Eat it Raw

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on December 17, 2017

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As regular readers of the Diner know, I have numerous health issues stemming from my spinal injury.  Among these issues for me is an almost total loss of appetite and difficulty eating more than just a few bites of food at any time.  Also a reduced ability to actually taste the food I eat. I was thrilled down in Seattle when I actually managed to eat about 3/4s of a Tuna Sandwich at the Museum of Flight.  It was a very good Tuna Sandwich too, consistency wise.  For someone who was as big a Foody as I was, this is perhaps the most depressing aspect of my injury, even worse than the issues with walking.  The only upside to it is I am not getting fat despite my lack of exercise, in fact I am steadily losing weight. At home in order to get some nutrition down my pie hole, I have experimented with numerous gimmicks and enthusiasms of various foods I can tolerate eating a little at a time.  For a while it was Soups.  I would heat a can of one of my favorite Progresso or Campbells Chunky Soup, and then spend a couple of days eating it by the spoonful right out of the pot on the stove.  I would reheat as necessary, and add a little water to replace the water that boiled off during each reheat.  However, I got tired of this and bored with it and 2 days on the stove turned into 3, then 4.  I started having to put the soup in a tupperware and refrigerate it to keep it from going bad.  Then this leftover soup started sitting in the fridge for a week or two and going bad anyhow.  I stopped opening cans of soup at this point. My next enthusiasm was Salads, mostly augmented Greek-Style Tomato salads.  I could buy just 2 or 3 Roma Tomatoes in the produce aisle, a block of Feta Cheese, a Red Onion and Kalamatta Olives in a jar and this formed the basis for my salad.  The only thing perishable in there that doesn't last that long in the fridge are the tomatoes, everything else will last a month and more with a vinagarette dressing of some type.  Keep your block of Feta wrapped up tight in plastic, that lasts a couple of months easy.  Kalamatta Olives in the Jar?  Probably last a year in the fridge even after you open the jar.  Further augmentation came from canned gourmet veggies like marinated artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, straw mushrooms etc.  These salads lasted easily a week in the fridge a few bites at a time, but I became bored with them too.

Then I went on a Fresh Fruit & Cheese enthusiasm. Clementine Oranges (the small ones, didn't they used to call these tangerines?), Bananas. Cubed Watermelon & Seedless Grapes mostly for the fruit; Brie (and other soft cheeses), Havarti, Gouda, Gorgonzola and really whatever appealed to me in the Gourmet Cheese display at Fred Meyer or was on a half-price sale.  The Bananas don't last long, you have to eat all of them inside a week or so or they start to turn black and get mushy inside.  Grapes and Clementines last pretty long in the fridge, but they start dehydrating and after about 3-4 days are not so juicy.  Cubed Watermelon lasts a surprisingly long time in a tupperware container in its own juices, up to a couple of weeks it is still pretty crunchy, sweet and juicy.  The cheeses you have to remember to wrap well in plastic after you cut off a hunk for a meal, and always use a nice clean knife rinsed with hot water to remove bacteria on the knife.  Not a bad idea to hold the blade over the stove fire either to further sterilize it.  This also important later for the meat and fish cutting.  If you do all that, your wedge or block of cheese should last in the fridge at least a month before you start seeing Green Mold growing on it.  You can often just cut this off, because it is only growing on the outside surface, the interior is still fine.  In fact, you can eat the part with the mold on it too, that won't kill you and it doesn't change the taste that much.  Just looks a little gross.

This brings us to my current enthusiasm, RAW ANIMAL PROTEIN.

I moved to this enthusiasm for a couple of reasons.  First was the EXTREME Edema (swelling due to fluid retention) condition I have in my legs, which on top of the spinal injury and general loss of strength from that has brought it to the point I can't even stand up if I don't have hand holds and bracing to do it with. The Nurse Practioner I was seeing as my Primary Care Provider before I ditched her for a Physician's Assistant who is equally clueless suggested that the Edema problem might stem from a lack of protein in my diet.  I am fully aware of this nutrition problem, however she did not have a good suggestion on how to SOLVE it since I can't hardly eat anything at all.  I pitched the idea of a feeding tube, but she informed me Medicare won't pay for that unless you are on your death bed in hospital.  So I have to get the right foods down my own gullet myself, somehow. So, OK, on the assumption a lack of protein is the proximal problem causing the edema, how can I increase my protein intake?  Well, I have always liked Fish, and even got into eating Raw Fish in the form of Sushi & Sashimi in my college years when I started haunting Japanese Restaurants around NY Shity.  Today, there are Sushi Bars in the major Food Superstores which provide a pre-rolled Sushi plate for anywhere from $8-$15 depending on the type of fish and the size of the plate.  So I started with this.

