Rabbit Starvation / Protein Poisoning And Survival Diets

I once joined a friend on an all meat diet. He wanted to lose weight and I didn’t want to be eating french fries in front of him at our daily lunches (we worked together). Well, we both did lose weight, despite eating all the meat we wanted.

Little did I know that there was a big risk in this.

Now, to be fair, we also were eating things like salads and vegetables without a starch component (carrots…) and we were also not being fat limited, so cheese was in there too. These are likely the reason we never had a “Rabbit Poisoning” issue, also called “Protein Poisoning”.

If you are getting more than about 35% of your calories from protein, and not having much in the way of starches, fats, and vitamins, it is very easy to end up in a toxic state. Literally toxic. The liver starts flooding your blood with ammonia and other toxic byproducts of protein breakdown.

This matters for anyone planning a “Survival Diet”. IF you are thinking of living off a lot of stored jerky, along with the local rabbit, squirrel, or deer population, well, that’s not enough.

https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-rabbit-starvation.htm

Rabbit starvation, also known as protein poisoning, is a dangerous health condition caused by the over-consumption of protein coupled with fat, carbohydrate, and micronutrient deprivation. The common name refers to the fact that this condition can be caused by a near-total subsistence on lean, wild game, such as rabbit. Unchecked, the disease can cause severe symptoms of malnutrition, and can lead to a fatal buildup of toxins in the bloodstream.

The discovery of rabbit starvation is linked to early health studies and observations of Native Americans. Tribes in Alaska and the polar region subsisted largely on game with a high amount of fat and carbohydrates, such as seals and whales, and rarely suffered from this form of malnutrition. By contrast, Native Americans stricken with this condition tended to come from forested areas where harsh winters resulted in a diet of primarily lean game. Rabbit starvation was first described by Arctic explorer Vilhjamur Stefansson in the late 19th century, but was also remarked upon by Charles Darwin in his journals.

So first thing to note is that having an all meat diet WITH FAT is not bad for you. Buy a gallon of Olive Oil or Coconut Oil to go with the jerky stash, OK?

This is unlikely to be an issue for anyone doing “the usual” 2 big bags of beans and rice for the basic “supply”, but it is still well worth knowing.

[…] Protein in the body is converted into glucose by the liver, and can be burned as energy. The liver, however, can only safely process a limited amount of protein at a time. If the body receives more protein than it can safely turn into glucose, the resulting strain on the liver and kidneys can cause an increasing buildup of ammonia and amino acids.
[…]
protein over-consumption also causes various symptoms of malnutrition, including fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, and constant hunger. These symptoms occur because the body is being deprived of necessary nutrition provided only by fat, carbohydrates, and micronutrients such as vitamins. Symptoms will occur regardless of how many calories a person experiencing rabbit starvation eats, since the body is limited in its ability to process energy and nutrition from protein. […]

The possibility of rabbit starvation leads many health experts to counsel against some protein-heavy diet regimes. Although the exact upper limit for safe protein consumption is not widely agreed upon, some authorities suggest that protein poisoning becomes a concern if protein comprises more than 35% of daily calorie intake.

There’s also a wiki on it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_poisoning

Protein poisoning (also referred to colloquially as rabbit starvation, mal de caribou, or fat starvation) is a rare form of acute malnutrition thought to be caused by a near complete absence of fat in the diet.

So for “Survival Stores”, do NOT store things like “tuna in water” when you can get “tuna in oil”. You WANT those calories and you WANT that fat.


Excess protein is sometimes cited as the cause of this condition, however when meat and fat are consumed in the correct ratio, such as that found in pemmican (which is 50% fat by volume), the diet is considered nutritionally complete
and can support humans for months or more. Other stressors, such as severe cold or a dry environment, may intensify symptoms or decrease time to onset. Symptoms include diarrhea, headache, fatigue, low blood pressure, slow heart rate, and a vague discomfort and hunger (very similar to a food craving) that can be satisfied only by the consumption of fat.

One wonders if the Zombie Brain Eating stereotype comes from some ancient event where fat starved folks suffering Rabbit Starvation (perhaps from canibalism) started craving all that fat in brain tissues…

Protein poisoning was first noted as a consequence of eating rabbit meat exclusively, hence the term, “rabbit starvation”. Rabbit meat is very lean; commercial rabbit meat has 50–100 g dissectable fat per 2 kg (live weight). Based on a carcass yield of 60%, rabbit meat is around 8.3% fat while beef and pork are 32% fat and lamb 28%.

