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

Dear Mark: Preservatives in Lard, Ace-K, Raspberry Gorging, and Veal

raspberriesWhat would you do if someone gifted you with a 5-pound tub of lard? Jump for joy? Grab a spoon? All reasonable responses, but what if that tub of lard had a label that said “contains BHA and BHT”, two antioxidants commonly used to preserve processed food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals – how would you react? That’s the first question I tackle in today’s edition of Dear Mark. After, I discuss whether or not acesulfame potassium, an artificial sweetener, is safe to consume, whether Joe should venture into the creepy raspberry forest threatening to overtake his house, and how organic dairies handle their male calves.

Ready? Let’s get to it:

Mark,

I was recently given a huge tub of lard that says it contains BHA and BHT. I read on your site that they are antioxidants but their safety isn’t very proven.

I would throw it away but it’s like 5 pounds and I HATE wasting stuff! Is this lard hydrogenated? Is it safe to use up, or would I really be better off throwing it away and finding better quality lard?

thanks!

- adam

The good news is that this lard probably isn’t hydrogenated. If it were, it would say so. Does the label indicate the presence of trans-fats? If not, you’re in the clear.

As for the BHA and BHT, there is some controversy:

Natural News says they’re linked to allergies, hyperactivity, rashes, and other health issues. This compendium of BHA and BHT-related studies, which the Natural News article used as a reference, also paints an alarming picture. And a quick stroll through Pubmed finds that as recently as 2011, researchers were using BHT as a proven “tumor promoter.”

But both BHA and BHT, which are also known as synthetic phenolics, have also shown chemopreventive effects against certain cancers. Just like radiation exposure can promote hormesis - the right dose can upregulate protective mechanisms, thus having a net positive health effect – it seems likely that the right dose of BHA and BHT could be beneficial, at least in certain disease states (like aflatoxin exposure, for example). Of course, we don’t know what that dose looks like, and all the other phenolics (natural food-based ones, not synthetics) we’re getting are probably good enough. I’m not suggesting we seek out BHT and BHA; I’m just trying to give them a fair shake.

In my opinion, however, the carcinogenicity controversy doesn’t really matter. The mere presence of BHA and BHT indicates that this lard was made to have a longer than usual shelf-life. That worries me. I mean, I imagine it’s technically safe, and it probably won’t be rancid/oxidized because of the BHT and BHA, but it’s almost certainly not quality lard from quality pastured pigs. This is industrial lard, from pigs fed vegetable oil and junk, and the omega-6 content is likely sky high. Whenever I buy lard from a local farmer, it’s in a glass jar or some kind of makeshift tub. There are no labels and I can rest assured that it contains some level of favorable nutrition, like vitamin D (from the pigs getting sunlight) and a higher saturated:polyunsaturated fat ratio (from the pigs eating forage and leftover vegetables from the farm, rather than corn and soy-based junk). And there is definitely no BHA or BHT.

My husband & I drink an energy drink sweetened with Ace-K. Is this ok to drink? Thanks.

Becky

Ace-K, or acesulfame potassium, is one of the only non-caloric sweeteners to show evidence of provoking an insulin response:

One study using live rats found that direct transfusions of acesulfame potassium increased insulin secretion. Later, the same researchers performed an in vitro study, this time subjecting isolated rat pancreatic islets to acesulfame K solutions. After eliminating other variables, they found that the artificial sweetener had an independent effect on insulin secretion. Note, however, that the first study used direct transfusions, rather than oral dosing, and the second study was in vitro using isolated clusters of pancreatic cells. These aren’t necessarily real world conditions, but the results are somewhat worrying. Slightly more disturbing were the results of a recent study, which found that mother rats who consumed acesulfame potassium during pregnancy gave birth to offspring with altered sweet receptors. Just a single oral infusion of Ace-K showed up in the mom’s amniotic fluid and breast milk.

I’d avoid it, if I were you. Doesn’t delicious, delicious coffee work for you?

Hey Mark,

There’s a raspberry wood near my home with literally millions of delicious raspberries coming into season soon.

I’m wondering whether I should show any restraint; Obviously a great source of vitamin C and anti-oxidants but are there any detrimental things if consumed in huge quantities?

