it becomes easier and easier, once you are used to it.

I rely on two cookbooks in following these rules. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, the magnificent work by Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig, provides information and recipes on just about everything except how to cook grassfed meat. Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat, my cookbook, provides information on grassfed meat and how to cook it, in detail. Yes, I do use my own cookbook.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday Blog Carnival at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

This post is part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.