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Episode 456
The Doctor's Farmacy

What’s The Beef With Beef? Is There Meat That Is Good For You And The Planet?

Open the Podcasts app and search for The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’re viewing this site on your phone, you can just tap on the

Tap the subscribe button and new shows will be added to your library.

If you’re using a different device, our show is available on the following platforms.

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Meat is always a hot topic in the nutrition and wellness space. To eat it, or not to eat it? That is the oversimplified question of what is a much more complex topic. 

You see, we can’t lump all meat into one category. And we can’t think about meat as all or nothing—there’s much more to the story. 

Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, Scott Lively and I talk all about conscious meat-eating, and more specifically beef, as well as the nuances that come with it. Scott shares some helpful tips for improving the quality of the meat you eat.  

We kick off the episode talking about Big Beef and the challenges it presents for consumers and smaller grass-fed beef ranchers who are trying to do things the right way. Eating meat mindfully has become confusing for most of us. We talk about why that is and try to clear up some of the most common questions, like the difference between organic and grass-fed beef. 

What our meat eats, matters. It affects everything from soil quality and greenhouse gas emissions to the nutrient density of our food. Scott and I break down the importance of a cow’s diet, how that impacts the quality of their meat, and how that ripples out to our health. We also get into the topic of climate change and beef, and why it’s not as black and white as many people make it out to be. 

One common concern raised for grass-fed beef and other regenerative practices is that they aren’t scalable. Scott explains that they are, but we need to invest in academic and government programs to make a greater impact. We also discuss the importance of understanding label claims, supporting local farms and butchers, and so much more. 

This episode is brought to you by Joovv, BiOptimizers, and Cozy Earth.

For a limited time, Joovv is offering $50 off your first order with the code FARMACY at Joovv.com/FARMACY. Some exclusions apply.

Try BiOptimizers Magnesium Breakthrough for 10% off by going to  magbreakthrough.com/hyman and using the code HYMAN10. 

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I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

Here are more of the details from our interview (audio):

  1. How “Big Beef” gained its negative reputation
    (5:46)
  2. Issues and challenges with the current beef industry
    (10:43)
  3. Consumer driven change in the beef industry
    (12:13)
  4. Health attributes of grass-fed beef
    (14:21)
  5. Meat consumption and planetary health
    (21:09)
  6. Improving beef quality and agricultural practices through academic and governmental programing
    (29:36 )
  7. Are lab-based meat alternatives good for us?
    (34:39)
  8. Tips to determine meat quality
    (43:31)
  9. Scott’s journey into the beef industry
    (48:15)
  10. The difference between organic and grass-fed beef
    (52:13)
  11. Is regenerative agriculture scalable?
    (55:01)

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Scotty Lively

Scott Lively is the co-founder of Raise American, which provides 100 percent grass-fed, organic, American, planet-friendly beef. He is an organic food entrepreneur and an absolute beef freak. Scott left a successful career in the IT industry to co-found what is now the largest organic beef company in the United States. Today, he oversees a broad portfolio of companies, private labels, and brands. Scott is an advocate of local economic development and regenerative farming practices applied to large agriculture. He is the author of For The Love of Beef: the Good, the Bad and the Future of America’s Favorite Meat.

Show Notes

  1. Get a copy of Scott’s book, For The Love of Beef: the Good, the Bad and the Future of America’s Favorite Meat
  2. Learn more about The Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP)

Transcript Note: Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Speaker 1:
Coming up on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Scott Lively:
There’s label claim overload going on in the beef industry. There’s a million different claims. Not GMO verified, humane, never ever all natural organic grass fed. There’s so many label claims. And you really got to learn to sift through that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to The Doctor’s Farmacy. I’m Dr. Mark Hyman, that’s farmacy with an F, a place for conversations that matter. And if you are confused about meat, as many are, then you should listen up this podcast because we’re going to be discussing all about meat with Scott Lively, who’s the cofounder of Raise American, which provides 100% grass fed organic American friendly beef to our planet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
He is an organic food producer and entrepreneur and an absolute beef freak, which I guess is good. I guess somebody should be. He left a great career in IT to cofound what is now the largest organic beef company in the United States. He oversees a big portfolio of the company private and labels and brands. And he’s a self-professed beef geek. He boasted he knows every kind of beef as if he cut it himself and he divided the time between Scottsdale, Arizona and Martha’s Vineyard. He’s an advocate of local economic development and regenerative farming practices applied to large agriculture.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And he’s the author of a new book, which we’re going to talk about today, For The Love of Beef: The Good, The Bad, and the Future of America’s Favorite Beef Meat. Thank you, Scott.

Scott Lively:
Thank you for having me. I appreciate the invite.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Okay, great. So, Scott, I want to get right into it. There’s so much confusing information about meat and is it good for us, is it bad for us? Is it going to destroy the planet? Is it bad for the animals? What is the deal about meat? We should get rid of meat. We shouldn’t eat meat. I mean, if you listen to sort of what sort of a common meme is in society today that we eat meat, we’re going to live longer. We’re going to save the planet from climate change, environmental destruction, and everybody will be happier, including the animals.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, is that true? And tell us a little bit of an overview of how he came to see meat and beef as the number one public enemy and the most environmentally destructive and the least healthy of meat, and maybe why that’s not so true.

Scott Lively:
Yeah. Well, there’s a lot of really good questions there.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, I know. It’s a lot, it’s a lot. It’s okay, you can take your time.

Scott Lively:
I’m happy to do a freestyle. I think that if you look at beef look at big anything, look at big tech, look at big pharma, look at big finance, there’s always a big boogeyman. There’s a big bad guy, and big beef is an easy target. Because they genuinely do have a monopoly, 85% of all the beef we make in America comes from four companies, which makes them an easy target, a very easy target.

Scott Lively:
I think that you’ve got to look at what it takes to make beef and why it’s so intense. So, you take chicken, which can be done sustainably and organically very easily just got to put it out there call it free range. But the chicken is 90, 100 days old, when you process it. The average cow is anywhere from 30 months to five years old. That’s a long time to have a living, breathing thing on earth, walking around, consuming resources, creating waste. So, it becomes a very easy target.

Scott Lively:
The amount of transportation involved in moving beef around is astounding. I mean, the animal from a live point of view probably moves at least two times before it’s processed and slaughtered. And then another three to four times after it’s a meat product. You’ve got to move from the cow, calf [inaudible 00:03:38] facility, then you move from the slaughterhouse to the further processor, for the further processor to the retail, the retail to our home. It moves a lot. There’s a lot of impact on that product.