So it may be as much a fat starvation as an over consumption of protein. Note that at 8.3% fat in the diet, you have fat starvation. We are a fat burner (horses and cows are hay burners) and we NEED fat in the diet. At about the 1/3 of calories level up to 1/2 by volume for all protein and fat diet, per the wiki.

So when buying that emergency supply / ration, make sure you put a gallon or two of stable oil of fat in the pantry. I like Olive Oil and Coconut Oil, but a big tub of lard will do in an emergency TEOTWAYKI (The End Of The World As You Know It) run to the store.

Note that this does NOT take long for onset. Think you will live for 30 days on Jerky and Squirrels while your garden gets started? Nope.

The Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who experienced rabbit starvation himself, wrote:

The groups that depend on the blubber animals are the most fortunate in the hunting way of life, for they never suffer from fat-hunger. This trouble is worst, so far as North America is concerned, among those forest Indians who depend at times on rabbits, the leanest animal in the North, and who develop the extreme fat-hunger known as rabbit-starvation. Rabbit eaters, if they have no fat from another source—beaver, moose, fish—will develop diarrhea in about a week, with headache, lassitude and vague discomfort. If there are enough rabbits, the people eat till their stomachs are distended; but no matter how much they eat they feel unsatisfied. Some think a man will die sooner if he eats continually of fat-free meat than if he eats nothing, but this is a belief on which sufficient evidence for a decision has not been gathered in the North. Deaths from rabbit-starvation, or from the eating of other skinny meat, are rare; for everyone understands the principle, and any possible preventive steps are naturally taken.

During the Greely Arctic Expedition 1881–1884, a harrowing experience of 25 expedition members, of whom 19 died, Stefansson refers to “‘rabbit starvation’ which is now to me the key to the Greely problem,” which was why “only six came back.” He concludes that one of the reasons for the many deaths was cannibalism of the lean flesh of members who had already died. Stefansson likens this to rabbit starvation, which he explains somewhat as in the above quoted observation.

Charles Darwin, in The Voyage of the Beagle, wrote:

We were here able to buy some biscuit. I had now been several days without tasting any thing besides meat: I did not at all dislike this new regimen; but I felt as if it would only have agreed with me with hard exercise. I have heard that patients in England, when desired to confine themselves exclusively to an animal diet, even with the hope of life before their eyes, have hardly been able to endure it. Yet the Gaucho in the Pampas, for months together, touches nothing but beef. But they eat, I observe, a very large proportion of fat, which is of a less animalized nature; and they particularly dislike dry meat, such as that of the agouti. Dr. Richardson, also, has remarked, “that when people have fed for a long time solely upon lean animal food, the desire for fat becomes so insatiable, that they can consume a large quantity of unmixed and even oily fat without nausea:” this appears to me a curious physiological fact. It is, perhaps, from their meat regimen that the Gauchos, like other carnivorous animals, can abstain long from food. I was told that at Tandeel, some troops voluntarily pursued a party of Indians for three days, without eating or drinking.

Many folks will store up a pile of beans and rice. Maybe include some dried meats and dehydrated vegetables. Making a fine storage of food for even up to a year. But “Where’s the Fat?”, eh? IF you do not have enough fat, all the dried vegetables and protein in the world will just have you starving.

There is also a related, but different, set of issues that arise from the lack of essential fatty acids (from which we make all sorts of hormones and such). These are hard to get without “animal sources” (mostly being from flax seeds / flax oil). This is a significant issue for vegetarians and it must be carefully attended for them. But what is a typical “survival diet” but a largely vegetarian one?

For that reason I make sure I have some cans of foods that are rich in essential fatty acids. In particular, I always have a stack of cans of tuna, sardines, and SPAM or Chicken. Also a bottle of Fish Oil in the fridge or fish oil capsules on the shelf.

