[Transcript] – How To Start A Farm & Grow Your Own Food, The Craziest New Mushroom Formulations You’ve Never Heard Of, How To Be Insanely Productive & Spiritual At The Same Time & Much More With Jordan Rubin.

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From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/jordan-rubin-how-to-farm-podcast/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:00] Podcast Sponsors

[00:05:38] Who is Jordan Rubin

[00:09:38] Jordan's morning routine

[00:21:44] Jordan's journey into regenerative organic farming

[00:29:07] Everyone can start growing food

[00:34:29] Podcast Sponsors

[00:39:55] What is organic regenerative farming

[00:45:36] Basic steps for regenerative organic farming

[00:49:55] How to prepare for successful farming

[01:02:38] Water contamination by ducks

[01:05:47] Creating supplements with fungi

[01:16:09] Best way to follow Jordan and learn

[01:19:40] Closing the Podcast

[01:20:51] Upcoming Event

[0:1:22:44] End of Podcast

Ben:  My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

Jordan:  Most farms today are degenerating. The water quality is bad. The soil is dirt, to your point, it's dead, it just basically holds seeds. There's no life in it. The birds, the indigenous animals, they're gone. Even the microbes are fried. That's degeneration. Regeneration involves caring for the soil, plants, animals, and people so that each year, month, and day, you can measure the ecological improvements 

Ben:  Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.

Let's say you don't want to eat 10 salads a day but you wanted the micronutrients and vitamins and minerals that you can get from plants. And, you know one of those plant defense chemicals going up your system or a giant grocery shopping cart full of kale. Well, there is a company called Organifi. They make the most amazing tasty low sugar, glyphosate-free, organic superfood blends. You just take a scoop of this stuff. It's less than 3 bucks a day and you're paying 15, 20 bucks for these green juices a lot of times from these juicery outlets and it's ridiculous. You can make this stuff for pennies on the dollar in your home with no shopping and chopping and clean up and juicing. And, they taste amazing, organic, they're free of fillers. And then, I mentioned less than 3 grams of sugar per serving, so you aren't sucking down 10 apples and four pears and two bananas jammed into a little 8-ounce bottle. They're amazing.

Organifi makes a host of products but their Green Juice, you got to try that stuff if you just want all your vegetables and you want it done for you. Great tasting. Organifi.com, it's Organifi with an i.com/Ben is how you can try this stuff. Highly recommend and it's a just a great easy way to get your nutrients in.

I've been so impressed by a recent energy drink company that is now taking the world by storm, it's called Update, that I've actually invested in this company. I want to come straight out and tell you that I recently wrote a check because I've been drinking this stuff for a few months now and I'm so impressed that the clean energy without a crash, without a jitters–and, I think the reason is Update uses a molecule that none of the other energy drink companies I'm aware of have touched or hold a patent to or able to use. And, it's called paraxanthine. Paraxanthine, I've done a podcast on it. You got to go listen. It's a revolutionary new energy source that's isolated and refined from caffeine. 

And, unlike caffeine, not only does it not give you jitters or a crash, but it gives you weird things like confidence and swagger and word recall and better focus and manages things like distractibility and attention deficits. I mean, it's crazy what this thing can actually do. And, you just drink a can but it's not got all the nasty stuff like the Monsters and the Red Bulls, et cetera, have. It's very clean, very naturally sweetened, very low calorie and low carbohydrate as well, which is amazing, and all their ingredients are backed by peer-reviewed scientific research. One of the best formulas on the face of the planet. My friend, Shawn Wells, was a key part of isolating this paraxanthine component and figuring out how to get it into drink Update in the right ratios combined with the right ingredients to give you energy for hours and hours. And, the cool thing is you can drink it before a dinner party and it doesn't affect your sleep deleteriously at night, which for me is amazing. I can get a pick-me-up without disrupting sleep.

So, you get 10% off of Update. Here's how. Go to drinkupdate.com/Ben and use code BEN for 10% off your order. That's drinkupdate.com/Ben and use code BEN.

A couple years ago, one of my most popular podcasts of all time, I interviewed Tony Robbins and Peter Diamandis. They wrote this book called “Life Force” with all these latest cutting-edge things you could do for longevity and to increase health span and lifespan. We got to a section of that interview where they blew my mind about this new form of NAD. So, NAD is this darling of the anti-aging industry. And, there is now this weird form of it called NAD3. And, it's way better absorbed than other forms of NAD and then you can combine it with certain things to enhance its effects.

Now, what they've done at this company called BioStack Labs is they've taken that NAD3 that I learned about from Tony and Peter and they've put it along with spermidine, resveratrol, and niacinamide, three other amazing anti-aging and longevity components. And together, these ingredients create this totally unrivaled formula for people who want to enhance their NAD status without going busting around with getting a bunch of IVs and also want the NAD combined with the stuff that makes it work best and want this brand-new form of NAD that just blows the other ones out of the ballpark. So, NAD, NR, NMN, and then there's NAD3, which is just in a category on its own. 

So, if you want this stuff and if you want to try, it's called NAD Regen, NAD Regen. You get one bottle free when you buy two bottles. So, you get two bottles for 134 bucks, then they throw in one for free. So, that's worth $67. And, you do this when you go to biostacklabs.com/Ben. I've just been popping three when I get up in the morning and it's amazing in terms of what it can do for things like sleep deprivation, for brain, for cellular healing, for overall longevity, a lot of research behind NAD. And, this new form is amazing. So, biostacklabs.com/BEN. biostacklabs.com/Ben is where you can grab this stuff and try it for yourself.

Well, folks, my guest on today's show has been on the show before, but not to discuss the kind of stuff that we're going to get into today. If you're interested in this whole trend towards growing your own food or growing food for others or maybe throwing a few farm-to-fork dinners or whatever you want to call it and you're interested it in a more regenerative approach, more organic approach. My guests on today's show has really cracked the code on that. 

He's known as a guy who is a real pioneer in the health and wellness industry. He's a New York Times best-selling author of a book called “The Maker's Diet.” But, just because he's an underachiever, also has 29 additional books, including one called the “Probiotic Diet,” which I think is his latest book. And, he and I had a chance to sit at dinner a couple of months ago in Nashville and we didn't get a chance to talk too much, but he dropped a few hints about a lot of cool new things he's doing when it comes to regenerative organic farming, something that I'm pretty interested in myself because of a new home build that I'm doing in Idaho. So, I figured I'd get him on the show and we talk a lot about the really forward-thinking approach that he has to regenerative farming.

Now, his name, if you haven't guessed yet, is Jordan Rubin. And, Jordan is the founder of Garden of Life and Ancient Nutrition, two big whole-food nutrition supplement brands along with Beyond Organic, which is an organic food and beverage and dietary supplement manufacturer. He's responsible for formulating literally hundreds of dietary supplements. People in the supplement industry go to Jordan all the time for advice and information about functional foods, about beverages and increasingly about farming and healing the planet. And, as a matter of fact, Jordan's farm is actually called Heal the Planet Farm. It's a Regenerative Organic Certified farm. And, he also has the Center for Regenerative Agriculture, which we're going to learn a little bit more about today. And, his farms are located in Missouri and in Tennessee. 

And, if that's not enough, Jordan is not only the father of six children, but he's also a man after my own heart and that he doesn't just focus on say his body or his business or his brain, but is in fact also a real spiritual warrior and has a lot of amazing habits for maintaining his spiritual growth and his connection to God, which I really respect. And so, he's doing a lot but he's also taking care of himself and his spirit while helping a lot of other people. So, Jordan, welcome to the show, man.

Jordan:  It's great to be here. Ben, I was thinking this morning as I was exercising and eating or in this case, not eating, I'm like, “I wonder if Ben's going to ask me what I did this morning” because you dropped the hint about the message I shared at a church in California not long ago about heavenly habits for faithful families. So, anyway, I think it's important when you're going to go on a health podcast that you make sure to do things that day that are aligned with your message because someone may call you out. So, it's a good reminder.

Ben:  So, please don't tell me that you just got done with the coffee enema or something.

Jordan:  No. I definitely am not into those. But, if you are, that's okay. Yeah. I got in trouble one time in my “The Maker's Diet” book. I rewrote the jingle for those of you who are old enough to remember, I said, “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup” if you're a child of the '80s. And, you're into coffee enemas. But, no, I'm definitely not on that end of the speculum if you know what I mean.

Ben:  Okay. Alright. Well, fair enough, fair enough. We'll get you to come around at some point.

By the way, you talk about those heavenly habits and actually, that podcast, that talk that you give to the church about everything that you do to care for your spirit when you wake was actually really fantastic. And, I was actually originally going to ask you first to jump into what you're doing right now with regenerative organic farming. But, what I'm going to do is I'm going to link to that talk that you gave in the shownotes for this podcast. So, you can go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/HowtoFarm if you want to hear a good hour of what Jordan calls his Heavenly Habits that he starts his day with. 

But, Jordan, do you think you would be able to give us just a quick five-minute overview of what that looks like, like how you care for your spirit in the morning knowing that I'll direct people to a more detailed talk that you gave to that church.