Scott Lively:
And I think basically, you talk about the health attributes, you talk about what’s good for you, bad for you, I can show you a thousand studies that meat causes cancer and all sorts of issues. No one’s talking about sugar, diabetes, or all the other stuff you eat, but they’re talking about red meat issues.

Scott Lively:
But all those studies if you dig into them, and I’ve dug into probably a dozen beef studies that said stop eating it, cut it out, vegan is the way to go, they’re all observational studies. None of them are actually following everything the person eats, following their entire food choices, their genetics, their background. They just basically say “Listen, do you eat a lot of red meat? Oh, you don’t feel good. And you have heart disease. All right, you’re dead. It had to be the red meat.”

Scott Lively:
So, I think beef has easily become the boogeyman. And I do. I love all sorts of beef. Obviously, I’m passionate about grass fed organic beef. I’m really passionate about beginning regenerative farming, which I want to talk more about later that what is regenerative farming. I’m so tired of all the buzzwords thrown around that are just meat, it used to be sustainable. What does that mean? And you know what? If you can’t pay for it, the farmer can’t live, maybe it’s not sustainable. So, there’s a lot of other things that create sustainability in a supply chain.

Scott Lively:
And I’m an advocate of grass fed beef but of course, I do eat conventional prime ribeye once in a while. It’s chocolate cake for me. It’s going to be my indulgence. It’s not going to be my constant. It’s going to be something that I do once in a while as a treat. So, I everything in moderation. But as far as the impacting environment, there are ways to do it really easily. We just need to start doing them.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Are you saying you would limit your beef consumption because maybe it’s not healthy for you or because some other reason? Or did I misunderstand what you said?

Scott Lively:
Well, I’m saying that my conventional beef consumption, what I eat if I could go out for a decadent prime bone in ribeye, I’m not doing that for health attributes. To me that’s like dessert. That’s chocolate cake. That’s an indulgence. On my daily beef intake, I’m doing grass fed, I’m eating my ground beef.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I see. So, we are talking about is if you’re talking about if you eat on grass fed beef, you’re eating feed live beef?

Scott Lively:
When I go outside my purview for a treat, I’m indulgent. But when I tell a story in my book about my Thursday nights, almost every Thursday night when I get home, going back to last years, I grill a New York strip with grilled onions and have a little glass of bourbon. And that’s it. There’s no greens, there’s no nothing. That’s my Thursday night and it’s a grass fed stripling. It’s one of my products. I love it. It’s lean. It feels great. I’m ready to work out the next day. I feel just infused with energy. And that’s my weekly beef intake. But when I’m celebrating, I might go outside having the spoke of wheel of the beef industry.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I understand. Okay, got it. So, tell me about the challenges with beyond the research, the challenges of our current meat system and why we need to reimagine it and what you’ve done in your career to actually help shift the beef industry in the right direction?

Scott Lively:
Sure. So, I think the big challenges are anytime you take something macro and try to do it huge, we have massive processing facilities there. My company kills, or I shouldn’t say kill, I should say harvest. I know that people are sensitive to that word, but we harvest about a thousand animals a week. And there are companies that do that an hour. The big packers can do 12,000 in a day like nothing long.

Scott Lively:
And so, I think you’ve got people standing next to each other overcrowded, you’ve got cattle being finished overcrowded. So, some of the issues we have are just limited of space. We process millions of head of cattle a week in this country, millions. And that’s a lot. And I think if you think about how could you do that in a more sustainable venue and could you lower the amount? You’re going to have to pull back on consumption. And I don’t think consumers are ready for that. I think people like their 3.99 hamburger, although it’s probably more expensive today, beef prices are through the roof.

Scott Lively:
So, consumer demand is going to have to change. And what has shifted, and I’ll tell you what’s happened in the last five to seven years is when I got into the business, and I’m actually in eastern South Dakota right now.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wow.

Scott Lively:
Yeah. It’s pretty gorgeous outside, bright and sunny fields. When I got into the business back in 2004, I met with the big packers. I met with JBS, I met with Cargill. They laughed at me. They said, “This is the dumbest thing. No one’s ever going to want organic. No one’s ever going to want grass fed, too expensive. Don’t do it.” Every one of those large packers today have an organic offering. And it’s been consumer driven.

Scott Lively:
So, I think what’s interesting about organic and grass fed is this is the first time the consumer said, “Hey, you know what? What we really want is a healthier green alternative. Because we’re eating this as a protein source. We’re not eating this as an indulgence all the time. It’s hamburger, or it’s taco meat, or it’s lasagna.” And the consumer said, “We want this,” and big beef has responded. In the past, it was always you want angus and you want primate choice? That’s it. Here’s your answer. We’ll tell you what you want.

Scott Lively:
But I think raising awareness of organic agriculture and cleaner ways of raising livestock has gotten the attention that these guys are like, this is a market, this is real. And they’re starting to go that way. I don’t want to pick on the big beef all the time. I’m seeing them do things that are a step in the right direction. And I don’t know if it’s pure for marketing’s sake. I don’t know if it’s purely for, “Hey, we’re trying.” Or maybe it’s sincere, but I’m seeing them do things like add a little bit of dehydrated seaweed into their feed to cut down on methane emissions and feedlots.

Scott Lively:
[inaudible 00:09:44] huge feedlots. I’m talking 20,000 head feedlots, which they shouldn’t be 20,000 heads stacked together. But the fact that they’re looking at a modicum of I think it’s good.

Scott Lively:
JBS sticks out of the Evergreen Initiative. They’re trying to really reduce their carbon footprint. And I’m not fans of these guys. I’m not being honest, I have nothing to do with them. But believe me, they hate me. There’s probably a target out for a Scott Lively on the big four. But they are I think making strides to at least appear like they’re doing it right. And I think you got to encourage that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, it’s a little confusing out there for the average consumer because there’s like grass fed, grass finished. There’s regenerative, there’s organic, this whole idea about what you do with the animal during its lifespan really matters. What it’s eating really matters.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And Russ Conser said, who’s a regenerative farmer said, “It’s not the cow, it’s the how.” So, can you talk about the difference between all the different types and what we should be actually focusing on why is corn fed or feedlot beef not so good for you and the environment? And why is grass finished actually [crosstalk 00:10:47] much better?

Scott Lively:
Well, the obvious health attributes of grass fed are the omega-3s. It’s got more omega-3s. But actually if you look at the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, grass fed has 20 to one. It’s insane how much more it has. Yeah. There’s a fat, a healthy fat called CLN. You probably know this better than I do.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
CLM I thought it was.

Scott Lively:
Yeah. CLM, so CLA.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Conjugated linoleic acid, yeah.

