[Transcript] – Is Your Hamburger Killing You? Everything You Need To Know About Old-School vs. New-School Beef.

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Podcast from:  https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/nutrition-podcasts/is-your-hamburger-killing-you-everything-you-need-to-know-about-old-school-vs-new-school-beef/

[00:00] Introduction

[03:01] How John Runs His Farm

[07:25] How John Raises His Cattle

[12:06] The Nutrient Profile of Grass-Fed Animals

[20:22] Pemmican

[24:39] Condiments from US Wellness Meats

[28:45] The Pet Food John Makes

[36:10] End of Podcast

Ben:  Hey, folks.  It's Ben Greenfield, and I'm excited because tonight I happen to know that my wife is preparing some liver for dinner.  And while liver may not be your thing per se, it’s certainly mine, and I've got some antibiotic-free and non-added hormone beef liver that I'll be enjoying to get loaded up with a lot of vitamins, and minerals, and nutrients, pretty much most of what I'll need for the day.  And I've been using a lot of kind of new sources of meat, such as liver, pemmican, and some other things that I am getting from a company called US Wellness Meats.  And they're very unique and I've got the mastermind farmer behind US Wellness Meats on the call with me today to talk about farming and how the method that farm animals, or the method used to raise farm animals can kind of dictate how healthy the food is that you put in your mouth.  And we're also going to go beyond cattle and we'll be talking a little bit today about some other things, like honey, and butter, and even something called pemmican.  So, John is on the call with me today, lifelong Farmer John Wood from US Wellness Meats.  John, how are you doing?

John:  Oh.  Just great, Ben.  Thank you very much for being on your program and congratulations on the liver, and you're also getting about 25 enzymes in the liver that actually helps in some of your metabolic processes.  So something like liver, if you go back to our Native Americans that were on this continent for centuries, I've got several friends that are ancestry to those great Indian tribes, and they would harvest a deer and the first thing they consumed was the liver right out of the body the animal.  The leader of the hunting party and the most senior member of the group got the first bite, and they would eat that liver just directly out of the body cavity and they knew how careful those organ meats were, the liver, the spleen, and thymus glands, and they had figured out over centuries that there's some real nutrition, especially, they didn't have any way to store liver in those days.  They had to consume it right on the spot.  But it's interesting what our ancestors used to do to maintain proper health care with no antibiotics, no trips to the doctor.  You had to have a thriving immune system just to survive.

Ben:  Yeah.  And we didn't quite pull it right out of the cow and eat it, but my wife made it with some onions and bacon last week, and it tastes good if you prepare right.  I know some people may not care for the taste of liver, but I'm tellin' ya', if you get your hands on a good liver recipe, it's good stuff.  So, John, you do something different with the way that you raise your cattle and the way that you run your farm.  What do you do and why do you do what you do?

John:  My story is somewhat interesting.  I came out of a fifth generation family farm in Northeastern Missouri.  I went off to college at Iowa State University and I was trained to be a cattle feeder back in the early 1970s, and that was the dawn of diethylstilbestrol, one of the first hormones given to animals and one the buildings I attended class in the state [0:03:21] ______ patent.  Everyone thought it was a thing to do, nobody knew any implications otherwise, and so I charged along for about 25 years and then stumbled into some research, it's kind of a long story, but somewhere in the late 1990s, I became aware of some research out in the University of Wisconsin about Dr. Mike [0:03:43] ______ doing a PhD study on the possibility of cancer from charcoal broiling beef.  That was kind of a concern back in the 1970s.  And what he discovered, something in red meat was impeding the growth of the tumors he was trying to grow.  Another year or two later, they discovered this double bonded carbon called conjugated linoleic acid, which is not what they intended to discover in this process.  But CLA is produced by grass-fed dairy animals, grass-fed beef animals, lamb, bison, any animal with a four-chambered stomach.  Humans don't produce it, pigs don't produce it. And chickens obviously don't produce it.

