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

Is It Primal? – Sprouts, Agave Nectar, Tapioca and Other Foods Scrutinized

peasproutsSince it seems to be popular with this crowd, and we’re never running out of questionable foods, I figured I’d take the time to put together another round of “Is It Primal?” I got most of these choices from the comment sections of previous posts, along with follow-up emails. As always, feel free to fill in the blanks after the post. I have a strong feeling this will become a recurring series of posts, and I’m going to need plenty of material. Today, we’re talking about seven foods: sprouts of all kinds and origins; agave nectar, nectar of the metabolic syndrome gods; soy lecithin; coconut aminos, what hipsters have moved onto from tamari; tapioca, gummy starch; animal skin, food of the gods; and Quorn, “food.”

Let’s go:

Sprouts

Sprouts are a bit like sprites, in that they’re all over the place, agile, and difficult to get a bead on. Whether it’s pro-sprout or anti-sprout, solid data is tough to pin down. For one, “sprouts” is an incredibly non-specific term. Sprouts can come from legumes, grains, vegetables, and nuts. In other words, if it’s got a seed, you can get a sprout from it. And so you can’t look up the nutritional data for “sprouts,” because that would be like looking up the nutritional data for “meat.” It could be almost anything.

What we need to analyze, then, is the sprouting process. Does it do anything bad? Good? Is it neutral?

Sprouting tends to convert some of a seed’s sugar into vitamin C (to act as an antioxidant for the plant). That’s good. We no longer make vitamin C ourselves, so we need an exogenous source. Not a lot, but some.

Sprouting tends to reduce phytic acid (but not saponin content).

What about specific sprouts? I dug up a few citations:

Sunflower sprouts have anti-glycative and antioxidant effects, due to their elevated cynarin content.

Broccoli sprouts sound great, particularly for type 2 diabetics. In a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, they reduced oxidized LDL (and improved the oxLDL/LDL level) and decreased triglycerides in diabetic patients. They also reduced insulin resistance in type 2 diabetics. And finally, they reduced oxidative stress in type 2 diabetics.

If you’re making your own, note that antioxidant levels wax and wane throughout the sprouting process, at least in broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane, the potent antioxidant responsible for many of broccoli’s benefits, declines upon germination, then increases slowly until hitting its high point at 48 hours post-germination, after which it declines. But don’t worry; glucoraphanin, which converts into sulforaphane, increases during the first 12 hours, sharply drops, then rises again, reaching the highest levels at 72 hours post-germination. Of course, glucoraphanin requires the enzyme myrosinase for conversion, but broccoli sprouts are particularly high in myrosinase, so you’re ending up with plenty of sulforaphane either way.

I see no reason why sprouted celery seeds, broccoli seeds, radish seeds, or lettuce seeds wouldn’t be perfectly Primal. Lentil, oat, or bean sprouts? Probably not technically, although even those would be far less problematic (bean sprouts go great with spicy Thai food on a hot day). Just be aware that they have been linked to international E. coli and salmonella outbreaks, probably due to the warm, moist growing conditions required for sprouts.

Verdict: Primal, depending on the starter seed.

Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is a favorite whipping child of the Primal set, but we should substantiate our claims, don’t you think? We need to justify those welts, especially since a few of you guys were wondering (hoping?) about its place in the Primal Blueprint.

Agave nectar is insanely high in fructose. Of the sugar present, up to 92% of it is pure, unadulterated fructose. That’s considerably more than table sugar, most honey, and even high-fructose corn syrup. If we want to avoid fructose, agave nectar must also be avoided.

However, the recent honey post shows that not all sugar behaves the same. Honey – a “natural product” – contains a wide range of bee-based phenolic compounds that appear to render its sugar content less harmful than, say, a dose of HFCS with the same amount of fructose. Since agave nectar is also “natural” (it’s gotta be, with “nectar” and an exotic word like “agave” in the name), could it too be different than other sugars. No. A recent study found that while stuff like honey, molasses, and maple syrup all contain significant amounts of antioxidants that potentially mitigate the metabolic damage wrought by the sugar therein, agave nectar – along with refined sugar and corn syrup – has almost none. Even raw cane sugar beat agave nectar out in the antioxidant category.

Verdict: Not Primal.

Soy Lecithin

Many of your favorite darkest chocolates contain soy lecithin as an emulsifier, promoting smoothness and a luscious mouthfeel (whatever that means). Dark chocolate? Great. Anything with “soy” in it? Bad, or so we have been conditioned to react. But is it?

In a previous Dear Mark, I made the case that a little soy lecithin in your chocolate is nothing to worry about, even going so far as to mention the choline content as a benefit. Since the influx of questions on soy lecithin, however, I’ve revisited my stance and found some new evidence. It seems that across a whole host of soy products, soy lecithin was the most estrogenic (though estrogenic activity was found in almost all foods tested, even non-soy ones). And in “frozen rat spermatozoa,” soy lecithin – but not egg yolk (another source of choline) – interfered with mitochondrial function. Contrary to my previous assertion that soy lecithin cannot trigger soy allergy in allergic people, another study found that soy lecithin could contain “hidden soy allergens.”

I would caution any soy-sensitive individuals to stay away from soy lecithin, just to be safe. If you’re worried about missing out on a great dark chocolate, plenty of legit brands contain no soy whatsoever. Just check your labels. I would also suggest that any chocolate eaters with unexplained unpleasant symptoms make sure the chocolate they favor contains no soy lecithin, and try switching to a soy-free brand for a month. If you feel better, you might implement soy lecithin avoidance as a general rule.

Everyone else, don’t shy away from good dark chocolate. Just don’t eat it too often, supplement with soy lecithin, nor feed your baby dark chocolate.

Verdict: Not Primal, but small amounts in occasional chocolate shouldn’t be too bad for most people.

Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos are the soy sauce replacement du jour, a gluten-free, soy-free combination of aged coconut sap and sea salt that tastes somewhat like soy sauce. It’s not an exact match, but it’s not really trying to be an exact match. Coconut aminos are their own beasts, and these happen to be tasty beasts.

That said, there’s nothing really remarkable or magical about them. Its purveyors like to talk about the presence of 17 amino acids, but so what? Trace amounts of certain amino acids in a sauce that you’ll consume by the tablespoonful probably aren’t going to amount to much of anything. Consume it for the unique taste and the lack of soy and wheat.

Verdict: Primal.

