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Tender Grassfed Barbecue: Traditional, Primal and Paleo by Stanley A. Fishman
By Stanley A. Fishman
Link to Tender Grassfed Meat at Amazon
By Stanley A. Fishman

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DISCLOSURE AND DISCLAIMER

I am an attorney and an author, not a doctor. This website is intended to provide information about grassfed meat, what it is, its benefits, and how to cook it. I will also describe my own experiences from time to time. The information on this website is being provided for educational purposes. Any statements about the possible health benefits provided by any foods or diet have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

I do receive some compensation each time a copy of my book is purchased. I receive a very small amount of compensation each time somebody purchases a book from Amazon through the links on this site, as I am a member of the Amazon affiliate program.

—Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

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Real Lard, Great Food

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

Natural, unhydrogenated, pastured pork lard.

Real pork lard.

Most Americans are horrified by the very thought of eating lard. Some seem to think that even a small amount of lard will stop their hearts, or make them obese, or both. Yet lard was once the most popular cooking fat in America. Lard was also the most popular cooking fat in China.

Lard was demonized so margarine, hydrogenated oils, and other creations of the processed food industry would sell. The artificial fats created by the food industry taste and feel much worse than the traditional fats of our ancestors. This means that the only reason people would buy the factory fats is if real fats are believed to be unhealthy. There are no shortages of scientists and studies that the food industry could and can buy to scare people into giving up real food. Lard, and all saturated fat, was blamed for heart disease, and countless other illnesses.

The truth of the matter is that real lard, from healthy pastured pigs, is very healthy and nutritious, and one of our best sources of vitamin D.

Real lard is one of the very best cooking fats, having a high smoke point, and being unlikely to spatter in most circumstances.

And food cooked with real lard can be incredibly delicious.

 

The Two Types of Lard

Nearly all the lard you will find in the supermarket is hydrogenated, which means that the very molecular structure of the fat has been changed to something that never appears in nature. This lard almost always comes from pigs that have been kept in confinement, may never see the sun, and are fed almost totally on GMO soy and GMO corn. This lard does not need to be refrigerated, which means that it has been processed to the point that it will not spoil. But lard like this has a horrid, greasy, slimy texture, and a truly disgusting taste, at least to me, and many others. It will, in my opinion, ruin any food cooked with it.

Real lard, the lard enjoyed by our ancestors, is not hydrogenated. It comes from pigs raised in the open air, who forage for a great deal of their own food, and see plenty of sun. It is hard to find, but it tastes and feels a thousand times better than the hydrogenated abomination. You can get this kind of lard at some farmers markets, though it can be very expensive. My favorite Internet source is U.S. Wellness Meats, which sells rendered lard from pigs who spend most of their life in the open, foraging for a large part of their food. The price is also quite reasonable.

 

The Benefits of Real Lard

Real lard gives incredible flavor to food. It is great for basting meats, and has been used for that purpose for thousands of years, from Sardinia to China. Meat basted with lard is more tender, retains more of its juices, and tastes fantastic.

Real lard is also great for baking, and played a huge part in traditional European and American biscuits, pies, cakes, and breads. It gives incredible flavor and texture to these dishes, one that is unique and wonderful.

Real lard is perhaps the best fat for frying and sautéing. It has a very high smoke point, spatters rarely, and adds its own wonderful flavor to the food that is cooked in it. We do not have French fries or fried chicken very often, but when we do, it is usually fried in real lard. It is the fat of choice in most of our stir fries. Not only is frying easier, safer, and smoother, but the taste benefits are immense.

And real lard is healthy, to the great surprise of most people. The Weston A Price Foundation, which I consider to be the most knowledgeable food organization on earth, recommends the use of real lard in cooking. Not only does real lard provide a valuable balance of essential fatty acids, it is one of the best sources of natural Vitamin D, and other nutrients.

Today, following the suggestion of a seventh generation English butcher, we fried eggs in real lard for the first time. Awesome.

We use real lard in cooking all the time, and enjoy it immensely.

