3

votes

How much meat is needed?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 28, 2012 at 9:26 PM

I'm interested in trying out a paleo/primal diet for weight loss and anti-inflammatory reasons but I'm wondering how much I can actually incorporate into my diet given limited financial resources. How much meat do you really need to eat to be effective?

I'm semi-vegan in that I only eat animal products from a confirmed humane source (must be pasture raised, grass fed, wild caught, etc). This does limit my meat intake because I simply cannot afford the fresh high-quality meats all the time. I would note that while I have moral reasons for doing this, eating CAFO or grain-fed non-pastured meats (including any kind of farmed fish) also makes me violently ill, so it wouldn't be an option even if I didn't have these moral convictions. In general I have two servings of lean meat a month (pasture raised turkey or grass-fed buffalo usually) and a couple servings of fermented dairy per week.

Otherwise I am almost entirely gluten-free and only eat quinoa as a grain on a regular basis. I also eat beans but no other legumes, and I'm 100% soy-free. Most of my diet consists of veggies and I'm making an effort to increase leafy greens in my diet. I'm highly allergic to preservatives as well, so those have no place in my diet.

My doctor has been quite unwilling to talk about my dietary requirements, so I could use general advice on adopting a paleo diet/lifestyle. Thoughts?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 07, 2012
at 03:30 PM

Marie, I just saw that you had an unanswered question below. On fermenting legumes, check out the book Nourishing Traditions. It's a cook book, but also a book I guess. It's a good one and worth buying. Basically you put some whey in the water with the beans.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 29, 2012
at 11:46 PM

I don't have any fishing equipment myself, but just showing interest in it, friends and family have been willing to take me along with them and teach me. I'd think hunters might be even more into taking on apprentices, since it is a dying skill. Back when I was a vegetarian I used to do archery, and most of the bow hunters where I got my equipment freaked me out, but there were a few who seemed to be genuinely nice guys, instead of macho d-bags, they are out there, it just takes some slogging through some uncomfortable conversations to find them.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on February 29, 2012
at 08:51 PM

5-6 bucks a pound for the cheaper cuts like ground and london broil, same for pork and chicken. I'm near a bunch of farms so I'm lucky. It's expensive but sooooo worth it.

F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

(15)

on February 29, 2012
at 06:04 PM

I'm looking into getting my own backyard chickens right now, so I may be able to eat eggs again soon! As for dairy, I'm sensitive to non-fermented types (hard cheeses and sour yogurt are okay), so I'm not sure that's a good solution. Though I DO love yogurt with fresh fruit.

F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

(15)

on February 29, 2012
at 05:57 PM

The idea of fishing/hunting etc. myself DOES intrigue me - this may be something I look into in the future when I have move available funds and time. And I think I'd rather hunt something myself than get it from a hunter whose motives I can really never know. Thanks for the advice - I prefer buffalo to cow, but I do think looking into a freezer situation might be a good idea.

F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

(15)

on February 29, 2012
at 05:52 PM

Thanks, I think need to check out Trader Joe's fish again - I don't remember the salmon being that cheap. I did an extensive food-tolerance test about a year ago and both quinoa and beans made me feel good - better than rice or any other grains and legumes. I seem to be able to digest beans really well though, so maybe that's just me? I don't eat other legumes though - those definitely cause issues (lentils, chickpeas, etc). Though I eat a ton of fresh green beans, which I haven't seen any reference to on paleo sites and books.

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on February 29, 2012
at 04:24 PM

Yes, it's true, the quality of eggs and dairy is much more dependent on healthy farm practices than, say, muscle meats. So it's good to get them from naturally raised sources, as Marie says she does for meat.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 29, 2012
at 08:07 AM

Great answer Paul and Paul

F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

(15)

on February 29, 2012
at 01:35 AM

Thanks for the comforting words! I've checked out Whole Foods and Trader Joes, but their grass fed beef is all grain finished which I can't eat. Local farmers sell pasture-finished beef for $12/lb, and I get pasture-raised buffalo for $15/lb when I can afford it.

F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

(15)

on February 29, 2012
at 01:34 AM

Thank you! I'm not sure what you mean by fermenting my beans? I soak them overnight and then pressure cook them.

