Food bearing the USDA organic certification label may still originate from a factory farm. Chickens refrigerated for over one year can still be labeled as “fresh.” Can we trust food labels? Should we trust them?
Author and trailblazing farmer Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms and Dr. Sina McCullough expound today on their new book, Beyond Labels.
They cut through the confusion with truth about the food industry and its calculations to make money and obfuscate cheap ingredients and food processing shortcuts. Joel and Sina offer practical tips for avoiding antibiotics in our food, reacquainting ourselves with cooking, and taking simple steps to rediscover the benefits of living beyond labels.
Visit their websites:
Joel Salatin: Polyfacefarms.com
Sina McCullough: Handsoffmyfood.com
Find more resources on our website: westonaprice.org
Register for our conference at wisetraditions.org
Listen to the podcast here
Within the below transcript the bolded text is Hilda
Antibiotic, hormone and GMO-free, natural organic free-range, grass-fed, it’s daunting to make sense of the labels on the food we encounter. Let alone pick the best foods to eat. This is episode 264, and our guests are Joel Salatin and Dr. Sina McCullough. Joel is the trailblazing farmer from Polyface Farms at the forefront of regenerative farm practices. Sina has a PhD in nutrition. With them, we discuss their new book, Beyond Labels. Joel and Sina offer practical tips for decoding food labels and using that knowledge to get back to a real food diet.
They also offer first steps for the audience on a budget or limited time because, let’s be honest, finding the time and the money to provide nourishing foods for ourselves and our families is a challenge in the modern world. Joel and Sina offer plenty of pointers on how to navigate that. The food scene, from grocery stores to small farms to your own kitchen, to make clean, real food a regular part of the diet and achieve optimal health.
Before we get into the conversation, I want to invite you to the Wise Traditions Conference personally. You can swing it. You can come for a day, 2 days or all 3. There’s a kid’s program, so your kids will have fun while you learn from the best speakers and eat the most nutrient-dense food you’ve probably ever had in your entire life. That is no exaggeration. The dates are November the 13th to the 15th, 2020, and will be in Atlanta, Georgia. Go to WiseTraditions.org and sign up now. Do it now because early bird pricing is still in effect for a short time, and I hope to see you there.
Welcome, Joel and Sina.
Thank you. It’s great to be with you.
You just wrote Beyond Labels. When I saw that title, I have to be honest with you. I was like, “Don’t people know this by now? Don’t they know we should all be eating whole real organic foods?”
There’s just almost nothing you can trust in labels. There is a form of shysterism in labels.
My answer to that would be no. There is a small group of people, and it’s a growing group that knows to eat whole real organic foods but there are a lot of people who don’t. Some of these people, either are not paying attention. Sometimes it’s considered a political issue, where it’s typical for a Republican or Conservative to think that eating organic is something that a Liberal does.
They don’t want to have any part of it. I have a lot of friends that fit in that category. There’s also a generational difference. My parents, for instance, don’t feel like food has anything to do with health. That food is basically a source of calories. Whereas, you go to Millennials are starting to understand now that food is intricately tied to your health. There’s also the generational difference.
There’s also the problem that the labels on our food are somewhat deceptive in the sense that they tell one side of the story. That’s the story that the manufacturer wants you to hear. You go into the store, and you see these labels that are brightly colored. They are inviting. They are happy colors, and you see pictures of farms and chickens out on the grass, on the pasture, and it’s easy to believe that all those foods can still provide you with health benefits and are not harmful to you. I would say no. Not everybody knows that at this point. However, more people realize it. In fact, when people come to this realization, the top question that I’m asked is, “Where do I start to make changes?”
It’s overwhelming out there. There are so many different diets like paleo, vegan, and Whole30, and there’s so much conflicting dietary advice. Even something like kale. We think of it as good one day. The next day, it has high levels of thallium that can cause thyroid disease. One day, eggs are good. The next day, they are bad, and now they are good again. There’s a lot of conflicting information. People often don’t know where to start.
