277. Down To Earth: Regenerative Farming, The Soul Of Soil, & Conscious Commerce W/ Ryland Englehart

Ryland Engelhart

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Ryland Engelhart talks about the evolution of Café Gratitude, why we need to change our worldwide farming practices VERY SOON, the transformative potential of regenerative farming, and what Kiss the Ground is doing to teach people more about the regenerative model.

Ryland Engelhart, along with his family, opened the original Café Gratitude in San Francisco, California in 2004, a manifestation of a visionary concept that food, gratitude and love are the recipes for cultivating community and a reverence for the living world. One restaurant grew into seven throughout the Bay Area, and in 2011, Ryland and his brother brought Café Gratitude to Los Angeles. The pair saw a huge opportunity in engaging the influential media culture in Hollywood to broadcast a healthier, loving, and grateful narrative across the globe. Today, Ryland is the Mission Fulfillment Officer of Love Serve Remember, the management company that oversees seven Southern California restaurants under three names, Café Gratitude, Gratitude and Gracias Madre. He is responsible for upholding the company culture, values and business innovations. All restaurants serve 100% plant-based organic cuisine. Empowered with new research on regenerative agriculture's power to heal our planet in 2013, Ryland co-founded Kiss the Ground, an education and advocacy NGO working to transform our food system based in Venice, California. He is the creator of the award-winning documentary film, "May I Be Frank,” and co-producer of the Kiss the Ground feature-length film to be released in 2019. Ryland’s life purpose is to be an expression of love in action.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

It wasn’t planned this way, but I’m grateful to be able to release so many of my interviews from Attune Experience 2019 during this chaotic and stressful time. Not only are these fun conversations a nice distraction but their emphasis on spiritual transformation and inspiration is a message the world needs right now. And if you want to see what Attune is doing in 2020, head over to attuneexperience.com to learn more.

Today’s high-vibe guest is probably going to be familiar to anyone from the LA or Bay areas: Ryland Engelhart, the co-owner of Café Gratitude and the Mission Fulfillment Officer of Love Serve Remember.

The original Café Gratitude was a manifestation of a visionary concept — that food, gratitude, and love are the recipes for cultivating community and a reverence for the living world. One restaurant grew into seven throughout the Bay Area, and in 2011, Ryland and his brother brought Café Gratitude to Los Angeles. All of the restaurants are amazing, by the way, and serve 100% plant-based organic cuisine.

Ryland’s life purpose is to be an expression of love in action — and you really do feel this when you eat at any of their locations — but now he’s trying to express that love on an even grander scale.

Empowered with new research on regenerative agriculture's power to heal our planet, Ryland co-founded Kiss the Ground, an education and advocacy NGO working to transform our food system based in Venice, California. We talk all about why we need to change our worldwide farming practices VERY SOON, the transformative potential of regenerative farming, and what Kiss the Ground is doing to teach people more about the regenerative model.

You’re going to have trouble not expressing some gratitude for our wonderful planet after this episode is over.

11:00 — The origins of Café Gratitude

  • Ryland’s dad’s divorce
  • The role of Landmark Forum
  • The original raw food gaming parlor
  • Inviting people into a new view of life
  • The biggest difference between Café Gratitude and most restaurants (hint: it’s not the plant-based food)

22:18 — The “Clearing” process

  • What’s your biggest concern in life right now?
  • When your attention is on that story, that concern you’re thinking about, what emotions do you experience?
  • What do you love about your life?

38:05 — Landmark Forum

  • Does Ryland experience any blowback?
  • What it was like at the Forum
  • How the experience changed Ryland’s worldview
  • Going beyond self-imposed limitations
  • We’re wired to look for what’s wrong
  • There’s always something to be grateful for

51:30 — What’s up with the Love Share Remember restaurants right now?

  • The evolution has been crazy
  • Helping to bring plant-based food into the mainstream

01:01:10 — The plant-based phenomenon & the pros/cons of including some animal products in your diet

  • Luke didn’t realize that there were healthy meat options for a number of years
  • A 100% vegetarian diet didn’t work with Luke’s body
  • Starting a farm with animals as raw food vegans
  • Seeing yourself, as a human being, as part of nature
  • Changing our relationship with agriculture and animals
  • The regenerative power of farming with animals
  • In the last 40 years, we’ve destroyed 30% of farmable land on the planet
  • The UN says there are only about 55 years left of farmable land if soil degradation continues
  • Doing less harm
  • What Kiss the Ground is doing to educate farmers on regenerative farming

02:04:03 — Where does Biodynamic Farming fit in the regenerative model?

  • The father of Biodynamic Farming
  • Regenerative farming certifications that are in the works

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

Luke Storey: [00:00:00] All right, Ryan. Here we are in the woods in Atlanta, Georgia, the land of Walking Dead. How are you doing today?

Ryan Engelhart: [00:00:11] Feeling great. Yeah, feeling—waking up here at Serenbe, it's quite an exquisite, exquisite place. Definitely one of the big visions of my life is to live on land with community and creating a space to raise children and to demonstrate that we can live in a much more harmonious way in relationship to the earth. So, to see a vision fulfilled in the way that Serenbe is such that I can—I mean, as much as I can see, it seems to be that. And so, it's really a sweet thing to see a dream fulfilled and to be here and to walk around the property and premise and the organic farm today with my little 17-year-old son. And just to feel the prana, the life of nature all around. Feels good.

Luke Storey: [00:01:06] It does feel good. I give a sigh of relief to that, too. I always feel good when I get into the country. You know, as soon as I get away from mass civilization, my nervous system just turns down about 10 notches. I was talking to someone last night, and what's your favorite city? This is my favorite city, and he said, "I love London." And yeah, as far as cities go, London's cool, but if I had my choice to like get on a plane and go somewhere, it would, at this point in my life, never be a city.

 So, I'm stoked to be here, and stoked to talk to you. Last time I saw you was at the Air One in Calabasas, and we had a brief but really engaging chat. And I have looked forward to dive in deeper with you ever since. So, let's go ahead and start off with your family of origin, your family business, the Café Gratitude empire and the ups and downs of that. I've sort of been watching it from afar. And as a customer at the different locations, I think I've been to the one in LA, the mission in San Francisco, and then at one point, one in Healdsburg some years ago, which is right near where my mom lives.

 So, being someone who's lived in LA 30 years and watching different, you know, organic and healthy restaurants kind of blossom, there was a point at which like the only sort of seemingly healthy food you could get were like fake meat, vegan restaurants, just made of soy and wheat products, which at the time, seemed healthy. And then, you know, you got some juice spots, like you guys popped up and things like that. So, I guess just kind of start there and give me a little origin story around how you and your family got involved in this.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:02:43] Beautiful. So, let's see. Yeah. Going all the way back, my mother left my father when I was about—when I was 20 years old. And she left him for another woman and that was, kind of his life fell apart, and he—I did something called the Landmark Forum when I was 18, and I had always invited him to go do it and he resisted it. And when his life fell apart, he said he was going to try something new because all his tools in the tool belt weren't working.

 And he ended up going through it, loving it, having an amazing transformative experience of finding himself again, finding his feet on solid ground. And he ended up meeting a woman named Terces, who was leading courses at Landmark, and they fell in love. And at that time, they were—she was 54 and he was 45. And they said, "All right, let's spend a year of our lives really looking at what we want to give birth to." And Terces had come through 25 years of eating disorder and had lost her teeth, and, you know, it was like-

Luke Storey: [00:04:22] Wow. That's a long time.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:04:24] It was a big, yeah, like a huge deal. And her path of recovery brought her to, you know, many things, but one of the things was Landmark. And my dad had always been a spiritual seeker. And so, when they got together, they really said, let's listen to our inner guidance and find out what ones to come through us. And they spent a year in contemplation, meditation, reflection. And what came through to them was to create a transformational board game, which ended up becoming called—being called The Abounding River board game. 

 And essentially, it was a board game to shift our view from scarcity, not enoughness, to abundance, to gratitude. And they contracted an artist and created this beautiful board game. And that became the reason to open Cafe Gratitude, was actually, they were—at the same time they're developing the game, they were also—we have an organic fruit and vegetable farm in Maui called La Lima, and they had a neighbor who was a total fanatical raw foodist at the time, this late '90s, early 2000s. Yeah, late '90s.

 Yeah. And they tried being raw for 30 days. They felt really great. They started having raw dinner parties and having people come over and play the board game. And they got challenged by one of their friends to—you know, the way that you should get your game out there is create a restaurant and cafe, invite people in with the carrot of food, and then you can give them this transformational view of gratitude and abundance while customers come in for a juice or a coffee.

 And so, that was the—you know, we had no—they had no restaurant experience. They were actually on their way to a yoga class, saw a lease for rent in San Francisco, 20th and Harrison in the Mission District in San Francisco, still kind of a seedy neighborhood, and they signed the lease. And they opened it with, you know, 14 employees, most family—most of them, family members. And, you know, the idea was that it was a raw food transformational gaming parlor in San Francisco.

 And every table in the restaurant had the game inset on the table. And we didn't have a stove. We didn't have a hood. It was all raw food. The only thing we had were miso broth and the quinoa cooker or rice cooker that we cook quinoa on it. And, you know, that was the early days. And really, it was—the idea was we're inviting people in to a new view of life. And that was the view that, you know, in every moment, no matter what our circumstances are, there's always something we can be grateful for.

 And by doing that, that now is ours—now is us instead of being in the future trying to get something or regret in the past. It brings us into a state of fulfillment. And that was the desire. That was what we wanted to give people the presence of and access to. And so, at the time, I was actually living in Los Angeles and I had actually come through—me and my sister opened a commercial recording studio in Los Angeles, in North Hollywood, and that kind of crashed and burned after the whole Napster thing.

 The music industry took a total tank, no one was buying music anymore. And so, we ended up selling our recording studio. And I went from someone who owning a recording studio and was totally on the scene in LA at 20 years old, running a commercial recording studio in the hip hop and R&B industry to losing everything. We had to sell our house, sell our equipment. And then, I was the host at Follow Your Heart, the vegan restaurant out in the valley in Canoga Park. And-

Luke Storey: [00:08:52] Oh, yeah, I've been there.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:08:54] It's a classic. It's been the same since the '70s.

Luke Storey: [00:08:58] Is that the one that's in the health food store?

Ryan Engelhart: [00:08:59] Yeah, it's in the back.

Luke Storey: [00:09:00] Yeah.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:09:01] So, yeah, that was actually a big, you know, ego death moment, where one of the—you know, a celebrity at the time from, you know, a young R&B hip hop group came in to Follow Your Heart, and I went from I used to be the guy who ran the studio, now the guy brown-bagging the to-go order. And I just remember that going just like totally just surrendering to, this is what life looks like right now.

Luke Storey: [00:09:29] That's great. Stevia sweetening the humble pie.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:09:33] Totally. But yeah. So, from that point, I had kind of a crash and burn in LA, a moment of losing my way. And I called my dad kind of in tears, just like, "Hey, I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know where I'm going. And I wanted to know if I could come work with you because they were just in the first probably six months of opening Café Gratitude. And I called them, went up, and the idea was that I was going to go to San Francisco to work with them and learn the business with the hopes that I could come back within a year to open a restaurant in Los Angeles. 

 And so, I ended up doing that, but it ended up taking probably five years before—it was about five—it was five years before we ended up coming back to LA and opening the first of seven restaurants in the Los Angeles area. So, you know, it was really that I think the thing that people probably didn't get about Café Gratitude was most restaurants start, and their intention is really just to serve food and even, you know, healthy food.

 But really, our vision and mission was actually much more committed to the gratitude component than the cafe component. And, you know, that the way that that was set up within our restaurants is we would—we do things—we have something called the clearing, where we actually invite our staff, and we call them advocates, our employees, to go through a process called clearing, which is simply asking two questions or sometimes can just be one question.

 And that question, if it's a two-question clearing, it could be a question like, what are you pretending right now or where are you feeling insecure? And giving people an opportunity to check in with what is in their internal state so they can get honest about it and bring some of self-awareness to it. And then, a second question could be something like, what are you grateful for or what do you love about your life? And so, you want to try the process?

