Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Ruminant Revolution Manifesto

This is an abstract for several presentations I'll be giving over the next few months. 

We Need a Ruminant Revolution!

Human beings exist because of ruminants. Today’s societies rely upon them. Humanity’s future depends upon improvements in the productivity and efficiency of worldwide ruminant animal agriculture. Like the general public’s confusion of what constitutes a “healthy diet,” tremendous misunderstanding exists regarding the environmental role of ruminant animals. Human beings didn’t evolve to eat meat, they evolved because they ate meat - and because they learned to cook and process meat and other foodstuffs. Unsurprisingly then, diets rich in butter, meat and cheese have been shown to promote human health and development. Of significant worldwide impact, such diets can correct the symptoms of metabolic syndrome, offering hope in arresting the current worldwide epidemic of chronic diseases. The Dietary Goals for the United States and the subsequent eight editions of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, however, are based on the belief that plant-based, high-carbohydrate diets are “healthy.” But since nutrition research does not support the belief that vegetarian diets are healthier than animal-based diets, an appeal to “sustainability” is now used to justify these recommendations and argue against the Restricted Carbohydrate approach. True sustainability is a multifaceted topic that should consist of societal, economic, and ecological aspects. The enormous suffering and financial costs of chronic illness must be acknowledged. The production of high-quality animal protein and animal fat by ruminants from feed resources humans cannot directly utilize will be fundamental to feeding a growing population. What’s more, this essential food production can preserve and enhance the diverse environments where it takes place. We need a revolution in our thinking of what constitutes a healthy diet, of what causes chronic illness, of the vital role that animal product play in the human diet, and the essential nature of ruminant animal agriculture in meeting humanity’s needs. This will mean overthrowing established policies and institutions, and confronting vested belief systems. In addition, we need an effort, analogous to the Green Revolution, to develop and deploy the knowledge and technology necessary to meet the mid-21st Century demand for ruminant animal products while preserving and enhancing the environments in which they’re produced.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Ruminati Poet

I'm in the midst of a very busy season of travel. I was on my way home recently when I got a wonderfully encouraging e-mail. I met Betty and Byron at a talk I'd given recently at the Pharo Cattle Company Spring Bull Sale in Southwest Missouri. They've begun their own low-carb journey and are enjoying the results completely predictable benefits. Still, it's nice to hear of the positive changes that happen in people's lives. What I didn't know is that Betty is a cowboy poet. She sent me her poem about the dietary debacle we've been embroiled in for the last half century and a solution more people should know about. She also told me that she's given a presentation to a local group on the topic! Glad to have Betty and Bryan in the Ruminati herd!

"Bring Back Good Eating!"
By Betty Burlingham

The government told us to lay off the butter
And for heaven's sake, don't buy the cream!
Mazola Oil and Dream Whip should be
The new American dream.
All animal fat will harm you,
And it will make you fat.
If you keep on eating bacon and eggs,
You'll have a heart attack!

The government said that beef
Was the most hazardous meat of all.
Americans should give it up,
Or keep their portions very small.
They said, Beef should be a garnish,
A portion is just 3 oz. on a plate.
And be sure you do not grill it
Or cancer will be your fate!

Ever since the government told us,
How it is that we should eat,
We just keep on getting fatter,
Many of us are now obese.
We can't afford our medical care,
Since so many of us are ill.
The government says, Stay on their diet
And take the newest pharmaceutical pill.

But haven't they lied to us before,
And won't they do it again?
So eat your beef, your bacon and eggs,
And soon you will be thin.
Your blood profile and A1C
Will all get back in line.
You're sure to have the time of your life,
While you're still in your prime!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Podcast Roundup


It occurred to me that I should assemble a list of the podcasts that I've appeared on. Here's as complete a list as I can produce. If I've omitted one, I sincerely apologize. Please let me know and I'll add it. Thank you to all the hosts who asked me to be a part of your programs!

Here's the first part of a conversation I had with Jimmy on his Inner Fire Podcast (Jan 3, 2018) - http://innerfirepodcast.com/grassbasedhealth Thanks, Jimmy! Here's the "sequel" http://innerfirepodcast.com/grass-based-sequel/

Ketovangelist Episode 135 – Dr. Peter Ballerstedt discusses sustainable keto. By Brian Williamson https://www.ketovangelist.com/episode-135-dr-peter-ballerstedt-discusses-sustainable-keto/


Future of Ag (Tim Hammerich) Future of Agriculture – A Ruminant Revolution with Dr. Peter Ballerstedt 11/1/2017 http://www.farmruralag.com/future-of-agriculture-a-ruminant-revolution-with-dr-peter-ballerstedt/


 
 
