Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
6 Aug

Dear Mark: Industrial Duck, Topical Seed Oils, and Costco Rotisserie Chicken Bones

We can’t always make the perfect Primal choices. We simply don’t live in a world that affords us the opportunity, and short of being whisked away in the night by an elvish boy with green tights, a fairy companion, and the ability to fly, we’re stuck here for the duration. Let’s make the best of it, huh? I think I do a pretty good job at that, here on this blog, but sometimes there are questions that I have yet to address. Like what to make of industrially-raised duck, or whether or not you should still apply those seed oils – which you’d never eat if you could help it – to your face and body as moisturizers, or if carcasses from industrially-raised chickens are still worth using to make stock. These are questions that most people never even think about, but you have (or at least some of you), and I aim to provide a helpful answer.

Let’s go.

I know industrially raised chickens and cows are nutritionally not the best, but what about duck? Are ducks raised any better than chickens since they are eaten less frequently?


Unfortunately, ducks are also industrially raised:

Standard duck feed consists of mostly corn and soybean, with a mix of wheat “middlings” (an assortment of wheat bran, germ, and flour), vitamins, minerals, and sometimes meat and bone meal. Corn is by far the biggest contributor to calories. No bugs, greens, worms, or small fish for these ducks.

Standard operating procedure sticks ducks indoors to keep predators away (and reduce the need for open space). Ducklings (whose beaks are usually removed) get a half square foot of space, an allowance that eventually increases to two square feet as the duck grows.

In industrial duck farms, ducks generally have zero access to water (probably for the best; if they did have access to a body of water in their enclosures, it would become pretty foul very fast) save for the water they drink from nipple feeders. Ducks are water fowl; the fat which we prize so much exists to provide natural flotation. You could argue about whether or not ducks mind being in close quarters with other ducks, but I don’t think you can argue against a duck’s natural predilection for flapping around happily in a body of water.

Nutritionally, I’d wager that industrial duck might be “better” than industrial chicken. Ducks have far less PUFA and more saturated fat. I’ve also never heard of Peking chicken, so duck wins that one, too.

Dear Mark,

I’m hoping you can shed some light on the subject of seed and plant oils used for skin care. I long ago ditched chemicals and other nasties from my personal care products, but in light of what I have now learned about how unhealthy some oils are for our health, I’m wondering if the same goes for putting them ON our bodies as in them. A favorite body oil of mine contains grape seed oil, sunflower oil, apricot kernel oil, soybean oil, and rice bran oil. They’re supposedly all cold-pressed, organic, non-GMO sourced, which I know is a step in the right direction, but is it enough to make putting soybean oil on your skin a good thing? I’ll freely admit that I’ve had great results from this product, which is why I’m asking – I’d rather not give it up if I don’t have to!

Thanks, so much, for all you do!

M :)

PS: I can already hear the chorus from the comments… “Coconut oil!!” I’ve tried it, and it worked pretty good as far as moisturizing goes, but sadly I think I’m actually mildly allergic to it. Olive oil is a no-go for my skin, too.

I wouldn’t worry too much about your body oil. The reason why we (or at least I) recommend against eating those oils is the amount of omega-6 linoleic acid they contain. That is, introducing those oils to our digestive system leads to their digestion, incorporation, and the resultant pro-inflammatory cascade. Applying some soybean oil to your skin isn’t the same as ingesting that same soybean oil. Or is it?

Strangely enough, there is preliminary research suggesting that certain segments of the population – namely, preterm infants – might be able to absorb topically applied fats and draw upon them as a source of calories (PDF). And some older studies show that topical application of essential fatty acids (EFAs) can correct EFA deficiencies, such as with a nineteen year old patient subsisting on a fat-free nutrient infusion, or in newborns with low plasma levels of linoleic and arachidonic acids. It’s not foolproof, though, as other studies suggest that topical application is inadequate to prevent fatty acid deficiencies. It’s probably a case of the dose determining the response, as 100 milligrams/kg body weight of linoleic acid (a paltry amount) was insufficient to affect serum EFA levels in one study using infants.

If you’re bathing in the stuff, you might be absorbing an untoward amount, but I doubt you’re doing that. Plus, if it’s improving the health of your skin, I highly doubt it’s also promoting inflammation. If you’re really worried, just use some coconut oil and olive oil. (Just kidding.)

Hi Mark,

I guess this question is really about food quality:

Yesterday, I was short on time and, for convenience, I picked up a rotisserie chicken from COSTCO. I know it was still a primal choice from a meat perspective, but since it was not organic (and not even close to free-range) I threw out the carcass. A part of me wanted to use it for bone broth, but I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea since it had likely been treated with antibiotics and hormones. What do you think?

Thanks for all you do!


Ah, yes, the famed Costco rotisserie chicken. It’s $4.99, juicy, massively-breasted, pumped full of brine, and delicious in spite of your mind’s protestations to the contrary. It’s said that even Julia Child was a big fan.

It’s actually illegal to treat chickens with hormones in the US, so your chicken carcass from Costco won’t have any hormone residues.

Antibiotics are widely used in poultry farming, even the banned ones on occasion. And studies indicate that antibiotic residues do show up in animal bones. However, heating has the potential to destroy antibiotic residues in bone, although not as easily as it does in muscle meat. One study found that the only way to completely eradicate the presence of tetracycline in chicken bones was to subject it to 121 degree C autoclaving (a high pressure steaming) for 60 minutes; it did not test boiling. This study (PDF) found that boiling was effective at removing antibiotic residue from chicken meat, but I’m not sure that’s helpful for making broth, since some of the residues migrated to the boiling liquid (which you’ll be drinking, rather than discarding).

