Tender Grassfed Meat

Jump to content.



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


The Benefits of Organ Meats

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Stanley Fishman's Liverloaf from US Wellness Braunschweiger

Liverloaf made with US Wellness Meats Grassfed Braunschweiger.

The standard American diet, known as “SAD” (and it is really sad, especially for those who eat it) does not contain any organ meats. In fact, organ meats are demonized for having fat and cholesterol. This is truly a shame, because organ meats from grassfed animals are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, being packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients.

Our ancestors knew the value of organ meats. They gave great value to liver, heart, and kidney, and used these foods to support the health of their own organs. We can do the same.

Organ Meats Were Crucial in Traditional Diets

When I did the research for Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat, I read a number of old cookbooks. I was astonished to find literally hundreds of recipes for all kinds of organ meats. Liver was considered a staple of the diet, and was sautéed, made into dumplings and pastries, eaten raw, puréed, roasted, and minced. When hunters killed an animal, it was a tradition to eat the warm liver on the spot, raw, with everyone in the hunting party having a share. This was not only a tradition among European hunters, but was also done by the Native Americans, and other people all over the world. Even predators such as lions, bears, and tigers will eat the liver first. There are hundreds of traditional European sausages made from liver, liverwurst being just one of them. Pâtés are one of the tastiest results of this tradition.

There were a myriad of recipes containing kidneys, heart, brains, sweetbreads (thymus gland), intestines, even lungs, spleens, and other organs. These organs were also made into sausages, pies, soups, fritters, and preparations unique to each organ. It was also traditional to stuff the stomach of an animal with chopped organ meat and other foods, the famous Scottish Haggis being an example of this. Most of these recipes were a great deal of work, because most organ meats require a great deal of trimming. There are often membranes, veins, arteries, and other inedible parts that must be removed, and the edible portions often required soaking, often multiple soakings, pounding, and intense cleaning. These recipes would often go into great detail as to how to prepare the organ meats for cooking.

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price all ate organ meats, and valued them highly. Their traditional preparations of these meats also involved a great deal of work in cleaning and preparing the organs.

It should be noted that many of these dishes did not taste particularly good, and were resisted by children. People ate them anyway, and forced their children to eat them.

Why did all of these traditional peoples go to all that work and trouble? Because they knew there was something in these organ meats that was good for them, and because this knowledge had been handed down from generation to generation.

The Traditional Use of Organ Meats to Support Organ Functioning

Many traditional peoples, including the Native Americans, and even the pre-drug medical profession, believed that eating the organs from a healthy animal would support the organs of the eater. A traditional way to treat a person with a weak heart was to have the person eat the heart of a healthy animal. There were a number of country doctors who reported success with using this method. Eating the brains of a healthy animal was also believed to support clear thinking. People with bladder and kidney problems would be fed kidney meat from healthy animals. Native Americans with a vision problem or eye injury would be given the eyes of animals to eat. There are many reports confirming the success of such practices. In modern times, a number of people who need thyroid hormones have eaten the thyroids of animals, as an effective alternative to thyroid medication. However, I do not recommend that anybody do this on their own, without the supervision of a qualified medical professional. Nevertheless, many people have reported success with this practice.

Liver was often given to sick people, as the huge amounts of quality nutrients in this organ helped rebuild their bodies. Great emphasis was placed on only eating the organs from healthy animals.

However, most of the organ meats were eaten as part of the regular diet, by healthy people whose culture knew that eating these organs would support the natural functioning of their bodies. That is why they went through all the work necessary to prepare them.

Science Has Confirmed the Nutritional Benefits of Organ Meats

The development of the ability to identify and test for the presence of nutrients has confirmed what most people already knew—organ meats are a nutritional powerhouse, full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and many other substances vital for nutrition. Liver in particular is crammed full of vital nutrients, which is why predatory animals eat it first, and why it has been so valued over the course of time.

Unfortunately, organ meats have been demonized because they contain fat and cholesterol, and most people are afraid to eat them. The cholesterol myth is just that, a myth, and the fat of healthy animals is beneficial for human health, as shown in these articles: Know Your Fats Introduction and Cholesterol: Friend or Foe?

The organ meats eaten by our ancestors and traditional peoples have great nutritional value.