One of the reasons that we wrote this book was to pull that curtain open and show you what’s behind these labels so that you can figure out which foods you want to eat that is going to provide you with healing. That you can frankly not get ripped off in the grocery store by buying these more expensive foods that are claiming to have all these health benefits, and some of them don’t. I don’t think everybody knows but that’s one reason why I wrote the book.
Joel, who were you thinking of when you wrote this book or decided to go in on this book with Sina?
I was thinking of, for example, all the people that think organic means that there’s no factory farming and that tomatoes are raised in compost. The fact is that 95% of all organic or government-certified organic eggs are raised in factory houses. Fifty percent of all organic feedstuffs coming into the United States come through Istanbul, Turkey, with constant fraud. There’s ongoing fraud there, routinely. They think free-range chicken means chickens are out on pasture. That’s not the case. They think that the FDA is checking things.
Generally Regarded As Safe, GRAS is applied to many things that have never been tested, either singly or in the cocktail that they are normally used in whenever the FDA tests a substance. They only test for that particular substance, not that substance, in partnership with other substances. No substances are used by themselves. It’s always in partnership. Red dye 29 is not by itself. It’s in there with MSG or some other thing. You see a fresh chicken. You can have chicken at 26 degrees Fahrenheit for a year and still sell it as fresh chicken on the label.
What I’ve learned in my life is there’s almost nothing you can trust in labels. I remember the day that I found the low-calorie tuna tins. The only difference between the high calorie and the low calorie or the high-fat, low-fat tin was the serving size. The ingredients were identical. They just changed the serving size, so now it’s low-calorie. That shysterism is on labels and people say, “Read the label.” I’ve got to admit. I’m not a label reader. I don’t even want to buy it with that label on it.
My effort has been trying to get us weaned from trusting labels and going to food items that don’t even have a label. At our farm, we’ve gone that route. We don’t make any claim on our stuff. It’s just Polyface chicken, Polyface eggs. We don’t say there are grade-A. We don’t say that they are large or small. We don’t say their past. We don’t think they are GMO-free. We don’t say anything. What we do is we depend on our messaging and our transparency to fill in those gaps for us.
What’s crossing my mind now is how our whole society wants to be label-free. In other words, don’t peg me as a Mexican woman or people want to be accepted for who they are. Isn’t it interesting that you are advocating for a way of eating that is label-free?
I was going to say that that’s a whole other level that we address in this book. Beyond Labels doesn’t just apply to the food labels because we want to help you achieve your ultimate goal of health and wellness. Going beyond the food labels isn’t going to get you there. We have this other facet of the book where we strive to help you free yourself from the many labels that we all have adopted in our lives. Those are the labels that can keep you sick or from experiencing optimal health and wellness.
I will give you an example. In the book, we talk about how there are labels even in the health and nutrition field. For example, oftentimes, if someone is trying to achieve optimal health, it’s common to turn to diets like paleo, keto or specific carbohydrates. What Joel and I are saying is those diets are another type of label that promote conformity over individuality.
If you lock yourself into that one type of diet, you can become more focused on adhering to that man-made construct than listening to your own body’s innate intelligence. It’s what you are saying. In essence, you become a slave to the confinements and the limiting beliefs of that particular dietary protocol. Also, by outsourcing your authority to the experts who created that diet, you tend to silence your instincts. Instead of living inside that box, we walk you through a process to help encourage you to harness your innate power by teaching you how to listen to your own body. In essence, we are helping you become your own healing expert.
You’ve addressed a little bit of this but I wanted to ask Joel as well. What do you think that your book addresses that have been missing in our understanding of how to nourish ourselves best?
People want a very simple recipe. Most of us, “Give me the list of dos and don’ts. Give me the accepted and the unacceptable, and we will go on.” The tension that Sina and I had writing this book was we wanted it to be helpfully simple, and there’s an elegance in that but the tension is then becoming so wishy-washy that some things are good and some things are bad that then you don’t say anything.
