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Does Red Meat Cause Cancer ?

If you read the papers or watch the news, there is a good chance that you’ve seen tdescribe the imagehe latest nutrition report from the World Health Organization. The story has been reported worldwide by virtually every major news organization.

In case you’re not aware, the report, produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, implicates processed meat and red meat in colon cancer.

Here’s the gist of the press release from the IARC:

“Processed meat was classified as carcinogenic to humans … The consumption of red meat [is] probably carcinogenic to humans …”  

But don’t banish your juicy Filet Mignon just yet! The real truth of the matter is actually contained within the full report, published in The Lancet.

“Chance, bias, and confounding could not be ruled out with the same degree of confidence for the data on red meat consumption, since no clear association was seen in several of the high quality studies and residual confounding from other diet and lifestyle risk is difficult to exclude. The Working Group concluded that there is limited evidence in human beings for the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat”.  

In case you missed that …

There was no clear association regarding red meat consumption and cancer risk.

So, what are the real facts? Can you still enjoy your favorite Paleo meals without increasing your risk of cancer?

The Link between Eating Ice Cream… and Drowning

Did you know that decades of statistics prove that as ice cream consumption increases, so do deaths from drowning?

It’s true. There is a very clear correlation between these two statistics… but it goes without saying that ice cream does not cause people to drown.

The numbers of people eating ice cream go up sharply during the summer. As you can imagine, so too do the number of swimmers. It’s clear that correlation does not equal causation. Always keep this in mind when it comes to “scientific” reports.

In this case, the IARC considered data from over 800 different studies on cancer in humans as it relates to red and/or processed meat. Sadly, however, all of these studies were epidemiological.

These are not controlled clinical studies designed to prove causation. They are population studies, often based on questionnaires. While some population studies can provide useful information, most are unreliable.

Did You Have Fries With That?

Can you remember what you ate last Saturday? How about last year?

One reason why food questionnaires are unreliable is because they ask for historical food recall. This paves the way for poor memory and a misrepresentation of facts. There is a large difference between someone recalling that they ate a steak, when the truth was that it was a steak and fries…

… Washed down with a beer or soft drink
… Followed by a cigarette.

Another reason why these studies are unreliable is that they don’t distinguish between variables such as the source of the red meat or the preparation method. They also don't consider general diet, level of fitness (or fatness) or other carcinogens to which the subjects may be exposed.

The IARC does acknowledge this in their full report. It would be nice if the world’s media had done the same.

So now, let’s take a look at what you really need to know about red meat and cancer risk.

The 5 Unhealthy Ways to Consume Red Meat

Chargrilled Toxins
Heterocyclic aromatic amines (HCAs) are formed when muscle meats; beef, pork, poultry and fish, are exposed to high temperatures such as grilling. Acrylamide is formed when plant foods rich in carbohydrates (like sugary marinades or the French fries that commonly accompany beef) are cooked at high temperatures. Research demonstrates that both of these compounds are known carcinogens. 

What Goes Into the Animal, Goes Into You
Epidemiological studies make no distinction between pasture-raised and conventionally-raised meats; main factors being their feed and the administration of hormones and antibiotics. The beef from corn-fed cows can have as much 50 times more omega-6 fatty acids than that from grass-fed cows. Too much omega-6 has been conclusively proven to promote inflammation and oxidation – two key factors that can promote cancer. What’s more, antibiotic residues from conventional meats wreak havoc on the microbiome – altering the delicate balance of microbes, including those that produce butyrate – a powerful cancer-fighting agent.

Pan-Fried Chemicals
Pots, pans, storage containers and wraps can leach harmful substances into our foods.  Non-stick pans are just one of these offenders which leach toxic substances like trifluoroacetate (TFA) and perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA) into the food you eat, as well as into the air around you. These chemicals, collectively called perflourinated compounds, are xenoestrogens (estrogen mimics) and have been linked with cancer, endocrine issues, “polymer fume fever” and other health problems in humans.

Chewing the Wrong Fats

Lipid oxidation products (LOPs) are created by the degradation of oils. This happens through heat, aging and chemicals (like hydrogenation). As these oils break down, they generate free radicals that damage DNA and have been found to increase the risk of cancer. When we heat unstable oils (like the polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-6 oils) we produce these dangerous LOP's. This could make the fat you are using to cook with carcinogenic, without regard to the meat itself.

Dietary & Lifestyle Factors

We all know that smoking is a Category 1A Carcinogen. But do you know that some contraceptives are too? Acetaldehyde, (the by-product of alcohol metabolism) and inactivity are two more key factors that increase cancer risk. And how about being overweight or obese?  According to the National Cancer Institute, obesity is overtaking tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer.  It goes without saying that these kind of variables cannot be ruled out as potential causes of cancer in “population” studies.

