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

Is it Primal? – Sunflower Oil, Wheat Germ, Skyr, and Other Foods Scrutinized

It’s time for another edition of “Is It Primal?”, where I do my best to rescue certain foods from Primal limbo (if they deserve it) and banish others to Primal exile. And sometimes, I’ll keep a food languishing just because there’s really nowhere else to put it. This week I have five foods. Some, like sunflower oil and wheat germ, are quite common. There’s a good chance you have, or soon will, encounter them out there in the wild, and I hope to give you the tools to handle them. Other foods, like skyr and corn smut, won’t be quite so common (unless you’re a time traveler from 16th century Mesoamerica or an Icelander), but you never know when you’ll have the opportunity to eat some corn fungus and acidified cultured cheese yogurt. You want to be prepared. The last food isn’t really a food, but rather a supplement that attempts to replace a food.

Let’s go.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil a seed oil made from, you guessed it, sunflower seeds. Since we tend to avoid the seed oils (or at least limit them as much we can), it seems like sunflower oil is a definite “no.” But wait – why exactly do we shy away from seed oils?

The omega-6 content – We already get plenty of omega-6 fats in our diets, especially since the physiological requirements for these technically essential fatty acids are so incredibly low. Eat some chicken, a couple egg yolks, maybe a handful of nuts every once in awhile, and you’ll get plenty of omega-6. Throw in some food sauteed in soybean oil, some mayo made with canola oil, and some store-bought salad dressing and you’re risking throwing off your healthy omega 3:6 ratio.

The rancidity - Seed oils are usually exposed to the three main agents of oxidation – heat, light, and air – either in the factory at conception, on the store shelves, or in the restaurants. Seeing as how most seed oils are very high in fragile polyunsaturated fats, exposing them to the three agents of oxidation tends to easily oxidize the fats. Oxidized omega-6 fats are better left uneaten.

However, not all sunflower oil is high in omega-6. Standard (high-linoleic) sunflower oil is indeed high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fat, but high-oleic sunflower oil is at least 82% oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, lard, and your very own adipose tissue, while being extremely low in PUFAs (I’ve even seen a sunflower oil with just half a gram of omega-6 per tablespoon, comparable to macadamia oil). Monounsaturated fats are far more resistant to oxidation. They’re even producing high-stearic sunflower oil, which is high in both oleic and stearic acid (a saturated fat extremely resistant to oxidation). Although a good bottle of olive oil, a nice pat of grass-fed butter, or a tub of red palm oil are going to be better, more nutrient-dense sources, I don’t see much wrong with either high-oleic or high-stearic sunflower oil. They’re totally tasteless, which makes them a good oil for Primal mayo.

If you’re worried about GMOs, sunflowers have yet to be genetically-modified. The different versions are developed using good old-fashioned cross-breeding.

Verdict: Primal. Just be sure to go for cold-pressed (which preserves vitamin E and reduces oxidation), high-oleic/high-stearic sunflower oil.

Wheat Germ

In case you’re wondering why wheat germ is even worth considering, it’s the gluten. Or, more specifically, it’s the relative lack of gluten. See, the oft-cited reason for avoiding wheat and other grains like barley, rye, and spelt is the presence of gluten, a common allergen, promoter of inflammation, and all-around jerk. Since gluten is a protein residing mostly within the endosperm of a grain, and the germ, which is the largely protein-free (but not totally) part of a wheat grain that eventually germinates (hence, “germ”) and grows into a new plant, has very little gluten, some people were wondering whether incorporating wheat germ into the diet would be akin to using real soy sauce. That is, since there’s not much gluten, perhaps a fairly gluten-tolerant (as much as you can be) person can eat a little wheat germ now and then.

