Author Topic: Low-Cost Protein  (Read 28051 times)

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #50 on: April 08, 2013, 06:39:20 PM »
Whoops, I read that as 1/4 lb, not cup.  I guess it might be cost efficient after all.

Jimbo

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2013, 06:47:05 AM »
Unsure if this was mentioned, but chicken livers are dirt cheap and extra tasty.

I usually cook them in a pan and toss them into whatever i am eating. Including salads. Delicious!

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #52 on: April 10, 2013, 06:04:32 PM »
I don't think I've ever seen liver at a grocery store.  Maybe I just haven't looked for it specifically.  I think I was scarred from watching Doug as a kid.

How much is liver, per pound?

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #53 on: April 11, 2013, 05:48:24 AM »
bodybuilding.com is having a 20% off sale today if you use BDAY20 when you check out.  I'm grabbing a couple months worth of whey.

tuyop

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #54 on: April 11, 2013, 08:15:08 AM »
bodybuilding.com is having a 20% off sale today if you use BDAY20 when you check out.  I'm grabbing a couple months worth of whey.

That's pretty sweet if you insist on ON Gold or something, I just buy my protein here, it's a bit less expensive than that 10lb ON sale price. I'm so tempted though because ON is just ridiculously delicious and I don't have space in the budget for a $200 protein order right now.

DigitalRain

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #55 on: April 11, 2013, 09:50:57 AM »
I haven't read through the rest of the replies, but I eat 200g of protein and over 3k calories per day (I'm 6'7" and a little over 200 lbs), and I spend about $180 a month on food. I find the cheapest sources of protein to be whey, milk, eggs, and meat, especially since the last three have extra calories from fat. I buy 10 lbs of Dymatize whey for about $85, drink 1/4 gallon of whole milk a day, eat 8-12 eggs a day, and about half a pound of meat. I know you wouldn't be interested in buying the same meat I do, but I get usually get ham and chicken breast on sale for $1 and $2/lb, respectively.

WageSlave

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #56 on: April 11, 2013, 10:18:12 AM »
Just to throw out a random alternative to eating so much protein: supplement with creatine.

I don't know if this goes for all meat, but I've read that beef naturally contains creatine, so if you regularly eat a lot of beef, it's practically the same as creatine supplementation.  That makes me wonder: meat is the obvious source of protein.  And then you have this conventional wisdom that athletes should consume 1g of protein per 1lb of lean body mass.  Is it not possible that someone, somewhere, at some point in time observed increased athletic performance in subjects that consumed a lot of meat?  What if the meat was really just a proxy for creatine, which was really the cause of boosted performance?

I don't have an "abs" goal like the original poster, but do generally enjoy strength training and want to keep getting stronger.  Due to being time poor, the only time I can train is at about 5:30 AM, which is not my preferred time for lifting really heavy weights---it's definitely not when I feel the strongest.  And there came a point when my workouts were really suffering and I wasn't making any gains, and it was killing my motivation.  I read about creatine (had a great link at one time that I can't find now) and decided it couldn't hurt to try.  I bought a 2.2lb tub for about $20 that's lasted me several months.  All I can say is: night and day difference.  After about two or three weeks of using creatine (the time most sources say it takes to reach saturation), the gains started coming quickly, and I generally felt so much stronger in the mornings during my workouts.  That feeling has persisted for the whole time I've used creatine; in fact, I'm about to finish my first tub and just ordered a second.

After every workout, I throw down a whey protein shake.  But other than that, I don't really do any particular protein supplementation.  I drink a fair amount of milk, but I've done that my entire life because I love it.

Just an idea to think about.

On a completely speculative note: I wonder if some day technology could advance to the state where we have "meat factories" (not to be confused with today's morally debatable "factory farms").  What I'm thinking is akin to the hydroponic equivalent of growing muscle fibers without requiring a live animal.  Imagine a mesh of artificial nerves floating in a "nutrient bath" of animal stem cells.  A computer controls the electrical pulses that simulate nerve activity, and also times releases of synthetic hormones.  The environment of nerve and hormonal activity results in the stem cells growing into edible muscle; for example: a pork shoulder or chicken breast or salmon fillet.