An Easy Way to Eat Organ Meats

We can get the benefits of organ meats, even today. I do not recommend eating the organs of factory animals. The organ meat of factory animals is not the same meat that has been eaten for thousands of years, but is different, as the animals have usually been given hormones and antibiotics, and have not been fed their natural feed. My personal choice is to eat the organs of grassfed and grass finished animals only. In the case of omnivorous animals such as pigs and chickens, I choose to only eat the organs of pastured animals.

But I will confess that all the preparatory work that is necessary for enjoying most organ meats is more than I want to do. I will buy organ meats that come ready to cook, but my favorite way to eat organs is by eating organ sausages.

Great care must be taken in choosing sausage, because all kinds of undesirable ingredients are often added to them. I insist on knowing everything that is in a sausage before I eat it. Currently, I know of only one Internet source for grassfed organ sausage that has no undesirable ingredients. These sausages are of the highest quality, and I eat them at least once a week. These are the organ sausages made and sold by US Wellness Meats. They make a delicious liverwurst that contains liver, heart, and kidney. They make two kinds of braunschweiger that contain a lot of liver: one cooked, and the other one raw. They also sell a headcheese that contains tongue and heart. These sausages can be made into delicious recipes. Here is a link to a recipe I created for the raw braunschweiger: liverloaf. There are also recipes using these sausages on pages 179-182 of Tender Grassfed Meat.

Organ meats are some of the most vital and nutrient-dense foods available to us. Our ancestors knew this, and we can learn from them.

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.

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

A Class Worth Taking

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Surf and Turf class on grass fed meat and seafood cooking by Cheeseslave
I am doing something I have never done before. I am recommending an online cooking course. Why? Because it is not enough to know WHAT to eat. It is just as important to know HOW to cook it. If you are going to eat real food, you will have to learn how to cook it, because you can’t get it in a package, or a fast food joint, or 99% of restaurants.

The only practical way to get real food is from a skilled home cook, and that cook might as well be you. Less than a third of the people in the United States know how to cook anything from scratch, and very few of those people know how to cook grassfed meat, wild seafood, and grassfed organ meats. This course is a rare and wonderful chance to learn a lot of the basics of how to cook grassfed meat, wild seafood, and grassfed organ meats, knowledge that everybody should have.

The course is entitled Surf & Turf, and is being given by Ann Marie Michaels of the Cheeseslave blog. Here is a link that provides a description of the course and place to sign up: Surf & Turf.

I am not an affiliate of this program, and I will not get a penny from the fees you pay for the course.

The Teacher

Ann Marie Michaels is better known as Cheeseslave, and has been blogging about real food for some time now. Like me, she is a devoted follower of the teachings of Dr. Weston A. Price, and cooks and eats according to those principles. She is a meticulous researcher. She does not just advocate the benefits of real food, she eats it. And she knows a lot about cooking it. The many delicious recipes on her website are clear, well organized, and they work. Her recipes are faithful to the nutritional principles taught by Dr. Price, and provide wonderful nutrition. She cooks from scratch several times a day for her family, almost every day. I have communicated with Ann Marie a number of times, by telephone and email, and I have learned a lot from her.

The Course

In addition to her own vast experience and knowledge, Ann Marie has consulted with a number of experts in developing Surf & Turf. The class will include podcasts with some of these experts, including a podcast with me covering the cooking of grassfed meat.

The course concentrates on how to cook grassfed meat, poultry, and wild seafood. It has a definite low-carb emphasis and is faithful to the teachings of Dr. Price.

The class will also include a number of videos, and printable recipes. There will be 13 lessons in the class, for an average cost of approximately $9.00 a lesson. A number of these lessons will include podcasts with experts. A short summary of what is included in the lessons is as follows:

Lesson 1

Covers the need for high quality protein, health benefits of proteins and fats, why grassfed is better, and the need for healthy fats.

Lesson 2

Covers smart shopping for quality meat and seafood, the health benefits of grassfed meat and wild fish, the equipment you will need for the course, and how to really make the purchase of grassfed meat affordable.

Lesson 3

Covers safe and healthy grilling of grassfed meat and wild fish, with information on grilling equipment, fuel, and a number of video and printable recipes, including better grilling methods.

