[Transcript] – Ducks Vs. Chickens, Yaks Vs. Cows, Eating Locusts, Unique Permaculture Practices, Bible-Based Eating & More With Jordan Rubin.

Affiliate Disclosure


From podcast:https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/nutrition-podcasts/water-buffalo-milk/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:11] Podcast Sponsors

[00:05:04] Guest Introduction

[00:09:28] Why Jordan Prefers to Eat Yak and Water Buffalo Over Cow

[00:14:54] Key Differences in water buffalo milk from Cow Milk

[00:20:51] Why Duck Eggs Over Chicken Eggs

[00:25:58] How These Types of Foods Can Be Available to the Masses

[00:31:28] Fun Facts on Raising Ducks

[00:33:57] Podcast Sponsors

[00:36:27] Pros and Cons of Camel Milk

[00:38:56] Superfoods Jordan is Raising on His Farm in Tennessee

[00:45:47] Mixed Species Combined with Rotational Grazing

[00:55:24] Jordan's Personal Nutrition Philosophy

[01:01:04] How Perspectives On Food Consumption Change with Various Epochs of Time

[01:02:50] Resources for Following What Jordan is Up To

[01:09:20] Closing the Podcast

[01:10:46] End of Podcast

Ben:  On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.

Jordan:  I can't tell you what the one key is, but we could save the planet one millimeter of topsoil at a time. You can't be a fan of herbs, organic foods, et cetera, and not try to understand how to play a role in raising awareness. I guess we think someone else is going to do it, or, “Hey, I'll just always buy my food at the grocery store.” I think one thing COVID taught us is that you're not guaranteed anything unless you've got it in your proximity.

Ben:  Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.

Well, hello. I got a chance to talk with my friend Jordan Rubin on today's podcast. We had a fantastic chat. You guys are going to love this. It's all over the place, but a real focus on yaks. Yaks, yes, as you'll find out on today's show.

Now, I have never eaten a yak, but I have eaten a very wide variety of foods lately because I have put the finishing touches on a cookbook chock-full of my favorite recipes. I've woven in biohacked smoothies and crazy meat rubs, cocktails, both alcohol-free and alcoholic, different desserts including some of the keto variety, some of the extremely tasty non-keto variety, everything from reverse-sear steak to sous vide salmon to fermented wild plant pesto, and a whole bunch of other molecular gastronomy and cell nourishing taste bud pleasing foods that are kind of like crazy recipes that have come out of my own mind. So, possibly one of the most unique cookbooks on the face of the planet, but pre-orders are now live on this thing. It's my brand new cookbook. You can get it at boundlesscookbook.com. That's boundlesscookbook.com. And pre-orders are live as of now as you are listening to this.

This podcast is also brought to you by something I spent about a year behind the scenes developing along with my team at Kion. We went deep into the research and looked into every last compound that exists that has clinically proven ingredients and human clinical research studies behind it for things like muscle soreness, and aches, and pains, and joint health. And what we designed was this product called Flex. Flex contains everything from these extremely water-soluble, turmerosaccharides, to different crazy silkworm extracts and proteolytic enzymes. It is everything that you need to banish soreness. Kiss ibuprofen and Advil goodbye. I'm going to give you 10% off of Kion Flex. Take it on an empty stomach at night anytime you've got a hard workout, you're sore, you're injured. I swear by this stuff. And all you need is three capsules, that's it, three capsules. And more is not better with Kion Flex, which is crazy. Just three, boom, you're good to go. And we have our brand new branding. So, it's a pretty sexy-looking bottle, too. Getkion.com/bengreenfield. GetK-I-O-N.com/bengreenfield is where you can grab your bottle of Kion Flex and that will save you 10% off your first order from anything at Kion, getK-I-O-N.com/bengreenfield.

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Alright, let's go talk to Jordan.

Alright, folks. So, a few months ago, I was in Tennessee and I was having dinner with some friends. And between bites of some kind of wonderful ice cream, we were having–Jordan, you remember that stuff? It was like MCT, and collagen, and probiotics, or buddy Andy's ice cream. It was fantastic. So, my podcast guest today, Jordan Rubin and I were chatting over both ice cream, and then also some crazy tropo del, some Colombian recipe in which you take like a giant beef loin and wrap it in a towel, and prior to that, coat it in a thick, thick layer of salt. And I believe in this case, Paul, I think his name was, the chef down there, also drenched it in wine and olive oil. And then, you just kind of like toss it on a fire.

Jordan:  Yeah, underground. A fire in Andy's backyard. It was hazardous, I'm sure, and–

Ben:  Yeah. It was good though.

Jordan:  It was great. I loved it.

Ben:  Oh, melts in your mouth. I tried to replicate that exact recipe when I got home. I got a big old loin from US Wellness Meats, and I put a bunch of coarse salt on it and some other seasonings, and then drenched it in wine and olive oil, and wrapped it in a towel, and this was about two months ago. Started a big fire in our fireplace in the living room.

Jordan:  That's what I was going to say the same thing, a forest fire, if it was–

Ben:  I toss it in there, and it kind of sort of worked, like it turned into this massive explosion of flame, and I was worried that I just burnt the entire piece of meat to a crisp. But once I took it out and carved it out of that giant layer of salt, it actually wasn't half bad. My kids were kind of impressed that I managed to not burn the house down and feed them simultaneously with a cool meal.

Jordan:  Flambé.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jordan:  As an entrée.

Ben:  Flambé. But we weren't eating yak, which I actually want to talk with you about on today's show. But real quick, before we get into yaks, and water buffalo, and beyond, basically, while Jordan and I were eating dinner, he was just fascinating with all these stories of crazy animals and superfoods that he's now growing on his farm, which he'll fill you in on because his farm is just fantastic, all in this very sustainable and regenerative way that can feed a lot of people with really low acreage requirements. And so, I knew I wanted to get him on the podcast to talk about his farm. And if you aren't familiar with Jordan, I mean, he's–Jordan, not to make you sound old, but you are one of the OG's in the whole health, and diet, and supplements industry. As a matter of fact, I remember when my–it was my great uncle Vito down in Florida, he had cancer. And this must have been when I was 13 or 14 years old, and he had a library of books he was reading at the time, and your book was one of them. I forget the name of it, but I think it was one of your early like food to heal the body. What was the name of one of your first books?

Jordan:  “Patient Heal Thyself” maybe.

Ben:  I think it was “Patient Heal Thyself.”

Jordan:  [00:07:56] _____.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jordan:  And it's not my first.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. And I remember thumbing through that. Like even then, I had a keen interest in fitness and nutrition, and had no clue who you were at the time, but I thought it was an interesting book. I didn't steal it from my uncle, but made a mental note. And then, you and I have crossed paths multiple times. We have a mutual friend, Josh Axe, and I've had him on the podcast to talk about your guys' company, Ancient Nutrition. I've read most your books, although I haven't yet read “The Maker's Diet,” which looks just fascinating for me being a Christian who also cares about nutrition. That book is on my radar. And then, you also have another book about fasting, don't you?

Jordan:  Yes, yeah. My latest book is called “Essential Fasting.” So, it's really a guide to finding a fasting protocol that works for you. So, yeah, it's great. Who would have thought that sometimes the best diet is no diet at all?