It is fine to have a preparedness diet with oatmeal for breakfast, tortillas with refried beans for lunch, and baked beans with rice and vegetables for dinner; BUT, you need to address the fat issue somewhere along the line. Add canned condensed milk with the oatmeal, and a spoon of coconut oil in it too. (Coconut oil has a very nice taste. Not the same as butter in the oats, but still nice and a lot nicer than soybean oil ;-) With those bean burritos, include a tin of sardines packed in olive oil and consume the oil. With dinner, have a slice or two of fried SPAM or put some canned chicken in the beans (including any fat from the can). Then make some biscuits and put a nice drizzle of olive oil or coconut oil on them, and top with jam for desert.

It really is important to plan for and incorporate enough fat into any food storage system. This is especially problematic as many fats do not store well, or are not particularly healthy. Anything hydrogenated is right out. It is metabolically evil. Unfortunately, it is also very “shelf stable”. But there are natural alternatives that are also stable. Coconut oil is the most available (COSTCO has it in large jars) as is Olive Oil. They are my “go to oils” for general cooking anyway. (Olive oil with butter 50:50 is my preferred cooking fat for frying and saute). Both also have very nice flavor and are easy to consume. I have no problem drinking the olive oil from the can of sardines packed in olive oil.

So as we enter this Grand Solar Minimum, if you find yourself thinking about putting away some “emergency supply” of foods, make sure a good sized part of it is some stable fats. I’ve had a large (gallon or so) sized can of Olive Oil on a shelf for a couple of years and it was fine when opened. I’ve had a large jar of coconut oil (that is a solid at room temperature) used for cooking, opened and used often, sitting on the counter for months, maybe even a year+ and it was fine. Polyunsaturated oils like Soybean, Corn, etc. do NOT store as well. They tend to oxidize and go rancid. The plastic bottles are of questionable resistance to oxygen transport long term. Once opened, you are starting a rancidity timer. Smell an old partly used bottle of Soybean Oil and it smells a bit like varnish… So solid fats like lard, coconut oil, palm oil are best. Or monounsaturated fats like Olive Oil. They are better for your health anyway ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Emergency Preparation and Risks, Food and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Rabbit Starvation / Protein Poisoning And Survival Diets

  1. wyoskeptic says:

    Yep. This is what got me onto a Keto diet. A somewhat relaxed ketogenic diet (Approx 60% of calories from fats and oils, 10% from protein and 30% carbs). When I quit smoking at 59, I started gaining weight like crazy. Basically I was on a fast track to diabetes, though I didn’t realize it at the time. When you diet, what do you do? You cut back on calories. Well, you aren’t supposed to consume fat, (I was still somewhat brainwashed at that time.) And most the calories come from carbs, so when you cut back, what happens? You wind up heavy on protein.

    Yeah, I flirted at the edges of protein poisoning. I never got there, but got close enough to know the insatiable hunger for … something. Anything.

    I heard about bulletproof coffee (or Keto coffee) which is coffee (or tea) plus butter, coconut oil and thick heavy whipping cream. All three of these are high in MCT (medium chain triglycerides) which are the easiest oils/fats to get into the liver for it to use to convert to ketones, which is what the body thrives on when processed sugar is avoided. From there I went more and more into keto. Simply put, if you want good health follow a very simple rule. Avoid eating sugar. The problem with sugar is that it is half fructose and fructose in quantity is every bit as bad as alcohol in quantity. Nonalcoholic fatty liver is becoming nearly as epidemic as diabetes is and for the same reason.

    Now in a survival type situation, these may not be readily available. So then, it should be fatty meat plus any fats, lards, cooking grease you can get.

    But on a day to day basis, the best health comes from being in a state of ketosis. (Note, ketosis not ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is the result of the body no longer being able to shove excess sugar into various cells to be burnt for fuel and the liver turning some of the fats stored there into ketones. Hyperglycemia plus ketosis is not a good thing.) Ketosis is simply the body being able to convert fats (most commonly triglycerides) into ketones which the body can burn perfectly well. With some protein that the body can turn into glucose for those parts of the brain and the blood has to have, the body works remarkably well without carbs, or without many carbs.

