Robb Wolf | Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat

“When it comes to this narrative about meat, there are three elements that tend to get thrown out there: meat is damaging to our health, it's unethical to eat meat, and meat is injurious to the environment. There are truths and falsehoods to each one of those ideas but once you look closer at the health and environmental parts then the ethical consideration of meat starts getting interesting. It looks like we have a singular tool that could both feed humanity and potentially protect or save us from climate change.” – Robb Wolf

Wellness + Wisdom Episode 357

Best Selling author of The Paleo Solution and Wired To Eat, host of The Healthy Rebellion Radio, Robb Wolf, returns to Wellness Force to discuss his new book and film, Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat, the unintended consequences of changing nature's cycle from agriculture to COVID-19, how COVID-19 has impacted the meat industry, how to make food more affordable plus reduce healthcare costs, and how grazing animals and regenerative farms can help change the world including reverse climate change.

What do you eat for optimal human and planetary health?
Join Robb and Josh as they explore the quandaries we face in raising and eating animals—focusing on the largest (and most maligned) of farmed animals, the cow.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘Our food system doesn't have a problem producing calories. What we need are nutrients.' – @robbwolf and @SustainableDish in Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat” quote=”‘Our food system doesn't have a problem producing calories. What we need are nutrients.' – @robbwolf and @SustainableDish in Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat”]

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Sacred Cow

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Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat

Robb Wolf | Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) MeatWe’re told that if we care about our health—or our planet—eliminating red meat from our diets is crucial. That beef is bad for us and cattle farming is horrible for the environment. But science says otherwise. Beef is framed as the most environmentally destructive and least healthy of meats. We’re often told that the only solution is to reduce or quit red meat entirely. But despite what anti-meat groups, vegan celebrities, and some health experts say, plant-based agriculture is far from a perfect solution.

In Sacred Cow, registered dietitian Diana Rodgers and former research biochemist and New York Times bestselling author Robb Wolf explore this topic in greater depth.

Takeaways from Sacred Cow: A Case for (Better) Meat

Taking a critical look at the assumptions and misinformation about meat, Sacred Cow points out the flaws in our current food system and in the proposed “solutions.” Inside, Rodgers and Wolf reveal contrarian but science-based findings, such as:

  • Meat and animal fat are essential for our bodies.

  • A sustainable food system cannot exist without animals.

  • A vegan diet may destroy more life than sustainable cattle farming.

  • Regenerative cattle ranching is one of our best tools at mitigating climate change. You’ll also find practical guidance on how to support sustainable farms and a 30-day challenge to help you transition to a healthful and conscientious diet.

With scientific rigor, deep compassion, and wit, Rodgers and Wolf argue unequivocally that meat (done right) should have a place on the table. It’s not the cow, it’s the how!

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Listen To Episode 357 As Robb Wolf Uncovers:


(1:30) Sacred Cow’s Message To The World

(15:30) Unintended Consequences Of Changing Nature’s Cycle

  • A story of unintended consequences that came from India’s government trying to incentivize the elimination of their cobra population.
  • Continued unintended consequences that we are seeing right now as people are being forced to lockdown and wear face masks.
  • Unpacking the experiences younger generations are now having compared to older generations when they were their age.
  • How the actions of society now during COVID-19 could significantly impact us in the future.
  • What negative impact lab-created foods are creating for our health compared to food grown organically in nature.
  • The ego humanity has to think that we could create something better in a lab than what Mother Earth is providing us at each meal.

(25:30) How COVID-19 Has Impacted The Meat Industry

  • The impact the Nixon administration had on our food industry by using science to go against nature and grow monocrops.
  • Why Americans were told that it was important to add more carbohydrates, sugars, and monocrops to their diet and less meat during the Cold War which has stuck ever since till now.
  • Why it was suggested by Ancel Keys that animal fat was the root cause of cardiovascular disease yet he left out a lot of actual science on that statement in his papers.
  • Exploring the McGovern Commission of Nutrition and Human Need that was tasked with preventing nutrient deficiencies in the USA and improve the health of the American Populus with Ancel Keys’ work.
  • Whether he believes that it was good intentions or human greed that created a huge shift in the way that we saw food during the Nixon administration.
  • Unpacking the four identities that own 90% of the food production in the United States including 2 foreign companies.
  • How COVID-19 has impacted food production especially the meat industry.

(35:30) Navigating The Info Wars Of 2020

  • Dr. David Perlmutter
  • How the US economy and regenerative agriculture industry are coming together to focus on taking care of the planet
  • Unpacking the side of economics that leads us on a dark road with regenerative agriculture taking over the market competition.
  • How government decisions at the local, municipal level in European countries differ dramatically from the American system.
  • The culture war we see occurring on social media with one person’s ideas pinned up against another’s.
  • Robb’s insights on how we can navigate the Info Wars of 2020 on social media and in the mass media to come to the real truth of what is going on with meat consumption and the agriculture industry.
  • Sacred Cow’s action plan in the face of a pandemic which was published long before COVID-19.
  • The three talking points surrounding meat in our modern world: Meat is damaging to our health, it’s unethical to eat meat, and meat harms our environment.
  • Why they consider it child abuse in Europe to give babies or children a vegan diet as it is recognized as dangerous for developmental milestones.

