Salty Talk is a special edition of Healthy Rebellion Radio. Each week on Salty Talk Robb will do a deep dive into current health and performance news, mixed with an occasional Salty conversation with movers and shakers in the world of research, performance, health, and longevity.
For the full the video presentation of this episode and to be a part of the conversation, join us in The Healthy Rebellion online community.
WARNING: These episodes may get “salty” with the occasional expletive.
This is the second installment of our “fireside chat” with Diana Rodgers. Diana and I talk frequently, usually comparing notes on some of the insanity (and bright spots) we see we see in the food and regenerative ag space. Each time we talk we usually say “we should have recorded that!” So now we are.
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Nicki: Welcome to the Healthy Rebellion Radio. This is an episode of Salty Talk, a deep dive into popular and relevant health and performance news pieces mixed with the occasional salty conversation with movers and shakers in the world of research, performance, health, and longevity. Healthy Rebellion Radio’s Salty Talk episodes are brought to you by Drink LMNT, the only electrolyte drink mix that’s salty enough to make a difference in how you look, feel, and perform. We co-founded this company to fill a void in the hydration space. We needed an electrolyte drink that actually met the sodium needs of active people, low carb, keto, and carnivore adherence without any the sugar, colors, and fillers found in popular commercial products. Health rebels, this is Salty Talk.
Nicki: And now the thing our attorney advises. The contents of this show are for entertainment and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice. Please consult your licensed and credentialed functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health, dietary, or fitness change. And given that this is Salty Talk, you should expect the occasional expletive.
Robb: Welcome back, everybody. Welcome back, wife.
Nicki: Merry Christmas Eve, everyone. This is Salty Talk 38, and-
Robb: This is another fireside chat with myself and Diana Rodgers, and we’ll get to the meat-
Nicki: Meat and potatoes.
Robb: … meat and potatoes of that in just a minute.
Nicki: Yep. I just wanted to give a couple of housekeeping announcements for things that are happening inside the Healthy Rebellion community coming up quite soon as we are nearing the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022. Our Fresh Start Cold… Let me say that again. Our Fresh… That’s actually a tongue twister. Fresh Start Cold Shower Challenge.
Robb: I’m not even going to try.
Nicki: Led by one of our rebels, Ash Higgs, is going to start on January 3rd inside the Healthy Rebellion community. If you want to get in on that, you can join at join.thehealthyrebellion.com. We also have our next 30-Day Rebel Reset starting on… Well, we do our kick-off call on January 14th. As we’ve mentioned before, the first week is an optional seven-day carb test, and the actual 30-Day Reset starts on January 24th. So you have until January 24th to join if you want to participate in the 30-Day Reset. But as of midnight on that day, we close it. We like to do our resets, everybody to start on the same day and go through it as a team, as a group, and so if you miss the boat on that deadline of January 24th, then you’ll have to wait for our next one.
Robb: And just lurking somewhere in the month of January, there will be my training at 50. Most years, although not all, I’ve been doing that since age 39 and just detailing my food and training and different things that I’m up to. So this one should be a humdinger. There’s definitely been a lot that has changed in the last year. So it’ll be interesting to see where that update goes.
Robb: And it is available only in the Healthy Rebellion.
Nicki: Indeed. Indeed. Okay. So we’ve mentioned before you’ve done this fireside type chat with Diana, I think, about four or five weeks ago. This is going to be a regular cadence type of a conversation, so about every four or five weeks. Do you want to give folks just a high-level overview of some of the things you talked about or-
Robb: Yeah. It’s interesting. And most of this stuff is going to be a little bit more food policy, regenerative ag-oriented. You and I talked about that stuff sometimes, but definitely Diana is a huge expert on that, and so we, had a mapped-out agenda for what we were going to dig into. Then one morning I got this really weird email and it was, “Starbucks turns back the hands on racism by not charging extra money for soy milk,” or something. I mean, it was-
Nicki: They’re not going to do an up-charge on non-dairy milks.
Robb: Well, this is what the claim was, and it was a really odd email, lots of wacky stuff, but very long, looked legit.
