Is It Primal? – Pork Rinds, Cottage Cheese, Monk Fruit Sweetener, and Other Foods Scrutinized

Pork ChicharronIt’s time for another edition of “Is It Primal?” Before I begin, though, I want to reiterate that these are just my general recommendations. People ask for my opinion on various foods, and I provide them with an answer. It’s tough and nigh impossible to delineate Primal or not Primal in black and white terms, simply because the suitability of a food depends not only on the composition of that food, but also the context of the person who’s (considering) eating it. I’ll give you the basics, I’ll give you my opinion, and you have to determine the specifics. Sound good? And hey, don’t throw out your expensive electronics after reading this post.

Anyway, today we’re discussing pork rinds, cottage cheese, monk fruit sweetener, sago, and black elderberry syrup. Let’s get to it.

Pork Rinds

Pork rinds have a long and storied history in every pig-eating country. Walk any major Latin American city and you’ll probably come across someone hawking chicharrones. In Canada, they’re scrunchions. In the US, they’re cracklings (usually pronounced “cracklins”). In Britain, they’re pork scratchings. Most Asian countries also have their own form. Wherever you are, though, the pork rind is essentially the same save for whatever seasonings were applied: slices of the skin fried in its own fat as it renders out.

The resultant fatty styrofoam-esque puffs are ubiquitous at mini-marts, truck stops, and ethnic supermarkets. They’re a rich source of protein, but it’s “unusable” and “useless” gelatin that won’t get you “hooge” or “anabolic” due to a lack of essential amino acids (if you listen to most fitness forums). That’s a simplistic way of looking at protein, as I’ve said before. Gelatin is rich in glycine, improves sleep, helps with joint pain, and can actually be protein-sparing. Most of us aren’t eating enough of the whole animal anymore, so the occasional handful of pork rinds can be an easy way to get your gelatin (though I’d say real bone broth, gelatinous cuts of meat like shanks, and even plain gelatin are arguably superior sources).

If you’re worried about seed oils being used as the frying medium, just check the label. You want “pork skin” and “salt,” ideally. If oils were used, they’ll be listed in the ingredients. This is pretty rare, though, as frying a piece of fatty skin in exogenous fat, instead of using the fat inherent to the skin, only costs the producer more money. MSG is often added, too, so watch out for that if you’re sensitive and wish to avoid it.

Some people crush them up and use them as breading for fried meat dishes. You probably don’t want to make this a regular thing, but it’s a nice alternative to standard breading.

The one thing I’m still wondering after all this: why do I keep misspelling “pork” as “prok”?

Verdict: Primal, as long as they’re cooked in their own fat.

Cottage Cheese

Historically, cottage cheese was made from the skim milk left over after butter making. The resulting product was a salty, low-whey, high-casein source of dairy protein rich in branched chain amino acids.

Since it’s mostly casein, people who react poorly to casein will probably want to avoid cottage cheese, too. And then there’s the talk of A1 casein v A2 casein, with the latter being the safer, more “ancestral” type that’s prevalent in Jersey cows (and buffalo, goats, and sheep) and the former being the dangerous, more “novel” type that’s prevalent in Holsteins and other modern breeds. I’m not sure I buy into the essential importance of it for everyone, but it’s something to consider if you think you’re intolerant of dairy in general (because it might be the A1 casein, not the “dairy”). Unless you make it yourself, though, I doubt there’s much A2-only cottage cheese available on the market.

Some of the higher fat cottage cheeses I’ve seen add various thickeners, binders, and emulsifiers, but if that’s an issue for you, a splash of heavy cream in the cottage cheese is a nice way to get around it and add some fat if you like. Blueberries make it even better. Or you can do it like they did in the old days and just eat some butter along with your low fat cottage cheese.

Verdict: Primal, if you do dairy.