Broth is an important addition to the Primal way of eating, and I honestly wouldn’t stress about adding a Costco carcass to the pot every once in awhile. After all, the levels of antibiotic residues that show up in meat and bones from treated animals pale in comparison to the levels you’ll get from an antibiotics cycle prescribed by your doctor. And even though those chickens were reared on pesticide-laden corn and soy and antibiotic-treated water, their bones are still made of the same basic stuff as the bones of a pastured chicken. You’ll still get gelatin, calcium, and a host of other nutrients when you make broth. You just might be getting a dose of other, undesirable stuff, too. I think the value of the former outweighs the potential harm of the latter, especially if that’s the only bone-based dietary input you’re getting.

If that Costco chicken was just a blip, an aberration, and you normally make broth from better bones, I would have done the same thing you did.

Okay, that’s it for today’s questions. Let me know your thoughts on CAFO duck, soy oil moisturizers, and Costco chickens. Thanks for reading!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Oh, boy, I don’t know. The skin is your body’s largest organ and to be soaking it in those kinds of oils every day…just doesn’t seem right to me. Now, coconut oil is another matter. It’s WONDERFUL for skin. Why not just go with that?

    BTW, I was once on a diet so strictly non-fat that I wasn’t allowed to use body lotion at all. There are a number of medicinal herbal infusions I make that are absorbed through the skin. Magnesium is best taken topically. Don’t sell the skin short as its ability to absorb and “digest” nutrients!

    Mamachibi wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • Interseting thoughts. Whenever I think about nutrient absorption, I always think about orally consuming the nutrients. I bet there are a lot of good nutrients to take in topically. Possibly a post to come soon Mark?

      Max Ungar wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • I also have a question: I always have broth on hand, and usually use it to make into sauces. Do I have to keep it over low heat to reduce it? Will high heat (which I use because it’s faster) destroy the gelatine? Thanks!

        Anon wrote on August 8th, 2012
    • Well, first of all, the emailer is allergic to coconut oil, so coconut oil is a no go for “M.” Plus, it’s not like you’d be putting that much oil on your skin. My guess is that it would be about as much as you would get taking a Vitamin D supplement.

      Personally, I’ve found Shea Butter to be the best when my skin is dry. Coconut oil feels kinda weird to me.

      John wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • it probably depends on how sensitive a person is. i heard some Celiac even reacts to wheat in skin care products.

        Vintage Tradition makes balm made with
        grass fed tallow & olive oil. (needless to say i had to get some. it does smell a tad beefy.

        Primal Life Organic used also makes some skin care, pretty $$$$ but each hand made w/ high quality ingredients. (i have not used any of them)

        or you can just use pure oil (e.g., jojoba oil, cocoa butter) cheaper too.

        my pet peeve is strange that some products that claim to be “earthy” & “natural” contain canola oil. ah!

        PHK wrote on August 6th, 2012
        • But it’s the wheat protein that’s causing the reaction rather than any fats, as I understand it.

          Sue wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • I’m glad you mentioned Shea Butter. I own Bee Silk from Made on Lotion which is made up of coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax. Its a fantastic moisturizer and helps relieve itching.

        I got a bee sting 10 days ago and it swelled up and was itching on and off but this bee silk helped a lot. Getting 2-3 hours of sun on the sting is what heeled me :)

        I am now breaking out with hives. I put my bee silk on my back last night and my back does not itch at all right now even though I am completely covered with hives.

        My hands itch like crazy. Anytime water touches them I get itchy. Its so hard not to resists! But I know I got my bee silk to save me.

        Primal Toad wrote on August 7th, 2012
    • I agree, but coconut oil makes me break out so I use avocado oil to wash my face or for make-up removal. Sometimes I blend it with cod liver oil or EVOO. There is a website called Crunchy Betty; she has great oil recipes for cleansing our faces! (almond oil is nice, too)

      Great Q&A Mark, thanks! XO

      jen wrote on August 7th, 2012
      • Coconut oil makes me break out, too. I’ve been using cold-pressed grapeseed oil on my face occasionally, and my skin loves it. I also use pure aloe gel as a daily moisturizer, and my face drinks it up. Those plant oils that you shouldn’t eat do wonders for my skin.

        Deanna wrote on August 8th, 2012
        • I also use aloe as my daily face moisturizer and I’ve noticed a great deal of improvement since I have. (Not all can be atributed to diet changes, since the aloe thing happened earlier).

          Amy wrote on August 8th, 2012
        • Yes, many of the seed oils can be extremely beneficial for skin, especially grape seed oil. Another great one is coriander, or chia (if you can find it).

          Seed Oils wrote on February 23rd, 2013
    • I use rosehip oil (great for wrinkles!), almond oil and coconut oil. Coconut oil is the best eye makeup remover I have ever used.

      Kitty wrote on August 8th, 2012
  2. Gotta love the COSTCO rotisseries. They aren’t the best choice, but are definitely usable to make some delicious broth.

    I wasn’t exactly clear on this: are ducks bug eaters also? And if so, how can I get my hands on some bug fed ducks? I know chickens that are bug fed are usually supplemented with some form of other vegetarian feed. What about ducks?

    Max Ungar wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • can i please remind everyone that we are stewards of this planet and as such, should be concerned – as much as with the nutritional value – of the quality of life of the animals we raise and eat.

      call it esoteric, but do you really want to consume into your body the bodies of animals that have had miserable lives? even if you look at it only this way – that is selfishly worrying about what that misery energy will do to you – you cannot ignore that these creatures literally suffer and die in such a way that they will carry some pretty unpleasant karma to your dinner plate.

      don’t support this cr* p please! take the effort and spend the money to purchase animals that were raised humanely – i hardly think cosco chickens qualify – tasty or no, Julia Child endorsed or not (shame on you Julia – i hope you are not in some industrial chicken-h e l l purgatory…)

      ravi wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • Ravi, I couldn’t agree more. However, when organic pasture-raised chickens cost upwards of $8/lb and more (never mind pastured pork which is even more pricey) it’s very difficult for many of us to buy on a regular basis. We do what we can. It sucks that organic, grass-fed, pastured animal meat is so damn expensive. It sucks for the animals and for us.

        mars wrote on August 6th, 2012
        • Yah, I totally agree. If I had the budget, time, and knowledge, I would even want to try and grow all of, or most of, the food (vegetables, fruits and meats) I eat myself. Unfortunately, being a college student, it is hard to get high quality meat on a regular basis. Although, I am working on changing the food system at my school.

