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Research on Being

Raw Meat: Good or Bad?

After finishing Aajonus Vonderplantiz’s Recipe for Living without Disease I can understand why so many people think he’s crazy. While he makes some useful and helpful recommendations, he also makes a lot of wild unsubstantiated claims so it ends up being a book that really proves to be very marginally useful since I don’t know what to take seriously and what not to. I never imagined I would implement his diet but I was really looking for more information on the safety of eating raw meat and ways in which to implement it well. Instead all I found were dismissals of all concerns in regards to raw meat which, considering how unreliable the book is, I don’t really trust.

After a cursory look online it seems that with raw meat as with raw vegetables there are any number of food poisoning possibilities. But, so what? That’s how food is. What I want to know is how to decrease the likelihood of these things. For instance, people always say that you have to cook pork all the way through because of trichinosis but trichinosis is virtually eliminated in pork products and is really something that’s in the past now. I don’t want to be worried about things that are no longer real issues. The possibility of toxoplasmosis was raised by one blogger but after researching it cursorily it seems that it appears primarily in cats and from there can be transferred to other animals via exposure to feline feces and from there travel to other animals via consumption of raw or undercooked meat of animals exposed to feline feces and that generally toxoplasma gondii is more common in pork and lamb. So if you source your meat well, you should have a very low risk of toxoplasmosis since a good source will have sanitary conditions and if you also choose a meat type less likely to have it then that’ll be even better. It seems then that raw beef is probably the best choice for raw meat consumption.

Bacteria seems to grow on the surface area that is exposed so if you buy whole meat cuts instead of ground then less surface area is exposed. A recipe I found for carpaccio online calls for the meat to be seared on all sides for 30 seconds to kill bacteria appearing at the surface and then to trim this part off and proceed with the recipe. Additionally, vinegar and lime juice act as sanitizing agents so soaking meat in a vinegar or lime marinade will likely also kill any surface bacteria making it safer for consumption. But is this at all really necessary if you’ve sourced your meat well? I don’t know. If you were to ask Aajonus Vonderplanitz he would tell you that none of this is a big deal and that raw meat is fine in virtually any condition including severely putrefied or fermented (“high meat”) and that all that bacteria is just going to improve gut health and body ecology. We don’t have this same fear over vegetables after all but we do still wash them.

Now why raw meat? It seems to me like a balanced diet should also have a balanced preparation of foods. With most vegetables it pays to cook them since they are immobile and thus develop toxins to deter predators though some have pretty low toxin levels like cucumbers and lettuce. With meat, however, endogenous toxin levels are nil which means we should be able to eat meat cooked or raw and since these states can be extremely different from one another as far as the chemical structure of the protein, production of AGEs, enzyme availability, and so on it would make sense to me to eat both raw and cooked meats in a diet. I still need to do some more research on the issue of enzymes but, in any case, I do not see any reason why raw meat should be 100% forbidden from a diet when, presumably, we’ve been adapted to it. Even with fire, I cannot imagine every single meal was cooked and, besides, we have the example of the Inuit who did fine on raw meat and high meat.

Unfortunately, if you look up “raw food diets” online all you find are raw vegan websites and if you look up “raw meat diets” all you find are raw meat diets for cats and dogs so this quick summary will have to do for now but hopefully I’ll find a more reliable guide somewhere to raw meat consumption since I do not want to do anything risky but neither do I want to live in fear of something imaginary. For now, raw meat in acid marinades will have to do.

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Filed under: Diet, Raw meat

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