Archive for fat is good for you

You get out what you put in

You would have thought that since I produce the finest quality mutton and lamb that I would be pretty familiar with the above rule of thumb. You would have thought…

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Decisions, Decisions….

All this snow is affecting our production. With the best will in the world feeding species rich hay is not enough to fatten sheep in snow conditions.

As a result we haven’t been able to take any to slaughter for a while now.

I could take them leaner – but that would impact quality of the meat (less fat is not good).

I could feed them concentrate feed to fatten them – but then they wouldn’t taste as good.

Looks like I’ll have to wait and do a bit more selling in the spring.

Who brought up this whole food integrity thing anyway?


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Why is the Government so inflexible?

I’m reading a great Book Called Pig Perfect.

Peter Kaminski describes some remarkable encounters with pig producers and their pigs from all over Europe and the U.S.

On one of his pork related adventures in France he pulls into a yard with mud higher than his ankles and as he approaches he sees an ancient stone/brick outbuilding among the livestock sheds full of local people about to take part in a long held tradition of a community pig slaughter and feast.

He describes the scene as everyone settles down to some great wine next to an enormous fire-place, while couldrons of bean stew bubble on the fire and a pan of Fois Gras sizzles away. The mingled smells of farm animals, dogs wandering around, damp hay, wood smoke, wine and the glorious scent of the soon to be cooked feast. It sounded wonderful.

But then I thought of the regulations that now entwine our every action and wondered if this scene would be legal in Britain?

 We have been pinged by the authorities just for having our dog lie by the Aga while we cook a Breakfast for paying guests – what would they think if it was pigs, sheep and cattle too?!?

There are new onerous regulations coming in to the EU about home slaughter for your own consumption – as if the regulations for slaughter that have destroyed local abatoirs across Britain were not bad enough. Could the big grocers be starting to worry about people killing their own stock and saving money on their meat bill?

Just because this scene might be illegal in Britain doesn’t mean it can’t happen. But when you tie these community events up in red tape is it any wonder that these events start to occur less frequently?

We sanitise our life at the expense of our experiences. If we want rich, warm encounters that linger in the memory (unless you had too much wine) then we really should accept that to eliminate risk is to eliminate the imperfections that make life worth living.


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Alzheimer’s concerns grow


Alzheimers Research TrustThere is plenty in the news at present about the risks of various forms of dementia to an already ageing population. The number of people with dementia in the world is going to double every 20 years. There are obvious concerns about who is going to pay for this NHS care in the future and how to reduce the instances of dementia in the future.

Many studies now point to Omega 3’s being vital in reducing the risk of dementia, some studies into Alzheimer’s show upto a 70% reduction in risk for people who regularly eat oily fish.

As a result there has been a major campaign to promote Omega 3’s in our diet (you may have noticed). However, are we asking the right questions? Why not address the behaviour that is causing this imbalance in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids – not to mention many other essential fatty acids for so many people – THEY’RE CALLED ESSENTIAL FOR A REASON.

So what is the cause of this imbalance?

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Meat for Fuel


Having recently read about Dean Karnazes and his amazing feats it strikes me that the Omega 3 balance must be absolutely vital for athletes. In fact on his site he has a really good section on nutrition. Yet again he makes the classic mistake of thinking organic is related to nutrition when it is primarily about soil protection and the environment.

He would do well to get in touch with Ted Slanker and get some grass fed beef rather than organic corn fed beef he might be eating.

If you run 50 marathons in 50 days then I’m thinking that when your body needs to restore the muscle and body tissue it would be better to provide it with the natural balance of essential fatty acids as these are the building blocks of every cell in the body.

remember also that the right fat is good for you

See Deans Blog here for some great insight on Nutrition and all things running


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Butchery versus Flavour

Lamb CutletsI’ve just come back from a very helpful “meet the Cheff” event run by HEFF.

Part of the event was a butchery demonstration by a master butcher. I’ve cut up plenty of meat but this guy was really good.

The thing is he was cutting up half a lamb that was bought at a livestock market – so it was a commercial lamb, bred for production not for flavour.

We used to produce commercial lamb and were part of the EBLEX better returns programme. Basically we were producing lean meat as cheaply as possible that tasted like cardboard.

Part of this agricultural revolution also did for the rare breeds as they had a higher fat content for finished beasts. But as we know the fat is where the flavour and the nutrition is.

Something the butcher said really struck with me: “new regulations meant we had to pay to dispose of the fat we trimmed off the joints so we worked with EBLEX to design animals with less fat on”

When the motivation for producing food is not nutrition or flavour but fat disposal regulations quantity and shape the result is not good food.

With food you reap what you sow!


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Why imbalance your Omega 3 ratio in the first place?

omega3LogoThis organisation are doing the important job of demonstrating just how important Omega 3s are to our nutritional requirements.

But I always wonder why the focus is on trying to remedy the situation after we have created the imbalance in our essential fatty acids. Dosing up on oily fish is fine but why put yourself in a position where you have to do this to be healthy in the first place?

A prime example of shutting the door after the horse has bolted.

Of course the real problem is that the supermarket meat we buy (organic status is irrelevant) is creating the imbalance in the first place. If we didn’t do this in the first place we would not have to worry about oily fish in our diets. Do you think cave men had Omega 3 issues? – Exactly.

Best to buy grass fed red meat from a local farmer in the first place and save yourself the worry.


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