Nicki: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Robb: And then, I don’t know, maybe an hour-
Nicki: It was an hour later because you forwarded that email to Diana and I, and you’re like, “This is so odd. This is bizarre.” Then an hour later you got-
Robb: Then we got an almost equally bizarre email coming from Starbucks corporate saying, “Hey, that thing you just got is a scam. That’s not real, and here’s what the real deal is on all this stuff.” It was just fascinating that climate change and food policy and social justice stuff has become this thing where it’s beneficial for people to… There was a huge amount of work that went into that one email, this kind of bogus email, and it was so interesting, some of the claims that went into the Starbucks counterpoint to this apparently bogus email. So we talked about this stuff, and it consumed the bulk of the discussion, and it may not sound that interesting, but I think it’s for all of our food policy stuff, for this time of fake news, real news-
Nicki: Deep fakes.
Robb: … deep fakes, the absolute poison that is social media and whatnot right now. It’s a pretty fascinating point-counterpoint.
Nicki: Also, and you guys have talked about this before, but it’s sort of like a real current event type illustration of the narrative of how climate change should drive food policy.
Robb: Yes. And it is so cart before the horse, and you don’t have to be a climate change denier to have this stuff. But just any type of pushback around any of it, then there’s this-
Nicki: Or questioning.
Robb: … slippery slope that you are a climate change denier, which also means you’re racist and, of course, you want everybody to die of COVID is the way that all this stuff all wraps together. So it’s a pretty good show. We did have some Internet connectivity issues, but I think we managed to splice and dice all that stuff together. Apparently, my router needed a reset or something, so apologies on the broken… Some of it’s a little chopped up, but it’s good material. Anything else or-
Nicki: I think that’s it. I want to jump into our sponsored bit here before we jump into the interview with Diana. So this Salty Talk episode of the Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by LMNT, our salty AF electrolyte company. Mint chocolate salt is still available for a limited time only, so if you like all the things mint chocolate and you haven’t tried it yet, you’ll want to do that before it’s gone for the season. Yes, we still have some, but it is on the downhill slope as far as inventory goes. Then I also want to remind everybody about our LMNT Give a Salt program, where you nominate everyday heroes, coaches, teachers, first responders, firefighters, cancer fighters. You nominate them, LMNT hydrates them. So to nominate anybody in your life who is an everyday hero to you, just go to drinklmnt.com/giveasalt. That’s drinklmnt.com/giveasalt. I think that’s all we have for our pre-show topic, so we’ll just jump into this interview with you and Diana.
Diana: So welcome back to the tandem recording that Robb and I are doing here. I’m calling it a fireside chat. What are you calling it, Robb?
Robb: We could call it a barbecue side chat.
Diana: Okay. Campfire.
Robb: Campfire. Yeah. Yeah.
Diana: Where we’re basically roasting articles and other current events that are coming up in our feeds and just updating each other and the world on what’s happening. So snow is-
Robb: We’re making a meaty s’mores out of all of it.
Diana: Is there snow there?
Robb: There’s some snow. It’s funny. We’ve had maybe two decent snows, four inches, six inches, and then we’ll get a deluge of rain, but it’ll just get warm enough that it rains, whereas if it was a little colder, we’d get two feet of snow. So, yeah, we’re just knocking on the door to it. The locals keep telling me to just pump the brakes, are like, “You’ll get plenty of snow. You just wait.” So… Yeah.
Diana: Well, I remember John Sepp from the bison rant, from Roam Free, actually, you’re wearing their hat, he was telling me that he had a feeling that after this winter a lot of the folks that have moved to the Cowlesville area may move back.
Robb: Split. Yeah. Yeah. That’s part of why I’m hoping for just a Donner party 20 feet of snow type deal, but it hasn’t happened yet.
Diana: Well, it makes me really miss having young kids because there’s nothing more fun than playing with them in the snow.
Robb: Playing in the snow. Yeah.
Diana: At least until they get too cold and then want to come inside. But I’m sure it’s fun with the girls.