Of course, due to my low appetite, I can't finish a typical Sushi Lunch plate from Fred Meyer, which usually has about 2 rolls worth of some decorative Sushi concoction that appeals to the Amerikan palate.  Around here, this is mainly Tuna Rolls, Salmon,and California Rolls which have the fake Crab Meat in them with some avocado and cream cheese.  Thing is, while the fish inside is still good the second day, the rice starts to dry out very fast and the texture isn't as nice. Still edible even after 3 days, but really only good the 1st day. Besides that, these rolls are MOSTLY rice, the amount of fish in them is pretty small.  I am interested in JUST THE FISH, not all the decorations or the rice either.

This vid is the shorter one which doesn't show half what gets pitched out when sectioning up a Salmon for Sashimi.  I figured I would spare you watching the head, spine and skin getting pitched out also.  Waste, Waste, Waste.

Back in Edo Japan, I suspect Sushi was what the Peasants ate, while Sashimi which is JUST THE FISH is what the Samurai ate.  The fish was the expensive part of the meal, the rice was filler and calories so the Peasants would have enough energy to work and feed the Samurai.  Samurai needed the fish protein to develop big strong muscles to wield swords with which they could behead the peasants.  The Sashimi JUST THE FISH meal is made even MORE expensive by the fact that in preparing sashimi, only the very BEST parts of the fish are used.  You can't believe the amount of WASTE when a Sashimi artist goes about filleting and slicing up a fish to lay out on a decorative plate.  In modern restaurants, I suspect most of the parts discarded by the Sashimi artist go in the trash, not even composted.  However, going back to Edo Japan, I suspect these parts were collected to make Fish Broth, which again the peasants got to use to make soups and supplement their protein intake above the pitiful amount of fish usually contained in a Sushi Roll. The only platters that have a little more fish on them in the plastic containers at Fred Meyer are the Nigiri Sushi, which is basically a slice of raw fish on top of a pile of rice.  You only get 8 pieces total though, again up here usually Ahi Tuna and Salmon.  The box costs you $12, and I suspect there is no more than 1/4 lb of fish there.  That is working out to $48/lb!  They don't serve a straight Sashimi plate at Freddie's, for that you have to go to the Sushi Bar at our local Japanese Restaurant, Tokyo.  Here you will pay around $25 now for around 12 pieces of fish, usually Ahi Tuna, Salmon, Yellowtail and Octopus.  Maybe about 1/3rd lb total here.

So, I decided that instead of shopping for my Sashimi at the Sushi counter, I would go straight to the Fresh Fish counter!  Bring it home and slice it up myself!  This cut the cost for JUST THE FISH by at least half.  There are pluses and minuses here with doing this. Some fish like the Tuna is really EZ to slice up into nice bite size pieces to dip in your Wasabi-Soy Sauce dipping mixture and eat with a bit of pickled ginger.  You do now have the added cost of buying the wasabi and soy and pickled ginger, which all comes included on the pre made Sushi plate, so this reduces your savings, plus you have the work of slicing the fish so the savings aren't quite as much as you hoped for overall.

Salmon is much harder to slice into nice Sashimi size chunks.  It tends to fall apart as you slice, plus you have to get the skin off the back side of the fillet.   They also use larger salmon at sushi bars than you normally find at the fish counter or would buy just to feed yourself.  There is no way I can get the size chunks of salmon equal to the size of the tuna with the salmon I have bought for this so far.

Octopus is usually not available at the fish counter here, and neither is Yellowtail.  So recently I tried Sea Scallops, which I never had in a Japanese restaurant as part of a Sashimi plate.  Had them cooked as an appetizer Scallops Bata Yaki which is quite good, but not raw. I didn't like the texture raw too much, they are a little too soft eaten raw for me.  I am now sticking to cooking the scallops in butter and garlic which is pretty fast and EZ to do.  Finally, I am trying Rockfish (Striped Bass), but it is still in the freezer so I can't report on that one yet. Speaking of Freezing, this is a significant aspect of eating all raw meats and fishies, unless you catch them yourself right out of the water or hunt it down and eat the meat right after the kill.  Raw fish and Raw meat can contain bacteria and parasites which can be quite harmful and even cause death.  Most of the time they don't, and in my long history of eating this stuff raw, I have never had so much as an upset stomach, whereas I got Tomaine Poisoning twice off of cooked meat which practically killed me.  Only in recent years have I taken to the practice of freezing and thawing raw meats before eating.

