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

Dear Mark: Vitamin K2, Washing Eggs, Tapioca Flour, Short Term Grain Feeding, and a Raw-Fed Pack

dogpackI both love and hate the time change that just happened. Those first few days are magical. You wake up on Sunday at around 5:30, and you’re raring to go. Full of energy with a whole day ahead of you, plus an hour. It’s like time slows down and you’re ahead of schedule on everything. It’s always an hour before you thought it was, no matter what time it is. But then you get used to the time change, and you notice it’s getting dark out at like four in the afternoon. The afternoon ceases to feel like the afternoon. You get sleepy earlier, which is a good thing in some ways, but I also like to get in something outdoorsy later in the day. Maybe a hike, maybe some paddling. I can’t do that anymore.

All that said, the time may have changed, but Mondays stay the same: Dear Mark question and answer sessions. Today, I discuss the fate of vitamin K2 during dairy pasteurization, explain why I don’t wash my eggs, and give my thoughts on tapioca flour. Then, I field a very sad story from a reader in Argentina and try my best to assuage him. Finally, I discuss the potential costs of feeding a pack of large dogs the raw diet.

Does pasteurizing dairy destroy its Vitamin K2?

Suzie

While there’s no smoking gun of which I’m aware, it appears as if vitamin K2 is retained during pasteurization. See Chris Masterjohn’s definitive article on vitamin K2 (or “Activator X,” as Weston Price knew it) where he notes that everything he’s seen suggests that it is heat-stable. Price himself found that “Activator X” survived pasteurization. And according to Real Milk (a pro-raw, anti-pasteurization dairy site), this article sees “no evidence” that pasteurization affects “Activator X”  status.

If anyone has evidence to the contrary, I’d like to see it, though.

Dear Mark,

Is it safe to eat farm-fresh eggs without washing them? If they should be washed, what is the best method?

Steve L

If you trust the conditions of the farm, I don’t see a reason to wash the eggs. I don’t even always refrigerate the pastured eggs I get, let alone wash them. The farmers don’t wash them either.

Premature washing of an egg removes the “bloom,” the thin protective layer that prevents bacteria from entering the egg (which is actually slightly porous, believe it or not). Excessive handling can also remove or degrade the bloom, but most farm fresh eggs – in my experience – don’t undergo a lot of handling. Besides, if eggs didn’t come equipped with natural, protective shielding and instead required the loving hand of a farmer, some running water, and a dollop of bleach to survive until hatching, chickens never would have made it to 2011.

Washed eggs actually go bad quicker than unwashed eggs. Don’t wash your eggs.

I was wondering about tapioca flour. I have found it locally. It is gluten free. I was wondering if it could be used like coconut flour. Thanks.

Lisa

Tapioca flour is one of the “safe starches.” That is, it’s a toxin-free, antinutrient-less, dense source of carbohydrate. I wouldn’t exactly compare it to coconut flour, which is extremely high in fiber, low in digestible carbs, and really soaks up the liquid in a recipe. Tapioca flour can be treated more like potato or rice starch. It’s a classic carby flour, albeit one without gluten and other noted toxins.

For someone with good glucose control, tapioca is a decent source of carbs. If you’re looking to add carbohydrates, or your activity level warrants it, go ahead and try it out. Since tapioca comes from cassava, which is perhaps the most popular source of starch across the entire world, it’s not like it’s a dietary unknown. To venture into tapioca territory is to travel a well-beaten path. Just realize that anytime you turn something into flour, you massively increase the speed at which it breaks down into usable energy. High energy burners in need of a quick hit may find that to be a plus, while more sedentary individuals might react poorly to a quick infusion of glucose (especially if it’s not going to be utilized right away or sequestered into already swollen muscle glycogen stores). Your call based on your context.

Please help me get this straight: I asked my butcher and he told me the meat he sells comes from cows that are pastured their whole life and then are sent to feeding lots for the last 15 or 20 days before being butchered; he referred to this as “supplemented cows”. To me is quite clear this is “grain-finished” meat.

My questions are: Does this beef still counts as “grass-fed” or should I take it as plain and simple “grain-fed”? Do those last 20 days of eating corn nullify the previous 3 or 4 years of grazing? From a nutritional point of view, does this kind of grain-finishing cause the same result as ordinary grain-feeding (I mean, keeping the cow in a feed-lot for longer periods of time)?

I would REALLY appreciate some answers and/or any piece of information you could point me to in order to clarify this situation.

As always, thanks a lot!

Sincerely,

Juan (writing from Argentina, once known as the-land-of-grazing-cows! Well done, civilization!)

Juan, I feel your pain.

