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    Why Animals Are An Essential Part Of A Healthy Food System with Robby Sansom & Taylor Collins

    enJuly 12, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • The Positive Impact of Regenerative Agriculture and the Role of Animals in Our Food SystemBy embracing regenerative farming practices and supporting sustainable food companies, consumers can help create a healthier and more sustainable food system that benefits both the environment and our own health.

      Regenerative agriculture and a focus on the role of animals in our food system can create a better ecosystem, improve agriculture, and promote better health for ourselves. The conversation highlights the importance of understanding the positive impact that regenerative farming practices can have on the environment, biodiversity, and soil health. The comparison between the thriving, biodiverse Ranch and the struggling, conventional ranches emphasizes the need for a shift in our current destructive agricultural system. By supporting regenerative food companies like Force of Nature and investing in environmental regeneration through consuming sustainably sourced meat, consumers can contribute to creating a more sustainable and healthier food system.

    • The Flawed Food System and the Path to Positive ChangeThe current food system's massive scale and impact on the environment calls for necessary change. Embracing regenerative agriculture can create a resilient and sustainable food system that promotes life and secures our health.

      The current food system is flawed and in need of change. The scale of agriculture is massive, with almost half of the United States' 2 billion acres used for some form of agriculture. This highlights the significant impact agriculture has on the environment and global crises. However, this also presents an opportunity for positive change, as small modifications can have a big impact. The illusion of choice in the existing system must be challenged, as the status quo is not sustainable or healthy. Change is necessary and inevitable, and embracing regenerative agriculture is a solution that invests in and builds resilience into the food system. It replaces a vicious system with a virtuous one, promoting life instead of eliminating it. The conversation also touches on the need for better regulations and systems to secure the health of our land and food production.

    • The Hidden Costs of Cheap Food: Uncovering the True Price of Our ChoicesOur food choices have a greater impact than we realize, with hidden costs in healthcare, biodiversity, social justice, and the environment. It's important to recognize the true cost and value of our food to make informed choices.

      The true cost of food goes far beyond the price at the checkout counter. Consumers are often manipulated into believing that cheap shelf prices are all that matters, but this mindset overlooks the hidden costs and compromises in value. In reality, for every dollar we spend on food, there are another two dollars in costs to society in terms of healthcare, biodiversity, social justice, and environmental damage. These hidden costs add up and far surpass the price we pay at the register. Additionally, cheap food comes with deferred costs, such as taxes that go towards subsidy systems and payments to other countries due to flooding international markets with crops sold below the cost of production. Therefore, it is essential to recognize the actual value and true cost of our food choices, as well as the impact they have on society and the environment.

    • Hidden Costs and Alternative Approaches in Our Food SystemOur current food system has hidden costs and negative impacts on our health, environment, and economy. Recognizing these costs and exploring regenerative farming can lead to a healthier and more sustainable food system.

      Our current food system, which is heavily reliant on processed foods and industrial agriculture, comes with hidden costs that have significant impacts on our health, environment, and economy. These costs include the damage to soil and biodiversity from chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the negative health effects from consuming processed foods, the pollution of rivers and oceans, and the financial burden on taxpayers through subsidies and healthcare costs. The conversation emphasizes the need to recognize and address these hidden costs and explore alternative approaches like regenerative farming, which focuses on sustainable and nourishing practices. Understanding the true cost of our food is crucial for creating a healthier and more sustainable food system.

    • Restoring the Land: The Power of Regenerative AgricultureRegenerative agriculture restores the land and creates a productive ecosystem by nourishing the soil and enhancing biodiversity, offering a solution to the damaging effects of industrialized agriculture.

      Regenerative agriculture has the power to restore and heal the land, creating a more sustainable and productive system. Taylor Collins, the founder of EPIC, transformed a conventional Ranch into a 900-acre regenerative Ranch in Texas. The land had been depleted due to industrialized agriculture practices, but Collins and his wife saw an opportunity to restore it. By implementing regenerative practices, they were able to nourish the soil, enhance biodiversity, and create a productive ecosystem. This journey showcases the resilience and forgiveness of nature, as it can recover from the destruction caused by human activities. It emphasizes the importance of transitioning towards regenerative agriculture to address the damaging effects of our current food system.

