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Messages - Eric

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General Discussion / Podcast episode on eating insects
« on: September 27, 2017, 08:46:50 pm »
Greetings folks, I thought I'd share my most recent podcast episode where I talk with founder and CEO of Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch Wendy Lu McGill about raising and eating insects. You can listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and YouTube, and on my website at the following link:

Episode 17: Wendy Lu McGill on Reclaiming Insects as Food

Comments and questions are welcome!

77
General Discussion / Re: Raw Beef Fat vs Raw Butter
« on: September 23, 2017, 01:45:28 am »
Butter is made by skimming the cream off of unhomogenized milk, then churning it until it solidifies into fat that is solid at room temperature. There is some processing involved in making butter, in the most basic sense of that term, though the processing doesn't have to involve cooking. That said, if you bought butter from a store in the United States, most likely it will have been made from milk that was pasturized, so its fats will have been altered and some of its polyunsaturated fats (omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids) will have oxidized a little. Although raw butter made from raw (unpasturized) milk from 100% grass fed cows is tasty, it's terribly hard to find and when you can find it it's often very expensive. I just buy raw back fat or suet from beef cattle, or from goats or sheep. It's completely unprocessed and so much cheaper, often less than $3 per pound.

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General Discussion / Re: Tattoos or no?
« on: September 17, 2017, 06:25:11 pm »
I don't have any tattoos, and have no interest in getting any.

79
Ground meat is usually cheaper, as are certain cuts like skirt steak or stew meat. Organs are usually very cheap. You can probably find liver or heart from a grass-fed animal for under $5 per pound.

80
Iguana's suggestion of relying on seafood is a good one. I don't eat a lot of seafood because I don't live on a coast, but if I did my diet would be quite different than it is now.

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You'll get a variety of opinions regarding your questions. Those of us who have stuck with a raw omnivorous diet over the longer term have all diverged from one another in subtle and sometimes not so subtle ways. I for instance avoid dairy entirely, and never recommend it to people even if it's unpasturized.

To your question on finding grass-fed beef, it might be harder where you're at. You might have to gravitate towards a different type of animal for meat, like lamb or goat. I've not visited Florida for decades, so don't know what it's like down there. Do you have a Whole Foods near you, or a health food store? Those are the places I'd check out. You might also look out for farmers' markets. You might find a vendor there who sells naturally-raised meat.

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Health / Re: Weight gain
« on: September 07, 2017, 02:53:17 am »
What muscle meats are you eating that yield 30% fat? Are we talking by weight, or by calories? Reading through the numbers you're offering us, I see many discrepancies and am struggling to make sense of it.

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Health / Re: Weight gain
« on: September 06, 2017, 11:14:23 pm »
Looks like Van beat my post by a few seconds. At any rate, my take is about the same as his. My first guess is that you're eating way to much protein, given the diet you listed. When we eat more protein than out body needs, our kidneys turn the excess into sugar. When we have sugar in our bloodstream that we don't need for fuel, our bodies can turn it into fat and store it. If we don't get much exposure to cold, this will likely be white fat, which is slow to disappear because it's not metabolically active.

My advice, as unpleasant as it might sound to you, is to make some substantial changes to your daily diet. I'd first suggest adding in a little carbs, as they can help convince the body you aren't about to starve and keep your metabolic rate up. Eating carbs from raw root vegetables like Jerusalem artichokes, onions, sweet potatoes, beets, etc. will add a lot of fiber to your diet, which your gut bacteria will turn into short chain fatty acids. These make great fuel, and will help to coax your body to burn more fat as fuel. My next suggestion is to reduce your protein intake to just barely what your body needs to replace/repair muscle and other tissues. There are equations you can use to estimate what this is. My guess is that for you it is probably no more than 6 ounces of meat/organs per day. The rest of your calories should come from fat.

Getting all of your daily calories from fat and carbs will likely involve eating a lot more fat than you're used to. It might mean eating a stick of butter every day if you're into dairy, or eating a sizable chunk of suet or back fat from a grazing animal if you can get it.

