Category Archives: REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE

Red Meat: Good or Bad?

There remains a strong bias against the consumption of red meat in published dietary guidelines. The evidence supporting claims of increased risk of cancer or heart disease remains very weak and suggests at most a 1% absolute risk increase based on very weak evidence. Significant factors are almost universally ignored in the analysis. These include:

1. Use of hormones in raising animals

2. Grass fed and grass finished vs grain fed- feedlot fattened animals

3. Use of antibiotics

4. Methods of cooking

5. Processed-refined meats with added sugars/preservatives vs fresh or frozen unprocessed meats.

6. Confounding factors such as smoking, exercise, and other lifestyle factors

7. Poor accuracy of dietary questionnaires

8. Poor study design.

9. Residual pesticides in animals passed through feedlots.

These considerations are all important in determining the health benefits of consuming animal fat and protein. The 1% absolute risk increase discussed above relates to consuming meat raised in the typical US fashion. That includes the regular use of hormones, antibiotics, and feedlot conditions. Feedlot conditions dramatically change the fatty acid content of beef to a less healthy mix. I do not consume meat that passed through feedlots.

Prior to WWII, meat and poultry were raised without hormones, without antibiotics. They were pastured and free range. Ruminants ate grasses not grains, which cause gastro-intestinal problems in ruminants. Poultry ate bugs, grass, seeds in an open air environment. Crowded disease causing conditions were not prevalent in animal husbandry. Today things are different and one would be wise to make their consumption choices speak for healthier sources of animal protein and fat.

I have always advocated for avoiding animal foods raised with indiscriminate use of antibiotics and hormones, animals raised in crowded unsanitary conditions, ruminants (beef, lamb) fed grains, etc.

But beyond those considerations, unprocessed red meat provides an abundance of important nutrients vital to health.

A discussion of the bias that underlies many dietary guidelines is covered in a brief and informative video:

I have previously discussed the false narrative about environmental concerns related to beef, recommending the book and documentary by the same name, SACRED COW.

You can read that here.

Dr. Georgia Ede addresses the issue of red meat in many of her talks. Here is one.

She has also posted a discussion of brain health and animal fat.

And she has debunked the concept that meat causes cancer.

In the context of the COVID 19 pandemic I will close with the usual summary.

  1. Avoid alcohol consumption (alcohol wreaks havoc with your immunity)
  2. Get plenty of sleep (without adequate sleep your immune system does not work well )
  3. Follow good sleep habits
  4. Exercise, especially out of doors in a green space, supports the immune system
  5. Get some sunshine and make sure you have adequate Vitamin D levels. Supplement with Vitamin D3 to get your levels above 30 ng/ml. (read this Open Letter)
  6. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet rich in micronutrients.
  7. Practice stress reduction like meditation and yoga which improves the immune system
  8. Eliminate sugar-added foods and beverages from your diet. These increase inflammation, cause metabolic dysfunction, and suppress immunity.
  9. Eliminate refined-inflammatory “vegetable oils” from your diet, instead eat healthy fat.
  10. Clean up your home environment and minimize your family’s exposure to environmental toxins by following recommendations at EWG.org with regards to household products, personal care products, and organic foods. (https://www.ewg.org/)
  11. If you are over age 12 and eligible for vaccination, consider protecting yourself and your neighbor with vaccination.

THIS WEBSITE PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. CONSULT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FOR MEDICAL ADVICE.

Eat clean, drink filtered water, love, laugh, exercise outdoors in a greenspace, get some morning sunlight, block the blue light before bed, engage in meaningful work, find a sense of purpose, spend time with those you love, AND sleep well tonight.

Doctor Bob

Mushrooms, Cancer, Bees and Ecology connection

I just watched a great talk given by mycology researcher Paul Stamets. Paul discusses the use of mushroom extracts as adjunctive treatment for various cancers. In addition he discusses his discovery that bees obtain anti-viral protection from consuming mushroom mycelia found in dead trees, providing an insight into the great threat of bee population loss. Here is the link to his talk:

Paul discusses the importance of maintaining old growth forests as a source for botanical and mushroom based medications and addresses many issues related to biodiversity and ecology.