Tapioca

I’ve covered tapioca flour in a previous Dear Mark post, in which I gave it a relatively clean bill of health. Tapioca is simply purified cassava starch, with basically everything else removed. My original pronouncement hasn’t changed much. It’s fine as far as starches go, if you’re active and using the carbs. I would’t go overboard with it, especially if it comes in pudding or boba tea form, but it’s definitely a “safe starch.”

The major downside is that it’s just starch. It’s extremely low in anti-nutrients, sure, but it contains almost no nutrients, either. The biggest claims to fame of a cup of the stuff are 2% of the RDI for folate and 2.4 mg of iron. It won’t do you much harm, but it won’t do you much good, unless all you’re after is glucose.

Verdict: Primal.

Animal Skin

I almost didn’t include this one, because I figured it was a no-brainer, but then I figured that if several people are asking about the suitability of animal skin on a Primal eating regimen, it’s likely that a lot of people are avoiding it just to be safe. I think that’s a tragedy, and I aim to rectify and prevent it.

Animal skin is fantastic. In the past, I’ve discussed my love for sockeye salmon skin (bacon) and roasted chicken skin, but not everyone shares my enthusiasm. At restaurants, I often see people delicately remove chicken skin with polite disgust on their faces. At my local seafood market, I’ll often ask the guys behind the counter to save me the Pacific salmon skin that people have removed. I think they’re nuts for doing it, but I’m happy to take advantage of their mistakes.

Although I wouldn’t recommend eating charred, crispy animal skin every day of the week (although braised, gently-cooked animal skin is fine all the time), animal skin in and of itself is highly nutritious. Salmon skin is high in omega-3s. Other animal skin is high in animal fat, plus collagen and gelatin, which are excellent for joints, nails, hair, and skin while providing a nice counterbalance to a regular intake of muscle meat. As long as the animal in question was healthy and fed a good diet, I would never shy away from a serving of animal skin.

Verdict: Highly Primal. If you’re not eating it, send it to me.

Quorn

Until today, I’d always assumed that Quorn was a mock meat derived from corn, a grain. That makes perfect sense, right? I mean, it sounds like “corn.” Now that I realize it’s a mock meat derived from a fungus, I feel betrayed. I suppose I understand the decision – Fusarium venenatum doesn’t really have a ring to it – but it’s not really the origin of the stuff that turns me off (although that doesn’t help). It’s the fact that Quorn (do I have to capitalize that?) is fake meat, and people are presumably eating it despite the presence of actual, real, delicious, nutritious meat.

Vegetarians? Any vegetarian who chooses Quorn as a protein source over pastured eggs is nuts. Oh, and speaking of nuts, I’d eat nuts for protein before Quorn, too. Vegans? Sure, go ahead and eat your quorn for protein. I’m frankly not all that interested.

Before you fill your chest freezer with Quorn Tenders, Quorn Cumberland Sausages, and Quorn Tikka Masala (all real products, by the way), however, read about the allergic reactions people have had to Quorn. Some sources claim 4.5% of people who eat Quorn get sick, while other sources say just 1/140,000 report adverse reactions. I don’t think it’s a huge risk unless you’re sensitive to molds, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Verdict: Not Primal, but not because it comes from a fungus. Just eat some meat, dude.

That’s it for today, folks. I hope I didn’t crush any dreams or ruin any dinner plans (agave nectar marinated Quorn steaks, served with a soy lecithin-emulsification). I just wanted to keep you honest.

Do the same for me and leave a comment. 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. Nice to see that all the sprouts don’t have to go overboard. The barf blog would have you believe there is no greater evil.

    Groktimus Primal wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • However – there is no mention in this article of alfalfa sprouts and its antinutrient L-canavanine. Loren Cordain recommends to avoid them.
      It would be great if you could address this.

      julianne wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • I swear when I pour seeds into the old sprouting jar my mom gave me, and watch things happen magically (just add water!) I just get giddy like a child and think “I’M GONNA EAT SOME TEENSY PLANTS!” Perhaps I should consider L-canavanine… or perhaps I should not ;)

        ikaika wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • My ex used to call my sprouts “vegetarian veal”. Still makes me giggle!

          Erika wrote on June 28th, 2012
      • My wife has a great sensitivity to most cruciforms, which give her great intestinal distress. Alfalfa sprouts do the same thing, while “regular” bean sprouts don’t affect her.

        Barrie Templeton` wrote on May 27th, 2012
      • Broccoli sprouts are the only sprout I quit eating because they smell so bad when sprouting. Maybe I’m sprouting them wrong. Let me know exactly how to do the Broc-sprouts someone.

        Kathryn wrote on May 27th, 2012
        • I sprout Broccoli all the time and it never smells bad… LOL… I rinse twice a day, morning and evening, in a large mason jar. I don’t let the jar get too packed with the little suckers or else I can’t rinse em good. When I rinse… I fill the jar up all the way and then shake it back and forth to wash the little guys off… if the water looks murky, I do it again until it’s clear. (Note: I keep a bucket by my kitchen sink and save the rinse water, then pour it on my plants outside).

          Perhaps your sprouts just need a good rinse? I suspect all the flap about Ecoli and such is because (a) the sprouts are not being rinsed often enough or thoroughly, and (b) because folks let their jars get packed with the little guys thus air can’t circulate and with all that nice warm moisture other stuff just naturally wants to join the party.

          I think the big concern comes from commercial producers of sprouts who use automated misters to moisten their seeds. I doubt their running around shaking jars and checking to see if the rinse water is clear. But, I’m thinking of experimenting with a very mild food grade hydrogen peroxide rinse solution for my last rinse to make sure my little guys are bacteria free.

          Can you tell… I dig sprouting… it’s just so darn fun!!!

          Cid wrote on September 17th, 2012
        • Soak seeds 6-12 hrs then rinse well. Shake dry-ish. Don’t beat them up just shake well. Now sprout by spreading seeds out in a stainless mesh colander resting over a larger bowl.

          Rinse 2-3 a day – you can use a watered down Braggs vinegar in the rinsing. Or a sprout wash solution. Available on sprout sites. If you want a vessel to sprout in, they sell them too.

          Do not soak or sprout in sunny location. As soon as you see a tail appear they have germinated and you can eat. “Cracked seed”.Can take 3 -6 days to harvest with a longer growth.

          Never put in fridge wet and rinse daily before eating.

          Your sprouts should NEVER EVER have an odor. Toss them if they do.

          alyr wrote on December 18th, 2013
    • Broccoli sprouts are awesome! If you’re in Tokyo, I blogged about where to buy superior quality ones a few months back:

      http://primaltokyo.com/?p=157&preview=true

      Hope its okay to post a link here. If not, feel free to erase this comment.

