Dear Mark: Egg Shell Calcium, Fully Hydrogenated Oils, HG Walking, Gorging, and Frozen Produce

This was a crazy week, eh? I offered up a brand new book and an accompanying special offer, and you guys responded. Although I’m not sure if we sold enough copies of The Primal Blueprint 21-day Total Body Transformation to make the New York Times best seller list (we’ll see and my fingers are crossed), I know it will changing many, many lives. And regardless of the ultimate outcome, I just wanted to thank you all for your support. I couldn’t – and wouldn’t – do it without you.

Anyway, it’s Monday, and that means it’s time for another round of “Dear Mark” questions-and-answers. We’ve got a good one on fully, as opposed to partially, hydrogenated oils (and the answer may surprise you). I cover homemade egg shell calcium supplements, average hunter-gatherer walking distance, the place of gorging in a Primal eating plan, and whether frozen produce retains sufficient nutrient content when compared to fresh. Let’s go.

Hi Mark!

Thank you so much for your life-changing work. You’ve written about calcium before, but I wanted to see if you had an opinion about eating eggshells. Yes, eating eggshells! I eat primally, and I know the importance of calcium is overstated in the conventional wisdom, but I’m still concerned that I don’t get enough calcium. I know some folks pulverize eggshells and then liquefy them with something acidic like vinegar or lemon juice, then down them, to get calcium from a natural source. It seems like the kind of hack that would appeal to us primals…do you think doing this is a good idea?


Sure, eggshells are a great source of calcium carbonate that turns into calcium citrate if dissolved in an acidic medium (this seems like a good recipe). I don’t do this myself, but I’ll sometimes supplement Buddha’s (my dog) meals with a half teaspoon of powdered eggshell if he’s not getting much bone that day. Dogs need a lot of “bony” material – bones, cartilage, etc. – and eggshell’s a worthy replacement. If you need bony material, I’d say go with eggshells.

Just be sure you’re using high quality eggs – preferably pastured – from a farm you trust. A better egg from a chicken on a better diet will have more calcium and other minerals in the shell, making it worthy of the time and effort required to render it consumable and digestible. The pastured eggs I get require a couple solid whacks to crack open because they’re so dense. If you recall from an older post on pastured v. conventional eggs, pastured (that is, eggs from chickens allowed to roam around, eat bugs/mice/lizards/wild seeds/grass, and get into trouble) eggs were far more nutrient-dense than conventional eggs. I imagine the same advantages are borne out in the shell of a pastured egg.

I wonder what the average distance covered by a hunter gatherer to and from their homes was? How much walking, lifting, picking, climbing, moving, was the daily average?


Great question! We obviously have no way of knowing how far our paleolithic ancestors walked or how often they lifted/climbed/ran on a daily basis, but we can get some clues by looking at ethnographic studies of modern hunter-gatherer groups. Let’s look at one of the best-studied, the Hadza:

In “The Hadza: Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania,” Frank Marlowe, who spent four years with the tribes, writes that foraging Hadza women walked an average of 5.5 km a day at 3.5 km/hour and foraging men walked an average of 8.3 km each day at 3.6 km/hour. Able-bodied adults foraged on a daily basis, so that’s a lot of slow moving. As those are just averages, however, some forays were longer and some were shorter. The women Marlowe observed walked anywhere from a quarter kilometer to thirteen, while the men walked as little as 1.57 km and as many as 27.2. It changed, day to day, and that’s the whole point. It was never the same. It was always something new. Physical activity came in peaks and valleys, because that’s what the situation demanded.

Contrast that with today, where we get our food by walking (or driving) to the store. A brick-and-mortar store that never changes locations, never runs out, and always stocks the same food. The Hadza, and all other hunter-gatherers throughout history, had to chase, climb after, search for, dig up, discover, and even go without their food. They might get lucky and find a stash of tubers or an acre of berry bushes located a half mile from their camp that would sustain them for a couple weeks, or they might go out for what they assumed would be a short, easy hunt and end up spending two days and twenty miles stalking a particularly fatty bull. Either way, they engaged in a ton of low-level activity. That much we can safely say.

All the information I find on your site talks about “gorging” as a bad thing; that the human urge to eat everything in sight is something to be avoided.

But couldn’t we look at this as a primal queue? i.e. if Grok had a fresh kill and was very hungry, wouldn’t he have completely gorged himself? Shouldn’t we follow suit and occasionally stuff ourselves beyond satiety on something like good organic grass-fed meat?


