This episode is about regenerative agriculture and the root cause of why so many of us have a mineral deficiency. Well, the answers lie in what is happening to our soil.
Jeff Tkach serves as the chief impact officer for the Rodale Institute. Basically, he is responsible for expanding the institute’s global influence in healing people and the planet by unlocking the transformational power of regenerative organic agriculture.
In this podcast, Can Our Farmers Save Our Health, we cover:
How the pandemic is waking everybody up to our soil problems
Why we are no longer getting nourishment from our foods
The reason consumers are to blame for poor soil
How we can create communities through farming
The solution to our soil troubles
Waking Up To Our Soil Problems
2020 and 2021 are waking everybody up to the topic of soil. The global pandemic has exposed a lot of frailties to our nation’s food and agricultural systems. Do you remember going to the grocery stores last spring? You walked into stores with bare shelves and not much to choose from. Frankly, we have been trusting too heavily on the reliance of an international supply chain. In 2019, 17% of all the food that we ate was imported from other countries. With the pandemic, people are concerned about their health and their immune systems. In fact, we planted 22 million gardens in 2020!
Are We Really Being Nourished?
Conventional farming practices can damage the production of minerals and nutrients that we assume are in our vegetables. However, people are starting to understand that many necessary minerals and nutrients are not actually in our fruits and vegetables through scientific experiments. Our food should genuinely contribute to the health of humans. Unfortunately, when we use pesticides and herbicides, it will derogate the soil. Scientifically, you can kill life in the soil by how you manage it. Kiss The Ground did a great job in showing the difference between conventional farming and regenerative farming. Overall, if you haven’t already, we definitely recommend checking the movie out.
Consumers Are To Blame For Poor Soil
Consumers are the ones who are demanding cheap food. In 1960, we were spending more money on food than healthcare. Now, we are spending more on healthcare than we are on food. Food is artificially cheap. Basically, we are paying the insurance companies and doctor’s offices instead of our local farmers. Luckily, farmers don’t wake up every morning and ask how they can make people sick. Farmers are good-hearted people. However, people told our farmers that we want cheap food. In order to deliver inexpensive food, they focus all their efforts and energy on yield.
Creating Community Through Farms
Without farms, we don’t have a community. Rodale Institute has a program where they grow food and truck it to city centers once a week. Low income, low access families can walk to the mobile market and use double SNAP points. For $15 – $30 a week, they feed families with fresh and organic foods. Why can’t we create these models all over the United States? Contact your policymakers and ask them to build a program like that. If you want more information, you can contact the Rodale Institute.
Pay Attention To How You Shop
If you have a backyard, then you have a responsibility to grow something. It takes a more disciplined approach to buy food. Luckily, this can be an optimistic discipline. Have conversations with farmers and people in your community. Eating can be a revolutionary act. Make sociological changes by choosing where you put your food dollars. We can create localized food companies and become less reliant on big agriculture. Shift your food dollars to local grocery chains rather than Whole Foods. In general, invest your money with local people rather than Amazon. That way, big food companies will have to change the way they grow and sell food.
The Solution Is Regenerative Agriculture
It takes 1,000 years for nature to generate one centimeter of soil. On regenerative farms, we can grow soil organic matter in a few years. Soils are becoming more degraded every year. The solution is right under our feet: it’s called regenerative agriculture. Hopefully, we start to embrace regenerative agriculture. Generally, it would be a much better planet to live on when we do this. When we understand that soil has a critical element of our health, our entire lives will change.
Look For The Regenerative Organic Certification
Certified organic is one of the only audited certifications in the food industry. However, this standard does not take into consideration soil health. Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC™) is a revolutionary new certification for food, fiber, and personal care ingredients. ROC™ farms and products meet the highest standards for soil health, animal welfare, and farmworker fairness. This certification is overseen by the 501(c)3 nonprofit Regenerative Organic Alliance. You can learn more about it by visiting their website HERE.
Jeff Tkach: [00:00:00] If we really want to become a healthier society, we need to. Spend more time giving care to where our food comes from and how it’s produced. I am a woman on a mission that is dedicated to teaching you just how powerful your body was built to be. I like to do that by bringing you the latest science, the greatest thought leaders and applicable steps that help you tap into your own internal healing power.
[00:00:25] The purpose of this podcast is to give you the power back and help you believe in yourself. Again. My name is Dr. Mindy Pelz. And I want to thank you for spending part of your day with me, Dr. Mindy, back with you today. And on this episode, we are going to dive into regenerative agriculture. So I have brought you today.
[00:00:49] Jeff tag from Rodel Institute. He is by the way, check out his title. He is. Chief
[00:00:55] Mindy Pelz: [00:00:55] impact officer for Ridell Institute. And this man is on a mission to help get our soil soils healthy again. So, so many of you have reached out to us about minerals, especially when it comes to fasting and we’ve reached research the topic, and we wanted to bring you somebody who really is talking about the root cause of Weiss.
[00:01:19] So many of us have a mineral deficiency and it really lies in our soil. And the idea behind regenerative soil can be really confusing, but not when you listen to Jeff, he does an incredible job, sharing his passion, talking about his pain to purpose journey and helping us understand what we can all do on an individual level to bring back the help of our soils, to bring minerals back into our diet and really, truly to bring our health to a whole new level.
[00:01:49] So Jeff tack Rodel Institute, this episode is all about regenerating our soils and what it means for our own personal health. Enjoy. Let’s jump into your story because, um, I think there’s, there’s so, so much learning opportunity and people’s healing journeys. And, um, like I said, I re it’s really important to me to help recenters understand why soil is so important, because I don’t think that we are giving it enough credit.
[00:02:19] And that’s why I’ve got you here, but let’s just dive into your story. Tell us your journey and how you discovered. Uh, regenerative agriculture and why our soils are so necessary for our health. Yeah, absolutely. Um, my journey toward this path of working with Rodale Institute began many years ago, um, I actually graduated from college and had a real passion for health and wellness.
[00:02:43] Um, I had been on my own health journey since adolescence. I had a lot of health challenges as a young, as a young boy and, um, Was always very curious about health and around the age of 13, I asked my mom, um, Hey, I said, mom, next time you go to the grocery store, I need you to do me a favor. There’s there’s been this magazine that’s been advertised all over the television lately.
[00:03:06] It’s called men’s health. And at the time I was very overweight. I have a lot of health problems, asthma allergies, a lot, a lot of food sensitivities. And I said, mom, I think if I buy this magazine and start reading it and doing what it tells me, maybe then I could get healthy. And so she obliged and went out to the grocery store.
[00:03:24] The next day, brought home a copy of the latest issue of men’s health. And like as any 13 year old boy would do in the 1980s, I re I read it cover to cover because there was no internet then. And that was like, that was like the most inspiring way to get information. So Clarence digested this magazine and then the next day, the next day I said, okay, mom, now here’s a grocery list.
[00:03:44] I said, I want you to go out and buy me all these foods. This is what this magazine is telling me to eat. Um, so I think she was shocked and said, okay. And she, she did put myself on a diet of eating more nutritious foods. And about six weeks later, I had lost like 15 pounds. And that sort of got me on a path.
[00:04:03] And then in 2016, got invited back to the East coast to work for the Rodale publishing company in a very senior role, like in a very senior leadership position. Um, at the same time I, before I accepted the position, I said to, um, the CEO, I said, listen, I’d love to come back. I’d love to help the publishing company, but I’m really interested in getting involved in Rodale Institute.
[00:04:25] And, um, then it was Maria Rodale. She was the CEO. She said, well, how about you be on the board of directors? And so I said, I would love that what an honor that would be. So I served one year on the board of directors while I was doing this work. In the publishing company, but I got very sick that year mysteriously.
