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Why Humans Crave Fat
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October 14, 2011
12:52 am
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First-Eater
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DT:

Mongolian BBQ is one of the few places you can eat out, stay paleo, and get enough to eat.

I've had horse sashimi in Japan...I don't know if it was the equivalent to Wagyu horse or what, but it was delicious.  And elk is definitely worth tracking down.  It's less gamy than deer, but more gamy than grass-fed beef.

JS

October 18, 2011
7:33 pm
Steven
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I read some disturbing info about prions and Mad Cow disease today, along with the use of arsenic in chickenfeed, whereafter the feces is fed to cows. How safe is the beef industry in this country? Is it too risky to eat anything but grass-fed, and is that safe? It seems to me that they go out of their way to ensure that no accountability exists with regard to beef or poultry safety. Even McDonalds is opposed to the use of arsenic (why?), which ends up in their feces (and muscles) which cattle then eat. I see great potential for catastrophic mad cow which is not detectable for as much as 7 yrs, I have read, and is a horrible death. The chop meat you buy has come from perhaps 1000 cows; it thus seems quite likely that over time and with high consumption one is rather likely to wind up with this disease, it only being a matter of time until the inevitable happens. Like Wall St., "too big to fail," I think that's the attitude. Let's play fast and loose until...then the FDA will come in and finally set some rules, but why bother until we kill enough people to cause an uprising? Am I overly cautious here, or just too aware of reality? And in poultry, how much arsenic do you estimate we get over a lifetime of average or high consumption? What is the purpose of Pfizer putting this in the feed, which some countries have stopped, but not the U.S.?

October 18, 2011
11:55 pm
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Halifax, UK
Gnoll
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We had an epidemic in Britain.

There were disinfectant pits to drive through whenever you went pretty much anywhere out of a city. You feared to eat pretty much any meat through that period - we ate almost nothing but New Zealand lamb and (expensive) French poultry through that period.

In the end, almost the entire stock across the whole of Britain was destroyed. I remember reading the death toll in a newspaper, broken down by farm - the north of England was decimated, Wales decimated, lowland Scotland decimated, Cornwall, decimated.

New stocks came in and we have much better meat, generally, today.

It was a sad and harrowing time. My parents live in rural Northumberland (north of England, bordering Scotland) and we used to travel up via Carlisle to visit. Carlisle had a thriving cattle market which dominated the town physically. For years that lay empty and unused, finally to be demolished. Less grand in stature, but equally important to the town where my parents live, the cattle market lay empty for years. There is a new hospital on the grounds now.

British farming never really recovered.

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

October 19, 2011
3:06 pm
Steven
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HI, Paul. Do you know how many people died from the disease before they took action? What action, if any, did they take with regard to the processing safety issues? Do the cows eat chicken shit there and vice versa, as in US? I don't like the fact that there are 1000 cows in one burger, as is commonly said. Talk about no accountability.

October 20, 2011
2:21 am
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Halifax, UK
Gnoll
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It's a difficult one to put a figure on, given that the human form of BSE (vCJD) came afterwards.

From memory, around 1996 the first links were made between vCJD and BSE. I think the first human death as a direct result of eating BSE infected beef was around that year. By 2000, the bovine epidemic was all but cleared up - by almost total extermination of the bovine population in the country. That was a harrowing time, especially when the farms close and visible to where I lived had to have giant bonfires.

I seem to recall that it jumped to sheep shortly afterwards - maybe 2003?

Anyway, back to vCJD - the difficulty is linking it and putting a timeframe around it. BSE had been present in Britain's bovine population for many years prior to the first case of vCJD that could be directly linked. Back to the late 1980s when BSE first started to affect cattle. I think they put 1989 as the start of the epidemic and 2000 as the end. vCJD was first noticed and linked to the BSE epidemic in 1996 and cases continued there after.

Once BSE had been removed and new clean stocks brought in and bred up, I guess cases of vCJD declined and tailed off thereafter.

Human casualties were small, but a significant figure.

I can find newspaper articles citing 48, 55, 74 and so on through the year 2000 - small, but significant numbers.

One amusing tale was back in 1990 where one of our Ministers was so keen to show that British beef was NOT a problem fed his children burgers in front of the watching cameras: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/369625.stm

We also had a health scare in the late 1980s when the Ministry for Health dropped the ball and managed to get salmonella into the food chain through eggs. This did had one very positive effect, though - organic egg production flourished, the outdoor reared wave followed.

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

October 21, 2011
2:25 pm
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Paul:

Thank you for the detailed explanation.

Steven:

Keep in mind that cooking doesn't destroy CJD…there's nothing to be done about it in the kitchen. 

Again, the culprit seems to have been the feeding of animal brains to other animals — although there is a well-known farmer and advocate who claims (with some evidence) that organophosphate insecticides either caused it or greatly aided its spread.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Purdey

JS

October 21, 2011
3:02 pm
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Halifax, UK
Gnoll
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I read something on one of the many forums I frequent ... to paraphrase ...

We've done something seriously wrong when we feed animals which are used to eating rubbish (pigs) real food and animals which like nothing more than just grass (cows), rubbish.

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

October 21, 2011
4:06 pm
Steven
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Thanks, guys. I think nature is violated when we feed animals other than their designed foods. I read the Wiki about Purdey of the UK. Long story short. Do you trust the integrity of the U.S. beef industry? We know there is virtually no enforcement and no rules overall. I would like to figure my odds. My view is that it is safer to eat cuts of beef, esp if butchered at the locale, because it's from fewer cows. If I eat ground meat it might be just as good if it is ground at the locale, for same reason. But, the burger at McD's which I had today, probably came from a thousand cows, which ups the risk considerably. Was what happened in the UK a fluke, a product of specific causes, or is the US imminent for such a catastrophe?

