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Modern livestock vs. wild game

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  • Modern livestock vs. wild game

    I am curious about some opinions on the fat makeup of modern livestock vs. the wild game that would have likely been the majority of Grok's meat consumption. I have been thinking a lot about the actual availability of saturated fats in the primal world and what kind of saturated fat consumption would Grok really have experienced. I know the PB puts a lot of focus on saturated fats and a lot of people eat lots of eggs, chug coconut milk, butter everything, and eat lots of fat from modern breeds of livestock. I would love any resources regarding what this model is based on. I definitely believe that saturated fats are a necessary part of my diet, but I am just unsure about the amount that is really necessary..
    For lots of tasty recipes, check out my blog -

  • #2
    You raise a very valid point and this is somewhat of a new consensus that we need more fat, even according to orthodox paleo people like Loren Cordain and Robb Wolf. We tend to assume this very happy, harmonious, naturalistic view of paleo hunter-gatherer life and regard it as a wonderful time free of all of the degenerative disease we're seeing today. And it was free of those things. But nature isn't exactly pulling for us humans. The deer likes being lean and if we're hungry we like to eat the deer but just because the deer is lean doesn't mean the hunter-gatherer would rather the deer be lean. There is good evidence that a hunter-gatherer would prize mammoth over lean stuff. If it was the case that more protein than fat was available, that was just tough luck for Grok and he would have to eat more lean meat. Fat is fat and amino acids are amino acids and one happens to be deleterious in excess and one happens to be an awesome source of energy. Grok would eat the organs and extract the marrow and perhaps eat more protein if he was starving to death but it wasn't optimal. The types of foods that Grok ate were ideal for humans but the quantity and way in which they were consumed wasn't necessarily. Mark has some good posts regarding why more fat is better and makes the case they his dog will turn its nose up at a steak and go straight for the bone marrow

    Here is a good article based on the Inuit. Turns out that the most metabolically advantageous macronutrient ratio for them is roughly 75% fat and 25% protein.

    Grass-fed beef and bison is pretty darn close to wild quality food and so it is an expanding industry and lauded by paleo/primals. Robb Wolf was saying on his podcast that the grass-fed meat is too lean by itself so he buys extra fat and renders it. Kurt Harris loves butter and sees nothing wrong with it. There is a good reason why traditional Europeans add butter and lard to everything. i would much rather eat carbs like vegetables and tubers than exceed 25% protein, and that is what many paleo tribes did. It wasn't all purely meat. They would certainly favor the fat if they had access to it but that wasn't always how it turned out.
    Last edited by Stabby; 06-30-2010, 09:45 AM. Reason: typos
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!


    • #3
      Thanks Stabby! I have never been a big proponent of trying to live exactly like a paleo human, but drawing from what their ideal day would have looked like and going from there, which in this case would have favored fat over lean proteins. I am sure Grok had some pretty crappy, super low energy days, and we have the advantage of really reducing those kind of days by having a more constant source of Grok's most valuable energy source - fat. I think that we have retained much of the same instincts that you mentioned Mark's dog having - We are drawn towards the fat naturally, and most Americans spend their entire lives fighting that instinct because they are told to, or they consume a lot of the fat they naturally crave, but it is the wrong kinds.
      For lots of tasty recipes, check out my blog -


      • #4
        Grok probably didn't eat a huge quantity of food from large game animals because he simply couldn't use most of the animal quickly enough (obviously as a tribe they would, but not small families). As Mark says in the PB, Grok et al. probably at a lot of small game, and most small game animals are fairly fatty (birds, turtles, beavers, insects, etc.).


        • #5
          one thing to add is that wild game especially in the instance of deer is very difficult to cook with, without the addition of fat, it is just to dry so hunters almost always add fat to their meat to make it both more tasty and easier to cook with


          • #6
            great topic/question.

            im reading Beef right now by Andrew Rimas, Dr. Evan Fraser. the book is AMAZING but it deals with the evolution of the cow and bull all the way back to paleo times, neolithic, middle ages, pre modern, and modern times. they explain all the major episodes of cross- breeding and blending, and how the modern beef steer differs from the ones our grandparents ate, and the ones their grandparents ate, and the ones our paleo ancestors probably took down. its a very great read about the evolution of beef, and a very entertaining read, for those of you that enjoy history. it even has the recipe for beef ribs that was served to Henry IV!