          Max Ungar wrote on August 6th, 2012
        • Add to that the fact that even when you know what to look for and have the budget to buy the right meat, it’s difficult to get the right information to know what you are buying and to find a good source.
          I found a great source for beef in Callicrate Ranch in Colorado, but they do grain-finish their cows. I balance that with the fact that they are dedicated to the humane and natural raising and slaughtering of their animals. Their prices are also very good if you have the freezer space for larger orders.

          MarkA wrote on August 6th, 2012
        • MarkA and anyone in CO, I can’t recommend Sun Prairie Beef more. They are grass fed and finished, owned by a large animal vet who works directly with the Humane Society, and who is an advocate for humane animal care and environmental stewardship. If you live in the Denver metro area, they do dropoffs at specified locations so you don’t have to pay for shipping. Their prices, especially for the lower cost cuts/ground beef, are around $6-7/lb, and you can buy them in 25 lb packages in whatever cut composition you want.

          Kate wrote on August 6th, 2012
        • Go to your local farmer’s market, or find one nearby your work or community! I know in our small town we have several, on different days of the week. It is rare that I can’t make it to at least one. One of our farmers there offers whole, pastured, humanely raised chickens for $2.25/lb or cut-up for $2.50/lb. Great source for all of my pastured protein needs (the beef/pork/lamb/egg prices are great too). Plus, you can find many organic and/or locally grown vegetables, fruits, etc. to round out your shopping. It takes a little effort to find it, but once you do, you reap the benefits. Plus, the more people purchase from the local farmers, the more the local farmers can offer, and the better the prices will be. It’s a great way to help them expand and be able to serve a larger portion of the community. Trickle down the love!

          eli wrote on August 7th, 2012
      • We all agree with you Ravi and are doing the best we can. If we all of a sudden told ourselves that we were only going to consume pasture raised animals then we would add a significant amount of stress to our lives.

        Call me shellfish, but I care about my health and well-being more than an animals.

        MOST of the animal products I consume are pastured raised. It used to be 0%. I’m on my way to 100%.

        Primal Toad wrote on August 7th, 2012
      • love all the excuses guys – but i have a pitiful budget and manage to do this.

        and get real – at the turn of the last century, households spent upwards of 50% of their budget on food, by WW2 that was down to 20-some percent and today – 12%!!

        you get what you pay for and what you are getting in a soul-lessly raised industrial cosco chicken is utter lifelong misery roasted to a golden brown.

        don’t take offence (i hear you are all trying) but keep that image in mind next time you pay a piddley $4.95 for the total life of a creature that is nourishing you.

        ravi wrote on August 7th, 2012
        • At the turn of the century and pre-WW2 what was the percentage on utility bills? How much money went on fuel for transport and other costs? There is a reason why that figure has dropped from 50% and that is people just do not have that amount to spend on food.

          I agree that you get what you pay for. And yes, most people should consider spending just that little bit more if they can, but for some it is a real real struggle.

          For others the choice of quality food is just not there. They cannot afford to get to the farmers markets so have to accept what is offered in their local stores.

          Andy wrote on August 8th, 2012
        • andy – you manage what you care about – and i am not talking about everyone in every socioeconomic group, i was directing my comments mainly to the obviously not “down-and-out” & homeless here at MDA – all the folks here are middle class give or take – nowadays that does not mean awash with money – but it does mean discretionary choices – i would be willing to bet you that every person whining here has at least one of the following: a cell phone contract, an iphone, an ipad, a laptop and another computer, a car not yet 5 years old, a vacation somewhere else each year – you get the picture.

          you do what you believe in – and i just want to remind people that animals are paying dearly to feed them the primal lifestyle and that it is responsible to treat them with respect and give them a decent, (i did not say luxurious) life.

          ravi wrote on August 8th, 2012
        • My family is composed of two adults and five children ages 2yrs to 9yrs and ranging in weight from 30lbs to 80lbs (all paleo diners). We are moving, but in the meanwhile, it costs us $2600+ each month to feed ourselves. We literally ate the last pound of grassfed beef available to us up here.

          I agree that it is a choice to eat the way that one does, but sometimes, that choice is subordinate to bunch of other choices. To make the choice to eat wild (which we are in the process of doing presently), we are moving 7000kms away from where we live now. This choice has been 10 years in-the-making, and while it would be ideal for everyone to eat wild (because grassfed/pastured or not, farming is ecological tyranny on a variety of scales), it is not a live option for most to enact it at 100% beginning this evening, the way choosing a chicken at the store on the way home from a job, instead of protein deficiency could be.

          To rank evolutionary diet sources, pastured is not first place. Unspoiled by drugs and improper diets being given(from 1 to 5- the others are variable of course), here’s my list of beast-sources in order of best first (mix and match for in-between-ers):

          1)Wild fish and game
          2)Ranched, unpenned herd animals
          3)Penned, home-raised animals
          6)Grain finished only
          7)Free-Run “Organic”
          8)CAFO-raised Organic
          9)CAFO standard
          10)Fasting, indefinitely

          And vegetation:

          1)Wild wilderness-sourced
          2)Wild urban-sourced (carefully, of course)
          3)Home garden
          4)Organic/no Synthetics, local
          5)Organic/no Synthetics, from away
          6)Grocery standard, selected for least typical spraying
          7)Standard sprayed
          8)Obligate carnivore

          I truly understand the desire for happy animals and the many valid reasons for why. I have raised domestic animals to eat, and no matter what, when they are being raised by humans- even thoroughly concerned, willing, and knowledgeable ones like me, they are deficient in some way, not at all like if they were wild. So, while pastured is by far a much better option for animals, maybe otherwise destined for CAFOs (we rescued one such pig, raised it generously penned with an omnivorous diet of our food scraps), being confined is stressful, even if the fences are miles apart, if an animal is conscious of it, and they are. Wild is best.

