The health benefits of eating raw meat?

Steak tartare

(This post has been a while in coming, since I first mentioned our introduction to eating raw meat- it’s taken a while to research and write, and it’s quite long, so I’ll post it in a few segments. Enjoy!)

This is completely new territory for me. Though I have been promoting raw dairy products for quite some time now, and I am a mighty big fan of sushi, I never imagined that I would actually be convinced that eating raw meat could possibly a good thing!

Nourishing Traditions has (so far) been my primary source of learning in this area, though I am aware that there are many others out there with similar opinions. The reasons listed for the inclusion of raw meat in the diet, and what it specifically offers nutritionally are many, and I will get into a few of them. First, though, I thought it was very interesting to note this:

“When Dr. Weston Price made his pioneering studies of primitive peoples around the world, he was struck by the fact that almost every group he visited age a certain amount of their animal protein raw.” Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions

Almost every group! Now, my husband and I have had discussions regarding all of this “eating traditional foods” stuff, and one of his arguments (because he likes to play devil’s advocate with me to force me to think through my arguments more clearly), and so let’s state up front that just because almost every cultural group did it does not necessarily make it right or nourishing (though it does make it worth looking into).

Instead, let’s examine some of the arguments for (and against) and the studies or anecdotal evidence for it’s benefits (and quickly state that when I refer to raw animal products, I am referring to raw meat, of course, but also raw dairy and fish):

Raw animal products contains B vitamins that are difficult to obtain elsewhere

“Pyridoxine or B6 deficiencies are widespread in America, partly because our traditional source of this heat-sensitive vitamin- raw milk- is no longer sold commercially. It requires some courage to consume the best source of B6- raw liver. This leaves raw cheese, meat and fish as the only sure sources of B6, available to most Americans. When B6 is lacking, the pathways for use of vitamins B1 and B2 may be less effective, leading to widespread symptoms of B vitamin deficiencies. Deficiencies of B6 have been linked with diabetes, heart disease, nervous disorders, carpel tunnel syndrome, PMS, morning sickness, toxemia of pregnancy, kidney failure, alcoholism, asthma, sickle cell anemia and cancer… Americans would be wise to include raw meat or fish on a frequent basis to avoid these debilitating conditions.” Nourishing Traditions (bold mine)

“As with men, insufficient intake of certain nutrients can often make women less prone to become pregnant. Much research reveals that subnormal intake of vitamin B6 can diminish the chances of conception… Sometimes birth control pills diminish the amount of available vitamin B6 so that women who discontinue this oral contraceptive often cannot conceive until a year after cessation. Then, in one study, 98 percent of them taking vitamin B6 regularly resumed normal menstruation and became pregnant within four months. ” James F. Scheer, Health Freedom News

It was also noted that many Eskimos (who ate primarily raw fish and meat) become ill when switching
to a more modern diet, but experienced complete cure when switching back
to their native diet

The B vitamin complex in general is crucial to our health, and affects every system to some degree. B vitamins are crucial for things such as our nervous system, adrenal glands (which affect how we cope with stressors), our skin/eyes/hair/muscles, and especially enzyme and hormone production.

While trying to become pregnant with my last child, I did much study into infertility and hormonal imbalance (as I have PCOS, a hormonal disorder that often causes infertility). One of the things that I came across during that time was the use of B vitamins, specifically B6, to help regulate one’s cycle, improve the length of the luteal phase (which is necessary for a fertilized egg to successfully implant), and increase chances of conception for various other reasons. B12 is also thought to be related to maintaining fertility health.

I found it most interesting to note all of the material referenced in regards to infertility and problems within the female reproductive system, in a discussion of raw animal products and B vitamins, which brings me to my next point.