The reason is this.  If there are parasites and bacteria inhabiting your fillet, if you freeze to -4F for about 4 days, this will kill them as effectively as cooking does, and it doesn't destroy the flavor or texture like cooking does.  So as an additional security/health measure here, I do the Freeze/Thaw before slicing up my Sashimi.  In fact, just about all the "fresh" fish you buy at the fish store nowadays has already gone through one or more of these cycles.  The fish are collected up on large industrial fish processing ships where they do the fillet work, vacuum seal them and throw them in a Liquid Nitrogen Bath which flash freezes them down to something like -321F (-196C).  Then they go through a series of transports generally finally ending up on a Reefer truck where the temp inside the box maybe is around 20F, depending how hot it is outside.  When they get to the Food Superstore, they go in another Freezer, this one down to maybe -10F until they are ready to sell it.  Then it thaws slowly in a refrigerator set around 35F over a couple of days and is put out in the refrigerated display counter for sale.  Pretty much no bacteria or parasites live through this, and your fish is generally quite safe to eat raw right out of the counter, assuming the minimum wage paid fish mongers working behind the counter clean as they are supposed to every night on closing.  I basically took to doing an additional Freeze-Thaw cycle after buying just to add a little insurance here, but at least for Freddie's Fish, I would eat it raw straight out of the counter. This brings us to the next RAW counter down at Freddie's, the MEAT counter.  I actually took to eating raw meat quite a bit before I got into eating raw fish in my college years as the Japanese restaurants proliferated around NY Shity.  After returning from Brazil in my late preteen years, I missed the Churascaria's we often ate at there, where the meat was brought to you on the spit at your table and sliced off right onto your plate.  So I took to BBQing meat myself on a little cast iron Hibachi in the small back yard we had in our NY Shity Queens McMansion which mom got as part of the divorce settlement.  I started with Hamburgers of course, and quickly discovered that a really JUICY burger should have a nice pink inside.  For me, pink turned to RED after a while, although for anyone else I was cooking a burger for I kept it to pink or even well done if they asked for that.  I could never understand that though, well done dries the meat out and it's like eating leather, albeit in the case of burgers its ground up leather.  A well done steak though is like eating the soles off a Cowboy Boot.

Once I realized I liked my meat on the BBQ "Pittburgh Rare" (charred on the outside, still mooing on the inside) I started experimenting with eating the meat RAW right out of the package immediately after I brought it home from the grocery store when it was still nice and bright red straight out of the grinder.  Just ground beef for hamburgers at first on this, and it was DELICIOUS!  Just a pinch or two at a time at first also.  I didn't get sick, even though I had already heard about all the dangers of eating raw meat.  Then I read about "official" gourmet meals like Steak Tartare which featured raw meat, and I decided it was OK to eat this stuff.  After all, carnivores in nature who don't have control of fire eat their meat raw all the time.  I suspect by eating it a small amount at a time for a while I built up my gut so it could digest the stuff well without my getting sick. With the beef, I tried some other cuts  besides hamburger raw, but really unless it is ground up the only one that is any good for raw eating is Fillet Mignon, which is fairly expensive.  Around here these days it comes in aroun $16/lb.  Good ground sirloin though you can get for $4/lb on sale, and the taste and texture are pretty close to the same as Fillet Mignon.  I do occasionally buy the Fillets though, because when you slice them up they LOOK a lot nicer and the visual component of eating is part of the pleasure, one of the parts I can still enjoy.  Up at the top of the page here you see one of my Steak Fillets sliced up Sashimi style, with some Au Jus dipping sauce.

It's the dipping sauces that throw a fly in the ointment as far as keeping your costs down when going with the raw eating, both with fish and with meat.  These days, if you mosey on down the sauces and marinades aisle in the Food Superstore, the choices are endless and these bottles go from anywhere from around $2/bottle if you catch a sale to $8/bottle.  You don't really NEED a dipping sauce of course, and some of the time I will do without a dip to just enjoy the flavor of the RAW MEAT by itself.  However, many of these sauces are REALLY good and enhance the raw eating experience. On the upside to this, once you buy a bottle of a particular kind of sauce it lasts a long time.  You only need about a tablespoon worth for a whole fillet for dipping as you go.  My current methodology on this is to pick one sauce I haven't tried yet each time I shop and buy a bottle of that, hopefully ON SALE.  One that came in very cheap recently was Dumpling dipping sauce and it's my current favorite.  Thai Peanut sauce is also very good, and of course Teriyaki sauce.  I've had a few failures too, I thought Chinese Hot Mustard might be good, but it was too overpowering for the meat.  The choices are pretty endless here particularly in the Asian Foods aisle, just find your own favorites.

While I am comfortable with both Beef and Fish raw, I don't eat either Pork or Chicken raw.  With pork, I have been told too many stories about Trichonosis and never could bring myself to trying it.  On the BBQ, I always cooked it through until there was no pink showing in the middle, still trying to keep it juicy though.  Similarly with chicken, a few times early on I under-cooked my chicken on the BBQ and it was still gooey and slimy on the inside when I bit into it.  This grossed me out and I always make sure my chicken is cooked through now, however I prepare it.