Monk Fruit Sweetener

Deep in the forests of Guangxi, shrouded by mountain mists and tended to by mystical centenarians, grows the monk fruit. Its persistent vines studded with heart-shaped leaves curl around whatever they touch, and legend has it that the monk fruit vine sustains its caretakers by enveloping them and transmitting pure life-force directly into their hearts. What about the rest of us? Those who aren’t lucky enough to have a symbiotic relationship with a magical vine? Can we get anything of use from the monk fruit vine?

Maybe. The monk fruit itself appears to have some interesting components, similar to stevia, including a group of triterpene glycosides (called mogrosides) that are sweet but non-caloric. Like stevia, monk fruit mogrosides have some health effects beyond just being sweet without being caloric:

I’d say it’s worth a shot if you’re looking for a non-caloric, natural sweetener, especially if you don’t like the taste of stevia. Seeing as how one study gave dogs up to 3 grams per kg body weight without affecting body weight, food consumption, hematology, blood chemistry, urinalysis, organ weight, or histopathology, the monk fruit extract appears to be fairly non-toxic. And if you have the climate to grow monk fruit, you might try setting up that whole symbiotic relationship/lifeforce exchange thing (perfect for people who telecommute).

Verdict: Primal, especially if you’re okay with stevia.


Sago is palm starch, derived from young palm trees. It’s that stuff you often see people on the nature channel pounding into oblivion in order to render it into a somewhat edible powder. For folks who can’t just waltz into a Whole Foods and buy fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables or whose traditional hunting and foraging grounds have been severely marginalized by corrupt government officials and the large corporations who line their pockets, sago provides a valuable source of carbohydrate calories. Palms can grow where other food crops often cannot, so it’s undoubtedly better than nothing.

The problem is that carbohydrate is basically all sago provides. There’s essentially no protein, even less fat, and almost no micro-nutrition (save for a few measly milligrams of calcium and a little over one milligram of iron). Unless you have no other options, if you’re looking for starch, just eat some tubers. If you have the chance to try a traditional dish that uses sago, like the Malaysian fish sausage known as kerepok lekor, go for it. Just don’t rely on sago unless you have to, especially when plenty of more nutrient-dense starch and carb sources abound.

Verdict: Primal, but probably not worth your time.

Black Elderberry Syrup

I’ve always liked the sound of black elderberry syrup, probably because it sounds like something Bilbo Baggins would pour over his seed cakes. Actual elderberries are slightly toxic, in fact. The seeds, leaves, and twigs of the plant contain glycosides that convert to cyanide in the body, while the fruit flesh itself has other toxic components that must be nullified with heat. That’s probably why elderberries aren’t sold in bins along with blueberries and blackberries, instead generally being found in heated, concentrated syrup form in the health food aisle.

Elderberries do have potential as health boons. Like any other colorful berry, they are extremely rich in polyphenols, for one, and these elderberry plant compounds have been shown to inhibit osteoporosis in a diabetic mouse model and reduce lipid oxidation and oxidative stress. But you can say the same about polyphenols from other colorful plants. Anything unique to the elderberry syrup itself?

I think so. Traditionally, elderberries and their syrups were used as immune assistants. And, as is often the case, modern research appears to confirm some of the older justifications for use of the substance. For instance, it’s been shown to improve resistance against the flu virus. In vitro research shows that elderberry extract is deadly against pathogenic upper-respiratory bacteria (cold) and influenza (flu), and that elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent swine flu infection. That said, a 2010 meta-analysis found that while the efficacy of elderberry extracts and syrups was “promising,” further research is needed.

As for the syrup part of “black elderberry syrup,” I wouldn’t worry too much. It’s sugary, but you’re not pouring this stuff over pancakes. It’s medicinal. You’re taking a teaspoon at a time, maybe a bit more or a bit less, depending on what the label recommends. At most, you’re getting five grams of sugar, which isn’t anything to worry about.

Verdict: Primal and perhaps quite useful in times of (minor) sickness. Just don’t pour it over pancakes (seed cakes from the Shire are acceptable, however).

