I’m writing about eating raw meat because there aren’t a whole lot of people out there who’ve got much experience with it and some people want to know what it’s like. I’m not writing this post to get an onslaught of criticism. It’s not like I don’t know that raw meat kills thousands of people a year all over the country! It’s not like I haven’t heard of bacteria and parasites and worms and viruses and fungus that will burrow into my digestion and slither their way up to my brain…
How I Got Started Eating Raw Meat
I had quite a few health problems growing up. After years of doctors visits and a plethora of prescription drugs taken and enormous loads of money spent, I had no choice but to look to diet to help me. While the diet changes I made helped, feeling great was still illusive. So I went on searching for solutions to some of my more persistent symptoms.
During one lazy summer in 2007 I read Shogun. I’ve always been in awe of how beautiful and young looking Japanese people are. I had some Japanese friends in college and they were simply perfect. Being the brainwashed American that I was I thought it was luck or genetics. Until I read, in 1152 pages, how those people eat. “They actually live on raw fish, fish broths, rice, and a little fermented veggies?” I thought. How simple! How wonderful! I was in utter awe. I studied this idea and then decided to try it on myself.
At first, I wasn’t prepared to add rice because that was practically against my Paleo religion but the idea of including raw animal food was really starting to make sense to me. I had read about others who ate raw meat. Weston Price had mentioned them and so had Aajonus Vanderplanitz. And it was always in the context of healing and optimal nutrition.
What I Eat and How I Ate It
I started eating raw meat in 2007.
I started out drinking raw milk. I was actually really surprised that it didn’t kill me. Then I ate jerky dried at 100 degrees – bacteria still in tact but looked cooked. Then I made some cured salmon by leaving it out on the counter for a few days with salt and honey (really really good stuff by the way). For the most part only good bacteria can survive in super salty and sugary environments so I knew I would be safe there. Then I had some sushi grade raw tuna (which just means previously frozen). Then I had raw eggs. Then I tried some raw grassfed ground beef that had been frozen for 14 days. Then I tried other raw seafood that had been previously frozen.
Then I quit eating cooked meat entirely.
I ate some raw liver and kidney that I got directly from a farm and I ate it without previously freezing it. If the Inuits could tear into a freshly killed animal and eat its liver then maybe so could I, I reasoned.
It had been months and I was doing fine. I had never gotten sick.
I started getting more and more confident that raw meat doesn’t make people sick and so I started caring less and less about where it came from and whether it had been previously frozen. I digested raw meat so well and my digestion had changed so much I was just in heaven.
Freezing meat kills a lot of pathogens but it kills a lot of beneficial bacteria as well. So I definitely like to eat some of my meat unfrozen. Bacteria from raw meat may help populate a healthy bowel.
However, my bowel sure was a lot healthier since eating raw meat. So I took the notion to the next level and experimented with eating rotten meat – that’s what Aajonus Vanderplanitz is known for.
This involves putting meat into little jars in the fridge or cupboard and waiting until it gets super duper disgusting before you eat it. It’s really really disgusting. It’s freaking repulsive actually. But it doesn’t hurt you to eat it. No stomach aches or puking or anything. In fact, it’s rather energizing. My neice and nephew and myself all used to do this. We don’t do it anymore because it’s gross. Aajonus did it because he learned that it could cure his cancer. I don’t have cancer so I’ll save the rotten meat for when I’m dying. Bleh.
If you want to see what it looks like to eat rotten meat, check out this video of Aajonus Vonderplanitz on Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
Why Doesn’t Raw Meat Kill Me?
Because my stomach acid is strong. Because my bowel transit time is good. Because I don’t eat industrial foods. Because I eat only natural, whole foods. Because I am fit. Because I have a very strong immune system and my body can take care of pathogens. Pathogens don’t always mean death. Sometimes they mean diarrhea for a couple of days, vomiting, or other important built-in detox methods. I wrote more about about parasites here.
Eventually I stopped eating raw land animals and narrowed it down to raw seafood (along with rice and raw juices). I did that for two years. It was lovely but I don’t feel the need to eat just raw meats anymore. I do fine eating cooked meat now.
I’ve been eating raw meat and seafood for over four years and can’t see any reason why I would ever stop. It works for me.
Why Don’t I Just Eat Like a Normal Person?
A lot of people have never bothered to go to the measures I have with diet either because they don’t have a whole lot of problems to worry about, they really like eating processed foods, or because they still don’t believe that diet can transform a body and mind so profoundly. Or they’ve tried some version of the Paleo diet and it didn’t provide totally amazing results. They didn’t bother to keep on tinkering with it.
For me, it was important to feel spectacular. I devoted a few years to learning and experimenting. There were some symptoms I just couldn’t bare to live with.
Some people can happily settle for poor or mediocre health, especially if great health means eating weird food or giving up comfort foods, but I just couldn’t. That is just me. If that’s you too, keep searching. It may take a couple of years to narrow down your own sweet spot, but what is a few years in 70 or 80? Nothing. Striving for good health is worth it.