The Importance of Sustainable Ruminant Farming Diana Rodgers

On today's show, Colin, Brent and our guest Diana go over the importance of ruminant animals not only for our health, but for sustainable farming in general. You'll be amazed at how much grazing by ruminant mammals positively affects farmland and soil quality.

On today's show, Colin, Brent and our guest Diana go over the importance of ruminant animals not only for our health, but for sustainable farming in general. You'll be amazed at how much grazing by ruminant mammals positively affects farmland and soil quality. Tune in to learn more!

Today's guest: Diana Rodgers

  • Diana Rodgers, RD, is a “real food” nutritionist, author and sustainability advocate. She runs a clinical nutrition practice, hosts the Sustainable Dish Podcast, and speaks internationally about human nutrition, sustainability, animal welfare and social justice.
  • She’s written two books and helped to produce the short film, Soft Slaughter, which won a real food media award. Her work has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Edible Boston, and To Market.
  • She’s the producer and director of the film Sacred Cow and co-author of the book Sacred Cow.

Find Diana on the following links:

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[00:00:00] Diana Rodgers: [00:00:00] I recommend for folks that, you know, if you're in the grocery store and you're just looking at typical beef, typical chicken or typical pork choose the beef because it's still going to be better on a nutrition level, on an ethical level and an environmental level than a typical chicken or typical.

[00:00:30] welcome to the show. Diana Rogers. Thank you for being here. Thank you, Colin. We know you're here too, and that's cool. Thanks for showing up. But more importantly, guest of the day is the important person. What do we need to know about you? Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were asking Colin.

[00:00:50] Okay. Basically I noticed that people who are talking about sustainability and nutrition are largely focused on vegetarian and vegan type diets. And this book challenges that from a nutritional and environmental space and also challenges the ethics of eating meat. So, um, it can be really easy to say eating meat is bad or meat is murder, but when you fully understand the nutritional impact animals have on our health and the positive role livestock can play in our, our landscapes, then the ethical debate quickly becomes.

[00:01:28] If you actually want a [00:01:30] diet of least harm, you should be eating large ruminants and not.

[00:01:34] Colin Stuckert: [00:01:34] So what's your background. What how'd you get into the space of writing and talking about this?

[00:01:38] Diana Rodgers: [00:01:38] So I've worked on farms ever since I was a teenager and I've always been interested in health. I've always been interested in my nutrition.

[00:01:46] I found out when I was 26, that I have celiac disease. And so I was gluten free. For a while, but then decided to learn a little bit more about nutrition and entered the MTA program, nutritional therapy association, and really learn more about real food nutrition got into paleo through Rob Wolf and his book, the paleo solution.

[00:02:07] And. It started a friendship with Rob that actually turned into this book. So once someone heals their own diet, they often then try to see what else they can do, you know, should they start a podcast? Should they write a book? And Rob and I felt like the sustainability piece was really, really an important.

[00:02:27] Argument to settle and to have the nutrition, environmental, and ethical arguments all in one place, which currently they're not. So we put together this website to have all of that information right there. So we have these shareable infographics that tackle nutrition and environment and halfway through writing the book, we decided to also make a film because.

[00:02:48] People are largely digesting their media through film and not through books these days. And, uh, books will only reach, you know, the true believers in all of this. And I really wanted to change minds. The vegan [00:03:00] propaganda films are quite effective and quite wrong. And so we felt that. Making a film that was a counterpoint to a lot of those documentaries would allow for a more nuanced conversation, at least some kind of debate in the schools when they're showing these films or my son's high school showed Cowspiracy in science class.

[00:03:21] Um, and so we need something to counteract that, um, so that the teachers aren't telling kids. That, you know, they need to be eating beyond meat to be good environmental stewards, which is, is the dialogue is happening currently in my son's public high school. Yeah. Mass

[00:03:37] Colin Stuckert: [00:03:37] propaganda is what modern education has become, but maybe that's tough for another day.

[00:03:41] So it's funny, you said that you got into paleo through Rob Wolf because I got into paly through Rob Wolf back in the CrossFit days when he used to do certifications for CrossFit. And I went to one of those and Fort Lauderdale way back in the day. And so I've been following his work work for years. So you.

[00:03:55] Feel like you've had to take up defense of the sacred cow basically, you know, because obviously it's so attacked and it's so easy to blame me and whatever. And so it says right here, why well raised meat is good for you and good for the planet. Can you expand on that a little bit?

[00:04:08] Diana Rodgers: [00:04:08] So nutritionally, all meat is healthy.

