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The Peter Attia Drive

Feb 24, 2020

In this episode, Mark Hyman, M.D., director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine and the author of Food Fix, discusses that if we can fix the food system, we can solve many big problems—namely the chronic disease/obesity epidemic, the rising costs of healthcare, as well as the big problems facing the environment. Mark first briefly lays out the health consequences of processed food with a focus on the gut microbiome. From there, Mark discusses the environmental consequences of industrial farming and lays out how we can affect change on the individual level, through policy and regulations, and perhaps most importantly through regenerative agriculture. Additionally, Mark talks about the potential health risks of consuming GMO foods, herbicides, and other chemicals used in industrial farming as well as the environmental consequences, such as the loss of soil, caused by those same fertilizers and methods of farming.

We discuss:

  • The negative consequences of the existing food environment [3:25];
  • What makes processed food so unhealthy? [9:00];
  • The gut microbiome: Inflammation from gut permeability and how to measure gut health [18:30];
  • Steps to fixing a bad gut—The Five R’s [24:30];
  • Some staggering health statistics, and which races might be more genetically susceptible [27:15];
  • An argument for government regulations and policies to fight back against a massive food industry with unlimited resources (and what we can learn from the tobacco story) [29:00];
  • Industrial farming and climate change: The degradation of soil and use of fertilizer [41:45];
  • Regenerative agriculture: Could it be the answer to food waste, our health problems, and the environment? [51:45];
  • Comparing the Impossible Burger to regeneratively raised beef [1:06:00];
  • GMO and Roundup—The potential health risks of consuming GMO foods sprayed with Roundup (glyphosate) and other herbicides and pesticides [1:08:15];
  • How the livelihood of farmers are being affected by big ag companies and the current industrial farming system [1:16:30];
  • The loss of biodiversity in our food, and what “organic” really means [1:19:00];
  • What can people do on the individual level to protect themselves as well as affect change to the toxic food system? [1:25:00];
  • What role does the USDA play in this “toxic” food environment and how do we fix it? [1:30:15];
  • The top 3 changes Mark would make if he was “food czar” [1:35:15];
  • Mark’s rebuttal against the argument that it’s best for the environment if we stop farming animals and move to a fully plant-based diet (and his argument for “agriculture 2.0") [1:36:30];
  • What is Mark’s overall mission with the work that he’s doing? [1:40:30];
  • Bread in the US vs. Europe: Why does bread (and wheat products) taste different and potentially cause less health problems in Europe versus the US? [1:42:00]; and
  • More.

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