Cancer Prevention through Ancestral Wisdom

  1. Choose Healthy Sources: When choosing meats, choose grass-fed and pasture-raised to achieve a healthy fat balance and avoid exposure to antibiotic residues, pesticides and hormones that can encourage cancer.
  2. Nourishing Preparation: If you're going to cook at higher temperatures, be sure to choose stable fats like tallow, lard, coconut oil or grass fed butter. Better still, focus your cooking around stewing, boiling, poaching and slow cooking when it comes to meats. Cook with non-toxic cookware like ceramic, enamel or cast iron to reduce toxic chemicals leaching into your food. And use natural herbs and spices to bring out the flavor and nutritional value of the meal.
  3. Don’t Forget Your Veggies: Enjoy a colorful, varied diet with lots of fresh organic produce (free from hormone-mimicking pesticides). Also be sure to include microbe-loving lacto-fermented vegetables such as like sauerkraut or kimchi.
  4. Live a Balanced Lifestyle: Maintain a smoke free, active lifestyle and a healthy weight. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and opt for organic red wine which is high in antioxidants, including the powerful cancer-fighter resveratrol.
  5. Reduce Toxins: Take into consideration all of the “inputs” that make their way into your body via your stomach, lungs and skin. Breathe fresh air, consider an indoor HEPA filter to reduce your exposure to indoor pollution, and choose household and personal care products made without harmful ingredients.
  6. Get Sunshine: Vitamin D is one of the most powerful cancer-fighting nutrients known. In fact, a study presented at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) found that 75% of cancer patients had low vitamin D levels , and those with the lowest vitamin D levels were associated with more advanced cancers.  

Prevent (and fight) cancer with a healthy, active lifestyle and the diet that models our ancestors including an abundance of organic veggies and low-glycemic fruits, lacto-fermented foods, stable, traditional fats and meats from animals raised on pasture that are prepared safely. In addition, don’t smoke, achieve (or maintain) a healthy weight, optimize your vitamin D levels and avoid chemicals in household and personal care products to reduce your risk of cancer.


Love bread, but not the blood-sugar spiking carbs and grains? Check out Kelley’s newest book, Better Breads, including more than two dozen low-carb, grain-free, prebiotic-rich Paleo breads, biscuits, pancakes, muffins and more! Click here to learn more about Better Breads

(1)  International Agency for Research on Cancer. Media Press Release #240.

(2)  Bouvard, V. Loomis, D. Guyton, K. et al. Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat. The Lancet Oncology. Published online Oct 26, 2015. DOI:

(3)  Muscat JE, Wynder EL. The consumption of well-done meat and the risk of colorectal cancer. American Journal of Public Health 1994; 84(5):856-858.

(4)  Friedman M, Levin CE.Review of methods for the reduction of dietary content and toxicity of acrylamide.J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Aug 13;56(15):6113-40. Epub 2008 Jul 

(5)  Wikipedia. List of IARC Group 1 carcinogens

(6)  Cancer Research UK. Physical Activity Facts And Evidence.

(7)  National Cancer Institute. Obesity and Cancer Risk.

(8)  Vitamin D deficiency common in cancer patients. American Society for Radiation Oncology. Oct. 3 2011

Bonefeld-Jorgensen, Manhai Long, E. Bossi, R. et al. Perfluorinated compounds are related to breast cancer risk in greenlandic inuit: A case control study. Environmental Health 2011, 10:88. doi:10.1186/1476-069X-10-88.

Zoe Harcombe. Diet, obesity, nutrition and big business: So much, so wrong. World Health Organisation, meat & cancer. 

Blouin JM1, Penot G, Collinet M, Nacfer M, Forest C, Laurent-Puig P, Coumoul X, Barouki R, Benelli C, Bortoli S.Butyrate elicits a metabolic switch in human colon cancer cells by targeting the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex.Int J Cancer. 2011 Jun 1;128(11):2591-601. doi: 10.1002/ijc.25599. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

Gonçalves P1, Araújo JR, Pinho MJ, Martel F.In vitro studies on the inhibition of colon cancer by butyrate and polyphenolic compounds. Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(2):282-94. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2011.523166.

Build a Healthier Brain and a Leaner Body with these “Dangerous” Compounds

By: Kelley Herring, Healing GourmetBrain

Have you heard of compounds called “ketones”?

If so, it was probably due to their controversial nature. In fact, many believe these compounds to be dangerous and unhealthy. But as you are about to discover, ketones can be nothing short of ”miraculous” for the health of your brain and even reversing Alzheimer’s disease.

These compounds were popularized by Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1990’s for their profound effects on weight loss. And while ketones do have an impressive ability to help your body torch through fat, these molecules have been maligned by modern medicine.