It’s not that gorging is bad, in and of itself. It’s just that the way most people gorge – at Chinese buffets, also known as oxidized soybean oil troughs; on late-night post-bar dollar menu runs; as a steady trickle of office snacks throughout the day that’s more like an epic Roman feast without the strategic vomiting than any definition of snacking I’ve ever seen – (and especially what they gorge on) is bad. I actually like a good gorge every now and then (though I usually abstain simply because post-gorging is often uncomfortable). If you stick to the right Primal foods, and make sure you’ve earned it (a fast, a heavy lifting session, you just cooked the most amazing roast chicken and you can’t bring yourself to leave it unfinished), go ahead and pig out. Just don’t make every meal a feast.

Satiety is a murky concept that’s always changing. Satiety is contextual. If I’m coming off a 24-hour fast, my idea of satiety might involve some heavy breathing at the end of it, perhaps even a bit of regret. Then again, I have a good handle on my hunger. It doesn’t control me. It comes at a reasonable time, I respond by eating something, and it goes away until it’s time to come again. My hunger isn’t constantly texting me, or poking me on Facebook, or loitering around outside my house, or anything like that. No, it arrives at almost exactly the right time, every time.

If you have that kind of relationship with your satiety signals, go ahead and indulge every now and then.

Dear Mark,

We’ve had a few emails in the past, though I’m sure you get tons every day. I’ve been primal for 2 years (age 23), and it’s a wonderful change from the 3 years of vegetarianism I had before hand. I’m currently in graduate school working on getting into medical school.

Here’s something I just came across in biochemistry that I thought was interesting:

In discussing the hydrogenation of unsat. fat, we learned that full hydrogenation yields a completely sat. fat, it appears that only partial hydrogenation gives rise to trans fat. I’m sure it depends on the length of the fat, but typically stearate is the result of complete hydrogenation, which is a C18 and can be metabolized. So, based on that, is a fully hydrogenated fat all that bad?

I’m sure most of the foods that use such fat as an ingredient are negated by the rest of the ingredient list, but I just thought it was an interesting piece of information.



I (and many others, I think) have a knee-jerk negative reaction to the word “hydrogenation,” but a fully hydrogenated fat is indeed fully saturated stearic acid. In fact, some studies even use fully hydrogenated oils to examine the effects of stearic acid, like they do here. Using fully hydrogenated soybean oil as the stearate, the authors found that a high intake of stearic acid lowered LDL cholesterol to a greater extent than either the palmitic acid or oleic acid diets.

On the question of digestibility/metabolization, there is this: a study found that rats digest fully hydrogenated oil quite poorly. Whereas they could assimilate between 94-98% of the soybean, medium chain triglyceride, and hydrogenated coconut oils, rats were only about to digest about 30% of the fully hydrogenated soybean oil. Fully hydrogenated soybean oil-fed rats produced three times as much fecal matter, and something tells me those weren’t your typical well-formed and firm rat droppings. Of course, the study’s authors tout this as a “potential benefit” of fully hydrogenated oils.

But then there’s also this: a study (PDF) in which rats fed cocoa butter, rich in stearic-acid (the saturated fatty acid that fully hydrogenated oil becomes), also had trouble absorbing it. The stearic acid in cocoa butter is natural, not industrially-induced, and it still had the same effect in rats. It looks like it’s the stearic acid to “blame,” not the hydrogenation.

As Dr. Michael Eades is fond of saying, rats are not furry little humans. I’m still not eating the stuff, but from an objective analysis it’s probably safer than partially hydrogenated fat.

Hi Mark,

I was wondering what your thoughts are on the nutritional value of frozen fruits and vegetables (really I’m more concerned about fruits, but I figure the two go together). The reason I ask is that the fruits in my local area suck, even at the farmer’s markets and Whole Foods. Almost all of them are either under-ripe or rotten. Also, the cost seems extravagant for the terrible quality. From what I’ve read frozen fruits and veggies tend to be “flash frozen” at their optimal ripeness and, because of this, can preserve more nutrients than “fresh” fruits and vegetables. Is this true, or just another marketing gimmick?



