Why Animals Are An Essential Part Of A Healthy Food System

Episode 745 1h 15m


We often hear the argument that in order to solve climate change we need to stop eating meat, but the truth is that animal agriculture done right is actually part of the solution. Human health is dependent on planetary health. A healthy planet coincides with healthy animals; when we look at the way public health and our climate have changed with the industrialization of agriculture, animals are a key focus. The methods used to raise meat can make or break our climate crisis and our health.

On today’s episode, I’m excited to talk to Robby Sansom and Taylor Collins about the nuances of regeneratively raised meat and how it can reverse climate change, support better health for those who eat it, and provide natural and caring conditions for the animals it involves. Our current U.S. food system is built to subsidize and support corn and soy farming. It makes it easier for big farms to get bigger while smaller farms have a difficult time making ends meet.

Robby explains the major issues in our food system and what he learned studying regenerative agriculture at ranches all over the world. He also shares how it differs from conventional and even organic farming practices. As Robby, Taylor, and I get into our conversation, we recognize how far removed we’ve become from food production–and death in general–and how that relates to consuming meat. I had the unique opportunity to visit ROAM Ranch and be a part of a Bison harvest. It was one of the most compelling and moving experiences of my life.

Taylor explains the importance of honoring the animal’s life, and discusses how the animal dies is just as important as how it lives. He also talks about the difference in the quality of nutrition between regeneratively grown bison and conventionally raised cattle. Much of the U.S. is made up of farmland, but that land has been systematically depleted, stripped of complex root systems and critical topsoil, causing nutrient depletion in the crops and animals.

We talk about why animal integration is a fundamental element of regenerative agriculture, and how different animals play different roles in regenerative grazing. We also get into the true cost of food. I’m not talking about the dollars and cents you are paying at the market; I’m talking about the benefit or burden that food has on your health, our environment, our climate, farmworkers, the economy, and so much more. One example is our loss of biodiversity.

Conventional farming practices like agricultural chemical inputs, over-tilling, nitrogen fertilizers, monoculture, deforestation, and more, contribute to a massive loss of biological diversity on the planet. This has major consequences for our food security, as we have less fertile soil, a decline in pollinators essential for food production, and other direct food losses like fish from polluted waterways. Regenerative agriculture is the answer to better food, a cleaner environment, and healthier people.

I hope you’ll tune in to learn more.


This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health, BiOptimizers, Levels, and Cozy Earth. The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast works with a select group of sponsors to allow for ongoing production and allow it to be zero-cost to anyone who wishes to listen to and watch the podcast.

Topics Covered

  • Big-picture issues with our food system


  • Regenerative agriculture as a solution to these issues


  • How the food industry takes advantage of consumers


  • The true cost of corn


  • My visit to Roam Ranch


  • The nutritional value of regenerative bison vs feedlot beef


  • Learnings from a regenerative rancher


  • Six principles of soil health


  • Food production around the world


  • Is regenerative agriculture scalable on a global level?


1 of 10

Host & Guests


Automatically generated. 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.

Introduction: Coming up on this episode of the Doctor's Farmacy.

Taylor Collins: There's never been a point in human history where we have been further separated from the source of our food, from the source of life. And I think that is with intention and that's with design.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome to Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman. That's [inaudible 00:00:21] pharmacy that have a place for conversations that matter. Today's conversation matters because it's about our food, our food system, and how we actually need to understand the role of animals in our food system to create a better ecosystem in agriculture and also better health for ourselves.
Now, this may be controversial for some of you, but we're going to get..

Want to read the full transcript for free?

Enter your name and email to sign up for our newsletter and unlock the transcript

Back to Content Library
Ep. 745 - Why Animals Are An Essential Part Of A Healthy Food System