Earthchurn Ice Cream

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I had my first repeat customer tonight. So I’m celebrating with a blog post explaining my motivation behind Earthchurn!

Ultimately, I aim to displace as much sugar consumption as possible. Ice cream is a major contributor to the public’s sugar intake. I know that as a health-conscious consumer, the one thing that I haven’t found a suitable substitute for has been ice cream.

Nutritionally, we know that one thing all experts agree on is that sugar is a massive contributor to all chronic diseasesmental illnesses, and dermatological issues. I know I gave myself GERD through an increased sugar consumption. Natural, zero-calorie sweeteners such as stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol have no negative consequences and can even increase health status due to insulin regulation and their phytonutrient content. CLAs and Omega-3 fatty acids in the grass-fed milk and free-range eggs also contribute to a more nutritious dessert.

Sustainability wise, Earthchurn uses only grass-fed dairy because of the amount of carbon sequestration and higher standards of animal welfare. Industrial sugar agriculture is also causing massive damage in terms of soil erosion, wildlife habitat destruction, and chemical pollutants. Theoretically, this could be a zero carbon emissions product. As is usually the case though, storage would be very difficult to accomplish through exclusively renewable energy… Some day.

A massive reason for my war against sugar is the industry’s low level of ethics. Incredibly, the American public just became aware of the fact that industry officials paid off scientists 50 years ago to publish papers favorable to sugar consumption. These “scientific findings” unfortunately are still causing damage because they were used to establish the U.S. (and incidentally, global) nutritional guidelines. As someone that makes his best attempt in making a positive impact in the world through purchasing decisions, I’d rather not support this immoral, bullying industry.

A strong, supportive, and connected community is something that is important to me. I support the community of Austin by Mill-King milk and Vital Farms eggs. Thus far, all ingredients have been purchased through Wheatsville Co-op, which is a small grocery store that also prioritizes the health of the community.

Many people have asked for vegan options… No. The market has vegan products available. So Delicious‘s coconut milk based, stevia-sweetened varieties are my favorite. That’ll do until the vegan fad subsides or they disintegrate due to nutrient deficiencies. They’ve done enough damage to society by convincing restaurant industry to swap out traditional, healthy fats for toxic plant-based industrial oils.

I’m very thankful for the support in this endeavor. I hope to continue providing a more sustainable, healthier ice cream to the world. Earthchurn helps to give me more purpose in life and makes me feel as if I’m doing something beneficial for the community. As of now, Earthchurn is still not a registered LLC. I’m too busy eating my concoctions to go to the library and print off the required forms… Someone can steal it I guess. That would be acceptable. As long as they got it into store shelves and allowed people to choose a grass-fed, naturally-sweetened, no sugar added ice cream, I’ll be satisfied. I’m not in this for money. I’m in it to bring down Big Sugar. I’m in it to improve peoples’ lives. Join me in the sugar exorcism. You deserve it.

Thanks to Uncle Chuck for guidance on the name. Thanks to Allison for the incredible photos. Even if I never talk to you again, thanks to Thaysmarie for the graphic design and website work. Thanks to Dia’s Market for promotional assistance.

Visit us on Facebook.

Our new website is up, but still being improved.

IG: Earthchurn

What flavors do people want?

Is anyone interested in helping to increase Earthchurn’s positive impacts and reach more people? I would love help with admin, graphic design, website work… and everything else.

Nutri-hack Buffet King

These damn vegetables at the grocery store cost too much. Eating a vegetable-rich diet can seem more and more economically unfeasible with each $8/lb box of organic spinach tossed into the cart. That’s why my cheap ass went to Buffet King to see how I could extract the maximum amount of nutrients out of the $8.69 (before 3:30 and after military discount) bill! My guiding principles were as follows:

  • Prioritize nutrient-dense foods (vegetables and seafood)
  • Appropriate amount, not “as much as possible”
  • Intermittent fast pre- and post-meal
  • Focus on high-value options (AKA not rice, bread, or deep-fried items)
  • As always, avoid refined sugar, processed grains, and industrial oils

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A plate of sushi/seafood; a plate of baked stuffed mushrooms, salmon, and ribs with lettuce; 2 plates of Mongolian BBQ (with butter if you ask and decline the “butter” in the plastic contained mentioning “partially-hydrogenated soy” in the ingredients); and a plate of fruit later, I finally decided to waddle out of the dark labyrinth of endless food and obese community members. The fact that my phone died and I could no longer be accompanied by Christopher Ryan’s voice also played a part in my decision to stop eating. Considering the fact that a heaping plate of stir fried vegetables and meat would usually cost equal to my total bill, it is not much of a question whether or not I received my money’s worth. I had more rice than planned. The shrimp and salmon were probably farm-raised. The beef and pork in the BBQ were most likely factory-farm raised. Overall, I managed to ingest a significant amount of vegetables and meat with very little sugar, industrial oils, or processed grains.

