5

votes

Eating raw ground beef (grass-fed)

Answered on December 31, 2014
Created August 03, 2010 at 2:01 PM

Recently i was listening to Carl Lanore's Superhuman Radio show and both he and one of his guests mentioned regular consumption of raw beef, if in somewhat minor amounts.

They both were talking about ground beef, and yes the stipulation was that it was good quality grass-fed cow.

I tried a little a couple days ago and indeed i found that it was fine. I like rare steaks and all but still i have to say i was a bit reluctant to just eat raw ground beef. At any rate, it was fine, if a little bland. I started thinking that, for health reasons if nothing else, perhaps a bit of raw beef regularly would be good for us.

So, i just thought id put it out there and see how many, if any, of you paleos are into eating raw ground beef from healthy cows? Thanks as always.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on May 21, 2013
at 03:55 PM

I agree, if I wanted to eat raw meat I'd stick to whole cuts -- ground meat seems like it's much riskier for no real benefit.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on August 20, 2012
at 12:35 AM

This is something that is definitely overlooked. Thanks for pointing it out.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on August 20, 2012
at 12:34 AM

I think the costs of consuming raw meat, especially ground meat, is far outweighed by the risks. I do enjoy rare steaks, but this is purely for the gustatory pleasure, not some perceived nutritional benefit.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on August 20, 2012
at 12:31 AM

@Marnie, if this were the case our ancestors would have stuck to eating raw foods. As it stands, we are the only animal that cooks its food on a regular basis and it is a common trait among all human societies, indicating something that was likely endemic to the original human populations in Africa. Additionally, we tend to think of cooking only in terms of animal foods, but when you look at the net caloric gain of cooking starchy vegetables (tubers, roots, corms, etc.) you have much more to gain by tossing them on the fire than simply eating them raw.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 24, 2012
at 06:28 PM

Wish I knew .

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 24, 2012
at 06:06 PM

Would consuming raw milk kefir or water kefir with the raw meat reduce the chances of food poisoning?

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on November 07, 2011
at 03:11 AM

Meh. It probably takes more calories to cook thank you save in digestion, especially primitive cooking methods.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 21, 2011
at 04:12 PM

I LOVE raw bacon!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 17, 2011
at 01:24 PM

Hi UNCLE: any further knowledge re: immunity boosting and raw meat consumption? I tried a raw kidney but...it was piss so I cooked it instead.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:17 AM

I only meant easier to digest in terms of calories, not how it feels. There is some evidence that you use fewer calories to digest and absorb more calories from cooked meat. Though this difference is probably not great. You certainly can digest raw meat.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:15 AM

I only meant easier to digest in terms of calories gained, not how it feels. There is some evidence that you use fewer calories to digest and absorb more calories from cooked meat. Though this difference is probably not great.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:00 AM

but obviously to each their own, and I love grilled meat too, as long as its not overdone.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 11:57 PM

and i agree that cooked meat is great, i had a rare grilled t-bone last night. but seriously, raw beef loin? it's land sushi. so good.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 11:55 PM

i have to absolutely disagree about the digestion part. An appropriate cut of raw meat, ground at home or chopped at home to avoid bacteria, digests as well, if not better in my experience, than any steak.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on May 04, 2011
at 08:42 PM

Funny, the first time I ever tried tartare was with my dad in a fancy restaurant when I was about 7. For some reason I loved the idea of it and finished the whole plate.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 05, 2010
at 08:44 PM

Well, if there are some kinds of parasites that can make it through the freezing I'll still take my chances. Part of me thinks "well, I'm paleo; what's the worst that can happen to me? Food poisoning is for the SAD crowd." This probably is not reasonable. But on the other hand it very well could be reasonable.

0e4e5882872d6a7c472ea51aec457e66

(1994)

on August 05, 2010
at 07:38 PM

Since I changed to the Paleo way of eating, I remembered that in my childhood my daddy and i had tartare was a kind of favorit dish. Now - when I get the chance - I eat it with pleasure.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 04, 2010
at 03:28 AM

Yeah I know, but it tasted so good and I was only 10! I have read that about half of Americans have a bit of encysted trichinosis in the gut, as discovered by investigational autopsy studies. I guess a healthy immune system faced with a small scale attack can just trap the parasites and holds them there forever. Makes me wonder how so many people besides me are getting it! I mean, how many people actually have eaten raw pork!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on August 03, 2010
at 09:18 PM

Freezing has little effect on bacteria, they can be kept at -80C for months without harm. Freezing will kill many types of parasites but not all, some parasites found in wild game are quite resistant to being frozen.

