Collagen Diet: Collagen-Rich Foods for Healthy Joints, and Skin

We know collagen is going to help with the joints because we know half of your bones are protein. We need good building blocks for our cartilaginous tissue and ligamentous tissue. Frankly, most people get most of their protein from muscle meats. That’s a problem because they’re not getting the knuckles, the bones, and the cartilage, as we would from old-fashioned soups. So, if you’re doing a lot of soups and bone broth soups, that’s great. If not, we really want to add extra collagen.

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor for more information on a good collagen diet and supplements.

I do 20 g of collagen in my coffee every morning. I think it’s amazing. I do my true collagen with some MCT oil and grass-fed butter. I love it. I think it’s excellent for skin, hair, nails, and just for overall prevention of bone loss and cartilage loss. We know the wear and tear that most people experience in their joints throughout the year, especially if they do a lot of long-distance cardio. You really need more building blocks to help prevent and mitigate the wear and tear, so you don’t have knee and joint replacements later in life. Collagen can really help decrease some of that wear and tear.

How do you take collagen?

I like adding collagen in my coffee in the morning because it has a nice little kind of creamer-like effect. It gives that little bit of frothiness which is wonderful. I also do it before bed. Sometimes I’ll do a little bit of collagen (glycine), magnesium, and vitamin C because vitamin C is a really important building block for making collagen. I find magnesium has some very good calming effects as well where there are plugs in the GABA or it’s just a natural beta-blocker as well. It can calm the heart and bring the heart rate down a little bit. I think magnesium does work on some of those GABA pathways as well and, of course, magnesium helps with blood sugar. You’ll get deeper sleep and better REM sleep when you have good magnesium. So, I love combining collagen and magnesium at night.

Where can you get collagen from?

You can get collagen from food via bone broth. Chicken skin is super rich in glycine, roughly 3.3 g for 3-1/2 oz. If you make chicken soup, throw the whole chicken in there. Get a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods and or get the fattier cuts of the chicken at least with the bone and the skin, so that way you get the best of both worlds if you’re going to do it from a whole food source. Regarding seafood, wild salmon is going to be the best source of glycine.

If you want to learn more about the collagen diet and other good sources of collagen, click this link to schedule a chat with me!

Natural Herbs and Foods to Help Fight Stress

When you’re stressed, what are the important things? Blood sugar stability is really important because most people get on a roller coaster when they get stressed, meaning they’re overly gravitating towards alcohol and towards refined sugar. Their blood sugar goes up and then it crashes down, and then it creates more nervous system stimulation via adrenaline, epinephrine, and cortisol being stimulated to bring the blood sugar back up.

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor for guidance on which foods to eat for stress relief.

So, I find just keeping it really simple and really easy with your meals. You may be more nauseous when you’re overly stressed because stress hormone does cause you to feel nauseous. So, this is where you may want to do a soup or a simple smoothie, something really easy where there’s not a lot of digestion but you’re still getting some proteins and fat in there, whether it’s some collagen and some coconut milk or just sipping on some bone broth. Something like that’s going to have some good fat and good protein, and it won’t be hard to digest. So, if you feel nauseous, just still know you should probably be eating but just try to make it something very easy on your tummy.

Then think what are some of the nutrients your nervous system is going to need when you’re more stressed. So, the low hanging fruit, B vitamins. B complex is going to be very essential. Magnesium is going to be excellent. GABA and L-theanine are good things that are going to help you relax and wind down. Valerian root or passionflower, which are all connected to GABA and that inhibitory neurotransmitter that helps you just relax a little bit. It kind of puts the clutching gear and disengages the gearbox, so you can downshift so to speak.

I always go to nutrients first and then I go to my favorite adaptogenic herbs second. So, Ashwagandha is one of my favorites. Rhodiola is excellent and there’s holy basil, which are my favorite very relaxing and tonifying herbs.

If you want to learn more about herbs for stress relief, click this link to schedule a chat with me!

Nutrients to Help Make Serotonin to Help Improve Mood and Sleep

In today’s blog, I am going to share with you the natural ways to boost your serotonin levels and other alternatives. Let’s talk about nutrients to help support serotonin levels.

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor to learn more about boosting serotonin levels.

Serotonin is a really important neurotransmitter. Its building block comes from protein and amino acids, particularly 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) but serotonin has a lot of important roles in regards to mood, well-being, sleep, stress reduction, and happiness. So, all these things play a major major role in helping you feel good. If we have inadequate serotonin levels, that’s going to create a whole bunch of things. Once you start having sleep issues, mood issues, or stress issues then stress starts to hitch a little more. You don’t quite sleep as well. You don’t adapt to or deal with stress, not quite as resilient as well, and then a lot of times you’re just not going to heal and recover well either because serotonin is a precursor to melatonin. Melatonin helps you sleep and it’s also a very powerful antioxidant. So, a lot of good benefits there.

Serotonin is made from tryptophan and/or 5-HTP which is 5-hydroxytryptophan. Now, I personally like using 5-HTP better because there is an enzyme that’s kind of a governor on tryptophan converting downstream into serotonin. The 5-HTP bypasses that enzyme, so you can therapeutically bump up serotonin a little bit better with 5-HTP. So, we use 5-HTP and B6 that can really significantly improve serotonin levels. Anywhere between 100 to 600 mg per day can be very helpful. There are important cofactors that will also add. B6 is an essential B vitamin that helps with the synthesis. You may also want to throw in B12 or methylcobalamin, ideally methylated because these neurotransmitters need to be methylated. B12 makes a huge difference.

In the podcast, we talk about a study where they used antidepressants, not that I’m a huge fan of those, but they found that an antidepressant plus a methylated B12 improves depression symptoms by 20%. So, we know B12 and that methylation process is very important for your neurotransmitters. Also, we can throw folate in there because folate works a lot like brother and sister with B12. So, B6, B12, and folate (or B9 for short for folate) are really important. Those are your key methyl groups in regards to your B vitamins. They have a lot to do with methylation.

Of course, vitamin C can be very important because the adrenals play a major role in serotonin and stress. In that sympathetic fight or flight nervous system response, the adrenals play a big role in making cortisol and/or adrenaline to help manage or deal with or adapt to that response. So, for chronically firing our adrenals, whether it’s cortisol and/or adrenaline, and we start have HPA access issues meaning brain-adrenal communication feedback issues, that can make it hard for us to kind of calm down from stress and/or even ramp up to deal with stress. So, it’s kind of like it being really cold out, you put your heater on and you can’t quite mount the heater or mount enough of a response to create heat and warm your house up or vice versa if it’s cold. You need to be able to adapt and modulate to our environment. So, we need healthy adrenal function. A lot of times, I’ll add in things like various adaptogens like Rhodiola, Ginseng, Ashwagandha, and Eleuthero. These are great adaptogenic herbs to help us modulate and deal with stress better.

And then, of course, a good healthy diet is essential because inflammatory foods, food allergens, processed junk, grains, and refined foods are going to stress out our body. The problem with refined processed foods like grains and sugar is they can, in the short run, increase our serotonin and allow us to feel good. So, people say, “Oh, I’m an emotional eater.” What are you doing? You are essentially trying to artificially boost your brain chemicals up with junk food. It’s like whipping a tired horse to perform better. It’s like trying to drink coffee at midnight to get work done. It’s going to just throw off your sleep and you’re going to be tired the next day.

So, of course, there are always what I call constructive vehicles versus destructive vehicles. Destructive vehicles provide a short-term gain and long-term destruction if they are habitual. Constructive vehicles are not quite as an impactful short-term gain but long-term restoration, long-term healing, and long-term performance enhancement. So, that’s good digestion, eating protein, balanced blood sugar, and we can utilize amino acids like 5-HTP, B6, folate, B12, vitamin C, and adaptogenic herbs. These are very helpful in modulating our stress response. They also modulate how we perceive stress. The more you can perceive stress better, you don’t mount as much of a cortisol or adrenaline response because your perception of it is much better.

Things like magnesium can also be very helpful as magnesium kinda plays into GABA. GABA has a major role in the inhibitory neurotransmitter. It’s the downshift or it helps hit the brake, so things like GABA by itself and things like L-theanine are excellent. Adaptogenic herbs like passionflower or Valerian can be very calming. Even things like Kava or CBD could also have a very calming effect. So, there’s a couple of different things that we can throw in there.

When I’m working with the patients, I’m always saying to myself, “What’s the root cause?” Let’s set the foundation and make sure the root cause is supported. Let’s make sure able to break down and digest and absorb all the nutrients and make sure there are no underlying bottlenecks in regards to low enzyme, low acid, and gut infections. Let’s make sure we’re managing our lifestyle stressors and we’re doing our best to sleep good. Food is good, food quality is good, and hydration is good. I make sure those foundations are solid and then we can kind of get in there with other supplements and nutrients to help support those pathways.

If we wanted testing for neurotransmitters, I’ll do things like organic acid-based tests. Then we’ll look at a lot of the metabolites for these neurotransmitters, whether it’s serotonin where we will use 5-hydroxyindoleacetate (5HIAA) or we will use Vanilmandelate which is a marker for adrenaline or Homovanillate which is a marker for dopamine. Again, dopamine is a precursor to adrenaline, so it’s phenylalanine, tyrosine, dopamine, L-dopa, and then it can go down to epinephrine/norepinephrine or adrenaline/noradrenaline. It’s the same thing. So, these are catecholamines and they can convert a lot of these upstream neurotransmitters down. There’s some overlap in dopamine and serotonin symptoms. A lot of people that think they have serotonin problems may actually have a dopamine problem. So, it’s good to get tested as well. It’s good to look at the symptoms, make sure the foundation is set, and then you can dive in deeper to look at a lot of these nutrients.

Now, in my supplement line, we use things like Brain Replete which has an excellent 10:1 ratio of tyrosine or dopamine to serotonin. That’s a good combo product. It has all the precursor nutrients, too. Also, I use a product called Serotonin Replete which is excellent with 5-HTP with B6. I have a product called Dopa Replete which is just a tyrosine product that is nice for lower dopamine issues and for higher dopamine, there is a product called Dopa Replete Plus and that helps bump up dopamine more. It has got Macuna pruriens in there plus a couple of other compounds that are very helpful. It has L-dopa, tyrosine, EGCG, and of course, B6.

If you’re overwhelmed with how to increase serotonin levels, then click this link where you can schedule a chat with me!

Autoimmune Protocol – The Paleo Way | Podcast #312

The AIP diet is an elimination and reintroduction protocol which aims to reduce inflammation in the gut, heal the gastrointestinal tract and in turn, reduce overall systemic inflammation. It is a diet targeted specifically at autoimmune diseases. We have Dr. J and Evan chatting about the benefits of this diet and how it can bring our body to a healthier state.

One of the biggest benefits of the AIP diet is its ability to alleviate inflammation, which is key to reducing symptoms of autoimmune conditions and promoting better health. Eliminating a few specific foods from the diet and filling up on nutrient-dense whole foods instead can have a powerful effect when it comes to inflammation.

Check out the podcast below for more info!

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

0:42       What is Autoimmune Paleo

8:14       How is it Beneficial

21:18     How to’s in Food Sensitivity Issues

26:22     How Paleo Helps in AIP

31:03     Goal of Decreasing Immune Stress

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani: We are live. It’s Dr. J in the house. Evan, how you doing today man? 