This is due to a state of extreme ketones in the blood, called “ketoacidosis.” The truth is that while this condition is dangerous, it is extremely rare and only occurs in Type 1 diabetics who are not regulating their insulin levels properly.

For the rest of us, ketones are a very, very good thing.

But what are ketones anyway?  

A Ketogenic Diet: Your Body (and Brain) on Fat

When glucose reserves are low, your body takes action to create the fuel it needs to power the brain, organs and muscles. One way this happens is by converting protein to sugar - a process called gluconeogenesis.

Alternately, when lower amounts of protein are available, fats are converted to ketones, through a process called ketosis. These molecules act as a stand-in for some of the sugar required by the brain.

The result of ketosis is a state of fat burning that preserves muscle mass and powers our body with a clean source of fuel.  

But what makes ketones clean fuel?

Ketones: Clear out the “Junk” for Better Cellular Function

As we age, “junk proteins” accumulate in our cells, making them less efficient. As more “junk” builds up, less of the cell is available to function.

The result: Aging and degeneration.

But ketones act as cellular detoxifiers that deep clean your cells. They help remove the “junk” (including damaged proteins, organelles, foreign bodies) from the watery interior of the cells to a special dumping ground (called the lysosome) where they are degraded.

Why does this happen?

As the body seeks out protein to convert to glucose, it wisely seeks a source that is non-essential. And what is less essential to your body than the “junk” protein gumming up your cells?

Not only does ketosis make for a better fuel, but it actually improves cellular function in the process!

While ketones are produced in the liver, research shows that these special compounds are also produced in the brain by cells called astrocytes. In the brain, ketones have been found to:

  • Decrease free radical production
  • Boost the production of brain-protective antioxidants
  • Halt the destruction of brain cells
  • Reduce amyloid plaque – the sticky substance that is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease

It’s no wonder a ketogenic diet has been found to improve cognitive function and is being used therapeutically for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism and ALS!

In fact, a recent study conducted at the Mayo Clinic and published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that people on a high-fat diet had a 44 percent risk reduction for developing dementia, while those on a high-carb diet had an 89 percent increased risk!

Dr. David Perlmutter, M.D. and author of Grain Brain says:

“When the brain is powered by ketones, it functions a lot better, allowing us, when we’re calorie-deprived, like in our hunter-gatherer days for example, to remain clever…”

A Ketogenic Diet: Ancestral By Design

The ketogenic diet is not a “new diet”.

In fact, powering our bodies and brains with a fat-rich diet is how our ancestors existed for thousands of generations. This is the diet on which our brains evolved to function best.

As hunters and gatherers, it makes sense that we would feast on fatty foods and then go for extended periods without food (initiating ketosis). It also seems reasonable that with little sugar available, our ancestors derived much of their energy from ketones.

So, how do you increase your state of ketosis… deep clean your cells… protect your brain… AND get a leaner body in the process? Here are three simple ways:

  • Intermittent Fasting (IF): Intermittent fasting is a great way to power up ketosis, burn fat and turn on longevity genes… without modifying your routine most of the time.
  • Eat Coconut Products: Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are fats found in high concentrations in coconut oil and MCT oil. These healthy fats help the body get into a state of ketosis.
  • Eat A High Healthy Fat, Moderate Protein, Very Low Carbohydrate Diet. Around 50 grams of carbs per day is the benchmark that will get most people into ketosis. Amounts of macronutrients required will vary by individual. You can also check out “Keto-Calculator” to find your sweet spot based on your age, activity and other factors.

Need some ideas on how to get more delicious, healthy fat in your diet? Here are some of my favorites:

1.    Bone Marrow: Roast and enjoy with your favorite meats, over sautéed veggies, or just enjoy with a spoon!
2.    Kerrygold Butter: Need I say more?
3.    Lard, Tallow & Duck Fat: Use liberally for more flavor and ketogenic-goodness.
4.    Lamb: A particularly fatty meat with wonderful flavor. Try ground lamb burgers cooked in your favorite fat for a rich delight.  
5.    Pork Sausage & Bacon: My best advice? Make it in big batches so it is readily available.
6.    75% Ground Beef: Use for your Paleo “spaghetti” sauce, burgers and more to get higher amounts of healthy CLA and saturated fat.

Research shows that eating the ancient diet of our ancestors – rich in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates – can help protect our brains long into our golden years.  Not only can you remain sharp and spry, but do it by enjoying bacon, butter, lamb and beef!


ED NOTE: Kelley Herring is author of more than a dozen books on nutrition and natural healing. She is also the co-founder of Wellness Bakeries, which has just released their newest product – Better Bread – a 100% Paleo bread mix you can whip up in 5 minutes flat.