Ben:  I know. And “Essential Fasting” is a better title than don't eat. So, anyways, Jordan is, he's an entrepreneur, he's an author, he's a lecturer. He's been doing this for decades. He's the founder of Garden of Life, which you've probably seen at just about any grocery store with a health food section on the face of the planet. And he has formulated hundreds of dietary supplements, and functional foods, and beverages. He really thinks outside the box, which is what I appreciate about him. And he also has, like I mentioned, a keen interest in farming, and especially organic, regenerative, permaculture, and all things that go into taking care of God's good planet while also harvesting really good stuff from it.

So, anyways, Jordan, there are so many places that we could jump in. But in the interest of time, I want to tackle what really intrigued me as we were having dinner when you told me that you thought cows were more or less kind of a stupid idea, and that you stumbled across better ways to raise animals, particularly in the form of things like yaks and water buffalo. And you're wearing a Team Yak t-shirt right now, just so folks know.

Jordan:  Oh, good. I thought you didn't see it.

Ben:  I can see it. I can see your shirt. Like I mentioned before we started, I don't know if you're wearing pants, but I can at least appreciate your Team Yak t-shirt.

Jordan:  You know what I should do, Ben, is wear a Team Yak t-shirt and wear pants made out of yak hair. Like that would jack it up, go, “Oh, yak.”

Ben:  I will not make any woolly yak underwear jokes right now.

Jordan:  Well, that's where they get it from.

Ben:  Alright. So, go ahead. Why yaks, why water buffalo? What's going on there?

Jordan:  You know, I think most of what I do has a very complicated chain of events. But at the end of the day, my passions as I sit here right now, number one, I want to feed the world, and I want to do it in a way that is healthful, sustainable, and provides significant overabundance of resources, et cetera. And number two, I want to end certain diseases. When I say certain, all. So, no one will accuse me of not having lofty goals, but I think the first thing we can do if we want to change the world is change ourselves, our family. And then, I like now the idea of doing certain things on a small scale. I know that's laughable for anyone who knows me because for me, if more is more, even more is even more. That's just the way I roll.

But in this case, I've really had–I'll call it revelation on how to transform land. Really, the resources that we've been given is all that matters, and we're so tied up in technology. And now, there's even cryptocurrency. So, we have gone so far from the growing and raising of food, the bartering system. You trade something of legitimate value for someone else's something of legitimate value. Today, it's literally the emperor's new clothes all around us. That being said, I always want to find ways to do things better and do things right, and I started to learn about livestock. This was back in the early 2000s. I was really passionate about consuming grass-fed, organic local foods, but then I wanted to know how to create those foods.

And then, when I started looking at, well, if this kind of dairy is better, then what's even better than that? And I think what caught your attention is I said, “Listen, if it were up to me, some of my small goals would be to replace cattle with water buffalo.” And then, just to give you context, there's 97 million cows in America and 6,000 water buffalos. So, it's a little bit of a disparity. And then, I said, “I'd love to replace chicken eggs or hen eggs with duck eggs.” Now, this is pretty simple because water buffalo produces red meat and milk that's amazing, and duck eggs are like chicken eggs, only better. So, then the question is, why do we have such a proliferation of cows or cattle and chicken eggs when I can give you 10 reasons why the water buffalo is a healthier animal, easier to raise, better on the environment, and the meat is healthier, the dairy [00:13:00] _____ same with duck eggs, and duck meat, frankly.

Ben:  Do it. Give us the reasons. We'll fill people in on yaks versus cows, and ducks versus chickens.

Jordan:  Sure. And the yak is obviously an exciting animal as well. The challenges with yak is that they have real challenges with heat. Even anything above, I'll call it 70 degrees can cause heat stress because yak, as we alluded to, have an extremely hairy coat. So, I started out looking into yak and I own probably 50 head of yak. But then I latched onto water buffalo, and water buffalo are extremely amazing.

Ben:  Well, you couldn't just shave your yaks?

Jordan:  You don't shave them. Actually, you comb them out, and that's where you get the fur. So, it's even more sustainable than that, but they struggle so much in the heat. And our farms are in Missouri and Tennessee. We love them and we had actually a really good year for the yak, but they're not going to be able to proliferate across the U.S. Whereas water buffalo, from the northeast to the southeast, to the pack northwest, they're good to go. And water buffalo, just to give you a couple of tidbits, their meat is higher in protein, higher in iron, higher in B12, higher in zinc, higher in creatine, glutamine, you name it. The fat is lower. Now, I'm a fat head, I love fat. But just for those of you who are interested, the fat in water buffalo meat is a lot lower. The taste is excellent, a little bit like a wild game, but fabulous. The milk is a game-changer. And I'm going to introduce an idea to you, Ben, because I know you love outside-the-box thinking. So, it may actually help from a climate perspective because bald yak might be even better from a heat tolerance perspective. We don't dehorn our animals nor do we castrate. We do things very, very, I'll call it natural.

So, water buffalo milk is a game-changer, and it has these three qualities that I'm convinced are the things you should look for in milk. Number one, naturally homogenized. This is in no particular order, but cow's milk dairy, if it's non-homogenized, homogenization is a terrible process that causes damaging enzymes and makes the milk nice and smooth, no cream top, but cow's milk separates. Yak milk, buffalo milk, camel milk, sheep milk, and goat milk, they're all naturally homogenized. There is something there, Ben. I don't know exactly what, but fat, I'll call it globules or molecules are in solution. Scientifically, there's not a lot of information on why that's better, but that's one. Number two, you want dairy to be free of A1 beta-casein, which has been called the devil in the milk. Cow's milk, most of the cow's milk in the U.S. and Europe have A1 beta-casein. The original cows or cattle that came from India, Africa, Middle East, they do not. So, A1 beta-casein is foreign to the human body. Mother's milk is only A2 beta-casein. So, while cows predominantly have A1, certainly most species in the U.S., the same animals I mentioned, water buffalo, sheep, goat, yak, as well as camel, they're all free of beta-casein A1.

And number three, you'll love this, and we need to find out why this is important. These dairy cattle have some way to metabolize carotenoids so that the dairy is all white. So, water buffalo milk, they could be on an entirely pastured diet, which ours would be, and the milk is white as snow. And you know when it comes to cow's milk, you're going to see on a pasture-raised farm, the cow's milk will be yellow. And if it's frozen, even orange. There's something powerful about those pre-metabolized carotenoids because they're getting all the carotenoids. They're just processing them in a more usable form. And I'm not even mentioning the fact–check this out. Water buffalo milk, if you compare it to cow's milk, has 110% more magnesium. Now, you might think, well, magnesium, you can get in a lot of places. Well, first of all, no, you can't. Second of all, animal source magnesium, game changer. Again, do I have scientific data? No, because nobody's done it, but would you rather consume dairy with 110% more magnesium? Absolutely, to go with the calcium, phosphorus, et cetera. And I did some data on the differences between water buffalo milk and cow's milk, and almost every nutrient in water buffalo milk is higher. And here's the biggest reason I love water buffalo milk. It has twice the amount of fat. So, twice the amount of short-chain, medium-chain fatty acids. All the fats, twice the amount, naturally homogenized, unbelievable.

