Episode-773- Paleoculture the Original Permaculture — 46 Comments

  1. Curious about your comments on ‘taste good’ vs ‘bitter/tannic’ plants.

    How does this tie in to the highly healthful (and volume-wise the majority of food eaten in a Paleo/Primal/Ancestral diet) but bitter leafy greens like kale, lettuce, spinach, etc?

    • @Joel, I guess bitter is relative. Kale to me along with spinach, etc tastes really good, especially with other foods. Many truly toxic plants are very bitter, to bitter to eat. The bitterness is a warning like a rattlesnakes rattle. If you keep eating (or pick me up for the snake) you are gonna get hurt so stop it now. That is the bitter I meant, not kale or say the sourness of a lemon.

  2. Some other sources of small scale food production—Squab, which was actually quite popular during the great Depression (look into this–urban dwellers might find this a viable source of meat production), Rabbits (another viable urban food source), and Crawfish (in warm climates can be raised commercially). I’d say Hamsters too, but we don’t live in South America, so that might take some—-uh……adapting…yeah, that’s it… adapt, improvise, overcome…

    • Couldn’t agree more. Not sure a whole book is needed, but if that is what it takes…

      I think 99% of the “paleo” push has less to do with paleolithic history and much more to do with the history of the last 60 years or so. Just cutting out modern wheat (even if you were to replace it with true wheat) would probably solve most diet problems. The rest to me has a lot to do with your calorie / activity balance.

  3. Yes, of course you are right (Except I’m still thinking guinea pigs are from South America). And I don’t know how I missed Episode-765- (Useful Small Animals for the Homestead), which covered all my comments. And here I thought I was so smart…. ahah! Too funny!

    The squab production idea is interesting. There are lots of old books written in the early part of last century that go into all aspects of pigeon raising and production that can be bought cheaply at places like and Alibris. That can save anyone interested alot of time and aggravation in learning a new process about an esoteric subject like this.

  4. Are you familiar with the mob grazing method used by Polyface Farm? It makes grazing large ruminants much easier. Also, it is possible you might have good luck pasturing hogs if you have a lot of tree cover on your property, hogs do well in wooded areas.

    • More accurately, not “easier” but much more land efficient when you look at pounds of end-product meat per sqft of land.

      • Sounds like you’ve got it figured out 🙂

        Definitely check out Salatin (there is a 3 part youtube series done by a or or something like that where he covers how he is mob grazing his cattle and integrating the pigs, layers, and meat birds in the same pasture. He has been able to increase production value per acre from about $150 to about $5000. Very impressive.

    • @Joel I am really not. I personally think Salatin is awesome but never really read up on his work, that is in the huge pile of things to get to eventually.

      Hogs might work for me the key is providing them enough to eat. Yes they do well in wooded areas, of course they do they are a forest creature. My issue is that my 5 acres (about 4 wooded) is steep and mostly pine, hickory and oak. That would be good for them in the fall into early winter but I would have to so something to increase forage in the spring/summer which would involve quite a bit a clearing, something I am not sure I want to do yet.

      But yea I could probably run a few pot bellies on it but there would be a lot of fencing expense. That same expense can build my aquaculture systems with a much better ROI and leave plenty of money to buy a pastured hog or two per year and at the same time allow me to keep most of my property for the deer. MMMMMMMM deer.

      • If you harvest your pigs just after winter it will solve your problem. Less pigs in the spring will give each more food to forage and they will multiply, restore their population by the end of winter, harvest time. Some predators would take care of any overstock and let’s not forget to barter any extras you have.

  5. Yes, Joel Salatin’s work – check out his youtube videos – are totally spot on for all of this. Jack, you’ll want to have him most likely and he’d be great.
    Also, for anyone who hasn’t seen this and is interested in the capacity of animals to restore land this is foundational: Alan Savory founder of holistic resource management and a father of intensive rotational grazing and regenerative agriculture:

  6. One of my favorite shows so far hands down. At about 58:00 – this is so incredibly on point: “You’re surplus is your connection to your community.” (paraphrasing). I’d love to quote that Jack and will attribute it to you of course. That says a lot of things very directly.

    • @Ben man you quote me anywhere and everywhere you feel like. It is always an honor to be quoted and attributed.

