by David Sandstrom 

September 7, 2020

Getting quality animal products is not as easy as it might seem. Meet John Wood, CEO and Founding Farmer of US Wellness Meats. John is a 5th-generation Missouri farmer. He is living from his area of passion and US Wellness Meats is doing things right.

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Show Notes

1.

Today's Guest...

  • John Wood, CEO US Wellness Meats
2.

Topics Discussed...w / Time Stamps

  • 3:46 - John's first experiments with grass-fed cattle
  • 6:00 - History behind feeding cattle corn-based feed
  • 9:35 - Deer won't eat GMO corn
  • 10:35 John Wood brings grass-fed cattle to the marketplace
  • 15:00 - The solar / soil / vegetation / cattle / human cycle
  • 16:12 - What happens to a cow's digestive system when they're grain-fed
  • 21:49 - Let Saturated Fat Out of Jail
  • 23:54 - John's answer to David's time-travel question
  • 31:11 -Games being played with grass-fed labeling
  • 40:09 - John's Book recommendations
  • 42:21 - Get a discount on US Wellness products
4.

Transcript... 


Scroll through the text below to read the full transcript.

David Sandstrom 0:00
Welcome to the holistic health matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential in body, mind and spirit so that you can pursue the abundant life more effectively. I'm your host David Sandstrom Naturopathic Doctor and Biblical Health Coach, and this is episode number 11. Today we're gonna be speaking with john wood. John is the CEO and managing partner of US Wellness Meats. John is one of the founding farmers of US Wellness Meats, specializing in 100% grass-fed, and grass-finished sustainably raised beef, lamb, bison, elk, and dairy products. US Wellness also carries wild caught seafood, pasture raised heirloom pork, and pastured free-range poultry. John started the family business 20 years ago and has seen it grow into a thriving online food service. John, welcome to the show.

John Wood 0:59
Thanks for much, David. Appreciate it.

David Sandstrom 1:01
Sure thing. Thank you for being here. Did I miss anything in there and your bio?

John Wood 1:06
No, the only other little comment I guess I am a fifth generation Missouri farmer. My family goes back in this part of the country. So the 1848 I guess so my ancestors settled in northeast Missouri. So Wow, pretty interesting. That lineage of pioneers.

David Sandstrom 1:21
That's Terrific. Good to hear that. All right, well, we'll get to know you a little bit better. Tell us something interesting about yourself, although you just did but is there anything else you'd like to add that some most people don't know about you?

John Wood 1:34
Well, I'm guess I'm not from I'm always the guy that takes the the the untravel path as one of my Forte's. I don't like to go on the beaten paths. And I can assure you when we started this concept, I actually read Alan Savory's Holistic Resource Management, which is a outstanding read on forest environment. Environmentalism will take care of the planet. He's still alive today. Great author, great speaker has a Ted Talk By the way, and I read that in 1992 or three, which kind of planted the seeds for us wellness meats that didn't really take shape until year 2000. But we were trying to figure out how to generate more income and and I actually had the concept that we could maybe produce grass-fed beef and I read some research at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Mike Rizzo had actually discovered CLA, which is kind of one of the magic compounds and in an animal, it eats green forage all day long and it's a fatty acid that fights cancer, diabetes, puts on lean muscle takes off fat and good circuitry system and I kind of had in my head maybe we could actually use that as a selling point. And most people I talked to thought I was nuts, but I've and then we, we actually raised the first animal 1997 finished about five or six animals on forage and took it to the local country locker and the butcher says I call it God So you're not sure this is going to be fit for steaks, you know, it might just be ground beef, and yo u call me so other little grade low choice as a oh it can't grade low choice. Keep in mind, I came out of a family farm background of feeding cattle grain for 20-25 years from 1975 to 2000, when I finally retired from that, from that particular line of work, and it just, it just went against everything I've been taught to do for the previous, you know, or early 1970s. So we were surprised and I went over and looked at it and and and sure enough that ribeye was marbled. And it didn't have near as much back fat as the other animals hanging up in the cooler but so we go ahead and cut some steaks. And that's when we realized we thought we kind of had something because it was really pretty good.

David Sandstrom 3:45
Yeah.

