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.
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.
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.
The proponents of a truly bad idea never give it up if it fails. Especially if they are in the medical profession. Even if totally fails. Especially if it totally fails.
A case in point is the fat tax. The idea is that you can make people thinner by heavily taxing the purchase of foods containing the “ultimate evil”—animal fat. This truly bad idea was tried in Denmark in 2011. A tax ranging as high as twenty percent was placed on foods containing saturated animal fat, like butter and cheese. The Danes did not reduce their consumption of these foods at all, often buying them from other countries. After a year of total failure, the Danish government admitted failure and abandoned this stupid, tyrannical tax.
Yet medical voices in the U.S., completely aware of the Danish failure, are still calling for a fat tax in America. A tax that would have to be high enough to stop people from buying foods containing animal fat.
Reducing the Consumption of Healthy Animal Fats Will Make People Malnourished, Not Thinner
The basic idea behind the fat tax, that forcing people to eat less fat will make them thinner, is just not true. A huge campaign to reduce the eating of animal fats has been waged in the U.S. for over fifty years.
Americans eat much less saturated animal fat than they used to, which is the goal of the fat tax. And what is the result of this “success”?
- Americans are much fatter and sicker than ever before.
- Seventy five percent of young Americans who try to join the military are rejected as physically unable to serve.
- Chronic illness, especially among young people, has greatly increased.
- The U.S. spends far more money on medical costs per person than it did before fat restriction was advocated.
Reducing the amount of animal fat eaten by Americans will only get us more of the same. More obesity. More illness. More medical costs.
The truth is that fat from healthy animals is perhaps the most needed and vital food we can eat. (See The Skinny on Fats.) Restricting this vital food only results in malnutrition, and the illness that it brings.
Americans are suffering greatly from malnutrition, due in large part to not getting enough healthy animal fats. Taxing animal fats will only make this worse, and make food even more expensive, making it almost impossible for the poor to get the nutrition they need.
Eat Healthy Animal Fats, Lose Weight
Before fat was demonized, doctors treated obesity by prescribing a diet high in animal fats. These diets worked, and nobody needed a diet industry. This fact has been carefully concealed by various industries, which thrive on sickness and people trying to lose weight.
The solution to obesity and illness is not to intensify the same methods that made the problem much worse, but to make it easier for people to afford and get the nutritious traditional food they really need.
An educational program teaching people the truth about food—that the unmodified foods of our ancestors is what we need to be strong and healthy—would greatly increase the demand for such food, which people already crave. Subsidies should be stopped to industrial farmers and chemical makers, and given to sustainable farmers who raise real food, to increase the supply. People who give up factory food and eat only real food almost always become much healthier and happier. I have seen it happen time after time, with my own eyes.
Factory foods are far inferior to real food, and chemicals in food can do great harm. True health and normal weight come from real food, the food of our ancestors. That is the only proven solution to the problem, and we should take it.
People Have a Right to Choose their Food
It is a basic human right to decide what food you will eat, and how much. No one has the right to make that decision for you. Not the government, not the corrupt medical profession, not the greedy food industry, not anybody or anything. Many people make horrible food choices because of propaganda and misinformation. In my experience, when people actually learn the truth about food, they change what they eat and become much healthier.
Education is the answer, not coercion.
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.
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.
The prices of corn and soy have skyrocketed recently. Have most ranchers returned to grass? After all, the great advantage of corn and soy as feed was that they were cheap. Sadly, the answer is no. The amount of corn and soy fed to cattle, which is almost always GMO, has declined greatly because of the high price. But it is being replaced by ingredients that are even less appealing.
Ingredients such as expired candy, cookies, marshmallows, gummy worms, fruit loops, and a host of other industrial foods that are full of sugar and chemicals, often including high fructose corn syrup, and almost always containing GMOs. Another line of the new feed consists of the plant residue from distilling corn for ethanol, and the leftovers from milling flour, along with cottonseed hulls.
I would suggest that they just return to grass.
Why Is Garbage Being Used to Feed Cattle?
Because this garbage is much cheaper than corn and soy. What is actually happening is that food products that have been thrown out are being gathered and sold as animal feed. It is fair to call these things garbage, because they were actually thrown away, as garbage.
The justification behind doing this is the claim that you can take this garbage and turn it into food by feeding it to cows. In fact, farmers who do this are being commended for their “creativity.” Another word comes to mind, but I am not going to use it here. And garbage is cheap, though the price is going up as demand increases.