[00:04:42] So everything kind of came to a screeching halt in about September of 2016. I fell mysteriously ill. I was a very healthy guy, high energy athlete, business leader, um, ate well or so I thought, um, moved well. Slept well, but I was all of a sudden, my life started spiraling out of control. I was under a lot out of stress at the time and got sick and yeah, my health collapse had no answers.
[00:05:06] I started going back and forth, these conventional doctors, um, a family doctor, and then he would send me to all these other specialists and this all went on for three or four months to the point where I became bedridden by December. How do you go on Medicare? Yeah. Right. How do you go on medical leave?
[00:05:21] And my then family doctor said to me, listen, Jeff, we’ve done all the testing. We can, we’d done all the blood work. We can, we can’t find anything wrong with you. And he basically said that, I think it’s, I think you’re, it’s your stress. I think at that point, the only answer he had for me was how about I write you a prescription for a handheld depressant.
[00:05:41] And so that was it. And so, um, I kind of was hopeless. Um, no answers. My own doctor kind of wrote me off. And, um, yeah. So have you ever had an experience like this with a patient? Oh, like every single patient, this story is just over and over and over again, like yeah. Like, and the challenge that we’re seeing is that.
[00:06:10] The doctors are not trained to say they don’t know. So they’re trained to be the almighty and not to be collaborative with other, like, even with food, they don’t have any nutritional background and they don’t know about lifestyle. They can look at BMI and they can say, well, your BMI is high. You probably should lose weight.
[00:06:30] But then I can’t tell you how to do that. And what would be really helpful for the general public would be if they would say, you know what? I don’t know, but let’s look at some of these other resources instead they shut down. No, you got to get off the ketogenic diet. You got to stop fast and you got to stop there because anything that is, they don’t understand, they say no to.
[00:06:53] Yes. So then, um, thank you then it now it’s January now. It’s like, now it’s several weeks past that doctor saying goodbye to me. Um, I’m at home on the couch couldn’t function. I was literally incapacitated, uh, deeply depressed who wouldn’t be right. And a good friend of mine said, well, you know, Jeff, there’s this thing called functional medicine.
[00:07:15] I’m like, well, tell me. And so I started reading about it. And would you believe Mindy that there was one of the leading functional medicine doctors in the United States happened to be located three miles from the home I was living. Oh, wow. I didn’t even know it. So I, and I miraculously, we got an appointment with him a couple of days later and he is now to this day, my doctor and my very first visit, he spent almost two hours with me.
[00:07:38] And, um, through the, his investigative work, he concluded, uh, through diagnostics that I had chronic Lyme disease, chronic mold exposure, uh, something called fluoroquinolones toxicity, which was from, um, a medicine that a former doctor had put me on. And so it was sort of this cascade of events that just led me to health collapse.
[00:07:58] And my doctor said, okay, Jeff, this is here’s how this is going to go. There’s no silver bullet here, but we’re going to get you better. He said, you know, a lot about organic agriculture, right. And I said, yeah, actually I do. And he said, well, I think of functional medicine is kind of like the regenerative organic agriculture of, of medicine.
[00:08:17] He said, it’s a systems based approach. We’re going to farm your body back to health. I love that. Right. And so that was really the beginning of, of, of my, of my new life. And that moment, that, that Saturday morning, when I sat in Dr. office and he sort of began to paint this picture of how he was going to help me heal.
[00:08:37] That set me on a journey that I’m on today. And by around March, I started feeling better and better. I got back to work and I said to myself, okay, I’m ready to leave this work in the for-profit publishing company. And I’m going to go give the rest of my life to this movement of regenerative agriculture, because this.
[00:08:53] This is my calling. This is my purpose. This is my Dharma. And, um, and that’s, that’s how I’m, that’s how I was set on the path that I’m on today. Oh my God. I love that. And now you said, uh, prior to us going live here, you said that or going, uh, recording. You said that you are doing fasting and keto. Oh yeah.
[00:09:11] So, um, people ask me all the time. So, Jeff, what did you do to start healing? And I would always, I always respond by saying, okay. The number one thing that has helped me heal was changing my diet. Um, for, for me personally, uh, uh, plant a plant forward, ketogenic diet, high fat diet. Uh, is what works best for me.
[00:09:32] Um, when you have chronic Lyme and chronic mold, you can’t eat sugar, you can’t eat processed food, you can’t include any candy theory. Um, and frankly, when I cut those four things out, I feel amazing. Um, but I did a lot of other things too. There’s a lot of other modalities that, that helps a lot of other things that have helped too.
[00:09:50] Yeah. And how long ago was that, that you had, you went from crisis to, okay. I’m getting back on my feet. Um, it just, uh, I just hit the four year Mark, so I just had, it was almost like the four year anniversary last month. Awesome. Awesome. So at that point you went back, you went all in with organic regenerative farming.
[00:10:10] And what was the world like? And four years ago, I feel like the world. Didn’t really understand regenerative agriculture, like I’m seeing just the people are waking up in a really cool way. And this is why I keep saying all roads are leading back to our soils. So what was it like four years ago when you guys were trying to preach healthy soil?
[00:10:34] Yeah, honestly that felt like a lifetime ago. Um, because so much has changed for me on a personal and spiritual level, but at the same time, our movement was just, I mean, It feels like this. This has been our moment. This, this year has really been a breakout and defining moment for the regenerative movement for, for many factors.
[00:10:53] But four years ago it felt like we were tooling up. Um, you know, Rodale Institute has been around for 70 years. J J I Rodale who’s the founder of the Rodale Institute is widely known as the pioneer of the whole movement. He actually coined the term organic as it’s used today. Really? Wow. Yeah. So he’s like, he’s like the guy that.
[00:11:12] That, you know, sort of woke us up in the 1940s. Uh, and we’ve been sort of Rodale Institute has been silently and diligently doing the hard science around regenerative, organic agriculture. We’re the only privately held, uh, unbiased mission-driven, non-profit, that’s solely focused on the science of organic agriculture.
[00:11:33] We’ve been unwavering in that, but, uh, four years ago we were trying to build up, um, Consumer awareness, I think was really what we felt was the missing piece to our work was really helping to get the word out about the science, because you could do all the science that you, that you’d want to do all day long.
[00:11:49] But if you leave that science on a shelf somewhere, it doesn’t change the world. But if you begin to get consumers engaged in the movement, that changes everything. Yeah. So true. So true. So why do you think 2020 is waking everybody up for on, on the topic of soil? I think there’s, um, a couple, a couple of things, factors that are playing into this.
[00:12:10] I certainly think that the global pandemic that we’re all facing has exposed a lot of frailties in our nations food and agricultural systems. You know, we remember what happened this past spring. When you go to the Grove, you went to the grocery store and you saw these bare shelves. And what it showed us was the vulnerabilities in our reliance on a international supply chain.
[00:12:31] Mm. So in 19, in the 1940s, during world war two, Some 45% of all the produce that you and I ate came from our own backyards, 45%. Wow. And in 2000, 19, 17% of all patients, the food that we eat is important from other countries. We seen this like March away from localization of food. And, um, I think that the pandemic, all of a sudden people got concerned about their health, their immune system, um, the ability to have food access, uh, we saw.
[00:13:08] Just all these cracks begin to open up. And I think that the word, I think I heard a statistic that said that this past spring direct farm sales, like farm sales from farms to consumers were up 420% year. Over year 22 million new gardens were planted in 2020, 22 million got chills. That’s amazing. Amazing.
[00:13:31] Right. And then I think there’s a couple other, um, Pretty interesting factors to the movie kissed the ground, came up the shack. If you have them, that was a game changer that that movie has lifted consciousness in so many amazing ways. Um, So I think that married with other films, like, uh, biggest little farm.
[00:13:47] And I think we’re just getting really important people involved in this movement. And I think it takes a village right. To raise awareness. Yeah. My, my husband and I have been debating toxicity for, for a very long time. And he is definitely an environmental guy. He’s been preaching regenerative agriculture for a long time.