John Wood 3:46
We actually cut it with a plastic knife in the fork. It hadn't been aged more than six or seven days. It wasn't long-aged like we do now. But we were from the show me state of Missouri, you know, and then I thought it would just kind of a fluke. I mean, I don't know have that we kind of cherry pick the best animal of the five or six and did it again in 1998 and get a 1999, 99. We did a little smarter. We did half a dozen animals and sent samples off to Iowa State University of Illinois to have them analyze for omega threes and omega sixes and CLA, you really couldn't get a commercial CLA tests. Very few labs could do that and 1999 and it came back really, really good. The dawn bytes was a professor at Iowa State who was a good mentor for us. And he was doing some research on CLA using hydrogenated safflower oil, which is not economically feasible in both pigs and then beef animals in the pig stomach just like you and I. And they had 25% less back fat and 10% larger loin eyes, they were affecting the body composition. And he was quite intrigued to get a real live sample of you know, grass fed beef off off of Mother Nature, so to speak. So he encouraged us to continue so but you know, I was laughed at and I guess one of my, one of my points I count on for my children today, you know, if someone's laughing at you, you're probably on the right path. I mean, it's, most people would have would have not, would have not had the courage to jump in. I also, from an airline perspective, I would have jumped out of an airplane at 30,000 feet and hope the parachute was going to come over the time we hit the ground because we didn't know what we were doing. We were we were in the forest amongst the trees and we were trying to sell a product. Nobody knew what we had. And it was a slow, slow pool for the first two or three years.

David Sandstrom 5:31
So that was the late 1990s.

John Wood 5:35
That's correct. It was it was actually we formed the company in September of 2000. We're coming up on our 20th anniversary here shortly. Okay, but, but that was but the actual seeds were planted and the and the, you know, mid mid to late 90s. We learned kind of how to manage the grass and manage the landscape which was we got pretty good at

David Sandstrom 5:59
John, I'm sure you remember more about this than me. But I was born in 1962. And I can remember the aroma and the taste of the beef that my mom used to cook. Every Sunday. She used to cook a roast in the oven, we go off to church, and we have to, we'd have to get out of church. If the pastor went late, we were worried that the roast was going to burn. But when we came home, I remember the smell of what that that beef smelled like and tasted like. But that went away somewhere in the early 70s, I think. And it wasn't until I ordered some food from your farm that I said that smells like my childhood; that smells like real beef to me. So I don't know when the you know what the timeframe was.

John Wood 6:39
But here's the rest of the story. And after World War Two, there was a tremendous amount of ammonia nitrite laying around they made bombs with and War Department came to the Agriculture Department and said we got to get rid of all this stuff. We don't have a war to fight and slowly applied it to cropland and corn yields doubled 1946, 47, 48 49 and 1950 Do you want or so there was a lot of corn in the United States. What do we do with all this corn and then they went to the land grant universities and said, you know, we got a problem. Little chickens just eat a, you know, a couple ounces a day and pigs eat, you know, maybe two pounds a day or a pound and a half whatever it is, and, and a big old thousand pounds steer, he couldn't put away 25 pounds of corn a day. So they decided to start feeding corn to beef cattle and paradigms take 20 years to change. So that all started in the early 1950s and my early 1970s you know, grain feeding was a common common theme everywhere that was easier to do and quicker and faster. Yeah. So an industry changed and what you had in 1962 there was a lot of still quite a bit of grass fed beef around in the early 60s and my father has told me in the sand hills in Nebraska, they would bring these June cattle off the rich spring grass, three year old steers. They go Omaha Nebraska in the fancy restaurants in New York and Chicago would bid on these cattle and they were the grass-fed steers coming out of out of Nebraska in the upper Midwest, June July. And then the same thing took place on the west coast in California and March and April in the winter grasses on the west coast and that's where the best flavor came from. And, and that's, but that's exactly what was going on. And my father had the same comment that you had because he said this tastes like what we used to what we used to eat. So and chickens was the same way once we get a pastured chicken that's been raised outside on and done correctly. The key word is pastured chicken. You can buy free range chicken and that's usually raised in the building with an opening to the outside common exercise a lot of chickens are lazy. They're hardly ever go outside. So yes, but a pastured chicken is a magic word. And once you once you eat pastured chicken, you'll never go back to back to the grocery store. Again, it's just a flavor differences, just styling.

David Sandstrom 8:56
I totally agree and you know right away when you cut into it after it's cooked the The ligaments that hold the bird together are a lot stronger from a pastured bird as well so you know that this this animal has has experienced a healthier life and you know this more nutrients in that food when you know you're choosing what to put on your table to feed your family. You want an animal that's fed that's its natural diet. Number one rule for healthy eating is eat food is close to its God-given natural form as possible. So when you treat and feed a chicken, their natural diet, they're naturally healthier. Same is true with a cow, our bison or elk or anything else. Right?

John Wood 9:32
Absolutely correct. And

All you have to be careful of you know, in the Midwest, if you're a deer hunter, or you know, a lot of deer in the Midwest are actually grain-fed deer they've learned to nibble in the cornfields. But the interesting thing about the wild deer given the choice of a GMO field and a non GMO field, several of my friends have commented they'll see deer damage and non GMO fields. T he deer seem to know what the difference is which is interesting and I have friends in Mississippi told me the same thing like the raccoons will not will not go after GMO corn they'll actually feast on non GMO corn if they have a choice so there's a difference.