          Though I absolutely mean no disrespect for your concerns because I share them, and act on them myself, if you want to advocate for animal well-being, wild is best. I just thought I’d add that even farming of the most humane sort pales in contrast to the life of an animal, free in the wild. And the meat really, really indicates the truth of this, even if nothing else convinces.

          Imogen wrote on August 10th, 2012
        • thanks for making my point in caps Imogen– one acts on what one cares about – and yes wild is best – THAT is tough for most of us–

          ravi wrote on August 14th, 2012
    • We live in suburbia in a big block and have 2muscovie ducks, 2 Indian runners and 3 chickens. Unfortunately not organic as we have to feed them grain, and GE get cheap veggies from the local market but they are not organic either. When I peel the green bugs of the veggies the ducks line up for a treat! They dig down looking for bugs & worms are really quite the carnivors! Not that we plan on roas duck any time soon, but we are drowning in free range eggs which is excellent! Despite not being organic they are still much better quality than shop bought, and really fresh!

      Michelle wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • Lord! I meant ‘we get’ and the green bugs are bugs off the veggies I am growing! Starting a patch especially for feeding the chooks & ducks

        Michelle wrote on August 6th, 2012
  3. Mark, you always come thru. That is so cool to read about the duck bones being not too bad every now and then. Thank you so much for doing all the research and passing it on to us, your followers :-)

    JudyBird wrote on August 6th, 2012
  4. I think we have enough real issues to worry about. Just how fine do we want to split the hairs? If you let that kind of stress drive up your cortisol you’re doomed!

    Groktimus Primal wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • I thought those were perfectly legitimate questions.

      Alyssa wrote on August 6th, 2012
  5. Mark, thanks for the comment on hormones being banned for use in chickens and the bit about antibiotics. There’s a lot of interst and confusion out there about those two things and it was nice to see the discussion approached without all of the hyperbole that usually accompanies it.

    Jordan wrote on August 6th, 2012
  6. I appreciate the part about Costco since I get most of my meats from there. My wife is on board with the PB lifestyle except for grass fed beef, she can’t stand the gamy taste that we always seem to get from it (I’m not a huge fan either). We also can’t really afford the 3x cost of organic/natural/grassfed/etc so costco/winco it is. We do eat kerrigold butter and Coconut oil as a staple. We just recently purchased a large tub of organic, cold pressed, bleach free coconut oil at Costco that is awesome, I’m loving it in my morning coffee.

    Phil J wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • My experience with Costco meats is that some are good, others not so much. I’ve bought hamburger from Costco that was red and fresh-looking on the outside, but greyish-brown and unappetizing on the inside and also had an unpleasant off-taste. I wouldn’t be surprised if they irradiate or somehow dye their meat so it looks fresh even if it isn’t.

      As for their rotisserie chicken, it’s way too salty for me–probably brined prior to roasting and more like chicken lunchmeat in texture. I much prefer to buy a raw free-range chicken from Whole Foods and throw it in the oven for a couple of hours. Very easy and much better flavor.

      Shary wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • When it comes to buying meat, especially from large grocery chains, don’t let the bright red color fool you. Most grocery-store meat has been gassed with carbon monoxide, which has the effect of de-oxidizing the meat, thus allowing it to stay bright red for much longer. The problem is that the meat will stay red even after it begins to spoil.
        The grayish or brownish color that meat turns after it has been ground or butchered into individual cuts is a natural result of the oxidation of the iron in the meat. It’s really nothing to worry about. Your sense of smell and touch should tell you all you need to know about the meat, before you cook it. Any off smells or slimy or sticky textures are a bad sign, even if the meat is bright red. Ground beef that is red on the outside but dull on the inside results because either the meat has been gassed after it has been ground and formed, or because the package was vacuum sealed (the meat on the inside may have oxygen trapped while the meat on the exterior stays pink because all the air has been sucked out of the package. Have you ever seen dry-aged beef? Not very pretty, but extremely tender and flavorful.

        MarkA wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • I’ve heard they use carbon monoxide packaging which can make meat appear fresh after is already bad.


        Jonathan Swaringen wrote on August 9th, 2012
    • I can’t stand the gamey taste of the deer and elk that my husband gets. What we do is when we get it out of the freezer (or when fresh) is to soak it in salt water, about the same a sea water in saltiness. This draws out the gamey flavor.

      CrazyCatLady wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • @crazy
        Ohh very neat Idea, I might have to try that we pat $728 for a 1/4 cow and my wife hated it so we are try to get our money back but maybe this will make it edible.
        Here in Boise,ID we don’t have a whole foods yet supposedly one will be here around Thanksgiving then I will look into it. We do have a Natural Grocers but I was not impressed when I walked through it, maybe I should have another look.

        Phil J wrote on August 6th, 2012
        • Ok, but did YOU like it?

          Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on August 6th, 2012
        • well the one steak I had certainly didn’t qualify as the best I’ve ever had but it wasn’t terrible, I guess I would rate it as “good”. The bummer for me was that the fat on the steak was bad, you know how sometimes if you get a good steak the fat is wonderfully flavorful?

          Phil J wrote on August 6th, 2012
        • I know my initial foray into grass fed meats was tough. Literally! I over cooked everything because I cooked it like a “regular” piece of beef. Low and slow and go by internal temperature.

          Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on August 6th, 2012
  7. Any celiacs out there try the Costco rotisserie birds? I would love to pick up some “fast food” for dinner some time, but I’ve been afraid to try them.

    maddieaddie wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • I haven’t tried Costco’s rotisserie chickens, but our large grocery chains all seem to list ingredients in theirs that are just different names for gluten. Being extremely gluten sensitive, I can’t even eat animals that were just FED grains, so I avoid all but grass fed and wild caught fish and my arthritis has declined about 70 %.

