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Messages - Tom G.

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Journals / Re: Lex's Journal
« on: July 20, 2011, 11:09:00 pm »
  Hi Lex. I always look forward to reading your logical posts.


Hot Topics / Re: 9 Year Fruitarian Looks Back: Fruitarianism Doesn't Work
« on: January 17, 2011, 04:03:08 am »
  What this guy was talking about was quite interesting, so I went to his Youtube channel. After watching his very first video, I see why his health is so poor. He mentions several times trying to beat HIV. It will be interesting to see if his present diet will improve his situation.


Health / Re: hookworms
« on: May 14, 2010, 01:50:18 pm »
Based on the video (did you watch it?)

  Yes. I'm trying to read more about it. One of the things that I'm looking at is the life cycle and how long it is. It seems from the stuff I've read that infection lasts 3 to 5 years. Is that correct?

  It's possible that the parasite gives some sort of symbiotic affect. But too many of them doesn't seem like a good idea. It's difficult to tell. There are pros and cons for this type of treatment.

  I haven't gone to his website yet, I'm still absorbing. If Jasper is living in a less "civilized" country, wouldn't it still be something that shouldn't be ruled out just yet as a cure for his Crohn's? He is still likely eating less processed food then living in the US. This could be the major factor.

  There are some other videos of people claiming great benefits. There are other videos as well about the negative health affects of having hookworm. I'm not ruling anything out at this point just yet.


Health / Re: hookworms
« on: May 12, 2010, 10:41:30 pm »
 I don't know very much about parasites helping autoimmune disease. I wonder if the theory is coming from the wrong direction. Wouldn't it be more likely that people who live in more unsanitary conditions are likely to be eating less processed food and therefore not prone to develop autoimmune problems?

 Jasper Lawrence ( in the video ), went to the tropics to get hookworm. Was he just eating less junk food and being more active while trying to infect himself? Since part of the life cycle of the worm is spent outside of the body, it would die out and he would have to reinfect himself.

 When he gets back to civilization, his crohn's would likely start acting up again around the same time as the hookworms are dying off. This would cause him to believe it's the hookworms that "cured" him.

 Like I said, I don't know anything about this. I'm just trying to make some sense of this.


Again, it’s all about trade-offs.

 This is the way I see all aspects of life, not only diet. Another idea that I hold is that, "The best is the enemy of the good." In other words, "sometimes in people's search for the best, they over look the good."

 You have given a good report on both positive and negative aspects. A person has to decide for themselves whether the changes they have made are of more benefit to them then their old methods. Many of us have come from lifestyles which were not the healthiest before, and have sought an answer to our problems, whatever they are for each individual.

  For the most part, starting to eat VLC 6 years ago provided me with the greatest benefit of health in a very short time frame. What I have experienced in the last few months by trying to go further has not helped me. It has created new problems and questions. with no apparent benefits. Trying to go all pemmican a couple of months ago surprized me when I failed. You may have also read Nicola's post, and mine in ZIOH  about my experience with eating a large amount of crab meat. I can't tell you how scary it was to have dark brown urine. Since I told my Doctor, friends and family what happened, try telling them the problem isn't diet related. They have all heard about Atkins' destroys kidneys. Since I am the only one they know of that has eaten this way long term, I am their proof that it is true. These 2 events are a possible turning point in what I may be doing in the near future.

  I have also found that eating ZC and raw foods in public is like wearing a neon sign board. I don't like to seek attention, but it is unavoidable when a person eats this way. If I sneeze, it must be because of what I am doing. The fact that my BP, cholesterol levels, weight and other problems got better, it must be because I'm unique, not because I'm eating better. So, sometimes the trade offs are more like a consequence rather than a direct relationship. The social aspects of this style of eating is important to me. It was far easier for me to justify VLC.

  It is very much about the trade offs. It is time again with the new year approaching, to re-evaluate what has worked, and what hasn't for me.


General Discussion / Re: raw, dehydrated meat
« on: November 13, 2009, 12:03:47 pm »
Completely dehydrated meat (24+hours), even processed to a powder as in pemmican, will cause the return of my IBS symptoms of severe stomach upset and bowel distress.  One hour to bring meat to room temp or so has been okay, but even four hours I can tell a disturbance in my digestion.