      TokyoJarrett wrote on May 25th, 2012
  2. “Animal Skin: Highly Primal. If you’re not eating it, send it to me.”

    Lol. No way, dude. I love my crispy chicken skin! :D

    PrimalNewborn_M wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Have you tried the crispy skin of a roasted pork? (pork shoulder, aka pernil) Unbelievably delicious!

      nancy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • I been eating pork rinds and calling them primal. I don’t want to hear different.

        Ion Freeman wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • When we were kids (waaay back in the ’50s!), we used to wait with anticipation for Sundays, when we often would have a pork roast. The skin was, at that time, left on by most butchers, and that crispy treat was fought over by all of us. Today it’s rare to see a roast that has skin on it. Too bad.
        And my wife won’t eat chicken skin -“it’s full of fat”, which she has been convinced is the source of HER fat. *sigh*

        Barrie Templeton` wrote on May 27th, 2012
    • I was always brought up on wholesome homemade food and the skin of a roast chicken and the parson’s nose was always fought after – my husband’s family look at me in disgust as I almost salvage it from the trash……so good to hear it’s fantastic stuff – though I never doubted it in the first place

      Jo wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Parson’s nose? Please, what is this?

        Violet wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Parson’s Nose?

          guess what?
          chicken butt!!!

          The parson’s nose is the butt-bones of a bird.

          Sparrow wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • My grandmother used to call it the Pope’s Nose. Never heard anyone else ever call it either…

          Dave wrote on October 29th, 2012
      • Yes, roasted chicken tail is delicious!

        Maxmilliana wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Thanks – answered my question. (Tail was my guess… )

          Violet wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Hah! My dad always called it the pope’s nose.

        Kristin J wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • So did mine :-)

          Liz wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • It was called the part that went over the fence last in my family. Highly fought over.

          Charlie wrote on June 1st, 2012
    • I love the skin on salmon, and since my partner doesn’t, I eat his too, especially when it is a little crispy. Delicious!

      jojohaligo wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • And so what about those goofy pork rinds?
      Bob

      Bob wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Pork rinds relieve my craving for potato chips. And they are self-limiting – I don’t get that “can’t stop until I eat the whole bag” reaction.

        Maxmilliana wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • pork rinds are definitely self-limiting for me. I can’t choke through more than two of those things before I’m totally done with them.

          Sparrow wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Amen to that Sister… I just have to look at them and I’m done! LOL

          Cid wrote on September 17th, 2012
    • 3 words: duck Skin Bacon
      that is all :)

      peggy wrote on May 25th, 2012
  3. What is primal? I thought this site was about eating like our pre-agricultural ancestors ate. Did they spout seeds to eat them, or did they, maybe eat some sprouting plants? Soy wasn’t even considered a food until about 1200 years ago, after the Chinese learned to ferment it. What did the hunter-gatherer people eat? The ones that were documented by anthropologists of the 19th and early 20th Century. Can we eat that way? Probably, but it wouldn’t be easy. It seems MDA takes a pragmatic approach to “primal eating,” that is, is the food in question better or worse, all things considered, for our health. These are modern times, the pragmatic approach is probably the best.

    D. M. Mitchell wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • “I thought this site was about eating like our pre-agricultural ancestors ate.”

      More a starting point than a strict dilineation. PB allows or advocates eating quite a few modern foods, e.g. dark chocolate, because even though we evolved to eat some foods and not others, we live in the modern world, so determinations need to be made unless one is committed to restrictive eating.

      In short, Primal =/= paleo.

      Finnegans Wake wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Cocoa “beans” are the seeds of a fruit, so even though we didn’t start eating that particular food until recently, it still sends the fruit signal.

        Jeffrey of Troy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • How do seeds ‘send a fruit signal’? Cocoa powder is not sweet (no fructose or sugar)

          julianne wrote on May 26th, 2012
    • It’s not about re-enactment. Kurt Harris over at Archevore also mentions that just because a food is Neolithic, it doesn’t make it automatically bad. Olives and coconut milk come to mind.

      Karen P. wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • i second that it is not about “re-enactment”.

        FYI: i read that in the old days, that people (Chinese?) carried seeds on ship & sprout to prevent of scurvy.

        regards,

        pam wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • At the risk of getting way off-topic, some in-depth study of ancient Chinese seafaring would be of interest (at least to me.) Scurvy solutions, other than citrus fruits, must have existed for centuries.

          Barrie Templeton` wrote on May 27th, 2012
        • @Barrie, I have two scurvy solutions for you, but both were on land. Miner’s lettuce is so named for the white folks stuck in the mountains mining all winter who went nuts on the stuff that natives introduced to them. And in the Arctic, hunters would immediately eat the adrenal glands of their kill. Cool stuff.

          Karen P. wrote on May 28th, 2012
    • Wow, whatever one’s stance may be, I enjoyed reading your comment simply for the literacy!

      ikaika wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Well as to our ancestors sprouting plants, I’m pretty sure as hunters and gatherers they picked wild baby greens… so now we don’t have to go hunt… HURRAY!!!

      Cid wrote on September 17th, 2012
  4. I eat skin. And bones. Yum.

    Luke wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Me too. If bones are cooked enough to be chewable I mentally regress to an earlier form of hominid and lose most of my table manners.

      Animanarchy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • I hear you! My friends gawk as I gnaw the ends off drumsticks.
        And ribs.
        And now I’m getting hungry for crunchies…. :)

        I try to avoid the bone itself. But the marrow’s usually fair game.

        Tom wrote on May 24th, 2012
      • I always thought it was nuts that my dad and uncle would sit there and suck on chicken bones. All the cousins and I would sit there snickering, but now I know better! I love the bones of roast chicken, or boiled for broth. My uncle and dad also swallow olives whole (pit and all), and my uncle eats the apple with the seeds. I have much to learn.

        Maryanne wrote on May 25th, 2012
        • I know of people who eat apples whole, too. The seeds do contain cyanide, but apparently in miniscule amounts. Many stone fruits’ seeds, such as peaches, have larger seeds than apples, and their cyanide content (talk about a natural way to limit predation!) is greater.

          Barrie Templeton` wrote on May 27th, 2012
        • About the olives: wow. I don’t know what kind of olives you eat, but a lot of the varieties I have run across have really pointy (read: gut-perforating) ends to them. Not sure that’s an attractive experience…

          I do go after bones and marrow myself, though – LOVE dat Krunchy Kartalage!!!

