In previous e-mails, I shared various food and health tips including how to boost your immune system, cope with stress, improve sleep hygiene, and where to buy high quality food.  I now want to expand and share some additional information I have gathered over the past several months.

I’ll start with the importance of having sufficient vitamin D levels, which have been shown to be correlated with hospitalizations and deaths.  Professor Roger Seheult explains in detail in this video with nearly 3 million views that while correlation does not equal causation, vitamin D does have a role to play in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.  So just know you can improve your health by going outside as professor Zeynup Tufecki explains:

A woman removes her phone and stares through the closed gates of Brockwell Park.

The outdoors, exercise, sunshine, and fresh air are all good for people’s immune systems and health, and not so great for viruses. There is a compelling link between exercise and a strong immune system. A lack of vitamin D, which our bodies synthesize when our skin is exposed to the sun, has long been associated with increased susceptibility to respiratory diseases. The outdoors and sunshine are such strong factors in fighting viral infections that a 2009 study of the extraordinary success of outdoor hospitals during the 1918 influenza epidemic suggested that during the next pandemic (I guess this one!) we should encourage “the public to spend as much time outdoors as possible,” as a public-health measure.

I also want to discuss diet, which I know is a controversial subject as exemplified by this debate: Are Vegetarians Healthier than Omnivores?  While I won’t go so far as to advocate the carnivore diet, I do want to stress what Dr. Paul Saladino describes as “nose-to-tail” eating that highlights the value of incorporating high quality organ meats into your diet which are often more nutritious than muscle meats. Since I have begun eating chicken and beef liver (best price at Local Foods for $4.29/lb. from Gunthorp Farms) and heart which was surprisingly good (best price at Dill Pickle for only $4.49/lb. from Wisconsin Meadows Grass-Fed Beef Cooperative) as well as incorporating more meat, fish, and eggs into my diet, I have had significantly more energy and haven’t felt the need to eat as much, namely high-carb foods such as sweet potatoes, bread, quinoa, and rice.  If you don’t see your self eating organ meats, Ancestral Supplements and Heart & Soil provide effective ways to incorporate a wide variety of organ meats into your diet in pill form.

While my experience is just anecdotal, it is worth checking out Paul Saladino’s podcast which provides a great deal of evidence in support of “nose-to-tail” eating.  Dr. Georgia Ede has a wealth of knowledge on this subject as well.

And I would suggest getting rid of most of your cooking oils (except for pure unrefined, unfiltered, first cold pressed olive oil, pure extra virgin unrefined avocado oil, and coconut oil) and try cooking with cultured butter (check out Nordic Creamery and Organic Valley), duck fat, or beef, bison, or lamb tallow which will make you feel more full and not need to eat as much.  Dr. Michael Eades explains:

Back in the old pre-let’s-all-quit-eating-foods-of-animal-origin days, McDonald’s fries were cooked in beef tallow.  Since the CSPI and other groups of slow-witted dolts came down on them, they’ve switched to cooking them in vegetable oil. Vegetable oil doesn’t flavor them in the same way beef tallow does, so they had to do all kinds of food-technology wizardry to make them taste the same. Some people still don’t think they taste the same.  Listen to this podcast by Malcolm Gladwell, who got to eat some McDonald’s fries cooked the old way.

Vegetable oils are primarily PUFA (polyunsaturated fat) whereas beef tallow is primarily saturated fat and mono-unsaturated fat with a little (a very little) PUFA thrown in.

If we could recruit, say, 30 people who would agree to eat McDonald’s fries till they were full, we could do a nice study.  We would use them as their own controls.  We would randomize them into two groups.  One group would eat McDonald’s fries cooked in vegetable oil until full, while the other group would eat the fries cooked in beef tallow.  We would measure the amounts of fries eaten by those in each group and record it.  Then, a couple of weeks later, we would reverse the situation.  Those who had eaten the beef-tallow cooked fries the first time, would eat until full of the vegetable cooked one.  And vice versa.

If this FADH2/NADH ratio hypothesis is valid, then it would be expected that the subjects would have eaten less of the fries cooked in beef tallow and more of those cooked in vegetable oil.