Just seems odd??

 I have eaten pemmican for 4 days in a row a few times in the past. Almost 2 months ago, I wanted to try living off it for 28 days during my vacation. If everything went well, the time period would have been extended to 6 months to 1 year, just to see how it goes for long periods. Mainly the experiment was for potential survival situations. well, I didn't even last 1 week. I had been zero carb for over 1 week prior to the event. What I have found so far is that suet tends to give me indigestion. 1 meal of suet pemmican is no problem, but more than that has a cumulative effect, and I can't eat more than 6 to 8 oz per day. I can eat 12 to 16 oz of pemmican made with muscle fat. I haven't tried this for more than a day though lately, so I don't know for sure. More experimentation and lots of time is needed.

 The pemmican I had eaten for 4 days in the past ( about 4 or 5 years ago ), with no problems was dehydrated at 140 F or more and also made with muscle fat. The failed experiment pemmican was low temperature dried meat ( 90 F ) and mixed with suet. In the next few weeks, I'm going to try drying the meat at 140 F and mix that with suet. I know that is not raw, but I want to identify the variables that are causing the stomach problems. I have no problems digesting raw meat.

 Another factor could be that the meat is very dry, and that it needs a certain amount of water to digest in the stomach. It could be a combination of all 3 factors together that makes it worse. In regular raw meat, 2 potential factors are removed. The meat has more moisture, and the fat is less saturated than suet. I'm going to have to figure out if it's more one factor than another, or all together.

 Now, I suppose it could be suggested that I just bite the bullet and continue on until I have adjusted to it. The problem with that is I don't intend on living off of pemmican, but may have to one day for emergency purposes only. That would pose a problem in the way of having to adjust for several weeks if this were to ever happen.

 Maybe this is not a matter of detox. It could be more like a training affect. Running will build cardio but will do little for building muscle. Weights will build muscle but have only a small effect for cardio. Switching from one form of exercise to another would cause problems if one wanted to jog 10 km, but has been only lifting weights for the past year. I think it may be similar for eating. The body may have to be trained to eat a certain way. Switching quickly from one style of eating to another may cause temporary adjustment periods. Perhaps after eating pemmican for a few weeks, the digestive system will recognize the meal as "the dry stuff", and will compensate with more water, or slower travel through the intestines, and maybe even different digestive enzymes.

 All the above is only my own speculation. I can't figure out why I can eat 2 or 3 lbs of raw meat or the same amount cooked, but can't get more than 6 oz of pemmican without my stomach doing flips. Pemmican is just a steak that has the water removed. Theoretically there should be no problem.


Journals / Re: Lex's Journal
« on: November 11, 2009, 03:51:26 pm »
 Sorry to hear about this Lex. I know someone that has had a life long problem with stones. He has been restricting meat for the last few years, but it hasn't helped. It seems in his case, it is hereditary. His father also had lots of problems with stones. I wish I could give some sort of advice. I have read some info in the past, but various articles seem to conflict with each other. Drinking lots of water is mentioned a lot. Who knows for sure?


Journals / Re: Lex's Journal
« on: August 15, 2009, 01:58:16 am »
  Lex. Didn't the "Bear" also say that his blood glucose level was consistently around 100, and that this was normal for him? He was catching a lot of flack from people saying it should be far lower.

  One of the problems I do see in the medical field regarding test results, is that they are based on the assumption that carbs are a large part of our diets. Looking up the nutritional contents of meat, it shows to be seriously lacking, or at virtually zero levels in about a half dozen important vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.

  Stefansson wrote from experience that a diet of fresh meat always solved the problem of scurvy, yet it has little or no vitamin C. Other explorers still had problems with scurvy, despite consuming limes or other fruits and vegetables. This was due to their diet consisting of mainly high refined carbs and salted cooked meat.


Journals / Re: Lex's Journal
« on: March 18, 2009, 11:47:10 am »
 Hi Lex.