Luke Storey: [00:12:14] Sure.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:12:15] Okay. So-

Luke Storey: [00:12:16] Let's do it because I wanted to ask you a bit about Landmark, too. I was going to jump back to that. So, this is a good segue into that because my when I was a kid, my mom did a bit of EST, and that kind of stuff. So, I was like, "Oh, I wanted to learn the correlation", but yeah, let's do stuff.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:12:31] Yeah. Cool. So, Luke, can I ask you a question?

Luke Storey: [00:12:34] Yes.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:12:36] So, what's your biggest concern right now in life? 

Luke Storey: [00:12:43] In the macrocosm of life?

Ryan Engelhart: [00:12:46] Personally.

Luke Storey: [00:12:47] Yeah. Not just in this moment, this weekend.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:12:49] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:12:50] My biggest concern in life, I would say, oh, man, it's funny, like nothing's coming to mind. But like if I wasn't asked a question, I would be constantly thinking about those things some days. 

Ryan Engelhart: [00:13:03] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:13:04] Concern in life, I would say, I'm very bothered by the fact that I pay someone else's mortgage and I'm concerned about buying a house and not throwing cash down the toilet every month. Yeah, that's kind of what's on my mind. And that also includes finding a way to escape the clutches of Los Angeles after 30 years, and still do what I do as effectively as I do. So, it's kind of the biggest concern is kind of the housing situation, the where and the how.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:13:44] Perfect. So, what I heard you say is that your biggest concern right now in life in the macrocosm is this feeling of you don't want to be just throwing money down the drain and how and where to buy a house. And if you do that, and if you're able to get yourself out of the clutches of Los Angeles, where would you go? And would you be still able to do effectively what you are doing right now in life? And the concern, if you can make all that happen.

Luke Storey: [00:14:23] Very good reflection. No wonder you have a lasting relationship. Your wife must love your ability to do that. I've found in relationship that when somebody really feels hurt, especially females, it's very productive.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:14:42] Yeah, I think.

Luke Storey: [00:14:43] Yeah. I like that style, that kind of imago type of communication because so much is lost in the ambiguity of interpretation, right? "So, what you're saying is you're like afraid that you don't have enough money?" "No, no, I didn't say that, it's the strategy", you know. So, yeah, that's great. Okay. Carry on.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:15:00] Yeah. And so, when your attention is on that story or on that idea that you're thinking about and mulling over in your head, what's the emotional experience that comes along when your attention's on that?

Luke Storey: [00:15:14] The emotional experience for my attention on that is I would say it's just a bit of tension and tightness. And it could be located, I would say, mostly in my chest. It's kind of like a sinking in, like, "How am I going to do this? What's the answer? How is this going to work out?" And so, it's not really fear because it's not that acute. It's not really anxiety, because it's not like a projected fear of being hurt or losing something or not getting something. That's just more of like a bit of attention in the unknowing and the confusion and the-

Ryan Engelhart: [00:15:57] So, tension, confusion, a little ambiguity, and it feels—you feel it or it feels held in your chest.

Luke Storey: [00:16:04] Yeah.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:16:05] Thank you for sharing that.

Luke Storey: [00:16:06] Yeah. I think like it's a heart yearning to have a home and to do what I want to do with that home, and to have it be in a place that feels in alignment energetically. And so, it's a yearning of like a heartache to have something that really feels like home. I think that's where that sort of tension of longingness comes from and why it's probably in my heart. That's what I intuit.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:16:31] Yeah. So, there's a feeling of a heart yearning for feeling that, experiencing that home, and not what you want to do with that home, and having that where it is being aligned. And yeah. So, the feeling is somewhat the inability or that there's not that heart. Yeah, there's just some constriction around the heart.

Luke Storey: [00:17:02] Yes.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:17:03] Great. Thank you for sharing that.

Luke Storey: [00:17:04] Yeah. Maybe like a baby boa constrictor, not an anaconda, thankfully.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:17:09] Yeah, baby boa constrictor.

Luke Storey: [00:17:10] But, you know, we have these—sometimes, we have these sorts of unsolved riddles that sort of burn in the background, like when you have a bunch of apps open on your phone, that drains your battery.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:17:20] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:17:20] That would be one of mine that's kind of like, it's fine, like it's not a problem that needs to be solved. It's just like, there's that thing, you know. And so, yeah, it's insteresting.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:17:29] That's great, a baby boa constrictor. I'm going to use that.

Luke Storey: [00:17:34] It's just kind of sliding around about the chest area, you know, not really hugging too tight. It doesn't have that much power, but there's still a felt presence, I guess, you could say.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:17:43] Yeah, beautiful. Can I ask you another question?

Luke Storey: [00:17:45] Yeah.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:17:48] What do you love about your life?

Luke Storey: [00:17:52] What I love about my life is that I get to spend a lot of time inspiring people and helping people. Yeah, I love that I have the impact that I have. However insignificant it might be in the grand scope of things, it's a meaningful contribution to me. Getting messages from people every single day that they're benefiting from the things that I'm sharing, I think that's probably what's most important.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:18:23] Well, I'd love to acknowledge you for just the courage to show up and expose yourself and share in a way, because I know that if you're touching people, you're actually opening yourself up, and you're actually going beyond your comfort and you're going beyond the mundane and you're really sharing intimately with your audience. And I just want to acknowledge for making your life about creating stories and creating narratives and weaving information that uplifts and inspires people. And yeah, thank you from the bottom of my heart for, yeah, stepping into this role. It's really awesome.

Luke Storey: [00:19:30] You're welcome.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:19:31] Yeah. So, that would be considered a clearing.

Luke Storey: [00:19:35] Cool. Got it. Sure beats the hell out of small talk.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:19:39] Yeah, it does. 

Luke Storey: [00:19:41] "How are you doing today?" "Oh, good. It's traffic. It's the-", you know. It's like—but I like intimacy and I like relating on a deep level. I'm just someone, I want to really know. I think that's why I do what I do. I really want to know what's inside and not the facade of what we think people want to see. I find conversations, even brief ones like that, are more meaningful than talking to someone about the weather for four hours.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:20:08] Totally. I've literally had moments where I think I'm crazy because I listen to the conversations that are happening all around and like, is this really all we talk about? I mean, it's like I think sometimes, I'm from another planet. I'm like, is this—like everywhere we go, we just—you know, it's actually one of the things I—there's this thing called counsel, sitting in counsel. It's like a formatted conversation for community to commune and connect and understand each other.

 And it comes from kind of an indigenous lineage. And essentially, it allows for people to sit and be heard. And the only rules of sitting in council is speak from the heart, listen from the heart, speak with brevity and speak with spontaneity. And, you know, you kind of open up a conversation with a question, everyone gets to have a moment of sharing. And then, you close that conversation and open up another conversation, and just is beautiful.

 And in a moment in my life where I was like really seeking for more meaningful conversation, it was really a beautiful thing to find and find—to be able to sit in a circle of people having a conversation, that was like, "Wow, I can tell that human being is, you know, really there sharing from their heart." And so, yeah. And back to acknowledging you, I really appreciate that. And I think, you know, in this moment, I'm just getting this now moment that I feel maybe that the reason for the whole podcast space phenomenon is that it has become a space where there is more meaningful conversations happening, which we're longing to be a part of. And so-

Luke Storey: [00:21:59] I think you're absolutely right. It's an exciting time in terms of independent media right now, although there are ominous signs of repression and censorship upon us, not even science. I mean, it's happening, unfortunately, but right now, for the most part, within the space of podcasting, I think we have more freedom than other forms of media. I mean, perhaps you could have a blog and you could write the craziest shit you ever can think of, and then people would leave you alone, but, you know, YouTube's pretty heavily censored and Facebook is heavily censored.

 Google in general is rigged. And so, podcasts are kind of like the last place, I think, unless you're Alex Jones, he's the only person I've known to be banned from iTunes on a podcast, which is a travesty for everyone's free speech. It's kind of, you know—that's where the downward slide always begins, you know, when any society demonizes and silences one person because they can judge them as wrong, then, you know, it gets dangerous for the rest of us that are wanting to touch upon anything that's mildly controversial.

 But to your point, I think it's still a really exciting time because you can have a show like this and like thousands of others where you can have deep and meaningful conversations about whatever you want with whomever you want. And we're not beholden to the monetization element of that media. And I think in podcast, that's the case, probably in any other form of media, because even in YouTube, it's like, you know, they have very strict rules about what you can talk about and what you can't.

 And they, you know, blacklist you and demonetize your page if you do anything controversial, which used to be just political, you know, that's where they started it. And then, now, it's moved into the kind of battle between medical and big pharma and alternative health, you know, and you see a lot of people getting banned. But on podcasts, my advertisers don't seem to care what I talk about.

 And if they did, if they said, "Oh, I don't want you to talk about-", I won't use the V word because I could get banned, but immunizations. We don't need to talk about that or circumcision or some of the somewhat controversial things that I've covered on the show because I feel it's important. If my advertisers said, "We're not going to pay your fees if you talk about this or that", then I wouldn't work with them and I would just do it for free or I would find someone that paid less or, you know, whatever.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:24:26] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:24:26] So, you know, Myoptics, Four Sigmatic, I mean, all of the great companies that support the show and my staff and all that, they love what I talk about. They don't care. They're probably like, yeah, the more—the deeper the conversations and even sometimes, the more controversial, perhaps they are the better, because it's opening minds and those open minds are actually going to be more receptive to try in a new product or service, you know, that maybe they are not familiar with.

 So, yeah, it's fucking awesome. And also, the fact that we don't have—for the most part with podcasts, you don't have a time limit. And I remember when I first started, I thought, well, you know, how do you do a podcast? Okay. Well, you have to, you know, find a guest. You have to find a topic. You kind of have to make a genre that you want to stay within to some degree. And then, you have to have like a schedule every week of what day it comes out, and then you have to time it right. 

 So, I thought, well, I'll make them an hour. And I think the first few, I would kind of like be watching the clock, okay, we're almost in an hour and I'd wrap it up, you know, but then I started getting into these conversations that would just get so deep and so profoundly meaningful to me, just forgetting about the mics and cameras, nut I'm just going, oh, my God, I'm benefiting so much. I'm having these awakenings and conversations. And then, next thing you know, they'd be going like 90 minutes, two hours.

 And some of them gone like three-and-a-half hours. And I don't want them to because I don't think people probably have the time to listen to something three-and-a-half hours long, but I also just can't cut it off because it's like, you don't know if that same magic is going to align next time. So, say you and I go and we're like an hour in. And I'm like, okay, there's ten of the things I wanted to cover with Ryland. I'll just do that next time we record. Even if we do get around to doing like a Part 2 or a follow-up, we're going to be in a different place and those juicy nuggets would have been missed, the missed opportunities.

 So, it's an overly long response to your question because I'm so enthusiastic about what I get to do and the fact that for right now, at this moment in time on podcast, we do have a lot of freedom in terms of what we can say, which is great. And I'm hopeful that someone will stand up for the First Amendment soon. I mean, I do what I can to spread awareness by talking about these issues. Some people don't even realize, you know, David Wolfe was just banned from Facebook. David Wolfe is just like, I do the talks about health food and-

Ryan Engelhart: [00:26:54] And the flat earth.

Luke Storey: [00:26:56] Yeah, but I mean-

Ryan Engelhart: [00:26:58] I love David.

Luke Storey: [00:26:59] Yeah. But like he's not doing anyone any harm, you know.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:27:03] Totally. He's a great human being.

Luke Storey: [00:27:05] Like, hey, there's alternative treatments for Kane or is probably something that have to do with cancer vaccines or something like that, but it's a terrifying time when, you know, on a social platform where they operate under the guise that they're a private company, therefore, can't be regulated and they can have who they want and who they don't want on their platform, it's really a slippery slope. Because then, even if you're like, "Oh, David Wolfe, that nutty hippie, the flat-earther guy, whatever, who cares if they kick him off?" Well, they're coming for your channel next.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:27:33] You're next.

Luke Storey: [00:27:33] Yeah.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:27:33] Yeah, that's right.