Raw animal products appear to improve hormonal and reproductive health

Here are a few other very intriguing things that I read while researching:

  • Among the Eskimo people, Weston Price was told of a physician’s observation that prior to eating a modern diet, the women had extremely healthy pregnancies and fast, uncomplicated deliveries. Once they began to move away from their native diet, the girls of that first new generation often had to be carried to the hospital after theyΒ  had been in labor for several days.
  • Raw milk and meat were used to bring about marked improvement in patients with hormonal or thyroid diseases, as well as disease of the prostrate gland.
  • In a truly fascinating study by Francis Pottenger, 900 cats were studied over a 10 year period, so that multiple generations were observed. One group was fed raw meat and meat, the other only cooked food. Of the raw group, they maintained good health, bone structure, normal behavior and the ability to reproduce normally. Among the cooked food group, there was much infertility, miscarriage and mothers or kittens dying in childbirth, as well as an inability to nurse. They had inconsistent bone structures, poor teeth, gum diseases, weak skulls, were irritable and dangerous to handle and lacked sex interest, among many other conditions. They did not live past the third generation, and that strain of cats was eliminated.

Please hear me when I say that clearly, humans are not the same as cats. It bothers me when this study is used (as I have seen it used several times before) to suggest that humans ought not to eat any cooked food, because look what happened to the cooked food cats in the study. Cats and humans have different dietary needs, however, I think that we can safely glean the fact that raw animal products, as compared to those that are cooked, provided something different that was essential to the health of those cats. We may be wise to consider whether those differences would have an effect on us as well.

Raw animal products contain crucial enzymes

“Enzymes are complex proteins that act as catalysts in almost every biochemical process that takes place in the body… the enzymes we need to consider when planning our diets are the third category, the food enzymes. These are present in ample amounts in many raw foods, and they initiate the process of digestion in the mouth and stomach.” Nourishing Traditions, pg 46

In addition to the food enzymes, the other enzymes that she refers to are those that our body makes, the majority of which are made in the pancreas. By eating solely cooked foods, we actually use up our bodies own stores of enzymes.

The thing about enzymes is that as we age, they decrease. Through much study done in the past 50-100 years, it appears evident that this decrease in enzymes is highly correlated to much of the degeneration (ie. sickness, effects of aging) that takes place in our bodies. Many studies have also shown that enzymes tend to be lower in those who are suffering from serious diseases.

The brilliant thing about traditional diets is that they included a vast amount of enzyme rich food- raw animal proteins and fats (in the form of raw dairy, raw fish, raw meat, and even raw organ meats), in addition to a certain amount of cultured and fermented foods (which I just talked about recently), as foods prepared with these methods are extremely rich in enzymes as well. Enzymes are also found in raw vegetables and fruit, as well as sprouted (or soaked or sourdough) grains, soaked or sprouted raw seeds, etc. although the enzyme content in these foods is not nearly as great as in raw animal foods, or cultured and fermented foods.

In addition to preserving the enzymes made by our bodies, eating foods rich in enzymes also encourages healthy digestion. Having good digestion cannot be praised enough, as this affects toxins in our body, nutrient absorption and assimilation, elimination, and many, many other areas of our health (a good reading resource on this topic is Eating Alive: Prevention Thru Good Digestion).

So, should raw animal products be a part of our regular diet?

Despite the health benefits that appear to exist, the question still remains whether this is something that we should actually strive to do or not. Though I think the case can very safely be made for raw dairy products (see the Real Milk site for more info), I am not yet 100% convinced about raw meat.

I had an interesting phone discussion with my mother-in-law (who has taught me much of what I know about health and nutrition, and has certainly spurred me on towards further study), and although she is very much for raw dairy and raw vegetarian foods, she is not so sure about raw meat (and I’m not sure about her opinion on eggs, as it didn’t come up, though I think she’s okay with that).

Her concerns? Wherever meat is mentioned in the Bible, it is generally talked about as being cooked (and naturally, not all of the Biblical references even mention the meat being cooked or not cooked, so we are left wondering in most situations). Does this mean that Jesus never ate raw meat, or that it was not the way that God intended for us to consume this food? Maybe. Maybe not

While discussing this with a nutritionist at her church, the nutritionist raised the point that her understanding was that many of the heathen cultures in the world did (or do) eat raw meat, but that perhaps the Israelites did not, and this was intended for their protection, perhaps (as were many of the Levitical food laws, such as avoiding unclean meats- a wise practice to follow!). Unfortunately, I cannot find any information to back this up, though I’m eager to speak with her the next time I visit their church.

