If you are going to try a true carnivore diet, which Dr. Paul Saladino describes as nose-to-tail eating including organ meats, you may as well get the highest quality food you can afford, but it can get expensive. So I wanted to share some great resources which are discussed in further detail in my previous post.
One farm I love that has a wide variety of affordable cuts of 100% grass-fed beef such as ground beef, shank, brisket, stew, and roasts along with organ meats like heart and liver is Apsey Farms. And they have an annual ground beef sale for only $4.99 per lb. if you buy in bulk! They mainly feed their chickens a mix of organic barley, wheat, and triticale (a hybrid of wheat and rye) using a hydroponics system that produces nutrient-rich sprouts similar to that of wheatgrass. The feed used for their pork is similar and they are reevaluating their feed sources and working to formulate a source that is both corn and soy-free. Avrom Farm also gives their chickens constant access to pasture and has a soy-free feed. It it consists of about 35% corn, 20% barley, 15% oats, 30% flax meal. Grains are ok for chickens and pigs because they are omnivores. Too much corn could be an issue, but this only represents 20% of Apsey Farms’ feed. Just try to get your meat from farms that give their animals consistent access to pasture as opposed to just “free range”, a misleading label that Dr. Daphne Miller explains in more detail by describing her visit to a farm that has both a pastured and free range set-up.
This label applies to eggs too, so try and find pastured eggs, and ideally soy and possibly corn-free eggs. The latter are difficult to find, but soy-free is easier. If you’re in Chicago, Amish Healthy Foods has soy-free eggs and so does Mint Creek Farm which offers delivery. Otherwise check out your local farmer’s market.
Beef is a good primary focus on a carnivore diet because you can easily avoid animals that consume corn and soy, but as Dr. Shawn Baker pointed out, Hong Kong has consistently had the highest life expectancy in recent years even though they eat five times the world average in pork, which is corn and soy fed. So don’t necessarily feel like you have to completely obtain for any animals that consume these foods. Again, access to pasture matters too. Just remember that even labels saying “pastured” can be misleading, so it’s best to know the farm where your food is sourced.
While you should ideally include organ meats, I understand that not everyone is ready to make such a change. That’s why I love Force of Nature which makes it easy to get started with its unique 100% grass-fed ground beef and bison ancestral blends that also include 7% and 3% liver and heart. They also offer pure ground beef and bison at $8.99 and $11.99 per pound. Their ground beef price is comparable to most other pastured farms while their ground bison is about 20% less expensive.
If the ancestral blends still feel like too much of a leap, organ meat supplements can help optimize your diet. Check out Ancestral Supplements and Heart & Soil to see a summary of the different supplements you can get, many of which are difficult to get in their natural form.
I personally incorporate liver and heart into my diet. If you’re ready to make this change, a couple good options are pastured 100% grass-fed beef liver and pastured chicken liver from Apsey Farms and beef heart from Wisconsin Meadows Farm (they also have a great deal on 100% grass-fed ground beef and ribeye). Otherwise, there are plenty of places to get organ meats which aren’t too expensive.
Another potential issue with the carnivore diet is not getting enough fat. That’s why I prefer cooking with tallow or ghee. I also love beef suet which you can get at White Oak Pastures along with beef fat (both of which help increase satiety) and other uncommon animal products like pastured goat, duck, goose, guinea, and rabbit. They also have a great deal on 32 ounces of pastured poultry and beef bone broth (Kettle & Fire has high quality bone broth at a reasonable price as well) which they offer for only $11.99 and corn and soy-free chicken. You can use Paul Saladino’s promo code: CARNIVOREMD for 10% off your first order. Also make sure to listen to his podcast because it’s so full of great information and guests, review what he recommends eating, and listen to his summary of his first five months on the carnivore diet.
Belcampo is another place with rigorous standards. “Their regenerative farming practices are what give their beef the optimal ratio of Omega 3 to 6 fatty acids of 1:1.2 – the same as wild elk and venison! Compare that to 1:12 ratio in most supermarket beef! Their ground beef is made from a blend of chuck, round and short rib trim. It has about 15-17% fat based on the beef’s natural composition – they never mix fatty and lean cuts from different sources and batches.” While the vast majority of their meat comes from Belcampo Farms, they are growing to include a network of carefully vetted, certified producers throughout California, Oregon, and Southern Uruguay committed to expanding the impact of their mission.