[00:14:07] And even I was. Like, well, we also have this other toxic issue that people are getting, like, people are being medicated with toxins and there’s toxins in, within our home. And so we have this non-stop debate of like, what’s worse, like the toxins in the environment, toxins in the soil or the toxins that people are getting exposed to every day.
[00:14:28] And, um, when we started watching everybody fast, this is what blew my mind because here I have now like 300,000 people across all of our platforms where we’re fasting together. And what I started to see is people’s hair was falling out. They weren’t that people weren’t sleeping, they were getting like twitches in their muscles.
[00:14:51] People were gaining weight, like. So, you know, a lot of people got great results, but we had this subset of people that really were struggling with fasting. And I didn’t understand why. And he kept saying regenerative agriculture there, they don’t have any minerals in the soil. This is they’re going into fasting and without a proper mineral amount.
[00:15:11] And I started to unpack the effects of somebody not. Having the proper vitamin and mineral, uh, amounts just from their food. And then you start to see, Oh my God, this is the core of what is wrong with people. Or, you know, as far as their health, not just human race, but this is the core of dysfunctional chronic disease right now is that if we can’t even have broccoli at that has the right amount of vitamins and minerals in it.
[00:15:42] How do we have any chance of being healthy as, as a society? Well, yeah, I mean, hunger is certainly, I think what we’re finding at the Royal Institute is hunger is hiding throughout our entire food supply. You know, we, while we may be getting calories, the question is, are we really being nourished? Yeah.
[00:16:00] Yeah. Cause cause conventional farming practices can damage production of vitamins and minerals and phytonutrients that we assume are in our fruits and vegetables. But in many cases they’re not. And we were proving that through science, at Rodale Institute, we’re working to ensure that food is truly contributing to human health.
[00:16:19] We started a study about four years ago. It’s the first study of its kind in the world. It’s called the vegetable systems trial. And again, this is a new study. But essentially what we’re doing is on a, on a, on a, several acre plot on our research farm, we’re growing conventional vegetables, using pesticides and herbicides.
[00:16:39] Uh, directly next to plots that are farmed in a regenerative organic manner. And what’s so interesting about this study is it’s actually the first study at the Rodale Institute. We’ve been on that farm for 40 years and farming it in a very regenerative way. But it’s the first study we’re actually taking soil that was farm managed and regenerative way for 36 years.
[00:16:59] And then we started applying pesticides and herbicides to it. So now what we’re doing is we’re tracking the degradation of the soil. And we’re beginning to look scientifically at how you can actually kill life in the soil by, by how you manage it. And would you believe so only two and a half years into this study?
[00:17:17] We, um, we, we took recently, we, we harvested samples a year and a half ago. I think it was purple potatoes. Uh, those samples were sent to a third-party lab that we just started using a very sophisticated lab called HRI laboratories. And they have like the highest end. Diagnostic equipment you could imagine to do soil and sample analysis.
[00:17:41] And we got data back and the data is not published yet. So please don’t hold me to what I’m about to say that the data may not be a hundred percent accurate, but it’s close. Um, what I understand is that we sent off samples and there were something like, uh, in the organic potatoes, there was something like 26.
[00:18:00] Phytonutrients compounds, amino acids and micronutrients that it existed at 100 to 700 times higher levels than in the conventional. Wow. Think about that. We’re only two and a half years in two and a half years ago. That much of a difference in the nutrient quality. Well food grown in a regenerative organic way versus that grown conventionally.
[00:18:23] Yeah. Yeah. And I, again, kissed the ground, did such a good job of showing the difference between conventional farming and regenerative farming and how those two make such a big difference. Um, but just to fill our listeners in. I know it’s not an easy thing to explain, but explain why are big ag conventional farming right now is destroying the nutrient value of our vegetables, because we still have a lot of people that are just going to the market and eat, eating their vegetables.
[00:18:57] They’re not buying organic and they feel like that is a good thing for them. Can you help us understand why it’s not? I’m absolutely going to answer that question. I don’t know how much your listeners are going to love the answer though, because unfortunately you and I are to blame. Um, we as consumers, we, as consumers have demanded cheap food.
[00:19:17] Over the, you know, from 1960 to today in 1960, we were spending two times the amount of our GDP on food than we were on healthcare today. We’re spending three times as much on healthcare that we were on our food. Then we are on our food. Um, the sad reality is its food is artificially cheap. We’re still paying for food and it’s food is still expensive.
[00:19:38] It’s just, we’re paying, we’re paying the insurance company and the doctor’s office instead of the farmer. And so farmers don’t wake up every day and say, how can I make people sick? Farmers are not they’re good-hearted people by nature. Um, but we have, we have told our farmers, we want cheap food and farmers have delivered.
[00:19:58] They’ve delivered cheap food. And in order to produce food at the price that you and I have demanded at the grocery store, they have to focus all their efforts and energies on yields. And that Rodale Institute, we’re saying, if we want to have a healthy humanity, if we want to have a healthy planet, we need to begin to number one.
[00:20:18] Have consumers, but with their dollar, we all get to vote three times a day with how we spend our money and to the degree that we support farmers that are doing the right thing, then we’re going to have more nourishing food on our plates. But the other factor is that farmers, because we’ve made a cheat food.
[00:20:37] The reason we’re here is because the farmers have been forced to focus on yields, not soil health. We can get our farmers to begin being rewarded and incentivized for focusing on the health of their soil. Then we’re going to have more nourishing food on our plates. So that’s how we got here. And that’s how we get out of this mess.
[00:20:58] Yeah, my recenters are only voting with their dollars one meal a day. So they might have to, we might have to find another way to vote. So, or maybe they sell the money they’re saving. They can donate to you guys. So, Oh, that’s interesting because I know, you know, um, one thing that I’ve. Really noticed in my own health journey is that the more that I focus on the quality of my food and the nutrient density of what I put on my plate, the healthier, I feel I don’t need to eat as much.
[00:21:29] You know, my wife and I built an amazing garden in our backyard. And we also have access to some great farms here in Pennsylvania, and I don’t really buy much produce at the grocery store. All of my food comes from really good farms that are farming and really healthy soil. And I might buy bananas and avocados at the grocery store, but beyond that, most of it comes from within a five mile radius of my home.
[00:21:52] Um, and I feel completely different. Yeah. Completely different. What do you say to the person who’s like, and this comes up quite a bit that they say like, Well, that’s really nice if you have money to buy organic, if you have money to buy from the local farmer, but I, you know, I’m living paycheck to paycheck and if buying higher quality food or vegetables in general is not within my budget, how do we solve that problem?
[00:22:21] Um, that’s a very complicated question. Um, and one that keeps me up at night, frankly. Uh, at Rodale Institute, we believe in building models, models that then can be replicated around the world. One model that we built that I think speaks to this question. Is a program that we started a few years ago called the agriculture supporting communities program.
[00:22:41] We’ve all heard of a CSA, right. Community supportive it, we belong to one. Do you? Yep. Yep. Nice. Okay. So the whole idea there is, or putting it, you’re putting money up front, investing in the farmer, and then you get a share every week. But we believe at Rodale that communities don’t support agriculture without farms.
[00:23:01] We don’t have community. So we kind of flip that paradigm. And we have a program where we’re, uh, we have interns that come and train with us for an entire season and learned how to farm and we teach them. But all the food that’s grown through that program gets trucked on refrigerated vehicles into two inner cities, that border where Rodale is located in Pennsylvania.
[00:23:24] There’s two city centers that we truck that food to once a week. And low-income low access families, uh, can literally walk to the mobile market. We call it a mobile market. We set up shop on a Thursday afternoon and families of lower income and low access can come and use double snap points. And for 15 or $30 a week, we are feeding entire families with or fresh nourishing organic food.
[00:23:51] Right. So if we can do that here. Using some, you know, some interns and trainees and a couple of refrigerated trucks. Why can’t we be creating models like that all over the United States? Yeah, what do we need to do to make that happen? We need to get everyone listening to the show, to contact their local, their federal, and local and state policy makers and ask them.
