Oct 31 2013

Buttering Up My System

Published by at 10:01 pm under Expeditions and Experiences

Anyone who is into cold climates, freezing and the like knows that fats are of absolute importance. If you suffer from a too high fat percentage I can advice a lot of underdressed activities at any time of the year, within safe boundaries of course.

During the summer you can get away with a diet quite high on carbohydrates, with just a little protein and fat. However at this time the latter becomes increasingly important. If I eat too much carbs, especially sugary fruits, I freeze a lot easier than on fatty meat.

In my area, the primary source of fat for the winter, the bear is no longer available unfortunately, but there are still solutions about. All animals contain a bit of fat, but not always enough for you to survive on. From what I have read a maximum of 70% of the daily calorie intake can consist of protein, so the rest have to be covered by carbohydrates and fats. I definitely seem to do better on a 55% protein, 40% fats and 5% carbohydrates. Rather preferably more fat than this!

After the blood, liver and the other organs of deer kind animals have been consumed, next in line is marrow and brains. All of this is eaten a bit mixed up, with meat as well of course. The point is to eat the things that spoil first. Last the meat is cut up to dry and the fat around the intestines and under the skin as well as in the crushed bones is rendered for storage. In winter this is less of a consideration since the meat can be kept frozen.

Lean meat I do not like. I’d rather feed the tenderloin to a dog than to eat it. There are virtually no tendons in it either to help your digestion. Good stuff: The ribs are excellent and there is a big lump of fat behind each eye.

Fish mainly have fat in their head, the roe and around the intestines. Some species have a lot of oil in their liver. If the fish is lean and you’re short on fat, better to dry or discard the meat itself in favour of these other goodies.

Caught a badger, boiled the whole animal (no skin or guts of course). I bet it must have had 50% fat, I got pretty disgusted by the meal… I have found that I tolerate rendered fat with dried meat or fish better than fresh meat with lots of fat on. Next time I get hold of such an incredibly fatty animal I’ll make sure to cut off as much of the fat as possible and then roast it. Badger tastes almost like pork by the way!

badgerkettle earthlodgebadger

As a new experiment all the fish heads, guts and fish found to be of too low quality were thrown in a barrel with water to rot.  They’ve now been fermenting for about 5 weeks and I’ll give the goo another couple of weeks before I attempt on boiling the oil out of it. If it works it’s an excellent way of putting discarded fish matter to use.

oildrum1 oildrum2

Brum was also so kind to give me a jar of excellent wild boar fat. I was living well off that for a while!


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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Buttering Up My System”

  1. Justinon 10 Nov 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Great to see you still writing. I need to get back to reading your posts again!

  2. Maton 24 Nov 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Hi Torjus

    Your thoughts on meat eating seem to coincide with what i have been reading about it.(Mostly V. Stefansson).
    This year is the year I started hunting. Because of that i eat alot more meat then I am used to. Right now I eat about 50 or 60 percent animal food (much more then in the past) and I can say that cold bothers me less now. In addition it seems that I do not tend overheat as much – body temp stays more constant in the cold. Another benefit I see for sure is that meat is easy on the teeth – carbs ruin them for sure.

    It is sad to hear about bear situation you describe. Are there no bears at all or is population too low for hunting?

    I got one this year and i can say that the meat and fat and the organs are absolutely top quality. Not sure what i am going to do with the hide yet. it is fleshed and dried right now. They say bears are difficult to brain tan.

    People around here throw away the carcass saying its not edible.

  3. Torjus Gaarenon 25 Nov 2013 at 11:40 am

    The bears are just occasionally visiting these days.

    Lucky you who can hunt them. 🙂

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