Robb: They don’t get cold. They were out there for six hours and just going. I helped them set up a sled course, and I had to bring electrolytes out to them because they were getting chapped lips and everything. I was like, “Okay, you got to drink some fluids and stay on top of that.” But I had to bring food out to them, and they just wouldn’t come in to do anything. So I don’t know if we got them outstanding snow gear or they’re just little nuclear power plants or something. I don’t know. Thus far, they have not gotten cold.
Diana: That’s awesome. Well, they do a really good job of imaginary play. It’s how I played when I was little, and especially with their little horse sets and everything, it was really cute. So there might be something coming in the mail, actually, within the next couple of days-
Robb: Oh, cool. Oh, okay.
Diana: … from me for them.
Robb: Okay. Awesome.
Diana: New thing to play with. Yeah. So I can’t buy-
Diana: My kids are so boring. They just give me a list of all the stuff they want and expect it, and there’s no room for me to…. I really miss that-
Diana: … when they used to have their Playmobils or their little imagination games. Obviously, we’re not there anymore. It’s just boring, like, “I want whatever to go with my earbuds,” and stuff like that.
Robb: They’re real people now. They’re not magical little people. Yeah.
Diana: Yeah. Although speaking of cold weather and being able to tolerate that, they have been surfing like crazy, even through the winter. So we’re dealing with a little ear infection with Phoebe because of that. They’ll be gone. They’ll be gone for hours. It’s hard to pull them out of the freezing cold ocean just to feed them.
Robb: Right. Right. That’s good. That’s good.
Diana: Yeah. So I have a couple of new things that I’m really psyched to talk about. One is I have a brand new website redesign that’s launching, so it’s going to happen… You and I are recording a few days before this is actually going to be broadcast, and so the new website should be up either by the time this airs or soon at Sustainable Dish. We’re going to be also releasing… I’m going to be releasing a new course. Thank you so much for the name. I’m really excited about that.
Robb: Do I get some full credit on that or…
Diana: Full credit, however you want it.
Robb: Nice. Nice.
Diana: So for the folks listening, Robb and I were chatting on the phone, and he came up with the name sustainivore because I was trying to think of what word represents a diet that I do where I also am talking about something sustainable for long term that doesn’t feel like a crash diet but then also for the planet and ethics and all that kind of stuff. I was playing with the idea of nutrivore for a while. We addressed that in the back of Sacred Cow, but I’m just loving sustainivore. Right after we hung up, I bought the URL and… Yeah. So that’s going to be my new evergreen course.
Robb: Awesome. Awesome.
Robb: I have a good idea every once in a while, so-
Diana: You do. Brass world and sustainivore were two of your best ideas so far.
Robb: My main contributions. Yeah, yeah.
Diana: Yeah, yeah. So that’s coming out right in time for the new year for folks, and then the other big thing is I’m hiring. So if anyone watching or listening is interested, I could use a good social media manager, digital marketer, among other things. I have a job description on sustainabledish.com on the blog, or you can also check out my Instagram feed. So I’m posting today for that.
Diana: That’s it. The other thing I wanted to mention… Do you know who Bear Grylls is?
Robb: Of course.
Diana: I didn’t know.
Robb: The girls and I watch his stuff all the time. His later shows have gotten a little bit goofy, but, yeah, Man vs. Wild and all that type of stuff. Yeah. Yeah.
Diana: So I didn’t know who he was.
Robb: Oh my goodness. Oh.
Diana: I got tagged on Instagram that he used to be vegan, and he actually has a vegan book out from a while ago. He read Sacred Cow, gave us a shout-out on social media.
Robb: Oh, I had no idea. Oh, wow.
Diana: It was only crediting Diana Rogers, R-O-G-E-R-S, and no Wolfie at all on that one. But I was so excited.
Robb: You’re the star of that show anyway, so, I mean-
Diana: But it’s so funny because actually Mickey from New Zealand, who you and I were just chatting about, she’s the one who was like, “Oh my God, this is so great,” and I was like, “Who is that,” and so she-
Robb: He’s pretty famous. He’s maybe not A-list, but he’s B-plus celebrity, for sure. Yeah.
Diana: Yeah. So I mentioned it to Anson, my son, and he’s like, “Oh my God, mom, I buy all my survival gear through him.”
Robb: From him. Yeah. Yeah.