Being my only meal of the day, under $9/day isn’t too bad of a deal for most people.

On the bike ride home, while attempting to hold down the bloated mass of fermenting plant and animal matter, I wondered to myself: is this even enjoyable? Is food about finding the most cost-efficient eating habits? Am I best off slashing my food bill to the smallest number I can manage? Or is food about enjoyment, community, and vitality?

When I economize every calorie, I can’t help but feel I’m merely wallowing in a survival mindset when I know I have the capacity instead to view food as a catalyst to thrive. The research shows that the psychological value derived from food is directly tied to the price paid for that meal. As a compulsive over-eater, the impulse to over-consume is just too great for me to suggest I rely on buffets for my meals. When food is in sight, I’ll usually eat it. When “the deal” depends upon the amount of good I can stuff in my face as quickly as possible, I’m inclined to go for seconds…and sevenths. I’ll stay away from the buffet as long as it means fewer moments lying in discomfort and wishing I hadn’t eaten that last plate of food.

Are you a buffet regular? Do they fulfill your needs or make you wish you’d stayed home to make that ecologically grown salad topped with grass-fed beef? All-you-can-eat definitely has it’s place, but what is the adequate frequency for you?

 

 

Continue reading “Nutri-hack Buffet King”

Iguana Slaughter Motivation

I want to kill and eat all of the iguanas. Nothing personal, my scaly green friends. It’s just that Puerto Ricans aren’t the only unfortunate folks fighting the terrible consequences of colonization… Given the innocence of Iguana iguana, I do not support torment, harassment, or unnecessary suffering of these beautiful creatures. On the other hand, my end goal is the extermination of this invasive species from the majestic island of Puerto Rico for the following reasons:

  • agriculture damage (supposedly millions of $)
  • road/infrastructure damage including cave-ins
  • airport runway problem/jet damage
  • lowered tourism due to impact on native plants
  • riparian ecology destruction leading to soil erosion
  • native plant predation
  • out-competing native lizards for food
  • predating native lizards?
  • predating bees and other polinators (according to Almighty Armando)
  • displacing factory-farm meat consumption
  • displacing imported foods (for Puerto Ricans)
  • free protein!
  • zero-carbon food source
  • highly nutritional food source
  • delicious 🙂
  • personal harvest connects people to their food, the environment, and nature

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I’ve been holding this as a draft for a few months now, not exactly looking forward to the hours of reading scientific studies. Well it’s true that the only thing to fear is fear itself because it turns out, there is essentially no solid research! I had planned on economizing the damages for each point mentioned above and calculating the value of each dead iguana, but every other resource just gives vague amounts of damage, such as merely guessing “millions of dollars in damage!”

In the end, I guess I have to stick to theory and ethics regarding the situation. We as humans have a responsibility to remedy the destruction we have caused and that which is yet to be caused, but already set in motion by our actions. Unless we want a homogeneous global ecosystem with low biodiversity, we need to do something about the animals we relocate around the world. Eat iguanas. With all of the negative externalities inherent to the conventional food system, it’s a relief to have a food that you can feel morally good about. Although I have moved to Austin, I still plan to sell the highly acclaimed iguana jerky! I’ll post in the PRHGS Facebook group and my Instagram account. Please continue to support the cause through the Patreon account!

Big thanks to Allison and Michele for their continued support! If you missed it, check out the recipe I supplied to El Coqui of Rincon, which was published in their November issue!

If anyone is able to assist with the legalities of this project moving jerky from PR to Austin to sell for human consumption, I’d appreciate any help provided!