But don’t despair. I wasn’t able to find any data on the effects of 10-20 days of grain feeding on otherwise grass-fed cattle, but I did find a study that compared the nutritional content of beef raised three ways: grass-fed for life, grass-fed and grain-finished for the last 80 days, and grass-fed and grain-finished for the last 150-200 days. As you might expect, grass-fed for life contained the most omega-3 fatty acids and CLA, while feeding grain reduced omega-3 and CLA. No surprise there. Grain-finishing decreased omega-3 and CLA content. Also no surprise.

However, it wasn’t as if that first mouthful of corn and soy immediately removed omega-3, lowered CLA, and irrecoverably altered the nutrient density for the worse. The benefits of grass-feeding weren’t totally undone, and grain-feeding didn’t work like an on/off switch. Rather, it’s a spectrum. Cattle that were grain-fed for the last 80 days of their lives had more omega-3 and CLA than cattle that were grain-fed for 150-200 days. In other words, the longer you grain feed, the more you impact the nutritional content of the animal’s meat. That would leave me to believe that 10-20 days of grain feeding is probably enough time to negatively impact the nutritional makeup of the meat (and especially the omega-3/CLA content), but not enough time to undo all the good of grass feeding.

It’s also worth noting that one of the biggest problems with feeding cattle grain for life is that it usually requires the use of antibiotics. If you feed them a diet they aren’t genetically adapted to for long enough their health will suffer and drug intervention will become a necessity. Grass-finished cattle (the shorter the period the better) are less likely to need antibiotics.

So, 10-20 days appears to be on the low end of the spectrum. I’d say eat away.

And I was planning on visiting Argentina sometime, too. Dang. (Kidding; I still want to go!)

Hello,

I accidentally ran across your article about the raw diet for dogs. I am interested in it. However, with feeding 9 large dogs (wt 70lbs to 120lbs) will it be cheaper than what my pet food bill is now? I currently spend 450 a month on the dog food, with one of my dogs having a special diet because she is allergic to everything, and I do mean everything, except veggies (green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes) and fish. Also, do you know of any websites where I can buy organ meat? Thank you in advance.

Donna

I doubt it, but it really depends on your sources.

I’ll give an example. One of my Worker Bees has a 70 pound dog who eats all raw. He’s lucky, because he has access to a raw-feeding co-op which gets incredible deals from local small farms. All the meat is human-grade, pastured, grass-fed, and often organic, and it’s very affordable. His dog gets about one and a half pounds of food a day, mostly meat, bones, and various innards (liver, tripe, spleen, trachea, all sorts of cool stuff), supplemented with yogurt, fish, berries, shellfish, and sometimes vegetables. For convenience, he also buys preformed raw meat chubs of ground meat, bone, organ, and vegetable for $2/lb. He feeds his dog on $3 a day. And that’s grass-fed, high quality stuff. Very doable with one dog. With nine, though? That would get really expensive, really fast. Say all nine dogs are 70 pounds (which yours aren’t) eating $3 worth of food a day. At 28 days a month (allowing for a few days of intermittent fasting, which dogs are naturals at), that’s $756.

However, said Worker Bee lives in the SF Bay Area, where prices are generally higher than in other areas of the country. Things might be, and probably are different in your neck of the woods.

Here’s what I’d recommend: find a butcher or meat counter and get to know the people who work it. Tell them you need a steady supply of muscle meat, organs, and bones for your pets (many butchers will have experience preparing pet food for customers) and tell them your budget. Figure about a half pound of food for every 25 pounds of dog and go from there. Don’t worry too much about grass-fed this or pastured that; even conventional meat is better than kibble (especially considering the kibble makers use the cheapest “meat” possible in their products). There are online sites that sell organs and even pre-mixed raw dog food, but they run around $2 a pound at the least. At those prices, your monthly bills will run over $450, no question. I think you’ll end up paying more than $450 a month regardless, but I suspect you’ll save a ton on vet bills.

Join this Yahoo raw feeders’ group. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, and it’s very active with a lot of helpful members wiling to give advice. There’s a good chance you find someone near you who can give more specific advice. Good luck!

That’s it for this week, folks. Keep sending the questions along, and chime in with any new ones related to today’s topics in the comment section. Thanks!

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. Glad to hear that vitamin k2 is still present in pasteurized dairy. Cheese is the best source, right?

    We buy a huge slab of irish cheese from costco. It’s kerrygold brand so I imagine its 100% grass-fed. It’s pasteurized but, I do wonder, is this necessarily bad if you hardly eat any dairy?

    It seems like kerrygold pastuerized cheese is not harmful outside of the casein content if one is intolerant.

