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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



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


Eating the Whole Animal — Grassfed Beef Cheeks

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

Beef Cheek Stew—melt in your mouth goodness.

Beef Cheek Stew—melt in your mouth goodness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Real Paleo Diet — Grassfed Meat, Fat, and Organ Meats

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Loosing It
Creative Commons License photo credit: tuchodi

The idea behind the Paleo diet makes a great deal of sense. For tens of thousands of years, humans have been eating the foods available during the Paleolithic period. Our bodies have adapted to use these foods and easily digest and process them. Our bodies know how to use the nutrients in these foods, and how to dispose of the waste in these foods.

But what is the Paleo diet? What did Paleolithic peoples really eat?

The Paleo diet is generally agreed to consist of foods that were only available during the Paleolithic period, before agriculture and the keeping of domestic animal herds had been developed. All grains, dairy products, all modern processed foods and oils are excluded. Wild meat, fish, roots, shellfish, berries, fruits, eggs, some tree nuts, vegetables, and edible fungi such as mushrooms are included.

Some say that the Paleo diet should be meat-heavy. with an emphasis on lean meats. Others say it can be mostly fruits and vegetables. Some say it should be high-fat, and others say it should be low-fat. But what did the Paleolithic peoples really eat?

A true Paleolithic diet was discovered and recorded by Dr. Weston A. Price, the great food researcher. In 1933, Dr. Price visited a native people living in the far north of Canada, far from the sea. These people were eating the same diet their ancestors had, consisting only of foods that were readily available during the Paleolithic period.

These people had no agriculture, and no herds. They were so far north that they were deprived of all fruits and vegetables for most of the year. They were far from the sea, and the rivers were so frozen that there were no fish. In fact, they ate very little other than the wild animals they hunted, often moose.

They ate not only the meat of the animals, but the organs, and the fat, especially the fat. Meat was always eaten with fat. They also ate bone marrow, chewed on the bones, and used the bones in cooking. The animals they ate were mainly herbivores, grass-eaters, so they were eating grassfed meat and fat, and the organs of grassfed animals. And just about nothing else.

Dr. Price found that these people were in excellent health, strong, happy, and vital. Though the temperature would often be seventy below zero during the long, cold winters, these people had learned how to keep warm and well-fed. The women would give birth quickly and easily, to healthy children who were free of birth defects. They had no dentists, and no cavities. Despite the extreme cold, nobody had arthritis. They did not have heart disease or cancer. They did not have diabetes or any of the chronic diseases so common in the modern world.

Dr. Price wanted to know why they did not get scurvy, a disease caused by the lack of Vitamin C that causes teeth to fall out, and eventually results in death. Dr. Price learned that they got the Vitamin C they needed by eating the adrenal glands and second stomachs of the animals they hunted. Scientific research later confirmed that the adrenal glands of grassfed animals were the richest known source of Vitamin C, containing far more than any fruit or vegetable. These native people knew what part of the animal to eat, so they could get the nutrition they needed. In fact, they got all their vitamins and minerals from the fat, organs and bones of the animals they hunted.

These people were so free from crime that nobody locked their doors, and nothing was ever stolen.

After Dr. Price left these people, he traveled south, and studied the native peoples he met on the way. Many of these people had adopted modern food like jam, sugar, syrup, and bread. The native peoples eating modern foods were riddled with disease, many suffering from crippling arthritis. Tuberculosis, cancer, and tooth decay were very common.

Dr. Price’s research described a true Paleolithic diet, and the wonderful health of the people who followed it.

While this is not the only Paleolithic diet, it shows how beneficial a true Paleolithic diet can be.

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

Bulgarian Food Wisdom and Dr. Weston A. Price

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Central Balkan Mountains
Creative Commons License photo credit: Evgeni Karalamov

The people of Bulgaria are famous for their long life spans, and robust good health. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was discovered that the Bulgarians lived longer than any other known people, having an astonishing number of centenarians. In fact, Bulgaria had a higher proportion of people 100 or older than any other nation. The question of why the Bulgarians lived so long and were so healthy has been studied for a long time. The original credit for Bulgarian health and longevity was given to a strain of bacteria found in their yogurt. This discovery led to yogurt becoming popular all over the western world. However, yogurt is only a small part of the traditional Bulgarian diet. A careful examination of the traditional foods of Bulgaria shows that they ate a diet quite similar to the diets eaten by the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price.

No wonder the Bulgarians lived so long and were so healthy!

The Diets Studied By Dr. Weston A. Price

Dr. Weston A. Price was a dentist in the early twentieth century. He noticed that each generation of his patients was less healthy than the previous generation and had worse teeth. Dr. Price decided that the answer was in nutrition, and he spent ten years traveling around the world to study healthy peoples who ate their traditional diets. He also studied what happened to these peoples when they ate modern food. Dr. Price discovered what the healthy peoples ate, and what they did not eat. The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price did not have the chronic diseases that plague the modern world, like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc.