Lesson 4

Covers the preparation of raw seafood, the health benefits of raw seafood, and safety issues. Raw seafood was one of the most valued foods of the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price, and is full of vital nutrients. A number of video and printable recipes are included.

Lesson 5

Covers the cooking of wild seafood, also valued by the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price, including video and printable recipes.

Lesson 6

Covers the making of real bone broth, one of the basic foods of the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price. I really like the emphasis on using filtered water, and why only filtered water should be used. More recipes are provided.

Lesson 7

Covers the cooking of healthy soups and stews, using grassfed meat and wild seafood. Even more recipes, video and printable.

Lesson 8

Covers the roasting and braising of grassfed meat and poultry, with attention given to making delicious meals out of economy cuts. Will include a podcast with me on cooking grassfed meat. More recipes, both video and printable.

Lesson 9

Covers pan frying and deep frying with the healthy fats used by our ancestors, including grassfed beef tallow. You guessed it, even more delicious video and printable recipes.

Lesson 10

Covers the making of healthy salads and sandwiches, with a number of recipes.

Lesson 11

Covers the health benefits of organ meats, and many methods of making them palatable, even delicious. All the healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price valued organ meats. Modern science has confirmed that organ meats are one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, and this lesson provides badly needed knowledge of how to prepare and cook them. More recipes, both video and printable.

Lesson 12

Even more recipes for healthy organ meats, with an emphasis on wonderful, nutrient-dense pâtés.

Lesson 13

Covers the making of healthy snacks, side dishes, and appetizers, with recipes.

Registration for the class ends on August 14, so it would be best to check it out in the immediate future. Surf & Turf is one of the few good resources available for learning how to cook grassfed meat, wild seafood, and other nutrient-dense food that nourished the healthy peoples discovered by Dr. Price. I highly recommend it.

I should disclose that while I am not an affiliate and will not receive any share of the money paid by anybody for the class, the podcast I appear in will be publicity for my book that could result in sales, which would result in my receiving some financial compensation.

Don’t Trim the Fat—It’s the Best Part!

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Grassfed Herb Roast

This beautiful fat cap helps make a wonderful herb roast.

The half chicken arrived on my friend’s plate, with a wonderful aroma. It was grilled over hickory to browned perfection, the crisp skin redolent with a wonderful spice rub that promised taste heaven. My friend picked up his knife and fork, carefully removed every trace of the magnificent chicken skin—and discarded it.

The prime rib roast looked great on the website photo. The meat was a beautiful cherry red color, crowned by a thick cap of gleaming fat that promised great taste and nutrition. I ordered this magnificent roast, anticipating how wonderful it would look and taste. The roast arrived. Every bit of the magnificent fat cap promised by the photo on the website had been trimmed off.

I ordered a cut-to-order bison Porterhouse for a very important occasion. I made sure to instruct the seller to leave a thick coating of the bison fat on the meat, as bison fat gives incredible flavor. The steak arrived. It was a magnificent piece of meat—except that almost all the fat was trimmed off.

Each of these events point out one of the most insane aspects to our society. We have been trained to discard and throw out one of the most nutritious substances known to humankind—saturated fat from grassfed animals.

Saturated fat from grassfed animals should not be trimmed off and discarded. It should be used in cooking and eaten, just as humankind has been doing for hundreds of thousands of years.

Animal Fat Has Been Unfairly Demonized for Profit

Why does almost everybody fear saturated animal fat? The answer is simple—marketing. The sellers of artificial fats and artificial oils would have no market if people continued to use saturated animal fats that have nourished humankind for eons. The only way to get people to give up these tasty and wonderful foods would be to either come up with something better, or make people afraid to use them. They could not come up with any artificial food that was better or even close to being as good as those developed by nature. This left fear. Adolph Hitler said that if you repeated a lie often enough, and loudly enough, and repeated it with enough fervor, people would come to believe it.

It would be hard to find any concept that has been repeated as much, or stated so loudly, or advocated with such fervor as the “saturated fat is bad” untruth. The truth is that saturated animal fat from naturally fed animals is one of the most beneficial nutrients know. See the following article for more information: Know Your Fats Introduction. A good description of how America was misled is contained in the article The Oiling of America.