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

Avoiding Pink Slime: The Grassfed Solution

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

Grassfed cheeseburger. 100% grassfed and grass-finished with no pink slime!

No Pink Slime in this delicious grassfed cheeseburger.

Pink Slime, also known as “Soylent Pink,” has been in the news recently. Pink Slime is made from slaughterhouse scraps and inedible parts of the steer, which are so heavily contaminated with bacteria that the government requires that it be treated with ammonia, before being processed into a pink glop that is added to meat products, usually hamburger. The sole purpose for doing this appears to be to increase the weight of the hamburger, with this dirt cheap additive, to increase profits.

I cannot think of a single reason why anyone would want Pink Slime in their hamburgers. Even McDonalds and Burger King stopped using it. Yet the Department of Agriculture bought seven million pounds of Pink Slime for the school lunch program. And it is estimated that seventy percent of the hamburger sold in the United States contains Pink Slime.

Nobody wants to eat it, but it is not that easy to avoid. You will not find it on the label, because the government does not require that Pink Slime be labeled. But I have found a good way to avoid it—buy only grassfed hamburger, from a trusted source, preferably a small rancher.

 

Why I Avoid Pink Slime

Pink Slime is made from slaughterhouse scraps, parts of the steer that are exposed to fecal matter during processing, and inedible parts of the animal such as tendons. These animal parts can be made edible only through heavy processing.

These animal parts are so heavily contaminated with bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella, that the government requires that they be processed with ammonia, a caustic chemical. The U.S. government claims the processing makes it safe. But the U.S. government strictly limits the percentage of Pink Slime that can be added to meat products. If Pink Slime is totally safe, why limit the amount that can be added? And I do not want to ingest ammonia, which is a caustic poison, even in the amounts the government considers safe. Pink Slime is banned for human consumption in Great Britain.

Finally, even if the U.S. government is right, and Pink Slime is totally safe—why would anyone want to eat it? At best, it is nothing but a cheap filler material that increases the weight of the hamburger so the seller can make more profit. Do you want to eat a filler material? I do not. I don’t know anybody who does.

Pink Slime Is Not Labeled

The U.S. government refuses to require that Pink Slime be disclosed on food labels. They claim it is meat, and no further labeling is necessary. Of course, if Pink Slime was on food labels, in a way that customers understood, nobody would buy the product, and profits would suffer.

I think our basic human freedom to choose what we eat is denied when industry is not required to disclose the presence of ingredients that nobody would want to eat, but the government does not see it that way. So, if Pink Slime is not labeled, how do you avoid it?

How I Avoid Pink Slime

My method is simple. I buy grassfed hamburger only. Not only is it much tastier and healthier, it almost certainly does not contain Pink Slime. I found this out when I polled every rancher whose meat I eat.

I am happy to report that US Wellness Meats, Homestead Natural Foods, Alderspring Ranch, Gaucho Ranch, and Humboldt Grassfed Beef do not use Pink Slime, and never have. My rancher friends explained to me that the economics of using this kind of filler material have little or no benefit for a small operation. Even more importantly, none of these fine producers would want to ruin the quality of their terrific grassfed hamburger by adding processed glop to it.

While I will be sure to ask if I buy grassfed meat from another ranch, I am confident that I will not find Pink Slime in grassfed hamburger. And that is yet another reason to eat grassfed meat. After all, we are what we eat, and who wants to have any part of their body made from Pink Slime?

I want to recommend the Facebook page started by my friend Kimberly Hartke of the Weston A. Price Foundation—No Pink Slime in My Burger—as a great source of information about the Pink Slime issue, with many excellent links to informative articles.

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

Finding Grassfed Fat, and How to Add Good Fat to Lean Meat

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Grass fed steak coated with pastured butter.

Lean grassfed steak coated with pastured butter before cooking.

All too often, when shopping for grassfed meat, I find myself asking, “Where’s the fat?”

The ugly truth is that far too much grassfed meat has all the visible fat trimmed off, and has very little fat in the meat.

