4

votes

Paleo Opinion on Ham and Other Charcuterie

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 28, 2011 at 4:26 PM

I love ham. LOVE it. The question is: Where does Ham fall into the Paleo spectrum? Obviously cured meat is a benefit to society as a whole, and I would personally have zero problems with artisanal high end hams. Right now I treat most ham as an acceptable gray area. The salt and sugar content of most commercial hams is appauling, but I use ham steaks with the bone still in them for a good breakfast. I wrap avocado wedges in ham slices.

There seems to be no qualms with delicious bacon within the paleo community, but it definitely pushes the envelope as to what constitutes Paleo or not. Likewise Prosciutto, Genoa Salami, even braunscheiger and liverwurst are things that are a healthy and delicious alternative to most of the crap in the SAD, but is it morally justified to throw all that extra preservative junk in there?

Opinions?

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on January 10, 2013
at 01:41 AM

Meat surplus certainly would have been dried, right? I don't know about more ancient curing techniques but I'm thinking that soaked in salt water and then dried in the sun would have been an early food technology. anyone?

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on January 29, 2011
at 05:35 AM

I was going to ask about the celery thing. I use a lot of celery, and I don't plan on changing that. Here is the article that sparked the question: http://gardenandgun.com/article/new-frontier-country-ham

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on January 29, 2011
at 05:34 AM

I was just going to ask about celery. I use celery a lot, and don't plan on changing that. Here is the article that sparked the question: http://gardenandgun.com/article/new-frontier-country-ham

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on January 28, 2011
at 06:33 PM

Things are getting a bit more complicated with respect to the nitrate/nitrite issue: http://www.paleonu.com/panu-forum/post/1377741

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6 Answers

best answer

1
1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

on January 28, 2011
at 04:33 PM

I apply the same standards to it as I do to "regular" meat, but I don't have too many issues with salt. If you have a good source or can make it at home, it's a great way to diversify your diet, especially if you choose some of the offal cuts, like liverwurst or head cheese or pates.

Now you have me craving the unbelievable fried pig's ear bologna I had last week. Mmm.

1
Ceda025d1f349bc43be115a5f9199fb1

(501)

on January 28, 2011
at 06:25 PM

I think uncured basically means free of added sodium nitrite. It still gets preserved somehow. I don't think these are ideal foods to eat every day. But, they are a delicious addition on occasion.

0
0030ff98bdb59e684c683b321c2c1758

on January 09, 2013
at 11:23 PM

It is pretty hard to find truly nitrate/nitrite free charcuterie. A lot of the commercial ones still use celery salt, which is just a natural source of nitrite. I had done some research to try to find somewhere that would explain how to make them without the nitrite/nitrate and everywhere I could find said "you have to use them against botulism" so I did.

But now I heard why we can do without them in a podcast that just came out and that is a review of Pig in a Day DVD from the River Cottage guys in the UK. In that review they talk about traditional methods of making charcuteries that don't even use nitrite and nitrates, but instead rely on acidity to prevent botulism. I think this is a pretty paleo way to prepare the meat.

0
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on January 30, 2011
at 02:57 AM

I haven't been able to understand how cured meats fall into anything paleolithic, either, but a lot of people seem to feel that bacon is a good paleo staple. Cured with nitrates or not, I see it as something to use sparingly, mostly due to the salt, and it makes me want to have a BLT (with GF bread), anyway. For me, it's something to use sparingly, and I don't consider it paleo.

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on January 10, 2013
at 01:41 AM

Meat surplus certainly would have been dried, right? I don't know about more ancient curing techniques but I'm thinking that soaked in salt water and then dried in the sun would have been an early food technology. anyone?

0
Medium avatar

on January 28, 2011
at 06:26 PM

As long as it doesn't have nitrates/nitrites or some similar carcinogen, it should be fine.

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on January 29, 2011
at 05:34 AM

I was just going to ask about celery. I use celery a lot, and don't plan on changing that. Here is the article that sparked the question: http://gardenandgun.com/article/new-frontier-country-ham

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on January 29, 2011
at 05:35 AM

I was going to ask about the celery thing. I use a lot of celery, and I don't plan on changing that. Here is the article that sparked the question: http://gardenandgun.com/article/new-frontier-country-ham

1471beca8e3adff4ae2f89d10e5f7acb

(6550)

on January 28, 2011
at 06:33 PM

Things are getting a bit more complicated with respect to the nitrate/nitrite issue: http://www.paleonu.com/panu-forum/post/1377741

0
3b5cbb3006f7567b87dd3998ad76ebf8

on January 28, 2011
at 05:04 PM

I've been finding uncured varieties. Not natural cured but uncured. I get my bacon, ham, deli meats, pancetta, even pepperoni this way. All organic and natural too although sometimes more salt than I generally prefer. Not an excuse to eat pepperoni every week but if the kids want pizza, I can make a totally gluten free, somewhat cheaty (whole milk mozzarella) option that is a winner without much compromise. Ive wondered about ham too but until I found it uncured, we just didn't eat it.

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