The health benefits of eating raw meat? Part 2

Continuing on from the first installment of this post…

Steak tartare
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!

(Image Credit)

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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  1. Penny C says:

    I suffered from a rash every winter on my stomach. I tried all sorts of cures, but was never able to completely cure the rash. It was always there even in the summer in small patches. And every winter it covered my whole stomach area. I seen doctors and dermatologists and they always prescribed the same things over and over. I started doing some research online and came across an article about the benefits of raw meat. I have never had a problem with raw meat. I just never thought about making raw the only way of eating meat. I started eating raw meat once or twice a day. Almost immediately me rash started healing! It is now completely gone, but sometimes tries to come back if I slack off of eating raw. I just eat a steak seared a few seconds on each side or make me some raw seasoned meatballs and it just disappears. My skin is healthier now. I give my dog raw now as well. My friends dogs had bad skin rashes and I told her to try raw and she could not thank me enough for this information. She tried everything the vets suggested. The skin rash would go away and eventually come back. She keeps her dogs on a regular raw diet and the rash has never come back. I believe in raw meat as well as all raw. Cooking foods has made the humane race unhealthy.

  2. There’s actually a web site called raw paleo

    They eat raw meatt. I started raw meat not to long ago

    So far so good.

    Raw meat has a lot of benefits.

    Cooking denatures amino acids.

    Cooking denatures fats. Ever hear how u sshhouldnt cook flax seed oil? Well those same delicate fats are found in a lot of meats that are generallly cooked. And omega 3s epa and dha from fish are even more delicate, and generally coooked.

  3. Update: I found raw meat suppliers I could get to. My body LOVES it! I’m never full. I eat until my body says stop. The first time that was half a pound. slowly increasing. The other day it was well over 2 lb. Workout recovery time is way down. Testosterone is up. Sex drive insane. I’m lovin’ it!

    Also, for me there was no getting used to it time period. But then I had already gotten used to rare steaks.

    Cons: I just have to find a supplier every few days. Not fun, but mostly working so far.

  4. Personally, I wish I could eat raw meat. I’m a truck driver. I can’t get my only transportation into most places. Pretty much my only grocery option is Walmart. I’m certainly not going to eat that processed junk raw.

    Now if there was a network of sources all over the USA that I could get to and park at… I would love to do so. I’d consume raw fruits, raw veggies, raw meats, raw milk, water… and nothing else.

  5. Parasites are the only real reason given for not eating raw meat that I have found. I question this reason though. Scientists are now finding that, just like bacteria, parasites coexisting inside our bodies regulate our immune systems. They are found to help regulate the immune system.

    On top of that, a good portion of animal parasites can’t take a foothold in our systems because they are just that… animal parasites. Their cycle is inside the animal they naturally live in, and in humans they may stick around a little but, but then tend to die out.

    Scientists have been testing certain parasites found in meat for curing bowel diseases. Those parasites stuck around in the human body about 10 days before dying, and did the job of taking care of their host’s problems.

    When I was 10, I had my own problem with parasites. And I never ate raw meat. For about a year I would find baby worms in the toilet when I was done. I didn’t tell anyone, and the problem just went away. I’m now 24 and I haven’t seen it since. The only symptom of that problem… was sphincter tickling when I needed to go #2 :-P

    Humans lived with these parasites all throughout history, eating raw meat. Problems come when the animals we eat are sick from not being cared for properly. Sick animals have bodies full of things we are not naturally supposed to deal with. That is where problems are found. Not in the raw meat of a healthy animal that humans have been eating for millennia.

  6. The Israelites did eat raw meat. This is easily seen in the fact that after the battle, in 1 Samuel 14, Saul has to tell the people to not just kill and eat the animals, but to drain the blood from them first. There was no cooking. They couldn’t wait, they were starving so much. No one who is not already well used to eating raw meat would consider just digging right into an animal after killing it. Obviously the entire army, meaning also the entire nation, ate raw meat on a regular basis. The only God-ordered rule was to drain the animal of its blood first.

    The reason cooking is mentioned frequently is for sacrificial purposes. Notice that burning something completely away was, in effect, giving it to God completely. Meat sacrifices included cooking for this purpose. They were well aware that they were “giving” part of their meal away.

  7. I think it is 2 very interresting posts (found it by googling), and I find it rather impressive, the amount of research you put into it.
    I have myself tried eating raw meat quite a few times, to observe how the body treats it, and eventually I will consider switching over completely to it.
    (If it wasn’t because a red steak tastes so awesome).
    I actually also tried raw liver a few times.
    Personally on the raw meat, I experienced that my muscles behaved more “explosive”, instead of more slow movements. Not that I could not move slowly, I just felt a desire to move fast and explosive and felt good about it, and the body was very willing to do it.
    I also experienced that I would eat far less of the raw meat, than with for example a red steak. I didn’t become “full” in the sense that I could not have more in the stomach, I just felt like I had eaten enough. I digested it easily.

    On the raw liver I tried a few mornings to eat it together with “Creatine” (a supplement), and I experienced good stable energy for most of the day, without the “energy slumps”, which I would normally experience.

    On the dangers of eating raw meat… well, I think they are exaggurated.
    I never experienced problems eating raw meat, and I am just eating good butcher quality meat, it is not even Organic.
    On the liver however, I decided to not be as brave, because the liver is usually where parasites gather, so this I usually freeze for 14 days, just to make sure. The Normal meat I just eat.
    And one thought: “what is more dangerous? the small risk of occasional parasite infection, or the certain risk of malnutrition. I pick the small risk of parasite infection.”

    I think in the world of nutrition, you can only get so far by researching, at some point one have to just try it, and see how ones body reacts to it.

    That was my 2 cents and personal experience on the subject.

  8. I have 4 books out on my Retro-Raw plan for Optimal health…..I personally regained failing health with the help and advice of Aajonous Vonderplanitz then developed my own more individualized version making for a happy marriage of my old mostly raw vegan diet and the raw primal diet…and allowing for 20% lightly cooked or steamed foods.
    I and all of my clients and campers have had wonderful success on this plan. I own and run a Boot Camp in Hawaii where the foods are organic and 80-90% raw…meats, eggs, and dairy!
    coach/author/athlete Kieba

  9. There is another book: “WE WANT TO LIVE” BY :
    Aajonus Vonderplanitz

    I also have a friend who is a mechanical engineer and was in serious physical condition with many difficult health issues. His wife is very knowledgable in Native cures. She recommended he begin to “slowly” eat raw meat (organic) and in a few months he became exceptionally healthy and has been ever since.
    She cautioned me not to eat too much raw meat too fast as the “de-toxing” process would happen too fast and give me headaches and nausea and even a flu like sympton. She was right. (-: I always do things 100% and I paid. I am yet to re-begin the process, however there are many people who regularly eat raw meat and enjoy much better health.

  10. Yes, Heather, I completely agree!

  11. Heather Rubi says:

    I would find a local farmer that raises grass fed beef. Eating beef processed commercially would be dangerous.

  12. Actually, eating it rare is supposed to be the next best thing, and maintains most of what is preserved by keeping it raw. Nourishing Traditions/Weston Price Foundation recommend that when you do cook your meats, you keep them rare, or slowly cooked in a bit of water, or baked at low temperatures, to preserve as many nutrients as possible.

  13. Leah Rader says:

    This is interesting. I have recently started eating my meat rare to preserve many of the nutrients in the meat. Have you done any research comparing eating your meat rare vs. eating it raw?