Now to hope Junior sends meat soon and look for invasives to harvest in Austin area. Farmers, call me about your hogs 🙂

Ethical Food Options

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Why the hell is it so hard to buy food that doesn’t make me, as a more than averagely aware and conscious consumer, feel like I’m destroying the world? All I want is for food to be available that doesn’t:

While it would be convenient to listen to your unvaccinated, dreadlocked, tie-dye shirt-adorned buddy and just stop “eating animal products, mannn,” the uncomfortable truth is that relying on industrial agriculture for your food will not remedy most of the issues highlighted above. Add to the inefficaciousness of that plan the risks of B-12 deficiency (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/1/131.long) and the probability of higher animal death counts (https://www.morehouse.edu/facstaff/nnobis/papers/Davis-LeastHarm.htm), there must be another option for a sustainable diet plan.

I also would like to omit discussing wild harvesting, home growing, and food waste scavenging. I think I’ve covered the importance of those in previous posts. I’d like to discover options within the marketplace for those that are short on time or traveling but hope to make the world a better place with their forks.

I’m hoping some options are available that induce a net-benefit for society and the environment through their purchase. Reducing carbon footprint is a major concern, so focusing on carbon sequestration through food is essential. It turns out that there are certain production methods that sequester carbon, such as:

There isn’t much you can do about tillage practices and cover crop use at the grocery store… maybe you can wait until those criteria are included on the food label. Until then, relying on grass-fed beef, goat, lamb, sheep, veal, bison, deer and their respective dairy products along with perennial produce should yield net-negative carbon emissions. Some perennials are:

Another potential avenue of environmentally responsible food consumption is legume crops. Legumes (beans, peas, peanuts…) fix nitrogen into the soil and can act as fertilizer instead of relying on synthetic nutrients or manure (http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_a/A129/). Is this enough of a benefit to offset the carbon emissions that are most likely being induced by the machines used to plant, harvest, and process the crops into food? I want to say yes… but it’s pretty much just because I love peanut butter. I see no issues if the legume food products are grown without fossil fuel dependent machines, but that is really not available in any supermarket.

It appears you can demand carbon dioxide pollution to be mitigated by buying grass-fed ruminant meat and dairy as well as perennial fruits, nuts, seeds, roots, and vegetables. Maybe legumes can be considered to have a negligible environmental impact, but it would seem more likely that the carbon dioxide emissions outweigh the nitrogen fixation.

So it seems to me that I can save the world with one bite of steak at a time 🙂 At the supermarket, the non carbon-related issues can be ameliorated through buying organic. The “industrial” organic options available at the market will still probably cause soil erosion and use a monoculture system relying on fossil fuel driven machinery, so if you can find a farmers market (www.localharvest.org), a small scale producer might be more conscious of those issues and take preventative measures.

Is this helpful?

Will anything productive come of choosing these suggested foods?

What are your suggestions for a hungry, supermarket-dependent traveler that cares about the world??

Thanks and come visit me in paradisaical Puerto Rico 🙂

Calculated Disease Risk

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So Julie and I need help. We like eating peoples’ leftovers. Nothing else brings us as much joy in life. But while we are enjoying our discarded half plates of chicken tikka masala donated by unknowing mall patrons, off to buy some shoes or whatever people do at malls, we are being bombarded from warning from concerned friends and family. “You are going to get diseases! :O,” my uncle, Paul, informs me, adding that exact face at the end of his statement for dramatic effect. I heard whispers that Julie’s family has threatened to disown her for her sickeningly sustainable dumpster diving addiction.

Are these kind souls saving us from killing ourselves with that infected, greatly yearned for half-filled cup of Columbus mocha? Or are we being subjected to more Malthusianesque ramblings brought on due to overblown perceptions of the rates of herpes, mononucleosis, the common cold, and flu?

I’d LOVE to see some research that systematically compares the safety of:

  • conventional industrial grocery store food
  • restaurant food
  • takeaway food
  • hunted/gathered food
  • random peoples’ leftovers
  • friends’ leftovers
  • grocery store dumpster stashes
  • make out session with rando in the club that you don’t remember until your friend tells you the next day

Was that Indian guy mean mugging Julie and I today as I presented that tray of plates partially filled with succulent pumpkin and a plump chicken carcass because he thinks he’s more royal than us due to his choice to pay money for his food? How closely correlated are peoples’ disgust with eating someone’s meal remnants and their general lack of respect for other citizens of this wonderful world?