David Sandstrom 10:11
Wow that's interesting. Yeah animals know the difference but we don't so for you, john, was it was it just getting back to your roots as far as farming goes or how did you how did you have the idea to say hey, we're gonna we're going to go against the grain. We're going to start feeding our animals, our cows grass, and bring that to market what what caused that evolution of thought?

John Wood 10:35
Well, it didn't didn't happen overnight. But I I was involved in a family cattle feeding business and we could see that a little bit of the handwriting on the wall for the small independent producer. He oh, he used to have five different markets and it was four markets and three markets in two markets and by the by the late it not is only one buyer in northeast Missouri and family. You know, it was a large business and didn't really want to change the direction and so I said, I think you know, this thing might work and so I elected to resign from the family business I still own my was through through another family member and my my home farm I grew up on which a smaller acreage I did purchase that in the early 80s. And I converted that to grass. And that's when everyone laughed at me. I mean, I was ridiculous. Just complete laughed at because I went away from the conventional agriculture and but it didn't, you know, we it took us five or six or seven years to really develop a market but I was, but what I figured out pretty quickly, you know, what we were doing was good for the land. The land was healing the erosion problems on the way we had a 2011 we had like 30 some odd inches of rain in the month of June and I've got several large lakes on my property, not one of those lakes overflowed and now every other lake in the county spillway damage or just typical type rains. My soil was able to absorb tremendous amount of water and I had all the storage on the ground. So it's like a natural sponge. So what we were doing was good for the land. The animals were in utopia, you know, they move everyday to fresh grass. And so they you know, they see you coming on a little four wheeler there, they wait patiently open the gate and they go and overhead goes down. And so that's they're very calm and very content. And it's good for the rural community. There's a lot of interest in this now. We've I was a founding member of the grass fed exchange.com which is kind of a clearinghouse for the grass fed industry, grass fed exchange calm and we've attracted a lot of young people. We actually invite we have some scholarships for high school and college students. We'll send them to the our annual convention every year. And it's, you know, there's a you know, this is a game that they can play they can find, you know, like a land owner that's wanting to retire you can you lose some grass And oftentimes those people are third parties that will provide animals they provide the labor and management employed to kind of bootstrap your way and in agriculture right now agriculture is very difficult to enter. In the commodity world, there's just too much too much overhead and costs involved. But in the livestock world, you can do it with goats and lambs and beef animals. And it's a it's a it's it's good for the environment. And we're actually trying to build soil. That's the other thing we really kind of tell here is we're actually storing carbon grasslands of the world or some of the best carbon sinks on the planet. And, you know, if you go, we'll say Ray's book is fascinating. If you go to the deserts of North Africa, if you go back a million years ago, that was all grassland. Before man became active on the African continent, it was managed by large herds of herbivores. There was also a large predator population. And interestingly enough, the predators were the land managers because these animals all had to stay in a group that graze in a group who slept with a group really dunked in a group and urinated in the group and then they moved on. The next day, because I was away, and the predators took off the week and the injured or whatever. That's kind of how the system works. man came along and eventually reduced the predator population to point to animals loss or fear, then you got into over grazing and under grazing. And that's what messed up the carbon cycle in Iraq, for example, there's 6050 inches of rainfall a year, the Tigris Euphrates Valley, but it all falls, you know, in like, three or four months and then there's four or five months of dry and that's when you that's when the plants got messed up in the overgraze. Plants wouldn't grow the rest of plants. That's when that's going to turn into desert. So desertification process, same thing happened in Australia. Same things going on right now in the Pan American Southwest state of New Mexico is one of the most rapidly growing deserts in the world today. I was a boy scout back in the 1960s and I took some pictures up on top of Philmont Scout Ranch and it was great. That was a green side held across Mexico prairie not that way today

David Sandstrom 15:00
So, the the cycle is you take care of the soil, soil grows healthy grass, you feed healthy grass to the animals produces a healthy animal and those animal products produce healthy people. It makes sense.

John Wood 15:14
Now what happens when you start doing this when you go the stress land 30 to 45 days arrest between between grazing cycles that allows the root system to go deeper and deeper. Every year I grow more and more grass on my property and which is another fascinating side piece of this whole thing as you watch the land get better in front of your eyes. I mean, it's just stunning how much more forage I produce this year I did 15 years ago. And I tell anybody is going to do this. You know, your your first mistake is you probably under stock after the first two, three years, you'll have enough animal units out there to really make this thing work. And I'm a little bit that way myself this year, of having longer rest cycles. And what also happens you bring back native plants and native prairie plants, start showing And I've got bluestem and switch grasses and Eastern gamma grasses. These are plants that you would have seen here back in the 1700s before this area was settled and those little species are starting to come back on my property now which is fascinating. It's fantastic.