Diets like paleo or keto are actually just another type of label that promote conformity over individuality.
That’s why, in the book, we go so far beyond the way you view your personhood. How do you affirm yourself in the mirror? We go pretty far afield in discussing things like hydration, sleep, and forgiveness. These are all way beyond seeing if there’s MSG in my sausage. I don’t know that we’ve hit the perfect balance but our feedback has been helpful in going a little farther afield in talking about health in a more comprehensive, eclectic way than just a series of recipes.
If I could add to that, that’s one of the beauties of the book. Why I wanted to partner with Joel on this book is because, to our knowledge, this is the first time in history that a farmer and a doctor have come together to really explained full circle what is in the food, what’s happening with the farming industry and how all of that applies to you and your individual health.
We connect all those dots for you then we take it a step farther than that. The beauty of the book is also the how component. There are so many books and organizations that are saying, “Eat organic and eat fresh from the farm.” That’s a dime a dozen at this point. To your point, those people who are ready to do that already know you should be eating whole real organic foods.
For the people who aren’t there yet, they need simple steps. They need the how. What we do is use both of our expertise. We combine them together to explain to you why to do it but then we give you a simple, at the most, it’s usually a paragraph on how to implement that step in your life. We break it down and make it easier for you.
To your earlier point about people eating whole real organic foods, even I know that’s the way that our bodies are designed to eat. The quickest path to optimal health is eating whole real organic foods but I still, on occasion, will eat processed foods. It’s even important for somebody who’s already bought into that whole lifestyle that they understand which processed foods are going to be more healing and which ones are going to be less healing.
Sina, perhaps the best example of that, is Polyface hotdogs.
Joel and I joke because Polyface hotdogs are the only hotdogs that I allow my children to eat. It’s because of the ingredients. What kid doesn’t love hot dogs? I was raised on hot dogs too. The 4th of July is around the corner. What I did was I brought my kids to the grocery store and showed them the ingredient labels of all these different types of hotdogs and did product comparisons, in essence. I explained what these ingredients mean then I showed them the ingredients in the Polyface hotdog. Obviously, there’s nothing in that that I wouldn’t eat myself.
We cooked them on the grill, and we even did a side-by-side comparison and taste test. They’ve loved these hotdogs so much. You can taste the difference. You can taste it doesn’t have these artificial ingredients and these dyes and meat glues in them. My kids love them so much that Polyface Farms is about an hour and a half for me. They are willing to sit in the car for a three-hour round trip to go to the farm to get these hotdogs.
Coming up, Joel and Sina cover how to avoid antibiotics in our food. Even when eating out, they offer practical tips for transitioning to a clean, real, whole food diet.
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People use drugs and pharmaceuticals twice as much in the animal industry than they do in the human industry.
I love that you folks are so practical in your book too. Going back to your point, Sina, about the how-tos, because I feel like all the head information in the world is useless if we don’t know how to apply it to our lives. I wanted to go there now and ask you some specific how-tos questions from your book. Like, you talk about in your book, avoiding antibiotics when we eat out. How the heck do we do that? Maybe number one, back up and tell us how are there antibiotics in the food when we are eating out?
The inconvenient truth? As much as Americans talk about drugs and pharmaceuticals, we use twice as many in our animal industry than we do in our human industry.
Twice as many?
Yes. Think about all the drugs that are coming through the pharmacy at your local Walgreens or CVS. Twice as many are going across the counter into our farms. Not only that but, of course, many of the herbicides have antibiotic tendencies. Sina could break that down a little more of the chemistry for us but there are very close cousins of chemical compounds in the whole litany, especially herbicides and antibiotics.
They are pretty ubiquitous in the system. Again, there are some pretty major discussions. For example, in farming, is a coccidiostat an antibiotic? I’m more of a purist, and I say yes. I have plenty of credentialed people that back me up but there are big names in the industry and in the FDA that would suggest coccidiostat is not technically an antibiotic.
