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Thread: avoiding refined foods

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011

    avoiding refined foods

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    My thinking is that if something is refined it's been extracted from it's origional form... fruit juice and alcohol are obvious examples, also bread, pasta, processed junk...

    But isnt lard and olive oil also refined?

    I know Grok didn't eat them....

    but are they as 'safe' as we think they are?
    SW: 68 kg. * CW: 61.5 kg. * GW: 60 kg or less...
    “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” ~ Buddha

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Edmonton Canada
    Ground beef is technically refined too but I am not going to sweat that. Neither am I going to worry about separating fat and oil from its original source if it is done chemical free. Although I don't drink juice as I prefer to eat my calories, it is a simple one step process to get there. All edible in their original state too.

    Grains are whole different kettle of fish, there is more than one step to getting it from grain to plate and there is more than just the processing going on. I believe in their original state they are all inedible.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Birkenstocks & hairy arm pits.
    It's a valid question and it depends on how close to the raw food you want to go. Cooking is a refining of sorts. Fermentation happens naturally. Rendering of fat is refining, but it's a pretty "natural" byproduct of cooking something. Butter is made by churning. Ghee goes one step further and takes the solids out of the butter. Oils that are made using physical rather than chemical extraction are quite different from each other in health benefits. There are folks that think flours from some sources are okay, and some folks who think flour falls into the frankenfood category.

    I guess everyone comes to their own conclusion about the meaning of refined. There is nothing wrong with eating raw foods, although some veggies are actually better for you cooked. I don't like raw meat anymore (did as a kid), but if you know the source and trust it, I guess even a meat eatin' primal grok could go with raw foods.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    I guess I just look at the results. Everyone here, and everywhere pretty much, is using whatever oils, fats, meats, veggies etc. they have available to them. For most of us that means grocery store or other mass produced products. I know we try to hit farmers markets, butcher shops or local farms when we can, but I'm betting most don't and very few do it 100% of the time. In spite of that the weight loss and blood work are still there proving this system of eating works. We can't replicate Groks diet so we improvise and adapt best we can...and it works. I wouldn't worry about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Southern California
    Don't fool yourself into thinking you can live exactly the way our ancestors did unless you have access to wild game, go foraging on a daily basis for vegetables, and can live without the electricity. There is a lot of difference from a few steps from pressing and extracting oil from olives (which I'm sure Grok could do) and leaving something out to ferment than refining wheat, removing nutrients from it, adding nutrients back to it, adding a crap ton if chemicals to it, then frying it with further processed soy oil.
    F 28/5'4/100 lbs

    "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    land of the glass pinecones
    Quote Originally Posted by thaijinx View Post

    I know Grok didn't eat them....
    i also don't eat bugs or tiny rodents. have never pilfered eggs from an unattended bird's nest.

    i shop; i don't forage, snare or hunt. can't fit a cow in my condo so actually buy butter.

    mebbe you're overthinking this?
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    – Ernest Hemingway

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    I stopped using refined and added fats/oils a while ago and don't even miss them at all. Although refined or processed doesn't always equal bad but it's generally best to limit them or eat foods a whole food diet with more nutrition. Olives> olive oil. Coconuts> coconut oil, etc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    When it comes to food, I consider "refined" to mean it had to be made in a refinery, by some advanced mechanical or chemical method that couldn't be replicated by hand.

    Lard and olive oil are not so much "refined" as they are "extracted"...while commercial varieties are probably done through an automated process, it mimics a method that can be done by hand.

    Ground beef is not refined...its "prepared", and only slightly more prepared than a steak that was cut with a meat saw. Its the same product as a steak, just prepared differently. I still buy prepared foods (salt, spices, frozen & canned veggies, broth, coconut oil, pasta sauce, shredded coconut, chocolate, vinegar, butter, cream, mustard, etc, etc) with an eye on the ingredients of course.

    If it wouldn't exist without a factory, its not real food and I don't eat it.
    *My obligatory intro

    There are no cheat days. There are days when you eat primal and days you don't. As soon as you label a day a cheat day, you're on a diet. Don't be on a diet. ~~ Fernaldo


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    I would either render the lard myself from chunks of pig fat, or purchase it from someone that did exactly that.

    Commercially obtained "Lard" (I'm thinking of the green & white boxes in the grocery store) has been hydrogenated. In other words, it is NOT actually lard, it is frankenfood with trans fatty acids. It's poison.

    Know your source is the best advice I can offer.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    SW Ohio
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    If you're concerned about all refinement make yourself a time-line. At one end--gathered foods, marrow, hunting etc up through--rendering fat and fermentation on to--milling grains, hydrogenation, HFCS and SnackWells.

    Draw an arbitrary line somewhere along our progression and 'eat this, not that'

    Again, whole foods are relatively easy to spot and it would be hard to go wrong with that as a general guide.
    Retirement has afforded me the ultimate affluence, that of free time (Sahlins/Wells)

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