Jordan:  Yeah. Well, I am the ultimate multitasker. And, I know that it is really good and really challenging sometimes if you're not one, but I just want to maximize every minute of every day. And, I wake up in the morning with a purpose in mind. And so, a few things that I do that are critical, I use technology for my benefit. I listen to the Bible every morning. The app I like is bible.is, but there's YouVersion, there's Bible Gateway, there's many. But, I'm an audible learner, so as soon as I get up, I put my earphones in and I'm listening to the Bible and then I start getting all my supplements and smoothies ready for my family. I have six children and I kind of prepare all of their breakfasts and supplements and smoothies. It's a important thing that I do. And, when I'm doing that, I try to pray for each of my children because this can be mundane but I've often said the miracles are found in the mundane. And, habits are absolutely amazing. So, I do that.

I also pretty quickly will quote what I call a daily declaration. So, I've written this over the last 10 years and it is a series of promises from the Bible for my life. So, I'm speaking this, praying this over my life, my wife, my family. And, it's great because the Bible is a very agricultural book if you don't realize it. And, since I'm in agriculture, a lot of God's promises apply to me. So, I figure since you have life and death and the power of your tongue and we typically talk about what we're afraid of, so many people are talking about their disease they've been diagnosed with or their financial situation or marriage if it's bad.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jordan:  But, why not talk about what we want in life and declare God's promises? So, that's a big part of what I do. I will also read a scripture. Right now, this is a habit of mine. I read a scripture that corresponds to the day of the year. So today, I'm reading the scripture. This is being recorded on April 3rd. So, I type in Bible 4:3. And, whatever scripture comes up, I will meditate on it.

Ben:  Wait, wait, wait, what do you mean Bible 4:3? How's that work exactly?

Jordan:  In whatever date it is, so it's 4:3, and whatever the most popular verse that corresponds to that date comes up.

Ben:   Oh, interesting.

Jordan:  It's just a system I'm doing right now. So many ways to do it.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jordan:  And then, I will meditate on that verse and I will write a prayer or sort of what God is speaking to me about that particular verse. Today, it had a lot to do with how I need to be focused on the needs of others and not so much myself. In fact, I think it was Proverbs 4:3.

Ben:  But, that by the way is why you didn't do a coffee enema.

Jordan:  Exactly.

Ben:  Yeah, okay.

Jordan:  And then, this is probably the thing that I enjoy the most because we tend to imagine what we don't want to happen in our lives. We're very fear-based. So, my favorite Bible verse right now is Ephesians 3:20. And, I combine translations but it says, “And God will give you exceedingly abundantly more than you could ever ask, think, or imagine according to His power that is within you.” And so, I figured if God will give me more than I can ask, think, or imagine, I better start imagining some really great things happening in life.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jordan:  And so, I will write down three, what I call imaginations, that I want to see happen. Prayer requests for a friend who's dealing with a health issue to be healed or someone who's got financial issues or a big decision in our family. And, I'll write that down. And, what I'm excited about is that I want to watch over the years as God answers those prayers and allows those imaginations of faith to come to fruition. I think it'll be a great testament that will outlive me. So, it's really not just a spiritual tune-up, it's creating a legacy with my journaling and the scripture and the imaginations that my children and future generations can see and hopefully derive and strengthen faith from.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. And, by the way, I noticed in that talk that you gave on heavenly habits that you keep a lot of this declaration that you write and you're journaling about what you read in the scripture that day. And, even this daily prayer that you pray that you build upon each week, you keep that on the cloud so it's almost like you're going to be able to pass all this via technology on the future generations, which is really cool.

Jordan:  Doesn't it make sense if your heavenly habits are in the clouds? I mean, it's kind of technological message there.

Ben:  Exactly. Your heavenly habits are actually in heaven. It's interesting because I think that a lot of people might feel that technology somehow sucks the sacredness out of something like a spiritual practice and they want to go off to some pristine mountaintop and pray well completely disconnected or read Bible from an old tattered book of scripture. But, I share your sentiments that if we can use technology to our advantage to grow spiritually in an intelligent way without distractions, I think it makes a lot of sense.

And, I have a similar habit to you, Jordan. I wake up in the morning and I don't know about you, but I want to go crush the day. It's really hard for me to make sure that I'm keeping myself from taking the business right away instead tending to my spirit. And so, for me, I keep the phone in airplane mode but you use the bible.is, I use one called the Bible in One Year. And, it's kind of a cool app because every time you finish listening to basically what amounts to a few prayers, reading of the Old Testament, a reading of the New Testament, and some commentary on that, it automatically, when you do take your phone out of airplane mode, downloads the next day's session, which is typically a 10- to 20-minute-long session. I think I remember you saying that you've trained yourself to listen to the Bible two or two and a half time speeds. You can literally get through the whole Bible in what, a half year or something like that listening each morning.

Jordan:  Yeah, it's more four months. But, since I'm up for multiple hours, I've done it in 10 days. So, it just depends. When I'm traveling, I try to listen to it more. And, you made a point to say people don't have to go to a sacred place using an old tattered Bible. My prayer closet is my sauna. And so, as I said, I'm always multitasking and so I'm trying to get the most out of my day but it's a great private place for me. And, I will say this, people who are successful in any aspect of life, it's due to repetition and daily habits. And, you have to find a way to be excited about them. So, when I made my kids smoothies this morning and when I set out everybody's supplements, I have to take a second to appreciate the fact that God's given me this wisdom through a lot of hard-earned health challenges, but also I'm able to procure, afford, and provide these amazing foods and beverages and supplements to my family. And so, I want to value the journey more than I do the destination. And, that is so hard when you're driven to results, but I'm trying every day.

Ben:  Yeah, your hard-earned health journey, by the way, for those of you who want to take a deep dive into Jordan's really inspirational backstory, go listen to his previous episode that I did with him, which again is going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/HowtoFarm.

And, Jordan, a couple of last things before we get into your journey into regenerative organic farming here. I just wanted to share with folks that Jordan and I both really love to feed ourselves spiritually each morning. And, in addition to that Bible in One Year app that I use, my rule is that before I listen to any podcast I have to do with business or productivity or health or fitness or nutrition or anything else, after I finish that 10 to 20 minutes Bible in One Year. 

Like Jordan, I'm multitasking. I'm going on to do my foam rolling and preparing the coffee or the tea for that morning or preparing breakfast or going on a walk or what have you. But, always after I listen to that Bible in One Year, I either am shifting directly into at least 45 minutes of an audiobook that's purely focused on spiritual growth. Right now, I'm going through Dennis Prager's entire commentary on the Torah, which is fantastic. He currently has Exodus, Deuteronomy and Numbers finished. It's one of the deepest dives into the Old Testament that I've ever experienced. 

In addition to that, I also have several sermon podcasts that I subscribe to. So, it always starts off with my Bible in One Year and then the sermon or the audiobook. And then, at 7:30 a.m., I gather the entire family for our morning meditation, our morning prayer, and our morning devotions. So, that means that by the time 9:00 a.m. has rolled around, there's been a good 90 minutes of spiritual growth that's occurred but it's not as though I'm simply sitting on a meditation cushion by my bed doing that, I'm getting a lot of other things done, which I think for a busy working professional, it's a little more doable, right Jordan?

Jordan:  Absolutely. And, I think building these family habits is incredible because our kids, by and large, are being raised by the world AKA technology. And, that's the negative side of technology. But, I have tried to really make it a habit over the last few years when my family is all together, which is not as often as it once was due to kids going in every direction that we have these habits that, I believe, they will and in most part carry on as they continue into adulthood and parenthood. 

So, I didn't have that when I was a child. I think it's so, so important. And, you talk about Torah, I have a Jewish background, and although I'm what you'd call a Jewish Christian or a Born-Again Jew, I always have to go against the grain no matter where my situation or origin starts. But, in the Torah, you see so many things that God mandated or at minimum, strongly commanded for the Israelites or Hebrews to be separate, set apart. And, it was all based on these habits and what some would call rituals. So, I think we look at that as a negative connotation, but to me, the more you can build into daily habits with your family that transform your body, mind, and spirit, the better you're going to be. And, I think if you peel back the onion, you're either intentionally habitual or unintentionally. So, people that are not successful have their own habits as well, they're just not positive ones.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. How you live your day is how you live your life, right?

Jordan:  Absolutely.

Ben:  Yeah. You and I could probably have a good couple of hours discussion about our morning habits alone, but I really wanted to talk about farming. And again, part of this is selfish because I know that you're a deep well of wisdom when it comes to how to take the land around you and transform it into a property that could feed your family, feed the community, feed other people, and also help to care for our planet. 

And, especially you and I both being Christians, I think that sometimes this whole dominion mandate that God gave to Adam and Eve in the first ever garden can sometimes be misconstrued and rather than, I think, a lot of people viewing it as us being responsible for gardening and caring for this planet and ensuring that we don't have to hop on Elon Musk's spaceship to Mars 20 years from now because we've just raped and pillaged our entire planet. It's instead a commandment to nourish the garden that we've been given to care for the planet Earth and to not only take into consideration when we're face stuffing ourselves with monocrops, wheat and soy, and corn to perhaps think twice, but also to grow for and care for the soil make sure that it doesn't turn into dirt and to care for things like the amount of carbon going to the atmosphere and the type of animals we're raising. And, there's all sorts of considerations here that I think tie directly into our spiritual growth. But, tell me about your own journey into regenerative organic farming and how this began for you.