(44:30) How Grazing Animals Can Reverse Climate Change

  • How properly raised grazing farm animals can actually reverse climate change, expand our grasslands, and backpedal desertification.
  • Exploring how farm animals can be used as a singular tool to both feed humanity and potentially protect or save us from climate change.
  • The ethical comparison of regenerative raising grass-fed meat and the industrialized row crop model to see which one harms the environment, humans, animals, and insects more.
  • His prediction for the future of agriculture and society years from now and how technology will play a key part in helping us shape that image.
  • The repeated pattern we’re seeing in how technology is impacting the human mind and making us slaves to it like we’re slaves to cheap, processed food.
  • How much we spend on food in the USA compared to other countries like Italy.
  • The broken economics food pricing model that is bankrupting us with cheap, convenient foods in America.
  • How our mind has shifted over time to see healthy food as something that’s too expensive.
  • Why people would be more likely to eat healthier foods if they knew that it would mean they wouldn’t be crushed under healthcare debt.

(51:00) How To Make Healthy Food More Affordable & Decrease Healthcare Costs

  • Unpacking how we can make healthy food more affordable to help people stop eating Twinkies, drinking Big Gulps, and finding themselves in increasing financial debt.
  • The pilot study he helped create for 40 members of the Reno, Nevada police and fire department to get healthier and help decrease exponentially increasing healthcare costs through a low carb Paleo diet, better sleep, and modified exercise program.
  • His experience working with the Chickasaw Nation for two years as he helped to develop some of the infrastructures of their health risk assessment program.
  • What he learned from working with the Chickasaw Nation including the need for a better paying solution similar to a Medi-Share cooperative.

(59:30) What Lessons We Can All Learn From Sacred Cow

  • Exploring how people can apply the teachings of Sacred Cow to their own lives.
  • What choices families can make to get the most out of the nutrition their meals provide.
  • The high standards that elitists are making and spreading about nutrition like “Eat organic and grass-fed food or avoid it all costs” when we should be avoiding that kind of mentality.
  • Going over the fact that conventional meat still actually has a lot of great nutrients in it when we compare it to grass-fed meat.
  • The hard truth that the only place in the world where grain-fed meat is cheaper than grass-fed meat is the United States of America.
  • Diving into the facts and myths about the amount of grain and water needed to farm cattle.
  • Different categories of water sources and how much we actually use to farm local cattle vs American grown almonds that we export from California.

(1:08:30) How Regenerative Farming Can Change The World

  • Allan Savory 
  • How regenerative farming is economically very savvy as it allows farmers to grow more grass and thus more animals.
  • The trends we are seeing in meat processing plants and the focus on decentralization and regenerative farming.
  • Why it’s so important to fire people up about regenerative farming and eating organically in order for us to see greater change throughout the country.
  • Breaking down how Medi-Share insurance plans are so different and better for us than the traditional insurance model we’ve been following for decades.
  • What steps we can take to help our local food producers as much as possible.
  • Why it appears that we’ve really lost the ability to listen to one another and new, different ideas.
  • His concerns but also what he’s most excited about when he looks at the future of life and greater health for the world.

Power Quotes From The Show

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘When we refuse to accept how nature works and try to eliminate animals from our food system, our food system will collapse.' – @robbwolf and @SustainableDish in Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat” quote=”‘When we refuse to accept how nature works and try to eliminate animals from our food system, our food system will collapse.' – @robbwolf and @SustainableDish in Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat”]

Meat's Great Potential To Help The Planet

“Once you understand that it's going to be very difficult to properly feed humans without animal inputs and once you appreciate the potential that properly raised grazing animals have to reverse climate change, expand our grasslands, and backpedal desertification, not only could we produce a lot of food but we can produce an even greater amount as we reclaim areas that have been turned into deserts.”  – Robb Wolf


Should I Only Eat Grass-Fed Meat?

“On the organic food front, some people would say, ‘Well, if you can't afford to eat organic, grass-finished meat then don't eat meat at all.' That's a pretty elitist position to take. Imagine a family of four that's trying to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and the parents know how critical nutrition is for their children's health. Conventionally-raised meat is going to be far more beneficial than any plant material that you could feed those kids. At some point, you can't put more grapes, bananas, or sweet potatoes down a person without getting nutrient deficiencies relative to just giving them some good, quality meat. Even conventionally-raised meat spends 70% of its life on grass and it's pretty much as nutrient-dense as grass-fed meat.” – Robb Wolf


Moving Forward With Regenerative Farming

“If we can wrap our heads around the need for an agriculture system that looks more like a natural ecology, then we're moving in a good direction. If we can look at a piece of land holistically and see how we can change it to improve the lives of other animals that live there such as birds, then it's going to be good for farms. When we create regenerative farms, we will see habitat restoration, improve the carbon capture of the soil, improve the water retention of the soil, extend the soil microbiome levels beneath the ground, and produce nutrient-rich food that could go on basically indefinitely for the planet. That is the opportunity that we have with regenerative farming.” – Robb Wolf

Links From Today's Show 

About Robb Wolf

Robb Wolf | Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) MeatRobb Wolf, a former research biochemist is the 2X New York Times/WSJ Best Selling author of The Paleo Solution and Wired To Eat.  Robb has transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the world via his top ranked iTunes podcast, books and seminars.

Robb has functioned as a review editor for the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (Biomed Central) and as a consultant for the Naval Special Warfare Resiliency program. He serves on the board of Directors/Advisors for: Specialty Health Inc, The Chickasaw Nation’s “Unconquered Life” initiative and a number of innovative start ups with a focus on health and sustainability.

Robb holds a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and is a former California State Powerlifting Champion (565 lb. Squat, 345 lb. Bench, 565 lb. Dead Lift) and a 6-0 amateur kickboxer. Wolf has provided seminars in nutrition and strength & conditioning to a number of entities including NASA, Naval Special Warfare, the Canadian Light Infantry and the United States Marine Corps.

Robb lives in Texas with his wife Nicki and daughters Zoe and Sagan.

Sacred Cow Trailer

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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.

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