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Messages - Sitting Coyote

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General Discussion / Re: Shoes roundup
« on: August 05, 2010, 09:05:03 am »
If I could only have one pair of shoes with me, yes I think I would go with a pair of water shoes.  Teva is high end at around $40-60, but there are other brands and I've read of people putting 200+ miles on cheap pairs of $10 water shoes and enjoying their fit and utility tremendously.  Don't think for a second that you need to spend substantial amounts of money for a good minimalist shoe.  You get what you pay for sometimes, and sometimes you get a lot more than you pay for (or conversely, sometimes you pay a lot and don't get much in return except a brand name).

That said, I haven't tried all models, only the ones I mentioned.  As I try other companies' offerings this opinion might change.

General Discussion / Re: storing eggs at room temp?
« on: August 05, 2010, 08:59:56 am »
I've left eggs out on the counter for a month without problems.  The whites and yolks do get a little more runny, but I've eaten them anyway and never had an adverse reaction.

General Discussion / Re: Why does everyone think suet is inedible?
« on: August 05, 2010, 08:58:40 am »
I buy and eat a lot of suet.  I usually mix it with chopped meat and add a little un-heated honey.  Not as good or as healthful as marrow in my opinion, but an excellent addition to one's diet.

Off Topic / Re: Whats your age range?
« on: August 05, 2010, 06:08:24 am »
33.  Will be 34 later this August.  Kudos on a good idea for a poll!

Hot Topics / Re: raw organs
« on: August 05, 2010, 06:06:51 am »
Fascinating.  I've been eating a lot of raw grass-fed cow organs lately because I'm sick of the deer I shot, and because organs are really cheap.  I've eaten them fresh, and raw, and have had zero negative side effects, except feeling fulfilled and generally chipper.

General Discussion / Re: Shoes roundup
« on: August 05, 2010, 06:02:39 am »
Really interesting thread, thanks all for your contributions.

I've had a pair of Vibram FiveFingers for a few months, and have put a couple hundred miles on them.  While I liked them at first, I don't think I'd recommend them anymore.  The toe pockets make my toes sweat more than normal, which seems to cause more blisters than I get when running/hiking in other minimalist footwear.  Also, while they fit overall, individual toe pockets are too long, causing them occasionally to buckle when I'm moving over irregular terrain.  Finally, when I'm off trail all sorts of plants and sticks get caught between the toes, forcing me to stop constantly to pick them out.  This never happens when I walk barefoot, so I can only attribute it to something about the toe pockets' spacing and rigidity.  I will not buy another pair, and cannot recommend them. 

I looked over the Russel Mocs page.  I know a few people who have the stalking-type boots, and reviews are mixed.  Traction is poor, the soles are anything but thin, and while feel is better than with a lug sole, friends who've shelled out the $$ for them can't be remotely as quiet as me in a pair of $40 water shoes.  I haven't worn their minimalist models, but at $250+ per pair I guarantee I never will.  You can buy multiple pairs of good minimalist footwear for the price of a single pair of custom "minimalist" Russel mocs.

On a positive note, I do own two pairs of Teva Protons, which have held up to running for a couple years although the pair I bought first is nearing the end of its useful life.  They do poorly as running shoes when you try to wear socks, but work reasonably well when you don't.  They are neoprene, though, so are always hot, except in the winter when they're just right.  Unfortunately I don't think they make Protons anymore, and have replaced the line with something with a higher top.  Maybe that makes them better, although if they're all neoprene it will certainly make them hotter, which is no good for spring/summer/fall use.

I just ordered a couple pairs of Soft Star RunAmoks.  I bought the ventilated version, one pair with the thicker (5mm) treaded sole for non-urban environs and another pair with the thinner (2mm) sole for urban environs.  After reading a few reviews on-line, I have high hopes for them.  They offer a leather version that looks awfully attractive as a hunting shoe.  I'll let folks know how I like them.

Hot Topics / Re: IT'S EVERWHERE.
« on: July 30, 2010, 01:35:11 am »
And to answer your question of how we eat well when surrounded by largely junk food, we buy (or gather) something else.  We learn to hunt.  We learn to identify and find wild edible plants.  We forge relationships with local farmers who can supply high quality foods, including high quality meats, for reasonable prices.  Once you make these adaptations, eating well is quite easy.  And there's really no reason to patronize grocery stores anymore.  The forests and fields become your market!

