Q & A: March 25, 2012

Every Sunday, I answer your questions. I’ll answer as many questions as I can each week. If I didn’t answer your question this week, please check back next week.

Welcome to CHEESESLAVE Q & A!

Every Sunday, I answer your questions.  I’ll answer as many questions as I can each week. If I didn’t answer your question this week, please check back next week.

1. Question:  What’s Your Opinion On The Cancer Risk For Men Eating Meats?

I would like to see what you have to say about recent studies that suggest that cured and processed meats, along with red meat in general for men, raise the risk of pancreatic cancer.



From the article:

That increase is likely related to the nitrites and N-nitroso compounds found in processed meats, which have been shown to be carcinogenic and to induce pancreatic cancer in animal models, the researchers wrote.

I love bacon and pepperoni, but I do try to avoid these processed meats if they contain added nitrates. Now, I don’t crazy with this. If we go out to eat, I will order bacon at breakfast.

But we eat at home the majority of the time and at home, we almost always eat these meats with no added nitrates. You can find them at most health food stores and Trader Joe’s.

These studies also don’t address the issue of pesticides, which are known to cause cancer. I do try to buy grass-fed, organic meat as often as possible.

2. Question:  Thoughts On Eating Sushi While Pregnant?

Hi Ann Marie!

So glad you are enjoying your new state!  Did you eat sushi when you were pregnant?  Why or why not?



I did eat sushi while pregnant. Why? For the same reason I would drink raw milk or eat raw milk cheese when pregnant (I did not know about raw milk when I was pregnant but I would have drunk it). I also drank a glass of wine on occasion in my second and third trimester (in my first trimester, just the smell of alcohol on someone’s breath made me want to vomit.)

It is common in other cultures to eat raw foods while pregnant:

“…every French mother I know consumed alcohol and unpasteurized cheese in moderation during her pregnancy, and my friends in Japan laugh at the notion of avoiding sushi when they’re expecting.
Indeed, in Japan, eating raw fish is considered part of good neonatal nutrition. The Japanese government is fanatical about public health, and Japanese medical scientists are among the best in the world. You can be sure that, were there documented complications resulting from pregnant women eating sushi in Japan, there would be swift government intervention.
If you take raw and partly cooked shellfish out of the equation, the risk of falling ill from eating seafood is 1 in 2 million servings, the government calculated some years back; by comparison, the risk from eating chicken is 1 in 25,000. (Over all, 76 million cases of food poisoning are reported a year.) (Source: New York Times)

You can get sick just as easily from eating raw spinach or peanut butter, or drinking unpasteurized juice or fruit. So I don’t see why we are singling out raw milk or sushi. I think the answer is to populate your digestive tract with good bacteria, so that you and your baby have a strong, healthy immune response. Good bacteria kill off the pathogens.

Sushi is one of the safest things to eat in my opinion, because the fish is flash frozen, which kills almost all pathogens. I also believe that raw dairy is very safe to eat, as it is full of good bacteria.

However, if you are worried about eating raw fish, I would not do it. I don’t think it’s a good idea to eat something if it stresses you out. There are plenty of very nutrient-dense foods you can eat at a sushi restaurant besides raw fish — such as cooked unagi (eel), cooked shrimp, etc.

3. Question:  Recommendations For Using Magnesium Oil?


I’ve enjoyed reading your question/answer forums on Sunday. I have a question about magnesium oil.  I thought magnesium and calcium were supposed to be combined together.  I had always heard that there is a 2:1 ratio. I don’t actually do dairy nor do I do grains/wheat, so I don’t get calcium from those sources, so if I do the magnesium do I need to worry about my calcium levels?

I actually have insomnia and leg cramps at night in one leg, so I’m thinking that I do have a magnesium issue.

Funny enough, I tried taking magnesium calm one time and it kept me awake all night long!  The manufacturer actually said that that could happen to some people.

Thanks for your help.



It depends on what you are eating all day. If you think you are getting enough calcium, then it is not necessary to supplement with calcium. You might want to try using an online calculator such as FitDay.com to help you determine this.

4. Question:  Which Is Easier To Digest, Cooked Or Raw Meat?

Hi Ann Marie,

Is cooked meat more easily digested than raw meat?

Thank you,


I am not sure. Maybe someone can comment.

There are many benefits to eating raw foods, raw meat and fish included, but I don’t know if it is necessarily easier to digest.

I can say for sure that eating meat or fish with bone broth is a lot easier to digest. This is probably why Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride recommends eating only broth with cooked meat for people who are just starting out on the GAPS Diet.

5. Question:  Opinion On Homemade Soap?


I have had recommended to me a recipe for a “natural, pure” homemade soap which has olive and coconut oils (which I know are fine), but it also has vegetable shortening and lye as ingredients.  I know that lye has been a traditional soap ingredient for pioneers and homesteaders for centuries, but is it healthful?  Is shortening (which I would never eat) safe as a soap ingredient, and if not, what would you recommend as a substitute?



I really prefer to use soaps that are made from fats that I would eat, such as coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, goat milk, and the like.

I’m not too concerned about lye, as most soaps are made with lye. Lye is also used to make olives. I prefer to eat olives that are naturally produced without lye, however they are hard to come by. I eat naturally produced olives when I can find them but I don’t stress about eating olives produced with lye.

6. Question:  Help Finding Uncut Olive Oil In California?

Still trying to find the name of that farm in CA that sells olive oil that has not been “cut” with canola oil and other vile substances. Can you help me with this search?  I was thinking I found their name on your blog.



Chaffin Family Orchards. They are normally one of our sponsors — hopefully they will get back on our resources page soon.

7. Question:  Recommedations About Using Probiotics?

I am taking Biokult and am up to 5 in the morning and 5 at night. How do you know when you are at a therapeutic level? I do not feel anything different and am presently doing the GAPS intro. I am on my third week and stage 3. I also have a hard time deciding when to change stages — which is another question because I am feeling good. My problem is chronic constipation and it is still. I do regular enemas to keep clear.

Thank you


It’s really hard to say based on this limited amount of information. If I were you, I’d look into working with a GAPS Practitioner. You can find a list of certified practitioners here.

Got a Question?

Please submit your questions to questions AT cheeseslave DOT com. I’ll answer your questions every Sunday in the order I receive them.