Diana: Yeah. So I’ve pinged him on Twitter trying to invite him on the podcast. We’ll see-
Robb: Oh, right on.
Diana: Yeah. We’ll see.
Robb: Okay. Very cool.
Diana: Yeah. Yeah. It was a post where he is talking about what he eats in a day, which is right in line with everything you and I talk about.
Robb: What we’re recommending.
Robb: Awesome. Awesome. I was not aware of that. That’s super cool.
Diana: Super cool.
Robb: Yeah. He’s a great guy. It’s funny. There was him and then another survival guy that would… Bear would go out, and he had some camera crew with him and stuff like that, and then another guy, Les, I believe is his name, would go out by himself, and so he would need to set up multiple cameras along a path, and then he would walk past it to get the film and then go back and collect the cameras. He was just out there totally alone. So, in classic internet fashion, there was this pissing match about which one of these people was tougher and which one was better and all that. There were the different camps. But I really appreciate both of them, and following both of their shows has been a long time favorite for us and particularly the girls. They really dig it. So that’s cool.
Diana: Yeah. I actually just re-watched Captain fantastic. Have you seen that film?
Robb: I did, yeah. That one’s kind of a gut-wrencher. Yeah. Yeah.
Diana: Oh, man. Anson and I… He’s like, “I’ve never watched that whole movie,” and so just the other night we watched it, and right in the beginning, he’s like, “Mom, that’s exactly what I want.” He’s ready to just go homestead and have kids and start life now. It’s really funny. Yeah. So those early scenes, he was like, “This is it,” and then we watched the wheels fall off and everything like that, but-
Robb: Right. Right.
Diana: Yeah. Anyway, so what else is going on? A couple other things I was going to bring up on the Global Food Justice Alliance. I posted about just that whole idea of less meat, better meat, and why that needs to die. About a month ago or so, I got into a very heated back and forth with a woman who’s a regenerative farmer in Australia, and she was like, “Yeah, but meat’s contribution to noncommunicable diseases,” and I’m like, “Oh God, that needs to end. That needs to end.” All meat is healthy, period. There are better and worse ways to produce it. But we really need people in the grass-fed beef regenerative world to check their elitism and understand human nutrition a little bit better because telling people who can’t afford regenerative grass-fed beef that they need to go eat beans and rice for four to five times the caloric intake-
Robb: Load, mm-hmm (affirmative).
Diana: … yeah, is absolutely not okay.
Robb: It’s interesting because folks in this scene have related to me that oftentimes this is how they differentiate themselves. It’s like, “Oh, it’s more nutritious. It’s this, it’s that.” I think that this has been some of the pushback that we have received from these folks, and it’s understandable. I mean, when you look at social media writ large and how do you build a really following, a strategy is just having a super polarizing message that’s kind of hyperbolic, and I don’t know that these folks are doing this in bad faith, but it certainly is a low-hanging fruit as a distinguisher. Why would I buy this stuff from you versus Costco or Walmart or something like that? So I commiserate with them on the one hand, and, again, this is something that you and I really fucking wish that it wasn’t the case.
Robb: I mean, this is something we agonized over when doing the book and tried to look at it from direction we could because it would be like the vegan greenwash deal. It’s like, “Oh, no, no, it’s good for everything. There’s literally no downside or no delta to it at all.” It’s like, “Well, there are some caveats here,” which I would hope when people are thinking about this stuff, it’s like, well, if it’s not just a clean sweep and there’s a little bit of nuance and some unfortunate prickly-
Robb: … science in there, that maybe it makes it a little bit more credible. Just because there’s some forks in the road doesn’t guarantee that that’s the true story, but goddamn if that doesn’t look a lot more like real life versus the vegan thing of you’ll be skinny, you’ll be healthier, you’ll live forever, the planet will be saved.
Diana: No death possible.
Robb: Yeah. No death. That’s great. That sounds wonderful, and then you start digging into it and it all just collapses. So that’s interesting.
Diana: Gosh. Yeah, and-
Robb: I have to say-
Diana: Oh, go ahead.
