Why all the hype on Tripe?

When I first arrived in Paris as a student some 25 years ago, early wisdom taught me to carefully regard restaurant menus for such horrendous French culinary “delicacies” as shortbreads and tripe.

Sneaky bastards.

In the years since, I’ve continued to avoid the likes of “off cuts” of meats and various internal organs of animals when I dine at fancy places that like to slip that shit in on you impress with kitchen creativity. But when I began reading about feeding a raw diet to my dogs, tripe kept popping up over and over.

Feed tripe. Green tripe. Raw green tripe. Tripe tripe tripe. Feed tripe.

You get the idea.

Do y’all know what it is?!

Cow stomach.

Ew.

I have been content to draw the line at chicken livers, especially after having dealt with that atrocious slippery nasty cow liver back in the Fall, but then I was perusing the Whole Dog Market the other day and stumbled upon Evanger’s Gently Dried Beef Tripe.

(Shopper’s note: It’s important to look down when shopping because often some really super stuff is tucked away below eye level. They tend to stock the popular stuff where lazy less discerning shoppers look. I tend to buy not-so-popular items (like tripe) and have been known to get on the floor in a store to dig out what I want. There’s your life goal for the day. Now back to the story).

Why all the hype? Tripe is practically a superfood for dogs. Not the bleached out white tripe that you may find yourself attracted to because it looks clean. We’re talking the green kind. Raw. Fresh out of the deceased beast.

It is loaded with digestive enzymes. If you’ve been supplementing with a powdered digestive enzyme, as I have been, wouldn’t it be better to feed something that naturally contains all those enzymes? Digestive enzymes live in the stomach, and when the animal dies, there they lie. And gently drying the organ so that it’s easier to handle and manage doesn’t destroy them like cooking or bleaching do. (obvi.)

Why are digestive enzymes important? They aid in digestion. Duh. But why is THAT important? The body has to work hard (read: expend energy) to digest and produce its own enzymes to absorb nutrition from the food you feed it. If it has some help in that venture, the energy normally expended in digestion can be used in an area that may need attention (read: immune support).

Green tripe is also chock full of probiotics. A healthy gut is critical to a healthy animal (human, canine, feline, or other). #truth. And higher levels of “good” bacteria in the belly can beat out the bad bacteria that may be present and causing an imbalance. According to this article in Dogs Naturally Magazine (great article worth reading), almost anything from diarrhea to constipation, to irritable bowel syndrome, to yeast infections to pollen allergies can be improved by feeding your dog (or cat) raw green tripe because of the overall assistance to digestion and population of healthy gut microflora.

Help the body help itself, yo.

It may be hard to find in its freshest form, and you may have to have an iron stomach of your own to take it on that way. But for a less messy option, consider Evanger’s. I’m glad I looked down to the bottom shelf the other day and found it. My dogs LOVE it as a snack after dinner. It breaks pretty easily into smaller bits. Even the cat loves it, and he’s picky as hell.

pugs & kisses!

My name is Leuca. I live on the 2nd floor…

Do y’all remember that song from the late ’80’s?

(Yeah, you do. I know it’s spelled wrong.)

(Suzanne Vega. Your earworm for the day. You are so welcome!)

Ever heard of Leucocytosis?

I hadn’t until I started down this RAW path.

There was this French dude, Paul Kouchakoff,  (yes, he was French. Shh. I’m talking) back in the 1930’s who discovered that as soon as cooked or processed food is tasted, white blood cells rush to the intestines, which causes disruption to the immune system.

Why?

The body apparently considers cooked food as a pathogen, freaks out, sounds the alarm, and sets out to destroy it. Whenever the white blood cells rush to deal with cooked food, the rest of the body is left undefended. In a book called Raw Energy, by Leslie and Susannah Kenton, the authors note that leucocytosis is like a red alert, and these constant red alerts several times per day, over and over again, put considerable strain on the immune system.

Hmmm….

That is so weird, right?

When Kouchakoff’s volunteers ate raw foods, the white blood cells did not react. Raw foods leave the white blood cells free to deal with other things, instead of constantly calling the troops to the same region. This conserves energy that is better used to build up the immune system as opposed to constantly having to defend. (Best defense is a good offense, no?)

Don’t freak out. You’re not going to have to avoid the oven for the rest of your life. If you eat something raw first, followed by something cooked, leucocytosis doesn’t happen.

Say what?

It’s the first taste of food that triggers the phenomenon.

So, if you can eat a bite of raw apple, then eat your bacon egg & cheese biscuit from the drive thru, you’ll be better off.

Same for your dog. If you’re feeding something that has been cooked or pasteurized, give your pup a little nibble of apple or carrot or a blade of grass…something raw first. Then feed the cooked food. Your dog will thank you with a more robust immune system.

(Note: you should always give digestive enzyme supplement, such as Prozyme, when feeding cooked food).

pugs & kisses,