In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, Dave talks with Cody Hopkins at the 6th Annual Biohacking Conference. Cody is a physicist turned first-generation farmer turned founder and CEO of Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative.
He has spent more than a dozen years developing a vertically integrated sustainable livestock farm with an unwavering vision of creating a farming business that is good for the animals, good for the environment and good for customers.
Cody and his wife, Andrea Todt, established Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative in 2014, with their own Falling Sky Farm in Arkansas as one of the founding farms. Grass Roots is a collective partnership of more than 20 small farms across the U.S—in places such as Oregon, Nevada, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Texas, Arkansas, and North Carolina—fostering respectful farming practices and love for the land.
“Grass Roots Cooperative is on a mission to change the way meat is produced and consumed in this country,” Cody says. “Healthy animals raised outdoors with sunlight, fresh air, and clean grass—no hormones, antibiotics, or GMOs needed.”
The goal is to reach 100 farms over the next three years.
Farms in the cooperative follow a single set of the highest quality standards with a focus on five priorities:
- Health & Nutrition
- Farmer to You
- Butchered by Hand
“As customers are demanding more and more transparency and higher and higher quality meat that’s healthier for them, where the animals are treated better, it’s creating a whole new opportunity for farmers,” Cody says. “We’re always looking for those symbiotic relationships, where you’re putting an animal in an environment that it’s evolved to live in, versus trying to force them into some other system.”
The outcome? A naturally balanced ecosystem, soil regeneration and productive pastures.
Grass Roots’ aim is to provide the best quality and most nutritious meat in a manner that is humane, transparent, sustainable and fair. Its farms are the first in the United States to use blockchain technology to trace their products from farm to fork. This allows customers to be confident in the origin and quality of the meat they buy. Grass Roots also has an open-farm policy and is completely transparent at every stage.
“Let’s focus on supporting small scale farmers that are doing this right,” Cody says. “That really is what it comes back to for me, being able to connect with those small farmers, support them, and let the customers vote with their dollar on the kind of food system they want to support.”
And that, says Dave, is “actually how food is supposed to work.”
More about Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative:
For the first six weeks after this podcast episode airs, if you use code DAVE on grassrootscoop.com you get $30 off + FREE SHIPPING on orders of $150 or more.
Enjoy the show!
Follow Along with the Transcript
Michael Pollan: michaelpollan.com/about/
Joel Salatin-Polyface Farms: polyfacefarms.com
Natural State Processing Company: naturalstateprocessing.com
Bulletproof Radio: Joel Salatin: Real Food Improves Your Performance
- How Cody put his thyroid issue into remission using food and lifestyle 00:07:30
- Really good grass-fed beef is like fine wine 00:09:50
- What Dave’s kids think candy is 00:21:40
- We consider ourselves grass farmers 00:27:10
- Our grandparents paid more for food than we do (percent of income) 00:28:00
- The snickers bar comparison 00:33:30
- Big Ideas:
- When Cody learned how good grass-fed meat is 00:06:45
- How do we make farming profitable? 00:15:10
- The way Grassroots provides consistently good meat 00:19:00
- The problems and difference with confinement livestock production 00:22:20
- How good farming aids in carbon capture 00:24:30
- What is forested pork? 00:30:20
- How to vote with your fork 00:33:20
- How to handle that pigs are more sensitive to pollutants 00:34:30
- What standards does Grassroots hold their farmers to? 00:39:05
- Dave’s rant about how veganism is hard on the environment 00:45:45
- The cycle of life 00:49:35
- The 5 reasons why pasture-raised meat is the only meat to eat 00:57:00
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