“We’ve been on an 80-year chemical kick, with our frightening health statistics being the result,” says eco-nutritionist Phyllis Tichinin.
“Now is the time to take the driving seat in restoring soil and agricultural integrity, using farm and pasture diversity to make produce the world has forgotten.”
Phyllis has a passion for regenerative farming practices. Combined with qualifications in environmental and soil management, she has a wealth of both academic knowledge and hands-on practical experience of running her own organic farm near Havelock North.
At the 2019 Organic Dairy and Pastoral Group conference in late-March, she presented a compelling argument based on facts, figures, and research, explaining how a deficiency of vitamin K2 in our diets can lead to most of the current human health problems.
Vitamin K2 is found almost exclusively in animal fats, in products such as milk, cream, cheese, eggs and meat. Butter consumption has slowly decreased since 1909, and later it was widely believed that saturated animal fats were linked to cholesterol levels and heart disease.
In the last 20 years extensive research and re-analysis documents show there is no valid link to animal fats, says Phyllis.
“As health issues escalate to species-threatening levels, it has been revealed that processed carbohydrates like sugar, agrichemicals and common vegetable oils are major contributing factors to heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer.”
The lack of animal fats in our diets, leads to a deficiency in vitamin K2. This vitamin ensures calcium ends up in the right places in our bodies. Vitamin K2 supports the health of many different areas and functions of the body, and combats many of the conditions we suffer from today.
“With a shift to A2/A2 genetics, fat’s going to be where it’s at,” says Phyllis. “The way forward is butter and ghee from organic, diverse green pastures.”
Phyllis says diversity begets diversity – and super diverse pastures, with height ranges both above and below ground, are the key to superior nutrients in organic milk, and products from animals.
“For example, 28 to 40 species in a pasture would double the carbon and nitrogen content in the soil, reducing the need for synthetic fertilisers.
“We need to farm mimicking nature – and an organic farm is in nature’s image.”
Phyllis says the number of cows we farm in NZ is not the problem. “The problem lies with how we’re fertilising and grazing our pastures. It’s not the cow, it’s the how.”
She says the message is clear – “cut processed carbs, ditch the sunscreen, drop the drugs, ditch the weed killer, and eat butter”.