You certainly can, but I still wouldn’t. Wheat germ has a little something called wheat germ agglutinin, a particularly potent lectin that protects wheat from insects, yeasts, and bacteria. It also tries to protect wheat from other, larger predators, like hairless bipedal agrarian apes, by attacking and perforating the intestinal lining. There’s also evidence that WGA interacts with insulin receptors (PDF) in fat and liver cells, even going so far as to replicate the effects of insulin (like blunting the breakdown of fat within cells). Insulin plays an important physiological role in the shuttling of nutrients, but only when the presence of those nutrients trigger the insulin. Mimicking the effect of insulin with a foreign plant protein? Eh, I’m a little nervous about that. Luckily for most grain eaters, cooking, or at least boiling, deactivates most WGA (in bread, pasta, muffins, etc). But if you’re eating straight-up wheat germ, which folks usually use raw (because of enzymes, or something) in smoothies, oatmeal, or as a vegan ice cream topping, you’re getting a nice big unaffected dose of wheat germ agglutinin. I mean, it’s right there in the name: WHEAT GERM agglutinin.

Verdict: Not Primal.

Skyr

On December 19th of every year, Skyrgámur (or “Skyr Gobbler”) comes down from the mountains of Iceland to ransack homes for fifteen days in search of his precious, tangy, fermented, cultured skyr. Skyr, for those who don’t know, is a thickened cultured milk product, a sort of acidified cheese, similar in taste to Greek yogurt, only even thicker. As to why the Skyr Gobbler was so skyr-crazed, who knows? Perhaps this sort-of Santa Claus needs the probiotics to fight off his legendary IBS. Or maybe, seeing as how Iceland has a strong tradition of powerlifting, he’s doing a lactose-intolerant version of GOMAD (gallon of milk a day) in order to support his heavy squatting and deadlifting. Or it could be that Skyrgámur has forsaken his country’s powerlifting lineage and is secretly a practicing member of bodybuilding.com who needs a slow-digesting protein source right before bed. Since skyr has all the whey drained out, its casein content fits the bill. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that skyr exerts a strong pull on those who’ve known its pleasures. But is it Primal?

If you eat dairy, sure. If you can get your hands on it, yeah.

What’s interesting about skyr is that it’s a traditional dairy product that’s also low in fat. That is, modern low-fat versions of skyr aren’t bastardizing a sacred food; they’re actually continuing the tradition. Back in the day, milk (cow and sheep) was generally allowed to sit for a day, often on ice, to allow for separation of cream and skim. The skim (which wasn’t actually non-fat, but rather lower-fat) would run out the bottom of a bowl with a hole in it, leaving the cream to be turned into butter or used right away. Milk from a previous batch of skyr would inoculate the new milk, beginning the cycle anew.

Verdict: Primal (if you tolerate dairy).

Huitlacoche

“Corn smut.” It sounds dirty, like something from a genre of videos Iowa Big Agra lobbyists order on Pay Per View in DC hotel rooms when their employers pick up the tab, but it’s not like that at all. It’s actually a pathogenic fungus that afflicts corn crops, infecting the corn, threading its fungal fibers through every segment of the plant, and producing large unattractive tumors. Now, when I say “pathogenic,” I refer to the fact that it’s bad for the corn. It’s not actually bad for us. In fact, those tumors, also called galls, are actually delicious, nutritious amalgams of expanded enlarged kernels, fungal threads, and blue-black spores that taste a bit like earthy, woody mushrooms. The Aztecs (who coined the word “huitlacoche”) loved it so much that they’d purposely infect their maize crops with the fungus.

When you eat huitlacoche, you’re eating a mix of corn and fungus. The two have fused together to become a powerful functional food, as explained in one extensive paper (PDF) studying the nutritional qualities of corn smut. It’s got indolic compounds (also found in crucifers, thought to be protective against certain cancers like breast cancer due to their inhibitory effect on estrogen metabolism), polyphenols like anthocyanins (the same ones found in blueberries, gives the corn smut spore its blue-black appearance), and soluble fiber. It also increases the protein content and quality of the corn.

You’re not likely to go eat a big bowl of huitlacoche for breakfast. No, you’re more likely to happen across it while traveling, eating out at a traditional Mexican restaurant, or visiting a friend who’s cooking up some real Mexican food. In that case, I’d suggest you try it.

Verdict: Not exactly Primal, but interesting and seemingly nutritious enough that I wouldn’t sweat it too much.

