What would it look like to eat as our health depended on it? What would we need to change? Steve Campbell, a cattle consultant running Tailor Made Cattle, had an accident that turned his whole world upside down. He realized that to heal properly, he needed to change his diet, and this led him to look at the provenance of his food and the health of the soil.
What he has learned along the way is that what works for farmers and cattle ranchers works for human beings too, the power of epigenetics (lifestyle and dietary changes to support health), how to live “organic by design” (as opposed to by default), and how to foster an environment (on the land and in the body) that supports diversity, good health, and life.
Visit Steve’s website: Tailor Made Cattle
Check out our 12 Spoon Restaurant Rating site: 12 Spoon Restaurant Rating Project
See our sponsors: Paleo Valley, Serenity Farm Bread, and Optimal Carnivore.
Listen to the podcast here
Within the below transcript the bolded text is Hilda
What would it look like to eat like your health depended on it? What would need to change? This is episode 410. Our guest is a cattle consultant who had an accident that turned his whole world upside down. He realized that to heal properly, he needed to change his diet. This led him to take a deeper look at the provenance of his food and the health of the soil. He kept diving deeper. Now he takes us on the journey with him.
I’m talking about Steve Campbell from Tailor Made Cattle. He specializes in helping farmers choose and care for their cattle, and he has gained insights for humans as well. This is what he shares with us in this episode. He talks about the power of epigenetics, our ability to influence our health through lifestyle and dietary changes. He covers unique ways to remineralize soil and our bodies . He offers insights into the parallels between the two. He also discusses the difference between organic by default, simply not spraying for example, versus organic by design.
Before we dive into the conversation, I want to tell you about our 12 Spoon Restaurant Rating Project. It’s a way that the Weston A. Price Foundation has established to help you find restaurants that serve real food. You can go to the site to rate restaurants for others or to find restaurants that are serving the good stuff.
We got the idea for the project because people would be traveling looking for a decent place to eat, and they didn’t know where to turn. 12 Spoons is basically like a Weston A. Price foundation Michelin Guide. Restaurants are given a spoon for each criterion that they meet, like using mostly fresh foods, offering pasture-raised meats, avoiding seasoning packets and MSG, etc. Get involved by rating a restaurant and/or finding places that are already in the system.
Go to Serenity Farm Bread to order. Use the code WISE TRADITIONS 10 for 10% off at checkout.
Visit Steve’s website: Tailor Made Cattle
Check out our 12 Spoon Restaurant Rating site: 12 Spoon Restaurant Rating Project
See our sponsors:
Welcome to the show, Steve.
Thank you so much, Weston Price and followers. It’s been a lifetime dream of mine to be involved in something other than a consumer sort of way. I’m trying to pay back what we’re doing.
You’re doing a lot. You are a cattle specialist. You spoke at the Wise Traditions Conference. I’ve heard you say, “We should all eat like our health depends on it.” Aren’t we doing that already? In what ways do we ignore this common sense advice?
Some people are doing that and you can tell by their complexion that they are doing that. I’ve seen people that got sick, and they change what they ate. You can see in their complexion that they’re getting healthier, but how do we ignore that or not taking advantage of eating that way? For a lot of people, it’s cost, “I can buy that item over there for a lot less money.”
Green beans are organic by default. I bought a piece of ground and I’m going to stop spraying. I’m going to grow some vegetables,” versus organic by design. “I bought a piece of ground. Somebody’s toxins are in there. I’ve got to get them out. Somebody else took the minerals out. I’ve got to get them back.” It’s organic by design. Convenience and fast food, a lot of people eat a lot of fast food. Somebody said, “Eat it now. Wear it tomorrow.” The whole idea of, “It’s cheaper to buy that and this food.” Is it really?
When we get sick, do we go look for the lowest-cost doctor to fix us after we get sick? Many years ago, we were spending about 17% of our income on food, and approximately 5% on “around after you get sick care.” People call it health care. No, health care starts in the biology of the soil. We’re spending 17% on after-you-get-sick care and I’m surprised it’s that low. We’re only spending about 10% on food and half of that is eaten away from home. In 1960, only about 25% of what we ate was prepared away from home.
Health care starts in the biology of the soil.
It sounds like we are putting a priority on a price tag. We’re not realizing that we’re paying the price for their own health when we compromise for a lower number initially. I get what you’re saying.
If you added up, 27% of what we have in our income goes to either the food lead or after-you-get-sick care. Many years ago, it was only 22% but we’re only spending 5% on after-you-get-sick care versus now, 17%. I think the number is much higher than that, especially after the last few years.
It is important to remember that our food is an investment in our health, and people are not perceiving it that way.