The most nutrient-dense component of grassfed meat is the fat. The fat of grassfed animals is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and many other nutrients.

The fat also gives great flavor and enhances tenderness. The Weston A. Price Foundation advises always eating meat with fat. Traditional peoples, from the peoples of old Europe, to the Native Americans, to the Chinese, always ate meat with plenty of fat.

Yet many producers and sellers of grassfed meat trim off all the visible fat from their meat, and some deliberately raise their beef to be lean. For me, the most frustrating part of buying grassfed meat is getting meat with enough fat.

The key is to buy meat that comes with enough fat, both visible and internal. This involves careful shopping and lobbying producers. But sometimes, no matter what I do, the meat is just too lean. I have learned to compensate for this, just like our ancestors did.

If the fat is not in the meat, then you can bring the fat to the meat.

Tips for Buying Fattier Grassfed Meat

There are several indicators you can look at to find fattier grassfed meat. Here are some of them:

The Breed of Cattle

Genetics have a lot to do with the fat content in beef. Breeds that have been raised for meat, such as shorthorns and Angus, are much more likely to have more fat. Breeds that are noted for leanness, such as Galloway or Charolais, are much more likely to be very lean.

The Time of Year the Beef Is Processed

Traditionally, cattle were processed for meat in the late spring or early summer, after they had been eating the rich green grass of spring for as long as possible. This was the best natural way to put fat in the cattle, and meat processed at this time has more fat, more flavor, and more tenderness.

There are a number of ranchers and producers who only process their beef at that time of year, and freeze it. If you have enough freezer space, that is a particularly good time to buy a large quantity of meat.

I have also found bison and lamb processed after feeding on green grass for a while to be fattier, more tender, and more tasty.

The Philosophy of the Producer

The attitude and belief of the rancher actually raising the meat animal has a huge impact, as there is much they can do to make the meat fattier or leaner. If the producer brags about how lean and fat free their meat is, the meat is going to be very lean.

If the producer talks about the benefits of grassfed fat and why it is good to leave some fat on the meat, then your chances of getting fattier grassfed meat are a lot better.

If the producer praises the virtues of grassfed fat, and also praises the leanness of their meat, you may have a choice.

Ask!

Many producers and butchers carry both lean and fattier grassfed meat. I have found that just asking for the fattiest grassfed cuts they have makes a huge difference. Asking for fattier meat also tells a wise producer that the demand is out there, and may well increase the supply of fattier grassfed meat.

How to Add Good Fat to Lean Meat

Often, no matter what I do, the meat that is delivered is just too lean, or the meat available is just too lean. Fortunately, our ancestors often faced the same problem, and developed some solutions. Here are some of the solutions I use:

This grassfed steak was cooked with a coating of butter

The same lean grassfed steak (as shown above) after cooking with a coating of butter.

1.      Butter. Pastured butter is the best friend of lean meat. You can coat the meat with softened butter before cooking. You can sauté the meat in butter. You can baste the meat with butter. You can put butter directly on the hot meat when it is served at the table. All of these methods will improve the meat and give you the fat that should be eaten with it.

2.      Beef tallow, lamb tallow, and bison tallow. Tallow can be placed directly on roasting meat, so it can baste the meat as it cooks. You can also sauté meat in melted beef tallow. You can melt some tallow and use it to baste the meat as it cooks. You can melt some tallow in a roasting pan and roll the meat in the melted tallow before cooking.

3.       Bacon. You can place fat slices of bacon directly on a roast, or render the fat from bacon and use it for sautéing.

4.      Natural, unhydrogenated lard. You can rub softened lard all over the meat prior to cooking. You can sauté the meat in melted lard. You can place lard directly on top of a roast, and baste during the roasting.

Tender Grassfed Meat contains a lot of information on how to add fat to meat, and how to cook meat with the right amount of fat.

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

Seven Reasons to Attend the Weston A. Price Foundation Conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2.      You may hear of miracles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.      You can help make the world better.

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

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

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