The only mention I could find of raw anything in Christian literature (aside from drinking raw milk, which is a very widely accepted idea), was in The Maker’s Diet, where Jordan Rubin mentions the use of raw liver in several natural (and successful) cancer treatment centers, so it would appear that he would condone the practice of eating at least some raw meats.

If anyone has any thoughts or knows of further resources to research this idea more, I would be really grateful if you could leave them in a comment!

Including raw animal products safely in our diet

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits and the reasons that you may or may not want to consider adding more raw animal foods into your diet, I will answer the question that I’m sure has been just on the tip of your tongues since you first started reading…

Is it even safe? And if so, how do we prepare it to make sure it’s safe?

The recommendations in Nourishing Traditions are for all meat to be frozen for 14 days prior to use. This ensures that any parasites will be killed, and makes the meat safe to consume raw. As well, it is important to keep the meat refrigerated until serving, and eat it chilled (not left out for any significant period of time).

When it comes to fish, the recommendation is to only eat it fermented, as this is the only sure way to kill parasites. Which means eating regular sushi is out, if you want to avoid parasites. This is a terribly sad thought to me, and so I will probably do more research on it before I decide to never eat commercial sushi again. That would be such a tragic loss (and the only people who can even relate to what I am saying right now are the other sushi enthusiasts!).

With dairy, the issue of safety has to do with how the milk is being produced, transferred, etc. It is of the utmost importance when choosing a supplier of raw dairy to make sure that the farm or company that you are purchasing it from has strict safety regulations and regular inspections.

Resources? Recipes?

As of yet, I have only heard of two books that discuss raw meat in detail. They are:

As well, here are a few recipes that I found online (there really aren’t many- I struggled to find these!):

Original Steak Tartare
Kibbeh Naye (raw meat with bulgur)
Carne Cruda (chopped raw beef)
Kitfo (Ethiopian Tartar Steak)

So, is this crazy or what? Would you ever do it? What appeals to you the most? Or concerns you the most? Do tell!

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  1. I know so many of my friends that are dealing with issues of irregularity of their cycles and some who are having fertility issues as a result. In your research – since I don’t know of any of my friends who are ready to go the raw meat route – did you find suggestions of taking a vitamin B supplement to possibly help? I know there are probably so many contributing factors to what seems to be widespread fertility issues these days, I imagine diet is probably a much bigger factor than we realize.
    Very interesting!

  2. Having PCOS myself, I think it’s fairly interesting, and just started reading Nourishing Traditions as well. Honestly, I don’t think I could eat raw meat though. I can barely stand to touch it let alone put it in my mouth! And the texture…..augh! I can’t even imagine that! πŸ™‚ I do all Raw dairy now though.

  3. Personally, I love following Nourishing Traditions, but the raw meat part is the one thing I can’t get past! I’ve always thought that raw meat was kind of gross, and the thought of eating it seems so strange. But we do drink lots of raw milk, and we eat raw cheese. And I probably would be open (sigh) to eating marinated raw fish. Do you think we could get enough B6 and B12 from that? I’m interested because I have PCOS as well.

  4. Interesting. I’m not sure I could get past the EWWW factor. I mentioned this to my husband and he cited a Bible passage in Genesis 9 that speaks against eating meat with the life or blood still in it. Wouldn’t raw meat be considered to have blood in it?

  5. Donielle and Beth, I think the fact that you use raw dairy is likely sufficient. NT was specifiying that most people don’t have access to a source of raw dairy, and so that would make raw meat more important. If you couldn’t get past the thought of it, I wouldn’t worry about it.

    And Beth, I bet that the fish would offer much of the same nutrients, and would be a great substitute! I haven’t tried it yet myself (I have yet to convince myself that sushi is not the best option, mostly just because I adore sushi and don’t want to give it up).

    Sharmista, yes, there is a Biblical passage speaking about not eating the life blood of animals. I researched this a bit, and it is referring specifically to not eating any blood (not referring to the meat being alive or dead, as in raw or cooked). The blood of an animal is removed during the slaughter, and so the red juice in the package of raw meat is not actually blood. The liquid in the package is the natural moisture and water that is in the beef, mixed with proteins from the meat, that create the red color. I read that 99.3% of all blood is removed from the meat, so I suppose there are still trace amounts, but then that would be in your cooked meat to a degree as well.