The proponents of feeding this garbage to cattle claim that ruminants, designed to eat grass, can turn this garbage into food just by eating it. No mention is made of what eating this stuff does to cattle, or what it does to the content of the meat. And as far as I know, no one has studied the effect of eating meat from garbage-fed cattle on people. Nor has anyone done an impartial study on the effects that eating this garbage would have on the nutritional content of the meat. The FDA and USDA allow this practice, so it must be safe. But it certainly is not desirable, at least not to those of us who want to eat meat from cattle that are eating their natural diet.
After all, the old saying, “You are what you eat,” is just as true for cattle just as it is for humans.
The Return of Swill to Cattle Feed
Herds of cattle used to be raised near distilleries in many cities in the nineteenth century. The cattle were fed the grain mash left over from distilling the grains into whiskey. This garbage had little or no nutritional value, and the cows whose diet consisted entirely of this slop were weak and sick. The milk from cattle fed this swill was bluish in color, and so thin that flour and chalk were added to it to make it resemble healthy milk. But this milk was not healthy, and huge numbers of children died from drinking it. In fact, pasteurization was developed to deal with this problem. Eventually, these kinds of dairies were banned.
Now, the mash left over from making ethanol is being sold as cattle feed.
No doubt the cows that are fed this stuff are fed many other things as well, rather than having a diet that is 100 percent swill, as was done in the nineteenth century. And I just cannot believe that any decent cattleman would sell bluish milk from a sick cow, in this day and age. And we are protected by the FDA and the USDA. So I am not saying the milk and meat from animals fed this stuff is unsafe. But it appears almost certain that the nutritional quality of the meat and milk from such animals would not be ideal.
And since the mash is made from GMO corn, the feed will contain GMOs. But that is nothing new, as almost all the corn and soy previously fed to factory cattle are GMO.
Agricultural and Industrial Waste Is Not the Natural Food of Cattle
In addition to expired candy, factory food, and ethanol mash, many other things are now being fed to cattle in place of soy and corn. These include cottonseed hulls, the waste leftover from making flour at mills, waste products from making rice and potatoes, and probably a lot of other things that used to be thrown out. The cottonseed hulls are particularly unappealing to me, because most cotton is GMO and has been heavily sprayed with pesticides. But the bottom line is that none of these things are the natural food of cattle.
Green, living grass is the natural food of cattle. Dried grass, often known as hay, is also a good food for cattle. The meat of cattle that are grassfed and grass-finished is much more nutritious than meat from cattle fattened on grains in a feedlot, as seen in this informative article at EatWild.com, Health Benefits of Grass-fed Products.
Surely grassfed meat is also much more nutritious than the meat of garbage-fed cattle.
And grassfed meat is much tastier than the grain-finished variety, when properly cooked, which is why I wrote Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo.
This is yet another reason why I will continue to only eat grassfed and grass-finished meat from a producer I know and trust.
Most people seem to think that butter can only be eaten with bread or some other grain. Many people who cannot tolerate grains do without butter. This is a shame, because real pastured butter from grassfed cattle is one of the very healthiest foods we can eat, loaded with many nutrients that are hard to find elsewhere. Our ancestors realized the worth of this sacred food, and developed many ways to eat it.
Here are nine of my favorite ways to use butter without grains:
With Grassfed Beefsteak
This is one of the truly simple and magnificent combinations of flavor. It is best to have the butter at room temperature. Just before serving the steaks, place several thin slices of butter on the plate, and quickly cover them with the hot steak. The butter will melt, and mingle with the meat juices to make one of the easiest and most delicious sauces you will ever enjoy. Dipping each piece of meat in the butter just before eating is so delicious.
Alternatively, you can place the butter on top of the steak, but that will not melt as efficiently. Or, you can place the steak on the sliced butter and put some more thinly sliced butter on top of the steak. Delicious and nutritious.
With Roasting Meat
I have read literally thousands of old recipes for roasting grassfed meats. A huge number of them advise placing butter on the meat before roasting. It is utterly traditional. This technique is especially good for these fat phobic times, when butchers usually trim all of the fat off roasts. It is so simple to use. Just cover the top of the roast with butter. The butter will add wonderful flavor and nutrition to the roast.
With Hot Vegetables
One of the oldest and most delicious ways to use butter is to put it over steaming hot vegetables. This will greatly increase the taste and nutrition of any hot green vegetable, even making steamed vegetables palatable. Just put some thinly sliced butter over the vegetables just before eating them.