[00:04:11] The studies against meat are poor science and meat is something that humans have eaten for three and a half million years. There's never been a vegan Hunter gatherer diet. It just a gatherer diet. There are nutrients in meat that we cannot get in plants. So in the nutrition section, we go through [00:04:30] all of the claims against me.

[00:04:32] Meat causes cancer, meat causes heart disease, and these causes diabetes and obesity. Clearly we're eating too much meat. We actually challenged the protein guidelines and talk about why more protein than the RDA is actually optimal. But then when we get to the environmental section, we're really arguing for better meat.

[00:04:52] So that's meat, that's raised in a regenerative way. And so currently our food system is failing. It's destroying our top soil. So our waterways and when we graze cattle, In a way that actually mimics how the wild herds in Africa are grazing. So, or, or the bison before we got rid of all the Bisons. So large herds that give heavy impact actually on the land, but then move quickly off.

[00:05:20] When we manage cattle in that way, we're actually improving grasslands because that's grasslands, co-evolved with ruminant animals and they need grazing animals in order to be healthy. And so to humans, Yeah,

[00:05:33] Colin Stuckert: [00:05:33] absolutely. I mean, it's, it seems like, and maybe, you know, the answer to this question, I mean, what would happen if we got rid of all the ruminants?

[00:05:40] Has there been any speculation on that? Because obviously it's a part of, you know, this is a part of the bounce ecosystem, and I wonder if there would be some, some downstream effects of that. If we dislikes that, you know, they're all gone overnight. Well,

[00:05:51] Diana Rodgers: [00:05:51] there was a study that was done on what would happen to the American food system.

[00:05:55] If we got rid of all animal products from our food system and that one [00:06:00] found it modeled it, and it found that greenhouse gas emissions would only go down about two and a half percent overall. In America, but nutrient deficiencies would go up. Overall. Caloric intake would go up and Carmine take would go up.

[00:06:13] And so when we're looking at population that's already 70% overweight or obese, we don't need more calories and we don't need more carbs in order to solve those problems. What we need is more nutrition and meat delivers that it's, it's highly satiating. It's got a lot of what we need that we can't get from plants in a very low calorie way.

[00:06:35] And this push towards the plant-based diet is really largely pushed by Hollywood and, you know, celebrities, vegan bloggers, people that really aren't grounded in science. There's just not evidence to show that that is the optimal diet for humans. And there's a lot of people that go about it in quite an uneducated way.

[00:06:57] There's a lot of people that don't have the privilege to push away meat that that actually need a lot more meat than what they're getting. Especially when we look outside of the U S but even in the U S we actually, most people in my opinion are not eating enough protein. Yeah.

[00:07:13] Colin Stuckert: [00:07:13] Well, and also, I bet you, that model didn't account for the healthcare costs, the shipping, the transportation, the storage of these mass produced model crops.

[00:07:20] Like I suspect that there would actually be a net increase in carbon house emissions if we went to more model cropping and more plant-based because, you know, like you think about plants, it's a strip mining of nutrients [00:07:30] from earth. Whereas ruminant, Virginia agriculture is usually replenishing and it's part of an ecosystem.

[00:07:36] So can you expand on the regenerative aspect? Just a little bit more, just so because people hear this a lot and we've had guests on the show, Joe Sultan and whatnot. And we talk about that, but what does that look like? Does that look like growing crops and then having Roman animals eat that through then chickens at some part, and then cows in our part, I've seen a lot different models.

[00:07:51] Can you just kind of expand that a little bit to give us like an idea what that looks like? We

[00:07:55] Diana Rodgers: [00:07:55] have some great graphics on our website and an animation actually in the film that described this really well visually, cause it's a little difficult to just explain it. And actually in the book we have a graphic too, but basically there's a big difference between continuous grazing and moving the cattle in a, in an adaptive way frequently, that really impacts how ecosystem function works.

[00:08:17] And so if you were to have two different fields, each one is a hundred acres. And you have a hundred head of cattle in the first field. You turn them out for the entire summer on just the a hundred acres. What's going to happen in that situation is that the animals are gonna go around. They're going to overgraze their favorite, you know, cause it's not just grass.

[00:08:36] It's, it's uh, a pasture as a diverse mix of lots of different plants. They're going to go round. They're going to find their favorite plants. They're going to eat them down and kill them. Um, and then they're going to avoid the other plants and they're going to take over. So it actually ends up being a less healthy pasture.

[00:08:53] First of all, you're going to have much more bald spots on the pasture, uh, because of [00:09:00] the overgrazing, you're going to have sicker animals because of the parasite pressure. So if one animal has a parasite infection and it goes around pooping everywhere. And then the other cows are grazing right where it was.