      Linda Myers wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • I eat the occasional Costco bird with no gluten issues. The celiac community at large has endorsed them as safe.

      Yes, I feel guilty when I do, and know its not the best, but sometimes convenience just wins out!

      RenegadeRN wrote on January 28th, 2013
  8. Great post! I gave up using chemicals on my skin years ago also. If coconut and olive oils are not what you’d like to use, why not shea butter? I’ve used organic, unrefined shea butter with great results.

    AuroraB wrote on August 6th, 2012
  9. This makes me grateful I’ll be bringing home a lot of wild duck and goose this fall, but the funny thing is, many of them are grain-fed! Some of the best hunting grounds are grain fields that have been harvested, as the birds love to gorge themselves on the leftovers.

    Ian wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • But they are still wild….so not locked up in pens, fed antibiotics to keep them alive and they should have a great layer of duck fat on them! Enjoy!!

      Michelle wrote on August 6th, 2012
  10. Very interesting on the duck. I have been wondering about this issue and duck fat is obviously delicious, but if it is full of the same kind of omega 6 fats that chicken (even the pastured kind) is full of then I should probably be avoiding it. Good to hear that the fat type is not as much of a concern. Any info on smoke point versus lard or tallow?

    Is it even possible to create a natural environment at a duck farm. Won’t the ducks just fly away?? I’m sure this is something responsible duck farmers have figured out, but it strikes me as a larger challenge than pasturing chickens…

    mohill wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • Not all domesticated ducks fly. Our Indian Runner ducks will only fly a few feet, and usually only when scared. Larger meat birds are probably about the same. Our birds are pets… my kids would never let us harvest them to eat. (But they will eat the eggs.) They do help keep snails and bugs out of our garden, and actually helped a bug infested tree recover by eating all the larva as they emerged from the tree.

      CrazyCatLady wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • When we had ducks (only about 6, then ducklings…) we did what most duck-farmers do, which is clip some feathers on one wing so they can’t fly. Tasty eggs! (Tasty ducks too)

      Tom B-D wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • I raise ducks and geese on pastureland that includes a small pond. (I do lock them up at night to protect them from predators.) Of course I have a small operation and raise most of these birds for my own kitchen, but I see no reason why this couldn’t be done on a larger scale. Also, the breeds that I raise (Pekin, Rouen, Khaki Campbell and Indian Runner ducks and Grey Toulouse geese)have bodies that are too heavy and wings that are too short to allow them to get more than a few feet off the ground. (There are a few breeds that can fly fairly well.)

      Pearl V wrote on August 6th, 2012
  11. I started using coconut oil on my feet to rid myself of athlete’s feet and it worked.

    So I then began using it on my face. However, I developed some skin issues that I’ve been trying to rectify for over 2 months. I have rosacea so that may be why the face had an issue with it.

    Pam wrote on August 6th, 2012
  12. I had thought about the absorption of beauty products through our skin possibly having an effect on paleo/pri habits. I like to use sugar scrubs. I asked another “paleo guru” type just after chaning my WOE about this and was told that it would be OK. But it kind of still has me wondering. Mostly the sugar gets washed off, but I still have to wonder if it’s something I should give up.

    Sarah A wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • IMO, skin does much better without lotions, cosmetics, scrubs, etc. I live in a dry climate and do use a little lotion in the winter, but unless I start getting overly-dry itchy skin, I keep it to a minimum. I don’t use foundation-type cosmetics or face powder and blushes at all. They can clog the pores and result in acne.

      Shary wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • I have no problem with using cosmetics AND I have to for my job. I simply don’t have enough “polish” to my look if I don’t wear makeup. I don’t have acne problems since changing my diet – so makeup was never the problem for me, it was the food. Also I live in a very dry climate and my skin would be in pain if I didn’t moisturize. I use coconut oil, but my skin needs help sloughing off the dead skin, and sugar/salt scrubs are very helpful for that.

        Sarah A wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • I think it’s a great way to use up all that old sugar you no longer cook with.

      Joy Beer wrote on August 6th, 2012
  13. I have occasionally eaten a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods as a guilty pleasure but the carcass looks so think and unwholesome, I’ve never thought it would throw off anything much worth having in a broth. Good to have that clarified.

    I dunno, absorption of any kind of body product makes me leery but a compromise has to be reached. I limit mine to as few as possible.

    Alison Golden wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • *thin*

      Alison Golden wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • I asked my Whole Foods where they source their rotisserie chickens from, and they said that they use the same local, pastured chickens that they sell in the meat department. I don’t know if all Whole Foods use such high quality birds for their rotisserie chickens, but it’s worth asking for it.

      Michelle wrote on August 14th, 2012
  14. Those poor ducks are so hideously obese. I made a duck for Christmas and really felt sorry for it. But man was it delicious and so was the rendered fat I got. I got a quart of rendered fat from one duck.

    Diane wrote on August 6th, 2012
  15. Coconut oil, Shea butter, and – to a lesser extent – olive oil are all comedenic. They are not great for all types of facial skin. You might be better off with jojoba oil, though I think apricot oil was supposed to be non-comedenic but I can’t recall and don’t feel like googling.

    (I used to use coconut oil all of the time until it started making my face itch, regardless of manufacturer. Major sad face when that happened.)

    HaydenT wrote on August 6th, 2012
  16. I use almond oil on my skin and I love it. Coconut is too greasy for me. Thanks for the info on the chickens Mark. I have had that exact same question.

    rabbit_trail wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • Ditto on the almond oil. Coconut oil and olive oil are far too “heavy.”

      Rebekah wrote on August 7th, 2012
  17. I really appreciate the advice about oils and skin, as I just finished a 32 oz bottle of organic sunflower oil and am wondering how much omega 6 I potentially absorbed. Glad to hear it probably wasn’t contributing too much it at all, but will be trying jojoba oil next. Coconut oil doesn’t absorb as well for me and sometimes leaves me a little itchy. I seem to be able to use it before bed as an extra moisturizing boost but if I use it after bathing I get the itch.