That’s it for today, folks. If you’ve got questions about other foods, don’t hesitate to write in or leave a comment. Thanks for reading!

TAGS:  is it primal?

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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127 thoughts on “Is It Primal? – Pork Rinds, Cottage Cheese, Monk Fruit Sweetener, and Other Foods Scrutinized”

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  1. Pork rinds are my go to. Probably a little too often. Great with some homeade salsa

    1. I try to limit myself, but find myself regressing to eating them like potato chips, so I have to tell myself they’re JUST for breading. Old Dutch is the only stuff I’ve found in conventional stores in Edmonton, Alberta, and ingredients are Pork Skin, Lard, Salt. There’s many variations in the Chinese supermarket, all with lovely doses Monosodium Glutamate 😉

      1. Do Canadian food labels include trans fat info? Some commercially used lard products are hydrogenated to increase shelf life and, if so, contain trans fats not found in the un-hydrogenated version. The ingredients list may not specify, but the nutritional info will probably be a good clue.

        Completely off topic, but my whole family is Canadian and one of my favorite childhood food memories is eating Old Dutch salt & vinegar potato chips at my grandmother’s house in Winnipeg. Salt & vinegar chips didn’t start showing up in the US until I was much older.

      2. What stores exactly in Edmonton, Alberta? Would really like to know!

        1. Safeway has them, they are down the pop isle near the chips. The Bonnie Doon and Capillano locations both have them, I am not sure about the others.

          That is the only place I have seen them lately.

        2. count me in as another edmontonian that has been paleo for a year now! boyfriend and i also enjoy old Dutch pork rinds from save on foods…

      3. Hey Michael – The Sobey’s that I go to carries another brand that is not Old Dutch. They too are fried in their own fat and are quite good.

      4. So awesome to hear from another Edmontonian. I haven’t actually given pork rinds a try yet, but I might just.

        1. Yea that is 3 or 4 just in this thread! I thought there were almost no Primals in Edmonton.

          We should start a cow share or something.

        2. Anyone want to start a Primal Edmonton web page to list all these resources? 🙂

        3. yeah, we’re gonna need some way to keep track of all these edmonton primal resources; looks like we’ve got quite the team. wordpress? tumblr? github? twitter?

        4. There’s a Paleo/Primal Meet Up group I’m involved with

          Join us!

          As regards a cow share Thrak, I have my grandpa raise my beef every year, me and my mum and cousins split 2-3 into quarters. My quarter ended up costing me $400 for 120lbs of prime Alberta beef.

        5. Hey! Count us, too! (family of four!) We have a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school down the street from Bonnie Doon and we also live in the area. Did you know that Acme Meats is carrying grass fed beef this week? It’s new, but if it sells well they may keep stocking it.

        6. Thanks Jasmine! I am going to check out that meetup site and probably join right away.

          @Rollingmama I had the grassfed short-ribs from Acme for dinner last night, and am making a poutine meatloaf with their grassfed minced beef tonight 🙂

          I really hope they start stocking it. The price was certainly right.

    2. Fantastic idea! Another use for all the zucchini salsa we’ve been putting up.

  2. Hooray for pork rinds! I thought they were bad. I’m definitely going to try making fried chicken with them sometimes. I love it when cheap easy things are primal.

  3. I’ve never had a pork rind. Maybe it’s just one thing I’m holding onto from my former SAD mentality. Maybe I don’t know what I’m missing! Now I need to find me some clean pork rinds.

    1. SOOOOOO GOOOD! They taste SOOOOO GOOOOD.. and seeing that they are considered primal just made my day!

      I was always a little suspicious about them because things that taste that good and are that salty… don’t normally fit in with what I’m trying to eat… but now that I know… come to papa!