[00:09:12] They're all going to pick up that parasite and it's never actually going to get taken out of that herd. Now, if you were to take that same 100 acres and a hundred cattle and divided into 10 acre. Paddocks. Um, and this might be different in Nevada versus Vermont, right? It all depends on how lush the pasture is, how much rain you're getting, all that kind of stuff.

[00:09:36] So I'm just using, you know, just theoreticals because hundreds are easy. So if we were to take that and then divide it into smaller sections and move the cattle on a daily basis, some people move multiple times a day. Some people move every other day, but at the idea is that. The cattle are in a concentrated area.

[00:09:55] They eat everything down at an even level so that not one plant gets overgrazed and killed and the weeds get eaten at the same rate as everything else. When you then move the cattle off. And that grass has a chance and the pasture has a chance to grow back and rest and not get overeaten. That's when the magic happens, that's when the carbon can get sequestered.

[00:10:18] That's when the birds can come along and pick off those parasites that were laid down just by that one animal and the animal is much less likely to pass them on to the rest of the herd because [00:10:30] they're moving so quickly and not just eating the same. Poopy grass all the time. So, and in this situation, you're providing much better habitat for birds, cleaner water.

[00:10:41] The soil becomes more spongy and actually absorbs rainfall much better. So there's just a ton of benefits to that type of grazing.

[00:10:50] Colin Stuckert: [00:10:50] So how was that compared to the way most cattle are raised in America?

[00:10:55] Diana Rodgers: [00:10:55] So I just described the continuous grazing. So the continuous grazing is how most cattle are raised in America,

[00:11:03] Colin Stuckert: [00:11:03] fixed area and they stay there and they just trampling it down, eating the same things.

[00:11:07] And then they get shipped off to feed lots, basically

[00:11:10] Diana Rodgers: [00:11:10] for approximately the last three months of their life. Yes.

[00:11:13] Colin Stuckert: [00:11:13] Okay. So yeah, that's actually something that Lauren, I think a lot of people think that cattle just are on feed off their whole life. So can you talk about a little bit about the way traditional beef has done?

[00:11:22] Diana Rodgers: [00:11:22] So all cattle start out at a calf cow operation on grass with their moms, and then they're either finished on grass or finished in the feedlot for the approximately three months of their life, over the course of their entire life. The overall grain consumption of a typical beef. Animal is only about 10% of their overall diet is actually grain.

[00:11:44] So it's not like grain fed beef. So I believe that even typical beef has been way over vilified. I'm not endorsing feedlot practices by any means, but I think there are lots of areas of gray. I don't think that it needs to be, you know, grass fed. [00:12:00] Good. Grain fed bad in every case. And I think that people should just buy the best meat that they can afford to buy and support local farmers when they have access to local farmers.

[00:12:10] Because a lot of times on the feed lot, they're also eating things like spent grain from the distillery process that would emit greenhouse gases. If we didn't feed it to a cow and turn it into meat anyway. So cattle can really, what they do is they upcycle nutrient poor foods that. We largely cannot eat and they turn it into protein and that's a very different thing than chicken or pork, because those are mano gastric animals like us.

[00:12:37] They don't have a ruminant. Four chamber stomach, where they can eat lots of fibers materials, and actually turn that into protein. So pigs and chickens actually compete directly with humans, for food. They're eating soy and corn a hundred percent of the time where cattle actually, you know, their overall diet is very small percent is actually grain in a typical beef system.

[00:12:59] And then of course, in a grass fed system, it's a hundred percent. Not competing with humans, for food. Um, you know, when you see people talking about, well, you know, if it takes an acre to feed a cow, but on that acre, we could grow 500 pounds of potatoes or whatever. What we have to realize is that not all land can actually be tilled up and cropped because you know, it's either too Haley, too Rocky, or, you know, a number of reasons why.

[00:13:25] Certain land can only be grazed. And so we can take this marginal land that [00:13:30] can't be cropped and we can actually graze animals on it and turn that land into much healthier land from the impact of the grazing animals and grow food. So it's a really great system.

[00:13:43] Colin Stuckert: [00:13:43] Yeah. So can you talk about how people have this idea that, you know, green is good?

[00:13:47] Green is healthy, plants are the best thing or whatever, you know, if a cow can eat. Green plants than humans can as well. Like you mentioned the room in its stomach and basically the conversion of cellulose into energy, which is what a cow does. Humans can't just eat grass. We would, it would probably kill us actually.

