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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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Avoid Second-Hand Soy—Just Eat Grassfed

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

This dry-aged grassfed steak contains no soy toxins.

This dry-aged grassfed steak contains no soy toxins.

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. DanielPhD, 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.

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

Eating the Whole Wild Fish

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
crab galore
Creative Commons License photo credit: phoosh

Why does a blog devoted to grassfed meat mention fish? I eat fish too. I consider some seafood to be important for a balanced diet.

But more importantly, the quality of most fish sold in the U.S. has become just as compromised as the quality of feedlot beef.

Today I had an absolutely fantastic whole wild fish for lunch, which inspired me.

Farmed Fish are Not the Same as Wild Fish

When I was a child, just about all fish were wild, eating their natural food, which was usually a smaller kind of fish. Fish were often very fresh, often caught near the place where they were sold, and packed with all kinds of nutrients that they received from their natural diet. Fish were also very cheap, except for a few very expensive varieties.

In some areas (especially Asia), freshwater fish were farmed in tranquil ponds, ponds that were full of the natural food of such fish.

Times sure have changed. Most fish sold in U.S. stores have been farmed and frozen. The fish at fish farms are fed a variety of substances, but the feed often contains substantial amounts of GMO soy, something that was never fed to fish before. Much fish feed consists of various kinds of fishmeal, which consists of the bodies of smaller fish that have gone through industrial processing to be turned into meal. Other substances are also used, which are not part of the natural diet of fish.

I have not seen any studies, but wild fish eating their natural diet tastes much better to me than any farmed fish. When food is natural, truly natural, the way it tastes is a message to you from your body as to whether you should keep eating it. I believe this to be a good indication of how nutritious the food is. Obviously, the use of chemicals and flavor enhancers can confuse this taste system, which is yet another good reason to eat only food that is free of chemicals and unprocessed. Good food is also satisfying, meaning you do not have to eat huge amounts of it to be satiated and full. I have found farmed fish to be watery and tasteless. Farmed fish never satisfied me.

The oceans, lakes, and rivers have become seriously polluted, and some of the pollutants find their way into the fat and flesh of some fish. Mercury especially is a concern.

Even the wild fish you buy may have been frozen twice, if it is cut into fillets. That is because these fish are frozen when they are caught, then shipped to China where they are defrosted, cut into fillets, and refrozen, then shipped back to the U.S. to be sold in the markets. They are often defrosted a second time and put on the counter.

Fish has also become very expensive, farmed or wild.

Most people only see fish in the form of boneless, skinless fish fillets. This was not the way our ancestors ate fish. Wild fish were caught, and often cooked the same day, whole, with all their nutrients. Large fish were often cut into thin strips, and dried or fermented to provide food that could be stored. Some medium-size fish were preserved by smoking and salting, as were pieces of larger fish. Some fish were cut up and preserved by salting. Salt cod became a staple food all over Europe.

How I Find Healthy Wild Fish

It took a while, but I finally found a way to get wild fish that satisfies me.

The best way to get fish is to catch your own, preferably from waters that are only lightly polluted, and process them yourself. This is beyond the circumstances of many of us.

What I do is buy small or medium-sized whole fish, and cook the whole thing in one piece. Best to leave the head on for flavor, but you do not have to. I will later use the bones and head for fish broth, a wonderful elixir that is said to cure anything. There is an excellent recipe for fish broth in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon Morell.

I try to buy fish from the less polluted waters such as Alaskan waters.

The small size of the fish means that it has not absorbed much mercury.

The fact that it is whole means it has not been filleted in China, with the necessary defrosting and refreezing.

The fact that it is wild means that it was eating its natural diet when caught, and should be rich in nutrients.

I will also buy fillets if they appear to have been frozen only once, and have not gone the China route. A few wonderful markets process whole fish and cut them into fillets themselves, rather than subcontracting the job to China.

I will even buy flash-frozen fish fillets, as flash freezing of a quickly frozen fish preserves freshness (though it can never compare with a truly fresh fish), if I am convinced that it was only frozen once.

Just like grassfed meat is vastly superior to the industrial variety in taste and nutrition—whole wild fish are far superior to the farmed variety.

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

Related Post

Smelt Soup for Natural Iodine

Grassfed Meat and Fat are Ideal for Paleo Diets

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Barbecued Grassfed Prime Rib with a Garlic Marinade by Stanley Fishman

Barbecued Grassfed Prime Rib with a Garlic Marinade from my upcoming book.

The Paleo diet has been adopted by many people, and the numbers are growing. The idea that we should eat like our ancestors makes complete sense, as our bodies have evolved to eat and process the foods they used over tens of thousands of years. While there are different variations of Paleo diets, one thing is true for all of them—grassfed meat is ideal, especially when barbecued.

What is Paleo?

I did not know about the Paleo diet when I wrote my first cookbook, Tender Grassfed Meat. As I followed news of my book on the Internet, I came across a number of comments on Paleo websites that praised my book and talked about how it was great for people following a Paleo diet. These comments inspired me to learn about Paleo.