David Sandstrom 16:14
It's fantastic. So john, would you take a minute to let the double hm community know what happens to a cow when you feed them grains what happens to their digestive system

John Wood 16:22
It's a very simple story, the the animal that you feed grain to starch digestion, and the first three or four stomachs and above on, you've got a rumen, which is a fermentation bath, you've got the Abba Mason reticulum and small intestine, the four stomachs to the bovine when that animal is digesting starch, the pH in the fermentation chambers, four and a half to five and a half very acidic. When you take the same animal and you feed it a forage diet, that pH goes up, Ph seven, very, you know, six and a half to seven huge difference. Well, the bacteria that fermented pH seven, for example, all die off at pH six. They're very sensitive to the pH to this to the acids and that fermentation environment. So you've got the grazing fermentation bacteria, and you have the grain fed fermentation bacteria and they produce a completely different suite of fatty acids, omega six three ratio and that grain fed animals about 20 bad guys and one good guy 20 mega six is one omega three and they can vary can be 14 to one or 18 to water 20 to one, the grazing animal. On the other hand, I've had, I 've actually had levels of 1:1, 6:3, 2:1 3:1, 4:3 or four, two ones, kind of the average so you have a much higher concentration of omega threes, which are anti inflammatory. Omega sixes are inflammatory. You need a few mega sixes for the brain every day but we get way too many omega sixes in our diets. So if you have arthritis problems you know that omega six is going to aggravate that any you know any aches and pains is going to be aggravated by omega six. What's interesting in 19 in 2003, we got acquainted, we went to the Fitness Expo or the Iron Man Expo in Pasadena, John Felix, the owner of Iron Man magazine, encouraged me to come out and participate in that. And after about the third day, the strong men came over and these gu ys are owed hagas still legendary guy. He's in his 70s now, I suppose. But anyway, he brought two younger guys are they men, we had a conversation and they wanted to, they were trying to eat three to four pounds a day ground beef, and they would go on to a local large box store and they were buying that, you know, cheap ground beef and they could only eat about two pounds a day and they were constipated. They just wouldn't go through them and they, we made a deal at a discount with them and they started going. They were they were eating three to four pounds of ground beef a day. John Anderson's wife would prepare a four pound meatloaf every morning for him and he would eat eight slices a day during the course of the day went through them just like Sam and they were just ecstatic. Yeah, the first the first thing they told me. After about four to six weeks it was how much stronger they were. my elbows are better. My knees are better. My hips are better. I watcjed Sean Anderson do set of 10 - 900 pound squats. One image is superhuman stuff. And those know the strain they're putting on their bodies. But they then after a year, each one of those guys Justin Maroney and Anderson both put about 25 pounds of lean muscle on that frame they had Wow. And then 2006 I think Justin Ronda was the second strongest man in the world and was held in China. But they were interesting people and so from the athletic community, we've you know, we've kind of gotten mixed up in several professional sports teams and when you get around superior athletes They will, you know, they're so sensitive to food. It's an interesting deal because the New York Jets we started working with them 1 0 years ago, and Sal Alosie at that time was the strength coach and at the Jet facility back when we first got got acquainted, but he was keeping pretty interesting records and they were having fewer entries, quicker recoveries, you know that you can plot all that. And we'll just say the team that won the World Series last year, we've had them throughout the entire season, and they had the best record in baseball, or they had the fewest mistakes. And if you look at the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, the number of errors, the batting average all those key statistics they were number one, and they were eating high fat. They were doing some neat stuff. I mean, they were serving pork roast and beef roast and, and chicken stock and marrow bone broth. I mean it was just crazy stuff.

David Sandstrom 21:01
Stuff that we've been told for decades that we need to stay away from.

John Wood 21:04
And if you if you go back to your your ancestors, you know, they always had a stock pot on the stove. We sell we sell us we call a superfood chickens, chicken stock and that lady and there's an Iowa lady that introduced that to us. And it was her grandmother's personal, you know, recipe and been handed down the family for 80 years and, you know, neat stuff. I mean, it's just and if you go back and look at our ancestors are no antibiotics to cover. You know, they had and they learned bone broth and chicken stocks and all those sort of things are great for their personal immune system and they knew breastfeeding was good. The longer they did it, the better the immune response was. It was not uncommon in 1800s of breastfeed for two years. And it was just from the standpoint of human health, right?

David Sandstrom 21:49
Yeah, I did an episode not too long ago on when can I talk about saturated fat and while we've been misled when it comes to that, and we've got to get away from that term artery clogging saturated It's just not true it's been debunked. And for some reason the the establishment the institutionalized advice we're getting from the federal government especially, is just not keeping up with the with the latest research and we now know that we need not fear saturated fat. In fact, it's very healthy for us. As long as we eat, we control the carb intake with it.