Maybe that's the stuff of science fiction, but imagine a whole factory that produces (for example) ultra-premium prime steaks with extreme efficiency: the nutrient bath is tuned exactly to what is being grown, so there is little to no waste; no animals need to be bred or slaughtered, removing the moral issues; since the product is consistent and repeatable, nearly everything can be automated; the environment can be easily kept sterile, greatly reducing the risks of contamination.

tuyop

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #57 on: April 11, 2013, 12:44:33 PM »
Just to throw out a random alternative to eating so much protein: supplement with creatine.

I don't know if this goes for all meat, but I've read that beef naturally contains creatine, so if you regularly eat a lot of beef, it's practically the same as creatine supplementation.  That makes me wonder: meat is the obvious source of protein.  And then you have this conventional wisdom that athletes should consume 1g of protein per 1lb of lean body mass.  Is it not possible that someone, somewhere, at some point in time observed increased athletic performance in subjects that consumed a lot of meat?  What if the meat was really just a proxy for creatine, which was really the cause of boosted performance?

I don't have an "abs" goal like the original poster, but do generally enjoy strength training and want to keep getting stronger.  Due to being time poor, the only time I can train is at about 5:30 AM, which is not my preferred time for lifting really heavy weights---it's definitely not when I feel the strongest.  And there came a point when my workouts were really suffering and I wasn't making any gains, and it was killing my motivation.  I read about creatine (had a great link at one time that I can't find now) and decided it couldn't hurt to try.  I bought a 2.2lb tub for about $20 that's lasted me several months.  All I can say is: night and day difference.  After about two or three weeks of using creatine (the time most sources say it takes to reach saturation), the gains started coming quickly, and I generally felt so much stronger in the mornings during my workouts.  That feeling has persisted for the whole time I've used creatine; in fact, I'm about to finish my first tub and just ordered a second.

After every workout, I throw down a whey protein shake.  But other than that, I don't really do any particular protein supplementation.  I drink a fair amount of milk, but I've done that my entire life because I love it.

Just an idea to think about.

On a completely speculative note: I wonder if some day technology could advance to the state where we have "meat factories" (not to be confused with today's morally debatable "factory farms").  What I'm thinking is akin to the hydroponic equivalent of growing muscle fibers without requiring a live animal.  Imagine a mesh of artificial nerves floating in a "nutrient bath" of animal stem cells.  A computer controls the electrical pulses that simulate nerve activity, and also times releases of synthetic hormones.  The environment of nerve and hormonal activity results in the stem cells growing into edible muscle; for example: a pork shoulder or chicken breast or salmon fillet.

Maybe that's the stuff of science fiction, but imagine a whole factory that produces (for example) ultra-premium prime steaks with extreme efficiency: the nutrient bath is tuned exactly to what is being grown, so there is little to no waste; no animals need to be bred or slaughtered, removing the moral issues; since the product is consistent and repeatable, nearly everything can be automated; the environment can be easily kept sterile, greatly reducing the risks of contamination.

First of all, my experience with creatine is very similar to yours. I take 5-6g of creatine (and 6g beta alanine) a day, before workouts I mix it with some L tyrosine, phenylalanine, choline, and (in the past) vinpocetine. I must say that it has improved my performance significantly.

Second, regarding your protein factory fantasy, I would just drop this quote:

"Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

The problem is a system that places value on simply producing protein rather than celebrating the dignity of animals and the beauty of natural systems that humans can design ourselves into in order to continue reaping the endless wealth of resources that spontaneously regenerate to produce bottomless wells of health, beauty, community, and wellbeing.