[00:24:14] And anyone listening that is interested in building a program like that in your community, please reach out to us at Rodale Institute and we want to help you. Awesome. Awesome. I love that idea. I know you’ve got my wheels turning. So just again, so everybody understands because I’ll tell you the first time I heard Zach Bush talk about this.
[00:24:33] I was like, Oh, my God like is, and it, my first actual and I’ll be totally transparent. My first feeling when I heard him talk about how depleted our soils were and how, and I was like the guy’s, maybe he’s a little overreacting that’s. I mean, that was sort of, but that was. Three years ago when I heard him talk about it.
[00:24:54] And now as I’m starting to unwind the chronic health problem, we have, I realize, Oh my gosh, he is so absolutely correct. And I had the pleasure last week of interviewing Dr. Stephanie Seneff who talked about. You know, glyphosate just in all of our soils and how it’s she could went into the biochemistry of how it’s breaking down or, or destroying our immune systems and even went into all the different pockets where we’re seeing COVID outbreaks and how there’s glyphosate, um, uh, hubs there.
[00:25:25] Yeah. So again, it’s like everywhere. I’m turning, I’m going, Oh my gosh. When I stand up on a social platform and I tell people, Hey, fasting is great. You got to eat your vegetables as well, but it’s not as, it’s not as simple as just going to the market and eating your vegetables, you need to be leaning into organic vegetables.
[00:25:46] Is that correct? Is it that much of a simplicity of a lateral change or do we have to go to the local farmer? I honestly think that eating needs to become a lifestyle. You know, we’ve been forced into such convenience around food and commoditization that if we really want to become a healthier society, we need to.
[00:26:08] Spend more time giving care to where our food comes from and how it’s produced. I mean, I think that if you have a back, if you live in this country and you have a backyard, you have, in my opinion, you have a responsibility to grow something. Um, you know, and I think this pandemic has caused a reordering of values for many families.
[00:26:26] And I think what we’re seeing is people reconnecting with those values. And so, yes, to answer your question, I do think it takes a more disciplined approach to, to buying food. Um, and frankly, I think that’s a joyous, that’s a joyous discipline. I mean, I enjoy going to farmer’s markets on the weekends, having conversations with farmers and with people in my community.
[00:26:49] And I think it becomes a real, I think as Wendell Berry says it become, eating becomes a revolutionary act, you know, where, where we, we are truly making, um, sociological changes simply by where we choose to put our food dollars. And in, so doing, we get healthier, it’s almost like a hack, you know, Right. All the scenario-based are planting gardens and going to more of the regenerative agriculture style would big ag just go away or are they happy with the way they’re farming right now?
[00:27:23] Oh, um, I don’t think, I think, I don’t think big ag, he is going to go away, but I think we as consumers have the opportunity to put pressure on big ag to change how they do and what they do, how they do what they do. So I think that it’s both in right. I mean, I think it’s. There’s no one way of fixing this.
[00:27:43] I think that we can create more localized food economies and we can become less reliant on big ag, um, by empowering ourselves and to create, to grow more food. And we can create food sovereignty by shifting our food dollars into more. Um, you know, like for example, I have a whole foods market about a mile and a half from my home.
[00:28:04] Um, and then I have this really amazing sort of local organic grocery chain called Kimberton whole foods. They’re like a five store family owned chain of like a co-op and it’s like a 30 minute drive, but I love shopping there. And I know that my food dollars are going, are going to work a lot harder when I invest them at Kimberton versus at whole foods, which is now owned by Amazon.
[00:28:28] So I think by getting consumers to change their behavior, It’s gonna get, it’s gonna put pressure on the big food companies to do what they do in a more regenerative way and become less commoditized. Does that make sense? Yeah. You know where we saw this and it, it wasn’t done well, but it was where, uh, consumers started voting with their dollars was in the gluten-free movement.
[00:28:55] Like everybody that went gluten free. I mean, I’ve been gluten free since, for about 30 years. And when, when I was 20, a similar story to you, I had chronic fatigue and I had to repair my health with diet. And so I took gluten out and it was like our resources for gluten-free bread was pretty, pretty bad.
[00:29:16] Now, here we are gluten-free is everywhere. And you see the big companies putting out like, you know, Betty Crocker has gluten-free cake. And the only reason Betty Crocker has gluten-free gluten-free cake is because enough people voted for it. Yeah. I think that w not that I’m recommending that people go to buy Betty Crocker’s gluten-free cake, but I think that’s a perfect example of how the market changed as the demand changed.
[00:29:44] For sure. Yeah. You, you, you’re absolutely right. Um, by the way, I have to correct myself from something I’ve said a moment ago. Um, I think I credited Wendell Berry for, um, saying that eating is a revolutionary act. It was actually Dr. Mark Hyman. Who said that when it becomes a revolutionary act to eat real food, then we are in trouble.
[00:30:02] Ah, yeah, yeah. Or the big eggs in trouble. Hey guys, Dr. Mindy hair. And I want to tell you about my book. That’s coming out very, very soon. It’s called the menopause reset. One of the things that we realized from our community that was so desperately needed was a book on how women over 40 should do fasting, how they should do keto, what principles they need to apply to their lifestyle.
[00:30:32] To be able to balance their hormones. So you all asked. And so I put it in a book and it’s called the menopause reset and poured my heart and soul into this book. I walk you through the five steps that I took when I went into my early forties and found myself down a bad, bad menopause path. And like many of you guys, I found.
[00:30:58] No answers. I didn’t want to take medication. I didn’t want to wake up at night. I would didn’t want any more hot flashes. There were so many parts of my menopausal menopausal journey that I did not like. So I took matters into my own hands and I researched the heck out of what happens to our body as we move from 40 and beyond.
[00:31:21] And I found that there are actually five things that you need to implement. Five lifestyle changes that you need to look at in order to weather these menopausal years with grace. And so I put it in a book and it’s available for pre-order now. Um, I made it a simple, easy read. You’ll hear about my journey in each step.
[00:31:42] I give you steps as much as I. Love inspiring you. I also love moving UNT into action. So the book is filled with ideas, followed by action steps you can take, and it’s now available for pre-order really excited to share it with you. The menopause reset. You can find all the information that you need on it in the show notes.
[00:32:04] I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it. Okay. And kiss the ground. This is one that, a concept that has been really like shocking to me. And this may be really what a lot of people are responding to right now is this idea that we only have 60 harvests left. Yeah. Is that accurate and explain a little bit to our listeners of what does that mean?
[00:32:26] Because I had, uh, Diana Rogers on my podcast. Uh, she sacred cow is her book and she, she said that wasn’t, you know, she’s like, I don’t think that’s an accurate number. Do you, do you feel like we’re running out of time with our soils? If we don’t turn to this regenerative approach? Well, I think we have, um, problems that are even greater than that.
[00:32:49] One, to be honest with you, in terms of terms of climate and even human health. I mean, if we continue on the path and our friends at Bush has this statistic down better than you and I do, but he says something like if we continue on the current path we’re on with chronic disease alone, that that will.
[00:33:05] Bankrupt us in a matter of, you know, years. So in other words, we have to get healthier as a society if we want to stick around. Um, so let alone the soil, but yes, back to your original question. Um, our research at Rodale shows that it takes something like a thousand years to generate for nature to generate just one centimeter of soil.
[00:33:24] Um, but yet on our regenerative organic farms, we are able to grow soil organic matter in a matter of years. So what, what, you know, whether or not it’s 60 years, I think that’s an irrelevant point. We have a serious issue with how we produce food around the world. Our soils are becoming more degraded, more depleted every year using chemical, conventional approaches.
