We've already had a question about raw meat and teeth question and recently about steak tartare, but I've been wondering about the safety versus benefits of raw meat in general, since there are some paleo champions of raw meat, but on the other hand fire seems to have been an integral part of our evolution.
Is conventional meat safe raw or should one only be daring with well-sourced organic, grassfed animals? What meats is it safe to have undercooked? Presumably beef is pretty safe, every-one seems opposed to undercooked chicken, but I've heard mixed reports about pork? Even if undercooked muscle meat is safe, would organs still be off limits? I recall reading advice that liver should be cooked all the way through, because infection can penetrate all the way through, rather than just affecting the outside of a slab of meat. What benefits could we expect from raw meat? I recall reading that creatine and possibly taurine are quickly broken down through cooking (don't know how much truth there is in this), presumably other nutrients would be as well. On the other hand how much of a negative would it be (if any) that raw meat is less easily digestible?
My suspicion is that there's no clear-cut 'paleo' case here, just a question about what's optimal (and it's probably something in the middle). Doubtless we were eating raw meat early on in our evolution, clearly we did find cooking meat to be advantageous, but I doubt early, hungry users of fire systematically cooked all their meat all the way through.