  4. Pork rinds are my favorite long distance driving snack. So glad to hear they are officially primal!!

  5. Elderberries are better cooked to syrup with something more sour/flavourful. Elderberry/plum jelly and elderberry apple sauce are two things I used to cook when I still did sugar…

    1. How bout Elderberry Kombucha. I think I have found my next flavor. The kombucha should provide the sour counter balance to the syrup while most of the sugar is consumed during fermentation. Win Win.

  6. I know it shouldn’t be a standard in my diet anyway, but do pork rinds need to be organic? Other than home made, I’m having trouble finding such a beast. Thank you!

    1. I should clarify that my concern is growth hormones and antibiotics, but I don’t know if that’s an issue here or not. Thanks!

      1. The other thing I would be concerned about is that pigs are almost always raised on soy feed now. Sigh.

  7. Scruncheons, while definitely made from fatback, are absolutely NOTHING like those gross, puffy, crispy pork rinds they sell in packages. They’re small cubes – maybe 1/2″ – of fatback fried in their own fat (often with cropped onions) until they’re rendered down to little crunchy nuggets about the size of a pea or lentil. Traditionally served with boiled salt cod – probably because boiled salt cod is so tasteless by itself!

    1. Must be an eastern thing, I’ve never heard of Scrunchions in Canada and when I saw that I thought someone’s pulling Mark’s leg, but I’ve definitely always heard of pork “rinds”.

    2. Scrunchions are by far the most delicious things you’ll ever eat. I’ve only ever had them in Newfoundland, Canada. They are pan fried and used in many dishes, including cod tongues! Definitely NOT like the chip-like pork rinds.

      1. OMG growing up in Newfoundland, every Sunday- Boiled salt cod, cabbage, turnip, carrots, potatoes, salt beef, and homemade white bread with butter, molasses and pork scruncheons, the molasses and pork scruncheons sweet and salty combination, holy hell i looked forward to that all week, im drooling right now!… but yea, nothing like pork rinds!!! scruncheons are a whole different ball game! mmmmmmmm!

  8. My husband got the flu this year and, desperate to avoid it, I started taking black elderberry syrup as hail Mary. I don’t know if it was the black elderberry syrup, my stellar primal diet, moving into the guest room or sterilizing the hell out of everything my husband came in contact with, but I did not get the flu. I will absolutely use it again as a preventative measure when I am exposed to nasty viruses.

  9. What I like about pork rinds are they are convenient and have 2 ingredients. No BBQ or spicy kind because then you get the additives. But I love them when busy at my desk.

  10. Great post! I’ll have to keep an eye out for monk fruit sweetener and elderberry syrup. It’s always nice to have a little primal ‘medicine’ on hand in case I come down with something.

    With pork rinds, I would assume the fatty acid profile is less than stellar? Unless they’re sourcing pastured pork, I’m guessing they’ll be pretty O6 heavy. But I guess that’s why they’re more of an occasional thing!

    And that gif…pure gold.

  11. Big sheets of chicharones are sold at most Supermarcados. Inexpensive and the polar opposite of the packing foam sold in bags. I use it in place of bread for an awesome sandwich

  12. “I’ve always liked the sound of black elderberry syrup, probably because it sounds like something Bilbo Baggins would pour over his seed cakes.”

    Mark, I just love you and your web site.

    And I’ve been thinking of pulling out my seedcake recipe.

    1. “I’ve always liked the sound of black elderberry syrup, probably because it sounds like something Bilbo Baggins would pour over his seed cakes.”

      Interesting observation, Mark….

      In Norse mythology the elder bush separated Niflheim, the Underworld, from Midgard, the Middle World, or Middle Earth!

      The goddess of the Underworld, Hel (no relation), kept souls in an elder bush until they were reborn.

      There are a few reasons why you won’t find elderberries at your local grocer:
      –they are tedious to harvest, using a fork or comb to brush them foff the stalks, preferably after freezing;
      –they don’t travel well (as in a punnet of purple mush);
      –they have to be cooked or they will cause “intestinal distress” (can you say “lawsuit”?)