          Leaf Eating Canivore wrote on February 12th, 2014
  5. A couple days ago while trying to catch some fish with my hands in a river I found a wild oyster, or maybe a clam .. some slippery creature in a shell anyhow .. pulled it open and ate it alive. It’s like it was meant to be food. It tasted great, went down super easy, and as I hastily devoured it there was absolutely nothing wrong in my world. I felt like Pacman.
    I also ate a couple snails and ants. The snails were sort of bland but the ants were like candy. All you have to do is lie down in the grass and food will crawl on you!

    Animanarchy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • P.S. if you liked Gushers before you made the switch to Primal, I suggest you try ants.

      Animanarchy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • tee hee hee! I remember my mother telling me how the “candy man” used to sell the kids chocolate covered ants and grasshoppers as they walked to school. I’ve not been brave enough to try it, but take comfort in the fact of a plentiful food source!

        yoolieboolie wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • live? don’t they bite?

        piefrog wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • They are the best live. The acid they use as defense tastes like lemon drops :)

          Michele wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • One bit my tongue just a little earlier today and it didn’t hurt. It was kind of enjoyable.

          Animanarchy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Carpenter ants taste like lemon pepper. Pinch them in half and eat the abdomen. I learned it at the lobster museum in Bar Harbor. I was the only person in the group who tried them.

          Leon wrote on May 25th, 2012
        • My friend on their self defense: “That’s not a very good defense.” Then we ate some.

          Animanarchy wrote on July 19th, 2012
      • As a kid (1st grade if I remember correctly) I got curious and licked the side of a tree covered with ants. My tongue was sore for the next 5 days. Ants bite… literally!

        Mike F wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • okay, I’m officially requesting a post on edible insects. BAM!

        yoolieboolie wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Hahahahahbamhahahaha

          ces wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Yes please! And not just wild ones. People who know edible wild plants still garden for efficiency’s sake, and similarly a lot of us could benefit from a discussion of growing our own bugs. Growing mealworms, earthworms, and others takes much less space and work than even chickens do- much less beef. Bug food (generally free) + very little work or space = delicious, nutritious food!

          Mikey wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • Wout Mertens wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • Bam x2

          MikeD wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • e.g., Bam Bam!!

          StoneCutter wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • Yes.

          Mikey wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • While I was digging in the yard I discovered I am being overrun by snails. Lightbulb! I am now looking into “snail ranching.” Basically, you trap the live snails, feed ‘em lettuce for a week to pass any pesticides through, fast them for another week to clean out their gut and BAM! They are ready for a quick steam and some garlic butter. I will let you know how it turns out…

          Missaralee wrote on May 29th, 2012
      • An easy way to trap ants is to mix a little bit of apple sauce with water and leave the jar slightly open. Then you can present the ant with a stick. It grabs onto it, thinking that it’s being saved. I discovered this by accident.

        Animanarchy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Ooooh the green ants in North Queensland, Australia are the best. Super Zesty!

          ikaika wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • This comment was edited by someone. What I originally said was, “If you liked Gushers as a kid, I suggest you try ants”. I find the editing somewhat appalling. I guess it’s done with good intentions but it’s hampering free speech. I don’t want to be misrepresented. I finally got to peruse The Primal Blueprint that I requested this library to order in a long time ago (can’t take it out without ID) and I didn’t know Mark made material from the book into posts verbatim. I don’t see anything wrong with that but I thought all the posts were new stuff.

        Animanarchy wrote on January 4th, 2014
        • Or maybe I did that editing by myself before posting. I don’t know. Memories can be hazy when you drop in and out of the alterverse.
          Also, maybe what I thought came from the book to the blog came from the blog to the book. I could check dates on posts, however I am too occupied.

          Animanarchy wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • Eating raw snails and raw freshwater shellfish is extremely unwise. They are used as intermediate hosts for a slew of helminth parasites, many of which do infect humans. Mammals and birds eat the snails or shellfish and become infected with the worms. Once the worms reach maturity in these final hosts, the host may defecate in the water, contaminating it. Young worms seek out and infect snails, shellfish, etc. where the cycle continues.

      Cook your meat — man discovered fire for a reason.

      George wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Symbiotes

        Animanarchy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • If you consider tapeworms, flukes and roundworms symbiotes, not only are you factually wrong but you have issues.

          George wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Symbiotes cause no harm to the host. Parasites cause a lot and in the case of tapeworms and other helminths, they can end up in your brain or spinal cord, cause cysts and inflamation. Occasionally they cause death, but often long term or even permanent disability.

          Cook your shellfish. Really.

          Barry wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • http://au.news.yahoo.com/sunday-night/features/article/-/11478098/a-killer-in-the-garden-/

          Hmmmmmm they don’t sound like symbiotes to me.

          Maybe you should refrain from giving advice about which you obviously know nothing mate.

          Brad wrote on May 24th, 2012
      • Good call

        Carlos Morales wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • I don’t see why it is wrong to eat raw snails and shellfish? Maybe for the few freshwater shellfish that are dangerous or certain species of snail, that are very dangerous. Have you ever eaten raw freshwater mussels and/or clams, amazingly delicous. As for the snails, there is a French dish that is like escargot but is raw and I think alive. I haven’t tried that but I’ve heard it’s good.

        Michael wrote on May 28th, 2012
        • And George, man found and discovered the use of fire by accident. They used it as protection against animals like predators. Also, to light the camp and possibly make tools and weapons.

          Michael wrote on May 29th, 2012
        • Mark has said that he loves raw oysters.

          Animanarchy wrote on May 30th, 2012
    • Have fun with that.

      Milemom wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Eating a river shellfish is a possible way to get sick. That’s why it’s recommended to not eat ocean shellfish in the months that end in r. That you walked away is good, wouldn’t suggest it again.

      While we can approximate our ancestors lifestyle, we don’t want to imitate it exactly as they died in their 40’s from things like infection and we want to stay away from that.

      Annie Sires wrote on May 24th, 2012
    • I admire people like you. So primal. I hope someday that I may aspire to be that primal and eat everything raw, wet, and wild. Hopefully it will be my choice and not forced upon me by the times. Right now I’m dealing with a bit of a repulsive factor thinking about eating raw snails, unknown oysters, and crunchy ants. I have eaten raw meat (beef), and swallowed raw egg yolks (easy). Raw meat does not taste at all the same as cooked. Totally different flavor. I hope to learn more raw food eating, always better than organic, of course.