    Being in a state of nutritional ketosis means that the fats a person consumes in their diet is the same fat stored on their frame. If the body can use the dietary fat without problems, then it can also utilize the stored fat. You do not have that problem of switching back and forth between carb metabolism and fat or ketone metabolism. It should be noted that insulin rises when a person eats. Doesn’t matter what, insulin will rise. But when the meal is mostly carbs, or starches which can easily be converted, the insulin is not going to reduce until the blood glucose drops. Which also means any fat that is stored will not be burned because the number one priority for the body is to reduce blood glucose levels. So as long as a person is continually carb loading, any fat they gain is going to stay on board. The only way for the body to utilize that fat is via ketosis and that is not going to happen so long as there is sugar in the blood. On the other hand if the calories are mostly from fat and/or complex carbs (i.e above ground green leafy vegetables and fruits) then insulin will drop more quickly. Which means you can switch to ketosis more quickly and easily.

    So, part of the reason conventional dieting does not work is that the body becomes addicted to carbs, it does not want to shift into ketosis unless there is a period of re-adapting to ketosis (which may take several days) and if a person cuts back on the carbs and ups the protein, the hunger becomes incredible, Become keto adapted and the hunger is much more easily controlled, which means weight loss is much easier.

    For a survival situation, if you are keto adapted, it is not that difficult to go several days without eating, you simply live off your stored fat until you find a decent source of food. Most days now, I go with one solid meal a day. Some days, plus an additional snack, other days with a snack only. It is easy to do if your body is not nagging you for that sugar fix you get from carb loading. I never intended to do one meal a day, it is just that once I became used to keto, I wasn’t hungry enough for two or three meals. And believe me, if a person is facing a SHTF scenario, being able to manage your hunger would be a very, very good thing. Plus loading up on coconut oil is something that keeps well, can be added to anything and is great to cook with. Most outfits peddling MCT oils are actually only selling coconut oil. Carrington farms sells a liquid coconut oil that is mostly the MCTs and is pretty reasonably priced and available.

    Oh, the major trick to ketosis is that the amount of salt plus potassium plus calcium plus magnesium is much, much higher. Ketosis is naturally diuretic, you go through water like crazy. The worst part of “Keto flu” is actually from being dehydrated and low on electrolytes. So any one looking to go keto needs to up the electrolytes. On the good side of the board, being in keto means that the blood pressure usually drops and there is research out there that suggests the heart is upwards 0f 30% more efficient using ketones for fuel in place of glucose. And for the me, the mental clarity, cognition, and both short term and log term memory improvements are nothing short of amazing. There is also research which suggests the brain does better on keto than on glucose. Yeah, one other minor point, the only way body cells can utilize glucose is via insulin receptors. Any cells with mitochondria can use ketones directly from the blood. So in just about every way, the body does better on ketones than glucose.

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  3. E.M.Smith says:

    @wyoskeptic:

    The spouse starts her day with cold cereal (often sweetened) and toast. Then just can’t stand not having meals come On Time.

    I don’t like sweet things and generally avoid them. My day usually starts with 2 cups of coffee over a couple of hours. About noon I’ll feel a bit hungry, maybe. (Today it was 3 pm after the grocery run in the next posting…)

    A typical ‘brunch’ for me is a pan of some vegetable stuff (squash, mushrooms, onion) sauteed in 1/2 Olive Oil and 1/2 Butter, then two beaten eggs poured in to make a Frittata. I’ll often be “requested” to get busy making dinner as someone is hungry again… If it runs to after 5 PM for dinner prep, I’m definitely getting the expedites… (I’d be happy not eating dinner until 9 PM…) The spouse will have had the occasional “sweet snack” to hold her until I can finally get around to making dinner….

    We’ve talked about keto, and the whole “how it works” thing… Talk is cheap… Oh Well.

    I find I can barely eat a whole slice of frosted cake. Just sooo sugar bomb… I’d rather have a bowl of chili (no beans ;-)

  4. andysaurus says:

    @wyoskeptic, you saved me having to type this. I have been on basically carnivorous diet for about 15 months, lost 32 kg of my original 130 and feel all the benefits WRT cognition that you mention. Off most of my diabetes meds (which included injected insulin), able to walk 2 miles a day without gasping for breath, off my ‘mother’s little helpers’. Just great. Some people say that Alzheimer’s is type 5 diabetes, and I’m prepared to believe them. At 68 I want to avoid that for as long as possible.