      Anyway, they have a very distinctive flavour that is not to everyone’s liking.

      1. “foff”? I of course meant “off”, but after 3 hours of elderberry brushing, “oh, foff!” just about sums it up!

  13. I’ve been eating homemade elderberry jam for years, with the seeds. No problems!

    1. My grandma used to love her elderberry wine!..A local Northwest treat!

  14. “In Canada, they’re scrunchions”

    Ummm wha?

    I’m in canada and have only ever heard of them as pork rinds or cracking…where did you get that info from Mark! 😉 Either way, they’re delicious! Thanks for all you’re great information and your honest opinions!

    1. In Newfoundland, that’s where. Salt cod with scruncheons,

    2. Agreed, never heard “scrunchions” before and I am Canadian. Seems like a good word though since they are scrumptious 🙂

      Anyway, love the push for pork grinds, they are delicious and a great road trip or round of golf occasional snack.

      1. You and Lindsay need to get out more, b’ye. Salt cod with scruncheons have been a traditional Newfoundland feed…well, as long as there’s been a Newfoundland!

        1. Being as Canada is massive in size and variation, us Western Province folks miss out on all the interesting East Coast food unless we seek it.

          Me, I wanna try baby seal one of these years, but none of your lot will ship it to me 🙁

    3. Nope… here’s another Canadian who has never heard them called ‘scrunchions’. However, when I was a kid growing up in Saskatchewan, we used to call them “Piggy Puffs”… not sure where that came from.

  15. Hard to find cottage cheese without carageenan added to it. Whole Foods carries one brand but they don’t always have it. I don’t understand what pouring heavy cream into cottage cheese does? Counteracts the binders and thickeners?

    1. I think he meant that if you find cottage cheese without the thickeners, you can make it a little richer at home by adding cream.

    2. Organic Valley makes dairy products without all the fillers, organic too. They’re even up north!

      1. Unfortunately OV has started adding carageenan to some of its products. So watch your labels!

    3. I don’t tolerate cow’s dairy very well, but can take goat’s/sheep’s cheese and yoghurt. From an earlier post, I was hopeful that I could tolerate the A2 variety of cow’s cream and butter better than the A1. Sadly for me, Jersey cream cause a facial breakout as bad as ordinary cream 🙁

      But some people may be lucky…

  16. When I go hiking I sometimes taste an elderberry for the heck of it. They’re not really very tasty. I could see making wine out if it though.

  17. You have to be careful about Monk Fruit as a sweetener, especially when the brand “nectresse” is mostly sugar…

    1. just brought first box of Nectresse, which shows packet serving size of 2.40 grams, of which sugar is less than 1 gram, for a total of 4 calories. So, must take issue with Nate’s “mostly sugar” caveat. An aside, Nectresse’s after taste is a little odd, may take some getting used to.

      1. That’s true… but the serving size is 1/4 a teaspoon… and I’m sure most people are using more than that in their coffee/etc… they make the serving size low enough to get under 1 g… you can’t multiply it up for serving sizes… but they even say on the side for diabetics not to have more than a teaspoon for blood sugar reasons… :-/ I mean… I like the tuff, bought it several times, but it’s not going to help me get into ketosis…

  18. I had never eaten pork rinds, but I was initially delighted to hear that they were primal. I thought they would tide me over until I could get beyond my historical evening snacking ritual. Then I tasted them. Man, I don’t know how you all do it. How do you get past the barnyard/sweaty-gym-sock smell and taste?

      1. No, the taste and smell of pork RINDS. I love bacon, ham, ribs, pork chops, carnitas, etc. But pork rinds smell and taste horrible to me. Just opening the package makes me gag.

        1. It’s an acquired taste for sure. I used to think they were disgusting too, but I kept eating them and now I love them. A lot of tastes can be trained. You can also try dipping them in guacamole or salsa, which really goes well with it.