Saturated Animal Fat Supports the Natural Functions of the Brain and Body

Your brain is made of fat. So is mine. So is everybody’s. The right kind of fat is crucial to the proper functioning of the brain. A deficiency in fat can lead to mental and physical problems. The right kind of fat is—saturated animal fat. This fat, especially the fat from grassfed animals, contains a huge amount of vital nutrients. Animal fat, including the fat found in organ meats, is the only source of real Vitamin A. (Plants have beta carotene, which is not Vitamin A, but a precursor that a healthy body can use to make vitamin A.) Animal fat is by far the best source of essential fatty acids, which are crucial for nutritional support of the brain and many body functions. Animal fat contains substances that effect digestion, blood sugar, regulate the body’s production of hormones, enable the various parts of the brain to communicate effectively with each other, regulate the weight and metabolism of the body, and provide high-quality energy fuel that our bodies have been using for hundreds of thousands of years. Our bodies and brains are unbelievably complex organisms that are able to deal with almost any physical or mental challenge that is likely to arrive—if they have the nutritional fuel needed to function properly. This fuel includes saturated animal fats. A more detailed examination of the benefits of saturated animal fat can be found in this fine article: The Skinny on Fats.

Traditional Peoples Knew the Value of Saturated Fat

Dr. Weston A. Price spent ten years studying the diets of traditional peoples. The healthy peoples he studied were free of the chronic diseases that ravage our “civilized” world—such as cancer, heart disease, allergies, infertility, asthma, birth defects, etc—as long as they ate their traditional diet. These traditional diets contained far more nutrients than ours. While there was a lot of variety in these diets, all of them included a huge amount of saturated animal and/or fish fat.

This fat, from animals eating their natural diet, has been perhaps the most valued food in the history of humankind. People, from ancient Rome to 19th century Russia, used to write poems celebrating the blessings of animal fats. When animals were sacrificed to the pagan gods, the most valued part of the animal—the fat—was offered. Many peoples had a tradition of having a lot of food after a funeral. Whether it was the Jewish custom of sitting Shiva, or the Irish custom of having a wake, or any of the others, foods high in animal fat were always served. These traditional people knew that these foods would calm the mind and help people deal with their grief. “Living off the fat of the land” was a famous saying that meant living the good life. Modern science has discovered many of the benefits of this most valued food: Some Recent Studies on Fats.

Animal Fat Is Wonderful in Cooking

Meat roasted with a covering of its own natural fat is far more tender and delicious. The fat bastes and cooks into the meat during the roasting process, keeping it tender, and adding superb flavor. Pot roasts and stews also have their flavor and gravies enhanced by this wonderful fat. Sausages and ground meat are much better, both in taste and nutrition, when they contain a healthy portion of life-giving animal fat. Steaks cooked with a rim of their own natural fat are more tender and have superb flavor. In fact, it is commonly accepted in cooking circles that most of the flavor of meat is in the fat.

Traditional peoples cooked with animal fat, with natural pork lard being the most widely used and popular cooking fat in human history. Lamb fat, beef tallow, bison fat, chicken fat, in fact, fat from every kind of meat animal, were also widely used.

I personally use saturated animal fat for cooking grassfed meats. Whether it is beef tallow, or butter, or natural lard, or duck fat, all of them are perfect for frying, basting and sautéing. But nothing can do more for the flavor and tenderness of cooking meat than its own natural coating of flavorful fat.

So I have a favor to ask from meat sellers, butchers, ranchers, and retailers – don’t trim all the fat off. Leave at least one quarter inch on the meat. Just one quarter inch. That’s all I ask.

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.

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

The Magic of Steak and Eggs

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Tender grassfed rib steak with pastured eggs.

Grassfed rib steak with pastured eggs.

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.

Related Posts

The Blessings of Bread and Butter

Steak and French Fries–Still My Favorite Meal

A Better, Sustainable Way to Farm

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Olive trees at Chaffin Family Orchards showing how goats trim the weeds. No need for herbicides here.

No need for herbicides when you have goats. Note the contrast between the untrimmed and the goat trimmed areas.

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.

Related Post

Grassfed Farmer Renews the Land

Understanding Dr. Weston A. Price

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Creative Commons License photo credit: TAYLOR149

“Life in all its fullness is nature’s laws obeyed.” Dr. Weston A. Price.