John Wood 22:22
I think I've probably one of the highest fat consumers in America. We've perfected pemmican bars back in 2003 or four, which is 55% jerky 45% pure beef tallow. I consume one or two of those every morning. I've been eating them for breakfast for years and I fill my tank with energy and a little dose of protein and an interesting story on pemmican if you go back, John DeFlorio is a trainer out on Long Island. And he contacted me in 2003. Didn't know he didn't know him from Adam. He said, Can you guys make pemmican? I said, Well, I've heard the term I mean, I do as a Native American staple. So we made some in an angel food cake pan by one of my meat fabricators and so I'll take a swing at that and he really liked it. So, but the story was john Florio was one of three American coaches strength coaches that entered a lottery. 100 some odd people entered a lottery and it pulled three names out of the hat. They got to go to Russia in 2002, I think and they met with these strength coaches who were in their 80s and 90s. And the Russians were the powerlifting champions of the world, you know, back in the 1930s 40s 50s and 60s, and they forced fat those guys three to four pounds of pemmican a day that was that was a secret, secret sauce that they did and then 1970s they figured out steroids, they can inject people and get the response they wanted with that, but yeah, but but if you go up into Siberia, they did the same thing as a Plains Indians there they made they made pemmican that was a common staple but that 2.1 4 oz pemmican bar sitting there 200 and some calories and 13, 14 grams of protein and that's, we have several well known athletes to carry that into clubhouses and once retired, you know, American League, desognated hitter, and he was, he was great, great fan of pemmican. And he also would take marrow bones and put them in a in a pan with a little bit of real grass-fed butter and melt the marrow out and eat like a soup he was after. After all that fat. My father ate. He passed away here a couple of years ago at 96. And he would either eat at a stick of grass fed butter, you know, quarter pound of butter seemed like every two three days is mind sharps as a tack all the way in the end. I mean, it's just and my mother believed the argument, you know, in the 1970s of fats was bad and she developed dementia, and, you know, refuse to eat fats. And you know, I've always said if you look at the fat intake In America on a bar chart, it started going down in the early 70s. And the dementia and Alzheimer's follow the exact opposite straight up.

David Sandstrom 25:08
Well, you know, the the real the real enemy in fats today is the polyunsaturated fats we call PUFAs. And they're mostly omega six because of vegetable oils. And everyone agrees that you're if you get your omega six ratio above 10 to one omega six to three ratio that is above 10, to one that is pro inflammatory, and inflammation is the root cause of a whole bunch of other ailments. And you mentioned dementia. The brain needs massive amounts of cholesterol. It's a super important for brain function if we don't if we're not getting enough cholesterol in our in the food that we eat, our bodies will will compensate by producing more but it's a very important nutrients and other another thing, another nutrient that's been demonized over the years that we need to shake off the whole notion.

John Wood 25:56
No, I'm not an Eli Lilly fan. I My mother is a prime example of one too. She was associate high cholesterol and she took, took the statin drugs. And if you read the warning label, she pretty much met all those criteria used to walk three miles a day and then the legs go and then the muscles start to deteriorate and it's just hideous what's goes on there and, and another friend was a former Eli Lilly employee, who was the research chemist. I think he's name here in a minute. He retired probably in 2000. But he said they had an he was wearing, he was wearing kalbarri out, he actually talked about some of the stuff that he was supposed to talk about. But one of those trials was 100,000 heart attack deaths. This was like late 1990s or early two, this was like, This is 2005 or six clocks off a little bit. Somewhere in there. They did a trial and they looked at 100,000 heart attack tests and, and the higher percentage was actually people that have People that had low cholesterol levels, you know, it was just the exact opposite what we've been told to believe so,

David Sandstrom 27:06
Yeah, well, again, I talked about that in great detail, but it was episode nine that I talked about saturated fat and cholesterol and there is a bad cholesterol and it's called APO-B. And that's the the cholesterol, that type of LDL cholesterol will oxidize very easily. But saturated fat intake will increase your levels of APO-A, which is shown to be neutral, it's not that doesn't really impact our inflammation, whereas the APO-B that will contribute to arthrosclerosis. But that is not affected by saturated fat intake. So if you want to get more information on that, go back to episode nine and listen to that one.

John Wood 27:47
So I mean, you've done your homework well, and thank you. It's just, you know, then but the bottom line. This is also a hard one to swallow. I'm sure you discussed it you know if you're overweight, eating smart. We'll take weight off of you. I mean, that sort of thing for that's a hard subject for people to get their head around.

David Sandstrom 28:04
But right when we've been hearing the opposite for 50 years, it's hard for people to to break away from that. But it's absolutely true. We've been misled. And I go into the history on how that came into being that whole lipid hypothesis came into being that episode. So if that interests you, go back to episode nine and and check that one out. So john, I got another question for you. Remember the movie Back to the Future to where the old Biff stole the time machine, and he went back in time and met the young Biff and he gave him the sports Almanac. And that Almanac, that information drastically changed his future. So my question for you, john, is if you could go back in time and talk to the younger version of yourself when you're first getting started in your farming journey. What would you tell him? What would you tell the younger john?