Many Thanks,

Joe

Joe, I’m jealous. You have millions of wild, free, delicious raspberries growing in a “raspberry wood.” Heck, I didn’t even know a “raspberry wood” was even a real thing before your email. I’m imagining a forest full of raspberry bushes that tower over you, festooned with berries the size of apples. Man. Is that what’s going on in your neighborhood?

Joe, you lucky dog, you.

But seriously, go for it. Raspberries are the perfect blend of sweet and tangy, and actually quite low in sugar. They’re loaded with soluble fiber, excellent food for your gut flora to ferment into short chain fatty acids. They have vitamin C, as you mention, but also manganese and an antioxidant called ellagic acid. Enjoy them. Eat what you can, and freeze or dry what you can’t. If you don’t, most of them will go to waste and become shriveled up things that put George Costanza after a cold swim to shame.

Dear Mark,

I’ve googled your blog, but have not seen this issue addressed:

What happens to male calves born to an organic grass-fed dairy cow? Or a regular dairy-cow? Do they get killed right after birth as in this story from England? What do you think of this alternative: British veal poised for an “ethical” comeback?

I haven’t eaten veal in ages, but I think this “rose-veal” could be a great Primal food.

Thanks for your time and effort. I’m fairly new to Paleo/Primal (2 months) and I read your blog for hours every day to catch up.

No need to answer directly; but I’d love to know more about your views on this matter if it made it into one of your posts.

Thanks again for everything you do!

Gaby

What happens to male calves in an organic, grass-fed dairy? It depends on the dairy. Organic Pastures, a California-based raw milk dairy that sells at my local farmer’s market, castrates its male calves, puts them out to pasture, and lets them grow up to become beef steers. Their beef is fairly good, especially for being from a dairy, rather than a dedicated meat cow farm. According to this post, male calves borne to major organic dairy brands Organic Valley and Horizon follow similar paths, eventually becoming organic beef cows. I’d imagine not all organic dairies do this, but probably most. Of course, you could contact the dairy in question and ask them yourself. That’s the surest way.

Rose veal looks great to me. I’m not a huge veal fan, partly for the taste and partly for the fact that most veal is raised intensively, but I’d try some rose veal.

Even if you have no ethical qualms about eating it, intensively-raised veal lacks certain nutritional qualities. For one, CAFO-calves are kept indoors, typically in stalls that allow very little (if any) movement. While this lets you cut the resultant meat with a fork, it also takes away the rich flavor that comes with muscles that actually, you know, move the animal around. Conventional veal calves are also fed an unnatural diet of milk-replacement formula. If it’s anything like human baby formula, the nutritional profile (plus all the intangibles we have yet to even identify) of calf formula pales in comparison to actual cow milk. Natural diets (like grass for cows and pasture for chickens) tend to result in better tasting, more nutritious food. I doubt veal is somehow unique in this respect.

Thanks for the questions, and let me know what you think in the comment board!

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. I love the George Costanza reference. Great episode and amazing show.

    Earl wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • “Like a frightened turtle”.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • “I was in the pool! I was in the pool!!”

        Ashley wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • “… It shrinks?”

          Lisa wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • I don’t know how you guys walk around with those things!

          Vicki wrote on June 11th, 2012
  2. Good response Mark to the question about fruit.

    If I find a bunch of wild fruits, i will collect what i can and freeze if i have a surplus. Same goes for buying fruit in bulk at a good price.

    I love frozen fruit for the crunch factor, as well as blended into a smoothie.

    Brad wrote on June 11th, 2012
  3. When Grok came across some berries, I doubt he hesitated. Eat seasonally!

    Dan wrote on June 11th, 2012
  4. I planted some raspberry brambles in my backyard a few years back, along with a couple of blueberry bushes. The blueberry bushes never yielded anything close to what I wished they would, but the raspberries? WOW. They’ve just gone mad. Even with some loss to birds, I have a few weeks during which I’m bringing big bowls full of the most delicious berries in to add to yogurt, or to just munch as is.

    They’re a great addition to your landscape… but they will take over!

    Finnegans Wake wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • To increase blueberry yield aggressively prune the tree for a season or two. Over time, rotate the pruning (i.e. stagger) and you’ll get a grreat harvest each year.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • Excuse me, bush not tree.

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • Try thinking about bush more often and you won’t make that mistake again

          mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • I love…bush?