1.     Emily Deans, M.D. The hunt for evolutionary solutions to contemporary mental health problems. Evolutionary Psychiatry.
2.    Emily Deans, M.D .Your Brain On Ketones. How a high-fat diet can help the brain work better. Published on April 18, 2011. Evolutionary Psychiatry.
3.    Nam-Seok Joo, Duck-Joo Lee, et al. Ketonuria after Fasting may be Related to the Metabolic Superiority. J Korean Med Sci 2010; 25: 1771-1776
4.    Patrick F. Finn, J. Fred Dice. Ketone Bodies Stimulate Chaperone-mediated Autophagy. July 8, 2005 The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280, 25864-25870.
5.    Micheal R. Eades. MD. Ketosis cleans our cells.
6.    Harriet Gershon, and David Gershon. Detection Molecules in of Inactive Enzyme Ageing Organisms. Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ 18 September 2002 Vol. 2002, Issue 37, p. cp16
7.    Perlmutter, David, MD. Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers. Little Brown 2013.
8.    C. Enzinger, et al. Risk Factors for Progression of Brain Atrophy in Aging: Six-year Follow-up of Normal Subjects”, Neurology 64, no. 10 (May 24, 2005):1704-11
9.    Lustig, Robert H. (2013). Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease (Hardcover ed.). Hudson Street Press. ISBN 978-1594631009.

Who's Afraid of a Little Fat?

By: Dr. Al Sears, MDTallow

When I was little, my grandmother’s kitchen was the place to be on Sunday afternoons. That’s when she used to bake pies. She would trim the edges and I got to eat some of the delicious leftovers. Her crusts were second to none.

What was her secret? Homemade pig lard. Good old-fashioned lard is one of the most natural fats. In its unpolluted, unadulterated form it’s also one of the healthiest fats you can eat.

This goes against everything we’ve been told for fifty years. In fact, the diet dictocrats are doing everything they can to ban natural fat from your food because they say it causes heart disease.

Why would they do that? Because natural is not “proprietary.” By proprietary I mean something that they manufacture, patent, trademark, corner the market and sell it to you at a huge profit.

They do this with synthetic fat substitutes…but even before they created synthetic fats they were trying to tell you fat was bad for you. Because carbohydrates are easier to produce cheaply.

Fats in nature have a fixed cost. But carbohydrates…you can grow them in huge quantities, get the government to subsidize and pay you for growing them, and sell them for cheaper than dirt.

That’s what attracted the big food manufacturers to carbohydrate. For example, there’s only about 20 cents worth of wheat in a $4 box of Wheaties. A loaf of white bread has around 15 cents worth of wheat. Peanut butter has maybe 35 cents worth of peanuts.

With fat, it’s hard to make a 5,000% profit like you can selling a box of cereal.

It’s hard to keep perspective with such intense, widespread and effective marketing. I’ve devoted much of my professional career to this subject. I’ve read scores of books on nutrition, I’ve attended multiple conferences and I’m a certified clinical nutritionist. Yet their disinformation campaign is still overwhelming, even to me.

But before you start writing to me telling me how ignorant I am, Let me give you three reasons why telling you not to eat fat anymore is a bad idea. Then I’ll show you the best places to get the healthiest fats.

Reason 1: Fat is one of our three macronutrients.

You need this nutrient to give you energy, maintain your body temperature, transport nutrients, and build a faster brain.

Fat is so important that if your body senses you’re starving, it does everything it can to preserve your fat stores.

Reason 2: We eat less fat than our ancestors and our heart disease rates keep going up.

Reason 3: Saturated fats are a natural part of your diet and they don’t raise your risk of heart disease.

Take a look at the science that backs me up on this.

Contributors to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition did a review of 21 studies and found no evidence that eating less saturated fat lowers your risk of heart disease.(1)

In fact, one study found the opposite. It followed 235 women for over three years and the more saturated fat they ate, the less their arteries got clogged. The women who ate more processed fake fats had the worst progression of atherosclerosis, especially when eating carbs and a lot of high glycemic index foods.(2)

This was backed up by another study that found almost the exact same thing. More saturated fat meant less heart disease.(3)

I tell patients who come to my clinic that I recommend eating as many different natural foods as possible to get the widest variety of healthy fats. You should get at least 50% of your fat from saturated fats.