With Roast Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have enjoyed new popularity recently, and are full of nutrients. I like to roast sweet potatoes in their skins until they are very soft, slit them open, and stuff slices of butter into the sweet potato. I will mash the butter into the potato with a fork. When it melts, it is utterly delicious. And you get the vital nutrients of butter as well.
With Hot Coffee
Many people put cream in their coffee, but butter is even better. It works best with room temperature butter and hot coffee. Stir the butter into the coffee with a spoon, and drink while hot. Start with a small amount, and increase to your taste. It adds a wonderful buttery richness to the coffee. This will also work with coffee substitutes. Different but delicious.
With Hot Soup
Many traditional recipes call for adding butter to soups just before serving. This is especially good with soups that are based on cream or milk, like a traditional Boston clam chowder, but can be used with most western soups. The trick is to make sure the soup is hot, and to stir the butter in with a spoon. The butter adds a wonderful richness and its own unique nutrition.
With Hot Tea
Adding butter to hot tea sounds strange, but is an old tradition in Tibet. Tibetan butter tea is sipped at all hours of the day, being used to help withstand the cold, nourish the body, and prevent dehydration at Tibet’s high altitude. The Tibetans use yak milk and yak butter, which are richer and more pungent than cow’s milk and cow’s butter. Tibetan tea is complicated to make, but it is easy enough to slip some butter into the very hot tea of your choice. Forceful stirring with a spoon is advised, to mix the butter into the hot liquid, but the tea suddenly becomes a nutritional powerhouse, with a smooth rich flavor. You will have to experiment with the amounts you like, as this is different.
This is one of the most European ways of enjoying butter. Many of the classic sauces are difficult and time consuming to make, but there is an easy alternative. If you are making any dish with a sauce, add some butter to the simmering sauce. The butter will add richness and great flavor to the sauce, along with some unique nutrients.
Fried eggs are out of this world if you drizzle some hot melted butter over them just before serving. You can also add thinly sliced butter to hot scrambled eggs, or an omelet. The freshly melted butter will add a new dimension of taste and even more nutrients!
It is often possible to buy excellent pastured butter from a local farmer. If you cannot find local pastured butter, Kerrygold has made pastured butter widely available. I only buy the unsalted version, as it has a higher butterfat content, which is more traditional.
As you can see, there are so many ways to add butter to your diet. Traditional peoples who ate butter used it in many other ways as well. I never tire of the wonderful taste of pastured butter, and my body never tires of the wonderful nutrition that butter brings.
This holiday season, like all holiday seasons, is a time to give and receive.
Gifts are a wonderful way to express your appreciation of another person, whether it is a relative or a friend. Some people are impressed by expensive, fancy gifts. I prefer gifts that give a real benefit, and the price or status of the gift is not important to me. A gift that shows something of the giver is often the best of all. A gift that gives pleasure, and supports joy, is a gift I cherish, both as a giver and a receiver.
Would you like to give a gift that has the following benefits:
- Gives great pleasure to the person who receives it
- Gives great pleasure to the giver
- Creates a wonderful aroma in the home
- Makes the person who receives it feel wonderful
- Improves the natural functions of the body
- Creates a wonderful feeling of contentment and satisfaction
- Warms the body and soul
For me, this most magic of gifts is real food, skillfully and lovingly prepared.
The Most Traditional of Gifts
Many decisions are being made about gifts at this time of year. In modern times, we often think of commercial products like electronics, jewelry, designer clothing, and a host of other products when we are deciding what to give. Yet in older times, one of the most popular and appreciated gifts was that of food. Not just any food, but special foods that would not only be appreciated for their wonderful taste, but would nourish the body and soul of the receiver. These special foods were not factory candies and cakes, but some of the most nourishing and delicious real foods available.
Not only was the giving of special foods a tradition, but the cooking of those foods by a skilled cook was a much-anticipated blessing of the holiday season, and great efforts were made to have this happen. This was true for almost everybody. For the poor, the holiday season might be one of the few times they actually had grassfed meat or pastured pork to eat, or another special meat such as goose, or duck, or a capon. Grassfed or pastured meat, or wild fish, were the featured highlight of holiday meals. The traditional European holiday feast dishes covered such wonderful dishes as roast prime rib of beef, pork loin roasted with the skin on, rack of lamb, saddle of lamb, roast stuffed goose, roast stuffed turkey, roast duck, and many others.