84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:12 PM

I got a feeling that the poster likes rare steaks but has, in this case, eaten raw ground beef ?

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:00 PM

Usually tartare served in restaurants is a very small portion and is an appetizer.

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on August 03, 2010
at 05:43 PM

I eat tartare whenever I get the chance. I absolutely love it!

Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on August 03, 2010
at 04:06 PM

Yeah...I would be worried about parasites, since lots of pork has them...

0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on August 03, 2010
at 04:05 PM

Cooked meat was a milestone in human development

0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on August 03, 2010
at 04:04 PM

cooked meat has a mile stone in human development

0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on August 03, 2010
at 04:03 PM

rare is NOT raw. I don't see the logic of the all raw foods people- I have tried but can't see it.

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23 Answers

9
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on August 03, 2010
at 03:19 PM

Sounds like a good way to get some E. coli O157:H7 into you.

The absolute risk is probably quite small but the outcome if you did get food poisoning can be serious. E. coli O157 only evolved in the 1970's so it is not a bug that our ancestors had to deal with when they ate raw meat. Despite what some people say it will grow in healthy grass fed animals although in smaller numbers than in corn fed animals. There is also the risk of cross contamination during slaughter, handling and processing from other infected raw meat. Ground beef makes a good growing medium for E .coli due to the large surface area of the meat. A raw steak has a much lower surface area and will have less bacteria.

I'm not saying don't eat any raw meat if you have a good source, just be aware that there are some risks. Cooked meat also seems to be easier to digest than raw meat.

0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on August 03, 2010
at 04:04 PM

cooked meat has a mile stone in human development

0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on August 03, 2010
at 04:05 PM

Cooked meat was a milestone in human development

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:17 AM

I only meant easier to digest in terms of calories, not how it feels. There is some evidence that you use fewer calories to digest and absorb more calories from cooked meat. Though this difference is probably not great. You certainly can digest raw meat.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:00 AM

but obviously to each their own, and I love grilled meat too, as long as its not overdone.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 11:55 PM

i have to absolutely disagree about the digestion part. An appropriate cut of raw meat, ground at home or chopped at home to avoid bacteria, digests as well, if not better in my experience, than any steak.

Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 11:57 PM

and i agree that cooked meat is great, i had a rare grilled t-bone last night. but seriously, raw beef loin? it's land sushi. so good.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 05, 2011
at 12:15 AM

I only meant easier to digest in terms of calories gained, not how it feels. There is some evidence that you use fewer calories to digest and absorb more calories from cooked meat. Though this difference is probably not great.

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on November 07, 2011
at 03:11 AM

Meh. It probably takes more calories to cook thank you save in digestion, especially primitive cooking methods.

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on May 21, 2013
at 03:55 PM

I agree, if I wanted to eat raw meat I'd stick to whole cuts -- ground meat seems like it's much riskier for no real benefit.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on August 20, 2012
at 12:31 AM

@Marnie, if this were the case our ancestors would have stuck to eating raw foods. As it stands, we are the only animal that cooks its food on a regular basis and it is a common trait among all human societies, indicating something that was likely endemic to the original human populations in Africa. Additionally, we tend to think of cooking only in terms of animal foods, but when you look at the net caloric gain of cooking starchy vegetables (tubers, roots, corms, etc.) you have much more to gain by tossing them on the fire than simply eating them raw.

6
1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

on August 03, 2010
at 02:46 PM

I'm not crazy about the texture of raw American-style ground beef, but I will sometimes finely chop raw beef from the farmer's market and eat it as tartare.

Blandness is solved by the traditional toppings...raw egg yolk, capers, and onions. I like adding a little salt, black pepper, and grainy mustard to the meat, as well.

5
Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 04, 2011
at 11:54 PM

if you have a decent source, there is nothing wrong with raw beef whatsoever, in fact it's excellent. there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the exterior of beef is where any potential bacteria would reside, read, cut off the parts exposed to air (outside) and you're fine. Feed these to your anxiously awaiting pets and earn their eternal love.

