After a long night, I woke up to start my daily duties at six am, feeling tired and listless. As usual, my solution was based on food. It occurred to me that the original purpose of breakfast was to provide the nutrition needed to start the day.
But what would give me the energy I needed? I focused on it, and four different foods came into my mind. All these foods are forbidden by conventional food beliefs, as they are all high in animal fat. Yet this was exactly what I wanted, and I trust my body more than profit-based nutrition standards.
The Forbidden Foods
Red meat, maybe the most demonized of all foods. Yet grassfed beef has always given me strength, and our ancestors used meat for this purpose. I had some rare leftover roast beef.
Whole Pastured Eggs
We are not supposed to eat egg yolks, but I always do. The yolks contain many nutrients, some of which are hard to get elsewhere, in a very delicious and digestible form. I got hungry just thinking of how good they would go with the meat.
Another forbidden food, real pastured butter is a nutritional powerhouse. The real sacred food of Europe, and I love it. I decided to heat the beef and eggs in butter, and put additional butter on the meat when served.
We are told to eat low-fat cheese, but our ancestors never did, and neither do I. Cheese is fermented, which adds additional nutrients, and the Gouda cheese I decided to eat is very rich in Vitamin K.
In no more than five minutes, I quickly fried the meat and eggs in butter, cooking the eggs just until the yolks set. I added more butter at the table, sliced some Gouda cheese, and happily ate this delicious, satisfying meal. I had so much energy that I got right to work, and was very productive. And I wrote this blog.
This forbidden breakfast was just what I needed.
This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.
I had four relatives in my family who lived long lives: my mother, my aunt, my uncle, and my dad.
Three of them had severe Alzheimer’s during the last years. But my dad, who lived to be ninety, (he should have lived longer, but that is another story) was sharp as a tack, right up to his last day. He had no signs of mental impairment.
I have often wondered why he was different. The other three took the advice of their doctors, and put themselves on low-fat diets. But my dad continued to eat a special breakfast that had been taught to him, which was full of animal fat. I think he kept sharp because of the special breakfast he always had, and the way he kept his mind active. I do not know if what he did will help others, but I have decided to share it.
The Food: Dad’s “Garbage”
Ever since I can remember, my dad always had the same breakfast. This was the menu:
- Two eggs with the yolks, fried in butter
- A small piece of rye toast, thickly spread with butter
- A thick slice of full fat cheddar cheese
- Several pieces of marinated raw herring
- Some smoked salmon
- Raw onions, that had been marinated overnight in vinegar
My mother, who was Russian, and felt she had a license to be rude, called this meal “garbage.” She ranted and raved at times about all the fat and cholesterol it contained. My dad continued to eat it every day, and eventually referred to it as “my garbage.”
I asked my dad why he ate it, especially when my mother was so mean to him over it. He said that his father told him that it would keep his mind sharp.
Interestingly enough, the butter, cheese, and egg yolks contributed valuable animal fat and other nutrients that are very important for nourishing the brain. Some studies have shown that eating eggs every day may be an important factor in maintaining mental function.
Both herring and salmon are very fatty fish. He ate them raw, though one had been fermented by smoking, and the other by marinating. Fermenting foods preserve and increase their nutrient value. Fish has been recommended for mental sharpness for thousands of years.
The ancient Egyptians believed that onions would heal and prevent all kinds of problems. Again, the onions were raw, somewhat fermented from the marinade.
My dad never wrote down phone numbers. He always memorized them, keeping them in his head. And he always remembered them when he needed to make a call. He could hold hundreds in his mind at a time, and was always able to recall them.
My dad always followed the news of the world, keeping himself current on every issue. He would watch or read about the news many hours a day. And he would think about the issues, analyze them, and come up with ways to solve them that I thought were much more sensible than what the politicians actually did.
I asked him once why he spent so much time on the news, and why he memorized the phone numbers instead of writing them down. He said that he liked to use his mind.