    Jenny wrote on August 6th, 2012
  18. My body oil of choice is a blend of almond oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, and vitamin E. After years as a massage therapist I cannot imagine going without my body oil!

    Grapeseed oil is notoriously good for the skin, and probably the base if your oil since it’s listed first. If you are confident in the claims of non-gmo/organic and you feel better with than without it, I say go for it! Your skin will not lie to you. If you’d like to try something else, try blending your own organic grapeseed and almond, and apricot kernel oil.

    I used organic almond oil with a couple drops of chamomille essential oil daily to soothe my colicky first born, and I think it helped him in ways that I was unaware of.

    Because the oil you put on your skin is unheated (unless you’re warming coconut oil for use) does that negate some of the PUFA/omega 6 worries?

    yoolieboolie wrote on August 6th, 2012
  19. In response to the skin moisturizing issue, if coconut oil and olive oil are off limits, I strongly recommend cocoa butter. It can be purchased online fairly cheaply and melted down to make your own oils. It is highly saturated and rich in antioxidants. It’s very firm at room temperature, so blending it with a monounsaturated fat like avocado oil or macadamia nut oil will fix this issue.

    ChocoTaco369 wrote on August 6th, 2012
  20. I live in Arizona and have used Aveeno
    daily moisturizing cream daily for the
    past ten years. It keeps my skin moist
    and young looking and I am 81yrs old. I
    use it on my arms, face and legs.
    Coconut oil is to greasy for me.

    James Case wrote on August 6th, 2012
  21. i had the same question about using oils on the skin. i have begun doing this just assuming it was healthier than other beauty products. glad to hear that it shouldn’t be a problem, as i love thoroughly enjoy using my safflower oil!

    Marissa wrote on August 6th, 2012
  22. Have to interject my professional opinion on the skin care issue since that’s my bread and butter (so to speak!).
    Your skin can, does, and will absorb the fats you put on it (or anything it recognizes including vitamins and minerals). Not in huge amounts mind you, but it will get into your body. If you’re truly concerned about it, and since you can’t use coconut or olive oil :( have you considered squalene? You can purchase ethically (read: olive NOT marine) sourced squalene on Amazon or really any online retailer. Search for botanical Squalene. I wouldn’t worry about a reaction as there is no olive left in squalene to react to.

    Michelle wrote on August 6th, 2012
  23. I have been experimenting lately with using home-rendered grass-fed tallow for skin care. PHENOMENAL!! I have very dry skin and the tallow (mixed with a small percentage of sesame oil to make
    it more spreadable) is healing and soothing.
    Added bonus: the grass-fed suet is absolutely free from my local co-op; they just throw it away! I get
    10 to 20 lbs. at a time and render it in my crockpot. I made a mix of about 3/4 cup melted
    tallow with maybe 3 tablespoons of sesame oil, plus some lavender and rosemary essential oils.

    Read more:

    Kathleen wrote on August 6th, 2012
  24. The Costco in my area uses Perdue chickens to roast and I wouldn’t eat those on a bet. Food Inc documented the cruel way Perdue raises their chickens and the garbage they are fed. It gives me chills to think of it.

    Susan wrote on August 6th, 2012
  25. At what point does boiling the bones and roasted chicken skin turn into Jewish penecillin?

    My wife has been using vegetarian fed natural chicken and making soup stock– she boils then simmers for hours– strains, then the next day boils again and adds noodles. I, being primal, strain away her noodles. But it’s the best tasting chicken soup and I haven’t had a cold or the flu in about ten years.

    Pastor Dave wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • Tip: If you reuse bones several times, when finished discard them to your dog. The bones will be very soft and little rover will gnosh right through them.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on August 6th, 2012
  26. I always reach for pork fat when I want to moisturize.

    erik wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • I wanted to say something about that too :) Rendered pig fat was the preferred carrier for cosmetics in days gone bye, but much of the coametic industry now uses rendered animals that have been euthanized by animal control.

      Mmmmmaybe it’s magic! Maybe it’s Maybelline!

      yoolieboolie wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • +1

        mars wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • And do you use BBQ sauce as cologne?

      Tom B-D wrote on August 6th, 2012
  27. It is my understanding that ducks (just like broiler chickens [ie ones you eat versus “layers” ones for eggs]) do not have their beaks removed/clipped. IF this is done at all in commercial poultry then it is only done to layers. Also, clipping the beak on a chicken is no different than clipping your nails. The beak is made of keratin. Finally, the whole sq ft per bird argument in poultry production is only used b/c it sounds worse than it actually is. If you were to ever walk into a commercial poultry house with only .75sqft per bird stocking density there would be vast open spaces in that house. The bird only cares about being near other birds – they are social creatures – and the flock protects them from predators etc.

    Rachel Virden wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • My brother worked in commercial chicken houses as a teenager. There may be some empty spaces when the broilers are small, but by the time they are grown, the houses are wall-to-wall chickens. They never see the light of day. They routinely die of heart attacks because they grow so fast that their hearts literally explode. It’s a horrible way to raise an animal!

      leah wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • “Also, clipping the beak on a chicken is no different than clipping your nails.”

      No, the beak is covered in keratin. It’s made of bone and blood and nerve endings. The living end gets cut off and hurts just like stabbing through the nail bed would hurt.

      Amber wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • Beak clipping is barbaric. It’s only used to stop these poor birds, who are bored senseless, pulling each other’s feathers out. I’m somewhat stunned to find people who want to source organic, grass fed beef, condoning beak clipping. PLEASE pay the extra for a free range bird or don’t eat chicken. Every time you buy this cheap garbage it allows the producers to raise another in it’s place. Stop buying and they’ll soon stop producing this way.

        Crofter wrote on August 6th, 2012
        • Condone or not, buy or not – they will never stop producing that was as the bulk of the population do not care, don’t want to know and can’t afford to eat food that costs more. Sad.

