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Nikki Young
12-07-2008, 04:27 PM
I'm wondering if chicken is truly paleo... Because eating raw chicken is dangerous due to the risk of getting salmonella and following a paleo diet you should only eat what you can eat raw.

Is this only an issue in un-healthy chickens? So a chicken running around back in the HG days wouldn't have any traces of salmonella or something?

Garrett Smith
12-08-2008, 05:59 AM
Nikki,
Eating raw chicken is not as dangerous as "they" would have you believe, especially when it is sourced from good places.

If you'd like to eat some raw chicken and still be pretty safe about it, cube the chicken and put it in a marinade of lemon juice, fresh crushed garlic, and maybe a couple drops of wild oregano oil. Let it sit in the fridge in a closed jar for a couple of days. Chicken ceviche! Nothing is likely living through that marinade. I used to do this when I was on the "Primal Diet" and never had a single problem.

Any animal is Paleo--salmonella as a problem bug is due to modern practices. Salmonella is actually a "normal" inhabitant of the human digestive tract.

Darryl Shaw
12-08-2008, 06:16 AM
I don't know where you got the idea that paleo is a raw food diet from but there's evidence that humans have been controlling fire for at least 1.5 million years and I'm sure it wouldn't have taken too long for them to discover that the taste and texture of certain foods was improved by cooking.

Bones hint at first use of fire. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3557077.stm)

HUMAN EVOLUTION: Did Cooked Tubers Spur the Evolution of Big Brains? (http://cogweb.ucla.edu/Abstracts/Pennisi_99.html)

Thomas Bailly
12-08-2008, 12:37 PM
first time I've ever heard of Paleo being raw food only.
I've eaten raw salmon right out of the ocean but raw chicken holds zero appeal.

Garrett Smith
12-08-2008, 03:37 PM
Nowhere in either of the above posts by Nikki or I did we say anything about Paleo being raw food only.

I do personally tend towards the idea that if a food *can't* be eaten raw, then it probably wasn't eaten much by our paleolithic ancestors. See (most) legumes and grains in general. Note that all of the foods on Cordain's paleo list typically can be eaten raw (although much more value is obtained from tubers if they are cooked, as Darryl often notes).

Raw chicken isn't that exciting, but it can be done, I'm here to tell the tale.

The *Primal* Diet is a raw food diet (raw meat, raw dairy, raw honey, raw eggs, etc...), that's one I did for a while. I did not do well on the obscene amounts of raw dairy it called for...

Mike ODonnell
12-08-2008, 05:15 PM
I only eat chickens from Buffalo....they are spicier!

Nikki Young
12-08-2008, 05:54 PM
Thanks for the replies. In regards to the raw food diet statement i didn't mean you could only eat things raw when following a paleo diet, but as Garrett said "that if food *can't* be eaten raw, then it probably wasn't eaten much by our paleolithic ancestors." This is what i was intending to imply by saying that.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear it's mainly modern practices which are the cause of any salmonella problems. I had no doubt chicken was paleo but then a friend of mine started stating all this information about salmonella which i don't know much about, i wanted to get a bit more info about it, the best place for that is asking people who follow a paleo diet :)

So is it solely because of what the chickens are eating and their living conditions being poor that is the cause of any potential salmonella problems when eating chicken raw?

Garrett Smith
12-09-2008, 04:44 AM
Healthy animals = healthy meat, and vice versa.

Salmonella is not that much of a concern in young-ish healthy people anyway.

Scott Kustes
12-09-2008, 05:49 AM
Paleo man ate birds. :)

As G has mentioned, Salmonella is partly a result of improperly raised meat and partly a result of a poor gut environment lacking the proper good bacteria to fight off the bad.

Chris Salvato
12-09-2008, 06:41 AM
salmonella is also overplayed by our society....

i ate a dozen raw eggs a day at one point and people were fearing for my life when I told them how many raw eggs I ate....they were convinced I was asking for trouble...

I now cook my eggs due to better absorption -- but a raw egg is a great way to quickly add protein from a whole food to something :P

Mike ODonnell
12-09-2008, 07:24 AM
salmonella is also overplayed by our society....

Everything is nowadays with fearful marketing....as we live in a "scary" world....all this focus on what will kill us all day long....wonder if anyone actually gets around to just enjoying life.

Daniel Labuz
12-09-2008, 10:43 AM
If you enjoy life too much people think you are using drugs

Garrett Smith
12-09-2008, 11:20 AM
From http://www.textbookofbacteriology.net/normalflora.html :
The effects of the normal flora are inferred by microbiologists from experimental comparisons between "germ-free" animals (which are not colonized by any microbes) and conventional animals (which are colonized with a typical normal flora). Briefly, some of the characteristics of a germ-free animals that are thought to be due to lack of exposure to a normal flora are:

1. vitamin deficiencies, especially vitamin K and vitamin B12
2. increased susceptibility to infectious disease
3. poorly developed immune system, especially in the gastrointestinal tract
4. lack of "natural antibody" or natural immunity to bacterial infection

Because these conditions in germ-free mice and hamsters do not occur in conventional animals, or are alleviated by introduction of a bacterial flora (at the appropriate time of development), it is tempting to conclude that the human normal flora make similar contributions to human nutrition, health and development. The overall beneficial effects of microbes are summarized below.

