If you’ve met me even once you’ve probably had the pleasure of hearing me pepper this phrase in our conversation. I admit that I have a tendency to wax poetic on this topic but it’s been a little while since I’ve covered it in some kind of depth so I figured that now would be a good time for a refresher course.
The reality is that making good food choices is something that has biological impacts. It’s the case with both us as humans and livestock as well. We can start with the livestock. Here on our farm all of our animals are raised and rotated on pasture their entire lives. The ruminants, aka the cattle and sheep, subsist on grasses and forage as their primary diet as their multi-chambered stomachs allow them to break down roughage and convert it to nutrients in ways that monogastric or single stomach organisms, aka the chickens, turkeys and pigs, can’t. While the chickens, turkeys and pigs don’t primarily eat grass it’s a fantastic supplement for them in addition to the organic grains and seeds we provide.
In addition to our desire to provide our animals with most appropriate diets to what they would naturally eat, this has a marked impact on the meat too. Constantly exposing them to the freshest grasses and forages creates a distinct marbling in the meat as well as a tenderness and flavor that is unparalleled. In the case of beef, there have been studies conducted that support that grass-fed beef has more desirable saturated fatty acids as well as higher amounts of Vitamin A and E and cancer fighting antioxidants. Egg laying hens kept on pasture also have been shown to produce eggs that are more nutritious – the orange yolk shows the difference!
But what about you? Well, it all comes down to the tiniest of organisms called microflora that live in our digestive system. We depend on these microflora to break down food into cellular building blocks that make up our basic bodily functions, and to keep them working at their best we need to feed them with high quality nutrients in the form of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, carbohydrates and more.
We’ve covered the benefits of eating grass-fed meat and eggs but what about fruits and vegetables? For starters there’s quite a bit of evidence that fruits and vegetables grown in microbial rich soil have far more of these high quality nutrients than those grown in more standard “dead soil” environments. Our soil has been studied extensively by researchers at the University of Kentucky and has been found to, in essence, contain large amounts of magnetic charge that can attract and retain those important nutrients that then feed into the plants. This is rare to find in soils where herbicides and insecticides are used extensively, which tend to inundate the soil systems and prevent them from holding on to those essential good-for-you nutrients.
So, if you take anything away from this little ramble of mine, let it be this: A healthy soil makes for healthy plants and animals, which in turn makes for a healthier you. You really are what you eat.