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Topics - maxscan

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General Discussion / Does parma ham count as raw?
« on: August 09, 2010, 12:28:10 am »
I'm going on holiday to Italy in a couple of weeks time and I am trying to think about what I can eat over there to stay as close to raw as possible. There will be plenty of raw fruit & veg and it should be possible to get unpasteurised cheeses however I'm a bit stuck on meat without knowing the source... Then I thought what about parma ham? Real parma ham is dry cured over a couple of years in a cool environment so passes the temperature test but not sure about the salting - is it acceptable as a raw food alternative or would I be better of passing on it?

General Discussion / Bacteria - my understanding - is this right?
« on: August 08, 2010, 11:29:45 pm »
Ok, so from reading the AV books and a load of posts on the forum I have a new understanding of bacteria to my previous conventional scientific thinking - just wanted to run it by everyone and see if I'm on the right track - I keep having to explain myself to people and don't want to mislead...

So, my understanding is that:

  • There are two main types of bacteria involved in regards to food & food 'safety' - spoilage bacteria (not sure of any particular strains) & pathogenic bacteria (by which I mean e.coli, salmonella)
  • Spoilage bacteria make food go off or high and it doesn't matter if you eat them and in fact can be beneficial eg hanging of meat, high meat etc.
  • Spoilage bacteria is present in the food already?
  • The activity of spoilage bacteria becomes obvious and visible over time ie the food rots, whereas pathogenic bacteria do not produce visible changes in the food
  • Pathogenic bacteria are generally not found in food unless there has been some sort of cross-contamination - ie if you left a piece of meat in a controlled environment, pathogenic bacteria would only exist / multiply if they were already present in the meat due to previous cross-contamination?
  • All bacteria, including pathogens, can be benign or even beneficial (eg the AV stuff about e.coli as a cancer cure and some tribes eating faeces as part of their diet)  - it is generally when an environment is unbalanced that a particular strain of bacteria can dominate or mutate and cause problems (eg e.coli in grain fed cows is far more dangerous to humans than the e.coli strains found in grass fed cows)

Does this make sense or am I talking rubbish? (probably quite likely!)

General Discussion / Raw prawns...
« on: July 15, 2010, 11:51:46 pm »
When I was in Italy one new year we had a starter of raw prawns at a restaurant - they were amazing, really sweet - I'm a bit nervous about trying them without having caught them myself or knowing the source though...

I asked my fishmonger and he said that the larger prawns they had were wild (because they can't farm them at that size) but they had been frozen - has anyone tried previously frozen wild prawns? Any tips on eating raw crustaceans?

Am on the mailing list and got an email through saying he'd made his Nutritional Typing test available online for free if anyone's interested...

This is a link to his page introducing it if you don't know anything about it (is a bit 'salesy' but the test is free, link at the bottom)

Here's a link straight to the test:

You need to sign up, which will put you on his mailing list I think, but you can always unsubscribe :-)

Some background info:

Mercola's test is a simpler (and supposedly improved) version of the William Wolcott Metabolic Typing test ( The basic premise is that there is no one diet that suits everyone and our dietary needs are determined by our genetic heritage however, because most people have very mixed bloodlines, it's difficult to tell what our genetic cues are.

The test asks a load of questions to determine your 'Nutritional Type' - broadly speaking Protein, Carb or Mixed type (Metabolic Typing goes into more detail on oxidisation rates, autonomic nervous system balance and other factors) - these types steer you in terms of macronutrient ratios and particular types of foods with different chemical balance but there's a lot of emphasis on listening to your body and tuning the diets to yourself. Mercola also advocates eating a high proportion of your diet raw, including meats!

I've done both the Metabolic (2-3 years back) and Nutritional tests and came out as a Protein type on both. I liked the additional detail in the Metabolic test (particularly if you read the book). Mercola says he has been using Metabolic Typing for 10 years with patients so he offers his Nutritional Typing version as an improved alternative.

Either way the food chart recommendations were the same and looking back over many years of different diet adventures the Protein type fits well with my experiences. The stuff about how the same nutrients affect people differently is quite interesting - I found that the fruit & veg recommendations fit perfectly with all the stuff I used to like as a kid before I knew anything about 'nutrition' (spinach, mushrooms, avocado, apples etc) - and the stuff I shouldn't eat does indeed usually give me indigestion / heartburn or energy / alertness / hyperactivity problems. There's also some interesting stuff about different types of protein for different Metabolic / Nutritional types - high purine protein vs lighter meats, all related to oxidisation rates.