You get into this parsing of the chemistry, things, and all this stuff shows up on the label. It’s the parsing. I learned that there is a huge difference between the phrase, “Pack for and packed by.” That’s just what I learned in shipping a product, whether it says, “Pack by or pack for,” has a lot of regulatory connotations. You never know.
I think I will go to the restaurant. I order some, let’s say, chicken parmesan or something. That chicken doesn’t have a label because it’s coming to my plate but you are saying I may be unwittingly taking in all kinds of pharmaceuticals that I would never even want in my medicine cabinet in my bathroom.
Yes, that’s correct.
I will add to that. The current status is that roughly 70% of all of our medically important antibiotics sold in the US are fed to the livestock and the poultry. Seventy percent of medically important. That means those are antibiotics that they would get to us if we have certain infections. Eating doses of antibiotics in this livestock and poultry that are medically important means that you are now setting yourself up to develop antibiotic resistance to drugs.
Joel, this is a question for you. Are these animals so sick that they have to keep pumping them with antibiotics?
In many cases, not. Although, you can’t put that in a factory farming situation where you have these extremely high densities over time with no rest periods. The pathogen germination rate is way higher than it is in distancing. I’m laughing because of our COVID-19 social distancing but the fact is that when you are moving around on the new ground, new places, it does break those pathogen cycles. The same thing is true with animals. In these factory farms settings, a lot of times, the ingestion of fecal particulate. I use that term in the book fecal particulate. It’s this fecal Paul.
When you have all those hives, feathers, and all that manure and urine in it, they are officially living in their bathroom in their own excrement. They are eating in their own excrement. They are breathing in it. It’s a pretty unhealthy situation. Now, what’s interesting is that at least one of the largest poultries brands several years ago created a slow-release antibiotic that they put in the embryo of the eggs. This was for meat chickens and meat birds. The egg is laid. They inject this antibiotic into it, and it’s in the embryo. The chicken develops. The chick catches, and this antibiotic is slowly released throughout the life of the chicken. It was quite a scientific breakthrough.
They labeled that, “No antibiotics given,” or something like that. It was a no antibiotic label. Two competitors took them to court. They went all the way to the Supreme Court. Anyway, the ruling was that it was fraudulent. Even though the antibiotic was not technically administered after the chick hatched, it was still released into the body, and so it was given during the life of that animal. It does bring up interesting beginnings of life questions when the Supreme Court says, “An antibiotic given in the embryo prior to hatch is given during the life of the chicken.”
What a tangled web we weave. It’s crazy. As you said, the parsing of these details and the consumer is generally ignorant of it but let me ask you another question. When I go out to eat then, how do I avoid antibiotics?
We have a couple of solutions in the book. One is if you are going to go to more like fast food or casual dining facility. There’s a Consumers Union scorecard. This helps you find food establishments that are actively getting antibiotics out of their meat in their poultry. Every year, the Consumers Union teams up with other organizations, and they rank the antibiotic policies of the 25 largest fast-food and fast-casual chains in the US. As of 2018, now they have begun releasing a second scorecard that ranks the top 25 burger chains. They will list them to you. They give them grades like A through F, and it’s right there on their website on ConsumerReports.org.
Go spend your money at an establishment that’s aligned with your principles of no antibiotics in your meat or poultry.
What we say is, “Feed the good and start the bad,” which not only applies to feeding the good microbes in your gut but feeding the companies that are doing good, that are making strides to heal our food and our lands. Go to the ones that have received A’s. Don’t go to the ones that have received Fs. For instance, in 2018, there were two that received A’s at one of the burger chains, and it was Burgerfied and Shake Shack, then Wendy’s got a D minus. Sonic and Burger King, McDonald’s, they all got F’s, even In-N-Out got F’s. Coming from California, I was quite surprised. Their scorecard is a quick and easy way that you can try to avoid antibiotics at the fast food and casual chains.