Some studies have shown that older people who are mentally active are far less likely to get Alzheimer’s.
Now, this is what he did, on advice from his father, who was also mentally sharp until the day he died. I do not know if this will work for anyone else.
But I am so grateful that he kept a sharp mind throughout his entire life.
Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.
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.
I was about to roast a 100% organic chicken, from a brand I had never tried before. As I washed the chicken, it just did not look right to me. I got a funny feeling that there was something wrong with this chicken. But it was 100% organic. What could be wrong with it? I roasted the chicken in a way that should have turned out delicious. But it didn’t. The chicken did not taste good, and I had indigestion after eating it.
I went to the butcher who sold it to me, who worked for a large chain store, and complained about the taste and after effects of the chicken. The butcher, who I knew well, leaned close to me, and said quietly, “This company feeds a very high percentage of soy to their chickens. I hate the way they taste. I won’t eat them myself.”
That was the first time I learned what soy feeding could do to the taste and quality of meat. And since unfermented soy has always given me indigestion, I learned that the nasty qualities of soy could survive in the meat of animals that ate it.
But my experience was “anecdotal” and not a valid scientific study.
But now, I have learned that various scientific studies confirm my experience by reporting that the meat or eggs from animals fed soy contain soy toxins.
The best way to avoid soy toxins from meat is to JEG—just eat grassfed.
You Can Get Toxins from Second-Hand Soy
Some of the many toxins in soy are known as soy isoflavanones, and the soy industry claims they have “health benefits.” Based on the excellent book, The Whole Soy Story, by Dr. Kaayla Daniel, and my own subjective experience, I believe these substances are toxins, pure and simple.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to read an excellent article by Dr. Daniel, called Soy-ling of America: Second-Hand Soy from Animal Feeds, on the website of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I learned a lot from this article, which is the source of the data that this post is based on. My thanks to Dr. Daniel for graciously giving me permission to use information from her article.
Several studies were done that showed the presence of soy isoflavones in egg yolks and meat tissues. One study tested eighteen commercial brands of eggs to see which of them contained soy isoflavones. The study found that all eighteen brands of eggs contained soy isoflavones, even the organic and free-range varieties. One study found soy isoflavones in the meat of poultry.
While none of the studies addressed red meat, there is no reason to believe that soy isoflavones are not present in the meat of every animal fed soy.
What this means is that you can avoid every soy product, and still ingest soy toxins. They can be hidden in the meat and eggs of animals, and can cause the same sorts of problems that result from eating food that contains soy.
If you are one of the many people who are allergic to soy, it is important to realize that you can get soy just by eating meat or eggs from an animal who was fed soy. While I have seen no study on this, it is quite likely that you could also ingest soy toxins from farmed fish that were fed soymeal, which is a common feed for farmed fish. These facts are just as important to those of us who choose to avoid unfermented soy, or all soy.
How to Avoid Second-Hand Soy Toxins from Animals
So how do you avoid ingesting soy toxins from animal products? The obvious answer is to avoid eating the meat or eggs of animals or fish that have been fed soy feed. The problem is that the government does not require the labeling of soy feed in animal products, so there is no way to know if a particular conventional meat or egg comes from a soy-fed animal.
My rule is simple: just eat grassfed. Grassfed meat, raised and finished on grass alone, is fed no soy, and contains no soy toxins. You can avoid soy toxins in fish by just eating wild fish. Soy is not part of the natural diet of wild fish, obviously. I have been able to find eggs that are from chickens raised without soy feed, though they are more expensive. It is worth the extra expense, and they feel and taste much better.
And you can find chickens that are pastured and raised without soy feed. These chickens can be very expensive. I find that I do not eat much chicken these days, as I would much rather spend the money on grassfed red meat, which is so much more satisfying.
I recommend that you read Dr. Daniel’s article at the link given above, as it provides an excellent, detailed description of the problem. I am deeply grateful to Dr Daniel for her research on the dangers of soy, her excellent book, and her continuing efforts to expose the truth about this noxious substance, which has done so much harm to the health of humanity and our planet.