Evan Brand: Doing well, let’s dive in. Let’s have some fun. We’re going to talk all about autoimmune paleo, which is the template that we push a lot of people towards, not because we’re some dogmatic attached to our cards kind of people, but because we like results. We like clinical success. We like people to get better. We like people to reverse their health issues. We like people to take back their health, we like people to get off their medications when their doctor allows them to. And autoimmune paleo is by far the best template you and I’ve ever implemented clinically, which has given us those various types of success. So where should we start? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so off the bat, what is autoimmune paleo, so it’s a good starting point. It may not be good for everyone out of the gates, it just for me, it depends, right? I see a lot of patients that are sick and then have done a lot of things. And this is like the next logical step. If people were coming in to see me and they already have, let’s just say have a really kind of crappy kind of standard American diet. I may just start out with a Paleo Diet out of the gate. So we have paleo right that’s like no grains, legumes, dairy and then like kind of butter maybe like acceptable within that range that and then obviously no legumes, grains, so no grains, legumes or dairy, butter, acceptable meat, acceptable vegetables, non starchy veggies, and then of course, good healthy fats, right, not seeds, dairy based fats, animal fats are all acceptable. Okay, and then we have paleo I call it paleo 2.0, which is the equivalent to an autoimmune paleo template. And you notice how we use the word diets not. We use the word template, not diet. I don’t like the word diet, because diet is it’s very inflexible. This is what you eat, where a template gives you the ability to adjust things. So I like the flexibility within the description template. So an autoimmune template versus the Paleo template. paleo is no grains and legumes, no dairy. autoimmune is no nuts, seeds, nightshades nightshades, being tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, and eggs. And so within that, that template, we’re still going to be having healthy proteins, healthy fats from animal products, fats that are not seated dairy free, but healthy animal products, other fats like olive avocado, and palm and coconut are all great. And then carbohydrates, from fruits from vegetables, minus the tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, and we can adjust the macros accordingly, proteins, fats, and carbs. So that’s kind of a good first step out of the gate. So paleo, and then paleo 2.0, which is going to be on one and paleo and these are all paleo template, autoimmune template out of the gates. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. And people don’t necessarily need to get stuck on the 2.0 the AIP forever. Okay, so this is not a podcast to say, look, everybody needs to do this. As Justin mentioned earlier, you know, we’re working with a lot of people clinically who’ve been to 510 20 practitioners before us, they’ve been on every diet under the sun, they’ve done every treatment under the sun, whether it’s natural pathi, homeopathy, functional medicine, doctors, conventional doctors, they’ve already been through the wringer. So in our patient population, it’s a bit more skewed towards the autoimmune because of the type of people we’re seeing. Now occasionally, we’ll get people in that are just Healthy People that want to feel better, or athletes and those people are not as compromised. And so for those, maybe we’re just standard paleo, and there’s a lot more flexibility. So just want to make that distinction because I don’t want your average person who doesn’t really have any major concerns thinking they need to go, you know, stick with AIP for life.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. Now, what if you don’t have an autoimmune diet? What if you don’t have an autoimmune disease? Should you do an autoimmune template? Well, here’s the deal, autoimmune template, really, the goal is you’re cutting out any food that has a higher chance of being hyper allergenic, right, there’s a lot of data on these different studies with nuts or seeds, that they can they have one anti nutrients in them, right oxalates phytase, either they affect protein digestion, mineral absorption, and they can be irritating on the gut lining. So there’s a lot of hyper allergenicity increased immune activity. So the and then they also have maybe potentially more omega six fatty acids that can drive down more of the pro inflammatory pathway. So the goal is that we’re trying to reduce some of these anti nutrients that have a negative impact on the gut lining. And the number two, we’re trying to increase nutrient density. Alright, so we’re choosing foods that are higher and better fats, right? fats that are polyunsaturated fats that are more polyunsaturated, they can be damaged and they can be oxidized, right so animal fats, coconut oil, saturated fats, not so much. And and then just the just the gut permeability aspect. So we see nuts and seeds fit that criteria. Eggs potentially even though eggs are awesome and so nutrient dense with a good vitamin A and fat soluble vitamins and cholesterol in the yolk, especially, they’re amazing. So sometimes those compounds can be a little bit more allergenic. So can the nightshades with the alpha solonian compound and they’re in the saponins. They can be a little bit More irritating on the guts get into the joints create inflammation. So it depends. The goal is really that it’s just a nutrient dense, anti inflammatory and then low in toxins, but more importantly, plant toxins, anti nutrients. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said and the reason you’re bringing up the lectins. And some of these other compounds of these foods are because they’re going to contribute to increased intestinal permeability. So when you’re talking with anyone, whether it’s rheumatoid arthritis or some other autoimmune disease, there’s always a domino that has to fall which is that the gut is leaky, this increased intestinal permeability has to take place. Now we’ve gone into the details of why that can happen from the infection perspective, low stomach acid, food fermenting in the gut, bacterial overgrowth, parasites, emotional stress, overtraining, we’ve tried to hit a lot of these different variables that can go into the leaky gut. But you can also have all the lifestyle infection piece dialed in, but if you’re eating, let’s just say, you’re doing salsa on your, you know, cassava flour, tortillas and your grass fed ground beef, but you’re just doing, I don’t know corn chips and salsa all the time with it, it’s possible that a lot of those lectins like you may get from your nightshades like your tomatoes and peppers. Those can irritate the gut lining contribute to that leaky gut and then that’s going to increase your autoimmune risk. Or if you’re already autoimmune, it may potentially flare you up depending on what’s going on. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely, there’s one study that came out looking at people that have potential autoimmune genetics, they have the likelihood to make 10 times more IGA antibodies against certain foods than healthier foods. And in this one study, it’s called food intolerance and patients with a manifest autoimmunity with manifest autoimmunity observational study, in the Journal of autoimmune review, they talk about that the IGG level for specific foods were higher in the patient control group and the control group. So if these people that had autoimmunity they had more antibodies, and what they found was they saw a significant increase level and IGG. That’s a type of antibody that’s produced. And most doctors only look at IGE, which is anaphylaxis type of allergy response, immune response. And that’s like you need the epi pen for that right and so this is kind of IGG there are other types of responses that aren’t even in that IGG IGA, IGM IGE category, and so IGG isn’t the be all end all by the way. But they found that casein cow’s milk weekly and wider the eggs, rice, even some nuts and what and walnuts and almonds tend to have more of a allergenic idg response. They found no antibody reaction with vegetables and fish and meat products. They seem to be very immunoglobulin neutral. Guess what we do with an autoimmune template or a paleo template, we’re cutting most of those foods out. Obviously, with autoimmune, we’re focusing cutting the eggs out and the nuts and the seeds out to that’s it’s about decreasing the immune response. People that have a lot of autoimmunity, their immune system is sucking up lots of energy and lots of resources, because it’s responding to all this food in a negative way. And so the goal is we’re just trying to calm down the immune system. And then those foods aren’t there. We don’t have the gut permeability. Therefore the the body can use those resources better versus having the immune system hyper responding.

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said. Now, one other point to why would this be beneficial to do or to go down this rabbit hole and as I mentioned, maybe not forever, right? Maybe temporarily, we pull out eggs for me, I pulled out eggs for a long time when I had gut bugs. I had an Louise on the podcast and we talked all about gallbladder and eggs and how there’s a big factor there where eggs can irritate the gut, you know, just based on the gallbladder issues. And so I pulled them out and now I can tolerate eggs, no problem duck eggs, I tried experimenting with those for a while some argue duck eggs are a little easier. quail eggs I played with those a little bit. You know, I can’t say that I’ve noticed a huge difference among the different types of eggs. But I think it’s a cool experiment when you try to get into the reintroduction phase where you’re going back to paleo 1.0 and adding eggs and things back in nuts. For me, same thing, I used to get really, really bad headaches from walnuts, so I cut those out for a while. If I do a little bit of those, I’m okay. So the good news is your body can calm down. And that’s one thing that this diet will help you do is it’ll help you to identify your trigger foods. Because if you’re just eating a bunch of different stuff, and your diet is too varied, and if you’re not tracking it, you don’t have a clue. If you go and you have a salad, where you’ve got walnuts and pecans and cranberries, and tomatoes and whatever on your salad, you’re not going to have a clue what’s irritating you but if you go AIP for a bit, now you’re going to know hey, you know what, as soon as I add it back in those tomatoes, boom, my joints hurt. And then you’ll have a much, much more clear path. So if anything else, it’s more helpful to use the journal plus reintroduce foods and it can be amazing. That’s how you really figure out what you tolerate what you don’t. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, I tell patients you don’t really know how dirty you get until you get really clean. Right, once you’re really clean, and then you get dirty, you’re like, Okay, I get it. I’m dirty right now, right? What does that mean? We want a clean baseline. So what’s the clean baseline? In my analogy, the clean showers the baseline. And in regards to the food, that’s the autoimmune diet, the autoimmune diet is the clean shower, it’s getting really clean. So then when we start to one, maximize the diet, usually people are going to see benefit within a within a couple of weeks, and or a month, and I always like patients to kind of plateau, some or plateau within three, four weeks, where they may see a lot of improvement and joint pain or energy or brain fog. And then it’s like, Okay, good. Now they’re kind of like running out of steam in regards to their initial jump and improvement. So I want patients to typically be on the diet for four weeks and the plateau for at least one week before they do any reintroduction, some autoimmune patients, they continue to see significant improvement week after week, and it may last a couple of months. So patients that are like that, I’m a little bit more strict on what they’re under reintroduction. Now, it’s usually not that big of a deal. Because if you get those kind of results, those results speak for themselves, and they really motivate you a ton. So it’s not like twisting an arm to get someone to follow that diet longer, because the results are guiding us that we’re on the right track. So I tell my patients, if you’re gambling and you’re on a streak playing poker, or blackjack, I’m not going to pull you off the table. Right? I’m going to let that streak roll a little bit. Same thing with the diet. So if you have a lot of success coming out of the gates, I’m gonna let it roll. I’m gonna let you plateau. And then we have a specific reintroduction protocol, and how we add foods back and I’ll go into that in a minute. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, well said and, you know, there’s not a lot of money involved with this, meaning you can’t really make money just by getting people to eat meats and veggies. So the problem is, there’s not too many studies. Now I don’t know if you want to pull it up, but I just sent you one in the chat. For those watching on video, they may be able to see this. It’s a PubMed study here. It was in the inflammatory bowel disease journal 2017. As I mentioned, there’s not much money in this right. So it’s probably going to be few and far between clinical trials on autoimmune diets because there’s no drug involved and Big Pharma isn’t going to pay some random guy to do a diet trial. Right. But anyway, this was a study on patients with Irritable Bowel Disease. And they did it for six weeks, followed by five week maintenance. And it just goes into the results here it talks about significantly improving people with ulcerative colitis, and significantly improving Crohn’s disease. C reactive protein, they said didn’t change much. But the calprotectin, which is a marker we measure on the stool panel, it improved from 471, which is high was to 112 at week 11. And also Wow, those that did drop. I mean, that’s a lot. I mean, you’re talking hundreds of points, just put died alone. And then it says here among those with follow up endoscopy at week 11. improvements were also noted in a simple endoscopic score for Crohn’s disease and a Mayo endoscopy sub score. So we’re not obviously running that we’re not doing scopes on people, we’re running stool panels. But I’ve seen the same thing. I had a guy who had calprotectin above 1000, it was insane. He had pan colitis where it was the whole colon and you know, pretty much the whole intestinal tract was involved. It was pretty sad. But just with now, technically, in his case, we didn’t do just diet, we did a lot of really, really potent aloe extract. But I mean, we were able to get calprotectin down hundreds and hundreds of points within a few weeks. So there’s the proof.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100% those are all excellent points. So a couple people in the chat here Andrew Hill wrote in that we got to be careful with tapioca because it’s a similar cassava similar to latex and yeah, if you’re a sensitive person, we may want to even cut that out for a few weeks before we add that in. Technically that may be allowed, right cassava yuca, tapioca. And that same kind of family. I think it’s the same thing. There’s different names, but that may be something we want to work on excluding others may just be some of the spices, you know, like pepper, some of the nuts or seeds or spices that are something that you don’t eat, but it’s more of a topical kind of thing on the food. Got to be careful over that if you’re really sensitive, usually foods going to have a dose dependency. So the more of that food you eat, the more the immune reaction will be exacerbated due to its we keep an eye on those things for sure. Riley wrote in that we know basically one of the no take on the food sensitivity test, when does a food sensitivity test become beneficial? So my issue with food sensitivity tests, is most of them come back with some level of autoimmune foods on there for people. Okay, that’s number one. So I always look at test, does it change the treatment? So most are going to have some of these foods on there, number one, number two, if it doesn’t have those foods on there, would a patient still benefit from cutting those foods out? That’s the important question, because your immune system may be responding in a way outside of a typical IGA G or IGA test. There are other tests out there that look at like the MRT or the Alliance akt look at other type of T cell intermediary responses, which could be it. But I still know people that run these tests and they have patients that test perfect for gluten. And then now you’re in this conundrum is do you allow your patient to eat gluten now because the test says gluten is fine, because we know there may be an immune response happening in the body outside of what’s being tested. So that’s why I don’t like it because you can give a lot of false sense of security that you can eat gluten or other grains. Number two, I’ve seen benefits cutting those foods out, even when it says it’s fine. So for me, it doesn’t change what I’m doing enough for the value for the cost. And I’d rather use that money on another lab or a stool test or supplementation that’s going to be more root cause supportive. 

Evan Brand: Well said, I’m going to take that as my soundbite. So anytime somebody says, Evan, why won’t you run a food sensitivity test dummy? I’m going to say, Well, my good friend, Dr. Justin said it better than me, and then I’m going to play them your little soundbite you just did because it was it was so good. But I agree. And that’s exactly what what I do is I just tell them, Look, save your money. Let’s go AIP. And then let’s do reintroductions plus you journal. And we find that that’s going to be far better. I mean, when you look at gluten, for example, I have seen people where it does show up as that it’s going to be okay. However, they know when they eat it, they don’t feel as good. They feel a little brain fog, they feel bloated. And that didn’t show up on paper. So then they’re confused. And then the husband goes, See, I told you you’re crazy, eat a pizza, and then you just get yourself in trouble again. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So yes, now where food allergy tests may be helpful. It doesn’t quite fit into the patients that I see is if a parent is trying to help a child and or a family member who is totally on is totally uncompliant and resistant to doing anything. And if we can get some lab data saying to avoid these foods, that may help with leverage, but most people are coming to see us they’re they’re investing a lot to work with us. So they’re pretty darn compliant. If we say don’t do that, let’s save you some money. They just typically listen to us. Yeah, well, number two is if you’re already at a great, great super high level of health, and you want to see if there’s any maybe weird foods there, then that may be helpful to look and see if any other foods that are there. The problem is if it says don’t eat raspberries, and then you eat blueberries, what’s the chance that blueberries and now on the list next month? Right? That’s where it becomes this like whack a mole where you’re like, wow, like one and the other one pops up over here. And you’re like, crap. 

Evan Brand: That’s a very good point. Yeah, the compliance and the leverage. I mean, that’s the reason that we do some of the testing in regards to the infections too, because somebody will say, Hey, I feel like I’ve got this, I want you to just give me a parasite protocol. I think I’ve got parasites with you know, you and I’ve covered this before people come in, and they have this idea of what they think’s wrong with them. And we, they just want us to pursue that rabbit hole with them. So we’ll come in and we’ll use the data first look on the paper. You know what, actually, no, we think this is a bigger priority over here. And then we circle back. So yeah, that’s that’s a great point.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So I think it’s, uh, you know, we want to always look at you know, the root cause why you’re sensitive to these foods, of course, you want to be fixing the gut that’s gonna be ideal. Whether it’s SIBO or H. pylori of bacterial issues, you want to work to the six hours because patients have a chance of having increased risk of food allergens when the food’s not broken down properly. So adequate levels of enzymes and acids chewing your food masticating your food Well, not overly hydrating when you eat adequate enzymes, adequate acids are all very helpful at being able to break down the food again, if you love it, rotate it. If you’re eating beef every single day over and over again, your chances of a beef allergy goes up right but you saw the study I just mentioned earlier, that study showed much less chance of animal products and vegetables causing an allergen right so that we cut out the big foods that are going to be the highest risk. Now. Outside of that there’s a reintroduction plan that I infuse with my patients when it’s time. So we add each food back in over a two to three day period. So we’ll start with egg yolks before eggs ghee before butter, one not one seed one Nightshade at a time. And typically a very small amount of food on day one, a little bit more on day two. And if we have no negative symptoms, then usually we’re good we can go to the next food if we’re on the fence, we can have a day three where we eat a larger amount of food because the response tends to be dose dependent small amount of bad food for you. Small amount of symptoms, larger amount of food, larger amount of symptoms and then if you stair step the dose up usually the symptoms go up as well. So if you’re on the fence, it gives you that ability to be confident that you’re sensitive or not. And we go right down the list. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, so give me a little bit of concrete like view how would that look? So today’s Monday when we’re recording so let’s say you want to add back in almonds for me you’re gonna have me do what have you? 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, so let’s just start in the right order. So egg yolks before eggs, so I may go and I may poach one egg, poach it, it comes up. I’m keeping the yolk a little bit soft. Why I don’t want to oxidize it. I trim away the egg white egg white tends to be more allergenic, feed it to my dog, have the yolk How do I feel? That’s a good if I do. Okay, let’s do two yolks tomorrow. Trimming away. Good. Excellent, great. Awesome. Very good. Next day we’re going to add in the full egg. Now we’re going to do a little omelet, right, but we’re not going to overly, we’re not going to overly cook up the egg yolk, the egg white, I’m sorry, we’ll keep it so it’s, you know, the whole eggs blended but it’s going to be a little bit more wet because we don’t want to overly oxidize the cholesterol on the proteins that are in there. Right? oxidized cholesterol and protein tend to be more hyper allergenic higher immune response. And then if we’re good there, then we go to gi waggy. Keys, clarified butter, less lactose, less casein, right? The casein and lactose have the biggest problem. If you can tolerate ghee Great, now we go to butter The next day, same kind of stairstep so my sensitive patients can handle ghee can’t handle butter. So we always want to start with the least allergenic to the most. So if we can handle one egg yolk but not the egg, guess what we at least have an egg yolk in our diet. If we handle the egg, the GI but not the butter we at least have some of that good butterfat clarified gi back in our diet. So we always go least to most, where if we did it the other way around. You wouldn’t have been able to add the food back in. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, that’s great. Okay, and then when do you bring in some of the nuts, the seeds? How do you do those any particular order you found better or worse. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So I would just start with like, if you’re gonna do almonds, you could just do one or two almonds, right? And IDN sprouted is a little bit better, right where it’s soaked, and that can deactivate some of the anti nutrients, the lectins, the phytates, right, the oxalates. So you can do a couple of almonds, maybe one teaspoon or tablespoon almond butter. And the next day you can double or triple that dose. See how you feel if you’re okay, that’s a good sign. But of course, deactivating some of the anti nutrients can be helpful too. And then the next day, let’s say pecans are in your routine. Try pecans, try pistachios or walnuts. And again, if if you’re not eating those foods on the reg, it’s not that big of a deal, right? Just try to choose the nuts or seeds that are more on the regular things that you’re doing more on a daily routine. 