If you are going to go to a different restaurant that’s not listed on there on one of their scorecards, what we suggest is, if you are already there, ask the manager. If you are not there yet, call ahead or you can email them if you don’t want to call and ask them if the meat or the poultry was given any antibiotics. Usually, what I ask is if the meat of the poultry was sourced from animals given routine antibiotics.
If they aren’t, then I support that establishment with my dollars. If they do contain antibiotics, then I tell them that once they get the antibiotics out, I will come back to the restaurant but they need to change their policy. All then, starve that company and go spend my money at the establishment that’s aligned with my principles of, “No antibiotics in my meat or poultry.”
It’s very important to add here that this has nothing to do with the size of establishments. While these folks have scored the 25 largest places, it doesn’t mean that if you go to a small place that’s not on this card that it’s going to be clean necessarily. Many times, the very smallest little places struggling to get a foothold and start are getting the very cheapest junkiest ingredients. It could be the opposite to that as well. Anybody that knows me knows that I’m desperate to start a clean fast-food franchise to go head-to-head with McDonald’s.
That would be all grass-based, pasture-based, GMO-free, the real deal. There’s no reason why we can’t do it. I just don’t have $2 million in my pocket to start it but there is a huge need for that but don’t assume that because you go to a very small local mom-and-pop place that that’s going to be high-quality stuff often. It’s not. This is not about the size of a business. It’s about the policies of a business-like Sina was saying.
There are things we want to avoid, and there are things that you all emphasized in your book that we should introduce ourselves to, like cooking, which is the opposite of eating out. It’s eating in. I think because of our times now, many people have been doing more of that. Why is that a good simple step and the right direction?
If there’s one place where you can make a big difference, not only in the integrity of your food but in the price of your food, it’s getting it in as raw a state as possible. We talk about buying bulk. We talk about buying unprocessed. When we say, get in your kitchen. This is not a sexist thing. Men can be there as well but it’s also not a bondage thing.
We have never had more techno glitzy things in our kitchens. We’ve got bread makers and hot and cold running water, time bake, Instant pots, grinder, and mixers. Think of all the cool things that we have now. When we say, ultimately, immerse yourself viscerally and practically in your food, it comes way cheaper. A lot of your audience, I’m sure, will remember Food, Inc.
It was a very popular movie several years ago. They continued to move this myth forward. When the family went to Burger King and got their son this meal, they went to the store and said they couldn’t afford to get good produce. I know that here at our farm, you could get 2 whole pounds of world-class grass-finished ground beef for less than the cost of that Burger King meal with whatever it was, a quarter of soda.
The problem is not the total pricing. It is what we are buying with that dollar. When you buy processed, you drop the cost of food. Now, you can get a whole GMO pasture raised chicken here at our farm cheaper than boneless skinless breasts at Walmart. Now, you get a whole chicken. Not just a bonus skinless breast but this is the thing I’m talking about is when it comes to the pricing out. Getting unprocessed food and using your knives, cutting boards, oven, and all that in your kitchen is a way to not only have integrity in your food but also to be able to save a lot of money.
There is a cost in this, Joel, because it takes time to cook, doesn’t it?
It does, but all of us have a certain amount of time. What are you spending your time on, Netflix? What’s your health worth? Sina has done a marvelous job in the book of teasing out that whole worth thing. Are you worth investing in? We can invest money. We can invest time. We can invest knowledge but are you worth investing in? If you don’t think you are worth investing in, then we will know. Most of us, if we dig down. We think that we are probably worth investing in.
I would add that we do have many time-saving tips in the book. I came from eating the standard American diet most of my life, which is why I got so debilitatingly sick. Switching from that diet to these whole real organic foods diet, it was a big shift for me. I also switched to using small doable baby steps but there was this shock of how much time I was spending in the kitchen. Sometimes it would be so frustrating because I think I want to do other stuff. I want to go out and do fun stuff that my friends are doing.