  'Just wanted to say hi, and thanks for all you have done through your experiments and documented material. I have downloaded your Pemmican manual for future reference, in case I ever run into someone that wants to make it. It is very complete, and if one were to make it as per your instructions, they should be able to avoid the many mistakes and trials that we have gone through ourselves.



  I've tried a meat grinder and it works well, but still grinds it too fine for my liking. It's a lot faster than pounding and does a better job than a blender though. My manual grinder is an old one that was given to me by my wife's mom. The dried meat tends to be ground up by the screw and then cut off by a sort of blade with 3 cutters. There is another blade that comes with it, that has 19 (I counted several times and could not believe there are 19) cutters for a finer setting. This seems to cut it even finer, but also tends to clog the devise so that I have to take it apart and poke the holes with a skewer.

  I don't know if all grinders are built with the same design. If your experiment works, I'd go out and buy a newer model or design type just for doing this. Let me know how it goes.

  I also buy to render around 50 lbs or so of suet, and do batches of 10 lbs. The resulting 35 lbs fits into a 5 gal plastic pail.

  Your stove sounds like a great tool. I didn't know something like that exists. Our stove is 2 years old and was bought because of the dehydrating settings. It has a glass top and heats differently than an element stove. It takes longer to heat up, and longer to cool down when you shut it off. I have rendered a batch of suet on it. The temperature settings on the very lowest setting still gets too hot to leave it for a long time when most of the moisture starts to go. I like the oven method, as I can set it and ignore it like a large roast for many hours without worrying about it. And then use the stove top for the final step to watch the bubbles.




  I saw your dehydrator through a link at another forum. It is a great idea and you have spent a lot of time and effort to make this available to all. I appreciate what you have done. At present, I use my oven for dehydrating the beef jerky, but I can only do a few lbs at a time. I might make a dehydrator using your plans.
  I tend to like the pemmican quite course just like you do. I have made several batches over the past 4 years, and have tried different methods. What I find that works the best is breaking off small pieces as I watch TV. Usually there is less than a pound of dried strips from each batch, and the small chunks will fit in a 1 liter mason jar. It takes about an hour to break it up. Of course this isn't quite small enough, so it gets run through a blender on the manual pulse setting in handful amounts. I don't worry too much about getting all the pieces uniform, but the smaller the chunks, the more fat it will obsorb. Too fine, as you say, tends to change the mouth feel to an undesirable state ( to me ).

  I have tried grinding the dried meat through a meat grinder. It works as long as the meat is very dry. It sort of looks like the shredded beef and pork you can find in the Chinese food section in Super Store. This method also seemed undesirable because even though it doesn't come out as a powder, it is too fine for my liking. Pounding is quite labour intensive but does produce a nice texture. I'm still trying to perfect the best way with the least amount of work.

  When I dehydrate the beef, it is done at about 105 degrees F. I know the official temperature is suppose to be above 160 degrees, but at this heat it cooks the meat and makes the pemmican taste gritty like sand. My oven has an adjustable temperature setting with a circulating fan. Each batch (about 3 lbs) is dried until brittle, which takes roughly 30 to 36 hours depending on weather humidity. Strangely, even though it is super dry, it does not come out gritty like the 160 cooked stuff. The jerky is easily broken up by hand. It is a darker color than fresh meat of course, but not nearly as dark ( almost black ) as when done at the higher temps.

  The jerky is not spiced in any way. There is no honey or berries either in the pemmican. I do add some spices and/or some vegetables to the pemmican as I am eating it, or just plain. Mostly I eat pemmican as a warm soup or stew rather than a chunk. Either way is good. It is a rather bland meal when not spiced, but that doesn't bother me at all. If it did, I wouldn't be making it as there is lots of work involved. If I could find dried meat that was done at a low temperature and not contaminated with preservatives, I would buy it.

  I make pemmican for a few reasons. It lasts virtually forever if dried and rendered properly. I work in a job where it is difficult to get food in some situations, and when there is some it is usually some carby junk food. I also save some of each batch for future food stores ( peak oil and all that doom stuff ). It is very handy to carry as a snack wherever I go. A person can live off of it for months at a time if need be. It can be eaten as is, or cooked as a meal if so desired. To me, it is the ultimate food.