I read a couple of posts a while back about Dr Mercola himself and I would agree that he does seen a bit 'about the money' - it's definitely got worse over the last couple of years, so much so that where I used to point friends at an interesting article I now won't because there's so much blatant sales going on. This is a shame as the health info actually is quite good once you get past the marketing - however I was pleasantly surprised by the Nutritional Typing being free when he used to charge $40 for it...

Also, in the 6-8 years I've been reading the newsletter he has had the balls to change his stance & recommendations on things based on new evidence - something not a lot of doctors I've met ever seemed willing to do. For example when I started reading he was a big advocate of veg juicing but now doesn't recommend it for Protein types and only in moderation for mixed types - which was a pain as I'd spent £200 on a juicer a year before the change! Still, fair play to him for holding his hand up and saying he was wrong. The only slightly worrying trend is that he always used to be pretty anti-supplement but is increasingly saying they're ok in certain circumstances - coincidentally enough whenever he has a product to cover it...

Anyway, thought the test might be helpful for people - especially if you're stuck on the should I low-carb / zero-carb or should I eat fruit questions as the science seems to make a lot of sense - just look past the sales stuff on the main site (he doesn't actually try to sell you anything on the test site!)

General Discussion / Confused about meat storage...
« on: July 11, 2010, 01:46:51 am »

Been doing RAF for a couple of weeks now and mostly just going to a local butcher that sells grassfed scottish beef (not organic because it's raised on heather but they assure me otherwise the same as organic, just that the land can't be certified as it's public access) and a fishmonger for fresh ocean caught fish. I've read both the AV books and have been searching and browsing the forums extensively but I'm still a bit confused about the best way to store raw meat...

AV recommends storing meat diced or sliced in glass jars with the lid on tight - this confuses me because the butcher and various posts here say to store meat with access to the air - preferably in such a way that air can circulate around it...

Now I know that a sealed jar will have some air in it (unless vacuum packed) so my question is: is the air in the jar enough air and therefore seeing as the jar is not isolating the meat from the air, is there another reason why a sealed jar is preferred?

So far I have been coming home, taking the meat out of the sealed plastic bags they put it in and just putting it on a plate and covering loosely with some tin foil (trying to keep the foil off the meat as much as possible)

This seems to be working but I am only keeping the meat for 2 or 3 days and even in that time sometimes corners dry out a bit and the flavour changes slightly...

Today I got a bit of forerib but the butcher had kept it wrapped tightly in cling-film - when I asked why he said it was to stop it discolouring in the display but recommended that I unwrap it and store it on a plate when I get home as it would keep better. Now I'm worried that wrapping it in the cling film (don't know how long for) has affected it in some way, particularly as it has a slightly different smell to the sirloin I've been getting and part of it was discoloured when I unwrapped it... He did say it would be fine for 3 days though...

Anyone have any advice?


I live in London and am looking to start adding raw meat to my diet but I have a couple of real newbie questions that are holding me back.

I'm completely convinced of the benefits of a raw food diet and via Dr Atkins & Dr Mercola / Nutritional Typing I have been eating a high meat, low carb diet for a long while now. I like my meat rare and always take the opportunity to eat sashimi or steak tartare if I find it in a decent restaurant but I'm a little concerned about making the jump at home, mainly because of a (highly irrational!) fear of food poisoning...

I've read various articles on this forum and on which I've found really helpful and encouraging but I just wanted to double check a few things:

1. from what I've figured out, I should just buy the best 100% grass-fed organic meat I can find, then simply open the pack, slice it up and eat it? That simple? No other preparation, washing etc? Apologies if this is a really naive question - I just have this niggling feeling that maybe I'm missing something, especially in the preparation / washing bit...

2. living in London there aren't that many good farms around here but I was thinking of either (within driving distance) or Wild Beef when they're at Borough Market - has anyone tried them? Does anyone have any other recommendations? I'm based in Kingston (South West) if that helps?

3. when you're getting meat from a supplier do you tell them it's for eating raw? If so, would you expect them to take particular care with it or do something different? Wash the knives or chopping boards or something?

4. it seems most of the meat comes vacuum packed - should I keep it sealed until I want to eat it or should I take it out and store it some other way - I've read conflicting things about botulism, shelf life, storage open to the air etc.

5. is it worth me getting hold of a copy of Aajonus Vonderplanitz book (or any other book?) on this to help me with questions / guidance or should I just go for it and ask questions here as they come up?

I think that about covers it for now - apologies again if these are really naive newbie questions or if I've missed the answers elsewhere (and for being a bit of a hypochondriac!)

Thanks very much for your help,


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