An open letter to Will Harris at White Oak Pastures

Will,

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Loved your most recent blog post: Will’s Wisdom: Think About This When You Eat an Impossible Burger. I call burgers made from beef from holistically grazed ranches “regenerative burgers”. Conversely, I refer to the plant based analogs from Impossible Foods (and other ultra processed food labs) as degenerative “ecocide burgers”. I’m pretty sure I shared with you my post on “The Ecocide Burger“. If not, click the hyperlink to read.

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One thing I pointed out in my blog post is that GMO soy is a mined phosphate intensive crop. In my post, I hyperlinked to this article  noting how mined phosphate often now includes a lot of toxic contaminants like cadmium that accumulate in soils. Since posting this blog post, this article, Eaters of the earth: How the fertilizer industry leaves a trail of destruction across the American South, was published noting the extensive environmental  destruction of phosphate mining does in the Southeastern US. Plus of course, like with synthetic nitrogen, a lot of this applied phosphate ends up leached or running off into waterways where it causes eutrophication including blooms of cyanobacteria. These algae blooms lead to very large dead zones in our oceans.

So, especially when looked at holistically, that is the food production system as a whole, Pat Brown’s claim- that his ultra processed industrial Ag dependent lab created food analog is better for the environment and one’s health than regeneratively raised beef-  is obviously and completely full of shit.
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Unlike well managed ruminants, Brown’s glorified dog food does absolutely NOTHING to improve soil health, sequester carbon and improve drought/flood resilience by increasing water infiltration and retention rates.. Applied phosphate and glyphosate undermine mycorrhizal fungi that’s critical for increasing soil organic matter including soil organic carbon. Moreover, as you pointed out in your post, this glorified dog food doesn’t help to rebuild rural communities. Nope, this ultra processed glorified dog food only further consolidates wealth for those corporations and venture capitalists who control the intellectual property [IP].

Anyway, hope you and your family are doing well.

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Stephen

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Will’s brief response
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Thank you, Stephen.    I have visited phosphate mines in Florida. You could film an end-of-the-world movie there.
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Will
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For those unfamiliar with White Oak Pastures, please watch this brief short video below. Not only has Will revitalized his local community, but he did and continues to do this while producing nutrient dense carbon NEGATIVE beef and other meats.  This carbon negative production has been verified in a life cycle analysis [LCA] by the same group,  Quantis, that did an LCA for Impossible Foods.  To offset the emissions of each degenerative ecocide burger by Impossible Foods, people need to eat one regenerative burger from beef raised at White Oak Pastures.
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One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts by Peter Byck from Portage Perennials on Vimeo.

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