    1. I’ve never understood the appeal of pork. It’s just so…blah…no matter how much seasoning you put on it. And the texture…..eeewww.

  19. Please post Shire seedcake recipes.

    When are seedcakes usually eaten? First breakfast? Second breakfast? Elevensies? Tea?

  20. “The one thing I’m still wondering after all this: why do I keep misspelling “pork” as “prok”?

    ROTFLMAO!!! Good one Mark!

  21. Pork skins and cottage cheese.

    I used to live in a small farming community in Michoacan, MX. I would see pork skins in small bodegas that looked to be half the skin of a whole pig. You would buy it by . . . I don’t know how they sold it. I never bought any. That was a time when I was convinced high fat, high protein foods were bad for me.

    I used to work for Shamrock Dairy in Arizona. (I was a home route delivery man…that’s right, a milkman.) Once I was taking an impromptu tour of the main facilities in Phoenix. I saw how they made the cottage cheese. At that time, after the the milk had gelled and been cut into curds, they added cream to the vats while the curds were being stirred.

    Also at that time, I was informed by the men working in that department, the whey was drained into the sewer. Probably not anymore. But that was many, many years ago.

  22. Here’s an “is it primal?” one I’m curious about. Is flavored water primal? Does it make a difference if it’s sparkling or still?(It’s my vice since giving up soda – since it has no HFCS or artificial sweeteners – but still has a sweet flavor and bubbles)

    1. From reading “Rich Food, Poor Food” I’d say there’s nothing wrong with naturally flavoured water, still or carbonated, so long as it’s just water and flavour.

    1. I’ve always wanted to try (make) pork rind “nachos”. doesn’t that sound divine?

  23. Interesting post. I never knew pork rinds were actually good for you. I always thought of pork rinds as more of a disgusting food.

    It is just me? Skin cooked in fat/oil. But I guess I’ll start eating some pork rinds. I need some gelatin in my system.

  24. Mmmm, pork rinds! I fortunately (or unfortunately) live down the street from a Mexican market in SoCal. The best is when they are freshly fried with hunks of meat still hanging on and sprinkled with hot sauce. So, so good!

  25. I love pork rinds we buy them at walmart in British Columbia. Glad to know they are primal cause my family look at me like they think I,m trying to commit suicide when they see me eating them.I like the crunch factor which is missing from other paleo snacks.

  26. Love to hear from any other MDA followers in the Powell River BC area

  27. OMG! Just last week I had a bag of pork rinds because I figured “This must be primal”. Almost immediately after eating them, a horrible headache began, my hands swelled up and I felt flush and bloated. It wasn’t until AFTER I ate the bag (it was small) I looked at the ingredients and the 2nd one listed was “MSG”.

    I was SO MAD at myself!!!! I immediately began drinking a ton of water. The next day, I felt better but still felt the effects.

    I’ll never do that again.

  28. Am I crazy? Or do I recall that – owing to its incomplete amino acid profile – that pork rinds end up being processed by our bodies as a sugar?

  29. Never heard of scrunchions before now, either. I’ve definitely had my share of pork rinds though!

  30. Your only came to this favourable conclusion, because your mother was a hamster, and your father smelled of elderberries!

  31. I was hoping the Pork rinds were Primal, now I don’t have be thinking 80/20.

  32. Mark, re: pork vs. prok. Your fingers want to alternate which hand you use.. right,left,right. That was the initial plan behind the QWERTY keyboard. But it has problems. Typing P,O, next to each other is one.

  33. I really haven’t found pork rinds that I like. Maybe I need to seach more. I do miss cruchy food like that. But then again, one would normally eat these like a snack – and snacks aren’t really Primal/Paleo. I can’t really see having a side of pork rinds with a real meal, but that’s just me.