If you like this talk you will probably enjoy the documentary Fantastic Fungi. The movie is available on Netflix and through other sources such as prime video, Hulu, apple TV and google play.

Paul also gave a TED talk:

In the context of the COVID 19 pandemic I will close with the usual summary.

  1. Avoid alcohol consumption (alcohol wreaks havoc with your immunity)
  2. Get plenty of sleep (without adequate sleep your immune system does not work well )
  3. Follow good sleep habits
  4. Exercise, especially out of doors in a green space, supports the immune system
  5. Get some sunshine and make sure you have adequate Vitamin D levels. Supplement with Vitamin D3 to get your levels above 30 ng/ml. (read this Open Letter)
  6. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet rich in micronutrients.
  7. Practice stress reduction like meditation and yoga which improves the immune system
  8. Eliminate sugar-added foods and beverages from your diet. These increase inflammation, cause metabolic dysfunction, and suppress immunity.
  9. Eliminate refined-inflammatory “vegetable oils” from your diet, instead eat healthy fat.
  10. Clean up your home environment and minimize your family’s exposure to environmental toxins by following recommendations at EWG.org with regards to household products, personal care products, and organic foods. (https://www.ewg.org/)
  11. If you are over age 12 and eligible for vaccination, consider protecting yourself and your neighbor with vaccination.

THIS WEBSITE PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. CONSULT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FOR MEDICAL ADVICE.

Eat clean, drink filtered water, love, laugh, exercise outdoors in a greenspace, get some morning sunlight, block the blue light before bed, engage in meaningful work, find a sense of purpose, spend time with those you love, AND sleep well tonight.

Doctor Bob

Soil vs Dirt, our future depends on REGENERATIVE FARMING AND RANCHING.

If we continue to grow crops and raise animals the way we presently do, our topsoil will be gone in 20 years! There will be another dustbowl but this time it will be NATIONWIDE.

Shocking? Yes.

Fake news? NO.

Watch this 2.5 minute trailer to understand the scope of this problem and the simple proven solution that will not only lead to carbon sequestration in the ground but will create soil and improve the profitability of farming and ranching.

Watch this movie to understand why we must create soil with regenerative farming and ranching.

When we destroy soil and turn it into dirt we release CO2 into the atmostphere.

When we create living soil, returning insects, microbes, viruses, worms, fungi and water to their proper ecosystem role, we capture CO2 from the atmosphere and sequester it in the newly created soil through the crops. Moving CO2 from air to plant to soil through the roots, that is the path to saving out planet and providing for world-wide food security.

Biosequestration is the process of using plants, trees, and techniques of farming and raising animals, to capture carbon and store it in the soil. Restoration of grasslands along with regenerative agriculture can accomplish this much quicker and with greater return on investment than planting trees. Of course restoring forests should also be part of a global effort to save our planet from destruction. But the quickest, most efficient way to solve multiple problems at once is to convert present day mono-agriculture system that destroys soil releasing CO2 into the air with the opposite and more profitable system of regenerative agriculture and ranching.

But what about eating meat and raising cattle? We have heard that is bad for the planet. THE SCIENCE SAYS OTHERWISE.

You can watch this BRIEF TRAILER:

That is the science.

Plants capture CO2 and put it back into the soil. Plants and soil capture and sequester rain water as well as CO2, further preventing erosion and runoff. But to create soil we need ruminant animal poop!!!!!!!!!!!

Regenerative agriculture and ranching avoids fossil-fuel based fertilizer and toxic chemicals and uses instead manure from grazing animals to fertilize crops and convert dirt into living soil. This process creates life and habitat for numerous species of animals, plants, microbes etc.

This is a win-win scenario.