    @E.M. I find meat MUCH more satisfying than carbs. Carbs (sugar by another name) are every bit as addictive as other drugs, you have to go [if you’ll excuse the expression] cold turkey. Maybe if you suggest your spouse is an addict it will have the salutary affect she needs. I have had the same experience as wyoskeptic with reducing the need to feed frequently. I have a large meal at noon, then some home made beef broth in the evening, leaving me completely satisfied. On the rare occasion I want a snack, I eat a hunk of cheese (usually watching sport on TV).

    I still drink good cheap Australian wine, but have given up beer.

    Yours in good health.

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    I’m slowly migrating us to a lower sugar and carbs diet. So I still have a lot of carbs in the house, but as the cook, I just cook less of them.

    Small example: Used to make salads with crackers and such. Now I make a “chef’s salad” with a hard boiled egg, sliced ham bits, and tuna, topped with cheese and ranch dressing. Note the lack of carbs… This is dinner about once a week.

    Similarly, I’ll make lamb chops. Used to serve it with baked potato, slice of bread and butter, sometimes a side of rice instead. Now it is more likely to show up with a side salad and buttered asparagus. Or some sauteed squash & mushrooms.

    The “Ham & Yams with buttered bead and green beans” (one of my favorite meals, BTW, is now more rarely served. Smaller serving of yams. Often no longer “candied” but just roasted / buttered.

    So slowly I’m moving dinners and lunches to a more keto like form and it has worked fine (no complaints). Partly that is due to still having some favorite carb heavy meals. “Loaded baked potato” and variations on “Chicken with rice”. (Though I’m now more often to do a simple roast chicken with lower carb sides).

    But the two things that I’m making no progress on are:

    a) Breakfast. She wakes up about when I’m headed for bed ;-) So she self serves carbs in a boal with a topping of sugar and side of buttered carbs toasted…. IF I’m up, I can get my frittata to be accepted… but I’m not up then often.

    b) Spouse loves to bake deserts. Emotionally engaged with cakes, cookies and such as a treat. I get “rewarded” with cakes at special days and cookies as appreciation. I’m not sure how to handle that. I’ve stated I just “can’t eat that much sugar”… I’m thinking maybe pushing the idea of Almond Flour might help ;-)

    You can’t make someone change. You can’t make them think against their will. Oh Well.

  6. andysaurus says:

    Happy wife, happy life. NOTHING is worth upsetting her. May I suggest leaving a prepared dish of eggs and meat that only needs a quick nuke in the microwave. Even if it’s only a few times a week. Frittata is a great option. Omelette doesn’t really warm well IMHO. Quiche without pie-crust is a possibility, use thick cream instead of milk.
    Anybody who suggests to a man how to fix his wife’s foibles is taking his life in his own hands, but I’m really old.
    BTW, I personally find that throwing meat and eggs into a frying pan (skillet?) for a meal takes at most 10 minutes, especially as I leave the animal fat in which I cook in the pan for a week. It doesn’t go rancid like ‘vegetable’ oils and acquires a much richer flavour from the meat. I have recently taken to cooking beefburgers (just 160 g of minced meat, no addititives). 2 of those and a couple of scrambled eggs (just 2 large eggs and 50g butter) is VERY satisfying. Add mushrooms and more butter for more taste.
    Dessert is 75g of what we call double cream, noon and night, but I have a high boredom threshold. One cup of fresh coffee (with milk, my one dose of carbs) and I’m done.

  7. Bill in Oz says:

    Interesting & worthwhile discussion blokes ! I too try hard to avoid sugar. But it takes many forms ( and names ) not just pure white & deadly. And heavily processed carbs become sugar in the gut and just as deadly. So tend to stay away from pasta, spaghetti etc

  8. E.M.Smith says:

    One of my favorite breakfasts (for over 1/2 century…) is fried porkchops and eggs.

    Ham and eggs is almost as good…. but not quite :-)

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    @Bill in Oz:

    There is clearly lots of individual variance. We went full gluten free for a while. Nothing changes.

    Eating rice also seems to do little.

    So just recrntly we gave up giving up stuff :-)

    I’m only noticeably bothered by sugar as sugar. Glucose, sucrose, fructose, all have issues. Big bowl if rice? No issues. Go figure…

    Maybe I just have slow starch digestion….

    Cake and cupcakes have issues… but toast doesn’t. Don’t know why.