Now that I have given a not so brief history of how I developed a taste for eating RAW animal protein, I'm going to tie it into collapse issues.  As with my prior post on Luggage, it might not be immediately clear how my diet relates to collapse.  It doesn't really HAVE to relate, since the Diner is both a Collapse Blog and my personal blog, but in this case there is a connection.

One thing for me personally is that these days I am more consumed with my own personal issues of Health Collapse than the collapse of the society at large around me.  When you have the Grim Reaper stalking you all the time it's tough to fix your mind on anything else but fending him off for another day.  However, there are many issues with the food consumption here which apply more generally in the World of Collapse. The first issue is one of COST.  The fact here is that despite not being a very rich Amerikan (in fact a pretty poor one by measures here), I CAN afford to buy what are some of the most expensive cuts of meat and fish on the market to try and up my protein intake.  That's partly because I don't buy much of them because my appetite is so depressed, but much more it is because producing this food is so heavily subsidized in Amerika, and relative to income food is a pretty small part of your daily living expenses, even if you are fairly poor.  If you are SUPER poor and qualify for a SNAP Card, you can STILL afford these foods if you are wise about how you spend your monthly food budget.  I have demonstrated that on numeros occasions in the SNAP Card Gourmet series.  For the vast majority of the world though, these foods are out of the question, they have daily food budgets in the $2/day range (and even less!).  In all probability these foods aren't even available in the markets to buy, even if you had the money.  I doubt sashimi quality Ahi Tuna steaks are available at the markets in Rio, for instance.

The next issue is the cost to the environment.  As most of us Kollapsniks are aware, cattle ranching is extremely water intensive and overall pretty destructive to the local ecosystems.  The space the cows take up and the land used to grow their feed is land taken away from all the other creatures that might be living there.  Over in Brazil, square miles of rainforest are burned every day to make room for more cattle ranching. This argument is often made by vegans who want to get the whole human population to swear off eating meat. Here in Amerika though, this leads you to a major Economic problem if Amerikans actually did this.  Meat is the staple food of the Fast Food industry, from Burgers to Tacos.  Every Mickey Ds and Taco Bell would have to shut down.  Those places are among the few still employing people!  I doubt you could convert them over to selling fast food Bean Sprouts and Soy Burgers either, the consumers would riot.  "What?  No BEEF?  It's What's for Dinner!"

Not only do you lose the fast food workers, you lose all those people employed in the Feedlots and Slaughterhouses as well, not to mention the folks doing the local butchery and packaging up the meat into scrumptios looking foam & plasic containers!  While many of them might be re-employed growing bean sprouts, this will take a while in transition.  Shifting the Food Economy here off its focus on Meat is not something you could do overnight, anymore than you can shift the Carz & Trux economy back to Oxen drawn carts.

Finally in terms of the Collapse Blogosphere, this brings up an old debate I had with Gail Tverberg, and one which in fact led to my quitting her website and quit cross posting her blogs.

Gail is a pretty good actuary, and she had some good insights early on to the direction things were going.  However, she also fancies herself to be an Anthropologist and she is a believer in Near Term Human Extinction as well, although she doesn't explicitly admit that in her blogs.  You can read it in the subtext though of the commentary on Our Finite World.

Gail has a theory that because Homo Saps have evolved Small Jaws, we have to cook our food and thus require fire to survive.  So in her opinion, once we can't access fossil fuels anymore, Homo Saps will burn down all the remaining forests on earth in order to cook their food and heat their homes.  This is just nonsense.  Homo Saps will die off much too fast to burn down all the forests, and where most of the remaining forests are is where most Homo Saps are NOT.  Mountainous regions, regions with no available ground water, etc.  No way to transport the wood from where it is growing to the places people live for them to burn it. The fact is of course, small jaws or big jaws, you don't need to cook most foods for them to be digestible by a current Homo Sap.  My current diet is just about ALL raw foods, or fermented ones.  Besides the Raw Meat & Fish, the fruits I eat are all raw and the cheeses are all fermented.  I don't eat grains that need to be cooked.  My diet is basic Paleo, Fat and Protein.  I don't think I turned my stove on once in the last month, and I am not starving (although granted I am losing weight).  If my appetite was better though and could eat more, I would have no problem existing withough cooking my food, and in fact without most most of my teeth either!

The need to heat your home is also a pathetic argument.  Inuit and Aleuts up here had almost no fuel to work with, they simply lived in small dwellings where their own body heat kept the domicile warm enough through the winter to survive.  Gail is so thoroughly middle class she can't even imagine that, I doubt she has ever been winter camping a day in her whole life.  So to her, when she can't get heating oil for her McMansion, she will go Extinct one winter as she freezes to death.