The Paleo concept is both simple and profound. The idea is that we should eat the same foods that our distant ancestors ate, before agriculture was developed. The argument is a powerful one—agriculture is only a few thousand years old, but humanity has existed for tens of thousands of years, or much longer.

The foods eaten by humanity over these tens of thousands of years included the meat and fat of ruminant animals, the meat and fat of other animals such as wild boar, the meat and fat of a huge variety of birds, wild fish, and seafood. Nuts, berries, wild roots, and plants were also eaten. Meat was eaten on the bone whenever possible, and bones were cracked open for their marrow, and formed the basis of early broths. Because humans have been eating these foods since the beginning, they are ideal for our bodies, since we have evolved to eat and digest them.

The food of agriculture, such as grains and dairy, as well as all of the modern processed foods, are new to our bodies and can cause problems with digestion and absorption, as well as allergies and other problems.

Therefore, a true Paleo diet would avoid all modern foods, and many traditional foods, including all grains and dairy.

I personally eat lots of dairy, but only in its traditional forms. Humans have been eating traditional dairy for about ten thousand years, and my body does fine with it. I avoid most grains, and find that I can easily do without them. I avoid all modern processed foods. But the food I enjoy and crave the most is Paleo—grassfed meat and fat, cooked in front of burning coals.

But it is not enough just to eat meat and fat. Modern industrial meat has a totally different nutritional content from the meat eaten by our ancestors. Grassfed meat and fat is as close as we can get to the meat that nourished our ancestors (with the exception of wild game).

The Price–Paleo Connection—Modern Examples of a Real Paleo Diet

Dr. Weston A. Price, spent ten years studying the diets of the traditional peoples who were free from the chronic diseases that plagued the modern world, such as tooth decay, heart disease, asthma, cancer, allergies, birth defects, and just about every chronic modern illness. He did not read reports or studies, but actually travelled to where these people lived and met them, taking detailed notes on what they ate and how they lived.

Three of the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price were eating a Paleo diet, in that they had no agriculture and no dairy. They lived completely from hunting and gathering. Their traditional diets had not changed for many thousands of years. These peoples included Alaskan Eskimos (Inuit), Australian Aborigines, and Canadian Native Americans.

When these peoples ate their traditional Paleo diet, they were healthy. When they ate modern foods, they were riddled with all kinds of chronic disease, and died in large numbers from diseases such as tuberculosis.

These peoples all ate the meat, organs, and fat of grass-eating animals, as well as other animals. Those who lived by the sea also ate huge amounts of wild seafood and fish. While all of these peoples gathered and ate a variety of nuts, berries, and plants, their diets focused heavily on meat, organs, and fat, both from land and sea animals. All of the animals they ate were eating a species-appropriate diet such as grass and meadow plants for herbivores.

Grassfed and Paleo—a Perfect Match

Most of the foods eaten by early humans are not readily available to us. But we can find and eat foods that have a similar nutritional profile. The major food of these people was the meat and fat of animals, especially ruminant animals. We can get an almost identical set of nutrients by eating plenty of grassfed meat and fat, as well as the organs of grassfed animals.

Grassfed bison meat, from bison grazing their natural habitat, is just about identical with the bison that was eaten by early humans.

Grassfed beef is very similar, even though the breed and characteristics of the animals have changed from the wild varieties available before agriculture.

Grassfed lamb and goat also have a similar nutritional profile.

Pastured pork, from pigs who have been allowed to root in the forest like their wild ancestors, is another meat that is close to the meat eaten by early humans.

Grassfed Barbecue and Paleo—an Even Better Match

While the peoples studied by Dr. Price ate some of their meat raw or fermented, much of their meat was cooked, and it was almost always cooked in front of a fire.

I do not know if any nutrients are enhanced by the barbecue process, but the taste certainly is. The mouthwatering smell and taste of charcoaled meat appeals to most people on a primal level. The smell of meat roasting in front of a fire, the flavor added by the burning coals, is one of the oldest human pleasures, one that has been enjoyed for ages.

By barbecuing grassfed meat in a traditional manner, we can enjoy this primal taste, as did our ancestors.

This article was taken from my upcoming book on grassfed barbecue.

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

Grassfed Bone Broth—The Traditional Mineral Supplement

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Beef bone broth made from nutrient-rich grass fed beef

Beef bone broth made from nutrient-rich grass fed beef.

Traditional peoples did not have the ability to purchase mineral supplements. Instead, they had something far better—bone broth. A soup made from the bones, sinew, and meat of grassfed animals.

These people had no scientists to identify and classify the minerals, or to come up with “minimum daily requirements.” Instead, they had something far better. A tradition of simmering the bones, sinew and meat from animals for many hours, and drinking the mineral-rich broth every day, getting everything needed to fully assimilate and use the minerals.

Just about every traditional people used bone broth.

Bone broth is not hard to make, though it must simmer for many hours for the nutrients to be released into the broth. Tender Grassfed Meat contains a number of recipes for traditional bone broth.