I have seen these words many times, but I did not really understand them. Until now.

I have been very ill for most of my life. I have had a lot of medical treatment. Most treatments would relieve the symptoms, for a while, than the symptoms would return, worse than ever.

Yet when I followed the Weston A. Price diet, did what I could to avoid toxins, switched to grassfed meat, and had no medical care, all my symptoms went away, and they did not return. And my body functions began to improve, and they are still improving. At 58.

Many body functions that did not work, such as having a sense of smell, being able to breathe through my nose, breathe effortlessly, and sleeping through the night, returned. Other body functions that had been deteriorating such as hearing, eyesight, digestion, sense of touch, taste, and flexibility, are now improving. My mental attitude also improved enormously. I began waking up with a sense of joy and eagerness to live the day, a feeling I last had when I was a child. My usual mental feeling could best be described as a happy, peaceful contentment.

What happened?

Modern Medicine

Modern medicine is focused on treating a particular disease, defined by a set of symptoms. These days, the disease is treated with artificial medication, or surgery, or radiation, or all three. All of these treatments are a massive and powerful assault on the body and its natural systems, often doing great harm. Success is defined by a cessation of the symptoms. Usually, the symptoms return in the future, worse than before, and the cycle begins again.

Nature’s Laws

We all have an immune system, and other bodily functions that are designed to fight off disease and keep us healthy and regenerating. Modern science and medicine arrogantly claim to know how they work, but this knowledge is still incomplete. They just know the tip of the iceberg. This iceberg is powerful and complex beyond our understanding.

We have a powerful desire to eat, and eat food that will satisfy us. We are born with it.

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price did not have the chronic diseases that plague modern humanity. They did not have scientists, or laboratories. They did not have doctors or dentists, though they had healers. They knew far less about the tip of the iceberg than we do. But they knew something very important. They knew how to feed the body, the whole body. And the body sustained and protected them, just as nature intended.

These peoples did not have peer-reviewed studies, or computers, but they had something else. The accumulated experience of thousands of years of living, passed down from mother to daughter, from father to son, from healer to healer, from wise person to wise person. This priceless knowledge was based on the combined experience of tens of thousands, even millions of the ancestors of their people, who paid careful attention to their own observations, filtered through the wisdom of common sense, and passed on this knowledge.

The healthy peoples studied by Dr. Price knew what to eat, and what not to eat. They knew how to prepare food. They knew how to combine food. They knew how to preserve food, though they had no refrigerators. They knew how to satisfy their hunger, with the right foods, properly prepared. They did not decide what the laws of nature were, they discovered them. They knew how to avoid the natural toxins and dangers in their land. They obeyed the laws of nature, and were rewarded.

I think modern people have lost most of this knowledge, and no longer know how to obey nature’s laws. We have tried to substitute the incomplete knowledge of science and technology for the laws of nature, to make our own laws. And we have suffered terribly for this, as shown by the huge and increasing amount of chronic illness in the most “advanced” nations.

Science and technology have accomplished wonderful things in many areas, and have greatly improved life. But their knowledge in the area of nutrition and health is partial and incomplete. I support real research, research based on the desire to learn and share, rather than the desire to exploit. But much of this research has not been completed.

What happened to me?

I think my body’s functions were supported and activated. I think that the changes I made enabled my body’s systems to function the way nature intended them to. I think the avoidance of toxins reduced the burden on my body’s systems, enabling them to function better. I think that following the Weston A. Price diet, eating traditional foods, and eating traditional food combinations gave my body’s systems the fuel and resources they needed to function properly.

I don’t know how to cure, prevent, or mitigate any disease. But following the old wisdom discovered by Dr. Price has allowed me to follow nature’s laws, which has enabled my body to function properly. And I enjoy the fullness of life.

For more information about Dr. Weston A. Price, please visit these websites: The Weston A. Price Foundation and Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation.

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

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

A New Podcast Interview about Grassfed Meat

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Cover of the cookbook Tender Grassfed MeatReal Food Media blogger Ann Marie Michaels, also known as Cheeseslave, has done a podcast interview with me. Ann Marie is an expert on real food, and it was an honor to be interviewed by her. We covered a number of issues concerning grassfed meat: why it must be cooked differently from factory meat; how I learned how to cook grassfed meat; some barbecue tips for July the Fourth; why grassfed meat is sustainable and better for the planet; how it differs from conventional meat; how grassfed meat is so nutrient-dense and satisfying; the benefits I received from eating grassfed meat; how traditional food combinations provide complete and superior nutrition; even what to add to US Wellness liverwurst to make it into a spreadable pate; and more!