Scott Lively:
And it’s a healthy fat. It’s a healthy fat that adds a lot of digestion. I don’t even think conventional grain fed beef has that in it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No, no. It actually helps with cancer, metabolism, diabetes, so it’s quite important.

Scott Lively:
Yeah. And omega-6 is inflammatory. So, the health benefits, I don’t think could be disputed. I think we’re past that. The question is-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Before you jump on the next one, I want to emphasize that what the cow eats, if it eats variety of plants. We’ve talked to Fred Provenza and others on the podcast about the phytonutrients in meat that we’re just discovering, which is these plant compounds from animals that are eating a wide variety of plant foods that are medicinal.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so, when you have an animal eating one grass, that’s not good. But if you’re eating in 50, 40 different types of plants, those plants actually contain these beneficial molecules that are upgrading our health all the time. So, I think that’s a pretty interesting discovery, and maybe more important than the omega-3 with the antioxidants or the increased minerals or the CLA in the grass finished meat.

Scott Lively:
Absolutely. And I think what you’re getting back to them when you’re talking about different versions of grass and different versions of feed ingredients, let’s just remove corn and soy from the equation, assume we’re talking about grass fed, you’re getting back to soil health. You’re getting back to the actual biodiversity and the health of the soil. A good complex soil system, that’s where the supply chain starts. And it can grow a variety of different things. And if you’re returning nitrogen back into the soil, you can tell a really dark, nitrogen rich soil over just dirt that needs to be fertilized by looking at it.

Scott Lively:
Those other plants and things like switchgrass, alfalfa, there’s all sorts of different wild growing things. I mean, sometimes you can use milo switchgrass, there’s legumes, all of those things, and the more they eat, the better, but you have to have solid soil for that. And so, when I talk about supply chain of beef, I don’t just start with the bowl and the genetics, you got to go back to the actual richness and the nutrient denseness of the soil.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Absolutely. So, soil matters, because that’s what creates the phytochemical richness of the plants and then the nutrient density of the plants. And if you’re eating the right foods that I’m eating the right foods, then your health is upgraded, right?

Scott Lively:
And I would say it’s as complex as the bacteria and the digestive good bugs in your stomach.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, that’s a whole other layer, right?

Scott Lively:
Yeah. Your own digestive system has the same complex good bugs and bad bugs as your soil should. I have some soil here, I was going to show you earlier. This is what a regenerative good soil should look like. You can smell it. You can see it. I mean, it’s black, it’s earthy. I mean, it’s full of roots as you can see it. It’s not just if you drove down most farm road, you’re going to see brown dirt that has zero nutritional value. And it’s got to be enhanced with chemical fertilizers to get to grow anything. And most of those GMO-created crops, so they’re resistant to the herbicides and pesticides.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It also depends on the cow and the animal. A [inaudible 00:14:16] I know works with this breed of cows. It’s sort of escaped into Mexico, the Criollo cows. Criollo cows.

Scott Lively:
Criollos.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, Criollo cows. And these really hardy cows that live up in the high desert and they actually eat all kinds of wild plants, and they’ve been become wild like wild horses, but they’re becoming really domesticated. And they’re very different in terms of their genetic makeup, the actual nutrient density of the food. So, can you talk about how they’re different and why it’s different, not only what they’re eating is important, but the breed of the cow is important?

Scott Lively:
So, absolutely. So, there are certain genetic predispositions in livestock that do better in different climates and different geographic areas. So, you’ll find the traditional American Angus does really well in Missouri and Nebraska and that area where there’s a lot of water. They are hardy animal.

Scott Lively:
And then we always talk about the Texas Longhorn that’s big in Texas and dry. But the Texas Longhorn is actually a distant relative of a Spanish steer from when the Spaniards came into Florida. And they had these work animals, these oxen with these long horns. And they migrated over to the dry Texas, which was more adapt to their bodies of being Spanish animals and they thrived in Texas and they did really well.

Scott Lively:
There’s so much genetic crossbreeding that’s been going on the last 20 years where you can take look at why do with Kobe and American Angus, look at there’s terminal crossbreed in Herefords and Charolais. They’re breeding Angus with Holsteins to make a stronger steer the grains faster.

Scott Lively:
So, in the conventional world, you can almost genetically create a cow or a steer that is predisposition to grow in the environment you want it to. It’s a little scary actually how that happens so much. It’s just about combining genetics a bull with a cow that have like traits. But there are absolutely, I mean, the type of animals and cattle they raised in Canada and Saskatchewan are nowhere near the type of animal you’re going to raise New Mexico or Arizona or the panhandle of Texas. They’re massively genetically different, different resources, different use of water.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And that affects the food and affects the quality of the food. And I think we know that particularly in dairy cows when you look at A2 casein cows, which are more traditional heirloom cows, which the A1 casein are more Holsteins, the milk they breed is very different, the inflammatory nature is very different. And when we look at it, and I’ve talked about this in the podcast before, but you’re looking at wild meat versus feedlot meat, very different effects on your biology in terms of inflammation, anabolic effects, hormonal effects.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, it really matters, what you’re eating and the quality of it. And that quality is determined by one, the genetics, two, the environmental was raised in, three, the things that might have been given us growth hormone antibiotics. I think the quality of the grass and the feed that they’re eating, that all determines the health of the animal and that determines our health.

Scott Lively:
You’re eating with the animal ate. You’re 100% right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Absolutely.

Scott Lively:
No question.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Let’s talk a little bit about the environment. Because I think people are very focused on climate. And we really recently had the Glasgow Climate Summit. There was just a big push for being vegan and ending meat consumption or limiting it to save the planet. Is that true? Is it something we should be focused on or what’s the deal?

Scott Lively:
Obviously, I don’t think we should end meat consumption. And I think that it’s a healthy part of a good diet. That’s just my opinion.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, I would challenge you on that. I don’t think it’s your opinion. I think it’s actually what the evidence shows.

Scott Lively:
I think that there is obviously more we can do in commercial feeding to make it healthier, more sustainable and cleaner. There’s no question. Everyone thinks that water is the issue. Water is the issue, but cows don’t actually go drink water. Cows get their water from their feed they eat and the moisture in their feed. They very rarely going to start lapping up water. They’re not like a dog.

Scott Lively:
So, I think that there’s a lot of things commercially that can be done. And I don’t think we’re ever going to get rid of the big four. I mean, they’re going to break them up. I don’t think you’re going to stop 80 million people in America eating beef every day, not once a week, not occasionally, every day. That’s a statistic, 80 some million people, it’s part of their daily diet.

