food Podcast

109: Anya Fernald – Why Regenerative Farming is the Future of Meat

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I’ve talked a few times on this podcast about regenerative agriculture and how it’s beneficial to animal welfare, people, and the environment.

So I thought it would be a good idea to sit down with Anya Fernald since she co-founded the largest regenerative farming operation in the United States, Belcampo, to see her take on why this is a better way to raise meat sustainably.

At first, you may think that Anya brings a biased perspective, especially since she’s spearheading the regenerative agriculture shift, but that’s far from reality, as you’ll hear in this episode.

See, Anya has an incredible background that ranges from growing up on a dairy farm in Bavaria to eventually traveling and living in Greece and other parts of Europe to learn more about how they cook, bake, and raise animals.

And it was this insider’s look that made her realize that how we do things here in the States needed a major overhaul, which is exactly what she did.

When you tune into the episode, you’ll learn more about Anya’s background, why she got involved in this space, and how she transformed her own life from living on a Standard American Diet (SAD).

You’ll also discover the differences between grass-fed and grass-finished meat, why regenerative agriculture is a better, more sustainable solution, and the problems with our dairy industry today.

And that’s not all Anya and I get into. 

She also chats about using your body’s own intuition to heal itself with food, why cravings can be a good thing when you know how to use them, and how we’ve turned off natural satiety mechanisms and what you can do to get them working again.

So we spend our time in this episode talking about a range of topics, not just regenerative agriculture, which is why I encourage you to tune in even if you’re well-versed in this space.

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Anya Fernald’s name may sound familiar to you — not only is she the co-founder and CEO of Belcampo, but she’s also served as a judge on Iron Chef America between 2009-2011.

On top of that, Anya has been recognized for being a top 40 under 40 by Food and Wine, she’s appeared in The New Yorker’s 2014 Issue, and she’s co-authored two books, including a cookbook of her own.

Anya has also founded the Food Craft Institute, a non-profit that puts out an annual Eat Real Food Festival each year in Oakland.

Anya Fernald is also a wonderful person who I can’t wait to share with you.

Here’s a peek at some of the topics we get into in this episode:

  • Anya’s extensive background from growing up on a dairy farm in Bavaria to eventually living in Greece and Europe to study traditional baking and cooking styles
  • You’ll also hear about her experience coming from a Standard American Diet (SAD) and what made her realize something better was out there
  • Why she believes that you should tap into your body’s intuition when it comes to healing with food and how to do this
  • Why cravings can be amazing for your health and how to use them as a tool for this
  • What overrides our hunger and satiety signals
  • More about secondary satiating characteristics, including what those are and how to use them to your advantage for better health
  • Anya also shares how she got into business and entrepreneurship and what that looked like early on
  • The problems with animal agriculture and what it will take to fix this
  • Where she initially distributed her grass-fed and grass-finished meat and how she plans to do this in the future
  • The difference between grass-fed, grass-finished, and regenerative agriculture, and which ones are best (and why that is)
  • The surprising group of customers that surfaced when she started doing grass-fed and grass-finished meat
  • Connecting the dots between animal wellness and human wellness
  • How to tell if the meat you’re buying is high-quality based on the packaging and what else you can do to find this information out
  • Is it possible to have a regenerative dairy farm?
  • Anya also discusses her thoughts on the carnivore diet

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