I found Ann Marie’s questions and comments to be insightful and invaluable, and I really learned a lot during this interview, which I greatly enjoyed. Ann Marie has been spreading the word about real food for some time now, and I highly recommend her blog.

Here’s the link to the podcast:

New Podcast: Stanley Fishman Talks About Tender Grassfed Meat

Multiple Meals from the Traditional Sunday Roast

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

English Style Prime Rib, page 86, Tender Grassfed Meat

English Style Prime Rib, recipe on page 86, Tender Grassfed Meat

Once it was traditional for even a middle class family to have a large roast on Sunday. This was the main meal of the week, and was eagerly anticipated. This tradition was very popular in England, Ireland, and the United States. The attraction of a large roast of tender, juicy, delicious meat is obvious. But what is not so obvious is that the leftover meat could provide several additional great meals.

One Roast, Four Meals

Using the leftovers from the Sunday roast for other meals became so much of a tradition in England that there was even some verse on the subject – “Roast on Sunday, Cold on Monday, Chopped on Tuesday, Pie (Shepherd’s) on Wednesday.” The tradition of having several meals from one roast has been reinstituted in my family, but we have found tastier choices than cold, chopped, or pie. It really is a money saver to have one roast provide four meals, and we do it whenever we have a large roast. The additional meals we cook surely do not taste like “leftovers”—they are just delicious.

The European Tradition—Twice Cooking Meat

Meat was far too expensive to waste in old Europe, so the Europeans developed a number of ways of reheating cooked meat into a delicious new meal. In fact, many old cookbooks suggest that a pot roast is at its best reheated, not fresh. These books actually advocate cooking a pot roast on one day, letting it sit overnight, then slicing it and reheating the slices in the gravy. Cooked meat can develop even more depth of flavor and become more tender when it rests in the refrigerator. One of the most famous examples of this tradition is Bigos, which is considered by many to be the Polish national dish. Bigos is a combination of pork, sausage, mushrooms, sauerkraut, fresh cabbage, and many other ingredients. It was reheated each day, and was said to reach its peak flavor on the seventh day.  The point is that leftovers can be turned into delicious meals.

What Roast to Use?

The favorite cut for the Sunday roast was, without question, prime rib of beef. This is a truly magnificent roast. Crowned with a superb cap of flavorful fat, resting on a natural rack of beef ribs, tender and juicy, possessing a unique flavor of its own, this is truly a special roast. Alas, nowadays, it is truly an expensive roast, one for special occasions. The Sunday roast we usually have is a nice piece of center cut shoulder (also known as cross rib, or shoulder clod). This cut is far less expensive. In fact, center cut shoulder is usually relegated to the crock pot by most grassfed websites and producers.

I have learned how to make tender, terrific roasts out of this very economical cut. My cookbook, Tender Grassfed Meat, has no less than eleven delicious recipes for roasting center cut shoulder in the oven. Grassfed center cut shoulder usually has most or all of the fat trimmed off, but I have found ways to compensate for this, which are covered in the recipes. Properly roasted, this cut makes a wonderful roast, often so tender that you can literally cut it with a fork.

“Tastes Too Good to Be Leftovers” Meals

After we have eaten our fill of the Sunday roast, there is a lot of leftover meat because grassfed meat is so satisfying. I will divide the leftover meat into two unequal portions. The largest portion, in one piece, is destined to become pot roast. The smaller portion, the rarest quarter of the leftover meat, will be turned into a stir-fry or hash. Tender Grassfed Meat has five recipes for pot roast, and I have made all of them successfully with leftover roast. That is one additional meal. We always have leftover pot roast, and that is refrigerated overnight, sliced, and reheated slowly in the flavorful leftover gravy, in the old tradition. That is another additional meal. Finally, we will usually stir-fry the reserved meat with various vegetables, using one of the three stir-fry recipes in Tender Grassfed Meat, which gives us our third additional meal.