    My dog eats normal dog food but is happy and pretty healthy. He’s getting old at 8.5 years but should have a lot of years left. Gotta love them boston terriers!

    Primal Toad wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • I feed my boston EVO and she’s in great shape at 5 1/2. One of the best dogs I’ve ever had. However she also eats horse manure, oats, rice bran, and farriers formula that drops out of the horses mouth (when she can get away with it.) Also she learned to steal eggs from the chickens last year (we’ve since foiled that, to her disgust), she likes a little hay or fresh grass now and then, the occasional bite of dirt,and her particular favorite – what I call almond roca – treats from the litter box. I agree – gotta love them boston terriers!

      lunasma wrote on November 7th, 2011
      • Kitty Roca is really toxic to dogs. My schnauzer nearly died from eating it. Dogs love raw eggs and top breeders recommend one occasionally. I can understand his frustration with you blocking this treat. Since my dog has a 4 inch beard raw eggs are a bath day only treat.

        Worst dog day for me ever was freshly laid kitty poo eaten and regurgitated. I nearly regurgitated cleaning it up. The only thing worse to have on a carpet than cat shit is barfed up cat shit.

        Snauzoo wrote on November 7th, 2011
        • Copraphilia – dogs eating manure of any kind – is usually regarded as a behavior problem. It’s not normal, generally. Please see your vet and consider some visits with a trainer.

          moreporkplease wrote on November 7th, 2011
        • Try coming home from work to cat poo on the bed and barfed up cat poo on the couch. That was a bad day, for me and for the cat.

          Robin wrote on November 7th, 2011
      • We call that kitty roca in our house!

        Robin wrote on November 7th, 2011
      • What’s EVO?

        Primal Toad wrote on November 9th, 2011
        • EVO is a brand of dog food, made by Innova. It is grain free and high quality ingredients, but still made by processing and extruding the food…it seems to me to be a step towards raw feeding (my previous switched to it before I fed him raw).

          Kerstin wrote on November 10th, 2011
    • Cheese making typically involves heating the milk anyway, pasteurized or not so it’s a moot point.

      The biggest problem with commercial dog food isn’t the cheap meat and by-products, but the cheap grain fillers used. We successfully feed our dogs raw meat and cooked starches (white rice, white/sweet potatoes, taro), plus some egg, powdered eggshell and that seems to work very well. But if I could find a commercial dog food that was cheap meat, cheap animal fat, and rice or potato starch I would have no problem at all feeding them that. I’ve never heard of any problems arising from feeding dogs what experts agree is a high quality dog food, which means no grains, and no plant matter before the first named fat in the ingredient list.

      Andrea Reina wrote on November 7th, 2011
  2. Very informative! :)

    I’ve been trying to get my sister to start feeding her dog a more primal diet… like a lot of humans he is getting pretty chunky on his current grain-based ones. Good to know there are affordable options!

    Becca wrote on November 7th, 2011
  3. Whoah, hold the phone, whats the name of that raw-feeding co-op in the Bay Area?

    cTo wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • Worker Bee 2 wrote on November 7th, 2011
      • Wow, AND thats actually really close to my house! Thanks Im totally going to check this out :)

        cTo wrote on November 7th, 2011
        • Score!

          Earthspirit wrote on November 7th, 2011
  4. Good questions!
    I have transitioned my cats off grains, but the picky little monsters will not eat raw. Thankfully, we have an excellent pet supply store nearby and they stock a grain-free kibble made with human grade meats. I read a study that cats on regular kibble lived 30 percent longer when fish oil was added to their food, so I fish oil their kibble. Since ditching grains, they have lost weight and become more active beasts. If I ever get any more cats, I will start the little buggers on a species appropriate raw diet.

    rose wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • I have not been able to get my cats on a raw diet either. However when I switched to PB I found a grain free food for them that they love. My cats are brothers from the same litter and one was starting to get a bit husky but since the switch he has been maintaining at a healthy weight and his brother has put on a bit more lean mass.

      FoCo Girl wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • My pesky feline that i call trouble,loves it when i have canned salomon (salt free),when i open the tin,i pour the liquid in a bit of her food

      charles wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • I switched my 17 year old cat to EVO kibble a couple of years ago. He won’t eat anything fish-oil — and believe me, I’ve tried lots of different oils — so I buy the fish-based mix. He also gets a lot of raw organ meat and muscle meat, and a bit of canned wet foot. I’m slowly moving him toward the raw and away from Fancy Feast. Bye Bye Purina.

