Meat should be rare.
No, I’m not talking about the temperature in which meat should be cooked, I’m referring to the frequency in which it should be eaten. Meat should be rare!
Now, I understand that this is a hot topic, and you might not be able to imagine a life or a meal without meat. That’s OK! I hope this article can help us all understand our role as humans and our relationship with meat.
Contrary to popular belief, humans have not been consuming meat on a daily basis like we do today. Meat is challenging to hunt and expensive to raise. Going back 80,000 years to the era of hunter-gatherers (the era in which the Paleo diet is loosely based around), the human diet was mainly plant-based. Hunting was an important aspect of life and evolution for human beings, but eating meat was rare. Our main source of energy came from the foraging of roots, vegetables and fruits, with meat on rare occasions.
If you’ve ever gone hunting or fishing, you understand how difficult it is. It takes a lot of energy and often you come home empty handed!
Before you venture out, you have to prepare your weapons. Then you travel for miles to locate your prey, successfully kill it, carry it back, skin it, butcher it, and then cook it. So much energy is spent through this process. But what food source gave our ancestors this energy? Plants! Plants were essential in the survival and evolution of humans regardless of a successful hunt.
Evolutionary stages to follow included the development of more sophisticated hunting weapons and strategies, as well as horticultural and pastoral practices. The practice of animal husbandry came from the necessity of easing the workload and increasing work production. Domesticating animals was a huge step in helping humans farm more plant-based vegetables and grains.
And remember, animals are expensive. They take a lot of food and energy to raise. They also take years to mature before they can be slaughtered.
Since WWII, the food system in the United States has changed drastically. During the war, it became apparent that we needed a food system to produce an abundance of food to feed families here at home and ship to our soldiers overseas. Our efforts went toward the mass production of grains to feed ourselves, as well as the mass production of livestock. It is one of the greatest human feats that we’re able to raise and grow produce and livestock on such a scale.
To make this possible, food producers and pharmaceutical companies worked together to create pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to ensure the mass number of crops and livestock could resist disease, pests and climate fluctuations. This ingenuity got us through WWII and was a welcoming comfort to our returning troops, as they did not have to worry about food shortages anymore. It also allowed them to enter the progressive work force rather than focusing only on industry and farming. This feat changed the face of our country and our world.
Over the last 70 years, large food and pharmaceutical companies have dominated the food culture in the United States. We have become used to the luxury of having whatever food we want on a daily basis. We no longer worry about food shortages. In fact, we are overproducing food. And yet, we are not “feeding the world” (as the industry wants you to believe), we are not healthier, and we are not living longer.
Today, it’s easy to see the negative effects of a food system focused only on quantity and not quality. Everything from obesity to cancer has origins in what we are eating. Whether it is the toxicity of pesticides, genetic mutations in GMO produce, or poor-quality meat raised on GMO grains and injected with antibiotics and hormones… it is no wonder we are saturated with chronic disease.
Ironically we are calling upon the pharmaceutical companies to heal us, when in fact they are the ones that got us into this mess in the first place. As the health of our food declines, so does our own, and the profits of the pharmaceutical companies rise twofold.
The food industries are heavily subsidized by our government, and the lobbyists for the pharmaceutical companies (Big Pharma) and government work hand in hand. In the interest of increased profits (not increased public health) they have created some of the best marketing schemes that we have been taught since the day we were born. Together, they created the USDA food pyramid (now called My Plate) and daily nutritional recommendations. Each industry tells us to drink milk for calcium and strong bones, eat meat daily for adequate protein intake, and make sure to eat your grains, while fruits and vegetables are left as a side. From these guidelines, our western food culture was born.
Luckily, we’re starting to realize that we’ve gone too far down this rabbit hole. The majority of our health struggles have everything to do with our food system, and we need to go back to basics.
Going back to basics means we need to look back at how we evolved. We need to strive to grow and raise our food as nature intended. Plants should be organic-grown without herbicides, pesticides and GMOs. Livestock should be raised in open pastures and graze on plant-based food—not governmentally subsidized GMO wheat, corn and soy. We need to return to a mostly plant-based diet and farming practices that encourage a healthy circle of life.
And lastly, to address the cow in the room, how are we suppose to get enough protein without eating meat? (Remember, the marketing from the meat and dairy industries have put this concept in your head in the first place.) But know that protein is found in plants: veggies, legumes, nuts, and grains. In fact, plant-based protein is even easier for your body to absorb. And you are getting not only protein but fiber, vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients that the body can’t produce on its own. And when you do eat meat, quality matters! Conventionally raised meat and dairy have poor quality fats and minerals due to their poor quality diets raised on grains rather than plants. Free range and grass fed livestock have high quality fats that include omega 3s and high quality minerals.
So I’m not saying that you need to be vegan (I myself eat meat), but I want you to know that you won’t just survive without eating meat everyday, but you can THRIVE! I believe the way to solve our pandemic of chronic disease is to go back to basics, and that means a mostly plant-based diet with free range, grass fed meat as a prized rarity.
Meat should be rare!
Now for the perfect way to cook your beautifully raised steak, take a look at the recipe below!
Perfectly Seared Grass-fed Beef
The perfect way to sear grass-fed beef
- 1 cut of grass-fed steak (1-1 1/2 inches thick) Continue reading for directions to cook a thicker steak
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- drizzle of organic canola oil
- With a paper towel, gently pat the steak dry. Removing the moisture gives the steak a nice crust when seared. Then season both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place a cast-iron skillet on the stove over a high flame. After about 30 seconds-1 min the skillet should be very hot. At this point I like to reduce the heat to about a medium flame. I believe this continues to keep the pan hot but not smoking hot which produces more free radicals and can burn and seize the steak.
- Drizzle the pan with organic canola oil (canola oil has a higher smoke point than olive oil) and place the steak on top.
- Once the steak is in place DON’T MOVE IT! This initial sear is very important so resist the temptation to touch it.
- Sear the steak on each side for about 3 minutes or until a golden brown crust forms.
- If you are cooking a steak that is 1-1 1/2 inches thick, this will be all the cook time you need for medium-rare. However, if it is a thick steak or tenderloin roast. Keep the steak on the pan and place it in a preheated 450 degree oven until it reaches your desired internal temperature.
- When the steak is finished, remove it from the pan and let it rest on a cutting board for at least 15-20 minutes.
- When you are ready to slice, find the grain of the meat. You want to slice AGAINST the grain! This will ensure each bite is tender!
If you enjoyed this recipe I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below and be sure to share with family and friends.