Rather than opining or trusting marketing, let’s take a look at some research:

In raspberries, flash-freezing only “slightly affected” ellagic acid (an antioxidant), phenolic, and vitamin C content, but after a year in the freezer, ellagic acid and vitamin C levels were 14-21% and 33-55% lower, respectively. Fresh fruit won out in the study, but “just frozen” was right behind it.

You’re mostly concerned with fruits, but what about vegetables? Another study compared fresh to frozen vegetables for vitamin C content, including spinach, broccoli, peas, and green beans. Frozen generally performed well against fresh, scoring only slightly lower than freshly harvested vegetables. These were straight-outta-the-ground fresh, however; the authors note that frozen vegetables bested standard grocery store fresh produce quite handily.

The research is very consistent. If you can’t get decent fresh produce, frozen is totally worth it – and sometimes superior to “fresh” produce that’s been sitting around the store for awhile. I myself always keep a few bags of frozen blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries on hand. I’d keep blackberries, but I’ve never found a good frozen blackberry.

Whatever you do, make sure to lick the bowl if you let your frozen blueberries thaw. Anthocyanin leakage is very real.

Thanks for reading and asking, folks. Keep the questions coming!

TAGS:  dear mark, Grok

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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73 thoughts on “Dear Mark: Egg Shell Calcium, Fully Hydrogenated Oils, HG Walking, Gorging, and Frozen Produce”

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  1. I find that one weekly “gorge” session (aka cheat day) a week is beneficial for fat loss and workout performance.

    Scheduling the cheating ahead of time is a great psychological break from being disciplined during the week. And in the following day after a carb-feeding, you feel superhuman during your workouts because your muscles are pumped-full of glycogen.

    … And indulging from time to time is just fun, especially if you’ve earned it. We’re all human.

      1. If we had to actually hunt and gather all our food, we wouldn’t need a schedule or discipline either. But we live in a world of hyperavailable hyperstimuli, and we need strategies and technologies to survive them.

    1. Martin Berkhan at Lean Gains dot com does a similar gorge on his refeeds after intermittant fasting days and will typically eat 2 or more pounds of beef, says he hasn’t found anyone yet that can eat him under the table and even has pictures of his plates to prove it. Check his website for more good info.

  2. That’s an interesting philosophical question about gorging. Is it something that’s in our instinct as animals or is it a product of modern foods? But in general animals who gorge are actually hungry. They don’t just feel like eating till the whole bag of chips is gone. If you tried to gorge on raw meat, unless you were starving, you wouldn’t get very far. Maybe there is some instinct to gorge but if that’s it, why don’t people ever gorge on healthy foods?

    1. I gorged on sushi last Friday. I went to all-you-can-eat and ordered 16 orders of nigiri (32 pieces). It was glorious, and I wasn’t even so stuffed I couldn’t have eaten more. It was just that we got there late and the restaurant was closing soon. BUT:

      1) I had just lifted weights for about an hour.

      2) I had IFed until lunchtime and only had about 500 kcal total that day before dinner (I’m a 180-lb male, that’s a snack).

      I earned that gorge, and a whole bunch of starch and lean protein was just the refeed I needed after that day and that workout. So there’s an n=1 of someone gorging in (what I consider to be) an optimal way.

      I’m even planning on doing it again tonight, but I’ll probably do sweet potatoes and grilled chicken today instead of fish and rice. Gotta mix it up!

      1. Also I should add that this is part of my overall strategy to get past a very long recomposition stall–I’m working in regular 16/8 intermittent fasting combined with nutrient cycling. So my rest days are generally LC or VLC and my workout days are high-starch high-protein. So far I’m finding that I’ve been spontaneously reducing my calories on my LC days while still eating to satiety, and I’m feeling really good (probably the increased leptin from the intermittent carb loads). Too early to tell on the fat loss effort yet, but it definitely has been having good effects on my progress in the weight room.

    2. Bah! just try me. I ate a half pound of raw lamb just for breakfast. I could have eaten 3 times that, and have. Maybe that’s why I don’t have visible abs? I dunno. Oh well.

    3. When I think of gorging I think of TV and the gigantic industry that works so very hard to make sure that when we want something we want their product and we don’t want just one: we want the whole bag… because that’s OK and sometimes (all the time?) you just need a pick me up, ya know?

      I think those of us in the primal/paleo/ancestral health space with our healthy exercise patterns and food we make ourselves from scratch can easily forget what regular people experience on a daily basis.

