Raw deal not so bad

Published: 14 May 2008

Andreas Viestad of the Washington Post wonders why those in communities in remote areas of the north, who for long periods eat nothing but the meat from one type of animal, are healthier than we are? They eat reindeer meat, most of it raw and frozen. From September to May they eat very little else, apart from the odd piece of raw, preferably frozen, fish. One would think that this extreme protein- and fat-driven diet would lead to a lot of health problems -- obesity, cardiovascular diseases -- but the opposite is true. "Every time you process or cook something -- anything -- you are likely to be losing nutrients at every step," says Harriet V. Kuhnlein, professor of human nutrition at the Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment at McGill University. "As long as this meat is still microbiologically safe, it is at its best raw or frozen fresh."

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