  6. i wanted to comment on your second post but couldn’t get the page to load…
    i am living in France currently and they eat raw meat here as a delicacy. you can get (in most fine restaurants) steak tartar wich is basicly raw hamburger served with raw egg yolk on the side and also beef carpacio (which may be more italian -not sure) which is a really lean cut of beef sliced super super thin with olive oil and spices on it. They also eat oysters raw. Even if you order a steak cooked, it is most often served ‘rare’, their version of “well done” would be “medium-rare to most americans… we also have raw cheese in abundance here. Well, with all that said…it goes to show that raw meat wont kill you. Americans are kinda germ freaks and are used to all meat being in nice neat sterile packages (they also sell fish with their heads and chickens with their feet here -it’s a sign of quality and freshness). When i first moved here, i was like ‘gross’. Now i order my steaks rare. Well, the important thing is to make sure the meat is of highest quality and processed in a meticulous way. The french don’t eat just any meat raw, it is labeled as such to know that it was given extra special measures of hygiene to avoid bacteria, contamination, etc.
    The down-side of this “raw” eating is that when you are pregnant you are required (in france) to get blood work done every month to make sure you don’t have toxoplasmosis (from animal feces that could contaminate raw meat and dirt on fresh vegetables, or from cats litter) and they do advise against all soft, raw cheeses as well as seafood during pregnancy to avoid listeriosis. Both of these infections can cause major birth defects in developing babies. however if you’ve had toxoplasmosis before becoming pregnant you are immunized for life and there is no worry (you wouldn’t necessarily know if you’ve had it, you’d have to do a blood test)

  7. Yeah, I eat only raw meat; for a lot of reasons but one basic reason – because cooked meat makes me vomit. I fast a bunch, and, after a fast you lose the ability to digest cooked meat temporarily (raw is fine), and you have to get very sick a few times after eating cooked meat for your body to re-adjust. After going through that cycle one too many times, I just stayed with the raw.

    I’ve had no problems with the raw stuff, the only things that you have to work around are the texture (jiggly, has to be managed) and the modern meat industry (supermarket meat is dirty). For the taste, after your body gets a taste for the raw stuff, it actually makes the meat taste good. Raw steak tastes better, raw fish makes you feel good immediately, and even grosser stuff like liver can even taste sweet (shocked me too).

    I’ve been at it for a few years now, and haven’t had any troubles. In fact, because an all-raw diet’s an expensive pain in the butt to stay on, I usually have to mix in things like bread, potatoes, and pizza regularly, and those are the things that make me feel gross and give me bad side-effects.

  8. I once read an article claiming that there was research done that shows eating raw meat may contribute dementia later in life? Can’t remember where I read it. Have any info regarding this claim?

  9. I once read an article claiming that eating raw meat can contribute to dementia? Any info regarding this claim?
    Also what about parasites?

  10. I have been eating raw meat for a great many years now, stemming from childhood. I concealed this from my parents who were the essence of the word hypochondriac. Even when they made me steaks I wanted them raw.

    It is a simple answer to why I love raw meat, especially beef; it is due to the absence of a feeling unwell. If I eat cooked meat I feel sick, as if I want to vomit my meal. My body recognizes the protein yet there is something distinctively hostile about cooked meat. It is never satisfying and disgusting to imagine the next cooked meal.

    I have never had any problems with uncooked meat. No parasites, bacterial or viral infections from it. In fact, the only two times I ever got sick from food was lettuce and fried chicken. I cannot understand why people are so afraid of something so natural. Our ancestors ate raw meat and they survived the harsh elements of mother nature. Sometimes you have to get in touch with your primal instincts.

  11. what most people don’t know is that those dangerous bacterias are naturally found in our intestines and they get turned on when there is dead decaying tissue to feed on … as my Doctor, Aajonus Vonderplanitz would say, “termites won’t eat a healthy living tree” Personally our family has followed his Primal Diet for nearly 4 years now, with vibrant health as the only consequence.