[00:14:02] Right. We just try to eat grass in the lawn, you know? So can you talk about that a little bit?

[00:14:05] Diana Rodgers: [00:14:05] Sure. So if a cow is actually not the one digesting the food, it's the bacteria in their stomachs. That's suggesting the food and we don't have a four chamber stomach with rumen, that's digesting the food and translating it into fatty acids for us.

[00:14:19] So it's just a completely different digestive system. Um, a lot of people will look at gorillas and say, well, they're, you know, we kind of look like granolas and gorillas, you know, generally eat mostly plants. And so we should be able to as well, but the way we evolved, the reason why we have such large brains is because of.

[00:14:40] Our meat consumption and our digestive system, we are omnivores a hundred percent. We're not carnivores. Although there are some people that are, uh, eating only meat and seem to be doing okay. We're not naturally herbivores, although it does seem that there are some people that can kind of get away with a vegan diet plus supplements.

[00:14:59] But, uh, [00:15:00] the ideal diet, if you're just looking at the food and not counting supplements or expensive ultra processed, fortified, veggie burgers and things like that is a diet that's based on our ancestral Hunter gatherer diet, which is a combination of meats and plants. And so, you know, that's what we see in very different ratios all over the world.

[00:15:21] So moving in more tropical regions, you know, some people relied a little bit more on fruits and tubers, um, in the more Arctic regions it was, you know, seal. So it really, you know, humans can, can thrive on a wide variety of macronutrient ratios, but what we. Constantly see is one, you introduced ultra processed modern foods.

[00:15:45] That's when we start to see problems.

[00:15:47] Colin Stuckert: [00:15:47] Yeah. Yeah. And also our guts are not the same as gorillas. That's why grill is a monkeys are stuck in the forest, still eating plants and bugs sitting there and we build iPhones and stuff, so, right. Yeah.

[00:15:58] Diana Rodgers: [00:15:58] We would have to be eating all day long and that's largely what be doing there.

[00:16:02] They're eating all day long and people who. Eat more animal source foods. Um, don't have to eat as often because they're fuller and they're more satiated they're they have the nutrition that they need.

[00:16:15] Colin Stuckert: [00:16:15] Yep. Absolutely. So I've seen you in some of the comments, having those vegan debates, where they come on and they have their things to say, and they pick out cherry pick certain things or say this research or that research.

[00:16:26] What's your strategy for dealing with that? Do you just try to take it one argument at a [00:16:30] time, or do you just have some like common things that you, you go back to? What's your argument against kind of the vegan and the ethical side of meeting? Well, it

[00:16:38] Diana Rodgers: [00:16:38] can, um, be largely a game of whack-a-mole. So you kind of like, uh, you know, you hit one argument and they'll say, well, then what about water?

[00:16:45] And then yeah, you kind of described the water and why those, the methodology is wrong and they'll say, yeah, but the greenhouse gases, well, yeah, but it's just wrong, you know, like, Right. Okay. It's just wrong. Um, so in the beginning of the book, we actually do take all the most common questions and concerns about meat and tell you where you can find those answers specifically in the book.

[00:17:06] So does meat cause cancer page, blah, blah, blah. And that's why we also developed, you know, individual infographics that deal with each one, but it can be frustrating on social media because I'll post an infographic about why it doesn't take 10 bathtubs full of water in order to make a hamburger. But then they'll say, yeah, but it takes all this feed and they're inefficient with feed and we should just be eating that feed directly instead of feeding it to cattle.

[00:17:29] So then I have to post the feed one and then they'll say, yeah, but there are many methane and methane is bad and it's 10 times worse than carbon dioxide. And so what about the water? And so it's just like, it's just constant back and forth and I can definitely get exhausting. So that's why, you know, we wrote the book is really just to have all of that information in one place because, um, especially when we get to the ethical arguments, you really cannot have an intelligent, ethical.

[00:17:58] Argument without [00:18:00] understanding nutrition and food systems.

[00:18:03] Colin Stuckert: [00:18:03] Yeah. So talk to me

[00:18:05] Diana Rodgers: [00:18:05] real quick. Do you think you've changed anyone's mind that argued with you on Instagram? Um, I've had people come to me in private messages saying that they used to be really threatened by the things I would say they used to be vegan and now they're not.

[00:18:20] And it's largely from my work. I try to avoid, you know, back and forth battles because those tend to just. Not work. And so I just don't think they're effective at changing someone's mind. I think, you know, you have to tell them something that challenges their worldview and then they have to go back and sit on it for a little bit.