    • Witnessing the Remarkable Healing Power of Mother NatureBy studying and working in harmony with nature, we can restore ecosystems and raise awareness about the importance of regenerative farming practices for sustainable coexistence with the natural world.

      Nature has a remarkable ability to restore and heal when given the chance. The speakers, Taylor Collins and Mark Hyman, discuss how they have witnessed the incredible healing power of mother nature in their efforts to restore ecosystems and raise bison. By studying the wisdom of the bison and working in harmony with the natural architecture of the land, they have seen the return of diverse plant and animal life. They have observed the reemergence of bald eagles, coyotes, bobcats, great horned owls, and mountain lions, which were once scarce in their area. Through regenerative farming practices and thoughtful land management, they have created a virtuous cycle where more life is drawn into the system. This conversation demonstrates that by respecting and learning from nature, we can find sustainable solutions for coexisting with the natural world.

    • Bridging the Gap: Reconnecting Consumers with the Process of Meat ProductionThe industrial agriculture system negatively impacts animal welfare and product quality, but solutions like field harvest methods can provide a humane and high-quality alternative.

      There is a significant disconnect between consumers and the food they consume, particularly regarding meat production. Mark Hyman expresses his astonishment at how people are detached from the process of raising and harvesting animals for food. Taylor Collins explains the concept of a bison harvest, which is not only a community experience but also a way to honor the animal. They emphasize the importance of allowing animals to live according to their biological needs and consume their natural diet. Furthermore, they highlight the significance of how animals are slaughtered, emphasizing the negative impact of the industrial agriculture system on animal welfare and product quality. The field harvest method practiced on Taylor Collins' ranch offers a humane and low-stress alternative that respects the animals' lives and preserves the quality and taste of the meat.

    • The Sacred Bond Between Humans and Harvested Animals: A Mindful Connection to Nature and CommunityBeing present in the moment and observing the end of life transition in harvested animals teaches us about the importance of community and family, while choosing regeneratively raised bison offers superior nutrition and a connection to nature.

      There is a deeply sacred and special connection between humans and the animals they harvest for food. By allowing ourselves to be present in the moment, without the distraction of technology, we can truly appreciate this intimate interaction with death. Observing the herd's reaction to the loss of one of its members is a beautiful end of life transition that teaches us about the value of community and family. Additionally, the quality of nutrition in regeneratively raised bison is far superior to that of feedlot cows. The animal's diet and age contribute to the bright orange fat, which is a reflection of their diverse plant-based diet and higher omega-3 content. This connection to nature and the mindful consideration of our food choices can have a profound impact on our well-being.

    • The Benefits of Regenerative Systems: Nutrient Density and BiodiversityRegenerative systems, like pasture-raised animal farming, provide meat with higher levels of phytochemicals and phytonutrients, emphasizing the importance of nutrition. Biodiversity is crucial, and monocultures can create ecological deserts. Regenerative practices benefit both humans and the environment.

      Regenerative systems, such as pasture-raised animal farming, offer incredible benefits in terms of nutrient density and biodiversity. The conversation highlighted that pasture-raised animals have significantly higher levels of phytochemicals and phytonutrients in their meat compared to animals raised in confinement feed systems. This emphasizes the importance of nutrition and health benefits derived from regenerative systems. Additionally, the conversation shed light on the destructive nature of monocultures and the need for biodiversity in agricultural systems. It was argued that advocating for less animal-based diets without understanding the realities of industrial agriculture may overlook the ecological deserts created by monocultures. Overall, the conversation promotes the value of regenerative practices for both human and environmental well-being.