Jordan:  Absolutely. Well, I'm going to try to make it brief. But, during my illness which we alluded to earlier, I had Crohn's disease, multiple other illnesses when I was 18 and a half through almost 21, and I was down to 104 pounds in a wheelchair. I'm over 6 feet tall. My normal weight is 185. So, if you kind of can get an understanding, if you want to look on Google Images, type in Jordan Rubin, you'll see my before and after picture, which is an amazing testimony but living it was a whole other story as they say. But, during the time of my illness, after I visited 69 medical experts and failed, I followed a diet that I wrote about in “The Maker's Diet” based on the Bible proven through history and confirmed by science.

And, during that time, I was living in San Diego California and I changed the entire way I ate. It would be much more akin to a real food kind of animal-based diet today. That's what I followed and still do, but I started that in 1995, '96. During that time, many of the foods I needed to consume; raw grass-fed dairy products, raw vegetable juices, grass-fed meat, grass-fed eggs, they were not legal to be sold at retail or available. And, when I was consuming these foods in a very perishable environment, I was living in a motor home with just a cooler. I learned that every two days if I would not procure these foods, I might not be healthy because I saw myself finally getting well after two years of being trapped in a prison that was my own body, a living hell. And, at that point, I realized that I'm going to get well and I'm going to have a family because at one point, I thought neither of those would happen. And, in order for me to live this way, I need to raise and grow some of the world's healthiest foods. That was in '96.

Fast forward, God worked a miracle, I was healed, started Garden of Life, wrote about my journey and “Patient, Healed Thyself” and “Restoring Your Digestive Health,” and “Maker's Diet” and other books. And then, in 2008, I had another sort of miraculous moment. I was on a bus promoting a book and a TV program somewhere in the midwest and I saw these beautiful green plants from afar. But, from close-up, they were not beautiful plants, they were my grandchildren's stolen future, genetically modified monocrop agriculture. 

And, in 2008, in the spring, I felt God called me to be a Joseph. We could go in a lot of directions here, but I'll say it this way. I knew that to mean that Joseph who in the Bible was responsible for the physical salvation of his family and frankly for most of the world at that time, most of the inhabited world, he was somebody who was a foreshadowing of what needed to be positioned in our future. 

And so, I, in 2008, began thinking about how I could start raising and growing the world's healthiest foods. I had visited dozens of farms. I had written about all these great foods and many books promoted this organic grass-fed dairy, meat, et cetera, fermentation, but now I had to become a farmer. And, I can tell you, Ben, one of the best reasons for you to ask me for advice on how to grow food and farm is because I have made a ton of mistakes. It is very difficult to do but super important to attempt.

Ben:  In 2008, you didn't have any background in this, right? You hadn't grown up farming. You hadn't had a garden outside your motorhome or anything like this.

Jordan:  I didn't have a green thumb or a green pinky. Just most things in my life, I now wish I had a mentor, but instead, I had to learn the hard way. So no, I literally knew what good food was. I knew what nutrients and beneficial compounds were in food, but I didn't know how to grow it or raise it at all. 

And so, I learned starting in 2009 through today, that's been my journey and what we now call regenerative farming or regenerative agriculture. And so, fast forward, I now have about 4,000 acres of what I believe to be the most important farmland in the world achieving regenerative organic certification, which I think is the greatest standard in the world for soil, plants, animals, and humans. And today, I'm trying to help spread the word that we can as we like to say in ancient nutrition, save the world with superfoods. Not just the foods and beverages that heal bodies, but the practice of growing, raising, and producing them can heal our planet. And, it's not a want-to anymore, it's a must-do. We are in big trouble. In our world, we have dig ourselves a huge hole. 

As you alluded to earlier, we were given stewardship over the Earth back in the garden and we have shirked that responsibility and we're literally on a time clock. That's why people talk about going to Mars because the Earth at its current trajectory, let's just say, is not doing well. But, I believe as a child of God and as a citizen of this planet, each and every one of us need to play our role in healing the planet, feeding the world, and eradicating disease. That's my personal mission statement and we're trying to live it each and every day.

Ben:  I know that just knowing you know the average podcast listener in my own audience as soon as you said 4,000 acres, there's probably a few people that tuned out because they're like, “Well, screw that, I don't have 4,000 acres, so the rest of this podcast is going to be irrelevant to me.” I want to share one thing and then clarify with you Jordan.

First of all, I live on 10 acres right now. I got a good deal on Washington State. Nine years ago, I paid about $90,000 for this land, which is a good deal relatively speaking. And, I'm moving to a new plot in Idaho next year. I'm vacating this Washington home moving over to Idaho to be close to the family in a different community and a church that I really love. And, that's going to be about 12 acres. Okay. So, if you're listening in, these aren't a bunch of rich holier-than-thou folks who are trying to get you to go save up the money to buy thousands and thousands of acres. I'm working with 10 to 12 acres right now.

And, Jordan are the principles that you're about to share with us applicable to someone who may have, let's say, not 4,000 acres or who may even have even a backyard?

Jordan:  I would tell you that number one bit of advice from someone who's made lots of mistakes in farming starts small. So, you can absolutely start with a decent-sized raised bed. You can start with a tiny greenhouse, a backyard, or if you live in a condo, a potted plant. And, I'm not joking, the point is start where you are. And, what we're going to share is applicable to everyone whether you want to grow and raise your own food or partner with local farms that already do it because part of this is understanding what the best quality of food is to create. And therefore, if you're not a farmer, how can you support a local farm and improve the health of your family by purchasing these types of foods? 

So, this is absolutely something for everyone. Again, I am not someone who came from a farming background, but I can tell you I compost all my food waste, I try to grow living things even in my home, whether it's a mushroom or a basil plant. And then, my farms certainly are more involved, and that they are essentially organizations. But, everybody can start somewhere. Most people, if you really talk to them, they would love to picture themselves on idyllic farm environment, especially with what we went through the last few years with food insecurity.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jordan:  There's something special about knowing where your food comes from and even more importantly controlling where it does.

Ben:  Yeah. And then, one other follow-up question before we get into kind of a definition of what regenerative organic farming is, you're running some pretty big businesses with ancient nutrition. One of your companies that I actually invested in because I saw what you were doing with supplements, and then you obviously have a few other companies, you got to Beyond Organic, et cetera. 

Can you paint a picture for me of how you're running these businesses? Are you able to be out in the field on your farm, et cetera, and some of my stockbroker and BC friends who operate their entire businesses on the golf course via their cell phone? Are you out there farming in nature, stopping, replying to a few emails, taking care of a little bit of business, getting back to the farm? How's this look for people who are like, “Oh, I can't give up my job to do this,” can you actually do this and kind of creatively work your job as well?

Jordan:  Well, first and foremost, I don't play nearly enough golf to even be decent. So, I can dispel that right now. But, I absolutely love being on the farm. And, if I could, meaning time-wise, I would sit there and literally watch the grass grow, watch the papaya grow and just dig my hands in the soil every single day. I don't get the opportunity to do that because I do prioritize family and my businesses, which are my responsibilities. But, I am often on one or both of my farms. I leave whether it's a day or a week if I go to Missouri where I don't live and I always wish I had more time. It's an amazing energizing opportunity. 

Just to give you an example, we had whole foods market came to our Tennessee farm last week. We've had most major retailers now visit one of our farms. And, those are our customers, which is an awesome experience. And, every one of them leaves wishing they spent more time and wanting to, A, farm themselves and B, support Regenerative Organic Certified farming, which is so exciting. 

So, I do spend as much time as I can on the farm, but it's never enough. I mean, I guess I'm a scientist at heart and I love observing all of the many things that are happening when you bring the land into alignment. And, I get inspired when I'm there. We have very friendly animals including water buffalo that will lick you and/or lay in your lap if you would allow them and they didn't weigh 1,200 pounds. It's a great experience to be there. We love bringing guests. We have a family that runs the farm that is part of our team. So, there's always people there and the door is always open for visitors to come and learn, to come and volunteer. So, it's really been a great outreach too.

Ben:  You've probably heard me talking about foot health a lot. And, there is one way that you can actually support your foot health that goes beyond just say walking around barefoot. So, the skin on the bottom of your feet has thousands of nerves that are used to control your movement and your posture. The more you feel your feet, the more you feel your ground, the better you move. And, you can train your feet to actually have nerve stimulation, allows you to feel the ground better. 

Not only that, but you can work on things like the space between your toes, the health of the insoles in your shoes. Even socks that assist with recovery and special nerve system stimulating balls that you can put underneath your feet and use, for example, when you're standing at your workstation during the day, when you're in the sauna, et cetera. They even have a full mat that you can stand on that helps to support the feet and the sensory system in the feet. 

So, there's a company called Naboso, Naboso, N-A-B-O-S-O. I've actually interviewed the founder of this company who also wrote a fantastic book called “Barefoot Strong.” Her name is Emily Splichal, S-P-L-I-C-H-A-L. You got to listen to that episode. But, we get into all these different ways to support the feet and she has this whole product line called Naboso that has the Neuro Ball, the Splay toe spacers, the Activation Insoles, the Recovery Socks, everything that you need for healthy feet, they've got it.