John Wood 28:54
Well, first of all, I tell him to follow his passions and follow his instincts and Do not be afraid of the unknown. And, and I think we are probably on the doorstep of several great discoveries in this food science world that we know that it's going to everything's going to change here in the next, the next three to five years. They'll be things to come along in the next six months we don't see today but not to be afraid to to be the first or you're not wait to be the last guy to go into the door, you know, like the paradigm shifts. It's being a being not afraid of risk and not being afraid of failure, I guess not being afraid of failure. I've never been afraid of failure. I've often failed. I've been humbled a time or two but I but I think if you if you look at the soil and you look at the whole spectrum, everything revolves around our topsoil in the world today. And sadly, we've got about 100 years supply. And that's why the grass fed exchange has really lobbied hard last six or seven or eight years about soul reject We are, we are not being good stewards are a resource we need to generate. Soil I live on the Mississippi River and the number of floods we've had in northeast Missouri have increased a lot in my lifetime, you know, major flood events occurring too frequently. And we're just, you know, we need we need to start improving the quality of soil. But I think it starts right at the soil base. And I would encourage anybody to really look at that resource. That's your that's your, that's your gold gold standard right there, the better the soil, the better your your chances are going to be. And I and I, I didn't really understand that when I started on this journey. And that's one of the things that I look back on. Oh, done a few things differently. But it all starts with the soil.

David Sandstrom 30:46
All right, thank you for that. And here's another question. I have john. You know, you can go to the grocery store today and you can buy beef that's labeled grass fed. But when I do that, when I eat that meat, I can tell by the text And the flavor that is not grass finished. Can you talk a little bit about the labeling laws and what the difference between grass fed and grass finished actually is?

John Wood 31:11
Well, that's a real murky subject. What's interesting, it's an interesting story in 2005 may have my dates from somewhere between 2005 and 10. The USDA waited into the grass fed world and at the at the encouragement that will just save a major some of the major players the beef industry, and they wanted it It used to be grass fed was Mama's milk and grass all the way all the way to harvest. And then they changed that so the grass finished it's kind of a new term, and that indicates Mama's milk and grass all the way to finish and grass fed got changed to the point that you could add some other feed sources to it, you know, Under bad weather conditions or whatever, there was a little arose a scapegoat set up into that. So that's why we say grass fed grass finished I use in my mind grass fed, it's always really unchanged, but the word grass finishes new terminology. But you need to be, you need to be you need to ask some questions at the grocery store. Now there are several companies out there that I do know that do a correctly they do have, you know, that have bridged into those markets. And the other thing that actually will affect flavor and texture is what we get into, you know, our animals are under the age of 30 months, which is a young animal. And if you harvest a horse, an older cow, which will say she's six or seven years of age, and if you're foolish enough to take the stakes out of that animal, they're not going to use as well they're going to be the texture is going to be different to send you is going to be different, you know, unless they marinate that it's just going to not going to be the best eating experience. That's been one of our one of the things I've learned Against for years and she just can't put it into the marketplace. But there are some there are and then USDA got out of the labeling game about three or four years ago because the heat got pretty hot in the kitchen. And there's some things going on that they were might have been liable for. And so they've they've backed out of it. American grass fed associations got a six or seven page, you know rulebook on what they call grass fed grass finished. And my whole thing's always been very simple should all be on one page. It just you guys keep the star child the diet. That's just pretty plain and simple. If you had any sort of starch and here's the rest of the story that starts to that animal in the last 30 days of life, and that's one of the old wives tales feedlot Well, you have to feed them some grain in the last 30 days in order to in order to get the flavor which is completely taboo and opposite of what it should be right. And the 30 days of grain will remove almost all your go to mega threes or CLA changes that fatty acid composition dramatically. And then the other one is a book by Mark schatzker called steak that was a New York Times bestseller about 1011 years ago. And I don't worry found the money but schatzker is a Canadian and he traveled and Canada United States went to South America, went to Europe and he traveled with a team of biochemist and they ate steak for I don't know how long it went on, but the very best steak that he found was in France. And it was a Scottish Highland animal which has these things with a really shaggy hair coats and horns about four feet long. And I was shocked that that was I wouldn't that doesn't look to me like the the perfect animal but that's what they found the perfect steak. But he called he called a magic and grass fed me photo lipids that was a new term for me. And the photo lip is for like example in a ribeye. When you eat a ribeye, you'll see the Enter you'll see the same fat which would revise or notice for that's not the magic that gives it the while flavor is the Enter mode. Killer fat that you really can't see. It's lipids that are within the muscle tissue itself. That's where the magics coming from. And that's where he said, you know, whatever area on I'm assuming the Scottish filer was probably in that area in France, it was probably higher elevation, you know, coolers, cooler summers, cold nights, and that's where you see those animals anyway, probably in the Alps area, France. But, but that's where the magic comes from is called photo lifts. And that's, that's for you, but you cannot give them any kind of starch at the end. You just run everything and I'm guessing that's a grocery store. Then there's an awful lot of products coming in out of Uruguay and Paraguay and I've always been suspicious of that there's a couple of companies are bringing that in by the container loads in large quantities, and I've had some of that with a couple of trade shows for events we were at and it just never you have no idea what you're eating there. You could be eating a young animal, old animal. I don't know how well it's created. But the work comes from there's a story there are several good reputable companies. Right and they are trying to eke out a spot on that in that commodity grocery store business under red play there