Luke Storey: [00:27:34] Unless you toe the line and, you know, in this Orwellian totalitarian regime that's kind of being created with our mainstream media and big tech, unless you fall within those guidelines and, you know, don't step out of line, you could be next. So, it's gnarly. I mean, I try not to change the people I talk to or what we talk about, but I am a little more mindful now because it's not only like your mission, purpose and job as a content creator like me, but it's like how I buy my Cheerios, you know what I'm saying?

 So, I guess you just find something else if you get nuked, but I—and I will. I'll adapt. I've had a lot of different jobs. You know, I'd find a new job if like iTunes says, "Oh, you can't talk about natural healing or spirituality or, you know, psychedelics or whatever weird things I might talk about." So, anyway, here we are. We can do whatever the hell we want, but I want to go back to Landmark Forum because I went to, I think, a one-day Landmark thing down in a hotel by LAX maybe 10 years ago or something because I'm just a seeker and anything I find out about that is going to help you, I'll go to. 

 And I was playing in a band with a guy who had been through a lot of the programming and it seemed to really help him. And so, when I went, I somehow connected the dots that this was somehow in the lineage of Werner Erhard, the founder of EST, which was really big in the '70s, as far as I recall. And my mom was always talking about EST says this and EST says that. And I think she had done some of the seminar. So, it was an interesting correlation to find like, oh, because I always wondered what happened to EST. It was such a thing.

 And then, maybe if I have the history right, which we'll find out, it morphed into this other thing and tell me a bit about that, and then what it was like integrating that into your business, as you described. And was there blow-back from any employees that did not want to be part of that or thought it was culty or didn't have any framework by which to contextualize those types of conversations and that type of company culture.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:29:41] Yeah. So, I did the Landmark Forum when I was 18 years old in New York City, actually on the 14th floor of the World Trade Towers before they fell, few years before they fell. And it was an amazing—I explicitly remember I took a greyhound up there and I walked around New York City two hours from up—I'm from Ithaca, New York, so kind of Upstate New York country boy come into the city. And I had this idea that if I look like I didn't know where I was going, what I was doing, I'd be taken advantage of.

 So, I had this fear walking around New York City trying to figure out where to go. It's pre-, every, you know, smartphones. And so, I walked around for two hours not wanting to ask for directions because I was afraid that I'd be taken advantage of. Finally asked the police officer and got to where I was going. And I did this three-day course. Again, yeah, on the 14th floor. And it was everybody from Wall Street bankers to, you know, kids from the—you know, Puerto Rican kids from the South Bronx to soccer moms, you know, it was really—to rabbis to—I mean, it was just a really eclectic group of people. 

 And I had a really profound insight, which was that everybody is afraid of everybody else, and that we're all pretending like we know what we're doing, and we're all just making it up. And I mean, everybody is having that—on some subtle level, that experience. And when I got, oh, my God, everybody is just afraid of everybody else. And it gave me this freedom and this ability to be a little bit more loose in the world and play outside of my confines, which was so—you know, I graduated high school reading at a fifth-grade level, had, you know, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia.

 I was in the resource room all throughout high school. And I didn't go to college because I thought I was stupid. I thought I didn't have the capacity to, you know, pursue higher education. And so, when I had this realization that everybody was afraid of everybody else and everybody was pretending like they knew what they were doing, but really, just making it up, it just created a new view that actually gave me some freedom to start playing and trying things that in my construct of not—you know, I could see that I had labeled things that I was not interested in because that was actually just a creative way for my mind to label things that I was actually afraid of or I felt like I was insecure or insignificant or didn't have the skill set to pursue. 

 And so, you know, it just—that really just opened me up to, wow, anything is possible. I really had an experience of seeing my limitation and seeing the possibility beyond my story and my limitation. And I've probably, personally, throughout my life, put maybe 200, 300, 400, 500 people through the courses. And, you know, nothing's perfect, but as far as what people can break through in three days and an evening, as far as the mental constructs, our past dictating, you know, our future, I've never seen something more powerfully have people, one, create a new relationship with parents that they've been estranged from or broken from or, you know, abuse, addiction, dysfunction. 

 So, that, I just saw, unbelievable. And then, just people who lived their whole lives from a moment of trauma, and they see that their lives have been completely shaped because that one moment, then getting, "Oh, wow, I'm living my life based on the decision of a seven-year-old. And like the sky is blue, I now know that I don't have to be who I was, you know, three days ago. And yeah, I've just seen remarkable, remarkable results.

 And again, my dad had, you know, a big realization after my mom left him, which led to his marriage with Terces. And a lot of that, the technology or the sort of the psychological ideas and constructs. And again, Landmark, you know, it was an evolution of EST. And Werner Erhard was the founder. And then, I think it became owned by the employees that were original found—or working with Werner and EST. But yeah, we never had any official tie with Landmark, but people definitely—you know, we once got a little heavy handed in telling all of our managers, "If you wanted to be a manager, you have to go through Landmark Forum."

 And, you know, people want to become a manager, but they don't want to go through that. And because we were somewhat eager beaver about it, it landed a little heavy handed. And I think, you know, in the Bay Area, we had some controversial news coming out about that we were—I mean, people have talked about Cafe Gratitude as a cult, you know, a few times over the years just, you know, based on the spiritual nature of our business, that, you know, the way you order food is by saying an I-am affirmation that we have questions of the day, that, you know, we're not only serving you food, we're inviting.

 And in the early days, we were a little bit more radical and that, you know, we were a little more in your face like, "So, what are you grateful for today?", and I'm going to stand here and wait for you to share your answer versus like, "You can't ask me that. You're serving. "No, that's part of the deal here is, you know, we engage. I'll share with you what I'm grateful for." And we definitely were pushing the edge of wanting people to experience some discomfort because we, you know, at the time, really saw that, you know, comfort is a sedative. You know, we're not growing when we're just kind of in a sedated, comfortable state.

 And so, we were wanting to instigate and disrupt and have new conversations. You know, if we'd just sit over dinner and talk about the weather, but if there is a conversation of what moves you from your head to your heart, inserted, posited into the interaction, that actually can stimulate a new, more meaningful, transformative healing conversation. And we were committed to that. And we wanted to—you know, the bigger vision was we want gratitude to be in culture, like the question of what are you grateful for as a normal question that we ask each other, what are you grateful for today, as like, yeah, let's lean into that. 

Luke Storey: [00:37:36] That's so much—it's going to get such a better net result than how you doing, what's up, what's new.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:37:43] Totally.

Luke Storey: [00:37:44] Like if you just go, what's going on, to someone, because of the negativity bias, unless you've worked really hard to overcome that through all the modalities that are successful in so doing, your automatic response is going to be like, "Fuck, man. My alarm didn't go off, the thing." And then, she said this, he said this, you know, I mean, it's kind of just like we're wired to look for what's wrong evolutionarily, I think really, because in our environment, take away civilization in our environment, we're constantly looking for what's wrong or what we can eat, right? 

 And so, now, there's really nothing to be afraid of. We're indoors. There's no predation. We're safe. But the mind is still that ancient mammalian brain of ours or reptilian brain or maybe both, is going to automatically kind of look for what's wrong. So, it's a good NLP sort of trick to psychologically trick your default mode into going, oh, wait, there are actually a bunch of things. And I like what you were saying earlier about, you know, that there's always something to be grateful for, too. And I find that's a really useful kind of spot-check tool right in the moment. 

 And I used it the other night, a couple of nights ago when I flew into Atlanta here because I had arrived to the airport and not enough time for Delta to get my bag on the flight. Those A-holes at Delta lost my bag. And so, when I got to the airport in Atlanta, you know, they never lose my bag. I'm always kind of like wondering if that's a real thing because people complain about it a lot. I've been very lucky and my bags are heavy and they are expensive, so I'm like, the shit I keep in my luggage, just like all my tools and-

Ryan Engelhart: [00:39:28] Gear. 

Luke Storey: [00:39:28] Yeah. I mean, it's not like a normal person suitcase at all. I'm working on it. But anyway, so I get a text from Delta, "Oh, your bags, in LA still." And of course, that first thought was like, "Those assholes." Second thought is, "Luke, you arrived to the airport in LA, a massive cluster fuck of an airport one hour exactly before your flight left. That's not enough time. So, it's your bad. Don't blame yourself. But let's just be honest, get out of the victim mode."

 But then, the very next thought was—because of the forced habit over the years, was like, "Oh, thank God, I have my carry on that has a bunch of really important stuff, and I have my backpack. Oh, man. So awesome. I have my laptop and I have all my recording gear", you know, with the exception of half of a tripod that was in the big suitcase, but my mind went to first like what is still right instead of what's wrong, and then walking up to the line to go talk to the people in the baggage.

 I wanted to be mad at someone back there, just vent on an innocent person just to punish them and feel better myself. I saw that thought come up and I was like, nope, not having that. And I just put on a big smile and open my heart and walked up to the lady, and she's defensive, waiting for an angry, annoyed person because she's probably had 150 of them in her face that day. And I just said, "Hey, how are you doing?" I was just super happy.

 She might have thought I was a mental patient because I'm just like, I'm just full of—I'm just blissed out because, you know, my bags are missing and I'm tired and it's late. And, you know, I could see her transform her energy, just went like—into receptivity because of that, just a micro adjustment in my own attitude through that self-awareness. And, you know, was I stoked to not have my bag? No. Was it supposed to show up at 11:00, and then didn't show up until 3:30 in the morning?

 Yeah. You know, it wasn't a perfect transaction, but I had all the shit I needed. And it's like that experience was whatever my mind was going to make it, and I just had a little exertion of will available to me and a little awareness to transmute it into like not that big of a deal. You know, but that's just from like thinking, well, what can I be grateful for right now? And just that, you know, knee-jerk reaction of like, well, I have that bag and I have that bag, what's in them?

 Oh, this cool thing, that cool thing. And then, it was like, okay, you know. And then, I thought I was missing a toothbrush, and then finding my backup toothbrush in my carry-on, because that's the shit you don't want to—you know, you got to have your toothbrush. All the rest of that garbage is whatever, but man. Anyway, I digressed. I need to reach across the room and grab my coffee because I felt like I was getting too hyper to finish it.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:42:07] And now-

Luke Storey: [00:42:08] But now, I feel too relaxed. And so, I'm going to find that poor man's speed ball of caffeine and CBD. So, what I want to talk to you about now is let's divert from historical context, thank you for that, got that, where are the businesses at right now? Like you mentioned, you had seven in LA at some point, which I didn't realize, I only have been to the Venice one and like Larchmont one. How many are there in LA, West Coast right now? Because I know a couple have closed and opened and whatnot.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:42:42] Yeah. So, we have—right now, we have a Gracias Madre in San Francisco. That's the original one that we opened down there—or up there. And then, we have—in LA, we have seven, we have Gracias Madre in West Hollywood.

Luke Storey: [00:42:59] I went there for brunch just about six days ago.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:43:03] Awesome. And then, we're opening a new Gracias Madre in Orange County, in Newport Beach, on the 15th of this month. So, that's opening. We actually closed down a Gratitude that was down there when we're reopening as a Gracias Madre. And then, we have four Café Gratitudes in Southern California, one in Venice, one in downtown LA, one on Larchmont, and then one in San Diego. And then, our one final kind of anomaly restaurant that's a little outside of those two is, it's called Gratitude, and it's a higher-end Gratitude with a full bar and a different menu than Café Gratitude. And that's actually what we just closed down in Newport Beach and reopened as a Gracias Madre.

Luke Storey: [00:43:55] Oh, okay. Interesting. You know, I forgot I have been to the downtown LA one, too.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:43:59] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:43:59] I was there a couple months ago. It's right across from Bulletproof Coffee.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:44:03] That's right. Yeah. 

Luke Storey: [00:44:04] Yeah.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:44:06] So, yeah. So, business has been—you know, it's been an unbelievable experience opening Café Gratitude in LA. We opened March 4, 2011 and it was like the most—I mean, it was mind-blowing. We came to LA and there was a seed vision in my mind that we were going to come to LA, and we were going to bring a new cuisine to the mainstream. We're going to bring a new consciousness of business to the mainstream.

 And, you know, what I can say is that it feels like it's happened. It really—you know, we've gone from the margins to the mainstream when it comes to plant-based organic health and wellness food and the—you know, some of the funny thing, like when we first opened Café Gratitude, people asked me, "Is vegan a planet?" They thought that was the name of the planet, Vegan. I literally remember that. And then, some people would ask me, "How do you get milk out of almonds?" 