Ben:  Well, this is important. I want to slow down for just a second just to make sure we clarify a few things for people who might not understand the importance of what you're saying. So, when it comes to this homogenization, and I've discussed this on previous podcasts, the ability of homogenization, not the natural form of homogenization that you're finding the water buffalo milk, but mechanical homogenization of, say, cow's milk that affects the structure of the proteins in raw milk. The fat molecules become smaller. They can become like capsules for substances that can bypass digestion, like proteins, for example, can wind up getting absorbed in the bloodstream resulting in some immune reactions to homogenized milk. Pasteurization is a whole different issue when it comes to killing off a lot of beneficial bacteria. But I have a lot of people who struggle with milk, struggle with an immune reaction to milk due to the homogenization process.

And then, when you get to the A2 versus A1 consideration, similar thing, I discovered this way back in the day when I started giving my kids goat's milk instead of cow's milk. And the exercise-induced asthma one of my sons was experiencing during soccer went away like overnight as we cleaned up his diet, not by eliminating dairy, but by switching him to a less problematic form of dairy that doesn't have that potential cause of not only stomach pain and other GI symptoms, but also immune system reactions from that beta-casein protein, that A1 beta-casein protein, which is why even a lot of–I tell people, if you're going to buy a good cheese, get it from like a good artisanal European hard source just because you tend to get more of like an A2 cheese, although some cows–what is it, the Guernsey cow that's bred now for A2?

Jordan:  Guernsey, I believe, always has had over 90% predominance of A2. That's the only Bos Taurus type of cattle in the world that is predominantly A2. Everything else is either 50% A1, or almost in the case of Holstein, the Chick-fil-A black and white cows, they're almost entirely A1.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. And there is that great book you mentioned, the “Devil in the Milk,” and then I think it's a2milk.com where you can find some milk and cheese sources that are also A2, although we'll jump back on the water buffalo bandwagon here in a little bit. And then, the bioavailability of carotenoids, a lot of people don't realize how variable that is and how things like, again mechanical homogenization or heat treatment can actually affect carotenoid bioavailability. In some cases, increasing, in some cases, decreasing. But the fact is there's processing in a lot of foods that will decrease carotenoid availability, and a lot of people think they're getting a lot of these vitamin A or other carotenoid forms, and they're not. And so, that's really interesting. I didn't know that about the milk either.

So, I just wanted to jump in there and clarify for people. These are matters that wind up stacking and having a profound influence on the presence of gut issues, immune issues, or the lack of them depending on the source of the milk that you're drinking. And before I interrupted, Jordan, you're about to explain why duck eggs versus chicken eggs.

Jordan:  Yeah. And one thing I will say about duck eggs, this is really important, Ben, because you and I have already had a text snafu due to autocorrect. And so, when you're really quickly typing for someone to buy you duck eggs, or, “Hey, did you get me the duck eggs?” you need to be a little careful and wait to send the message because people can be like, “Whoa, whoa, I'll get your eggs, jeez.” So, anyways, that's just an aside. I'm learning that because I'm a fast texter–

Ben:  There are autocorrect words that end in UCK.

Jordan:  Yeah. And for someone who never uses that word, it's really out of character. So, on the duck egg side, first of all, chefs around the world will tell you that duck eggs are more delicious, and they really are. One thing that's interesting–and again, Ben, I'm going to give you some verifiable data, and then some, I'll say subjective information that I believe means something. But if you crack a duck egg, the albumen, the white is much, much more viscous. It's much thicker. So, when I go from a duck egg to a chicken egg, the chicken egg literally seems like there's water inside after cracking duck eggs. But the real key, a duck egg has a greater proportion of yolk to white. And I never bought into the “get rid of the yolk, eat egg white” crap because that's not a real food, but so many people did. The yolk is absolutely amazing.

And just a couple of points for duck eggs versus chicken eggs, duck eggs contain eight times more B12, and I adjusted this for weight. I was looking at apples to apples because the duck egg, the ones that we produce, they're about 60 grams of weight, and a chicken egg is about 50. So, it's not really that much larger, but eight times the B12. And this is a form of B12 that is highly bioavailable. I do a lot of raw eggs. I make smoothies with raw eggs, et cetera. And this is something that most people won't appreciate. There is three times more cholesterol in a duck egg than a chicken egg, which means from a brain perspective, phospholipids will follow, the phosphatidylcholine and serine, et cetera, but you're literally producing three times the androgenic. Or in case of a female, if you need certain hormones like progesterone, et cetera, you're getting that because cholesterol is a building block, and I love that. So, you're literally, gram per gram of egg, you're getting three times the cholesterol. And by the way, Ben, I've done research dating back to the early days of bodybuilding and why raw eggs were consumed. Why did Rocky swallow them in the first “Rocky” movie? There's actually trace amounts of testosterone in egg yolk, and it follows cholesterol.

Ben:  By the way, you just gave a bunch of like UFC fighters, and Ironman triathletes, and cyclists, and all these people who are in USADA and WADA doping tested sports a really great excuse. They're just going to tell their testers now that they had duck eggs for dinner the night before.

Jordan:  Yeah. They'd just be like, “Hey, it wasn't the testosterone, it was the duck and eggs.” But yes. But check this out. I was wondering where this all came from because I've been studying sort of the formation of the bodybuilding diet, or what you would call sort of a nitrogen balanced diet, positive nitrogen. And there was a study done I think in the '70s where burn victims, the severe second and third-degree burn victims, consumed 35 raw eggs a day, and they compared it with a low dose of Dianabol, like the lowest dose to keep your body in that positive nitrogen balance. When you're burned, your protein is literally being evaporated. And they found that 35 eggs a day, that's a lot of eggs, had the same effect on the positive nitrogen balance in the body as a low dose of Dianabol, which is a synthetic testosterone.

And some of the early bodybuilding diets that were followed by Vince Gironda, and one of the first sort of nutritionists to deal with protein powder, Rheo H Blair, they got their diet advice with all of these raw eggs from this study. So, really cool stuff when you start to think about how important it is to change the poultry that you're consuming eggs from. Same egg, size, pretty much. You've got three times the cholesterol, eight times the B12. And think about that for an entire year if you eat a lot of eggs, it's pretty amazing.

Ben:  Now, when you're talking about water buffalo and you're talking about ducks versus, say, the more popular cow or chicken, I know that one of the first things people are thinking, because this is what I think is, well, that sounds great if you're Jordan Rubin and have some fringe farm where you're experimenting with this stuff. But how can these type of foods be made available to the masses, particularly people who don't have a farm?

Jordan:  It's a great question. So, if you look at water buffalo, I mentioned there's 6,000 in America. Well, there's I believe 300 million in the world. So, if you look at India, water buffalo are doing the work in the rice paddies, and I'll explain why that's important. China, water buffalo are all over, especially places like Mongolia. Italy, it is not legal to call mozzarella mozzarella, particularly buffalo mozzarella, unless it comes from water buffalo. So, there is a prevalence, a greater prevalence of these animals around the world. And by the way, in addition to producing healthier meat and milk, they can live between 20 and 25 years in a healthy domestic setting, having a healthy calf, probably every year, depending on how you raise them. And they have barely any foot problems, which is one of the major reasons why veterinary medicines and livestock are used. And they're terrible. They get in our water and our food supply. They have very little eye problems. You don't need to pull calves. They calve very easily and very well. They live in almost every environment unless–in certain instances, they can have challenges from a health perspective if it's really cold and wet. But all in all, they're amazing.

