The Store Is Open, Why Fat Excites Me and The Paleolithic Diet…

The store is open for this week’s ordering and Happy Monday!
I hope you’re all easing into this new week a little more gracefully than I am…
New Products and Broccoli Salad Ideas…

The difference between last week’s availability and this week’s isn’t that much, except that we’ve got broccoli and peppers coming this week which are new and make for really exciting salads.
I’m a nut for roasted red peppers that are cooled, drizzled in balsamic vinegar and olive oil with some feta and rocket – that for me is a salad alone that is comforting and just gorgeous. Try doing that if you haven’t yet?
Did any of you try the red pepper soup recipe from last week?
Think maybe this week about roasting peppers for salads and also about making the sexiest salads with broccoli. Think beyond steaming and boiling and mushing broccoli. Think a bit more sort of like – heat a griddle pan – get the temp up nice and high – stick on some broccoli florets or stems that you’ve rubbed in olive oil – and quickly chargrill them – remove from the heat when they’ve got chargrill marks on them – and build a salad around them. Home-made lemon mayonnaises made with Mandy’s eggs and fresh lemons and garlic work beautifully with broccoli too.
Blitz up some anchovies, garlic, chillies, lemon and oil as a dressing – that also goes so well with broccoli salads….think about adding pan toasted nuts with some gorgeous greens – like pak choi or spinach or rocket, or baby spinach, throw in some colourful tomatoes while we’ve got so many – just fiddle around in the kitchen and have fun!
You can’t go wrong – start with a gorgeous salad plate. If I don’t have a recipe and I want to make something, the nuttiest thing is that I actually go and find a gorgeous salad dish that I want to use and then imagine what I want it to look like and then I build the salad from the base up – greens on the bottom and then just sort of feel your way around dressing the plate.
I’m not sure if this is useful information or not, I’m rather convoluted today and far more in the space of messy scatty thoughts rather than organized linear recipes. I’m just not linear today in any shape or form:)
Although, I do have a gorgeous recipe from one of my favourite chefs in the whole world’s cookbooks – Ottolenghi that we use a lot that I’ll rustle up for you, I think I’ve already written about it in a previous newsletter….I’ll find to for you for tomorrow’s newsletter…
Excited About Fat and Birds Nest Brain…
We’ve got new packs of Kalahari 100% Grass Fed Beef pet bones and most excitedly for the paleo guys specifically who place great emphasis on eating omega 3 and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) rich traditional fats and have been asking me for this for yonks –  we’ve finally got bottled lard made from the Kalahari 100% Grass Fed Beef!
I have a frazzled sort of bird’s nest brain today. I’m battling to sit still, battling to concentrate, battling to focus, I’ve chewed a pen lid to pieces with nervous tension and just feel restless and flighty. Which is not the best space from which to write an article? Most especially if it’s on something very important and coincidentally I do need to write about a topic that I believe is as critical as it is contentious and that’s about the role of traditional animal fats in our diet.
I’m going to need to explain though why we’re bothering in a huge way with a man who is so passionate about what a Palaeolithic diet has done for his own health that he started bottling and selling lard and tallow from free-range, grass-fed animals because it’s so difficult to get your hands on clean forms of traditional fats from wholly pastured animals nowadays. Ok, until now, it’s been impossible!
We wanted cooking lard made from the Kalahari 100% Grass Fed Beef so that is it the purest form we can get of beef lard. He’s taken it for us and bottled it and if you want to delight your family this week at any point, try roasting potatoes in it! It’s also a very inexpensive great fat to cook with compared to coconut oil and olive oil which are the only other 2 types of oil I believe we should be eating. Other than butter of course.
Writing an article though about why the fat from a wholly grass-fed animal is something to get excited about, is tricky for me for 2 reasons.
The First…
The first is that there is a host of new information coming out that is set to debunk some of our fundamental beliefs about nutrition and most importantly the role of fat in our diets. It’s a large and seismic shift in our nutritional belief system so it’s contentious. It’s probably not a great idea to wade into contentious territory while I’m in this mood and flighty but I have to otherwise you won’t understand why I’m excited about the fact that we’re selling Kalahari lard this week!