Scott Lively:
So, I think what’s going to have to happen is, the consumer is going to have to start heading towards the way that they want the big packers to act. And everyone says, “Well, why do you always obsess about the big packers?” Because they’re 85% of what we’re eating. That’s what’s out there.

Scott Lively:
You and I can talk and I can talk to my friends in Greenwich, Connecticut, they get to go to the local green butcher. And they have the means to spend 34 bucks for a tiny piece of filet, but that’s not the rest of the world. The rest of the world is eating conventional beef from Safeway [inaudible 00:19:15]. And you have to reach into that pool of foods supply, make real change, or you’re not going to make real change.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And how do we do that?

Scott Lively:
I think one is vote with your pocketbook. I think if you start buying more organic grass fed beef and asking for it, and I think if you start asking your local grocery store to carry it, you’ll see it happen. It’s happened already.

Scott Lively:
I think I would say put pressure on the big beat, but their lobby is so strong. Their lobby bigger than big banks. I mean, they’ve got a lot of sway of the USDA. They have a lot of sway over like country of origin labeling. They have a lot of sway over the Packers and Stockyards Act. It’s a very political business if you put it that way that. It’s one of the only things that they publish the pricing of beef every morning and every night. And everybody knows what everyone’s paying for cattle, for beef for everything. And there’s no secrets.

Scott Lively:
What I would do if I’m saying, I would like to make it a personal impact is I really try to know the people behind my food. I want to know the farm. I want to get to know him. I want to know who he uses processes cattle. And you can ask those questions. And I think you’d be shocked how many producers are probably not in your backyard, but very close to you within 100 miles of your house where you could buy a locally raised or a locally processed piece of meat.

Scott Lively:
It may not be all your beef consumption, but you could start there. You could start by trying to go a little more local. I always say it’s not just the food, it’s the people behind the food, who did it and what was their intentions. And if they just want to make a cheap product and get 20 cents a pound and get out the door, maybe that’s not who I want to be doing business with. Maybe I want to be doing business with a guy that puts heart and soul to the product. And he knows where it came from.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Saying that you should always see the face that feeds you. I think that’s a good one. I went to the farmers market in my town last year and I met the woman who was raising lamb. And basically, you could buy a half a lamb or a quarter of a lamb or a whole lamb and put in your freezer, which I did. It was amazing. And it was super, relatively inexpensive. It was relatively expensive, because we cut out the middleman. They butchered it. They got it to me and I picked it up at the farmers market and it was awesome.

Scott Lively:
The larger pieces meat you bought, the larger chunk of primal you bought, the closer you’re getting to the producer. So, if you’re buying a cut steak or a hamburger, your way through the process, you’re the end of the supply chain, it’s had a lot of hands on. If you’re buying a whole primal, you’re a little closer, probably packinghouse farmer. And if you buy a quarter cow or half cow, you were literally really helping that farmer and you’re buying a lot closer and helping that guy that raise the animal. So, I think I sent you a giant tenderloin.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You did. You sent me this giant thing. I’m like, “What am I going to do with this?” Yeah, I need to have a party, because otherwise, I don’t know what to do this big chunk of meat.

Scott Lively:
Put the whole thing in the grill, let it sit.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, really? That’s it, low temperature, let it go slow.

Scott Lively:
Reverse sear those things, just slow and low, then burn it at the end. You can do it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, there you go. Well, I think you’re challenging a lot of our notions about me, which is that it’s bad for us, it’s bad for the environment. And you’re challenging the idea that we should not be eating as much meat. The challenge is that people are often concerned that we can’t scale regenerative meat production. It sounds nice, it’s a great idea. Yes, we want heirloom cows fit on a hundred different plants all with medicinal, different properties, rich in phytochemicals and omega-3 fats and where the animals are killed humanely and everything’s beautiful and it’s all local.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But how do we get from here to there? Because we’re right. I mean, you don’t want to have to spend $7 for a grass fed ribeye and just like for a little piece of steak, you want to be able to have it affordable and accessible.

Scott Lively:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
These big four, you call them, big four, JBS, Tyson, Cargill, and National Beef are really monsters and have huge impact in Congress and just in the whole meat industry itself.

Scott Lively:
Yeah. I think that I’ll talk really generally and what we can do, and then I’m going to get a little more granular on what I think you can do today and immediately. And what I think the big four are starting to do because they’re waking up pretty quick. People aren’t going to stand for today’s beef prices at today’s quality and then also not have the ability to know what country their beef came from, which [crosstalk 00:23:36].

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s another problem, right?

Scott Lively:
I mean, the fact that they can put product of the USA on meat that was not born, raised and harvested in America, it’s another level of consumer deception in my opinion.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
For sure.

Scott Lively:
So, what I think and this might sound a little Pollyanna is that we really need to create better agricultural departments in colleges and universities. Each one of those are obviously sponsored by Tyson, Cargill, Monsanto. But if you could get a sustainable department, sustainable agriculture, regenerative agriculture, a lot of universities have agronomy majors where you’re studying soil and soil conservation, but it’s based on how to enhance the soil with science, not how to allow the soil to regenerate naturally through hooks and plants and decay and solar. There’s all these things.

Scott Lively:
I think when the university start, we got a really good opportunity and that the world’s focused on climate change. The world is focused on a huge. So, if the agriculture departments would grab on to that and create some sustainable agricultural courses and degrees, I think you’d attract more of these, I’m going to call them Gen Xers and Gen Z’s to those areas of study.

Scott Lively:
Sustainability is a major. I think my daughter’s got a major in [inaudible 00:24:57] at CU Boulder, but it’s not in agriculture. So, why aren’t we doing that? Why aren’t these universities and these, I’m not going to say left, but these organizations of academic focusing on sustainability agriculture?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, to give a little history of that, I think the land grant colleges, which are the college establishment or Lincoln to bring research and innovation in agriculture, were funded by the government to help advance agriculture in America. Unfortunately, those land grant colleges have been highly funded and coopted not just by the government, which is hopefully to do the right thing, but by industry.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so, a lot of the research and a lot of things that get done there are really driven out of the food industry, the beef industry, the ag and chem industry, just like major and major academic institutions in America, most of the research is around pharma and pharma companies provide the funding for the schools, whether they’re public or private university.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, we have a lot of public land grant colleges all across America. They’re salvaged under Lincoln. And I went to Cornell. They had the Cornell ag school, which was a state school. And yet they’re really not focused on this. They’re really focused on the practices that are pretty outdated and they’re destructive. And they’re not bringing up a new generation of farmers.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s really thinking about how do we create a more regenerative system that actually is not extractive and destructive, but actually creates more abundant food, better food, higher quality food. It’s better for the planet. It’s better for humans and better for the animals. It’s kind of a no brainer. But we really don’t have the incentives aligned. And that has to change. And I don’t know if you have any insight about that or you think [crosstalk 00:26:29].