But that kind of prompted our curiosity, and in order to do that, this grass-fed meat movement was [0:04:34] ______.  It was a very common practice in Argentina, a very common practice in parts of Australia, a very common practice in parts of New Zealand.  In fact, Argentinians lead the world per capita beef consumption and they were far behind us [0:04:47] ______ from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  So, it makes one wonder just a little bit.  And now that the facts are out now, we've been sadly told from the 1960s that fat was bad, and there were some terrible decisions made by decision makers, we starved ourselves on fats for 30 or 40 years, we've just created a carbohydrate binge and sugar binge, and then we've got the fallout from that all over the place.  But basically, 1997, we harvested the first grass-fed animal, cherry picked the very best animal out of a pasture and took it to the local country locker.  I told the butcher, “I don't think it'll be fit for steaks.  Let me know when you get the hide off and what you think, what you think you would do if it was your animal.”  And he called back, he said, “Low grade, low choice.”  I said, “Oh, no.  It can't grade low choice.  It's just impossible.  It hadn't had a mouthful of grain.”  And I went over looked at it, and I said, “Well, it is low choice.  I can see that.  I can't believe it.  So, go ahead and cut the usual steaks we have in the family order.”

And we got the animal back in about 10 days, two weeks, and had a little barbecue grill set up one night, and we compared that grass-fed animal.  Three of us sat around the grill, three members of the company today, and we cooked it, compare it to a piece of prime perfect beef.  I mean this was prime plus.  And we all three said without a question the grass-fed's got a better flavor.  No question about it.  And we cut both of 'em with a plastic knife and fork.  We just didn't believe it.  We were from the Show-Me State of Missouri [0:06:12] ______ never happened again, and we went about our business for another year and we did the same thing in 1998 and we had the same results, which kind of confounded us.  I mean, I couldn't believe it happened two years in a row.  Then 1999, we harvested the five or six animals and we sent those off.  And when we had them harvested this time, we actually collected tissue from them and we checked for CLA and omega 3s, and the University of Illinois lab was able to do that and the Iowa State University biochem lab.  At that time, you couldn't even go to a commercial lab.  They weren't set up to look for CLA.  We were so far ahead of the curve, we wouldn't even have thought of it.  And then that winter, I guess, December, January, those results came back, and we made the decision to resign from the family farm and chart a whole new course, and I had a piece of property I purchased from my parents and planted part of the farm with grass a year or two before, and that's where this whole thing started.  So, like I said, we were so far ahead of this movement, it wasn't even funny back in 1999, 2000.

Ben:  And you're not doing any old thing with the cattle that you're raising.  You're actually kind of using some different farming methods.  Can you explain how it is that you're raising your cattle?

John:  Well, basically, grass-fed beef is nothing new to this planet.  I mean if you go back 1.8 million years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors were consuming the same thing.  But what we do is a little bit unique.  The buffalo did it to a certain extent, they would graze in one area and then move on.  They would not always stay in a local area for a limited period time.  At that time, there were some predators around, and they would overgraze and overgraze.  They would just graze an area and may not come back for two years, what's called managed grazing and Mother Nature had a system for that.  And on the farms that we've managed, up until the mid-1950s, most of the beef consumed in the United States was grass-fed beef.  My father tells me there would be an auction in Omaha every summer, the really fancy three-year old steers would come off of the Sandhill pastures in Nebraska, and the restauranteurs of New York City and Chicago would bid on those animals on a live basis in Omaha Stockyards.  It's a famous auction.   And those days disappeared as we got into the grain-feeding business.