Keto Geek Aug 10, 2017
 
Peter Defty's Food for Thought - 29. Food Politics with Adele Hite and Peter Ballerstedt July 25, 2017 http://ofm.podbean.com/e/29-food-politics-with-adele-hite-and-peter-ballerstedt/

Break Nutrition Episode 18 – Peter Ballerstedt PhD: better nutrition through sustainable agriculture June 27, 2017 http://breaknutrition.com/episode-18-peter-ballerstedt-phd-better-nutrition-sustainable-agriculture/

With Trent Loos on Rural Route Radio Feb 14, 2017 – (file)

An enjoyable conversation with IvorCummins @FatEmperor Sep 15, 2016 https://youtu.be/UWQViyHRRxs

Peter Defty Food for Thought - 17. OFM & the Ruminant Revolution! November 10, 2016 http://ofm.podbean.com/e/ofm-the-ruminant-revolution/

Power Athlete Radio – Episode 152: Peter Ballerstedt with John Welbourn April 22, 2016 http://powerathletehq.com/2016/04/22/pa-radio-episode-152-peter-ballerstedt/
 
Mr. N=1 - Interview with Dr. Peter Ballerstedt, December 30, 2014 http://nequals1health.com/interview-with-dr-peter-ballerstedt/

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Thank you for visiting my blog. Obviously I haven't posted anything here for a while. Hopefully that will change soon, but I am active on my Grass Based Health facebook page and on twitter. Please visit these sites for more recent items.

 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The romance vs the reality of farming

I'm in the middle of a visit to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It's a tremendously scenic place and the people here are amazingly friendly and welcoming. 
Near Whale Cove, Nova Scotia

It is also a place that historically has send many of its sons and daughters away to find work elsewhere. Buildings have fallen to ruin and once-cleared farmland has reverted to woody perennials. Which reminded me of a quote one of my Caper friends gave me.
Romance vs Reality (quote from My Remarkable Uncle, 1942 )

Too many, I'm afraid, have a view of agriculture and food production that's more romantic than realistic. Folks who can afford to move back to the country, plant a garden, tend an orchard, and raise a few animals are blessed. But they aren't the same as folks who are doing that for a living. Nor is their life and the lives of their family members dependent upon what they produce. Subsistence farming is NOT secure.

There's a difference between farming WITH money and farming FOR money.

I'm hoping to get back to posting more regularly ...

Edits: 1. Corrected title of Leacock's book; 2. Corrected error in second to last sentence (thank you, @OnlookerfrTroy !).

Friday, March 28, 2014

Once upon a time: The refuted roots of organic farming

Can you tell the difference between these two molecules of urea?
Image credit
The urea on the left can be isolated from cattle urine (urea is the principal nitrogenous waste product of amphibians and mammals). The urea on the right can be produced via the Wohler process. They are, of course, exactly the same molecule. Subscribers to organic farming methods, however, believe that the urea on the left is an acceptable nitrogen source, while the urea on the right is not.

Once upon a time, many years ago, people who considered such things believed that there were substances that could only be synthesized by living organisms. This dichotomy between living (organic) and non-living (inorganic) is the basis of today’s chemistry sub disciplines. It was understood that life arose from and involved “life forces” that were apart from the purely physical and chemical realm. In other words, all "living organisms are fundamentally different from non-living entities because they contain some non-physical element or are governed by different principles than are inanimate things".1 This is the philosophy of “vitalism.”

Friedrich Wohler (1800-1882) photo credit
In 1828 Friedrich Wohler accidentally made urea in the laboratory. This marked the breaking of the barrier between “organic” and “inorganic” compounds (he told his teacher that he had made “urea without requiring a kidney of an animal, either man or dog.”). He had refuted a core tenant of vitalism. Wohler wrote that he had witnessed “the great tragedy of science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.” Vitalism was fiercely debated for the next 75 years before it was replaced by our modern understanding of chemistry and biology. Yet this belief system, perhaps unknowingly, is held by many today.

Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) Photo credit
The man most responsible for the perpetuation of this discredited belief is Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Steiner taught his followers in the early 1920s that urea synthesized by the Wohler process was “dead.” Such synthetic fertilizers did not possess critical “vital” forces, thus yielding “dead’ food. Steiner recommended using only animal manures and crop rotation to fertilize fields. He taught his followers that the “new” food from synthetic fertilizers was spiritually and physically deficient and resulted in poor health. From Steiner’s teachings in the early 1920s arose the modern organic farming movement.

1. Bechtel,W. and R.C. Rirchardson. (1998). Vitalism. In E. Craig (Ed.), RoutledgeEncyclopedia of Philosophy. London: Routledge. Vitalism. Accessed March 28, 2014