Here’s a chart I use to give you an idea of which foods have more of the “good” saturated and monounsaturated fats and which have man-made trans-fats:

Fat 1 TBS Saturated Fat (grams) Monounsaturated Fat (grams) Polyunsaturated Fat (grams) Trans Fats
Lard  5.0 5.8 1.4 0.0
Butter  7.2  3.3  0.5 0.0
Margarine (stick)  1.6  4.2  2.4 3.0
Vegetable Shortening  3.2  5.7  3.3 1.7
Olive Oil  1.8  10.0  1.2 0.0
Beef Tallow  6.4  5.4  0.5 0.0
Flaxseed Oil  1.3  2.5  10.2 0.0
Corn Oil  1.7  3.3  8.0 0.0

Also, remember:

  • If you want to try lard, you should get it from natural sources. The lard sold in most grocery stores is typically hydrogenated to give it a longer shelf life. It’s not the real stuff. One rule of thumb: If it’s not refrigerated, you don’t want it.
  • Other good food sources of healthy, natural fats are eggs and nuts.
  • Coconuts have two unique fats – lauric and cupric acid – that are among the heart-healthiest from any food.
  • Stearic acid, which is found in beef and pork, skinless chicken, olive oil, cheese, and chocolate, is one of many saturated fatty acids found in food. Other healthy fats include lauric, myristic and palmitic acids.


Editors Note:  Dr. Al Sears, M.D. is a board-certified clinical nutrition specialist. His practice, Dr. Sears' Health & Wellness Center in Royal Palm Beach, Fla., specializes in alternative medicine. He is the author of seven books in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging, and nutritional supplementation, including The Doctor's Heart Cure. To get his free special report on the proven anti-aging strategies for building a vibrant, disease-free life, go here now. You'll learn how to stop Father Time without giving up the foods you love.


1. Siri-Tarino P, Sun Q, Hu F, Krauss R. “Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar;91(3):535-46.
2. Mozaffarian D, Rimm E, Herrington D. “Dietary fats, carbohydrate, and progression of coronary atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Nov;80(5):1175-84.
3. Griel A, Kris-Etherton P. “Beyond saturated fat: the importance of the dietary fatty acid profile on cardiovascular disease.” Nutr Rev. 2006 May;64(5 Pt 1):257-62.

Can Trans Fat Be Healthy?

Over the years our understanding of fats has definitely changed. At US Wellness Meats we know that not all fats are created equal and our beef tallow and other "fatty" selections have plenty of CLA- "the good, natural trans fat.”

Lard open  medium

Back in the day, our grandparents regularly cooked in animal fats - pork lard and beef tallow were staples in most kitchens. Several popular restaurants used to fry all of their french fries in lard. Sadly, these natural fats have now been replaced with margarine and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in most homes. For more heart healthy options, we are also big fans of butter, coconut oil or olive oil.

Some restauraunts now using our grass-fed beef tallow:

Sliders Gourmet

Taste of Belgium

- Legend Bar & Restaurant

Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet continues the "fat is bad" notion, and most Americans do not get enough healthy fats in their diet! With grass-fed meats, the fat is where the good stuff is. Heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and cancer-fighting CLA are both found in the fat. Unlike most grocers, our 75% lean ground beef sells much faster than the 85% lean, because it has more fat! Along with the extra fat is more flavor, and more nutrients. 

Here are a few links to some great articles with more details on the good, trans fat:

Nourished Kitchen:

Truth About Abs: 

More interesting articles on fat:

Mark’s Daily Apple guide to fats:

Mark’s Daily Apple guide to oils:

Some of our most popular fatty selections include:

 - 75% Ground Beef

- Beef Snack Sticks

Beef TallowLamb Tallow and Pork Lard

The USDA has a database of the nutritional information for the conventional meat and poultry products, however there is very limited data available for grass-fed and free-range products. Therefore, we have paid to have testing done on some of our products, because we want accurate nutritional data for our specialty grass-fed products, not just information from the conventional database.

Nutritional information breakdown for beef tallow:

Beef Tallow resized 600

Please leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite USWM “fatty” selection, or share your favorite book/blog/article that changed your views on fat. 

One lucky winner will receive a prize package including:

- Small Beef Tallow

- Pork Lard

- Salted and Unsalted Butter

- Ribeye Steak

- 75% Ground Beef

- Olive Oil

Winner will be selected at random on Thursday, September 13th. We appreciate your help in spreading the word that fat can be a good thing.

The Food Lovers' Primal Palate

Meet Hayley and Bill from The Food Lovers' Primal Palate!  They are a unique and interesting pair with a knack for creating delicious meals, primal-worthy meals of course! 

"Primal" and "paleo" are hot topics right now and with good reason.  These words encompass the healthy lifestyle.  And who doesn't want to live a healthy lifestyle through natural means?  According to The Food Lovers' Primal Palate, there are foods you want to include in your diet and others that should be avoided.  On the list of foods to include are: fruits, veggies, lean meats, seafood, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats.  Among the things that are best avoided are: grains, processed foods, processed sugars, legumes, starches, and alcohol.