Robb: … just really quick as an aside, I do a fair number of podcasts and maybe a third of them, the topic up being Sacred Cow and regenerative ag and whatnot. More recently, I’ve been getting on more entrepreneur business type podcasts, and it’s been interesting, the reception there, because the folks, when they initially look at the book or maybe just give the film a glance, I think they’re expecting this super hardcore grass-fed dairy that is hand-milked by the Dalai Lama, and anything south of that is completely inappropriate.
Robb: Then I go on there and I’m like, “Hey, man, beef, lamb, goat over chicken, pork, et cetera,” because of a variety of reasons, nutrition and the inputs and the outputs and all that, environment that they’re raised in, the ethics and everything. Then, beyond that, if you have the extra money, buy local, support people you know, particularly as the world seems to be going in interesting directions. Costco and Walmart may not be open, but the family farm down the street is always going to be open if you’ve patronized it and you’ve built a relationship with them. So maybe these are the cases for that, and if you’re you like Anson and you are carving your way in the world and just getting started as a family or something like that, then the Costco/Walmart meat is just fine because we want…
Robb: The big point I’ve been making is it would be really helpful if we keep you and your family out of our sick care system. We know for a fact that if you eat a sustainable or nutrivore type of diet built around these mainly grazing animal type protein inputs and then good vegetable matter as per your needs, you’re not going to be a patronizer of our sick care system, other than maybe an accident or something. That’s the most important thing. Then all this other stuff gets ordered out from there. So it’s been interesting because these are folks that are not in this circle. They’re not well-steeped on this topic. I think they’re expecting a very different kind of monochromatic message, and so it’s been kind of cool to be able to dip into some of those circles and help share this perspective with them.
Diana: Yeah. And there is some research. There’s some folks poking around looking at the different flavonoids or whatever and polyphenols. They’re even looking at the microbiome of the cattle and is it different in pasture-raised, which is all fine. But what I keep trying to point out is we don’t know really what the daily recommended intake is of polyphenols. We don’t truly understand the significance it has in the human diet, and it’s… If your cow has more Saccharomyces, that’s not something you can put on the front of your package. There’s this one group in particular that’s charging farmers to do all this extra testing on their beef, and when people ask me about it, I’m like, “Save your money and just do a good job and build relationships with people so that they know you as a producer and trust you and want to support you.” The other great thing is just supporting the rural economy, period, and supporting small town America, which is completely collapsed largely because of industrial agriculture taking over. So if we want strong small towns, then you have to support small businesses and medium-sized businesses in the towns. Oh, you froze up on me.
Robb: I think our Montana internet got us. Sorry.
Diana: There you are. There you are. All right. We can just splice that thing. It’s still recording, actually, which is great.
Robb: Okay. Cool.
Diana: So, yeah, right before I lost you, just my rant on small town America and folks voting with their dollars to support that, if they can. Actually, just talking about the importance of just people getting meat, period, there is a new paper that came out. It’s called Animal source foods, rich in essential amino acids, are important for linear growth in children in low- and middle-income countries. Basically, this paper found that even when their total protein intake was sufficient, they were still lacking in amino acids because of limited access to the nutrient dense foods you find in animal source foods, in particular, meat, because dairy just doesn’t cut it as the only supplement. You have to have animal source foods. I’m really excited about this paper on the global level because I think that that can really help. You hear a lot, “Oh, well, we’re eating plenty of protein.” You hear that a lot from the vegetarian side, and so just pointing out that we don’t just need protein. We need amino acids. So there’s a little more complicated than just protein intake.
Robb: And the other end of that life cycle, I neglected to put this one in today’s show, but I’ll see if I can remember to pull it up last time, but All-cause mortality inversely related to protein intake, animal protein intake, so the higher-
Diana: In older adults, right? That paper-
Robb: In older adults, yeah.
Diana: Yeah. I have that right on my Facebook page, actually.
Robb: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And so another one, all of these, the evil, retrospective, epidemiological stuff that we love to poke holes in when it’s supporting the vegan agenda. So I’ll mention it’s not in my mind gold standard stuff, but it is interesting, I think, that it seems like the longer this goes on and the more people who get in and look at this stuff, the more that we find a signal emerging that, well, actually, once we factor in for confounders like just generally a sick population… Particularly when we look in developing countries where the burden of metabolic disease has not hit them due to the ubiquity of highly processed foods, then we really see this signal emerge that adequate animal protein intake ends up being a huge thing.