October 22, 2011
11:03 am
Steven
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Bonus post 😉

Life Extension made the following statement:

Diets high in omega-6 fats and saturated fats are associated with greater prostate cancer risk whereas increased intake of omega-3 fats from fish has been shown to reduce risk. Based on consistent epidemiological findings across a wide range of human populations, scientists have sought to understand why eating the wrong kinds of fat (saturated and omega-6 fats) provokes a stimulatory effect on prostate cancer.54,55

Is this of concern to us, in that it states sat fat stimulates prostate cancer?

On a related vein, I took the flu vaccine while at my doc for unrelated reasons. I later read about this and regretted it. Is it a mistake to trust the gov with vaccines? could there be live viruses in there for nefarious purposes?

Thanks, once again. Bought a ridiculous amount of beef today. Doc warned against this, but he doesn't read this site. Am learning to make soup, with flanken and marrow bones: in process. Heard too much about the BPA in cans.

October 23, 2011
3:22 pm
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Steven:

You're going to have to start doing your own investigation here: I can't possibly debunk every claim made on the Internet.

You might start by watching Tom Naughton's presentation on how to spot bad science:

And you might note that basically 100% of these studies that say "x CAUSES y" are ASSOCIATIONAL, not controlled, and therefore:

-cannot prove causation

-are so tainted by associational confounders that they're worthless

-by changing what the study is "controlled" for, associational data can be used to prove anything you want.  See: the China Study and Denise Minger's debunking of it.

JS

December 7, 2011
7:21 pm
D.
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Steven, I highly suggest reading Michael Pollan's 'The Omnivores Dilemma' in which he examines how we face our daily battles of deciding what to eat from day to day. In this he ventures out into examining our corn farms, industrial food chain, and alternatives to that industrial food chain such as organic which also look at some of your concerns about the safety of our food. It is definitely an eye opener that will change the way you look at food.

December 15, 2011
9:59 am
The Comprehensive Gu
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[...] We have evolved to to eat a diet high in fat as JS at Gnolls.org succinctly details in his article Why Humans Crave Fat. It’s just our [...]

December 27, 2011
5:01 pm
Vegetarian crisis- p
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[...] are interested in what the paleo diet is, here are a couple articles that first made me interested-http://www.gnolls.org/1763/why-humans-cr http://www.scribd.com/doc/2100251/Jared-Answers:Fred F Answered:Keep in mind that our ancient [...]

August 12, 2012
3:34 pm
Steven
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I wasn't able to comment in above post for some reason. Did anyone see this article? At end the claim is however made that red meat eating is now associated with shortened life spans, but I did not have time to check the link.

August 14, 2012
10:39 am
Steven
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Red Meat And Strokes - Natural News

Comments? This looks like a dire warning about regular, non grass-fed beef to me. It has occurred to me that paleo man NEVER had the access to daily high meat consumption in the first place. I think that's obvious,yet overlooked. They had no fridge and did not kill animals twice or thrice daily. They ate huge amounts, I reckon, upon the kill, and went without most of the time, eating other stuff. Comments?

August 27, 2012
3:31 pm
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Steven:

I''ve seen that first article, and it's (for the most part) congruent with the evidence we have.  

However, the "red meat kills" link in the blog article was to the worthless HSPH paper I've already debunked at length, in this article. 

As far as the Natural News article, as I said above, you're going to have to start reading with a more critical eye.  The paper itself reads "Five articles including results from 6 prospective studies..."  In other words, it's associative data, and therefore worthless for most of the same reasons Pan et.al. is worthless, which I've explained at length in my debunking above.

Finally, your assertion that "paleo man NEVER had the access to daily high meat consumption in the first place" is unsupported by any evidence.  The Paleolithic landscape was full of megafauna -- mostly extinct relatives of modern-day elephants -- which were preferentially hunted (and, in fact, were hunted to extinction) by our ancestors.  Multi-ton animals have a lot of meat on them.  Even modern hunter-gatherers in a landscape depleted of megafauna still get ~1/3 of calories from hunted meat and 1/3 from "gathered" meat (insects, traps and snares, etc.)...and they're tiny even by modern standards, as opposed to (say) H. heidelbergensis, which was much taller and stronger than modern humans.  And why might that be?  You don't have to be tall and strong to dig tubers: in fact, it's a disadvantage.  Think about it.  Both our brains and our bodies shrunk with the advent of agriculture...

Honestly, I'm starting to lose my patience here.  If you want to be scared of red meat, go right ahead and stop eating it.  I can't personally hold your hand and debunk every piece of propaganda that blows your direction.  Do your own reading and make your own decisions.

(But before you do, ask yourself: is my mood, energy level, and state of physical health better or worse than it was when I was eating lots of "heart-healthy whole grains"?  Am I willing to sacrifice my current state of health and vitality for dubious threats of future catastrophe?)

JS

December 1, 2012
6:07 am
Katherine
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For those who are interested...

Yes, anyone with a blender and a bit of patience can make their own mayonnaise from extra virgin olive oil.

I grind my own hamburger to be sure I know what goes into it.

December 1, 2012
6:30 am
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Gnoll
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... or a hand whisk. You get a workout, too! Good core, holding the bowl in a headlock and go like the clappers, swapping hands to even up the activity.

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

December 2, 2012
4:24 am
Indiana
Gnoll
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That's what I used to do when we still made it (I miss it, may indulge in the excess olive-oilness of it soon) - went like gangbusters with my right arm and did a pitiful attempt with my left ahah =)  I got faster with practice though.

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