 And I would playfully say, "They've got little nipples. And if you grab a hold of them, you can get milk out of them. It's difficult, but it is possible." But now, almond milk is—I mean, it's everywhere. And, you know, even things like cold brew coffee wasn't a product on the market when we were serving in Cafe Gratitude in the early days. And now, it's like billboard, 7-Eleven. So, it really is-

Luke Storey: [00:45:52] What's the deal with cold brew coffee? What's the purpose of doing it that way?

Ryan Engelhart: [00:45:57] Low acid. So, less difficult on the body because it's a much lower acid content in the coffee with the hot brewing versus the cold brewing.

Luke Storey: [00:46:10] Cool. I didn't know that. That's interesting. You know, how I hacked the acidity of coffee was by making big Crock-Pots of chaga tea, by taking just chunks of chaga that I would get on eBay. I mean, it's like 50 bucks for five pounds or something, you know.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:46:27] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:46:28] It only takes a couple a little nugs in the Crock-Pot. You have like a really thick, dense brew, you know. And so, I'd use that as the basis of the coffee. And it's so much more smooth and alkaline because chaga is alkaline. So-

Ryan Engelhart: [00:46:42] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:46:42] Yeah. But I—because I love—like this coffee right here is from the restaurant here and it's super acidic. I like the bitter taste, but I can tell it's a little drying to the body. You know, it has that sort of astringent element to it. So, cool. Okay. So, cold brew. So, you-

Ryan Engelhart: [00:46:59] Yeah. So, it just—and again, I think the—for me personally, what it's provided is like, wow, when you have an idea and the timing is right and you offer something, something—there can be a collective view change, which actually is what I want to talk about today, is that the view change of plant-based vegan food from 15 years ago to now, it's remarkable. The shift in consciousness of how much things have changed and how much something was in a complete, very, very marginal state of awareness, and now, it's become part of the collective lexicon of understanding.

 So, yeah. So, we opened—we have, you know, seven restaurants in Southern California, the Gracias Madre in San Francisco. My dad's wife, my step mom has an oldest son who has a restaurant in Santa Cruz, which is called Grateful for Santa Cruz, that it's very like Café Gratitude, but it's his own little, you know, Santa Cruz, you know, spin-off. It's called Grateful for Santa Cruz. And then, we kind of have a handshake franchise with some folks out in Kansas City.

 There's a Café Gratitude in Kansas City that's actually been there for seven, eight years. And it's doing well. And yeah. So, that's that. And, you know, as a business, we have some restaurants that are doing great and some that are struggling. And, you know, my perception of that in how—where that—how that has been is that I think we probably opened too many in the Los Angeles area and we kind of diluted ourselves.

 And then, while we were doing that well and while we were kind of ushering in this, you know, conversation, obviously with many other people around plant-based, nutrient-dense, healthy, clean food, you know, that became such a common place thing where even if restaurants weren't exclusively plant-based, they had a plant-based offering. They had a kale and quinoa bowl. They had, you know, cold brew coffee. They had adaptogenic mushroom tonic lattes.

 They had, you know, mac nut milk, they had, you know—so, so many places have some components of that, which we had done like a full package of. Now, there's many people doing many and doing them well. And when you do something—we've done so many things and it's hard to do so many things really well. When you do just a few things, you can easy to do those really, really well. And so, I think honestly, there's people that have done, you know, little parts. 

 And, you know, I think that we've been an inspiration for many people, one, because, you know, many people have shared that with me over the years. But, you know, you do a little more focused food program or beverage program, and, you know, you can make it extraordinary. And I think we've tried to do so much that it's been difficult to keep innovating as well as keeping consistent, as well as, you know, continuing to grow, which we've done, you know, seven restaurants in the last eight years.

 So, it's been a labor of love and it's been difficult. You know, it's a restaurant business. I think everyone, you know, has the stigma and the knowingness that it's a difficult world because you're interfacing with the general public and customer service and food. People are very particular about their food. And then, you know, employees and, you know, having 650 employees, and the difficulty of creating an environment where people—you know, we really set out to—and, you know, I'd say that we really set out to be this kind of utopian business model.

 And, you know, in a lot of ways, we've been successful; in a lot of ways, we've, you know, fallen on our face. You know, we have this principle within our business philosophy called sacred commerce, which is if you're a sacred commerce business, you have a path of profitability, awakening, sustainability and social justice. And so, those are the four layers of or the quadruple bottom line that you're kind of navigating your business from. 

 And in the Bay Area, for the first seven years that we're open just in San Francisco, we were really focused on the A-S-S, but we weren't that focused on the P. And, you know, we say we made an ass out of ourselves because, you know, we had—we got some lawsuits and, you know, we had some, you know, economic downturn. And, you know, we ended up closing six restaurants in the Bay Area back in 2010 and 2011.

Luke Storey: [00:52:10] Oh, that would have been the fate of the Healdsburg spot that I went in, and then I had felt like it wasn't there anymore. I was excited because it was really close to my mom's house, so I could get her food from there. So, yeah. That's a lot of a lot of ups and downs. And I feel for you because I used to work as a server for many years in the restaurant industry. And it's—I mean, even just from, you know, that low-level vantage point, it's quite a roller coaster.

Let's talk about the plant-based phenomenon. And, you know, this is always something I'm very curious about because due to the fact that when I got into healthy living and all this stuff in the—I guess it would have been like the mid-'90s, I was unaware that there were healthy options of animal products to eat. I just thought, you either are a vegetarian and you do the like, you know, raw vegan or mostly raw vegetarian thing or you have to eat factory farm meat or fast food. Like I didn't know there was anything in the middle because I didn't know any farmers or going to farmer's markets and understand that there's a natural way to raise animals that makes them healthy.

 And there are less and more humane ways to end their life and take their energy and put it in you. So, I was vegetarian for, I don't know, close to 10 years or so. And I've learned a lot about health since then. So, I would say my vegetarian diet, due to lack of knowledge and due to the lack of availability of healthy or vegetarian options, was largely comprised of very inflammatory grains, legumes, you know, what are those silo-stored like mono-crops, you know, eating a lot of corn and all this kind of stuff. And so, my health.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:53:56] Corn, so like wheat.

Luke Storey: [00:53:58] All that stuff, yeah. And my health was just shit. You know, so now, I mean, I've had people that are vegan advocates and plant-based advocates on the show and I've had staunch ancestral paleo people, and I don't particularly like have a sort of religious dogmatic view on what one should or should need. I think eat whatever makes you feel good. I always say like, go eat a bucket of rocks, I really don't care what other people do. I was going to eat what feels good to me, which changes from time to time. And last night, I was like craving the salad so bad, but I also hadn't eaten much, so I got some bison spareribs that were fantastic.

 So, I got best of both worlds, but I now observe that they're—based on my own experience of being what you'd call plant-based for the most part for so long that my health just fell apart, and I've met so many now because of what I do and the people that I just meet on the street, like recovering vegans, you know, and recovering raw foodist who started—you know, their teeth started falling out and women that became infertile and all sorts of crazy problems as a result of eating, not my whack '90's version of vegetarian food, but like the best that a plant-based diet has to offer now.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:55:07] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:55:07] So, it seems to me that, you know, close friends that I have, and in my experience, that any extreme diet like that, whether it's the carnivore diet or a raw vegan diet, seems more like a transitional, maybe a detoxing diet. You know, the carnivore would be like an elimination diet where you don't eat anything remotely inflammatory, you eat salt, beef and water, right? And then, all these people, including my brother, have all of these sorts of autoimmune issues and inflammation, it just all disappears. And many people that do the raw vegan thing have those experiences, too. And then, after some time, I think those extreme diets seem to have their downside. So, at this point in your personal journey with food and that of a restaurant, where do you see kind of the pros and cons of having animal foods as part of your diet or not?

Ryan Engelhart: [00:55:59] Yeah, great question. So, we—as a family, we were raised vegetarian, macrobiotic, miso soup for breakfast, hijiki seaweed, brown rice, beans. My mom's first company was called The Benevolent Bean Making Tempe and a little hippie business back in Upstate New York. And so, I was raised—I didn't—I had—I ate my first—I've only had chicken maybe twice in my whole life. Once at like-. 

Luke Storey: [00:56:40] You're not really missing anything in my opinion.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:56:45] And then, I had my first hamburger at 35. And that was I was a hamburger from a cow that we had killed on our farm. That was part of my dad's greater understanding of how to manage a regenerative ecosystem on the farm. And, you know, we had one cow that was full grown and we didn't have space for it on the farm and we had one that had a blood disease. And so, we ended up, instead of sending those cows to be slaughtered somewhere else, we said, "Well, you know, they've been with us, let's walk ourselves through this process and really be as present with it and conscious of it and appreciative of them and make it quick and as painless as possible." And, you know, that was a big moment. You know, I was weeping in tears, you know, going through this process. And-

Luke Storey: [00:58:02] Were you present at the execution?

Ryan Engelhart: [00:58:06] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [00:58:07] How did how did they do that?

Ryan Engelhart: [00:58:11] Putting a gun above the eye level, and then when they're not aware, and then-

Luke Storey: [00:58:23] Like a bullet gun or one of the air guns?

Ryan Engelhart: [00:58:24] Bullet gun.

Luke Storey: [00:58:25] Okay. Not the old no country for old men, the air gun thing.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:58:29] No.

Luke Storey: [00:58:29] They seem to use that with pigs a lot from what I understand.

Ryan Engelhart: [00:58:33] And cow goes down and it was—yeah, it was very, very, very intense and yeah, it was, yes, super confronting to face.

Luke Storey: [00:58:51] Being a vegetarian for 35 years, yeah, I bet. I want to run something by you, and I know my questions are sometimes very long, so just bear with me. It becomes conversational. I'm sure you're gathering that, and I want to get back to that. But just on that note of witnessing the life force from that animal leaving its body, and although, you know, I think the most humane way you could kill an animal would be a shot to the head unknowingly, you know, not chasing them, and then shooting them. 

 In witnessing that, and you said, you know, the crying and I, too, I'm like a huge softy. And when I was a kid, my dad was a big hunter, and I'd go out on the hunts, and I would cry when they killed bears and different animals. And I always hated fishing. I love fishing, but once you have the fish, then you got to bang its head on the rock and like kill it before you clean it. And I just was always mortified by that, right? 

 Go up shooting with my BB gun, I would shoot birds, and then I'd go up and see the bird dead, and I'd feel so guilty, you know. I personally think that the reason that we—people of our similar generation and cultures, the reason that we find that to be so painful is because as we were weaned and reared throughout infancy into childhood, that that natural process of human life, the taking of other lives in order to sustain your own was not something that we were subjected to because of the domestication of the human species, right? 

 And, you know, you leave that to the butcher and the grocery store, and it's all very white glove and you don't have anything to do with that, integral part of human life as it relates to nature. Whereas, let's go back 15,000 years or even, I mean, a couple hundred years, to be honest, if you lived in a rural area, kids like us likely rather than growing up vegetarian-dependent where we were in the world would have seen grandma like hacking the heads of chickens all day long in the backyard.

 And we would have prior seen the men in the tribe come back with dead animals on the back of a horse or dragging them through the woods or we would have been tasked as kids going out and getting animals from traps and skinning them and cleaning them. And it's like, I think we're—again, my opinion and just a theory here, a philosophical viewpoint on this, is that the reason we see that as like a horror movie is because we grew up watching cartoons of animals being in human form with human voices and personalities. And then, the only kind of insides of bodies we have seen have been in horror movies that are based on, you know, mayhem and torture.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:01:31] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:01:31] And so, we combine kind of our TV upbringing of cartoons, animals are our friends with horror movies, and we've never seen the real thing in real life, where someone's just gutting a rabbit right there, and your baby nursing, you know, on your mom, and there's just blood and guts and broken up animals and they become a stew and you put them in the fire, and it's just part of life to where you would perhaps have a reverence for the energy exchange of taking an animal's life. I mean, I'm imagining, you know, Native American traditions or something like that. It's not just like mindless, "Let's go kill a bunch of shit and throw it in the fire", it's all very thoughtful, I think. And so, I think that's why that freaks us out.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:02:11] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:02:11] What's your take on that?