    1. @Jason,

      Hi Jason,

      You are too funny calling him your doctor….:), he is a radical nutritionist not a doctor, although, it seems the title is well deserved if indeed he has accomplished healings through food!

      “Each progressive mind is opposed by thousand mediocre minds appointed to guard the past”. Maurice Maeterlinck

  12. I am from the middle east and in my culture we eat something called Kebee Nayee, which is raw ground, very lean beef mixed with bulger or what we call burghol, a form of wheat grain, and mixed with many spices and salt. It is the most delicious thing ever. i grew up with it and my children feast on it whenever i make it. You just have to buy the meat from lebanese stores for they treat the meat in the most appropriate way, because they know people will eat it raw. yummmmm

  13. I realize that this is an old post and more based on human nutrition, however I would like to mention that cats are a desert creature, taking their water-intake from the meat itself and do not take much water in when they drink from their water bowl. I recently had a cat who had its kidney fail due to a diet on manufactured cat food. Most older cats have this happen to them because cat food contains a lot of carbohydrates–something cats cannot process. This also means that they don’t get enough water because it isn’t in their food, which is where their origins come into play. All cats are, ultimately, descended from African desert cats (if not that actual species, then a generic wild cat from Africa–there is some debate as to whom their ancestors truly are), as open water is hard to come by, most desert creatures have evolved to get it from the food they eat. For instance, there is a desert mouse that can live its entire life without ever drinking water–getting it purely through roots. Therefore, a cat’s system is not handled to intake open water. This all then leads to obesity in cats as well as their kidneys to shut down, usually when they’re older.

    Studies have shown that kittens do not often have obesity issues, however once they reach about adulthood, they tend to pick up a lot of weight. It is also not advised to feed cats raw pork, which can lead to trichinosis in humans from cleaning up their feces. (Trichinosis, or worms, can occur from uncooked or raw pork, which may or may not contain worm eggs, which is why its always important to ensure well-cooked pork, which kills the unhatched eggs.) Also, if you do feed your cats raw meat, to be sure that it does not contain any bones–just in case!

    On being more on-topic, I’ve always had rare steaks until a few years, partly due to my loved one’s disgust for it (while he absolutely loves meat, he can’t stand it rare). However, I’ve been reading a lot into the Russian habit of eating raw meat, which has gotten me interested in trying it.

  14. I live in the Netherlands currently and while staying here, my dentist referred me to my doctor for a severe vitamin B deficiency. When this was confirmed along with a gluten allergy, my dietician told me that NO vitamin supplement would ever get my B levels up to normal except RAW meat and fish. Otherwise it’s back to the doctor’s office every few months for a vitamin injection.
    She explained that the stomach is very acidic and the intestines are very alkaline. The B vitamines in meat and fish can only be absorbed when they are eaten in their raw state because their are water soluble and cooked meat or fish takes too long to dissolve.
    I noticed when I first begun that a lot of the grossness for me, came because I was used to eating larger quantities of cooked meat in comparison to the raw version. When their eaten raw, you need less than half the amount. The raw version begins to break down immediately in your stomach causing you to become full very quickly.
    I think the comment about raw meat and dementia stems from research regarding prions. These particles are found in grazing animals and when consumed, lead to breakdown of brain tissue. The thing is, cooking doesn’t destroy prions either. The risk is the same either way. Cooking would sooner mask any irregularities than solve them. If your raw meat or fish smells or tastes the slightest bit off, don’t eat it. Don’t cook it and eat it either! throw that out. πŸ™‚

    In conclusion, I can’t begin to describe how much healthier I’ve been since eating raw meat and fish. I didn’t begin until 3 years after discovering the gluten allergy, so it wasn’t due to that diet change. I have a lot more energy, better skin hair and teeth, and I almost never get sick. Maintaing a healthy weight is also much easier when you’re not stuffing yourself with more than 2x the amount of necessary protein. Cuts down on water weight as well.

  15. Your research is flawed. If you look at the biochemistry of the body you will learn that the vitamin B complex (including B6) is synthesized in amino acid metabolism using the enzyme PLP. You should look more into PLP and amino acid metabolism before drawing conclusions.