Desiccated Liver Tabs

Desiccated liver tabs come up a lot in these discussions. For those of you who can’t, or won’t, eat real grass-fed liver – maybe you hate the taste, maybe you can’t find a good clean source, or maybe you just can’t find the time to prepare it – the prospect of a handy way to get your liver without having to eat it or cook it is appealing. Are they Primal?

For the most part, yes. They should give you the B-vitamins, iron, and vitamin A for which liver is so renowned. Most desiccated liver tabs are defatted, however, which means the fat and cholesterol are largely absent from the finished product. If you were eating fresh liver, the fat and cholesterol would be a plus, but in dried, desiccated foods, I’m wary of oxidized fat and cholesterol. Unfortunately, this probably means that liver tabs are missing much of the choline, which in liver is bound up in phosphatidylcholine, a phospholipid found in animal cells. So there’s a give and take.

A way around this (without eating fresh liver) would be to go for a freeze-dried liver pill, like this one. That way, you preserve the fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients without risking oxidation. Plus, the organs come from organic grass-fed New Zealand cattle.

Verdict: Primal.

That’s it for today, folks. Keep the questions coming, especially regarding questionable foods, and thanks for reading!

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. “It also tries to protect wheat from other, larger predators, like hairless bipedal agrarian apes, by attacking and perforating the intestinal lining.”

    This just made my day. Thanks Mark.

    Sunflower oil? I bet it’s tough to fine good quality stuff. Olive oil is hard as it is. Did you all know that Extra virgin is completely meaningless here in the US?

    Yup.

    I finally found some real olive oil. The brand is Colavita. I found it at the farmers market here in Grand Rapids, MI. 1 Liter for $10. It was an amazing steal.

    Primal Toad wrote on July 24th, 2012
    • I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Colavita was one of the brands that was “called out” by the UC-Davis study as being fraudulently labeled. :(

      Emseven wrote on July 24th, 2012
      • I don’t think any authentic quality extra virgin would be $10 a liter! I paid $12 for a fairly small bottle at a little italian grocer. The bottle should tell where it is made and have a ‘born on’ date.

        cddsix wrote on July 24th, 2012
      • IT’s always best to read both sides and come to your own conclusions.

        I just researched a bit and now have a few articles to read. They are as follows:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/04/olive-oil-real-thing

        http://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-basics/jail-term-for-olive-oil-fraudsters/23081

        http://www.olivarsantamaria.com/?blog=6&articulo=12

        http://www.oliveoiltimes.com/olive-oil-basics/world/colavita-davis-olive-oil-study/7186

        As it stands at this very moment I think Colavita is legit. Why?

        1. I did a taste comparison of Costco’s brand of Extra virgin olive oil and the Colavita one I have. One stip from one and then one sip from another. The costco brand was nearly impossible to go down. It burned significantly. Not sure why. The Colavita brand went down smoothly with a hint of a peppery bite. It tasted like real olive oil to me.

        2. There is a best by date on the bottle. October 2013.

        3. It’s in a dark bottle.

        4. It smells like real olive oil.

        5. Yes it was cheap but it was being sold at the farmers market and was on sale. The normal price is $13 which still is inexpensive. Watch out for companies who learn this trick and just jack up their price because people think it will be legit.

        6. That study was funded by the California olive oil council………………

        Either way, its a hell of a lot better than the Costco brand I have used for the past year or so. There is no comparison.

        Thoughts anyone?

        Mark,

        You need to write a post on Olive oil ASAP. Please!

        Primal Toad wrote on July 25th, 2012
        • Real olive oil is supposed to have kick – it’s the polyphenols. The OO taste that you’re used to is that of rancid oil.

          Kane wrote on March 18th, 2013
  2. So does this mean that the Indian Chile Pickles (packed in sunflower oil) that I love so much with my curry are ok in moderation?? Now THERE’S some good news!

    Paleo Joe wrote on July 24th, 2012
  3. Your side of wit makes it even better!

    Groktimus Primal wrote on July 24th, 2012
  4. Yess!! Mayo can come back into my life!!!