Ryan Engelhart: [01:02:12] Yeah, it's a great assessment. Two things I want to say. One is there's this really beautiful poem that Wendell Berry shares which says, "Every day, we must break the body and spill the blood of creation. If we do it knowingly, reverently and carefully, it is a sacrament. If we do it with greed, gluttony and carelessness, it is a desecration." And yeah, what I hear in that and what that resonate—how that resonates for me is that if we really got that, our life is—you know, we belong to nature.

 Nature, we are a part of this living system that is this constant energy exchange of transference of energy. And we got that our life and our ability to live depends on the transference of that energy, which is that, you know, food, whether it's, you know, the transference of sunlight captured into a plant or sunlight captured into a plant that then eaten by an animal, that then we capture that sunlight that the animal captured from that plant. You know, it's all a transfer of energy. And that yeah, if we're really connected to, wow, this life had to give its life up such that I could live.

 And, you know, every meal is essentially that, that there's something is dying, and whether it's plants or animals. And even the production of plants creates the death of animals and species. So, you know, the web of life is so much more nuanced and threaded together than we know living in urban areas. So, you know, that—and that really was the big discovery for us, was we started farming as raw food vegans and we started a vegetable farm in Vacaville, California to grow vegetables for our raw vegan restaurants. And one, we stopped being raw because we were cold on the farm. We needed some heat. So, we started eating some cooked food.

Luke Storey: [01:04:38] Yeah, I can imagine.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:04:39] And then, we needed some fat on our bones. And, you know, we started—we had a cow on the farm because we saw we needed manure to, you know, have vegetables grow.

Luke Storey: [01:04:51] Yeah.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:04:53] And, you know, starting to interview farmers and, you know, understand farming. And, you know, the grandfather of biodynamics, Rudolf Steiner, and also, the creator of Waldorf Education, you know, he said that, you know, a natural farm is not a farm without a cow because nature is not nature without animals. And so, if we want to have farming mimic nature, it has to have the integration of animals. And in nature, animals are being part of their role in nature, is, you know, being recycled, their energy being recycled through the predator-prey relationship. And this is actually really beautifully communicated in this video called How Wolves Change Rivers. You ever seen this?

Luke Storey: [01:05:41] Yeah, I have.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:05:43] It communicates this brilliant idea called the trophic cascade, where if one keystone species in an ecosystem is playing its right role, that there is a proliferation of more life that flows in all the way through the ecosystem. And so, basically, humans introduced wolves back into Yellowstone National Park after many, maybe 50, 100 years of them being exterminated. And by them being introduced back into the park, the whole thing, the ecosystem just becomes alive.

 It starts to regenerate and thrive because there was a stagnation and there wasn't a movement of circular energy that wasn't happening in that park because the grass-eating animals had gotten lazy and over, you know, multiplied. And we're just, you know, tearing all the forage up and tearing the plants up from the roots, and just hanging out in the valleys. And so, that had been just totally degraded. But then, there was no fertilizer up in the upper sections because there were no animals up there.

 So, that slowed down and started to degenerate. And then, right when that reintroduction of those wolves, the whole thing, just so much more biodiversity comes back to life, so much more, you know—that the trees start to sprout up and get a lot bigger. And the whole thing just kicks into this amazing regenerative state. And so, you know, one of the big visions of my life is that human beings could see themselves as part of nature, and see that we are a keystone species that actually can be responsible for the regeneration of our planet, and that we can actually transform our assumption and way of being, which for this—you know, for give or take 10,000 years of agriculture in many cultures have really had this degenerative relationship with nature, that we'd take a piece of land, we'd plow it up and we'd plant annual grain crops. We do that for a couple years. 

 It gets degraded. We have a term called leave it fallow, which means leave nature to heal it because we, when we interact with it, it's getting worse. But we'll leave it fallow, hopefully, it heals, comes back to life, and then we can do that again. Oftentimes, you know, it doesn't come back to life and we just move on. And there's actually a record of 21 or 20-plus civilizations that have collapsed because their of inability to produce food, fiber and fuel off of the ecosystem, off of the soil that surrounds that civilization. And in turn, the civilization perishes.

 And so, you know, the kind of critical moment that we're at on Planet Earth right now is that we're at that level where we've, in the last 40 years, destroyed 30% of all the farmable land on the planet. And I think that there's 34 million acres every year that become permanently desertified that once were land that was designed for agriculture. And so, you know, we are—right now, the current approach to agriculture is a very parasitic version of agriculture. And there's a paradigm shift to a new view, which is how human beings working land, managing land can actually have a restorative or regenerative effect on that land, and actually heal broken land. And actually, animals are very important partners in actually doing that work. So-

Luke Storey: [01:09:48] So, right now, if we just say eliminated all livestock from the food production process, we would turn that 30% desertification into 100 percent of the time because if you don't have animals in the equation of growing vegetation, then what happens is you have to artificially populate the soil with growth factors, like we call fertilizers and such, right? 

Ryan Engelhart: [01:10:18] Yeah. So-

Luke Storey: [01:10:18] But you have to artificially kind of prop up that soil that's now devoid of life supporting energies because the animals and the things that feed off the animal's dooey, their poop, I forget no one knows what dooey means except me and my top three friends, it's like short for doos, you know, without the animal doos is about the field, and then the insects coming to eat the poop, and then the birds come in to eat the insects, and that whole—as you said earlier, like that whole circle of life, if you remove one component of that wheel, the wheel then collapses over time and we prop it up with chemicals, essentially.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:10:52] That's right. Yeah. So-

Luke Storey: [01:10:53] I just wanted—you know, I like to debunk things that I think there's a lot of—especially young, younger people that haven't as much time to research all this stuff, they just think like the whole world should just be kale, and we'll all live happily ever after. And it just doesn't work that way. So, I like this—I love. And not like, I love the message that you're bringing forth of this regenerative farming where you're really kind of able to mimic a natural ecosystem, much like the Great Plains of the United States when there were, however, many millions of bison roaming free.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:11:25] Sixty million.

Luke Storey: [01:11:25] Sixty million at lush grasslands that are now deserts because they got rid of the bison.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:11:30] That's right. Yeah. I think there's a critical piece, is that grasslands and prairies all over the planet co-evolved with the partnership of perennial grasses, grasses that grow back every year on the same rootstock and grass-eating animals, herds of grass-eating animals, whether it's bison or gazelle or elk or, you know, the many different grass-eating grazing animals. And so, it was actually the partnership of those grass-eating animals and those grasses that built that soil stock, that carbon stock of soil and that are under, you know, the middle of the country that we essentially are now mining for that fertility that was built over many, many years of that partnership with those grasses and those grazing bison being moved by wolves.

 And it's actually the partnership of those two components that allow for annual agriculture to exist and that we need, as again, as Rudolf Steiner said, to have natural farming, we have to have the integration of animals because that is the way that we can convert sunlight, you know, into grasses, into photosynthesizing plants. Animals can transfer that energy into manure, nitrogen fertilizer that can then go into the system and, you know, continue to build soil versus degrade it, which right now, most agriculture has a degenerative effect. 

 Year after year, the soil gets less carbon, less ability for water-holding capacity, less life in that soil, less biological life in that soil. And as you said, once we've destroyed the living organisms in soil, then we have to prop up that soil with synthetic fertilizers. And then, once there's no life in the soil, just like our immune system, you know, it's very—the soil system and the biologic—the biology of soil is very much like the biology of our guts. 

 So, when we destroy the microbiome in our gut, we then need to prop—you know, that gives a lot of functionality to our immune system. And so, when we don't have that, we start to then need to be propped up with, you know, other synthetic medicines to basically stay healthy because our body doesn't have the immune system to keep its, you know, self-healthy by itself. And this is the same thing with soil. So, the more we degrade the soil, then the pests come in, the predation and the parasites and the different bugs will come in, they call them super bugs, and start to prey on those.

 And then, we have to spray more chemical pesticides to keep those bugs—so, it's a degenerative and the antithesis of a virtuous cycle. You know, it's a completely degenerative cycle. We need—you know, the soil dies more and we need more fertilizer, then we need more herbicide, more insecticide. And then, the whole thing, at certain point, collapses, then we have to move on. And that's what—you know, that statistic of 34 million acres every year becomes desertified under mismanaged soils. And that's about the size of I think England, every year becomes from land.

Luke Storey: [01:15:17] Oh, that's crazy in perspective.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:15:19] This is a crazy statistic. The United Nations states that we have 55 crops left on all of our conventionally farmed farmland across the world so that we have 55 years until our soil will no longer be able to produce a crop. 

Luke Storey: [01:15:44] So, going back to this idea in nature, the cyclical nature of the whole process of anything other than plants because they have photosynthesis, therefore don't need to really destroy anything, although I guess it could be said that they're siphoning nutrients from the soil through the root system, but they don't take anything from the outside, above ground, right? But everything else does.

 So, if I am a lover of animals and I think that everyone should just be eating celery and I buy some land, and I go clear that land to make a celery farm, I'm going to be killing tens of thousands of creatures and their homes from earthworms to snakes to gophers to birds to bats, grasshoppers, et cetera, right? So, like nature is always fighting against us wanting to grow food. And so, if I don't want to harm anything and just to eat vegetables, that's very hard to do because you can't unnaturally turn a plot of land into farmland without displacing or killing everything that's already there.

 So, it's just not a question, it's an observation of maybe a limited or hypocritical point of view. And that it's like, if you truly wanted to live a life where no harm is done, you know, the Buddhist tenets do no harm, I believe, is what it is, you would have to kill yourself because you really can't do anything or grow anything without things dying. And likewise, when we pass and leave our body with no intervention, if I just walk across that field right now and I die, those same animals that I've been eating are eventually going to eat my body as it decomposes, buzzards are going to come and like rip off my elbow and worms and maggots and all of those things.

 And I'm just going to become part of the soil and the ecosystem. And then, my body will become the bodies of plants that other animals will come eat, and then other humans will catch those animals and eat them. And it really is like this cyclical thing. Likewise, if you grow some crops of broccoli and drive them down a freeway five miles, you're killing hundreds of thousands of bugs in so doing. You know, it's like in other words, have this interesting observation that you can't even really move through space and time without at least bacteria dying that you step on or you're breathing in, you know. 

 So, it's like, the question is, bearing all that in mind and taking the kind of politics out of it and taking, you know, the emotion out of it, like logically thinking, just completely emotionless, logically thinking, if we want to be the best stewards of the land, if we want to be the—have the most conscious relationship we can with animals and not animals in the sense of a hierarchy where we think killing a pig or a cow is wrong but we're fine killing all the gophers to grow some vegetables, you know, if all life is created equal, including the consciousness of plants, you know, The Hidden Life of Plants, I think is the book that shows that plants are in some way or shape sentient beings. So, in the new model of mimicking nature in this regenerative agriculture, how is that to be done and how is that to be scaled? And within that system, are not creatures also going to be expendable to some degree to keep that system going?

Ryan Engelhart: [01:19:19] Yeah, it's a great, big question. And I just want to first say that I think being someone who lives in a city and choosing to be vegan and eat vegetables and organic vegetables and go to your farmer's market, I think it's an admirable and honorable path. And because, you know, in the realm of doing less harm, how do I—you know, if I want to do less harm, I think there's—you know, I don't want to participate in a CAFO, confined animal—concentrated animal feedlot operation situation where animals are being fed, you know, more antibiotics—any other place, antibiotics are going on the planet. 

 But, you know, that livestock, you know, poor grain that's, you know, being grown with all kinds of crap. And the condition of those animal's lives is a holocaust. It's unbelievable. I think human beings, in the way that we look to some of the things that we've done in history, as appalled and ashamed of how we've behaved as human beings and that we allowed for something to be that way and agriculture today will be something that we will look back and go, wow, we're ashamed of how-

Luke Storey: [01:20:47] Like medieval times, you know, yeah. There's that one farm on the 5 freeway. You know, when you drive from LA to San Francisco and you look out there and it's like, even if you're just semi-awake, you look at that and go, "That's not right." You know, there's just an intuitive hit that's like animals aren't supposed to be living like that or being treated like that. They're just out living in the mud, just kind of moping around. And it's extremely saddening to see that kind of mistreatment.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:21:18] Totally. So, you know, I respect—and for the most part, I am plant-based. I am mostly a plant-based diet. You know, eat—and again, I eat—fish is probably the thing that I eat the most of. And I think where that comes from is when I was 12, I became—I was a fly fisherman and became really connected to being in nature, putting a fly, you know, catching a fish and seeing that fish as, you know, nourishment for myself. And, you know, being grateful for that fish and consuming that fish.