So, if you go to naboso.com/Ben, you'll get 10% off of all their stuff. It's Naboso, N-A-B-O-S-O.com/Ben and use code BEN for 10% off. You'll be well on your way to healthy active feet that operate the way that you want them to. The feet are so important for your hip health, your knee health, all the way up to your brain. And, this sensory-based product line is my go-to for caring for the feet. So, naboso.com/Ben, N-A-B-O-S-O.com/Ben, use code BEN for 10% off.

Hey, let me tell you about the mattress I sleep on. I'm asked all the time so I might as well say. It's a patented Beyond Latex organic foam technology and it has built-in EMF barrier technology in it. EMFs are what negatively impact your biology and your cells, these electromagnetic fields. And, you want to be protected while you sleep. You want to be protected against the negative impacts of EMF exposure while you sleep. 

Well, the good folks at Essentia, those nerds, have through dark film microscopy identified that blood cells react to EMF radiation by beginning a cluster or clot together and that disrupts the natural flow of blood through the body. So, it introduces bare barrier foam that helps to return your blood cells to their natural free-flowing state, allows your bloodstream to optimize the oxygen flowing through the body. It improves your body's nighttime recovery cycles and improves your sleep quality. They make them in a certified organic factory. So, you get unsurpassed sleep benefits. They're allergen-free. They have active cooling technology, so your body stays cool. Folks get amazing deep sleep cycles and it's comfortable as heck. 

My wife and I are super picky about our mattresses. And, the only problem is when we travel, we're like, “Gosh, we wish we could somehow pack up our Essentia and take it with us.” We're not like that. We don't travel off the U-Haul in eight suitcases like the aristocrats, but we love our Essentia mattress when we're at home. You should try it.

So, what Essentia is doing is they're going to give you a 100 bucks off your mattress purchase if you go to myessentia.com/BenGreenfield and use code BENVIP. That's myessentia.com/BenGreenfield and use code BENVIP.

Alright, it's coming up. The Ben Greenfield Life coaching team is putting on a new transformation challenge. The last one was a six-week challenge that got people crazy transformations in their body aesthetics and their weight loss and in their lean muscle gain. So, I know that body image is something that a lot of folks struggle with, but extreme fad diets and endless hours in the gym can be a total waste of time when it comes to say getting ready for spring or getting ready for summer. 

So, we decided to do was put together a transformation that allows you to transform your body but also works in a lot of our brain-enhancing tactics, our spirituality coaching, and everything that you learn during this transformation includes decoding nutrition, using the minimum effective dose of exercise, sleeping better, prioritizing relationships for overall well-being and longevity aspects, building a community of like-minded individuals who are there cheering you along during the entire time. So, it's a transformation challenge and we're running it right now at BenGreenfieldCoaching.com/TransformationChallenge.

So, the way it works is every week, you get special tasks, you get to explore resources that we've uploaded for you, you get to attend a group call with the coaches to learn from one of the expert coaches that I've trained all while tracking daily meals and workouts in this easy-to-use app that allows you to stay accountable along the way. We've checked off all the boxes for you and we've even given you the option if you want to really kick start your transformation, you can upgrade and get a 60-minute one-on-one console with any of the coaches to really give you a boost up in terms of getting the most out of the transformation, and heck, maybe even winning it. 

So, we do have a grand prize winner and a runner-up if you win or you runner up, you're going to get a bunch of cool prizes, a free consult with a coach, a fitness and a nutrition plan custom designed for you, a book bundle with my books, a special shout out on social media to celebrate your transformation and a whole lot more. So, these things are super fun. People tend to get amazing results from these transformation challenges and they're doable.

So, you go to BenGreenfieldCoaching.com/TransformationChallenge to get in. That's BenGreenfieldCoaching.com/TransformationChallenge and I hope to see you there.

Obviously, if you're listening and you have a small plot of land and this is more than your backyard, I don't think there's anything wrong with hiring help. I mean, I was very resistant to that idea myself. I used to run my entire business all the way down to programming my own PHP scripts and writing HTML for all my websites and designing everything, coding my podcast, submitting it, the RSS feeds, maintaining RSS feeds, everything, all the way up until I was driving to a triathlon that I was competing in one year and I had a five-hour drive out and a five-hour drive back and I listened to Tim Ferris's “4-Hour Workweek” on two and a half three times speed. Got back from that trip and hired my first virtual assistant 15 years ago who's still with me today. Her name's Marge, she's fantastic. And, since then, I've had this view of, okay, if there's anything that someone else can do better than me or somewhere I could be spending my time better, I can hire other people to do it but yet still be involved in the business. 

So, please stay open-minded to the idea of you not necessarily having to plant every seed, but looking to employ other people in your local community, make your family and your kids part of the process like Jordan talked about. He's hired a family to help him out. And so, this isn't necessarily something you have to go at alone.

So, Jordan, what is regenerative organic farming?

Jordan:  Well, first, to me regenerative organic, you have to start with organic. But, before I get into that, you're going to hear the word regenerative all over the place for the next century because 72 major corporations, many men who you and I would call evil, whose products you and I wouldn't use or recommend, 72 of them have made regenerative pledges AKA Nestle says they're going to source 50% of their ingredients by 2030 from regenerative farms. Walmart said they're going to be regenerative. General Mills said they're going to be regenerative. You're going to love this one, Bayer Monsanto says they are going to be regenerative. I've had this conversation with them. 

So, what does “regenerative” mean? Regenerative in the sort of widest view is to improve the ecosystem every day, objectively improve it. So, you'd take something that's dead admittedly and bring it to life. Most farms today are degenerating. The water quality is bad. The soil is dirt, to your point, it's dead. It just basically holds seeds. There's no life in it. The birds, the indigenous animals, they're gone. Even the microbes are fried. That's degeneration. Regeneration involves caring for the soil, plants, animals, and people so that each year, month, and day, you can measure the ecological improvements. So, that's kind of what the word regenerative in relation to farming or agriculture is going to mean.

Now, as you can imagine, there are going to be lots of watered-down definitions because if Walmart, Pepsi, Coke, and Bayer are going to be regenerative, they're not going to likely have the highest standards. Me, on the other hand, I want the greatest improvement in the least amount of time. Nature, according to scientists says, it takes 500 years to build one inch of topsoil. I want to do it every year. In one year. Now, I said want to, I didn't say I've done it, we're almost through year one. We're going to measure it. We're doing studies that we'll publish on our process, but we want to regenerate in a way that is meaningful and sets the highest standards. So, Regenerative Organic Certified is backed by an organization that was founded by the Rodel Institute, Patagonia Provisions or Patagonia organization, and Dr. Bronner's. They started it. Many adopted it early such as Ancient Nutrition and my farms. So, our farms in Tennessee and Missouri are the first Regenerative Organic Certified farms in their respective states and number 47 and 79 in the world.

Ben, I believe there's going to be tens of thousands of Regenerative Organic Certified farms. Start with organic, which is really about what you don't put on the soil, what you don't use on plants, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides. You can't use synthetic fertilizers. You can't use antibiotics on animals, blah, blah, blah. But, I could show you today that an organic farm can stay the same each and every year. No improvements in soil. No improvements in plant diversity or animal welfare. Regenerative Organic Certified must show improvements every year to maintain that certification. 

So, if you're someone listening or watching and you want the best of the best, you want to bring life to your family and the planet, when you find Regenerative Organic Certified products; foods, skin and body care, and soon supplements, you can pay it forward by purchasing them because it is the highest standard in the world right now, I believe, for nutrition and for the planet. And, that's really, really important and we can get into all those details.

Ben:  Okay. So, let's say that I want to do more regenerative farming and I'm one of those people that has–let me let me just give you a few examples and you tell me a few of the ways that you could shift to ensure that your farming practice is regenerative. Let's say I have a couple of raised garden beds, I've got some goats, some chickens, maybe an herb garden, and a little bit of soil and a plot of land. What type of things would I be doing differently than the average farmer to ensure that I'm engaging in those regenerative practices?

Jordan:  Absolutely. Now, this is not necessarily Regenerative Organic Certified, but let's talk about some basic steps to take. So, in your raised beds, now I don't know how many you have, but ecological diversity is important. You can achieve that through crop rotation. So, it's as simple as increasing the number of crops you would rotate on any area. So, I don't care if it's a 8 by 10 raised bed. If you plant tomatoes, then you want to have something different. And then, the more rotations you can, let's say set a goal of eight rotations, so you want to grow eight different crops in your raised bed before you return to the first one. That will provide healthier soil and more pest resistance, which is great.

Ben:  How does that work during a growing season like eight different crops? So, let's just use one bed. Are you literally growing and harvesting tomatoes then planting a new crop? And then, once you've harvested that, planting a new crop so on and so forth until you've rotated through, let's say, eight varieties?

Jordan:  Correct. Depending on where you live, that may take a number of years.

Ben:  Yeah. I was going to say that couldn't be done in a year in most cases.