      Kathryn wrote on May 27th, 2012
      • I tried raw salmon once and it almost tasted the same as when it’s cooked.

        Animanarchy wrote on May 30th, 2012
        • Salmon, like other anadromous fish (migrates between fresh and salt waters), can carry nasty parasitic worms, and should only be eaten raw if it has been previously frozen to 0 F or below for several weeks to kill the lurkers. Or it should be cooked through. Salting and /or hard smoking will usually do the job as well. Ditto with the rest of the freshwater fish.

          Also watch out for Red Tide contamination in ocean filter-feeders – it will kill you. You can’t cook this one to safety. And as far as oysters and other shellfish are concerned, beware of Vibrio infections through cuts or abrasions – this is another fast-moving killer.

          It’s not just about being romantically atavistic – it’s also about being as smart as we can be for good health.

          Leaf Eating Canivore wrote on February 13th, 2014
  6. Seriously, people. Skin is delicious. That’s the best part of eating chicken. It’s like the creamy filling in Oreos.

    jinushaun wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  7. Quorn isn’t even vegan, it has egg protein in it.

    wildduck wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  8. I definitely have noticed that I often feel headachy, stomach crampy, or both, after eating chocolate with soy lecithin in it. Some of my fav high quality chocolates have it. I now flip through the racks of chocolate bars at whole foods, frustratingly looking for the soy-less options (answer: not many, and some of the ones that I do find end up getting discontinued within a month or so). Sometimes I break down and get some chocolate with soy in it, if its the only option, but if i eat more than a square I regret it >.<

    cTo wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Lindt 85% does not have soy lecithin in it. It’s my go-to chocolate and cheap (2 for $5) at my local grocery store.

      Carrie wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Great tip on the 85% Lindt not containing soy lecithin – I was surprised to find that the lower percentages (including my family’s favourite 70%) did contain it.

        RedYeti wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • The Lindt 85% and 90% both say “may contain traces of…soy lecithin.” I’m not sure what ‘traces’ means quantitatively, but I’d say it’s in there. Is it enough that it matters? Dunno. Am I still going to eat some Lindt 90% tonight? Yes. But I might look for some other chocolate options too. Amyone know if Green and Blacks does a 90%

        Mike wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Usually it means somewhere in the factory there is a production line that uses it.

          Either that or “We cannot guarantee that one of the workers didn’t have X for lunch and washed their hands properly afterwards.”

          Same applies for gluten.
          Or my favorite:
          “Recipe – no nuts
          Factory – no nuts
          Cannot guarantee nut free”

          Ian wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • ‘Traces’ generally just means it is produced on the same machinery or in the same area as the products that contain soy lecithin, so it’s probable that some has transferred into the product. They have to include that on the label to alert those who may have serious allergies. You’ll often see ‘may contain traces of peanuts’ on chocolate as well, but that doesn’t mean it’s filled with peanuts… just that it probably got some peanut dust on it.

          Joseph S. wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • It’s probably processed on the same equipment as the versions which do contain soy lectithin. So, they have to state that because some might sneak in there even if the equipment is cleaned. That’s my guess.

          TaliaK wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Don’t know about 90 but Green & Black’s has an 85% dark and it does not have soy lecithin.

          Grokwatcher wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • The highest I’ve seen Green & Black’s is 85%..

          Sadly, the 85% bars in Canada have soy lecithin.

          ThePrimalist wrote on May 24th, 2012
      • I used to be a big fan of the lindt 90% due it’s soy-free status, but it’s processed with alkali, so I don’t do that anymore, either. Raw cacao does it for me, and if you need candy, there are dark chocolate bars out there not alkali processed and soy free if you look.

        Graham wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • I found their 90% cocoa and its amazing as well!

        carebear wrote on May 24th, 2012
      • Lindt puts barley malt into most of their chocolates…… which has gluten. It makes me sick, because I am gluten intolerant.

        Ursula wrote on May 24th, 2012
    • Does baking chocolate have soy in it? I know cocoa powder doesn’t.

      You may have to make your own chocolate bars. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a recipe on here somewhere.

      toaster for sale wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • oooooh, what a good idea!!!!

        yoolieboolie wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Coconut butter, Cacao powder, & honey. . . that’s all you need to make chocolate bars. I just dump it together over medium heat until it tastes like I want it to. . . spread it out into a pan lined with parchment and chill in the freezer until firm. Break, eat, yum! You can make almond butter cups this way too. . . line a mini muffin pan, put chocolate in bottom, freeze until firm, dollop in some almond butter (can sweeten with honey if needed) and top with more chocolate, freeze until firm. Love it!

        Jamie wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • WIN!!!!!

          yoolieboolie wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • If you put hot food directly in the freezer, you heat up your freezer tremendously in the process of cooling the hot food.

          Better to put it in the fridge to cool it, then transfer to freezer if necessary.

          Jeffrey of Troy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Thanks! Can’t wait to try this. I like being able to select my own ingredients, not relying on factory creations.

          Angela wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • That sounds delicious, Jamie! Could you give approximate amounts?

          Leah H wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Jamie, sounds super easy and delicious. Thanks!

          Molly wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • ZOMG! almond cups sound AMAZING! I can’t wait to try these out, combining my two favorite primal desserts

          Ben O wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • I do this too. ¼ cup coconut oil, 3 tbsp cocoa powder. The amount of honey/stevia/xylitol is up to you. You can throw in some grated coconut, any kind of nuts, whatever you want.

          Anna wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • THANKS!!! Do you have suggestions on proportions? particularly between the coconut butter (coconut oil?) and cacao powder? I realize the honey is probably ‘to taste’ but would imagine the other two have some sort of ‘optimal proportion’?

          This is awesome – I constantly wonder why chocolate makers don’t use honey instead of cane sugar! :)

          MMO wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • ok… ignore my question, thanks to the other person who posted proportions!!! :)

          MMO wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • For every 4-5 Tbs of coconut cream/butter (1/4 cup ish) I add 2-3 Tbs cacao powder and honey to taste. Balanced Bites recommends adding some almond flour as well. . . I don’t have the link, but I’m pretty sure it’s on the site. The Well Fed Homestead recommends making chocolate using unsweetened baking chocolate (8oz) to 2 Tbs coconut oil, 1 cup honey, some vanilla and a dash of sea salt. . .

          Jamie wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • I know what coconut cream is; I can buy it in an Asian grocery store. What is coconut butter?

          jake3_14 wrote on May 27th, 2012
        • OMG!!! These are getting made post haste.

