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



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

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

—Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat


Food Safety, Not Food Slavery! Stop S510!

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Basket of organic vegetables from our local Farmers' Market

Organic vegetables from our local Farmers’ Market

When I addressed S3767 last week, a bill that would jail people for ten years just for selling food the government labeled misbranded or adulterated—I felt like I lived in the Soviet Union, not the United States of America.

I still live in the United States of America. An outpouring of protest convinced the Senate Judiciary Committee to heavily modify the bill so it only applied to those who knowingly acted with a conscious disregard of a risk of death or serious bodily injury. This is a huge change and a significant victory. My heartfelt thanks to all of you who contacted your senators and made the difference.

Now it is likely that Big Agriculture will once again try this week to pass S510, the so called “Food Safety” bill. Actually, S510 will give us food slavery, not food safety.

S510 will force the imposition of an extremely burdensome system THAT HAS ALREADY FAILED on small farmers, farmers’ markets, anybody who sells or distributes food, and may drive most of them out of business, while leaving the real cause of the food safety problem—the huge companies who dominate the food industry—untouched.

Our food will be no safer, but thousands of small farmers and food businesses will be driven out of business, and the big companies will have even more control over our food. Which is exactly why the big food companies support this oppressive bill.

Small Farmers Are Not the Problem

All of the reported food illness outbreaks have come from large processing facilities or factory farms, or from pollution caused by waste created by these farms. These industrial operations value profit above all else, and concentrate on producing their products as cheaply as possible, on an assembly line basis, using a huge number of chemicals and processes to extend the shelf life of their products.

Small farms, farmers’ markets, and ranchers who sell directly to the consumer know that their business depends on the quality of their products and their relationship with their customers, and do a wonderful job of producing safe, high quality food.

But S510 treats the smallest family farm the same as the largest factory farm. If S510 passes, the small farmers will be punished and destroyed for the crimes of the industrial farming system, which will benefit from less competition.

All food safety legislation should target only the cause of the problem—industrial agriculture.

Don’t ruin what works. Leave the small farmers alone!

Paperwork Does Not Make Food Safe—HAACP Has Already Failed

The only real opponents of food safety are those who make money by cutting corners to increase profits. But S510 will not help. Forcing extensive paperwork, reports, and regulations on every food producer or seller will not make food any safer. S510 is built around HARCP, which requires a mountain of plans and paperwork, and has regulators review the paperwork instead of visiting and inspecting the places where the food is actually processed. HARCP is essentially the same as HAACP, a system that has already failed. HARCP is ideal for big companies, who hire specialists to fill out the plans and paperwork in accordance with thousands of pages of regulations. No small farmer has the capacity to do this, but the bill treats them the same as the biggest company.

The HAACP system was introduced in the United States by the Clinton administration, in response to meat safety concerns. Big corporations loved it, because it did away with actual inspections of their huge facilities. HAACP was supposed to make meat safe. The results? Meat food safety is worse than ever!

But huge numbers of the small meat processing plants in the United States have been driven out of business, because it was too difficult and expensive for them to comply with HAACP. Former plant owners have written about how the government harassed them, constantly rejecting their paperwork and plans, forcing them to spend hundreds of hours and huge amounts of money in trying to satisfy the HAACP documentation requirements, until they just went out of business. Now 90% of the meat processing in this country is controlled by four corporations.

There is a terrible shortage of small plants, and many grassfed ranchers find it very difficult to find a processor for their meat.

If S510 passes, HARCP will do to the small farmer what HAACP did to the small processing plants.

We can be almost certain that the government will end raw milk forever—simply by refusing to accept paperwork from anyone who produces raw milk, by always finding flaws with the paperwork.

We can expect to see most small farmers, sustainable farmers, and organic farmers driven out of business, and we may lose all our food choices, soon having nothing but factory food available. Instead of being able to choose our food, we will be slaves to the big companies who will have total control of what food is available. Rather than small farmers working their own land, producing high quality food, and making a decent living, we will have nothing but large factory farms and CAFOs paying slave wages to raise factory food as cheaply as possible.