F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

(15)

on February 29, 2012
at 01:29 AM

I've done this and have some sources for meat, but I'm still finding it quite expensive. Can I ask how much you pay for grass fed beef? And do you know if the beef you get is pasture/grass-finished? I've been finding no large stores that sell grass-finished beef and I get sick if the cattle have had any grain at all. I'm kind of like the canary in the coal mine - I can tell people if the animal was actually raised how they say it was by how my body reacts!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 29, 2012
at 12:27 AM

I second the fermenting of beans.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 29, 2012
at 12:09 AM

Get to know a farmer!

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on February 28, 2012
at 11:07 PM

In my experience, eggs are not soy-free. At least 99% of "pastured" eggs contain soy. The only way to get real soy-free eggs is to buy from someone that doesn't supplement with feed OR someone that uses soy-free feed. This is EXCEEDINGLY rare.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 28, 2012
at 09:29 PM

Hi, Marie. This is a popular subject today. You might be interested in this thread: http://paleohacks.com/questions/100991/how-much-meat-and-other-protein-do-you-eat/101075#101075 Welcome to PaleoHacks! :)

  • F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

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7 Answers

best answer

0
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 28, 2012
at 09:52 PM

EDIT: I refer you to Paul Jaminet's answer.

10
9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

on February 28, 2012
at 09:47 PM

I think 1/2 lb to 1 lb per day is best. See http://perfecthealthdiet.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/Food-Plate-600dpi.jpg.

Also, eggs and dairy can displace meat from the diet and are inexpensive.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on February 29, 2012
at 08:07 AM

Great answer Paul and Paul

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on February 28, 2012
at 11:07 PM

In my experience, eggs are not soy-free. At least 99% of "pastured" eggs contain soy. The only way to get real soy-free eggs is to buy from someone that doesn't supplement with feed OR someone that uses soy-free feed. This is EXCEEDINGLY rare.

F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

(15)

on February 29, 2012
at 06:04 PM

I'm looking into getting my own backyard chickens right now, so I may be able to eat eggs again soon! As for dairy, I'm sensitive to non-fermented types (hard cheeses and sour yogurt are okay), so I'm not sure that's a good solution. Though I DO love yogurt with fresh fruit.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 29, 2012
at 12:09 AM

Get to know a farmer!

9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

(5939)

on February 29, 2012
at 04:24 PM

Yes, it's true, the quality of eggs and dairy is much more dependent on healthy farm practices than, say, muscle meats. So it's good to get them from naturally raised sources, as Marie says she does for meat.

4
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on February 28, 2012
at 10:55 PM

I eat as you eat Marie (eat animal products from a confirmed humane source (must be pasture raised, grass fed, wild caught, etc). I've worked on my budget over the years and have managed to work in more meat to my diet. Perhaps you can start trying to find an extra $6-$7 a week to add pound of grass fed ground beef in? Then keep trying for more?

You don't have to eat meat at all as is evidenced by a few vegetarians we have running around here so yes what you are already doing is doing something. If you CAN squeeze in some more animal protein all the better but just do what you can do. I assume you are fermenting your beans? If not you should add that into your practice. You are on the right track for sure!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 29, 2012
at 12:27 AM

I second the fermenting of beans.

F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

(15)

on February 29, 2012
at 01:34 AM

Thank you! I'm not sure what you mean by fermenting my beans? I soak them overnight and then pressure cook them.

4
Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

on February 28, 2012
at 10:40 PM

Talk to farmers at a local farmers market about their animals. Some of the best, most nutritious food comes from cows and chickens raised natural and happy. Not that I needed a reason to love meat, but the fact that I buy grassfed beef that produces almost no annual waste, and might even help re-enrich our depleted earth (and my body) with essential minerals, is a good reason to eat natural meat.

F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

(15)

on February 29, 2012
at 01:29 AM

I've done this and have some sources for meat, but I'm still finding it quite expensive. Can I ask how much you pay for grass fed beef? And do you know if the beef you get is pasture/grass-finished? I've been finding no large stores that sell grass-finished beef and I get sick if the cattle have had any grain at all. I'm kind of like the canary in the coal mine - I can tell people if the animal was actually raised how they say it was by how my body reacts!

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on February 29, 2012
at 08:51 PM

5-6 bucks a pound for the cheaper cuts like ground and london broil, same for pork and chicken. I'm near a bunch of farms so I'm lucky. It's expensive but sooooo worth it.

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 29, 2012
at 08:50 AM

I'm not sure what the bottom limits are on meat consumption and benefiting on paleo, that is a really good question. I went from almost no meat, to meat most every day. The one thing I remember from childhood is eating beef liver or chicken gizzards every month or two because my mom was worried about us kids getting enough B-12, but trying to be as vegetarian as possible. There are certainly a number of hunter-gatherers who live on a mostly starch diet, with meat as more of a garnish than main course. The precedent has been set, but how you'll do on something like that, only you can find out.