 And, you know, I had that experience early on in my life, which gave me, again, as you said, kind of I had permission and understanding that there was this cyclical relationship between plants, animals, in this case, fish, you know, for me. And again, I feel really good on a mostly plant-based diet. But that being said, I also am an advocate of, you know, what is—if we really dig into—because at one time, I didn't think veganism was the truth, the way, the light, the answer.

 And I think it has a lot of—it has a lot going for it, but it's missing a few, you know, very essential understandings, which is really, as we talked about, how did those vegetables come to be? And did they rely on the death of animals, you know, one page before we ate them, and we just didn't read that page, so, you know, we're like, we don't want to read page one, we'll just read page 2, which is when the vegetables, you know, shows up at the grocery store, at the farmer's market. And that's when we eat it.

 And, you know, we're good because that's what we, you know—and, you know, this conversation gets a little bit paralleled to the story of the religious vegetarianism in India with the Hindu culture and the fact that a lot of the higher casts and cultures in India who don't—or a vegetarian, but they love the milk. The milk is an essential nutrient for the culture and the cuisine. And, you know, obviously, to get milk, we have to have, you know, cows that are giving birth.

 And then, oftentimes, you have a male cow. And when you have a male cow, you know, that's not going to be producing milk for you. So, what are you going to do with it once it's full grown? And in Indian culture, oftentimes, they're either given or sold to, you know, the Muslim culture or, you know, someone who's not of the cast of Hindu that, you know, holds the cow as sacred. But ultimately, that cow is going to get slaughtered and turned into food or-

Luke Storey: [01:24:18] I know. That's interesting. Another piece to that that I've always found interesting, and hold that thought.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:24:23] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:24:24] I don't mean to interrupt, but I just want to interject this really quickly, is when I was a vegetarian, I was never vegan, but as a vegetarian, and I just felt like, well, I'm not—no animals are being killed for my sake, but I loved maybe some cheese, you know what I'm saying, and yogurt and all that, and butter, you know. But then, I had the realization one day, so those animals aren't being—those cows that are making my delicious butter that I'm eating as a vegetarian like aren't being killed that—well, they are actually, eventually, but not in order to get that butter.

 But then, I had the realization, dude, they're being held—they're being like constantly impregnated, and like in a prison for pregnant cows, where this goo is being extracted from them every day. It's not much better of a life to be a milk cow than it is to just be a cow that's raised, slaughtered, becomes prime rib. Anyway, just interesting observation that I had one day, pondering such things. Carry on.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:25:21] Totally. So, yeah. So, I think the—you know, going back to the question of yeah, it's not as simple as we can just step out of the web of life and say, I'm not going to participate in death because we are participating in death no matter what, whether we're eating vegetables or animals and, you know, the kind of like, "All right, well, what's the higher—what's the aspirational direction to go?

 And through the last seven years and the building of a nonprofit that I co-founded called Kiss the Ground really has led me to understand the ecological functionality of Mother Earth and really understanding the deep interconnection and the tie between plants, animals, soil, humans, the health of the atmosphere, you know, the overall health of the planet, and how, as human beings, can we, go back to that term, be a keystone species that is facilitating with—you know, that we have unbelievable awareness and consciousness of, you know, what we can create and understanding now through science as well as in through indigenous wisdom of understanding, you know, nature and the interconnection of nature, how can we operate?

 And, you know, put certain acupuncture points within the way we're managing a piece of land such that that land can heal and regenerate based on us planning a certain biodiverse, you know, combination of seeds or plants on that, us putting a certain biodiverse version of animals to integrate on that piece of land, us putting certain trees to kind of hold and bring—you know, holding the earth such that there's not an erosion happening. You know, there are ways that right now, we manage land, you know, completely destroy the earth.

Luke Storey: [01:27:53] Rape and pillage style, yeah.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:27:54] But there's actually a way that we can manage land that has a healing and restorative effect. And that, to me, you know, at the highest level, it's really—it came down to this insight of wait, plants photosynthesize carbon. They pull carbon out of the atmosphere and they pump 30 to 40 percent of that carbon into the soil, feed microorganisms in the soil in exchange for water and minerals. And when those carbon and hydrogen carbohydrates go into the soil to feed microorganisms, that becomes stored carbon in the soil.

 And that essentially, we can do a form of agriculture called regenerative agriculture that not only feeds the world, but also cools it. And yes, there is life and death in that system, but there is life and death in that system in a balanced way where there's actually a continual net benefit—or there's a net increase of overall biological diversity in that system, and there is an ability for that soil to continue to produce forage and biodiverse plant life such that you can continue to have feed, animals continue to feed, humans continue to feed, you know, all the different bees, birds, biological life that is part of that web of life.

 And that, you know, what an amazing purpose in life to be creating a quilt of living systems on the planet that understand science, but also understand the intuition of, you know, amazing cultures that have, you know, come way before us, that essentially human life is about restoration and regeneration of our land, and that we can actually feed each other, that we can live in connection with living things, and that this can continue to go on for generations to come.

 Because right now, you know, the prognosis of how we're going to feed ourselves and how we're going to live on this planet in 25 to 50 years is bleak. You know, there's more energy going into how do we get to another planet than there is to regenerating and restoring our planet, this beautiful piece of paradise that we have right now. And, you know, I believe that it is a fundamental mind shift which actually sees that we can actually be a beneficial organism on this planet, and that we can actually restore and heal the damage that we've done thus far, and that the purpose of life moving forward can actually be participating in that healing and that regeneration. 

 And that's what lights me up. What lights me up is like we can hear—you know, yes, we all—you know, it's like to witness a human being healing and seeing a human being to witness a piece of land that's been degraded, and to then see it coming back to life. You know, intuitively, I just can't think of a thing that would be a better collective project for all of humanity to get behind than restoring and bringing life, biodiversity, vitality back to this precious planet, as like the number one game for human beings on Planet Earth.

 And so, you know, that's my game, is to awaken that message that that's possible, and start guiding people to experts and processes and procedures and practices and people that are doing large-scale regenerative projects around the planet that you can see. Wow, that went from 44,000 miles of desert to a complete restored beautiful ecosystem. There is a place called the Loess Plateau in China. In 13 years, they took a complete desert, 44,000 square miles, and turned it into a completely productive ecosystem, producing food, and, you know, the abundance for that civilization that lives there.

Luke Storey: [01:32:31] Wow.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:32:32] It's actually shown in feature-length film that's due out in 2020 called Kiss the Ground.

Luke Storey: [01:32:38] Oh, cool. You're working on that now? 

Ryan Engelhart: [01:32:39] Yeah. It's-

Luke Storey: [01:32:40] Oh, tight because-

Ryan Engelhart: [01:32:41] It's almost done.

Luke Storey: [01:32:42] Oh, great. I don't even know that because at the time of this recording, guys, we're in November 2019, your interview will likely come out in February or maybe even March of 2020. So, we'll be closer to the film.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:32:57] Yeah, the film is narrated by Woody Harrelson. 

Luke Storey: [01:33:00] Oh, dope. That's great.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:33:02] And it's got an unbelievable, you know-

Luke Storey: [01:33:04] Well, you have a lot of restraint in plugging your projects. We've been talking about all this, and you're like, towards the end, you know, yeah, by the way, I'm making this rad film about this. That's so cool.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:33:14] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:33:14] Yeah. Because see, the thing—like, again, taking emotion out of it, which whenever I'm trying to—not like I have any power to solve a problem, but just when I look at a broad spectrum, complex, nuanced problem like caring for the land and managing to feed ourselves in a healthy way also, it's like, I think, all right, what makes sense and what makes sense to me is usually going back in time before the advancements of, say, in this case, agriculture and industrialization, how would it have done before as we were living kind of on the land in a more harmonious way.

 But looking into the future in that way, I find it really exciting personally just because I mean, A, for just the reasons of having a heart and wanting people and animals and plants to be up here. But aside from that, I love fixing shit up like my—I don't watch much TV, but if I did, it would be the shows where they come into a crappy old house and remodel it or even those ones, I'm not even a car person, but where they take like a shitty old classic car and totally restore it.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:34:17] Totally.

Luke Storey: [01:34:18] Yeah. I'm just really into restoration and I think I've done that many times in my own life internally and in some ways, externally. And so, the idea of seeing that happen on a grand scale is really exciting to just watch the forces of nature when we're working in harmony with those forces, you know, as kind of as you said, being the keystone species that's putting some inputs logically here in that acupuncture sort of system, as you called it. And then, to see nature and inertia sort of take over and start to, you know, go through the labors of healing itself with a little bit of input from us is super exciting.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:34:54] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:34:55] It's cool. I have—I didn't see a before and after, but I think I was telling you yesterday, I spent some time at Belcampo Farms up in near Lake Shasta in California because that's where I get most of my meat. And I just felt like I would like to have a closer relationship with that process. So, I went up there and visited their farm, which is the slaughterhouse and the whole thing. I was like, okay, I can live with this, but they had, I don't know, 18,000 acres or something, I might have the number wrong, but a substantial piece of land. 

 And when they bought the land, it was unfarmable, and they did exactly what you're talking about. They just started rotating the livestock and the birds follow the ruminants and the insects follow the ruminants and the birds follow that, and then they move them over here, and then more grass grows because of that thing. It's fantastic. And now, their whole farm is just lush, green grass and plants and trees. I mean, it's not a jungle climate, but it's as green as a jungle. I mean, it's just like everywhere you look, something's growing. It's just this incredible property that was not like that prior to their arrival.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:35:54] That's right. Yes.

Luke Storey: [01:35:55] It's so dope to see that happen. And then, you have something for everyone, too, because you can grow vegetables for the people that don't want to eat meat, you know, then you can grow meat for people like me that I literally just don't feel right if I don't eat meat. My body's just like, "Fuck you. You're not a vegetarian." I don't care like how spiritually connected I have become, it's just not an option, you know. 

Ryan Engelhart: [01:36:16] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:36:17] I think like sometimes, foods say, what do you eat? And I don't really pay that much attention, but I would think, well, I'm plant-based, but those plants go through an animal first, then it gets me, you know. If I had a lot of vegetables, it wrecks my gut, like I'm just not a good digester of—especially raw vegetables, oh, my God. I mean, I can eat leafy greens, but if I eat like a bunch of raw veggies, my guts wreck, too much cellulose, like too much fiber. It's just a burden.

 If I can take down a giant rib eye, then I feel like a champ and like, just give me that, and that's all I need for a whole day, you know. So, I'm excited to kind of get into this approach because it removes the kind of dogma in religion of like who's supposed to eat what and who the good people are and the bad people are, and all that bullshit, and just like cool, what's best for everyone, including all those animals, plants and the future of the planet.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:37:09] Yeah. So, a couple of things I just want to point out is that one of our big goals by 2025 is to train 25,000 leaders to be spokespeople on behalf of regeneration that can articulate the process of how the regeneration of land and soil works, such that you can be an educator and advocate and an activist in your community wherever you are. And so, we do that online. And we've trained about 2,000 people in 25 countries in the last 12 months.

Luke Storey: [01:37:46] Oh, that's epic, dude. Wow.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:37:47] It's called the Soil Advocate Training. So-

Luke Storey: [01:37:50] So, it's an online program? 

Ryan Engelhart: [01:37:51] Yeah, online program. So-

Luke Storey: [01:37:52] Wow, that's amazing.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:37:53] ... inviting your listeners to participate if you're inspired by today's conversation. And then, the other way that we're making a difference is we're training farmers over a three-year transition program where we put a scholarship together. We pay for their education. We pay for their consultancy for the three-year transition period and pay for soil testing for farmers to be able to see their progress and heading towards this regenerative pursuit. And so, yeah. And our goal by 2025 is that we've trained 5,000 farmers by 2025.

