In 2020, we bought a property with a few acres with the idea of building a more self-sufficient life for ourselves. We want to have a garden, a place to hunt, and a place to raise a family. Fast forward a year and we have a mostly functioning garden.
Gardens are amazing sources of entertainment, relaxation, and of course, sustenance. Plants are food, herbs, and medicine. We loved every back-breaking minute we spent building that garden despite the mistakes we made.
Our Big Idea:
“We’re going to GROW all of the food we need to eat!”
Living in Missouri, this seems like a possibility. Maybe not EVERYTHING we WANT to eat (like bananas). We are blessed with awesome soil and affordable-ish land.
We had this grand idea for years before purchasing this land and when it got down to it, there were a lot of variables we hadn’t accounted for which lead us to doubt ourselves a bit.
Those variables were pests, soil contents, and weather. All of these things are sort of unpredictable and/ or need more attention and expertise to maintain and improve. We had more questions than answers when our garden was up and running.
Why are our blueberries dying?
What are these bugs? How do we kill them?
How did these weeds get here?? We put the weed barrier down!!!
Is…is this poison ivy??
Moles?! In our garden beds?!
This made us go back to the drawing board and consider our options and more importantly, focus on our overall goal of high-quality food.
What is the Goal?
Avoid processed food and get closer to our food source.
We want to make our supply chain smaller. We want to learn as much as possible and be involved with our food by understanding where it comes from.
From our own resources and local resources.
We want our diet to enable our family to grow and maintain lean muscle mass, increase longevity, and increase our quality of life. We want to feel good and LOOK good. We want healthy skin, eyes, hair, mustaches, and of course, muscles. We also want to ENJOY what we eat.
After deciding to grow a bunch of food, I thought I could just eat the plants that I grew. Easy enough, right?
Not so fast.
Thinking about longevity, looking good, and muscle mass I thought….who would we rather look like at Age 55?
Pictured below: Popular Vegan YouTuber vs Popular Carnivore Youtuber
Happy Healthy Vegan (this is a man btw)
OR Shawn Baker, who can deadlift over 500 lbs for reps
OBVIOUSLY, there are a lot of genetic and lifestyle differences between these two men. But time and time again, in EVERY video I watch or blog I read comparing animal based vs. Plant-Based diets, vegans look frail compared to carnivore folks. Just pointing out an observation. Will go more into detail in a bit.
Why Gardening Made Me Want to Hunt
I cherish my time spent in the garden. I truly do. I created the garden to avoid MEGA CORP fruits and veggies covered in pesticides, herbicides, and GMOs. I just wanted food from the earth. To that effect, I have succeeded.
Even my small garden (30ft by 100 ft) produced a TON of food. Hundreds of potatoes, onions, radishes, carrots, and peppers along with blueberries and strawberries.
But at the end of the day, my family needs food that is both nutrient dense and satiating. After trying vegetarianism, and eating a bunch of veggies and fruits all day, I figured out that it’s more efficient for us just to include animal products.
It came down to these 3 topics at the end of the day:
Unprocessed, Nutritious food
Benefits of both animal products and Veggies working together
There is a lot that needs to be done in a garden. From fertilization to pruning and the big one; pest control. Starting a garden made me wonder if it is at all possible for large agriculture to be effective and produce food without poison (no).
There was a ridiculous amount of pest pressure. From squash bugs, to rabbits, squirrels, and aphids.
Without special sprays, many of the crops would be destroyed by pests and disease.
If you want unprocessed, nutrient-dense food, look no further than meat.
But many meat producers have their own issues from feed to hormones and animal treatment.
I also believe fruits and vegetables exist for a reason. I believe God has created them as a way to sustain ourselves. I mean, I love potatoes, carrots, blueberries and strawberries. and they have many of the nutrients we need to sustain ourselves.
But if I had to only eat those items and no animal products, I’d probably lose muscle and become less healthy overall due to a lack of protein and other micronutrients (more on this later).
Plus, red meat is a superfood and there is nothing else like it (more on that in a bit).
Unprocessed, Nutritious Food: Moving to the Carnivore Diet?