S510 Will Enable the FDA to Destroy Real Produce

S510 will give the FDA, an organization totally devoted to industrial farming, GMOs, and supporting big agriculture, total and complete control over how crops are raised and stored.

This would allow the FDA to impose its factory food standards on all produce, spraying and radiating everything.

The FDA could force the spraying of all produce, even dictating the pesticides to be used, and how much. The FDA could force all produce to be irradiated. The FDA could force all farmers to use the products sold by large agricultural companies. The FDA could even ban all non-GMO produce. The bill gives practically unlimited power over produce to the FDA, making all farmers slaves to the FDA and its friends in the large corporations.

If you think the FDA would act fairly, think again. The FDA has even filed court documents claiming that we have no right to choose our own food, and can only eat the food the government allows us to eat.

What We Can Do

I ask each of you to contact your senators, and ask them to stop and reject S510.

Ask them to insist that small farmers, small processors, and farmers’ markets be completely exempt from all provisions of S510, as a minimum.

Ask your senators not to allow the agricultural industry to use food safety as an opportunity to destroy the business of the small farmers, small processors, and sustainable farmers.

If enough of us do this, we can have an impact—especially with the election coming up. We changed S3767, and we can do the same with S510.

Related Posts

Stop Senate Bill 510—Save Organic Food

S 510 Threatens Our Freedom

This post is part of Monday Mania and Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday Blog Carnivals.

No Jail for Selling Real Food! Oppose S.3767

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Organic food is better for health and taste. Fresh cabbage and onions shown here.

Sometimes I don’t know if I’m living in the United States or the old Soviet Union.

A new bill has been introduced in the Senate—S.3767. This bill makes it a crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, to “introduce misbranded food into interstate commerce.” The bill also appears to provide the same punishment for introducing “adulterated” food into interstate commerce.

These terms are so vague and so broad that they could cover almost anything. Government agencies already consider raw milk to be “adulterated.” Any supplement or food could be labeled as “misbranded.”

“Interstate Commerce” could cover anything and everything that is sold or even consumed in the United States of America.

I fear that these provisions could be interpreted by government agencies to cover the selling or even the consuming of raw milk or any supplement, for example. The brave and dedicated farmers who produce raw milk could be in danger of being jailed under this bill. Even the members of cowshare programs could be in danger of violating this overbroad law.

This is the United States of America, not the Soviet Union—we have a Constitution and inalienable rights. We have the right to eat good food, even if somebody in the government disagrees with our choices. We have a right to have farmers who can provide us with the real food we need to thrive and be healthy. We have the right to decide for ourselves what we will and will not eat. And we have the right to do so without the fear that we will be thrown into prison for providing, selling, or even consuming real food.

What We Can Do

This bill is scheduled to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow, September 23rd. It was introduced only a few days ago. They are trying to rush this bill through before people know what is in it. I ask each and every one of you who believes in the freedom to produce, sell, purchase, and eat real food to contact your Senators immediately and ask them to stop this freedom-killing bill.

The following link provides an easy and quick way to send a letter to your Senators, a letter that has already been written, and only needs your signature and certain address information.

Senate Judiciary Committee: Please Do Not Rush S.3767 to a Vote

We all have a chance to speak out for food freedom and to protect our rights. Please join me and many others in doing so.

Many thanks to Sheri at Moms for Safe Food for letting me know about this threat to our freedom.

The Pleasure of Pastured Pork

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Pastured pork roast with scoring on the good fat cap.

Scored roast pork.

I have often been asked why Tender Grassfed Meat has no recipes for pork. The answer I always give has been the same—conventional pork, even organic pork, is just too lean, lacks flavor, and is always fed a large amount of soy. Soy feeding, in my opinion, will ruin the taste of any meat. These pigs were specially bred to be lean, and have no real flavor. Nearly all the traditional ways of cooking pork were designed for fatter pigs, with every roast having the skin and a thick layer of fat attached. Traditional ways of cooking pork just did not work with the modern pig, a creation of fear, the fear of the fat we need to be healthy.

