Joel Salatin: Real Food Improves Your Performance

Joel F. Salatin is an American farmer, lecturer, and author whose books include Folks, This Ain’t Normal, You Can Farm, and Salad Bar Beef. Salatin raises livestock using holistic methods of animal husbandry, free from harmful chemicals, on his Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. Joel joins us today to talk about his unique farming methods, and why they improve both your health, and the health of the animals.

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What We Cover

  1. How did you get interested in sustainable farming and health?
  2. One of the common complaints you hear about grass-fed, natural farms like Polyface is that it’s not as productive as a large scale CAFO, so it can’t feed the world.  Are CAFO’s actually more productive than Polyface or not?
  3. What methods do you use to be so productive?
  4. How are you able to not use pesticides, antibiotics, or synthetic fertilizers and stay profitable?
  5. What is “salad bar” farming?
  6. What are some of the principles you use to ensure the best products possible?
  7. What animals do you raise, and are their any unique tricks you’ve developed to make them healthier and more nutritious?
  8. Do you think it’s possible for organizations like yours to grow and feed a much larger percentage of the population?
  9. Are there any benefits of eating grass over grains for the animals?
  10. What happens to a cow when it is forced to eat grains, soy beans, and otters junk?
  11. Is the meat from animals that have been treated humanely any healthier or tastier?
  12. A lot of people say grass-fed meat and natural fed animals are too expensive.  If the government didn’t subsidize grains and factory farming, do you think these products could be cheaper?
  13. If someone wanted to visit the farm, are they allowed to?  Are there any major events at the farm that would be a good time to come?

Links From The Show


PolyFace Farms

Food & Supplements

Lectin Lock

Kerrygold Grass-Fed Butter

Grass-Fed Meat

Bentonite Clay

Activated Charcoal

Upgraded™ Glutathione



Yoga for Your Eyes by Meir Schneider


“Use What I Use: the Best Lab Blood Testing for Biohacking – Save $100 (video too)” by Dave Asprey

“Video: How I hacked myself to overcome information overload stress” by Dave Asprey

Listener Q & A Summary

  1. Do legumes decrease insulin sensitivity?
  2. Is ephedrine safe and effective?
  3. Does the supplement glutenease work?
  4. Are blood tests worthless?

Biohacker Report

A review of the latest research to help you achieve the Bulletproof state of high performance.

Dave: “The potential role of the antioxidant and detoxification properties of glutathione in autism spectrum disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis.”

Glutathione is important for detox, so these researchers wanted to examine how glutathione depletion might affect childhood autism, which is may be caused by toxins.

The researchers conducted a widespread review looking at all sorts of studies on glutathione synthesis and its relation to autism and toxin clearance.

They found that pathways needed for glutathione recycling and functioning were impaired in children with autism, and recommended that more studies be carried out to see if glutathione depletion is a contributor to autism.

Dave: “‘A Pace Not Dictated by Electrons”: An Empirical Study of Work Without Email”

UC Irvine researchers and the US Army wanted to see how not checking email reduced stress and increased performance of office-workers.

They attached heart rate monitors to office workers, and monitored how often they switched windows during the day.

The people who checked their email the most had the lowest heart rate variability, which is a sign of major stress.  Those who avoided email for 5 days had a much healthier heart beat.

The email fast also produced far better concentration, as evidenced by a reduction in web surfing and more time spent on each task.  The subjects in the email free group also reported far lower subjective stress measures and a greater ability to perform work without distraction.

This study is hard proof that email overload is bad for your performance and your health.  If you’re one of those people who can’t be away from your crackberry or i-have-no-life phone for more than a few hours, you’re less productive, and will probably die sooner.  I only answer email once a day, sometimes once every two days if I’m not under a close deadline.  Try it, you’ll get more done and live longer.

BP Intern: “Chronic inflammatory diseases are stimulated by current lifestyle: how diet, stress levels and medication prevent our body from recovering.”

Previous research had shown that immune dysregulation is a major contributor to inflammation, not just decreased immune function.

After reviewing data on the massive increase in cases of chronic inflammatory diseases, they hypothesized that immune dysregulation is a widespread problem.

The biggest source of inflammation the researchers found was chronic psychological stress.  Not only did stress impair immune function, it also reduced the body’s ability to cope with new stressors in a healthy way.

They also found that an increase in the consumption of PUFAs, refined carbohydrates, and antinutrients like lectins and saponins (which quinoa has a ton of), paired with a decreased intake of fat soluble vitamins and antioxidants directly promotes inflammation.

The researchers also talked about how modern medications like NSAIDS and other anti-inflammatory drugs are damaging our immune systems.

They conclude that if you want to decrease inflammation, you need to decrease your consumption of omega-6 oils, refined carbs, and antinutrients, stop over-relying on medication, and work on strategies for stress management – basically, be Bulletproof.

Questions for the podcast?

Leave your questions and responses in comments section below.

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Listener Questions


Love the site guys, I am constantly sharing information with my mother as she is just as much into health as I am so keep up the good work! I’ve got two questions 1. What are your guys opinions on ephedrine? Once in a while either to help with focus for something important or if I over ate the day before I will take a bronkaid with my coffee in the morning. Do you see harm in doing this?

  1. How effective do you think the supplement glutenease is?

Dave responds:

I haven’t used ephedrine in many years. Modafinil is my favorite. Glutenease helps but is in no way the path to safely eating wheat. It’s not worth it! 😉


re: “Removing grains, legumes, and processed dairy produces greater insulin sensitivity in animals and humans. (6)(7)” – none of the links mentioned legumes. So, claim for removing legumes is not supported.

Co-host responds:

Both studies were on paleolithic diets, which involved removing grains, legumes, and dairy. One was on pigs, which is less relevant, but the other was on people with ischemic heart disease. Neither diet was matched for protein intake, which is a major confounder, but both diets removed legumes from the diet. The claim stands supported, with the addition of mentioning that protein intake was higher on the paleo-type diet.


I had someone say this to me about blood tests. What are your thougts?:

“Blood tests are usually not very accurate for what is happening in the body. Saliva, stool and urine testing is always more reliable and predictable for real results. Many vitamin tests per blood are not good as you need to get RBC analysis to get accurate levels in the body. The best labs out there for accurate testing are ZRT for any hormonal testing, Genova Diagnostics for leaky gut and other stool tests and Metametrix for vitamins and candida. All these labs also offer a multitude of tests and some are well noted for the best in the business. Doctors Data is great for heavy metal testing. Sad thing about all of this is that most of this is not covered by insurance as it does not necessarily follow the American Medical Model as we know it today. A good naturopathic doctor is by far the best way to go as they are set up with all of these labs and will know what to order, but once again usually not covered by insurance.

You should have your Vit D level tested, this can be by a regular doctor and through blood.

Dave responds:

It’s not quite that simple. All body fluids have a story to tell and none are “better” than others. For instance, red blood cell size (cell volume) is an interesting indicator you’re not going to get elsewhere. For anti-aging and wellness, a regular blood test is useful, but so is urine (WellnessFX does that too), and so are saliva. Stool is more specialized and I’m not a big fan of testing it because of sampling problems. Better to look at urine organic acids to discern GI function, IMHO.

Co-host responds:

Blood testing has a lot to offer that urine, stool, and saliva testing does not.  First, anything measured in the blood is a good reflection of what’s going on in most of your body, since almost every part of your body has a constant blood supply.

Second, things like omega-3 tissue concentrations, blood glutathione levels, and apolipoproteins can only be measured from blood testing.

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