What made these gifts unique is that they actually nourished the bodies of the lucky people who ate them, improving their natural functions and creating a wonderful feeling of well-being and contentment.
Traditionally, these foods were real food, not factory food, and were exactly the kind of traditional food our bodies welcome and thrive on.
It is true that many holiday foods were special desserts. But these were different than modern desserts. They always contained large amounts of saturated animal fat such as butter, lard, and egg yolks. They were only served at the end of a meal, when the eater’s body was well-nourished with traditional fats and other nutrients that protected the body from the effects of the sugar in the desserts.
GMOs, pesticides, and artificial chemicals had no place in these wonderful, traditional foods.
While you may not find much real food in the supermarket, local farmers and ranchers, and farmers’ markets often have wonderful real food available, including grassfed and pastured meat, and organic or the equivalent vegetables and fruits. There are some wonderful Internet sources of great grassfed and pastured meat. Three of my favorites are U.S. Wellness Meats, Homestead Natural Foods, and NorthStar Bison.
Give the Blessings of Your Cooking
Even the best quality real food needs a skilled cook. A skilled cook can turn the best natural ingredients into a feast that will provide great eating pleasure and nutrients to all who are lucky enough to share in the meal. If you can cook, the time and effort you put into making a holiday feast is a wonderful gift to all who eat it, and to yourself.
If you do not think of yourself as a skilled cook, I have some good news.
Cooking wonderful real food is easy, and simple. There is an old saying, “God gives us good meat, the devil sends us cooks.” The meaning of this saying is that high-quality food should not have its great natural taste overwhelmed by fancy and complicated cooking. The wonderful natural flavors and tastes of the food will do most of the magic for you. All you have to do is bring them out. The recipes I use create wonderful food, yet most of them are very simple and easy to use. Tender Grassfed Meat and Tender Grassfed Barbecue are full of simple recipes for grassfed and pastured meat that result in wonderful food, cooked in an easy and natural way.
I spend a big part of the holiday season planning and cooking the holiday feasts, as a gift to my loved ones. It is also a gift to me, as I also get to share in the feast!
The holiday season has come. It should be a time of joy, a time to celebrate. Wonderful, special meals have always been part of the holiday season, but an ugly new element has entered the scene in the last few years—fear. Every holiday season, we are barraged with fear—fear of getting fat, fear of eating fat, fear of indigestion, fear of getting sick, fear of cholesterol, fear of heart disease, fear, fear, fear!
We are told, over and over again, to count calories, eat low fat, substitute dead factory foods for the rich, traditional holiday foods of our ancestors—where is the joy in that?
All of that fear is nonsense, if you eat properly prepared real food. Leave the factory products in the supermarket, and buy grassfed meats, grassfed organ meats, pastured pork, pastured poultry, traditional dairy, wild fish and seafood, organic or the equivalent fruits and vegetables, real pastured butter, traditional fermented foods, and make this the basis of your holiday feasts. You will not only enjoy a magnificent feast, but feel much better after eating these truly nourishing foods.
There is nothing to fear about eating real food. Nothing.
The Joy of Feasting
Almost every culture on Earth has celebrated holidays by enjoying a special meal, or meals. The finest meats, fish, vegetables, and almost every other kind of food were carefully prepared by traditional methods, and served in quantity during the feast. Many of the best recipes were specially designed for the holidays, and served only at that time. The Christmas feast was so important in old England that wages often included a fat goose at the holiday season—so even the middle and poorer classes could enjoy a special holiday feast. Fear of the food was not even an issue for most of our history, and the feasts were cherished, looked forward to, and enjoyed, with great gusto. Feasting is one of the most universal and traditional human joys, and a feast should be an occasion for pleasure, joy, and good fellowship for all.
This joy is often absent in modern times, where carefully designed propaganda has convinced many people to be afraid of food, especially the rich holiday specialties enjoyed by our ancestors. Fear ruins joy.
Real Food Feasts Are Good for Us
Not only is joy great for human health, along with being a great deal of fun, but the traditional foods of the feast are great for the natural functions of our bodies. Often these meals center around special cuts of meat, poultry, and fish, cooked in a traditional manner with rich sauces and side dishes. If real food is used, we are talking about grassfed meat, pastured pork, pastured poultry, wild fish and seafood, and flavorful organic fruits and vegetables. We are also talking about plenty of pastured butter, pastured cheese, and the wonderful saturated animal fat that comes from the pastured animals. These foods are exactly what our bodies crave, and give us the nutrition we need for our natural functions to work at their very best, which leaves us satisfied and feeling wonderful. When we eat a well-balanced meal of real food, we are getting all the nutrition that we need.