          Michelle wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • Rachel is correct, duck bills are not trimmed, nor are broiler beaks. Egg layers ARE housed inhumanely, but broilers really are not. Keep in mind that they are only 6-8 weeks old when they’re butchered. In other breeds of chickens, that would barely be past the chick stage. Yes, broilers do grow terribly fast. They have been bred (not genetically manipulated, however) to do that. If you raise them in your back yard they will still grow too fast and some will be lame or dead before they’re butchered. The same happens with commercial strains of turkeys. If you raise heritage turkeys or dual-purpose breeds of chickens for your own meat, you will have to keep them much longer than the commercial breeds before they reach the right size. The meat may be too tough for your taste. I avoid all these problems by eating eggs for protein and raising my own hens humanely. I just wanted to back up Rachel’s comments.

      Janice James wrote on August 7th, 2012
  28. can i please remind everyone that we are stewards of this planet and as such, should be concerned – as much as with the nutritional value – of the quality of life of the animals we raise and eat.

    call it esoteric, but do you really want to consume into your body the bodies of animals that have had miserable lives? even if you look at it only this way – that is selfishly worrying about what that misery energy will do to you – you cannot ignore that these creatures literally suffer and die in such a way that they will carry some pretty unpleasant karma to your dinner plate.

    don’t support this cr* p please! take the effort and spend the money to purchase animals that were raised humanely – i hardly think cosco chickens qualify – tasty or no, Julia Child endorsed or not (shame on you Julia – i hope you are not in some industrial chicken-h e l l purgatory…)

    ravi wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • Rotisserie chicken is a staple in the butcher shops in Paris. I suspect that this might have been what Julia Child was talking about rather than what you can buy in Costco. She also famously said that chicken didn’t taste like chicken anymore after they figured out how to industrialize production.

      I agree with ravi about boycotting inhumanely raised meat. This is not entirely unself-interested. The next global pandemic decimating the world’s population is almost guaranteed to arise from one of these concentrated animal feedlot operations. It’s not a question of “if” but “when.”

      Ann wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • No, actually, the next epidemic / pandemic will come, as most do, out of Asia, where the chicken live in such close proximity WITH HUMANS (and pigs) that the flu bugs get to ‘swap genes’ (reassort) across the species barrier(s). It’s not animal feedlots where they arise, it’s small farms with folks living in too-close proximity and with differing levels of cleanliness. The few humans who have ‘caught’ H5N1 — the most terrifying future pandemic — have caught it from household animals, not feedlots. (American feedlots won’t create the pandemic, because all of those animals are way-over-treated with antibiotics.)

        I’m not sure a blanket proscription will do. In an ideal world, yes, we could all afford — and find — humanely raised meat. Alas, we don’t live in that world.

        Elenor wrote on August 9th, 2012
    • One must take into account that some cannot always afford to consistently buy humanely treated animals.

      So far as positive energy goes, saying thanks to the animal for its nourishment could go a long way.

      Nicole wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • with that logic, we can just say “thanks” to the millions of slaves that helped make rich the industrialists of this nation that have then gone on to pillage the world–

        hey all you african slaves back when – “thanks” – sorry you and your families were worked to death, raped and lynched –

        get real and grow up – excuses are for cowards.

        ravi wrote on August 7th, 2012
        • Geez! Are you young or just mean? Gratitude is never misplaced. I’m guessing you don’t feel it often?

          How about you “Get real and grow up” — COURTESY is for well-meaning adults!

          Elenor wrote on August 9th, 2012
        • elanor – i feel gratitude every time i eat anything the earth and universe provides me for another day – but that hardly means that i should turn a blind eye to how WE raised those creatures – plant or animal…

          ravi wrote on August 10th, 2012
    • @ Ravi
      Did you really have to post this twice?

      Julia C was a wonderful woman and chef who brought people away from microwaves and TV dinners and into the kitchen. She stressed the importance of fresh ingredients; going to a real, quality butcher for meats and taking pride in your ingredients and creativity in the kitchen.

      I find a Costco rotisserie chicken much more palatable than self-righteousness.
      (And I use the bones every time- though I don’t get them too often)

      Anders wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • i wanted it to get higher in the discussion and found an appropriate upper post – but yes – and this is not self-righteousness – this is fact –

        these animals are treated h o r r i b l y and if you want to consume that along with your indignation about my comments, the i hope you have a very strong stomach.

        buy a few less iphones, ipads, postpone the new car, take a shorter vacation – and purchase food that is alive, healthy, treated well and nutritious.

        ravi wrote on August 7th, 2012
        • oh – and in case any reader here may start to get uppity about “ravi” being a trolling vegetarian or vegan – i am not.

          i love eating meat and i respect animals – … and i have a conscience.

          ravi wrote on August 7th, 2012
        • You claim that you have a conscience? Just not one towards your fellow humans? “Whacking” people to try to get them to see your point is usually less than optimal.

          Elenor wrote on August 9th, 2012
        • “wacking” people is oft the only way to get them to wake the f * c k up–

          ravi wrote on August 10th, 2012
  29. So glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t care for the flavor of grass fed beef (taste like fish to me & I’m not a “fish” person).

    Lucy wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • Has anyone here – apart from you – said that they don’t see grass fed beef as superior?

      I can only presume that you live in the USA.

      Outside of the US, grass fed beef is definitely the superior product.

      For example, see here:-

      Here is a typical comment from that thread:-

      Sometimes I see meat in the supermarket that is obviously grain fed crap and other times I see meat that could has spent time on the pasture, but could still be grain finished.

      Your best bet is to get your beef from a source you trust.

      In terms of chicken, by the far the best I would suggest, both in terms of taste and how it’s reared is a poulet de bresse, which is available in Europe – at a price.

      I believe that there is an equivalent available in north America:-

      tonybk wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • I live in the Netherlands and our bio (organic) meats are bright red all the way through and there seems to be quite a bit of blood at the bottom of the tray. Is that normal??