Scott Lively:
It’s very personal to me. Yeah. My son goes to the University of Montana, Missoula, which was a land grant college. It was a great university. He looked at the agriculture department. He went and met, he talked advisor. He’s like, “Dad, I really don’t think you want me studying here. I think I’m going to be completely opposite of what you thought I would get here.” And it wasn’t bad. It’s a great program for what they do. But he decided to study business instead. He’s like, “I just don’t think this is the doctrine that I grew up for the last 18 years of my father being an organic beef wanting to study.”

Scott Lively:
And I hear you on that. I think when those departments, those agricultural departments realize that they are there to create better ways of agriculture, not just bigger, faster, cheaper, and there’s actual study done into, you want to reduce emissions, go to the ag department. You want to create better, healthier food, go to the ag department. Stop depending on the science department tell you how to do it. And I think that there’s some really talented, intelligent people out there that should be teaching and involved at the academic level that just gets shut down.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Absolutely. And also think that the government has a role because if the government is funding a lot of these land grant colleges, then the opportunity is really for them to change their funding to make sure that it actually is required for them to do some of this in their curriculum.

Scott Lively:
A portion of it. Yeah. Give us the percentage.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Exactly. Totally important.

Scott Lively:
It’s like, I don’t think you can even get government crop insurance if you don’t spray for weeds. So, how is that incentivizing anyone to go organic if they have a financial disaster. Well, I didn’t spray, you don’t qualify for property crop insurance. I mean, things like-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
[crosstalk 00:28:19] animals. Yeah.

Scott Lively:
Yeah. And the USDA organic seal has become a brand in itself. The US Department of Agriculture has had a great time digging that out to people that have, I mean, most of them are owned by Hain and big business and big food companies and it’s a process to go organic. It’s a process to go organic certified, but it’s not hard anymore. It can be done by almost anybody. Proving you’re grass fed and proving you’ve done it from birth to slaughter is a really difficult thing to do.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of sort of opponents of eating meat. So, I think whether it was the recent Glasgow Conference or EAT-Lancet Commission, or you got movies like Game Changers and What the Health, they’re out there that are really influencing people. What are the main arguments you use to kind of address these concerns because I think they’re really [crosstalk 00:29:16] people?

Scott Lively:
I think when people say that, sorry to interrupt you. I think when people say that, I’m going to go to the argument I think they make. They always go quickly to these meat substitutes, these plant-based meats and these Beyond and the Impossible and stuff. In my mind is like, I don’t want to eat 46 different chemicals. I’m a mentalist. I want eat less. Don’t tell me it’s made out of peas. It’s made out of a pea protein, it’s not peas. And I get the two mixed up once, a heavy soy-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Beyond Beef is, I think whether it Beyond Meat it’s called pea. And a pea protein and Impossible burger is from soy, GMO soy. Yeah.

Scott Lively:
Yeah. But it’s a bioengineered soy. It’s not tofu.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No. I mean. There’s 47 novel proteins.

Scott Lively:
And some of they won’t even identify.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right. And so, I mean, maybe they’re okay. But if you think food is information, what are those proteins saying to your biology and how do we regulate that?

Scott Lively:
Okay. Well, I’ll pick up a box and I look at the back of it, if I see more than six ingredients, I get a little concerned. You’ve got 46 different proteins that some of you would identify, I’m not sure that is a meat alternative. That’s really science. And I think what it’s doing-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s a science project, for sure. And the question is what is the health risks. And what are the environmental risks? And even you’ve got all these different meats, you’ve got the plant-based meats, you’ve got cell-based meats, you’ve got the conventional meat, the regenerative meat. And I think a lot of people are looking towards some of these other solutions, like lab-based meats. What do you think about that?

Scott Lively:
I just started doing a lot of research on that, because as I told you earlier, I’m looking at a second book on all the different types of meats. And what I know is that protein requires an amino acid and a chain to grow. And I’m just really interested in how that happens at a lab level. How they create a protein growth of a red meat tissue and how you classify it. And if it is red meat, and if it is lab grown red meat and it starts with amino acid, it’s got a protein stream, and it’s growing around that, which I’m not up on the science, I’m going to be honest. What are the foods eat implications?

Scott Lively:
I mean, we struggle with fighting E. coli in the beef industry. But I will say we process millions of pounds of burger a day. And we do a really good job of keeping people safe. And E. coli 0753 is a very unique foodborne illness. It’s a very unique pathogen. I’ll talk about that a bit later. But I mean what is the food safety ramifications of bacteria growth? And you’re not going to get E. coli from it? Because it’s not been near slaughter hides? What’s in it? I mean, is there temperature controls? I just don’t know enough about it. And I’m dying to know. I’d love to be invited to one of those lab plants and told all about it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, right now, it’s super expensive to produce. And I think the thing that concerns me most about it are things that we don’t know, the unknown. So, one, what is actually the full metabolomic profile of a fully regeneratively raised cow that’s eating 100 different wild plants? What does that mean a metabolomic profile and its health benefits compared to, for example, a lab grown meat, which is just using the basic things that they put in, basic protein, fats, carbs, whatever they’re feeding meat.