I am including a short bio provided by Dr. Daniel, for those who would like to know more about her and her work:
Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN, is The Naughty Nutritionist™ because of her ability to outrageously and humorously debunk nutritional myths. A popular guest on radio and television, she has been on The Dr Oz Show, ABC’s View from the Bay, NPR’s People’s Pharmacy and will appear this summer on PBS Healing Quest. Dr Daniel is the author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food, a popular speaker at Wise Traditions and other conferences, Vice President of the Weston A. Price Foundation and recipient of its 2005 Integrity in Science Award. Her websites are www.naughtynutritionist.com and www.wholesoystory.com.
Some years ago, I was going to lunch with two friends. The restaurant had a special, a brisket pot roast that smelled wonderful, and made us all hungry. One of my friends wanted to order the special, but he was afraid. He said “That looks so good, but it will clog my arteries and take years off my life. I cannot risk it.” He ordered a chicken salad he did not want and did not enjoy. He had no chronic disease, but he was afraid that one serving of meat would shorten his life.
Fear is the great convincer. Fear overwhelms reason, education, logical thinking, and common sense. Fear is used routinely by the government, the medical profession, the food industry, and large corporations to get us to do what they want.
Fear has been used very effectively in scaring people to change what they eat. We are told that we must have GMOs, or the world will starve. We are told that we must stop eating butter, or our arteries will be clogged. We are told not to eat cholesterol, or we will die from heart disease. We are told not to eat animal fats, or we will die from diabetes, cancer, heart disease, or all of the above. All of these lies are not true. Yet all of these lies are believed by most of the American people.
Ironically enough, the targeted “scientific study” has become the most effective way to spread fear. After all, everyone trusts science. But science has little to do with many such studies, which almost inevitably are full of holes and prove nothing.
Red meat, the oldest and most natural food of humankind, is often a target of these studies. The powers that be want to reduce or end the eating of red meat by the general population, something that ruling classes have tried to do since grains became plentiful. So, several times a year, almost every year, studies come out claiming that eating red meat will do something terrible to us. Usually they try to scare us with heart disease, or cancer, or diabetes, or all three. This year, the latest “meat is doom” study is trying to scare us with DEATH. We are told that we have a much higher chance of dying from all causes if we eat even a small amount of red meat. Of course this study makes no distinction between grassfed meat and factory meat. The study has already been debunked by Denise Minger, among others in this article: Will Eating Red Meat Kill You?
But here is the point—we have nothing to fear from real food. We have nothing to fear from grassfed meat, humankind’s oldest food. The foods of our ancestors, without chemicals or modern tampering, prepared in traditional ways, are good for us. It is that simple.
Our ancestors did not fear their food. On the contrary, they ENJOYED it. The only problem with food was getting enough of it. When real food was available, our ancestors prepared it in a myriad of delicious ways and joyfully ate their fill, relishing the taste, texture and satisfaction good food provides. Every great event was celebrated with food, with special foods served to celebrate special events. Throughout most of the world, the most special food was some form of red meat, served without fear or guilt, and enjoyed thoroughly.
Dr. Weston A. Price studied a number of peoples eating the diet of their ancestors. Though many of these people were considered “primitive,” none of them had cancer, or heart disease, or diabetes, or tooth decay, or any of the many diseases that plague modern humans. All of these peoples ate red meat. Some of them ate huge amounts of red meat, every day. One of them (the native people of the interior of Northern Canada) ate nothing but red meat, along with the fat and organs of the animal. They were healthy and vital in a way that few modern people are.
None of them feared their food, which was natural and real. Neither should we.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
The new dietary guidelines issued by the United States government are a disgrace. These “guidelines” recommend large quantities of high-carb foods that can make people fat and sick, while practically banning the traditional animal fats we need for our bodies to function properly. The new guidelines were once again shown graphically in a new “food pyramid.” This new pyramid should be turned upside down, as all its recommendations are backwards. We need animal fats and proteins, not processed carbohydrates.