          Seth wrote on May 30th, 2012
      • Primal candy: melt and layer (or combine) any of the following ingredients:
        Cacao Powder
        Cacao Butter
        Real cow butter
        Coconut oil
        Coconut flakes
        Nuts and dried fruit
        Sweetener of choice
        Spread out on a large baking sheet for “bark” or in deeper pans for “chunks”.
        I get some of my ingredients from Wilderness Family Naturals.

        Kathryn wrote on May 27th, 2012
    • I like Nibmor, which makes a Raw Vegan chocolate bar (although, I’m racking my brain… it may or may not be made with agave – boooo!)
      I find that things made for raw vegan diets are usually acceptable for paleo, primal, low carb. (but “regular” vegan, not so much)

      raw grokette wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • TAZA is a Mexican-style stone-ground chocolate company from Massachusetts that usually has 3 ingredients total in it, depending on the flavor. They have ones lice cinnamon, orange, salt and pepper (!!!), ginger, chipotle… but they also have an 87% dark bar that uses beans sourced from Bolivia that taste INCREDIBLE. They’re dairy free, soy free, gluten free… SUPERDELICIOUS… (i swear I am uninvolved with that company and don’t get kickbacks, I just really REALLY love their chocolate and, given my job, have seen a LOT of chocolate)

      ikaika wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Okay, then what is your job?…we all want it.

        Elizabeth wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Hahaha, I’m a chocolate, tea, and housewares buyer for a Whole Foods in Texas! It is… nifty, to say the least!!

          ikaika wrote on May 24th, 2012
  9. Even if some posts seem repetitive or follow the same theme, I’m amazed at Mark’s ability to churn out new material daily after writing so many posts. I always enjoy reading the new posts even if I don’t learn anything, though I usually do, or have something to ponder or at least exercise my intellectual faculties. Good job Mark!

    Animanarchy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  10. Thanks Mark – funnily enough I was wondering about where sprouts ‘sit’ in the pantheon of paleo…

    Pirate Jenny wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  11. My husband was listening to a report, probably on NPR, saying that rotisserie chicken skin was one of the worst in terms of carcinogens (due to the long cooking times). I occasionally buy one in a pinch and having been using what’s left of the bird to make bone broth. Carcinogenic or not?

    Lindt makes a great soy lethicin-free dark chocolate bar.

    BootstrapsOnMyFivefingers wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • you still have to check the label. their 70% has soy l., while their 85% does not. That’s all I’ve been privy to as far as their dark chocolate.

      yoolieboolie wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • I understand the concept of carcinogens in smoked foods and I have yet to see any specific data on the topic.

      With that said my current mind set is the process of smoking foods is okay, perhaps even beneficial (hormesis).

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  12. For you chocoholics avoiding all soy, reread the labels on your Dagoba chocolate products. As I was buying a gluten-free chocolate-covered goodie at the farmer’s market, the vender told me he needed to find a new source of chocolate, because they changed their ingredients and now include soy lecithin.

    dragonmamma wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Dagoba, primal, it is not? Sad, I am :(

      Rob wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Probably b/c Hersheys now owns Dagoba. They messed it all up.

      NicoleK wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  13. does that mean that maple syrup is ok? I’ve been asking about it in the comments the past few weeks.

    Peter Soliman wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Maple syrup has a favorable glucose/fructose ratio (i.e. more glucose than fructose), better than honey and much better than agave. It’s still sugar, though, so moderation is key.

      Nicole wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • After I ate the pancakes, I learned: that my mother-in-law ran low on maple syrup…so she added HFCS to the bit of Maple syrup…Uggghhhhhhh! It’s hard to have friends and potlucks at the same time. I don’t trust Mum anymore…and she knows it. But she’s 94 and doesn’t care what she eats now. And doesn’t want to learn. But she does sprout!

        Kathryn wrote on May 27th, 2012
    • First of all, is it real maply syrup and not HFCS with maple flavoring? Even if it’s real, it’s not primal. Added sugar never is (though it could be a sensible indulgence if you use it in moderation).

      Trevor wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • My acupuncturist says Grade B Maple Syrup is better than Grade A. Grade B is from the first tapping and contains more minerals than Grade A.

      JulieD wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Your acupuncturist is wrong, Tapping maples is tapping. The sap of the sugar maple rises, as do all trees, in early spring/late winter. That is when you tap the trees. There is no difference. Grades are made by density and translucency, not mineral content. The sap is boiled to Grade A light Amber, then Amber then Dark Amber. Then It’s boiled longer and then you get grade B and even longer to get Grade C.

        That’s it.

        Annie Sires wrote on May 24th, 2012
        • Tapping trees? That’s a little too primal..

          Animanarchy wrote on May 24th, 2012
    • Maple syrup and molasses are my go to sweeteners. I just add a little bit to my yogurt or drinks for taste.

      You might want to check out Mark’s definitive guide to sugar: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-definitive-guide-to-sugar/. It has lots of good information.

      Maple syrup has some good minerals in it, so you don’t need to feel it’s a complete indulgence. Just be careful not to overdo it.

      Joseph S. wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Mix/drizzle maple syrup or molasses with some butter, mix thoroughly with a fork or spoon…hmmmm. Adjust ratio to taste.

        Kathryn wrote on May 27th, 2012
  14. what about V8 juice? i searched but could only find vague references to it..has it been covered?

    Dan wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • V8 is a highly processed sugary drink, and IMO is not on the Primal list.

      BT wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • V8 can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V8_juice

      It is the juice of the vegetables, sans the fiber and crunchy goodness that them taste so yummy. 600 mg of salt is a lot. It’s about a half a teaspoon, in less than 12 ounces of fluid. And it’s mostly sugar (14 gms) compared to the listings for the whole vegetable (tomato for instance, has 7 mg of sodium and 6 carbs in 147 gm tomato).

      My rule is that if it’s made by a company and processed, it’s generally not good for you.

      Annie Sires wrote on May 24th, 2012
    • It’s a GMO product. Stay away from that one, juice your own or vitamix your veggies and get ALL the nutrients.

      Kk wrote on May 24th, 2012
  15. Mmm, chicken skin. I had a longtime aversion to it, because my mom always fed us a “healthy” CW diet and we rarely had chicken with the skin on. I used to think it was greasy and it made my stomach turn, but now I’m learning to like it.

    Shannon wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Never could tolerate the texture so I avoid it.

      shrimp4me wrote on October 25th, 2013
  16. I just checked, nice to see that my favorite chocolate,Green and Black’s 85% dark, has no lecithin.