Carbon Neutral Food Plan

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Convinced by the doomsdayers like Bill McKibben, who’s article convincing people that the Earth’s habitability is near extinction and fossil fuel companies are the devil I had to read for class (http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719), I’ve been more motivated to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions caused by my lifestyle. Obviously one person can’t fix the issue, but at the same time it all adds up and we are all capable agents of social change. I believe it’s all of our civic duties to “be the change” we want to see in the world. Inspired by http://lowcarbongirl.com/, I aim to demonstrate how we can all stop fuelling the anthropocene extinctions and the Koch brothers’ rapidly inflating wallets (http://archives.politicususa.com/2011/09/21/koch-brothers-wealth.html).

I decided long ago to start walking instead of driving whenever it is feasible for my health (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/17-reasons-to-walk-more-this-year/#axzz3n7095s31) and heat my house only when Dan or Jay complained about seeing their breath while lounging around snapchatting, but I’ve recently zoned in on the food I eat and it’s effects on the global methane and carbon dioxide levels. Fossil fuels are heavily relied upon during the whole food chain from:

  • manufacture of fertilizer
  • manufacture of pesticides
  • heavy machinery cultivations
  • transportation
  • refrigeration
  • others?

So there goes the grocery store!

Options now include:

  • wild harvested meat, fruit, and vegetables
  • forlorn foods at friends’ abodes
  • leftovers at the school dining hall
  • unwanted sides at mall dining court
  • grocery store dumpsters
  • garbage cans in close proximity to takeaways
  • carbon neutral foods at the store (so far I’ve only seen wine http://www.yealands.co.nz/wines/all/peter-yealands)

Posts about each of these to come if you beg… or bride with near-rotten vegetables

Some of this might not sound appetizing, but that would only indicate you haven’t practiced using your scavenging eye enough. My amazing scavenging team members will vouch for the deliciousness and pure ecstasy we’ve derived from plenty of these sustenance sources. Let me know if you’d like to join next time we go harvest!

I still haven’t figured out how to cook my food without spurting mass quantities of pollution into this revitalising New Zealand air, but I welcome suggestions. Perfection in life will be attained if I could just find a reliable source of half-drank coffees like I did the other day at the mall. Or a carbon neutral source to buy. Anyone know of any? Tea and chocolate would be nice as well…

Garbage Guts

What do all of these items of food have in common?

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Yes, they were delicious. Yes, they were free. Most importantly, they were intercepted by my mouth directly en route to the garbage! I’ve embarked on a journey into eating almost exclusively peoples’ leftovers. Motivated by the impending doom of climate change and the fact that agriculture contributes to a large portion of global greenhouse gas emissions, I’ve decided to eat food that has contributed the least to this problem. Due to the climate change induced reduction in biodiversity and it’s effects on mental health (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306987711000910), among other reasons, I feel that we all have a responsibility in ameliorating this issue and choosing to promote a fossil fuel intensive agricultural system is not something that makes me too ecstatic. I rely on personally harvested and scavenged foods from animals I have recently been fortunate enough to being to my freezer, fruit trees in my neighborhood, the community garden, and leftovers at the mall food court and the school dining hall. Either free of petroleum-based inputs such as pesticides, fertilizers, and machine cultivation or considered waste, these all seem to contribute zero carbon emissions.

The scavenging diet has become a source of much joy, as Julie or Alex and I proclaim out excitement with each properly spotted and secured morsel of edible sustenance. We’ve discovered that you can say a phrase such as “I really want a Coke right now,” wait a moment, and be granted your wish by an unsuspecting genie with blonde hair as she moves off to shop for some more shoes. If you are nice enough, the cleaning crew will join your team, offering up the juiciest Chinese grilled chicken and half-filled cups of Johnny Mango smoothies. The fun and scrumptious is literally endless! I invite any and all moral and ethically-conscious eaters to join me in my pursuit to save the world one succulent bite of garbage at a time.

Anyone have any tips, critiques, or suggestions?

I Love “Paleo”

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I know. It seems a little wishy-washy to post about an affection of something I just broke up with last month. But I’d like to make a distinction between various meanings of “Paleo.” In some people’s minds, it is a strict set of foods that can or cannot be eaten, depending on your interest in obtaining and maintaining possession of the holy Paleo Card. This is how I first became aware of the newly publicized movement, more specifically through a multi-million view adorned sugar-bashing video by Dr. Robert Lustig (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM) that was posted on an OSU Army ROTC Facebook group page by a then MSIV, CDT Shell. If I remember correctly, the video led me to Lorain Cordain’s Paleo Diet for Athletes (http://www.amazon.com/The-Paleo-Diet-Athletes-Nutritional/dp/160961917X).

