How The Intelligence Of Plants and Animals Can Help Us Reclaim Our Health

Episode 179 2h 1m


If we take the time to be quiet, still, and curious, there’s an immeasurable amount of knowledge to be gained from our natural surroundings. In watching grazing animals and their food choices, we see they know how to personalize their nutritional intake to eat plants that match their exact needs. Though many of us have lost our innate wisdom to eat intuitively, upping our intake of phytochemicals and reducing processed foods means we can recalibrate our cravings to lean towards what we truly need. Vitamins and minerals often get most of the attention when it comes to eating for nutrient density, but phytochemicals are the real hidden talent for optimizing plant, animal, and human health. Unfortunately, modern agriculture has actually damaged the phytochemical richness of our food, by breeding for yield, appearance, and hardiness. I enjoyed sitting down with Fred Provenza in this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy to talk about all this and so much more. Fred is an incredible resource for understanding the link between soil organisms, plant nutrient profiles, and animal and human health. I was fascinated at the concept that the microbiome of our soils doesn’t just influence the nutrients of plants, but that the plants help determine that microbiome. This is why monoculture is so devastating—Fred and I dig into this relationship and why diversity, just like for our human diets, is essential for healthy soils and healthy animals. Phytochemicals are one of the most important aspects of nutrition that most people have never heard of. Fred explains how they influence the flavor and medicinal properties of our food, what animals and children can teach us about eating for phytochemicals diversity, and why we’re looking for love in all the wrong places when it comes to the Standard American Diet. We also break down that data on meat and health. The problem with the studies we hear the most about is that they use feedlot meat. This is dramatically different from meat that was raised foraging on a large variety of wild plants. Fred expands on this topic as well as why all grass-fed meats and even plant-based alternatives are not created equal. I know you’ll learn as much from Fred as I did. I hope you’ll tune in. This episode is brought to you by Joovv, BiOptimizers, and Primal Kitchen. Joovv is offering Doctor’s Farmacy listeners an exclusive discount on Joovv’s Generation 3.0 devices. Just go to and use the code FARMACY. Some exclusions do apply. Right now, BiOptimizers is offering Doctor’s Farmacy listeners 10% off your Magnesium Breakthrough order. Just go to and use code HYMAN10 to receive this amazing offer. Right now, Primal Kitchen is offering my community 20% off. Just go to and use the code DRHYMAN20 at checkout.

Topics Covered

  • The vital role that plant compounds play in plant, animal, and human health


  • Our modern agricultural practices breed against phytochemical richness in our foods


  • How animals self-medicate


  • The interrelatedness of the soil microbiome and microbiome of plants, animals, and humans


  • Our overreliance on GMO foods have negatively impacted plants natural ability to produce their own herbicides and fertilizers


  • How we grow our food is driving the chronic disease epidemic and eliminating our body’s natural nutritional wisdom


  • Food cravings and overeating are often attempts to correct nutritional deficiencies


  • We’re not just feeding our gut when we eat, we’re feeding every cell and organ in our body


  • Are plants sentient beings?


  • Variations in feedlot meat, different types of grass-fed meat, and plant-based meat alternatives


  • The importance of ecosystem diversity


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Ep. 179 - How The Intelligence Of Plants and Animals Can Help Us Reclaim Our Health