[00:33:48] And yet we have this solution, right. Literally right under our feet. That’s ready to go today. It’s called regenerative organic agriculture. We can start today to turn this mess around. Um, and we won’t have to worry about that statistic, whether if it’s 60 years or a hundred years, Or even a thousand years, it’s just going to create a better planet for everybody.
[00:34:10] That was, uh, by the way, Stephanie SNF said that at the end of our interview, I was like, well, you know, what, what is your message for the world? And she’s like, I really see a world where we embrace regenerative agriculture. That was, this was last week’s interview with her. And, uh, and she’s, and then she went on to describe this beautiful scenery that she had of the world.
[00:34:31] If we just switched over. To a more regenerative process. Did we just see a, it would just be a much better planet to live on. That’s what she said. She’s like, I think we’ll look back at this time and we’ll say, what were we doing? What were we thinking? And when we start to implement more of this, like looking at soils as having this key.
[00:34:54] Piece and a key element to our health. We will go back and go, Oh my God, we were so lost in our thinking around health. And, and she, anyway, she said it a lot better than I did. Here’s one of the challenges that I saw from kiss the ground was isn’t our government subsidizing the, these big agricultural companies are isn’t that.
[00:35:17] Um, part of the problem is they’re getting funding from the government. And how does the little guy survive? You’re absolutely correct. Um, we, as a government are subsidizing farmers and incentivizing farmers for bad behavior. Uh, there’s something called crop insurance that, uh, our taxpayer dollars go to fund.
[00:35:40] And essentially what that does is it gives farmers a safeguard that if they were to have crop failure, they’re still gonna get paid. Um, no matter how they treat the health of their soil, no matter what, the quality of the crops that are grown on their farm, they are safeguarded with this thing called, uh, crop insurance.
[00:35:57] And most organic farmers do not qualify for that insurance, by the way. So you have to be, you know, conventional in your agricultural approach to even qualify for the subsidy. And it’s, it’s putting emphasis on the wrong behaviors. It’s telling farmers, you know, spray, whatever you want on your soil. And by the way, soil, what like soil doesn’t matter.
[00:36:19] It’s all about. Yields and, um, we’ve so safeguarded our farmers, that they have no reason to innovate, you know, like who does what, and what if, what if you were to wake up tomorrow as a medical professional and stop reading, stop learning, stop evolving, stop trying to things with your patients. Um, and, and you knew you were going to get a paycheck, no matter what you did.
[00:36:45] You know, that’s kind of the model we created for farmers. So it’s caused a lot of sociological problems too. Like what young person is going to want to jump into? Farming as a future profession. If, if that’s the system they’re going to enter in. No, no young person wants to. Yeah. Right. What young person wants to answer a job market that doesn’t incentivize innovation.
[00:37:07] Yep. Yeah. Well, there may be some people that are like, well, I’ll just go do that because then I can. Sit on my porch and, you know, and make money. If I, it doesn’t matter what I, you know, what my crop does. I mean, maybe there’s people who that could be attractive to. Yeah. The downside of that though, is we are becoming these chemistry in these chemical conventional approaches to agriculture are requiring those farmers to spend more and more and more every year on inputs because their soils are becoming more and more depleted.
[00:37:35] So I think it’s only a matter of time until we see. That system fall completely on its head. I was going to say, well, I don’t want to say that’s a, that’s a good thing, but if that system breaks apart, then we will be forced. Everybody’s going to be forced to look at regenerative agriculture, correct? Yeah.
[00:37:52] Yeah. It’s already, we’re already starting to see that happen. Okay. So explain just again, so we can fill everybody in. What does it mean to be a regenerative farmer? Like what are, are there requirements that you have to have, like no sprain. Do you have to measure things in your soil? What is the key piece of being a regenerative farmer?
[00:38:11] Yeah, regenerative is becoming, uh, is really, uh, in terms of agriculture is becoming a buzzword. Um, there’s a lot of farmers that are adopting that term regenerative agriculture. Um, at Rodale Institute, we actually defined it and created a standard around it. So we launched something called the regenerative organic certification.
[00:38:28] Your audience can go to region organic.org to read more about this, but it is the first accredited. Uh, audited standard, uh, in the food industry. It’s the, it’s actually the highest bar standard in food production. Um, and it’s, it’s the only standard. That takes into account soil health. Okay. How is it farmer treating the health of the soil?
[00:38:50] How are they improving the health of the soil? Number two, animal welfare. How, um, how are the animals in that farming system being treated? Are they given 24, seven access to pasture? Um, are they being treated in a humane way? Uh, and then thirdly it human labor, um, We are challenging farm workers and food producers to make sure that every employee on that farm is being paid a fair wage, given access to healthcare and, and given a, the dignity that they deserve.
[00:39:21] So those are really the three, the three pillars of Rodale’s way of defining regenerative, organic, uh, um, but, but, um, you’re seeing. What’s happening on a macro level though, is there’s sort of like the conventional approach to farming, which is, um, very much tillage and chemical intensive. And then there’s sort of this next.
[00:39:41] Increment where we’re calling farmers regenerative. If they reduce their tillage or if they start using cover crops and then there’s certified organic, and then there’s regenerative organic. So rodeo kind of sits at the highest end of that spectrum. And how many farmers do you think are certified? You guys might have a tap on this since you’re doing the certification.
[00:40:02] How many are certified regenerative, organic farms in America? Yeah, well, the standard just launched this past spring. Um, it’s, uh, farmers are just going through their application process. Now there’s some brands like Patagonia and Dr. Bronner’s and Lotus foods that already have regenerative organic products in the grocery store.
[00:40:21] So there’s right. So there’s already a supply chain and there’s already farmers earning the certification. Um, but we’re going to see a cascade of brands and farms over the next three to five years that are going to achieve the standard. And that excites me. Wow. So if I’m in my grocery store and I see something that says organic, does that does organic mean anything anymore?
[00:40:43] If I worry that it’s getting overused and it doesn’t really create the criteria we want with our shit. So glad you asked this question. So, um, I failed to mention that Rodale Institute played a major role. In the creation of the national organic production act, which was the legislation that our federal government passed in 1990, that allow for, when you go to the grocery store and you see that little organic logo that never, that never would have been.
[00:41:11] Legislation, if it wasn’t for the science of Rodale Institute, um, that showed our federal government that, that organic was even a real viable thing. However, um, that standard has been around for 20 years. It’s now a $55 billion industry in the United States, and it’s a really good thing. Organic production is a really good thing.
[00:41:30] However, Our federal government has failed to innovate that standard. So we all, you and I, and all of your patients, we all should continue to buy certified organic food because it is one of the only audited certifications in the food industry. You can trust that that food was grown without pesticides, synthetic, pesticides, or herbicides.
[00:41:51] However, It’s not without its flaws, that standard doesn’t take into consideration soil health or animal welfare or human labor. So Rodale is saying, Hey, we want brands to at minimum be certified organic. That’s a good thing, but we want to raise the bar even higher. We want to innovate and push brands and farms and farmers to go even further.
[00:42:14] And so that’s why we launched the regenerative organic certification. Oh, my God. That’s N will I be able to find that in my, like, is there a logo I look for in when I go into my food store? Yep. You already can. Um, like I said, I’ll just get my favorite product is Dr. Bronner’s, um, makes a regenerative organic coconut oil.
[00:42:33] You can probably go to your local whole foods and find that one there. But, um, if you go out to the region, organic website, You can click on the tab that says shop regenerative organic and all the products that are currently carrying the label are up for up on that website. So like quiet. Yeah. Quiet um, salsa.
[00:42:56] Apple is a brand that has a number of regenerative, organic products, Patagonia provisions, uh, Dr. Bronner’s. So these brands are slowly coming online, but we’re about to see a windfall of new regenerative, organic brands. Oh, my God. I loved that. I loved that. And here’s the first thing I’m thinking is that what’s going to happen to the listeners is they’re gonna go and they’re going to go to that website.