Jordan:  Absolutely. And so, this principle goes hand in hand. No matter what season it is or where you are, if it's a raised bed or if it's a large plot, do not let the ground be uncovered. So, you've heard the term probably “cash crop” and “cover crop.” A cash crop is what we sell or what we eat. A cover crop is what you do to preserve the soil health because the Earth wants to be covered. That's why weeds grow in barren soil and nutrient-poor soil in degraded soil because when the earth is exposed, the sun, the wind, et cetera, erodes the beneficial substances in said soil. So, even if you're in a very cold winter, you still want to plant a cover crop that allows your soil to be protected, think of it as soil armor, for as long as you can. 

But, here's the good news, you mentioned chickens and goats and you mentioned regenerative, so what you can do in your raised bed is you can either harvest the cover crops, which are normally not nutritious for humans, and you can feed them to your chickens and/or your goats. They will be amazing food, then you don't have to buy mono-crop grain that makes the milk and the meat less healthy anyway. So, either have them graze the raised bed. And, if they would mess it up too much, which depending on what your system is, they could do that, you can harvest the cover crops and provide great feed for your small animals. And, you are offsetting feed cost, you're healing the soil.

And then, in a similar respect, if your chickens and goats are raised in a very small area, you can take their manure and compost it, which is just leaving it out, turning it occasionally, and put that in your raised bed. So, you've just created a symbiotic relationship between a small plot of farmland or garden. And, that improvement in that small amount of soil through crop rotation and covering the ground and then feeding not only the cover crops but any weeds to the chickens and the goats using the manure back in your garden, you've just created a regenerative loop. And, it is not requiring 4,000 acres to do so.

Let's say you've got a new garden bed full of new dirt or a new small acreage that you've purchased. Are there things you should go in and do beforehand before you even start growing to ensure higher chance of success or a higher harvest like something you can plant to feed root systems into the ground or infuse the dirt with more of a mycorrhizal network or something like that?

Jordan:  You could do all of the above, but let me back up and say this that before you even start planting anything, before you start farming, I am a big believer in the relationship of animals and plants. And so, let's just say you have acres like you have and you're in a rural area, I think it's critical to spend a certain amount of time allowing animals to do the work for you and prepare the growing area.

Ben:  Okay.

Jordan:  Ben, in your case, it could look like a rotation of ruminant animals, which would be goats, cows, sheep. Goats are pretty easy, they're easy to care for. Birds could be chickens, ducks, turkeys, pheasants, guinea, et cetera. Those animals will work 24/7, literally 24/7 to prepare the area. All you need to do is fence them in. Preferably rotate them and their consumption and then their excretion will put you far ahead in your base soil health because frankly, growing a garden and having to bring in soil for every crop you plant, it's not sustainable. But, if you integrate animals even on a small level, let them do the work and prepare for you because another tenet of regeneration is minimal soil disturbance. So, you don't want to till the ground consistently. Because if you do, you're going to disrupt microbiology. 

You mentioned mycorrhizae, which is a powerful fungal network. When you are digging up the dirt after a harvest, when you are plowing, you are removing microbial populations, you're disrupting the oxygen aerobic and anaerobic environment and you are setting your cells back. If you will allow animals to have impact and you have a no-till or zero-till planting, which is either by hand or using what you'd call a no-till drill, you are preserving microbial populations. And, every harvest successively will be more nutritious with less inputs. Imagine that, Ben, we talked about what is the holy grail of agriculture, it is less work, more food in a smaller area. And, that's what's possible when you practice regenerative agriculture.

Ben:  Okay. So, when you talk about you mentioned that if you were to introduce animals onto your land, even perhaps before you plant or move on to that property to start to make the soil a little bit more friendly to future growth that you recommended rotating them. Let's say it's goats, do you mean you buy some small fencing materials or electric fencing or what have you and have those goats in a squared-off section of the property and then every few weeks or every month or so put them into a different fenced area?

Jordan:  That would be minimum. Ideally, if you have small population of animals, keep them in a very small area and move them as frequently as possible. This is going to bring up a lot of different conversations, but goats are very susceptible to parasites. And, parasites have a certain life cycle. So, even if you have one acre and a small number of animals, the more rotations you can make, the better. And, you can definitely, at any local area, find temporary fence, a small solar-powered electric charger and move them. If you want to get even more bare-bones than that, you don't need all the bells and whistles, just make sure you're moving as frequently as possible, certainly every week, minimally.

Ben:  Okay.

Jordan:  But ideally, you don't have too many animals for your property. And so, Ben, let me give you an example. You said to me, “Jordan, I want to start creating food, meat, milk, eggs, produce.” What I would say to you, because we're friends and you can make this happen and I can, “Come to our farm, see what we're doing. And, with our team, together, we will construct a farm systems plan, a regenerative organic systems plan for your farm and you will leave with that.” Our goal is to train farmers whether it's in a backyard variety or major producers. If someone is not able to do that, there are incredible videos all over the internet, certainly on this podcast and podcasts like this will help. But, you need to get started somewhere. And, as Ben mentioned earlier, not everyone has 4,000 acres. The biggest mistake I made was going too big. So, if you start small with a small amount of animals, you can fail small but you can prove out a very big vision. And so, you want to have a handful of goats. And, trust me, when you start buying animals, nobody who sells you their best animals. So, you want to learn about life and death, you want to learn about birds and the bees, agriculture will teach you all that.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jordan:  So, you start small and once you build your systems, what you have proven in your backyard can be applied to very large parcels of land. Absolutely, all the same principles apply.

Ben:  Okay, got it. You mentioned water buffalo. I think a lot of people, they're pretty familiar with the goat, chicken, cow concept. Do you think that's super old school and that there are better approaches as far as the type of animals that we should consider raising?

Jordan:  I do think that depending on your environment, there are better animals, absolutely. And unfortunately, in America, we have gravitated towards animals that produce food quickly in confinement, which has led to very weak genetics. Dairy cows are super fragile. The typical Cornish cross hen chicken, super fragile. They're meant to be able to become a steak or milk or eggs or chicken breast very quickly in a high, I'll say, mechanistic environment. 

So, if you were to ask me, I'm going to be in Idaho and I have 10 acres and I want to raise animals for meat and milk and birds for eggs. If you don't care which kind of bird, I would probably recommend animals that are acclimated to your environment but also are very hardy and can live in a system without antibiotics, without growth-promoting stimulants or hormones. They can consume poor quality forage because I don't suppose you're moving into a pasture that has 20 years of regenerative improved soil. So, you do not want to get the animals that need to be pampered, you want to get animals that can earn a living for themselves as some people would say. And, that is a huge mistake. I can't tell you how many animals that I've lost because I haven't understood genetics or I've bought somebody's lies.

When we watched the movie, “The Biggest Little Farm,” my wife finally realized that I'm not the only one who experiences animal loss and plants that don't grow to the expectations. So, farming is hard but it is absolutely simple and effective if you start today. So, I don't want to scare people off, but at the same time, you need to appreciate the food that you buy at your grocery or health food store or farmer's market because it is darn hard to grow it and raise it yourself. Any sip of milk that comes from your animal or egg that comes from your bird or produce that comes from your garden, you need to thank God for it because man, it is a huge blessing and so few people are able to create, produce their own food today.

Ben:  Got it. Besides the water buffalo that you mentioned, if you could list a few other examples, at least, for someone listening for myself to look into as some creative alternatives that are hardy in the way that you described, whether birds or livestock?

Jordan:  Yeah. You mentioned yak to me in a communication. And, I have yak in Missouri, which can be a challenge, but yak would be much more suitable for Idaho. Now, yak are also sort of unique in terms of how to handle them. So, if you find somebody who knows how to milk cows or knows how to raise cows, it's not identical to yak. But, you do live an environment where yak would produce higher quality meat than any bovine or cattle that you would bring on. The milk would be off the charts. I think you probably know this, Ben, but the original sort of impetus behind Dave Asprey's Bulletproof message was yak milk in tea, not ghee and coffee. But, that's where in Tibet where the herdsmen and pretty much anyone else would drink 14 small cups a day of tea with yak butter or yak milk in it. So, yak are good. 

There are certain sheep and goats that would be good for you, Ben, that are more acclimated to colder weather. I, by far, believe that ducks produce the most consistent and nutritious meat and eggs. Now, I could argue that you could go even more exotic, but ducks can handle cooler weather if you raise them properly and their eggs are going to be less allergenic and more nutritious than chickens in every measured nutrient. Just like yak milk will be, water buffalo milk will be. There are certainly cows that you could raise that are more adapted to your temperature. If you've ever seen a Scottish highland cow, they look like the old Snuffleupagus on Sesame Street. They're real hairy and crazy looking.

Ben:  Yeah, they're super cool. One of my friends raises those up in Toronto.

Jordan:  But, for you, you may be knowledgeable about A2 milk. I'm sure you are and you've probably looked into it. So, when you raise cattle, there are only a few breeds that have a high percentage of A2 milk; whereas, goats, sheep, water buffalo, yak, they all have entirely A2 milk without any breeding necessary, which makes me think they're more suitable for humans considering mother's milk contains no A1.

Ben:  You mean, mother human's milk?