Evan Brand: And of course we want to make sure these are organic. We want to make sure these are fresh. I advise keeping your nuts in the freezer like I keep my pecans in the freezer. And they taste so good frozen to like I’ll take pecans out of the freezer do a little bit of maple syrup. Oh my god, you talk about delicious. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Oh totally. Yep. 100%. Now here’s the other deal too. So then we have let’s say you’re able to get nuts or seeds or nightshades or eggs back in right you get everything back in. Do we ever allow grains now I always just tell patient it depends on how significant a patient is. If we know someone has diagnosed autoimmune condition I always try to stay more on the grain free side I hate the word gluten free because you can be gluten free and eat lots of process rights and oats and corn and that could be a problem right? Because the problem means are are the umbrella the problem? You know umbrella gluten is one prolamin under that umbrella, right? The most common one is the wheat, barley and rye that gliadin prolamin. Then you have horizen in which is rice, you have a vignette which is oh right you have seen what you have seen which is corn. So these are still like brothers and sisters of the Glee and protein. So just like someone you may see someone, a brother or sibling, and you may be like, Oh, you must be so and so you look just like him as a family resemblance. Well, your immune system has that same kind of resemblance with other proteins that are cousins and brothers and sisters of gliadin. And so your immune response can be triggered. Also, there’s a lot of data in the non celiac gluten sensitivity research that grains, even if you’re not allergenic to them can still increased gut permeability. And the more you increase gut permeability, the greater chance you have of creating more inflammation or triggering autoimmunity. Now, what does that mean? Does that mean never eat grains? It just means my general recommendation is always try to be grain free if you can have a substitute. If you’re relatively healthy, good health and you have no autoimmunity. Could you eat some grains that have gluten here, they’re probably you could probably get away with it, you know, and it probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal. I wouldn’t recommend it being a staple because those foods, they’re still inflammatory. They still have a lot of nutrient blockers in there. And they still aren’t nutrient dense. So I still much rather, I’d much rather see someone have some white potato over a bunch of wheat, right potato is actually pretty nutrient dense and has a lot of potassium in there and a lot of good minerals. I rather have someone do that over over gluten. Complete gluten full, if you will, grains, but it all depends where you’re at, the healthier you are, the more versatility and adaptation you have, the more unhealthy you have or the more diagnostic autoimmunity you have, you really want to be careful. A lot of times it’s just not worth it. Some people they eat some gluten, they’re inflamed for a week, it takes them days to get back on the wagon. So it depends upon how long it takes you to get back on the wagon. And if you have a known thyroid issue, there’s some data saying that autoimmune response can last for weeks and even months so it’s just not worth it depending on the damage that may occur. Dude after the fact. 

Evan Brand: Yep. Well said and yeah, he’s talking about like the gluten cross reactivity issue. So like, for a while, you know, I had a lot of people doing corn because they thought, Okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna be okay. But turns out they weren’t. Okay. So in a lot of cases, yeah, we do remove the corn if I do a much rather see 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: much rather see cassava or you could chips over anything with corn or anything else like that. So that’s much better like this yet they brands pretty darn good. Or just a really good white potato chip like the boulders make a good one with avocado or coconut oil that’s really good fat. On the potato side.

Evan Brand: I’ve noticed the same thing. Yeah, potato for some reason, even though it’s still potentially cross reactive. I’ve noticed it is better tolerated than corn for most people. So that’s good. Maybe it’s just a lower count or maybe a slightly different compound in there. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And I use a lot of root vegetable chips. So I’ll do like a lot of turnips, rutabaga, or sweet potato, like a lot of root vegetable, like grain free type of stuff. And that tends to be pretty good. But the nice thing is, once you kind of work through that autoimmune template, you should get a lot of confidence in what you can or can’t handle. And then once you’re at a high level, if you’re if you’re going off the reservation too much, you’ll start to feel it. And that usually gives you a pretty good idea that you’re probably doing too much for you. So our goal is to get you feel really clean. And then once you’re really clean, it’s kind of easy to notice when you’re getting dirty. 

Evan Brand: Yep, yep, well said. And the whole point of this is what well, it’s to give you relief is to get you to feel better is to get your brain to work better your joints to feel better your sleep to be better your food reactions, your gut, your, your everything. I mean, the skin, the brain, I mean, this literally can affect every body system here. So we really want to focus on what’s the end goal. It’s not just tweaking this just to tweak it make this like an obsessive OCD type thing because it can get a little crazy. No, it’s to get you to feel better. And then while we get you to feel better, we’re working behind the scenes on these other root causes. Because it’s very unlikely that someone became sensitive to all these foods just out of nowhere, right? There’s something that triggered it. And Okay, so we’re getting you simmering, okay, we got your diet, just you Okay, we got that pillar of the house in now, while that’s sitting there, simmering. Let’s work back here. We’re going to work on this, this this over here, and then boom, now we go back to this diet. Good job, you’ve been holding steady. Okay, now let’s bring normal quote normal things back in and then people tolerate him. So that’s kind of the whole rationale. That’s kind of our mindset behind this whole thing. When we’re working clinically. It’s not just the dietician, approach. Here’s the diet have a good life? It’s okay, well, why did you have to go to this level of specificity in the first place? And that’s the real question. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. And also, people want to start having more grains on the regular, I would say make sure your health is really great and stable. And I’d also say if you wanted to be more certain, run an HLA dq test for gluten sensitivity, if you have to or ate on there, you definitely want to avoid the gluten, one or three is going to be a little bit less. And then I think four is the only true genotype that is not gluten sensitive, you could still have other problems with the anti nutrients that are in there, or the higher amounts of fermentable carbohydrate, but that’d be my one test that would say just to really know that make sure there’s not a genetic issue. If you’re going to put it in there and more in the regular for me, my big cheats are going to happen. If I go out for sushi, I may have a couple of rolls. But usually I like the Alaskan roll that has like a lot of salmon, and a lot of avocado, and then there’ll be a little bit of white rice. So when I typically cheat, it’s going to be getting some white rice for sushi. And but I typically use coconut aminos and a soy free soy sauce and MCT oil and I’ll typically do extra enzymes and extra charcoal during those meals to mitigate the inflammatory response. So it’s a kind of couple of little tricks that I kind of do. If not for me, I just I just feel too good. I don’t want to have a setback. So there’s enough substitutes for me where I can engage in that substitute still feel really good and not have a problem? 

Evan Brand: Yep, they are. Well said. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Anything else you want to add Evans? Oh, one more thing. I wanted to say. What if autoimmune paleo is not enough? What does that mean? So some patients they may have to do carnivore, they may have to do a variation of an autoimmune paleo, low fodmap SCD template where we’re cutting out fermentable, carbohydrates, even some of these really good fermented foods. Or we may have to be cutting out foods that are high in salicylates and females, that may have a little bit higher amount of anti nutrients that, you know, things that could be on the vegetable side, right, or fodmaps, like broccoli, and let’s say onions and garlic, things that are have good benefits, we may have to cut out other foods. And again, we see a lot of patients that come in that have done a lot and that are very sick or have a lot of gut inflammation, we may have to go to that extreme. We may even have to do an elemental diet or a carnivore diet. So everyone’s a little bit different and they come in from different places. But if an autoimmune diet does not work for you, there’s other things that we need to work on it. You’d really want to work with that practitioner at that point, because your health issues are a lot more nuanced. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. And hopefully you’re not hopefully you’re not to that level. But just know that if you’ve done this and you’re still suffering The number one, there’s probably underlying triggers you haven’t identified yet things that are really aggravating your immune system or the gut. So we need to try to find those triggers. And then number two, you can tweak this thing even more to get you stable, the whole thing, the whole goal is to get you stable. So we can work on root causes here. So it’s not just diet and done, just remember that.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: 100%. And also, what’s the goal of this diet, right, I always tell patients, what’s the goal is that we don’t have like a goal in mind. Most people, when they make a diet change, they kind of just go to this place in their hand, like it’s forever. And they kind of have like a little mini funeral, like how I miss my potatoes, my, or my seeds, they kind of have this really this kind of state of mourning, where it’s really sad and they’re depressed, I always tell my patients, the goal is to one first, increase your nutrient density in your diet, number two, to decrease inflammation overall, right, and then three, to decrease a lot of the toxins, whether those toxins or plant based toxins, whether those toxins are you’re not eating organic, and you’re getting pesticides, and chemical toxins, all those things are valid. And the goal of that is that now decreases the immune system stress, and that the immune system stress starts to go down. There’s less autoimmunity, there’s less inflammation in the body. And that kind of starts creating this snowball effect where your body can start to heal as we start addressing infections, supporting the adrenals addressing nutrient deficiencies, calming down the immune response by addressing infections and using probiotics and other nutrients on that side of the fence. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, you made a great point, which is the emotional piece. So we could do a whole part two podcast on this if people want. We’re going into the whole rationale scientific part of that. But if you’ve got a woman who is addicted to her cookies, you’ve got to work through the emotional stuff, too, right? So we could come in with all these rational, very scientific studies and things you have gone into, right? It sounds really attractive and really scientific. But then you got the emotional bubbles popping up. And people are going Oh, no, but what about this? And what about Thanksgiving? And what about this and my family and I love to do go eat the popcorn at the movies, you know? And so then the emotional piece is hard. So you have to work through that with people. And we do we have those conversations. So on the face of it, it sounds all easy, right? It’s like, okay, just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, you’re great. But then, once you actually sit down at the plate, and you’ve got that fork there, then the emotional stuff comes up. It’s the the husband or wife making fun of you for your choices. I mean, that’s a common one. It’s if there’s a divorced family, it’s the child going to the other part of the family, where the other family member doesn’t believe in this and say, This is all quackery. And then they come home after eating pizza all weekend, and then they’re in an autoimmune flare, or you go over to the parents house. And, you know, they think it’s a joke. So they still try to serve you bread and butter, you know. So there are some things you have to work through on the family emotional side, but you know, it’s definitely something that’s, that’s possible. Everybody can do it. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, where I see it a lot, you know, well, meaning grandparents that feed their kids cookies, their grandkids, cookies, you know, or like, they want to spoil them a little bit. That can be really tough, too. But yeah, you got to get everyone on the same page. And in general, you got to have a plan. And if you’re having a lot of cravings, most of those cravings, a lot of the protein orphans, which are like opiate like compounds in grains and dairy hit that same opiate receptors. So those foods can have a lot of addictive qualities to it. And a lot of people they’re used to operating on a blood sugar rollercoaster, so their blood sugar goes up and down, up and down. Because not enough good protein or fat in the meal or they’re not, they’re going too long between meals. So really working out the blood sugar. A lot of times if someone switches from a standard American diet to an autoimmune diet, the two big mistakes they make is one, they’re not getting enough calories from their autoimmune diet, therefore, they’re chronically hungry, which creates cravings. So you have to make sure you’re getting enough calories or nutrients. The second thing is they may go to low carb for them. So if someone’s needs a little bit more carbs, and they’re at a relatively more healthy way, they may come in go really to low carb, and that may cause more cravings too. So you may have to just add in some good, healthy, safe starches to fill that carb void if those carbs are a good place for you. My default set is always lower carb, higher fat, and then kind of work through that over time, because most people have more insulin resistance and going lower carb out of the gates helps resolve a lot of that. 

Evan Brand: Good points. Good point. Yeah. And the gluteal morphin stew. I don’t know if you said I think it said the other thing that 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, the protein orphans are gluteal morphemes. These are like the opiate like products like that are in gluten or the KCM orphans in the dairy. 