Hot Topics / Re: IT'S EVERWHERE.
« on: July 30, 2010, 01:32:38 am »
Grains and legumes are cheap for two reasons.  First, most all developed countries, the United States included, subsidize their production.  Second, we conveniently ignore the many ecological costs of growing grains, such as soil erosion and degradation, loss of primary productivity, etc.

We can afford to subsidize them, as alphagruis suggests, because we have access to cheap fossil fuels and because we haven't completely exhausted topsoil yet.  When the cheap fossil fuels come to an end, or when we can't ignore soil depletion anymore, our dependence on grains and legumes will have to come to an end.  Then things get interesting...

General Discussion / Re: Persistence Hunting - Example
« on: July 27, 2010, 09:18:32 am »
You think someone living in the civilized world could learn that hunting technique? I think the animal would always win. You'd probably need to be taught by one those man and months of practice.

We can still hunt this way.  You need to be in good physical condition, and you need temperature extremes, either very hot or very cold.   Either way you push your prey to its limits, and we can perspire or layer to adapt to temperature extremes better than other animals.  You can even do this in a forest as long as the deer can't jump fences and end up on protected land, although you have to be a stellar tracker as you're often left with only compression prints and its energy trail, assuming you can see them. 

Nope, no social anxiety here.  I generally eat only one very large meal in the morning, though, so don't often eat in public except for perhaps some fruit or, on occasion, some raw eggs.  People certainly ask me about my diet, but most often aren't judgmental as long as I explain my reasoning in an articulate and equally non-judgmental way.

Most of the sweet fruit I have looked up ranges from .4-.7 calories per gram as fruit is generally at least 85% water. Lean meat on the other hand is close to 75% water averaging around 1.5 calories per gram. Fattier cuts can be around 3 calories per gram. Lex rooker reports suet and back fat to be 6-7 calories per gram and I have seen reports for bone marrow to be around 5-7 calories per gram.

I obviously forgot to take water content into consideration, so thanks for the correction and clarification.  This makes the caloric value of animal foods even greater on a mass basis, so the question becomes how much animal mass versus fruit mass can you raise on an acre (or hectare) of land without diminishing ecological and soil health?  Or better yet, how much animal or fruit mass can you raise on a unit of land while enhancing ecological and soil health? 

As a rule of thumb, biomass usually diminishes by a factor of ten each time you rise one rung up a food chain.  But only a small proportion of an orchard's biomass is edible fruit, while a much larger proportion of the first herbivore rung is edible animal mass although you can't harvest it all or they will go extinct.  This is also true in grasslands. 

Very complicated question.  I'm glad you asked.

First, I disagree with the statement that fruit is a more "efficient" source of calories relative to animal products (assuming a mix of muscle, organ and fat here).  Carbohydrates (from sugars, in this case) yield something like 5 calories per gram.  A chunk of the average cow (assuming 50% fat, 50% protein) yields something like 6-7 calories per gram.  So by the gram, you get more calories from animal food than from fruit.

But people can't live solely on calories.  There are a wide array of nutrients, including vitamins, enzymes, minerals, proteins in foods that we need every bit as much as we need calories.  Some of them are easier to get from fruit, some easier to get from animal foods.  Which if the two types of foods is more efficient at delivering these nutrients depends on which is in the shortest supply in your body at that moment.

And then we get to the question of how we measure environmental impact.  Which is better for biodiversity, growing vast monocultures of hybridized fruit trees (we call them orchards in temperate areas), or planting pasture for grazing ruminants?  One could certainly plant a more diverse orchard, both in terms of species as well as structure.  One could also plant a more diverse pasture, both in terms of species and structure.  I suspect pasture is more useful for the purpose of biodiversity than orchards.

Finally, some folks believe that soil health is probably even more important than biodiversity.  So which is better at building and maintaining healthy soil, an orchard or a grazed pasture?  I'd guess pasture, at least if it's well managed. 

General Discussion / Re: Living in the Wild.
« on: July 17, 2010, 09:23:21 pm »
What is "The Wild"? 

If you're talking about a place where humans do not influence the landscape and where "Nature" rules, there are no such places.  "The Wild" is a myth maintained primarily in the minds of well-to-do people in developed nations.

Where do you really want to live?