Scott Lively:
[crosstalk 00:32:43] have to feed that meat, that need has to be fed to grow. So, you make a really good point there.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, you think about just when humans and when we started refining foods, we didn’t really know what we’re doing. And we didn’t realize that we were causing all these massive vitamin deficiencies. And how they discovered vitamin deficiencies were because they were providing the refined grains to prisoners and they were getting super sick and chickens and they were getting super sick. And they’re all suffering from severe vitamin deficiencies.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And they realized there was something they took out of a whole grain that was vital, a vital amine, then there is vitamin, that was super important for health. And so, when they just sort of boiled it down to the basic building blocks, like we do in agriculture now with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, or NPK, that’s just a little bit of what is the plant needs. There’s all these other compounds that are in soil. They’re super complex that we don’t probably even figured out or know yet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
There’s literally more organisms in a thumbnail, I mean, thumbnail full of soil, and there’s people on the planet. And there’s also all these other compounds in there that are being extracted and given to the plants to produce these phytochemicals. Is that going to happen when you have a lab meat?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And the other thing that I’m concerned about is the inputs. When you look at, for example, these Impossible Burger, it’s GMO soy. And so, there’s tremendous amounts of environmental impact using GMO soy sprayed with glyphosate, which destroys the microbiome of the soil because climate change. I mean, there’s so many issues with it, not to mention all the downstream effects that are coming from that kind of agriculture in monocrop, row crop agriculture, which is highly extractive and destructive.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then just to finish on the lab-based meat, and I’ve talked to my buddy, who actually founded one of the most important companies of cell-based meat, I think they’re trying to do the right thing. He’s a great guy. He’s a cardiologist from Mayo, smart guy, and doing the right thing, but you have to consider what are the inputs and also where those inputs come from.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
In other words, if you’re feeding the meat, let’s say, broken down amino acids or fats or carbohydrates, where are those coming from? They’re usually coming from industrial agriculture. So, you’re using massive inputs from industrial agriculture to feed that meat. It’s not that different than feedlot meat. It’s just you don’t have a cow, it’s not alive.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then the third thing is where do they get the energy? Because the bioreactors that are required to actually create this is very energy intensive. So, is that coming from fossil fuels, coal, carbon source fuels? Or is it regenerative fuels, renewable fuels, like solar, wind? I mean, so we just have so many issues that we’re really not even grappling with.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And we look at that story, we look at it as a really a gestalt and as a systems problem. And I think that we can start to try and like look at okay, well, how do we balance this out. Because a lab-based meat is not going to restore the soil. It’s not going to restore ecosystems, not going to increase biodiversity. It’s not going to improve our watersheds. And it’s not going to actually do the things that we need to do in order to restore environmental and climate health.

Scott Lively:
We don’t know what it is actually.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. And maybe a great source of protein, it may be healthy for you, but it may not have all the adverse effects of feedlot meat, maybe. But we don’t know. I mean, will I have the beneficial effects of eating a wild elk or a wild kangaroo. I mean, I just found this great source of elk online, I think it’s not wild, they farm it, but elk and bison, and it’s really great. I’m so excited, because I love elk.

Scott Lively:
I love elk. That’s my favorite wild.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s hard to get.

Scott Lively:
Elk’s great.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s hard to get, it’s hard to get. So, I usually get lucky if I know someone who was hunter and got it, but they’re very different. And I think we really have to sort of rethink our whole focus on meat and get out of the sort of meat bad, vegetables good argument, because it’s overly simplistic and it doesn’t take into account one, how we grow things, two, the quality of the meat, three, and what people’s individual needs are, and four, some of the environmental and climate consequences of meaty animals be integrated into agriculture in order to help restore and address some of the big problems we’re facing environmentally and climate wise.

Scott Lively:
I agree. I agree, 100%. And I didn’t know the story about the prisoners and the nutrient deficiency, it’s a really good story. The amount of I guess I call it glyphosate.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Glyphosate, glyphosate.

Scott Lively:
That is allowed in cattle feed versus what’s allowed in human feed. It’s almost like 20 times.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, my god.

Scott Lively:
And so, if you look at that and you say, but you’re allowing that to be sprayed on my food’s food, but you’re going to limit mine by 120. I think there’s such I don’t want to use the word dichotomy. It’s just there’s a disconnect before between what we’re allowing cattle to eat that we wouldn’t allow humans to eat, but we’re eating that same cattle.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, so true. And I think you really help people sort of navigate buying beef. So, can you guide people through if they’re going to try to get the right kind of meat? How do they do that?

Scott Lively:
Sure. I think the first thing you got to remember is that there’s label claim overload going on in the beef industry. There’s a million different claims, non-GMO verify, humane, never ever, all natural, organic grass fed. There’s so many label claims. And you really got to learn to sift through that. And I think the book gives you a guide on what these mean and how much teeth they have in them. No pun intended, because some of these are just things you can apply for, pay the fee and you get certification. It’s not difficult to get.

Scott Lively:
I think the second thing you can do is like I said, you need to know that you said the face behind the food. You need to know who processed your meat. I tell this analogy, I joke around a lot, if you and I sat down at my favorite steakhouse, and we both got a flaming yon and it was 56, $60. And let’s just say it’s a grass FED Or maybe it was grass fed wagyu. Let’s give it something crazy. Let’s give it we’ve indulge.

Scott Lively:
And fine, whatever it says it on the menu, I’ll take it. We don’t ask a second question. And chances are the waiter doesn’t know anything about it. But that $35 bottle of wine, we’re going to share, we want to know the vintage, we want to know the year.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Where it came from.

Scott Lively:
I got to know everything about it. And so, but this living, breathing animal that died so you can eat it. You don’t ask two questions. You don’t care. Yeah, I’ll take it. To me it’s like, “Give the part of Angus,” all right, great. Are you sure? Show me the part, I don’t know. But we’re going to go create … So, we’ve been conditioned on things like wine to ask third and four questions. But beef, we just take it and swallow it, no pun intended.

Scott Lively:
So, the consumer can ask questions is the first. You can even go and ask your meat manager or your local retailer. Questions, where’d it come from? How do you know? There’s a chapter called butcher your butcher with questions. Ask those questions. You’re not being a jerk. He’s a reputable guy. And he knows and he’s a true craft. He’ll tell you. It’s all natural, comes from this ranch, we know.

Scott Lively:
The second thing that’s easy to do is every piece of meat that’s sold in retail, every piece of meat has what’s called an establishment number. It’s usually on the front and it says ESG and it gives a series of numbers establishment USDA, whatever. You can Google that. It’ll tell you exactly where that meat came from. It’ll tell you who, if it was ground meat, where it was ground, what was the last touch. If it was a steak, where it was cut. It’ll give you the source of where that meat came from before it hit the grocery retailer.

Scott Lively:
And that’ll give you a good indication who you’re dealing with and where it came from. There’s a lot of really crafty brands out there that are just these really [inaudible 00:40:24] farmy, warm, fuzzy brands that’s just Tyson, JBS. And it’s the same guys just branding it really well. So, dig in, search the establishment numbers, ask your producer.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You can just Google that and Google the establishment number and it will [crosstalk 00:40:41].

Scott Lively:
It’ll pop up to you exactly what planet came from. It’ll say JBS Grand Island. It’ll say whatever it came from. It’ll say Fresno beef. It’ll tell you exactly the last person that touched and handled a package that meat, and it’s been there forever.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Amazing.

Scott Lively:
Because no one know it’s there.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I remember going to this Japanese restaurant. It was a very fancy Japanese restaurant. And we had I think wagyu beef or something like that. It was quite a special treat. And they came to the table with this little certificate, which has a nose print of the actual animal and where it came from, and where it was grown, how was it. It was like, really was like a little confronting of like, oh, gee, I don’t know if I want to see the nose printed with the animal. But it was real. It was real.