    Alyssa wrote on July 24th, 2012
    • There are some great mayo recipes out there that you can make from high quality olive oil or sunflower oil. But, the store bought stuff is most likely not the same sunflower oil that Mark is talking about here.

      Max Ungar wrote on July 24th, 2012
      • I know; I just don’t like the taste of olive oil mayo, unfortunately.

        Alyssa wrote on July 24th, 2012
        • Too Bad. Have you experimented with putting different spices or citrus’ in the mayo? that might help with the taste.

          Max Ungar wrote on July 24th, 2012
        • I usually do half coconut oil and half olive oil from Acropolis organics for paleo mayo if I make it. Perfect texture + consistency. Just a thought :)

          Barbara wrote on July 24th, 2012
    • Just make your mayo with bacon fat. It’s awesome. I think Mark Bittman has a recipe on his site somewhere. Olive oil always makes yucky tasting mayo in my opinion. I’ve also seen butter based mayo recipes.

      Michael C wrote on July 26th, 2012
  5. Love the Skyr bit. Not exactly sure how or where one could find the stuff though.

    Sunflower oil is also not so environmentally friendly to produce. Where can you buy the good stuff? Anybody know?

    Max Ungar wrote on July 24th, 2012
    • maybe Spectrum’s Organic Sunflower oil? It says it’s “100% mechanically (expeller) pressed naturally refined high oleic organic sunflower oil”

      Tania wrote on July 24th, 2012
      • True, and it is pretty easy to get. I think they carry it at whole foods. Ill do some research. thanks!

        Max Ungar wrote on July 24th, 2012
      • I was going to ask that question, thanks! I like vinegar and oil dressings, but I’m really not fond of olive oil.

        dragonmamma wrote on July 24th, 2012
  6. So if sunflower oil is Primal after all, I guess cold-pressed rapeseed oil is OK too?

    Orielwen wrote on July 24th, 2012
    • From what I understand it probably is, especially in the UK where you can get the real, non-GMO stuff. I have read a few comments on the Guardian’s Word of Mouth blog that some of it isn’t very tasty though :)

      I’m not 100% about erucic acid though, and how much is ok in a diet.

      Anne wrote on July 24th, 2012
    • Please tell me there is a missing “g” in there.

      Heh, “rapeseed” = “very primal”

      FYI: I do not advocate violence. I do advocate humor (and attempts of), even macabre.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on July 24th, 2012
      • Nope. Rapeseed oil. Like this: http://www.summerharvestoils.co.uk/

        Orielwen wrote on July 24th, 2012
      • Nope, Bon, it’s rapeseed. It’s from the same plant group as canola. I wonder if there’s a murderseed? Or maybe a tortureseed? Well, I guess some seeds seem like they’re trying to murder/torture my colon, anyway.

        Trav wrote on July 24th, 2012
      • Rapeseed is basically (but not exactly) canola. Like aubergine vs eggplant, or cantelope vs rockmelon – kinda the same thing, different name origin.

        Yes yes there’s more to it, but whatevs I really don’t care because I don’t use it! lol

        Clare wrote on July 24th, 2012
        • Canola is a marketing name for rapeseed oil (from Canadian Oil low acid). Like how they renamed Chinese gooseberries as Kiwi fruit so they would sell better.

          Nancy wrote on July 24th, 2012
        • i read in “The Paleo Answer” that rapeseed or canola had to be genetically modified to make it palateable for human consumption. Yikes!

          cindyk wrote on October 31st, 2012
  7. Corn smut …….LOL this site is such a joy to read! Informative without being dry, wicked smart AND funny as H-&%*!

    Kim wrote on July 24th, 2012
    • Hell

      Debbie wrote on July 24th, 2012
  8. Thank you for this Mark. I was tempted to buy cashew butter for my daughter this weekend but stopped myself when I saw it was mixed with sunflower oil. Cold pressed? That I don’t know

    labmonkey wrote on July 24th, 2012
  9. Love Skyr! Had it in Iceland when I visited last year. Good to know it’s Primal. Now, to find it in Oklahoma…(sigh).

