Podcast Show 6 – Regenerative farming with Paul Grieve (California)

How are you enjoying the show? I would LOVE it if you would share your feedback on ITunes with a review or star rating, so I get the feedback I need to bring you the best show we can bring you! What you will see unfold is a constant moving through the pillars of the low tox life – real, whole food, non toxic cleaning, home and personal care choices, science nerd outs about how our bodies work, health topics, mental health, ethics and sustainability and cool sustainable business founders and thought leaders – it won’t tell you to eat anything specifically other than real whole food and that means my guests might sometimes be omnivores, and sometimes vegetarian. I am a huge believer in taking information from ‘out there’ and being curious about how it might work for you or broaden your mind.

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Something we’re often told is that meat is totally unsustainable. But, just as with the “not the whole picture” red meat studies linked to cancer that we see time and again (ie no separation of pasture raised animals eating species appropriate diet vs crowded feed lot meat that barely ever gets a look outside), sustainability and meat are the same. Enjoy my chat with this awesome regenerative farmer from California, Paul Grieve. He owns the inspiring farm PRIMAL PASTURES, a family farm with big hopes for changing the way people buy and enjoy meat.

 

Paul Grieve

 

Here are the questions I asked Paul

  • So what’s your story Paul: Primal Pastures launched 2012, but before then – Farm boy turned sustainable farm entrepreneur or did you come from an urban upbringing? 
  • What was it that attracted you to farming as a career: What did you see about the way the world was and the  way you wanted it to be, that made you say: This is what I HAVE to do? 
  • Were you always a sustainably minded person, or did you develop an interest in this over time? 
  • There are a lot of buzz words in the health space – marketing takes over, but there’s a type of farming that is so genius, so NOT buzzy and that’s regenerative farming, and I am so excited to have you share what this is all about. So, let’s start with where a few types of farming fall short (GMO, MONO Crop, Single animal farming) 
  • Organic farming – Are there holes in the system? (thinking chickens still being allowed to be debeaked / kept in shed but fed organically for example- it’s the same loophole in Australia) 
  • And so by beautiful contrast… regenerative farming. What’s the philosophy? 
  • A lot of people think that farming animals and eating meat is a HUGE no no for carbon emissions… Now I’ve researched this quite a bit and come to the conclusion that as with everything there’s no black or white and it is critical what TYPE of farming practice going on as to whether it’s damaging to the environment, but I’d love your thoughts? Do you leave the soil and land better than when you found it through these regenerative practices? HOW? (Feel free to get a bit science geeky there. My audience love a good geek out!)
  • Paul could you give some tips on questions people can ask wherever they are around the world when sourcing their meat? 
  • If you could recommend a book or resource to people out there who might be farmers but curious to do things more sustainably? 
  • If you could give someone a piece of advice today around the mindset / the WHY of all this, to help them have the confidence to make more sustainable choices from now on what would that be? 

 

Recommendations

  1. Knowing your best, REAL free range / organic / pasture raised options when it comes to eggs. FOR AUSTRALIA: Flavour Crusader is a brilliant resource for demystifying free range / organic / pasture raised information. CHOICE magazine has a great egg chart too! FOR THE USA: The Humane society shares tips and term explanations. Cornucopia.Org has a brilliantly nerdy look at specific farms USA-wide. I love this post specific to the US too. In the UK  you have some great defining and demystifying HERE, and a great list of awarded free range and pasture raised chickens HERE.
  2. Start asking your butcher (and stop shopping at supermarkets / shops that don’t offer full transparency): What do the animals eat? How many hens per hectare? Are the farmers practicing regenerative farming techniques? Are you using and additives to make your sausages? Is this meat from *another country* a product of live exporting? Do you personally know the farm you buy from? Have you been there? Do they have a website? Your questions help butchers and shops start to see that transparency and treatment of animals is important to the consumer and sets off a chain reaction of change.
  3. Species appropriate diets. Beef and lamb: Look for pasture raised grass fed / finished where possible and go for secondary cuts but upgrading the quality overall. Chicken / Pork – Go for organic grain and pasture raised where possible. Pasture raised / free range still carries many benefits if you can’t find / go organic. Swap from pieces of bird to whole organic bird for the same $$ per kilo if not less.
  4. Find a good ‘cow share’ program or delivery straight from farm service in your area. Ask around at co-ops or markets to start getting answers. If you’re in California, head for Paul’s wonderful family business – PRIMAL PASTURESGRUB and Feather and Bone are great Sydney options.
  5. Further reading? Joel Salatin’s books – especially Folks – This Ain’t Normal, Michael Pollan the Omnivore’s Dilemna and check out Paul (here’s his TedX talk), Joel Salatin and Colin Seis online on You Tube for more on regenerative farming practice theory.

 

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Enjoy the show and Paul’s inspiring story and thanks again for taking the time to rate and review the show – it’s like tipping the bartender and it means the world. (To do this from your phone, you can’t be ‘in the show’. Go to the podcast search function and type low tox life, and then click on the show and click ‘review’. Annoyingly tricky but hey. I figured I may as well help you out!)

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Comments 5

  1. I loved this podcast and found it so informative and inspiring. I live down in the Sutherland Shire and I have been lucky enough find a great local farmer who is always at our local market and who offers full transparency about their products. They also offer farmstays, which we’re keen to go on. Happy to share their details if anyone is interested!

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  2. Hi Alex, I’m another Sydney sider and wondered where you shop for your meat? Its a journey getting to the bottom of where to go and I’m sure you’ve done all the research if your willing to share?

    Thanks in advance
    Ang

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