General Discussion / Re: Dealing with Society
« on: July 15, 2010, 11:37:06 am »
Sometimes I eat cooked food to blend in, but this happens less and less and I can foresee it stopping in the very near future.  Many acquaintances and friends know about my raw diet, and their reactions fall somewhere on the continuum between curious and completely accepting.  I even told my dad and grandfather about it when they visited a few weeks ago, and they were accepting.

I think people's reaction to an admission of a raw diet depends entirely on how articulate you are and how the subject comes up.  My strategy is to not volunteer any information or give unsolicited advice, but rather just eat what I want and turn down what I don't.  When people ask about my choices, I volunteer just enough information to answer their questions.  And if they have lots of questions, I patiently offer just enough information to answer each of them, until their curiosity is satisfied.

It has been my experience that when people learn about the raw diet from a place of curiosity, they are generally open-minded and accepting.  If you force them to learn about the raw diet by preaching to them, then they won't respect your choice or take you seriously. 

General Discussion / Re: Preserving meat without freezing
« on: July 14, 2010, 09:31:06 am »
How do they ferment it?  Just wrap it in the skin and let it sit there?

Hot Topics / Re: When Did Cooking Start?
« on: July 14, 2010, 09:21:53 am »
I've actually been reading a lot on this recently, including some of Wrangham's work.  The problem I have with it, and this is a problem I see in most anthropological work, is that researchers (including Wrangham and his colleagues) constantly overgeneralize the conclusions they draw from their work.  This is aside from the fact that they make some pretty stunning logical leaps to reach their conclusions.

For instance, let's assume that Wrangham et al.'s findings of cooked food, burned bones and a hearth at a hominin site 2 million years ago are accurate.  This says very little about human behavior, for several reasons. 

1.  Just because one finds a hearth does not mean it was used for cooking.  Fire was certainly used for light, heat, or spiritual aspiration long before it was used to process food.

2.  Just because one finds bits of cooked food at an archeological site doesn't mean the food was cooked intentionally.  Someone may have accidentally dropped or intentionally disposed of it in a fire used for purposes other than cooking.

3.  Just because one finds bits of cooked food at an archeological site doesn't mean the food was eaten.  Someone may have discarded it after they realized it was cooked, figuring it was ruined.

4.  Just because one finds burned bones at a hearth doesn't mean the fire's architect cooked and ate the meat that was on the bones.  Modern people toss non-food items (sticks, stones, debris) and leftovers (popsickle sticks, glass, cups, cans) into camp fires all the time.  I'm doubt this behavior is novel.

5.  Even if it could be proven that someone cooked food and ate it at one archeological site 2 million years ago doesn't mean all people around the world also did it.  (This is the fallacy of overgeneralizing that I mentioned above.)  Cooking food may have emerged in one locality 2 million years ago and only spread beyond the local area several hundreds of thousands of years later.  The habit of cooking food may also have emerged and disappeared several times over human history, in several places around the world, much like agriculture.  For all we know, the habit of cooking food may have even driven its first adherents to extinction, only to emerge independently a million years later. 

Because of how sparse the archeological record is and how challenging it is to objectively interpret it, I think the question of how long we've been cooking food is a red herring. 

We will never know when the first morsel of food was cooked because the odds of it being preserved in a recognizable way are near zero.  We will never know the geographic extent of the habit of cooking food because the archeological record will never be complete enough to paint an accurate picture.  The geographic extent of the habit of cooking food certainly changed over time, it spread and contracted, it shifted.  The archeological record will never be detailed enough to allow us to discern the range of the habit of cooking food with respect to time.  We must simply admit that we don't and can't know the real history of the behavior of cooking food.

And why does it matter anyway? 

It seems to me that the important question is whether we should be cooking our food today.  If we fare better on a raw food diet today, then we should be eating raw food.  What people were doing 100,000 or 1,000,000 years ago shouldn't matter.  Maybe they did it to their detriment?  Why should we repeat their mistake?

I have to say that I feel better on a predominantly raw food today than I did while eating mostly cooked food.  So the amount of time that Homo sapiens has been cooking its food doesn't sound like an important piece of information to me.

Primal Diet / Re: Primal diet books?
« on: July 13, 2010, 05:50:06 am »
Just finished reading We Want To Live.  I'm torn as to what I think of it.  Certainly some useful information, but also lots of claims that he leaves completely unsubstantiated.  It also seems to me that his digestive ailments would necessitate a special diet for him that wouldn't be necessary or perhaps even optimal for someone with a normally functioning digestive system. 