    4. Regarding gorging in animals, horses, and possibly other ruminants, will eat themselves literally to death, if you give them a feedbag full of oats. (I don’t even know if feedbags exist anymore, but they were common when “commercial vehicle” meant a horse-drawn wagon) The oatbag had to be carefully measured to keep the horse from overindulging.
      Bags of chips, etc., are another matter for people. We don’t gorge on them in the usual sense, imo, but typically graze unconsciously until the bag is empty – whether it is a snack-size or a jumbo family bag. Of course, after inhaling a large package, we feel crappy and, usually, guilty. We hear about distracted driving, with all the electronic devices we have around, but distracted eating may be as dangerous, only killing us more slowly.

      1. I think the idea of gorging brings up the point, that Mr. Grok was probably not a loner. Having a tribe to feed means less uncomfortable gorging, more people to put effort towards hunting, and less waste all together.

        So be sure to make some friends, just in case the power goes out and you have to eat the half a cow you have in the freezer!

    1. Although calcium is required for other important metabolic processes, protein intake is more important for bone health than calcium intake. From Dr. Ron Rosedales’ Twitter feed: “DrRosedale by cancerclasses,
      The strength of bones comes from the protein framework, not from the calcium trim.”

  3. I like keeping frozen berries around, as well. One of my favorite morning beverages came from one of the Eades’ books – blend 3/4 cup of water and 3/4 cup of mixed berries. I usually add some orange peel and cinnamon, as well. It has lower sugar and higher nutritional value than most breakfast fruit drinks, and is delicious to boot.

  4. I freeze a lot of fruit and veg in the summer and slowly use it over the winter. As we live in Canada, fresh fruit and veg are not at all optimum in the winter. At least I know how fresh it was when I froze it and can guarantee that it really is organic.

    (As an aside, we just went out a bought a bigger freezer to accommodate our 1/2 cow, 20 chickens, pork and a whole bunch of veg and fruit. I’m so happy about this!)

    1. Very interesting! It’s good to know that freshly frozen fruits and vegetables are still nutritionally viable.. Does anyone know how canned veggies or fruits stack up? I’m thinking about canning vs freezing next year.

      1. Without redigging up what I’ve read (so you’ll have to accept this as anecdotal), canning and self-freezing (ie, not the flash-freezing that large food producers do) stands up very unfavorably to fresh and flash-fozen fruit, veggies, and meats.

        1. I pick berries at the local you-pick farms and use them all winter too, in smoothies.

          I’ve read the same: that canning isn’t nearly as good as freezing. Of course, canning was invented long before electric freezers.

        2. Thanks for your input! That’s a little disheartening because it seems like you can store more food if you can it instead of freeze it, but good to know going into it.

      2. If you really want to go primal with your own fresh fruits and veggies you should try fermenting. Every culture in the world does it, no modern refrigeration, no modern canning methods, just fresh fruit and veg, salt, and plenty of good old wild yeasty buggies., wild fermentation (book), or your local meet up group!

  5. I’m gorging on grass-fed meatballs right now! Can’t help myself…:)
    Also heated up some frozen Brussels Sprouts as a side dish. Wow, I feel completely in sync with today’s post!
    The biochemistry Q/A was completely over my head, however.

  6. Feeding eggshells to either dogs or chickens is risky in the sense that this will turn them into egg-sucking dogs or chickens. These are dogs and chickens that eat hen eggs before the humans can get to them. Not a good thing.

    The Hadza are apparently strolling, not walking fast the way the crazy exercise-walkers in my ‘hood walk, with those clenched, pumping fists. I walk about 3 miles per hour, but 3.5 km/hr is a very leisurely stroll of about 2 mph. Maybe that includes stopping to look at mushrooms, stomp on nuts to crack them, and laugh at each other’s butt cracks as they bend over to pick strawberries.

    1. I imagine there is a lot of slow picking through bushes, stopping or slowing to check out tracks or scat on the ground, working slowly over uneven terrain, etc. The kind of movement that eats up distance when you keep it up all day but that doesn’t feel very taxing when you’re doing it.

      1. Also, exercise walkers are trying to get their heart rates up, and watching the clock. Everything has a time limit, y’know, even getting healthy!

  7. Let’s just cross our fingers and hope you made it to the New York bestseller list! That would be another great opportunity to reach more people with the primal message.

