Mega-busy time in the vegetable garden at the moment – read my article Return to the Garden for more on that. Seeds progressing nicely, despite a mouse/bird attack on the lower shelf of the staging in the greenhouse. All replanted and we will just have to cease using the bottom shelf until we decide what to do. This means space is limited so seeds and seedlings have taken over the house!

Enjoying lamb breasts roasted with garlic and herbs (above) – hugely economical and taste superb. Will try stuffed and rolled lamb breast this week.

First sauerkraut experiment a massive success and am addicted to it! Beats that stuff they sell in massively overpriced jars in the deli. Next on list: Kimchi…

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Using half minced beef and half minced beef heart for dishes like burgers and bolognese sauce. So delicious! Great way to get heart into the diet.

Paid a visit to John and Patsy Price to get some fantastic 100% pasture raised beef.

Currently eating the last of 2014’s swiss chard and kale before pulling them up. Also we have the first rhubarb of the year appearing. Stewed with cinnamon and mixed spice (no sugar!) and served with coconut cream and vanilla.

Ketosis going very well and feeling great!

 

News

It’s that time of the year again – the awesome Paleo f(x) is here! Running Friday, April 24th to Sunday, April 26th this is the biggest event in Paleo with a stellar line-up of speakers. There are some fantastic talks, in particular Travis Christofferson of Single Cause Single Cure and author of Tripping Over the Truth: a metabolic theory of cancer talking about The Metabolic Theory of Cancer: The Evidence, Consequences and Treatments. Really happy to also see Chris Kerston of the Savory Institute talking on Eating Healthy Meat to Save the Planet! Emily Dean’s talk on The Microbiome and Mental Health looks great. Dr Michael Ruscio’s talk The Gut Microbiota; Clinical Pearls Vs. Marketing Ploys & Regaining Your Ancestral Gut will be interesting to get a balanced view on the latest research into microbes and the gut. I listened to the first couple of Dr Ruscio’s podcasts here and they are very good. Josh Whiton’s talk The Best Meat is Illegal to Buy: Ending the Ban on Wild Hunted Meat would also be one to attend. I had no idea that most of the venison consumed in America is shipped from New Zealand and it would be good to get a US perspective on hunting. Wish I was going to Austin this year but hopefully back again next year and until then, look forward to catching up with all the videos when they become available.

Very excited to hear that Human Food Project is planning to spend some time with the Reindeer Herders of northern Mongolia – look forward to hearing more about that. Robb Wolf had also posted a link to this article: Mongolia’s Meat Diet: An Inconvenient Truth for Veganism which is a great read. Check out some amazing pictures of Mongolian Reindeer tribes here.

Grass-fed meat vital for a healthy diet, MPs are told – via Farm2Fork Great to see the health benefits of 100% pasture-fed meat being promoted by Professor Robert Pickard, of Cardiff University at the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on beef and lamb.

 

 

Website articles

My favourite article of the month has to be Toby Hemenway’s Permaculture: The Design Arm of a Paradigm Shift. I first heard about Tony from an interview called Liberation Permaculture he gave on the Survival Podcast (which I found via a fermentation website). I was fascinated by what he has to say and felt that his philosophy chimes perfectly with Paleo and with the holistic management approach of organisations such as the Savory Institute. I have been listening to Toby a lot in the last few days.

‘After your world changes, there’s plenty of work to be done. That work is permaculture.’

Antibody against ?-gliadin 33-mer peptide: Is the key initiating factor for development of multiple sclerosis during gluten sensitivity? via Robb Wolf – a ‘must-read’. The forthcoming research has the potential to be hugely important for the study of autoimmune conditions.

Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base – check out this important article from quite a team!

Worth mentioning the following points in full:

‘Here we present 12 points of evidence supporting the use of low-carbohydrate diets as the first approach to treating type 2 diabetes and as the most effective adjunct to pharmacology in type 1. They are proposed as the most well-established, least controversial results. It is not known who decides what constitutes evidence-based medicine but we feel that these points are sufficiently strong that the burden of proof rests on critics…

Whatever the extent to which the correlation between carbohydrate consumption and diabetes is causal, the lack of association between the levels of dietary fat and diabetes in humans is of real significance. A lack of association is generally considered strong evidence for a lack of causality…

In practice, reduced-carbohydrate diets are not generally high-protein diets except in comparison with low levels recommended in high-carbohydrate diets. It is also generally recommended that carbohydrate is replaced by fat…

Several large and expensive clinical studies have been carried out since the so-called diet–heart hypothesis was framed in the middle of the 20th century [40,41]. From the original Framingham study [42] to the WHI [26], as well as more than a dozen additional studies, have failed to show an association between dietary lipids and risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD)…

There is now a large volume of literature of both scientific papers [43–47] and popular books [48–51] documenting the failure of attempts to support the diet–heart hypothesis. Few rebuttals have been offered [52]. The very strong recommendations from health agencies predicted that none of these trials should fail. In fact, almost all of them have failed…

Dietary SFA does not correlate with CVD. On the other hand, it is increasingly understood that plasma SFAs are associated with increased risk for CVD and insulin resistance [59]. in humans, plasma SFAs do not correlate with dietary saturated fat but, rather, are more dependent on dietary carbohydrates [5,60–62]…

Total and/or LDL cholesterol are the most commonly assessed lipid markers for CVD risk despite the general recognition that they are not good predictors. Several other parameters have been shown to provide stronger evidence of risk and these tend to be reliably improved by dietary carbohydrate restriction. These include apolipoprotein (apo) B [71], ratio of total cholesterol to HDL, higher populations of the smaller dense LDL known as pattern B [72,73], as well as the ratio of apoB to apoA1. The ratio of TG to HDL, which is also improved more by carbohydrate restriction is taken as a correlate of the smaller dense LDL, which is not routinely measured…

