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True, Raw Primal

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  • True, Raw Primal

    So I really like this idea of Primal eating, but I feel a lot of stuff in this community is misinterpreted primal.

    First, cooking is not primal and should be minimized.
    Second, large amounts of animal is not primal. Our ancestors ate leaner wild animals and not in huge quantity.

    If you apply these 2 additional principals, the primal diet is correct.

    Further Elaboration


    The fossil evidence points to fires being a recent invention. Cooking creates all sorts of harmful chemicals.

    A good Primal diet should include fruits, vegetables,nuts, and animal.
    Most of it should be raw, but boiling is good for some foods. Since most of us don't have access to freshly killed meat for eating raw, boiling it and making stews is a good substitute.

    The first clear evidence for hearths isn't until about 250,000 years ago. "The application of heat for food was a late thing," says C. Loring Brace, an anthropologist (see article 1)

    Cooking meat at high temperature creates heterocyclic amines which are carcinogens.
    While eating meat raw may be the only way to avoid HCAs fully, the National Cancer Institute states that cooking meat below 212 F (100 C) creates "negligible amounts" of HCAs. (ie boiling is safe) (see article 2)

    True Role of Meats/Fat

    Don't go for the fatty cut of beef..just get the regular piece..even then, its probably still fattier than the WILD animals our ancestors ate.

    Think of wild pheasant, wild duck, alligator, deer, wild quail, snake, squirrel, wild bison, and any other wild animal you've eaten.
    They are often considerably leaner than domestic animals.

    While meat is important, we need to focus more on veggies/fruits/nuts. Hunting is time intensive, difficult, and at times dangerous. Picking fruits, nuts and tubers is easier, safer, faster. Gathered foods are the mainstay of a good diet and meat is an important supplement.

    Bottom line: eat meat but don't gorge on fat(ex no bacon or lard). Eat more salads, fruits, nuts, and tubers.


    Most African hunter-gatherers relied primarily on gathered food, not hunted food. These may be most similar to what we evolved from.

    !Kung people: Animal foods contribute 33% and plant foods 67% of their daily energy intakes. Fifty percent (by wt) of their plant-based diet comes from the mongongo nut, which is available throughout the year in massive quantities.

    Hunter-gatherer Hazda of Tanzania: “the bulk of their diet” is wild plants, although they live in an area with an exceptional abundance of game animals and refer to themselves as hunters

    Aka Pygmies: their avg. collecting area in the African rain forest has a wild tuber biomass of >5 tons.
    (see article 3)

    Summary/Sample Foods

    In summary, a greater focus on less cooking, more fruits/vegetables, and leaner meats.

    Bad foods
    processed fats: tallow, lard, olive oil, coconut milk
    grilled and fried foods (many carcinogens)
    grains, legumes, dairy
    Meat/Eggs in Excess--- These are supplemental, not mainstays. Our ancestors had *limited* access to these foods, not kilogram upon kilo of it.

    Good Foods

    Leafy veggies
    Starchy veggies(carrots, potatoes)
    Boiled/poached eggs
    sashimi and carpaccio
    whole coconuts
    stews* with meat, fish and veggies
    (all types of meat, organs, and pieces of whole animal fat)

    *Cook enough to avoid food borne illness and to soften some veggies(more palatable and easier to digest), but most food should be raw. Use as low a temperature as possible- boiling is one of the best choices, and it adds water to your diet which is also healthy.(ie soups and stews)

    1. Pennisi: Did Cooked Tubers Spur the Evolution of Big Brains?
    2. onal+Cancer+Institute.&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk]Chemicals in Meat Cooked at High Temperatures and Cancer Risk - National Cancer <b style="color:white;background-color:#00aa00">Institute</b>[/url]
    3. Hunter-gatherer diets
    Last edited by QuestionApple; 07-14-2012, 11:27 AM.

  • #2
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
    Don't forget to play!


    • #3
      stop telling me how to live my life!!!
      yeah you are

      Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.


      • #4
        Originally posted by QuestionApple View Post
        Think of wild pheasant, wild duck, alligator, deer, wild quail, snake, squirrel, wild bison, and any other wild animal you've eaten.
        They are often considerably leaner than domestic animals.
        Yes, this fallacy is often posted here. It's getting a bit tiresome refuting it, but since I've nothing better to do right now. ...