But what we do differently now, we can get those animals up to weight in two, two-and-a-half years, isn't doesn't take three years, and we do, it's called manage-intensive grazing.  It was a term coined by the University of Missouri back in the 1980s.  Dr. Jim Gerrish was kind of the pioneer and Missouri was probably the forerunner in the country on managing grass.  And basically, if you can imagine the room that you're placing this call in today and you broke the floor up into 30 individual sections, each one represents one day of the month, and the cattle start off in day one, there's four acres and a hundred animals.  Day two, they go to the second paddock.  Day three, the third paddock.  Well, you can imagine if you only mowed once every 30 days, you'd have a lot of green grass, and that's what we're trying to do here.  We're trying to give the grass plants a chance to rest.  And by doing that, instead of cannibalizing the root systems in order to keep growing top growth [0:09:24] ______ every day, they actually grow deeper and the roots go deeper.  And the water, now, we soak up more of the rainfall, the animals spread their manure around more uniformly, we're doing a better job of managing plant nutrients and the nutrients from the animals.  And after four or five years, all of a sudden, you wonder where all this grass came from and we've improved the plant community, we've improved the biodiversity.  Instead of having two or three species, now all of a sudden, they've got six or seven species of plants, some of the old native plants that were wiped out in 1800, you see the bluestems, and the switch grasses, and the Indian grasses start to come back to life.  And so, you change the entire biodiversity of the landscape, and this is fun to watch.  In fact, Jim Gerrish is in your great state of Idaho, in May, Idaho.  He's practicing his trade there now as an independent consultant, but he does a lot of great work in the inner mountain regions of the western states.

Ben:  So, how come, if this is so good for the environment and better for the animals, I mean, why don't all farmers kind of use this method?

John:  Well, number one, it takes more time, it takes more management.  There again, it's what drives your passion.  I'm passionate about land, I'm passionate about producing grass-fed beef.  Most cow/calf operators, the cows are part of their financial network in the business, but they put more emphasis on raising their crops, it helps move out to pasture, they don't really see 'em again until fall because they don't have to haul hay until the summertime.  And so, if you can get by with the least amount of management, well, by upping the management quotient, what we're trying to do, a handful is trying to produce stress, we're working twice as hard to get, two or three times as hard because we're out there every day.  You've got to build some, you have additional fencing requirements.  It's a pretty simple fence to hold an animal.  They get really smart.  They see you come in on your little four-wheeler, they run up to the gate, they wait 'til you open the gate, they can go in and put their head down, and they'll chomp away for 20 minutes, never even to lift their heads up.  So, the animals are in a utopia.  It's their fresh grass every day.  Just the way we manage them, they're much more content than the conventional situation.  And sadly, in most pastures, they spend 90% of their time grazing on 10% of the pasture.  They never walk very far away from the water source and the shade source.  And with this method, we actually encourage those animals to utilize the entire landscape and far more nutrition.

Ben:  So, it's better for the landscape, it's more friendly for the animal.  But how about when you dig into the nutrient profile of meat?  You mentioned higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid, which has, I know, some great properties for everything from brain health to enhancing fat burning.  But what else do you notice in the nutrient profile of an animal that is raised using this method?

John:  The most dramatic thing is, and also roll your clock back to 1900, heart disease was hardly ever, it wasn't even really discussed in medical schools until the 1910s or '20s.  I mean, Mayo Clinic first talked about it in the 1920s.  Prior to that point, it was all grass-fed beef and very little grain was ever fed to cattle, they eat too much and the grain went to pigs and chickens.  Well, what happens when you feed a bovine lots of grain, 20, 25 pounds of corn a day, you dramatically increase the omega 6, decrease omega 3 profile.  In the grazing animal, you have an omega 6 to 3 ratio of 2:1, 3:1.  Fish and chicken are 3 or 4:1, and grain-fed beef is about 18 to 20:1.  So, you have a dramatic difference in omega 6s.  And we worked with a strong man athlete, John Andersen, he was kind of one of the top strongman athletes back in 2003 and '04, now he's involved with the WWE.  But John told me after consuming three to four pounds of our beef a day for about five weeks, how much stronger he felt back in 2003.  He said, “Gee, my elbows are better, my hands are better, my hips are better, knees are better.”  Of course, a guy like John Andersen who's sitting there deadlifting 900 pounds and squatting 800 pounds 15 or 20 times, I mean just wear and tear.  And so, he immediately noticed the effect of the omega 3s.  That's the most dramatic thing.