Dr. Price discovered that the healthy traditional diets had many things in common with each other.

High Animal Fat Consumption

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price ate a huge amount of animal fat from healthy animals, either pastured or wild. This included dairy fats such as butter, cheese, and cream, the natural fat of all kinds of animals, and the fat contained in the internal organs of animals, such as liver and kidney.

The traditional Bulgarian diet was full of animal fat from pastured animals and wild game. The natural fat of the animal was eaten with the meat. Meat was often cooked with large amounts of butter. Butter and cheese were often a vital part of traditional breads. Organ meats were very popular, even being eaten in soup. Large amounts of yogurt were eaten. The yogurt was always full-fat. A popular traditional drink was Aryan, which was made of yogurt and cold water blended together. Meat roasting in front of a fire was often basted with a chunk of animal fat. Large amounts of full-fat cheese were also eaten. Many Bulgarian breads and pastries were made with huge amounts of butter, often stuffed with full-fat cheese, or with cheese as a basic ingredient.

Meat and Game Eaten with Fat

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price valued meat as a food, whether it came from pastured animals or wild game. These peoples always ate meat with fat.

Pastured meat of all kinds was valued in Bulgaria, and wild game was a favorite. Meat in Bulgaria was almost always served with the natural fat, cooked with fat, and served with other foods containing fat.

Large Amounts of Organ Meats

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price valued the organs of animals as food, and ate large amounts of organ meats, particularly liver, but also heart, kidney, and many other organ meats.

The traditional Bulgarian diet valued all kinds of organ meats, serving them in many forms, with “Organs Soup” being a favorite dish.

Wild Fish and Seafood

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price ate plenty of wild fish and seafood if they could get it, with fish eggs being a valued food.

Wild fish and seafood were favorites in Bulgaria, and were widely and frequently eaten as part of the traditional diet. Fish eggs were valued, and often served.

Eggs and Poultry

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price ate large amounts of eggs, poultry, and other wild birds, if these foods were available.

Eggs and poultry were an important part of the Bulgarian diet. Eggs were not only eaten as a valued dish, but were added in large amounts to many other foods, such as traditional pasta and baking.

Fermented Foods

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price ate some fermented foods, often made from vegetables, on a daily basis.

Sauerkraut and other fermented foods were widely used in traditional Bulgarian cuisine, often being served at every meal in small quantities.

Fresh Vegetables and Fruits Grown in Rich Soil

Some of the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price ate substantial amounts of vegetables and fruits, which were always grown organically, without chemicals, in rich soil full of nutrients.

Bulgaria had some of the richest soil on earth, and was famous for the wonderful qualities of their fruits and vegetables, which were widely eaten, and a crucial part of traditional cuisine.

No Refined Foods

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price did not use refined or industrial foods, like processed sugar. Everything was made from scratch, and the only processing was traditional ways of preserving and fermenting food. When a member of one of these healthy peoples moved to an area where they ate refined foods, they quickly lost their health, and often their teeth.

The Bulgarians traditionally made everything from scratch, using only traditional ways of preserving and fermenting foods. The Bulgarians did eat desserts made with lots of refined sugar and flour, but only on very rare occasions such as religious holidays. These rarely served desserts were served with a meal that was full of healthy fats and other healthy foods, which limited the damage done by the refined foods.

A Healthy Attitude Towards Food

So many people today are afraid of food. Traditional foods like animal fat are demonized, and blamed for almost every chronic illness. Traditional peoples did not blame food for disease, but saw their food as the very stuff of life, the source of life and health. Their traditions of how to cook and combine foods were carefully followed and provided excellent nutrition.

There is much evidence that modern processed foods create nutritional deficiencies that lead to all kinds of illness. This was never true of traditional foods prepared and served in traditional ways.

The traditional Bulgarian attitude towards food was very similar to that of healthy traditional peoples. The idea was to let your appetite be your guide as to what you should eat, and how much. In other words, eat what you desire, and as much of it as you desire, and let the needs of your body as expressed by your appetite be your guide.

This attitude works very well with traditional foods, containing the full range of needed nutrients.

Unfortunately, this attitude can lead to disaster with factory foods, which often lack vital nutrients, and are full of all kinds of artificial chemicals, sometimes chemicals designed to make you want to eat more of a particular processed food.

My solution is to avoid all factory foods, and let my appetite be my guide when I am eating real food only. It works beautifully.

The similarities between the diets studied by Dr. Price and the traditional Bulgarian diet are no coincidence. The principles discovered by Dr. Price are the best guide to great nutrition, and the traditional Bulgarian diet is yet more evidence of this fact.

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

Eat Fat, Live Long—the Real Food of Okinawa

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Fusaki beach フサキビーチ_04
Creative Commons License photo credit: ajari

You may have heard about the longevity and health of the Okinawan people. According to records kept by the Japanese since 1879, the people of Okinawa just may be the longest-lived people in the world, often staying healthy and active into their nineties, or even longer.