Robb: I think it gets murky then once a country has industrialized enough where they have access to meat and they have access to sugar and they have access to seed oils and too many calories and lots and lots of different flavors and also sociopolitical agendas that want to push a vegan or a vegetarian approach to things. So it gets harder to suss that out. But it’s interesting that at least there’s very powerful signals both at the beginning of the life cycle and near the later stages of the life cycle that adequate animal protein intake is a huge boon for people. I guess, if you want to be swanky and cool in your 20s and 30s, go vegan so that you have a cool social network and you can feel hoity-toity for a period of time, you can live off the banked goodwill of having had a successful childhood, but then once you start really thinking about aging properly, other things may emerge as options.
Diana: Yeah. And for people like you and I, who really suffered from malabsorption issues as children, that’s really why I get so fired up about this kind of stuff because I know what happened. I had osteopenia at age 23 from undiagnosed celiac disease, and so access to just basic nutrients that humans need to grow properly and have good brain function… I mean, you and I talked about when we were in high school, both of us… It was funny. We described the same kind of cloudy, head full of cotton balls, words spinning on pages. I couldn’t pay attention. Now, when I do occasionally… When I eat out, I’ll have a gluten reaction sometimes. It’s kind of unavoidable if you eat anywhere other than your own home.
Robb: If you roll the dice enough. Yeah. Yeah.
Diana: Yeah. And I’m out. I can’t work. I can’t think. So it’s not just a gut reaction. It’s a full-on neurological reaction.
Robb: Yeah. It’s interesting. With Zoe… Neither Zoe nor Sagan seemed to show any type of a gut reactivity, but Zoe gets kind of a tick. I had an interesting breathing tick as a kid, where it… and it just goes. Zoe will… We’ve tinkered with, okay, we’re at a friend’s birthday party and they have gluten cake or whatever, okay, give it a shot, and it doesn’t work well, and this is the way that I started off. I had these kind of low level reactions like this tick and things like that. Then it grew into worse things, and so we’re just trying to kick the can for those two. When they’re adults, it’ll be interesting to see what decisions they make, but they enjoy towering over their peers in their age group and being super strong and fit and athletic and everything. They really enjoy that. I’m just like, “Eat a lot of protein. Don’t eat shit food, particularly gluten, and you’ve got that locked up.” Both of them have kind of internalized that. Yeah.
Diana: Yeah. Yeah. And the linear growth, people might not really understand the impact of the importance of linear growth.
Robb: Yeah, yeah. So explain that. We’re just blazing by that. What is the implications of linear growth?
Diana: Right. So it’s not just like being tall is fun or gives you a slight advantage on dating apps or something like that, right?
Robb: In politics, yeah, the tall person always wins, so… Yeah, yeah.
Diana: Right, right, right. So linear growth is associated with nutrient status, and stunting is irreversible, pretty much. I did look it up because there’s new information out too about stunting and its relation to meat intake. There are some studies looking at reversing stunting in some small South American studies. But, overall, folks can gain weight, so they can make up for the girth, but you can’t really make up for height after a certain level of stunting, and with stunting comes impaired brain development. In fact, I just posted about this on the Global Food Justice Alliance social media feed because there’s a lot of science. So stunting and wasting are linked with 45% of all deaths under three.
Diana: Stunted children are sick more often, miss opportunities to learn, perform less well in school, grow up to be economically disadvantaged, and are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases. So if we just try to make sure… Are you still there? Did you freeze up again? There you are.
Robb: Man, we’re having a rough sledding today on this-
Diana: That’s all right. I’ll just go back. So on my Global Food Justice Alliance, I just posted the other day about stunting, and I’ll just rattle this off a little bit from this one paper, but stunted children are more often to be sick, miss opportunities to learn, perform less well in school, grow up to be economically disadvantaged, and are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases. So making sure kids get adequate access to high quality protein, i.e. meat, is critical, especially if it’s a lower middle income country and these guys are already at a disadvantage, right?