I would also suggest regular cold exposure, especially on your upper chest and upper back. This will turn your white fat into brown, metabolically active fat that has more mitochondria in it. The more brown fat you have, the easier it will be to burn fat and to reduce your body fat percentage. You can start with cold showers, then you will probably want to transition to ice water baths or swims in cold (under 50 degrees F) streams or lakes.

Good luck!

84
Omnivorous Raw Paleo Diet / Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« on: September 06, 2017, 06:20:23 pm »
Up to you to decide that. What place did you find that raises wax worms on wheat bran and capping honey?

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Carnivorous / Zero Carb Approach / Re: Animal brains
« on: September 04, 2017, 08:29:42 pm »
For larger animals like deer and sheep, I've had good luck using a hatched head to split the skull starting from the nose. This allows me to extract the brain whole if the split goes well. But Derek's method is probably easier.

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Omnivorous Raw Paleo Diet / Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« on: August 30, 2017, 07:55:33 am »
Probably, but you'll want to ask them specifically what the hornworms are being fed. If they get some sort of commercial feed, they may not be worth buying because of their poor feed.

87
You're obviously welcome to try ZC if you want to, but I'll echo Iguana and suggest that you avoid it. I've met some people who claim that it works for them, but they're outliers and not the norm (or they're just lying, which is always possible on the Internet as there's no way to make sure people are telling the truth about lifestyle choices).

If your goal is to lose weight, I'd switch to a 40-60 diet of carbs-fat, by calories. I would be selective on what sorts of carbs you eat. Sugar from wild or near-wild fruit is fine, like blueberries and raspberries. Complex carbs from raw vegetables, especially roots and tubers like Jerusalem artichokes, beets, sweet potatoes, burdock root, etc. is also fine. You will need to eat a fair amount of these each day to get your day's quota of carbs, but that's not a bad thing. Your gut bacteria can turn the indigestible dietary fiber into short-chain fatty acids, which work wonders for gut health and make great metabolic fuel.

Another thing I've noticed as I age is that it's important to eat enough calories each day. If I don't eat enough, my body thinks it faces starvation and slows my metabolism down. This slower metabolism seems to be coupled with turning any sugar I eat into fat, thwarting my attempts at burning body fat. I've found that if the total carbs + fat calories I eat is maybe 5 % more than I actually need, then my body relaxes its controls on my metabolism. With a faster metabolism I'm better able to burn that excess fat. Eating most of my calories from fat helps this too, as it trains my body to burn fat as fuel.

Exposure to cold on your chest and upper back helps too. This turns white fat into mitochondria-rich brown fat, and this brown fat is what metabolizes our body's fat deposits and helps reduce body fat percentage. In the winters I go swimming in lakes and streams near my home to get this effect. In summers when the water's too warm I take cold showers.

As far as protein goes, Iguana's warning against eating too much protein (from any source, not just mammals) is a good one to heed. Eat enough protein to meet your body's needs, but don't go overboard. Unless you weightlift like crazy, the equivalent of 6-8 ounces of animal food each day is probably plenty. Excess protein is turned into sugar in the kidneys, and just adds to the burden on these often already-stressed organs. Best not to overdo it, in my opinion.

Good luck!

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Omnivorous Raw Paleo Diet / Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« on: August 30, 2017, 05:44:36 am »
It probably had a small amount of alkaloids in it from whatever nightshade plants it was eating. I figure I only ate one, so it's unlikely to have accumulated enough toxins to cause a man my size (~155 pounds) any problems.

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Omnivorous Raw Paleo Diet / Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« on: August 30, 2017, 03:22:05 am »
I found what I'm pretty sure was a tobacco hornworm while walking home from campus just a bit ago. It was fairly large, about the size of my finger. I can report that it tasted pleasant, with a mild, sweet flavor and a slightly bitter and astringent aftertaste. It's skin was chewier than I expected.