Started reading The Recipe For Living Without Disease this afternoon.

General Discussion / Re: Preserving meat without freezing
« on: July 12, 2010, 06:23:43 am »
How does making sausage preserve the meat?

General Discussion / Preserving meat without freezing
« on: July 11, 2010, 09:07:12 pm »
I'm a hunter.  The nice part about being a hunter is I get a lot of low-cost, very high quality meat in the fall, assuming I'm on my game.  As I learn more about (through reading and experience) the benefits of eating my meat and fat raw, I'm drawn to finding ways to preserve it that maintain as much nutritional content as possible--or ideally enhance nutritional content.  Hunters typically preserve their meat by freezing, and I did this last fall.  I've read, though, that freezing reduces the nutritional value of meat by degrading enzymes and vitamins. I've also read (in AV's We Want To Live that drying also reduces nutritional content.  So I wonder, what other options are there for preserving large quantities of meat that don't involve drying or freezing?

Recipes would be great!

Hot Topics / Re: My vegan friend showed me this, - more DR bullshit
« on: July 09, 2010, 08:21:04 pm »
We give Durian Rider a lot of power by paying so much attention to him.  We also give him power by not posting our own stories to YouTube or similar media. 

General Discussion / Re: Swallowing non-chewable parts of meat
« on: July 09, 2010, 08:13:07 pm »
Yeah, I usually just swallow them.  Cut or break them into swallow-able pieces, and down they go.  I've never seen anything come out recognizable in my feces, so I assume they digest.  I tend to eat a lot of connective tissue, and have found that joint problems in my knees and ankles have gotten much better in the last few months.  I can't prove this is from eating a lot of raw connective tissue, of course, but the positive correlation between the two is interesting.

Primal Diet / Re: Primal diet books?
« on: July 01, 2010, 06:43:24 am »
Just ordered both books from  Nice that they have a PayPal option.  Looking forward to reading them!

Exercise / Bodybuilding / Re: Martial Arts? Which one is practical?
« on: June 30, 2010, 07:47:54 am »
Yeah, K and I sometimes use blunted steel blades for sparring, but I have to say the feeling is completely different, and much more mundane than having someone rush you with sharp steel.  Part of martial training is technical--timing, distancing, angle, techniques--but the longer I train the more I've come to believe that sensitivity and focus are even more important.  (Add focus to the list I mentioned earlier, can't believe I left that off). 

Most people have never been attacked by someone who has killing intent, so when this happens, even if the person is a complete klutz and you've been training for ages, it can throw you off.  One of the aspects K and I have been working on for the past six months or so is to desensitize ourselves to this killing intent so that we can stay calm and focused.  It's tough, of course, because we really don't want to kill each other, but we have to do our best at acting because we want each other to be ready.

Primal Diet / Primal diet books?
« on: June 29, 2010, 11:30:28 pm »
I live in the USA and would like to buy Aajonus' two books, but don't want to pay full price.  Anyone willing to sell their copies?  Or, dare I say this, anyone have the PDF versions who are willing to pass them along?  PM me and we can figure things out.

Exercise / Bodybuilding / Re: Martial Arts? Which one is practical?
« on: June 29, 2010, 11:22:41 pm »
I can't say I've ever found a single martial style that struck me as practical in street situations.  The things I look for in a practical style include emphases on (no particular order):
1.  Balance and body alignment
2.  Aerobic and anaerobic fitness
3.  Strength and flexibility training
4.  Striking
5.  Grappling
6.  Weapons (knives, sticks, guns, everything else...)
7.  Using one's surroundings for tactical advantage
8.  Sensitivity training, so you can avoid dangerous situations before they emerge
9.  Sparring

I've trained in ninjutsu (Bujinkan), Brazilian Jujitsu, Japanese Jujutsu, Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan.  All have useful elements, but none is practical by itself.  I've watched a few Crav Maga videos, and I'd love to find an instructor nearby.

Regarding the knife video and photos, yeah, knife fighting can be nasty.  My training partner and I do some of our training with live (sharp) knives and swords (he still likes training with traditional Japanese weapons sometimes, so we both bought higher-end katanas).  Not only does a sharp, steel knife feel different in your hand, the level of intensity when training with them is orders of magnitude higher than with wood or plastic knives.  You can learn all the fancy techniques you want, but if you lose it when you see real steel then, well, you've lost it...

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