I understand what you are saying. There is that component and that mental obstacle. Part of me overcoming that is what Joel talked about, which we address in the book in terms of feeling worthy of it. Making myself and my health a priority. However, we also provide practical tips on how to save time in the kitchen. One of them is, for instance, batch cooking. We provide recipes in the book as well to help you on this part of the journey. I will often cook like batch cook things in my Crockpot or pressure cooker. I have lunch for the entire week from cooking one meal.
It depends on how hungry you are because maybe it would just be for the entire day. I get what you are saying. The only way your book could be more practical is if it came with you, Sina and Joel, coming over to my house and helping me get these things done. It’s amazing. I do have another question, though. I’m thinking of myself and friends like me. People who live in the city are trying to hold it together. Let’s say, the mom is a single mom holding down two jobs. It’s all she can do to bathe her children, let alone feed them beyond labels. What advice do you have? How can we get this information out to them?
I would say that it’s important for them not to beat themselves up. Don’t expect more than you are ready to give. In other words, meet yourself where you are. That’s exactly the backbone that we built this book around. We built a continuum. On the left of the continuum is going to be unhealthy food. That’s like eating at the gas station.
Don’t expect more than you’re ready to give. Meet yourself where you are.
All the way over to the right is going to be having your own homestead. You get to pick your own journey. It’s like a choose your own adventure book in that way is that you identify where you are at on the continuum. You move along the continuum one small step at a time based on what you are able to do. Each small step, we encourage you to praise yourself.
If you are that mom, that is like, “I’m not ready to spend the money on organic. I’m not ready to cook a meal in the Crockpot.” That’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. That is where you are. We have steps that can get you to your next step, like one more step closer to whatever your ultimate goal is. That may mean switching from one processed food at a time that you are eating that’s conventional. Switch one out at a time for the organic option. It’s not about changing everything all at once. We think that’s a recipe for failure that’s expecting yourself to do too much. It’s about doing what you can do at that moment and then praising yourself for making that change.
I would just add, and we write this in the book that, to me, one of the litmus tests of whatever of getting this whole thing is leftovers. We live in a time of single-serving everything like single-serving packaging. Why? Families don’t even eat together anymore. We graze through the day. “I want a tidbit of this, a tidbit of that,” and the time-saving of, as Sina I said, bulk cooking but also cooking more than you do. Talk about a Crockpot. When we put a chicken in the Crockpot, this is 40 watts of power. It sits there and gurgles all day while you are at work. You can even put the chicken in frozen. You don’t have to put anything in with it, if it’s a good chicken.
It will sit there all day long, and if you eat, it’s ready to eat at 4:00, 5:00, or 6:00. It never dries out, never goes bad, and it sits there at 40 watts and gurgles all day long, then you’ve got leftovers. You’ve got leftovers for sandwiches and casserole. You’ve got broth for other things, the seemingly edible expansion of something as simple as a chicken in a Crockpot. You would be amazed how many people don’t even have a Crockpot in their house.
They got the microwave, so they can nuke the little single serving Hot Pocket but where’s the Crockpot? To me, the fastest way to do a meal is you toss it in. You leave for work. You come home at 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 or 7:00, and dinner is on the table. You don’t even have to put it in a separate serving dish if you’ve got a pretty Crockpot. It reduces cleanup time.
It’s like anything. At first, something sounds intimidating but as Sina said, as you start, pick one item. Put it on your calendar. “I’m going to do a meal from scratch on Saturday night or whatever,” and pick one. What happens is as your skill level increases, what is intimidating now becomes routine tomorrow. You don’t even think about it. That’s what mastery does and changing routine does.
I told the story to Joel that I had to have a pressure cooker. I was hearing about it on all these mommy blogs, and a pressure cooker was so fantastic. I like hounded my husband until he bought me a pressure cooker. It sat in my pantry for six months. This item that I was like, “I must have it. This is the key to helping me cook better,” then it sat there for months. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to use it. I did. I was intimidated. Even with my background and having already been cooking, I was intimidated to take it out and use it. Finally, my husband was like, “Are you going to use that thing?” I was like, “I better use it.”