And the doctor said for years, “Eat your fish and chicken.”  Well, the whole deal was slow down red meat and various fish and chicken, the white meats, and lower that omega 6 level.  We all need some omega 6s, but we get way too many in the American diet.  From an athletic perspective, the branched chain amino acids are higher.  So, if you're an athlete, a basketball player, you can jump higher, rebound higher.  And baseball players ought to be able to, we've got a couple of pro-baseball players, and one of them called me the other day or sent me a text an hour before game time, it was like last Friday, “I want know if you should eat a pemmican bars.”  I said, “My gosh.  Yeah.  Sure.”  I said, “Your fly balls will go 50 feet further with all the extra energy.”  So, in a real nutshell, in the bullet point form, omega 6/3 ratio, dramatically better.  The CLA ratio is much higher because there's very little CLA in grain-fed beef.  There's a little bit the animal retains as a calf and has its own mother.  But by keeping the animals on grass for 200 days really raise CLA levels.  They are a significant contributor, polyunsaturated, good for the heart, fights cancer, fights diabetes, and helps take off fat, put on lean muscle.  There was a trial in the winter of 1999, 2000 in Iowa State where they fed some pigs hydrogenated safflower oil, which is a synthetic form of CLA.  Well, the pigs had 25% last back fat and 10% larger loin eye.  So, they were putting on less fat and putting on more muscle.  And then the cattle group saw the same thing, but there was no economical way to feed safflower oil.  We got in a kind of a free, our lab work was free the first time.  They actually are real excited to get some actual grass-fed samples to compare against their synthetic samples.

Ben:  Right.  Now you have obviously expanded beyond beef, and I know that you've got some other things, and I'll link to US Wellness Meats, by the way, for people listening in who want to kind of look at some of the stuff.  But what other types of things are you now raising on your, I guess you've got more than one farm now.  Right?

John:  That's correct.  And after about 2003, we were having real troubles, and we were working on the marketing side, and we actually brought an outside consultants.  So, you really need some marketing flankers, I don’t think the football players with marketing flankers.  And so, we added grass-fed butter and we added free range chickens, and we immediately noticed a deal an uptake in sales.  And we were real careful, we found a great company in Minnesota who was with us for about seven years now, actually went out of business tragically about two years ago.  That was some the best grass-fed butter in the world.  And we replaced it with some Kerrygold Butter out of Ireland, which is 100% grass-fed butter.  But free-range chickens, we got a farmer in the Carolinas, the retired president of the organic association there have been doing free range chickens for 30 years.  And so, we've been able to surround ourselves with people equally passionately involved, and we have an Oklahoma producer now with some same like can produce a lot of chicken for us.  We got into grass-fed lamb.  That's a real niche.  We use hair sheep.  These animals do not produce wool, so you don't have [0:16:38] ______.  So, it's really clean.  In fact, I think grass-fed lamb loin chops are equal to beef tenderloin fillets.  I mean they're just exquisite and good quality flavor.  The people are really after lean meat, they were after the bison, and we've been selling bison now for seven years.  Our primary supplier is an Indian reservation northeast of Rapid City, South Dakota.  They still harvest the bison in the field, they bring a USDA [0:17:06] ______ to the fields, really clever way they do it, but I mean, that's just way bison are harvested for centuries.  So, a pretty unique story.  And we have a rabbit producer producing rabbits on the alfalfa hay, and it’s a really clean product.  The gentleman's a retired Russian analyst for the US Army.  We just surrounded ourselves with really fine people by searching out people that are really, we're doing the same thinking process.  We were able to help their marketing out as we went along.  But those are the primary proteins that we're dealing with.

Ben:  So, if you're not a fan of beef, you've got some other options like the rabbit and the lamb, and obviously butter.  And you're doing cheese as well?

John:  Yeah.  We do about 10 different kinds of raw dairy cheese, which is just exquisite stuff.  And this is made with raw unpasteurized milk and it's got to be aged for 60 days before we can sell it.  But if you're a cheese connoisseur, I guarantee you, you'll find something you really like.

Ben:  You age cheese, and I know that makes it taste better.  Is there any other reason that you're aging it?

John:  Well, it's because in order to sell raw cheese, it's got to ferment for a minimum of 60 days before USDA lets you sell.  So, the cheese maker has a mold of cheese, and it's got to set at a certain temperature for 60 days, and then they come, USDA has a process for supervising that, but it's worked really, really well for us.