Evan Brand: Yeah. So when people say oh my god, I’m addicted to my whatever, they’re not joking. You literally are and there can be some sort of a withdrawal from it. And then also from the neuro transmitter perspective, that’s something we’re going to look at on organic acids testing. So if we see for example, whether it’s low endorphins, low dopamine, low serotonin, we may come in with specific amino acids to try to repair and rebuild. And that can be a good let’s call it a nutritional support band aid for the brain chemistry, which is causing the underlying craving in the first place. So rather than say, hey, go from the gluten cookie to the grain free cookie, it’s okay. Yeah, maybe you do that. But we’re also going to give you a little bit of some DLP a or trip the fan or something to help the brain because the brain is involved with this too. This is not just the gut, the brains involved too. So we’re, we’re thinking about all these variables as we go. It’s kind of a moving, it’s like, I don’t know, maybe a good NASCAR analogy, you know, it’s like the, the guys are coming on and changing all the tires and we’re doing that in every category. So it’s the brain, it’s the gut, it’s the immunity it’s the adrenals we’re we’re simultaneously working on all of these pieces and then boom, you succeed you feel better. So I think we should wrap it up if you’re ready too.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I think we can’t man that we did a great job kind of outlining everything this will be a good reference for my patients as well that you know, just kind of want more intel on the autoimmune side. If you’re listening to this and you want to dive in deeper and you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed with some of the diet changes out of the gates definitely reach out to myself for Evan, EvanBrand.comand there’s a little link there where you can click the schedule or myself Dr. J. At JustinHealth.com we’re happy to help you. We have experienced doing this for over a decade with thousands of patients. And if you’re ready to take that next step, we’re here to help you all if not just utilize all this free information and just kind of execute on it and make yourself healthier. We really appreciate it. 

Evan Brand: Yeah, if you’re a do it yourselfer, that’s fine. But for me, and you and many others, it’s better to have a guide, it’s better to have the data test don’t guess get the information, know what you’re up against. So you can figure out and when we say test, don’t guess we’re talking the root cause stuff. We may not run a food panel out of the gate, but we’re gonna run a gut panel out of the gate figure out what infections could be causing these issues in the first place. So thanks for tuning in. We appreciate you guys and we’ll be in touch. 

Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Put your comments down below. Let me know your success on an autoimmune diet. Really want to know and thanks for sharing. You guys. Have a good one. Take care of y’all.


References:

https://www.evanbrand.com/

https://justinhealth.com/

Audio Podcast:

https://justinhealth.libsyn.com/autoimmune-protocol-the-paleo-way-podcast-312

Oils That Cause Gut Inflammation

There are various top-causes for gut inflammation but a big one is an oil. The oil you use to cook or bake into foods could be a major culprit to your very uncomfortable gut inflammation. Let’s look at the good and stable oils vs. the unhealthy oils. 

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor if you have questions about what oils to use for cooking!

If you look at the standard American diet, just even a hundred years ago, your grandparents or your great grandparents, they did not have access to these type of oils. They were cooking with traditional fats. They did a lot of lard and maybe some beef tallow.

If I asked my grandfather, “What did your grandmother cook you and what did she cook it with?” She was not using soybean oil. She was not using corn oils. She was not using rapeseed oil, which is canola.  She was not using peanut oil. If they did something fried, it was going to be fried in possibly bacon fat, which came from the pig in the backyard of the farm or it was going to be cooked in some type of like a beef tallow, where the cows were on the back part of the farm.

When it comes down to fats, most plant fats are not going to be the best unless they are cold extracted or unless they are minimally processed to extract the fats. Partly because of the processes of extracting, it tends to damage the fats because the heat and the extraction process also makes the fats rancid and taste bad. There’s a lot of like deodorizing and filtration and different processes to make it more palatable that you would never be able to have at a natural state.

So the best plant fats are:

  1. Coconut oil because it’s a saturated fat and it’s more temperature-stable.
  2. Cold-press olive oil and good-quality avocado oil, which is primarily a monosaturated fat.
  3. Palm oil, which is more in a kind of saturated state.

There are some nut-based and some seed-based oils, but then you start ramping up the Omega-6 and those may not be the best.  There are some supplemental oils that are more GLA-based that I’ll give supplementally, like black currant seed oil but we’ll give it supplementally and that’s coming from great sources that are going to be in capsules that won’t be oxidized and such.

Bad fats are going to create a lot of oxidative stress and they are going to deplete a lot of your antioxidant reserves because if those fats are oxidized, your body is going to need a lot of vitamin C and vitamin E to help with the oxidative stress that those fats may cause your body.

Now what it you find a good fish with gluten-free breading so it’s not covered in wheat with some type of non-gluten containing flour, but then you’ve got canola oil. Do you think you’re still going to be net positive in terms of nutrition because you’ve still got the good fish, but yet you’ve got the inflammatory oils or would you say, just get you some grilled fish and then if you want to bread it, you bread it yourself?

There’s a product that we like of sweet potato fries that my wife will do for my son because it’s really easy, but they have a little bit of canola oil in there. So you have this kind of convenience factor where ideally if you could you always would want to put your own fat on there if you could and my easy saturated fat or my easy fat for cooking that’s plant-based would be avocado. I like avocado because it tastes a little bit more neutral. I do not like olive oil as much. Olive oil is better for dressings, but I’ll do avocado for cooking. If you have control over it, you always choose the better fat over the junky fat if you can.

So the interesting thing is like coconut oil and avocado they’ve become kind of trendy and I would say avocado is not going to be a traditional fat meaning, meaning like traditional people were probably not doing it because you’ve got to have some heavy-duty equipment to extract the oil, but coconut oil would be super traditional.  I mean, this would be something that has historical use.

Your big fats that are going to be plant-based would probably be primarily coconut. But your biggest ones that I think are going to be used more long-term from generation to generation will be your tallows, your bacon fat, your duck fat, and those kinds of things because saturated fats don’t go bad. They stay good for a long time because the carbon is saturated with 4 hydrogen bonds between them, which makes the fat really, really, really temperature-stable.

Take note of oils are that bad for your gut because they cause inflammation and oxidative stress.

If you have any questions about what the best oils to use for cooking, please reach out to a functional medicine doctor to learn more.

 

4 Herbs That Give You The Upper Hand Against Viral Infections

Let’s talk about four herbs with antiviral properties. 

Click here for a consultation with a functional medicine doctor before taking herbal supplements!

Olive Leaf

As part of a Candida protocol, we’ll have a couple of herb combinations that will have olive leaf combined with monolaurin. Stack those two right on top of each other. Monolaurin is a lauric acid coconut extract.  It has been shown to be very, very potent as an antiviral.  With olive leaf, the main compound in it – oleuropein – and that actually prevents the virus from attaching to the cells. We kind of talk about mechanisms a lot and people ask why does that matter.  It is because some herbs may prevent the replication of viruses.  Things like olive actually prevent the virus from attaching to healthy cells. So if you have multiple herbs, you’ve got multiple mechanisms.  You’re just making yourself even more resilient.

Astragalus

They help with either immune modulation, natural killer cell, antibody modulation which is the infantry that comes in afterwards, or it is going to help with viral replication. Typically, it’s going to modulate the inflammation from the immune response.

Usually it is hitting things in about three to four different ways, and most are going to fall into that category. That is kind of the mechanism how they are working.

Cat’s Claws

We use Cat’s Claw or Samento a lot with biofilms.  They work really well.  These are protective shields, bacteria and critters use. We also use it with a lot of Lyme and various co-infections, but Cat’s Claws is great at the immune system, helping with viruses, and really enhancing the body’s ability to deal with infections. Again, everything we are talking about is not necessarily to treat anything.  A lot of the time it is just to support our own immune response to what’s happening, because our body is really the ultimate fighter in all of this.  Everything we are doing is just trying to give our body’s immune system an edge to address the issue to begin with.  The body has dealt and humankind has dealt with viruses since forever.

Echinacea

When we are doing a lot of these herbs, a lot of times we want to make sure the whole root is present. A lot of times with Echinacea, you will see a lot of flower present. I want the whole root.  I find that it has a lot more of the immune-modulating alkaloids that really have the immune benefit. It is excellent in how it reduces virus levels.  It inhibits the growth of bacteria. It inhibits the growth of viruses. It is also going to modulate with the inflammation caused by that immune response and caused by the cytokines and interleukins.

What can you do to try to gain the upper hand?

These things are just going to improve your resilience. It’s important to have the right mindset. A lot of people are selling like cures or solutions and that is not going to be the case, but it is really going to be our body to begin with.  Even antibiotics, when an infection gets cleared, it is still not the antibiotic.  It is the antibiotic lowering the level of the infection and then the immune system can kind of come in and play.  It is like if we are using a lifting analogy, it really gives a very helpful spot when you’re kind of low in that bench press, it really gives you that little spot to kind of get it up through that sticky point.

If you have any questions about herbs with antiviral properties, please reach out to a functional medicine doctor and learn more.

Holistic Farming, Improving the Food Chain, Your Immune System Starts with Good Food – Joel Salatin | Podcast #290

For today’s podcast, Dr. J has got a treat for you! Joel Salatin, American farmer, lecturer, author, and owner of Polyface Farm. He is one of the most famous farmers with his successful, unconventional techniques (agricultural methods used at Polyface are “beyond organic”).

Dr. J is talking us through the food journey and how a strong immune system starts with our food. We open with segregation vs. integration in conventional vs. unconventional farming. The benefits are obvious, and Salatin chooses not to mass produce to maintain a holistic and environmentally friendly business model. We shift into a discussion about quality and nutrient density of foods. We look at how some recent studies, documentaries, and food movements sweep over the fact that organic grass-fed meat is of a far superior quality to fast food meat. The quality of mass produced meats, fast food “meats”, and organic grass-fed meats are all different, and Dr. J and Joel acknowledge and elaborate on this. Much is covered during this podcast, but stay until the end to learn how our food-spending habits are changing with the times. While we used to spend 18% of our income on food and less on health, now it is the opposite. Dr. J sees this need to spend more on health in direct correlation with the quality and nutrient density of today’s foods. Spend more money on good quality food that is high in nutrients and you’ll spend less on hospital bills, etc.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In this episode, we cover:

00:00 Intro to holistic farming

07:01 Junk food epidemic

19:47 Food processing plants

26:16 Politics of food

31:10 Nutrient-dense food

37:00 Plant protein vs animal protein, bacteria, biomass and the climate

44:24 Food labels and grading system

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Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And we are live! It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here in the house with Joel Salatin, who is one of the most famous farmers out there who runs Polyface Farms, an organic natural farming association.  We’re gonna talk about all things farming, health, immune system.  Let’s dive in.  Joel, how are you doin’ today?

Joel Salatin:  I’m doing great and it’s an honor to be with you, Dr. J.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, thank you so much.  So, I first came upon you, how long has it—maybe 10 years ago now?  In the documentary, Food Inc?  Has it been 10 years?

Joel Salatin:  Yes, it has been 10 years.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow! I remember that movie.  There was a couple of things.  It really kinda juxtaposed conventional farming methods.  You bring in the cows then you bring in all the corn and then you have to move everything out.  Get the corn you know—get all the cow patties out because of all the toxins that happen in it and then you see this wonderful juxtaposition where you have these cows, you move them throughout the pasture.  You bring in the chicken to eat the remains of the stool they bring.  You have this beautiful synergy in your farming and it was like this complete circle where the conventional system was just so, let’s just say, it lacked that holistic nature.  Can you just kinda juxtapose, you know, the farming on the conventional side this with the more holistic farming just so the average person—

Joel Salatin:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s stepping into this, understands the difference?

Joel Salatin:  Sure!  Well, you’ve laid it out very well.  One of the big differences is segregation versus integration.  I mean—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:  In the industrial system, the animals are segregated from their environment, from their feedstocks.  They’re cooped up in a house.  They breathe in their own fecal particulate all day.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct.

Joel Salatin:  Their waste goes into whatever lagoons.  I mean, if North Carolina didn’t get a hurricane every 2 years, the whole state would be full like a toilet tank right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Joel Salatin:  You know, from all the clogged lagoons.  Where—and then it goes to, you know, to wherever the food gets, to wherever it goes, into a great huge processing plant that’s also segregated with razor wire and no trespassing zones from its own community.  Whereas in our system, it’s a highly decentralized system, a highly integrated system where the environments of open land, forest land, and water integrate closely.  Wildlife is not considered a liability.  Wildlife is considered an asset.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Correct.

Joel Salatin:  Pollinators are encouraged and so the animals are each in a habitat that allows it to express its phenotypical distinctiveness.  We call it the pigness of the pig, the chickeness of the chicken, ah so that they can fully express their, you know, yeah, their physiological uniqueness.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally makes sense.

Joel Salatin:  The animals are moved from paddock to paddock.  The chickens come behind the cows.  The cows eat grass.  I mean, they are herbivores so they don’t grain and they certainly don’t eat dead chickens and chicken manure like the industry feeds them and the manure fertilizes the pasture like the bison did that built the great soils of, you know, America and then we process locally and we, you know, we feed our foodshed and so everything is this circle.  I mean, even our composting, we build compost with pigs.  So instead of using—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Joel Salatin:  Great big machines, you know, to turn these piles, we actually just put some corn in it, turn in the pigs and the pigs aerate it and stir it like a big egg beater and of course, the pigs love to do this.  We are not asking them to do something they don’t like to do.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%, I like it and I’m not an educated farmer but I could just see the holistic in this and the synergy and it just made sense.  Now obviously, there’s business and, you know, the whole market type of feeds, this conventional type of way of living or producing animals in a conventional way, is it possible to still make money as a farmer and produce food holistically like this or is the profit mode of just really, really change the direction in how farming is moving?

Joel Salatin:  Well, absolutely.  It’s possible to make a living this way.  That’s what we do.  We’re not a non-profit.  We are a for-profit outfit and now, that said, it’s important to realize that much of the food sold in the supermarket is not honestly—the cost of that is not honestly gathered.  I mean, the fact that we have a dead zone the size of Rhode Island and the Gulf of Mexico, that is a direct external cost of industrial agriculture or the fact that half of all cases of diarrhea in the United States come from foodborne pathogens.  You know, what’s the case of diarrhea worth?  I don’t know what it’s worth but it’s not very fun and so we have all these additional costs that are not captured in the supermarket price and so we say, we’re the cheapest food on the planet because we are not polluting anybody.  We’re not, you know, we’re not polluting anybody’s, you know, backyard barbecue with a stinky air and we’re not giving anybody a case of diarrhea and we’re not giving anybody MRSA and C. diff with subtherapeutic antibiotic use.  So there’s—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I just wanna interject real quick.  You said, “A dead zone in Mexico or the Gulf of Mexico?”  Can you elaborate a little more on that?

Joel Salatin:  Yeah, well the Gulf of Mexico, of course, is the ocean and the right now, in the Gulf of Mexico there’s a dead zone which is a toxic—where there’s no oxygen and nothing grows and it’s the size of Rhode Island right now and all those trip fishermen—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Joel Salatin:  Fisherman that made a living in that large area, there’s no longer anything produced there.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, wow.  I didn’t know that.