        Plenty of wild animals are not lean. Megafauna certainly wasn't. Bear is not -- you can render something like 15 gallons of oil off a bear. Stefansson mentiins shooting a caribou that had 40lb slabs of back-fat on it. Some marine animals come pretty heavily laden, too. John Rodgers Jewitt's memoir:

        Their mode of living is very simple—their food consisting almost wholly of fish, or fish spawn fresh or dried, the blubber of the whale, seal, or sea-cow, mussels, clams, and berries of various kinds; all of which are eaten with a profusion of train-oil for sauce, not excepting even the most delicate fruit, as strawberries and raspberries.
        The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Adventures of John Jewitt, by John Rodgers Jewitt

        Hunters can also be highly selective in which animals from the herd they select, going for teh largest and fattest -- and which cuts they choose to eat, which to abandon. Ethnographic accounts make that clear, as does the archaeological record -- for example, the Garnsey bison-kill site investigated many years ago by John Speth:

        1983 Speth (Garnsey Bison Kill BOOK) (John D Speth) -

        Some Native Americans have been described as living on a diet of "guts and grease" -- article, including a table showing sources of fat here:

        Guts and Grease: The Diet of Native Americans - Weston A Price Foundation

        And what some contemporary bands of hunter-gatherers, pushed into marginal areas like the Kalahari desert, and subject to game laws (because the game is preserved for the needs of tourism) may have to make do on in the way of food is neither here when it comes to what Palaeolithic Man did.

        Stable isotope analysis of his bones shows us what he was eating, and it wasn't a handful of salad. Not that there's anything wrong with salad; but you can't live on it.


        • #5
          You lost me with fire as part of the fossil record (as opposed to, I dunno, maybe the *archaeological* record). Particularly as a proof of something being recent.

          Where can I get my own fossilized fire to wear around my neck to show how primal I REALLY am?

          Because in a world where survival hangs by a thread and every single calorie counts towards keeping me alive, you can keep that hump of fat from the Aurochs' shoulders! Give me a small the lean inner cut of tenderloin to go with these insoluble green frond's I've found!

          Officially invoking Formosa.
          Last edited by brahnamin; 07-14-2012, 12:04 PM.


          • #6
            I'm not saying to avoid meats...but eating lard is not primal.

            You have to heat it in order to render it...not healthy and not primal.

            Most of the animals you mention are not in cold climates in Northern climates....not where man evolved from.
            The peoples you mention are in marginal lands..not the lush rainforests filled with vegetation.
            If you had plenty of vegetables/fruits/nuts around...why would you take the effort, time, and risk to hunt? An important supplement to diet, of course...but eating unlimited quantities of it isn't likely.

            Please post a link to this isotope analysis that you mention.

            Furthermore, all of these peoples spent a lot more time exercising (typical natives spent 8 hours per day, see article 3 in my sources above).
            I think the paleo movement should definitely emphasize exercise a lot more. Go for a 5 hour hike....each day. I used to do that when I was losing weight and I lost 60lbs that way.

            If we really want to go paleo, we should restructure our lives..not just our diet. Perhaps move to the countryside and become organic farmers/ranchers. there's an idea.
            Last edited by QuestionApple; 07-14-2012, 12:20 PM.


            • #7
              Yes, I used the wrong word "fossil" instead of archealogical....
              but instead of adressing my point of cooking being unhealthy, relatively recent, and not primal....
              you attacked my wording.

              I think I need to look elsewhere if I want an intelligent, academic discussion.

              PS. Mark Scisson is actually pretty good in a lot of his advice, such as intermittent fasting and other good job to him
              Last edited by QuestionApple; 07-14-2012, 12:21 PM.


              • #8
                Your claim about fire alone is absolutely silly. A hearth is one thing--that isn't proof of fire. That's proof of settlement. A group of nomads isn't going to build a hearth.

                Oldest recorded (possible) evidence of fire is from Israel, 790,000 years ago. Charred wood and seeds were found at Gesher Benot Ya'aqov. But even if you argued against that one, there's still Zhoukoudian, in China, which has evidence dating back 400,000 years.
                SW: 324.6 ----- CW: 310
                Primal Journal


                • #9
                  Homo sapiens diverged as a species about 200,000 years ago... and reached modern physiological evolution about 50,000 years ago... Homo sapiens... HUMANS... have always had fire, cooked their food, and they ate fat whenever possible because fat is calorically dense and necessary to make vital nutrients available in their diets. Choosing a fatty animal is always better to feed a subsistance group than choosing a lean animal. Too little fat can lead to illness in times when carbohydrates are not available... and they would not have always been available as the early humans did not all live in tropical areas during all of homo sapien evolution. In fact, much evidence points to some serious climate shifts (towards hot and dry/drought) in Africa that made living quite harsh and narrowed the availability of many foods, and of course even in equatorial areas foods are quite seasonal. Migration out of Africa placed humans in more temperate climes about 70k years ago. With more temperate climates comes even more harsh seasonal partitions of available foods. No doubt that during the seasons when green shoots, roots, tubers, or fruits were in abundance they ate them... either raw or cooked according to taste and digestion... but there were also months when they likely needed to subsist almost solely on meat, and that means fatty meat... not lean.

