Sustainable Food Production and the Argument for (Better) Meat | Diana Rodgers

Episode 55: Gutsy Health Podcast 

Listen to "Sustainable Food Production and the Argument for (Better) Meat | Diana Rodgers" on Spreaker.

On today’s episode, we talk with Diana Rodgers, registered dietitian ( We begin our conversation by talking about the myths surrounding the consumption of meat that are dispelled by Diana’s new book, Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better) Meat: Why Well-Raised Meat Is Good for You and Good for the Planet ( These are that meat is unhealthy, that meat is bad for the planet, and that the consumption of meat is unethical. She speaks about her life on an organic farm, and her observations about sustainable food production. We discuss how you can get nutrients out of meat that you can’t get out of plants, and how researched is misinterpreted and misused. In terms of nutrition, we talk about the evidence against meat (including The China Study published by BenBella Books, the same publisher of Sacred Cow), and how population studies that adjust for confounding factors are the most accurate. The findings of these studies show that links to meat and health defects like colon cancer are very weak. We talk about the “faux science” behind the EAT-Lancet Commission Summary report and common narratives that vilify eating meat. The average steer gets their diet from actual grains, but from grass and up-cycled materials, so the issue of “good meat, bad meat” isn’t as black and white as we think. We explain how beef is a low source of Omega 3’s, and how the argument for eating only better meat is less accurate from a nutritional standpoint than it is from an environmental standpoint. We discuss what questions we should be asking when it comes to buying meat. Diana refers us to,, and her own course, Meat Curious (, which includes the ultimate guide to ethical sourcing. We then talk about regenerative agriculture and the effect of biogenic methane on the environment, showing that well-managed cattle are a net carbon gain for our environment and figure part of the water cycle. Grazing animals are one of our best tools for mitigating climate change, because they sequester more carbon than they give off in greenhouse gasses, and most U.S. land is better suited for grazing than crop production, which produces a lot of greenhouse gasses. We talk about how the most significant ethical argument should be against the massive destruction of life from large-scale crop production. We talk about how we should push for well-managed herds of animals instead of barren land. We warn against uninformed bias impacting policy like “Meatless Mondays.” We talk about the bonus material that you can receive when you pre-order Sacred Cow before July 14th (! Please support better health, ethics, and the environment by pre-ordering!

Intro to Diana/Myths Dispelled by Diana’s Book 4:56
Why Aren’t We Talking About this More? 18:17
Regenerative Agriculture and the Climate Crisis; Ethics of Meat 21:24
Educated, Responsible Food Decisions 32:15
Support Health, Wellness, and the Planet By Pre-ordering Sacred Cow! 40:00

“I’ve been learning about this evolutionary biology template for optimal eating, and I’ve realized that the two -- optimal, regenerative food production, and optimal eating -- really have the same exact framework: that it all goes back to basically this evolutionary biology template and mimicking nature; mimicking evolution. We can use modern technology to solve some of the logistical issues, but really, as much as we can, going back to way before the agricultural revolution when it comes to food production and eating.” 3:55


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