Before I even thought about doing the Paleolithic Diet, I was discussing with my friend, Jesse, about buying a share of a pig. We had found a meat CSA (community supported agriculture) in which people get together and buy either a pig, cow, goat, or even a lamb. Together they decide how to process the meat, and how it gets divided up. The website is Bay Area Meat CSA.
So a few weeks about we discussed buying part of a cow. After researching it, we thought that we would need to buy a fridge based on all the meat we would get, so that was out. We decided to try for a smaller animal. A pig. Even then there is a lot of meat on a pig, so together we bought a 1/4 of a pig. We decided to split up the 1/4 pig between Jesse, myself, and his mom. It was going to be about 40-50 pounds of meat. I had all but forgotten about the purchase until about Friday when Jesse gave me a call. The pork needed to be picked up on Saturday at 2:00 pm.
Saturday, I cleaned out my freezer as best I could and set off with a cooler and Jesse to pick up the pork. We arrived at the the guy’s house and there were boxes of meat out on the driveway covered with whatever he had around so the sun would not heat up the meat. He gave us a slip of paper that had all the cuts of meat with the quantities and let us know there were two other people included with the pig we purchased. One had 1/2 the pig and the other had the last 1/4. We needed to divide up all the meat; it was all frozen and shrink wrapped. The interesting part was that Jesse and I only have limited knowledge of cuts of meat and we had to start figuring out what belonged to us. We knew some cuts of meat, but what is a side of pork? It looked like pork belly and I knew that pork belly was used to make bacon, great, there was the bacon. The list said there were hocks, but we couldn’t find anything listed as hocks. I thought I remembered that hocks were legs, the list said there were 4 hocks, so I guessed that’s what hocks were. It was interesting to go through a whole dismembered pig. There wasn’t much missing, the heart, kidneys, fat, feet, even the head was all there. There was even a huge bag of scrap meat. Cool, we could make sausage with that bag, but the problem is how do we divide one frozen bag of scraps into quarters/halves. After Jesse and I began looking the 1/4 pig lady showed up. We all decided to separate everything that could be divided into quarters; we would leave the things that couldn’t be divided on the side and figure it out later. At the same time, the 1/2 pig lady wasn’t there, so we had to separate her stuff for her. There were five sides of bacon, so 1/2 pig lady gets 2, we get 1, the other 1/4 pig lady gets 1, and the extra goes into the “figure out later” box. It went on like this for about a half hour.
The 1/2 pig lady wasn’t there yet and we had a box of cuts that weren’t divisible. We decided that we would trade for the things in the box. Jesse and I wanted the scraps to make sausage and were willing to trade other cuts for it. Jesse had his eye on the heart so he could BBQ it and try it. No one wanted the head. Finally, the 1/2 pig lady’s friend showed up. She had never split a pig before and was just expecting to pick-up and not negotiate for parts. She had to call the lady and we put her on speaker phone to discuss what to do. We all discussed and Jesse and I ended up with the scraps, heart and bones. I think everyone was happy. The head went to the 1/2 pig lady. Overall it was fun and we ended up with some good looking meat. Jesse and I had 56 pounds at the end of the day which boiled down to $5.20/pound. We weren’t looking to save a ton of money, just to get a lot of meat from a pastured pig.
We left and dropped off the scraps at Willow Glenn Meats. They are able to process it into sausage. We are looking to get half mild italian sausage and half bratwurst. It ends up being $2/pound or so for the finished weight of the sausage. We’ll see how much we get. Next time we’ll try and make our own sausage. We just did not want to deal with the hassle this time around.
My goal for next week is to try and cure the pork belly and make bacon. I have researched it a bit and we will see how it goes. Hopefully by either next week or the week after we will be able to put the cured pork belly on the weber and smoke it.
So with all this meat, it may seem like I’m definitely going to continue with the Paleolithic diet. I’m still not sure. I did drop 3.5 pounds this week which shocked me. I’ve been eating 4 slices of bacon in the morning with 3 eggs, Chipotle’s burrito bowl for lunch usually, and some sort of meat and vegetable for dinner each night. I have been eating a lot of calories but the weight just dropped off. I am going to keep trying for a few more weeks and see what happens. I am still suspicious of it, but it is working and I am not hungry. I’m at 195.5 pounds as of yesterday and this morning.
While I was out getting pork, Janene had gone to the Bridgeschool Benefit Concert. She went with friends and those friends brought friends too, so it was quite a crowd. Besides having to move a couple times because of the large quantity of friends and having to find space, she had a good time. She even met one of her old college friends.