Robb: Right. Right.
Diana: Yeah. So-
Robb: And that would extrapolate also to socioeconomic position within a more developed country as well.
Diana: Exactly, exactly, which is why I get so fired up about the meatless Mondays campaign taking over our New York city public schools where 70% of those kids are low income because we have no science at all, no evidence to show that pulling meat away from kids is going to actually improve anything.
Robb: Did you want to cover more on that, or do you want talk about this wacky Starbucks deal?
Diana: Yeah, I’m good for this podcast on the importance of meat in kids. I’m sure I’ll rant about it again. But, yeah, why don’t you talk about this Starbucks thing?
Robb: So I get all kinds of shit in my inbox, like sometimes I think it’s people just fishing. They’re like, “Robb at something,” and they fire it off to me, and it just lands in there because I don’t know how I get subscribed to a ton of the stuff that I see. But this thing came in my inbox, “Starbucks reverses years of dietary racism by ending up-charge on plant-based milk. Justice cup signals company’s progressive leadership and support of BIPOC customers.” It just goes on from there. So I fired this off to Diana because there was just a lot wrong with this thing right out of the gate. And, Diana, I don’t know which stuff you want to jump into.
Robb: It has a graphic, 65% of the world’s population can’t digest dairy, and it says 95% of Asians, 60 to 80% of Black people, 80 to 100% of Native Americans, 50 to 80% of Latinx people, which I don’t know when Latino was swapped out for Latinx, but, okay, there you go, shows I’m an old guy and a white guy and all the rest of that stuff. But even this graphic alone is so misrepresentative because out of so many of these peoples, dairying has been a major factor. Now, many of these folks don’t handle lactose well, but many of these people via traditional food systems have fermented and processed different dairy products for thousands of years and do just fine on them. They’ve used bacterial fermentation and other techniques to be able to consume dairy. So this is just one of these things that’s ass-chapping at the base, that dairy is a racist item when, in fact, it’s like, one, no, it’s not. It’s a optional food that maybe you do or don’t include, and most of the folks that are mentioned here have in fact included dairying, various dairy sources over the course of time, just they process it different ways.
Robb: So this was the first email that came in, and there were just a lot of wacky things. And, Diana, I don’t know if you remember specific outtakes from this. There’s a part, “Starbucks has taken the initiative to apologize for having perpetuated deeply-rooted systemic inequalities in our pricing of plant-based milk, and we commit to offering a more equitable experience for the global majority, which suffers from lactose intolerance,” which I don’t know that I’ve ever read a sentence with more virtue signaling in it than that one. There’s maybe some out there, but I don’t know. This one’s super rich with this. And what the hell is my point? So this thing came in, and I just found a lot of fascinating features to it, a lot of inaccuracies, and then it was followed up with what appears to be a legitimate response from Starbucks. It came in, I don’t know, what, 20 minute-
Diana: Pretty quickly right after.
Robb: Okay. So this is apparently the statement from Starbucks, “It has come to our attention that false information has been released to press about Starbucks raising prices on beverages made with dairy milk and removing up-charges on non-dairy milks based on the prevalence of lactose intolerance in people of color versus white people. This is a hoax. Understandably, this has caused much public concern. We assure our most valued customers that we would never place the burden of a dairy up-charge on them.” Man, it’s kind of long. There were some things that you had that were standouts in this.
Robb: One of the things… So I’m not even totally sure what my angle is on this, but as I was reading through it, there were just… One, I thought it was really interesting that this is a topic worth perpetuating a hoax over. That was just interesting to me and, again, just totally taking this ultra divisive angle on it and also a very inaccurate angle from the perspective of traditional food sources. But then the response, one of the things that popped out, “While we have opened acknowledged that dairy products are the single biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions across our (audio cut out) supply chain and the second highest (audio cut out), we do not intend to address this by penalizing customers who prefer dairy.”
Diana: I can see you’re back, but you’re muted.
Robb: I’m unmuted now.
Diana: There you are. Okay.
Robb: Damn, we are-
Diana: I know.
