Truthbutter

A word on raw meat, carnivory, and compassion towards animals

Animal Compassion

I’m sure you’ve all seen the recent story about this man who has eaten nothing but raw meat for the past 5 years. Chances are, you reacted in disgust, recoiling at the mere thought of eating the raw flesh of an animal (despite the fact that you have, in fact, eaten sushi on numerous occasions). I have to admit, some of the pictures definitely made my stomach turn a little bit.

I wasn’t surprised by the comments on the various news articles, calling him vile, disgusting, and mentally ill, and calling his diet a ‘weird food addiction.’ But I was surprised that even in Paleo circles, his story elicited a similarly negative reaction. I would’ve expected ancestrally-minded people to be a little more open-minded, and I don’t want to call out anyone specifically, but some of the comments were unbelievably ignorant.

I just want to bring a little perspective to the situation. Read more →

Salmon Chowder (low-FODMAP)

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Lately I’ve been buying a lot of bluefish. I can get it at Whole Foods for only $5.99/lb, it’s an oily fish like salmon so it has a ton of good fats, AND it’s delicious. (If you haven’t tried it, you definitely should; it’s the only fresh fish I’ve found that comes close to the affordability of ground beef.)

When I was at Whole Foods last week, I realized I had never bought a whole fish before. I know that fish broth is supposed to be an awesome source of selenium and iodine and all those other great things you can find in fish heads, so I decided to give it a shot. I brought home my bluefish (which the Whole Foods fish people kindly filleted for me), fried and ate the fillets for breakfast two days in a row, and then stuck the fish head in a pot of water and boiled it for a few hours to make some fish broth. Read more →

Carolina Healthy Nation Coalition: squashing dietary dogma one Tarheel at a time

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Last year, I decided I wanted to actually do something at UNC to make peoples’ lives better, and to help grow the community of people who acknowledge that the USDA Dietary Guidelines are not the end-all be-all of good health. In my New Year’s Resolutions, here’s what I said:

I think the hardest thing about leading instead of following isn’t the added work or responsibility, but risk of failure. It’s downright scary to try and start something new when there’s a good chance you’ll fall flat on your face. But it’s better to try and then fail than to not try at all, which is why I’m going to try to start the first ancestral health student organization at UNC, called the Healthy Nation Coalition. It will be a branch of the existing Healthy Nation Coalition, which is directed by my good friend Adele Hite, and will unite all of the ancestralites on campus so that we can get to know each other and show UNC what it really looks like to “eat healthy,” whether that’s Weston Price vegetarian or low-carb Paleo.

To an extent, I did carry out that resolution. I hung up flyers all over campus, emailed a bunch of different listservs, held an interest meeting where I felt mildly awkward (as usual), and to my amazement, found a solid group of 8-10 people who care about this food thing as much as I do. We met about once a week from the end of February through May, and discussed topics ranging from cholesterol and ethical vegetarianism to exercise and nutrient timing. There were even a good 5 or 6 of us who are ‘Paleo’! But I was very wrong about one thing: it’s not an ancestral health group. Read more →

My nutrition studies: awesomeness and facepalms (plus cat pics)

skeptic cat

This is me every day in nutrition class. My face looks exactly like that. Just ask my nutrition TA.

This marks one month of my official nutrition studies at UNC, and it’s been surprisingly enjoyable! I absolutely feel like I’m in the right major, and I never had that feeling with Public Policy. (I do still have to be admitted to the School of Public Health though, so fingers crossed I get in!) There have been plenty of ‘facepalm’ moments, but I’ve also been impressed by some of the readings we’ve been assigned, and the overall scientific focus of the class. Read more →

AHS13!!

 AHS Swag

I finally moved into my apartment at UNC and made it through my first week and a half of classes, so now I want to tell you guys about my weekend at the Ancestral Health Symposium! This was the first big conference I’ve ever been to, and it was amazing I drove down to Atlanta on Wednesday and drove back on Sunday, and my time there was absolutely jam-packed with people and speakers and events. And food.

