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Thread: How much meat did Lewis and Clark eat while on their expedition? page

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    JeffC's Avatar
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    How much meat did Lewis and Clark eat while on their expedition?

    Primal Fuel
    I have been reading "American Buffalo" by Steven Rinella. There was also an article by him about hunting in the July 2010 edition of the Oprah Magazine (I know, I know, it's my wife's magazine, seriously). This book inspired me to do some online research about buffalo. While what happened to American buffalo in the late 1800s was a tragedy and seems to be the focus of much research, I also came across some interesting historical accounts about the Lewis and Clark expedition.

    According to this page on the Lewis and Clark trail, men on the expedition ate an amazing 9 lbs of meat a day! I presume most of that was buffalo but may have been something else. This page also points out that buffalo tongue is/was considered the best part of the meat which is no surprise to me and why I had some for breakfast this morning.

    http://lewisandclarktrail.com/buffalo.htm

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    I second the tongue notion. The fattiest and most delicious cut. Mmmmmmmmmm. What a glorious animal.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

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    I just heard that Steven Rinella has an upcoming show on The Travel Channel, "The Wild Within" I'm looking forward to checking it out.
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    I am just listening to one of those Ken Burns L&C shows at this very moment. They are recounting eating lots of elk, buffalo, birds, dog.

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    Part of my brain recoils and thinks how on earth could anyone eat 9lbs of meat a day? Then another part of my brain thinks about the size of a 3-5 lb roast of beef or pork, and I think hrm, given the situation, I probably could... LOL

    I have the tongue from the side of beef I split with friends in the freezer. I wasn't entirely sure about it, but now I'm looking forwards to cooking it up from what people have been saying. The downside is probably going to be that I'll want more, and not be able to source it! I think I'm going to have to call the packer, I get the feeling most people don't take that cut, or the bones, and it could be a good place to pick up cheap, yummy eats.

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    Steven Rinella

    Quote Originally Posted by zsadie View Post
    I just heard that Steven Rinella has an upcoming show on The Travel Channel, "The Wild Within" I'm looking forward to checking it out.
    I have been seeing the preview for this show for about a month now. I can't wait till it starts. Looks very interesting.

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    I'm not sure what the rations were they used but frontiersmen back then did not waste anything on the animals they hunted. Everything was eaten or used that could be. Even the lining of intestines were used as casings for sausage.

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    The book Undaunted Courage does a pretty good job of detailing their diet. I was aghast at how much fatty meat they ate and "survived", when I read it. Now, from the PB perspective, it makes more sense. One problem though, they didn't get enough fruits & vegetables, and suffered from scurvy.

    Re. previous post, in the book they talked about how much meat they wasted. When they shot a buffalo too far away from camp to drag it back to properly butcher it or preserve it, they would cut off the hump and tongue and and leave the rest. When they could, they would make jerky in the field, and use that for making stew later.

    It's a great book.

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