[00:43:17] They’re going to be excited about those products. And then they’re going to look at the price. And they’re going to go, Oh, that coconut oil is like S like Dr. Bronner’s I already know has, is more expensive. Explain why that actually would be a benefit to pay that extra amount, to get a higher quality food.
[00:43:37] Yeah. Well, because you’re voting with your dollar and it’s going to take a little bit of sacrifice from all of us. Um, think of it as a, um, You know, as, as, as a, as a vote towards the world, you and I want to live in every time that we maybe spend any. And I think this is a moment for all of us to reconsider how we spend our dollars.
[00:43:59] You know, a lot of us aren’t traveling right now. A lot of us aren’t going out to eat as much. So we’re cooking at home more. And so we should, most of us, um, probably have a little more discretionary income than normal, um, in 2020 and. We have a responsibility to invest those discretionary funds wisely. We probably don’t.
[00:44:22] We probably, all of us can agree that we have some excess in our lives. And we want to see a world that is more verdant. That is more regenerative that is more prosperous and it’s going to take some sacrifice to get there. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I spent one of the more, um, mind-bending experiences that I’ve had in my career is walking the path with people who have been given a cancer diagnosis.
[00:44:48] And not only is that a horrific place to be, but talk about expensive. Like, you know, you, you think that healthcare has got you covered when you’ve got a chronic disease problem, but a, they don’t know what to do with it. And B the longer you’re in that, that system, the less your insurance is going to pay, and you’re going to end up paying more for medications and things like that.
[00:45:12] So I think, again, what we’ve got backwards. Is, well, I wouldn’t want to spend that money today. And I really love this idea of like pay the farmer today or pay the pharmacist tomorrow. Like we’ve really come down to that simplicity. Don’t you think? Yeah. The $12 coconut oil, all of a sudden gets a lot less expensive than the $1,200 medical expense.
[00:45:36] Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. I just actually just, I’m sorry. Uh, there’s a friend of mine has diabetes and he knows, he knows why he has diabetes. It has everything to do with his lifestyle and what he eats and he just cannot get disciplined enough to make the changes that he know he needs to make to get healthier.
[00:45:55] Do you know how much he told me a monthly. Prescription is for his diabetes medicine. No, I have no clue. $650. Crazy. So that’s a grocery bill right there. Like that’s a, that’s a month of eating. And, um, I have another doctor, friend who, who thinks like you do. And he said, I know that I can reverse his diabetes in one week.
[00:46:16] If I, if I, if I can get him to eat certain foods, he would be off those medicines in a month. Oh, we see it in our resetter group all the time. Cause we fast together and we have a closed Facebook group. There’s 40,000 people in there and every day, yeah, we have 40,000 people that we fast. We actually, I think across all our platform, we probably fast with about 300,000 people every month.
[00:46:39] It’s really, it’s really cool. I would love to join there. Yeah, it’s on join us on in the Facebook grip. Uh, you would find a lot of kindred spirits in there and what’s fascinating is the stories over and over and over again of medication people are getting off just from fasting. Just for fasting. So if we can take their eating window and we can compress their eating window and elongate a fasting period, get their body regulating blood sugar differently, get their body kicking into some healing mechanisms.
[00:47:13] And then now they’re not eating. Three meals a day, they’re eating one meal a day, and now we could ask them, gosh, and that money that you have saved from only eating one to two meals a day, let’s put it towards better food. So now they do that and now they’re, they save on their medication. And this just happened with one person.
[00:47:33] This is happening with thousands of people month after month after month. And it doesn’t make sense to me why we’re not. Like more people aren’t grabbing on to that. I would rather pay, take that $600 on medication and eat some amazing fit. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, and I, I bore witness to this in my own life.
[00:47:55] I mean, I never expected to get sick at 36 years old. And, uh, and I had, you know, I, I never just, I never imagined myself. Being sick. And then when I realized that there was no pill that a doctor could prescribe me to get better, and the only way to get out of it was through my own personal choices. Um, I began to bear witness to the fact that my food was medicine and, um, You know, that, that my way of healing was in my hands.
[00:48:26] It was in my control and it was a lot less expensive than that thousands and thousands of dollars. I spent up to that point with the conventional medicine industry that just wanted to test me and put me on antidepressants. Yeah. Yeah. The antidepressant one is the one that kills me. Cause that’s usually their last go-to.
[00:48:42] It’s like, well, let me see if I can change your chemicals to make you happy. So you don’t keep coming back in here and telling me they don’t have an answer. Yeah. I don’t want to disrespect anyone. Who’s had to turn to those. To, to heal. And, and I hope that anyone that that’s helped them grateful that they’re there.
[00:48:58] Well, but that wasn’t my journey. And, um, and I began to see that when I changed my lifestyle, my brain chemistry changed. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And the vision, the world I see is one where all doctors. Are collaborative and they come together and they honor each other’s specialty and they look to things like food and fasting, and they’re, they’re open to the body being a self healing organism, and that we can overcome the need for medication all the time.
[00:49:27] Like I see a world where we can bring it. All these people together. And it, unfortunately, I believe it’s going to take getting out of, uh, those, uh, big corporations that are so driven by profits. Like you were saying with farming, we’ve got it. We’ve got to put humans first and then profits will follow after that for these people.
[00:49:48] And I’m sure the, the regenerative farming community is in that same vein. I would think. For sure. Now I love my farmer’s market. And, um, w I spend a lot of time asking the farmer that when I go to each booth, like, uh, I’m like, Hey, tell me, you know, what are your soils like? What’s what, what’s it like to be a farmer?
[00:50:12] Like we will spend a lot of time getting to know them. Um, what if I’m, if you’re listening to this and you want to go to your farmer’s market, are there key questions you would ask your farmer? That will give you some indication to how much they care about their soils. First of all, I love the fact that you do that.
[00:50:30] I think everyone should have a relationship with a farmer to get to know a farmer. There’s some of the most beautiful humans you’ll ever meet in your life. There farmers are so in tune with nature and I find it fascinating to talk with them because they’re like they they’re. So of the earth, it’s just a, it’s such a, it’s such an amazing feeling, but, um, uh, I love to talk to my farmers about, you know, Hey, tell me about.
[00:50:53] W w what do you use for fertility? How do you, how, how do you grow such a bundling crops? Well, do you, what do you know, what do you care about soil health? How do you, um, increase biodiversity on your farm? What kind of crop crop rotations do you use? What kind of, you know, I think any question you ask a farmer, they’re going to love to answer, because farmers love telling their story about how they do what they do and why they do what they do.
[00:51:20] Yeah, I, we, so here locally, we have one of the best farmers markets I’ve ever seen. And then when the pandemic hit. They, it completely went away. So for like three months, we didn’t go at all. And many of those farmers had to go to different markets and I found a couple of them at the other market and they were like, it was like reuniting with old friends.
[00:51:43] I’m like, Oh my God, you’re here. You know, I didn’t know where you went. And it was such, it was just a really cool experience and that I agree that they are, they genuinely care and I’ve hit a spot now where. I can tell you could give me a plate of vegetables and I’ll tell you what came from either our CSA box or a farmer’s market and what my husband bought at whole foods.
[00:52:05] Yeah. You can really taste the difference. I worry. I mean, now that Amazon’s bought whole foods, they have really gone downhill. Is that yeah. You feel the same way? I do. Yeah, I do. I, um, uh, I can, I can taste the difference in the food that I get from my own garden. Hmm, I can taste the difference between the food I get in my garden and the food that I get at the local co-op.
[00:52:30] And then I can taste the difference between the food that I get at whole foods versus my local co-op. So it’s, I call it degrees of separation. The further, the further disconnected the source. Uh, the less, the less the taste, the quality, the health of the soil, the nutrient density of the food. Yeah.
[00:52:46] Interesting. So on the, on the community garden aspect. So let’s say again, you’re like, okay, this was kissed. The ground was like, woke me up. We actually changed our whole front. This was before kiss the ground. We changed our whole front yard and we just made it a whole. Garden. And I’m actually about to plant some grapevines in one area.