          Emily Mekeel wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • Atta girl!

          mm wrote on June 12th, 2012
        • Personally, I think bush had a surprisingly beneficial and unintended positive effect on the freethinker/atheist/anti-theocracy movement…

          mm wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • Our nursery said we needed two different kinds of blueberry bushes to cross polinate each other. It appeared to work, each bush was heavily blossomed when we left home six weeks ago.

      Lynn wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • Also, your soil should be fairly acidic for blueberries to thrive. I’m sadly in an alkali area and can’t grow them.

      Teresa wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • You can successfully grow blueberries in large pots. Use organic azalea dirt to grow them in. Put your used coffee grounds on them daily and you will be blessed with lots of berries. The key is using the acidic dirt.

        Farrell Miller wrote on June 11th, 2012
  5. By the way, as well as promoting ethical veal, Jimmy Doherty is also trying to introduce offal sausages (containing heart and tongue and perhaps) to the UK’s biggest supermarket (Tescos) as a way of making free-range meat affordable.

    So, he’s a good guy, and the TV shows are worth checking out (if only to witness some amusingly irrational reactions to offal, and to see how these attitudes can be changed).

    Scott wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • Hmmm….. offal sausage… hopefully without wheat crumbs

      mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
  6. Oh, and here’s Jamie Oliver’s recipe for one-minute ice-cream using those (frozen) raspberries:

    http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/1-minute-berry-ice-cream

    Scott wrote on June 11th, 2012
  7. Our community has a love/hate relationship with the invasive species of wild blackberries that overtake any land not tended to. We spend most of our late summer days just wandering our many trails and stuffing our faces (ooh! salmonberries too!) They’re so good when still warm from the sunshine!

    Yeah, I guess this is just me bragging.

    And thanks to you, Mark, I’ve found I can tolerate delicious, delicious coffee again now that my blood sugar isn’t an issue. Thank you!!!

    yoolieboolie wrote on June 11th, 2012
  8. Okay, this isn’t about food. “What would you do if someone gifted you … .” Gifted? Are we all going to, word-by-word, destroy the English language? That’s right up there with “I ain’t got no … .” “What would you do if someone gave you … .” Gave is the correct word. Okay, so I’m pedantic. Excuse me. The English language will change, but we don’t need to hurry it along with bad grammar.

    D.M. Mitchell wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • Dan wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • Shakespeare verbed many a noun.

        Steve wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • <3

      Anna wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • Ok, I give – what does “<3" mean?

        I even tried looking it up online without success. (Guess I'm showing my age…)

        John wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • its a heart!

          nady_dady wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • <3 is the emoticon people use to depict a heart. If u look at it sideways (tilt ur head to the right) its easier to visualize. So someone might type "I <3 u" meaning I love you.
          :-)

          Leesha wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • oh lighten up. I like “gifted”. it shows a difference between a Paleo eater getting Lard or Herpes.

      MikeD wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • Sorry, I completely disagree with you. The Oxford English Dictionary has examples of “gift” being used as a verb going back 400 years. And Mark’s usage of the word “gifted” here — to mean “made a present of” — is far more specific than just saying “gave.”

      In any case, if a writer known to be clear and informative uses an alternative term to say what he means, he’s not “destroy[ing] the English language” — he’s improving it. And I ain’t got no problem with that.

      BigTed wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • People who argue about the English language are such loosers! They just like to complain alot. Alot was used to complain here. Its irritating!

        mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • haha you spelled “losers” wrong

          mars wrote on June 12th, 2012
        • Hilarious, yet so very irritating….

          Mike wrote on June 13th, 2012
        • Also, “A lot” is two words

          Lucy wrote on June 26th, 2012
        • Don’t worry mm, I understood the intended humour in your comment—although it seems like its (sic) gone over the heads of these loosers (sic) who replied to it…

          Malandro wrote on September 15th, 2013
    • “Gifted” is actually not incorrect. It falls into the same category as “presented”. Even though gifted usually insinuates God-given talents, shouldn’t we appreciate blessings outside of ourselves as well? :) (No, I am not a Bible-thumper, more a Webster’s-thumper!)