      KWM wrote on November 9th, 2011
    • I used the same site Mark mentioned above to transition my dog. They also have lots of cat owners write in, and most everyone reports that cats are very hard to switch to raw from kibble – it just takes time. Might be a really good site to look at, and I think Yahoo also has a cats-only raw feeding site (although I don’t have a cat, do I don’t know). Good luck with it; even just switching off the grain-based food should help though.

      Kerstin wrote on November 10th, 2011
  5. I feed my 65-lb dog raw food, unfortunately mostly grocery-store conventional chicken. I figure pastured animals > conventional animals > kibble. I’d like to move further toward the pastured end of that continuum, so I’m going to talk to my butcher next time I’m in to order a beef box about putting together a “doggie box” of the cheapest bone-in cuts and offal I can get. We’ll see what kind of a deal I can get if I offer to basically take ANYTHING they’re getting rid of, as long as it came from a grass-fed cow.

    Uncephalized wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • What differences have you seen in your dog – are there any noticeable improvements in health from switching to raw food? I would imagine it would increase longevity, but I’m interested to hear more about short-term benefits of raw food for pups.

      Abel James wrote on November 7th, 2011
      • I feed my 65 lb Belgian malinois/pitbull mix about 3/4 lb conventionally raised meat per day (mix of beef cuts/pork chops/chicken thighs, breasts, livers, gizzards, and hearts) in addition to about 16 oz of grain-free kibble. Changes we noticed when we started incorporating the meat were: smoother, shinier, softer coat; increased muscle mass and vascularity; increased attention span; no doggie breath or stinky wet dog smell at all ( I very rarely give him baths because there is no need to). He also has beautiful white teeth that I attribute to the meat. One thing I have not noticed that Mark mentions is smaller, more formed poops – still waiting for those :).

        Overall, feeding him meat costs the same for us as high-quality kibble, and I’d definitely recommend it.

        Alicia wrote on November 7th, 2011
        • Oh I forgot, he gets tons of eggs and bones with marrow too!

          Alicia wrote on November 7th, 2011
        • Very interesting – thanks Alicia! Sounds like one happy dog. :)

          Abel James wrote on November 7th, 2011
        • The grain free kibble is likely why you haven’t seen the small poops yet. When my dog stays out of the chicken pen and doesn’t eat the straw and chicken food (read fiber) his poops are small and compact and within hours start to turn white and start to decay away. It’s only when he supplements with fiber that I have larger “loads” to pick up.
          The other benefits are the same as for people, less inflammation and significant improvements in arthritis and hip dysplasia as well as reduction in joint pain and increased energy. I didn’t start my dog on raw until he was 11 but I noticed significant improvements in his mobility. I lost him at 12.5 but his quality of life in that last 1.5 years was worth it all. My new pup has been raw since we got him at 4 months (rescue).

          Mariah wrote on November 7th, 2011
      • Been feeding our GSD raw since he was a puppy. When we picked him up from the breeder he was being fed kibble and had a protruding belly. After the swtich the Raw (mainly tripe, which smells awesome) and beef. his stomach swelling reduced. Also the #1 reason for some people to go raw is Dog poos become smaller, and less smelly.

        Jamie wrote on November 7th, 2011
      • My 8.5 year old terrier has been overweight and always hungry pretty much his whole life (since he was neutered at 12 months). He also tended to have a bit of an odour problem and was developing arthritis in his legs and shoulders. Since I went primal in February and saw huge improvement in my arthritis and asthma, as well as dropping 40lb, I put him on a raw meat diet too. He has dropped about 1/5th of his bodyweight, is no longer stiff in the morning, doesn’t smell and does small dry poops which turn to chalk in 24 hours. Best of all, he no longer seems to be hungry all the time and is a much happier dog.

        Andislimreaper wrote on November 7th, 2011
      • All three of my dogs – a pit bull (8.5 years old), a lab/heeler mix (13 years old), and most recently, a cairn terrier (about 4 years old) – eat the Raw Meaty Bones diet, and have since August, 2008. I started the first two on RMB when my pit bull developed open sores on her skin caused by allergies to many kibble ingredients. (This was a long process of elimination to figure out that she had food allergies, and an eye-opening learning process of what is in “premium” dog foods.) I live in a very small, remote town with few services, and the two local vets are not supportive of this diet at all. I don’t care! My pit’s coat is beautiful – smooth and shiny and her sores are completely gone. Before this diet, my lab/heeler was already showing signs of hip pain and taking it easy when climbing stairs and playing. Now she runs and jumps like a 2 year old! My cairn terrier, a street mutt who wiggled his way into my heart about 2 years ago, thinks he’s died and gone to heaven.