  8. Good news about frozen fruits and vegs, saves me from more frustrating shopping trips. I like to puree frozen berries and mix with sparkling mineral water. Also, cook a half acorn squash, then fill with berries and butter and heat until everything is warmed.

    1. I love to do that! We fill our acorn squash with butter, cinnamon, honey and fresh cranberries. It is nice to have the sweet and tart together along with the squash.

    2. Oh wow that is a great idea (both of them)! I find acorn squash a bit too sweet with meat, but I like it and I’d like to eat it while it is in season, so I just love the squash and berry combination suggestion.
      I also buy frozen berries because it’s cheaper, and they are usually not imported (I live in the UK), so they are probably a lot more nutritious than iradiated ‘fresh’ blueberries from Chile that sat on a boat for x weeks.

  9. I did some reading and some research seems to indicate that hunter-gather’s would literally exhaust their pray during a hunt by running after them for long periods of time (before they made weapons). Since humans are much more well suited for duration running then other animals the animals would eventually get exhausted and dehydrated, which would allow the humans to then kill them. So it seems to me that duration running may also be primal (at least for men). What are your thoughts?

    1. Hard to say if those populations would have become significantly better adapted to such strenuous physical demands or not. Looking at modern athletes, it’s hard to suggest such hardcore activities on a regular basis would be good for longevity, since the damage done to the knees and kidneys is pretty intense. I’d do it if I had to, but I’d rather set traps or dive out of trees with big weapons…and die that way! ROFL

    2. Nicole, I’ve seen one example of hunting by exhausting prey, performed by a modern hunter-gatherer tribe. They did not run after the animal at all though. The method they used was to track the animal at walking pace whenever it raced off. When they walked up to it for the last time the animal was very tense, yet stood still. It took hours, but this way the risk of injury to the hunters is negligible.

      1. I think we have the wrong image when we think of running prey to exhaustion. I get the impression that we tend to think of these guys chasing down animals while running at speeds like a red-lining marathoner-which would fall into the Mark’s “chronic cardio” definition.

        I remember watching a BBC show about persistence hunting years ago that followed a few hunters on a persistence hunt. The idea was to never let the animal completely recover from sprinting away from the hunters. The hunters used a combo of walking/tracking the animal, slower running, and the occasional harder burst.

        Following that paradigm, in PB terms it seems like a combo of move frequently at a slow pace, sprint once in a while, and use your brain. Not unhealthy at all.

        BTW, on that BBC show, the hunters were successful 🙂

        1. For what it’s worth, I have a personal perspective to offer on hunting. I’ve hunted deer and elk, among other things, and Ferdinand, your comment sounded the closest to what my own experience has been. It doesn’t take superhuman running capabilities to hunt a deer to exhaustion (because heaven knows that would rule me out), just lots of patience and, well, persistence. It is very possible to move at a walking pace and track an animal all day long, to the point where you are able to make a successful stalk. Deer especially don’t tend to run very far when they get spooked-they just aren’t wired to want to just keep truckin’ across the landscape. Spooked elk sometimes run clear into the next time zone, but it IS possible to track them this same way.(Although sometimes you want to scream when you realize you’ve spooked an animal for the umpteenth time that day because he smelled or heard you trying to sneak up on him. But I suppose screaming would be sort of counter-productive.) Eventually, though, you CAN actually catch up to them if you just keep at it.

          So, yes-“moving frequently at a slow pace” really does describe many of the days I’ve spent hunting. 🙂

  10. Another vote for occasional gorge, here. On a physical day, lifting or sprinting, you’ll find me downing a good 2000 calorie dinner. And I usually up the protein by about 30% and go heavier on the fats, too. Of course, I’m then able to skip breakfast and often lunch the next day so it all evens out. And I never experience negative effects like bloating or gas, either.

  11. Ooooh, very good to hear about the frozen fruits and veggies! It’s something I’ve been wondering about myself, since my schedule is hectic and frozen is usually much easier for me to manage that fresh stuff.

  12. Just got the book, Mark, must say it’s amazing! Veeery to the point! And I love all the pictures of you and Carrie!

    I love cocoa butter; I use it to make chocolate and fry up apples for a dessert (amazing!!!) and I’ve never had digestion issues with it…

  13. I’m really glad to hear about the frozen veggies. I’d always heard they were nearly as good as fresh, but I like to hear it from a source I trust! The store down the street sells a frozen 3-pepper and onion blend that makes a morning fajita omelette SO easy!