These new guidelines are simply a more extreme version of the previous guidelines. The previous guidelines were a miserable failure, as Americans got considerably fatter and sicker. The old guidelines did result in a huge increase in profits for the processed food industry, the diet industry, the drug companies, and the medical profession, and maybe that was the point.
Whatever the reason, the bureaucrats ignored a mountain of evidence and studies provided by the real food movement and low-carb advocates, including the Weston A. Price Foundation, many other organizations and scientists, and my friend Jimmy Moore. Kimberly Hartke has an index of testimony by many experts, including Sally Fallon Morell: USDA Dietary Guidelines Controversy. Here is a link to Jimmy’s excellent testimony on the subject: Having My Say. The testimony showed the harmful effects of the previous food guidelines. Overwhelming scientific evidence was presented to show that people need animal fats and proteins to function properly, and a wide variety of foods, while grains and carbohydrates should be limited. The evidence showed that processed foods and sugar in all its forms should be severely limited. None of this evidence appeared to make any difference to the Dietary Guidelines Committee.
The Weston A. Price Foundation has published its own set of Dietary Guidelines, which are based on science, not profit. My rejection of the new government guidelines inspired me to create some new high-fat, low-carb recipes that could be used as side dishes in place of high-carb foods like pasta and potatoes. This recipe meets my standards, since three of its four ingredients are practically banned by the new government guidelines, as they are rich in animal fats. It is also delicious, and goes well with any meat. This recipe also makes a nice breakfast.
Cheese Eggs with Onions and Butter
4 tablespoons pastured butter
1 medium organic onion, sliced
1 cup full fat natural cheese of your choice, chopped into small pieces, (cheddar and Havarti are very good with this dish)
4 organic eggs, with the yolks, beaten with a whisk or a fork until many small bubbles appear
1. Heat the butter over medium heat in a 10 inch pan, preferably cast iron. When the butter is melted, add the onion, and sauté for 5 minutes.
2. Add the cheese to the eggs and mix well. Pour the mixture over the onions. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover, and cook until the eggs have set, about 5 minutes.
Serve with the grassfed meat of your choice, or enjoy for breakfast.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
I had my second real food miracle several weeks ago.
It’s one thing to read about how the Weston A. Price way of eating strengthens the body, but it is really powerful to experience it.
A medical prediction proved worthless once again, and I had definite proof that my bones are stronger and healthier now than they were 37 years ago, when I was in college.
The difference? 37 years ago, I was eating the Standard American Diet, also known as “SAD”. In 2010, I had been eating a Weston A. Price type diet for several years.
The First Accident
Being young, oblivious, and foolish, I ran into a crosswalk. I was hit by a vehicle, sent flying through the air, and landed directly on my right knee. The knee was severely fractured. I could not stand up, and had to be taken to a hospital. After x-rays, the doctor told me the knee would always be seriously weakened. The knee would deteriorate over time, and there was no way to stop it. I would inevitably need to have the knee replaced at some future date.
Over the years, I was protective of the knee, which gradually became stiffer and achier as time went on. Sometime after I switched to a Weston A. Price diet, the stiffness and aches just diminished and eventually disappeared.
What I Ate
I followed the nutritional advice given by the Weston A. Price Foundation. I stopped eating processed foods. I stopped almost all sugar and sweeteners. I made a real effort to eat organic (or the equivalent) whenever possible. I had nutrient-dense food such as eggs, cheese, grassfed meat, bone broth, cream, mountains of butter, cod liver oil, wild seafood, and many kinds of animal fat.