Joel Salatin:  Yeah.  So I mean, it’s big.  I mean, it’s the biggest dead zone on the planet right now.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Interesting.

Joel Salatin:  And not mention the many that are just, you know, internal but no, that’s a direct result of industrial, chemical and you know, run-off down the Mississippi.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, I see.  So it’s caused by the pesticide run-off and it’s creating a dead zone where just life can’t happen because of all—

Joel Salatin:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The toxic soup that’s happening there essentially.

Joel Salatin:  That’s right.  That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Okay, very interesting.

Joel Salatin:  That’s right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And you have really touched on it too much, I’ll dive into, I wanna get thoughts on it is there is an inequality in regards to junk food being cheap partly because of a lot of the government subsidy, right? 20 billion dollars or so for wheat and soy, so when you throw that on, it’s gonna make these foods artificially sweet so when you see the Dollar Menu for instance, it’s really not a dollar, it’s probably orders of magnitude above that.  Can you talk about the junk food epidemic with high fructose, corn syrup, soy, all these refined processed foods and how they’re artificially cheap?

Joel Salatin:  Well, sure.  I mean, the entire whatever farm program, USDA program, is dedicated toward subsidizing, concessionizing A) not only a large-scale enterprises to the exclusion of small-scale enterprises.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:  And you know, amalgamation and centralization and all that, but also to certain products, certain crops.  There’s only 6 crops that get subsidies.  Now they call insurance because subsidies have become you know—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:   Too politically incorrect.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Too politically, yeah, exactly.

Joel Salatin:  So now they call insurance.  But there’s only 6 products that have that you know, corn, soybeans, wheat and rice.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Granola?

Joel Salatin:  Uh, not granola.  Cotton.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cotton.

Joel Salatin:  And the other one is sugarcane.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Joel Salatin:  Sugarcane.  So those are the 6 crops that are officially in that, you know that, kind of—well, the old subsidy program now the new insurance program, and so anytime you have incentives for just 6 commodities, guess what?  You’re gonna get a skewed cost structure and an inordinate amount of production in those particular commodities and so that’s exactly what’s happened.  And of course, you know, when you talk about junk food, you gotta realize that junk food is not necessarily less expensive than nutritious food.  I mean, a Snickers bar, the price per pound of a Snickers bar is more than the price per pound of our, you know, grass-finished beef for example.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I think I heard you once say this, I mean, you can correct me if I’m wrong.  I think you were talking about your organic eggs versus the conventional eggs and you’re like, “Hey, yeah. This is the twice the amount of cost but do you know that the amount of folate in here is 20 times more.”  Can you talk about the nutrient density?  And is that about correct?  Is that number about correct?  From the quote from before?  In regards to the folate and eggs?

Joel Salatin:  Yeah, so we participated with Mother Earth News Magazine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Joel Salatin:  In a study back, oh I don’t know, 5 or 6 years ago.  They got tired of people—of being whatever panned and excoriated for saying that there was a difference from carrot to carrot, egg to egg, you know, pork chop to pork chop and so they said, “Well, let’s do it.  Let’s take, you know, pastured eggs.  Let’s find some farmers and settle this dispute.”  And so they got 12 of us and we send them to a lab and they measured it for 12 nutrients.  One of them was folic acid and the official USDA, you know, nutrient label for eggs is like 48 mcg per egg of folic acid and our eggs averaged 1,038 mcg per egg.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Joel Salatin:  No, I mean, yeah, so your magnitude of 20—this isn’t a 5% difference, a 10%.  This is like, you know, magnitudes.  The same thing is true with like grass-finished beef compared to corn-finished beef.  For example, riboflavin.  Riboflavin is especially—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  B2.

Joel Salatin:  You know, yeah, and it was like 300% higher.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Joel Salatin:  And, and so you know, these products.  When you talk about a salad bar, you know, being able to exercise and fresh air, and sunshine and/or grass in a salad bar where they’re moved every day to a new spot and you get this fresh salad.  The keratins in that salad completely changed the fatty acid, the nutritional profile—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Joel Salatin:  Structure of the, you know, of the meat, poultry, egg.  You know, whatever it is on the protein.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And this primarily just has to do with the fact that the cows are eating a natural diet.  They’re getting lots of greens and then of course, the greens aren’t gonna be laden with GMOs and pesticides and then you’re cycling that through, and then you’re providing the synergy in with the chickens that eat the fecal debris afterwards, which then re-fertilized, and then it just creates this healthier microbiome.  Healthier microbiome in the soil.  Healthy soil microbiome creates more nutrients in the grass and then the circle just continues.  Does that—

Joel Salatin:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Sound about right?

Joel Salatin:  Right.  Yeah, you’re in the ballpark.  Essentially, the diversity in our microbiome can only be as diverse as the diversity that we’re feeding it in our food and that can only be as diverse as the soil food web in the soil.  I mean, every like tablespoon of soil has more beings in it—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  Than there are people on the face of the Earth.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Joel Salatin:  And so if we—so if we reduce half of the soil bacteria, you know, with chemicals and make it simplistic and then we only do mono speciation of plants and animals growing on that soil, and then we send that into a sterile processing facility and what comes out as sterile, there’s not much there to feed our microbiome.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Joel Salatin:  And so, you know, when I go pick a carrot out in the garden, I don’t even wash it off.  I rub it off on my pants and get a little bit of that dirt.  You know, I can always imagine these dirt like the acetobacter and mycorrhizae.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  They come in and they go down and I swallow them and they hit their destined cousins down in my gut, right?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Joel Salatin:  Like, “Oh, hello, cousin.  Where have you been?”  Yeah, you know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Joel Salatin:  And they have this family reunion of microorganisms, you know?  I can just–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That makes so much sense.

Joel Salatin:  Going on.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That makes sense.  Are there any bigger companies like Tyson or any of these bigger farming companies that are trying to do what you’re doing on a larger scale?  Obviously, they’re doing it because they feel like they can be more efficient in how much product they produce.  You know, we can argue about the quality aspect as you already just did with the nutritional density on the carrots, on the eggs, and I imagine that goes with the grass-fed meat.

Joel Salatin:  Yup.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And the vitamin B2.  So there’s a nutritional density component that they are not measuring because I think they get paid by the pound, not by the nutrient, right?

Joel Salatin:  That’s right.  Nobody in the indust—nobody in the food system gets paid for nutrients right now.  Now that may change.  I mean, there’s some cool technology coming out with little handheld spectrophotometers.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Joel Salatin:  You know, which is Abby’s machine on NCIS, you know?  The mass spec that she’s always got.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:   Yup.

Joel Salatin:  And so there’s some interesting technology especially now in produce where we’re trying to measure, you know, wavelengths.  So there’s some cool stuff coming but yeah, you’re right.  In the food system, nobody really gets paid for nutrition.  They get paid for pounds and bushels and of course, that is not a measure of—that’s not a measure of quality.  It’s a measure of quantity but it is not a measure of quality.  It would be like measuring the effectiveness of a college by the number of diplomas it produced rather than the quality of jobs that graduates got.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.  Great analogy.  So essentially, we have a system that is really good at getting animals fat and big, which then they get paid more because of the weight versus healthy and nutrient-dense—

Joel Salatin:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Which then provides more health to the consumers and I just—I tell my patients when they’re going out shopping, you really have to change your mindset when you’re shopping.  You have to say, “Hey, how can I get the best price?  No, “ How can I get the most nutrients for my dollar?”  And when you do that, the organic higher quality, more local foods will always give you more nutrients per dollar versus more bulk per dollar.

Joel Salatin:  Right. For example, in beef production, a lot of people are familiar with ionophore either implants or supplements in like a mineral box.  Well, these ionophores are basically steroids.  They don’t actually increase mass.  They increase the cell’s ability to hold more water and so you get more weight but you don’t get more nutrition.  I mean—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Ahh.

Joel Salatin:  The poultry industry right now, I think Tyson sells something like a billion dollars a year worth of water because they put chickens in chill tanks and agitate them so the birds take on water and the industry—like 10% of the weight of a bird in a supermarket is water.  And so there’s all sorts of little tricks and techniques to try to, you know, abscond a few more pennies for nothing out of the supermarket which is why we promote actually just circumventing the industrial food chain.  Whether it’s a Farmer’s Market, an on-farm store, a farm that ships to you, you know, directly to your doorstep.  I mean, there are now all sorts of alternatives to the mainline orthodox food system and all of those offers, in general, you know, better alternatives than you can find down at Costco and Walmart.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Joel Salatin:   Where the only way to get into those places—several years ago I had a bunch of—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Joel Salatin:  Costco vice-presidents here and we—they spent the day.  They were excited about what we were doing and they asked me then at the end.  They said, “So how we get your stuff in at, you know, Sam’s Club and Costco?”  I said, “Well, the first thing you have to do is let a truck smaller than tractor-trailer back up to your dock.”  That was the end of the discussion.  They could not even—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  There wasn’t enough scale.

Joel Salatin:  No, they couldn’t imagine a system where a truck smaller than a tractor-trailer back up to their dock.  So, you know, this was the kind of—it’s a prejudice within the marketplace that excludes, you know, positive alternatives.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  Essentially, they’re looking for more scale and this is more of a decentralized way of doing it just because of, you know, it’s the big companies are kinda wetted to this conventional system because it’s all a weight-driven system not a nutrient-system so you kinda have to change how the system for it to make sense on the financial side to grow.  I mean, is it possible like if you had more money right now if someone gave you a hundred million dollars, could you scale this thing to the size of a Tyson, while producing the same food quality?

Joel Salatin:  Sure.  So what a great question and you know, our most questions and criticism is price and scale.  You know, can you actually feed the world this way and so the way I envision it is to explain to people absolutely this scale, in fact it scales just fine but it doesn’t scale like an aircraft carrier, it scales like a million speedboats.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Joel Salatin:  And so we believe in scale not by taking something—not by taking a stationary piece of infrastructure and turning it into a mega, you know, infrastructure but rather a whole lot of decentralized, democratized—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:  Infrastructure all over the landscape so that instead of 150 mega-processing facilities worth 3,000 employees, the country has maybe, you know, 50,000 smaller scale abattoirs or canning plants or processing facilities scattered all over the landscape devoted to their own food, you know, their regional foodsheds.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:  And so one is scaled by duplication, the other is scaled by whatever, you know—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Subsidy or?

Joel Salatin:  Empire building.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The Empire Building.

Joel Salatin:  Build a bigger coliseum instead of building a whole bunch of little theatres.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  Now that makes sense.  There’s a quote by John Paul Getty, “You’re better off getting 1% out of 100 men than 100% out of 1 man”, right?

Joel Salatin:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So it’s kinda like that?  And it’s probably safer for our food supply.  I mean, you can go read—you read stories of Russia before the revolution where all the starvation and stuff would happen and you know, because you had one farm controlled by the government and then that went sideways, and everyone starved, right?

Joel Salatin:  Sure, yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  So it makes sense from a safety standpoint for sure.  Let’s talk about food processing plants right now.  There’s a lot of hoopla where things were closed off because of the COVID-19 thing and then they had this big supply chain that was moving and they had to kill animals off because that supply chain couldn’t move and the supply chain was so tight in how they brought animals in, fed them, brought them to slaughter.  If they couldn’t slaughter them on time, the whole thing got backed up and they had to kill them.  So you have this supply chain backup.  You have the whole food processing plant owned by a lot of companies outside of the country that are—it seems like they’re selectively choosing food from outside of the country versus inside the country.  Can you talk a little bit about those politics?

Joel Salatin:  Sure.  So the idea there is that these processing plants, remember half, almost half of the US processing plant capacity right now is owned by China and Brazil.  They’re owned by foreigners.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Joel Salatin:  So, you know, these companies are above whatever national politics.  You know, they’re global in scope and loyalty.  They have no loyalty, you know, to a culture, to a country, to a place.  And so what happened was in these big plants, as the coronavirus came in, they started—they were unable to continue to operate.  They had a lot of workers get sick.  You gotta remember that right now, the only place in America where thousands of people are working shoulder to shoulder every day in wet, damp, cool, damp conditions is in these large-scale processing plants.  It’s not happening anywhere else.  And a lot of these workers are themselves living in difficult conditions.  They come from Somalia.  They come from, you know, all over the world and I’m not being xenophobic.  This is just a fact.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:  Most of these workers are foreign workers.  They’re trying to save pennies to bring, you know, additional family members home.  So they’re crammed, you know, 10 people in a house that we would consider only big enough for 4 people.  They crammed 10 and 20 people in these houses and they’re scrimping pennies so they’re eating, you know, they’re eating out of the gas station and they’re eating SPAM, you know, to eat cheaply.  So the living conditions, they’re in a new culture, they’re under the stress of a new language, I mean, there’s a lot of stress in their life and stress of course, you know, reduces your cortisol, okay?  And so, then you become more susceptible.  My point is that these huge plants are incubators for sickness.  Whether it’s COVID or anything else and so when you have a very small plant, a community plant like we co-own one that has 20 employees.  It’s a small community plant and we—you know, we have 20 people and we’re spread out a lot more because, well, it’s small, you know?  And there are 2 guys over on the kill ford, 2 guys in the back pack machine, 4 guys in the cut room and they have a lot of room.  It’s just not shoulder-to-shoulder like these great, great, big plants that are basically assembly line.  We do stuff by hand with individual knives and individual workstations and there’s a lot of room and there’s not that many people and we’re hiring neighbors and so it’s better working conditions.  And so, the fact is, that the small decentralized plants are simply less vulnerable to pathogenicity of any type.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:  Of any type whether it’s on the food or in the people.  They’re just less vulnerable to pathogenicity than the great big plants.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Oh, 100% and I remember in Food Inc that you were slaughtering a chicken outside in the open air with the UV light coming through and, you know, we’ve seen data that a lot of these coronaviruses cannot really survive more than 1 minute in 75°F temperature, 40% humidity so it seems like the sunlight or the UVC rays are really powerful natural disinfectant that you’re utilizing to help keep your food clean.