Pre ground beef is not suitable. Unless you're grinding it at home, or someone has just ground it for you THAT day (you can also just chop it into very small pieces with a sharp knife), don't eat pre ground raw beef. I repeat, don't at pre-ground raw beef. Remember, my handle is "tartare!" Pre ground beef tends to be made from "scrappier" beef bits that may be perfectly acceptable to eat but usually have been exposed to much more surface area air for some time even before grinding. Stick to recently ground/chopped whole cuts.

Second, there are cuts of meat that lend themselves to this kind of raw preparation and some that don't. Sirloin is great, as is beef heart, but not chuck. etc.

I have been eating steak tartare as long as i can remember and I adore it. I think it's one of the best meals a person can eat. It makes me feel great, and I think it has definite benefits over always cooked meat. I had some last night as a matter of fact and it was goooooood. I have fully converted my husband (ok, it didn't take much conversion beyond "try this it will rock your world"). Today we had grilled t-bones. I love buying cow shares.

I enjoy preparing my steak tartare with chopped sirloin (chopped to about an 1/8 inch cubes), a squeeze of anchovy paste or some mashed up anchovy fillets, chopped raw onion (alternately shallots), chopped cucumbers in brine (alternately capers), salt pepper and a raw egg yolk (about 1 per pound give or take). Chopped parsley is optional. You won't taste the anchovies but they are a very necessary replacement for Maggi/Soy/wosterchire sauce and really do add something.

3
D45e43b08cd99a04f5d4294a871e1078

(1010)

on August 20, 2012
at 12:00 AM

I love people who just "know" that raw meat will kill you, or give you a flesh eating parasite that will eat your insides out. Do the research and google raw meat and aajonus vonderplanitz, and visit raw paleo forum. You will find that Thousands eat raw meat, and moldy raw meat and never get sick from it. It makes you lean, ripped, straightens your posture, and makes you feel calm, and relaxed like nothing else I've heard of. However, I strongly believe it will make you mentally lazy, and removed from society because you will just stop caring about things because you'll be so calm from eating raw meat. These people are so convinced they "know" raw meat is dangerous, but it's just funny what you'll "know" tomorrow.

3
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on August 03, 2010
at 05:58 PM

I know people who eat raw hamburger when they know their source. Knowing the source is a great idea and the only way I would do it. My butcher, Lee at The Meat Shop of Tacoma has the oldest organic meat shop in the country. I use him a lot for my grass-fed beef business. I know how many hands that have touched my beef from slaughter to butcher to my freezer!

If I knew the way the French season their tartare I would try this at home. I have heard that chefs use a chunk of steak and cut off all the edges with a different knife as to not cross contaminate the beef for using raw in TarTare. Then it is chopped our ground.

I agree that there is more E. coli in the environment and my personal use is NOT a statement that it is safe.

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on August 03, 2010
at 06:00 PM

Usually tartare served in restaurants is a very small portion and is an appetizer.

3
03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on August 03, 2010
at 03:12 PM

I made tartare a few weeks, with ground beef from a grass-fed farm that I trust. (I even put the traditional raw egg on top). It was great!

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on August 03, 2010
at 05:43 PM

I eat tartare whenever I get the chance. I absolutely love it!

0e4e5882872d6a7c472ea51aec457e66

(1994)

on August 05, 2010
at 07:38 PM

Since I changed to the Paleo way of eating, I remembered that in my childhood my daddy and i had tartare was a kind of favorit dish. Now - when I get the chance - I eat it with pleasure.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on May 04, 2011
at 08:42 PM

Funny, the first time I ever tried tartare was with my dad in a fancy restaurant when I was about 7. For some reason I loved the idea of it and finished the whole plate.

2
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on August 20, 2012
at 12:05 AM

I love tartare, it is the most delicious thing of my life, especially with a raw egg yolk. BUT I would NEVER buy raw ground beef and use that in an entirely raw state (esp when pregnant/immunocompramised/serving to kids/elderly). I always hand grind (attachment for a kitchen aid) or use a sharp knife on a good thick cut of meat and a lot of patience. There is an enormous amount of surface area in ground beef, and I volunteered my parents local grass fed ground beef to contend against some store bought ground beef for microbiology class in second year uni, and there was really a very slight difference between the bacterial content. I mean, the risk is always up to you, but I think that fresh ground has a more pleasant taste, texture, and who doesn't enjoy the safe option (as your parents have been telling you for years), amiright?