        Make the switch! Give it 6 months. You’ll be surprised at the deals you can find on meat once you start talking about it and searching for it. A couple of local hunters keep me supplied with some venison, too, when in season. Benefits? Beautiful, shiny coats; white teeth; no more bad breath; no more dog odor; boundless energy; a longer, more vibrant, medication-free life; and happy dogs full of joy.

        Gwen wrote on November 7th, 2011
  6. “You get sleepy earlier, which is a good thing in some ways, but I also like to get in something outdoorsy later in the day. Maybe a hike, maybe some paddling. I can’t do that anymore.”

    Head lamp!!! Or a torch-bearer

    Joe Brancaleone wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • Yep, and just keep an eye out for the sharks :D

      Misabi wrote on November 7th, 2011
  7. I’m a huge proponent of prey-model raw feeding for pets. With a little thought and ingenuity, you can really get your feed bill down. We spend under a buck a pound for dog food, with many sources cheap or free.
    Good sources may be: local meat processing plants, farmers, fish markets, ethnic markets, hunters, butchers, and craigslist (great source for finding hunters cleaning out last year’s freezer burnt elk).

    Raw for cats is sometimes tricky. Cats have an imprint period as kittens where they learn to recognize food items. Cats introduced to raw as adults may simply may not recognize it as “food”. It’s hit and miss though; I have one cat, a former research animal who lived in a lab and ate Science Diet his whole life, who dove right into chicken wings and raw sardines like a champ!

    mixie wrote on November 7th, 2011
  8. When I tried going gluten-free at the beginning of the year, I fell victim to getting some of the pre-packaged gluten-free frankenfood substitutes. I wondered why they all made me sick and I didn’t feel any better being GF. Well, I had a gluten cross-reactivity panel done from Cyrex Labs. Besides dairy gluten-containing products, the thing I had the worst reaction to was…TAPIOCA! My body sees it as a gluten-containing substance, even though it isn’t. Crazy stuff. Since ditching grains altogether, including these frankenfood GF subs, I feel worlds better and it’s only been 3 weeks.

    Kris wrote on November 7th, 2011
  9. Hmm, washing the eggs and worrying about bacteria… Never done it myself. Unless your food comes from overpopulated disgusting farms, there is no reason to fear bacteria.

    Peggy The Primal Parent wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • My hens crap on top of their eggs (probably there is a problem with the design of the coop)- I wash them if they are dirty.

      Sean Kelly wrote on November 7th, 2011
      • Let the poop dry and scrape it off. You can use sandpaper to get off the rest.

        Steve wrote on November 7th, 2011
        • Or just wash the eggs right before you crack them.

          KWM wrote on November 9th, 2011
  10. I have been feeding my dog a raw diet for a couple years now and she loves it. She gets 1lb to 11/4lb a day. I mostly feed her chicken since I am lazy and just buy family packs for $.69/lb at the grocery store. Once a month I make a big batch of her “veggie” mix which includes whatever I have left over in the vegetable bin, usually sweet potato, carrot, spinach, squash, etc… I boil it until it can be mashed, then I drain and mix in a couple cans of salmon, mackerel, pack of chicken livers then freeze it in batches. I also give her some of what we eat. If we have lamb chops, she gets one, if we have a big halibut filet she gets a hunk, if I make eggs, I cook one or two for her. It’s really not that much work or that expensive since she’s eating what we already eat, plus she is in very good health, and looks great.

    Tammy wrote on November 7th, 2011
  11. I feed raw too! I have a 55 lb Deutsch Drahthaar that luckily works for much of her food.

    She gets all the geese I can kill, all varmints she can kill, and I take 1 deer per year just for her consumption. And of course I save the organs for her too (except I keep the venison heart for me, call me selfish.)

    But I do have to supplement her with chicken. I find chicken quarters to be the best. Plenty of skin and fat, about 30% bone content, and the rest meat. Depending on her activity level she gets either 1-2 whole quarters per day (roughly 1-2 lbs). I buy chicken quarters for $6/10 lbs. I add to that 1 whole chicken liver (about 1 oz).

    She’s never been leaner, more muscular or had a better coat.

    Those of you who don’t hunt, find a friend who does and ask them to save you the carcasses of their game. Most american hunters only keep the choice cuts and dispose of the rest. Our native american ancestors are disappointed.

    Greg wrote on November 7th, 2011
  12. I’ve never even heard of or considered washing eggs, interesting! Why? When you don’t eat the shell anyways.

    katie wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • ha ha!! we had the same thought, about eating the shell, at the same time!

      peggy wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • The eggs come out the same way chicken poop comes out- through the cloaca. They can have some “mud” on the shells. Chickens are not clean animals, either- the nesting boxes can get pretty dirty.
      When you crack eggs open, the germs can get into your food.