Luke Storey: [01:38:31] Wow. That's impactful.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:38:35] Yeah. And-

Luke Storey: [01:38:36] That's a lot of acreage, assuming that said farmers, you know, owns parcels of lands.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:38:39] Yeah, farmers, 5,000; 5000 pieces of acres, yeah. 

Luke Storey: [01:38:43] Yeah.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:38:44] And, you know, one of the goals is to take the film and do a tour where we take the film out and share it in college communities, where we basically turn college students into advocates, into our advocate program, and then go to farming communities and show our film, and then offer scholarships. And people can sign up for an online training that could have farmers go through a three-year transition program, and they wouldn't even need to do it with—you know, in the place where the trainers are training that are maybe two states over, they can actually do it online.

 So, we're in the process of developing an online portal for farmers to learn very, very—from the best. Not from us, because we're city slickers in Venice, California, but actually from the best regenerative farmers in this country who are—who've been doing this for, you know, 20, 30, 40 years, and giving that—giving their education a beautiful online platform such that it can scale and have access to a lot more people quickly, and having the film be the calling card and inviting people to participate.

Luke Storey: [01:39:55] Oh, my God. That's so epic. Congratulations.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:39:58] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:40:01] It's such a noble project. And I'm thinking about those farmers in the Midwest that are more concerned with feeding their family and paying their mortgage than they are saving the planet.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:40:10] Totally. Our-

Luke Storey: [01:40:10] In this model, I mean, the real selling point there is like if your soil is healthy, then you can get off subsidies, you can get off the GMO teat of having to buy those seeds and that whole like monopoly, just archaic, evil system that so many of our great farmers are locked into. That's like—monetarily speaking, sounds like a really great way out.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:40:33] Yeah. The farmer, Gabe Brown, is kind of an iconic regenerative farmer in this country in North Dakota. He grows—he's farming about 5,000 acres and he averages about $100 dollars of profit per acre on his land. And the average American farmer averages, I think, between $1 to $2 per acre profit per year.

Luke Storey: [01:41:01] Oh, my God. That is a really horrible business model. What the hell?

Ryan Engelhart: [01:41:06] And, you know, Gabe Brown—and again, Gabe Brown is not about, you know, saving the world or reversing global warming. You know, the thing that's so incredible about, you know, regenerating our soil is the amount of benefits. It's like such a win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win-win, you know, all of the impactful benefits that it provides. But, you know, he likes to keep it really simple. And he's like, "We have a good motto on our farm. We like to sign the back of the check, not the front of the check. Keeps a lot more in your pocket."

Luke Storey: [01:41:39] I like that. I like that.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:41:42] And essentially, yeah, he's been able to get himself completely off all subsidies, get him off all herbicides, all insecticides, all fertilizers. And, you know, that's some of the biggest expenses in farming, is fertilizers and insecticides and pesticides, is, you know, all those inputs. And he's been able to—you know, that's all a reduction of expense to, you know, the farming economic model. And so, really, he's leading with, this is an economic win boost for farmers.

Luke Storey: [01:42:11] Totally. I mean-

Ryan Engelhart: [01:42:12] It is.

Luke Storey: [01:42:13] Yeah. And that's such a great selling point. As I said, when someone's just trying to make a buck and keep their game hustle going, you know what I mean? Of course, from my standpoint, not making money off growing food, my big win is, A, that there's land around for, you know, grandkids and things like that, but also just having access to food that's not grown with NPK fertilizers, with sewage sludge. I mean, I don't think people realize how shitty organically grown produce still is.

 I mean, it's way better than conventional, but it's gnarly, man. You got fluoridated tap water, you know, in that celery and in those cucumbers and beets and watermelon, anything you're eating. I mean, the food supply is completely toxic even in the organic side. Whereas in this model, if you can get rid of those inputs all together, within a couple of generations of that soil, I'm assuming you have like clean food, you know, assuming you have heirloom seeds and things that have some nutrient density.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:43:12] Within three to five years, you can really transform a piece of land from a desertified brittle, hardened, compacted soil to soil that has life, that has the sponges back that water can infiltrate. There's biology in the soil. And then, when there's biology in the soil, then you're able to get the nutrients and the minerals that are in the soil because just—I don't think we said this, but when you put something in your mouth, if you don't have the proper biology in your gut, you cannot get access to those nutrients. In the same way, there can be all the nutrients in the soil, but if there's not the biology in the soil, then you're not going to get access to those nutrients.

Luke Storey: [01:43:59] Right. Because the little microorganisms in the soil essentially eat and digest nutrients, minerals and whatnot in the soil, make those able to be assimilated up into the plant.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:44:12] Bioavailable. Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:44:12] Available to the plant because the plant can't eat rocks, but the bugs can, basically. And then, with the energy from the sun, combined with the nutrients coming up through that living soil into the plant, animals eat that plant, further concentrating the nutrients from the soil, from the plant, from the sun, and then kind of up into us in the end.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:44:36] That's right.

Luke Storey: [01:44:37] Or sometimes, you can skip the third step and just eat a cucumber without having a turkey eat it first, and then become Thanksgiving dinner, if that's not your thing. But that's a beautiful system. And I think anything that we can mimic like that in nature is amazing. I have one more question for you because there's a lot of—oh, man, around environmentalism, isms in general kind of make me squeamish because there's oftentimes ulterior motives behind those isms and people funding isms that are less than integrist, like some of the carbon tax issues and things like that, which we don't have time to go into that are kind of under the guise of perhaps doing the right thing for ourselves and for the planet.

 But meanwhile, there's big bad bankers that are putting these laws into place just to make more money off the populace and have a hidden tax and siphon our wealth over time and bring us into further servitude. There's that side of it. But then, there is the other side of it, which is that we do care about the planet. We do care about our longevity and, you know, the environment that we're leaving for those that are going to come after us, but there's huge debates on both sides of the isms as to what wrecks the planet more.

 There's one documentary on Netflix right now that, you know, says, we get rid of all the animals and just grow plants. And I think some of these, you know, polarized movements that come out with the documentaries and the experts often disagree. And the big war right now that I don't exactly know what the answer is, is like what uses up more water, what trashes the land more? Is it just that when we're doing the factory-farmed animals that those wreak havoc on the land? 

 And is the same factory farm that's growing corn and soy and wheat doing less harm? You know what I'm getting at here, is like, so we know what the solution is. The end goal is what you just laid out. But there's many people that say, oh, if you raise one cow, it uses up thousands of gallons of water and their farts are, you know, causing global warming and all of this kind of stuff. And all that sounds a little far-fetched to me at times and a bit radical.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:46:49] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [01:46:51] So, what do you—you know, like-I mean, do you know any of the stats on like, okay, one acre of lettuce equals one cow, essentially. Like the way I look at it is like, you raise a cow, right? It's going to require a certain amount of water, vegetation, certain amount of land. But then, the caloric net that you're getting out of that cow can feed more humans than the caloric net result of growing your kale or whatever. So, I'm just curious about the math of how all that plays out in the current system, in the way people are kind of butting heads about those things.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:47:25] I don't have the exact. There's so much debatable data. I think Paul Hoxton calls it box data, like, you know, it's information that we learned from our computer that just tells us, but there's so many nuances that aren't fully understand or sussed out in that kind of box data. So, what I do know is that land needs animals on it to stay healthy, otherwise it, over time, degenerates. So, before there was irrigation, there was rain and there was grasses and there was grass-eating animals that were grazing on that being moved around by predators. 

 And there's a lot of land that we can't use to grow vegetables on that actually is grassland that can be grazed, and we can have the restorative effect of grazing ruminants. And so, clearly, what I absolutely know is bad is growing monoculture corn and soy with synthetic nitrogen, and then protecting that with synthetic pesticides and that total degradation of soil and mining of soil, soil life, and then feeding that very chemical-intense food to a cow that eats that, and then needs a lot of water to produce clean kill, that whole system, there is—yes, it's a very energy-resource-intense equation.

 And I know that there's been—you know, in the kind of vegan movies that come after, like we wouldn't have enough land, you know, we'd have to have cow, you know. And I don't know the—what I know is that animals help land come back to life, and it's not about just no cows or cows, it's we need cows. We need grass-eating animals to bring—as I said earlier, in the last 40 years, we've desertified one-third of our agricultural land and that land can't just come back to life by planting kale on it or putting, you know—no, it needs a process.

 You know, it needs a stimulus of some water, some animal impact, some human design, and, you know, impact. And ultimately, these areas like you'd talked about it, Belcampo or, you know, one of our mentors, Allen Williams, down in Alabama, Georgia has 5,000 acres, who, he's able to—in three years, was able to triple the forage on his land, meaning there was three times the amount of living vegetation, which meant he could have three times the amount of cows on that same piece of land.

Luke Storey: [01:50:52] Wow, that's crazy.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:50:54] So, when you have X amount of acres and every year, you have more density of forage, then you can have more density of animals on that forage. And again, the way that you manage it is not you're not having one cow per acre. No, you have them together and they move as a pod, as a herd in different regions to, you know, fresh new grass every day or every other couple of days. And in turn, that has that whole restorative effect. Does it require water in the beginning? Absolutely. But, you know, there's places—there's a lot of places where, you know, there's water falling from the sky and there's other places where we do need to, you know, kick the system into gear with, you know, irrigation. But that's going to be necessary, you know, for anything that we're cultivating.

Luke Storey: [01:51:49] Yeah, I know. I was thinking about, as you were speaking about that consumption of water because that's a big concern with people, is, you know, Central California, almond farming, like everyone, "I'm going to drink almond milk because that's better for the environment." I'm like, "Really, you know where almonds come from? Like they're one of the most depleting trees, you know, for water consumption." It's just so interesting. But you could have that almond field, you could fill it with cows, and you'd be golden with the same amount of water because of the retention of water in the soil, right? As you start to get that sponge, I like how you described that layer, that spongy layer that holds in the irrigation water, the rainwater, wherever it's coming from, rather than just kind of like-

Ryan Engelhart: [01:52:32] Yeah, 1% increase of soil organic matter in soil can hold 20,000 gallons more per acre. So, when you increase your soil organic matter, those carbons that are being pumped into the ground by 1%, you can hold 20,000 gallons more per acre. So, again, there's this virtuous cycle as you pump. And again, I don't know that we made that big kind of overarching epiphany idea that essentially, our food system, our regenerative food system, cannot only, you know, take the carbon that's in the atmosphere causing global warming, climate change 410 parts per million of carbon in the atmosphere, sequester, draw that carbon down through the living plants, trees, sequester it into the soil.

 And as it sequesters in the soil, now, that soil becomes spongy. And for every 1% of that carbon that's been stored, now, we can hold 20,000 gallons more per acre of water. And when you have, you know, regenerative agriculture happening on land, you're able to, you know, on average, farm infiltration rates, could be like a quarter of an inch per hour. So, because of soil being so compacted, whereas on a really well-managed regenerative farm, you can have a quarter inch of infiltration within three seconds.

Luke Storey: [01:54:06] Wow. Meaning with the water seeping into the surface of the earth.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:54:10] That's right.

Luke Storey: [01:54:10] So, if we don't have soil that has the ability to have that sponge effect and let the water seep, then what's going to happen is we have a runoff and erosion because the ground is too dense and hard for the water to penetrate, it takes too long, so it ends up floating off into the periphery, and then just being wasted, essentially.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:54:27] That's right. 

Luke Storey: [01:54:29] That's so interesting. Cool stuff, dude.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:54:31] Yeah. So-

Luke Storey: [01:54:33] It's funny. All this—talking about all this farming is like three things are going on. I'm like, I need to get out and touch living—you know the smell of soil, just that biological potpourri of life in really rich soil. I love like touching it and smelling the smell of soil. And I'm craving that. I'm also craving some spring water and another salad, and perhaps another bison short rib. It's like making me hungry talking about the process of all this.