[00:53:07] And I just want to take my whole property and put different plant different gardens everywhere because I don’t really need grass. Like, I don’t know what grass does for me, but anyways, um, What do I, what do I need to know if I’m going to make a community garden? Is there, how do I pick the right soil? Is there anything I need to do to tend to that soil?
[00:53:27] How do I get the same kind of mineral rich experience in my home garden that I, that a regenerative agriculture farmer would do? Uh, three words for you. Biodiversity, composting, and raise beds. I guess that’s four words. So I, first of all, I think that the best way to start a garden in your backyard is to build a raised bed.
[00:53:48] Um, it just allows for ease in managing the weeds. It allows for sort of neat, like a tidy furnace. It also allows you to build your soil quicker. Um, and there’s a lot of advantages to raise beds and, and number two, um, biodiversity, you want to make sure that you’re, uh, not just growing food for your own consumption, but make sure you’re planting things for the birds and the bees too.
[00:54:13] Um, so, uh, like, um, I have, like, for example, I have an herb garden where I just plant a lot of mint and different kinds of herbs, like lavender, uh, that things that pollinators are attracted to. Um, I also plant a lot of alliums like, uh, like onions and garlic, because that tends to keep a lot of the pests away.
[00:54:32] Like deer don’t like the smell of alliums. Um, So you want to be thinking not just about you, you want to be thinking about what can you, what can you do to promote the most, not a biodiversity, uh, so plants a lot of things and have fun with it. And, and the more you plant, the more you’re going to learn and experiment.
[00:54:48] And then lastly, this is something that Rodale is so big on, but you have to compost, you know, 40% of all of the trash that you and I throw away. Could be composted and it ends up in a landfill. So all of our kitchen scraps or coffee grinds or banana peels or avocados, um, you know, we should be composting that it’s so easy to do.
[00:55:06] You can watch a 45 minute webinar on Rodale’s website for free and learn how to compost and, um, Those. And then what you do is you return that those nutrients to your soil. So after it breaks down and it’s going to form this black compost, you put those near those nutrients back on your soil. And over time, you’re going to see the health of the soil in your own backyard.
[00:55:27] Improve. That’s that’s a brilliant idea. I, uh, my daughter, when she went to science camp, came home and she said, Oh my gosh, they taught us how to have no trash for like two, like a whole month. You could go without creating any trash. And it was all the way down to when you eat an Apple, you eat the whole Apple, including the core, but it was also about using reusing the trash that you had that could go back into the soil.
[00:55:54] It’s uh, I agree. Composting is quite easy. What do you think of the idea of when a, um, plant in your garden dies? You just let it, you don’t pull it out. You just let it. Completely decompose. And then it’ll go back into the earth and provide nutrients again. So that’s actually called a cover crop. Um, I actually am just experimenting with this.
[00:56:16] Initially, literally this year I planted on a couple of my beds. You can buy one, one cover crop that works really well is called buckwheat. So buckwheat, um, you would establish it. You would plant it like in the fall, after you’re done harvesting and it grows really fast. It grows like really fast. And when the first frost hits, it’s going to die.
[00:56:37] But don’t don’t do anything. Just let it die and let it return to the soil. And, um, again, I’m just experimenting, but what our science has taught us at Rodale is that the buckwheat puts a lot of fertility back into the soil. It suppresses weeds and it acts as a cover crop. So yes, you’re on the right track with everything you just said.
[00:56:55] Okay. Yeah, my that’s my husband’s strategy chart garden. And I say, I feel like I want to put a sign up to my neighbors. Like I’m not ignoring the fact that my plants are dying. They’re actually going back into the grid, into the earth to be able to create more nutrients for the next crop. Right? One of my favorite books is a book called, um, our soil.
[00:57:15] Our soil will save us by Kristin Olson and, um, she actually opens the book with a story. I think it’s this book where she. Um, starts raking, you know, you see people in the fall raking their leaves to the side of the curb, and she goes out and steals the leaves from peoples, from the front curves and puts them on her, on her garden, you know, because that’s good.
[00:57:33] Compost. Why would we? Yeah, it’s a great idea. It’s great. You know, the other trick that Zach taught me was you can take ion biome. And you can put it at the base of your plant and then it helps to get the good bacteria down into the soil. Dude, he’s holding out on me. He shouldn’t be, I wish I would have known that one.
[00:57:52] I’m going to have to try that this spring, we take the cap and we fill it up. And when we plant, especially something new, we pour it right at the base so that it goes down into the soils. So there you go. Yeah. Yeah. It’s it’s awesome. So the other thing again, that we’re back at, um, Kiss the ground being so revolutionary, they talked about if we all take plant gardens, that it can really help with climate change, you guys does Rodel Institute go into that?
[00:58:22] Are they more focused on human health? Oh, good question. We’re just, um, so Jen Rodale started a magazine called organic gardening magazine back in 1942, uh, focused on the backyard gardener. So part of our history is to get our work out into the hands of. Everyday consumers that can grow gardens in their backyards.
[00:58:41] Um, in the last couple of years where we’ve just begun to put more and more emphasis back on educating backyard, gardeners and homesteaders, and this is really a future, um, components to our strategy is to launch more, um, curriculums coursework. And resources for, for people this coming spring, we’re going to be doing some online, building some online courses, um, around composting, backyard, gardening, hobby, beekeeping.
[00:59:07] And so we’re going to you’ll you’ll see more and more content coming out from Rhode Island state. So I’d encourage your audience to follow us on social media. And, um, you checked out our website. There’s like, So many good resources out there. If you’re interested in going deeper on anything we talked about today.
[00:59:21] Yeah, I did. And, um, the other thing that’s really cool on there. I want to make sure I get it right, but it was, you guys have the power of the plate. That’s awesome. I love it. And that was a, um, that was a seminal white paper that was authored. Uh, it was published this spring. So two and a half years to write Zach was actually one of the contributors, but, uh, it brought together some of the leading medical doctors and farmers in the country to coauthor a white paper about how regenerative organic agriculture can be a tool to improve human health.
[00:59:55] And, um, we essentially set out in a scientific paper to create a case. For how we can reinvent healthcare by using agriculture as a tool to get there. So that’s a really cool resource. You could check that out on our website too, but we’re really proud of that. You guys said something in there that just hit home with me, which was the doctors and the farmers need to get together for the health of, of the people.
[01:00:19] And I thought, Oh my God. Yeah, it made me as a doctor go, okay, what can I do with my farmers as we merged together, what can we do to help the community of. Uh, be more healthy. That was well said. I loved that. I came out of GI Rodale’s original thesis when he started the Rodale Institute in 1947, his thesis, which is still to this day, our mission statement.
[01:00:42] He said that healthy soil equals healthy food equals healthy people. That was our mission statement. And what I think, Jay I wrote, I was saying is that our job as farmers is not to produce food. What our job is, is to produce healthy people. So in actuality, farmers should be on the front lines of defense or offense in being true healthcare workers are, you know, our farmers need to begin to see themselves as healthcare workers.
[01:01:10] Yeah. And doctors and doctors and farmers need to have it conversation and be at the same table. If we’re going to find a new and better path forward. Yeah, amazing. I, another great conversation that I’ve had in the past couple of weeks is with, uh, Dr. Casey means she is a part of a company that is coming up with continuous glucose monitors so that people can see what their food is doing to their blood sugar.
[01:01:37] And, uh, she was a head neck surgeon. Um, was what she did and found it very, you know, unsatisfying and wanted to move into more functional medicine. And when I asked her what the num, what she thought should be brought back into the, um, curriculum of medical schools. And she said it has to be nutrition. It has that we, they only have like 15 hours of nutrition.