      Best bet: wash farm fresh eggs immediately before using. If you are making mayo or other raw dishes, use soap.

      Sean Kelly wrote on November 7th, 2011
      • We keep chooks, and usually they are pretty clean animals unless they’re sick. If there’s a continual problem with poo on the shells, the causes might be:
        1. chooks are sleeping in the nesting boxes – either the coop is overcrowded, or the nesting boxes are higher than the perches (chooks will roost high, as a pecking order thing). Chooks do a lot of poo at night.
        2. the coop is not particularly clean. Our chooks will always try to lay in a clean spot – if it’s been a little long between coop clean-outs then yeah, there can be poo on the egg. Not usually due to poo in the nesting box, though – often because they’ve stepped in some and transferred it.

        homehandymum wrote on November 7th, 2011
  13. I don’t wash my eggs because I don’t eat the shell.
    I buy mine AND my dog’s food in the marked-down meat section. sometimes we have the same thing for dinner; his might be less cooked. The other night we both ate boneless chuck ribs & broccoli (his favorite veg!). I supplement with some grain-free kibble, and a mixture of salmon, cod liver, & avocado oil for his coat. He gets a raw meaty bone every day.

    peggy wrote on November 7th, 2011
  14. Loved that article on Vitamin K2 by Chris Masterjohn. Now I know that not only are sprout-fed egg yolks delicious, they’re a potent source of ACTIVATOR X [/booming narrator voice]

    Timothy wrote on November 7th, 2011
  15. I feed my pack of dogs (4) and a cat raw. Unfortunately, until I am debt free they have to eat conventional meats…but I supplement them with pastured eggs and raw goats milk. They also get the meaty bones from grassfed sources, elk or beef.

    List of what I feed:
    eggs,chicken, hen, turkey (raw, whole carcass), pork (ribs), beef, beef and pork liver, tongue, cans of salmon for omega 3, sardines, pitbull loves fruit, apples, oranges, bananas and figs.
    During hunting season they get wild caught duck (whole carcass with head). And since they eat tons of bone they also benefit from the marrow.

    To feed 4 dogs raw (and 1 tiny cat)in the state of Idaho it costs about $10 a day on average, so $300 a month. My breeds are English Mastiff and large american Pitbulls…weighing around 90-200 lbs.

    Arty wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • Oh and lamb!

      Arty wrote on November 7th, 2011
  16. Thanks for the additional reminder to get my pets on a raw diet! Currently my dog enjoys all my vegetable scraps, cauliflower rinds, ends of broccoli/asparagus, peels of eggplant, ends of carots (I throw her a few carrots while I’m cutting too)… she also enjoys all my bones of course, or tough fat that my husband doesnt like. My cats I’m a little more concerned since one of them gets crystals in his urnine that cause UTI’s.. a raw diet might be fine but I need to learn more too. I feel like I’m just getting the swing of all this cooking for my husband and I after 7 months of being primal… I have not been motivated enough to go full raw with at least my dog, SIGH! Need to get on that!

    Nicole wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • Forgot to mention that I love the fact that when I give her scraps from our food I know that its all so healthy for her. It’s funny (or sad) other people that feed there animals scraps get fat and get diabetes..hmm.. does anyone notice a connection?????

      Nicole wrote on November 7th, 2011
      • Why is it that the average american knows not to feed their animals grain (or at least that its not good for them) but somehow us humans its OK and even told as HEALTHY?

        Nicole wrote on November 7th, 2011
        • because the connection is not as obvious in people as in dogs. people are obviously true omnivores, while dogs are just as obviously naturally carnivores.

          Boom Shakalaka wrote on June 29th, 2014
    • Nicole,

      Re: the cat’s UTIs

      I don’t know your full story, so sorry if this is off base.

      Cats are notorious for being picky drinkers and therefore having more concentrated urine than is ideal/healthy. Since buying my older guy a “cat fountain”, he has probably doubled his water intake.

      To keep the dogs out of it(and keep it clean longer), you’d have to put the fountain up where only the cat could get to it. Just a thought, maybe too much trouble without knowing if it would help with the UTI problem?

      Kathy wrote on November 7th, 2011
  17. I feed 5 labradors raw and have fed 15 and raised puppies on raw. It is cheaper if you do the work to source the food yourself and that is without factoring in what you save in vet bills.
    I did best by contacting abbatoirs directly. I bought 5gallon bucket of green tripe for $5. I usually got them to make me a mince with the heart and trachea which worked out about 60c a pound. They also sold beef marrow bones for $10 per milk crate which I usually ate and bought beef neck bones (softer) as treat for dogs.
    Ring around the nearest poultry processing plants for chicken backs, chickent carcasses and turkey necks and tails. This is a great time to buy turkey necks which are perfect balance of calcium to phosphorous (as is green tripe).
    The yahoo group is very good, there is one just for raw fed labs too.
    Good luck, its harder work but oh so worth it.