Joel Salatin:  Yes, absolutely.  And so a small plant, you know, has more windows.  You know, workers can step outside for you know, for lunch or a break.  I mean, there’s just a lot of additional, whatever, resilience in a small facility.  So that was one of the big glitches in the food chain system.  The other big glitch that happened was that when the restaurants were closed down, the food industry has 2 very distinct, whatever, journeys of food.  It either goes into wholesale and you know, and restaurant trade or it goes into the retail trade.  And as you can imagine, those 2 trajectories are completely different kinds of packaging, completely different kinds of distribution, everything.  And so what happened when the restaurants closed down, everybody started buying retail, while the industry couldn’t adjust their packaging and their, whatever, their fabrication lines—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:  Fast enough to adjust.  I mean, we even had it at our farm.  At our farm, we never ran out of ground beef.  We ran out of ground beef for 3 days.  People were going, you know, going ballistic.  We don’t have ground beef.  We had 5,000 pounds of 5-lb packages of ground beef for our restaurants but that was not for the ret—you know, our retailer customers didn’t want 5-lb, you know, 5-lb packages of ground beef.  They want 1-lb packages of ground beef.  And so—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:  And so our retail customers saw us being “out” but we had plenty.  It was just in bigger packages for restaurants.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.  That’s—

Joel Salatin:  You know, so we encouraged people, we said, “Look, here’s how you can do it.  You can take this all home, cook it, and then what you don’t eat, freeze it, and you can use it another time.  Or you can take a hacksaw, you know, whack in quarters, you know and move.”  So we were doing all sorts of creative things with our customers trying to get them to understand the meat is here, you just might have to help us and you know, meet this glitch here for a little bit.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  No, that makes a lot of sense.  And just from a national security standpoint, you know, it doesn’t make sense allowing foreign people to own so much of our food supply.  I mean, the gateway of our food supply being these food packaging plants.  It just doesn’t make sense that they would—that such a large percent of them are owned by international companies.  That is so mind-blowing!

Joel Salatin:  Well, it is and you know, you can really see it right now in the last I think I’m right on this, in the last like 30 years, the US has gone from one—from roughly 1% to 5% of our food being imported to today, it’s 20%.  In other words, 1 out of 5 mouthfuls of food that an American takes is now coming from a foreign place.  We are becoming more and more vulnerable to these kinds of shocks within in the system.  Of course, you know, during this time, China for the year leading up to the coronavirus, for that year, China depopulated half of their pork industry.  You know, China consumes half of the world’s pork. Just the country of China consumes—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Joel Salatin:  Half of the world’s pork and in China, pork is the number one, you know, animal protein.  In America, it’s chicken.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  It makes sense.

Joel Salatin:  Chicken, but in China it’s pork.  So when the African swine fever came into China and by the way, it decimated the large producers more than the small ones, but when it came into China they began depopulating and so China was entering this whole COVID-19 thing short of pork, and so here we were with empty store shelves and Smithfield, which is owned by the Chinese, were sending 20% of our pork to China to help meet the African swine fever shortfall in China—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Joel Salatin:  While our grocery shelves were empty.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow, this is unbelievable and the politics of food I think are really important because it just—you gotta have common sense with a lot of these things.  And when you have a lot of these international companies running these food processing plants, they are selecting for their fellow international probably subsidiaries I imagine, so then they’re picking meat from these international companies and bringing it here and then leaving our domestic farmers in the hole, kinda empty-handed, with all these extra supply and they are just being given money for the—by the government to sit on it essentially, right?

Joel Salatin:  Yeah, well, I don’t know how much the subsidies, you know, go into those big outfits.  I can tell you that probably the single, you know, when you talk about the politics of food, probably the single biggest issue here is that it is not necessarily money if you will, but it’s regulatory where it’s very, very difficult for a small, you know, community abattoir to get in the business because of very scale prejudicial—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Joel Salatin:  Scale prejudicial requirements.  That’s one reason why Congressman Tom Massie from Kentucky—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.  Kentucky, yeah.

Joel Salatin:  Has put in the prime act to try to allow the intrastate, not interstate, but intrastate sale of custom processed beef and pork and so that a lot of these little community abattoirs can actually join the marketplace and aren’t excluded from the marketplace.  The cost of getting into this is extremely expensive in its primary regulations.  You know, you can go out and shoot a deer on a 70-degree day and feed it to your kids and give it to all the neighborhood and you’re a great American, but if you do one pig on an appropriate temperature day, you’re a criminal.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Joel Salatin:  And so this is not about food safety, it’s about market access.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  There’s some common sense or form that could be done, I mean, if I was the agricultural czar and I could do a couple of different things right now policy-wise to just improve the health of this country, I think number one, I would get rid of all farming subsidies.  Because I think number one is you have to show people, the Americans, what the true cost of food in your junk food is, number one.  Number two, I would adjust a lot of the food stamps/SNAP program.  People that need food, I think you give them a stipend to actually get the real food from their local farmer so you actually get the real food and you can’t spend it on junk food and crap and sugar, and anything else because I think if people need assistance, the worse thing we can do is give them crappy food and then they end up being on more drugs and—

Joel Salatin:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And they are drained on the healthcare system because then you pay twice and you know, chronic healthcare is actually probably more like 10x, right?  So I’d start with those first 2 things if I were to do anything just to let the free market, and then I probably would do more on the education side because I think people need to be educated about nutrients, not just how much their food weighs.  I think it’s about value.  People look at their food and they don’t have the value component.  They just kinda look at it as, “Okay, it’s you know, this chicken is the same as that chicken,” and they don’t have the value component and that takes education to people like you and people like me.

Joel Salatin:  Right.  Well, I’m with you.  I’ll vote for you.  When you run, I’ll vote for you.  But yes, I agree with all those things and in fact, one of the best ways to educate people is to actually put good food in their mouth.  Most Americans have never actually eaten what we call nutrient-dense authentic food.  I mean, this coronavirus has brought some interesting people into our farm store.  A guy came in last week and you know, he had never shopped anywhere except Walmart and so he, you know, with all this coronavirus stuff, he came to us and he got a couple of, you know, 5 chickens or something and said it would take them a month.  He called back the next week and he said, “I’ve never had anything like that.  We ate them all in a week.”  And what it was, it was his body telling him this is real nutrition, you need to eat this.  Just like—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Joel Salatin:  A little anemic 6-year-old came in with his mother.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  You know, this is little itty-bitty little child.  Mother said, “Oh, he’s such a picky eater.  He won’t eat anything.”  She bought a dozen eggs.  She called us the next day and she said, “He’s eating 6 eggs in a sitting.”  Well, the child he was eating, but he was starving to death.  He was starving nutritionally.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Joel Salatin:  And so when he got really decent nutrition, his body, you know, whatever, it woke up.  You know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.  Yeah.

Joel Salatin:  That’s a better wokeness than the politically correct wokeness.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.  No, that makes sense.  That makes a lot of sense.  Yeah, when your body has the nutrients it needs, its metabolic systems run better and yeah, they literally will generate more energy which helps with the energy and focus and mood and everything.  Now I’m just curious to get your take.  I mean, I’d lecture my patient on whole food and how animal nutrients—animal bioaccumulate plant nutrients.  So when you have the vegan-vegetarian argument versus being able to eat whole food, healthy animal products, number one, the argument tends to—it tends to create a straw man.  The first argument is it tends to create all meat as conventional junk food McDonald’s meat and I think we have to be able to differentiate that.  I don’t talk about the organic broccoli in someone’s backyard and compare it to the soybeans on a monoculture farm.  So we have to be able to differentiate the quality of the meat, number one.  And then number two, we have to look at the nutrient density like you mentioned.  I know animals bioaccumulate plant matter.  I think it’s something like 8 lb of grass goes into 1 lb of cow meat.  So there’s bioaccumulation and when you look at the nutrient density studies comparing a carrot to liver or beef, or your egg yolks to any type of plant, you’re gonna see this increased nutrient density. Can you—what’s your argument on the plant-based nutrition side or the more the plant and animal-based side especially the animal side?

Joel Salatin:  Yeah.  Well, you’re exactly right.  You’re exactly right.  The problem is that with things like, you know, Cowspiracy and Game Changer.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Joel Salatin:  They refuse to differentiate that there can be a better way to raise a chicken or a cow—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Joel Salatin:  Than a poor way to raise a chicken or a cow.  I’m liking it to this.  It’s as if you and I, let’s say we live on Pluto.  We’re looking down at the Earth and Pluto says, “Hey, that’s an interesting-looking planet down there.  I wonder what their education system is.  How about we get 2 volunteers to do down there and check it out?”  So you and I volunteer, we jump in the flying saucer and we come down to Earth, and we happen to land in the schoolyard of the worst school district with the worst superintendent—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:  In a school with the worst principal and we go visit the worst classroom with the worst teacher.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  Worst parents in the whole country.  And we watched this for 2 days.  We go back to Pluto and they say, “Well, what did you find?”  We’ll say, “Man, if education is like that, we shouldn’t have any education.”  You know?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Joel Salatin:  And that—so when you—when all of your data points are from a dysfunctional system, you’re gonna come up with a dysfunctional conclusion and that is what has driven the data points, the science, the data points of you know, Cowspiracy, the UN Long Shadow report, the EAT-Lancet report, all these, you know, anti-animal, anti-meat things are—they don’t come here to do their data collection.  You know, they go to feedlots, they go to factory farms, they go to, you know, desert irrigation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Joel Salatin:  And it’s all those systems rather than a truly holistic functional synergistic type system.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, anytime someone makes an effort to create that straw man and not let—and not really argue against the premises that you’re making, that’s sophistry right there at its best.  I mean, we see it all with a lot of the people talking about climate change and the methane produced by cows.  Well, okay, you know, well, let’s talk about the fact that methane is significantly reduced if not totally neutral with cows that eat grass.  And so, you know, we’re just supporting now an argument of cows eating more grass and keeping the grains and the corn and all that crap out of there.  But the argument still—the goal post constantly gets shifted in the plant versus animal argument and I think it’s a combination of the two but we gotta acknowledge there’s a different way to raise these animals in a healthy fashion and the results totally change.  And we’re not even talking about the bioavailability of plant—

Joel Salatin:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Proteins versus animal protein.

Joel Salatin:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s a totally different argument.  The assumption is that all plant proteins are absorbed and assimilated the same way and the anti-nutrients aren’t affecting any of it and also that the amino acid profile is the same.  We know that animal-based amino acid profiles are gonna be more sulfur-rich and the plant-based profiles are a lot of times are gonna be incomplete and you have to combine different proteins like rice and beans, etc.  Your thoughts?

Joel Salatin:  Yes.  So yeah, exactly so a lot of people have never heard of a bacteria in the soil called methanotrophic bacteria.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Joel Salatin:  Methanotrophic bacteria lives in pasture.  It doesn’t live under corn.  It doesn’t live under asphalt.  It doesn’t live in feedlots.  It doesn’t live on factory farms.  It lives under perennial grasslands.  Methanotrophic bacteria in a healthy grassland, there’s enough methanotrophic bacteria.  Methanotrophic is it’s a bacteria that eats methane.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Eats it.  Totally eats it.  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  Yeah, it eats methane and metabolizes it and feeds it back to plants, okay?  And so in a healthy pasture, you know, perennial grass situation, there’s enough methanotrophic bacteria in the soil to eat up all the methane from 2,000 cows per acre.  That’s how constructive and regenerative nature is.  Now, nobody is gonna have 2,000 cows per acre.  The point is that nature has all the mechanisms necessary to make sure there’s no waste stream.  That everything has a place of reconstruction and regeneration that there’s no landfill in nature.  There’s no away.  There’s no waste stream.  Every waste stream is the beginning of something else.  And so that’s—so methanotrophic bacteria—so you don’t hear in Cowspiracy, you don’t hear them talking about methanotrophic bacteria, they just talk about, you know, feed lots and factory farms and things.  And so, you know, it’s important to understand that there’s a lot in the system that they’re not talking about. Even to the point that how much water it takes to make a T-bone steak.  Well, they don’t measure the urine that comes out of the cow or the bacterial exudates of the biomass when healthy biomass exudes bacteria, that’s the number one coalescent for water vapor in the atmosphere.  Water vapor can coalesce around ice particles.  It can coalesce around little pieces of chemical or it can coalesce around bacteria.  90% of it coalesces around bacteria and bacteria just is exhaled by the biomass, trees and grass and shrubs and things.  And so, when a cow stimulates through proper grazing measure, when a cow stimulates biomass production in the forage, it actually comes alive with additional exhale bacteria that allows the clouds to form, rains to come, and stimulates water.  I mean, this is all out of Walter Jehne from Australia, probably the, you know, the world’s foremost, you know, climatologist, climate change guy talking about how atmospheric moisture is the Earth’s radiator and the problem is that none of these climate changers are talking about, how do replenish the radiator of the Earth?  You replenish it with biomass-induced bacteria exhaling from the plants.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Joel Salatin:  And how you do that is with the proper animal pruners around the land and not continuous grazing, not overgrazing, not desertification, but proper animal management to stimulate the abundance of the biomass on the landscape.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Can you just re-say that like in 15 seconds again?  It was a lot—I wanna be able to connect those bullet points because there was so much said there.  Can you just kind of reiterate that just a little bit more succinctly again?

Joel Salatin:  Okay, so moisture in the air, water droplets condense.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  They condense around ice particles.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  They condense around little pieces of chemical, cloud seeding.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  And they condense around bacteria.  They’re favorite one and the one that’s most conducive is the bacteria.  The bacteria comes from the exudates of biomass, green material, vegetation.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Got it.

Joel Salatin:  And so it’s the vegetation that stimulates the condensation that makes the clouds that helps to create functional water, you know—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yes.

Joel Salatin:  Water cycle, you know, hydraulic cycles in the world.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And is it just vegetation and the vegetation that’s coming from the cow’s actual food that they’re eating in the grass.  Is that where that vegetation’s coming from?

Joel Salatin:  Yes. Because if you don’t prune biomass, then it tends to become stale and dormant and doesn’t—I mean, a grass plant goes into senescence.  You know, in like 60 days, a grass plant goes into senescence.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Joel Salatin:  So if something doesn’t come along and prune that grass plant, you know, it turns brown and the bioaccumulate—the, you know, the photosynthesis stops.  And so it’s the herbivorous pruner, that’s why the planet has so many herbivores—zebras and elephants and you know, llamas and alpacas and caribou.  The reason for all these herbivores is to keep this vegetation freshened up like pruning an orchard or pruning a vineyard to make it, you know, to make functional.  So the problems associated with domestic livestock and herbivores is not the problem with herbivores, it’s the farmers and ranchers who manage them incorrectly to not allow them to do the job they were supposed to do as freshening up, you know, pruners.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  It’s excellent.  It’s such a holistic cycle and everything is affected.  Everything affects everything.

