Chicken and pork: Why I'm careful with these
“Can you eat chicken or pork on an animal-based diet?”
Short answer: absolutely.
Chickens and pigs are animals, and their meat and organs do NOT contain defense chemicals like plant leaves, stems, roots, and seeds.
But there is one caveat: the quality of food that your chicken or pig consumesmatters a lot, and it is INCREDIBLY challenging to find chickens or pigs that consume purely high-quality foods.
Pigs and chickens are monogastric (single-stomach) animals, and they can’t convert polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) into saturated fatty acids.
So when they're fed an evolutionarily-inappropriate diet (too high in PUFAs), those PUFAs accumulate in their fat.
When you eat that same pork or chicken, you accumulate those PUFAs in your fat too, because you are also a monogastric animal.
BTW in case you didn't know, PUFAs AKA seed oils AKA omega-6 fatty acids are the absolute worst thing you can put into your body. ere is the rabbit hole to understand why.
The fact is, most pigs and chickens are intensively-raised on a super high PUFA diet of corn, soy and grain
And even if you can find pastured pork and chicken, it’s believed that something like 99% of these are also fed corn and soy too (and I don't blame the farmers for this).
There are some farmers producing corn and soy free chicken/pork, for example, White Oak Pastures have corn and soy-free pastured chicken (you can use code CarnivoreMD for 10% off your first order).
Fortunately, we don't see the same problem with ruminants like cattle, deer and bison.
These animals are mostly raised on grass, and even when they are fed corn or soy, they don't store it in their fat to the same degree as pigs or chickens.
Ruminants keep the PUFAs in their fat at less than 2%, but pigs and chicken can hold as much as 20%. I'm convinced that 20% is not optimal for pigs, chickens OR humans.
Thinking of things from an evolutionary perspective, we know our ancestors sought meat and organs from large, grazing ruminant animals, such as bison, elk, caribou, and predomestic cattle, like the auroch.
Our user manual evolved from eating those animals, so it makes sense this habit would be optimal for our health.
There is no historical precedent where we would have consumed animals with such high PUFA levels as we see in intensively-raised pork and chicken today.
99% of the meat and organs I eat are from beef, as I find it much easier to source grass-finished beef and organs from regenerative farms, than to find good quality chicken or pork.
Remember, fish is also fine on an animal-based diet, but avoid species with high amounts of heavy metals (like tuna, swordfish, etc.).