The Solution to Factory Farming with Howard Lyman (Part 2) : Exclusive Renegade Health Interview

Wednesday Apr 27 | BY |
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family farm howard lyman
Bring back the family farm! (A small horse farm outside of Pittsburgh.)

[To listen to Part 1 of my interview with Howard Lyman, please click here]

Yesterday, Howard Lyman and I talked about what it would take to change the minds of America’s (and global) eaters and get them to think more clearly about the food they’re eating.

Today, we talk about the other options to factory farming – if there really are any.

This is a great second half, so be sure to check it out now.

Listen to Part 2 here:

mad cowboy book

Click the play button to start the call:


Here are some notes that I want to share with you about this second part of the interview with Howard Lyman:

1. Food Farmers vs. Industry Farmers

The transition in farming that needs to happen, as Howard Lyman says, is growing food for people, not industry.

I think this is the right way to go about it.

I’ve talked about this in the past and it’s true that most of the farmland in the U.S. is not used for our own food production, the land is used for animal feed or other industry needs.

If we were to flip the land use and grow food for people, we’d have plenty of food as well as plenty of pricing options for the consumer.

Yes, transforming the land to family farms takes re-mineralization of the soil.

Yes, it also takes detoxification of the soil as well.

But, in the end, it creates a new ecosystem and a healthier model of farm to table commerce.

2. How do we make sure capitalism doesn’t take over again…

When I asked this question to Howard, I don’t know if he fully got where I was going with it.

Most farms in our past started as family farms, which eventually grew into huge agriculture businesses.

My question to him was, “what would be stopping this new wave of family farmers from doing the same thing?”

Eventually, if a family farm wants to grow, then they may need to expand their reach. They may need to increase yields. They may need to find ways to raise the bottomline.

You’ve seen it happen with large scale organic farms. They are way too big and way too undiversified. They’ve literally stretched the definition of organic so it no longer has much meaning at all.

In my dreamworld, all the people who are family farmers will grow until they’re satisfied and maintain principles that are agreeable to the earth.

But in my realistic otherworld, I wonder if in 100 years down the road we have a completely new set of issues around farming that have arisen from family farms – again – getting too big for their farmlands.

Anyway, I don’t know the answer to this, and in truth there’s no way that we need to stop the motion toward family farming because we’re concerned about what will happen 100 years from now.

Maybe some of you have some thoughts on this…

3. How to become an organic farmer?

Howard Lyman mentions that you can go to to find out more information on how to become a farmer again. (You can search on the “Get Local” box on the left of the page.)

If someone doesn’t do it, we may slowly forget how to plant anything.

This reminds me of when I was up in Manitoba with Dr. Cass Ingram. We were foraging in the woods with the native Cree and Dr. Ingram was the one who was identifying their plant medicines and food.

It was sad to me to see that they’d lost their traditional knowledge.

We could be on the brink as well, unless you or I step up and start learning how to grow food.

I personally have to admit, I can’t plant anything, so I’m behind on the learning curve already.

4. Limiting animal products is a good thing.

First, I want to define “limiting.” This does not necessarily mean eliminate, but it does mean to eat less.

What percentage is that?

It depends on your own personal health, your blood tests, your energy and your nutrient levels.

I’ve seen people distort the food consumption data of ancient cultures to fit their own nutritional preferences.

I’ve seen statements like “99% plant based diet” passed around for cultures that eat 10% of their diet from dairy products. That’s fuzzy math.

Of interesting note on the statistical side, eating one egg a day if you are on a 2000 calorie a day diet will leave you right around 1.5% of your protein from animal products. This is the exact percentage that T. Colin Campbell and China Study confirm that the Chinese eat daily. (No, they’re not 100% vegan.)

So you really can’t rely 100% on research (or anything for that matter), experts or books.

The trends though – besides ancient Eskimos and some select tribes – point to less animal foods. They all point to no processed junk.

For those who eat animal foods, you may already be eating less, or you may be eating too many.

For those who are vegan, you may not need to eat any.

So your determination of what is acceptable depends on your ongoing monitoring of your diet and blood work (possibly saliva, urine and hair as well.)

Using these methods, helps you determine for you what works best, regardless of what people say or do around you. This is good knowledge to have – it’s also a great way to cut through the diet B.S. and get to what really works for you.

Keep in mind, this personal journey is one you need to take with openness and diligence.

But, getting back to the original post, eating less animal food is better.

Notable Resource:

I haven’t read this book, but Howard talked about it glowingly. I’m going to check it out…

The author is Lynn Jacobs and the title of the book is “Waste of the West.”

Notable Facts:

– Tyson Chicken, the largest chicken meat producer in the U.S., is classified as a family farm!

I want to know your thoughts: Have you ever heard of “Waste of the West?”

Live Awesome!

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


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  1. Kim says:

    Awesome interview Kevin, thanks a million! I’m going to be contacting the Organic Consumers Assocition from listening to this interview. What an inspiration! Please continue to provide us with this information.

  2. Thomas says:

    “Waste of the West” is a book you can read online, at Amazon, or Google some blogs discussing it. It is a critique of the environmental damage done to public lands given to cattle ranchers to use. It amounts to a large welfare program for cattle ranchers, like the ones to miners of public (BLM) lands throughout the west. The tax-paying public gets nothing from the mis-use of “their” lands. As long as the politicians get a “donation” from those who profit, they vote to maintain these national programs. 🙂

  3. Kristine says:

    Thank you so much Kevin and Ann Marie. It was an informative and inspiring interview. I also want to thank you for turning me onto the Food Revolution on Hulu as I don’t have a TV. I watched the first 2 episodes last night and stayed up too late, but it was worth it! Jamie is right. This is war, though I prefer to think of it as a noble struggle for what is right! Did you see the school board? They appeared to be mostly pill popping zombies, victims of their unhealthy lifestyles… No wonder they don’t think straight. Yikes. Thanks!

  4. So excited to read this/listen to this commentary. Would be so exciting to see more of what is discussed here happening in the future.

  5. Karen says:

    I’ve heard Howard Lyman speak before – thanks for having him on. I’ve read his books, but I’ve never heard of “Waste of the West.” Thanks for turning me on.

  6. Isabelle says:

    I watched several episodes of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.
    What America has done to its children is such an outrage: “they have been touched, ruined, hurt and abused by food”. American’s don’t know how to eat with a knife and fork. I could never understand why. Now, having watched his videos at the Huntington Elementary School, it is
    clear why.
    This goes beyond the dumbing down of America. This is absurd

  7. Isabelle says:

    I cannot believe it is taking a Brit to go into American schools to teach OUR children about what food is…..this is totally absurd. Sorry I am repeating myself.

  8. Isabelle says:

    VBrilliant interview – thank you – this man is way beyond his time when it comes to his foresight,knowledge and understanding as things stand, right now in the USA….

  9. barbara says:

    “I wonder if in 100 years down the road we have a completely new set of issues around farming that have arisen from family farms – again – getting too big for their farmlands. Anyway, I don’t know the answer to this”.

    My theory is, once we have enough small family farms like we used to have, NO small family farms will have the NEED to increase to the size that takes them away from their authenticity as a small family farm.

    Plus as more families and communities, even in cities, start to grow their own food anywhere they can find as we’re starting to see,this takes the pressure off the small family farms to need to grow too large.

    I wrote in another post that if we as communities or groups of friends or families, bought up or start an organization to buy up our dwindling small farms that come on the market we would have “many hands and feet in the soil” keeping our local farms in production rather than them sold and becoming the next mall, strip mall, real estate development or commercial office park.

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