  34. Grok loves his prok, which is why he avidly hunts the feral Boer.

  35. Thanks for the info..great read and understanding do’s& don’t’s . I, aslo, have an additional question…what are the, if any, benefits of using pink Himalayan salt? Also, what differences, if any are their in sea salt?
    Thanks, for any help!

  36. The Mexican market down the street (San Jose, CA) makes chicharrones both in curled up rinds and in full skin form. Way yummier than the truck stop variety.

  37. I use pork rinds as an accompaniment with Mexican meals instead of corn tortilla chips. They make pretty good salsa scoopers.

  38. Buying fresh made pork rinds from the butcher is so much better than the ones from the supermarket!

    1. Grattons de Lyon à l’apéritif…with a drizzle of vinaigre/vinegar …si bons!

      Could the French “grattons” possibly be considered a permissible paleo pork rind substitution?..The duck “grattons” varietal is also very delicious.

  39. Daisy cottage cheese has no bad stuff 🙂 And no milk powders hiding in the skim milk which would lead to oxidized cholesterol. And it’s delicious!!!!!!!

    1. Maybe not but it has casein in it as most dairy does which is hard for your body to digest. Along with sugar, fat and sodium.

  40. Hey, I would be very careful, in the UK at least as every packet of pork rinds, scratchings, crunch or any kind of pork rind product has wheat flour and gluten. 🙁

    There are some that don’t and for some reason these seem to be the flavoured ones but if anyone comes across gluten free pork rinds in the UK I would love a link.

    Anyone know how to make them?


    1. Just posted before reading your comment. Awfully Posh Snacks make some delicious gluten-free scratchings, you can get them in Waitrose (and presumably elsewhere):

      They’re proper scratchings, not puffy ones.

    2. You don’t want to eat pork if you are paleo. or human in general

  41. “The one thing I’m still wondering after all this: why do I keep misspelling “pork” as “prok”?”

    Grok 🙂

  42. I just adore pork rings, they are my favourite. I always tend to get more, cause my hubby is not in to it:)

  43. Avocado oil makes a great mayo although somewhat expensive. The La Tourangelle brand seems to be darker green than the Spectrum oil I have found and makes a green colored mayo.

    The oil has done well with cooking. I use it for dishes where avocado just seems more appropriate to me than olive flavor (e.g. Mexican). Obviously if I am making an Italian tomato sauce, I will reach for the Olive oil.

  44. I may be late in the game here, but there’s a great store in Edmonton called Tienda Latina (Argyll Foods) at the NE corner of 99 St and Argyll. They sell pork rinds fried in lard without MSG. Great little store and friendly owners, not much available in the way of primal though…

  45. Unfortunately, most pork scratchings in the UK use wheat rusk and other nefarious ingredients. You can get the nasty styrofoamy ones in chinese supermarkets but pork scratchings have a much better texture. More like than

    However, I recently found a brand, Awfully Posh Snacks, which are purely pork rinds and anglesey sea salt but maintain the delicious taste and texture of a proper pork scratching. You can get them in Waitrose.

  46. I hear you on consistently misspelling common words, made me LOL!

    I’m a nursing student now, but spent the last three years working as a health secretary doing medical transcription. I touch-type. For some insane reason, one of the few words I ever misspell is “treatment”. Imagine how often I have to type it!

    Go figure…

  47. I have yet to find a pork rind brand I like.. maybe I’m looking in the wrong place.

    Also, you can make your own elderberry syrup easily with dried elderberries and honey.

  48. I enjoy cottage cheese from time to time although I really love fresh mozzerella it is my favorite of all the foods in the dairy category! I wonder if that is considered “primal” or not? My local Wegmans and whole foods have a great selection of it, it sure is delicious and is rBST free not to mention its carb content is next to nothing 🙂

  49. Wow, I didn’t realize there were so many paleo peeps in Edmonton. We should definitely look at starting something up. I have a friend who just started an Edmonton paleo blog:
    Check it out!