The Second Accident
A few weeks ago, I was walking on a wet loading dock. All my attention was on the conversation I was having, and I slipped on something and toppled over the edge of the dock. I fell some distance and landed heavily, with all my weight, directly on the previously injured knee on a solid steel loading step. I landed with great force, greater than when my knee had been injured the first time. I felt a moment of panic, which immediately passed when I realized that something was missing—pain. There was no pain. I carefully got up, and felt a very slight stiffness and very minor pain. I looked at the knee. There was a very small bruise, about the size of a pea. That was it. No fracture. The skin was not even broken.
The pain soon disappeared, and I felt a very slight stiffness for the rest of the day.
When I woke up the next morning, the stiffness was gone, the bruise was gone, and there was no pain. It was like it never happened. I came to realize that the knee had actually healed, and that my bones were stronger than ever.
When It Come to Bone Health, SAD Is Bad
Many Americans suffer from thin and brittle bones, especially when they get older. It is very common for an older person to break a hip or some other bone from a relatively minor fall. Even younger people are breaking bones more often. Many people in their 40s or younger are having their joints surgically replaced. In fact, so many younger Americans are getting artificial knees and hips that special forms of these creations of metal and plastic have been designed for younger people.
The Standard American Diet, which its focus on processed factory food full of sugar and chemicals, does not supply our bodies with the nutrients needed to maintain strong bones.
No Artificial Joints for Me, Thanks to Dr. Weston A. Price
Most people in this nation believe that they will have a knee, or both knees “replaced” at some time in their lives. They also believe that they will need to have a hip, or both hips “replaced.” They think of these surgeries as an inevitable part of growing old.
Interestingly enough, the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price never had their joints replaced, and never needed to. Even in extreme old age, they remained mobile and active, keeping their own knees and hips.
No artificial creation of metal and plastic can possibly “replace” the joints we were born with. At best, these contraptions can be a very poor substitute for our own bones.
Replacing knees and hips is a very profitable business in the United States. Over a million knee replacement surgeries are done every year, and over a quarter of a million hip replacement surgeries. These surgeries often have complications, which are treated by more drugs, more surgeries, more hospitalization, which requires the spending of more and more money. Recently a major network reported that a particular artificial hip was being recalled. The problem was that unless it was installed with complete perfection, it was likely to release metal shavings into the bloodstream, which could cause dementia and/or heart failure. “Recall” means that everyone who has had a defective artificial hip installed must have it surgically removed and replaced.
I prefer to keep my own joints. Thanks to Dr. Weston A. Price and the Weston A. Price Foundation, I know how to do that just by eating a traditional, nutrient-dense diet. The Dietary Guidelines of the Weston A. Price Foundation are a great place to start.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Scarlet fever almost killed my mother. She was only ten years old. She could not eat while the fever was raging. Her wealthy parents hired a famous doctor to treat her. When the fever finally broke, she was emaciated, and so weak she could not stand. Her immune system was exhausted, and she was in great danger of dying from other illnesses. The renowned doctor prescribed—steak and eggs.
Three times a day she was given tenderloin steak and eggs, all sautéed in butter, as ordered. At first she could not eat that much, but her appetite improved until she could eat the prescribed amount. Within a month, she regained her weight and health, and made a complete recovery.
The very steak and eggs that restored her are now demonized as unhealthy. Actually, this traditional food combination is renowned for its ability to enhance and rebuild the natural functions of the body.
The Benefits of Steak and Eggs
Grassfed steak is a nutritional powerhouse, full of valuable nutrients, including high quality proteins, amino acids, and many crucial vitamins and minerals. Eggs, especially pastured eggs, are just as full of vital nutrients, including some nutrients that are very hard to find anywhere else. See Sally Fallon Morell’s Oral Testimony to the USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee. Eggs also contain high quality fats that aid in the absorption of nutrients. Together, steak and eggs are a wonderful nutrient combination, providing a full range of vitamins, minerals, fats, cofactors, and other nutrients that complement each other perfectly, aiding in the absorption of each other’s nutrients.
Traditional peoples may not have known the science, but they did know it was good to combine steak with eggs. Steak and eggs were a valued combination in Russia, Poland, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Germany, Portugal, and just about every other European country. This was true even though steak was very expensive in those countries. Steak and eggs were also very popular in the United States, Canada, Uruguay, and Argentina, nations where most people could afford beef.