    Nicola wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • What yahoo group? I would love to feed my dogs more this way, but everything I have found has been very expensive.

      Keira wrote on November 7th, 2011
  18. Forgot to say I reckon I pay between $1 to $1.50 per dog per day in food and the lightest one is 80lbs

    Nicola wrote on November 7th, 2011
  19. I switched my cats to a raw diet nearly a year ago, there’s a nice family in Alberta here who make custom dog and cat food from human grade meats and veg. Mine eat roughly 3-4 ounces each of ground chicken carcasses, with beef organs mixed in. I throw a few frozen smelt into the mix every few days to keep their dandruff down (very dry climate here) which I buy from the local asian supermarket for pennies. I also give them chicken feet to chew on and keep their teeth in good shape.
    The food qualities so good, I’ve even snagged some of their treats for myself, things like whole rabbits (pelt and feet off, organs intact) and piglets (same deal). Nothing quite like freaking out my family while I scoop butter soft brains out of a piglet skull after roasting it over an open fire, they can keep their hotdogs.

    Jasmine wrote on November 7th, 2011
  20. I’m very very happy to see you promoting a raw meaty bones and organs diet for dogs!

    Lisa wrote on November 7th, 2011
  21. The abandoned kitten we found last October has been fed raw the whole time we have had her. We used to go to the local Whole Foods and buy their “fish scraps” since it was the miss-matched cuts from trimming at $1.99/lb (We ate from it too actually, decent stuff!)

    Partner’s co-worker and our vet told us about a woman who sells raw pet food outside the Atlanta, GA area, so now we feed her raw ground rabbit mixed with chicken and rabbit organs, and she loves it! (We all call it rabbit crack, cats don’t act the same and after eating that stuff) Chickpea literally wakes me up EVERY day purring, biting my ear, nuzzling to convince me she needs breakfast anywhere between 4-6am. The one time I didn’t get up due to moving so I slept in, so she peed on me in bed!

    I think cats are harder to feed raw, our cat would only eat certain fish and she will starve herself if we give her chicken for more than a day and a half. I think she is spoiled beyond help at this point so we are stuck spending $130/month to feed her >.<

    CV wrote on November 7th, 2011
  22. I have an on-line friend in Argentina. She had never heard of feedlot cattle. When she looked into it, she was shocked that it was being practiced there. Sad indeed.

    Harry Mossman wrote on November 7th, 2011
  23. Suggestion: Raw for dogs? Deer hunting season. My understanding that most hunters/processors are not using the “bits” maybe they would sell/give it to you inexpensively (seems like it would save them disposal costs)?

    deb b wrote on November 7th, 2011
  24. My cat is a chronic vomiter and also has itchy skin/ears periodically. He’s been grain-free for about 2.5 years now, he gets (prepared, frozen) raw food at night and dry grain-free in the morning. He did drop a couple pounds after I changed his diet and he’s looking fairly svelt.

    But the last few days he’s started itching again, he’s been uninterested in the dry food, and he occasionally upchucks the bits of bone from the raw meal. I give him a bit of whatever we have for dinner on nights when I cook, but I don’t cook every night.

    Anybody have experience with this? I do think the season has something to do with it, but food rotation seems to help. Last night his dinner was the trimmings off our beef roast and today he’s been happier.

    taihuibabe wrote on November 7th, 2011
  25. After reading this thread I’ve decided in my next life I’m coming back as a dog with a Primal owner.

    Jennifer wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • +1

      lunasma wrote on November 8th, 2011
    • the owner of the restaurant I worked in always says in his next life he’s coming back as my dog – he gets all the trimmings & scraps from tenderloins, ribeyes, duck, bison…

      peggy wrote on November 10th, 2011
  26. Both my husband & I have BAAAAD reactions to tapioca flour. I suggest trying it on a day you don’t have to leave the house!

    Sarah wrote on November 7th, 2011
  27. My cat goes through phases of puking too… when I asked my vet about it he said they just do that sometimes. I agree that the season has something to do with it, usually when he is in a shedding cycle is when he is the most listless and off. It also happens if he knows we are going away somewhere; when the suitcase comes out his anxiety level goes up.