2
B61d088acd6f0be1b7f0eecdf8045fde

on August 19, 2012
at 11:06 PM

I've been eating small portions of raw ground beef for over 10 years and nothing has happened yet

2
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 04, 2011
at 08:50 PM

Steak tartare is a great preparation for raw meat that is very flavorful. Usually it is some combination of lemon, mustard, shallots, parsley, scallions, hot sauce, and the like. Ideally the steak is chopped, not ground, which gives it a much better texture.

I think that eating raw/rare food is very Paleo, and very good for you. It is easy to imagine our Paleolithic ancestors eating parts of the animal raw immediately after the kill.

I have eaten rare and/or raw animal products my whole life (beef, fish/sushi, eggs, etc) and never once got even the remotest sick from it. I know that statistically there is some chance of getting sick, maybe I'm lucky, or maybe consistently eating rare/raw foods builds up gut flora and an immune system that handles most pathogens and bacteria, or something like that.

The one thing I'd worry about would be E-Coli which could be a lot more serious than a brief food poisoning episode, especially if the meat is factory-farm-raised. I would mitigate this by buying only fresh meat from a small butcher of grass-fed free-range animals, and buy the entire cut of meat and chop it myself just before eating, and only eat it when I'm feeling in good health. I'm skeptical of the approach of freezing it for 14 days before eating, there may be some pathogens that this kills, but I would not think that many.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 17, 2011
at 01:24 PM

Hi UNCLE: any further knowledge re: immunity boosting and raw meat consumption? I tried a raw kidney but...it was piss so I cooked it instead.

2
Medium avatar

on February 25, 2011
at 09:11 PM

Most of the grass-fed animals still pass through the same slaughterhouses as the grain-fed ones. There are tight USDA regulations about it ostensibly to ensure that back-alley slaughtering isn't occurring, but grass-fed wasn't in mind when they came up with these regulations. If you personally slaughter the animal or something and can control those factors yourself, then the risk would be a tiny fraction of the risk if it is slaughtered industrially.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on August 20, 2012
at 12:35 AM

This is something that is definitely overlooked. Thanks for pointing it out.

2
47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 03, 2010
at 07:29 PM

Freeze it for 14 days if you want to be sure it's safe to eat.

[Self-edit: Primary source for that is Nourishing Traditions, by the way, but I think I've also read it elsewhere.]

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on August 03, 2010
at 09:18 PM

Freezing has little effect on bacteria, they can be kept at -80C for months without harm. Freezing will kill many types of parasites but not all, some parasites found in wild game are quite resistant to being frozen.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on August 05, 2010
at 08:44 PM

Well, if there are some kinds of parasites that can make it through the freezing I'll still take my chances. Part of me thinks "well, I'm paleo; what's the worst that can happen to me? Food poisoning is for the SAD crowd." This probably is not reasonable. But on the other hand it very well could be reasonable.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 24, 2012
at 06:28 PM

Wish I knew .

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 24, 2012
at 06:06 PM

Would consuming raw milk kefir or water kefir with the raw meat reduce the chances of food poisoning?

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 03, 2010
at 03:34 PM

When I was a kid, I would often eat raw bacon. Couldn't wait for it to cook I guess. I would munch on it raw while I waited for the rest to cook. Nothing bad ever came of it. SOmetimes it's hard to figure out how dangerous something really is. According to the experts, I guess I should have died of trichinosis by now! ;-) -Eva

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on August 04, 2010
at 03:28 AM

Yeah I know, but it tasted so good and I was only 10! I have read that about half of Americans have a bit of encysted trichinosis in the gut, as discovered by investigational autopsy studies. I guess a healthy immune system faced with a small scale attack can just trap the parasites and holds them there forever. Makes me wonder how so many people besides me are getting it! I mean, how many people actually have eaten raw pork!

Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on August 03, 2010
at 04:06 PM

Yeah...I would be worried about parasites, since lots of pork has them...

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 21, 2011
at 04:12 PM

I LOVE raw bacon!