In order to live on this kind of diet though, those foods you can eat raw do need to be available for you to access.  So if you are going to survive on raw fish, you do need to live near the coast and have a boat to go out and collect fish with.  If you are going to eat raw meat, you either need to be raising it yourself or live in a neighborhood where there is wild game sill roaming around.  If you are going to eat fermented cheeses, you need to be raising Goats or Cows that provide the milk for this.  If you are going to live on fresh fruits, you need to live in a warm climate where these things grow on trees reasonably rapidly.  Finding ONE spot where you can get them ALL is pretty tough of course.

Also true is that currently there are too many people walking the earth to live this way.  That however will NOT be true moving into the future.  A significant percentage of the population is bound to die off.  As more people go to the Great Beyond, there will be more food resource for the remaining population.  Unclear at the moment is precisely how big a percentage of the population needs to buy the farm before this becomes feasible, but I suspect a 99% Dieoff would do it.  That would still leave 75M Homo Saps walking the Earth, which is a long way from Extinction.

Meanwhile, for myself it is a challenge every day to find stuff I can eat to keep this meat package motoring along for another day while I chronicle Doom on the internet.  The RAW MEAT is the current leader of the pack here for me these days, in some tasty dipping sauce.  YUM!

20 Responses to Eat it Raw

  • The issue with our bodies and raw meat isn't our small jaws, it is our digestive system.  Apes have a system for digesting all that vegitation and a lot of the energy their bodies use for maintanence is digestion.  Humans evolved their larger brains, using more energy, by channeling the digestive energy to their brains.  A human eating raw meat doesn't assimilate all the calories as his digestion isn't adequate, like a chimp's is.  You are probably losing weight because of the digestion issue.  Iunderstand that Eskimos eat the raw meat for the vitamins that cooking would destroy, since they don't have access to plants.  I'm not sure what percentage they eat cooked, or if they eat extra to make up for that which is undigested.  As with all theories on evolution, it is an incomplete answer.  Admitedly, it is one I favor, but I can't say 100% it is true ( just like with what passes for facts from professionals ). 

    • RE says:

      I have no problem digesting raw meat.  My main problem here is a lack of quantity.  If I could get my consumption up to 1/4lb a day, I would be fine on keeping the weight balance up. Basically I need to about double my intake of Cottage Cheese, Fresh Fruit, Cheerios & Raw Fish and Meat and I’ll be at steady state on the calories and vitamin level, with some daily vitamin supplements. The problem is not the type of food, it’s forcing enough of it down my gullet to meet the daily nutritional requirements to stay alive.


  • Bobtail says:

    Maybe this entry should be about consuming ONLY  raw vegetables, aka gerson therapy. Carnivores like dogs have short digestive tracts unlike humans, give me undercooked meat and i will be running to the toilet in about ten minutes.  Humans digestive tract has many different enzymes and bacteria that dont work well when theres fluid buildup in intestines, fluid in legs is also a symptom of cirrhosis of the liver from too much liquid lunch or dinner.  Stop smoking and you might regain walking, which was on the way out well before your injury. Maybe you do have a degenerative neurological problem, but if youre serious about ruling it in or out, start with a test of liver function and biopsy first. Jameson Frank said our greatest battles are with our own minds. Merry Kissmyass.

    • RE says:

      I never have to run for the bathroom after eating raw meat.  I have had tests for my liver function, and about everything else.  In fact, I think I have had every expensive test currently available frome the sick care industry, and they all say I am HEALTHY! lol.  I did quit smoking, which has somewhat cleared up the congestion in my lungs but has not done jack shit for my appetite.

      Jameson Frank is full of shit.  Our greatest battle is with our own mortality.


  • Morongobill says:

    Seems to me an ad campaign similar to the gal chomping on the raw steak might add some converts to the raw meat thing.

    Very interesting article, may try it myself one of these days.

    Enjoy your writings, keep eating the raw meat!

  • Bobtail says:

    Jameson might say only your mind is insisting that you need to enjoy it and have an appetite to eat, just like you say it is only in the mind that homo sap need to cook meat to eat it. Even if undercooked meat makes me gag,  i can just mechanically chew and swallow even raw. I could probably develop tolerance for it to not eject out the other end of my digestive tract too over time. But without refrigeration in a warm climate, day 2 or 3 at the latest, a slaughtered animals leftovers would start to smell, and our senses telling us not to continue eating it without killing the germs by cooking is probably an evolutionary adaptation. 

    • RE says:

      Indeed, without refrigeration or a steady supply of ice, the lifespan of raw meat is pretty short, 2-3 days and that’s only if you have a pretty strong gut and are used to eating it.  However, where I live ice is available for most if not all of the year from the upper elevations and the glaciers.  Icing  gets you a week to 2 weeks where it’s still good for eating raw, if you did a clean job in dressing the animal.  Anything longer than this you’re going to have to start stripping, drying and salting.  You could smoke also of course, but that amounts to cooking.