  16. 1. The fear of getting a disease is exaggerated. In Brazil, raw beef is widely consumed, and what? did you ever get scared by the terrible stories from there?
    If you don’t wanna take even the slightest risk, then don’t touch the pork, only beef, preferably from the Jewish store, – they make it Kosher and even Mukshar, which means all the blood is drained out and meat is soaked in salted water.
    2. If you’re healthy person then what d u need your immune system for? The answer is: to fight the microbes that may live in meat !!!
    When i tried raw beef first 5 years ago, i felt some inflammation in my body for a week, since then – no problem at all. Why? Because my immune system worked it out. You must load your immunes to make it usefull.
    3. If you don’t eat junk crap, eat lots of fruit and vegetable RAW, then warms are VERY UNLIKELY to survive in your digestive system.
    4. My personal experience: I’m lifting weights in a gym. Nothing, i mean, no carbs, no rice, no pasta, etc. give me the energy for lifting iron like 400 gr of raw beef with raw vegetables.
    5. What always amazes me is the teeth of the ancient people, the quality of their bones, and, hey! , The Eskimos don’t have doctors, guess why …
    If your immune system is compromised, if you have bad stomach, then you probably should be carefull. But, if you’re perfectly healthy person, go for
    If your immune system

  17. I am so excited to read more about about eating raw meats and this is odd cause I have always been one to eat my meat well done. 5 yrs ago in Oct ’05, I had my thyroid removed which I now regret and it was not cancerous. I have been loving Suzanne Somers book “Knockout” and her interview with Dr. Gonzalez had mentioned eating raw liver-I thought, “Yuck,” but I’m the type that will try whatever I can for better health benefits. Her interview with the Oncologist also mentioned hormones and how they can affect us with cancer. My thought on what I read on this page was correct how raw foods can help with our hormones and thyroid. I do not have a good digestive system right now and am hoping to someday go off my thyroid meds. I think I’m starting to get it now; eat raw and we really don’t need supplements. It’s the foods that heals. What I would like to know is how much to take, how often and what other types of raw meats is good to intake, such as the kidneys. Do animal kidneys help with our kidneys? Tripe for the digestion? Liver for the liver? I do have raw milk, but am not a fan of milk, but will keep trying. My sister had breast cancer, other sister died of leukemia, I don’t want to be next.

  18. I realize this thread is older but I see that there are like minded people here who seem to be doing very well with raw meat diet.

    I am 47 and have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia for 13 years and diatebetes (type II) for the past 4 years (perhaps had it even longer). I have been refusing medications to treat hyperglycemia and high cholesterol (my total chol average 300, LD 210, HDL 95, Triglycerides 120-150). Average BP is around 110/65. My Doctors have told me I would never bring down those values and tried scaring me into taking meds. I flat out refuse to take them – my body does not like meds, period!

    I started online searches once I realized the Doctors did not care to know why I was sick (some of them do think that I suffer from gulfwar syndrom, but no one will admit), they were quick to grab their prescription pads. My research as to the cause of my ailments all pointed to toxins and nutritional deficiencies. Medications would just add insult to injury.

    I have started to detox myself slowly by drinking bottled water, sweating alot, eating more raw fruits (carefully selected berries and enzyme rich orange colored fruits mostly), organic fats: EVO, EVC, real butter, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, limiting grains, sugars and all other chemicals added to processed foods, consuming organic as much as I can afford or find. I lost 25 lbs this year, my blood sugar is well under control (averaging around 150 mg/dL). Another 15 lbs would put me at my ideal weight of 120 lbs (medium frame, 5’1″) and could perhaps erase any insulin resistance.

    Well, I seem to have hit my plateau. I have been reading about raw meat diet, I eat sashimi about once a week as it is, I thought, why not? As the lebanese poster described, I, too, grew up with the raw meatballs and as children we were never ill. So, I embarked on complete raw diet including eggs, meat, (today, raw liver for the first time ever), mostly green leafy vegetables, limited amount of root vegetables, onions and garlic (as anti-microbials). Today is my third day and I have no reaction that I can distinguish from any other day with the exception that I feel less bloated and have somewhat normalized evacuation.