Every single meal is an investment in our health, either for better or for worse. We’re choosing one direction or the other.
You also said that health care starts in the biology of the soil. Let’s talk about soil. Healthy soil produces great grass for the livestock to graze on and healthy produce. How can we even know if a particular farmer has healthy soil in the first place?
If we go to the farm and you are in touch with your senses, you can feel it when we step out or pick up at their place. It’s the greater diversity of food that they’re offering. If they only offer one thing, they’re all about raw milk, which is awesome. If that is the only thing that they’re selling, they have less diversity in their pastures and soil.
If they’re offering raw grass-finished milk, beef, chicken, pork, lamb and vegetables, the number of species of plants that are required to do that are greater. The greater the diversity of plants, the more synergy there is in those plants. The better they utilize the moisture that’s available, the more earthworms, dung beetles, ladybugs, spiders, that sort of thing we see, but that’s an indicator that we have more biology in the soil.
I’m going to digress here. If we’ve got cattle out grazing, when we’ve got plants that tall, and the ones that they grazed are tall, these plants are telling the biology in the soil, “I’ve got one arm from elbow to fingertip. I’ve got the cubit standing up. On the other hand, I’ve got my hands standing up.” The hand is the one that was grazed.
The cubit, the one that hasn’t been grazed is telling the biology in the soil, “Life is great. Keep it coming. What you’ve been bringing is perfect.” The one that’s been grazed to saying, “We need what we were getting 30 days ago when we were trying to come back to life.” You’ve got a war going on underground. If you can either graze so that you either cut it off, or the faction trampled the tall ones. Now they’re all telling biology the same thing, “We’ve got to start over. You could also clip those pastures.” The way you graze your livestock can have a great effect on how quickly it grows back and how nutritious all of those species are.
I’ve never heard it described quite like that. I see, there’s an underground world that has communication networks and that enriches the soil at the right time so that we can have that healthy pasture and diversity on the farm.
Wendell Berry said, “Leave more.” I look at that as, “If you feed them, they will come.” The biology will show up if you feed the biology first and then everything else. The shorter you graze the plant, the less solar panel you have left to do photosynthesis and that’s where all the power comes from. Trying to get them raised uniformly but not too short, the way that I discovered how to do that years ago was very long, narrow strips, 1 quarter mile long, and 120 or 140 feet wide then I got what I was looking for. l didn’t learn that war going on underground, or how I had short-circuited that with that grazing method until 2022.
The biology will show up if you feed the biology first and then everything else.
Back to your original question, does the farmer need any antibiotics, chemicals, or sprays? If not, you are in the right place. He’s got the mineral content in his grasses high enough that the grasses are resisting Mother Nature’s cleaning crew. The animals grazing those grasses, twelve brix or higher, they’re staying healthy. If you are eating animals that were very well-mineralized, those animal products are more nutritious. To get vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, the more of those there are in every bite, the better it tastes, the more nutritious it is, and the fewer bytes we have to eat every day to get what we need. We don’t have to grow near the food if it’s mineral-rich.
I wish we could all see how the farms were avoiding pests and trying to enrich the soil because if we could see the people wearing hazmat suits spraying the crops, we would want to avoid that with a 10-foot pole. If it kills the bugs, what’s it going to do to us? Instead, some of us don’t even know our farmer. We haven’t even been to the farm where some of our lettuce is grown or where we get our ground beef. What would you say to the person who hasn’t even found a farmer and doesn’t get their produce or their meat from anything but the local grocery store?
Clean food, organic, that’s not the end all be all, but especially organic fats. The farther up the food chain you go, the more you need to worry about it being organic. All the bad stuff, pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, toxins, and hormones have an affinity for the fat. If you’re going to clean up your diet, the very first place would be organic fats. Every year, the Environmental Working Group does a survey of the 45 most sprayed fruits and vegetables. They find the twelve that are the most sprayed, the dirty dozen.
They say that if you would only eat those as organic, you would eliminate 75% to 80% of the pesticides and herbicides you would normally ingest eating fruits and vegetables. The clean 15% on the other hand, you don’t necessarily have to buy those organic. I have seen farmers who back to this organic by design, we don’t even necessarily have to be organic, getting the neighbors’ toxins out and bringing back the minerals.
People say, “What toxins? I don’t spray anything.” I say, “Does the wind blow where you live?” “Yes.” On March 11, 2011, there was a tsunami in Japan and a nuclear reactor in Fukushima failed. The first lap across the US is in a line from Boise, Idaho to Philadelphia. Cesium was falling out of the sky. Over the next twelve months, human miscarriages doubled from cesium that came from half a world away. Do you live across the street from GMO corn and soybeans across the county and state?