[00:18:40] And then they come back and maybe digest some more information and, and start thinking, and maybe their health starts failing. And then they kind of look into the nutrition piece and then they maybe, you know, so some of my best followers are ex vegans vegetarians.

[00:18:54] Colin Stuckert: [00:18:54] Yeah. And also, it's not like you're gonna convince the person arguing that usually doesn't work, but there's a lot of people that read those threads, maybe somebody on the fence, or maybe somebody gets a little bit of nudge in the right direction or they read enough of it and their mind does start to shift.

[00:19:06] I think you get a lot more people on the fence. Then you do those like diehards that are just like attacking anything that you say. Right. Like the whack-a-mole style, you know? So there, there is merit sometimes to having those, those discussions for other people, not necessarily the person you're arguing with.

[00:19:20] So about the film, is it done or is it in production or what status with that? Cause I know making a film is like a big, big process and it seems like you announced this pretty recently. You raised a [00:19:30] campaign for this, right?

[00:19:31] Diana Rodgers: [00:19:31] Yeah. So we, we did a couple of crowd funding campaigns. We've had some corporate sponsorship.

[00:19:36] We have, I had some individual donors and the film is completely done. I have the DVDs setting, um, actually right behind my computer on the table. And we're going to be doing an online one week free screening of the film this fall on sacred cow info before it releases to the major streaming platforms.

[00:19:55] So we're negotiating with them right now. So I can't. Say where it's going to hit first, but folks can go to sacred cow.info and sign up for my newsletter and then be the first to find out how they can watch the film for free. So it's going to be one week only this fall. And, um, you know, we're not announcing the date yet.

[00:20:12] It's kind of. Hinging on a few other appearances that we have going on, but yeah, it's a hundred percent done. Nick Offerman from parks and rec is the narrator of the film, which is really great. He's a huge supporter of the work we're doing. And we have a lot of really great farmers in there. A lot of familiar health experts to people who are already in the ancestral health space, Mark Hyman, Chris Kresser.

[00:20:34] Rob Wolf, of course, Nina shoulds. So we hark, um, uh, Mark, uh, did I say more caiman? Um, and yeah, and then we went all over the world. We went to Belgium and film to the butcher there. We went to England and filmed with this cheap farmer in Northern England. And my favorite shoot was actually down into Wawa, Mexico, where these.

[00:20:54] Collective of ranchers is actually regenerating 1 million acres of degraded desert back into [00:21:00] grasslands. It's pretty impressive. And, um, they're doing it all with capital.

[00:21:04] Colin Stuckert: [00:21:04] Can you talk about that? What does that look like? So they're taking cattle in, they're putting on, on desert and it's somehow. Causing grass to grow, like

[00:21:12] Diana Rodgers: [00:21:12] what exactly the bank.

[00:21:14] So the Tualatin desert used to be grasslands. Grass is tall as you know, taller than me, but through bad management practices, it has become a desert. And so a lot of people will look and say, well, it's desert, but it's not naturally a desert. It's a desert because we got rid of. All the bison and all the other grazing animals and the plants didn't have the nutrients they needed from the manure.

[00:21:36] They didn't have anyone chewing it to stimulate growth. And so it gradually just kind of turned into desert or it was overgrazed and turned into desert. So there's under grazing and overgrazing causes of desertification. But what we can do with cattle is. Um, take the cattle, move them frequently. Like I described before their manure and urine is actually moving moisture all over this desert, stimulating the seeds that are latent, that are just sitting in the soil, waiting for the right conditions to sprout again and increasing the water holding capacity.

[00:22:12] So dung beetles are taking. Uh, the manure and bringing it down into the soil. Other microbes and animals are making tunnels in there. So they're allowing the water to get in the more carbon you have in the soil, the more water you can trap in the soil. So it's just this rebounding effect. And so this ranch that [00:22:30] we went to in Mexico is seeing the return of endangered and rare birds because grasslands are there in necessary habitat it grasslands have what these birds need.

[00:22:40] For food and for shelter. And, you know, when we turn everything into monocrop corn and spraying it with insecticides, we're getting rid of bird food and habitat. And so we can actually recreate all of that when we bring grazing animals back. And so it's a really, it's a beautiful process. I mean, we were driving through, you know, from the Chihuahua airport, it was about a two or three hour drive on very bumpy dirt roads to get to this guy's ranch.

[00:23:08] And it was just. Dry tumble weedy kind of like some scrubbing Mesquite, you know, dilapidated, you know, abandoned homes, things like that. But then we pull into his ranch. He gets the same exact amount of rainfall as. You know the other side of the fence, but when you get onto his ranch, it is like you've gone to Eden.