I haven't read through the rest of the replies, but I eat 200g of protein and over 3k calories per day (I'm 6'7" and a little over 200 lbs), and I spend about $180 a month on food. I find the cheapest sources of protein to be whey, milk, eggs, and meat, especially since the last three have extra calories from fat. I buy 10 lbs of Dymatize whey for about $85, drink 1/4 gallon of whole milk a day, eat 8-12 eggs a day, and about half a pound of meat. I know you wouldn't be interested in buying the same meat I do, but I get usually get ham and chicken breast on sale for $1 and $2/lb, respectively.

That's right in line with my budget ($300 is for both my spouse and me) except I only eat 150-190g of protein and our meat is much more expensive. A three pound pork roast costs us about $18, for instance.

WageSlave

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #58 on: April 11, 2013, 01:49:57 PM »
Second, regarding your protein factory fantasy, I would just drop this quote:

"Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

The problem is a system that places value on simply producing protein rather than celebrating the dignity of animals and the beauty of natural systems that humans can design ourselves into in order to continue reaping the endless wealth of resources that spontaneously regenerate to produce bottomless wells of health, beauty, community, and wellbeing.

I don't mean to derail your thread, but, can you elaborate?  I don't really understand what you're saying.

mikednj

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #59 on: April 11, 2013, 01:54:08 PM »
I've done a lot of analysis over this.

Unfortunately if you want the most protein for dollar you're going to have to go down a few routes.

-eggs, 6g of protein each, usually can be had for about .10-.15 per egg putting the cost per gram at about .02/gram of protein
-chicken breast.  I get tyson breasts at 2.1/lb at BJ's, not exactly ideal source.  1lb of chicken usually has about 100g of protein so figure about $0.02/gram here
-whey protein there are a few options I've found that work well and priced well.
Now food whey protein isolate (mega pack),  amazon has it right now for about $85 shipped for a 10lb bag. That comes out to about $0.02/gram again.

I struggle to understand how the strict paleo people out there get 1g/lb of protein on a budget. It used to be easy when I was spending $1000/month on food for 2 people ((!!!!))   but now that I'm trying to keep it under $350/month it's all about making compromises. And unfortunately going with lower quality food sources is the only way to do it.

Unless you hunt but you still have investment costs, times costs and butchering costs to deal with.

tuyop

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #60 on: April 11, 2013, 02:31:54 PM »
I struggle to understand how the strict paleo people out there get 1g/lb of protein on a budget. It used to be easy when I was spending $1000/month on food for 2 people ((!!!!))   but now that I'm trying to keep it under $350/month it's all about making compromises. And unfortunately going with lower quality food sources is the only way to do it.

I eat primal, not paleo. When I did very strict paleo, I found the expense was on average $300/person/month.

Primal lets me get tons of protein from dairy and more grain, otherwise I don't think I'd be able to hit my macros.

I don't mean to derail your thread, but, can you elaborate?  I don't really understand what you're saying.

Oh man, to avoid an awesome, radical derail into the idea of a new alternative horticulture and permaculture food chain, I'll just say this.

We currently live in a system that prioritizes linear production and depends on the specialization of tasks at each point in that line. Resources go in, are processed, sold, consumed, and disposed of, over and over forever. Most technological or engineered solutions to the problems of finite resources, dehumanization, and waste that directly result from this system simply seek to either externalize the negatives (so we export our feedlots and child labour to poor countries) or focus on asuaging guilt by putting a bandaid on the problem (recycling, "organic" industrial agriculture).

In the future, we will have to settle with the fact that linear systems are a fundamentally unsustainable, expensive myth. Rather than talk about taking animals out of the equation of meat eating through engineering, we should analyze the natural world and learn how animals have been sustainably produced (by healthy soil and sunlight), lived, and were consumed (by other animals and, eventually, healthy soil) to make room for new animals since the beginning of time. If you plug humans into this system so that our requirements for community, food, and shelter are all met as part of cycle, and our waste is integrated into the cycle's natural regenerative properties in order to capture any resources that we don't consume as a consequence of living, growing, and expending energy.