Jordan:  Human mother milk only has the A2 protein, not A1. So, A1 protein, which is in most dairy cattle today is foreign to the human body. So, Jordan, if I want cows which breeds, well, Guernsey can handle some cold weather and it's 96% A2.

Ben:  Wow.

Jordan:  If you want more sort of traditional dairy, what you could do, Ben, is you can find a farmer who's selling cows and you can genetically test through hair samples which of the cows are A2A2 or which are not. And, you can bring those to your farm and then you never have to worry, you're always going to produce A2 milk. The meat has not really been proven to be different, but I would argue that if the original cattle are supposed to produce A2 milk, then their offspring being raised on A2 milk would be healthier than otherwise. And, I have lots of experience and data here. But, for you, if you're going to do dairy, it's got to be A2 because it is far healthier than traditional dairy.

Ben:  Yeah, that makes sense.

A little background here. My dad got horribly sick two years ago, a horribly sick, bedridden for weeks, and it was later traced back to an infection that he got from his pond, which is actually right next to the home that I'm building where there's also a much larger pond than his pond. And, that infection was traced back to duck poop and contamination of the water by ducks. And so, I'm always asking a two-part question, but I'm going to go ahead and do it anyways because you're a smart guy. 

First of all, do you have any concerns about the impact of ducks on a water system that humans might be swimming in or potentially even drinking from or getting exposed to? And then, just to think about that as you're answering that question, have you dealt with bodies of water? And, if so, what would you do to create those into more a living pool supportive environment that fits into this regenerative organic principle?

Jordan:  Yeah. I think, A, we do raise a lot. We have 3,000 birds on each of our two properties. We have these 53-acre research sites where we're building soil. So, we have 3,000 chickens, ducks, and turkeys. Probably about half of them are ducks. Now, in our normal rotations, we do not have pond access for the ducks. And, they are moving every single day. So, if you think about it, any type of manure-born infection, which I think is pretty rare, but we could talk offline and determine sort of what happened there. 

But, we do have a group of ducks that are in a stationary body of water. We don't allow people in there and we don't drink from that water. So, I can't answer with experience sort of how to purify it other than I will say this, in the past, we've had water systems when we were producing dairy products, et cetera, called effluent tanks. And, they were really big ponds that had all the waste material. We would do two things. We would inoculate them with probiotics and two, we would aerate them. So, if you oxygenate the pond, somehow, because it's representative of moving, not stagnant water, and then you use certain probiotics, we call soil-based organisms that are aerobic, they will keep a pond free from pathogenic organisms largely. But, for the most part, a pond that has ducks in it, the best use of that water is to irrigate land and provide fertilizer. You certainly would not recommend drinking it, et cetera, but I'm sure Ben you've seen videos and heard about Joel Salatin and others drinking out of their troughs and a thing of that nature.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jordan:  So, I mean, clearly people do it but I think a pond where there's ducks in it that is not aerated and/or inoculated with beneficial bacteria probiotics, I'd probably avoid it in any contact with it in your body.

Ben:  Okay, got it. Got it. I want to respect your time, but I also have a question that's a little bit of a switch up from regenerative organic farming per se. And, it's regarding the creation of things like nutritional supplements on what I believe to be a fungal medium, something that intrigues me and that I might be bastardizing the concepts. But, you're doing something very interesting with the fungi in terms of how you're creating supplements. Is that correct?

Jordan:  It is. And, it actually doesn't dovetail from regenerative organic because, Ben, I haven't shared this with you, but we have recently created the very first Regenerative Organic Certified fungi. So, they will be in products soon. In fact, we created the first Regenerative Organic Certified supplements ever that are launching in sprouts exclusively, which we're excited about and will soon be expanded across retail. 

But, I realized years ago, Ben, that the fungi kingdom is a very underutilized phenomenon. We talked about a little bit mycorrhizae, which are in the soil that makes soil healthy. In fact, the healthiest soil is one that has more fungi than bacteria, a fungal-dominated soil where you'd see old-growth forests. There's more fungi in the soil when undisturbed than bacteria.

What we did starting 10 years ago, we realized that mushrooms are amazing for health; reishi, maitake, shiitake, cordyceps, lion's main, chaga, you name it. But, rather than consider them an end result, what if they could be a means to an end? What if you could take fungi and allow them to extract all the goodness from foods, herbs and remove any plant toxins? And, that's exactly what we were able to do and we've been doing research for 10 years on ways to take already good ingredients and make them better with fungi. 

And, there's research primarily out of Korea that shows that if you ferment an herb with fungi, you will actually get the benefits of the fungi, reishi, the benefits of the plant, turmeric, and all these other compounds that would be considered downstream metabolites. And so, we began creating ingredients and products where we're not extracting the nutrients with man's technology but we're allowing this sort of intelligent extraction technology to take place. We have multiple names for it, but this is something that we're really excited about. It's the convergence of two biological kingdoms and it allows you to take the best out of plants or animals. And, these mushrooms essentially make these ingredients more user-friendly or bioavailable to humans. So, it's a pretty awesome technology.

Ben:  I don't fully understand it, though. Are the mushrooms basically being planted on something that contains specific vitamins and minerals that are then going to be present in those mushrooms when there are–maybe, you give an example of a product to illustrate.

Jordan:  Absolutely. So, most mushrooms today are grown on a substrate of wood or rice straw, maybe another grain like oats. So, Ben, I've heard you before promote various products containing mushrooms. Most of those are grown on oats. Oats, as you and I know, are okay to below-average is a food for humans. Are we agreeing on that?

Ben:  Yeah. Unless they're overnight oats with dark chocolate and peanut butter.

Jordan:  There you go. I had this thought, what if instead of growing mushrooms on oats which are fine, they contain beta-glucans and soluble fiber, et cetera, but what if we with the limited nutritional space we have, what if we grew mushrooms on turmeric? I said, think of these concentric circles, there's turmeric, which is difficult to digest for humans, we all know that, that's why we extract it, we add black pepper to it, we ferment it, and then there's reishi, which is so amazing in and of itself. But, what if the reishi and the turmeric created this middle circle that were ganodermic turmerosaccharides. I wanted to throw that out there. I made that up just now, but it's reishi is Ganoderma and some of the key elements in turmeric are turmerosaccharides. What if the reishi took the best out of the turmeric and made it more bioavailable to people?

Ben:  So, are you growing the reishi on a turmeric root?

Jordan:  Yes.

Ben:  Oh, geez. Holy cow. That's super interesting. So, the mushroom's almost scavenging what you want from whatever you grow it on. Then, you harvest the mushroom. You don't harvest the other thing that it grew on. And, the mushroom contains what you're looking for, put in a more concentrated and bioavailable fashion.

Jordan:  Very close. You actually harvest the entire thing because you want all the turmeric and all the mushroom and it is absolutely–when I had this thought in 2013, I reached out to a friend of mine who owned a mushroom farm that I've been buying from at Garden of Life. And, over the years, and I just said, well, rice and corn and oats and millet, those are fine and soaked, sprouted and in bowls. But, if you're going to have 2,000 milligrams of a mushroom, I want it to be as potent as possible. Would it not be better to grow it on all of these botanicals? And, that's the technology we created.

Ben:  Wow.

Jordan:  And, it actually gets even better than that because there are other factors you can manipulate and you'll this like, Ben, based on your family history, but we actually use certain structured water that's energized to take the substrate whether it's turmeric or whether it is oats. And, we sprout it or we help to extract. We use certain light and color frequencies as well as sound frequency, which you're also a fan of music, obviously. We are infusing that into the mushrooms. But, here's the coolest part. When you grow reishi on turmeric, the turmeric is not a whole log or a root, it's ground-up turmeric chips. I did an experiment with turmeric and with grape seed and with all these different herbs and I forgot about it. And, I returned six months later, and someone who saw it said, “Jordan, I don't know if you're seeing this, but the reishi is actually growing in the shape of the herb that it's growing on.”

Ben:  Whoa.

Jordan:  I've never heard anyone say this before, but I have been now eight-year-old reishi that was grown on turmeric that looks like turmeric root even though it was grown on little tiny chips. I have reishi grown on grape seed that looks like a grapevine. These mushrooms have intelligence that we have not fully understood up until now and it's so cool. Imagine what that could do in your body.

Ben:  I need to find a month to come out there and not only witness this with my own two eyes but maybe steal a few of these tricks to try out in Idaho. You know there's at least one person listening who's already thinking about doing something like growing psilocybin on cannabis leaf or something like that.

Jordan:  Can I say no comment? But, just to share with you, we have done significant research on mushrooms grown on cannabis and hemp in California and here for now eight years. And, we have IP around. It is absolutely a game changer and we could talk about that offline as well, but it is definitely–any type of plant that has indigestible fiber or parts of the plant that may be less safe for humans. There's always this desire to take the good out and remove the bad. And, I believe that God created mushrooms to do just that in our environment. 

And so, if you can take a fungi because they're not all really mushrooms, chaga is not a mushroom, cordyceps isn't a mushroom. But Ben, our first experiment was cordyceps grown on ashwagandha, how amazing. We did cordyceps on cacao. We did reishi on coffee. We've got all this going on. And, it's really up until now, been a small part of what we've brought to the world, but I think you're appreciating it the way that some of your friends, Dr. Dan Pompa and others who have seen it had their minds blown because this is just a gold mine waiting to happen. We can literally take any food and make it more improved for a human or an animal.