Ben:  Now, you also age your meat, right?

John:  That's one of our secrets.  We learned that, just kind of by dumb luck, we were with a company in 1999, the first animals we harvested through our connection at the University of Missouri  called PM Beef, and they were the first company to really perfect wet aging, and that's where you harvest the animal on Monday.  On Wednesday, you break the carcass into 20 sub-primal cuts, your flanks, your skirts, your briskets, your inside rounds, outside rounds, rib-eye, tenderlion, striploins, and those cuts go into a vacuum bag and they set at 32, 33 degrees for a minimum of 30 days before we touch them.  And by doing that, we even out the flavor profile, the enzymatic action there will actually tenderize the meat.  We don't let it dry age, which is the centuries old method, because dry aging evaporates 3 to 5% of the water out of the carcass in the process.  In cooking meat, tenderness is moisture.  It's real short and simple: the better job you do at cooking, the more moisture you leave in the product.  And by doing the wet aging, we've already left 5% more moisture in the product than you would have otherwise with the dry aging process.  So, that's been one of our secrets.  I've got a father who's 89 years of age, he'll let me know if it's not right and he just raves about how tender this product is.  We get very, very few complaints about tough steaks, and that's just one thing we couldn't afford to have.  So, the aging process really, really helped us on that.

Ben:  And you also have this other thing that I have a freezer full of now and am pretty much hooked on and addicted to, it's called pemmican.  Can you explain exactly what pemmican is and how you guys are making it or what makes it unique and how somebody would use something like this?

John:  We had a phone call from a fitness trainer in Syosset, New York back in probably 2002, one of our early customers, and knew them by name back in those days 'cause we didn't have that many customers.  And he was a student of the Russian strength coaches back in the 1920s and '30s.  In, fact he was allowed to go to Russia and a handpicked group of people, five or six people, were allowed to go to Russia, somewhere about that same time frame, and they got to meet some of these older coaches who were in 80s and 90s.  And interestingly enough, before the dawn of steroids in weight training, they figured out that pemmican, which was made by the folks in Siberia and made by our ancestors in this country before refrigeration, they would harvest buffalo in this country, and I don't know what sort of animals they harvested in Russia, yaks or whatever they were, and they would take the leanest muscle in the animal, and they would dry it, and they would turn it into jerky.  They would almost air dry it.  It was like 10% moisture.  And then any of the fat that came off around the kidneys, and the organs, and around the underside of the eye, they would actually put that over a fire, and they would reduce all the water out of it, and take impurities out of it, and then they had pure tallow and they had pure dried jerky.  And they would usually add maybe some dried cherries or some raw honey, both of those are anti-bacterial, and they would make this patty called pemmican.

And you can google pemmican, P-E-M-M-I-C-A-N, and you'll see a number recipes from around the world.  But the beauty of it is it's very high-protein and very high-fat.  Well, it's a paleo food extraordinaire for the paleo movement.  The pemmican that we make is about 45% tallow and about 55% jerky.  And we've kind of restructured the pemmican bars now, a little smaller model, our 2.14 ounces, or you can buy it in a two-pound tub, but the pemmican is just the perfect paleo food.  There is no garbage in it.  It comes three different ways.  We make one model with 2%, I think 2% raw honey and 3% dried cherry, and then make it in Celtic sea salt.  And then we have another model, we take the honey and the cherry out, leave the sea salt in.  And then the third model is no salt, no honey, and no cherry.  There's a pretty dramatic flavor difference there when you take the salt out, but it's one of our most wildly popular items.  And pemmican is a unique food, either you like it or you don't like it.  Some people that don't really care for it will actually add some raw honey to it when they consume it.  But I'll have probably three pemmican bars a day on the average.

Ben:  How many calories are in one of those pemmican bars?  I'm just curious, 'cause I stay full for so long after I eat one.