If you are concerned about getting enough calcium and can’t tolerate dairy, canned sardines with the skin and bones are a great option. If you’re like me and prefer the skinless and boneless kind, then you can save your eggshells and make powder to get your calcium. You’ll need a coffee grinder to make it. It will last three months in an airtight container. You can also try Paul Saladino’s bone matrix supplement. Here is the response I received from his lead researcher and product expert in response to my inquiry:
The Bone & Marrow supplements from Ancestral Supplements are another good option. When I inquired further about this product, owner Brian Johnson replied:
“It is really whole bone extract providing the bone matrix, bone marrow, and cartilage. So you are getting plenty of bone and calcium in our product (roughly 400 mg in a six-capsule serving). Also, our product has a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1, approximately… we’ve even seen it as high as 3:1.”
I would also recommend Mountain Valley Spring Water. It has 69-74 mg of calcium, 7.2-13 mg of magnesium, and 0.9-1.2 mg of potassium per liter.
It’s also important to get enough zinc and magnesium. Since meat and eggs are high in zinc, obtaining a sufficient daily amount shouldn’t be that difficult, especially if you are consuming rib eyes which are especially high in zinc. This article explains how to address magnesium and other potential deficiencies on a carnivore diet. Salmon is an especially good source of magnesium.
If you’re going to have dairy and want it unpasteurized, check out FarmMatch which allows you to buy from farms in your area that offer a wide variety of raw dairy and other animal products. At least that’s been the case for me in the Chicago area. You can also get raw 100% grass-fed cow cheese from Organic Valley and raw goat cheese from Mt. Sterling Creamery and La Clare Family Creamery.
Even if you eat a filling meal, it’s still easy to have a tendency to want to snack at some point during the day. I personally love beef sticks and jerky, but it’s not easy finding high quality products that don’t have sugar, pepper, or other non-carnivore approved ingredients. Seven Sons Farms offers grass-fed, pastured, sugar-free beef jerky with only salt, spices, onion powder, garlic powder, and celery powder along with many other animal products like pastured, sugar-free bacon in a variety of cuts including lamb and Canadian bacon ranging from only $7.55 to $13.00 per pound and various types of seafood, which I don’t often see from other farms. White Oak pastures offers grass-fed beef sticks with Grassfed Beef, 2% or less Himalayan Pink Salt, Honey, Water, Spices, Garlic, Lactic Acid Starter Culture, Cultured Celery Juice Powder, in a Collagen Casing. I also like Wild Alaska Salmon and Seafood Co., Sitka Salmon Shares, and Crown Prince where I get sardines.
Carnivore Crisps are another great snacking alternative. All they add is real salt. This is the salt I would recommend using with your meat since you will want to make sure to get enough salt in your diet. Many people get too much salt because they eat so much processed food, but on a carnivore diet, you need to add salt.
And Nose to Tail offers unique sugar-free air-dried meat snacks called Biltong along with fresh meat, art, body care, and beefwear. Their fresh beef and lamb are 100% grass fed, their pastured chicken does not have any corn or soy in their feed and provides an essential fatty acid ratio of 1.5:1, far below what you will find in other “pasture-raised organic chickens”, and their pastured pork with a feed of what nature provides like grass and critters “provides the best essential fatty acid ratios, below 2:1, something not found in any other pork!”
What I like so much about all of these places is that they can deliver almost anywhere and generally offer free shipping for orders above a certain amount, typically between $100 and $160. It shouldn’t be difficult to order enough for free shipping if you’re on a carnivore diet.
And if you’re really hard core like me, you’ll want to use tallow soap and shampoo. The soap is made solely from 100% grass-fed tallow that comes from Walden Meat. The shampoo is also made from 100% grass-fed tallow sourced from the founder’s family farm as well as organic apple cider vinegar, aloe vera juice, tucuma butter, organic argan oil, castor oil, silk peptides, raw honey, Dead Sea mud, kaolin clay, sodium lactate, and neem. All of these companies have great stories about how they started.