There are a lot of different places for toxins to show up and pause perfectly. A fun little story at the last conference, I stole a little container of Redmond clay from the people selling Redmond plot products because I wanted to tell the story about this 75-year-old lady in the book We Eat Clay (& Wear It Too!). She was about 75 and was going to take maybe half this much quarter cup half a cup of this clay, and put it in a Rubbermaid tub with hot water. Her intention was to pull toxins out of the bottom of her feet.
It ended up taking 15 or 20 minutes for the water to cool off. She must have forgotten what she was doing. Being frugal, she might throw it away. She wanted her house plants and killed every plant in her house. When the talk was over, I went back and said, “I stole this for a talk.” They go, “You’re the guy,” and I’m like, “I’m in trouble.” She goes, “We sold every one of those containers that we brought with us because of your talk.” There are ways to detox. The problems are out there. Two weeks of clean food can have a dramatic effect on inflammation and our overall health.
Even farmers need to detox their farms and their soil because they’re close to people using sprays and glyphosate.
I have a fun story about that. A friend down in Texas was trying a number of different things. He heard about Redmond’s product called SR 50, which is half sea salt and half Redman conditioner, which would be detox like clay. He didn’t have enough money to do his whole farm. I said, “Start going around the outside of the farm and keep getting come in further in until you spend all your money. That way, you have this area of protection around the outside from all the people that aren’t doing this practice.”
He called me up about two months later and said, “The army worms have started hitting. They’re devastating the neighbor. I went over to see what was going on. I saw them come about 10 feet in our property, and then they turned around and they went back,” because he had that conditioner and the sea salt there. These were not plants that were susceptible to disease and Mother Nature’s cleaning crew.
It’s a beautiful story. I can picture those worms crawling away. This is not our neighborhood. This is not our environment where we’re going to get anything good because they were stopped naturally. Speak to the person who is like, “I understand you loud and clear what I want to do is start growing my own food. How can I get some of that good soil is talking about? How can I make sure it’s toxin free?”
The Redmond conditioner is very effective at binding the neighbor’s toxins and it’s got about 50 or 60 minerals in it already. It promotes the growth of biology in the soil. If we do not have that, we do not have an army that’s going to bring those minerals to the plant in the order in which the plant tells the biology when they need it. There is a film called Back To Eden. It’s about an hour and a half long. It’s very interesting about how to use the woodchips from the tree trimmers.
The Johnson-Su Bioreactor is all open source. This is something that you can build yourself. It is the most fungal compost out there, humus compost or humus extract from Midwest bio Ag in Tampico, Illinois. they’re onto something. Edwin Blosser is the owner of that. It’s organic by design, not by default. With that in mind, I’m ready to start a garden.
Gabe Brown has some rules about what to do for good soil. You want a living route as long as possible. The longer you’ve got that living route, the longer you’ve got to plant pumping the carbon that’s in the atmosphere into your soil. If other people are stirring dirt and releasing carbon, CO2, and you have a living route, it’s free. They’re giving you their carbon to put to sequester into your soil. Don’t cut living route off too short, you want to have solar panels so you can get photosynthesis. You want armor on the soil.
The more you have armor and that taller plant, the more you shade the soil so it doesn’t get hot and you’re not baking your biology. Diversity of species took eight different varieties planted them individually then planted them all together. All of the individuals died because there wasn’t enough rain. Right beside those, when they ate or all planted together, it was an oasis. They took the same amount of moisture and thrived. Minimum disturbance, the more you disturb the soil, the more you break up the house where the biology lives. If you introduce livestock, you speed up the whole process.
The more you disturb the soil, the more you break up the house where the biology lives.
Maynard Murray wrote a book called Sea Energy Agriculture. He found immunity to disease in the ocean. He started bringing seawater and sea solids back and over the course of many years, was able to recreate that immunity to disease in both plants and animals. The classic example was he took tomatoes and had to control 200 pounds of sea salt, 400 or 600 corrupted 2,200 pounds to the acre.
1 cup per every 450 square feet is the equivalent of 100 pounds to the acre. He sprayed these tomatoes with a virus that “always kills tomatoes.” Every single control died and almost all of the 200, but the more sea mineral salt he had applied to the soil as he went up that scale, fewer and fewer died until he got about 1,500 pounds, then this virus that always kills tomatoes didn’t kill any of the tomatoes into 1,600 to 1,800 to 2,200 pounds to the acre. This was kind of a fire and forget you apply this by 55, 50, 55, 50, spring, fall, spring, fall then don’t call me for 5 or 10 years, but then you would only put on a little bit after that.