David Sandstrom 36:12
yeah so the moral of the story is Get to Know Your Farmer just like we're doing right now and and know where your beef is coming from and ask the right question know how to ask the right questions because there are a lot of a lot of games being played with this late labeling is something might be legal, but it might not be morally accurate to state because all cows are grass fed at some point, you know, they get to get weaned from their mother, and they're out in the field at some point they're eating some grass, but is that animal grass finished and as you said, If you feed that animal corn based feed, which is starch based, they're going to lose the healthy components of the meat and dairy in 30 days. It doesn't take long.

John Wood 36:54
That didn't take long. No, that's amazing part of it. It doesn't take long in order and it takes 200 days to get put it in there and you can you can have an To spirit 30 days and you also you also run the flavor I mean the yeah the real wow flavor is coming from those photo lip inside of that we just discussed this stuff you really can't see that's what's interesting about it I mean it's like when you cook a burger you know you cook you cook or grass fed burger and that grease in the pan. I mean that's, that's, that's where the flavor is. Yeah. We saw the sugar free hot dog and it's just a plain hot dog with minimal, minimal ingredients. But you don't need ketchup. I mean you don't need mushroom relish. I mean that's just a really

David Sandstrom 37:31
good taste great. I know I can I can testify to that.

John Wood 37:34
You got about 30% fat and those things and prefer with 35 also that's a really good dog.

David Sandstrom 37:42
I can also testify to the pack and you mentioned earlier that stuff. I love those bars and they give me a tremendous amount of satiety. I don't have to eat for quite a while when I have a couple of those. I mean they they really stick with you.

John Wood 37:53
You know they do and if and in your world of travel, you know you can put those those things Good. I've seen him set around for 30 days on an office desk and just out of curiosity, you know, the people that make the pemican for us. They're afraid to call it shelf stable, which means they need to dry the jerky down to about 12% moisture, which really hard to grind hard on equipment. And then if you get a pinhole in the package, it could spoil. Yeah, so we don't make a claim. But I will tell you another story. We actually sponsored a, a, there's a yacht race. Every four years I think when they leave the coast of France on July one that's a single man yacht race and it's pre 1968 Technologies. So they're using sextants they're not and they haven't catch rainwater. I mean, the old fashioned way. Yeah. And the the gentleman that we sponsor we partial sponsor, but I gave him 300 pounds of pemmican and put in the hold of that ship and he got back. He left July won and got back to France. I think at the end of March he finished fourth there was like 27 on boats left, only five of them finished the thing. The storms, the bad weather and the Southern Ocean got got most of them but it Wow. But he was quite, he said he This is a second time and this guy came back he was 66. The second time he done this, he did it 10, eight or nine years ago. He said he came back and far better health on this trip. And he and he had troubles he had some he had some other mechanical problems. He fought all the way. But he said the pemmican saved him in the Southern Ocean where he actually ran out of water. He was drinking You know, he found a couple bottles of beer in the bottom of the boat and some nasty bilge water and but he said that there was enough moisture in the pemecah that he actually just to sit to sustain himself until the next rain came along. Right. Okay, the pemmican you know, kudos. Quite a story actually. We actually dried that extra dries so we knew he's gonna be out there a long time. You know, he raved about

David Sandstrom 39:57
Wow, that's that's an amazing story. Right wrapping things up. Is there a book that you would recommend to the wam community that you might find? I recommend it's a good read.

John Wood 40:07
I would recommend they go to TED Talks. I give you two suggestions TED talks and Allan savory. I think that's why then it's it's six or 7 million views last time I was on there. But that's kind of, we give them a sense of why I do what I do. But it's, but then the other one, which is an interesting read, which I read, and lo and 12 years ago was The 100 Year Lie by John Fitzgerald. That's a book I used to carry around the trade shows but it talked about, you know, the things we've talked about this morning, and we're Florida's came from, and while we had the cancer epidemic, and the interesting story in that book, which gets us like I quote quite often, in 1900, there was only 2% of us that were diabetic. And you look at the diet we had in the 1800s it was a high fat you know, high fat diet. Yep. And cancer wasn't discussed until the Mayo Clinic brought it up in 1923. And that was after Cargill forced the wheat growers and the upper Midwest to do a change and we breeding to put more carbs put more carbs or starch into the kernel of wheat and fewer vitamins and minerals. And they dramatically changed the nutritional aspect of wheat. And when 1923 we found enough bad bread in this country, that we were actually starting to get into the cost and get into the heart disease world. So The 100 Year Lie, but Randall Fitzgerald is an interesting read. And the most recent book that I've been reading is called Breathe, which is fascinating read about how we breathe and how it affects our health and it ties into all the stuff we've just been discussing.

