There's no arguing that the Paleo trend has staying power—if anything, we only seem to encounter new offshoots and variations of the "caveman" diet as time goes on. (Consider Paleo-ish as an example.) And as we've continued to watch the diet evolve and grow in popularity, one thing we've noticed in particular is that Paleo fans are a highly committed bunch—you kind of have to be when you're subscribing to a low-carb, minimally processed way of eating.
Still, there's dedication, and then there's taking things just a little too far—and when it comes to the latest Paleo trend, we have to cry the latter. Apparently, the latest fad in the caveman crowd is to do the diet raw—as in eating raw ground beef straight out of the bag.
As reported by The Daily Meal, supporters of this new approach believe unaltered and unheated meat improves skin conditions, makes you stronger, helps with hormonal balance, and provides many other healing powers. Melissa Henig is one of the forces behind the raw Paleo movement. "The thing I've noticed since eating raw Paleo is that I'm stronger than I've ever been and have the most muscle definition," she tells the site. Her recipes vary from raw chicken ceviche to eating ground bison straight out of the package.
That being said, these claims are mostly experience-based and lack any scientific backing—and what's more, the practice could be downright dangerous. The hazards of eating raw meat run from parasitic E. coli to different harmful microorganisms and bacteria. Cooking meat gets rid of any toxins or bacteria that could be dangerous to your health. That's not to mention that some experts debunk the idea that raw meat is easier to digest—while carnivores have evolved to consume raw meat, humans are omnivores and not built that way.
So while we won't discourage you from getting in touch with your primal side, maybe opt for the OG Paleo route rather than risking it with uncooked meat. As for me, I think I'll just stick to my raw (and egg-free) chocolate chip cookie dough.
Want some decidedly safer eating inspiration? Check out three popular diets that actually work (and three that don't).