[00:23:28] I mean, it is lush green grass and really healthy looking cattle. I mean, it's absolutely beautiful and astounding and the amount of birds that I saw there was really, really impressive.

[00:23:41] Colin Stuckert: [00:23:41] So how can people support. These types of farmers, right? Because there's the ethics of buying feedlot beef. And, you know, some people talk about, well, what you can afford or whatever.

[00:23:50] I mean, so what's some actionable ways that people can start sourcing beef better. So to support these things, but also support their health.

[00:23:57] Diana Rodgers: [00:23:57] Buying from farms that do this [00:24:00] blueness beef is, is a company that actually sources from bird friendly farms that do practices like, uh, what I was describing in Mexico.

[00:24:08] Other regenerative farmers that are moving their cattle frequently. I mean, I highly encourage if they have the opportunities to go to the farmer ranch or wherever they're buying their meat from, and actually look around and, you know, are the animals on grass? That's only. A quarter of an inch high, is there a lot of bald spots?

[00:24:26] Like you can see a healthy pasture, it should be teaming with life. There should be a loud buzz of insects. There, there should be lots of butterflies. There should be lots of bees, lots of life. That's what a healthy ecosystem looks like. You know? So you can go to a farm and actually see if you can, what it looks

[00:24:45] Colin Stuckert: [00:24:45] like.

[00:24:46] Yeah. So we had Joel Selten on, he actually said that if you're buying from, let's say beef farmer and he, or she doesn't invite you to the farm within like a few purchases, that might be a sign. And, and

[00:24:56] Diana Rodgers: [00:24:56] if you can be, farmers are just not people, you know, they're, they're, they're ranchers, I've met a lot and they're just like, they're just, they want to just be with the cows, right?

[00:25:04] Yeah. So not all Rangers are set up for tourism. Some of them. Are worried about people coming onto the farm. And, you know, it takes a lot of time to give someone a tour and that's time that you're taking away from doing your job. And so I do sympathize with the farmers that maybe don't open up their farms to people, but at the same time, if they do offer open houses, even a couple of times a year, it's a great way to ask those questions and learn more about what [00:25:30] they do.

[00:25:30] Yeah.

[00:25:31] Colin Stuckert: [00:25:31] So can you talk about the health aspects of meat a little bit, some of the misconceptions you had mentioned earlier about the certain nutrients not found in the plant kingdom that you have to get from animals. And I hear a lot of things like the plant base argument is, well, you can get B12 from dirt.

[00:25:44] So can you expand on that a little

[00:25:45] Diana Rodgers: [00:25:45] bit? Yeah. I mean, people don't eat enough dirt to get B12.

[00:25:49] Colin Stuckert: [00:25:49] That's what they get. Yeah. Their food is sterile and it's like bleach five times. So like,

[00:25:54] Diana Rodgers: [00:25:54] yeah. So there's a lot of nutrients that are found in plants, but in much better quantities and much more bioavailable in the animal form too.

[00:26:04] So we've got B12, which is only found in animals, but then we have things like zinc, Coleen, vitamin ed athletes out there that. Eat total garbage and also do very well too. I mean, a lot of times, you know, what they're doing is they're taking people that won the genetic lottery and would probably thrive on any diet.

[00:26:24] Certainly we're not born to vegan mothers and raised as vegans. So they converted to veganism more recently. And honestly, a lot of them are failing at it and going back to, yes, it's a

[00:26:36] Colin Stuckert: [00:26:36] snapshot. Of like their career maybe, or like they do die for a year and they talk about it's amazing. And then the effects finally kick in and, or a lot of them are also doing exotic genus, hormonal substances.

[00:26:47] A lot of people don't realize how profound that is in fitness in general. So it's just like, it's like saying, Oh, Hey, look at me, look at the way my body looks and I eat this. So therefore, you know, you should eat this way too. And you'll get these results. Like, it's just like one of the biggest [00:27:00] scams or isn't in fitness right now.

[00:27:02] Right. So, okay. What are some big points in the book that maybe we haven't talked about thus far that you're really trying to get out there? Some big ideas for people to consider, think about, or maybe even actionable things they can do in their everyday life.

[00:27:14] Diana Rodgers: [00:27:14] Um, well, it's funny because in the end, so we do have a diet plan at the end of the book.

[00:27:18] That's kind of like a whole 30 paleo keto ish kind of blend of all those diets, not competing with anyone, you know, we're like go do a whole 30 or go do keto. If, if that's what works for you, we're a little higher in protein, pushing the protein in our recommendations. Just because even, even with keto, I've found a lot of people overdo it on the fat and don't eat enough protein.