      Liz wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • And I bet DM is really loving my “not incorrect”. His pedantic hand is probably itching. :)

        Liz wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • “Gifted” is a perfectly good word choice. If you want to complain about misuse of language the following is a MUCH larger problem: “male calves borne to major organic dairy brands Organic Valley and Horizon follow similar paths, eventually becoming organic beef cows.” No male calf ever became any kind of cow! Cow is by definition a female animal.

      Donna wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • Accepting that language always exists in variation and is always changing is primal; standard language is a modern construct. If you eat primal, you should give that up too. ;) Grok would never have been the sort of language pedant that writing and grammar school have created and he would have probably known easily 5-10 languages. That’s the natural state of the human linguistic ability, not the Standard American monolingualism. (I guess this turned into a much appreciated sidenote on primal linguistics.)

      Michael B wrote on June 13th, 2012
      • Yeah, whatever. The subject under discussion is the English language—anything that’s “standard American” is quite beside the point.

        Malandro wrote on September 15th, 2013
  9. Raspberry gorging. That caught my eye!

    Fruit gorging has got to be as natural as the sunrise. In the real world, that is not here in the modern cement world, food comes when it comes and creatures eat when it comes.

    Raspberries grow all over the place in Colorado and I used to know a trail where they grew like crazy. Every year I would go there and eat all of them the whole way up the mountain. Yum!

    Peggy The Primal Parent wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • I’d love to know where you find berries in Colorado. I’ve considered growing them myself but figured it is too dry. I did find some blue berries in El Dorado state park but they were heavily picked over. I guess Poudre Canyon is out of the picture this year…

      Ryan wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • BEST berries ever that you don’t grow–Berry Patch Farm!! GREAT all organic produce and loads of berries.

        Kimberly wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • I love Berry Patch Farm!!! I just finished off a quart of their strawberries. Raspberries are coming soon!

          Jeffrey wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • It’s one of only about 5 things I miss from living in the Denver area and worth a drive from Ft C if that’s where you are.

        Kimberly wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • I live pretty close to Berry Patch Farm but didn’t know they were there. I’ll be going there ASAP. Thanks for the tip!

          Ryan wrote on June 11th, 2012
  10. Check your city history on the berries. I was eating a lot of berries from a field and one day they were excavating, and I asked why. Turns out fifty years ago a GAS STATION stood there, and the ground was SOAKED with old petroleum. Oh, Devil. Must you taunt me?!

    Knifegill wrote on June 11th, 2012
  11. Raspberries are the easiest thing to grow. In the patch next to my house I have 3 rows each 100 feet long. I get raspberries from May to November and I live in Pennsylvania. Best thing I ever planted.
    I started with about 200 plants 4 years ago now there are thousands.

    Tim wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • Great to know!

      Cheers Tim.

      Brad wrote on June 11th, 2012
  12. I’m lucky enough to have a relative willing to raise grass-fed cattle for me. For the past three years we’ve bought a jersey steer, which is a milk cow breed. Jersey’s usually run around $.75-$.85 a pound, where Angus can get as high as $2 a pound. The meat has always been quite tasty. Some of the cuts do come out a little tougher than breeds that are meant for meat, but that’s what ground beef is for!

    Matt wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • My former in-laws run a grass fed Jersey dairy. They keep a few of the male calves as beef steers, raise them on pasture with some grain finishing. The steaks from those steers are the tastiest I have EVER eaten!

      Angel wrote on June 14th, 2012
  13. I’ve seen Rose Veal but never hesitated to try it. For one, I had no idea how it was raised or slaughtered. I very rarely eat veal, but if I do I opt for Free-raised veal. The calves are raised in pastures eating and drinking their mother’s milk. Always are organic and are slaughtered around 24 weeks. A pretty short lifespan for a cow but atleast they were raised good.

    Michael wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • I meant eating grass and drinking their mother’s milk.

      Michael wrote on June 11th, 2012
  14. “I’d avoid it, if I were you. Doesn’t delicious, delicious coffee work for you?”

    Doesn’t coffee activate gluten antibodies?

    (via http://robbwolf.com/2012/05/29/fruits-vegetables-digestive-disorders-episode-134/ and PHD http://is.gd/DevEdn)

    Lance Strish wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • It can, but it doesn’t necessarily have to.