      If you work in tribal grouping sizes around Dunbar’s Number of 100-150 people, not much of the meat is stored during summer season.  The group will eat through a caribou in a day or two the most.  When winter comes, you pack in ice.  Fish go even quicker since they are smaller.  You catch it, you eat it.

      The issue I have a problem with is people making statements like “Homo Saps don’t have digestive tracts that can handle this.”, when clearly they do.  You can go to any Japanese restaurant any day and see it in action.  I have no idea how much Sashimi gets eaten every day around the globe, but it is pretty significant.  The folks eating this stuff are not starving, nor are they running to the toilet after chowing down either.  I certainly have no issues with this.  A few insects gross me out, meal worms in particular.  Even meal worms I can handle though if I grind them up and spread on a muffin.


  • jjgrey says:

    Try liquids again like soup, but not a spoon, in a large mugh.  Sip on a large cup of broth all day long, at least one big sip every half hour. Add various protiens to the broth as you desire, and a couple small bites. Your stomach has shrunk, and eating a whole meal is too much for it, but lots of little tiny meals may help. 

  • Bobtail says:

    When i see in india and asia how little protein people eat compared to us when they are using their muscles enough to need it, i think of how we typically have pounds of undigested red meat in our colons. Not only that they have flat stomachs, ours are either surrounded by visceral fat and/or full of fluid. Nutri…tion means nutrient absorption. I wonder if  our swollen bellies in our comfortable cultures where food is so plentiful are not like swollen ankles after being sprained. Yesterday i was helping our mechanic break down most of the office inside his workshop to have a much smaller office and room for another hoist. His father in law who lives with him was also helping. This guy has a really big round belly but is otherwise very small and slim. That belly is not fat its like a baloon, stretched and swollen with fluid. Why? He also has dark skin under the eyes like so many  indians who eat too much chilli. Amounts of chilli and spice that make most of us blow up the toilet bowl, though we could adapt to it over time. Eating chilli becomes an addiction with greater tolerance for a lot of people going hotter and hotter. I will not be surprised to hear he has diabetes or is sick in a few years. 


    Some people say our gut is a complex ecosystem with millions of different bacteria, so our dislikes and preferences are based on which we build up and which we deny. Many people are vegetarian not for religious or humane reasons, they just dont like meat. Others start as children who wont eat their vegetables and then carry on. Gluten intolerance is just the latest bs diagnosis scam since it only seems to affect people who ate too much processed junk and hardly any fruit and veg anyway. They dont need special white bread, they just ate too much white bread. To give burgers etc a break and eat the salad they cant stand is what they need, not more flour of a special expensive type. I saw some cakes in a store for $7 a slice, an airport price, and wondered why anyone was buying them when the bakery 20m away had them for half the price. I was told they were gluten free, this is the social side of civilization collapse.

  • Bobtail says:

    A couple more thoughts on sashimi and dunbars number/consuming a large animal. 


    Ive tried raw fish in Japanese dish and not been able to eat it, i dont think its done for taste. Eskimos dont have wood to cook, but japanese i think eat fish raw for health. A smoked trout is oily,  a pan cooked trout is dry. Not cooking at would dry or disturb the omega 3 oils at all and we now know how beneficial those are. 

    About 15 years ago my neice died of a brain tumor and my brother in law being part aboriginal had a weeklong funeral where probably dunbars number were coming and going. They brought a bull or cow and hung it in the garage, skinned, gutted it etc and were cutting and cooking the meat without using a freezer, but did not cut it into pieces. This was in alice springs with daytime temp around 25c, so i thought this would go bad. In fact for the few days i was there that did not start to stink, probably because they were cutting off meat from the outside, so what is exposed is only for a day at most. This just means you don't get the traditional cuts of steak that are easier to eat. That was the verdict as i tried it with a friend, it was tough because it wasn't cut right. If for whatever reason you ate it raw, such as being starving hungry having no time or extra energy to gather and cut wood after hunting, toughness from cooking meat cut against the grain would not matter. Being starving hungry would probably even overcome my and my stomachs aversion to raw meat. 

    • RE says:

      Sounds to me like you just didn’t start eating raw meat and fish as a kid, so you never developed a taste for it.  You also probably never developed the enzymes necessary for efficient digestion of the stuff.  Your aversion seems entirely cultural to me, and doesn’t appear to have any biological cause.  How are you with eating insects?  I suspect they gross you out also.

      In any event, for the near future there’s plenty of fuel around to cook with if you prefer your animal flesh heated up.  It doesn’t take very much wood to BBQ a hamburger.  There are also things like solar ovens and slow cookers.  Homo Saps will not run out of fuel to cook with anytime soon.  This is why Gail’s arguments about small jaws are so epically WRONG.  She needs to stick to actuarial tables.  As an Anthropologist, she’s pathetic.