John:  If it's a 2.14-ounce bar, there is about one ounce of tallow, or .96 ounces of tallow and the balance of it is going to be dry jerky.  Very, very dry jerky.  So, it's very high protein, very high fat, and there's just a slight amount of carbohydrate, the fat gives you a very, very slight bump on the carbohydrate chart.  If you consume one or two of those for breakfast, you're not hungry again 'til 2 to 3 o'clock in the afternoon.  It's a great snack to take to the office.

Ben:  Yeah.  I've even chopped one up in some scrambled eggs before and that really tops me off.  So, you've got pemmican, and by the way, for those of you folks listening in whose mouths just watering right now, we'll put a discount for you. I'll give it to you right now and we'll give it to you again at the end of the show.  But if you go to US Wellness Meats or you just follow the link that I have there in the show notes for you, you can use the discount code or the promo code Greenfield and that'll give you 15% off discount for pretty much anything you order as long as it's under 40 pounds and it's not one of their on-sale type of items.  But it's code Greenfield and we'll put a link in the show notes.  Now, John, you also have some other things.  You've got condiments, things like seasoning salts and barbecue sauces.  Are you making these yourself, or are you guys kind of like sourcing them somewhere, or what's the deal with the condiments and why would someone want to use something like this?

John:  Basically, the barbecue sauce, we made that ourselves.  We had a shredded beef product that we were looking at, and a lot of people sell the shredded beef in like a pulled pork sauce and we couldn't find a sauce that met our specs.  We didn't want any high fructose corn syrup, we didn't want any MSG, and there's a hundred ways to hide MSG in barbecue sauce, if you may not be aware of it, but probably every commercial sauce has probably got it in there.  And we want it really clean and we want it to taste good.  And after three months of trial and error with a sauce maker up in North Dakota who makes all the Annie's barbecue sauce.  So, first of all, I had to find a sauce maker that was interested in doing something that's healthy, and that a little bit of struggle.  But anyway, this company we've been using now for about seven years, six or seven years, the sauce is quite a hit.  We actually have it in our shredded beef, it's one of our heat-and-serve products.  And if you got kids in the household, you can warm it up and serve in about 15 minutes.  It's really simple.  And we sell the sauce by itself, and we're selling lots of sauce, way more I'm ever used to.  But once you try it, you're kind of hooked on it.  It actually passes the natural specs of a sample of a natural label.  There's a little bit of sugar cane, they call it organic sucanats, which is like the first piece of sugar off the sugar cane.  It's unrefined, the real raw form of it.  And there's raw honey that doesn’t spoil.  So, the barbecue sauce has been a lot of fun.

The seasoning salt, we did a trade show in St. Louis six or seven years ago, there was a guy that came up to me and he said, “I want you to try my seasoning salt.”  I said, “Okay.  Yeah, yeah.  Everyone's got a seasoning salt.”  Well, I've come to find out this guy's mother, who at the time was actually deceased, she was extremely sensitive to chemicals.  She was a super sensitive person.  She was having, this was gentlemen about my age, so back in 1950s, she developed her own, it was called “My House Salt” and she made herself.  It had coarse salt, she had five herbs, and there were no oils, no binders, no garbage.  And this stuff works on fish, works of chicken, works on beef, works on lamb.  And I've tried a lot of sauces, bought a lot of dry rubs, but this was really, really good stuff.  And that's another unique story.  And then her sons actually got a little older and then they started selling it to some local people wanted it.  So, they gave some of their friends, and then they actually started, got it in a couple grocery stores around St. Louis back to the 1980s.  And then, they slowly [0:27:09] ______ thing and it's a really, really unique product.

And then we've got an olive oil that we that we've actually sourced from California.  The trees are two hundred years of age, it's a really unique old olive that's been in California.  So, the trees like, for example, 200 years of age, and I assume the Spaniards or somebody brought those in years and years ago.  The raw honey, we have a raw honey producer here, not too far from where we work out of here in northeastern Missouri, and it's real raw unfiltered honey and it's really, really good stuff.  We've had a lot of people rave about the honey.