This is going to be a really long post, because a) I want to remember in detail how awesome it was; b) I always write too much; and c) I’ve had to experience AHS and other similar conferences vicariously through others’ blog posts for the past few years, and I always appreciated it when they were long 😉 Read more →

Gelatin-Aloe Hair Gel

Gelatin-Aloe Hair Gel

Check out my recipe for Gelatin-Aloe Hair Gel over at Liz Wolfe’s Skintervetion blog! It’s cheap, it’s easy to make, it uses only natural ingredients, and it WORKS. Do yourself a favor and try it out, especially if you have curly hair like I do. If you do try it, or have any questions about it, post them here! I’d love to hear how it worked for you, and any modifications you made.

Salmon Patties

Salmon Patties

Salmon patties were a staple for me living in a college dorm. They’re awesome because they’re easy to make, freeze well in ziplock baggies and reheat quickly in a microwave, they’re a good source of both protein and ‘safe starch,’ they’re an inexpensive way to get your DHA, and you probably already have all the ingredients on hand. They also taste really good. Read on for the recipe!

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Is it Possible to be Healthy on a Vegan Diet? [Part Two]

Food or Supplements?

In part one, I discussed whether it’s possible to get enough vitamin D, calcium and vitamin K2 – three nutrients that are vital to bone health – on a vegan diet, without using supplements. We discovered that it is possible, but only if you get lots of sunlight, eat plenty of greens, properly prepare your nuts and seeds, and eat natto. In this post I’ll wrap it up by looking at iron, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin B12. Then we can finally answer the question: Is it possible to be healthy on a vegan diet without the use of supplements? Read more →

Is it Possible to be Healthy on a Vegan Diet? [Part One]

Veggies!

In my last post in this series on veganism, I looked at anthropological evidence to establish that as a species in our natural habitats, humans are omnivores, and we thrive on an omnivorous diet. But although we are still humans (most of us, anyways), we don’t quite live in our natural habitats anymore, so what applied to the natives that Weston Price studied doesn’t necessarilyapply to us. In a modern-day setting with greater access to a variety of foods, can humans thrive on a vegan diet without needing to supplement? Is it biologically possible for humans to get what they need on a diet devoid of animal products?

In this two-part post, I’ll try to answer that question by looking at some of the nutrients that are hardest to come by on a vegan diet. In part one, we’ll look at three nutrients that are vital to bone health: vitamin D, calcium, and vitamin K2. Read more →

Yay! I’m a published author! (sorta)

First of all, I apologize for the cavernous, yawning time-gap between my last post and what will (eventually) be my next substantial post. (This one doesn’t count.) I’m just finishing up my freshman year of college, so I have papers to write and exams to study for, but after that the blogging will return! And I will finish my series on veganism. Promise.

But I wanted to do a quick celebratory post because I just found out that the research I did last semester will be published in the PIT journal, which is UNC’s undergraduate journal for peer-reviewed scholarly articles! It’s just a small, unknown university publication that nobody will ever read, but I’m still excited (: My article is called Are We Putting Our Eggs In The Wrong Basket?: Why we should question the USDA Dietary Guidelines, and I posted it on my blog a few months ago if you want to look at it! Note the excessively long title; apparently that’s the hip thing to do if you’re writing journal articles. I’m so hip.

The most amusing thing I found in doing my research is this: the studies that the Dietary Guidelines Committee decided to scrounge up to prove that cholesterol should be limited – wait for it – actually prove the exact opposite. Yes, all of the studies they cite show that cholesterol, especially from eggs, does not increase risk for CVD, and in many circumstances, actually decreases risk for CVD. So I guess now we can cite studies that prove the opposite of our point, and just hope that nobody actually looks at our references! Whew, that sure makes research a lot easier. It’s just so tedious trying to come up with conclusions based on the evidence, y’know?

In all seriousness, don’t take everything you read at face value. Even if you trust the source, it would behoove you to check their references to make sure nothing sneaky is going on. In fact, I strongly encourage you to check MY sources for things I write on here! I’ll always do my best to never lead you astray, but I can never guarantee I won’t miss something or make mistakes.

In other news, I just made an important realization: I don’t think I use the word ‘behoove’ enough. I think I’m going to insert it awkwardly strategically into the policy brief I have to write before Thursday.