  • Bobtail says:

    Ill go with that meaning rare not raw, as nobody i know eats fully raw meat, at least in front of me. Rare cooked is something europeans eat but not asians or indians, except of course the japanese with fish. I havent been offered insects, crickets i would try, cockroaches no. but if there was something wrong with eating it i might know it. Subway tasted like chemicals to me long before it was exposed as such and i couldnt stand the smell or taste of frankenchicken even before i learned how its grown. My stomach is simply weak as well as lacking the enzymes, i cant take panadol because it upsets it, anything slightly off can make me throw up and rare cooked meat a bad case of rhe shits in about ten minutes. I never drank milk so if i try a flavored milk drink,  again my guts turn to liquid in no time. Reading a book on Gerson treatment a few years ago got me thinking differently about digestion, it may be worth considering for anyone with mysterious symptoms.

    • RE says:

      Clearly there is a wide range of digestive abilities in different Homo Saps.  I have never experienced any of the symptoms you describe.

      I will say I haven’t met anyone else in western culture who likes raw beef as much as I do.  It’s definitely frowned on and the children are acculturated against it.  If your stomach can digest it though, it’s way more flavorful and juicy.


  • Marty says:

    You need to read some comparative primate physiology, man!

    Virtually all primates are vegans.  The ones most closely related to us (chimps) occasionally eat a monkey or a small deer for christmas, but it's at best 3% of yearly intake (and only in some packs; others are strict vegans).

    When you look at what happened to hominins (us) after we branched from chimps/bonobos, we clearly developed thicker enamal on molars, lower cusps, more molar-like canines, and a lot more copies of the amylase gene in saliva.  All this points to eating *even more* seeds and grains and even bark, which is what they have found in the tartar of sapiens and neanderthals.

    Our digestive system still looks 'vegan' from a comparative anatomy perspective.  When you look at animals that eat raw meat every day (e.g., carnivores like tigers), they have massively higher stomach acid (helps break down proteins, helps kill bacteria on raw meat), short small intestines, and very short, thick-walled large intestines to be able to deal with the putrefying bacteria that grow down there when you eat meat every day.  'Stuff' passes through carnivore digestive tracts very quickly before there is a chance for bacterial toxins to build up.  When humans eat meat, it takes a lot longer for it to go through, and more chance for toxic bacterial metabolites to accumulate.

    Humans on a high protein diet go into permanent acidosis.  Acid is required in tissues for proteolysis (breaking the peptide bonds between the amino acids in a protein chain by inserting a water molecule).  But this then results in the kidneys constantly unintentionally excreting extra calcium, because the excess acid slightly dissolves your bones.  There is a strong association of osteoporosis with high-protein, high meat-eating (see, for example, the Inuit).

    Humans have longer short intestines than chimps (probably from being able to extract more nutrients directly as a result of cooking) and large, bulbous, thin-walled, large intestines designed for fermenting plant fiber.  That's probably why colon cancer goes way up when humans eat a lot of animal protein.  The human colon does not look even remotely like the colon of raw meat eaters, and not even like the colons of omninvores like bears and raccoons.

    Can you eat cooked (or raw!) meat every day and survive?  Sure! But then, you can smoke every day and survive.

    But just think how much *better* you'd be surviving if you didn't do either!

    • RE says:

      I wouldn’t consider surviving longer with a lower quality of life to be an improvement.  Life without Sashimi is a life not worth living.


      • Marty says:

        I used to eat that quite often.  I don't now, and perhaps surprisingly, I don't miss it at all.  My arthritis has gone away, my heart no longer feels funny when I exercise, my sinuses and my thinking have cleared, and my LDL dropped by half.

        But you are right: each person needs to manage their own trade-offs.

  • Karl Brantz says:

    Humans are omnivores and will eat basically anything and everything to survive. Of course, if you give humans lots of fat, sugar and processed grains, dairy etc., they will just keep eating it until the lack of basic nutrients and deleterious effects of mass carbs and processing chemical residue kills them. Not to mention habitual intake of nicotine, alcohol or other processed addictive intake.  One of the worst is "dairy" products. Pasteurization kills any beneficial and nutritional aspects of milk/ dairy products and adds a goodly amount of toxic chemical residue. Whole cultures live basically on milk quite successfully, but only because they are too "backward" to boil it!  Being highly civilized of course we mandate by law that all milk must be boiled before being sold to the consumer! You can actually go to jail for selling the real thing in our "society!" Sad to say, most of us have never tasted real cream or warm milk right from the critter, unless our mamas actually nursed us as babies.