1
B2b203f5493527ef8155ed3c4bbd104a

on December 31, 2014
at 10:50 PM

 I can atest to this. I have been eating raw grass fed beef for about a year. It is indeed blan, but works great for staying in hotel rooms that make it difficult to cook your beef. Luckly most taste enhancers are can fix this. Bonus: This is how I develop the mouth feel for grass fed versus conventional ground beef to combat those pesky restaurants that claim grass fed, but serve conventional.

1
1eea6abba8f5864894b9d6353eb7af2b

on June 29, 2013
at 01:10 PM

i eat ten grams of dessicated liver every day

1
B5141236ad924674a96803ee1ccccaf1

(485)

on May 21, 2013
at 02:09 PM

My butcher says tartar is most popular with ex vegitarians. Swing from one extreme to the other i guess.

I'm happy cooking though

1
526ee257e0257da653fa595ae79f8d83

on May 21, 2013
at 11:24 AM

I've been eating raw ground beef for years and never got anything more than a rumbley in the tumley. They used to serve it raw at places like the VFW but those days are gone now. I only eat it on occasion, and I get it at a slaughterhouse now instead of the grocery store. There's no guarantee I won't get sick and I don't recommend that anyone else do this. I'm just relating my personal experience. My stomach is like cast iron. I can eat practically anything and not get sick. Maybe it's because I've built up a tolerance to so many things over the years. I think that raw ground beef on rye with Montreal steak seasoning and lots of raw onions is delicious.

1
696e60a1c4e68e33e6a193863d39b4db

on May 04, 2011
at 07:44 PM

I'm eating a raw-ish grass-fed burger right now! I was curious to see what other people do (hence my dropping by this forum). The beef is from a local rancher, and the grinding is done by my local Whole Foods on-site which minimizes cross contamination. I bought a pound this morning, grabbed a chunk, formed it into a patty, cooked it on medium for about 1-2? minutes on both sides for a bit of browning, so it was warm in the middle, but definitely still purple and gooey on the inside. I topped it with a bit of Himalayan pink salt and fresh ground pepper. WOW. Delicious. Yummy! I know we can get more energy out of cooked meat, but cooking also destroys some good stuff, such as vitamin C, and other stuff that I'm sure is beneficial but there's not research to support it yet... blah, blah, blah. Plus it just tastes good. Sometimes I cook it through to medium rare, but never more than that.

1
64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on February 25, 2011
at 08:38 PM

I eat grass fed ground beef or ground bison almost every day. I usually sear it, cooking the outside and leaving it pretty cold inside. Tastes SO good and Ive never had any issues eating it for about 3 years

0
17358c3671d9febf35b48b5ed9b8c554

on December 08, 2012
at 05:33 AM

hello there,i'm new to looking up stuff about raw meat haha but resently i've really wanted to try it.Do any of you have good resipes that you would offer to me?I like diffrent suggestions and am looking for as many as i can get my hands on.thank you! you can email me at [email protected] just tell me your from this site.

0
0f2502092ccd75fd7faa89651fa11442

on May 17, 2011
at 12:59 PM

i've been drinking bird nest soup every night (i only get the homemade kind back at home). the only reason why i drink it is because it's supposed to be good for complexion.

i???ve been taking the store-bought kind online (e.g. http://www.geocities.jp/hongkong_bird_nest/index_e.htm of famous branded only of course) which is directly mailed from Hong Kong. this would be at a more affordable price.

0
Ab6d5fded95559985919961c62b1847d

(434)

on August 03, 2010
at 05:37 PM

I've never been a huge fan of ground beef, raw or otherwise, but that's just my personal taste. I don't think it's bad to eat it raw. There's more surface area so there's a greater chance of contaminants, but there's a small risk with just about anything you eat. Nothing to get too worked up over, especially if you buy your food from a quality source.

If you like it raw, go for it. If not, cooking it is just fine.

0
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on August 03, 2010
at 04:00 PM

Know how farmer- not just the Label.

0
84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on August 03, 2010
at 02:53 PM

I secretly grizzle on frozen hake while defrost. Runs away screaming

Is the taste more similiar to cooked or grilled version ?

Anyway, I couldn't do it for em, "internal" (as voice in the head) reasons.

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