  14. do you need to grind up the shells? i keep looking at eggs and wondering what would happend if you just tried to eat one with the shell.

    maybe its like how they used to think tomatoes were poisonous. (dont know if thats a myth, just using it as an example)

    1. How about getting additional calcium from long slow cooking of beef bones with a little vinegar? Bones cooked like this almost fall apart after I scrape out the marrow. They are so ‘used up’ my dogs will hardly look at them. I figure all the ‘good’ went into my stock. YUM! Then turnip greens cooked in that stock are heavenly!

  15. As long as the vegetables are frozen near the growing field, then does it matter (nutritionally) if they are locally grown? I’m stunned when I turn over the frozen bags and see “Product of Mexico” or “Product of China.” Why do we need to go so far afield for veggies?

  16. Good to hear about the vegetables. It always made sense to me that flash frozen is still nutritious, but others have always tried to convince me otherwise.

  17. For those of us in the States who have a little trouble with km vs. miles:

    The Hadza women averaged 3.1 miles per day, and the men averaged 5.5 miles per day.

  18. Tomatoes along with eggplants and potatoes are in the Solanceae plant family. All members of this plant family are capable of producing poisonous alkaloids. When potatoes turn green from exposure to light they also produce low levels of poisonous alkaloids – yet anther reason to avoid them. Early wild tomatoes may have been poisonous.

  19. Glad to hear that egg shells have been cleared for canine (and human) consumption. There’s a very paleo-like dog biscuit recipe I’ve been making that calls for them – I’ve been throwing them into the mixer with the rest of the batter. So far, paws up and major tail wagging all around.

    Question: The recipe also calls for Holy Basil Oil, which I’ve been adding as well. According to my research, it’s believed to align the chacras.

    So here’s my question: Will Holy Basil Oil really align a dog’s chacras?

    Kidding, Mark. Totally kidding 🙂

    1. Wasn’t Holy Basil a very pious monk in the Bosnia-Herzegovina Orthodox Church? In which case, his Oil will align your Spiritual Body with the Mystery of the Holy Trinity.

      Enough with your heathen chakras!

      1. You’re thinking of St. Basil, God bless him.

        Three cheers for the Holy Trinity! (old Catholic joke.)

  20. For those who have been Primal for some time (have dialed in their routine, made themselves efficient fat burners, avoid the “poisons” of modern life without a great deal of effort) I think “intermittent gorging” is kind of a natural part of life. It is a far cry, as Mark pointed out, from the “conventional gorging” that seems to be so integral to our Supersized society.

    I gorge at least once a week (typically on the weekends)–I personally feel it’s almost as important to do as IFing, as it makes IFing occur very naturally. I will typically wedge a long IF session between two gorges (yesterday I fasted for 19 hours and engaged in an hour trail jog, breaking said fast with 5 eggs, 4 slices of bacon, two cups of mashed sweet potatoes with butter and cream, a bunch of boc choy sauteed in coconut oil and cup of coffee with heavy cream. I followed that about 2 hours later with some curried chicken in coconut milk. It felt…Primal, quite frankly. And since I am fasting not to lose weight but for the other health benefits, I almost feel obligated to gorge after fasting.

  21. “Although anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants in vitro,it is unlikely this antioxidant property is conserved after the plant which produced the anthocyanins is consumed. As interpreted by the Linus Pauling Institute and European Food Safety Authority, dietary anthocyanins and other flavonoids have little or no direct antioxidant food value following digestion.”

    I know it’s wikipedia, but it’s enough to keep me from *licking* the bowl.

  22. With Winter fast approaching here in the MN…we tend to lean heavily on frozen fruits and veggies! There’s no farmer’s markets peddling fresh veggies anymore, so for us its great to have a good option in the frozen food isle! 🙂

  23. A little off topic, but I wanted to provide a “non rice/pasta” alternative at a dinner party for those of us trying to stick to the plan…what would be a good substitute for something like rice, as a means of soaking up sauce? Spaghetti squash? Thanks…

    1. Spaghetti squash works the best for me thus far in terms of soaking up sauce. The trick, though, is to make sure to season it. I’ve been using fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and butter to add some extra pizzazz to it. Otherwise, it just feels like you’re eating squash.

      Zucchini sliced into long julienned strips with a mandolin also works very well. I also cook these in a pan ahead of time.