It’s not just a new idea – it’s a paradigm shift. Paradigm shifts threaten people’s sense of security, so they’re not easy to talk about and I risk offending people’s belief systems so it’s tricky from that point of view.
And The Second Is…
The second reason is that I took a decision some time ago to focus on selling the healthiest food I could get and to stay out of the nutritional arguments as it’s a mess out there.
No matter where I was, I was at risk of offending somebody who has a different belief about what a healthy diet is meant to look like – so I stayed out of the content of the debate and just focused on the food. In fact sometimes I think it’s easier to debate religion with people rather than differences in opinion about what we should be eating.
Which was difficult because through-out I was on my own journey, I had been vegetarian, I had been vegan, I’ve done raw foodism, I’ve food combined, I’ve juiced, I’ve tried macrobiotics, there are precious few eating philosophies I haven’t tried, it’s been a fascinating and often confusing journey which led me back to a belief in farming, in natures wisdom and back to the role and the inclusion of animal products in my own diet.
When I look back at my earlier articles 3 years ago, I can find things that I got excited about as a health food that I wouldn’t in a million years recommend now. I’ve done quantum shifts on many levels when it comes to my beliefs about what a healthy diet looks like FOR ME….and looking back, I’m glad that I decided earlier on to not talk about nutritional theories and my journey but to rather let everybody find their own way while I focused on just making sure that whatever you thought was healthy, you could get from us.
So I stopped believing that it was appropriate to put my beliefs onto you and I stopped doing that, I just focused on selling great, whole, organic food.
As my journey continued, it became more and more apparent to me that one of the most important shifts in the vital food revolution that we’re creating right now – is to get alternatives to the feedlot reared animal, to get animals back onto pasture and to provide alternatives other than veganism to the horrendous circumstance of feedlot meat and the antibitics, cruelty, growth hormones and grain high diets that are a part of the production of animal products today.
Veganism is the answer for some and it doesn’t work for all. Without the return of the pastured animal and proper farms raising animals naturally, there wasn’t anything in between the 2 extremes.
In order to talk about why we’ve gone to the lengths that we have to support a man selling traditional beef lard, I do end up talking about my own beliefs around the place of nutrition and I haven’t done that for some time.
I think it’s time now because this business obviously gets moulded all the time in accordance with what I’m passionate about and most believe in. In fact there are a whole host of ‘products’ that I’m not going to bother with anymore while I provide more focus to the food that I believe makes the largest difference.
Just Real Food from Real Farms. Farmed Naturally.
I think – truth be told that some of the items that are sold as ‘health foods’ are utter rubbish. It’s taken some time though to work that all out.
So one of the largest turn around in my own belief system has been around the role of fat in our diets and I need to go there so that you understand why I think cooking with lard over vegetable oils is a big and important deal.
The idea that fat makes you fat has been convincingly debunked in some quarters. My household would be one of them.  The idea that the oils from rancid vegetables are a heart healthier form of fat is currently being severely tested by the likes of Dr Oz and Gary Taubes and a host of other nutritional writers and voices, anybody who is delving deeply into some absurd nutritional beliefs that have been built on bad science. The information is there that as we were told to cut out fat from our diet from traditional animal sources, we didn’t get healthier, we got more sick and we got more diseased.
As we ate less fat in our diet, we didn’t get thinner at all, rather our obesity levels continued to increase, year on year and the trend remains. As we removed traditional fat from our diet, our rate of heart disease did not get better, everybody was drinking skimmed milk, butter became a ‘bad’ food, margarine from rancid vegetable oils became a ‘right’ food and heart disease rates continued to soar. The trend continues.
The fat in food got removed and replaced with sugar, mono-cropped grain and cheap carbohydrates and the story of our on-going decline in health got more miserable.
We drank skimmed milk, ate margarine and were taught that the traditional fats our grandparents had eaten were wrong and that industrial oils rather manufactured from plants in a factory were right. The farm became vilified, the factory producing vegetable oils became glorified.
Sad. Families stopped hanging fat from their own animals and using it to cook and rather walked into supermarkets to buy margarine from factories. Animals got removed from grass, we all got industrialized and modernized and we’re still feeling nostalgic for all that we lost.