  7. Hey Jack great show. Were in the beginning stages of prepping. Were going to start razing rabbits one thing I would want to bring up is were in south west F.L and we planted star fruit trees that can produce 450lbs of fruit and papaya trees that bare fruit all year long we have also planted 10 banana tress not to mention our veg garden I would suggest every one grow aloe for burns and cuts and it can also be eaten for digestive health

  8. Dear Jack, the podcast hung up about 1/3 through so I’m down loading it. It happened twice. Is there any reason you need so much fidelity on these. I’m sure you could get usable podcast files at 5 megs -10 megs instead of 30. I eat a lot of kale and collard greens as well as broccoli greens. I think that by eliminating junk food you are 90 % where you are trying to go. I think that if you eat barley, millet, oats, lentils , potatoes along with minimal amounts of fish , meat and fresh fruits that you are 95% THERE.. THE QUESTION IS is it worth going for the other 5%. I would think that those living in the south see island eating coconuts, berries, etc. should live longer than those who live in certain parts of Japan. I bet that those special villages in Japan do better than the people on the islands that just eat ready to eat food. Gary Null is a vegetarian and says that about 60% of your veggies should be cooked to get the most nutrition. including tomatoes. That is not to say you don’t eat raw tomatoes. There are certain diseases like MS where for some reason you can’t eat tomatoes and other nigh shades as it triggers your anti bodies to attack traces of the stuff in your muscles. Keep up the good work and talk about antenna tuners and heat sealing plastic with a cloths iron.

  9. Dear Jack, I was finally able to hear your full show from the downloaded file. It was a classic.. worthy of repeat like coast to coast.. the best of.. You should talk to Wes Jackson of the Land Institute of Salina Kansas where he is developing perennials of many annuals.. Check out his site. In fact you might want to do a show from his annual celebration in the fall.. I bet your listeners would love to be there.. Let me know. YOu can drop my name.. I donate to the place from time to time.

  10. Don’t forget insects. They are a huge source of protein, and often great tucker (and useful in other ways). It is always worth checking out what insects you have in your own backyard.

    Here for example- Green ants are easy to encourage onto properties (grab a branch of them and move where-ever) and are a good protein source, to catch Bogong moths you just need a light, planting Acacias will encourage Witchety grubs (fat/protean and can be used on burns to the skin), the local termites are also edible and have traditionally been used to stop diarrhea and there is also the wood cockroach – which is both eatable and usable as a Local anesthetic.

  11. Jack, for your well when you don’t have power you can use animal power. This is when the Donkey and Ox type animals come into play.
    With a screw type setup you can draw out water easily as the animals go round the circle chasing that carrot in front of them.

  12. On another note, your storables that don’t taste good till you cook them. Those are your winter edibles. These would keep some fat on you through the hard winters and supplement the other foods you would be able to find. They are not to be discounted as “you shouldn’t eat these” but as “you should eat them as you need to”. And yes I know you said that you can eat them, just making my point.

  13. I would love to get Your opinion about the documentary forks over knives and the science and data that it covers.

    I think (which is my guess because I don’t know) that you will just brush it off because I’ve heard your feelings about vegans in general (keep in mind I am not vegan or vegetarian and I absolutely Love meat all kinds especially BBQ-I am African-American and proud and a MMA athlete).

    The thing is I just don’t want to continue to do something because it’s in my culture or I like the way it taste. Or because it in the short term provides an essential nutrient but in the long term feeds the growth of cancer or clogs my arteries and increasing the risk for heart attacks.

  14. Jack – Most people who are vegetarians/vegans do it for ethical reasons, not because they necessarily think it’s the absolute healthiest option out there. The two different primary motivations (paleo for human health) makes them kind of pointless to compare.

    Also, I think you would find a lot more approval than you’d think from vegetarians/vegans from your thoughts on sustainably raising or hunting your own sources of animal protein or buying it from others that do. Most take issue with the current factory farming arrangement and how disconnected the average consumer is with the meat they consume. Butchering your own deer, rabbit or chicken is a lot more noble (and healthier and sustainable) than going down to the Super Wal-Mart and buying one pound of dead cow, water and coloring shoved into a tube by an illegal immigrant.

    …and by all means, if you ever find yourself through Central Iowa feel free to drop in for a vegetarian dinner.

    • While it is certainly the norm for even majorities of followers of a religion or philosophy to differ on key points, it should be noted that the vocal vegetarian groups have ranged from anti-human to slightly less radical by comparison in claiming that any use of animals is slavery, and meat is murder.

      I do agree that at the very least anybody that eats meat should have slaughtered for themselves at least one meal. When the gratitude for the animal goes missing, there is a lot of hypocrisy.

    • @Ryan, I understand vegetarians, I do not understand vegans. If you think you are imprisoning a chicken by eating an egg or imprisoning a goat by making cheese I do not understand you. Not don’t respect, don’t understand.