Alas, as with every living, breathing entity, the Paleo diet evolved. Transforming into the Paleo lifestyle movement, it now attempts to encompass all components of life that affect a human’s health and happiness. There are many different formats that attempt to map out all of the areas of focus, such as Paleo Treats’ Nik Hawks’ 7 Pillars of Paleo (http://www.paleotreats.com/pages/7-pillars-of-paleo), which demonstrates the importance of nutrition, sleep, exercise, water, community, mental health, and sunlight. While I would argue that other necessities in the list are nature, spirituality, joy, movement, and stress management, I think it is important to keep a wide view of holistic health, taking into account evolutionary precedence and scientific understanding of what each of these pillars manifest themselves as in society today.

It is all too easy to get pulled into placing all efforts into improvement and optimization of only a single element of health. I explored this trap for years, placing all of my efforts into discovering and practicing a “perfect” diet. This came, of course, at the expense of social health, sleep, and mental health as I would sometimes abstain from social gatherings or remain awake long into the night stressing over and researching the minute details of each and every morsel of food I may come into contact with and its physiological effects. With the realization that there must be a balance of effort placed on each aspect of wellness, I happily embrace the Paleo lifestyle’s intent to improve a person’s happiness through making the best decisions in all areas of health.

Are the 7-12 pillars listed above suitable to maintain the structure of your house of health?

If not, what model is most practical for your life?

Slaying of the Coon

Recently assured of its legality, I decided it is time to let everyone know about a recent adventure involving a cool, calm, and collected varmint, a cold hearted killer, and a pathetically inadequate tool set.

As you may or may not know, I volunteer at a farm to trap rabbits. These beasts are wrecking havoc on the crops and at a certain density start to suffer from high rates of diseases and interspecies competition for food, thus lowering their quality of life (http://www.dnr.state.il.us/orc/wildlife/benefits.htm). So I kill them 😛

Apparently, some people still aren’t aware of all of the negative externalities inherent to the current industrial animal production process and negative outcomes of eating this protein, so I will list some of them here:

Unfortunately, even if you only eat meat from wild or pasture raised animals, these problems can’t completely be avoided.

I use live traps that necessitate checking for an animal at least once daily. These joyful jaunts a mile or so out to the farm can be made even more enjoyable with the accompaniment of another individual interested in wild-caught sustenance or just an interesting time. I was fortunate enough to have a fellow cadet, Erica Coffee, express interest in and agree to participate in this eccentric endeavor one day. We walked out to the farm from main campus, chatting along the way about how bad OSU dining food is and other vitally important topics.

As the live trap came within sight, I felt a rush of endorphins. The brown fuzzy contents started to make my mouth water while we continued onward, attempting not to participate in the contact that the nettles so persuasively enticed my bare feet to conduct. I knew There was going to be rabbit for dinner. After two more steps, I was amazed at the realization that I had caught the world’s biggest non-domesticated rabbit! Walking closer, I had to wonder why this rabbit had distinctly not-so-rabbit facial markings…

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So a cute momma raccoon had come to play… I’d never had to destroy one of these before, but the stories told to me described the tenacious ferociousness that these critters are capable of, so I knew it would be a good time. I conducted the rabies sniff test… clean, move on to next step!

As I expected a rabbit, which can be dealt with by a quick grasp and some pimp slaps the the back of the head, there was no need for exogenous equipment. The hissing and lurching, fangs first, into the cage toward me indicated that this might put up a fight. For a few moments I had some images of the beast turning the tide and attacking and eating me… Coffee’s conservative composite risk analysis concluded that the best plan of action was to release it back into the wild. So after I convinced her that I am a scavenger and this needs to end up in my pressure cooker, she realized she had a knife on her!

Spears are always a good idea right? No. Not really. Not when this thing had a wrestler’s neck that turned out to be impenetrable. After coffee made the spear, it looked like the best tactic was to two-hand pile drive the stick through the metal spacing through the neck, rendering the enemy growl-less. Agreement coming from Coffee, I positioned the stick above the target zone and gave a loud and proud KYAH KYAH KYAH (royalties to Kevin LeMelle), smashing the point down as fast as possible!