    Madonna wrote on July 24th, 2012
  10. Here in Seattle they have skyr at several grocery stores, Siggi’s yogurt, I believe it’s sold nationally at certain stores. It’s delish, and low sugar (maybe 9-11 g / serving). My fav is the passion fruit flavor. But, it is addicting! So be careful…

    PP wrote on July 24th, 2012
  11. One of my friends started working at one of those home businesses that sells packaged spices, salad dressing, sauces and mixes. The stand out feature of this company is that they have done their best to omit MSG and other garbage. It is being marketed to health conscious consumers. Their big deal is grapeseed oil that is expeller pressed and not extracted with any solvents. (On the Real food summit last week I just learned that not all grapeseed oil is chemically created crap). I went to her party last night. I asked the sales rep about the oil. She was so proud that it is 76% polyunsaturated. The website boasts about the high linoleic acid content with a bunch of health claims.
    No thanks!
    People really try to do their best with the info they have available. I hope I am making the right choice following the traditional/primal model. I guess I won’t know until it’s too late – just like all the folks eating grapeseed oil. Maybe it’s some other factor entirely?

    ValerieH wrote on July 24th, 2012
  12. I’m wondering about raw young corn. It’s a plentiful food source in my area at the moment and I’ve been taking advantage of it. I actually had some for breakfast this morning.
    I eat the hair stuff, the whole cob, and some of the leaves wrapping the cob if they’re chewable enough (they’re more chewable near the stem).
    The hair tastes like sprouts while the cob tastes sort of like cauliflower and the leaves are like lettuce. It’s like a whole salad in one vegetable.
    After eating a bunch of this corn I get a strange sensation that is like a clean sticky feeling between all of my cells and on my skin, like increased cohesion between my molecules. Corn oil? A boost of nutrients? Maybe just the starch. Know the feeling you get when you’re in the zone, perfectly hydrated, and tense but limber? It’s sort of like that – an almost adaptogenic result. Could just be that I usually go corn picking when I feel the need to eat vegetable matter. I’ve had more energetic bursts in the last few days promoting me to take off sprinting and running, something I haven’t done much of in months, and I’ve surprised myself with some intense sprints. I think the corn is giving me more energy or maybe it’s just because I’ve consuming lots of carbs and instant coffee lately. I’ve also been focusing on reconditiong my body for cardio instead of just climbing and carrying things, which has been my main source of energy expenditure for a long time. I go on the swings sometimes, which is pleasant light exercise with some acrobatic and therapeutic potential.

    Animanarchy wrote on July 24th, 2012
    • Maybe it’s increased static electricity.
      Using voltage potential to make exponential leaps.

      Animanarchy wrote on July 26th, 2012
  13. So glad I’m not the only one that feels like I’m saying a dirty word when I say, “huitlacoche.”

    Christina wrote on July 24th, 2012
  14. I found a great way to actually eat liver:
    throw it in the food processor with an equal amount of ground beef (grass fed), and an onion, throw in some spices (tex-mex is good). Pulse until it’s fairly uniform. Cook and stir until cooked through. Use like ground meat. You cannot taste liver! yay!!!

    RaeVynn wrote on July 24th, 2012
    • brilliant!

      David Cole wrote on July 24th, 2012
    • I’ve tried cooking liver with ground beef and spices and I can still taste it – glad to hear that works for you though.

      My solution: I dice raw liver up into marble size cubes and freeze them. Then each morning I thaw a half-dozen or so, and swallow them raw with a glass of water.

      I discovered in this process that raw liver has little taste, it is the cooking that brings out that ‘livery’ taste. Swallowing them raw without chewing them sounds bad, but it is actually easy, and I’m getting my liver ‘pills’ without gagging on liver taste.

      John wrote on July 24th, 2012
      • This sounds terrible! Liver fried with tons of onions is delicious. It tastes like liver, of course, that’s why I like it.

        OscarC wrote on July 24th, 2012
      • If you are eating liver raw I would search on the internet on how to prepare it because there can be parasites in there. From what I understand it is best to freeze it for a while and then cut it into thin slices to consume.