Scott Lively:
I’ve seen that, too. And I’m like, maybe, I mean, I’d like to see four or five of those because there’s very little Kobe that gets in America. There’s a tariff on it. But you know why kind of cracks me up, too, how do you know? I mean, is it just fatty meat or is it real wagyu? We don’t really know. We don’t have any way of really [crosstalk 00:41:46].

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No, no.

Scott Lively:
And the fact that you have done this, they’ve overturned country of origin labeling laws. In 2008, they had them or you had to put the country of origin of the beef. The problem was, when you went by hamburger, it would literally say, Australia, Uruguay, Canada, Mexico, USA. People like how can there be that many countries in one pound of ground beef. It was off putting to people and it can be.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Because it’s like a hundred cows, you mean?

Scott Lively:
Could be thousands.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Thousands of cows.

Scott Lively:
It could be literally thousands of cows and DNA in to one brick of beef. Doesn’t mean it’s not safe. It could be.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
A little crazy. Yeah. Amazing. So, when you were 32, you basically were working in IT and you bought this old out of use meatpacking facility in Howard, South Dakota, knowing nothing about the beef industry. So, how did you take that leap? And how did you go from there over the last 15 years to create something called Raise America? Which is this Raise American, sorry, which is your company that is really providing people with a source of reliable grass finished? So, tell us about it.

Scott Lively:
I was young and I sold a couple of software companies and was not being overwhelmingly fulfilled by the tech world. Nothing against it. I just wasn’t firing my passion. It was a great job out of college. It was during that dot com bubble. It was very easy to make a lot of money, not doing a whole lot. And I did have an early passion for the meat industry. I love beef. I love going after steakhouses. I really love and I was interested in what made beef tastes good. And I guess that a lot of us started it.

Scott Lively:
And I remember very vividly watching a segment, I think it was on an NPR like a market to market or something. Don’t quote me on that, I don’t remember. And there are two back-to-back segments. One was on the explosive growth of the beef industry against pork and chicken because of the Atkins diet fat. Atkins had exploded around that time ’01, ’02 I guess. And everyone was eating this lean Atkins thing and it was huge and beef surpassed chicken and pork in total volume sales for the first time in a while, because of this eat Atkins.

Scott Lively:
The very next segments I think was about whole foods IPO or something about how, what their stock price had been doing. And it was explosive and the caption was fastest growing segment in American grocery is organic. And the one before that was fastest growing segment in agriculture’s beef. And I remember just like, is anyone doing organic beef? And there wasn’t and this was before Google. So, I think I was on like, Ask Jeeves or Yahoo or some crap like that. And I started searching.

Scott Lively:
And I found a guy in Seward, Illinois, a guy named Joel [Reisman 00:44:40], I don’t know if he’s still around, bought 30 head of cattle from him and a partner and I sold them door to door to Chicago restaurants, and literally created this business called Dakota Beef and it grew and we raised private equity and became a real thing.

Scott Lively:
It’s been through a few iterations and I’ve had a few really horrible partners over the year financially that really liked the business side more than the lifestyle side. And I’ve had to balance that a lot. Because it’s really easy just to cut corners and do it just enough to be covered documentation wise when there’s a right way to do it and we’re going to stick with that. And current partners are great people.

Scott Lively:
It’s now headquartered in Gordon, Nebraska. It’s called raiseamerican.com. And it’s been, I guess, I would say 18 years of my life wrapped up into one business that really tries to source verify the product it gets, really, really goes the extra mile to check and verify the claims by producers and give consumers what they’re looking for.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Can you aggregate other ranchers and create a distribution channel for their meat?

Scott Lively:
We contract with hundreds of producers that give us what will be deposits or will do whatever and we’ll get advanced them to give us their cattle. We couldn’t do it ourselves. I mean, you’re looking at 4000 animals a month plus, that’s a lot of animals. And the infrastructure, the land, and also knowing it’s done right. You don’t want to just go and start doing it feed yards, what’s the point?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, for sure.

Scott Lively:
I’d rather have 100 really good producers than each doing 100 animals than one guy doing thousands just okay. And so, you got to spread it out. And we’ve managed to create a really good business around I think doing it right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And we’re talking about organic and grass fed. So, can you explain the sort of differences in the terms and is it regenerative? Is it just grass fed? What’s the difference? Can you sort of help people understand?

Scott Lively:
Great. Great question. So, the first thing is that organic is five years ago, maybe eight years ago, organic was the leading claim people look. There’s this great report called the power of meat that talks about what consumers look for when they look at packaging. When they go buy meat, what are the top 10 things they’re digging into? We’re not the first is product for USA. People want to buy American product. That is a fact people look for American product. They don’t know that half the product they’re eating didn’t come from America, but that’s what they look for.

Scott Lively:
Then it’s no antibiotics or added growth hormones. Then it’s grass fed. Grass fed is becoming, it’s growing seven times in the last couple of years. It’s a seven times multiple approach and grass fed beef. Doesn’t have to be organic to be grass fed. Doesn’t have to be grass fed to be organic. And there’s two different attributes. You’ve got to decide what’s important to you. I know a lot of the American grass fed producers aren’t organic, but they produce great quality meat. And I look for that symbol a lot, I really do when I’m shopping myself.

Scott Lively:
So, all organic means, there’s no antibiotics, no added growth hormones, because all cows have hormones just like you and I have hormones, it’s just no added hormones. And if an animal gets sick, you got to treat it. But the other part of organic is the animal has eaten organic certified feed its entire life, that be grass, grain fed or grass fed that was certified organic, and it wasn’t sprayed. So, that’s a huge thing.

Scott Lively:
Now, I think most purest on the grass fed side would go ahead and do that anyways. They care more about the grass fed and the quality of the product than they worry about the USDA organic symbol to them. But I would say that that is a good thing.

Scott Lively:
The difference between grass raised and grass finished is simple. All cows eat grass. There’s no legal definition of grass fed in America right now. There’s no USDA. That’s it. So, to be grass fed, grass finished, you’ve got to prove beyond just an affidavit that you really finish that animal only on grass. You’ve not put any grains and you haven’t tried to get a boost in the last 90 days of its life, that it’s been a pure grass program, which would take longer, which would be more expensive, because it’s more labor intensive, and more resource intensive. And it would have a different taste.

Scott Lively:
I think a lot of consumers think they want grass fed until they taste it. And there’s a little bit of a change in okay, I got to be ready for this. I like it now. I mean, I’ve adapted the taste. I can taste grass fed. I’m excited about grass fed when I get it. So, I think that there’s still that person that has been conditioned to like a certain flavor of beef just like I talked about my chocolate cake is that ribeye that’s prime that’s got nothing to do with organic, I just like the flavor. But that’s not going to be my main sustenance of protein. And that’s not what I’m going to go to on a daily basis.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Do you think this whole move toward regenerative agriculture is scalable?