What’s the smallest amount of land do you think someone could have to start getting that healthy soil going in their own produce, perhaps maybe with 1 chicken or 2? What do you think?
It’s your backyard. Your flower bed doesn’t have to just be flowers. It can be edible flowers and food. You could do this in your yard very easily. I went down to Southern Nevada. A friend from college had something get in and kill 2/3 of his chickens. We built him a chicken keep, instead of a coop. It’s like if this was the last line of defense of the castle. It was pretty substantial.
I like what you’re saying. It’s true. We can start right where we’re at. That’s what Justin Rhodes said. He’s a very well-regarded homesteader who wrote a book called The Rooted Life. I love that. I want to ask you now a personal question, what took you down this route of caring much about the quality of the soil and food? Can you tell us a little bit about your personal story?
Fast forward from 1954 to 1999. I got bucked off of a horse and stepped on my right ankle and turned 2 bones into 7 pieces. I’m in an external fixator for six and a half months. After almost three years of all of this pain I was going through, I went to see a different kind of doctor. He was a chiropractor and a certified applied Kinesiologist. He was an expert in nutrition. He said, “Stop eating these inflammatory foods, sugar, refined concentrated carbohydrates, vegetable fat,” which most people call vegetable oil, but it’s fat, “and non-GMO.”
He introduced me to Weston Price and that kind of eating. I went cold turkey. I stopped all that stuff. I went and bought the healthy stuff. Within ten days, this pain that I’ve been feeling all the time every winter all for almost three years virtually left, and I’m like, “How does this work? How do I do this for my animals? How do I do this for my soil and plants?” It’s been 2 or 3 parallel train tracks since then.
It’s like you’re a person who was converted. Once you saw the light, you’re like, “I’m going to apply this not just to me, but to the cattle and then helping other people with their cattle.” Speaking of cattle, what things do you advise people who come to you? How do you advise them to care for the cattle? Why does the way they feed them or treat them matter?
Unless you’re Gabe Brown, most of us find ourselves in a situation where we’ve got the neighbors’ toxins, creating stress on our land, in our plants, and in our animals, and the lack of minerals they’ve been harvested out of the property. Native grasses do a better job than something that’s been planted back to grass after it was farmed for a while. I want something that’s natural, works, and doesn’t cost a lot of money. In most places I go, if they can get 5 or 6 ounces of sea salt, 3 or 4 ounces of his Redmond conditioner, which is the livestock grade of Redmond clay, and 1 or 2 ounces of baking soda on the front end.
Most animals, if there’s a lack of minerals and too many toxins, we find them in an acid state. They’re more susceptible to disease and internal external parasites. If you can get them almost back to base, they’re way more resistant to those things. Getting the toxins out and the minerals in as cheaply as possible until we can get our soil and grasses into a higher brix level.
If we’re consuming sea salt dry through the cattle, the minerals are about 20% bioavailable but attached to a carbon atom through a plant, they’re about 90% bioavailable. We don’t have to worry about these things. Thinking about the toxin side, one time I was talking to Gabe and I said, “How do you deal with the toxins going in?” He said, “You get enough biology in the soil. They’ll deal with whatever blows in. You don’t have to worry about it.”
I love that so much. I’ve always been a fan of focusing on the good stuff, bringing enough good food to my body or enough good information to my mind that crowds out the rest. I don’t need to focus on the negative and what I need to detox from I’m taking in much good. There’s no room for the sugary dessert. You talked about coming upon the work of Dr. Price through your own health crisis. Now you’ve seen the light and you’ve helped many other people. Tell us the story of the Peruvian grandmother that has inspired you much.
In Dr. Price’s book, Nutrition And Physical Degeneration, my favorite story was when he got to this village in Peru. He’s probably at 12,000 feet or something like that. If I get it wrong, I apologize to all of those who know the story better than I am. He had been there for 1 week or 10 days. All of a sudden, there was this commotion and he said, “What’s going on?” “Such and such grandmother is coming home.” “Were she been?” “Down to the ocean.”
They’re at 12,000 feet so she had to walk down and out to the ocean. “What was she doing in the ocean?” “She was catching fish and drying the eggs?” “Why was she doing that?” “She’s doing that so that our granddaughters can have perfect babies.” She didn’t want an HDTV or Alexas, which hadn’t been invented at that time. Her rudder in life was, “I want my granddaughters to have perfect babies.” We have lost our rudder in this world.