Hayley and Bill are our Featured Chefs this month and have shared some amazing grilling recipes with us.  They've also shared the recipe below with a funny experience dealing with a very large meat delivery (must read!).

grass-fed beef sirloin, grass-fed cheese

Grilled Sirloin with Goat Cheese

  • 1. Rinse steaks under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • 2. Allow steaks to come to room temperature.
  • 3. Preheat the grill to high heat.
  • 4. In a non stick frying pan, heat tallow on medium heat.
  • 5. Sautee mushrooms and onion, seasoning with salt and pepper, until onions are translucent, and mushrooms have softened.
  • 6. Grill steaks 6 minutes a side.
  • 7. Place cheese on steaks after the initial flip to allow melting during the remaining time.
  • 8. Top with sauteed mushrooms and onions, and serve.

Recipe and photo are courtesy of The Food Lovers' Primal Palate.

For more information about Hayley, Bill, and the primal lifestyle, check out their blog!  They're also on twitter and facebook!

Ultimate Gift-Buying Guide

This is the time of year when people are getting into the holiday spirit and figuring out who's been naughty and who's been nice!  In our Ultimate Gift-Buying Guide, we've compiled a few gift ideas for those on your "nice list"!

holiday gift, christmas

For the Survivalist:
Is a hiker, camper, or maybe just someone that likes to be prepared for any emergency on your gift list?  We come prepared with the answer - our Survivalist gift pack suggestions!  These items are shelf-stable and can be stored in an emergency pack, vehicle trunk or pantry without refrigeration.
•    Nuts and Berries
•    Trail Mixes, Love Bites, Nutrition Bars
•    Canned Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, and Sardines
•    Pouched Salmon
•    Tallow Soap and Candles

For the Sentimentalist:
Do you know someone that fondly speaks of growing up on a farm?  Do they passionately describe how "real food" used to taste?  These items will bring back memories from simpler times.  Naturally full of flavor, our picks will help them remember what they have been missing.
•    Free-Range Chicken
•    Pork Chops
•    Grass-Fed Ground Beef
•    Salted and Unsalted Butter

For those new to grass-fed:
If you have been trying to encourage a friend or loved one to give grass-fed a try, this is your ally.  A careful collection of our best grass-fed beef sellers may be all the help you need.  Please feel free to email us and we will gladly include our grass-fed cooking tips in the cooler too.  Helpful pointers combined with our most popular products ensure the best experience possible for anyone new to the wonderful world of grass-fed!
•    Beef Snack Sticks
•    Butter
•    Ground Beef and Patties
•    Shredded Beef
•    Shredded BBQ Beef
•    Steaks
•    Gift Certificate
For the Weston A. Price follower:
This gift package was specially compiled of our most popular Weston A. Price-friendly items.  Gluten free, soy free, 100% grass-fed choices that will bring slow, traditional, nourishing foods back to the table.
•    Butter
•    Beef Tallow, Marrow Bones, Beef Stock
•    Liverwurst
•    Braunschweiger
•    Head Cheese
•    Beef Organ Meats
•    Lamb Organ Meats, Marrow Bones, Tallow
•    Chicken Organ Meats
•    Pemmican
•    Tallow Soap
For the Primal or Paleo fan on your list:
We hunted down our best primal picks and here they are...
•    Nuts
•    Beef Jerky
•    Steaks
•    Beef and Pork Bacon
•    Pemmican
•    Beef Snack Sticks
•    Tallow
For the adventure seeker:
An eclectic compilation of ideas for those with a more exotic taste.  A sensory adventure awaits with some of our most unique products.  Explore something different and something new.
•    Organ Sausages
•    Alaskan Sablefish
•    Lamb Osso Bucco
•    Goat Cheese
•    Rabbit
•    Olive Oil

For the simple and easy seeker:
These suggestions ship right to your lucky recipient's door and are ready to heat and serve!  Perfect surprises for a grandparent, college student, new parents or anyone on your gift list wanting to eat healthier, but may be limited on time.
•    Shredded Beef
•    Shredded BBQ Beef
•    Beef Franks
•    Pre-Cooked Pot Roast
•    Hickory Smoked Brisket
•    Pre-Cooked BBQ Short Ribs
•    Pork Brats
•    Pork Italian or Polish Sausages

If you need any help with placing an order or would like more ideas, just give us a call!