Traditional foods that are eaten at this time are often especially rich in the nutrients that our bodies crave.
Even though many traditional holiday desserts come with sugar, the traditional forms of these desserts are loaded with butter, cream , lard, egg yolks, and other sources of saturated animal fat that help protect our bodies from the effects of sugar. And the original forms of the desserts contained far less sugar than modern desserts.
When we are eating real food, our bodies regulate our appetite by what we actually ingest, because there are no phony chemicals or dead foods to con our bodies into overeating.
Many people equate feasting with feeling bloated or stuffed. I used to, until I switched completely to real food. I have never felt bloated or stuffed since.
Our Holiday Feast Plans
We have four feasts during this holiday season: Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. We start planning the menus right after Thanksgiving, and look for the best real food we can find.
This year, we will have grassfed prime rib for Christmas Eve, redolent with the unique, mouthwatering flavor that only grassfed prime rib has, along with a plethora of delicious side dishes.
For Christmas, we will have a pastured goose, stuffed with a traditional apple stuffing roasted inside the bird, with crisp goose skin—one of the most delicious things on earth, gravy from the drippings, and other wonderful side dishes.
New Year’s Eve will bring a pastured pork loin roast, with a magnificent fat cap, marinated with Polish seasonings, roasted on a bed of apples, surrounded by roasting potatoes crisped to perfection by the melting pork fat, and many other wonderful side dishes.
New Year’s Day itself will bring another prime rib. Why two prime ribs? Since we eat only grassfed beef, we could not decide whether to get a prime rib from U.S. Wellness Meats or Homestead Natural Foods. Both have wonderful meat, yet the flavor is quite different because the plants the cattle graze on are quite different. We solved the problem by getting both, and having them on different holidays. Besides, a major holiday is a perfect excuse for the expense of prime rib, a cut we all love.
How much will we eat? As much as we want, no more, no less. And we will feel wonderful.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
I am grateful for grassfed meat and real food. Thanks to the ranchers and farmers who raise real food. Thanks to those who spread the truth about food.
I was sitting quietly last night, thinking about my life. The life that was supposed to have ended eight years ago. The life that is free of pain and illness. The life that is drug-free, medication-free, doctor-free, and symptom-free. The life that is full of joy and love and purpose. The life that is full of wonderful, delicious, nourishing food, the food that made life itself possible.
And I thought about the people who spread the word, giving me the knowledge that saved my life and made the health and joy I experience every day possible.
I am deeply grateful to those who raise the food, and to those who spread the word.
From There to Here
As discussed in detail in the “About” section on this website, I was very ill for most of my life. After getting a medical death sentence in 1998, and being told I had no more than five years left, I realized that the medical profession could not help me. I searched for another way, and found the teachings of Dr. Weston A. Price, as demonstrated and presented by the Weston A. Price Foundation.
My path to health was nothing more or less than eating the right food, and avoiding the wrong food. The right food is the unmodified food eaten by our ancestors, designed by nature to make us strong and keep us healthy. The wrong food is modern factory food and artificial ingredients, designed by greedy men to make money.
The right food includes the meat and fat of grassfed animals, pastured animals, wild fish, and vegetables grown in good soil, without chemicals. The right food also includes traditional foods like butter, full fat cheese, pastured eggs, unmodified and unprocessed milk, fermented foods like sauerkraut and other lacto-fermented vegetables, organ meats from grassfed or pastured or wild animals, and many other traditional foods. The right food is demonized by the government, the media, the medical profession, the drug industry, industry, the educational system, and big agriculture.
Why do they demonize the food we need to thrive and be healthy? Because people who eat the right food and avoid the wrong food have little or no need for doctors, drugs, or industrial agriculture.
When I avoided the wrong food and ate the right food: my health returned, as did my eyesight, sense of smell, energy, joy of life, enthusiasm, and many other qualities associated with youth. Last night, I enjoyed a wonderful feeling of total well-being, health, and contentment—at age 59.
None of this would have been possible without two very wonderful groups of people. Those who spread the word and those who raise the food.