Robb: … not doing well today. Well, I mean, it is shitty weather, and just as an aside, I don’t know if I mentioned this last time, but I’m on this crazy old thing called DSL, and this goes over copper wire, and some of the wire that is used in my connectivity was hung in 1895.
Diana: Oh, God.
Robb: So… Yeah. Yeah. Montana is literally worse than most developing countries with regards to internet, so just as an aside, but-
Diana: Yeah, this is worse than… I just did a podcast with Paul Saladino yesterday-
Robb: In Costa Rica.
Diana: … in Costa Rica. It was not awesome Internet, but it was way better than this.
Robb: Yeah. Well, thank you. So Starbucks says-
Diana: The carbon footprint.
Robb: Yeah. The water first, completely taken out of context. The rain, the precipitation all gets allocated as if we are stealing that water from something other than watering grassland, so kind of ridiculous there. Then the carbon dioxide emissions, that’s the single largest… I just can’t believe this. This is what is so interesting about the way that the accounting is made on this stuff and why the singular focus on greenhouse gas emissions, I think, is going to end up being the biggest goddamn boondoggle in literally the history of the world, because these folks are telling me that this is a greater issue than running your brick and mortar facilities and the electricity that goes into that and the building materials that went into building the building and on and on and on. It is such a bullshit position. If you’re really going to go out and make these claims, take the time to do the full diligence-
Diana: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Robb: … like do a complete life cycle analysis and all that type of stuff.
Diana: Yeah. I mean, you and I were right about the lab meat being an absolute disaster from a thermodynamics perspective, and the Financial Times later reported on that. Someone actually looked, and this was before the numbers were even available, and you and I were like, “This makes no sense.” But, certainly, with Starbucks, I would guarantee just heating and lighting those cafes is way more emissions than milk.
Robb: Yeah. Yeah. Do you want to mention the justice cup really quick, or do we finish on a good note and not get ourselves hung?
Diana: Well, I mean, the justice cup was part of this, that hoax, right-
Robb: Yes. Yeah.
Diana: … that the Starbucks was introducing a justice cup to make up for the injustice of serving milk to people who, quote-unquote, can’t digest milk and-
Robb: Optionally could get it or not.
Diana: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And there’s choices at Starbucks, you know?
Robb: Well, our Internet is bad enough. Maybe it’s going to save us from stepping off a cliff. So maybe we’ll wrap there.
Diana: Yeah. The gods are just telling you to-
Robb: Stop. Stop now.
Diana: … cut it out. Yeah, yeah. So anything else quickly before you get cut off again, Robb, with your Internet?
Diana: All right. I was just about to wrap for you and say goodbye on behalf of you. So maybe we should just wrap it and cross our fingers for a better connection for our next chat.
Robb: Absolutely. Thank you for doing this. Sorry, everybody, that we had terrible internet. We’ll see if we can figure out some solutions on that.
Diana: All right.
Robb: I am signed up for Starlink, but Elon Musk updated me and said I might get it end of 2022. So-
Diana: Oh, man. All right.
Diana: Well, look forward to chatting next time. I’m sure the connection will be much better next time.
Robb: Hopefully. We’ll do our best.
Diana: Yeah. Okay. All right.
Robb: Awesome, Diana. Take care.
Diana: Okay. Bye-bye.
Nicki: Okay. That is a wrap on that one. I do just want to say, if you’re listening to this on the day it releases, it’s Christmas Eve, so wishing you all a very merry Christmas and warm holiday season. I know the holidays are not easy for everyone. We have friends who have lost family members this year, and the first holiday without someone you love is always-
Robb: Particularly hard.
Nicki: … particularly hard. So we just wanted to share some virtual hugs with all of you who have been listening and supporting us for years and years, since we just had six listeners, all six of you. But, anyway, just stay warm, love the ones you’re with, and-
Robb: That’d make a great song.
Nicki: That didn’t come out quite right. And we’ll see you next week. Also, remember to check out our show sponsor LMNT at drinklmnt.com. If you go to /giveasalt, and you can nominate the people in your life who you feel are really making a difference for you and the ones you love and your community and whatnot. So, anyway, very merry Christmas from us here at the Healthy Rebellion Radio and our team, and we’ll see you next week.
Robb: Bye, everybody.
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