[00:27:39] And so we really stress the protein from animal sources as local and sustainable regenerative as possible. Same with, you know, your vegetable sources as well. But then we also have other recommendations on what you can do to be just kind of more sustainable in, in the general population. And we wrote this before.

[00:27:59] COVID. Um, and it's funny because after COVID happened, I was like, Oh my God, Rob look. And I took a screenshot of our recommendations in the book and texted it to him. And he was like, Oh my God. So, you know, we said things like, keep yourself metabolically healthy so that you're not a burden on society. And, you know, cause obesity, the job, the productivity loss of obesity is, is huge.

[00:28:21] We said, don't get into debt, make sure you have some cash for if the economy collapses. No. I mean, it was like, [00:28:30] yeah. I mean, he and I are kind of preppers anyway, a little bit and my parents.

[00:28:33] Colin Stuckert: [00:28:33] And so a block of silver right here in my hand,

[00:28:35] Diana Rodgers: [00:28:35] actually. Right. And try to support your local community more because the more local well dollars that are floating around in your community, the stronger your local economy is going to be.

[00:28:44] We know it's very dangerous with us buying so much on Amazon and allowing only a handful of companies to control our whole meat supply. And so what we saw during the beginning of COVID was a collapse in our. In our meat system. And so, you know, at first I was like, Oh my God. Now people are finally gonna listen to me because you know, what I've been arguing for all along is actually happening.

[00:29:06] And people need to start thinking about this stuff. People are definitely paying a lot more attention to how their food is sourced. Now everyone's turning into gardening, you know, that's the number one hobby of. Of Americans is gardening. So all of the seed companies actually, you know, couldn't sell seeds anymore.

[00:29:23] Like they closed down because they couldn't handle the demand. And so just different things like that. Just getting your hands dirty, um, keeping yourself healthy, being a member of your community in any way you can. Um, so all of those things are important. Yeah.

[00:29:38] Colin Stuckert: [00:29:38] Can you talk about the protein real quick, maybe as a closing thought?

[00:29:41] Like why, why are people not eating enough protein and what what's some of maybe the. Cause I know there's been a lot of bad research trying to demonize protein, especially a lot of the research trying to demonize animal protein. Right.

[00:29:52] Diana Rodgers: [00:29:52] So the RDA for protein came about because of some really bad science so that what they were doing was looking at nitrogen [00:30:00] balance studies.

[00:30:00] So that's when they were measuring nitrogen in. So it's looking at the protein you're eating and then. As soon as they could detect nitrogen coming out of you, as soon as they could stop detecting the nitrogen out, then they thought you reached your optimal protein level, but that's not taking into account all the other benefits of eating a high protein diet.

[00:30:20] So, uh, again, protein is the, is the most satiating. Macronutrient is going to fill you up. And, uh, even if people did nothing else, other than just Jack up their protein, they're going to feel so full that they're going to naturally eat less of everything else. And when they're getting it from animals versus they're also getting a lot of other micronutrients and micronutrient deficiency also drives food cravings.

[00:30:44] And so, you know, if you're low on magnesium, you're gonna crave chocolate more. That's just how it goes. And so when you have all the micronutrients and animal sources provide just about all of the micronutrients, definitely more so than a plant-based diet, you're just going to crave food less. So the current RDA for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.

[00:31:08] And Robin, I really look at a gram of protein per pound of body weight. And so starting women at at least a hundred grams of protein per day. Now. Some people are fine with whatever diet they're eating. Right. So what folks are doing is working for them. That's great. But if you're suffering from a high [00:31:30] stress, uh, recovering from an injury, if you're over 40, if you're in a growth period of your life, if you have any sort of autoimmune disease or any sort of disease at all, Your protein requirements are much higher than a healthy 25 year old person.

[00:31:46] But even if you're weightlifting, then your protein requirements are higher. Right? So we really like to focus on more protein, but better protein. So getting it from animal sources, regenerative when possible, we also, you know, highly encourage fish shellfish. I mean, oysters are off the charts for micronutrients, especially zinc and wild meats.

[00:32:06] Definitely. If, if folks have access to that chicken and pork are really, should be at the bottom of the animal protein list. Yes, actually.

[00:32:15] Colin Stuckert: [00:32:15] Why is that?