It sounds like you are on a pretty tight budget, but if there is a way you could save up and invest in a freezer and a quarter or half cow, you could get grass finished beef for under $5/lb. that way.

There are other options out there too. A whole lamb or goat is among the more affordable options too, and if you buy them direct from the rancher you'll know exactly what they ate. Grassfed butter can certainly cover some of the bases missed in meat. Learning how to cook the less desirable parts of animals can save some money sometimes, but if you are in a market that values exotic cuts, they can actually end up being more expensive, so that's a crap shoot.

I know this might be a bit of a rough jump if you're mostly vegan, but have you considered clamming, crabbing, shrimping, fishing or hunting for yourself? Or bartering with a hunter for some venison, pheasant, rabbit, etc? I've had some pretty emotionally/spiritually fulfilling experiences when I've either been responsible for taking the life for my nourishment myself, or have spent time talking to the person who did that for me.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 29, 2012
at 11:46 PM

I don't have any fishing equipment myself, but just showing interest in it, friends and family have been willing to take me along with them and teach me. I'd think hunters might be even more into taking on apprentices, since it is a dying skill. Back when I was a vegetarian I used to do archery, and most of the bow hunters where I got my equipment freaked me out, but there were a few who seemed to be genuinely nice guys, instead of macho d-bags, they are out there, it just takes some slogging through some uncomfortable conversations to find them.

F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

(15)

on February 29, 2012
at 05:57 PM

The idea of fishing/hunting etc. myself DOES intrigue me - this may be something I look into in the future when I have move available funds and time. And I think I'd rather hunt something myself than get it from a hunter whose motives I can really never know. Thanks for the advice - I prefer buffalo to cow, but I do think looking into a freezer situation might be a good idea.

1
A0d4481f4b568e4edc7d8c72102dcfc1

on February 29, 2012
at 06:20 AM

I transitioned into eating paleo a couple of months ago after being vegan for 10 years and am having similar financial issues with buying good meat.

I eat 4oz wild caught fish (usually salmon from trader joes, its $8/lb) 5 days a week and 4oz of grass-fed lamb the other two days (I buy online from Azure Standard at $8/lb but you have to be in their drop off zone). I don't bother with fowl because I figure I need the minerals (zinc and iron) from the red meat and omegas from the fish and eating chicken or turkey would be a waste of money when you look at it from that standpoint. I don't do well with eggs although I wish I did because they are cheap and nutritious. I am allergic to dairy so none of that for me. I feel like having a small portion of meat every day keeps me feeling the benefits of paleo without reverting back into the illness I had before going on the diet.

Watch out with the beans and quinoa. I ate tons of them when I was vegan, and now that I have cut them out I have serious problems when I slip up.

F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

(15)

on February 29, 2012
at 05:52 PM

Thanks, I think need to check out Trader Joe's fish again - I don't remember the salmon being that cheap. I did an extensive food-tolerance test about a year ago and both quinoa and beans made me feel good - better than rice or any other grains and legumes. I seem to be able to digest beans really well though, so maybe that's just me? I don't eat other legumes though - those definitely cause issues (lentils, chickpeas, etc). Though I eat a ton of fresh green beans, which I haven't seen any reference to on paleo sites and books.

1
Ee70ee808f748374744404a00e1c22ed

(1163)

on February 28, 2012
at 09:40 PM

As far as meat goes, if you can't afford a lot of it right now, don't sweat it. I eat a lot of canned salmon or mackerel, eggs for breakfast, and usually buy a pound of liver or ground beef (both grass fed) a week, and make it into a large meal to spread it out, usually stew. Even at Whole Foods, you can find grass fed liver for $4.99/lb, and Trader Joe's has grass fed ground beef for ~$6.

The rest of my diet is pastured dairy (Kerrygold butter ftw), starchy fruits, tubers, and white rice, and leafy greens.

Oh, and liberal amounts of hot sauce.

F153d78b345635d3f85188d6cd973f74

(15)

on February 29, 2012
at 01:35 AM

Thanks for the comforting words! I've checked out Whole Foods and Trader Joes, but their grass fed beef is all grain finished which I can't eat. Local farmers sell pasture-finished beef for $12/lb, and I get pasture-raised buffalo for $15/lb when I can afford it.

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