  I wish I could buy a suitable pemmican, but I don't see any that exist. There is of course a company that makes it that someone can order on line, but there are not many rave reviews. Of course anyone can make this simply. Lard and dried shredded beef are available in any store. But when I read the labels, I'd rather make my own.

  Raw Kyle

  If you are buying from an Amish Co-op, there is a possibility that you are getting real unadulterated lard and tallow. The only problem is that all food suppliers have to follow guidelines regarding their products. No one seems to sell food grade tallow without it going through some sort of bleaching process, or preservatives added. It's the same with jerky. You won't find a jerky that has been dried at less than 140 degrees, or that hasn't added preservatives and salt. So, ask a lot of questions before you buy.

  The other alternative is to buy raw suet from them or a private butcher. It took me a while to find someone that would sell it to me. Most butchers and grocery stores that are cutting meat are only getting sides of beef, or precut large chunks from the meat packers and won't have any suet to sell you even if they wanted to. Others, I find are worried about your health when they find out that you are not feeding birds, and mysteriously there is no suet available today, or tomorrow.

  There is some suet available in our local grocery store in the frozen meat section. It is mixed with flour though and is actually a little pricey for what they are selling. I suppose that the flour helps to keep the ground suet from sticking to itself and is possibly easier for making recipes that need accurate measure. Maybe, since most suet is sold at X-mas time, that it is largely going into Christmas puddings that are mixed with flour anyway. I don't really know the reason why it has to be sold mixed with flour. Oh well.

  Ok, so you've managed to find some suet at a butcher. Many people say the butcher will give it to you for free, if you show up and ask for a small quantity, sure, it will be free. Ask for 50 lbs and see what they say. Likely it will be running you about $1 per lb raw, or $2 per lb ground up. Ground is probably easier for most people since it will melt faster and take only a few hours rather than a whole day to render. I get mine raw from the butcher pretty much whenever I ask for it as long as there is a day or 2 notice. He slaughters around a dozen cows a week. Grinding it up, he says, is actually a hassle and gums up the grinder because this type of fat is difficult to clean.

  The next step is to separate or grind the suet into smaller pieces, as it comes as a large 1 to 2 lb chunk looking more like a lumpy yellowish organ with thin membranes. It can be cut up into 1" pieces, or just separate by hand. The fat from the suet has a higher melting point, so it will stick to everything like a wax, even to your fingers.Heat in an oven, or like lex, on the stove top with a thermometer at approximently 250 degrees. In the early stage as there is more water, the temperature will pretty much stay just above 225 quite easily. As the water gets simmered off, it will tend to raise, so be careful that you are tending to it. It's easy to get distracted making a large quantity while the fat seems to be taking forever to render, and it can increase in temperature to the point of ruining your fat, or actually starting a fire.

  Once the suet is mostly melted and there are not too many bubbles of steam anymore, the chunks leftover can be scooped out and saved for snacks ( crackin's mmm ) or put on salads. I squeeze whatever fat that is left in these brown chunks to get as much fat out as possible, and discard the leftovers. It doesn't seem as tasty without the extra fat.

  Strain, or filter this fat as there will be meat chunks and things still floating or settling at the bottom. After you have strained or filtered it you will have a golden brown liquid. But since there may be a little water left in it, especially if the fat was squeezed out of the cracklings, it will need to be further rendered until there are no more bubbles at all. If there is any moisture left in the fat, it will end up spoiling by going rancid like butter or old oil. What you now have is called tallow if you used suet from beef, or lard if it came from a pig. Beef is better as it is harder than pig lard at room temperature and will last longer.

  Let the fat cool to around 125 degrees F or until it starts to congeal, and pour it into a container. Mason jars work good, or #10 size coffee cans with lids. Or, if you've already dried some jerky and either pounded it or ground it somehow, you can mix it 1 to 1 by weight tallow and dried jerky to make the pemmican right away.

 Some tips.