    I would love to find raw butter and milk, and fertilized organic eggs, but because my state prohibits the sale of raw dairy for human consumption, I don’t know how to acquire them. Wholefoods market actually carries all the meats I will be consuming from now on (all their meats are grass fed beef, no antibiotics or hormones injected, ever). They used to carry raw milk labeled for animal consumption but apparently somebody claimed he became sick after drinking the raw milk, they stopped selling it (though, I never got sick from drinking the “for animal consumption only” raw milk).

    I am hoping to reach my goal of being healthier, fitter, and diabetes free by next spring, however, I am aware of my limited knowledge in raw meat diet. Does anyone here know of a good book (not looking for trendsetting authors) that gives proven insight to raw meat diet? I would really appreciate any help that would get me closer to my goal of healthier living.

    Thank you for allowing me to share.

    “Each progressive mind is opposed by thousand mediocre minds appointed to guard the past”. Maurice Maeterlinck

  19. There are some loopholes in the system in the US.

    In a bigger city, one can probably find a good source of dry cured sausages. These are essentially raw meat and ready to eat. Usually at Eastern European markets and specialty Italian delis.

    Better still are cold smoked meats. I find these usually at Eastern European and Halal markets. Whitefish and mackerel are pretty common. Also bacon.

    If you look at the small print, a few varieties of cheese at places like whole foods are actually made from raw milk.

  20. I’ve always been curious if anyone else ate raw meat. I was raised on raw meat of various steaks, hamburger, fish, and eggs. It wasn’t until I was about 17 I started eating cooked meat. Of course cooked meat meaning we just slid the steak across the grill to cook the skin and call it good. It’s still pretty rare. My dad liked to say cook it light enough that a good vet can save it lol, however once I did stop eating raw meats I had a loss of energy, my thyroid was never level, i suffer from migraines etc. I’m debating if I should go back to eating raw meat but now that im an adult and aware of “risks” they say exist if you eat raw meat and eggs now it’s making me paranoid to go back.

  21. I grew up eating “cannibal sandwiches” a very lean raw beef spiced and served with onions and mustard on toasted bread (rye is best). I love sashimi, lamb kebee, and 10 second filet mignon (white hot Cast Iron skillet – Cajun spice – just to crust the spice, no more than 30 seconds total). When I eat raw meat, I just plain feel better. a good cannibal sammie will last you through a day of even the most exhastive physical labor.

    Look up the Cannibal sandwich on google, there are many ways to fix it up…

  22. I am living in Ethiopia where raw meat consumption is considered as one of our cultural food. It is true that eating raw meat has those advantages mentioned above. But, do you think would it be safe and recommended from microbial point of view specially for developing countries like Ethiopia those have not developed preserving and packaging systems.

  23. I’ve a deep love of raw organ meats. Usually will chop them up into bite sized bits and freeze them to eat on occasion. Will go to the local organic food store or farmer’s market and either buy be a slab of ribeye or ground beef and eat it out off of the styrofoam bag. I am particular of where my meat comes from. : )

    And I’ve found a love as well for fermented meats, more done in the same way as fermented veggies. Fermented organ meats are delish!!

  24. I am Inupiaq or what is sometimes referred to as Eskimo. In my generation the diet has changed as I have never eaten raw meat. My parents moved to the southern part of Alaska and our diets changed to the average American diet but with wild moose and salmon trickled in. I have a large family with sisters who have difficult pregnancies. I also am experiencing nervous system problems and have begun taking vitamins that support healthy adrenal gland functions and nervous systems. I also have difficulty with my digestion and heartburn and after reading this article I can start to make some sense of my families issues.

  25. Hello there, I’ve recently begun eating raw meat…. lamb, beef liver, raw egg yolks, oysters, beef fat… all in the name of health. I don’t crave it… but suffer from so many health problems, PCOS being one of them, candida, lyme disease, chronic infections… etc. and the most devostating of all of these is I’ve lost about 75% of the hair on my head. Anyway, along with coconut oil, olive oil and raw veggies, nothing else for my diet… hoping for better health, and possibly that my hair will grow back… no more blood sugar crashes though, and no more leaky gut symptoms really… so that’s a relief. Health to all of you thank you for your comments too!