[00:32:15] Diana Rodgers: [00:32:15] So red meat is about 30% more nutrient dense than chicken number one. But then also when you look at the ethics of how industrial chicken and pork are raised, those animals are all 100% indoors under really crappy conditions, their entire lives, eating grain that is grown in such a horrible way.

[00:32:36] And it's very, very difficult to source pastured poultry in particular, but also better. If you do find it's expensive. Yeah. Yeah. And so I recommend for folks that, you know, if you're in the grocery store and you're just looking at typical beef, typical chicken or typical pork choose the beef because it's still going to be better on a nutrition level, on an ethical level and an environmental level than a typical chicken or typical pork.

[00:32:59] And you're [00:33:00] much less likely to get a foodborne illness. You're a way more likely to get salmonella from chicken than he cold. Is

[00:33:05] Colin Stuckert: [00:33:05] that because just the processing and like the mass production of it.

[00:33:07] Diana Rodgers: [00:33:07] He has a bunch of reasons why. Yeah. And poultry has no, um, humane slaughter standards at all where large ruminants do.

[00:33:17] And so that's just another reason why I choose larger ruminants. I mean, one beef cow is about. 500 pounds of meat and think about how many chickens you would need to kill to get that much meat. That's a

[00:33:28] Colin Stuckert: [00:33:28] good point, actually. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Well, this has been great. So where can people learn more about you?

[00:33:33] The book, the film, and everything we'll have links to everything of course, and shown us.

[00:33:37] Diana Rodgers: [00:33:37] Yup. Uh, sacred cow.info is the site for all of that stuff. So they can sign up for my newsletter and find out how the film is going to come out when, um, so just keep an eye out for those emails and make sure you're, you're accepting them and opting in.

[00:33:52] We also have information on the book there. I'm on social media at sustainable dish on Instagram. And so we have a podcast, sustainable dish podcast. I also have another website, sustainable dish.com, which is more focused on my nutrition practice. So I'm a clinician and I help people with weight loss and healthy eating and gut stuff.

[00:34:12] I really focus on metabolic health and gut health. And so that's. That's my nutrition practice and my clinician hat. Um, I know

[00:34:19] Colin Stuckert: [00:34:19] that I have a question now for you specifically about gut health. So I eat probably an 80 to 90% carnivore diet myself, and I've been opening up a little bit more into, you know, various plant things that don't affect me as much.

[00:34:30] [00:34:29] Right. And so I'm just wondering what are some good gut support? Like I had this probiotic yogurt. I take it's pretty good grass fed yogurt. I mean, should I be, should I be looking into other probiotics? Prebiotics? What should I be looking for?

[00:34:41] Diana Rodgers: [00:34:41] What are some signs? No, there just, hasn't been a lot of research on that.

[00:34:44] And so it's really hard for me to comment. There's some good probiotics out there that are soil based that are actually fantastic. Terra Nova, I think is one of them. You know, starches are prebiotic. And so there is a good case to eat some, a little bit potatoes and other starchy tubers once in a while in other fruits.

[00:35:01] And it just holds vegetables, right? So just avoiding like ultra processed acellular carbohydrates, but we really just don't know much about what makes the perfect microbiome, even if. Taking yogurt has any long-term effects. We really just don't know. Um, you know, it is the biome driving your health, or is your health driving the biome?

[00:35:22] We don't even know that. So eventually there will be a lot more research into that. People will have their biome tested and we'll be able to generate diets specifically catered to that biome and blood type and genetics and all that. But just right now, it's just such in its infancy. And, you know, I really.

[00:35:40] Much more of my focus is just getting people off sugar and processed foods and just tackling those big things. And then once we get into like, should I be 90% carnivores? Should I be 80? You know, that's, that's not the population that I work with. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:35:54] Colin Stuckert: [00:35:54] So final question. What's your favorite way to prepare steak?

[00:35:58] Diana Rodgers: [00:35:58] Seared in a cast iron pan.

[00:36:00] [00:36:00] Colin Stuckert: [00:36:00] That's that's mine as well. Literally. I usually it's done in about AF with resting 10 minutes and I have my entire meal. I have a 10 ounce steak I'm done. Right. So no excuses. Okay. It's been a pleasure. We really appreciate you coming on and we will see you.

[00:36:14] Diana Rodgers: [00:36:14] All right. Thank you so much.

[00:36:21] Please always remember that the members of the ancestral mind podcast are not in fact medical professionals. They're not doctors, they're not nutritionists. They are simply providing this entertainment for you to do your own research and to entertain yourselves. So please consult a physician before changing your diet.

[00:36:41] Not everything works for everybody and make sure you always do your own research on everything you hear on this show and outside.