    • Regenerative Agriculture: A Sustainable and Holistic Approach to Food ProductionRegenerative agriculture considers the symbiotic relationship between plants, animals, and the environment, creating a healthy ecosystem that benefits human health, wildlife, soil, and water systems. It goes beyond organic farming to restore soil carbon, reduce climate change impacts, and improve water management.

      Regenerative agriculture offers a sustainable and holistic approach to food production. Unlike conventional or organic farming, regenerative agriculture considers the symbiotic relationship between plants, animals, and the environment. By creating a healthy ecosystem, regenerative practices not only benefit human health but also support the thriving of wildlife, soil, and water systems. This approach helps restore soil carbon, reduce climate change impacts, and improve water management. While organic farming is a step in the right direction, regenerative agriculture goes further by mimicking natural systems and eliminating harmful practices. It is a global solution that addresses the environmental and health challenges caused by industrial agriculture, providing a scalable and sustainable alternative.

    • The Power and Principles of Regenerative AgricultureRegenerative agriculture harnesses the wisdom of nature's evolution, restoring ecosystems and improving soil health. Consumers can support this sustainable system by seeking out regenerative products.

      Regenerative agriculture is a powerful alternative to conventional farming practices. It is based on working with the wisdom encoded in billions of years of evolution, rather than fighting against it. The conversation highlights the six principles of soil health: minimizing soil disturbance, having a green growing plant year-round, not leaving the soil bare, utilizing the power of photosynthesis to put carbon in the soil, positive animal impact, and considering contextual factors. These principles aim to restore ecosystems to their natural functioning and are essential for the success of regenerative agriculture. The conversation also emphasizes the importance of creating awareness and access for consumers to regenerative products, as consumers play a critical role in supporting the system.

    • The Consequences of the Current Industrialized Food System in the US and the Potential for ChangeThe US food system prioritizes profit over health and the environment, while other countries prioritize sustainability. However, consumer awareness and demand for sustainable options can drive a shift towards a more regenerative food system.

      The current industrialized food system in the US prioritizes yield and profit at the expense of health, wellness, animal welfare, and the environment. This system commodifies food, seeking cheapness above all else. In contrast, other countries like Europe prioritize sustainable and regenerative farming practices, producing food that is healthier and more environmentally friendly. The US food system also exports products that are considered illegal in other countries due to their harmful practices. However, there is hope for change as consumers become more aware of the consequences of their choices and demand more sustainable and regenerative options. By connecting farmers and producers to consumers who value their practices, a shift towards a more regenerative food system can be achieved.

    • Transitioning to Regenerative Farming: Beyond Organic, Towards Thriving EcosystemsTransitioning to regenerative farming goes beyond organic practices, focusing on restoring biodiversity, soil health, and water tables. Consumer awareness and critical thinking are crucial in driving change.

      Transitioning from organic farming to regenerative farming is the next milestone in improving our agricultural system. While organic farming has gained popularity, regenerative farming goes beyond just avoiding chemicals and focuses on restoring biodiversity, soil health, and water tables. It supports thriving ecosystems and provides habitat for endangered species. The obstacle in achieving this global solution lies in the current food and farm bill, which incentivizes the perpetuation of the status quo. However, despite these challenges, progress is being made, and there is optimism for change. It is crucial for consumers to be aware of the manipulation and lies within the food system, and to think independently and critically when making choices about their food.

    • Exploring the Potential of Regenerative Agriculture for Positive ChangeBy embracing regenerative agriculture and supporting land stewardship initiatives, we can play a role in creating a more sustainable and environmentally friendly food system.

      There is hope for a positive change in our food system through regenerative agriculture. Taylor Collins shares his inspiration from observing nature, which has shown him the potential for healing and transforming the land. Despite the slow process of building topsoil in nature, there are examples like Joel Ston and Will Harris who have achieved remarkable results in a relatively short period of time. This encourages us to believe that returning to a more sustainable and natural ecosystem is within our reach as a civilization and culture. By supporting initiatives like Force of Nature and consuming products that prioritize land stewardship, we can contribute to shifting the market towards healthier and more environmentally friendly food choices.

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