Many have claimed that this longevity and health is due to a low-fat, meat-free, high-vegetable diet. Being skeptical of such claims, I researched traditional Okinawan cooking and traditions.

My skepticism was justified, as it usually is. The long-lived, healthy people of Okinawa eat a diet that is heavily based on meat. Mostly pork. Mostly fat pork. The main cooking fat is pork lard. Many foods are fried in pork lard. The Okinawans traditionally do not rely on doctors when they get ill, but on food-based remedies consisting of—pork organs. In fact, pork is so vital to Okinawan culture that Okinawans often refer to their land as the “Island of Pork.”

The real lesson of Okinawan longevity is “Eat fat, live long.”

The Real Food of Okinawa

Okinawan cuisine is centered around meat. The most important meat is pork. The Okinawans have a saying, that they use every part of the pig except for the toenails and the squeal. Many of the pork parts eaten are composed almost entirely of fat, such as pork skin, pig ears, and pork belly. All the internal organs of the pig are regularly eaten, such as the liver, kidneys, stomach, and intestines, which are also full of fat. Pork lard is the fat of choice for cooking, and many foods are deep fried in pork lard. Every other part of the pig is also eaten, including more familiar parts like spareribs, pork shoulder, and pork loin. The skin is usually left on and eaten whenever possible.

Goat is also favored by Okinawans, though pork is far more common. What is interesting is that much of this goat meat is eaten raw, and there are restaurants that specialize in the preparation of raw goat meat.

Traditionally, the Okinawans ate very little grain, which used to be sold to pay taxes. Sweet potatoes are a common and favorite food, as are cabbages, carrots, and other vegetables. Vegetables are always cooked, often fried in pork lard.

The Okinawans do eat tofu, but the tofu they eat is different. It is made differently from the rest of the tofu in the world, and is often naturally fermented for several months. Unfermented tofu is often deep fried in pork lard. One of the most common Okinawan dishes is a stir fry made out of pork, vegetables, and tofu, fried in pork lard. It is possible that the protective factors in the pork lard prevent the harm that often occurs from eating soy.

Miso, another fermented soy product, is also used as a seasoning.

Okinawans do not eat that much seafood, which is surprising given that Okinawa is a relatively small island. The explanation is that Okinawa has a tropical climate, and fish spoil very quickly. The island has very rugged terrain, which made it difficult to transport fish before they spoiled. Fish are fermented and made into sausages, which form a small, but important part of the diet.

Most Okinawans do not eat western-style processed and refined foods, though a small amount of brown sugar is used in cooking.

Okinawan Healing with Food

Traditionally, Okinawans had no medical doctors, but relied on food to heal themselves. This system was based on the organs of animals, usually pigs, but often goats. The traditional belief was that disease was caused by an imbalance in an organ, and the imbalance could be corrected by eating the corresponding part of an animal. Someone with breathing difficulty would eat the lungs of a pig. Somebody with a hearing problem would eat the ears. Someone with a digestive problem would eat the stomach of a pig, and/or the kidneys, and so on.

This system is not unique to Okinawa. It was followed by many traditional peoples, including the Native Americans, and by many Western M.D.s before prescription drugs became the remedy of choice.

This system worked so well that many Okinawans still follow this tradition, and do not seek medical help. This may actually contribute to their longevity, because the side effects of the drugs and surgeries used by modern medicine cause the death of many people.

The Real Okinawan Food Is Consistent with the Research of Dr. Weston A. Price

Dr. Weston A. Price spent 10 years studying the diets of the last healthy peoples on Earth. These peoples were free of the chronic diseases that plague the modern world. Dr. Price did not just read studies, he actually traveled right to the people he studied and observed them personally. Dr. Price found a number of similarities in the diets of these people:

  • They ate a large amount of animal fat.
  • They ate a substantial amount of meat and/or seafood.
  • They ate a large amount of organ meats regularly.
  • They ate some of their meat and/or seafood raw.
  • They ate many kinds of natural foods, unrefined and unprocessed.
  • They ate a number of naturally fermented foods.
  • They ate at least a small amount of seafood, fermented if they could not get it fresh.

All of these factors are present in the real Okinawan food.

  • The Okinawans eat a great deal of pork fat.
  • The Okinawans eat a substantial amount of pork and goat.
  • The Okinawans eat organ meats regularly.
  • The Okinawans eat raw goat meat.
  • The Okinawans eat most of their food unrefined and unprocessed.
  • The Okinawans eat a number of naturally fermented foods.
  • The Okinawans regularly eat a small amount of fermented seafood.

In summary, the diet of the Okinawans is very similar to the diet of the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price. The longevity of the Okinawan people is further evidence of the benefits of the diet developed by Dr. Price.

Related Posts

Call It Medical, Not Mediterreanean

Who Was Weston A. Price?

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