Ben:  Is that going to be an Ancient Nutrition product? Are you going to do a whole new spin-off come company with these?

Jordan:  Yes. We are incorporating this technology in the future Ancient Nutrition Regenerative Organic Certified products. And then, I also mentioned this to you, we have a manufacturing company that's in the middle of a 4,000-acre Regenerative Organic Certified farm. And so, we are providing ingredients and formulation to select companies including Dr. Pompa's brand-new brand cellular solution that we manufactured for him. So, he's kind of debuting it the practitioner side. And so–

Ben:  I didn't even realize that. He sent me a few bottles of that. It's up in my pantry. I haven't even opened it yet. I didn't realize it was using that technology.

Jordan:  Yeah. So, if you look, Ben, you see myceliated herbals or ginger turmeric. That's the term we use because it's not extracted. We don't say mushroom, but mushroom mycelium are preparing herbs and spices for the human body. And, by the way, it doesn't just extend to herbs and spices, we've done experiments on animal products, including growing cordyceps on crickets, which is where cordyceps grows in nature on insects. Yeah, we're breaking some new ground for sure.

Ben:  When we finish this podcast, I'm going to sit down with my calendar and find a date to just hop on a plane. I bet my sons and my wife would love to come and check this out also. And, if there's a listener and maybe they don't have an open invite to come out to your farm or whatever, but they want to perhaps take a deeper dive into what you're doing, what's the best way to follow or learn? Do you guys do classes, courses, book, website or where would you direct people?

Jordan:  So, if you want to go to ancientnutrition.com and click on the RANCH Project. So, RANCH stands for Regenerative Agriculture, Nutrition, Climate, and Health. And, to answer your previous comment, we absolutely will host you if you come visit one of our farms.

Ben:  You mean, not me specifically but someone listening?

Jordan:  Absolutely.

Ben:  Okay.

Jordan:  And, you specifically too, although we've tried before to invite you, Ben, unsuccessfully.

Ben:  I know.

Jordan:  But, I think I've piqued your interest now. So, we'll make it happen.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jordan:  But, yeah, so if someone is in the area, we not only trained farmers, we've held permaculture courses for a number of years, but we do have tree planting parties. You can stop by for a visit. And, we've had multiple interns and individuals just come for a day and either volunteer or they want to do a farm vacation. But, we are very hospitable to guest. 

Our goal is to get this message to all the corners of the world. And, we can't do it unless we have you coming and getting involved in what we're doing. You meaning you, Ben, and your audience. But, we're super excited about this model of Regenerative Organic Certified farming. And, we believe that everybody listening, literally even if you live in Dubai in a condo or an apartment building, you can do something to make the world a better place. And, that is not just cliché. I promise you that you can make changes whether it's composting your food waste or, as I said, growing a potted plant. You can contribute to changing the world no matter where or who you are. And, if you don't want to do it, it's an excuse.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jordan:  The truth is, we can be selfish and say, well, I think the world has enough years to farm as long as I'm alive. But, we owe it to future generations to be the first generation in a long time to make improvements in our environment and our food supply. And so, folks like you Ben and others are doing a great job in helping people get healthier through what they eat, what they drink, body therapies as I call them, spiritual health. But, we cannot continue to destroy and at best take for granted the planet we've been given stewardship over. And, that's a huge mission of mine. It wasn't always this way. My first mission was to see people healed from diseases like I was, but I can't sit here and ignore the fact that the foods and beverages and supplements that I count on to bring health won't be here in the future if we don't start farming and/or supporting farmers the way that God intended.

Ben:  I'm pretty blessed and grateful to be able to spread this message on the podcast. And, if you're listening, go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/HowtoFarm, and I'll put all the information in the shownotes including how you can reach out to Jordan or visit the ranch or go visit the farm.

Jordan, I'm sure there's going to be probably another conversation in the future perhaps this year if I make it out to the farm. Maybe, I'll bring a little video camera and we can do a little bit more content for folks. But, for now, I want to thank you for your time for coming on the show. You're right, you've got me super excited about this. I got all sorts of ideas now about the little spot in Idaho. So, thank you so much, man.

Jordan:  Glad to do it. And, we'll have to do a small clip from Ben on the back of a water buffalo. And, I know just the water buffalo. Well, depending on sort of helping go between now and then, I may I may decide which water buffalo. But, we got some really friendly ones and it is a incredible experience. Your kids will love it too.

Ben:  I'll start training my adductors. Alright, man. Well, thanks for coming on. And, folks again, the shownotes is going to be at BenGreenfieldLife.com/HowtoFarm. And, I'll also put my other podcast with Jordan and links to all the great things that he gets up to. So, Jordan, thanks again, man.

Jordan:  Thanks so much.

Ben:  Alright, folks. It's coming up. It's right around the corner. It's the Health Optimisation Summit. Me and my entire family are headed to London for this thing and it is crazy, amazing. It's this massive expo full of the best biohacks.

You get to be ahead of the curve and see this stuff before it even hits the streets. You get entrance and access to all stages and breakout talks by an amazing variety of speakers. They've got 35 world-class forward-thinking speakers from the biohacking nutrition longevity fitness functional and preventive medicine fields. They've got next-level exhibitors and workshops, amazing VIP experiences with parties, with gadgets, with refreshments, with priorities, seating with upgraded goodie bags, and the list of speakers at this event is crazy. So, it's happening June 17th and 18th this year.

So, it's coming up quick. Jim Kwik, Vishen Lakhiani, Mimi Ikonn, my friend and dentist and former podcast guest Dr. Dominic, Dr. Jolene Brighten, Dr. Mark Atkinson, Kris Gethin, Dr. Christopher Shade, the list goes on and on. Some of the best of the best speakers, the coolest crowd and the exhibition for is absolutely mind-blowingly amazing. Plus, London is fun, great restaurants, cool people, and it's a party.

So, if you want to go to this year's Health Optimisation Summit, here's how to get in with a discount that's going to give you 10% off of all the regular and the VIP tickets. So again, it's June 17th and 18th. So, the Business Design Centre in London. And, here's your code, BenGreenfieldLife.com/HOS23. That's BenGreenfieldLife.com/HOS23 for this year's Health Optimisation Summit. Enjoy.

More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I've been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I'm up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be, and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.



My guest on this show is Jordan Rubin, who is one of America’s most-recognized and respected natural health experts, and is the New York Times bestselling author of The Maker’s Diet, and 29 additional titles, including his latest work, The Probiotic Diet

An eco-entrepreneur, author and lecturer on health and nutrition, Jordan has shared a message of health and hope across the globe for the last 26 years.

Jordan is the founder of Garden of Life and Ancient Nutrition,  leading whole food nutritional supplement brands, and Beyond Organic, a vertically integrated organic food, beverage and dietary supplement manufacturer. Jordan has formulated hundreds of dietary supplements, functional foods and beverages including many #1 top sellers in the Healthy Foods channel.

Jordan is the founder of two Regenerative Organic Certified farms, Heal the Planet Farm and The Center for Regenerative Agriculture, located in Missouri and Tennessee, respectively. Jordan and his wife Nicki are the parents of six children.

Previous podcast with Jordan:

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Jordan Rubin…05:37

-Jordan’s morning routine…09:38

Heavenly Habits talk

-Jordan’s journey into regenerative organic farming…21:45

  • Had Crohn’s disease and other illnesses from the age of 18-21
  • Down to 104 lbs. and in a wheelchair; normal weight for his height is 185 lbs.
  • Visited numerous medical experts without success
  • Started following a certain diet based on the Bible
  • The Maker's Diet
    • real food animal based diet that he follows to this day
  • During that time ('95 to '96), many of the foods were not available
    • raw, grass-fed dairy products
    • raw vegetable juices
    • grass-fed meat and eggs
  • Realized he needed to raise and grow his own healthy food
  • Eventually healed from Crohn’s disease
  • Started Garden of Life
  • Wrote about his healing journey 
  • Had another miraculous moment in 2008 where he felt God was calling him to be Joseph
  • Began thinking about how to start raising and growing the world's healthiest foods
    • made a ton of mistakes
    • being a farmer is very different to writing about healthy food; very difficult to do, but important to attempt
    • didn’t know anything had to learn everything the hard way
    • started what is now called regenerative farming or regenerative agriculture in 2009
    • now has 4000 acres of what he believes to be the most important farmland in the world, achieving regenerative organic certification
  • The practice of growing, raising, and producing foods that can heal our planet

-Everyone can start growing food…29:07

  • Ben’s plans to move to a 12-acre property in Idaho 
  • You can start small
    • a decent-sized raised bed
    • a tiny greenhouse
    • a backyard
    • if you live in a condo, a potted plant
  • Jordan had no farming background
  • Knowing where your food comes from and controlling where it does
  • Beyond Organic
  • He is often in one of his two farms
  • Most of Jordan's customers are major farmers' markets and retailers
  • Everyone of his customers leave wishing they spent more time
    • farming themselves
    • supporting Regenerative Organic Certified farming
  • Visitors are always welcome on his farms
  • 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
  • Stay open-minded to the idea of you not having to plant every seed
  • Employ other people in your local community
  • Make your family and your kids part of the process