Ben:  Nice.  Yeah, this stuff is, I mean, it's so fun to just order some of the stuff and taste it.  I mean, everything's just different.  You can definitely taste the difference when you try it, and I think a lot of folks aren't really aware that not all salt is created equal, and not all honey is created equal, and not all barbecue sauce is created equal.  And there are some important considerations when you're trying to take care of your body and make sure that you get good nutrients into it without actually doing any damage with preservatives, and artificial flavorings, and things of that nature.  Now our pets are also important and you guys have pet food.  And I got tell you, I haven't used your pet food because for our pets, my wife just literally makes pet food in the blender with a bunch of beef, and kale, and minerals, and stuff like that.  But if somebody wanted to actually order pet food and not make a big mess in their kitchen, what do you guys have in your pet food?

John:  We have a pet burger, which we do, like all the beef parts, the beef liver, all the trimmings that comes of the heart and liver goes into this pet burger products.  That's about 5 to 10% beef, and beef heart, and beef liver trim.  And the balance of it, it's probably 75 to 80% lean, and it's just ground beef.  We put a pet label sticker on it just so you don't get it mixed up the rest your ground beef.  Plus with the organ meats, you can't mix those together anyway for human consumption.  We did that years ago and never thought of it.  We had a few people ask us about it and we haven't gone to the trouble to make a really complicated recipe, but I've got a 105 pound yellow lab who's just thrived on it.  In fact, he broke a leg when he was about six months of age, he had rear leg, he fell out the back of my pick-up, tragically, one Sunday afternoon at a really low speed.  But anyway, bad fracture and the vet said I can't really split that, and there's a specialist and he wanted $3,000.  I pinned the dog up and I gave him marrow bones that we have. We have center-cut marrow bones, and we actually have another company call US Wellness, and I gave him some CalMag out of there, which is a really unique calcium magnesium supplement that's made off the crystal and it's two parts magnesium, one part calcium, and the primary driver was just a pound or two of a pet burger a day.

And after about two weeks, he was putting weight on the leg.  And after about four weeks, he got out of his pen one day, and six weeks later, you couldn't tell he'd ever hurt a thing.  I mean, it was the darndest thing I ever saw.  And I took him back for an x-ray a couple months later and the vet says, “Whatever you do, don't tell anybody about this.  It's kind of bad for my business,” 'cause most people would probably have put the dog down.  I mean it was a bad break, it was a candy cane fracture.  And he's four years of age now and you can't ever tell he ever had a broken leg.  But it gets back to the power of really good food.  And he was gobbling, he was eating about a pound of marrow bone a day.  The bone marrow is really powerful stuff.  And we made marrow bone broth, if you don't want to cook out your bones yourself.  We have a really difficult time keeping in stock marrow bones.  People on the GAPS diet have just gone kind of nuts over these bones.  But that's our…

Ben:  Just because of the ability to make the bone broth out of them for healing the gut?

John:  Exactly.  And then that dog, I mean, I'll feed him marrow bones about once every two weeks now, or every three weeks.  He'll get a nice big bone.  But if you give him too many bones, he'll just be a, I mean, his hair, just like brand new now.  I mean, it's amazing how the hair coat will shine up on him, and he's a 100% raw diet.  He has zero processed foods.

Ben:  Yeah.  All this stuff is fabulous.  I like your guys' website that you can actually, you can get any of this stuff there.  Now of course, I know I'll get the comments from people on the show notes that you need to support your local agriculture and support your local farm.  And folks, I'm certainly not saying that that's not the case.  For example, we do buy a local half of a cow here in Spokane, Washington where my wife and I live, and we get our eggs in our milk from a CSA, but there are a lot of people that listen in that don't have access to that stuff, I know.  And for you, being able to just order this stuff, like pemmican, and raw honey, and grass-fed dairy that's actually healthy without the antibiotics and hormones, and grassland poultry, and lamb, and wild caught seafood, these are things that can be hard to get and there is a little bit of convenience to being able to point and click.  But the goal of today's podcast was to make you aware of this US Wellness Meats and also to kind of educate you on the fact that not all farms are running their operations the same way.  So, again, John graciously offered for anybody listening in, you get 15% discount with the code Greenfield over at US Wellness Meats.  And I'll be sure to put the link and everything in the show notes as well.  John, anything else you want to share with the audience?