The reason I no longer eat $2/lb chicken breast is because that is an absolutely insane prospect. $2 cannot possibly capture all of the costs (externalities) associated with the chicken's feed, waste processing, processing, transport, sale, and then processing when it comes out the other end of my body. It's all held afloat by an obscene system of subsidies and head-in-the-sand ignorance on the part of consumers.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #61 on: April 11, 2013, 04:26:31 PM »
Just to throw out a random alternative to eating so much protein: supplement with creatine.

It's not an alternative.  It's another good thing to do, but not an alternative to protein.

Quote
I don't know if this goes for all meat, but I've read that beef naturally contains creatine, so if you regularly eat a lot of beef, it's practically the same as creatine supplementation.  That makes me wonder: meat is the obvious source of protein.  And then you have this conventional wisdom that athletes should consume 1g of protein per 1lb of lean body mass.  Is it not possible that someone, somewhere, at some point in time observed increased athletic performance in subjects that consumed a lot of meat?  What if the meat was really just a proxy for creatine, which was really the cause of boosted performance?

Yes, beef does contain creatine.  I guess your scenario is possible (it has happened, so I'm not really guessing), but it's kind of irrelevant that someone noticed "increased performance" in an athlete eating a lot of beef.  People have noticed increased performance, whether real or not, from almost anything they put in their bodies.

Quote
I don't have an "abs" goal like the original poster, but do generally enjoy strength training and want to keep getting stronger.  Due to being time poor, the only time I can train is at about 5:30 AM, which is not my preferred time for lifting really heavy weights---it's definitely not when I feel the strongest.  And there came a point when my workouts were really suffering and I wasn't making any gains, and it was killing my motivation.  I read about creatine (had a great link at one time that I can't find now) and decided it couldn't hurt to try.  I bought a 2.2lb tub for about $20 that's lasted me several months.  All I can say is: night and day difference.  After about two or three weeks of using creatine (the time most sources say it takes to reach saturation), the gains started coming quickly, and I generally felt so much stronger in the mornings during my workouts.  That feeling has persisted for the whole time I've used creatine; in fact, I'm about to finish my first tub and just ordered a second.

I was going to say that you naturally adjust do a consistent workout time in teh day, but I figured I'd reply to this whole paragraph.  Yes, if you work out consistantly in the early morning, late at night, lunch, whenever, you adapt and "get better" at working out then.  When I was in the military, I was wide awake and strong at 6 in the morning, but couldn't workout for shit at night.  Now I don't even wake up at 6, and I feel great after work, ready to hit the weights.  Creatine supplementation enhances strength training in general, so it added to this effect I'm sure.

Quote
On a completely speculative note: I wonder if some day technology could advance to the state where we have "meat factories" (not to be confused with today's morally debatable "factory farms").  What I'm thinking is akin to the hydroponic equivalent of growing muscle fibers without requiring a live animal.  Imagine a mesh of artificial nerves floating in a "nutrient bath" of animal stem cells.  A computer controls the electrical pulses that simulate nerve activity, and also times releases of synthetic hormones.  The environment of nerve and hormonal activity results in the stem cells growing into edible muscle; for example: a pork shoulder or chicken breast or salmon fillet.

Maybe that's the stuff of science fiction, but imagine a whole factory that produces (for example) ultra-premium prime steaks with extreme efficiency: the nutrient bath is tuned exactly to what is being grown, so there is little to no waste; no animals need to be bred or slaughtered, removing the moral issues; since the product is consistent and repeatable, nearly everything can be automated; the environment can be easily kept sterile, greatly reducing the risks of contamination.

Not science fiction, it's been happening for years now.  Not at a commercially viable level yet, I don't think, but you see news stories all the time.

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #62 on: April 11, 2013, 04:27:38 PM »
bodybuilding.com is having a 20% off sale today if you use BDAY20 when you check out.  I'm grabbing a couple months worth of whey.

That's pretty sweet if you insist on ON Gold or something, I just buy my protein here, it's a bit less expensive than that 10lb ON sale price. I'm so tempted though because ON is just ridiculously delicious and I don't have space in the budget for a $200 protein order right now.