Pemmican is a concentrated mixture of fat and protein used as a nutritious food. The word comes from the Cree word pimîhkân, "pemmican", which itself is derived from the word pimî, "fat, grease".  It’s a recipe that was developed by North American Indians in which lean meat from large game, such as buffalo, elk, or moose, was sliced and dried in the sun or in the smoke of a fire, then ground into powder using rocks.  The meat powder was sometimes mixed with available berries and then put into a rawhide bag.  After that, melted fat was added to the mixture to complete the recipe.  During the fur trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, pemmican was dietary mainstay.  It was also heavily relied upon by European explorers as they ventured through North America.

grass-fed pemmican bar

General information:

Pemmican does not need to be cooked or heated. Some prefer the firmer consistency when the bars are pulled directly from the freezer and allowed to thaw for 5-15 minutes. Other customers eat the bars at room temperature. It just comes down to individual preference.  Pemmican consists of a blend of tallow (40%) and beef jerky (60%).  Our pemmican is offered with or without dried cherries and raw honey.  Dried cherries are added as a natural preservative and additional energy is obtained from honey.  Pemmican was--and still is--a wonder food.

John’s thoughts on Pemmican:

I consume one pemmican bar nearly every morning to start the day.  I pull it from the freezer and score the package on 3 sides with a sharp knife.  After 15 minutes at room temperature it is perfect for consumption. The bars will get quite soft at 80 degrees and a bit mushy but may be re-frozen. Consuming one before workouts is a good method of adding fuel for workouts.  One bar post-workout is also good nutrition management for tissue repair.

General thoughts on Pemmican:

For some of our customers, pemmican is a novelty to try. For others, the Pemmican becomes a staple of their everyday diet for a natural, healthy source of energy. If your palate is ready to enjoy real, unprocessed flavors, we think you will find the pemmican satisfying. Many of our customers, especially trainers and athletes, absolutely love our pemmican to the brink of addiction.

grass-fed pemmican pail

Bars vs. Pails:

Pemmican is offered in both bars and pails. Some customers buy the pails and make their own "bars" by forming the pemmican in various sizes on wax paper. Then, the Pemmican is re-frozen and a variety of sizes are available (even snack size pemmican bars!) when quick energy boosts are needed.

Pemmican Storage:

Your preference for storage will determine the pemmican's shelf life. We suggest the following storage guidelines to our customers:

  • Store pemmican bars and pails in the freezer for 2 years
  • Store pemmican bars in the refrigerator for up to ten days
  • Store pemmican pails in the refrigerator for up to 7 days
  • Pemmican bars with sea salt are ok for weekend camping trip without refrigeration
  • Keep in mind the label plainly states keep frozen for best practice

We are using a Cherokee recipe but the reason we have limited shelf life is our processor is unable to grind air dry pemmican with his equipment.  The processor is leaving more moisture than the Native Americans in order to grind the jerky without damage to the grinding equipment.  The Native Americans removed all the moisture and their product was shelf stable.  We have a test batch dated October 10, 2009 and it is still ok in December 2010.  Many have asked for shelf stable pemmican, and we have encouraged our processor to update to a better grinder soon.  

Pemmican Nutritional Information (per bar):

Serving size: 3.2 oz (92g) bar
Calories: 360
Protein: 17g
Total Fat: 34g
Carbs: 4 grams for the honey and cherry
(very minimal carb content for honey/cherry free and honey/cherry/salt free varieties)

Even if you don't fall in love with eating the pemmican as a stand alone product, it is a wonderful addition to stir-frying vegetables or frying eggs as suggested on our website. We have also received feedback from customers that gradually became accustomed to the deeper, more subtle, natural flavors of grass-fed meats. Thus, they tried the pemmican again and had a better experience.

We appreciate your interest in our pemmican. Let us know what you think, we always like to hear customer feedback about our products!

Candle Giveaway...We Need Your Help!

candle flameOur tallow candles were introduced at the end of 2008 and have continued to be a hit!  The combination of clean burning palm wax and traditional tallow make for a truly unique candle!  We would like to add two new scents to the candle line.  Unfortunately, we just can't decide which scents we like the best!  That's where you come in!  Let us know, by posting a comment, which two scents you like the best, first and second choice!  We will randomly choose someone who has left a comment to receive a candle made with their first choice scent!

Black Currant and Nectarine: Sun ripened nectarines infused with the crisp tanginess of black currant berries.  This fragrance oil is infused with natural essential oils, including Grapefruit and Orange.

Coconut Lime: The ultimate Summer refresher - zesty lime and creamy coconut make this classic scent irresistible.  This fragrance oil is infused with natural essential oils, including Lime.

Dragon's Blood: A potent and earthy fragrance infused with cedarwood, orange and patchouli essential oils. The scent combines sweet and spicy notes to form a sophisticated complex blend.

Lavender Vanilla: A well-balanced blend of herbal lavender and calming vanilla. A great addition to any aromatherapy line.  This fragrance oil is infused with natural essential oils, including Lavender.

White Tea and Berries:  A tantalizing tincture of herbal tea and dew covered raspberries, blackberries, and elderberries.  This fragrance oil contains natural essential oils, including Bergamot, Lavender, Thyme and Ylang Ylang.