      Because of this info, I ditched coffee when going Primal. A few months into it, I decided to go for a little trial and error. Having suffered strongly from various food intolerances (including gluten), I knew how my body responds to things it doesn’t like. Fortunately, I seem to tolerate coffee pretty well.

      Isabel wrote on June 15th, 2012
  15. Be careful with raspberries in quantity. While they are wonderfully tasty, they can cause diverticulitis if you have a propensity for that. Last summer, I had gallons of organic raspberries from my garden, ate them unrestrainedly, and got a whopping case of diverticulitis from the seeds. Moral of this story: strain them and use the juice.

    ladyjane wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • How did you end up curing your case of diverticulitis? Perhaps it was unrelated to the berries? Causes of diverticulitis appear to be a bit controversial and contradictory.

      rkd wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • It was probably the fiber and roughage that caused it. Lots of berries = lots of fiber-like water insoluble seeds…

        Just don’t eat a lot of fiber if you have div. or IBS or IBD… cavemen ate much more fiber but also had a better gut lining than yours.

        The whole “fiber is good for your gut” idea is complete blood-soaked bullshit. Ask anyone who says that if it’s water soluble or water insoluble fiber they’re talking about. Even if they have a fancy-pants medical degree they probably won’t be able to answer, despite the fact that these two fibers have opposite effects on your gut.

        Water soluble fiber is rare, most common in canned beans, and slows down digestion by making it harder for your body to absorb nutrients (fibers are getting in the way)… but also harder to absorb toxins.
        Water insoluble fiber is by far the most common type of fiber people eat. This fiber, because it does not dissolve in water, forces your intestines to push food out faster as it bangs up on intestinal walls, damaging gut cells and making them release a slippery mucous (the equivalent of phlegm created from inhaling cigarette smoke)

        See:
        http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/fiber/a-cautionary-tale-of-mucus-fore-and-aft/

        mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • Just to add: when I say that Grok had a better gut lining than yours, what I really mean is, if you have diverticulitis, or an inflammatory bowel disease like me, it means your intestines are either inherently weak and/or have been badly weakened by toxins & inflammation. This is why fiber is okay (but mostly useless) for normal people, but not for people suffering from physical gut damage.

          Fiber does have one redeeming quality: Bacteria in your colon can turn a small amount of fiber into short-chain fatty acids which are absorbed into your body. So you can actually get a small amount of fat calories from fiber.

          mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • I wish Mark Sisson would make a post about this (but it would be like criticizing his beloved veggies so I can see why he hasn’t yet)… it’s primal-related and informative as grok had to eat way more fiber than we do, so you’d think fiber must have some benefit, but it doesn’t really. It isn’t malignant either because we’ve evolved to handle it, unless, of course, your guts are damaged from diverticulitis, celiac, IBD or even IBS from neolithic foods.

          Yet modern doctors often advise these very patients suffering from diseases that damage the intestines to eat more fiber…

          Mike Eades in that link made a very good argument against fiber for damaged intestines and against fiber supplementation.

          mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
        • I don’t think all fibre was created equal. You can’t digest the fibre in wheat but you can digest the fibre from veg. Pretty sure Mark mentioned something on post post about that within the last week or so?

          greg wrote on June 12th, 2012
        • greg: Like I said, there are only two kinds of fibers and both are partly digestible by colon bacteria. One of them is useless unless you’ve ingested something toxic and slows down your digestion (by reducing nutrient absorption, almost like an anti-nutrient), the other, most common (meaning: found everywhere including in veggies) speeds up bowel movements slightly by banging up against gut cells, damaging them/puncturing their first layer of cellular membrane and making them secrete mucus.
          Since we evolved eating greens with a lot of fiber this shouldn’t have much of an effect on people with healthy, non-damaged intestines, but don’t think that just because grok ate lots of it and it’s in veggies that it’s some kind of magical hippy unicorn substance that you just can’t live without

          mm wrote on June 12th, 2012
        • hmmm…. i think i replied to your post in error.

          greg wrote on June 13th, 2012
        • but thanks for the reply, interesting stuff.

          greg wrote on June 13th, 2012
  16. I pick the wild raspberries close to our house. They are called “blacktop” and are smaller, less sweet versions of the red ones you find in the grocery stores.

    I simply pick them and throw them in the freezer. When I need them, I just break off a chunk and use as needed.