Thanks to Those Who Spread the Word
My first thanks goes, with all my heart, to Dr. Weston A. Price. Dr. Price spent 10 years traveling around the world to learn the truth about nutrition. He succeeded, and recorded his findings in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, a book that explains and documents this truth. I am a living example of the truth of his teachings, as are many others. The last words of Dr. Price were not about himself, but his calling – “You teach, you teach, you teach!”
My second thanks goes to Sally Fallon Morell, the founder and President of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Nobody has heeded the call of Dr. Price better than her. She made the teachings of Dr. Price far more understandable and accessible, posting a free library of nutritional truth at the Foundation’s website, writing a magnificent cookbook and nutrition resource entitled Nourishing Traditions, and selflessly spreading the teachings of Dr. Price throughout the world through the Foundation and her own travels. The website of the Weston A. Price Foundation gave me the knowledge I needed.
My third thanks goes to the many others who spread the teachings of Dr. Price, and/or other nutritional wisdom, often through blogging, writing books and articles, and giving seminars and lectures. The list of these people is just too long to include by name.
My fourth thanks goes to everybody who had the courage and wisdom to actually try real food, and to share their experience with their families, neighbors, and friends.
Thanks to the Ranchers and Farmers
Knowing what to eat is not enough. You have to be able to find the food. Raising real food is much more difficult and requires far more knowledge than raising factory food. My deep gratitude to all who raise grassfed meat and other real food, without chemicals, in accordance with the laws of nature.
I will thank those wonderful farmers and ranchers who raise the food eaten by my family, including John Wood and all the folks at U.S. Wellness, Glenn and Caryl Elzinga of Alderspring Ranch, Ed Wimble and his partners at Homestead Natural Foods, Reed Anderson of Anderson Ranches, Lee and Mary Graese of Northstar Bison, Leland Mora of Humboldt Grassfed Beef, Chris Kerston of Chaffin Family Orchards, the farmers at the Danville and Walnut Creek Farmers’ Markets, and everybody else who has had a part in raising the wonderful food we are so lucky to eat.
I owe my good health to two magnificent groups of people—those who spread the truth, and those who raise real food.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Dr. Robert Atkins is credited (or blamed) for creating the low-carb diet. But Dr. Atkins was not the first to advocate a high-fat, high-protein, low-carb diet for losing weight.
The father of medicine was also the father of low-carb. Hippocrates of Kos, the most famous and honored doctor of all time, known as the “Father of Medicine” was the first to advocate a low-carb diet for losing weight.
Who Was Hippocrates?
Hippocrates was born in the middle of the fifth century before Christ. He revolutionized the practice of medicine in ancient Greece. At that time, there was a conflict in Greek medicine. There was a division between those doctors who relied on aggressive, dangerous treatments like drugs and surgery (yes, the ancient Greeks used both), and those who saw illness as a punishment from the gods and advocated religious means for healing. Hippocrates created a new path for healing.
Hippocrates studied his patients by observing them, taking careful notes, and using his experience to diagnose their conditions. His approach was centered on strengthening the patient through food, exercise, and rest, so the patient’s body could heal itself. Some other techniques used to strengthen the body included massage, inhaling various fragrances, soft music, relaxation, even gentle conversation designed to help calm the patient, and other similar techniques.
Hippocrates taught that it was more important to know the patient’s body and how to strengthen it, than to know the disease the patient had. Hippocrates taught that the body had the power to heal any illness, if the natural processes were properly supported.
The Hippocratic way of healing always started with diet and exercise. Only if those did not work was medication used. The use of medication was stopped when the patient was well enough to respond to diet and exercise. Surgery was the last resort. The doctor was instructed that every patient was a unique individual, and treatment had to be designed for each particular patient. This was the total opposite of today’s “same treatment for the same disease for everybody” approach.
Hippocrates taught that the patient should be treated with kindness, respect, love, and understanding, and knew that a person’s mental attitude had a great deal to do with the healing process.
Hippocrates believed that aggressive medical treatment could do great harm to the patient, and said that the most important rule for the physician was, “First, do no harm.”
Why Was Hippocrates Considered the Greatest Doctor of All Time?
Hippocrates was considered the greatest doctor of all time, because he was so successful in treating illness. While he did not cure everybody, he cured so many that he became recognized as the greatest and most successful doctor of antiquity, perhaps of all time.