Joel Salatin:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  From the soils to the plants, to the cows to the atmosphere, to the gasses being produced and you know, I always tell my patients, old foods can’t cause new disease and I don’t think we can—I don’t think new farming methods will ever beat the old farming methods that have always been there because it’s just the closer you are to Mother Nature, it seems like that’s the better way to do it.

Joel Salatin:  Well, that’s for sure.  And nature always fills, you know, we believe here at our farm that nature’s default position is fundamentally wellness.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  And whereas in the industry, they consider the fundamentally default position as sickness.  So we’ve gotta make pharmaceuticals and drugs and GMOs and all these things to override nature’s propensity towards sickness.  Whereas we believe nature’s fundamentally well and if it’s not well, my first question is what did I do to mess it up.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.

Joel Salatin:  What did I do to override the immunological terrain?  And so we’ve actually—I’ve actually co-authored a book with Dr. Sina McCullough, it just came out 2 weeks ago.  It’s, the title is Beyond Labels and it’s all about going beyond, you know, beyond just the labels in food and understanding how foods produced from a, you know, a practical standpoint.  How do we make food decisions, proper food decisions and get beyond just being stuck on, you know, paleo, keto, organic, whatever it is, but you know, and labels of sickness?  You know?  I have this.  I have that.  But just going all the way beyond labels in life and I would encourage folks to, you know, to see it and it’s written like a dialog from a farmer and a PhD.  So it’s—and you know, it’s—so it moves, when you get tired of me, you get her.  When you get tired of her, you get me.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  I love it.  That makes so much sense.  That’s great.  And on the conventional side, you see grades like select or choice or prime, right?  How does that correlate to your meat?  Like where does your meat kinda plug in to that typical grading system?  Obviously, that grading system does not—I don’t think look at the hormones, the antibiotics, the grass-fed or grass-finish nature of that.  Can you talk about that grading system and compare it to kinda where yours plugs in?

Joel Salatin:  Sure.  So that grading system was started in the early 1900s when everybody was using candles, you know, tallow for candles and so the grading system was developed so that the fat content could be measured because cattle received way, way more value if they had enough tallow to make candles.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Hmm.

Joel Salatin:  This was before electricity.  And so the select choice in prime—that whole grading system has nothing to do with nutrition, it has nothing to do with taste, it was nothing to do with eating quality.  It’s strictly a measure of fat percentage in the animal based on—well, okay, so now we got enough fat to you know, boil down to make candles to light our houses.  That’s how archaic it is and yet it—this is what happens with government programs.  As you know, government programs they start and even when they are, you know, a century out of date, we got electricity, they still keep them functioning.  You know, one of the things with eggs for example.  You know, you get a carton of eggs, it says Grade A, Grade A large eggs.  I’m having trouble with my bud here.  It keeps falling out.  You know, when you get a carton of eggs, it says Grade A large eggs.  So what does it mean?  It has nothing to do with nutrition.  It only has to do–

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Joel Salatin:  With appearance and the size of the air cell and the viscosity of the albumin.  It doesn’t have anything to do with—but people, they see this, you know, stamp of Grade A or whatever on an egg and they think somebody has checked it for Salmonella or Campylobacter or something.  But nobody has checked them for any of that.  It’s strictly an aesthetic grade in the market so that we don’t get crinkly and extra-long or extra fat or whatever you know, eggs in the marketplace.  And so, this is one of the big—this is one of the reasons—this is what Sina and I are bringing out in our book, Beyond Labels, is some of this background stuff, people look at these labels and they assume it means all this.  I mean, like if somebody is checking all these unpronounceable things.  Doesn’t the FDA check monosodium glutamate?  No!  It’s generally regarded as safe.  GRAS.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:  And GMOs.  Who’s checking GMOs?  Nobody.  They’re considered equivalent to non-GMOs, GRAS.  Generally regarded I think it is—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  Generally regarded as safe.  You know more about that than I do.  But generally regarded, GRAS.  And so there are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of unnatural fake compounds in our food that if they get GRAS designation, nobody checks them.  Any company can add them to food without any check whatsoever.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and there’s no real safety studies behind it or anything which is kinda sad.

Joel Salatin:  No.  There’s no safety studies behind it or anything.  And so many of these stamps and inspections and labels, they have nothing to do with nutrition.  None of these labels has anything to do with nutrition.  And I think if you and I could get all the listeners here today to understand that none of the labels has anything to do or measure either A) nutrition or B) pathogenicity, you know, they don’t measure antibiotic residue.  None of this stuff.  That all the things—here’s the thing.  The thing that consumers fear, the things that worry consumers that they would like to know, none of that is on the label.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Exactly.  Exactly. The toxicity, the drug residue, the GMOs.

Joel Salatin:  The nutrient density.  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Maybe even mycotoxins.  Exactly.  The nutrient density which is the most important thing and that kinda comes back to one other thing that, you know, I first learned about in the documentary where I first found you, Food Inc was I think it was Michael Pollan was talking about it is that the percent of our income that we spend on food today is about 8% or 9%.  It used to be 15% to 18%.  So we used to prioritize a lot more of our income to food quality and that prioritization has shifted and of course, the disease management and all the drugs that are being taken I think directly correlate with the lack of investment in our food quality and then we end up investing in drugs on the other side to kinda balance out the other end.

Joel Salatin:  Absolutely.  You know, 30 to 40 years ago, the average American spend 18% of their income—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  On food and 9% on healthcare.  Today, we spend 9% on food and 18% on healthcare.  Those numbers have completely inverted in the last 30 to 40 years.  That’s truly profound and in fact, that inversion really accelerated in 1979 when the US—I call it the US-Duh.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, USDA.  US-Duh.  Yeah, that’s a good one.

Joel Salatin:  Their first food pyramid, remember the food pyramid?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  And they put Cheerios and Twinkies on the bottom as you know, the most important stuff.  You know, the grains and we can track our diabetes, our, you know, our obesity.  We can track all these things directly to the consumption of the way the USDA had told u to eat.  The fact is, the sobering fact is, if the government had never told Americans how to eat, including hydrogenated vegetable oil and demonizing butter and lard back in—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  You know, if the government had never told Americans how to eat, we would actually be healthier today.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100% and because special interest lobby and they get their piece out of that food pyramid or that my food plate—

Joel Salatin:  Exactly.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  The recommendations are based off on financial interest, not about what makes us healthy.

Joel Salatin:  Absolutely.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah, and it kinda goes back.  I think people need to look at it from this perspective—old foods don’t cause new disease.

Joel Salatin:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And if you kinda go into that kinda model, that gives you the foundation to move forward for sure.

Joel Salatin:  Right and a kind of a corollary to that is that we didn’t get this pandemic because there was a lack of a vaccine.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Joel Salatin:  It’s not like a sickness fairy floated over the planet and said, “Let’s see what are they lacking down there? Oh, they’re lacking a vaccine to COVID-19.  So we’re gonna sprinkle some of that down there.”  You know, we didn’t get this because we lacked the vaccine or lacked something.  It’s always a result of some sort of mismanagement or you know, misapplication of things and nature doesn’t like vacuum.  You know?  If you’re not getting enough good bugs, they’re gonna put in some bad bugs.  Nature doesn’t like a vacuum.  So nature’s gonna fill the void with something.  So if you’re eating junk food and if you’re, you know, if you’re drinking Coca-Cola instead of, you know, good water for that matter, nature’s gonna fill that deficiency in your cell structure.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100% and also, I saw a study recently, because how vaccines work is, they’re stimulating the TH2 branch of the immune system that makes antibiotics.  I saw a study talking about the TH1 branch of the immune system and how other coronaviruses that we’ve been exposed in the past, our TH1 immune system has kinda been primed so a lot of the high amount of asymptomatic cases, these are people that get the infection, show no symptoms, are infectious maybe for a week but then develop antibodies long term.  A lot of the reason why they were asymptomatic is because they have a TH1 immune response to the virus and the TH1 is like our natural killer cells, right?  This is like in the army, there should be like the Navy Seals or the Delta Team.  These are the first responders to go in first.  Think of the antibodies as the infantry that comes behind alter, so you take a vaccine to increase the infantry but the TH1 immune system which is typically ignored—part of good health, good nutrition is gonna help increase that TH1 immune response and that’s part of the immune system we totally forget about.

Joel Salatin:  Well, absolutely.  You know, that’s so fascinating they way to hear you describe that which is really cool because I was just on a podcast not long ago in person and they tested every guest for coronavirus antibodies.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  And with a blood test and so you know, the doctor came and he pricked my finger and took my, you know, took my blood and it was like a 15-minute test and he said, “Well, you know, you haven’t had it.”  I said, “Well, have I been exposed to it?”  He said, “Well, the antibody test only tests your secondary immune system because if your first—like if your first, like if your skin, if your exterior immune system was good enough, it will never even get into your antibodies.”

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s the thing.

Joel Salatin:  So he said, “I can’t tell you if you’ve been exposed.  All I can tell you is did it get through your first immune system, not your second immune system.”  He said, “That’s all I can tell you.”  And I thought, my goodness, as much as we can’t even tell that, that’s incredible what we don’t know.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  100%!  We forget about that TH1 immune responses.  There have been studies with people that if they have gammaglobulinemia, meaning they don’t have the ability to make antibodies and if these people have gotten exposed to infections and have been able to fight it off because of the TH1 immune system, which we don’t really have a great way to measure because it’s not like you make a natural killer cell specific for the COVID-19 where you can go test it.  Where antibodies, they’re a specific locking key that you can test for herpes or for chlamydia or for COVID, right?  You can test it.

Joel Salatin:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Because there’s a specific shape of it.  You don’t quite have that same, you know, I’m not an immunologist but you don’t quite have that shape recognition on the TH1 immune system where you can go look for it specifically.  So it’s a little bit tough—

Joel Salatin:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  To measure.

Joel Salatin:  Right, yeah.  And you know, and that just shows how trying to reduce everything in life—to reduce everything in life to some sort of empirical hard, whatever, formula, ratio—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:  Material is just—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  I mean, this was the problem with the Human Genome Project.  You know, remember when the Human Genome Project launched?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.

Joel Salatin:  And they said, “This will take, you know, this many years and we know based on mathematical statistics that based on genetic variability, we know there will be a 100,000.”  I remember it like yesterday, “There will be a 100,000 pairs on the DNA strand.”  Well, goodness.  This has to be the only Federal Government-funded project that ever finished at half the budget in half the time.  The reason isn’t because they only found like what 24,000 pairs.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yeah.

Joel Salatin:  I said, “That’s mathematically impossible.”  And that launched the entire new, new sphere of study called Epigenetics, which is how—which is the hanky-panky, the hanky-panky going on up and down the DNA strand.  Nobody knew that before and so it’s amazing how we—as we western empirical, you know, Greco-Roman Western reductionist linear compartmentalized thinkers try to break apart these pieces, life becomes more magnificent, more mysterious, more awesome, more complex, more beautiful than anything we can imagine.  And so why don’t we just—why don’t we just back up and enjoy the beauty?  And let’s drink water instead of Coke and let’s eat, you know, real carrots instead of make-believe carrots and real cows instead of make-believe cows, and let’s just back up and enjoy that nature is way more beautiful and complex than we can ever try to break apart anyway.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Totally.  I think that really just summarizes everything.  Just to kinda piggyback on the whole DNA project.  I remember this.  I was in college at the time and I remember what, 98% to 99% of all DNA they labeled as junk DNA because they didn’t understand it, right?  Junk DNA are these DNAs that are non-encoding, right?  They’re not essentially encoding proteins.  Turning off right? And turning on.  And that’s where I think a lot of the Epigenetics plays into.  They just labeled 98% to 99%–

Joel Salatin:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Of all DNA they didn’t understand that wasn’t encoding things as junk, which is unbelievable.  The hubris in science to just label—

Joel Salatin:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  99% of something junk but I think that’s where a lot of the Epigenetics play in and we know nutrition and sleep and hydration and managing stress—

Joel Salatin:  yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Really control a lot of that DNA that we don’t understand and we just label junk.

Joel Salatin:  Yeah, that’s right.  I mean, it’s similar to black hole in the cosmo—in the cosmic, you know, physics to labeling black hole because somehow when you don’t appreciate the electrical components to the universe that you can’t mathematically justify all this just with gravity and mass and so well, we gotta have a placeholder to make the math work so we’ll call them black holes.  We have never seen one.  We don’t know if they exist but the math doesn’t work and so we humans in our finiteness, you know, we’re always coming to this big thing trying—we try to make the complex too simple and we try to make the too simple to complex.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yep, I 100% agree, Joel.  I think you did a wonderful job summarizing that.  How can listeners support you?  I mean, can they buy your food online?  Do you ship it?  How can they support you?  How can they support other people like you?  What’s that next step?

Joel Salatin:  Okay, so yeah, there’s an entire, you know, network of people like us and yes, and we do ship.  We do ship now.  We started it last year.  We ship nationwide.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Excellent.

Joel Salatin:  So yes, you can call us up and now, I’ll tell you right now we’re struggling to keep up, okay?  But we’re, you know, we’re growing more.  We’re doing some things so we can try to meet the demand because we’re very cognizant that this whole coronavirus thing has stimulated for the first time large-scale cultural discussions around immune function.  And that’s an exciting—that’s the exciting silver lining to this whole cloud is that people for the first time on the street talking about building immune systems.  That’s an exciting thing.  So yes, our website is PolyfaceFarms.com and you can, you know, you can order food there and you can get information, books, you can see where I’m speaking, of course, most have been canceled but now they’re coming back.  I’m actually gonna be—July 9th I’m gonna be doing 5 presentations.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Wow.

Joel Salatin:  For, it’s called A Day Up The Creek With A Lunatic Farmer in Orlando, FL at the national—Libertarian Party National Convention in Orlando.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Cool.

Joel Salatin:  How about that?

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  That’s awesome.  Very cool.