I knew there were some creative, intrepid farmers who were actually raising pork in the old way, by letting them roam in the forests, letting them root in harvested fields, giving them the skim milk left over from making cream and butter, and giving them table scraps. But I was unable to get any of this fabled pork—until now.

My local farmers’ market now carries real pastured pork. This pork is so much better than anything I was able to get before that it seems like a different species. The meat has incredible flavor, perfect fat content, and makes me feel good after eating it, something that never happened with any other kind of pork.

Real Pork

These pigs are not penned and stuffed with soy and garbage, but roam the woods, eating their natural diet of mast, which is composed of seeds and fruits fallen from trees, various plants, bugs and the occasional small animal. They are also allowed to root in harvested organic vegetable fields and orchards, and are given the skim milk left over from making cream and butter. Even better, these pigs are from the famous Berkshire heritage breed, a breed developed for fine eating in England, long ago.

Interestingly enough, a number of Berkshire pigs are raised in the United States, but almost all of them are exported to Japan, where their meat is called kurobata. But these Berkshires were raised and available locally.

Still better is the fact that these pigs come with a nice coating of their own life-giving fat. In fact, the pork shoulder roasts come with the skin on, and with all the beautiful fat under the skin. This is something I had read about, but almost never seen. Almost all the traditional recipes for pork roasts called for the skin to be left on. Now I would have a chance to taste why pork was so loved in traditional European cooking.

Roasting Real Pork, or Rediscovering the Lost Art of Scoring

I made the first pork roast. I roasted it carefully in a traditional way. I was surprised to see that there was very little fat in the pan. The meat was very good, with a nice flavor, fairly tender, and tasted nothing like the soy-fed pork that I disliked.

But something was missing. It was very good, but not great. Great is my standard for grassfed meat, not good. Good is just not good enough. It is not that I am a great cook—it is that traditional meat does taste great, when properly cooked, and anyone can learn to properly cook grassfed meat. The greatness is in the natural meat humankind has been eating for thousands of years. In other words, the greatness comes from the meat, not the cook. There is a very old saying—“God gives us good meat, the devil sends us cooks.”

If I cook grassfed meat and it tastes only good, then I know I have done something wrong.

I did a bit of research, and learned about the lost art of scoring. Several old books stated clearly that scoring was the most important part of cooking a pork roast. Most Americans have never even heard of it. The old books assumed everybody would do it as a matter of course.

Scoring means making long parallel cuts through the skin and fat of the pork roast, stopping short of cutting into the meat. Some books advocated making these cuts every quarter inch. I started to score my next roast, and learned that it was not easy to cut through the tough, slippery skin. I sharpened a sturdy knife, got a glove that would give me a good grip, and set to work, being careful to angle the edge of the knife away from the hand holding the pork. This went much easier, though I decided that making cuts every half inch was sufficient.

I roasted the pork the same way I had the previous roast, with the only difference being the scoring. The smell coming from the oven made me so hungry it was hard to wait for the meat to finish cooking. The taste was fantastic, like no pork I had ever tasted before. Very tender, juicy without being wet, rich without being greasy, with a wonderful deep flavor that makes me hungry just to think of it. I now understood why pork roasts were so loved in the past. I felt good and renewed after eating the roast—again a new experience.

And this was a shoulder roast, one of the cheapest parts of the pig!

It is only necessary to score large cuts of pork that have the skin on. Smaller cuts can be delicious without being scored, but trust me on this, a scored pork roast is more than worth all the extra work.

My next book, which will be on barbecuing grassfed meat, will have some wonderful recipes for pastured pork. My thanks to the heroic farmers who are reintroducing real pork to the American people.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday Blog Carnivals.

