By retailing high-quality products like lard, lardo and speck, I've gotten introduced to people following paleo diets.
Basically, if young, fit, educated people show up at the farmers' market and ask for a tub of lard, a block of fatback or a bunch of leaf fat - while expressing no interest in the meat - don't be surprised if they are either Weston A Price members or people following paleo diets. If they look very fit and buying this stuff, don't be surprised if they do CrossFit.
People who say they are eating paleo typically eat meat, fat, vegetables and fruits, while eschewing processed foods and refined carbs.
One of these paleo/fitness guys hooked me up with Dr. Michael and Mary Dan Eades. Besides being famous nutritionists, they are the entrepreneurs behind the Sous Vide Supreme, something I've written about on this blog before.
When I saw the Sous Vide Supreme last year, I got one, because it is a great way to cook a Mangalitsa belly - you get excellent yield, because you don't overcook it and render all the fat. When I later learned who the Eadeses were, I wanted to meet them, so we met at Monsoon and ate Mangalitsa, which they were curious about.
I later arranged for the Eadeses to visit Mosefund's pig event, where they spent 3 days learning how to kill, cut and process Mangalitsa pigs into food. Apparently they had a lot of fun.
Of course, Mangalitsa pigs are a good fit for paleo people, because they produce a lot of excellent fat. Paleo dieters need the fat, because they don't eat many carbs.
I've given out our products to paleo groups several times, like these guys, to introduce them to our Mangalitsa products. I don't know if they'll buy a lot of our stuff, but it is nice to introduce our stuff to a new market.
A while back, I decided I should try a paleo diet, to try to better understand my customers. My Sous Vide Supreme has made it very easy to do this.
A little bit ago, a pig tried to jump a fence. She broke her leg. A mobile butcher went to the farm and killed her, so I got the meat - approximately 200#. I can't legally sell that meat, because she wasn't slaughtered under USDA inspection. I cut her up myself in my kitchen, practicing my seam butchery. I vacuum-packed the meat in chunks.
Here's how the sous vide paleo diet works:
1) Put a bag of meat in the Sous Vide Supreme, at 130F, for around 24 hours. 130F is the right temperature, because the meat cooks, stays moist and gets tender.
2) When the meat is done, put it in the refrigerator and chill it.
3) When it is time to eat, slice of some meat and sear it in a skillet, on both sides. Typically 1-2 minutes a side. The goal is just to sear it and warm it for eating.
4) If you are getting low on ready-to-eat meat, put another bag in the Sous Vide Supreme, or you'll run out of cooked meat, which is inconvenient.
It is ridiculous how good Mangalitsa tastes cooked sous vide. I haven't overcooked it yet, except by searing it too long.
Basically, I've always got meat ready to go. I'm such a lazy guy, and I love Mangalitsa so much, if there's meat ready to eat (after searing), that's pretty much all I'll eat.
It would be a lot harder to make this work if I wasn't always cooking meat sous vide, or about to cook meat sous vide - because there's a 24 hour lead time. Making it a routine makes it easy - and, to the extent that the Sous Vide Supreme is a win over other cooking methods, I'm winning a lot more than if I used it irregularly.
In addition to trying out a paleo diet, I've started CrossFit. I haven't done it much, but what I've done has been fun. I'd recommend to everyone, although it clearly isn't for everyone. Just as the Mangalitsa pig isn't like other pigs, CrossFit isn't like other workout programs - it is very intense.
One thing I notice is that after doing CrossFit workouts, I don't get as hungry as I do after aerobic workouts. It seems the intense workouts depress my hunger.
Results? In about a month, I've lost 10 pounds, increased my muscle definition, strength and aerobic capacity. I can't tell if my energy levels are higher. I definitely crave carbs, even though they ultimately make me crash. Bread is a guilty pleasure. Despite eating a lot of it, I'm not getting sick of eating Mangalitsa. I have fallen in love with my Sous Vide Supreme, because it is so convenient; there's no way I could cook meat so perfectly without it.
I'm very grateful that my customers have introduced me to this stuff.