  10. H.R. says:

    I’m the cook at our household and have been changing the diet over to more meat & veggie meals with the carb side omitted. There is less of H.R. and Mrs. H.R. to hug as we have both been losing weight.
    .
    .
    .
    @E.M. – My wife was a carb breakfast eater until I finally got her converted to eggs, sausage or bacon, fruit and dairy. I’m one of those that eats a first meal at 11:00 or 12:00 noon, so she was “cooking” oatmeal packets, Eggo waffles, cold cereal, or toast & jelly when left to her own devices. Here’s how I converted her to a very low carb breakfast.

    At Costco, they have peeled hardboiled eggs in sealed two-packs and I think there are 18 of those packs in a box. They also have a nice microwaveable pre-cooked sausage (no antibiotics in the piggies used in their making) and pre-cooked microwave bacon.

    So now she ‘cooks’ her own breakfast by opening a two-pack of hardboiled eggs and slicing them in half, zapping 2-3 sausages or strips of bacon in the microwave oven, tossing a 1/4 cup of lowfat cottage cheese on the plate, and adding about 2 tablespoons of sliced strawberries that I prep and put in a Tupperware container for her every few days so they are always on hand.

    So the only carbs now in her breakfast are a smidge in the cottage cheese and in the fruit. All told, it’s about two minutes and breakfast is ready in about the same time it takes to make up a pack of instant oatmeal.

  11. jim2 says:

    A quick breakfast is add sausage to a hot frying pan, break it up into fine pieces. Add a few chopped onions or bell peppers or other peppers – optional. Throw in an egg or two and mix well. Add a dash of toasted sesame oil – optional.

  12. Ossqss says:

    I should have known not to come here beforeally lunch! Now I am hungry ;-)

    A tidbit on toasted sesame seed oil. I frequently eat tuna directly out of the can for a quick snack and it is quite dry. Add some of that toasted sesame seed oil and it turns it into a pretty good snack.

  13. Bill in Oz says:

    E M Yes lots of things get complicated. There is no simple take home message. But staying away from sugary stuff works for me : eg Chocolate, sweets, cakes, cookies, lollies etc. Currently we go through 2 by 200 gram blocks of 85% cocoa a week..Lots of salami and lots of cheese..My lady has become a ‘Brie-aholic’ since coming to Australia from the Philippines in 2016.. She loves the rind and leaves the creamy runny bits for me :-)

    Re carbs, It’s almost midnight here. And my favourite midnight munchie is toasted & buttered low sugar raisin bread…Just the thing at the end of a long cold day here in Oz.

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    @H.R.:

    Interesting… Spouse likes hard boiled eggs and loves bacon… But “I have to cook it” since I know how.

    Most people run it on high until it is overcooked and scorching. My “trick” is to start it on high and then regularly turn the heat down through the cooking process to medium / just below medium depending on the stove. The first stage s “get the cast iron hot” (or aluminum… or…) and that is on high. I keep a jar of bacon grease in the fridge and put a few Tbs of that in the pan to get the cook started. If lacking saved bacon grease, any neutral oil or fat will do, just use a bit less so s not to change the flavor. Maybe 1 Tbs or max 2. (So I usually use Safflower or Canola). This assures an even cooking of the bacon from the start. Lay the bacon in this fat as the pan is warming up.

    As soon as it is sizzling and steaming, that’s the start of the de-watering stage and I turn it down to medium high. It spends a while driving off water and starting to sizzle well, then it begins to quiet and there is less steam. All that water was taking away the excess heat, but now it isn’t. IF you don’t turn the input heat down, it will over heat and burn / dry too much. So we transition to medium heat for the “fat rendering” stage.

    The exact setting depends on the sound and look of it all. And to some extent the smell. Too hot is the enemy, so “too low then turn it back up if it isn’t rendering” is OK. Turn the bacon a few times in each stage. As the bacon shrinks and browns, it will enter the “crisping” stage. So now is when you decide if you want “Greasy Bacon” or “crisp” or “incredibly crisp”…

    As the bacon gets nicely brown, the burner goes down another notch to medium low. It is already de-watered, rendered, and browned. All a lot of heat can do at this point is put scorched spots on it or burn it. Continue slowly rendering to the degree of crispness you like.

    Given that:

    The spouse will not cook her own bacon… So I’ll give the COSTCO stuff a try. That just might work out.

