Most of us are stocking up on food and other necessities these days, but if you’re eating carnivore, you won’t be competing for the same goods everyone else is. While supermarket shelves are being cleared of flour, pasta, rice, and sugar, you can just focus on meat and a few shelf-stable pantry staples. Here’s what I recommend you stock your pantry with!
You may wonder, with a diet focused on meat, what would a carnivore pantry even have in it?
Nearly all of your carnivore food will live in the fridge and freezer, so you won’t need nearly as much cupboard space. So, you’ll have plenty of room to stock up with these carnivore pantry supplies, just in case!
You can purchase rendered tallow (beef fat) or lard (pork fat) online from places like Corner Post Meats or Fat Works, or, render it yourself. It’s a fun and rewarding process that will make you feel like a strong and self-sufficient Russian babushka. Just be aware that it is pretty labor intensive, has a strong odor, and can easily be damaged with overheating, resulting in a fat with a brown color and an odor instead of snow white and odorless. At that point, you have to throw it out, because you can’t reverse it once a fat is damaged. But hey―if you’re feeling adventurous and like a pioneer woman and want to try it, do it, because that is a badass AF thing to do!
Oysters are the highest source of zinc from any single food. Pumpkin seeds are high compared to other foods, but oysters blow pumpkin seeds out of the water! Zinc is important for both male and female sexual function, and the zinc from oysters can really get your partner’s engine revving. It’s why they are known as an aphrodisiac! In addition to helping you horizontally tango, zinc is also essential for immunity―especially crucial in these times. Fresh oysters taste a lot better than canned, and are more fun to eat with a satisfying in-one-go slurp, but canned oysters are good to have on hand for supporting immunity (and libido!) when needed.
Sardines pack a punch of the Omega-3 fats DHA and EPA that play a big role in brain health, are healthier and cheaper than fish oil capsules, are high in calcium, and have a taste similar to tuna. And don’t worry, the heads and tails are cut off, and the bones are so soft you’ll hardly notice them. Make sure to buy a brand that is wild-caught and packed in olive oil, not a refined seed oil like safflower or canola oil. I like Wild Planet. Note that olive oil is still a plant food, so if you are doing strict carnivore, better to keep these out.
Like canned sardines, tuna is another inexpensive and convenient emergency protein. This can be easily mixed with carnivore mayo to make a quick tuna salad. Again, look for one that is sustainably sourced and without seed oils. I normally get Wild Planet. It’s best to not go overboard with tuna as it can contain mercury, even the sustainably sourced stuff.
Collagen & Gelatin
Collagen is like the greatest hair, skin, and nails supplement ever invented: it keeps your nails and hair strong and your skin plump. It helps the natural healing process of your gut lining. This is especially important if you’re dealing with an autoimmune disease. And, it helps with building joints, bone and connective tissue.
Probably the easiest way to take it is dissolving it in your coffee or water. It’s flavorless and doesn’t add any weird texture. But make sure it’s from healthy, grass-fed cows! Vital Proteins sells a blue canister of hydrolyzed collagen peptides, which means it will dissolve in cold water so you can put it into smoothies or other cold drinks. Their green canister of gelatin and will dissolve in hot water but “set” when cooled. If you don’t want to be adding it to drinks, Ancestral Supplements sells collagen in capsule form.
Unrefined Sea Salts
Unrefined sea salt is ideal here, because it includes a variety of trace minerals, not just sodium chloride. Note that just because the label says “sea salt” isn’t enough; technically, it’s ALL sea salt. Himalayan salt, Celtic Sea Salt, and the brand called Real Salt are all good options. It’s fun to experiment with different kinds of unrefined salts and how they change your food’s flavor and texture―flaky salt, smoked salt, kosher salt, finely ground salt will all be a little different. You can feel extra fancy using a flaky gourmet salt like fleur de sel as a “finishing salt”, sprinkling it on top of your already cooked food on the plate.
Sparkling Mineral Water
Unsweetened and unflavored sparkling water is always nice when you want something a little different than just regular water. We get Gerolsteiner mineral water or Perrier regularly. A Soda Stream is a helpful kitchen tool to make sparkling water at home, too.