By steak, I mean the 100% grassfed and grass finished beef that has nourished humanity for thousands of years. This means that the cattle graze on living plants out on the pasture when the weather permits, and when grazing is not possible are fed dried grass or hay. Nothing else, and certainly not any added hormones or antibiotics. I do not recommend the grain and byproduct-fed factory version of beef.
By eggs, I mean the whole egg. Yes, that includes the yolk, which contains almost all the nutritional value of the egg. A new practice has arisen in our fat-phobic modern society that would have astonished and outraged our ancestors—the practice of eating only the egg whites, while discarding the best part—the yolk. This reminds me of watching The Three Stooges when I was a child. I remember an episode where the Stooges broke eggs, threw out the contents of the eggs, hammered the shells into a frying pan, and tried to eat the fried shells. Throwing out the yolks is just as absurd.
The Demonization of Steak and Eggs
The makers of factory foods have always had a huge problem. The stuff they produce cannot possibly taste as good as real food. Also, the stuff they make cannot possibly compete with the nutritional value of real food. So they came upon a strategy that worked very well in the past and is still in use today—demonize good food. If people think good food is unhealthy for them, they will buy the artificial stuff out of fear.
Massive marketing campaigns convinced people that foods that made their ancestors robust and strong were unhealthy. Cholesterol, which is a vital component of every cell in the body, was blamed for heart disease and a host of other illnesses. Ignorance, fear, and marketing have largely succeeded. Most people actually believe that eating steak and/or eggs will “clog their arteries,” and cause a heart attack. This is simply not true, as shown in the following articles— Cholesterol: Friend or Foe? and Cholesterol and Heart Disease: a Phony Issue.
The food industry has made a fortune by convincing people to replace eggs with dried cereals, full of chemicals, in a form that never existed before the 20th century. The food industry has made another fortune by convincing people to replace meat with products made from soy proteins, full of chemicals, again in forms that never existed before the 20th century. No wonder they continue to demonize meat and eggs.
How to Enjoy Steak and Eggs
Many modern people have never had steak and eggs. The basic idea is to sauté a grassfed steak in butter, and to sauté a pastured egg or two, so the eggs will be ready at the same time as the steak. It is very important not to cook the eggs too long, as the yolks must remain liquid. When the steak and eggs are ready, place the eggs on top of the steak. The egg yolks provide a perfect sauce for the steak, and the combination is absolutely delicious. Tender Grassfed Meat has a recipe for this classic combination on page 68. Tender Grassfed Meat also has a number of other recipes for steaks cooked in butter, every one of which can be enjoyed with eggs. Eggs are also a terrific side dish for steak that can be used by people who are avoiding carbohydrates.
There is a reason why the combination of steak and eggs has been treasured in so many countries. They are wonderful together, both in taste and nutrition.
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.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
There is a better way to farm. A way that uses no chemicals. A way that renews the soil, rather than depletes it. A way that produces far more food. A way that produces healthy food that our ancestors would have recognized, food that our bodies are designed to use, food that makes us strong and healthy.
- We have been told that farms should specialize in one crop or animal only.
- We have been told that farms need to use herbicide to control weeds.
- We have been told that farms need pesticides to control insects, or the crops will be lost.
- We have been told that farms need artificial fertilizer so the crops can grow.
- We have been told that we need GMOs to “feed the world.”
- Each one of these statements is not true.
I recently had the pleasure of visiting a real farm, Chaffin Family Orchards, in Oroville, California. Chaffin has a different way of farming, a way that is the best example of sustainable agriculture that I have ever seen or heard of.
Chaffin had caught my interest because they raised a large variety of fruits, as well as eggs, chickens, goats, and lamb, but what really caught my interest was a chance to buy some of the grassfed meat they raise. They do not sell meat over the Internet, so going to the farm or a distant farmer’s market was the only way I would get to try it.