Is that what you would tell the person who says, “We’re trying too hard. This organic stuff is for the birds. It’s some crunchy movement out there. It doesn’t matter. Carrot is a carrot. 1 pound of ground beef is 1 pound of ground beef. What would you tell the skeptic who sees the world that way?
We’ve all seen people that are 50 that look 70 years old. We’ve all seen people that are 70 that look 50. There’s a difference in the way they live their lives and what they ate. God wants us to be that 70-year-old that we think only looks 50. Emily Dickinson wrote a poem, “My candle burns at both ends. It will not last the night, but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends, it gives a lovely light.”
Somebody was a lot of fun, partying, and eating fast food and then we lost some friends from high school already before they should have gone. People do that and they lose their health. They then wind up spending all the money they made early on in life trying to get their health back. Is health a destination or a journey? We can have a party or we can enjoy nature, give back, and pay it forward.
I hear some people say, “It doesn’t matter what I eat. It’s in my genes.” If a coal miner in Kentucky dies at 42 of black lung disease, and his son goes to work in that mine, breathes that air, drinks that water, and eats that food, he begins to die around 42 black lung disease. If he moved to Arizona when he got out of high school, he might die at 84 of something else. Zach Bush says 94% of disease is EPA genetic and 6% is genetic. It’s not in the genes. You can lead a different life and have a different outcome. There is hope.
You’ve given us so much hope. This is a great encouragement to eat like our health depends on it, to look for food that was grown in healthy soil, and to make some choices that are going to make a difference for not just our future, but our children and our children’s children. Thank you for your time. I want to ask you one more question that I like to pose at the end here. If the reader could do one thing to improve their health, what would you recommend that they do?
I would recommend that they make what I call mineral water. You take a quart container and fill it with filtered water. You put two teaspoons of sea salt in there. If you want to use $10,000 a ton of Himalayan salt or $10 for 50 pounds of Redmond Number 10 Livestock Salt. Three hours later, if you take that quart container and very carefully poured over into another container until the cloud, that sediment that was on the bottom until it starts to get next to the lip, throw away the sediment, drink a pint of mineral water a day.
Maynard Murray, in his book, Sea Energy Agriculture, found that our blood and seawater are the same 92 minerals in exactly the same balance, except iron and magnesium are reversed. They took a dog. They took 90% of the blood out and put seawater in there, and the dog lived well. It takes 120 days to change out all the red blood cells in our body. Bones are 2 to 7 years. All of our organs and muscles and everything are somewhere in between those two numbers. If every day for 120 days, we’re putting those exact minerals in that ocean water we made in this jar, this mineral water into our body, that is the best first biggest step in health that we could make at the very lowest cost.
That’s beautiful advice. I hope a lot of folks take you up on it. Thank you much for your time. It’s been a pleasure.
Thank you. I appreciate the time. Drink mineral water for your health.
Our guest was Steve Campbell. Find out more about what he does at Tailor Made Cattle. For a review from Apple Podcasts. Catholicsthink had this to say about episode 389 on Water, “I like every episode on this except episode 389. Your guest’s view of water sounds New Age to me. Ridiculous.” We are grateful that you share this with us. We don’t expect every episode to meet everyone’s needs. Please read those that you find helpful and hold on to the information. Move past those that don’t mean that much to you.
If you like to rate and review the show, please go to Apple Podcasts and tell us what you think. Click on the Ratings and Reviews. Give us as many stars as you like and tell us your unvarnished opinion so that others may also learn from what you have to say. Thank you so much for reading. Stay well. Keep your feet on the ground and your face to the sun.
About Steve Campbell
Steve has been around cattle in one capacity or another since the age of ten. His epiphany moment came in 1999 while recovering from a ranching injury. The resulting refocusing of his energies into learning about soil, plant, animal and human health since that time has led him to: some very old books; like-minded thinkers and mentors; on farm experiments with soil fertility; and to numerous speakers, farm visits and conferences over the past twenty-three years.
From the Weston A. Price philosophy for human health to Carey Reams, Maynard Murray, Jerry Brunetti, Dr. Richard Olree, Gerald Fry, Will Winter and the teachings of numerous authors of yesteryear; Steve has extrapolated those learned principles of nature onto his own ranch-land and animals and to help others make similar improvements on their ranches and with their families health.
- Tailor Made Cattle
- 12 Spoon Restaurant Rating Project.
- Serenity Farm Bread
- We Eat Clay (& Wear It Too!)
- Paleo Valley
- Optimal Carnivore
- Back To Eden
- Sea Energy Agriculture
- Justin Rhodes
- The Rooted Life
- Nutrition And Physical Degeneration
- Apple Podcasts – Wise Traditions Podcast
- Water – Past Episode
Leave a Reply