Hippocrates became particularly famous when he was credited with stopping the great plague that hit Athens during the Peloponnesian War. Athens was under siege, with large numbers of people and animals crowded together. All food had to be brought in by sea, and there was a shortage of fresh food. A terrible plague broke out, killing thousands. The drugs and treatments of the conventional doctors proved useless, as did trying to appease the Greek gods. Hippocrates and his followers came to Athens to try to cure the plague, as it was feared that this terrible disease would wipe out Athens and threaten the very survival of the rest of Greece.
Diet and exercise would not work here, as the victims of the plague were too sick to keep food down, or to exercise. Hippocrates carefully observed the situation. He noticed that the only group of people not affected by the plague were the blacksmiths and their workers. Hippocrates noted that the blacksmiths spent a great deal of time around burning fires, and often drank warm water that had been brought to a boil, since they were always around hot fires. Hippocrates gave these instructions to the people of Athens:
- They were to light large fires in every home, and keep them burning.
- All corpses were to be burned completely.
- All water was to be boiled before drinking.
The people of Athens followed his prescription, and the plague soon ended.
I should mention that modern doctors and historians call this a legend, refusing to believe that an ancient physician could cure the plague. After all, he had no modern drugs or antibiotics. Any end to the plague must have been a coincidence that had nothing to do with Hippocrates. But the people who were actually there gave credit to Hippocrates, and considered him the greatest doctor in the world.
How to Lose Weight—“Let the Foods Be Rich”
Hippocrates lived in a time when many people were fat, and wanted to lose weight. He said: “People who wish to become thin should let the foods be rich.”
Hippocrates believed that a diet consisting of rich foods would satisfy the appetite, giving the body what it needed so the patient would not eat too much. “Rich food” in his day meant the fat from grassfed animals and pigs, fatty cheeses, and fatty meats. By limiting his patients to the rich foods, he was putting them on a low-carb diet, a diet that was very similar to the one advocated by Dr. Atkins, 2500 years later!
Hippocrates also cautioned doctors to avoid a “one size fits all” approach to weight loss. He stated that each patient had a natural weight that was ideal for that person. The goal was to reach the degree of thinness that the patient’s body would support, and maintain naturally with a good diet.
By advocating that each patient reach the level of thinness that was right for them, Hippocrates rejected the idea that every person must reach the same degree of thinness. The modern idea of identical thinness for everyone has caused so much pain and misery, causing the horrible cycle of drastic weight loss followed by drastic weight gain that is so common today. This horrible cycle is repeated by person after person, resulting in huge profits for the diet industry.
It should be noted that Hippocrates prescribed various diets to help sick people. Sometimes he would prescribe a diet that contained carbs, and sometimes he would put a patient on an all-barley diet for a short period, but not for weight loss. As always, he customized his treatment to the individual patient.
Some of the quotes from Hippocrates really show his philosophy, and are completely consistent with the alternative doctors of today:
“Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.”
“Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot, if you can cure the patient with food.”
“Walking is man’s best medicine.”
The Hippocratic Oath
Hippocrates is famous for establishing a code of ethics for the medical profession, which was embodied in an oath he wrote for all physicians to take.
There was a time when all Western doctors took the oath, though many did not honor it. The modern version of the Hippocratic Oath does not even resemble the oath written by Hippocrates, and is completely different.
To me, the most important part of the original Hippocratic Oath is stated in this paragraph:
“I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability, and judgment, and I will do no harm or injustice to them.”
In other words, doctors used to take an oath to heal with diet! Not drugs, radiation, or surgery, but diet.
Hippocrates and the Research of Dr. Weston A. Price
The healing approach of Hippocrates, based on a healthy diet that supports the natural functioning of the body, is completely consistent with the findings of Dr. Weston A. Price.
Dr. Weston A. Price studied a number of healthy peoples who ate the diet of their ancestors. All of these peoples followed the Hippocratic method of using diet to support the natural functions of their bodies. All of these peoples were completely free of the chronic diseases that plague the modern world. All of these peoples ate a diet that was much higher in animal and fish fat, and much lower in carbs than modern diets. And all of these peoples were in great physical shape, with obesity being unknown.
Dr. Robert Atkins, the founder of the modern low-carb diet, had been demonized, vilified, and heavily criticized. His critics constantly claimed that his findings had no support in science or history. They were wrong, as the greatest physician of all time, Hippocrates of Kos, also prescribed a low-carb diet for losing weight, using very much the same approach as Dr. Atkins.