The First Surprise—Peace
My first surprise came when I stepped out of the car. I immediately felt a strong sense of harmony. It was a very powerful, yet tranquil feeling, as if I was in a holy place. I am not a mystic, and I have felt that feeling only a few times in my life. Yet it was there. Keren, my wife, also felt it. As I toured the farm, this feeling was everywhere. It was as if the fruit trees, the grass, the cows, the chickens, the land itself—were healthy, well-fed, content, at peace, and—happy.
The Second Surprise—No Stinks, No Flies
There were no bad smells on the farm. None. Every other farm I have visited had plenty of bad smells, from manure, from the livestock themselves. Not Chaffin. We visited the cows, and saw the manure scattered here and there over the pasture. No bad smell. We visited the chickens, a lot of chickens. No bad smell. In fact there were no bad smells anywhere on the farm. Every other farm I visited had areas that smelled very bad. Not Chaffin.
I had also visited a number of farms with livestock or chickens. Every one of those farms had swarms of flies and other bugs, especially in the summer. Not Chaffin. Not even in July. I did not see a single fly. There were very few bugs around.
Chaffin Raises Many Kinds of Foods
Chaffin raises olives, cherries, apricots, avocadoes, nectarines, peaches, persimmons, pomegranates, figs, grapefruits, lemons, and oranges. They also produce 100 percent grassfed beef, grassfed goats, pastured chickens, and pastured eggs.
This huge variety of nourishing food is produced on one farm. The fruits are available only in season, when they are at the peak of nutritional value and taste. The beef is harvested only once a year, after the cattle have been eating the best green grass of the year and are at their best, both in taste and nutritional value. The same is true for the chickens, and the goats. The harvesting of food in season is how it was done through most of human history, and the results are absolutely wonderful.
Chaffin Controls Weeds with Livestock—Not Poison
No artificial chemicals are used on the farm—none. This means no herbicides of any kind. So how does Chaffin deal with weeds, brambles, and thorny growths that could choke the fruit trees? The answer is very simple—cows and goats. The cows can graze among the trees, choosing the grasses they want to eat. The goats will eat bushes, including the thorny growths, as well as the weeds. The weeds and brush nourish the cows and the goats, who are eating what nature intended. The fruit trees give the cows and the goats shade from the hot sun. There is absolutely no need for herbicides, and none are used. Rotational grazing practices are used so the animals and trees support each other.
No Pesticides Needed—Just Call in the Chickens
Insects are not a problem at Chaffin Family Orchards. They use no pesticides. Instead, they move their chickens around in mobile coops as needed, to control the bug population. Bugs are the favorite food of chickens, who are not vegetarians. The bugs provide excellent feed for the chickens, resulting in the highest quality pastured eggs. The chickens are also able to forage for seeds and other plants, while on the hunt for bugs. The moving of the chickens is done on a rotational basis, in accordance with the needs of the land. I must say that the bug control method at Chaffin is the most effective I have seen at any farm.
Forget the Artificial Fertilizer—Bring on the Animals
Chaffin never uses artificial fertilizer, yet the soil is incredibly rich and fertile. The cattle, goats, and chickens deposit manure on the land. Rotational practices are used so there is never more manure on the soil than can be ideally absorbed. The manure from healthy animals eating their natural diet is of very high quality and restores nutrients to the land. Land is often given a rest from farming or grazing on a rotational basis, which allows the soil to absorb nutrients, and allows dead plant matter to decay and enrich the soil. This provides incredibly rich soil, full of nutrients and minerals. Plants grown on this good soil are strong and healthy and very resistant to disease and insects. The fruit from trees grown on this rich soil is likewise blessed with a full complement of nutrients and minerals and is incredibly sweet and delicious. Animals who eat the plants grown on this rich soil are strong, healthy, very well nourished, and provide nutrient-dense meat and eggs.
