Foods For The Urban Hunter-Gatherer
Okay, so you don’t exactly have to hunt and forage for your own food in order to eat a diet that more closely resembles the foods our ancestors thrived on for thousands of years before the invention of modern agriculture, CAFO (confined animal feeding operations), industrialized foodlike substances, microwaves, etc. Modern diseases including atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, obesity, allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, attention deficit disorder, depression, overeating, tooth decay and dental deformities (AKA crooked or crowded teeth), and even a decrease in physical stature, strength, ability to withstand hot and cold outdoor temperatures, and brain size are directly related to a grain-based agricultural diet lacking in wild foods and herbs. You don’t have to eat weeds, insects, whale blubber, start wearing a loincloth, and start avoiding all domesticated vegetables and fruits (pretty much everything in the produce section of a grocery store or farmer’s market) to enjoy the foods that will contribute to your healthiest gene expression and prevent you from becoming a victim of the Frankenfoods, faux foods, and CAFO. Below is a list of some of my favorite and most highly recommended foods. Combine these items with homegrown and heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits, spices, and herbs to make flavorful meals that will satisfy your appetite, help you reach and maintain your ideal body composition, and promote a healthy mind & body free of depressed mood, lack of energy, and chronic disease.
Tallow, Marrow, and Bone Broth — Homemade bone broth provides your body with minerals to build beautiful skin, hair, and nails without needing a bunch of artificial “beauty” products to do it for you. It will also protect your bones & joints from developing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, help you sleep better at night, and impress impromptu dinner guests.
Beef Carpaccio — To make a good beef carpaccio, start by marinating a healthy piece of grass-fed tenderloin in lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. If you choose to serve your carpaccio raw or rare, always make sure it comes from a reliable source! Avoid cuts of meat that have been sitting out on ice at the supermarket for questionable periods of time.
Lamb Sweetbread — Sweetbread is naturally rich in digestive enzymes and important minerals that may help normalize blood sugar. This is a tasty delicacy to try if you’re bored with eating the same old foods every day. If you’re new to sweetbread, you can learn to make an easy sweetbread salad.
Head Cheese Sausage — Forget bacon for breakfast and pepperonis on pizza! This delicious head cheese is made from the strongest muscles in the body — tongue and heart — and just the right amount of spices. Head Cheese is rich in Co-enzyme Q10 for a healthy mind and a healthy heart, and also contains fat-burning conjugated linoleic acid and high quality protein for a lean physique.
Braunschweiger — This is the most popular dish at every Weston A. Price Foundation conference year after year! Even if you think you hate liver, you will LOVE this traditional German food made from grass-fed beef. This braunschweiger is loaded with B vitamins and iron that is immediately usable by the body to combat fatigue, weakness, and slow/dull mental and physical state.
Beef Liverwurst — This liverwurst does not even compare to any other liverwurst out there! Not only is it made from grass-fed beef (not pork), but it is also made with beef kidney and beef heart in addition to beef liver. It has the most amazing flavor and texture and provides some impressive health-supporting properties. According to Chinese Medicine, the kidneys are the seat of willpower, the liver is the seat of leadership and drive, and the heart is the seat of the mind. By eating foods made from these organs, we strengthen our own self-development through our own mental capabilities, leadership, and willpower to see our goals to fruition.
Chicken Gizzards — Gizzards are low in calories, high in good quality protein, and quite tasty! Stir-fry these in some grass-fed butter or extra virgin coconut oil, and serve with steamed collard greens and mashed cauliflower for an exiting meal that is beyond the plain and ordinary.
Chicken Hearts — These are an excellent choice if you’re in the mood for an exotic food that’s good for your cardiovascular system and brain. These are chock-full of usable CoQ10 and protein, and bursting with flavor and good nutrition. Serve these up on Valentine’s Day for brownie points!
Beef Tongue — The tongue is the strongest muscle in the body, and beef tongue is a tender, high protein meat that tastes great in a stew. Just add thick chunks of carrots, celery, oyster mushrooms, onions, spices, and some red wine, and boil for about an hour. Cooking a tongue sounds kinda weird at first, but there are no bones or bristly things to deal with when you cook a tongue.
Lamb Kidney — Kidney is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, and is revered in Chinese Medicine as an anti-aging and Jing tonifying food. It’s a perfect food for endurance athletes, as well as individuals suffering from weakness, lower back pain, knee pain, or hearing loss. Make kidneys one of your favorite foods by always marinating them first in lemon juice, wine, or vinegar for about 15 minutes. Then saute them in butter and spices on high heat for only 2 – 3 minutes. If you overcook kidney, it will become chewy and inedible.