  50. We make a cordial from home grown elderberries. 1 cup sugar in a quart jar, fill with berries, top with vodka. Close and shake twice a day for a month, wait another month, strain out berries, and taker your medicine. Tastes great in hot spiced cider.

  51. My corn-free, soy-free, organic, pastured half-hog came with about four pounds of skin. I used a guide I found on the internet ( to fry them up in coconut oil. I added a dash of sea salt at the end and the result is sublime. Light, crunchy, savory… nothing like the pungent, off-tasting ones that come in the bag at the supermarket.

    My boys (3 & 1) are absolutely wild about them. They have a hard time saying chicharrones, so instead they just ask for a “crunchy snack.”

  52. I live in Malaysia and eat a fair amount of sago based foods every now and then. I’m happy you wrote about it in this article, and made special mention about Keropok Lekor, which is one of my favourite foods.

  53. Pork rinds have to be one of my favorite snacks. Trouble is, they can become addictive especially with the fat content.

  54. Monk fruit mogrosides are natural and probably safe–I say probably, because I contacted the manufacturer of Nectresse and obtained all of the available scientific information about Nectresse and its components, and there have been zero published studies in humans. But I’m not worried about that for two reasons: 1) I hate the taste of the stuff (bitter) and 2) because Nectresse contains infinitessimally small amounts of mogroside–most of what’s in that bright orange packet is erythritol.

    High doses of mogrosides in animals cause insulin spikes, but we don’t know if this occurs in humans at typical doses:

  55. Is elderberry syrup even more primal if the shirecakes are made with dwarf wheat?

  56. Pork rinds as primal? R u nuts??? They have got to be one of the worst things for you!! Its fried pork fat!! Fried, fat along with tons of sodium. Paleo? If your paleo, you try and stay clear of “packaged” foods which would make Pork rinds one of them for one and 2, unless the pork was naturally feed, it was more then likely fed gmo feed. Pork is a filthy to eat. They are the scavengers of the farm eating insects, trash, their own feces to even their own young. They digest food quicker then other animals such as cows meaning they don’t rid of toxins. They also don’t have sweat glands so there’s another cause of them not ridding of toxins which end up storing in their fat cells that we wind up consuming. No, I am not of Eastern Decent nor a Bible thumper. I’ve done my research on pork and there’s more cons then pros to consuming it. Should I add that they carry parasites!? I once was a pork eater but have gone Paleo and I can tell you I don’t miss bacon or any pork product now that I have educated myself on pork. DON”T EAT Pork Rinds! For natural sweetener, use raw honey. The point of Paleo is being as plant based as possible along with eating your food in its natural state as much as your able. I am dumbfounded that I found this blog. People, do your research and educate your self, don’t always rely on other people to tell you what’s ok to eat and not to eat!!

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  58. “They’re a rich source of protein, but it’s “unusable” and “useless” gelatin that won’t get you “hooge” or “anabolic” due to a lack of essential amino acids (if you listen to most fitness forums).”

    Uh, Anatomy 101, you need the essential amino acids to synthesize protein, but it doesn’t need to come from what you ate that day. Ingested protein doesn’t give you protein. It is broken down and is an important nutrient, but you synthesize your own protein, and need the essential amino acids to do so.

  59. We are in agreeance about those deliciously crunchety prok-rinds.

    I like dipping my rinds in guacamole. Mole….

    I now would like to perform a search for pastured rinds with…sea salt perhaps? If you have heard of such proks, please shoot me a message! ????

  60. The ingredients for baken-ets pork rinds says “Fried Pork Rinds and Salt”. It does not say what oils they used to fry them in.

    Also, the total fat is 5 grams and saturated fat is 2.5 grams, which makes me wonder is the remaining 2.5 grams PUFAs?

    Restaurants and stores that fry their own pork rinds heat up vegetable oils and then put the pork skins in to deep fry them to speed up the process. I cannot help but to think that these producers would do the same for efficiency.