I pulled it out, and I’m serious. I have never looked back. I encourage everyone to get a Crockpot or pressure cooker. It helps on so many levels. I realized that it not only helped me save time as Joel was talking about because I can throw in my meat, vegetables, and my wild rice, it could be one pot to cook our entire meal. Either you set it in the morning, like he said, if you are using the Crockpot function or sometimes, my food, I use the pressure cooker function, and my dinner is ready in twenty minutes. All I had to do was throw it in there with some spices. Not only did it save me time but it started to save me money.
It reminds me that we think fast food is fast but it takes time to drive or to get the pizza ordered. It comes. It’s twenty minutes. In that twenty minutes, we could’ve maybe scrambled a few eggs and added some ferments to that, and you’ve got a simple breakfast for dinner thing. I appreciate what you are saying because it’s true that we get intimidated or think we are too exhausted.
Maybe if we tweak things a little bit, we could get over that mental obstacle of being intimidated by our own kitchen and introduce ourselves to real food. This has been an amazing conversation. I’m hungry, so I need to go. I fasted. Let me ask you the question I always pose at the end, and maybe both of you could give your own take on it. If the audience could do one thing to improve their health, what would you recommend that they do?
Join the Weston A Price Foundation. How’s that for a nice shameless plug?
That’s great but maybe it could be related to your book. Maybe one step they could take that you were like, “That was a great tip in that book. I wish everyone knew it.”
I will chime in two easy things. For me, working with clients and trying to help them reverse disease. One thing that I have found to be very helpful is we are trying to reduce your toxic burden on your body. A simple initial step is, if you are eating conventional, choose organic. I tell them to start with their meat. Start by choosing organic needs.
That one simple step. If you are already doing that, then start by replacing your processed foods one at a time with the organic alternative because that’s going to get you away from genetically modified organisms. It’s going to get you away from most pesticides and herbicides. It’s going to get you away from most antibiotics.
By the way, glyphosate, the one most widely used herbicide, is a patented antibiotic. When you are consuming those conventional processed foods, you are most likely ingesting small doses of antibiotics. It’s going to get you away from that. It’s going to get you away from the heavy metals, for instance. We are finding out are present in some sewage sludge that can be used to grow conventional crops. My first step for people is, don’t worry about cooking for yourself or sourcing your food differently. Start where you are at in the grocery store and switch from conventional to organic in any of those categories of foods that you can.
Another easy thing is to start drinking more filtered water. We have a lot of diseases that we are finding out that could be reversed simply by drinking enough filtered water. It’s unbelievable how dehydrated most of us are on a daily basis. If you drink enough water, and it’s clean water, you are reducing your toxic load and giving yourself life through the energetic properties of the water.
Joel, do you want to add anything?
Perhaps, now that I’ve had a little more time to think. I would say eliminate Coca-Cola and Mountain Dew and all those sugary drinks. A lot of that gets consumed. I’m amazed at how many gallons of that. I’m amazed that in a time of COVID-19 in a pandemic when we are all having discussions about immunology. I can’t believe that I’m still seeing the Pepsi-Cola truck traveling down the road. Why doesn’t somebody step up to the microphone and say, “Everybody, we are going to talk about building immune systems.” Let’s put a moratorium for a week on drinking sugary drinks. If you substitute that with good filtered water and get properly hydrated, and get the sugar out. You might be surprised by how you feel.
Joel, nobody makes any money off of that.
That’s the problem but that’s one of the reasons why it doesn’t get traction. There are obvious things like stopping smoking but, to me, the fact that there are millions. We have a little Debbie plant here in the county, and they use more than a million pounds of sugar a week through that one plant, and they have several plants. These little Ho Ho cakes, sugary snacks, and drinks are poison.