    Marc wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Awesome, that’s my favorite too!

      michelle wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Thats a shame, it must be a different recipe in AU because mine definitely has Soy Lecithin in it :-[

        sweetfancymoses! wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  17. I was in the hospital the other night (I thought someone dosed me with acid.. I think maybe I just indulged too much in my own treats).. anyways blood and urine tests were done, I was hooked up to an IV for a while, and though I didn’t ask for specifics, apparently my test results show nothing to worry about. Stunning based on what I’ve been through.
    I could hear the medical staff in the next room talking and picked out a few phrases. I can’t be sure they were talking about me but they said the following. “He has perfect abs”, “He doesn’t eat a lot of carbs”, something about fluid movement, and “That boy is fine.”
    I’ve eaten like 30000 pills. Take that Big Pharma.

    Animanarchy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • hahahaha. That is hilarious.

      Terri wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • I know, I love good “acid dosing” stories…

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • *giggle*

      mcoffeesnob wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • It was probably just the Symbiotes. :)

      cheverly wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • This comment made it worth reading them all. I’m still laughing.

        jennydecki wrote on May 25th, 2012
        • See? Symbiotes. :)

          Animanarchy wrote on May 30th, 2012
  18. Love this series, keep it going!!!

    Josh wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  19. Chicharrón(“Pork Rind”, aka Puerto Rican Corn Flakes): Food of the Gods!!!

    Rob wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • couldn’t agree more! my sustenance on road trips is the beloved chicharrones! I kind of wish my family would embrace them too, but kind of glad to have them to myself!

      yoolieboolie wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Pernil and Chicharrones are my favorite! I love the crispy pernil skin!

        Cherly wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • I too used to love pork rinds, but thinking the pre-made kind (ie: Lowry’s, “Baken-ettes”) AREN’T primal? Aren’t they fried in vegetable/seed oil?

      jules wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • I used to love the pre-made kind as a kid. However, ours aren’t only fried in vegetable oil, they also contain every other kind of crap like dextrose and a bazillion preservatives.

        Isabel wrote on May 24th, 2012
    • I was in Mexico a few years ago and at a village party they had chicharones. I distinctly remember being offered a piece by a toddler who had been mouthing it for most of the party. It made chicharones even less desirable than they already are ;)

      Barry wrote on May 24th, 2012
  20. The one thing i will refuse to share is my chicken skin. GET YOUR OWN!
    *growls*
    MINE

    Nionvox wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  21. Alfalfa sprouts??? What about them? I’ve been on an alfalfa sprout kick lately–I grow my own.

    Janknitz wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • they come from a flowering plant in the pea family. Peas are legumes, not primal. But I’m still wondering too.

      piefrog wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • You’re not eating the pea, you’re eating the plant!

        ikaika wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  22. Okay, in the category of thickeners I am curious about xanthan gum. I have read that it’s derived from the fungus that grows on (likely GMO) corn in lab conditions. That was enough to get me to toss the little baggie I got from the CoOp bulk section, but not enough to get me to toss my huge bottle of Cholula (eggs without hot sauce only happens when eating out!)

    Also, I’ve been researching starchy thickeners and from what I’ve found I’m sticking to Arrowroot powder (for the rare birthday almond flour cake and whatnot). Like tapioca powder, it is simply dried, ground root. I’ve read that it does at least have a modicum of nutrients though, edging it up a notch over tapioca in my book. Is it true?

    yoolieboolie wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Xanthan gum is a bacterial product. Glucose from corn is usually involved in the process, but some manufacturers do not use corn. The final product should not contain any corn product. From what I’ve read, most people with corn allergies don’t have reactions to xanthan gum. I never worried about it since the amount I would ingest in any given year, even before going primal, is next to nothing.

      Eric wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Ager ager is an emulsifier derived from seaweed.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Excuse me, agar.

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
        • Thanks Bon, I’ll check it out. How’s the gun show?

          yoolieboolie wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  23. There is pork skin available at my local grocery store. But I have no idea how to cook it. I tried frying it chicharron-style (I thought it would be crispy), but ended up giving it to the dog to play with. I could have tiled a roof with the result.

    toaster for sale wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • I believe it is cooked off in a slow oven, a remnant of rending lard.

      yoolieboolie wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • If you want commercial-style pork rinds, It’s a slow process that involves boiling the skin until tender, then drying it out, and then deep frying it. You can read about the process at http://www.tstastybits.com/2011/11/how-to-make-chicharron/. You can speed up the process with a pressure cooker and a food dehydrator.

      If you don’t want to go through all that mess, just cut the skins and lay them out on a sheet for and bake for about 3 hours at 250 degrees F. Let cool, and then fry until they puff. They will be a little tougher, but I like that a bit more personally.

      If you want the more traditional Mexican style, see http://www.mexicoinmykitchen.com/2010/11/homemade-pork-skinschicharrones-de.html . I usually do this with pork belly.

      Eric wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  24. I love animal skin, my faovorite thing about getting chicken is getting that skin crispy. Fish skin is good to..

    Matt wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  25. I hadn’t heard of Quorn until today.

    Honestly, I thought it was a primal substitute for corn!

    Someone figured out how to make corn out of quinoa? What?

    toaster for sale wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  26. I’m getting sick of Quorn, 2 hours after eating, I get so nauseous that every thing comes out, every thing. It stops when my stomach is empty. And it hurts a lot, a lot more then when I’ve to throw up because having the flu for example. I will never never eat it once again!

    Manja wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Ignoring the source of quorn for a few minutes (hard ask for some I know…), like most foods (5% or so of Americans are supposedly allergic to turkey) there is often a small percentage of the population that are allergic to a specific food type Maybe you are allergic to mold :)

      To be fair quorn is very popular in europe and is a common ingredient at our office restaurant for at least one of the meal options. Never heared of anyone having a problem.

      Garth wrote on June 4th, 2012
      • Most of the Quorn products contain wheat. I have used the roast-style for several years which doesn’t; maybe 3 years ago they changed the formula and added gluten. I sent a nastygram to England; lots of other people must have, too, b/c it was reformulated AGAIN w/o the gluten.
        Once the loaf in my freezer from my last vegetarian go-round is gone I won’t be buying any more–bring on the chicken!!!

        shrimp4me wrote on October 25th, 2013
  27. Great series!!! Thanks!

    L.Z. wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  28. Neat post, fun to read, well-written, helpful, funny…all good stuff. I’ve been loving salmon skin a long time now, and thinking of all those years I took it off. Some primal-ish food company should fry or bake or otherwise dry and slightly season (or not) salmon skins, make ‘em into crispy-chewy chips, and not wreck ‘em with weirdo ingredients.