This thing didn’t give a fuck. Posing as the almighty honey badger, this raccoon deflected the spike off of its stone-hard neck, directly into the dirt. Standing there with a spear snapped in two, I realized it was time to bring in the big guns.

Discussing my next move with Coffee as we wandered back to campus, I realized I needed to use something with more force behind it and a sharper point. Good thing I brought my brother Jay’s hunting bow to the apartment. I knew it would come in handy some day. As I inspected the components, I was disappointed to see that there were no tips on the arrows. Who the hell has arrows with no points? Essentially I would be shooting with a hollow tube, but the draw seemed to be enough to get the job done anyways so I wrapped it up in a poncho (I’m not sure if bow possession is frowned upon in this area…) and rode my bike back out to my new pet.

I had high hopes as I scouted around to ensure no witnesses of the dirty deed. An arrow notched, the point lined up through the hole, and a napping animal seemed like the perfect situation. The release of the arrow didn’t bring my furry friend or I much joy. The impact induced large amounts of growling, so I renotched as quickly as possible, hoping not to let this girl suffer at all. I let a rip and was amazed as the carbon fiber rod bounced off its face and snapped right in half… Sooo don’t tell Jay that the arrow is currently somewhere in the Columbus dump slowly decomposing.

Since I made the poor decision not to have a back up back up plan and just watched my back up plan crack into two pieces, I was awarded with another bike ride back to my apartment for more killing supplies. Grabbing a hunting knife, Army issued leather gloves (this is really the only thing they are good for anyways), and some 550 cord, I embarked on, hopefully, the last cycle race to the farm for the day. The feeling of anticipation was growing as I stared at the snoozing ball of fur in the cage, wondering how the hell I was going to grab it, hold it down, and slit its throat without letting it do something similar to me. But, like prepping for the delivery of a bad pick up line at the bar, I knew I’d be better off just executing without any further contemplation. The moment I opened the trap door and shoved my hand in, I knew this was going to be a battle…

The dragon reared its head as I attempted to trap it with the gloved left hand, thinking I might be able to pull it out. It was’t having any of that. Abandoning that plan and just forcing its razor sharp teeth toward the bottom of the cage, I shoved the knife into its neck as swiftly as possible, given the narrow confinement of the cage. If only brand new knives were sharp right out of the box. Pushing harder so that the blade was actually able to cut hair, skin, and whatever else came within the blade’s path, I happily retracted the weapon along with my hands. Checking to ensure that the bite that occurred at some point during our play date wasn’t fatal, I was thrilled to see that no skin was broken. No longer making the “oh shit I’m going to die” noises that haunt me for weeks after a kill, this baby bled.

My victory celebrations of sniffing the closest flower and refueling on a cattail were cut short when I saw the raccoon rallying and moving around again. At this point, while amazed at the display of resiliency, I decided I had had enough messing around and opened the cage up again delivering half a dozen sharp stabs with my OJ Simpson knife to seal the deal. This is why I am now convinced I need a gun. Finally, I was able to string up, skin, and pack the body up for transportation to my pristine kitchen.

After checking for supposed scent glands and finding none, I soaked the body (head on, of course) in a saline solution at fridge temperature for the rest of the day. At sundown, I rubbed the meat with olive oil, sea salt, baking soda, and curry (the go to spice for all occasions). All of the above, along with some water, were placed in my pressure cooker as I turned it to high at 60 minutes and went to bed dreaming of tender, succulent, delicious raccoon meat for lunch.

I know you (assuming there is someone that cared to read this far) might be thinking this is “gross”. This tell me that you were not one of the multiple people that tasted the delicious results, giving me praise for making “varmint” taste not just edible, but tasty. Some people that refuse to partake in such culinary adventures argue that there is too much risk associated with eating raccoons because of rabies, parasites, and other woes that I see as having overblown risk perception among the general public. My rebuttal to those ideas is that I’d like to see the research suggesting that there is more risk of parasites coming from wild animals as well as the rates of rabies in the area for raccoons. Can’t you tell visibly that a raccoon has rabies? My mind is still blown that people have such a low risk perception with the conventional meat they choose to consume every day, given all of the risks and negative outcomes highlighted above. Every bite of food I can consume outside of that system is something I am proud of and have faith in. I aim to place as much societal awareness on what I eat as possible, and I believe wild animal consumption is highly moral, nutrition, and delicious.