Dietary carbohydrate restriction, because of its increased effectiveness in glycemic control, frequently leads to reduction and often complete elimination of medication in type 2 diabetes…

Finally, it should be recognized that the use of low carbohydrate diets is not a recent experiment and may well approximate the diet used by much of humanity for tens of thousands of years before the rise of agriculture…

Replacement of carbohydrate with fat or, in some cases, with protein, is beneficial in both types of diabetes leading to better glycemic control, weight loss, cardiovascular risk markers, and reduction in medication. This is what we know…

Both the scientific [92,93] and popular literature [94] have been unrestrained in attributing harm to fructose. Generally, fructose is known to have unique effects compared with glucose, although most of these are seen on a high-carbohydrate diet [95] and there may be little difference as carbohydrate is lowered. It is likely that on a low-carbohydrate diet, most fructose that is consumed will be converted to glucose. We have provided a perspective on the metabolism of fructose [96] where we emphasize its integration into general carbohydrate metabolism. The fact that up to 60% of ingested fructose can be converted to glucose makes the analysis of which sugar does what very difficult…

Given the current state of research funding and the palpable bias against low carbohydrate approaches [4], it is unlikely that an RCT can be performed that will satisfy everybody. The seriousness of diabetes suggests that we have enough evidence of different types to reevaluate our current recommendations for treatment…

We would recommend that government or private health agencies hold open hearings on these issues in which researchers in carbohydrate restriction can make their case. We think that traditional features of the analysis of evidence such as vigorous cross-examination should be part of the process…

How Networks Bring Down Experts (The Paleo Example) – hat-tip to Mr Wolf. I really loved this article:

 ‘…leadership is earned not by sitting atop an institutional hierarchy with the plumage of a PhD, but by contributing, experimenting, communicating and learning with the rest of a far bigger hive mind.’

Metabolic and physiologic effects from consuming a hunter-gatherer (Paleolithic)-type diet in type 2 diabetes – abstract (full article behind pay wall):

‘Even short-term consumption of a Paleolithic-type diet improved glucose control and lipid profiles in people with type 2 diabetes compared with a conventional diet containing moderate salt intake, low-fat dairy, whole grains and legumes.’

Neuroscience: an epileptic target: Interesting abstract (full article behind pay wall) regarding the development of drugs to treat epilepsy that mimic the metabolic effects of a ketogenic diet via LDH inhibition: ‘…the first anti-epileptic drug known to act on a metabolic pathway.’

Scientists identify novel mechanism by which ketogenic diet could delay effects of aging

‘Dr. Verdin and colleagues found that at lower concentrations, BOHB helps protect cells from “oxidative stress”-which occurs as certain molecules build to toxic levels in the body and contributes to the aging process.’

Beta-hydroxybutyrate is the primary ketone body in the blood.

One of the many criticisms of the Paleo diet is that it is potentially low in calcium. Check out this excellent article from Chris Kresser: How To Keep Your Bones Healthy On A Paleo Diet. There are some lovely foods in the top ten sources of calcium, including sesame seeds (wiz up tahini, garlic, olive oil, a little water and lemon juice and parsley to make a creamy salad dressing), tinned salmon and sardines, spinach…

New Research Shows Poorly Understood “Leaky Gut Syndrome” Is Real, May Be the Cause of Several Diseases via Ethical Omnivore Movement

Bring in the cows: grazing may be the best hope for a threatened butterfly – via Savory Institute. Really lovely article highlighting the importance of intelligently managed ruminants to biodiversity:

‘One of his goals was to dispel the widespread impression that cows are always bad for conservation. While ill-controlled herds have damaged landscapes across the West, Weiss says, well-managed herds can help preserve native ecosystems, including these flowery grasslands.’

Vegan Zealots And ‘Meat Kills The Planet’ Nonsense – Tom fights the fight yet again in this great article! An excellent argument for the important role that ruminants play in creating a healthy and sustainable biosystem.

World’s oldest stone tools discovered in Kenya

‘…tool making apparently began before the birth of our genus.’

The FDA’s phony nutrition science: How Big Food and Agriculture trumps real science — and why the government allows it

How the recommended low levels of salt in your diet might actually be dangerous – Interesting article on salt – time for a rethink on guidelines? Heard that one before!

 

 

Videos and Podcasts

A lovely video here about Conygree Farm, based in the Cotswolds who keep rare breed Cotswold and pedigree Lleyn sheep, Traditional Hereford (as opposed to crossed Hereford) cattle and native breed pigs, producing lamb, hogget, mutton, beef and pork. I first heard about this farm via the PFLA, so if you are looking for a supplier of pasture fed beef and lamb (and hogget!) in the Cotswolds area – check them out. Nice to see a mention of Deerhounds too!!

 

Books

Really enjoying reading Swallow This: Serving Up the Food Industry’s Darkest Secrets by Joanna Blythman. Check out my article on Joanna’s recent radio interview here.

‘These days cooking is a powerful political statement, a small daily act of resistance that gives us significantly more control of our lives…

The prevailing sentiment amongst food manufacturers is that the less we have a mental picture of how our food is made, the better.’

Joanna explains that when questioned about their methodologies, the implication from the food industry is that ‘…anyone who is suspicious of processed food is an irrational, confused hysteric.’

The description of some of the things on offer at the Food Ingredients trade show is mind-boggling.

Great read so far.

Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway. Would really like to read this after listening to Toby’s presentations online – looks hugely interesting.

The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health (available to pre-order from Random House Publishers).

 

Websites

The Conygree Farm video above was posted on Grow Eat Gather – a really nice new website that promotes locally grown, real food in the UK.

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