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Omnivorous Raw Paleo Diet / Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« on: August 23, 2017, 08:03:12 pm »
The Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch links look interesting. I reached out to the company to see if I can interview someone for my podcast. I might order some of their mealworms and waxworms to try. I have access to crickets here in Vermont from Tomorrow's Harvest, but prefer beetle & moth larvae to crickets & grasshoppers because their fat contents are generally higher.

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Omnivorous Raw Paleo Diet / Re: Insects - what to look for when buying
« on: August 23, 2017, 06:41:31 am »
The first thing you NEED to look for is that the insects were raised for human consumption. Most available for sale in the US are not. They are raised for the pet trade, and are fed low quality feed that leaves them so nutrient-poor that pet owners are generally advised to sprinkle mineral powders on them before feeding them to lizards, snakes, etc. If you can find some that are certified organic I suppose that's a start, but that doesn't mean they're worth buying or worth eating. It just means whatever they eat is certified organic. So a cricket farmer can feed cheap organic rice, and sell certified organic crickets, but the crickets will probably be malnourished and stunted, so they aren't worth buying.

Who were you planning on buying from?

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General Discussion / Re: Beef fat/suet
« on: August 08, 2017, 08:42:55 am »
That is odd. Not sure what things are like in Indiana, but we've had a very wet year in Vermont so far and the grass has been particularly lush. I'm friends with several grass farmers and they haven't said anything about their cattle having especially large amounts of fat, but the suet they have had has been of particularly high quality. I've been really stocking up, as summer-harvested suet is my primary source of animal fat. Too bad I don't live in the Chicago area, as I'd be happy to take it off your hands.

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Health / Re: Science of Tooth Yellowing and Decay
« on: August 04, 2017, 06:40:54 pm »
Anyone have ideas for dissolving tartar and plaque?

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I think that Edwin's theory is probably accurate. Our 'development' seems to go in cycles, and today's 'advanced' society is the most recent iteration of an advanced human society on earth, but not the first.

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Hot Topics / Re: TOO MUCH protein bad for kidneys?
« on: August 03, 2017, 06:20:15 pm »
I think the general idea put forward in this thread is reasonable, though we need to get a better sense of how much protein each person needs. I don't think about protein in terms of % of total calories. I don't eat protein for calories, I eat it for the amino acids it contains so my body can use them as building blocks. I estimate how much protein I need based on my activity level (i.e. if I'm actively strength training, I eat more), and eat that much. I then calculate how many calories I think I need, and make sure to meet that need from carbs, fiber, and fat. Much of the dietary fiber will be turned into short chain fatty acids in the large intestine by gut bacteria, so it's still useful as energy it just won't be digested in the stomach and absorbed in the small intestine like digestible carbs and fat. I try to get most (>60 percent) of my calories from fat.

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General Discussion / Re: Anybody eat lungs?
« on: July 21, 2017, 08:30:51 am »
I've eaten lungs before. They are definitely tough and chewy. The taste is fine, but to eat them raw I've basically had to chop them into tiny pieces, chew them well to loosen up the connective tissue, and swallow them. You won't really tear them into smaller pieces with your teeth. They also have a peculiar texture, very light and airy. Like eating cartilaginous styrofoam.

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Off Topic / Re: *Sigh* The future of humanity...
« on: July 13, 2017, 05:28:31 am »
We live in interesting times...

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They still wanted a fix, just from a different set of chemicals. Opioids instead of alcohol.

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I agree that agriculture had its origins in addiction, but don't think it started with fermenting cereal grains to make alcohol. I think it started with people developing an addiction to opioid compounds in cereal grains. They probably learned about fermentation later.

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Off Topic / Re: Not even herbivores are fully vegetarian!
« on: July 11, 2017, 07:37:22 pm »
Nothing new here. Plenty of evidence of herbivores eating animals. See videos below:

Deer eats bird

Horse eats chicken

Deer trying to eat a rabbit

I could link to a bunch more. You get the idea.

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