Some also bring up some biblical mythos that people “aren’t supposed to” eat animals that small or certain body parts. I don’t know all of the details, and since they are often relying on outdated fictional ramblings to make decisions for them, they most likely don’t either.

So if you are wondering if you can eat a pest in your area, the answer is probably yes. If you are wondering if I will help, the answer is yes (as long as you have a better slaughter plan…). I’ve also eaten groundhog, field mice, birds my cat caught for me, and many other odd tasty critters. I am extremely jealous of my declawed cat’s hunting skills. She is almost worth the layer of hair she leaves on all of my belongings.

What free, healthy, and ethical protein sources are you thinking about trying out??

Bye, Paleo

I’ve recently found myself engaged in a debate regarding the validity of the claims of the Paleo diet a lot. For some reason people assume that I am a strict, die-hard, spear throwing, grain rejecting Paleo caveman and that they need to tell me why everything I am doing is stupid without realizing that they have essentially no idea what I actually eat or do during the large page of time between our interactions.

So, I’d like to officially denounce my brief (and actually ending some time in April 2012) Paleo citizenship. Sorry all my Paleo buddies. I hope we can still be friends or at least catch some wild animals together sometime.

There are some extremely beneficial life tips that came out of the Paleo diet principles, including:

The critiques that I have, which are often shouted at me in anger without provocation are:

  • People did not stop evolving 10,000 years ago when agriculture was adopted and some people are now able to tolerate grains, dairy, soy, legumes without any negative consequences (http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/07/grains-and-human-evolution.html). I get it. Hate on grains until they aren’t touted as the required base of everyone’s diets, as the Food Pyramid suggests. The paleo community is pushing the zero grain message to balance out the misinformation given to people for the past decades from officials pushing their political agendas to help special interests in industrial agriculture. I don’t like the idea of telling people an exaggeration to balance out another lie because how different is that, really? One could argue it isn’t as bad because the intent isn’t to take advantage of people for the purpose of a fatter wallet, as it seems the reason for the grain push was. Now though, people are actually making money on products by scaring people away from grains completely.
  • Even if we didn’t adapt from the change in diet, grains were eaten in paleolithic era by the Natufians (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/406083/Natufian-culture)
  • Nuts, while given the green light, can have more phytates and lectins than grains or legumes (http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-phytates-phytic-acid)
  • Dairy has clinically demonstrated to provide many health benefits to people that tolerate it (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/dairy-intolerance/#axzz3ZfZaFqmG)
  • Legume benefits > negatives if someone doesn’t have an acute intolerance (http://www.precisionnutrition.com/bean-me-up-scotty)
  • Soy can be ok for most people and the thyroid and phytoestrogenic activity seems to be exaggerated (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/15/soy-myths_n_5571272.html)
  • Some people are genetically predisposed to be less sensitive to carbs and would do better on a higher carb, low fat diet. I’m tired of people saying that everyone needs to be a “fat-burning beast” and eat less than 50g of carbs if they want to be happy with anything in their lives. From what I’ve seen, there isn’t any proof that a higher carb diet can’t work very well for people, while I know people can thrive on a very high carb diet, like the Kitavans (http://www.healwithfood.org/diet/kitavan-diet-foods.php)
  • Alcohol intake can have benefits for some people and can raise HDL as well as dancing skills (http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/102/19/2347.full)
  • Stop shaming everyone for eating “Paleo food products!” There is no evidence that there are negative repercussions because something is pulverized into a powder, combined with other smashed foods, and subjected to heat. Some people have no issues eating some or even large amounts of paleo cookies. These are great transitional foods at the very least. Also, some people prefer the convenience of these products now being offered on the market. Just because some people can’t stop eating after one cookie or meat-veggie conglomerate bar does’t mean all people can’t. Plus they usually taste incredible!
  • The O-6:O-3 ratio theory doesn’t seem to hold up. It looks like what is more important is the fact that the O-6 oils are often consumed after being subjected to heat. This usually happens from processing, but becomes even more pronounced after heating in the pan or fryer. (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/why-the-omega-3omega-6-ratio-may-not-matter-after-all/#axzz3ZfZaFqmG)

These points are why I am ok with a minimal amount of whole grains in my diet and have no issues with consuming alcohol, soy, dairy, or legumes. I still completely avoid anything partially hydrogenated and artificial sweeteners and only consume industrial oils, processed grains, or refined sugar socially or within other contexts (post workout, bed time…).

Let me know if you have any others I missed!