And so, for example, you say, “How do you get water buffalo products?” Well, if you go to certain health food stores, you will find–I think there's a brand of water buffalo soft cheese out of South America called buf. It's B-U-F with an accent mark on the U. Maybe buf makes you buff. So, that's really yummy. And then, there have been over the years water buffalo yogurts, and there are more and more farms. Right now, Ben, until we get some of our water buffalo over here in Tennessee, I've been ordering water buffalo milk from an Amish farm in Pennsylvania. So, it's few and far between. I'm not going to give the name because then there'll be none left for me, but in the meantime–and duck eggs, so certain cultures consume duck eggs often, including folks from Korea. And, Ben, I don't know if you've ever had a century egg or a preserved egg. Have you ever had one of those?

Ben:  Yeah. I had one in–gosh, it was either Thailand or Japan. Incredibly flavorful. It was at some big fancy dinner I was at and they brought it out as one of the dishes. And yeah, I remember having one. It was about five or six years ago.

Jordan:  And it's black. I mean, my family freaked out. I bought something [00:28:50] _____ to an Asian market and we brought some. The outside looks like kind of black, very thick jelly or rubber. And the inside, the yolk is black. And I videoed it, and I actually also have some dried locusts from Israel. That's a whole different story, but I ate a preserved or century duck egg with a locust on top of it and I felt like I was pretty cool, a little bit of “Fear Factor” there. So, Korean, Asian, and even local markets, if you will go, they will have duck eggs, particularly in the spring because that market is very strong. I think I looked up recently in certain areas of Asia. They consume some ridiculous number of preserved duck eggs a year. They're supposed to really impart great physical and other benefits. So, duck eggs are much more available today than water buffalo dairy.

But here's the deal, Ben. You know how this goes. If there's demand, there will be supply, but how do you know what to ask for unless you sort of stumble onto some of this? And to me, I didn't know anything about water buffalo, or yak, or that much about ducks, but these animals are easier to keep, they're healthier. And in the case of ducks, the reason we brought them to our farm, Ben, initially, they are great alternatives to pesticides. They actually gobble up grasshoppers, locusts, aphids. It's amazing. They can consume a significant amount of locusts in a three-foot radius. I think when there was a big locust swarm coming from Africa to China, and they released 100,000 duck army to go eat those critters, and then they produce super healthy eggs as a result.

Ben:  You know, I grew up in Lewiston, Idaho. And about every three to four years like clockwork, we would have these giant locust infestations at our property, and we wound up introducing praying mantises, we got tons of chickens, we wound up like paying neighborhood kids, literally, like a penny a locust to trap and catch these things. My brothers and I would–we learned how to eat them from a local like army survival guy. So, we would walk around just like picking them up, ripping their legs off, and eating locusts. And we had no clue about ducks. What wound up making the biggest impact actually was the introduction of a large amount of praying mantises, which had a catch-22 effect because we wound up getting attacked by praying mantises instead of locust after a while. But I wish we'd have known about ducks back then.

Now, a couple of subtle nuanced questions here. If you decided you wanted to raise ducks because many people are doing like backyard chicken coops right now and doing chickens, do you need water if you're going to raise ducks? Do need a body of water?

Jordan:  It's a great question. So, we have right here where I'm sitting, and I can look out the window, I'm on our farm in Tennessee, so we have ducks in our greenhouses and we have ducks by a pond. The answer is they love water. In fact, they sleep in the middle of a body of water if they can to avoid predators, which is really cool. But our ducks in our greenhouse don't have–they have water to drink and they have the insects to eat, and we do feed them some organic feed. But no, the answer is no, you don't need a “body of water,” although if you look online at some of the hobby farm stores, they'll often recommend a little duck swimming pool, like a baby kid swimming pool. But you absolutely don't need water or a body of water for either water buffalo or duck. But if you have one, they will spend lots of time in the warmer climates.

Ben:  Interesting. And again, could ducks coexist with chickens, do you think?

Jordan:  They do co-exist. They definitely hang out on their own, but we have chickens here, we have ducks, we have all kinds of livestock, and they can coexist. We've not had them in the same, I'll call it chicken house, or duck house, or duck or chicken tractor, but I know that as the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together, but they can be on the same property. You know what I mean? We have guineafowl here, too, and they're great for eating many different types of insects including fleas and ticks, which is amazing if you have dogs and cats because you need that type of protection, or humans that hate ticks.

Ben:  That's really good to know because I live on about 10 acres in the forest out here and I'm always keeping my finger on the pulse of ways to naturally control the tick population, even though we don't have to worry too much about Lyme out here on the West Coast. I like to not have to brush my hands through my children's hair at night and find ticks. So, guineafowl is another one that you like?

Jordan:  Yes. And they're really difficult to raise because they're super fast, they perch high and they fly. So, you really want to clip a wing if you have guineafowl. But they're the chickens of Africa. They look really interesting, but they are great birds for pest control, good eating, and their eggs are really great if you can find them. Meaning, even on the property, they hide them pretty well.

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Another question about the milk factor and animals for milk, camel's milk for a while was quite popular. There was a farm, I believe they were based out of California, called Desert Farms Camel Milk, and they would send them up. My kids actually love them. I haven't drunk it in a while, but again, very bioavailable, seemed like a good A2 source of dairy with some of the same advantages as you've outlined for something like water buffalo. Why not camels?

Jordan:  I think the issue with camels has really more to do with the amount of milk they produce, the difficulty in keeping them, and then they don't have a short gestation either. So, I think if I remember correctly, you're going to get at best two births in three years. That being said, oddly enough, there is, I would say, a nice body of research on camel milk for pervasive developmental disorders such as autism. There's been a study on inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's, and colitis with camel milk. It's absolutely amazing that there's research on a product that comes from an animal dairy, which has been so vilified over the last, I'll call it even decades.

So, I think if you can get camel milk, it's excellent. It's interesting, Ben, because out of all the dairy that I mentioned, sheep has much more butterfat than cow's milk, water buffalo does. Same with yak. But when it comes to camel milk, it's much thinner and has less fat, but it is loaded with naturally occurring immunoglobulins and lactoferrin. Those are compounds that either stimulate the immune system, or in the case of lactoferrin, it sequesters iron to keep it away from microbes growing. So, I think the idea and the mechanism of action on camel milk is that it really improves the gut biome. So, yeah. Camel milk, if you can get it, it's really rare and expensive, but it has some really great properties as well.

Ben:  Okay. Got it. Now, you told me that on this Tennessee farm that you're podcasting, near Nashville, somewhere near Nashville, today from, you have this ancient nutrition center for regenerative agriculture and sustainability, which is kind of like your research hub where you're establishing a food forest, which I'd love to hear a little bit more about. But you mentioned you're planting like a million different superfood-bearing perennial plants over the next several years and calling them America's forgotten superfoods, like all these different species that are actually indigenous to your region.

Now, obviously, we don't have time on this show to talk about 100 different species, but I'm curious if there are any that you think are particularly intriguing, if you want to open the kimono on what you guys are doing down there. Can you share with me the strategy here behind, and this is kind of a jam-packed question, we have time, the strategy behind a food forest and what that is, why the perennial plants, and perhaps a couple examples of some of these forgotten superfoods that you're planting?