Following the old tradition of getting several meals from the Sunday roast has really helped us get more delicious meals from one piece of meat.

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

Steak and French Fries—Still My Favorite Meal

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Old Fashioned French Fries from page 198 of the cookbook Tender Grassfed Meat.

Old Fashioned French Fries, recipe on page 198 of Tender Grassfed Meat.

I know literally hundreds of ways to turn grassfed meat into wonderful meals. But I have to confess something. My favorite meal remains what it always has been—steak and French fries. I am not alone in this. Many accomplished chefs have admitted to the same desire.

Steak and French fries have gotten a very bad reputation over the last 40 years. I contend that the steak and French fries I will enjoy this coming Father’s Day will be nourishing and good for me, as well as absolutely delicious.

The Allure of Steak and French Fries

Why have steak and French fries remained so popular, even if most people think they are a guilty indulgence? Steak and French fries are a traditional food combination, going back to France. The French know something about good traditional food combinations. I will point out that the original steak and French fries used grassfed beef for the meat, and good old saturated animal fat, such as beef tallow or lard, for frying the potatoes. The potatoes used for this traditional dish were organic, since all food used to be organic. The combination of steak and potatoes provided a meal that had a perfect pH balance, with the potatoes balancing the meat. Frying the potatoes in plenty of good animal fat tamed the high glycemic index of the potatoes, since the potatoes were fried in such a way to ensure that they would absorb plenty of the fat. In fact, potatoes were always cooked with fat (usually animal fat), in traditional Europe. As a follower of the teachings of Dr. Weston A. Price, I consider the fat of healthy grassfed animals to be one of the best foods I can eat. An excellent article on this subject is “The Skinny on Fats.”

Perhaps the greatest attraction of this combination is the joy of eating tender, juicy meat with crisp, delicious potatoes.

My Traditional Steak and French Fries

When I think of steak and French fries, I am not referring to the usual combination of a factory steak with factory potatoes fried at high heat in a modern vegetable oil. I think of a traditional, grassfed steak, with organic potatoes, fried at moderate heat in a traditional fat such as beef tallow or old-fashioned lard. This recreates the original ingredients that gave birth to the tradition.

A grassfed steak has much more flavor and will sustain and improve the natural functions of your body. Cooked right, it will be tender and taste so much better. The cuts I prefer for such a festive combination are Porterhouse, or a bone in rib steak, though I will also enjoy a strip steak, or even a less expensive cut such as center cut shoulder or cross rib. A less expensive cut of steak was often used for this dish in France, which was called Steak Frite. The cut I choose for the classic version is tri-tip steak, and my version of Steak Frite is contained on page 77 of my cookbook, Tender Grassfed Meat. The book also contains more than 20 other recipes for grassfed beef steak. These steaks all have something in common—they all go great with French fries.

I use only organic potatoes for French fries. I think it is important to use only organic potatoes, because conventional potatoes have been heavily sprayed with a number of pesticides, and just do not taste as good. I will fry the French fries in rendered beef tallow, or natural, unhydrogenated lard. I will fry the French fries twice, initially at a very moderate heat. Some might ask, “Doesn’t that mean that the fat will get into the potatoes?” You bet the fat will get into the potatoes. That’s a good thing. Eating fat with potatoes is an old European tradition. My recipe for Old Fashioned French Fries is contained on page 198 of Tender Grassfed Meat. You can see how they look in the photo above. They taste even better than they look.

A meal of traditional steak and French fries provides important nutrients that will maintain and support the very structure of your body, such as your bones, muscles, and cells, while also supporting your immune system and other body functions. But my main reason for wanting steak and French fries is that it tastes so very good.

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.

Grassfed Farmer Renews the Land

By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Chest high ice cream grass at US Wellness gives superior grassfed meat.

Great grass = healthy, contented cows.

Life begins with the land. The plants we eat cannot provide us with vitamins and minerals unless the soil is rich enough. An animal that has eaten plants grown on depleted soil cannot provide us with the nutrients we need. Modern farming methods can deplete the soil of nutrients. Even traditional methods can deplete the soil unless good crop rotation practices are followed. But one grassfed farmer has reversed this frightening trend. John Wood of US Wellness Meats is renewing the soil on his farm. He has doubled the yield of grass and improved the quality of his forage. This has improved the already excellent quality of the meat he raises. And he has accomplished this with substances derived from long dead plants.