Joel Salatin:  Yeah, yeah, so anyway, yeah.  PolyfaceFarms.com is our website and I’ll be glad for anybody to visit that be glad to help anybody that’s trying to get some help.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  And also, you’re an author, you have many books.  You have many books as well so I imagine getting some of the books—

Joel Salatin:  Yes.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Would be very helpful.  I think you had a book you should recommend that kinda dovetail with this topic?

Joel Salatin:  Well, certainly the book by Dr. David Montgomery on—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Yup.

Joel Salatin:  On soil, that’s, yeah, that’s a powerful, powerful book.  I mean, there are, there’s a new one just coming out.  It’s just been literally just been released by Diana Rogers called Sacred Cow.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Uh-hmm.,

Joel Salatin:  In fact, I—it’s so new, I just—she just sent me it.  Yeah, here it is.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Love it.

Joel Salatin:  Here it is.  Sacred Cow and of course, our new book, Beyond Labels is just out and it’s too far away to reach.  It’s over on the other counter, but yeah, these are all books that really speak to this—you know, the whole message that we just talked about today and will help, you know, dig in a little deeper.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Is there any other ways people can donate or help besides that?  I know there’s like farm to legal defense funds for some of these—

Joel Salatin:  Yeah.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Farmers that are really getting hit hard with some of these lawsuits.  Is that a good method?  Is there a site you recommend for that?  Are there any other ways people can help?

Joel Salatin:  Oh yes, Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund is my number one recommended, you know, kind of charity in this.  What people don’t realize is that as soon as you stepped out of the orthodox seat today, you step into a hearsay and hearsay is not liked by many of the government regulators and I mean, for example, they don’t even like that we love customers to come to our farm.  You know, they think that they’re gonna bring disease.  And so that’s why, you know, all your industrial farms, they have big, you know no trespassing signs and you know, they don’t want people—and so what has happened is we’ve disconnected so much from our food that in the industrial food, when you invest in that meal, it’s like prostitution food.  It’s a one-night stand.  There’s no romance or no—

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Right.

Joel Salatin:  There’s no understanding of that food and so we want people to come and visit the farm.  See the cows, touch the chickens, you know, pick a cherry off a tree, okay?  And actually have a memory.  There’s actually information that indicates if you sit down for a meal and what you’re eating, if you have a memory—if you have a memory that goes beyond that meal, then it actually helps your digestive enzymes to digest it better if there’s a memory that goes with that food.  And so, you know, we’re all into building those connections of wanting people to do, but Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund is a wonderful organization that’s providing legal help for those of us who dare to question the orthodoxy to hold us by the hand and work us through to either fight in court or to create workarounds so we that don’t have to get a license or comply.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  You know, I’m a huge fan.  I donate money to that every single year.  I think it’s great and I just urge people to shift the values of food and don’t look at just price.  Look at the nutrient density when you go to purchase and remember that study that Joel did there, 10x, 10 to 20x on the folate and the pasture-fed organic high-quality eggs versus the conventional.  So you really get a bargain even if you’re spending you know, twice the amount of 10x more.  I’ll take that deal any day.

Joel Salatin:  Right.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Awesome, Joel.  Thank you so much.  Is there anything else you wanna leave the listeners with?

Joel Salatin:  No, you’ve been a delight.  We’re, I think we’re two peas in a pod here and I can’t thank you enough for taking this issue and for giving me an additional platform here and just bless you, bless you for what you do.  We need a thousand like you.

Dr. Justin Marchegiani:  Thanks so much, Joel.  Really appreciate it.  Love to have you back anytime you have anything else important you wanna share.  Thanks again.


References:

https://justinhealth.com/

Audio Podcast:

Healthy Gut Function Can Boost Your Immune System

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Healthy gut function can help improve and boost your immune system.  It is your gut that helps to improve your body’s ability to fight infections. Our localized immune system is where 80% of your immune system is.

Click here to consult with a functional medicine doctor and to learn more about your immune system today!

GALT – Gut-associated lymphoid tissue

Your gut is interacting with food every day and you do not get want to get weak in regards to your body and your immune system. Don’t make your immune system go after bad foods.  Eat whole foods and following a paleo template is a good approach. You don’t want your immune system stressing out because of certain foods that are coming into play whether it is gluten, refined whole dairy, lots of refined sugar, and bad things like that. We have similar stuff happening with the small intestine where we have a lot of microvilli which are kind of like little vacuum cleaners that will like suck up a lot of the nutrients and vitamins that we take.

MALT – Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue

These are where your immune cells live.  If we have infections, that is going to create stress on the microvilli. Celiac disease wear down microvilli and that affects your body’s ability to absorb nutrition as well as affects your immune system, too.  I find that a lot of people have a weak immune system because of their gut.  It is not so much that their gut is weak but it’s that their gut is so preoccupied fighting things it should not be having to fight.

In the small intestine we have other nutrients that are vital for our immune system. We have a couple of things that are being produced:

  • We have different kinds of B vitamins — B1 or thiamine, B2 or riboflavin, B3 or niacin, B9 or folate, and B12 or methylated B12.  These are really important. We also have butyric acid. Butyrate is the same kind of fat we see in butter but butyric acid is going to make it harder for a lot of the bad bacteria to grow.  So infections, bacteria and viruses tend to not like in acidic environments as it makes it harder for those critters to grow and our immune cells love that.  It keeps the immune system strong.  Good fatty acids are our immune system’s friend.
  • We also have things like Vitamin C which you’re not going to get as much of that but you need healthy absorption of these nutrients. If you have good vitamin C in there or if you are consuming vitamin D, you need to absorb it.  So we need to have good gut function to absorb.
  • We also have Vitamin K1 and K2 which are very important.
  • Zinc and a lot of minerals that we need good hydrochloric acid levels from.

How the localized immune system works

When you create an antibody and you tag a protein.  Let’s say you have this virus. What happens is we tag it with an antibody. So have you ever gone to like a big city like San Francisco? I used to live there.  You park your car, right? And the parking attendants would come by and they put a piece of chalk and they put a mark across the back tire and what we used to do, we used to come back and erase that mark, but that mark was there to tag, the tag use and then when they come back an hour later if you were still there they knew you were there and they wrote you a ticket.  We used to like erase that but your immune system is doing something similar. It is tagging that virus and then that allows other immune cells, other T cells or natural killer cells to kind of come in there and be able to attack it later.  So your immune system tags stuff very similarly and with a healthy gut function, because so much of your antibodies are here in the GALT and the MALT, it really, really helps your immune response.

Takeaway

Autoimmunity starts in the gut and it starts in the gut via leaky gut.  We have gut permeability and again, leaky gut is the same thing as gut permeability.  Those tight junctions open up and it allows undigested food particles to get into the bloodstream which stresses out the immune system.  Alessio Fasano, a gastroenterologist at Harvard, says that almost all autoimmunity starts in the gut and if you have an increased autoimmune response, you are going to have a weakened immune system.

If you have an immune issue or you want to have a stronger immune system, click here to schedule an appointment!

Nutrition Basics: Macronutrients and Micronutrients

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

In today’s Nutrition 101, discover what micronutrients and macronutrients are, and learn how to customize your diet to suit your individual needs and goals.

The basic template for a healthy diet is exemplified by the paleo diet: high in fresh vegetables, healthy fats, and high-quality meats. In the paleosphere, or in any diet, you can go high-carb/low-carb, high-fat/low-fat, high-protein/low-protein. These are “macronutrients,” and your ratios will vary depending on your body and your goals. What we want to focus on are getting in lots of nutrient-dense, low toxin, and anti-inflammatory foods. From there, we can play around with macronutrients.

Macronutrients

  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Carbohydrate

In the 50’s and 60’s, fat was demonized because it packs a higher-calorie punch, and was measurable in blood cholesterol. We have since learned that not only is fat not bad for you- it’s actually very good for you! (So long as you are eating healthy fats).

Let’s look at the different hormonal effects of the different macronutrients.

Click here for a customized diet plan and work 1-on-1 with a nutrition professional!

Carbohydrate

Carbohydrates raise insulin more than any other macronutrient.  So based on endocrinology, it is carbs that are driving fat gain. Insulin resistance is becoming increasingly common, and a large factor in the obesity epidemic.

Non- starchy

Non-starchy carbs come mainly from vegetables. Non-starchy carbs are low in sugar, high in nutrition.  Broccoli, kale, spinach, asparagus, carrots…

Starchy

Starchy can be nutritious but are generally higher in carbohydrates. Sweet potato, yam, jicama, a starchy tuber, squash, etc.  

Low sugar fruit

There are low-sugar, lower carb fruits. These include strawberries, raspberries, passion fruit, lemon, lime, & grapefruit.

High sugar fruits

Tropical fruits like papayas, mangoes, watermelon, bananas, and pineapple are higher in sugar and in carbs.

Glycemic Index

Why separate low and high sugar fruits? Fruit is primarily fructose. Sugar creates insulin resistance, and while fructose is milder, it can still create insulin resistance. So when dealing with fruit, or any sugary carbs, it’s important to take into consideration the glycemic index.

Protein

Protein primarily comes from two sources: animals and we have plants. Animal protein will include fat unless you’re going for super lean cuts. The carbs in animal protein (i.e. meat) are virtually zero.

Plant protein (not including low-carb plant-based protein powders) includes a lot more carbohydrates. Typically two-thirds to seventy-five percent of the bulk of that item will be carbohydrate.  For example, rice and beans are about 15‑18 grams of protein to about 60-70 grams of carbohydrate.

So as you can see, animal protein is a superior source of protein. It’s much more protein-dense, and it is much higher in sulfur-based amino acids. Amino acids help run glutathione pathways, which is a natural antioxidant.

The Misunderstood Macro: Fat

The third macronutrient is fat, which can be broken up into subcategories. Mainly:

Monounsaturated fats: Good fat from avocados, olives, olive oil.

Polyunsaturated fats: There are better and worse types of polyunsaturated fats. Good sources include the omega-3s from fish. It’s best to avoid high omega-6 sources, like from corn and soy (foods you probably want to be avoiding anyways!).

Saturated fats: These had a bad rap, but are actually pretty excellent. Saturated fat primarily comes from animal sources, with the exception of coconut oil.  Butter, tallow, bacon lard, as well as the fat you get when you eat meat and seafood. These are important to include in your diet!

Adjust Macronutrients According to Your Needs

Depending on your body composition, lifestyle, and goals, we can dial the carbs up and down. More carbs for those doing high-intensity workouts like CrossFit or triathlons. We can up the starchy and possibly the non-starchy if we have insulin resistance. If weight loss is the goal, we will go low carb, getting our carbohydrates just from green vegetables.

What should you eat?

There are three criteria the foods we eat need to meet:

Anti-Inflammatory

If we’re eating foods that are driving inflammation, it’s going to cause our body to break down excessively fast, create pain, and put stress on our adrenal glands. Those are not good since that is going to break our body down faster.

Nutrient-Dense

Next, the foods have to be nutrient-dense.  This is very important. Outside of macronutrients, we have micronutrients–vitamins, minerals, water.  We have to make sure the foods we’re eating are nutrient-dense.

You’ll notice that one of the food categories I did not talk about are grains, and that’s because grains are very nutrient-poor. And then when you actually factor in gut irritation, lectins, phytate, oxalic acids (which can actually steal nutrients you’ve gotten from other foods!), grains are even more nutrient-poor and very inflammatory.

Low in Toxins

This is important, because even if you’re having some healthy broccoli- if it was grown with a bunch of pesticides, you’re eating all those toxins.  Looking at quality is so important because you can eat the same macronutrient ratio, but if the foods you eat have carcinogenic pesticides, it can put stress on the body, stress on the liver, and disrupt your health.

Takeaway

Our macronutrient ratio can change depending on where we are in life, but getting high-quality food, rich in micronutrients, is something that should always remain a priority. If you’re doing that right, then the macros can be adjusted at any time. If you’re having trouble dialing in your macros or knowing which foods are best for you, schedule a consult today!

Click here for a customized diet plan and work 1-on-1 with a nutrition professional!

The Harmful Effects of H. Pylori

How Functional Medicine and the Paleo Diet Can Address H. Pylori

A majority of world’s population have H. Pylori bacteria living in their stomach. This damaging bacterium has been revealed to be the main source of fatigue and other common health complaints. H. Pylori invades and damages the stomach’s protective mucus layer, thereby leaving your stomach susceptible to ulcers.

The Harmful Effects of H. Pylori

H. Pylori is commonly transferred by sharing food and drinks with other people, and multiplies very quickly through the saliva. Those with a weak immune system and other health issues are particularly susceptible to contamination.

H. Pylori is the primary cause of poor digestion and stomach ulcers. This bacterium impedes on the stomach’s capability to manufacture mucus, and irritates the inner lining of the stomach. The irritation turns out to be so severe that it leads to the pathogenesis of stomach ulcers. More than 80% of gastric ulcers are due to H. Pylori. This bacterium, if left untreated, can lead to stomach cancer.

H. Pylori Causes Fatigue

H. Pylori can cause fatigue by blocking your ability to absorb vitamin B12 and iron. As we know, the two common causes of anemia are a vitamin B12 or an iron deficiency. This means that if you’re taking B12 and iron for anemia but still aren’t seeing results, you might have an H. Pylori infection.

Role of Functional Medicine

The gut walls possess more than 70% of the cells that build up your immune system, and a whole host of bacteria. When you think about gut bacteria, you might be thinking of the symptoms that are manifested by gut imbalances. It’s true that a gut imbalance can negatively affect your ability to digest important nutrients. However, by making conscious diet choices, you can help overthrow the bad bacteria and promote the proliferation of the good guys!

Role of Paleo Diet

The Paleo diet focuses on eating natural food that is extensively available. If you’re suffering from H. Pylori infection, here are some great foods to incorporate into your diet:

  • Quality meats – Such as grass-fed beef and lamb,  and wild sockeye salmon.
  • Eggs – Pastured eggs, the yolks will be a deep, rich yellow-orange color.
  • Fresh Organic Vegetables and Berries
  • Natural oils –Avocado and Coconut oil are some of the best.

If you’re suffering from any digestive issues or fatigue, addressing the health of your gut with the help of a functional medicine practitioner should be your first course of action.

By treating any gut infections and optimizing your diet, you can reduce your symptoms by addressing the root issues.



The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Justin Marchegiani unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Justin and his community. Dr. Justin encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Marchegiani’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any products.