    Happycyclegirl wrote on June 11th, 2012
  17. One of our local farmers specializes in rose veal from calves she gets from a local cheese maker. It’s my favorite kind of ground meat, tender and flavorful. The calves are cared for beautifully and have a happy, playful, outside(although short) life.

    Karen wrote on June 11th, 2012
  18. The wording of BHT being a “tumor promoter” seems like a stretch. By that same measure, any organic compound, even water, could be a “tumor promoter”. Seems like scary language for something that isn’t a known carcinogen, and probably has zero negative health effects (aside from the fact you’d be eating 5 pounds of lard of course).

    Elden wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • I know noone eats 5 lbs of lard in one sitting– but lard has no negative health effects when used for it’s stated purpose of flavoring and cooking.

      It’s also useful when I have to lube my Volvo. And that’s not a euphemism.

      Pastor Dave wrote on June 11th, 2012
      • Good thing it isn’t or else I’d have to recommend you only use polyurethane/non-latex gloves while handling that Volvo (and also be careful where you stick that lard, some places are harder to clean than others…)

        mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • It,s a “tumor promoter” in the same way aflaxin (sp?) from peanuts that Mark mentioned is a cancer-promoter: It’ll promote cancer in lab rates when fed a purified form of the toxin that, would a rat or a naked ape try to get the equivalent from peanuts (or whatever else they’ve decided “might cause cancer”), would probably kill them by making their stomachs burst before they got even close to the lab value amounts.

      mm wrote on June 11th, 2012
  19. Rats! I mean rats! The Ak making insulin jump and I thought I’d found a pretty good way to supplement the awful tasting water here at work.

    Oh well, maybe I can start bringing bottled water and wean myself off the Snapple.

    Pastor Dave wrote on June 11th, 2012
  20. This was a great post, Mark! I deduced that I had an allergy to BHA back in the ’80s when I became itchy agitated after eating Captain Crunch, Pringles, and canned iced teas. Over time, I’ve just learned to avoid any processed foods. It wouldn’t have occurred to me to check the label on a can of lard.
    Since I travel constantly, I’m always on the lookout for berries, wild onions, cattail roots and other free edibles. Life is sweet indeed when you can find them.

    TruckerLady wrote on June 11th, 2012
  21. My wife and I are huge animal lovers – we keep many pets that we love, she works in the veterinary industry, and she was dabbling in vegetarianism before we went Primal.

    Primal eating fits very well with our concern for animals – happily, it turns out there is a great positive correlation between how animals are treated when they are raised and their nutritional quality. So we buy the best meat we can as often as possible.

    Our one additional restriction that we abide by in view of our love of animals is what my wife calls the “no babies” rule. Every animal we eat needs to have reached adulthood. Before meeting her I would eat lamb and veal on occasion, but frankly don’t find them so amazing that I couldn’t give them up with so many other choices out there.

    We have wondered about the male calves, so thanks for that info! Good to know that good producers are doing the right thing, another reason to use your dollars with them.

    Kris wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • I also have a “no babies” rule. It just seems fair.

      GreenEyedGirl wrote on June 11th, 2012
  22. It’s my personal opinion that the cuteness of baby cows is a defense mechanism against being eaten. Sure, being an ordinary baby cow for a little while before slaughter is better than being in a box, being fed a chemical cocktail for the same amount of time, but why not just let the baby cow enjoy being a baby cow, doing baby cow stuff while it matures into a grown up cow?

    I think that beef is still beef, and raising male calves into beef steers is the way to go. I’d eat it, and if the flavor is different from a “beef” cow, well, then, it’s different, not inferior. It would certainly taste better with the knowledge that it got to play in sunshine and eat lots of grass instead of becoming a premature steak on account of its breed.

    Kristina wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • Well there is a veal that is raised like that, you know. It’s called Free-raised veal. It’s grows on pastures drinking its mother’s milk and eating grass. Then get slaughtered around 24 weeks. So a cow lives like a cow, that’s the only veal I buy.

      Michael wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • Hear, hear! Definitely agree with this philosophy.

      Kris wrote on June 12th, 2012
  23. If you’re buying pastured lamb, I wouldn’t worry about eating a “baby”. The age at slaughter is around 1 year, average weight is 130 lbs, and they’re sexually mature (the ewes are, the rams lost out on that shortly after birth). It’s more like eating a teenager than a baby … Parents with high school kids can probably relate.