David Sandstrom 41:47
Sounds terrific. Interesting stuff definitely fits right into the holistic health model right there. So if this is all making sense to you, and you'd like to get some of this healthy food for yourself, you can go to my website, DavidSandstrom.com forward slash us wellness, you can click on any of the links on that page and it'll take you to the US wellness website. And you'll be supporting the podcast if you do because I'll make a small commission. And if you make a purchase before the end of the year, john is going to talk about a special incentive that He has for the double HM, Community. So john, why don't you tell the listeners about that?

John Wood 42:20
That would be farm 15 would be the promo code FARM the number 15 would be a promo code that'll give a 15% discount. On orders under 40 pounds, you got to keep the weight under 40 pounds, and it's not going to discount sale items, but it's a great way to save some money. And we have a wide variety. We have beef and pork and lamb and bison and rabbit and had chickens and turkeys and ducks. Everybody's got a good story behind it. We actually only work with people that are saying belief systems and wildcards seafood on top of that and so you can it's an allocation menu you can I won't have anything there's no there's no minimum you're required to buy or or bundles and hopefully within 30 days we're going to have a subscription based model out level subscription. Also card available which is what we've been working on for about a year that's about to be about to come out of the bout to come out of wraps. I just I I think that your listeners are very astute and I appreciate your knowledge base and what you're doing for your for your for your coaching and like we're really good fit we we deliver or we ship on Monday Tuesdays Wednesdays, we'll ship on Thursdays or Fridays to someone personally requested. There's a little more risk at the end of the week. We had never been behind on shipping until until mid March and we got behind due to the madness that took place in March and April and we finally got caught up and we've been caught up and been on pen on time here like for the last six or seven weeks. Fantastic made some changes so we can take a larger volume of business through here. Things are going crazy again

David Sandstrom 44:00
People are thinking about ordering online for all kinds of things these days but us wellness have been been shipping excellent quality products to your door for a long time and way before COVID-19 ever came into our our consciousness, you guys are doing it right.

John Wood 44:14
We have a really good relationship with FedEx and we've been shipping a lot of things priority overnight here for the last six circulars for the last three months I just we tried to deliver next day whether it's one day ground in the in the close proximity of Northeast Missouri or but it's usually it's usually next day service. So we don't we're not doing three and four day ground shipments such just a recipe for disaster.

David Sandstrom 44:38
And I can tell you this too, I've been a customer for a long time and the products always come frozen. While not always you can order fresh, but if you order the frozen product, it always comes rock solid. And the coolers that you guys use are just amazing. The fix styrofoam cooler, it just does a fantastic job even in the summer. Product always shows up, frozen solid. It's a terrific product, the way you guys package it.

John Wood 45:00
I thank you and I appreciate your compliments and we've been at this a long time and you know, we take a lot of pride in our work, you can call our office during the day we've got some outstanding professionals and enjoyed a visit with customers when take your order over the phone, we can answer recipe questions, cooking questions, and we actually have a call center overnight, you can call three in the morning and do the basic basic order taking in the middle of night, so I'll try to be as accommodating as we can.

David Sandstrom 45:26
Okay. And just to recap, if you'd like to place an order with us want to go to my website, David Sandstrom comm, forward slash us wellness, click on any of the links in that page, and you'll go to the US wellness website and when you check out use the discount code farm 15. That's for you. You'll get 15% off your first order. All right, john. Well, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us. I'm really excited to be a partner with us want us on this health building journey.

John Wood 45:55
David, thank you very much. We're excited to have you part of our team and appreciate all you do for us wellness. Have a super day. You too,

David Sandstrom 46:01
John, take care. Thank you. Right. Bye bye.

Well, I hope you enjoyed that conversation with john wood from us wellness. He is just a boatload of wisdom and information. And I really enjoyed having him on the show. After we stopped recording, we talked for about another 30 minutes. So it's just great to connect with him What a What a great human being he is. Thinking about it, I'd almost like to have him back on the show where we could talk about living out your passion and your calling, because he's doing just that he's doing what he loves to do, and it really shows. Don't forget to head on over to my website, David Sandstrom calm. This is episode number 11. And as always, you can read the full transcript of today's conversation. You can also download a PDF, take it with you and read it later if you want. And I'll also include links to all the resources that john mentioned today in the show. I appreciate you. Thank you for allowing me to serve you today. And I'll talk with you next week. Be blessed


About the author 

David Sandstrom

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, a Naturopathic Doctor, and a Biblical Health Coach. I am also an Airline Captain for a major airline based out of Atlanta, Ga. I've been helping people maximize their health potential by nurturing their body, mind, and spirit since 2005.

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