-What is organic regenerative farming…39:55

  • We are going to be hearing the word “regenerative” for the next century
  • 72 major corporations have made regenerative pledges
  • Regenerative means to improve the ecosystem every day
  • Most farms today are degenerating
    • the water is bad
    • the soil is dirt, or dead
    • the indigenous animals are gone
    • the plants and microbes are gone
  • Regeneration involves caring for the soil, plants, animals, and people in relation to farming or agriculture
  • It takes 500 years to build 1 inch of top soil
    • Jordan wants to do it in 1 year
    • wants meaningful regeneration and set the highest standards
  • Regenerative Organic Certified is backed by organizations 
  • Ancient Nutrition
  • Heal the Planet Farm in Missouri and Regenerative Agriculture in Tennessee are the first such farms in their respective states and number 47 and 79 in the world
  • Organic farms can stay the same each and every year
    • no improvements in soil
    • no improvements in plant diversity or animal welfare
  • Regenerative Organic Certified farms must show improvements every year in order to maintain their certification
  • Regenerative Organic Certified products like foods, skin and body care, and soon supplements, is the highest standard in the world right now
    • pay it forward by purchasing the products if you want the best for nutrition and for the planet

-Basic steps for regenerative organic farming…45:37

  • Achieve ecological diversity through crop rotation
    • healthier soil
    • pest resistance
  • Do not let the ground be uncovered; exposed earth erodes the beneficial substances 
    • cash crops and cover crops
    • cash crops are what is sold and eaten
    • cover crops preserve soil health
    • plant cover crops even in winter
  • Harvested cover crops can be fed to chickens or goats
  • Chicken manure can be composted
  • Regenerative loop – offsetting feed cost while healing the soil

-How to prepare for successful farming…49:55

  • Relationship between plants and animals
    • before planting anything, before you start farming, allow the animals to do the work for you and prepare the growing area
  • Animals should prepare the soil
    • goats, chickens, ducks, turkeys
    • animal excretion will put you far ahead in your base soil health
    • growing a garden and having to bring in soil for every crop you plant is not sustainable
    • there should be minimal soil disturbance in order to avoid disrupting the microbiology
    • a no-till or zero-till planting preserves microbial populations – every successive harvest will be more nutritious, with less inputs
  • Holy grail of agriculture
    • less work, more food from a smaller area
    • possible if you practice regenerative agriculture
  • Keep animals in a very small area and move them as frequently as possible 
    • goats are very susceptible to parasites
  • Jordan provides a regenerative organic system farm plan
    • the goal is to train farmers, whether in a backyard variety or as major producers
  • Going too big can be a big mistake
    • start small with a small number of animals; if you fail, you fail small
    • when you start buying animals, nobody will sell you their best animals
    • a successful small system can then be applied to large parcels of land – the same principles apply

-What type of animals to raise?…55:58

  • Depending on your environment, there are better animals than the goat, chicken, cow concept
  • Unfortunately, in the U.S., we have gravitated towards animals that produce food quickly in confinement, which has led to very weak genetics
    • dairy cows are super fragile animals
    • the Cornish cross hen chicken are also super fragile
    • these animals are grown to become a steak or milk or eggs or chicken breast very quickly
  • Ben is probably moving into a pasture that has no 20-year regeneratively improved soil
    • grow animals that can thrive
      • on poor quality forage
      • without antibiotics
      • without growth-promoting stimulants or hormones
    • do not get animals that need to be pampered
    • you want animals that can “earn a living for themselves”
  • The Biggest Little Farm video
  • Jordan lost a lot of animals and plants
    • farming is hard but it is absolutely simple and effective if you start today
    • appreciate the food that you buy at your grocery or health food store or farmer's market because it's hard to grow and raise it yourself
  • Recommendations for Ben’s farm
    • water buffalo
      • superior milk than cows
    • yaks 
      • produces higher quality meat than any bovine or cattle 
      • superior milk
      • raising and milking yaks is very different to raising and milking cows
    • sheep and goats that are more acclimated to colder weather
    • ducks
      • can handle more colder weather
      • eggs are less allergenic and more nutritious than chickens in every measured nutrient
    • Scottish highland cows
    • A2 milk 
      • only a few breeds of cows that have a high percentage of A2 milk
      • Guernsey cows can handle some cold weather and has 96% A2 milk
      • goats, sheep, water buffalo, yak, all have entirely A2 milk without any breeding necessary
      • more suitable for humans considering mother's milk contains no A1
  • Find a farmer who's selling cows and genetically test hair samples to know which cows are A2 and which are not
    • if the original cattle are producing A2 milk, then their offspring, being raised on A2 milk would be producing A2 and much healthier
    • if you're going to do dairy, it's got to be A2 because it is far healthier than traditional dairy

-Water contamination by ducks…1:02:38

  • Ben’s dad got very sick 2 years ago and the infection was caused by contamination of the pond water by ducks
  • Jordan has 3000 birds (about half are ducks) on a 53-acre part on his 2 farms
    • normal rotation does not have pond access for the ducks
    • moving every day 
  • The farm has a group of ducks that are in a stationary body of water but people are not allowed to enter and drink water from it
  • Used to have water systems called effluent tanks when the farms were producing dairy products 
    • the water was inoculated with probiotics (soil-based aerobic organisms to keep the pond free from pathogenic organisms)
    • oxygenate the pond to simulate moving water (not stagnant)
  • The best use of that water from a pond that has ducks is to irrigate land and provide fertilizer, not recommended for drinking
  • Podcast with Joel Salatin:
  • It is probably a good idea to avoid any contact with water from a pond with ducks in it, especially if the water is not aerated and or inoculated with beneficial bacteria probiotics

-Creating supplements with fungi…1:05:50

  • Recently created the first regenerative organic certified fungi
  • Has also created the first regenerative organic certified supplements ever that are launching in sprouts exclusively
  • The fungi kingdom is very unutilized
  • Mycorrhizae in the soil makes the soil healthy
  • The healthiest soil is one that has more fungi than bacteria
  • Mushrooms are amazing for health
    • researched how to make good ingredients better with fungi
    • taking fungi and allowing them to extract all the goodness from foods, herbs while removing any plant toxins
  • Research from Korea – fermenting herbs with fungi
  • Most mushrooms are grown on substrate of wood or rice straw or another grain like oats
  • What if a fungi like reishi is grown on an herb like turmeric
    • get the benefits of the fungi, reishi
    • get the benefits of turmeric and all the other compounds that would be considered downstream metabolites
    • the mushrooms make these ingredients more bioavailable to humans
  • Infusing other factors into the reishi to get even better results
    • using energized structured water
    • using certain light and color frequencies as well as sound frequency
  • Grow reishi on turmeric on ground-up turmeric chips, not the whole log or a root
  • Jordan did an experiment with turmeric and grape seed and other different herbs
    • the reishi actually grew into the shape of the herb it was grown on
    • the 8-year-old reishi that was grown on turmeric chips now looks like turmeric root even though it was grown on little tiny chips
  • Also doing significant research on mushrooms grown on cannabis and hemp for 8 years now
  • There is always the desire to take the good and remove the bad from plants and God created mushrooms to do just that
  • Not all fungi are mushrooms, like chaga and cordyceps
  • The first experiment was cordyceps grown on ashwagandha
    • also did cordyceps on cacao
    • reishi on coffee
  • Literally taking any food and making it more improved for human or animal
  • Podcast with Dr. Dan Pompa:

-Is that going to be an Ancient Nutrition product or a whole new spin-off company?…1:14:56

  • We are incorporating this technology in the future Ancient Nutrition Regenerative Organic Certified products
  • We also have a manufacturing company in the middle of the 4,000-acre Regenerative Organic Certified farm
    • providing ingredients and formulation to select companies, including the brand new Dr. Dan Pompa brand Cellular Solutions
  • Jordan has also been doing experiments on animal products, including growing cordyceps on crickets, where cordyceps grows in nature, on insects

-Best way to follow Jordan and learn…1:16:10

  • Ancient Nutrition
  • The R.A.N.C.H (Regenerative Agriculture, Nutrition and Climate Health) Project
  • Everyone is welcome to visit the farm
    • train farmers
    • permaculture courses
    • tree planting parties
    • we've had multiple interns
    • individuals can come for a day and either volunteer or do a farm vacation
  • The goal is to spread the message to the whole world
  • You can contribute to changing the world wherever you are
  • We owe it to future generations to make improvements in our environment and our food supply

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Health Optimisation Summit: June 17th – 18th, 2023

Join me at The Health Optimisation Summit in London! This is your chance to be part of a community of 2,500 like-minded people and learn from world-leading health speakers. You'll be able to fast-track your health journey, discover cutting-edge secrets and hacks, explore the latest tech and gadgets, and find the cleanest and healthiest supplements and nutrient-dense foods. Don't miss out on this incredible experience! Use code BENGREENFIELD for 10% off regular and VIP tickets. Learn more here.

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Resources from this episode:

– Jordan Rubin:

– Podcasts:

– Other Resources:

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