John:  Yes, Ben.  A couple of things.  We started off on liver and we commented about not everybody likes liver.  We actually have a couple organs sausages.  One's called braunschweiger, which is 35% liver and 65% ground beef.  A lot of people that don't like the liver rave about the braunschweiger.  If you didn't tell the what was in there, they wouldn't know.  It's a really good flavor.  We put just a touch of raw honey in that to sweeten it up a little bit.  So, if you're not really a liver junkie like some of us are, the braunschweiger's a great choice.  And we have another organ sausage called liverwurst, which will be restocked here early next week.  But it's got kidney, and heart, and liver.  It's about 50% organ meats and 50% ground beef.  Those are easy ways, and most kids who love, young children who really haven't had any, they're young and naive, I've been in enough trade shows, I've rarely ever seen a child that didn't like liverwurst or like braunschweiger.

As we get older we have these preconceived ideas of what's good and what's bad, but those are, in fact, one of our good customers had a pair of daughters, twin daughters born three months premature.  At 18 months of age, they were well above normal height and weight, and that those kids have never consumed standard baby food.  They've eaten grass-fed beef heart, grass-fed beef liver.  The father's a really true pioneer in the paleo movement, and those kids have been raised on a paleo diet.  But it's just amazing, I have a number of people I know that have made, we have several customers who've lose a hundred pounds by just switching the meat they eat.  We have athletes that have gone from a 540-pound deadlift in April of 2010, by November of 2010, they're doing a 720-pound deadlift.  They've never used a steroid and the main change was just changing the meat.  They go from Cosco, whatever the cheapest hamburger is at Sam's or wherever they buy, then they're putting this grass-fed ground beef in the diet full of CLA and omega 3s, and it's just really fun to watch this stuff take place.

Ben:  Yeah.  I like it.  And of course, folks, if you're listening in, you probably are going to want to grab yourself a chest freezer.  That's what I did.  That's where all my pemmican is stocked right now.  Anyways though, John, thank you so much for coming on and kind of educating us about this stuff.

John:  It's been my pleasure Ben.  And I appreciate you taking time to spread the good news because our whole mission and this endeavor is education, education, and education.  We're having to reteach yourselves things that my great-great grandfather. great-great grandmother took for granted.  I mean, they do all the stuff, if you go back for four or five generations, because they had to be healthy.  There were no antibiotics to protect infection from the blister and there were no antibiotics to protect from a sore throat, and what drove them to eat well was the fact that they had to eat well, they have a well-tuned autoimmune system, and I think that's a real weak link we have in this world today.

Ben:  Well folks, it's US Wellness Meats.  You can check out the show notes for this episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com, and the 15% discount you can use at US Wellness Meats is Greenfield.  And John, thanks for your time today.

John:  Thank you very much.  Have a super year.  Very good.



The photo above is a picture of one of my favorite recipes: liver with some bacons and onions. Mmm…

And that's not just any old liver. It's 100% antibiotic free and non-added hormone beef liver, from a sustainable, new model farm run by a company called “U.S. Wellness Meats“.

OK, OK – so even if liver isn't your thing (despite the fact that a single serving of liver can load you up with nearly all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need to power through an entire day), maybe you do like the thought of guilt-free, fatty cuts of grass-fed beef, real butter, raw cheese and healthy raw honey.

You're in luck.

In today's interview, I talk to John Wood, the mastermind farmer behind U.S. Wellness Meats. During our conversation, you'll learn:

-Why old methods of farming require inhumane treatment of animals and sub-par, grain-fed meat that can make you sick…

-The key secrets behind the new model of raising farm animals using a rotation grazing methods…

-How to have holistic land management and a self-sustaining farm – and what that means for you and your health…

-How this new model goes beyond cattle, and how it can be used for duck, pork, fish and more…

-What pemmican is and to fit it into your diet…

-The truth about honey, cheese and real butter…

-And much more (we even talk about pet food!





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