We are going to have another episode on that. I’ve interviewed Robert Lustig. I don’t know if you’ve heard of him. He goes on and on about sugar because it is compromising our immune system and probably making us more vulnerable to sickness and disease, obviously. Thank you, guys, so much. This has been amazing. I can’t wait for folks to pick up your book and for everybody to go beyond labels. Thanks again for your time.
Thank you, Hilda.
Our guests were Joel Salatin and Dr. Sina McCullough. Visit their websites, PolyfaceFarms.com and HandsOffMyFood.com, for more information and resources. I’m Hilda Labrada Gore, visit my website, HolisticHilda.com. Now for a review from Apple Podcasts. Fantastic and super informative, This is a review from @IEnjoyPodcastsALot.
She says, “I’m so thankful I found this podcast, and I’ve learned so much from it. Please keep up the great work in teaching. It’s helpful and valuable. The interviews and topics are so interesting. My husband and I are contemplating starting a family soon. I’m thankful to be learning some of the Wise Traditions ways before that.” Thank you so much, @IEnjoyPodcastsALot. We appreciate this review. Feel free to rate and review our show on Apple Podcasts as well or write us a letter that we might include in an upcoming journal. That’s it. Thank you so much for reading. Take care. Hasta pronto.
About Joel Salatin & Dr. Sina McCullough
Joel F. Salatin (born 1957) is an American farmer, lecturer, and author whose books include You Can Farm and Salad Bar Beef.
Salatin raises livestock using holistic methods of animal husbandry, free of potentially harmful chemicals, on his Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. Meat from the farm is sold by direct-marketing to
consumers and restaurants.
In high school, Salatin began his own business selling rabbits, eggs, butter and chicken from his family farm at the Staunton Curb Market. He then attended Bob Jones University where he majored in English and was a student leader. He graduated in 1979. Salatin married his childhood sweetheart in 1980 and became a feature writer at the Staunton,
Virginia newspaper, The News Leader, where he had worked earlier typing obituaries and police reports.
Tired of “having his stories spiked,” he decided to try farming full-time after first getting involved in a walnut-buying station run by two high school boys. Salatin’s grandfather had been an avid gardener and beekeeper and a follower of J. I. Rodale, the founder of regenerative organic gardening. Salatin’s father worked as an accountant and his mother taught high school physical education. Salatin’s parents had bought the land that became Polyface after losing a farm in Venezuela to political turmoil. They had raised cattle using organic methods, but could not make a living at farming alone.
Salatin, a self-described “Christian-libertarian-environmentalist-capitalist-lunatic-Farmer” produces high-quality “beyond organic” meats, which are raised using environmentally responsible, ecologically beneficial, sustainable agriculture. Jo Robinson, the author of Pasture Perfect: The Far-Reaching Benefits of Choosing Meat, Eggs and Dairy Products From Grass-Fed Animals (2004) said of Salatin, “He’s not going back to the old model. There’s nothing in county extension or old-fashioned ag science that really informs him. He is just looking totally afresh at how to maximize production in an integrated system on a holistic farm. He’s just totally innovative.”
Salatin considers his farming a ministry, and he condemns the negative impact on his livelihood and lifestyle of what he considers an increasingly regulatory approach taken by the agencies of the United States government toward farming. Salatin now spends a hundred days a year lecturing at colleges and to environmental groups.
Dr. Sina McCullough is the author of Beyond Labels and Hands Off My Food. She holds a Ph.D. in Nutritional Science and a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior, both from the University of California at Davis. She was the Director of R&D for a supplement company and taught Biochemistry and Bioenergetics at UC Davis. Despite her knowledge, she developed an autoimmune disease, which prompted her to launch an investigation into our food supply. What she learned saved her life; she reversed the disease without the use of medication. Now, Dr. McCullough is dedicated to helping others avoid the health challenges she has faced. She offers consultations, speaking engagements, workshops, and free educational material on her website HandsOffMyFood.com
- Beyond Labels
- Bovine Tracheal Cartilage
- Robert Lustig – Previous episode
- Apple Podcasts – Wise Traditions
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