I previously mentioned some great farms and I want to share a few more that have a wide variety of high quality meats.

White Oak Pastures

White Oak Pastures is Radically Traditional Farming. Every day, we butcher meat from animals raised in a regenerative manner using humane animal management practices. This is no easy task, but it is our passion. To operate our vertically integrated, zero-waste model, it takes 155+ caring people working together to accomplish a common goal: taking care of our land and our livestock.

Get 10% off your first order by entering the code: carnivoremd

One unique feature of White Oak Pastures is that they have soy and corn free chickens, which is rare even for small farms with better practices.  It’s best to avoid corn and soy, but many of us indirectly consume these foods without realizing it when we eat chicken.  Also, corn, soy, wheat, and other grains represent only a small portion of their hogs’ diet.  This is also rare as most pork even at small farms have a lot of corn and soy in their diet. 

The same issue applies to eggs.  If you want soy free eggs, check out Mint Creek Farm

And if you really like bacon, but don’t want to eat pork, check out this grass-fed, pastured, and nitrate and sugar-free beef bacon from Shepherd Meats.

Force of Nature

We love eating meat, but were tired of making sacrifices in our own values with the ways in which animals and land is managed in our current food system. It dawned on us that when managed in nature’s image, livestock could also create a positive return on the planet, and through grazing, could actually contribute to a system that fights climate change.  We spent the last 6 years studying regenerative agriculture and visiting ranches all over the world before deciding to create our company, Force of Nature, with the intention to accelerate the creation of a global regenerative supply network. Never before has a company founded in the principles of regenerative agriculture curated a vast collection of land stewards, ranchers, and farmers who are committed to creating a positive return on the planet. Force of Nature now exists to give consumers the ability to vote for environmental regeneration by consuming meat that is actually good for the planet.  We invite everyone to participate in this regenerative revolution and believe that together, we can heal our environment, restore our health, and accelerate the growth of an agricultural system that enriches our civilization.

This place is especially unique because their hogs are wild caught so they do not feed them anything.  I do not know of any other farm that offers wild caught pork. 

Firebrand Meats

The amount of PUFA – polyunsaturated fat from vegetable oils – consumption has steadily risen in recent decades along with obesity and diabetes. Our meat has gotten steadily higher in higher in PUFA as well, differing from traditional meats.

Firebrand Meats is run by Brad Marshall. He is also the author of the blog Fire In A Bottle. Firebrands were heavy iron cutouts that ranchers would put into a hot fire to mark (brand) their cattle. Outspoken members of societies are often labelled “firebrands”, and Brad is certainly that, publishing such out there topics as The Croissant Diet, Stearic Acid Macro-Dosing and Wine Fasting.

Brad attended the French Culinary Institute & has run The Piggery Farm for 15 years, raising as many as 700 hogs per year farrow-to-finish. As the founder of The Piggery (no longer associated), he has developed recipes for pate, sausages, hot dogs, bacon, rillettes, salami and pepperoni. He has relationships with slaughterhouses and meat processing plants, farmers and feed makers which make this project possible.

Brad has written extensively about meat processing and meat science including Disastrous Trends In American Bacon. He is also a student of culinary history and historical diets.

Here’s what makes this place different: (from the website):

Did you know that most American porkfat has nearly twice as much Omega 6 polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) as canola oil?  We are happy to announce that we are offering shares in our new Low PUFA Pork CSA! The pigs will be fed a specially formulated feed created by Brad and available ONLY to pigs raised by Firebrand meats that will result in pork especially low in Omega 6 polyunsaturated fat. The pigs will be fed neither corn nor soybeans nor any any corn or soy byproducts while they are finished.  Of course, to make the best pork, you have to consider the breeds and the lifestyle of the pigs as well. The pork we are raising is a cross of old British Berkshire and Large White genetics. They are not from “improved” ultra-lean genetics that is currently prominent in the US. The animals are farrowed (birthed) using Swedish Style farrowing techniques, the gold standard for animal welfare. They will be finished outdoors with plenty of sunshine and fresh air in a low-stress environment.

And they will soon be offering corn and soy free chicken.  They explain why this is so important:

American chicken fat typically is around 20% PUFA with a disastrous 20:1 Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio. In some ways eating chicken fat is worse than eating canola oil. This is entirely preventable with the right feeds.