        Andy wrote on July 25th, 2012
  15. “Corn smut.” It sounds dirty, like something from a genre of videos Iowa Big Agra lobbyists order on Pay Per View in DC hotel rooms when their employers pick up the tab.

    Hilarious!

    Mountain Evan Chang wrote on July 24th, 2012
  16. Wow, okay, this series has me re-thinking the Primal-ness of things that I thought were off the list. NEVER would have guessed sunflower seed oil would make the list — although I did know enough to guess that if I were to eat the stuff, I should buy cold-pressed.

    I did see sunflower oil labeled “high heat” just today at the organic food place (I hesitate to call it grocery store). Man, the things they’re coming up with these days!

    Deanna wrote on July 24th, 2012
  17. We feed our cats dessicated cow liver. They love it.

    We eat our liver hidden in meatballs as I still can’t take the taste. If you chop it finely, you can’t even taste it. The kids have no idea they’re eating it and often ask for seconds.

    Happycyclegirl wrote on July 24th, 2012
    • I have found that if I don’t let it touch my tongue I cannot taste it, but I still don’t like the texture. I’ll suffer though.

      I tried to make a Thai Green Liver Curry but I could still taste it a little.

      Andy wrote on July 25th, 2012
  18. I get ALL my supps from Dr. Rons……A++++

    frank wrote on July 24th, 2012
  19. Corn Smut – sounds just weird enough to try. Thanks for another great article.

    Dr. Mark wrote on July 24th, 2012
  20. He has a great Multivitamin, and Fermented Cod Liver oil (Green PAsture) you can order from his site……all based on Westin Price!

    frank wrote on July 24th, 2012
  21. Sunflower oil sounds quite interesting, though probably rare enough to be expensive. I’ll probably end up sticking to the basics though. Lard is hard enough to come by!

    Low Carb Convert wrote on July 24th, 2012
  22. Why eat sunflower oil when coconut oil is beyond awesome?

    Risk the unsaturated fatty acid consequences OR just eat coconut oil, butter, lamb fat, etc…and be merry.

    Peace, Love, and PUFA-Free

    Nick wrote on July 24th, 2012
  23. For some reason, I pictured a sheep sitting on a big ice block when you were talking about Skyr.

    Nionvox wrote on July 24th, 2012
  24. For all those commenting about sunflower oil, notice that Mark talks about “high-oleic” sunflower oil as being acceptable,as opposed to the regular stuff. They are not the same.

    Huitlacoche (I love this word) is delicious.

    Judy wrote on July 24th, 2012
  25. Ahhh it’s so good to hear that skyr is Primal! Nobody ever writes about skyr so I didn’t know what to think about it. I’m from Iceland and used to eat skyr all the time but haven’t had it for 18 months since I went Paleo/Primal. Definetly gonna put it on my list now and see how I tolarate it.

    Vignir wrote on July 24th, 2012
  26. I love this series! Keep them coming! Interesting info on the sunflower oil, but I plan to stick with the good stuff – coconut oil, raw grass fed butter, lard, tallow for cooking and olive oil for salads.

    Marjorie wrote on July 24th, 2012
  27. Any good home made MAYO recipes out there with Olive Oil and Coconut oil…:)))

    firefly wrote on July 24th, 2012
  28. Quesadillas de Huitlacoche! Whoo!

    Mark, you just made me reminisce of the food in an open market, in my small home town in Mexico.

    Greetings from Australia!

    Daniel

    danielht wrote on July 24th, 2012
  29. How is frying w/ high oleic sunflower oil mark? Any opinion on if that would be ok?

    Ankit wrote on July 24th, 2012
  30. Thanks for your posts! I found your blog while trying to figure out how to dry fruits (I just recently researched and purchased a dehydrator) and I really liked your “How to Make Dried Fruit” post.