The plants, soil, and animals all support each other in this magnificent cycle which fully obeys the laws of nature.
No GMOs—Just the Fruit and Animals Developed by Nature
Chaffin Family Orchards produces a huge amount of different types of foods from the same farm, far more than if just a single crop was grown. The animals are raised on their natural foods. All of the many different fruits are natural varieties, including a number of heirloom fruits that are hard to find anywhere else, because they do not have a long shelf life. I might add that the heirloom Blenheim apricots were the best apricots I ever had. The incredible variety of nourishing food produced by this farm has no need to be modified or tampered with.
How Does It Taste?
We did come home with a moderate stash of grassfed beef from Chaffin, along with two pounds of Blenheim apricots. The apricots were gone in a day and really made me feel good after eating them. The beef had a clean, pure taste, like the essence of beefiness. It was incredibly tender, and worked perfectly with the recipes in Tender Grassfed Meat. The meat had a beautiful coating of its own natural fat, which added greatly to the flavor and tenderness. I salute Chaffin for leaving some of the fat on the meat. Every producer of grassfed meat would do well to follow their example in this. It had great marbling, full of tiny flecks of life-giving, grassfed fat, and was absolutely wonderful. I will definitely have to make the long trek to Oroville again. I also want to add that we all felt good and renewed after eating this fine beef. I should not forget to mention the olive oil, which is the best I have ever had, and works perfectly with the recipes in Tender Grassfed Meat.
I have just scratched the surface of what I could write about Chaffin Family Orchards. I also want to thank their sales manager, Chris Kerston. Chris not only gave me a fine tour of the farm, but taught me so much about the kind of farming they do, and agriculture in general. Chris is literally a walking encyclopedia on farming, and I wish his methods were taught in agricultural colleges, rather than the factory farming that dominates them. Chris is absolutely passionate about his craft, and I am grateful to everybody at Chaffin Family Orchards for the fine food they produce, in the most sustainable way.
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.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
What to do with leftovers is often an issue. The very word “leftovers” is unattractive. However, leftovers can be the foundation of some absolutely wonderful and frugal dishes. Meat was so valuable and scarce in traditional Europe that it could never be wasted. The Europeans developed many traditional dishes based on leftover meat, usually adding many ingredients to stretch the meat. This recipe is based on this European tradition, and is very tasty and nourishing.
The word “hash” comes from the word “hache,” which means “to chop” in French. There are many variations, from Sweden, Denmark, Germany, England, and other countries. All of the recipes include meat, potatoes, onions, eggs, and plenty of fat. I have tried many of these versions with grassfed meat leftovers, and they were all good. But my very favorite is this one, which I based on the traditional Hungarian flavor combination of bacon, onions, and paprika. I continue the European tradition of cooking potatoes with plenty of fat. This dish is so good that there is nothing “leftover” about it. In fact, when my family eats this dish, nothing is left over.
1 to 2 cups of leftover grassfed meat (beef, bison, or lamb, or any mixture of the three), cut into small cubes, approximately ½ inch
1 large or 2 medium organic onions, sliced
4 medium organic potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes.
6 slices natural uncured fat bacon
1 teaspoon paprika, organic or imported from Europe, preferably Hungary
4 eggs, preferably pastured
- Place the slices of bacon next to each other in a cold 12 inch frying pan, preferably cast iron. Put the pan on the stove, turn the heat to medium, and cook the bacon, turning as necessary, until most of the fat has been rendered from the bacon. The bacon should be fairly crisp at this point. Remove the bacon from the pan and reserve, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.
- Add the sliced onions, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add the paprika and stir it into the onions. Continue cooking for another 4 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring and turning the potato cubes.
- Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the meat, and stir until the meat is browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Crumble the reserved bacon and stir into the dish.
- Carefully break the eggs over the hash, and cook just until the yolks set.
Serve and enjoy this very nutritious meal.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.
This post is part of Pennywise Platter at the Nourishing Gourmet.Next Page »