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)