Bone broth is still the best and most natural way to ingest minerals and other vital nutrients. We can still get the bones, meat, and sinew to release their nutrients into the broth by simmering for many hours. However, it is vital to make broth from nutrient-rich bones, meat, and sinew. Which is why I make all my broths from the bones, sinew, and meat of grassfed or pastured animals.

The Magic of Bone Broth

We need many minerals to have healthy bones, and to support the proper functioning of our bodies. The bones and sinew of meat animals contain just about all of these minerals. However, the minerals are locked into the bones. Our ancestors found that the best way to get the nutrients out of the bones was to make a broth that would simmer for many hours. Water is a solvent, very good at getting things to dissolve. Simmering water is even better. The sinew and meat that cling to the bones also contain many beneficial nutrients, which are also released into the broth by long simmering.

The nutrients in broth are easily absorbed by the body, and you get the full range of nutrients. Human beings have drunk bone broth for many thousands of years, and our bodies have evolved to easily absorb the nutrients in broth.

The use of bone broth, from the bones of grassfed or pastured animals, or from wild fish, is universal among traditional cultures. Just about every people knew of the nutritional power of bone broth. Broth was a universal remedy for illness used by just about everybody.

Good Soil, Good Bones

It is important to realize that bones cannot release nutrients that are not there in the first place. The animals used for the broth should have been raised on good soil, so the animals got the nutrients that they needed for healthy bones. The animals should also have been fed their natural feed, grass.

Unfortunately, the nutrient content of soil, plants, and animal foods has been steadily declining because of the unnatural practices of industrial agriculture, which deplete the soil of many important nutrients. Industrial agriculture also gives species-inappropriate feed to meat animals, which often has an adverse effect on the nutritional value of the animal.

Grassfed animals, raised on good soil, have healthy bones loaded with nutrients, and are the best choice for bone broth. Grassfed bones also make the broth taste much better.

My family has some homemade bone broth every day. The broth tastes so good, and feels so right as it is slowly sipped and absorbed. Grassfed bone broth is a nutritional treasure.

Related Post

Smelt Soup for Natural Iodine

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

Smelt Soup for Natural Iodine

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Fishy
Creative Commons License photo credit: John Loo

The Standard American Diet (also known as SAD) is severely deficient in many vital nutrients. This includes iodine, which is vital for the function of many body processes.

The recent nuclear disaster in Japan has motivated many people to raise their iodine levels, in the hope that this will prevent them from absorbing radioactive iodine. Most people who do this use supplements. There is a risk in using supplements, because iodine is only needed in minute amounts, and an overdose of iodine can cause problems ranging from minor to serious. While I am not a doctor, and am not giving medical advice, I always prefer to get my nutrients from food to the extent possible. I believe that this is the most natural and efficient way to get nutrients, along with any as yet unknown cofactors that enable the body to digest them properly.

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price usually had much more iodine in their diets than modern people. One of the most common ways they got this iodine was from eating seafood. Some seafood contains a significant amount of mercury, a substance that I avoid as much as possible. However, small fish and shellfish contain very little mercury.

Seafood contains many other vital nutrients in addition to iodine, especially when the whole fish, including the head, is eaten. Fish bones are a terrific source of minerals. The organs of the fish, some of which are within the head, are full of nutrients. One of the best ways to get nutrients from seafood is by making a broth. There is an old South American saying: “Fish broth will cure anything.”

Our ancestors ate only wild fish, taken from their natural habitat, and that is a tradition I follow. Farmed fish are almost always fed a diet that is not natural for seafood, usually including processed soy, and they are not the same as wild fish.

This soup is simple to make, delicious, and loaded with iodine and other nutrients. The use of small fish avoids the mercury problem, and the ginger and garlic reduce the odor, while enhancing the already fine flavor. The fish sauce adds even more nutrients, while further improving the flavor. The long simmering causes the fish to break up and release their nutrients into the broth.

Smelt Soup

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds wild whole smelt, with the heads, fresh or frozen

2 gallons filtered water

2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce

1 (2 inch) piece organic ginger, crushed

4 cloves organic garlic, crushed

DIRECTIONS

1.      Put the fish into a large stainless steel stockpot. There is no need to cut up the fish, they will break up as they simmer. Add the vegetables and the water.

2.      Heat the pot until the water begins a strong simmer. This will take a while because of the large volume of ingredients and water.

3.      When the water is close to boiling, remove all the scum that rises to the top with a skimming spoon. This can take a long time, but it is necessary to remove these impurities.

4.      When the scum is gone, add the fish sauce.

5.      Cover and simmer gently for at least 8 to 10 hours, or even longer. The fish will break up into the broth.

6.      Strain into mason jars, cover, and refrigerate once the bottles have cooled down. Use or freeze within five days. If you freeze the broth, you can boil it down to a concentrate, place in safe plastic freezer bags when cool, and rehydrate when you thaw it at a later date.

Tender Grassfed Meat contains a number of broth recipes for grassfed meat.

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