[01:02:02] She’s like, they need like 150 hours of nutrition added back in. And then I’m thinking, as you’re talking, I’m like, what if they added farming back in? Like, what if doctors got some training on what it is to even create a gardener to farm? Now we’ve been really, we would really be creating a collaborative approach.
[01:02:19] Well, I’m about to tell you something that I have not announced publicly yet. So I’m, I’m, uh, um, I’m taking a little bit of a risk on this one because the formal, the formal press release hasn’t come out yet. But Rodale Institute is about to launch a program that I’ve never been more excited about anything we’ve done until this one.
[01:02:38] So this September, 2021, we are hoping to launch. We are, we are funded and ready to launch. The first program program of its kind that trains doctors about agriculture, and we’re calling it health from the soil up. It’s going to be in partnership with the great Dr. Daphne Miller, who is author of pharmacology.
[01:03:00] If you have not had her on the show, you need to. Yeah, she’s an amazing human. Um, she is on staff at UC Berkeley and UCLA at their medical school. And, um, together Dr. Daphne Miller and Rodale Institute are teaming up to launch a first of its kind program in the United States that will actually give doctors medical workers.
[01:03:21] Uh, medical students, uh, and anyone looking for a CMS, the opportunity to come and spend a considerable time at Rodale Institute, studying soil health, agriculture, how to use food as medicine, and really giving doctors a firsthand understanding of how agriculture works so that they all can go home to their clinics and begin to prescribe food as medicine.
[01:03:45] Amazing amazing. That’s paradigm shifting to me when we start changing paradigms, the world changes so incredible. Well, the work you guys are doing is, is unbelievable. And how do, how do my recenters help you? Is there a way other than going to your website and yes, we’ll vote with our dollars to our farmers.
[01:04:05] Is there anything we can do to support you guys in the mission? You’re on. Uh, thank you for asking that. So, yeah, we’re a mission driven, non global nonprofit. That’s trying to change the world, you know, we’re 70 employees. Um, and we do everything. We do it very efficiently, but we are mission driven and therefore we rely on philanthropy to do the bulk of our work.
[01:04:24] And so if you felt inspired by what I shared today, um, it would be my highest honor if I heard from you. And if you’d consider going to Rodale institute.org, And donate today. You actually, um, if you donate, put, um, put Dr. Mindy Pelz in the show notes or the notes, I’d like to reach out and say, thank you personally.
[01:04:42] Um, but anything you can do even $10 a month would go a long way to advancing our mission. Amazing. And we will put it in the notes as well. Um, again, I, we are. Quick kiss. The ground just woke me up. It woke a lot of people up in our community. And if you guys haven’t watched that and you’re trying to wrap your head around it, go watch it and then go and donate to Rodel Institute so that they can keep doing amazing work.
[01:05:08] Let me finish up with, I got a few questions for you, um, that we love to customize for you personally. So let me start off with this. What was your absolute favorite food that you make that you grow in your garden? Uh, you know, what I’m obsessed with right now because I never ate or grow it before, but, um, this fall I planted a green and it’s called Tetsui.
[01:05:31] I think I’m pronouncing that. Right. But it’s, it’s kind of like a spinach. Um, but it is the most delicious green I’ve ever eaten. It’s so good. Oh, how do you spell it? I think it’s T a T S O Y. Oh, okay. I’ll have to go look now we’re in different parts of the country. So I wonder if I can grow that, but in California, usually you can.
[01:05:50] Yeah. Oh yeah. You should be able to grow anything in California. I think it’s a Japanese vegetables, so it should grow well in your, okay. Awesome. Okay. What do you, and I don’t know if this is necessarily your expertise, but what do you think of this movement behind the oxalates and the lectins and the vegetables are dangerous for us?
[01:06:08] Have you, have you heard anything around that? I can only speak from my own experience. You know, I have found that certain foods like I’m eating too many beans or legumes, um, uh, makes me not feel well. Uh, um, I’m a big believer in eating real food as close to the source as possible. So I, you know, if someone’s going to.
[01:06:29] Eat foods like beans, you know, I don’t think that’s the worst thing in the world you could eat. But for me personally, um, I have found that eating a diet that is predominantly plant and plant based, but with a, uh, a focus on quality proteins from regenerative grass fed sources really, really works well for me.
[01:06:49] Yeah. Yeah. And I love what you’re saying for me, because that’s what we really are trying to emphasize is customization. And there’s a lot of trends. There’s like a carnival trend right now. And, um, and there’s a good in all these different theories. So that’s why, uh, you know, I was curious what you thought of, of this movement of people being nervous about vegetables is, is fascinating.
[01:07:11] Um, okay. W who do you think is the enemy of regenerative agriculture right now? Do we have somebody who’s trying to slow it down.
[01:07:22] We’re our own worst enemy. I think the consumer insights in our hands, do we, what kind of world do we want to live in? What kind of planet do we want our children to inhabit? I think we have to ask ourselves those deep questions and if we really want to see a more hopeful, prosperous, peaceful, just verdant world, then it can, we can have that.
[01:07:44] And it starts by voting with our dollar. Yeah, I love that. Well, that leads to my next question is for recenters listening to this and they’re motivated after they hear a podcast like this, what’s the easiest first step that they can take. I’m going to, I’m going to insert before you say anything, I’m going to say that first step is you go to Rodel Institute and you donate to the people that are trying to make change.
[01:08:05] But outside of that, what, what’s the next like personal action? What’s the easiest thing. Do you think for us to do. Yeah. It’s to get to know a farmer. Every single person needs to have a relationship with just one person in their community that is growing food. I’m not saying you have to buy every stitch of produce from that farm.
[01:08:23] I’m just saying that it will change you at a soul level. If you get to know someone in your community that is stewarding soil, growing food in a healthy regenerative way and creating access to that food, you need to support them. Yeah, I love that. I love that. And as you’re talking, what I love is I can think of all my farmers at the farmer’s market.
[01:08:44] Like I know their face. I know their name. I love that. Okay. Last, last question. This is a big one. If you had one message for the world that you could get into everybody’s mind and help people see more clearly, what would that message be? Soil was a miracle. Soil is a miracle. There are 10 billion microorganisms and just one teaspoon of soil scientists, theorized that we only know about 5% of what there is to know about the soil.
[01:09:12] It is this complex ecosystem of life. It is the most complex ecosystem on the planet. More complex than our oceans, our rainforests. It is, it is magic. And when you begin to connect with that miracle, it will change you. It will change the way you see life on earth. Oh, my gosh. Okay. That needs a mic drop.
[01:09:32] That was good. Jeff, thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking the time and we will put our army of recenters on the task of getting to know our farmers and voting with our dollars and supporting you guys. It’s just keep doing the amazing work that you’re doing. So thank you so much for taking the time to educate us so much.
[01:09:53] This has been a true honor. It’s been a pleasure and I hope that we can do it again someday. Hey, recenters I just want to start off by saying thank you so much for all your wonderful reviews. And those of you that have left me comments on iTunes, I just greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness and how much you guys are enjoying these episodes.
[01:10:14] And it seems like you’re enjoying them as much as I am enjoying doing them. One of the things that I’ve learned. Then just interacting with so many people is that we’ve really lost the art of deep conversations. And for me, the reset or podcasts stands for having meaningful conversations with people who are thinking about health, about life, about mindset in a way that we may not be getting on social media or in mainstream.
[01:10:43] Media. And so I just want to say, give you guys a shout out and just say thank you for participating in this process with me, because as much as I absolutely love delivering the information to you, I love even more knowing that it’s impacting your life. So please let us know if there’s anything we can do to make this podcast more customized to you to make it better.
[01:11:06] We are now officially in season two, and we are working to bring you the best conversations. That health influencers have that mindset changes can give and to really deliver you something that you’re not able to get anywhere else. So from the bottom of my heart, as I always say my YouTube from the bottom of my heart, I am deeply appreciative of you.
[01:11:29] I am deeply grateful to be on this journey with you and let’s get healthy together.