Scott Lively:
I do. I really do. I think it’s got to be steppable. So, I think first of all, we got to look at the type of land we’re using. I think a lot of land has been over the past several decades has been turned into crops and has been farmed to where it should not have been. It was pasture land, it was prairie land, it should have been left a while.

Scott Lively:
We can go back to the dust bowl and look at what happens when you over farm a region, a huge region, gave people huge plots of land to farm. It was prairie land, should have never been farmed. And then we had some chemical fertilizers, and then we had a few years of drought. Well the entire topsoil just took off and headed east and covered the entire nation with dust.

Scott Lively:
So, there’s types of land that should be grazed and types of land should be farmed. If you look at some of these hillier areas, instead of trying to grow a crop on it and destroying it and eroding it, that’s great pasture land. I think we need to take a look at programs like the CRP, the Conservation Reserve Program that was put in place after World War II to pay farmers to not farm.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wow.

Scott Lively:
Yeah, millions of acres in CRP. You can Google it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh my, god. Yes.

Scott Lively:
You should pay to create pasture, to get a soil expert out there and grow some grass that matters to livestock. And you want to do regenerative, you’ve got to get the nitrogen back in the soil. So, get livestock out there, which are natural grazers, the natural roamers, start doing rotational grazing. And I would pay those same people to do that, probably paying more.

Scott Lively:
The last I checked was four years ago, because I was trying to go to these people that own CRP and saying, “Hey, listen, take it out of CRP. Let me organic certify it. I’ll lease it from you. I’ll put cattle out there. We’ll create a business,” had some takers, not a lot. Most of the people, older generation didn’t want to mess with it, “Hey, I got a good thing, leave it alone.”

Scott Lively:
But as it’s falling out of CRP, the government’s not renewing it like they used to. They’re not just automatically renewing. So, it’s becoming available. And that land would certify organic instantly without a three day wait, because you can prove. It’s never been sprayed, it’s never been farmed. It’s been in CRP. The whole point of CRP was don’t touch it. So, this way, you would have instant organic certified land. You could raise cattle on, you can do regenerative farming. And last I checked four years, it was 1.4 million acres. That’s a lot of pasture.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I just looked it up and in 2021, it was 5.3 million acres.

Scott Lively:
Okay. There you go. So, yeah, I think that that’s how much acreage is out there that they’re getting paid to not farm.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And we are seeing some of these areas are a little marginal, but they would be better for grazing.

Scott Lively:
It would be better for grazing or grazing hay.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
[crosstalk 00:51:53]. Yeah. Well, Allen Williams talks about this. I don’t know how accurate his data is. He talks about how we do about 29 million cows a year in America that we slaughter. And that if we scaled up the conservation land that is existing, the Bureau of Land Management, some of the soy, corn row crops to grass fed Virginia farms and using other degraded lands that we could literally raise almost double the beef about 59 million cows a year. You think that’s accurate?

Scott Lively:
I don’t know. I’m going to be honest, I’ve never heard that statistic, but I’d love to believe it. I think we can do more.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. So, if we do regenerative, it’s expensive. We can’t be the planet. There’s a growing need. We need the volume. These are the arguments by the big four meat companies, and even by the government, who’s heavily lobbied by them and is opinions are often shaped by them.

Scott Lively:
But the government still gives billions of dollars away for useless programs that don’t create anything. So, if we could redirect those funds to lowering the cost of regenerative agriculture, creating more programs, allowing farmers to get in and do it a little bit better and create better soil, yeah, I think you couldn’t do it better. There’s a lot of people not raising cattle not because they have the space of the land. It’s just not worth it to them. It’s not enough money in it.

Scott Lively:
You got to remember, I don’t want to go back to the [inaudible 00:53:21] and I hate picking on the big beef guys, because I have so many friends that work for JBS and I’ve so many good people and big beef. But when the Packers and Stockyard Act was passed, I think it was 1921, I think was Woodrow Wilson passed it, they were worried because the packers were above 14% control the industry. And the fact that 25% control, so we got to do something. And we got to get these big packers in control because they have monopoly.

Scott Lively:
Well, today it’s 85%. So, they’ve gone from 25 to 85 of total control. That’s not going to be given up. So, what is their mission? Their mission is to create the fastest, most efficient, cheapest protein they can and sell for the highest price they can, any business would. That’s what the guy that built this phone did. Okay, how do I do it cheap? And how do I sell as much as I can? That’s not going to change.

Scott Lively:
So, until there’s economic incentive and government absolute, I don’t want to say oversight, I want to say government support to create these programs that can easily be converted to a regenerative farm to easily return to organic farm and raise something that contributes back to the soil, it’s not going to work. It’s got to come from the government. It’s got to come from funding because small family ranches can’t do it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, your work is really important. I think your company, Raise American is providing great sources of verified grass fed beef. I think your book is really important, too, to help people understand some of the nuances and some of the challenges that we have around this simplified conversation about meat.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I know you’re working on another one, but in the meantime people should get, For the Love of Beef. The subtitle is the Good, the Bad and the Future of America’s Favorite Meat. Go to raiseamerican.com to learn more about the company that actually provides sources. And there are many other companies as well, but it’s worth checking it out.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And Scott, thank you so much for the meat you sent me to try. I really appreciate that. It fed a lot of people. And I’m just thrilled that you’re doing this work because we need more and more people actually taking the risk and doing the work and making the changes that we need to see in our food system. So, thank you for doing that.

Scott Lively:
Well, Dr. Mark, I appreciate you and thank you for your knowledge. I love talking to somebody who knows as much or more about this than I do, and it really means a lot to me.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, I don’t know, I’m sort of a dabbler, but I know enough to be dangerous.

Scott Lively:
[crosstalk 00:55:35] and I appreciate it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, of course. And everybody, listen to this podcast view. If you know anybody who’s confused about meat and wants to learn more, share this with them on your social media. Leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you. What’s your perspective on all this? Share and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts, and we’ll see you next week on The Doctor’s Farmacy. Thank you.
Speaker 1:
Hi, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. Just a reminder that this podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services.
Speaker 1:
If you’re looking for help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner. If you’re looking for a functional medicine practitioner, you can visit ifm.org and search there find a practitioner database. It’s important that you have someone in your corner who’s trained, who’s a licensed health care practitioner and can help you make changes especially when it comes to your health.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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