What stands in the way?

Ignorance, habit, and Federal subsidy of corn, wheat, soy.

Most (>90%) of the (subsidized) grains grown in the US go into feeding cattle and pigs which are raised on factory farms. After grazing naturally during their early life, most cattle are then moved onto feedlots to be fed GMO glyphosate-resistant grains which degrade the quality of their fat and protein and transfer toxic glyphosate from grain to animal. Those cattle stand in their own excrement and require antibiotics to fend off the inevitable infections that come with feedlot conditions.

The pigs live their lives in a warehouse standing on grated floors dropping their excrement into methane producing lakes of pig poop which overflow into streams and rivers when heavy rains fall.

Antibiotic resistant organisms are created in our feed lots and contribute to our epidemic of antibiotic resistant infections in humans.

But it need not be that way.

After viewing the trailers linked above, watch the movies KISS THE GROUND (already released and available on Netflix) and Sacred Cow (soon to be released) you will learn the path to recovering the health of our planet and the health of our human population.

If you still do not believe this narrative or want to dive deeply into the science, read the book:

Filled with scientific references.

Visit the http://The Carbon Underground and read their decisive scientific review:

https://regenerationinternational.org/2020/09/28/regenerative-agriculture-and-the-soil-carbon-solution-new-paper-outlines-vision-for-climate-action/

The full PDF for a deep science dive is here:

Regenerative Agriculture and the Soil Carbon Solution

“Data from farming and grazing studies show the power of exemplary regenerative systems that, if achieved globally, would drawdown more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions.”

That is a very bold but hopeful statement, backed by solid science. It will improve the bottom line for farmers and ranchers by increasing production per acre with non-toxic, soil producing simple farmer’s almanac based technology already being practiced and proven today.

“Actual yields in well-designed regenerative organic systems, rather than agglomerated averages, have been shown to outcompete conventional yields for almost all food crops including corn, wheat, rice, soybean, and sunflower.”

A good short read on the topic can be found here:

Desertification is turning the Earth barren – but a solution is still within reach by David R Montgomery. 

Finally, the scoop on methane produced by cattle and the difference between that and fossil fuel generated CO2 is discussed in this very brief animation.

How can livestock be a part of the climate solution? The natural carbon cycle explained. Often missed in climate change discussions is the natural carbon cycle. There’s a huge difference between fossil fuel carbon emissions and methane from cattle. Perhaps short animations like this will help change the narrative around meat.

In the context of the COVID 19 pandemic I will close with the usual summary.

  1. Avoid alcohol consumption (alcohol wreaks havoc with your immunity)
  2. Get plenty of sleep (without adequate sleep your immune system does not work well )
  3. Follow good sleep habits
  4. Exercise, especially out of doors in a green space, supports the immune system
  5. Get some sunshine and make sure you have adequate Vitamin D levels.
  6. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet rich in micronutrients.
  7. Practice stress reduction like meditation and yoga which improves the immune system
  8. Eliminate sugar-added foods and beverages from your diet. These increase inflammation, cause metabolic dysfunction, and suppress immunity.
  9. Eliminate refined-inflammatory “vegetable oils” from your diet, instead eat healthy fat.
  10. Clean up your home environment and minimize your family’s exposure to environmental toxins by following recommendations at EWG.org with regards to household products, personal care products, and organic foods. (https://www.ewg.org/)

THIS WEBSITE PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. CONSULT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FOR MEDICAL ADVICE.

Eat clean, drink filtered water, love, laugh, exercise outdoors in a greenspace, get some morning sunlight, block the blue light before bed, engage in meaningful work, find a sense of purpose, spend time with those you love, AND sleep well tonight.

Doctor Bob

Regenerative Agriculture: A potential “cure” for climate change.

In a previous post I praised the recently released book SACRED COW which discusses regenerative agriculture, creation rather than destruction of soil through better farming models, the need for cattle (ruminants) in soil creation, the myths concerning vegetarian diets-saving-the-planet, and many issues related to nutrition and health of the planet.