      The reason I don’t understand vegans is the large number or health issues the lifestyle choice creates. You absolutely can easily live as a vegetarian if you want to and be pretty healthy overall, I think meat eating is healthier but I do get why some people choose this path.

      To me a vegan and a vegetarian are very and I mean very different things.

      • First, let me say I’m trying to explain and not convince on this one. I have my views, you have yours, other people have theirs, etc. I’m just trying to explain other people’s rationale, not argue for or against it – I’m not a vegan.

        You can keep a goat or cow in a field and let it live a comfortable life very similar to what it would do in a natural setting. You can do the same for poultry and consume what they produce without infringing on the animal at all (or maybe a minor irritant, at most). In practice most animals in commercial food production are kept in very shitty conditions and treated as nothing more than a commodity – in a good system, chickens are allowed to be chickens and do chicken things. Vegans assign some level of value to the animal’s well-being and then disconnect themselves with those systems that infringe on the animal’s well-being.

        (now on to my opinions:)
        As far as the health issues go, there’s a right way to be a vegan and there’s a wrong way. There are a lot of good plant sources of healthy fats and proteins out there that are easily available. If you live off Boca burgers and soy dogs, you’ll probably be unhealthy. If you eat beans with whole grains, oils, vegetables, herbs and maybe some nuts or seeds, you’ll probably be healthy. It’s just like meat-based diets – if you live off of Totino’s pepperoni pizzas and Jimmy Dean sausage, you’ll probably be unhealthy. If you live off deer meat and grass fed beef, you’ll probably be healthy. Just as meat-based diets can’t be painted in a single stroke, neither can vegan based diets. I know some vegans that live off Asian flavored ramen noodles and Oreos and as you can imagine, they’re unhealthy. I know others that live off more natural foods and they’re perfectly healthy.

        Honestly, I think the paleo diet (or something that resembles it) probably is the healthiest diet for a human, but I don’t believe it’s the ONLY path for health.

  15. You can find irrational people and fruit bats following EVERY world view/religion/philosophy. The groups you describe get more attention than someone who says “hey, I’m not going to eat meat because I don’t like how the animals are treated in the factory farm system” because they’re more interesting – just like the guy with a fallout shelter and a stockpile of weapons waiting for the NWO to take us over is more interesting than a normal prepper.

  16. Dear Jack,
    I sent a link to your podcast on rice to my state assembly and senate in PA. We are paying people to have trees planted on their land to deal with runoff from cows. Why not farm rice/ducks. etc. We have enough steep hills and it might even modulate the water better.

    I find it amazing how we nit pick you on your podcasts, when if we just listen we can get some much out of them.. It is an amazing feat you accomplish.
    too bad you don’t offer mp3 cd’s of your shows to send as xmas gifts for us to buy.

    be well.

  17. RE: nit-picking. It’s true that some people are jerk-offs and looking to start arguments but the fact that sometimes we nit-pick the show proves that we’re listening, analyzing and thinking about what Jack has to say. I’m sure he’d rather have listeners doing this and constructively speaking up when they disagree than just accepting everything he says without feedback.

    Also, I think that’s one of the cool things about the show that we can freely interact with the guy creating the content like we can.

  18. Good Morning All!

    Jack if you could please support the statement “the human body is designed to burn fat”. I’m a little confused at how you came up with this.

    As far as vegetarians/vegans go how can this not make sense? If you believe in evolution (not saying you do) apes eat mostly plant matter. If you believe in creation, God did put man in a garden. Humans can adapt to east just about anything, I mean look at fast food! 😀

    The Paleo diet seems like a healthier version of Atkins to me. Which can lead to Ketosis and possibly Ketoacidosis.

    Guys please don’t flame me too hard. I have seen first hand what high animal protein diets can do to the human body. High protein levels can acidify the blood which leads to terrible health. Last thing we want if are trying to survive.


    • @Bogdan if you want more science then you can handle read

      1. The Glycation Factor by Dr. Greg Ellis
      2. The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf

      I am done debating this in comments it takes to much energy for to little return. Greg Ellis will be on TSP on Nov. 16th I will let him answer this for you. Also the acid blood thing is a complete myth, if the blood swings .1 in any direction (acid or alkaline) you are dead. Further ketosis is a healthy state for humans it just means you are burning keotones. I also do not and mean flat out do not believe in “creation” so I don’t have my science confused by religion, FTR I believe in intelligent design with evolution being a natural component of such a system. As far as fast food, fat is healthy, natural fat in absence of large volumes of carbs that is.

      Seriously I just put way more time into this response than I had planned, read the science and stop reading crap put out by people who decided the results before they began their research.