Yup, I do ON.  I used to try different powders, bulk powders (trueprotein, now truenutrition), but I either couldn't gag them down or they didn't mix into solution.

mikednj

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #63 on: April 12, 2013, 06:30:43 AM »

I eat primal, not paleo. When I did very strict paleo, I found the expense was on average $300/person/month.

Primal lets me get tons of protein from dairy and more grain, otherwise I don't think I'd be able to hit my macros.


The reason I no longer eat $2/lb chicken breast is because that is an absolutely insane prospect. $2 cannot possibly capture all of the costs (externalities) associated with the chicken's feed, waste processing, processing, transport, sale, and then processing when it comes out the other end of my body. It's all held afloat by an obscene system of subsidies and head-in-the-sand ignorance on the part of consumers.

Primal (like mark sison primal?)  included grains?  Right now I've included oat meal as I don't see any digestive or chronic issues.  Milk and most milk by products ruin me. Even whey I can only have in smal doses else I get sinus headaches and eventually infections.

I agree, factory farmed meat is an unsustainable product everyway you look at it.  I do buy grass fed meat from a family friend at about $4/lb hanging weight. Unfortunately my protein needs are higher than my fat needs so I still have to turn to leaner cuts like chicken, and organic around here starts at about $6/lb and pastured chicken breasts go for $8-9/lb.  When I'm eating upwards of 1.5lb a day it just won't cut it. 

I've also tried almost every combo of macro ratio out there. I currently weigh 167 and I've set my protein to 80g/day,  125g, 160, and up to 250g/day.  Unfortunately, I see superior strength and body composition benefits with higher protein intakes, while holding calories at the same levels.

tuyop

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #64 on: April 12, 2013, 06:42:37 AM »
Primal (like mark sison primal?)  included grains?  Right now I've included oat meal as I don't see any digestive or chronic issues.  Milk and most milk by products ruin me. Even whey I can only have in smal doses else I get sinus headaches and eventually infections.

Well, by grains I mean popcorn (which is not primal, but I pan-pop it so pfff), quinoa and oats fairly regularly, and occasionally brown rice and things like tapioca. I also lump white potatoes in there too because they're not expressly paleo.

I have a similar problem with the cheap, sustainable, healthy pyramid (choose two), and if you care about capturing the costs of your decisions, the solution becomes pretty obvious: grow/raise your own, or shoot/catch it. This sidesteps the "cheap" side of the equation by replacing money with time.

I think the easiest way for me to raise some protein in the next twelve months will be keeping rabbits. If you can't possibly fit raising or shooting animals into your life, and you can't afford to opt out of the destructive linear economy, then I think - as a thinking person - you really have to reevaluate your resolve to help improve the world.

mustachecat

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #65 on: April 12, 2013, 09:03:37 AM »
I agree, factory farmed meat is an unsustainable product everyway you look at it.  I do buy grass fed meat from a family friend at about $4/lb hanging weight. Unfortunately my protein needs are higher than my fat needs so I still have to turn to leaner cuts like chicken, and organic around here starts at about $6/lb and pastured chicken breasts go for $8-9/lb.  When I'm eating upwards of 1.5lb a day it just won't cut it. 

If you're in New Jersey (assuming from your username), it should be pretty easy to find a good chicken farmer who'll sell you whole chickens for less than $5/lb--you could probably get to $4 if you buy in bulk. I like the directory at eatwild.com. And remember to save your carcasses for delicious bone broth.

ace1224

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #66 on: April 12, 2013, 09:33:25 AM »
i don't know as much as you guys about this, my only suggestion is canned tuna.  one can is like 50 cents and has about 26g of protein

AJ

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Re: Low-Cost Protein
« Reply #67 on: April 12, 2013, 11:02:36 AM »
I think the easiest way for me to raise some protein in the next twelve months will be keeping rabbits.

I'm not sure why more people don't raise meat rabbits. You can keep them in the city, they take little space, they are prolific breeders, they are high protein and low fat.... maybe this is coming now that backyard hens are becoming more popular.