    Grant wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Somebody does up here in Alaska – product called “Yummie Chummies”, made for dogs out of the leftovers of a fish long considered by the locals to be fit only for dogs, the “dog” or “Chum” salmon, now renamed the “Keta Salmon” to sell to human pieholes.

      Leaf Eating Canivore wrote on February 13th, 2014
  29. “Quorn” WTF??? Sounds…er…no thanks. Silly vegetarians…what kind of “fake meat” will they come out with next??? The thing that grosses me out is seitan…PURE WHEAT GLUTEN in the shape of meat…GROSS!!!

    Maple syrup is fine in moderation as long as it is the REAL stuff! I got mine from a shop in New Hampshire where their family has been making it for over a hundred years. Our neighbor even tried to tap our maple trees to make some. Totally Primal on your Primal pancakes with some fresh berries! MMMMMMmmmmmm..

    Oh…and chicken skin is amaaaazing!!

    Primal Pants wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Seitan, or ‘vital wheat gluten’ is, for me, literally a recipe for serious gastrointestinal distress!

      Violet wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Once I ate seitan “scallops” and they sat like a ball of lead in my stomach. Never again!

        Maxmilliana wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  30. who the h*ll wouldn’t eat animal skin, especially on a primal diet??? that was just a jaw dropping. mind numbing thing to read. it amazes me how much lack of common people have with regard to food. it’s our culture. nowhere else in the world are people so alienated from the things they eat as Americans are. thank you capitalism, for whelping generations of food zombies. ugh.

    simon wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • hey-food zombie here-BUT since finding Mark a few weeks ago, the blood is coming back!! I was raised alll wrong but with well-meaning parents. NOW, I am able to introduce my husband and my 16- and 18-year-old kids to REAL life-sustaing food! Mark, you are invaluable! Thank you for all you do! I hope to be diabetes-free in the near future. Keeping my less-zombie-than-last-week fingers crossed!

      Merry wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  31. Wait–I just bought non-GMO soy lecithin to supplement choline sinc I eat a 70%-80% fat diet. I eat lots of egg yolks, but I worried that wasnt enough. How many egg yolks per week do I need to get enough choline to balance all the fat I’m eating?

    xena wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  32. I’m making grilled salmon tonight…gonna try the skin this time! :)

    Primal Pants wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  33. i keep reading about how dark chicken meat and chicken skin are very high in PUFA’s, so not to indulge too much. sigh. i try not to have it more than every two weeks, but that makes me sad. when i do eat it, i feel guilty, like i’m harming myself! any thoughts?

    cz wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • I have also been concerned about omega 6 fatty acids in chicken, chicken fat, and chicken skin. As a result, I stopped saving using chicken fat to use for other purposes, but I didn’t quit eating chicken or chicken skin yet. Like you, eating chicken skin makes me feel a little guilty. I think the solution is plenty of fatty fish and omega-3 supplementation to compensate.

      Kim Lindsey wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  34. Wow, I had no idea that agave nectar was so bad. It’s been touted so highly in so many places that I took it to be a good replacement for sugar.

    Also, I want to say that Coconut Aminos are a great substitute for soy sauce and I swear by them. Also, it’s good to know that tapioca isn’t as bad as I feared.

    T. AKA Ricky Raw wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  35. Coconut Aminos with Sushi… Not primal!

    Lars T. wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • I’d think it would be if it was sashimi.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • “Coconut Aminos with Sushi… Not primal!”

      I ask…why not? Please add the facts to your statement. I really don’t know. And I imagine there are others who don’t know, either.

      Kathryn wrote on May 27th, 2012
      • Rice in the sushi–sashimi doesn’t use the rice

        shrimp4me wrote on October 25th, 2013
  36. Salmon skin? What do you do with the fish scales? Eat those too? Hubby and I recently had blackened cajun salmon over the weekend and the recipsaid to remove skin. I found fish scales still sticking to me the following morning, even after I had washed my hands and arms. No wonder fish scales are used in lip stick!

    Heidi Coons wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Once you scrape off the scales (or have someone do it for you), fish skin is smooth and kind of buttery.

      I grilled up some haddock yesterday. Of course, I was the only one in the family to eat the skin. No scales present!

      Kai Ponte wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  37. Found this site for home made pork scratchings (British pork rinds). If you cut them bite size before rendering, they come out crispy and tasty. The lard that remains is just like the lard my grandmother made and is wonderful for cooking.

    http://justcookit.blogspot.ca/2009/02/homemade-pork-scratchings-part-one.html
    http://justcookit.blogspot.ca/2009/02/homemade-pork-scratchings-part-two.html

    Barbara wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  38. Why include a jab at “mouthfeel” in an otherwise well-reasoned post? You know exactly what mouthfeel is. It is a compound word, so I won’t bother defining it here… but seriously… it is a cornerstone of understanding the process food goes through when going through humans and why&how we respond differently to different foods. It ells you if a fruit or vegetable or meat has gone bad… it tells you if it was cooked by a savant or a fool. &so on.

    Love the work, keep it up- I’ll just keepkeeping you honest.

    dusty wrote on May 23rd, 2012
  39. you know I’ve not heard of Quorn until this article … seriously? not primal? I have been living on bacon and mushrooms since I started eating primal, there’s no reason I can’t have quorn with meat, is there?? as soon as you said fungus and protein I was interested. :D

    NeanderthalPride wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • It’s very expensive for the protein you get–I only bought it when it was on special

      shrimp4me wrote on October 25th, 2013
  40. Be careful of tapioca flour if you’re latex allergic. There are cases of documented cross-reactivity, some pretty serious. I am latex allergic, and back in the day when I was mixing my own GF flour mixes, some puffed out of the bag and I inhaled it. I sneezed for three hours and broke out in a rash. Can’t be good for my poor celiac gut. Haven’t used it since, and I avoid it when it’s in ingredient labels.

    Nannsi wrote on May 23rd, 2012
    • Yup, tapioca can also exhibit gluten cross-reactivity traits. I have far worse symptoms consuming something with tapioca than wheat. Could never figure out why the GF sub foods never agreed with me!

      Kris wrote on May 23rd, 2012
      • Will have to remember this; will start out w/ tapioca in small amounts. You never know what’s gonna getcha; found out the hard way that I am much more allergic to millet than to wheat.

        shrimp4me wrote on October 25th, 2013

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