Osso Buco — This is a truly special delicacy for special occasions and dinner guests. Cook this cut of meat in white wine, and add some onions, celery, carrots, and tomato sauce. Nothing too complicated, but the outcome is impressive!
Raw Grass-fed Dairy — Choose raw dairy products when you can, and if you don’t have legal access to raw dairy, at least look for non-homogenized dairy. If you have allergies to pasteurized dairy products, you may not have any allergy issues with raw dairy. It’s worth the self-experimentation to find out whether you’re really allergic to dairy or if the pasteurization/homogenization of dairy is actually the problem.
Wild Manila Clams — Clams are a slimming food rich in assimilable iron, omega-3 fats, protein, and B vitamins. I like steamed clams in soups, salads, or alone as a snack. These wild manila clams are from the waters of Puget Sound, Washington and are certified by the state of Washington as safe to eat raw. You can just thaw them out and eat them as is, or steam them in white wine.
California Calamari — Most calamari (squid) in the US is imported from questionable sources, but this California calamari is caught off the coast of California using sustainable, environmentally-conscious methods. It is frozen immediately after harvest and safe to be eaten raw. The best way to prepare calamari is to marinate it in lemon juice for about 10 – 15 minutes.
Reefnet Pacific Salmon — This is a rare, savory treat that only comes around once every two years! These pink salmon are handpicked by the Lummi Island Wild co-op off the coast of Bellingham, Washington using an ancient fishing technique known as reefnetting. Everyone knows they ought to eat more fish, and I’m certain that they would if they could experience the unique flavor and delicate texture of freshly-caught pink salmon.
Portuguese Mackerel — Mackerel are another fatty fish you may not hear so much about and may not have ever tried before. These Portuguese Mackerel come in a can, and they’re a good source of DHA, EPA, calcium, and iron, but they aren’t anything like canned sardines. They really remind me more of trout or herring, but are different from both. I recommend these canned mackerel because they’re a tasty, healthy, and convenient food to pack for lunch when you’re on-the-go, and the can is BPA-free so no worries about xenoestrogens making their way into your food and turning you into a shemale.
Salmon Tataki — There are no excuses for not eating enough fatty fish when you don’t even have to cook it. This salmon tataki has been lightly seared, cooking only the edges of the fish. Just thaw it out and eat as is, on top of a green salad.
Tuna Tataki — Ditto here with the tuna tataki. It has been lightly seared on the edges so all you have to do is thaw it out, serve it on some greens, and eat! Experience the incredible health benefits of eating raw animal fats and you’ll never turn back to eating charred hamburgers or dry chicken breast ever again.
Organic Extra Dark Chocolate — While I personally don’t eat chocolate because of some side effects that I began experiencing after eating raw cacao, I believe chocolate can be a health-promoting food for individuals who are not allergic to it when eaten in moderation. If you feel jittery and restless like I do after eating chocolate, stay away from it! This organic dark chocolate is 80% cacao, rich in mood-lifting PEA and anti-aging polyphenols.
Herbal Raw Chocolate With Stevia — These unique cacao treats are made with LOVE, stevia (no sugar or agave), and all kinds of herbs including macuna, vanilla, shilajit, he shou wu, and cordyceps. With creative names like Nipples of Venus and Happy Days are Here Again (plus amazing artwork on the packaging), I think these make cool gifts to yourself and for special friends.
Organic Raw Cultured Vegetables — Did you know that when you use antibiotics, your intestinal biota never fully recover? This imbalance in the bacteria in your gut can create lifelong problems with your immune system, digestive system, psychoemotional health, metabolism, and probably any other system of your body. Our ancestors knew that cultured foods including kimchi, yogurt, kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut are important for our health, though they may not have known exactly why these foods are healthy. Now we know it’s because they’re packed with bacteria! We need them more than ever if our own bacteria have already been wiped out by antibiotics, chlorine, or from being born through C-section.
Pemmican With Cherries — This is a Native American food that is rich in healthy fats and protein. Makes an excellent breakfast food or on-the-go meal.
Organic Raw, Soaked Brazil Nuts — One brazil nut each day will ensure that you’re getting enough selenium to protect you from thyroid disorders, cold body temperature, and slow metabolism.
Grain-Free Raw “Bread” — These make a really filling snack or addition to soups & salads, especially if you are just starting on a grain-free diet and still miss the comfort of eating bread with a meal.