Jordan:  I'd love to. It's one of my favorite topics. So, I think the first step–and I am not trying to talk down to anyone because we were an agrarian society. And when I grew up, I literally thought food came from Publix in the health food store. I grew up in a health-conscious family. I never grew anything, I never saw anyone grow anything, it was all concrete jungle for me sort of in the suburbs. So, I mean, I didn't know the difference between a perennial and an annual and simply put a perennial as a tree, bush, shrub, hedge. You plant it once and it lives for, I'll call it five to hundreds of years. Whereas an annual, each year, you have to replant it from seed or from some type of propagated cutting, if you will.

So, there's a huge difference for the environment and our bodies. When you consume an annual plant, and that's kale, that's carrots, that's broccoli, these are good foods for you, don't get me wrong. They're really disruptive in the environment even if they're organic because you're constantly disturbing topsoil, releasing carbon, and all the things that come with that. A perennial is something you plant once. And if it's a certain plant, your great-grandchildren can eat the fruit of it. I mean, Ben, what could get better than that? Seriously, you plant a tree and it's a legacy. And so, I didn't appreciate this growing up, I didn't understand it in my 20s and 30s, but I probably would say that my appreciation for perennial plants is as great as anyone could appreciate anything on this Earth.

And that being said, I believe that perennial plants are the answer to our environmental and physical health issues. And I can easily point back to paradise because Adam and Eve, we call it the Garden of Eden, what it really was was a perennial food forest. They ate from the vines and from the trees. Every year, it took less work and produced more fruit. And when the fall of man came, part of the ramifications was annual agriculture. The Bible says in Genesis, God's talking to Adam, “Cursed will be the ground. You will work it. It'll be hard. Thorns and thistles will come from it. And by the sweat of your brow, you'll obtain your food. Work, carbon release.

Ben:  Annual tilling of the soil, which is–I wouldn't say it's abusive to the soil, but it's harder on the soil when it has to be tilled in that way because it limits the ability to be able to sequester carbon versus like a perennial crop, especially perennial crop worked in with this whole concept of a food forest where the perennial crop is growing under like a tree cover. And then, typically from what I understand of a food forest, you've then got kind of like on the lower level underneath your perennial shrubs some different things, say, like berries or something like that, different shrubs that I think might be considered annual. And then, you can even have like edible fungi or medicinal mushrooms, et cetera, underneath that layer.

Jordan:  Yes. And really, that's what a perennial food forest is. They're all over the world naturally, but I'm looking out my window and I see 50-foot tall oak trees and pines. That's a little bit harder to harvest, but we're actually creating–the best way to describe it–and we're going to have video footage. We're out here looking today at the before because we're starting to plant on April 12th. We're really excited about that. We're looking at 25,000–we call it a million-member regenerative food forest because they're not really all trees, some are shrubs, some are bushes. We're going to plant one million of them, 25,000 per acre, in a way that is easy to harvest and sequesters the most carbon.

So, it's the most environmentally beneficial, and it also has the greatest ability to produce, I'll call it biomass, which would be leaves, and bark, and fruit, because the Native Americans–we're talking about natives. Here in Tennessee, it's Native American, I'll call it health or medicine. And while I love blueberries, and raspberries, and blackberries, and all of the normal fruits, bananas and things that don't grow here, there are amazing medicinal plants that do grow here. One you've heard of, Ben, and many have. Aronia or chokeberry has become, I would say, a little bit popular in terms of its antioxidant potential, but there's others like hackberry or pawpaw. And in fact, we were planting this morning, just starting to put some of our test plants in the ground. And I planted some pawpaw, and then some persimmon. Those are two fruits that most people have never consumed. Not only are the fruits amazing, the leaves of the plants are amazing, and they are indigenous to most of Middle America.

And, Ben, I've never had a pawpaw. Like, I was talking to Todd, our farm manager, and I said, “Todd, we need to order a pawpaw because I've just never had one.” Someone decided not to domesticate it and study it the same way they did a raspberry. So, this is this amazing fruit that's got a history in Native American health.

Ben:  Yeah. It looks a little bit like a mango, right?

Jordan:  Yeah. You've probably heard of Graviola leaf, right? It's kind of an alternative cancer remedy if you look online. Well, Graviola is soursop, which grows in South America and South Florida, the tropics. It's the Midwestern version of that. So, it's the largest land fruit in America, which is amazing. And I've never had one and we're growing them. We're planting 15,000, and I couldn't be more excited.

Ben:  Wow.

Jordan:  It's not to be confused with the pawpaw, that Baloo the bear, talks about in the jungle book, that is a papaya. So, in India, they call pawpaw, papaya, which by the way, we grow a papaya here indoors and it's one of the most hearty, fast-growing plants. Ben, you're not going to believe this, but we planted papaya from seed that I ate. I ate papaya last year. I bought it at the health food store, planted seeds, and we're already producing fruit less than a year later. It just blows my mind, from a little seed from which the fruit I ate.

Ben:  I didn't think I would think about that song during this podcast, “The Bare Necessities.”

Jordan:  I know it by heart. Don't make me quote it.

Ben:  The big pawpaw.

Jordan:  Or a prickly pear. And we grow that, too.

Ben:  Wow. Interesting. Now, as you're growing these foods and you have the animals as well–I've interviewed Joel Salatin in the past, who rotates his chickens to different areas of the property, which we tried to do for a while, but it's been so hard. Now, we just let them roam free, and then they're in the coop at night. But this whole concept of–I guess it would be like this mixed species, all these different animals that you have there, combined with rotational grazing. Are you doing kind of like a mixed species, rotational grazing type of system similar to what a guy like Joel Salatin is doing?

Jordan:  Yes. It's a little bit different, and Joel is absolutely a pioneer in this, and the guy's amazing. But we do something a little differently. We've tried to experiment where at one point, I had thousands of animals in a rotation altogether. I'm talking about yak, water buffalo, sheep, goats, cows, chickens. And unfortunately, not all the animals play nice with each other. And so, what we often do is more of a leader-follower. And I think that's more similar to what Joel will do where certain livestock go first, then some follow, then the chickens come because they eat the grubs that are in the manure. So, that is more akin to what we do.

For example, I was just in some of our greenhouses and we had obviously brought sheep through there because I see sheep manure all the way through, and I'm excited because we're actually going to plant in ground in those greenhouses. But the grazing part of livestock is absolutely critical to this plant of mine that could essentially feed the planet. You can basically, with enough time and some water, take any piece of land from desert to rock and grow pasture, which eventually creates topsoil. And eventually, in cycles of seven-year periods, you can plant trees. So, that's the idea. Animals must be a part of it. I'm an omnivore, as you know. We just described a steak that we ate earlier in the program, but I do believe that we could get back to a Garden of Eden type eating plan that includes primarily nuts, and fruits, and perennial vegetables.

But livestock is a must as a part of that because they're required in my mind to bring the soil microbes and organic matter where it needs to be. So, it's an entire system and it's all in seven-year cycle, six years on, one year off, very biblical. And it's something that I sort of drew up years ago because I asked the question, how do you feed the planet? How can you feed the planet? Because there's arguments. The folks that follow a plant-based diet say it's all soybeans, and those that follow an omnivorous diet believe that bison will save the planet. The truth is it's somewhere in the middle, but there is absolutely a formula to do it. And I don't know for the life of me, Ben, why people are not attempting it on a larger scale. So, that leaves us to do it in a small scale and try to tell the world on your podcast and others.

