Raw meat is a delicacy most people don’t enjoy very often. In fact, most restaurant menus will warn you against it. As will your parents, your friends, and the majority of nutritionists interested in providing you with an accurate guide on how to eat a balanced and healthy diet. But Derek Nance isn’t most people. He’s a man who’s eaten nothing but raw meat for the past seven years, even becoming a minor celebrity for it (and probably the fact that he brushes his teeth with animal fat…) in Germany. Vice checked in with Nance for a fascinating interview about his “extreme paleo lifestyle” and found that Nance is surprisingly healthy. (I say surprisingly because he’s still alive at all, but also because the guy’s ripped from all that protein.)
According to Julian Morgans, who first wrote about Nance in 2013, the reason Nance stopped eating anything but animal flesh had to do with health problems that he’d suffered–health problems that have since miraculously disappeared. But before you run to your fridge to ditch anything processed in favor of sinking your teeth into a beef heart, you should know that living the raw organ life is a hard road because of how difficult it is to get lungs and animal fat, especially if you live in Europe.
…How was the meat in Europe?
Well I’m in Kentucky, it’s the bluegrass region. The soil here is good and the taste of meat is far and above anything in Europe. I was under the impression they have higher food standards over there but actually, it’s sort of a police state. Like in England you can’t get lungs anymore, even though traditional haggis is made with lungs, they don’t let you have them. I was trying to find animal fat, because my diet consists of a lot of animal fat, but everything there is super lean. I trekked around London, finally found a halal shop, and they were trimming all their fat off. I tried to buy the fat but he was like, We don’t sell fat, it’s trash. Finally I insisted and he gave me a little bit, but the taste of it wasn’t so good.
Not feeling squeamish? Neither is Nance. In fact, he told Vice a German TV show even brought him a live ram to eat, but the animal somehow found its way to freedom before he could butcher and consume it. But there’s good news: since the original interview, he’s tried fish heads with his idol, a woman named Ingre, who lives on a horse farm and is “90 percent carnivorous.” You know what she likes to drink? Fish head smoothies.
Did you have a fish head smoothie?
No, but we did eat some whole fish heads. They were pretty crunchy.
As long as he’s healthy!
Here’s one more fun tidbit: Nance is still with his girlfriend, Joanne, with whom he’s been for several years. That’s pretty impressive, considering that she’s a vegetarian.
The whole interview is worth a read. Check it out here. Be warned that some of the pictures are a bit bloody.