                  Have fun eating whatever you want.
                  We can all make decisions about what works best for us individually... skewing facts to try and say that it's the "Right" way however is a bit odd IMO.
                  You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.
                  ~Friedrich Nietzsche
                  And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by QuestionApple View Post
                    First, cooking is not primal and should be minimized.
                    This is very, very incorrect. Cooking increases the bioavailability of calories in animal products and reduces the level of anti-nutrients in plant products, as well as aids in the digestive breakdown of insoluble fiber, thereby making nutrition more readily available. Most historians agree that cooking is essential in the evolution of man and we would be able to support our higher level of cognitive thinking without cooked food. Fire is the driving force behind the evolution of mankind. Given this, I'll tell you that cooked food is more "primal" than raw food.

                    Originally posted by QuestionApple View Post
                    Second, large amounts of animal is not primal. Our ancestors ate leaner wild animals and not in huge quantity.
                    Also wildly inaccurate. Every culture's diet was different. Some cultures ate more plants than animals. Others ate more animals than plants. But one thing is certain: ancient cultures DID NOT waste parts of the animal. The offal was cherished by ancient cultures, as was the marrow, gelatin and animal skin. These things are very high in fat. I shouldn't have to mention eggs to you, which are 67% calories from fat.

                    Originally posted by QuestionApple View Post
                    If you apply these 2 additional principals, the primal diet is correct.
                    There is no "correct." In fact, the idea that there is a specific primal diet is the way to be the most misguided and incorrect.

                    Research further instead of trolling/promoting an agenda. You are very misinformed. A diet full of lean muscle meats is a very unconventional thing and it has only been brought to the forefront in the past few decades. It's another piece of the puzzle when it comes to health issues. Muscle meat is very high in phosphate, which works in harmony with calcium. If you eat a diet full of muscle meat with no gelatin and bone barrow to balance it out, you are drawing calcium away from your bone and promoting a calcium deficiency and VERY acidic body conditions. Cancer and osteoporosis are contributed to by this condition. I'm guessing you haven't considered this.
                    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 07-14-2012, 12:53 PM.
                    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by QuestionApple View Post
                      but instead of adressing my point of cooking being unhealthy, relatively recent, and not primal....
                      you attacked my wording.

                      I think I need to look elsewhere if I want an intelligent, academic discussion.
                      I also attacked your notion that we (early primal hunters) rejected calorie dense fat in favor of *lean* meat and even preferred salad to that when every hunter on the planet (human and critter) naturally goes for fat and offal first (politically handcuffed modern desert dwellers notwithstanding) but you didn't answer that.

                      As to the rest, you just need to bring intelligent, academic discussion if you expect the same in return. The fact is, a handy handful of people on this forum disagree with most if not all of your points and can point to solid scientific evidence to back ourselves. Most of what you are spouting is scaretactic crap that has long been debunked and as one of the first posters to reply to you pointed out to you we've heard it so many times already that most of us won't bother.

                      Do your own research as to why.

                      And if you are making *scientific* claims you do need to know the difference between the fossil record and the archaeological record. You sound like an ass otherwise and won't be taken seriously. Those who do espouse a raw diet as a preferred method of primal living are cringing to find you on their side today.

                      ETA - Animal fat does not have to be rendered to be eaten. But it's sure delicious to take the time.
                      Last edited by brahnamin; 07-14-2012, 01:14 PM.


                      • #12
                        You mean Steven Raichlen is wrong??? Oh noooooo, say it isn't so!


                        • #13
                          It is very likely that paleolithic people were more scavengers than hunters, the meat and protein were actually gathered rather than hunted. This would mean that less energy was used satisfying their nutritional needs. In the case of large game there were plenty of other predators to take down game. The predators would then gorge themselves on the muscle meats. What was left was bones filled with fatty marrow and brains. It makes a lot more sense to wait until the predators are sated and resting and then simply go in either take what you want or eat it on the spot.

                          If you look at paleo folks as scavengers it really changes how we think of them living in close proximity to large predators. It also changes how we think of their social structure as any one can scavenge, male or female, young or old.
                          Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.


                          • #14
                            I think it goes without saying that "Primal" is a brand and it is essentially what Mark says it is. Given that, I don't think anyone would claim there is one absolute "Primal" diet. Mark's guidelines leave much open to interpretation and there are dozens of variations. I think what you are arguing is what the true diet of Paleolithic era people was and how to apply that to the modern world.


                            • #15
                              Wasn't there some recent archeological evidence uncovered that showed Neanderthals or perhaps it was a pre-human ancestor, used fire for cooking? Humans were not the first advanced primates to use fire for cooking.
                              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.