    I feed my cat a grain free diet… prepared frozen once a day and dry grain free to nibble on for the day. He is heavier than he was but not bigger…. more muscle mass…. and he is really shiny. It costs me about $60 every three months for dry food and $40-60 every three months for the raw. My vet told me they like a variety of things instead of the same thing every day so I alternate different animals or mix a couple of different kinds together.

    Mary wrote on November 7th, 2011
  28. 9 DOGS? Wow…

    Meagan wrote on November 7th, 2011
  29. When Joel Salatin was on the Underground Wellness podcast about two years ago (Jan 28, 2010) he talked about grain feeding and claimed that “14 days of grain feeding pushes all the CLA out of the cows body.”

    I’m not sure of his source but thought I’d throw that out there. I also vaguely remember the guys from Wellness Meats being on a podcast (either Jimmy Moore or Underground Wellness) and talking about what grain feeding does. Don’t remember stats from that at all, but it’s out there.

    musajen wrote on November 7th, 2011
  30. I’m sure my cat (died on Good Friday 2009, r.i.p…) would have lived longer if we hadn’t fed her that boxed cat food…don’t buy that processed whiskas rubbish or, for that matter, packaged dry dog food (I’m no authority on dogs but I’m sure the stuff is no better).

    Milla wrote on November 7th, 2011
  31. N=1 feedback on tapioca flour.

    Mark is spot on. IF you are coming off a good 4 mile run or a strenous HIT workout or something have at it. Otherwise you will feel the old feeling you used to have after eating a sandwhich and chips.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Marc

    Marc wrote on November 7th, 2011
  32. I don’t wash anything I eat, fruits vegetables etc.

    It would never occur to me to wash eggs.

    rob wrote on November 7th, 2011
  33. Keep in mind dogs are mostly scavengers, so they will eat raw easier than cats which are hunters. If you have ever had an outdoor cat that caught mice, moles and birds you will notice they eat the organs first while still warm and often leave the rest. When trying to switch a cat to a raw diet possibly starting with organ meats that have been warmed ever so gently (not cooked) may convince them to try. Just a thought.

    Dragonfly wrote on November 7th, 2011
  34. Dark yes, but get some really powerful lights for your bicycles! Midnight riding in the cold is utterly magical.

    David B wrote on November 7th, 2011
  35. I guess I’m just an another one in the crowd that has never considered washing eggs. If you’re cooking them, I wouldn’t think there would be a need.

    Erik wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • I never even gave it a thought!

      Missy wrote on November 17th, 2011
  36. I feed my dog RAW. I use a local frozen patty product. The cost isn’t an issue because my dog is only 20 lbs. However, I started feeding RAW after my dog suffered for months with colitis. I tried every brand of food from Costco to the premium brands like Nöw. Within a day of switching to RAW, his colitis cleared up. Worth every penny IMHO.

    Danielle wrote on November 7th, 2011
    • what is the local frozen patty product?

      lunasma wrote on November 8th, 2011
  37. All that comes to mind when I read “tapioca” is the bit from Whose Line Is It Anyway?, when Colin makes Ryan lose his mind…

    Russell (PrimalU) wrote on November 7th, 2011
  38. We have fed our dogs raw meat and bones for years now, and sometimes the changes are nothing short of miraculous. My parents got a rescue years ago who was filthy – dull, dingy, fried coat, brown teeth, horrid breath, very underweight and listless… a couple months on raw and she had a shiny coat, great muscle tone, and clean teeth. It didn’t look like the same dog. In my opinion the best benefit is having practically no vet bills (especially those teeth cleanings!!).

    I’ve been around or worked with dogs my whole life – show me a dog with a stink you can’t get rid of, or skin and coat problems, and I’ll bet my next three paychecks it’s the grains in his diet.

    Danielle wrote on November 7th, 2011
  39. I have two 8 year old dogs — a terrier and a peke-mix, and a one year old peke. I wish I had started raw sooner — now my terrier is missing about half of her teeth and eating raw, meaty bones is too difficult for her (she ends up swallowing a whole chicken leg.) I have been giving them marrow or rib bones every few days — the older mix finds them too much work, for the most part.

    I do a cooked stew of meats, broth, lard, veg and berries plus brewer’s yeast/seaweed/bone meal and vit C supplement, plus fresh ground flax seed. I usually throw in some organ meat and bones during the cooking. They get that evenings, with raw meat added (or sometimes cooked.) My husband likes to add grain-free kibble, I don’t. They also get dried liver, chicken, duck treats.

    I wish I could get them all on full time raw, but the peke is very resistant. I guess I’ll keep trying to work it in whenever possible.

    Diane wrote on November 7th, 2011
  40. I don’t know where you live, You can also check out mypetcarnivor.com for raw food for your pets.

    Keira wrote on November 7th, 2011

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