Three Steps to Great Lamb

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Backlight lamb
Creative Commons License photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar

Lamb is very unpopular in the United States. The amount of lamb in the diet of the average American has declined steadily. When I mention lamb to my friends, most of them say “I don’t like lamb.” This dislike is so intense that most of them will not even taste it.

Yet lamb is extremely popular and valued in all of Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, India, Australia, South America, New Zealand, in most of the world. In fact, lamb may be the world’s favorite meat.

Why do Americans dislike lamb? Why does the rest of the world love it?

The answer is very simple. The lamb eaten in the rest of the world is very different than most American lamb. There are two major differences.

First, American lamb is usually grain finished, while lamb in the rest of the world is almost always raised exclusively on grass.

Second, American lamb often comes from animals that are also used for wool. Lanolin, a substance present in sheep bred for wool, gives an unpleasant taste and smell to the meat. Most of the lamb eaten in the rest of the world comes from breeds raised for meat, not wool.

Grassfed Lamb Tastes Better

Most American lamb is “finished” on grain, in a feedlot. “Grain” usually means a mixture of GMO corn and GMO soy. This kind of grain is not the natural food of lambs, who are ruminants designed to live on living plants in the pasture, not processed grains.

Most of the lamb eaten in the rest of the world is fed grass only, and is never put in a feedlot.

This is a crucial difference, as the taste of lamb is heavily influenced by what the lamb is fed. For example, lambs raised in central Spain eat a number of herbs in the pasture, which gives a wonderful, herbaceous taste to their meat. Lamb raised in the salt marshes of Brittany is valued for its delicious meat, which has a slightly salty taste, from marsh plants growing in salty soil.

Lamb fed GMO corn and GMO soy has its taste altered by this feed. I consider the taste of such grain fed lamb to be awful.

Grassfed American lamb is wonderful. I have been fortunate enough to get lamb from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. This lamb has a wonderful flavor from some of the richest, greenest grasses in the world.

I have also been fortunate enough to get lamb raised on the Great Plains of the United States, which has grazed on the rich native grasses that were used to nourish the buffalo. The taste of this lamb is also wonderful, though it is different from the Oregon lamb, because the native forage is different.

Grain feeding, in my experience, makes the lamb greasy, with an unpleasant texture. One rancher described this lamb as tasting like “a great, greasy glob of nothing.”

Grassfed lamb has a sweet, clean taste, redolent with the flavor of the living herbs and grasses eaten on the pasture. It is never greasy, and the texture is firm and tender.

The first step to eating great lamb—buy grassfed and grass finished only.

Lamb Bred for Meat Tastes Better

Humankind has developed many breeds of sheep over thousands of years. Some breeds were developed for their wool, which was used to make clothing. The wool and meat of these breeds contain a great deal of lanolin, a substance that smells bad and gives an unpleasant flavor to meat.

Breeds that have been developed for meat do not have lanolin, and their meat smells good and lacks the unpleasant flavor given by lanolin. Many of these meat breeds have a wonderful flavor and texture of their own, when grassfed.

Unfortunately, much of the lamb sold in the United States comes from breeds that are used both for wool and meat. This is the cause of the unpleasant smell and taste so many Americans associate with lamb.

Meat breeds smell good and taste better.

The second step to eating great lamb is to only buy lamb that was bred for meat, not wool. US Wellness Meats is a great internet source of grassfed lamb from breeds that have been developed for meat.

Traditional Cooking Means Great Lamb

Once you have grassfed and grass finished lamb, from a meat breed, you have to know how to cook it. Lamb is not difficult to prepare, but it is easy to ruin. There are many traditional ways of cooking grassfed lamb that are both easy and wonderful, and a number of them are in my cookbook, Tender Grassfed Meat.

The third step to having great lamb is to learn traditional ways of cooking it.