    @Jim2:

    Ah, yes, the “Pan Scrambler”… From time to time my frittatas end up as a ‘scramble” ;-)

    I really like a Denver Scramble (Denver Omelette stuff in a pan scramble), but rarely have peppers. Mostly I’ll use ham, onions, and cheese..

    There’s a very famous one called “Original Joe’s” after a local restaurant. Served as a dinner food, it is a lot of hamburger and spinach with eggs and some onions and who knows what. Less eggs than the breakfast version though.

    Maybe I could get the spouse to do a scramble…

  15. cdquarles says:

    The heart muscle is one of the few muscles that is always working. Working striated muscle predominately runs on fat. That’s why you will find fat cells and muscle cells in proximity. (They can also, to some extent, go from one to the other, via stem cells and chemically mediated apoptosis.) The heart runs on fat. Burning fat requires oxygen. The brain and the red blood cells run on glucose. Fructose is just an isomer of glucose. That said, some people are more efficient at converting fructose to glucose. One is an aldose and the other a ketose. That is, one is an aldehyde and one is a ketone.

    The last time I had to take predisone I blew up some 50 pounds. I’ve lost most of it. Yeah, I am an old, greybeard granddad; yet I am not that much over what I weighed at 18. Mom, who survived the Great Depression, insisted on me having enough fat on my bones to not look like a sick, starving kid.

    The standard medical advice works for those for whom it is appropriate. It does not work for those for whom it is inappropriate. Now, the dead hand of government plus the inevitable fads plague medicine.

    Re trans fats. The catch here is that unsaturated fats spoil. How do they spoil? In part, through the natural effects of water and other chemicals that break and racemize the former double bond in the fat. So, to say that we have never eaten trans fats is false. That we may be eating more of them now, may be true. As with everything else, dose and route make the medicine or the poison; and what is poison for person A may be medicine for person B.

  16. cdquarles says:

    Oh, yeah, gluconeogenesis is not solely a liver thing, too. Skeletal muscle plays a role and insulin and insulin-like peptide hormone, as well as the peptide hormones that have inverse effects, and their respective membrane receptor proteins all play a role.

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @CDQuarles:

    Also of note is that the natural trans-fat in dairy is a conjugated bond, so not quite the same as the trans-fats made by partial hydrogenation. It seems that the conjugated trans-fat bonds are less harmful to people.

    The one I’m not sure how to evaluate is the fully saturated hydrogenated fats. In theory they ought to be like any other saturated fat. But in practice? Is it really 100% saturated? Or are there still a bunch of those non-conjugated trans-fat bonds being formed in part of it?

    Until that gets resolved for me, I’m not buying the commercial lard products as they have some “hydrogenated lard” in them to keep them solid in warmer climates.

    The good thing is that it is pretty easy to make your own lard. (I did it a couple of times just to develop the skill). I’m also happy to use butter and / or coconut oil in baking instead of lard, so it isn’t a big deal for me.

    OTOH, it is just a whole lot easier when in the store trying to decide “Buy or Dump?” to just scan the ingredients list for the words “hydrogenated” or “mono- or di- glyceride” and put it back… When folks caught on that hydrogenated meant “bad” the companies moved to interesterified and monoglyceride / diglyceride to hide their hydrogenated fatty acids in something that was not a full fat so didn’t have to say “hydrogenated FOO oil”… Part of why I just never buy packages pastry like stuff anymore, or most processed candy. Too much game playing in the fat / hydrogenation department. I just got tired of reading a dozen labels all evil. So now iI don’t bother.

  18. Quail says:

    Modern meat rabbit breeds can be quite fatty. After the traditional lean fryer age of 8-10 weeks, they put on fat deposits around the kidneys and other organs, plus some under the skin. They develop the fat faster than laying breed chicken poults, with rabbits at 4 months being about the same as chickens at 5.5-6 months, but with more meat on the rabbits . I have been able to fry a rabbit in its own fat successfully without adding any oil.

    The breed I have experience with is Satins, but I have heard similar reports from Californian and New Zealand breeders. Adult domestic rabbits can get so fatty inside that they have trouble breeding.

    Here is a link to the nutritional data for domestic rabbits: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/lamb-veal-and-game-products/4646/2

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