Between 1932 and 1942, Francis M. Pottenger, Jr., M.D., conducted a multi-generation nutrition study on cats with the goal of applying what he learned to human nutrition since cats also have mammalian biology. He published a book called,
Pottenger's Cats: A Study in Nutrition
In his study he fed one group of cats a raw meat diet and the other group a cooked diet. In a third group he fed 1/3 raw and 2/3 cooked. He noted that the cats fed the raw meat diet thrived while the cats on cooked meats/protein exhibited infertility, emotional imbalance and degenerative conditions noted in examinations of their skeletons.
I want to share with you a YouTube documentary of this study. It only takes a couple minutes to watch it. You will have to fast-forward to 3:00 minutes to watch the Pottenger study. The first part of the video talks about Weston A. Price and his studies on dental health in hunter gatherers. Here it is:
So are you more open to raw-Paleo after having watched this video?
My take in considering raw proteins vs. cooked is the mechanism that alters the protein molecules must be the same in order to draw a direct comparison. An extreme heating of protein should theoretically yield a different outcome than the biological process of denaturation via gastric juice. One method of protein-bond breaking uses heat, the other depends on enzymes that exist due to evolution. Therefore I don't think the cooking process should be equated with digestive denaturation.
Beyond the basic contrast between heat reactions and enzyme activity, it's possible that while cooking unravels protein it also destroys a high percentage of amino acid blocks, rendering them useless and thus degrading the quality of the protein source whereas digestive denaturation mainly unravels the amino acid blocks while leaving a much higher percentage of them intact and usable.
Also for further research, consider this example where heat destorys the essential amino acids lysine, arginine and tryptophan:
"Protein-bound lysine has been known for several years to be inactivated by heat so that it is not nutritionally available."
I don't mean to be rude, but I thought it was well known that Pottinger's results in these studies have been attributed solely to the fact that taurine's role in feline health had not been discovered at that time. Adequate taurine is essential for cats to breed and live, and cats who are deficient in taurine will sicken and die in the ways Pottinger details. Cooking destroys taurine. 'Live' taurine is added to all commercial cat foods after they have been heated. Feed your indoor cat only pastured cooked meat - it will eventually get ill from taurine deficiency.
Humans do not have this problem. We and most other mammals can make our own taurine.
ETA: Anyway for me it's less a matter of an open mind, and more a matter of closed sphincters. My body 'dumps' any but small amounts of well-masticated raw foods.
I think that we shouldn't overcook our foods, but I've seen no evidence suggesting that light cooking of meat is detrimental to health. These are cats, not humans. Cats have never, ever, cooked foods, whereas humans have been using fire for quite some time. That's a pretty key difference and probably explains why cats do so poorly when their food is cooked.
Cat's are not humans!
Probably it was the taurine deficiency due to cooking which caused the degenerative conditions in the cats fed cooked meat, not cooked meat per se.
For hundreds of generations cats today are fed cooked crap and it seems they are still able to reproduce and live more ore less healthy, so it is extreme unlikey that cooked meat in general is responsible for diseases in cats.
Humans have apparently adopted a cooked diet, anthropologic evidence indicates that our growing brain size was linked with advanced cooking processes, ie. the controlled use of fire, thus higher caloric intake, and eating the fat from hunted animals. (Wrangham)
However, eating raw-paleo is still something I want to try before leaving this realm of existence.
i don't feel more open to eating raw meat based on this video.
i would be more open to eating raw meat if i had more confidence in the system that brings that meat to me for consumption.
My personal view is it also applies to humans. I digest raw meat much better than cooked. Cooked meat stays in my stomach much longer than raw. Also there are plenty of ethnic dishes that still use raw meat, organs, fish, other sea food, snails, insects. I only cook bones to make broth and eggs because I don't like taste of raw eggs. And finally raw meat is very bland so that I don't get tired of it. I can eat raw lamb three times a day for weeks. Cooked lamb on the other hand gets tiring very quickly. There is definitely something about raw meat that gets lost during cooking. I don't advocate raw, it's just my body likes it more than cooked.
I'd say that few of us are at risk of developing a protein deficiency, and if the issue is nutrient degradation, then I'm sure that the difference between those cats would be minor if it were raw meat & raw liver vs. cooked meat & cooked liver.
I think they're referring more to denatured foods like pasteurized milk and "dead," unfermented, nutritionally-void foods you would find on the grocery store shelf. Even basic store-bought foods that are traditionally made through a fermentation process like yogurt, sauerkraut and pickles - are pasteurized before they make it to the store shelf. Homemade chicken stock is not anything like its bouillon cube counterpart at the grocery store. Hell, they're even pasteurizing some brands of eggs now. :/
As for raw meat, as others have pointed out, we're not cats. Humans evolved cooking meat; cats did not. That said, I think current generations have been taught to overcook meat (perhaps in response to the dangers of undercooked, conventionally-raised cattle who were sick at slaughter). Personally, I grew up loving the taste of the char that comes on well-done steaks and burgers. I do think that the rarer you can stand your meat (provided it's from a healthy source - if it's not, then feel free to nuke it. Or not eat it.) the better. I'm now a medium rare person, so hopefully that - along with my fermented and lacto-fermented creations - are enough!
No, Pottenger's study does not open my mind to raw paleo — partly because my mind wasn't closed to it in the first place, and partly because my favorable opinion of raw foods has nothing to do with Pottenger's study.
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