Ben:  So, I know you had bad soil up in Missouri, in your original farm, because that's like the Ozarks where, from what I understand, it's horrible rocky soil and difficult to grow in. But when you introduce this kind of food forest, from what I understand, is as you do this, you're actually creating soil that's got more and more, like a higher and higher percentage of organic matter over time. So, you're essentially building the topsoil as you go with this kind of food forest program, so you can essentially reinvent the soil wherever you're wanting to create a farm or a growing system?

Jordan:  Absolutely. And people have talked about oil being black gold. I promise you, black gold is topsoil, it's organic matter. We have lost–I can't even count the number, but it's something ridiculous, like trillions and trillions of tons of topsoil organic matter that are going into our rivers and streams and being eroded due to annual agriculture with crops due to confined animal feeding operations. Our most valuable asset on the planet is topsoil. As our topsoil goes, our oxygen level goes. All of the things that people talk about with global warming and climate, I can't tell you what the one key is, but we could save the planet 1 millimeter of topsoil at a time.

And, Ben, for some people, it's as simple as composting your food waste. I mean, that's how you create soil. And I remember in California, we lived there for a brief time, I would take food waste. I had a very tiny yard, but I couldn't throw the stuff away. So, I would take some of it and put it in a compost bin, but it would create flies and maggots and stink. And then, I started, I took my Vitamix or Blendtec at the time, and I'd start blending food waste. Ben, you'll appreciate this. Little water, some food waste. My two-year-old at the time, who saw me constantly making smoothies, she looked up after I blended eggshells and banana peels. She says, “Dad, are you going to make me drink that?” I was like, “No. That's for the ground outside.”

But I would literally take a blended food waste and put it on this little backyard that we had just to create more organic matter. I mean, it's not difficult for somebody to make a difference when it comes to climate, but the truth is we're so tied to our convenience and our technology. I guess we think someone else is going to do it, or, “Hey, I'll just always buy my food at the grocery store.” I think one thing COVID taught us is that you're not guaranteed anything unless you've got it in your proximity. And so, I do think people need to start focusing on growing something, raising something. And I can tell you, hobby farming is growing because we've had the hardest time getting seeds and seedlings this year than ever before. So, the word's getting out, but I think it could be accelerated if we really want to see change happen.

Ben:  And I don't know if you have the answer to this question, but I'm going to ask anyways. What if you don't have a yard? I mean, what if you're literally like condo, you got a patio? I mean, have you ever looked into any of these like vertical gardening systems or anything like that?

Jordan:  Absolutely. When I was in South Florida, we didn't have a yard where you could really grow anything that was worthwhile growing. And so, we had a little bit of a tower garden. I know they're available everywhere. We had it against our white wall outside our house and we grew incredible cucumbers and tomatoes, et cetera. And it wasn't a perennial food for us per se, but it was great. And even potted plants, spices are easy to grow. You barely need any sun or outside exposure. So, everybody can grow something. And even if you can't do that, Ben, there's little sprouters where you can buy seeds and grow your own sprouts. I just think it's important for us to somewhat connect with our agrarian roots. It's how America started, it's how the world started, and there's just something satisfying about planting something, growing something, eating something.

And I, as a kid from the suburbs, I never realized how much I would love this. You'd be so shocked at how excited I get when I find a certain seed that I can acquire of a species of plant that's medicinal or that's beneficial for the environment. It's so much fun and I'm somebody who really learned this as an adult. I was not taught this. I didn't go to school for this. You can't be a fan of herbs, spices, organic foods, et cetera, and not try to understand in my mind how to play a role in raising awareness, but also creating more supply of this food. I mean, so many of us depend on it, but we leave it all–all the growing and raising of these animals, we leave it all to a select few, and I just think there needs to be more. And your name is Greenfield. So, I mean, if my name was Greenfield, I would have been farming probably a lot longer.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. I know. I'm a first generation, getting on it, but we're definitely expanding our permaculture operation up here. This year, we're introducing–we don't really live in a forest where we've got much water, but we're introducing a natural body of water and bees this year. We've had a little bit of discussion about ducks. Haven't introduced those yet. We're doing sheep, goats, chickens. We got a fruit orchard. We have a lot of raised garden beds and we've got about seven acres. We haven't even barely tapped into yet. And even with that small amount of land that we're working on, we can bring boxes in the summer to our church full of produce that we can't even begin to consume ourselves as a family. Same thing with eggs.

The goats, we're still working on our milking game with those, but it's crazy what we can do with just a little bit of property. It reminds me of my interview with Doug Wolkon of Kauai Organic Farmacy. I visited him. Laird Hamilton introduced me to him when I was down there with Laird, and he's got two acres, and he's producing hundreds and hundreds of superfoods, tinctures, capsules, powders, oils, and it has a full operation down there on a couple of acres. And so, there's so much that you can do with a pretty small footprint if you just swallow the pill of taking responsibility. And as you've alluded to, especially during these times of COVID, if you just don't want to hassle with the grocery store, it's like that old Chinese proverb, “The best time to plant the tree is either 20 years ago or today,” right? So, you can get started no matter–because I've had guilt complex before, like, “Ah, why didn't I, when I first moved up here like seven years ago, start things off just perfectly,” but you do a little bit every year and the land just begins to transform.

Now, I'd be remiss not to ask you a couple of questions related to the use of this food, like, we alluded to “The Maker's Diet,” for example. How do you personally eat? Like, what's your personal nutrition philosophy?

Jordan:  That's a great question. And it has, I would say, evolved a bit. What I can say, and I'm proud of this, if you read my first book “Patient Heal Thyself,” which was written in 2002, or “Maker's Diet,” which I completed in 2003, my dietary philosophy is pretty much identical, although I've learned and expanded some of the sourcing, et cetera. But one thing that I do, if you look for 25 years, it's been pretty much daily, is I practice what is now called intermittent fasting. It wasn't called that at the time, but I really bought into the fact that we don't need to eat three square meals a day plus some snacks.

Ben:  But it didn't work for you, obviously, until it actually got a name because we all know it has to have a fancy name. You can't just say not eating?

Jordan:  Yes. So, I don't eat breakfast maybe once or twice a month. But I eat what you'd call sort of a real food, a superfood diet. So, when it comes to meat, it's something that we've raised, or we've caught. So, I ate a lot of venison this winter. I love water buffalo meat. Duck eggs are pretty much the only eggs that we have when it comes to dairy. I already talked to you about some of the dairy that we like, but we'll do goat, sheep. We do have some cows, but they're A2 cows. We bred them, especially, for that. I love to make smoothies. I do a lot of different fruits. I don't eat a lot of fruit, but I have a nice variety of fruits. I love salads, I love sprouts, I love consuming healthy oils on my salad. And if I do grains, I'll usually do sprouted, fermented. My favorite grain right now, I have this amazing einkorn, sourdough bread. Einkorn is the sort of original, biblical, unhybridized wheat, and it's amazing. We have someone locally that makes that, and I purchase it from him.