Doctors on YouTube (I know how it sounds) like Shawn Baker MD, Anthony Chaffee MD, Carnivore MD, KenDBerry MD, and Lisa Wiedeman OD all SWEAR by the carnivore diet, and they are all in great shape. Very convincing.
Here are some great videos regarding the carnivore diet and specific controversial topics regarding LDL cholesterol, plants being poison, and seed oils.
Convincing Carnivore Videos
Carnivore MD - aka Paul Saladino says to stop eating (most) plants because they basically suck unless they are CLEARLY edible, like fruit. He lives in Costa Rica and he eats animal products and some fruit.
He says that many plants have certain chemicals that can be accumulated inside of the body and potentially lead to autoimmune conditions being triggered in some people.
He also has appeared on Joe Rogans Podcast and HE KNOWS HIS STUFF. If only we all had access to doctors that cared THIS MUCH about diet!
Below he talks about plants affecting the thyroid and if plants give us a NET BENEFIT…he says no.
Shawn Baker MD - 50-something-year old surgeon, power-lifter, and over-all badass explains the use of cholesterol in the human body and why LDL isn’t bad.
Eating Both: Animal products with Raw Fruits and Vegetables
I was GUNG-HO for Carnivore UNTIL I stumbled upon Chris Beat Cancer. To make a long story short, Chris had Stage 3c Colon Cancer at 26 and instead of Chemo, he told the doctors to essentially ‘go f*ck themselves’ and went on an all-natural raw fruits and veggies diet.
The carnivore diet is beautiful in its simplicity. But after listening to Chris Wark about how he beat cancer with diet (mostly plants) it made it hard to go full carnivore. Seems as though there are many benefits to certain types of plant foods.
He beat cancer and is alive and well, spreading the knowledge that he acquired battling and defeating cancer with diet and exercise. This made us doubt our thoughts of the carnivore diet.
(For those wondering he beat cancer by utilizing Gerson Therapy)
Personal Responsibility, Not Victimhood
Many of the decisions we are making as a family is going against the grain of mainstream society. But when you do your research it’s pretty easy to tell what is truth and what is fiction.
For example, the “health snacks” in a grocery store aren’t healthy at all. The food is full of sugar, seed oils, and high-fructose corn syrup. We feel as though it is our responsibility to think outside of the box and find better alternatives for most things, especially food.
With that being said, We have decided that for us, animal-based diet is the way. Here are some videos below:
Red meat is a wonder food , Stan Efferding
Why? Because you can live off of red meat EXCLUSIVELY. It is the most micronutrient-dense naturally occurring food:
HEM iron - Helps with Blood Health
B-vitamins - Helps with digestion
Zinc - immune function
Magnesium - Bone health
Creatine - Water retention
Frank Tufano Also does a FANTASTIC breakdown of the 20 nutrients only found in MEAT:
All of our bodies are different and we respond to different stimuli. Diet specifically is a tough thing to nail down, especially when we DO have so much choice in what we eat Its just unfortunate that most available ‘food’ is TERRIBLE, highly processed, junk.
Some people can operate on large amounts of fat in their diet. Some people can eat high amounts of starches. Some people can eat lots of meat. Some people can’t stand meat and flourish off of green vegetables.
I think we’re ignoring history and genetics when it comes to individuals’ diets. I try to think of where my ancestors came from, and what did they eat? I believe that this thought can help drive people to pick a diet that may be better for them.
The facts are, processed foods are causing cancer at higher rates than ever, so we have to change something as a society and it starts with food.
Action Items for my family and yours:
Identify the foods we eat most, and what our bodies work well with. Grow, hunt, or buy (locally) all that food.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I hope this article was helpful and made you think.
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Your story made us laugh... vegans usually look like they could use a cheeseburger. We grow our own food, too, and it's not easy. This year we discovered Jerusalem crickets (terrifying things!) and that growing broccoli just isn't worth the trouble. Otherwise, a great harvest of root vegetables that we're still eating on and the usual canned peppers, tomatoes, etc. For us, a mix of vegetables, fruits and meat (from the local butcher) seems right. Looking to your ancestry is a good idea.