A recently published white paper on the topic of regenerative agriculture states “there is hope right beneath our feet” to address the climate crisis and global food security at the same time.

You can read about this topic here:

https://regenerationinternational.org/2020/09/28/regenerative-agriculture-and-the-soil-carbon-solution-new-paper-outlines-vision-for-climate-action/

You can download a PDF for the full paper here: http://Regenerative Agriculture and the Soil Carbon Solution (pdf)

The most profound conclusion of this paper provides hope for the climate crisis:

“Data from farming and grazing studies show the power of exemplary regenerative systems that, if achieved globally, would drawdown more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions.”

Regenerative agriculture is

“a system of farming principles that rehabilitates the entire ecosystem and enhances natural resources, rather than depleting them.”

Comparing regenerative agriculture to present day industrial farming an eco-artist has created this image.

Mono-agriculture on the left, Regenerative agriculture on the right.

“In contrast to industrial practices dependent upon monocultures, extensive tillage, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers, a regenerative approach uses, at minimum, seven practices which aim to boost biodiversity both above and underground and make possible carbon sequestration in soil.

  • Diversifying crop rotations
  • Planting cover crops, green manures, and perennials
  • Retaining crop residues
  • Using natural sources of fertilizer, such as compost
  • Employing highly managed grazing and/or integrating crops and livestock
  • Reducing tillage frequency and depth
  • Eliminating synthetic chemicals”

“When compared to conventional industrial agriculture,” the authors write, “regenerative systems improve”:

  • Biodiversity abundance and species richness
  • Soil health, including soil carbon
  • Pesticide impacts on food and ecosystems
  • Total farm outputs
  • Nutrient density of outputs
  • Resilience to climate shocks
  • Provision of ecosystem services
  • Resource use efficiency
  • Job creation and farmworker welfare
  • Farm profitability
  • Rural community revitalization

A movie KISS THE GROUND, highlights the importance of a transition from present day mono-agriculture to a Regenerative approach. You can view the trailer here.

Along these lines, be on the lookout for a similar movie version of the book SACRED COW.

The US military has determined that the greatest threat to global security is CLIMATE CHANGE.

Alternative energy sources and elimination of fossil fuels can cut our carbon emissions but will not sequester the carbon in our atmosphere. REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE can sequester carbon, create new living soil, and feed the planet a healthy diet.

The following short animation explains the difference between methane from cows and CO2 from burning fossil fuels. The “natural carbon cycle” reveals the difference.

How can livestock be a part of the climate solution? The natural carbon cycle explained.

In the context of the COVID 19 pandemic I will close with the usual summary.

  1. Avoid alcohol consumption (alcohol wreaks havoc with your immunity)
  2. Get plenty of sleep (without adequate sleep your immune system does not work well )
  3. Follow good sleep habits
  4. Exercise, especially out of doors in a green space, supports the immune system
  5. Get some sunshine and make sure you have adequate Vitamin D levels.
  6. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet rich in micronutrients.
  7. Practice stress reduction like meditation and yoga which improves the immune system
  8. Eliminate sugar-added foods and beverages from your diet. These increase inflammation, cause metabolic dysfunction, and suppress immunity.
  9. Eliminate refined-inflammatory “vegetable oils” from your diet, instead eat healthy fat.
  10. Clean up your home environment and minimize your family’s exposure to environmental toxins by following recommendations at EWG.org with regards to household products, personal care products, and organic foods. (https://www.ewg.org/)

THIS WEBSITE PROVIDES INFORMATION FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. CONSULT YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER FOR MEDICAL ADVICE.

Eat clean, drink filtered water, love, laugh, exercise outdoors in a greenspace, get some morning sunlight, block the blue light before bed, engage in meaningful work, find a sense of purpose, spend time with those you love, AND sleep well tonight.

Doctor Bob