The Three Steps to Great Lamb:

  1. Buy only grassfed and grass finished lamb.
  2. Buy only lamb that is raised for meat.
  3. Learn how to cook this wonderful meat.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday Blog Carnival at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

This post is part of Monday Mania Blog Carnival at the Healthy Home Economist.

Traditional Barbecue Methods Avoid Risk Factors

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Barbecuing tender grassfed meat the traditional way with indirect heat.

Barbecuing tender grassfed meat with indirect heat.

Is barbecue safe? There are a number of studies that conclude that eating barbecued meat creates carcinogenic substances. However, traditional peoples barbecued constantly and were free of cancer.

The studies all focused on meat grilled with modern methods, using very high direct heat. The traditional methods are very different. No study bothered to contrast the difference between modern grilling methods and traditional methods. In fairness, the researchers were almost certainly unaware of the dramatic difference in cooking methods.

The researchers’ solution is to stop eating barbecue. My solution is to change your cooking method to avoid the risk factors by barbecuing the way our ancestors did.

What the Researchers Found

The studies showed that grilling meat over direct high heat can cause the formation of substances known as HCAs, which are considered carcinogenic when given in large amounts to laboratory animals. HCAs are formed when meat is cooked with very high direct heat, especially when flames hit the meat, and a hard crust is formed by the searing heat.

The studies also found that fat dripping from the meat directly on to the heat source would be changed by the heat, and driven back into the meat as a carcinogenic substance.

What is crucial to understand is that both of these substances are created by grilling the meat directly over a very hot heat source, whether gas or charcoal briquets.

As far as I could tell, the barbecued meat used in the studies was cooked with modern fuels like charcoal briquets and propane gas.

Some researchers found that marinating meat reduced the amount of HCAs by as much as 100%.

How Traditional Barbecue Methods Avoid the Risk Factors

Traditional peoples did not barbecue over direct high heat. In fact, they did not barbecue directly over any heat source, unless the meat was so high over a low fire that there was no chance of flames hitting the meat, and the meat only received low heat.

The prerequisite for forming the carcinogenic substances found by the studies—direct high heat—was never used.

Meat was always cooked in front of, never over, the fire. The fire was always allowed to burn down to smoldering coals—nobody cooked directly over leaping flames. This method did not create hard charred crusts or grill marks, but a delicious, tender, browned coating.

Cooking grassfed meats over direct high heat will make them tough and inedible. Grassfed meats can be very tender when grilled by moderate to low indirect heat, which is how our ancestors grilled them.

Traditional peoples almost always marinated their meat before barbecuing it.

Traditional Peoples Used Different Fuels

Almost all barbecue cooked in the United States today is made over a very hot fire fueled by propane gas or charcoal briquets. Traditional peoples never used these fuels.

Charcoal briquets were invented by Henry Ford as a way to make money from the scrap wood left over from making automobiles. These briquets included many other ingredients besides wood scraps, including anthracite coal, petrochemicals, and various binding materials and chemicals. They were never used by humans before the 20th century, as they were invented in the 20th century.

The use of propane gas as a barbecue fuel also began in the 20th century.

Traditional peoples used various natural substances as fuel. The most common was wood, which was always burned down to coals before the cooking began, or lump hardwood charcoal, which was made by partially burning wood in a way that caused it to form charcoal. The art of charcoal burning goes back thousands of years.

Traditional Barbecue Is Better for Grassfed Meat

Factory meat contains much more water than grassfed meat, which means that it can withstand direct high heat. The most common way to ruin grassfed meat is to cook it over direct high heat. Grassfed meat can be wonderfully tender when cooked with traditional methods.

We can avoid the risk factors identified by the studies by never using direct high heat when barbecuing. We can barbecue like our ancestors did, using lump hardwood charcoal or wood coals for fuel. We can marinate our meat like they did. Not only is this way of cooking safer, it is ideally suited to cooking tender grassfed meat.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

This post is part of Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade.

This post is part of Monday Mania Blog Carnival at the Healthy Home Economist.