      Neither of these solutions are perfect for soaking up sauce. I’ve learned to eat from a bowl and use a spoon to get all the saucy deliciousness. Eventually you don’t even miss the pasta or rice, I promise!

      1. Thanks! We’ve been eating curries more like stews these days since the rice is gone, but I know a few people who are coming to our dinner thing are interested in what I’ve been doing, so I thought it might be fun to have something “starchy” in place of the rice. Seasoning the squash is a great idea, and I must say, grated zucchini with butter and salt has always been a favourite. Thanks for the suggestions!

    2. My wife made awesome eggplant lasagna tonight. She sliced the eggplants into typical lasagna noodle shapes, grilled them till just browned, then layered them in a hearty meat sauce. It was almost like her real lasagna! (She’s Italian). The key seems to be grilling the eggplants on a barbecue to dry them out a bit before layering them with sauce. That way the whole thing is not too runny/wet.

    3. + 1 for the cauliflower. Mash it or ‘rice’ it by sticking it in a food processor when raw and blitzing it until it is ricey looking, then cook. It’s doesn’t really absorb sauce but due to its texture the particles become coated and picks up more off the plate.
      Also celeriac (celery root in USA) mash is utterly yummy and addictive, especially when mixed with loads of butter and cream.
      I make courgette / zucchini spagetti a couple of times a week using a julienne peeler – just make sure you fry it off gently in a fat rather than dumping it in your sauce to cook as it is sooo watery. I have also tried julienned sweet potato… it’s tasty and absorbs a lot of fluid, but it is very fragile and turns to mush easily. Best combo for julienned sweet pots is a garlicky courgette and bacon carbonara sauce made with eggs, butter and raw cream. Did I mention I like butter and raw cream??

  24. Agree about blackberries. We picked loads in the hedgerows this year and froze them at home (as flash as we could, spread out on a metal tray to freeze before bagging them). They are 100% nicer than any commercial frozen blackberry, and are less mushy and leaking. We’ll see how they last over the coming months though…

  25. Technically, frozen produce is better than “fresh” grocery store produce almost 100% of the time (the exceptions to this are when your grocer is selling local, freshly grown products). The reason for this is because almost 100% of “fresh” produce available at your grocer cannot be grown in your climate at the current time of year you are purchasing it. To alleviate this, produce is shipped in from all over the world to meet current demands. Shipping produce takes time, sometimes weeks, and considering produce “looks” ripe when it is on the shelf at the grocer, that means that it couldn’t have been ripe when it was harvested.

    Basically, the foreign farmers have to harvest their product before it is ripe and use chemicals to preserve and finish “ripening” the produce during the time it takes to ship, so that by the time it makes it to your grocer’s shelf, it looks “ripe”. The problem with the artificial ripening vs. the natural ripening is that natural ripening while still alive and attached to a plant allows the produce to develop all the correct levels of vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial nutrients.

    Considering the last few weeks of growth for produce are when they really develop the most, it would seem like a bad idea to harvest them before that!

  26. I am new to this whole Primal Blueprint thing, so bear with me…You’re telling me that I get to drink that sweet delicious blueberry juice from my thawed blueberries?? I think I love you.

  27. How does dehydrated fruit and vegetables compare to both fresh and frozen?

  28. Foraging at Chicago O’Hare yesterday, I found a little smoothie shop near gate H6 that made me a fruit-only smoothie using frozen strawberries, blueberries, and half a banana. With that exception I IFed from noon Wed., still going. (What is it about business meetings and bad food? Pastries, pasta, chips, cookies, sandwiches, revolting grease-soaked appetizers… I asked myself what Mark would do and successfully resisted. My company is always promoting health initiatives but the catering is crap.)

    1. I know! I’ve started bringing nuts with me on business trips to help make it through. I’m usually in terminal 1 at O’Hare, and I recently discovered that the new Frontera Grill has plain Greek yogurt. It’s a little boring, but better than pretty much every other option available at the airport.

  29. Thanks for the link on the Hadza book. I’ve done a lot of reading through free books on Amazon – mostly first hand accounts by people who lived with or were native Americans from bygone days. Unfortunately, not a lot of the memories focus on what they ate or how much or how it was prepared (I’m so curious!), or whether they had specific health complaints such as Lyme disease or cellulite. I wish someone would read tons of these and try to crystallize for the Paleo/Primal crowd. Does anyone know if someone has already done this?