We are making attempts to reclaim it through the Real Food Revolution.
The whole story is utterly ludicrous when you get into the history behind it. If you want to get to understand how this theory of fat being responsible for poor health was built – please do yourself a favour and get your hands on a copy of a book called ‘Why We Get Fat’ by Gary Taubes – he is a scientific journalist who writes about good and bad science and has spent more time on this research to date than any other. His book shows how some research that doesn’t stand up from somebody called Ancel Keyes was inflated to create the belief that fat makes us fat. It doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and he has scrutinized the history of it into great detail and reveals the research through this book as well as the more scientifically heavy version called ‘Good Fats Bad Fat’ if you can handle it, but that version is pretty heavy going.
So that’s another belief that came out of the industrial age that is being challenged at the moment, if you want to look at it or engage with it, listen to what Gary Taubes says about it, Google the ‘Palaeolithic’ dietary theories and see what they have to say about the role of fat in your diet and enter the debate. If you YouTube Gary Taubes – there are many clips with interviews of him on there and even if you just Google ‘traditional fats’ or why eat fat from grass fed animals, you’ll find a lot of information to consider. Or just ask your grandmother.
Have a look too at the blog Nourished Kitchen, this is a journalist who has written extensively on traditional cooking and traditional foods and is another one reviving old traditions that supported health like making your own stocks and bottling and fermenting your own vegetables. She has also written a lot about why you want to include omega 3 and CLA rich fat sources into your diet over omega 6 vegetable oils. There are some great articles on there….see
So I’ve ended my 2 year sort of silence on what nutritional beliefs I most support, now you know that I get excited about fat and the irony is that the more good fat I eat, the less I need to worry about my weight…..climb into the research on healthy fats and you’ll find out why.
That said, I will not, and do not and wouldn’t eat fat from a feedlot animal that is given grain as a primary food source, I do not believe that the omega 3-6 ratio of that type of animal resembles that of an animal raised outdoors on pasture eating it’s natural diet which is that of grass and veldt. It’s not the same animal and Keith Harvey, our holistic management beef farmer will tell you that it isn’t under scrutiny – the protein and fat content between the 2 are different – entirely!
I don’t  believe that we’re comparing apples with apples at all when we talk about beef from a wholly pastured animal and that of a feedlot animal. Somebody recently gave me some lard made from fat from a feedlot animal and I wouldn’t touch it. I don’t believe it would be all that good, it is likely to be higher in omega 6’s than omega 3’s – a recipe for chronic inflammation that we now know contributes to degenerative disease more than eating proper food from proper farms I’d say.
Then there are the antibiotics, growth hormones and high levels of cortisol from a stressed feedlot animal with an immune system weakened by its unnatural diet of grain and unnatural living circumstances…that I don’t much fancy in my own diet either.
So there. That’s what I believe and that’s why the liquid gold we can get this week in the form of cooking lard made with the Kalahari 100% Grass Fed Beef is something I’m so excited about.
I’ll find some time tomorrow morning to put together a resource list for you to read on traditional tallow.
This amazing man who lost heaps of weight and recovered his health and weight through rediscovering traditional foods has an amazing story to tell that I’ll bring to you shortly.
Lard is a traditional food eaten by traditional societies that didn’t battle with the chronic diseases we do.
I will bring you his whole story shortly. In the meantime, if you’ve missed the taste of roast potatoes cooked in lard like your grandmother used to make – try the Kalahari Lard this week and let me know….I promise you that your children will go dotty for it….the health benefits are high levels of conjugated linoleic acid – CLA and high levels of omega 3 fats. I’ll bring you some more too tomorrow on CLA and why it’s so important but for now, I’d best push on…..I’ve been rambling on in my non-linear way for a good couple of hours now – I think I need to go and find a wall to stare at for a while….:)
Have a great week everybody….I’ll be back tomorrow….and will find the Ottolenghi broccoli salad recipe for you by then too…and perhaps a tidier, less distracted mind…..or not 🙂
Warmest Regards,
Yours in the Jozi Real Food Revolution,
The Organic Natural and Whole Food Emporium
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