  The drier the meat and the fat, the longer the shelf life.
  Don't overheat the suet. It imparts a bad flavour and breaks down the chemical structure of the fat.
  Adding any other berries, honey, nuts or veggies will lower the shelf life.
  It is my opinion that the meat is healthier if it is dried at a lower temperature as possible.
     ( I have read lots about why the official recomendations want you to "cook" the meat at a higher   temperature, so it is up to you to decide what you want to do. There are lots of websites that will direct you to gov't guidelines for preserving meats. If nothing else, you should read them for your own information. )
  Meat dried at too high temps will make pemmican taste sandy, or gritty.
  Meat should be dried until it doesn't stick to drying racks, and can easily be snapped in half with fingers.
  Do not add hot tallow to your dried meat. It will cook the meat as you are making the pemmican. You should be able to comfortably put your hand on the side of the container and it shouldn't feel hot.
  When the tallow is cool enough to add to the meat, it will start to solidify, so think ahead about what you are going to do, or it will be hard to mix properly.
  When it is mixed, it can be quickly rolled into handful sized balls, or spread into a pan and cut later when it cools.
  Make small batches at first. I've been experimenting for 4 years and still am looking for the best ways to tweek it so it is just right. It sounds easy to just mix dried meat and fat. You may want to try out adding spices etc. If you make a large batch in the wrong way, it will be expensive in time and labour.
  There are many different variations and ways to make pemmican. I have done it with coconut oil and fish. I have added raisins and nuts and different spices, or even tried clarified butter and bacon fat leftovers. I've read where Ray Audette has made it from hamburger fat. Stanley "The Bear" makes it and has a good posting of how it is done. Don Weiss has good pics of the process. And of course there are lots of postings in the paleo and low carb forums. It all depends on how much work you want to put into it and what your intended uses are. Mine is for versatile, portable, and long shelf life reasons, so plain pemmican using beef and tallow are the best for me. If someone were just making it for an everyday snack, less care would be required regarding moisture content and some time can be saved cutting corners. For greater ease, keeping the dried meat and fat separate can also be done and just scooped out whatever quantity is required.
  Pemmican can be eaten plain, spiced, raw, fried, or as a soup. Soup is my favorite. Everytime I make it, there are different veggies and spices. Pretty well whatever I have in the house at the time (low carb of course) Only the meat and fat is consistantly the same.
  One of the best resourses I've ever had for making and learning about pemmican was a book by Vilhjalmur Stefansson called "Not by Bread Alone" (or the earlier version "Fat of the Land"). It is a rare book, but has 5 chapters with around 100 pages on pemmican and it's importance in the early years.



 Hi Lex. I make my own pemmican. I render suet that I buy from a butcher in a small town nearby. Mostly, it comes out somewhat golden brown when liquid, and more yellowish or off white when solid. It also smells beefy.
 A while ago, a person suggested that to make the tallow more useful for say; soap, candles, waterproofing, etc, it should be "washed", and then rendered. This basically involves adding as much water as there is fat, and letting it simmer for an hour or so.
 The result is an almost pure white tallow with almost no scent of beef. This may be suitable for all the other practical uses for tallow, but it makes for poor tasting pemmican. The result from this is a pemmican that tastes like dried meat mixed with wax. I don't recommend the washing method for making pemmican. This method may wash out any water soluble vitamins and nutrients that are needed. I ended up ruining a fairly large batch. I'll keep the remaining tallow for other things, I guess, if I ever get around to making anything else.
  So, the reason I'm bringing this up is that I wonder if different companies have varying methods for rendering the suet that will make it look whiter, more pure, and may not taste quite right. I have bought different lards and rendered tallows, but have never been quite satisfied with the products. Perhaps these companies are trying too hard to get a perfectly white product with no smell. I feel that my own way of making it seems to taste the best even though it is not pure white.
  My method is to leave the raw suet over night in a roaster in the oven at 250 F. When it looks like most of the fat has been melted and the cracklings are starting to turn brown, I move it to the stove top. I then scoop and squeeze out the remaining fat from the cracklings ( with a potato ricer? not sure of the name ) and then strain the fat through a cheese cloth while it is still hot into another pot. It then gets heated back up to 250 for another hour or so until all the bubbles of steam have completely stopped.         

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