    But when it comes to meat, especially RAW meat, things really get strange! Anyone can go in the grocery store or butcher shop and legally purchase huge chunks of freshly carved up carcasses of all sorts of creatures, be they cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, rabbits, fowl or fish. Now while restaurants and food serving facilities are maniacally regulated regarding storage, preparation and serving of said carcasses, the individual can – once in the privacy of his own home – do damn well whatever he or she desires with the flesh thereof! What a world we live in, no?

    My favorite (don't tell the neighbors) is taking a nice boneless cut of grass fed, organic cattle flesh and constructing a sort of meat wrapper paper tent open at both ends to cover it, and an absorbent paper (as in paper bag) floor for it to rest on. Then into the fridge it goes, right about 33-34 degrees near an air vent so that air will help dry it's exterior layers. After one week, slice off a few thin pieces, season to your tast with salt, pepper or any preferred liquid like soy, shoyu, tamari, etc and savor the flavor! Of course, you don't have to wait two weeks! You can slice and eat at will as you like! No one can stop you! Same with fish, which is excellent served raw as long as oxygen doesn't do it in first. Shellfish is wonderful in the raw state, but one must be aware of local outbreaks of various toxic outbreaks, usually in the warm months. BTW, who was the first human te crack open an oyster an slurp it down? Probably someone watching otters eating them by the dozen. 

    Bon appetit! And pay no attention to food Nazis or Protocol Police when enjoying the joys and necessity of eating!

    • RE says:

      Hear Here!

      When getting into these discussions of meat eating amongst Homo Saps, you consistently get Vegans who show up and tell you why the human digestive system isnt suited toward being a carnivore.  Intestines tooshort (long?), not acidic enough stomach acid blah blah.  What they consistently ignore is empirical evidence to the contrary.  Entire cultures live off nothing but meat.  Up in Nunavut, NOTHING grows out of the ground!  You live off Whale blubber and Fish.

      What you can digest is entirely dependent on the intestinal flora you develop and how you treat/prepare your food.  Your stomach acid sn’t doing the job?  Marinate in some vinegar and lemon juice overnight!  Meat a little tough and dry?  Hang it out for a while.  Back in the Middle Ages, Ptarmigan was pretty popular bird eating, but straight after a kill the meat is too stringy.  So they would hang it out for a few days to let the flies get at it and lay some eggs inside.  Then the larva would predigest the bird meat, then they would roast it.  Much juicier and more tender!

      When I lived in Brazil and we had friends from the FSoA down to visit, they consistently got the shits just from drinking the tap water.  I never had this problem.  I had been eating bugs off the floor since childhood, there wasn’t a bacteria alive on the planet that hadn’t been processed through my alimentary canal at some point.  You get used to it if you eat it regularly enough, your system adapts.

      Because I live in the FSoA not far from a Fred Meyer Food Mega Store, I don’t have to resort to any preservative methods at all really.  These days, I usually make about 2 trips/week to the Premium Meat & Fish counter, and have just enough cut or ground up for a couple of days of eating.  I do curently have refrigeration at home of course.  You have a seriously weak gut if you can’t digest fresh ground beef straight out of the meat freezer.


  • Mike H says:

    Nothing wrong with raw, providing its fresh and well treated. Carapaci (finely sliced thin raw meat) is common in Italian food as it is with the Japanese.. With the right dressing (oil and herbs) is absolutely delicious and very good for you. Here is an old recipe to try it used to be some lady Opera Singers favourite in the late 1800's, apparently after a show she would take to them with gusto, cannot remember where I got the recipe (Larousse I think). 

    To about 250 gms or raw finely minced (veal, or pork or beef) add finely grated onion (about a tablespoon and it should almost be crushed fine in texture), add HP sauce or similar (Worcestshire Sauce) about a tablespoon, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and form into a thick patty on a piece of toast, make an indentation in the middle and add a raw egg. Voila, plenty of protein and tastes great too believe it or not. You could garnish with finely chopped parsley or coriander. 


    If you don't mind a drink try this, – Banana or fruit smoothie. In a blender add one banana or fruit of your choice, add 4 tablespoons plain yogurt, add 4 tablespoons muesli type cereal (toasted), a tablespoon of flaxseed oil, then a raw egg and fresh milk ( a cup or so, depends more to make the mix thinner, less to make it thicker) I prefer a smoothie consistency, blend well and then drink. This one is easy to get down, tastes great and keeps you going half the day. Lots of protien and minerals. 

    Anyway hope you find them interesting. Take care RE. 

    • RE says:

      Adding the Raw Egg is something I never developed a taste for.  However, I’m good with a soft Poached Egg or Over EZ.

      I do like to add things like minced garlic and onions, horseradish and so forth, but these days I am too lazy and just eat the meat basically plain.  As mentioned in the article though, I do like to use dipping sauces, and these often have mixtures of stuff like Worcestershire, Soy, Teriyaky etc in them.  The selection is phenomenal these days at the Food Superstores.


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