Ben:  That's what we use for the longest time with einkorn. And we recently switched to Himalayan Tartary buckwheat, which I found through Dr. Jeffrey Bland, and it's got like 100 times the antioxidants. You usually find it like south of China and India, in the Southern Himalayas, and like Pakistan. But if you've never looked into Tartary buckwheat, I'm more impressed with that than with einkorn in terms of the low amount, the problematic large gluten-based proteins, and the amount of antioxidants like rutin, and quercetin, and flavonoids. It's tough to get. I found one farm called Angelica Mills up in upper state New York that I get the flour and the bran from. But we're using that now instead of einkorn for our bread, and that'd be one for you to look into if you're interested in some of these fringe grains.

Jordan:  Yes. Well, I'm from Jewish descent and they have a buckwheat dish called kasha varnishkes. So, there's got to be–if there's a good buckwheat, I need to check it out.

Ben:  But did you just spit all over the microphone when you said that?

Jordan:  I moved my head–

Ben:  Okay. Good.

Jordan:  –to avoid it. Yeah. I'm good with the hu's and the ha's. See, that's the thing. If I find out about something like that, I'll latch on. When we learned about black or purple rice, we were consuming some soaked and sprouted black rice or forbidden rice as they call it. So, I try to maximize every bite of food that I can. I do a lot of herbs and spices. I'm really big into consuming those, and we're working on some unique extraction methods for botanicals consuming those. And so, yeah. I mean, I would say the best way to describe it is a real food diet. I'm crazy about avocados. We plant all of the avocado seeds from my house on the farm. And so, now I know we as a family use about 20 avocados a week, which is pretty awesome, right? I mean, that's amazing to know that. It's so funny. I love seeds so much that when I went to a relative's house, we all ate avocados and they threw them in the garbage, and I pulled the seeds out. It's amazing when your perspective changes, trash becomes treasure. It's so funny to think about that. But I love avocado seeds because we're turning them into amazing avocado plants that we grow here indoors.

Ben:  Interesting. And I know a few people might note this and give you flack for it, but you talk about the original Garden of Eden and how we had access to all these perennial plants, and wonderful fruits, and vegetables. And I am of the belief that there was no death, there was no killing of animals, and there was no consumption of ribeye steaks nor the necessity thereof in that scenario, not only due to differences in the atmospheric conditions, pre-flood that allowed for much larger, more mineral-dense, more nutritious produce. But also, just the absence of the need for death and shedding of blood, et cetera. Yet it sounds like despite you really appreciating that kind of ancient biblical-based approach to diet, you have accepted the fact that that meat is also now appropriate even though perhaps that's not the way that the world was originally created, was to kill animals and eat their meat.

Jordan:  That's a great point, and I do agree. I think today, for me and most people that I've seen, because a lot of us are in the health and wellness field, have been on a plant-based diet or followed a vegan plan for a period of time. I know I did, my parents did. I don't feel strong constitutionally. I could do a juice fast and I could look like a skeleton, and I can do a bone broth fast and look strong.

I mean, I can't explain all the reasons why, Ben, but in today's environment, it rains, the sun shines hot, and it's very different than the Garden of Eden when according to the Bible, there was a mist that watered the ground. And water came from the ground up. There had never been rain until the flood, if you believe the Bible as I do. So, something changed. Noah, after the flood, began killing animals. Adam and Eve had animal skins even before that. And then, what is called the Law of Moses, specifically talks about what animals to eat and not to eat. Do I think you need 50% of your diet as animal-based? Probably not, but some of the healthiest people in the world subsist on meat and dairy.

And so, I think an omnivorous diet is best, but look today, you get a little bit of everything. There's a resurgence of the carnivore-type diet. Obviously, plant-based is still big. I try to get the greatest nutrient density from foods that I can in a digestible form, and we're always trying to bring convenient solutions to people. I take a plethora of supplements, and a lot of them, they're really just food in a convenient form that gives me what I can't normally get. Certain Chinese, and North American, and Ayurvedic herbs, it's hard for us to grow or find. I mean, astragalus is not easily obtained from a health food store in its fresh form, right? And you can add so many others to that list. So, I believe an omnivorous diet is the healthiest, but I think there's many ways to optimize the body in and around that, and I think you should consume the healthiest animal foods possible, should you choose to do that, which I recommend.

Ben:  Now, I agree with you, and I think that probably, one thing that we should touch on here, as we're getting close on time, is resources for people who either want to follow more of the type of animals and plants that you're raising and what you're doing. I don't know if you're blogging or podcasting this process or anything like that, or the places or resources you would point people to to learn more about how to do this on their own property, their patio, et cetera. Like, are there some directions that you would point people so this isn't just like interesting information on a podcast for them about how to shave your yak, but also some things they can take away in terms of how they could get started on their own property or in their own home?

Jordan:  I have to comment because I don't want you to hurt yourself. If you're going to shave yours or anyone's yak, Ben, the horns are sharp. So, just remember, I don't believe in dehorning, but you may want to tip the horns because the yak shaving event could be more reminiscent of the running of the bulls, kind of like the running of the yak.

Ben:  Well, my wife just waxes her yak.

Jordan:  Alright. Please don't send that in a text. I can't imagine what will come out of that one. So, from a resource perspective, we are not blogging and making videos available in the volume that we will. So, pretty soon, what Ben mentioned, our Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Sustainability, CFRAS for short, that is going to be something we're going to be communicating daily on. And I talked to Todd, who he and his 12 children operate our farm here. And everything he does is cool and amazing to most of us. It's his normal life. It's what he drinks in the morning. It's how he checks on the animals, or the plants, or what he's noticing in the yellowing of a leaf. So, he's going to be creating copious amounts of content in the form of videos and blogposts, et cetera. So, that will be coming soon.

But I think from a gardening perspective, you just want to learn a little bit about the overarching message that Ben alluded to permaculture. I would just do a search for permaculture. There are several organizations in the United States and globally that teach permaculture. At our farm in Missouri, we have held certified permaculture courses and certified people from all over the world. There's many of these around the country.

Ben:  Yeah. But one thing that held me back from even like going to your farm, sorry to interrupt, was aside from some time and calendaring issues was I thought, “Why would I go take a permaculture course in a place where there's going to be different things to grow, and different soil, and different practices than I might experience in my own region? Wouldn't it be best to take a permaculture course like where you live?”

Jordan:  That's a great point. I think every corner of America, I can even think off the top of my head, I know in the northeast, I know in the Midwest, I know in the Pacific Northwest in California, there are permaculture courses. And some of the programs, some of the teachers will teach across the country. I think that's a great point, Ben, but I will argue that our permaculture courses, which are pretty standard curriculum for permaculture, you will be able to learn 75% to 90% of the material can work for you wherever you are even if, as you mentioned before, you don't have a yard. Some of the, I would say, practices are universal. And also, the understanding and the knowledge can be adapted to your region. But it's a great point. Look for the closest course you can go to, which makes sense anyway.

Ben:  Yeah. Okay. That makes sense. And then, what's the best URL if people wanted to follow some of the stuff that you guys are doing?

Jordan:  In terms of our ancient nutrition, regenerative agriculture programs, et cetera, ancientnutrition.com. My business partner and buddy, and your friend, Dr. Josh Axe, is draxe.com. That's A-X-E. We have got probably a few articles on permaculture and on regenerative agriculture. I think I did a couple of interviews that talks a little bit about what we're doing as an overview. And soon, we're going to have our own, I'll call it microsite and channels regarding the Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Sustainability.

