If you pay attention to the latest diet news or popular nutrition experts, you’ve learned that trends come and go—but there’s one eating style that has been making a recent comeback.
The “hunter/gatherer” is an integral part of the history of man and his diets. For eons, your ancestors ate unmodified foods, straight from nature. Here’s how you can, too.
Meat Eaters and the Modern Supermarket
For centuries, tribes of men hunted and fished the lands and waters they shared with local species. And just one hundred years ago, your great-grandparents probably bought their meat from the local butcher, who sourced his products from farms nearby.
Before the mass production of animal proteins, most people could count on their wild game or heritage farm animals to be generally fresh, healthy, well-fed, and properly broken down.
The trend is back–you’re seeing ever-increasing choices to buy organic, grass-fed, wild caught and more at the modern grocery store as well as on restaurant menus. Now chefs and home cooks alike are shopping for animals raised in a natural environment, and wild game, which is by nature anti-biotic free.
Nutritionists advocate for local foods and less processing so we can more closely mirror our ancient ancestor’s diets. And with good reason. In the case of meat, we can see a few important benefits.
Protein: The protein content in most species of game or wild caught fish is about the same percentage, or slightly higher than their factory farm counterparts.
Fat: Surveys comparing the fat content in animal carcasses show domesticated animals average 25 to 30% fat, while in wild game it is only 4 – 5%. Not only does wild game tend to be much leaner in general, the fat it does contain is lower in saturated fat while offering a higher proportion of “good” fat (polyunsaturated fatty acids).
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Essential fatty acids have been shown to help with a myriad of health issues ranging from inflammation to skin health to depression. But our body can’t make them, and grass-fed beef offers about twice the amount of Omega 3s than grain-fed beef. (Though, it still can’t come close to the content in amazing wild caught salmon!)
Flavor: Not sure if you’re adventurous enough to go for a freshly taken venison steak or wild turkey (the bird kind) on your holiday table? Game is an acquired taste for some… but others just love it!
You can always start “small” instead of ordering a rack of elk ribs—maybe a bison burger or some venison jerky? It’s one step closer to getting back to your ancestral roots, and a healthy diet.