A man who claims to have eaten nothing but raw meat for the past 10 years, sometimes even eating rotten flesh, says he’s never felt healthier.
35-year-old Derek Nance, from Lexington, Kentucky, eats all kinds of meat – from sheep stomach smoothies, to spleen, liver and testicles, his diet is almost entirely made up of raw meat. The only parts of an animal he doesn’t eat are hooves and horns.
Nance, a father of four, has been following his caveman-like diet for almost a decade. He believes it’s totally safe, and even feeds his kids the same as he feeds himself. His partner, Joanne Prosser, used to be vegetarian, though is yet to join Derek on the raw meat diet.
If you thought the raw meat was unusual enough, Derek says he also enjoys ‘high meat’, which is basically rotten animal flesh. It was given the nickname ‘high meat’ because the fermented flesh apparently releases certain bacteria, which can give the eater a sense of euphoria as they consume it.
Nance even makes himself smoothies out of sheep stomach, believing it’s all part of a healthy diet.
Whenever I get a fresh animal in, there’s something about the fresh blood that just stimulates appetite.
Decomposed flesh is a part of a natural diet of almost every predator on this planet. There’s plenty of animals that you can see that scavenge.
About once a month, Nance drives to an organic farm, where he’ll choose which animals he will slaughter and butcher himself, saying: ‘A full-grown sheep, around 175 pounds or so, will last about a month.’
Derek eats almost every part of the animal, which he says keeps the diet interesting.
The 35-year-old also enjoys chowing down on live maggots, as the little critters apparently hold beneficial enzymes which aid the digestion of such large quantities of raw meat.
While most dieticians and doctors would advise against consuming so much raw meat, Derek says the only time he has ever fallen ill from it was when he ate week-old raw chicken.
He also believes it’s safe to feed the raw meat to his children, as long as it’s from a clean and healthy animal.
I believe that the nourishment that are in raw animal foods is far superior than the baby foods.
There are certain nutrients that are in raw flesh that get cooked out – there’s trace amounts of vitamin C, the vitamin A and the B vitamins.
Derek’s partner, 60-year-old Joanne, accepts his diet, but isn’t rushing to try it herself.
I can never get past the smell. I think that the way Nance harvests meat is much more ethical than buying it from a grocery store.
Derek settled on his raw meat diet after he grew up with numerous food allergies and intolerances, prompting him to find an alternative plan.
I was experimenting with so many different diets and nothing seemed to work. I was having so much trouble digesting everything else that meat seemed to work well for me.
After sticking to the diet for the past 10 years, Nance plans to stick it out, hoping to live into his 80s so he can ‘validate a lot the theories’ he has about his unusual diet.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.