Vintage Meadows Farm

Here on our farm we raise 100% grass-fed beef and pastured, forage & non-gmo fed, pork and chicken. We co-op with other small family farms in our area to produce the additional products we offer. Each farm we partner with is committed to using our strict protocol of environmentally friendly, organic, farming practices.

We are members of the Weston A. Price Foundation and our goal is to follow their principles of producing nutrient-dense and satisfying food. For those who like dairy and want the highest quality, this is one of the few farms in the area that offers raw dairy.

Heritage Hills Farmstead

Heard of eating “clean?” Know where your food is coming from, how it’s treated, what it’s eating?

Nothing to hide here – Heritage Hills Farmstead is going above & beyond the standard “organic” label to bring you the cleanest, healthiest meat out there.

Come by the farmstead & you’ll find our animals grazing on pasture, foraging in the woods, or maybe even drinking water from a flowing creek on the property. All in all, we are in the business of raising free and happy animals with NONE of the following: soy, corn, vaccines, antibiotics, drugs, GMO products. Instead, their getting loads of sunshine, green grass, and all the other good stuff that the Earth has to offer. Think of it this way – When animals live as close to the wild as possible, they provide us with a product that goes beyond the term “organic.”

We started Heritage Hills Farmstead in 2017 with one thing in mind – to extend our family’s path to health by going back to the way things used to be done – living sustainably off the land. What exactly are we doing differently? We aren’t just free feeding our animals. If someone was bringing you every meal, would you want to get up and do it yourself? Maybe, but not the majority of time. Same goes for animals. If we were to provide feed all the time, our animals would forage a little, but eat 99% feed. Here’s why our meat is different, we try to get as close to 50/50 feed to forage ratio as possible. Making for a much tastier and healthful meat. Why are we choosing to feed soy free, corn free feed? Mass produced livestock uses these two products for two reasons: they are cheap and they give a quick weight gain. We do NOT feed our animals any corn or soy. Corn and soy change the lipid profile of the animal. This basically means that the fats from corn and soy fed animals are bad for our human bodies to consume. We want our animals to have more vitamin E, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and omega-3 fatty acids to name a few. Unlike the meat from corn and soy fed animals, our meat is actually good for our body. Let us share the best sources of meats, eggs, & other sustainable products of nature with your family. You won’t believe the difference!

Wisconsin Meadows

Green grass, blue skies and the crystal clear waters of Wisconsin are the ingredients in Wisconsin Meadows 100% grass-fed beef and pastured pork. Our livestock comes from Wisconsin family farms all across the state and is naturally produced without synthetic growth hormones, GMOs or antibiotics. The farm families own and operate the Wisconsin Grass-fed Beef Cooperative care about the environment and humanely managing our animals to produce the best quality products. No GMos, sustainably produced using regenerative farming practices. Our animals are never confined in feedlots. Our hogs are not kept in crates and have outdoor access their entire lives. Calves are left with their mothers to learn natural grazing and social behaviors. The piglets are left with their mothers to learn natural rooting and foraging behavior. We use low-stress handling methods which makes for calmer, healthier livestock. They all have outdoor access their entire lives and eat only pasture forages and hay. Taste the provenance and diversity of Wisconsin’s pastures! With heritage breeds and careful stewardship of our soil and pastures, we produce high-quality meats for your table. Our products naturally have seasonal variances and produce a rich, complex flavor compared to the bland, homogeneous feedlot product. We think you will appreciate the subtle nuances in the flavor!

And last, I want to talk about exercise.  Clearly we know exercise has a litany of benefits, but it’s not always easy to regularly fit it into our schedules or to find a way to actually look forward to it.  Since I got a trampoline earlier this year, my motivation and fitness level has great improved. Before and after pictures are available upon request!

I would highly recommend anyone who is interested in exercise get one because of its distinctive benefits, and specifically the Celercise rebounder (founder with his kids pictured above) based on the quality of the product, especially because injuries can occur from using a poorly made trampoline.  I also really like their customer service and the fact that it’s small, has multiple versions, and is portable.