Depletion of the Soil by Farming Harms the Fertility of the Land

The problem of soil depletion is not new. Some of the most barren land on earth was once fertile farmland, until the soil was completely depleted. A number of ancient peoples would leave once the soil was depleted, and move somewhere else, where the cycle would be repeated.

In modern times, there have been many reports stating that much of the soil used for farming is depleted, and that plants grown on depleted soil lack the minerals needed for health. These reports have been published by organizations ranging from the United States Senate to the World Health Organization.

What I Noticed

I have been a customer of US Wellness for many years, long before I wrote a cookbook. In fact, the very first grassfed meat I cooked successfully came from US Wellness. Over the years, I have had many email and telephone conversations with John Wood, the founder of US Wellness. One conversation covered the efforts John was making to improve the soil on his farm. Recently, I noticed that some of the meat I was getting from US Wellness had really improved in quality. The meat had always been excellent before, but it was even better now. The meat was even more tender than before. The meat had a lot of tiny flecks of healthy fat, the very best kind of marbling. The meat always had great flavor, but now it had a wonderful flavor that was better than ever. The meat had always made me feel good after I ate it, but this new meat was even more satisfying and renewing. I knew that something had changed for the better. My guess was that this might have something to do with John’s efforts to improve the soil on his farm. I was right.

Out of Death Comes Life

What John did was to add Humic and Fulvic acid to his land. Humic and Fulvic acid come completely from very old plant matter that has undergone microbial degradation. The interaction of certain microbes with dead plant matter creates a variety of substances that are rich in minerals and other substances. Humic and Fulvic acid not only enrich the soil with minerals, but also provide the nutrients necessary for a number of biological processes that renew the soil, including causing a huge multiplication of the mycortizal fungi. These fungi greatly enhance the ability of plants to use nutrients, including carbon taken from the atmosphere by the plant and deposited in the soil by means of the roots. This is yet another example of how the ecosystem creates life from death—the dead plants eventually turn into a substance that renews the life in the soil.

What are the Results?

John’s land is now producing twice the amount of grass it used to. In addition, John is seeing a return of a very special grass to his farm. This grass is called Eastern Gamma. This is a Native American grass that is particularly delicious and nutritious to livestock. It can grow as high as 9 feet, and produces a tremendous volume of forage. Eastern Gamma is considered by many to be one of the most nutritious grasses a cow can eat, and is considered to make the best hay. Cattle like this grass so much that it was called the “ice cream grass” in the 19th century. Eastern Gamma has been killed out by close grazing on most ranges, again, because cattle like it so much. You can see the return of Eastern Gamma to John’s farm in the above photo. Those cows are in food heaven!

How Long Did It Take?

The short answer is two years.

John first added the Humic and Fulvic acid to four paddocks in 2006. In 2008, the results were so outstanding that John added the Humic and Fulvic acid to the rest of his farm. The results really showed in 2010, when the output of grass doubled and the quality of the forage substantially improved.

Better Soil = Better Meat

It is generally agreed that the minerals in the soil are crucial for the nutritional value of the food.  The fact that the land now grows twice the amount of grass certainly shows that there are more nutrients in the soil. The fact that Eastern Gamma is making a successful comeback also supports the increased quality of the soil. But the fact that ultimately convinced me was the definitely improved quality of meat that had been excellent in the past, but is even better now.

The meat used to be tender. The meat used to taste great. The meat used to make me feel good and renewed when I ate it. The meat now is more tender. The taste is even better. I feel even more energized and renewed when I eat this fine grassfed meat from US Wellness Meats.

Better Soil = More Food

The most important factor needed to feed the world is good soil. Without good soil, there is no good place to raise crops or graze animals. Some farming practices deplete the soil and reduce the amount of food that the world can raise. Farming practices that improve the soil increase the amount of food the world can raise. Farmers who renew the land do us all a great service.

Kimberly Hartke started a thread where you can second my nomination of John Wood for her Heroes of Sustainable Agriculture Award. Here is the link:

Grass Farmer Nominated for Hero of Sustainable Agriculture Award

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

« Previous PageNext Page »