    MARYDVM wrote on June 11th, 2012
    • Okay, that last remark made me chuckle out loud. (And I don’t even have teens.)

      KEW wrote on June 12th, 2012
  24. I make my own lard. There is an excellent butcher within a reasonable distance for traveling to 4 times a year and I buy beef bones and pig fat while I also get pastured beef and other goodies. The bones become beef broth (which I pressure can) and the pig fat becomes lard (which I freeze until I start to use that particular pint.) YUM!

    Zusiqu wrote on June 11th, 2012
  25. Raspberry woods? Are you kidding? That is the stuff of dreams :D

    jolene wrote on June 11th, 2012
  26. I am diabetic (it would appear to be genetic and hereditary), and have elevated levels of cholesterol.

    If I go primal, would it not drive my cholesterol crazy? I lift heavy three days a week(heavy is relative, of course- I understand that)- that is the only thing that is keeping the hordes out of the city gates.

    And I would prefer to eat Labneh instead of choking down too much of meat- would the dairy not drive my diabetes into the stratosphere?

    As always- thank you.

    mark wrote on June 12th, 2012
    • Depends whether you believe that cholesterol, as spouted by conventional wisdom, plays the role in heart disease THEY say it does. I believe the whole cholesterol thing is BS, a government policy based on flawed research from the 70′s. I beileive cholesterol as much as i beielive the BDA (or ADA) advice that diabetics should eat 50 – 60% carbs!!! Criminal advice!!! And i think if you are consuming enough omega 3 from grass fed/ pastured meat and oily fish (and a good fish or krill oil supplement) this can help lower your levels. I’m a type 1 diabetic and i’d rather repeatly punch myself than take a statin. I’d say focus more on bringing down inflammation, so control your blood sugar. You can do this by Intermittent fasting. I eat only between the hours of midday and 8-9 pm so the rest of the day my blodd glucose, as long as your insulin and or meds are right, should stay within a good range. BTW i’ve been primal (as possible, grass fed is exopensive in the UK) for 10 months and my BG is the best i’ve had in 25 years of type 1 diabetes. My advice is go primal NOW, do intermittent fasting, keep up the lifting, do some sprints, focus on reducing inflammation by bringing down blood glucose and eating grass fed and supplemental with fish oil. Read up re cholesterol and it’s myth, you’ll find stuff on google. Oh, you dont need to eat dairy, primal says stay away mainly bcos people are intolerant. I eat dairy and have no problem with intolerance or with blood glucose. If you can go raw but if not raw at least organic with full fat, no skimmed fat rubbish. Fat helps with your blood glucose not to rise to quickly. I’m typing this quickly at work so sorry for nay bad spelling/grannar etc. From 1 diabetic to another Go primal, you may have issues at first, god knows my glucose levels went mental but i stuck with it and and will never go back to the conventional BS.
      Welcome to your new life!!!

      greg wrote on June 12th, 2012
  27. if nothing else, make soap out of the lard!

    ja wrote on June 12th, 2012
  28. Thankyou for the reply Mark :D

    I am lucky to have the raspberry wood. I’ll be heading up there as soon as the weather comes good for a full on primal day. There’s bouldering, trees, practically designed for climbing and the ‘Grok-hang’, and great views – a primal haven :D

    Joe wrote on June 13th, 2012
  29. I’m extremely grateful to have come across this article about Ace-K. I’ve been taking BCAA’s (Scivation’s Xtend product) pre-workout while on an intermittent fasting experiment. Lately I’ve started noticing that it’s been making me feel drained not long after taking it, almost hypoglycemic. I took a closer look at the label and lo’ and behold the zero calorie product is sweetened with Ace-K! I’ve been dosing myself with an insulogenic substance all this time – no wonder I’ve been struggling to drop the tire around my waist even though I’ve been lifting weights and fasting for over a month. I threw out the half-empty tub without a moment’s hesitation. From now on if I supplement at all it will be with regular whey powder with zero artificial sweeteners of any kind.
    Thanks again.

    Al wrote on June 14th, 2012
  30. Dear Joe, you should show a lot of restrain and send your berries to me. All of them.

    anna5 wrote on June 24th, 2012

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