  26. You know? I since i heard about this stuff especially from my favorite book, the jungle book, it is a fact that humans are able, and in-need of eating these raw meat. Before fire was discovered all humans eat raw and they are taller, stronger and even healthier than modern people who are thin, fat and worst.. lazy. so do not believe most scientists in saying its bad cause it IS bad if you eat SICK meat. That is all…. for now… thank you.

  27. This upsets me dearly, as a vegetarian and animal lover I can only think about these poor creatures that give their lives so that you could spread these lies πŸ™ It angers me since you proclaim yourself as Jesus lover which is ludicrous, Jesus would never condone suffering of animals, he spread love and compassion and you cannot be that since you looove raw meat so much. Humans can prosper on veggie based diet. We used to hunt and eat raw meat and we were healthier and stronger?? LOL give me a break! If first humans lived past 30 years of age that was a huge accomplishment! Same thing with Eskimo people, they eat mostly fish and meat and they their average life span is 50! Murdering innocent creatures is just wrong whichever way you look at it, there is no justification for that. We mass murder animals, we enslaved them, I don’t believe that Jesus is happy about all the abuse and that the lives that he created are being destroyed by humans.

    1. I don’t think it’s fair to accuse the author like that… Did not God say to Noah after the flood that he may have animals for food? And Jesus *has* eaten meat during his time on earth – e.g. When he was on the beach cooking fish over fire after his resurrection.

      I agree that Jesus does not condone suffering and there are farming practices that are unruly… but that *doesn’t* mean that every single piece of meat is off-limits. What about free-range farming and people who actually kill their animals humanely?? People are of more value to Jesus than animals, so I don’t think it is right to put-down fellow Christians that way… as Jesus said in Matthew 15:11, what you eat *does not* defile you, or make you any more or less Christian. Rather, it is what comes out of a person’s heart. I believe he is more concerned about a person’s acceptance of salvation than whether or not they eat meat.

  28. I love raw meat, I’d love to own a slaughter house. God told man to have dominion of the creatures of the earth, with that command I enjoy every little bite of the moms cows tenderloin going in mouth, thank you Lord for the food you provide us, especially cows!

  29. I’ve been eating raw meat, on and off, since childhood. I’ve yet to experience anything other than positive effects from it. And, in point of fact, the few times I’ve gotten sick on food has been from vegetables (handled badly) and chicken (which I – for the last 6 years – avoid as much as possible). The most immediate benefit I can say is: you feel energized. It’s the strangest thing. I’m not much for the new-agey hocus pocus of food; but, raw meat is – if I may be so bold – almost magic. I can eat an equivalent portion of cooked meat, and I get sweaty and hot, and feel just plain terrible. Equal portion of raw? I could kick my way through a brick wall. It’s almost…satisfying? Gratifying? Enjoyable – nonetheless. I’ve turned quite a few friends onto it, and they report the same thing. At least I’m not totally nuts, right? Anyway. My best piece of advice? When it comes to sourcing your meat the number one thing to look for isn’t ‘organic’, or ‘grass fed’ or what have you, the trick is to find a butcher who turns meat FAST. This may even turn out to be your local WalMart (oh my.). But, in all seriousness, if the place moves 1000 lbs of meat a day, your odds are better to get fresher meat, than say the local organic big box (you know who you are) who only turns 100lbs, and holds it for two days. Beyond that, if it doesn’t smell good, don’t eat it. Ask at the counter, if they don’t let you have a smell, find another place. Good meat smells delicious. Bad meat smells like the memory of meat. Skip it. You’ll get to know it. Add some cracked pepper, red onion, and a slice of marble rye. Good eatin’.

  30. I appreciate your article on this subject. I intuitively was drawn to eating raw meat since I was a child, and read about the benefits of eating raw meat in “Nourishing Traditions”. I have wondered about parasites, because apparently no matter how well the beef was raised, it seems as though they could still be a problem. My concerns were put to rest by their suggestion of freezing the meat for 2 weeks prior to eating it. However, I’ve recently heard that not all parasites die when the meat is frozen. Do you have any information about this?

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