And the other thing we're going to be doing, Ben, and I'd love to jump back on in the future and let you know, we do not want this to be our thing. I had this idea, and I want you to tell me what you think of it. I just am in love with it. It's two days old. I was sitting on our farm yesterday with our team and I said, “I'm so passionate about seeds. What if we allowed our employees, and even people outside our company, call it customers and friends, what if we had a program whereby people could save their seed? Let's say you're eating cherries and you rinse the seeds off, and we teach you how to dry them, or avocados, or whatever it is, and you send them to us instead of throwing them away, and we create the Garden of Us? I mean, how cool is that?” I keep saying it because I want my team to use the name, whether they like it or not, and I bring it up in every conversation in the last two days. So, I wanted you to get my back on this one.

Ben:  Interesting, the Garden of Us. That's a fantastic idea.

Jordan:  Think about it. We plant seeds that would have been in the trash can, and we could literally have this big map where we put sort of tax in like everywhere in the country we'd be getting seeds from.

Ben:  I like it. That's an interesting idea. Yeah. One that we should definitely unpack at some point in a future podcast because we're almost out of time. But I am going to link to everything we talked about at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/jordanrubin, J-O-R-D-A-N Rubin, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/jordanrubin. Also, I remember the name of that Colombian-style cloth-wrapped, grilled, beef tenderloin recipe for those of you who want to look it up and start a fire in your own home. It's called Lomo al Trapo. And then, that ice cream that we had was–it was Guardian Angel. That was the name of the company. That's Guardian Angel. So, if you guys want some goodies, because it's tough to grow your own ice cream and grow your own Lomo al Tropo, but there are ways to do it–

Jordan:  In the summer, it's really hard.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah, especially that. And as I just tweeted, sorbet is not ice cream, everybody, just so you know. There are better non-dairy ways to consume good ice cream. Sorbet does not count though. I don't know how people got so into sorbet being an alternative to ice cream, but we digress.

So, anyways, Jordan, this is just fascinating. There are so many things I kind of wanted to talk to you about, and I knew that today's podcast would kind of be like getting people curious versus taking like the deep, deep dive into, say, like the one, two, three steps for growing pawpaw. But I think this is going to be really interesting for people. And if you're listening in and you have comments, questions, feedback, your own tips to share, your own permaculture resources, stuff that you're curious about, just go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/jordanrubin and I will link to everything that we discussed including Jordan's books and some of the other fringe topics we delved into like why cheese made with A2 milk is better, and Jordan's Heal the Planet Farm website, and a whole lot more. And of course, the Lomo al Trapo Colombian meat and the fire recipe.

So, Jordan, thanks so much for coming on the show, man. It's been fantastic to have a chat with you.

Jordan:  Thanks for highlighting some things that I rarely get to talk about in public. Very exciting for me.

Ben:  Yes, sir. And next time I'm in Tennessee, which will be I believe this summer, I'm going to make a visit with my boys, we'll come over there and shave some yaks and milk some ducks with you.

Jordan:  I'll leave a little portion of our property. It'll be the Garden of Ben. How's that? Garden of Us, hashtag, Garden of Ben.

Ben:  I love it. Alright, folks. Well, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Jordan Rubin signing out from Team Yak at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.

Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.



A few months ago, I was having dinner with my friend Jordan Rubin, and—between bits of my friend Andy Neale's MCT-infused-coconut milk, collagen superfood ice cream—Jordan fascinated me with stories of the crazy animals and superfoods he now grows on his farm, all in a sustainable and regenerative way that could feed a lot of people with very low acreage requirement.

So I just knew I had to get Jordan on the podcast to talk about his farm and his techniques.

After growing up in a health-focused household, Jordan attended Florida State University. But at age 19, a life-threatening case of Crohn’s disease struck. After losing 80 pounds, Jordan was just 104 pounds and ravaged by inflammation. (His doctors didn’t expect him to live much longer.) With conventional medicine utterly failing him, he turned to nutritional-based healing and began specifically studying Biblical references to nutritional health and lifestyle.

Making Bible-based diet adjustments, unlocking the power of fermented food, and utilizing probiotic supplementation teeming with soil-based organisms, Jordan turned his health around and healed himself of Crohn’s disease in weeks. Fast forward years later to 1999, and he and his wife, Nicki, founded Garden of Life, which quickly grew into an award-winning retail powerhouse nutrition company.

Jordan is now 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 26 additional titles, including his latest work, Essential Fasting. 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 22 years. In addition to co-founding Garden of Life, Jordan founded 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.

In 2016, along with co-founder Dr. Josh Axe, Jordan launched Ancient Nutrition, a company that brings the principles of ancient nutrition to the modern world. Jordan is also the founder of Heal the Planet Farm, a regenerative permaculture retreat located in Missouri’s Ozark mountains within the four-thousand-acre Beyond Organic Ranch. Jordan and his beautiful wife Nicki are the parents of six wonderful children.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-Why Jordan prefers to eat yak and water buffalo over cow…9:30

  • Jordan wants to provide food that is helpful, sustainable, etc. and end certain diseases
  • Do things on a small scale (kind of a paradox considering how Jordan is known in his circles)
  • Water buffalo meat is higher in many essential vitamins and minerals
  • Lower fat

-Key differences in water buffalo milk from cow milk…15:00

-Why duck eggs over chicken eggs…21:00

  • Albumin (white) is much thicker in a duck egg
  • Greater proportion of yolk to white
  • Duck eggs contain 8x the vitamin B12 (highly bioavailable) than chicken eggs
  • 3x more cholesterol in duck eggs
  • Trace amounts of testosterone in egg yolk
  • 35 raw eggs have same effect as Dianabol (bodybuilding testosterone)

-How these types of foods can be available to the masses…26:10

-Fun facts on raising ducks…31:30

  • Not completely necessary to own a body of water
  • Possible to live in a greenhouse
  • They coexist with chickens
  • Guinea fowl (the chickens of Africa); great for pest control; eats ticks

-Pros and cons of camel milk…36:45

  • Desert Farms camel milk
  • Lower amount of milk produced
  • High maintenance animals
  • Long gestation (2 births in 3 years)
  • Much thinner than other animals' milk, but loaded with naturally occurring immunoglobulin and lactoferrin; sequesters iron to keep it away from microbes growing
  • Very expensive
  • Very good for the gut biome

-Superfoods Jordan is raising on his farm in Tennessee…39:00

  • Jordan was raised in a concrete jungle
  • Annual plants (kale, carrots, etc.) can be very disruptive to the environment
    • Plant each year from seeds or from propagated cutting; constantly disturbing topsoil
  • Perennial plants are the answer to our environmental and physical health issues
    • Plant once and they live for years
  • Garden of Eden was a “perennial food forest”
  • Genesis 3:17: “Cursed will be the ground” – i.e. annual tilling, hard work
  • Perennial plants:

-Mixed species combined with rotational grazing…45:55

-Jordan's personal nutrition philosophy…55:25

-How perspectives on food consumption change with various epochs of time…1:01:30

-Resources for following what Jordan is up to…1:03:10

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

– Jordan Rubin:

– Podcasts:

– Books:

– Food And Supplements:

– Other Resources:

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