Sage and Pomegranate: A vibrant green floral with botanical sage, sweet pomegranate and tropical ferns.  This fragrance oil is infused with natural essential oils.

Just let us know your first and second scent choices and you could receive a candle of your first choice!  Please leave your comment by July 14th, 2010, as the winner will be randomly chosen on July 15th.  The winner must be in the United States (for shipping purposes).  Comment today to be entered into the candle giveaway!

Why Butter is Better and Tallow is Terrific!

Traditional fats are good medicine!

By Vicki Poulter, Nourishing Australia

We have a health crisis today. Our children are suffering from allergies, asthma, learning and behavioral problems. Obesity, diabetes, degenerative diseases and infertility are increasing and our medical systems and hospitals are in chaos.

There is much agonizing and discussion about what is causing these problems but a large part of the answer is blindingly obvious and there is a great body of research already done! In the 1930s, Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist from Ohio, traveled the world to study the diets of indigenous peoples who exclusively ate local traditional foods. He compared the glowing good health, freedom from tooth decay, excellent bone structure and mental stability of these indigenous peoples to the Americans of his day who were suffering from dental problems, mental illness, allergies, arthritis, asthma, heart disease and cancer. His book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, documents his research and has become a classic work in the field of nutrition. It is still published by the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation.

He found that when indigenous people adopted diets consisting of processed and denatured foods such as white flour, sugar, canned foods, vegetable oils and pasteurized and reduced-fat dairy products, they developed the same chronic diseases that plague us today.

Dr Price analyzed the foods that the healthy people he found were eating. He discovered that traditional diets contained an abundance of minerals & vitamins, especially vitamins A and D found in seafood, eggs and the fat and organ meats of grass-fed animals.  Traditional diets varied tremendously throughout the world - however all traditional diets contained at least four times the minerals and water-soluble vitamins and ten times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins as the ‘modern' diet of his day. It is these fat soluble vitamins that are missing in our diets today.

And why is this so? Because fear of saturated fat and cholesterol underpins most nutritional advice and makes us afraid to eat traditional foods rich in natural fat and cholesterol such as butter, cream, full-fat natural milk in addition to organ meats, tallow (beef and lamb fat) and lard (pork fat). Many traditional cultures valued foods high in animal fat and rich in nutrients. Our bodies require these nutrient-dense foods to function properly at a cellular level and for reproduction.

These fats do not cause obesity or heart disease and cholesterol is needed for many vital processes in the body. However we are told to avoid these foods and ‘low fat' and ‘cholesterol free' are promoted - even for children just 2 years old!

Fear of fat is making us sick - and fat! Think back to our grandparents' day. Children did not have masses of allergies and learning problems or get fat when they were eating eggs and butter for breakfast instead of dry processed breakfast cereals, processed fruit juices and toast with margarine and jam! They also ate plenty of grass fed meat - chops with the fat on them and roasts with all the fat in the gravy. Nor did they eat foods cooked in unstable polyunsaturated vegetable oils and trans-fats.

We are becoming malnourished by over-eating the wrong foods. Generation after generation, we are depleting ourselves and reducing our ability to reproduce. Our reliance on synthetic substitutes is dangerous: foods labeled ‘health foods' - soy infant formula, highly processed breakfast cereals and health food bars for example are often nutrient-poor foods, high in sugar, additives, fillers, artificial sweeteners and trans-fats. We are literally ‘starving' ourselves of essential nutrients whilst becoming overweight.

A huge amount of the food in our supermarkets is based on sugar, refined carbohydrates, refined vegetable oils, soy additives and trans fats - all produced for shelf life and profit. Next time you are in a supermarket, look at the relative shelf space of butter and margarines! When was the last time you saw a TV ad telling you how good butter is?

Modern science is confirming that butter from grass fed cows is one of the healthiest whole foods you can include in your diet. Despite unjustified warnings about saturated fat from well-meaning, but misinformed nutrition and health "experts", the list of butter's benefits is impressive indeed.

It is a rich source of easily-absorbed vitamin A - needed for a wide range of functions in the body from maintaining good vision to keeping the endocrine system in top shape. Butter also contains all the other fat-soluble vitamins (E, K, and D). It is rich in trace minerals and also contains butyric acid and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) both of which are known to help protect against cancer. Only grass-fed cows produce good levels of CLA in their milk and tallow (meat fat) so avoid "grain fed"!

Butter from grass fed cows also has small, but equal, amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, the so-called essential fatty acids. Margarine on the other hand is an imitation food full of synthetic additives and colors and made from highly processed omega 6 rich vegetable oils which distort the omega 3/omega 6 balance and generate many health problems!

So enjoy your butter! We can be happier and healthier and maintain normal weight by eating the nutrient-rich foods we have avoided for so long!

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