  19. I have been following the “acid myth” for a few years now, what I mean is have been eating/drinking foods the are alkaline. I have not been sick in that time, going on 6 years. I will read these books and can’t wait for the podcast.

    Bottom line is the closer to nature we get the better we will all be.

    Thanks for the reply.

    • @Bogdan, I am happy you haven’t been sick but it has ZERO to do with blood PH the entire thing is completely ridiculous.

      You stated, “High protein levels can acidify the blood which leads to terrible health.”

      Which is about as scientifically valid as saying, I don’t know….

      “Pots of gold can create rainbows and attract Lepricons which can lead to terrible theft of your gold”.

      The entire acid blood thing is worse junk science than global warming, at least the earth is warming (in its current cycle). When blood changes PH by a fraction of a percent your dead, end of story.

      • In fairness to the pH bit, I’ve been listening to some of Robb Wolf’s podcasts, and while the idea of the blood pH itself changing sounds like a misnomer, he mentions a lot about eating a net alkaline diet for a variety of reasons including avoiding kidney stones and not triggering your body to burn muscle for energy. He never stated anything about blood pH, but he mentioned acidifying the gut, kidneys, and liver as a reason why body builders that go really meat heavy should try to get more of a balance. I doubt that is much of an issue for anybody eating a balance of food sources as he was addressing one listener with a history of stones and another who was eating almost all red meat and having a hard time putting on muscle. Also interesting is that he talked about certain vegetables that are acidifying and others that have the minerals that form stones, and vegetarians that combine the wrong ones habitually set themselves up for disaster.

  20. 1. The less I eat grains, the more my system dislikes them when I do eat them.

    2. RE vegans: I dabbled in this world twice. Besides boycotting factory farms, they have bought into the lie that animal products cause disease. Which I will heartily agree with if you’re talking about factory farm-based products, but which I will ABSOLUTELY NOT agree with if you’re talking about food from naturally and humanely raised animals.

    And may I point out that many vegans consume food with trans fats and avoid saturated fat, when the truth is that trans fats are what leads to heart disease, high blood pressure and excessive LDL cholesterol.

  21. No time will tell, if this science “fact” is junk science or not. I’ll be the first to tell you that I am no Dr or Scientist, but I don’t pretend to know it all because I read a book or two. How many time has science been wrong? More often then not scientific research will side with who ever is funding it. GMOs are totally safe right?

    Whats makes this book/science 100% valid? Because it sounds good to you? Because it fits into your survival/sustainability life style model? You can’t say “my” science is wright and your science is wrong because I don’t like it. Global warming is perfect example, there are thousands of scientists who says it’s real and just as many that say it not. I don’t believe in global warming FRT and I not a vegan either.

    Your article does not address what I am saying. The Ph Miricle, a book by Robert O. Young, MS, D.Sc., Ph.D., has alot of scientific reaserch in it as well. Read that and your mind will get blown. But I’m sure that’s junk science too because they talk about a acids and eating vegan and all that “crazy” stuff?

    Again what do apes eat again?

    • @Bogdan, sorry dude it is pretty easy to measure blood ph. By the way many apes eat meat, they even go out and hunt other apes. What they DON’T eat is wheat, rice and white potatoes.

    • Seriously…the idea that ‘homo sapien should eat what the great apes eat’ is SO completely wrong. Lets look at some very basic difference between the physiology of every great ape vs humanity.

      1. humans have a MUCH smaller gut system than every ape.
      2. humans have a MUCH larger brain than every ape.

      Biologically one can *not* exist without the other. We are the human beings we are, in part, because we are able to efficiently gain nutrition and energy from NON-vegetative matter, specifically from animal fat. If we needed the gigantic gut systems that all great apes need to survive AND our large intelligent brains, our bodies would generate far more BTUs than they are capable of regulating and we would die.

      The human gut system is MUCH closer to that of pigs and wolves than it is to any monkey or ape. If you want to base our ideal diet on comparisons to creatures existing in nature in a natural environment compare apples to apples.

      Parrots are more intelligent and have a closer cognitive structure to humans than chimps do. Rats and mice are closer to human brain chemistry than chimps are. Dogs are closer to human gut system than chimps are…

  22. From the more reputable sources I’ve seen, changing the pH of your urine is the whole point. Your gut, urinary, and bile systems are all interconnected, and getting them to a more alkaline state seems to make them work better. The relation between urine pH and kidney stones is simple chemistry. The other benefits get a bit more complex.

    Maybe if you can get Robb Wolf to do a show on this. Might be interesting.