Anya Fernald | Belcampo: Ethical Meats & Immunity For A Healthy Body & Planet

“When you look at immunity, you're looking at wellness. Immunity is about peak optimal performance; that your needs are met, you're not stressed or anxious, and you're able to focus. I think animal wellness supports that in terms of providing optimally nutrient dense food and with minimal inflammation. Our immune system is compromised when we're inflamed and inflammation comes primarily from junk that's in our food. Eating whole, high nutrient dense, and anti-inflammatory foods is so important for boosting immunity.” – Anya Fernald

Wellness + Wisdom Episode 393

Co-Founder and CEO of Belcampo, Anya Fernald, shares her mission to revolutionize the meat industry from the inside out, explains how ethically raised meats can boost your immunity while also helping the planet, and explores our spiritual and emotional connection to food.

How do we create and consume animal products that are good for people, the planet, and the animals themselves?

Join us as Anya shares her mission with Belcampo to revolutionize the meat industry by farming meat the right way with regenerative agriculture and positive climate practices.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘Our immune system is compromised when we're inflamed and inflammation comes primarily from junk that's in our food. Eating nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory foods builds a strong line of defense.' – Anya Fernald of @BelcampoMeat ” quote=”‘Our immune system is compromised when we're inflamed and inflammation comes primarily from junk that's in our food. Eating nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory foods builds a strong line of defense.' – Anya Fernald of @BelcampoMeat “]

Belcampo Farms

Belcampo was founded with a purpose: to create meat that’s good for people, planet and animals.

What started as one mom’s desire to feed her family the healthiest meat possible became a mission to revolutionize the industry from the inside out. Belcampo is the pioneer of hyper-sustainable, organic, grass-fed and -finished, Certified Humane meats, broths, and jerkies. The company is on a mission to revolutionize the meat industry for the well-being of people, the planet, and animals by farming meat the right way – with Certified Humane, regenerative, and climate-positive practices, which means it’s better for you, the planet and the animals.

Conventionally raised animals are confined to feedlots and eat a diet of inflammatory grains, but Belcampo’s animals graze on open pastures and seasonal grasses resulting in meat that is higher in nutrients and healthy fats.

Belcampo Meat Co.


Listen To Episode 393 As Anya Fernald Uncovers:


[1:30] Meat You Can Feel Great About Eating

  • What Belcampo and its mission means to her.
  • Her background in food and how she came to be a artisanal cheesemaker in Italy.
  • Obstacles and changes she faced as an expat in Italy for 8 years.
  • The ambitious drive that led her to get out of her comfort zone and seek work outside of the US.
  • Her own personal health shift in Italy compared to how she felt when she lived in the US and had struggles with moodiness, dry skin, split ends, and cavities.
  • Unpacking the slow food movement that Italians live by compared to other countries.
  • What food actually means for our physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
  • Why good food doesn't necessarily mean it's been prepared by a professional chef but that it is clean and both whole ingredients and methods have been used.
  • The importance of slowly growing our food, using micronutrient rich soils, and being mindful about consumption.
  • How she has become such a strong leader for Belcampo by tuning into her intuition, speaking her truth, and being driven by their mission.

[19:00] Revolutionizing Meat: People, Planet & Animals

  • The fundamental ethics that Belcampo stands behind with the treatment of their animals including raising them outdoors to support their customer's wellness.
  • Why it's so important to raise animals in a way that is aligned with their own evolutionary context.
  • Unpacking this fight between ethical consumption of meat and people who don't believe in eating meat.
  • How PETA harassed her for two years including one time when she was giving a talk while also 9 months pregnant.
  • Why PETA's question to her, “Would you eat your dog?” doesn't even make sense from a pathogen perspective as dogs are carnivores.
  • The empathy that she has for people in PETA and why she believes their success is her success because they are fighting for the same thing: the end of animal confinement in agriculture.
  • Belcampo's positive impact on agriculture yet the amount of grass-fed and finished farms is still less than 1%.
  • Why many of the vegan movement messages are correct when it comes to confinement agriculture.

[27:30] Food's Connection To Spiritual and Emotional Health

  • 376 Mike Salemi 
  • How humans have lost the instinct to seek out whole foods as our sense of smell has decreased with the use of food packaging, processed ingredients, and marketing.
  • Her mission to give people a product that smells amazing, has a great story and you can both connect with and feel good about purchasing.
  • The challenge that she has for the health and wellness movement now with the simplification that food is fuel or that protein is protein powder to the point that it's playing the agroindustrial game.
  • Why adding mindfulness to food can help us win against the agroindustrial game of processed and poorly raised, grown, or created food.
  • Unpacking the fact that the most uncommon food to eat comes from pigs because of it being an omnivore and fear of getting sick from something such as trichinosis.
  • Why it doesn't make sense for humans to eat carnivorous animals because they have a very similar microbiome to us and any parasites they may carry could then live in our guts.
  • Her life as a vegetarian and experiencing poor skin conditions, low energy, weight gain, and depression  for almost 10 years before adding meat back into her diet when she moved to Italy.
  • How she got into artisanal cheese making after being a traditional baker using whey.
  • Why she's not anti-vegetarian and believes it works great for some people, it just didn't work well for her body.