1. The normal flora synthesize and excrete vitamins in excess of their own needs, which can be absorbed as nutrients by their host. For example, in humans, enteric bacteria secrete Vitamin K and Vitamin B12, and lactic acid bacteria produce certain B-vitamins. Germ-free animals may be deficient in Vitamin K to the extent that it is necessary to supplement their diets.

2. The normal flora prevent colonization by pathogens by competing for attachment sites or for essential nutrients. This is thought to be their most important beneficial effect, which has been demonstrated in the oral cavity, the intestine, the skin, and the vaginal epithelium. In some experiments, germ-free animals can be infected by 10 Salmonella bacteria, while the infectious dose for conventional animals is near 106 [as in, 10,000,000, my addition]cells.

3. The normal flora may antagonize other bacteria through the production of substances which inhibit or kill nonindigenous species. The intestinal bacteria produce a variety of substances ranging from relatively nonspecific fatty acids and peroxides to highly specific bacteriocins, which inhibit or kill other bacteria.

4. The normal flora stimulate the development of certain tissues, i.e., the caecum and certain lymphatic tissues (Peyer's patches) in the GI tract. The caecum of germ-free animals is enlarged, thin-walled, and fluid-filled, compared to that organ in conventional animals. Also, based on the ability to undergo immunological stimulation, the intestinal lymphatic tissues of germ-free animals are poorly-developed compared to conventional animals.

5. The normal flora stimulate the production of natural antibodies. Since the normal flora behave as antigens in an animal, they induce an immunological response, in particular, an antibody-mediated immune (AMI) response. Low levels of antibodies produced against components of the normal flora are known to cross react with certain related pathogens, and thereby prevent infection or invasion. Antibodies produced against antigenic components of the normal flora are sometimes referred to as "natural" antibodies, and such antibodies are lacking in germ-free animals.
Harmful effects of the normal flora, some of which are observed in studies with germ-free animals, can be put in the following categories. All but the last two are fairly insignificant.

1. Bacterial synergism between a member of the normal flora and a potential pathogen. This means that one organism is helping another to grow or survive. There are examples of a member of the normal flora supplying a vitamin or some other growth factor that a pathogen needs in order to grow. This is called cross-feeding between microbes. Another example of synergism occurs during treatment of "staph-protected infections" when a penicillin-resistant staphylococcus that is a component of the normal flora shares its drug resistance with pathogens that are otherwise susceptible to the drug.

2. Competition for nutrients Bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract must absorb some of the host's nutrients for their own needs. However, in general, they transform them into other metabolisable compounds, but some nutrient(s) may be lost to the host. Germ-free animals are known to grow more rapidly and efficiently than conventional animals. One explanation for incorporating antibiotics into the food of swine, cows and poultry is that the animal grows faster and can therefore be marketed earlier. Unfortunately, this practice contributes to the development and spread of bacterial antibiotic resistance within the farm animals, as well as humans.

3. Induction of a low grade toxemia Minute amounts of bacterial toxins (e.g. endotoxin) may be found in the circulation. Of course, it is these small amounts of bacterial antigen that stimulate the formation of natural antibodies.

4. The normal flora may be agents of disease. Members of the normal flora may cause endogenous disease if they reach a site or tissue where they cannot be restricted or tolerated by the host defenses. Many of the normal flora are potential pathogens, and if they gain access to a compromised tissue from which they can invade, disease may result.

5. Transfer to susceptible hosts. Some pathogens of humans that are members of the normal flora may also rely on their host for transfer to other individuals where they can produce disease. This includes the pathogens that colonize the upper respiratory tract such as Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae and Staphylococcus aureus, and potential pathogens such as E. coli, Salmonella or Clostridium in the gastrointestinal tract.

Eat your cultured foods, take antibiotics only when necessary, eat some raw meat every once in a while (or more), everything will be fine.

Nikki Young
12-10-2008, 02:27 AM
Thanks heaps for all the replies to better understand the whole salmonella thing!

Thanks Garrett for the reference article, was an interesting read :)

Blair Lowe
12-10-2008, 04:41 PM
raw chicken is way too squishy and slimey to be a nice texture. raw fish is a bit more solid at least.

raw steaks are good

Garrett Smith
12-11-2008, 07:52 AM
The lemon juice does a bit of chemical cooking that tightens up the chicken...a bit.