 And I just find it so fascinating. The last thing I wanted to cover, and, you know, we could just kind of touch on this because it's probably its own whole thing, but I was recently at an amazing resort/farm in Mexico called Quixmala. And I went down there and did kind of a field report about this organization and how they do it. And they have a biodynamic farm and they have 30,000 acres of a natural preserve. They're UNESCO protected. It's just absolutely fantastic ecosystem.

 And I got to spend a considerable amount of time one day with their head biodynamic farmer. And he took me on the whole tour and, you know, showed me how they collect the rabbit turds and put them in the soup. And, you know, like not soup you eat, but, you know, fertilized water for the plants. And he showed me his whole lunar schedule. I mean, it was mind boggling. And it's like so spooky and woo, woo, you're going like, is this guy crazy?

 Then, you taste the food because all their food at that location is all biodynamic and it's all grown there and their other sister location up in the mountains, another hotel called Hacienda de San Antonio, and they do the animals. And then, down in the lower land, they do the fruits, vegetables and stuff. And they do the coffee up in the mountains. But I mean, not only do they just have great cuisine and their chef is fantastic, but the flavor of all of the food is just insane.

 And the life force of that food, it's just like you could blindfold someone who knows nothing about any of it and give them like some great Whole Foods Market organic vegetables, fruits, whatever, and then give them this biodynamic food from that farm, and it just like vibrates. It tastes so much better. It's so much more filling, so much more nourishing. You eat less. It's just magical. So, do you think there's a—tell us from your perspective what biodynamic farming is versus traditional organic farming, and if you see that as having a place and being scalable within the regenerative model.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:57:02] Yeah. And I've mentioned in this talk already a couple of times, Rudolf Steiner, who is the godfather—or grandfather of biodynamics, and I would say that right now, in this moment, when we're looking for, okay, wow, I'm inspired by regenerative agriculture, how do I eat food from regenerative systems? Biodynamic is the clearest labeling certification that would say this food is produced in a way that has a regenerative effect on the ecosystem that it comes from.

Luke Storey: [01:57:35] Oh, cool. That's good to know.

Ryan Engelhart: [01:57:37] So, it really is the labeling for the current regenerative agriculture, is kind of moving into the space of food trends and conversations around food and how we can environmentally, you know, make a difference on the planet as well as feeding people in a healthy way, but biodynamics has really been the regenerative agriculture over the last, I don't know how many, 40, 50—you know, I'm not sure how many years it's been around.

 But that unique thing about biodynamics is it really has an aspect of esoteric spirituality to it as well as astrology. And it really is about bringing the creative forces of the universe and kind of bringing those down to your piece of land and, you know, calling for that wisdom and that intelligence of life, call it whatever you will, you know, and having that creative force be present on your land. 

 And, you know, so, there's a lot of very interesting different kind of ceremonial or ritual aspects of it of, you know, you spinning, making a compost tea and spinning the water that holds different, you know, biological preparations, you know, some cow manure and some different things that have been aged in certain times, and you put it in—or some ash and you put it in this and spin it 100 times to bring the, you know, circular cyclone energy from that. 

 So, there's a lot of very interesting—and I think, you know, there's varying degrees of, you know, the esoteric nature that people are practicing within biodynamics, and some people are super into that component. And I think the more simple level, it really just sees that a farm is a living organism, and everybody on the farm is a part of that living organism. And how do we create a restoration, a healing and a continuum of more life on that piece of land based on our activity and action?

 Whereas, the distinction between organic is organic has really just become a list of what you can't do to a piece of land, like you can't use these three chemicals, but you can use these five chemicals. You can't use, you know, these insecticides, you know. So, it really because it's in some ways—and again, organics, you know, it's beautiful and I appreciate the standard of it and that it has held a certain line, but it also has, the line has been slid based on, you know, big corporate interest of getting into a big food game called, you know, people interested in organic food.

 And so, there's been definite—there's been a loosening of the standard of what can be shown up on an organic farm. And yeah, I think the biggest distinction is it really is just a list of what you can't do, whereas biodynamic or regenerative is a list of what you can do to have this restorative and healing component to your soil, which ultimately leads to restorative healing food that comes from that soil. And so, when we first started farming on Be Love Farm in Vacaville, which is where my parents live, you know, we were running it as a biodynamic farm.

 And, you know, we've since adapted some—you know, there are still some components of biodynamic there and there are some other components of, you know, other different schools of thought inside of a regenerative agricultural system. But at this moment, there's not a regenerative certification. There's one in development called the regenerative organic certification, which Patagonia and Dr. Bronner's soap company has been behind pioneering. 

Luke Storey: [02:01:47] Oh, word? That's cool.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:01:49] And so, they're in kind of a beta test phase and should be to market with products probably in the next one to two years that will be carrying the regenerative organic certification, which just uphold animal welfare, soil health practices and fair trade and, you know, fair compensation to farm workers. And so, that's the regenerative organic certification. And there's actually a few other certifications in development phases around communicating and standardizing this articulation and this vision of regenerative agriculture.

 So, consumers can participate and support it with their dollars because, you know, at the most exciting high level, when I got—wait, you're telling me that we can manage land and do agriculture in a way that heals and regenerates the planet and reverses global warming and everybody can participate by feeding themselves and their families healthy food? That's a pretty compelling—like I think most people, that's like a bipartisan, that's like everyone's down for that. And obviously, there's lots of, you know, complications and challenges and things that will get in the way of that.

 But at a very high-level thesis, that was like, that thesis gave me hope and gave me something to live for and something to work towards and something to—you know, something worthy to throw my life at. And so, that's what I'm—I've become a—I playfully say I've become a minister for soil. I minister inspiration and insight and education around the importance of soil health and regeneration because it would be a really exciting thing that if we could get a generation to get that we can be the regeneration generation, that we could actually play an active role in healing and restoring our planet through how we manage our land and how we create our food.

Luke Storey: [02:03:49] Amen, brother.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:03:50] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:03:50] If these mics weren't so expensive, I would drop them on the ground right now.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:03:55] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:03:55] Thanks for spending time with me today, man.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:03:57] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:03:57] I'm really glad we got to connect.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:03:58] It's been a pleasure.

Luke Storey: [02:03:59] I'm glad like no one's come in the room and told us we're supposed to be anywhere, like we got a really tight bow around this shit, which I love to do, you know. I don't like to leave any stone unturned in a conversation, especially one that's this potentially complex and big. So, thank you for participating with me today. And I look forward to hearing your talk and hanging out more over the weekend.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:04:19] And I look forward to introducing you today.

Luke Storey: [02:04:21] Yeah, that's right.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:04:22] I'm getting to have this experience as the energetic information to how to communicate who you are for me and who you are for people.

Luke Storey: [02:04:32] Awesome, dude.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:04:33] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:04:33] Well, I got one last question for you. It's a three-parter. So, you've taught me and the audience a lot today. Who have been three teachers or teachings that you've learned from that you might recommend or students go also learn from?

Ryan Engelhart: [02:04:44] Wow. Great question. Well, my fave—one of my favorite books, my favorite early book is Siddhartha. So-

Luke Storey: [02:04:56] Damn. That's some deep reading to do early.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:05:00] So, yeah. Siddartha Buddha is definitely one of my main men. So, was this supposed to be living teachers? 

Luke Storey: [02:05:10] No, it doesn't matter. Teachers, teachings, philosophies, you know, something somebody could go look up and learn from, yeah.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:05:16] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:05:17] In any category of life.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:05:18] In any category. Yeah. Let's see. Number two, yeah, what's coming to mind, and I was surprised that this is coming to mind is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I've felt beautiful. Had—you know, just it's been an amazing, profound education. And yeah, always do your best, don't take things personally, don't make assumptions, and what's the fourth?

Luke Storey: [02:05:58] I don't remember.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:05:59] Yeah. Well, go find—get the book and find out that fourth.

Luke Storey: [02:06:03] Well, we'll just call it the three agreements. Yeah, I have it on my shelf somewhere. And I don't think I've ever read it in its entirety. I think it's one like I'm supposed to read this, everyone reads it, and I thumbed through it, but I've not really dedicated myself to it.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:06:14] Yeah. And then, I would really say, my mom and my dad. And my mom has a community in Maui called, yeah, Lokahi. And she has a cool little living community where they're practicing living in community, connected to the land and also share, you know, medicines from the earth. And she does something called Cafe Attitude, which is Sunday night supper club. And they sing songs, write songs in devotion to the earth and to caring for the earth, and she's been an amazing teacher. 

 And just flexibility and love and exuberance and being mindful of our words, and that our words are spells and that we're casting spells all day long, and to be aware of what spells we're casting. It's been a beautiful teaching from my mom. And then, my dad, you know, he's the founder of Cafe Gratitude with my stepmom, Terces, and just, you know, the tattoo that me and him have say Be Love on our forearms facing ourselves. And just that love is an indwelling presence. It's not something found in another person or place or thing. And that we can always bring love to every situation, every moment. And every relationship is not based on, am I getting what I want?

 Like that's going to be, you know, a lonely path, is thinking that I'm going to just try to get what I—get love from another versus bringing and being the presence of love and having a communion be the sharing of love that is indwelling and sharing that love with another. And that's kind of the game that I play with my wife in our marriage, and that we both hold the love internally and we get to joyfully share it with each other. And I feel like I've learned that practice from my father. And he actually leads a workshop called Kindred Spirits, which is a relationship workshop, which is awesome. They do Esselen in our farm in Hawaii.

Luke Storey: [02:08:49] Oh, word? No way. I'll have to check that out.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:08:53] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:08:53] I love those types of seminars. 

Ryan Engelhart: [02:08:56] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:08:57] I love Esselen, too. Dope, dude.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:08:59] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:08:59] All right. What about, where can we find you? Anything you want to promote on websites, social media, your film, any of that stuff.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:09:04] Yeah. So, yeah, film coming out in 2020 called Kiss the Ground. It's really—the way I see it is there was a timeline for the inconvenient truth. And there's going to be a moment on the human timeline for Kiss the Ground when we realized that there was actually something we could do to restore and regenerate our planet. And it became like this awakening of land, soil, draw-down opportunity. And so, that's out beginning of next year and excited about that. And then, you can find me, you know, @lovebeingryland. I love being myself and I'm also a love being.

 And so, you can find me on Instagram there and at kisstheground.com or @kisstheground is our Instagram. That's really beautiful if you want to get more inspired about regeneration, regenerative agriculture and participate in any of our courses there. And then, @cafégratitude and @graciasmadre, check out our restaurants, organic plant-based restaurants in Southern California, not only nourishing people with healthy food, but really wanting to bring the conversation of gratitude to people's lives, so they connect over. Giving thanks versus maybe some complaint or something more mundane.

Luke Storey: [02:10:31] I might add that you might unknowingly be the producer of the best guacamole in the entire City of Los Angeles. And there's a lot of damn guacamole in LA. But the Gracias Madre chips of guacamole, like the best ever. I mean, there's a lot of great things there, but that's something like hands down I'm always going to order. Speaking of your social media, shout out for your Kiss the Ground—Kiss the ground, it was? 

 Yeah, there's another great account I'd like to turn people on to, I interviewed someone named Diana Rogers, who has—I think her blog is also called this, but her Instagram definitely is @sustainabledish, and she's on a very similar mission of just spreading information about regenerative farming. And she's like very, very proactive and also coming from the health professional perspective to kind of like half-farmer, half-health-enthusiast. So, there's a lot of people kind of pushing, you know, this information forward, which I think is super exciting.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:11:30] Yeah. No.

Luke Storey: [02:11:31] Yeah, I'm stoked.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:11:32] It's remarkable that seven years ago, when we started Kiss the Ground, there wasn't even really an agreed upon term, regenerative agriculture.

Luke Storey: [02:11:39] Right.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:11:40] And now, as I said earlier, I think, you know, top 20 food trends of 2020, regenerative agriculture is number one.

Luke Storey: [02:11:48] Boom.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:11:49] So, it feels good to feel, you know, the momentum and the wave, but it really is the revolution and the generational revolution in regeneration that there's that word, that's being asked of us. So, I'm just grateful to be a participant and advocate and minister for soil regeneration.

Luke Storey: [02:12:11] Right on, dude.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:12:12] Yeah.

Luke Storey: [02:12:12] I'll see you back home in LA.

Ryan Engelhart: [02:12:14] Awesome.


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