[32:30] Healing Energy From Ethical Meats

  • The fact that a lot of raw meat is often eaten in northern Italy and thus it became a regular part of her diet while she lived in that area and felt great because of it.
  • How her health got worse when she came back to the US as she gained a lot of weight, felt lethargic, was grumpy, and had brain fog.
  • Exploring how her focus on better health for herself helped launch the start of Belcampo.
  • The real cost of food and why it's affordable to eat grass-fed and finished meat such as that from Belcampo.
  • Unpacking the truth about organic and the hidden costs of not eating organic food.
  • Her own rules for buying organic foods for own household.
  • Why cows are able to process and filter out toxins such as GMOs unlike fruits and vegetables.
  • Exploring the slow movement of grass-fed, organic meat and why the health of these animals are important for your health too.
  • How the amount of protein in her animals differs compared to conventionally raised meat.
  • What meat labels you should look for at the grocery store: grass-fed and grass-finished, 100% grass-fed, and pasture-raised.

[40:30] The Issues With Raising Conventional Chickens

  • The fact that most common medicine in the US is antacid and most people have GI issues.
  • Why it's so important to pay attention to what our bodies are telling us if we eat foods that make us feel sick.
  • How eating meat again was an important piece of Anya's gut feeling better again.
  • The fact that the third largest greenhouse gas emitter is meat that we throw away as we overproduce meat that is raised in extremely poor conditions.
  • Why pricing is an important factor in being mindful of what we buy and put into our bodies.
  • Exploring the impact of raising chickens either the conventional or natural way
  • The fact that conventional chickens can be processed by being bathed in chlorine and pumped up to be sold at higher prices with less nutrient value.

[47:30] How Conventional Chicken Is Raised In Stressful Environments

  • Why chicken can be really complex as we our meat consumption of it is 60% and it is the most changed as far as pricing and perceived cultural value in the past 6 decades.
  • How the high-stress environment that chickens are raised in and continuous exposure to antibiotics suppresses their microbiome and leads to rapid weight gain.
  • The fact that some chickens are under so much stress from being kept to lay eggs to forced molting in their environment.
  • The horrible conditions that some people work in and how it can also impact those who live nearby the farms.
  • Why you should go for pastured, organic, air-chilled chicken if you are going to buy it.
  • What happens when you degut an animal and why contamination is low for beef but high for chickens.
  • The fact that on average even USDA approved chicken, 48% of them have some fecal matter on them.
  • How to know if your chicken has been dunked in a bleach bath because a gooshy, white liquid solution will come out.

[53:30] Ethical Meats & Immunity

  • How to build and boost your immunity with ethical meat consumption.
  • Why a lot of our gut health issues have to do with a the glyphosate, antimicrobials, and bleach that is in our food.
  • The fact that all flour is now treated with antimicrobials because of the issues with E.coli.
  • Why you might not be intolerant to gluten but have a strong reaction to antimicrobials in your food.
  • How the strong antiviral and antimicrobial sprays on planes while traveling has affected her gut health lately.
  • The power of nutrient dense foods to boost our immunity and wellness.
  • Why bloating and holding onto water is a sign that there is inflammation in the body.
  • The fact that most people who start eating higher amounts of animal proteins reduce their inflammation and physically look less puffy.
  • Anya's experience following a strict carnivore diet and the healthy benefits she received from it but why she isn't following it in the long term.
  • Why not everyone's body can handle a ton of fruits and vegetables and so they find that a meat-based diet is better for their bodies.
  • The problem the US is facing with land that is not sustainable for growing crops yet animals can still graze on them and help redistribute seeds.
  • Historical records of agriculture and the planting of crops that have succeed and failed such as from the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl eras.


[1:06:30] How Anya Has Become A Leader For Women In Business

  • The biggest trigger that Anya has faced: Being dismissed as somebody who is good at marketing.
  • Why she doesn't waste her time worrying about the other competition.
  • How they've determined their prices based on their cost and allocation of resources.
  • Why she focuses on spending every single moment of the day taking care of herself or making things better for her company and employees.
  • Words of wisdom she wants to pass on women who also work in the world of business.
  • How social media has helped her rediscover herself as an authentic leader.
  • The feminine characteristics she is proud of in addition to being a boss.
  • Why eating ethical meats helps us balance our masculine and feminine energies.
  • Breaking down why healthy animal protein does allow you to have more vital femininity.
  • What wellness and self-care practices she has invested in for personal growth and self-discovery.
  • The benefits she has received from having a mentor to help and guide her path.
  • Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Power Quotes From The Show

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘The most important factor of ethical meat is to raise the animals outdoors. This is also a key piece to human health as the animals' wellness actually supports our own wellness.' – @BelcampoMeat ” quote=”‘The most important factor of ethical meat is to raise the animals outdoors. This is also a key piece to human health as the animals' wellness actually supports our own wellness.' – @BelcampoMeat “]