    I don’t have much of an interest in liver tabs, but the Sunflower Oil and Wheat Germ sections were very enlightening…

    ALMI wrote on July 24th, 2012
  31. The wheat germ is a tricky one. Gluten is composed of two proteins gliadin and glutinin. Flour has both in high quantities and the germ has mostly glutinin. Gliadin has been extensively studied as causing celiacs much trouble, but glutinin has been ignored. Recent studies show that glutinin is just as much a problem and researchers who wanted to breed a gliadin-free, glutinin-only wheat that could still make bread that could rise gave up that idea with the new information. Also, the industry standard for gluten testing, the R5 antibody isn’t testing glutinin. It tests gliadin and doubles the number to calculate total glutin. The Skerrit antibody tests for both directly and its weak point is that it doesn’t test barley as well. Using the Skerritt antibodies wheat germ actually tests quite high for gluten content, most of which is glutinin.

    Wil wrote on July 25th, 2012
  32. Thanks for this post and link to the new zealand web site.
    Going to check if the products are in our local co-op.

    Arty wrote on July 25th, 2012
  33. Yay for skyr! Or rather, the Swedish equvalent fil, which is what we LOVE in our house. I had figured (hoped) that it was primal and now I know for sure, thanks Mark!

    Liadora wrote on July 25th, 2012
  34. If corn smut is primal how about rye smut? I’d bet Animanarchy would join that party.

    John wrote on July 25th, 2012
  35. Great post. I’m an Icelander and I eat Skyr every week and I consider it a health food but have often wondered if it was primal or not (I thought it was actually). I eat pure skyr and add heavy cream for a delicious lunch or eat a commercial brand with vanilla flavour or melon and passion fruit flavour but they have sweeteners added. Skyr is an excellent source of protein!

    You could get skyr at Whole Foods but that one has sugar added (skyr.is)

    Thanks!

    Hólmfríður wrote on July 26th, 2012
  36. Skyr is delicious, but at 3$ for a little yogurt cup it isnt really worth it

    Team Oberg wrote on July 26th, 2012
  37. Excellent, approved sunflower oil means my evil potato chip habit is now justified! Although I also just realized that Lay’s “all natural” push was retracted and that they’ve switched back to “a mix of corn, sunflower etc” oils, which means of course, corn oil. Oops.

    On Skyr, Whole Foods carries both Siggi’s and Skyr.is brands. Local stores set their own stock but they have the freedom to order something for you if you convince them there is some demand. This could be as little as just realizing at least one person wants it. Skyr is expensive, but it’s so much thicker than regular yogurt that a small can is more like two servings – something to keep in mind.

    Skyr is also interesting because, being a cheese rather than a yogurt, there is no problem in letting it sit out for a bit before it starts to turn bad. In the same way that a big block of cheddar is a hiking food in the US, Skyr is a hiking food in Iceland. An interesting food for sure :)

    fujisan wrote on July 26th, 2012
  38. The Yule Lads stay for thirteen days, not fifteen.

    Info on them all is here. Skyr gobbler has twelve brothers.

    http://www.thjodminjasafn.is/english/for-visitors/christmas/the-yule-lads/

    Tomas wrote on July 26th, 2012
  39. Wheat Germ–I remember vividly when I was first married and 19 years old–working toward a full-blown eating disorder (bulimia). I mainlined Wheat Germ–i.e., I would buy jars of the stuff and spoon feed myself with it. Of course, in retrospect, no wonder I was depressed and kind of crazy–no self esteem, whacky sense of my body shape and self-hate. I see now (at age 63 and wheat free since December) that the grains hit me smack in the mood and brain department. Sure, my belly fat disappeared too, but so have my strange moods and anxiety. My sister, who lives in a foreign country so we mainly talk via skype to her landline phone, says that the last couple of times we talked this year, she did not hear the anxiety in my voice she normally hears. That was a major revelation to me! I am working on getting her Primal–as many of her health problems point directly to what her diet has been. She is on board–but not computer connected and getting info there is harder for her. Sending her a large packet of good info this week.

    Janet wrote on July 26th, 2012
  40. Where to buy Skyr in the use: http://www.skyr.is/Where-to-buy/

    Ívar wrote on July 27th, 2012

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