        I don’t know a lot about meat but when I compare it to the regular (not bio) “free range” meat it looks exactly the same. Bright red with blood.

        Last night I made calves liver for the first time. I was totally freaked out by the texture at first but it tasted really good!

        jen wrote on August 7th, 2012
        • jen – check the labels – in some countries organic meats are allowed to be treated with nitrates (NOT a good thing) and so will be red and bloody even past their overdue date.

          a good fresh cut may well be red and bloody and that IS a good thing, however, avoid nitrates (E numbers 250 series are nitrates)

          we shop in germany cause the bio there does not allow nitrates where switzerland bio does –

          meat that is packed for a week or more can get a little brown from oxidation on the surface – this is NOT a problem provided the meat has been kept cool – in fact it is natural – packaging is not totally airtight.

          ravi wrote on August 7th, 2012
        • @Ravi – thank you for this info! I have seen that some of the regular meats have the E numbers on them – I have avoided those because I had no idea what the hell was in it. I will especially look out for the E 250’s now. Thank you.

          jen wrote on August 8th, 2012
    • I hated the taste at first, but forced myself to eat it. Now I completely prefer the taste of grass-fed. Maybe you can try to stick it out and your taste buds will adjust?

      Sarah A wrote on August 6th, 2012
      • yes – you will adjust – but do not be afraid to try onions, seasoning, herbs, lots of butter (melted on top of the cooked piece) or other such primal additives to help your tastebuds along – but do it – it’s VERY healthy!

        ravi wrote on August 7th, 2012
  30. I know of a perfect population segment to study for a skin absorbtion oil study… strippers! Now we just have to get our numbers geeks to talk to strippers without just giggling or gawking :)

    Mark wrote on August 6th, 2012
  31. I often make my own skin oils. You can easily find almond oil at Whole Foods in the supplement/cosmetic section. I use macadamia nut oil from the cooking section and you can buy shea butter as well. I add a few drops of essential oil like lavender or geranium (smells kind of like rose but is much less expensive.) There are lots of exotic oils out there to try as well — I use the Mountain Rose Herbs web site for lots of good information as well as a source for both essential oils and carrier oils. One of my favorite oils is emu oil which I buy from a farm in Montana.

    Also, if you have allergic problems with coconut and olive oil already, you might be safest making your own skin oils and changing them up every two or three weeks, so you aren’t exposing yourself to the same oils (either the carrier oils or the essential oils) for long periods of time. Plus it’s fun to experiment with new formulations.

    Diane wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • Agree with you Dianne.
      I buy 100ml of cosmetic grade macadamia oil for $5 for skin moisturizing & it works amazingly well (especially on face wrinkles & other dry skin). I also use it to moisten my psoriasis & it does not irritate it.
      Dr Hauschka is a fantastic (german) brand of skin care, cosmetics etc which is biodynamic, organic etc. it is not cheap, but comparably priced against major commercial brands.

      PrimeGal wrote on August 6th, 2012
  32. What your Costco logs of hamburger are made of –

    And your chicken and pork grow like this –
    (the pic is from here

    I know everyone claims they can’t afford to eat properly raised meat animals, but come on! How primal is it to eat these poor souls?? And they’re fed like this –

    My household doesn’t make much money, but we do without a lot of things/services most Americans consider essential so we can buy decent food. We also work most of the time we’re not at our paycheck jobs to grow our own food, meat included, so tht we’re not eating garbage.

    It’s an investment in ourselves that is more valuable than time or money, and it just plain feels good.

    JBailey wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • We simply stopped eating pork because commercially-raised is awful and pastured is way out of our price range.

      mars wrote on August 7th, 2012
  33. BETH!

    If you’re a fan of homemade stocks you simply must have a pressure cooker.

    I routinely use mine to render chicken carcasses. Typically with a pressure cooker you achieve a 3x cooking time equivalency (1 hour in the pressure cooker equals 3 hours of boiling on an open stove. I’ll typically process a chicken carcass for 3 hours in the p-cooker for a 9 hour equivalency. The broth that comes out has a luscious silky texture due to all the collagen that comes out of the connective tissue.

    Its great to know that the high temp will also denature all of the antibiotics. That’s for that tip Mark.

    Jared wrote on August 6th, 2012
  34. My family just stopped buying Costco chickens as well as other big box stores’ versions in favor of free range chickens found at our local farmers market. Everything about them is better (shocking I know) and there is no guilt about eating something raised in an enclosed space, etc.

    Chris wrote on August 6th, 2012
  35. Forgive me Grok because I have sinned … I have sometimes fallen for the $4.99 Costco bird … and enjoyed it for the taste and the saving of time on a busy weekday …

    WildGrok wrote on August 6th, 2012
  36. You can try using pure cocoa butter as a skin moisterizer, you can buy in bulk for decent $ and
    it doesnt make your skin gleam like coconut oil does.

    Mike-J wrote on August 6th, 2012
  37. The main reason you shouldn’t bathe in coconut oil is that your shower/tub will be greasy for days. I learnt this doing my hair oil masks. I also fell on my butt.

    Nionvox wrote on August 6th, 2012
  38. At last, some gluten-free quackers.

    Roger in Korea wrote on August 6th, 2012
  39. I started using essential oils a few months ago and I don’t think I could live without them now. I use Castor oil and high oleic sunflower oil mixed with EOs for cleanser. Frankincense and Neroli have almost erased my wrinkles and they also soothe my mood at the end of the day.

    Stori wrote on August 6th, 2012
    • I’d like to request an article on essential oils..I’d love to hear more!

      Leslie Thomas wrote on August 7th, 2012
  40. Can’t eat Costco chicken; it IS pumped with the stabilizer carageenan…(a little slimed out, chemically processed seaweed additive)and have a severe reaction to…is carageenan primal?

    susie wrote on August 6th, 2012

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