Earth, Ash & Blood: Part 2

Part 2: A Very Unique Combination


The primary purpose of the trip to Kenya was to learn more about Mursik, however, I was also interested in experiencing the nomadic pastoralist practice of bloodletting to supplement diet made up almost exclusively of dairy.  Milk, especially raw milk, is an incredibly nutritious food.  And, nomadic pastoralists groups in Africa who have been historically raising animals as sources of food for thousands of years realized this long ago.  In fact, they take an entirely different approach to using animals as factories that convert food we cannot use into that we do - instead of focusing on the animal’s meat, fat and organs which requires killing the animal providing one huge harvest, they rely upon the by-products of the animal as their main food source allowing the animal to live for much longer, the entire time providing food on a daily basis!  However, milk needs to be supplemented with other vitamins and minerals, such as iron, to provide a more well-rounded diet that has the ability to more fully sustain adult humans.  Their answer...blood!  And, I am not referring to the blood of the animal after it had been slaughtered.  Rather, they view the blood of the animal in a similar way that they do milk - think of it the same way they (and we) think about milk - as a renewable source of high quality food for humans that animals produce by eating foods that are otherwise inaccessible to us and using their digestive tracts and physiology to transform those foods into foods from which our bodies and digestive tracts can safely and effectively obtain nutrition.  And, because the animals are continuously producing blood just like they are milk, so they have developed techniques to continuously harvest it from the animals without harming them.