Clearing Out GMOs, Bleach, & Antimicrobials In Our Food

“A lot of the issues that we have with digestion have to do with the glyphosate, bleach, and antimicrobials that are in our food. For example, all flour is now treated with antimicrobials because of the E.coli issues so you don't get sick if you eat raw cookie dough. So, when people think they're intolerant to gluten, they may actually be reacting to a strong antimicrobial that their food is infused with. From an immunity perspective, clearing out glyphosate, bleach, and antimicrobials in our food is the number one thing to do.” – Anya Fernald

The No. 1 Rule About Eating Organic Foods

“There are certain things I will never eat if they are not organic and that is anything that has a very thin skin and no protective exterior membrane. So, something like a blueberry, a strawberry, zucchini or lettuce. Avocado? No problem; I'll eat a non-organic avocado. Corn occasionally? Sure; It has a husk. If there's a cabbage that's not organic, I'll peel off the exterior sections before eating it but that's not my everyday choice. Be rational – the thinner the membrane as well as the sweeter it is inside, the more careful you need to be about organic foods. What about meat? These animals have all these organs that make them great at processing and filtering out toxins. Will you get glyphosate from a cow that ate GMOs? No way; you can't make a better machine that is able to filter out toxins than a cow but eating organic animals is more about being the change that you want to see in the world.” – Anya Fernald

Human Wellness Is Supported By Animal Wellness

“From a fundamental integrity perspective, the most important factor of ethical meat is to raise the animals outdoors. This is a key piece to human health. Evolutionarily, human wellness is supported by animal wellness. We need to look at systems that allow animals to live in an evolutionary context; in systems that are aligned in a way with their own evolution.” – Anya Fernald

Links From Today's Show 

About Anya Fernald

Anya Fernald is the Co-Founder and CEO of Belcampo. She is an entrepreneur, chef, and agriculture expert, appearing as a judge on the Food Network's Iron Chef America, Iron Chef Gauntlet, and The Next Iron Chef.

After experiencing the positive effects that eating clean meats had on her own health–and recognizing the impact of the quality of life of the animals we eat–she set out on a journey to produce the highest-quality meats there are, both in the ethics of how they’re raised as well as pure deliciousness.

Fernald was born on a raw-milk dairy farm outside Munich, Germany, while her parents were teaching and researching abroad. When she was 3 years old, her family moved back to the United States, eventually settling in Palo Alto, California.

After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in political science, she received a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, leading to work as an itinerant cheesemaker in Europe and North Africa.

In November 2012, the first Belcampo Meat Co. storefront opened its doors in Marin County, California, following the opening of Belcampo Butchery, a 20,000 square foot, USDA-approved multi-species slaughter facility designed by animal welfare expert Temple Grandin, and a nearby 27,000-acre (11,000 ha) farm.

It has butcher shops and restaurants in Los Angeles, Marin, Santa Monica, San Francisco, San Mateo, Oakland, and New York. Belcampo also sells meat in Erewhon Grocery Stores. Fernald co-founded the company and serves as its CEO.


About Josh Trent

Josh Trent lives in Austin, Texas with his love Carrie Michelle, son Novah, daughter Nayah + a cat named Cleo. He is the host of the Wellness + Wisdom Podcast and the creator of the BREATHE: Breath + Wellness Program. Josh has spent the past 20+ years as a trainer, researcher + facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world. Helping humans LIBERATE their mental, emotional, physical, spiritual + financial self through podcasts, programs + global community that believe in optimizing our potential to live life well.

Living a life of WELLNESS doesn’t have to be so hard...

Join the Wellness + Wisdom VIP email newsletter to get notified first for the latest W+W podcasts, special exclusive discounts, and get FREE access to the M21 Guide: a simple yet powerful 21 minute morning system to give you more energy + better immunity so you can live life well.

Trent Family

Find freedom from chronic stress using your breath.

Do you struggle with anxiety or depression? The BREATHE | Breath & Wellness 21 day guided program was made for you. I created BREATHE after my own dark nights of the soul and years of research traveling the world in search of the truth about self-healing.


You May Also Enjoy These Podcasts...

Dr. Craig Koniver | Peptide Masterclass: The Practical, Physical + Spiritual Guide For All You Need To Know About Peptides To THRIVE

AMA: How I Liberated Myself from Porn Addiction + Found Peace Within

Sathiya Sam | Desexualizing My Brain Transformed My Life: Resolve The Root Issues of Porn Addiction

AMA: What’s The Biggest Threat Towards Collective Consciousness?

Tiny Health: Healing Family Gut Dysbiosis + The Missing Link Between Child Chronic Condition Crisis (Cheryl Sew Hoy)

AMA: How To Love Yourself + Your Partner As You Both Change

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Are you tired of being stressed out and overwhelmed?

The cure for overwhelm + stress is here: a simple yet powerful 21-minute morning system that melts stress and gives you more energy through 6 science-backed practices and breathwork.