374. The Wild Life of the Last Hunter-Gatherers + The Truth About Keto w/ Dr. Anthony Gustin

Dr. Anthony Gustin

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.

Founder and CEO of Perfect Keto, Dr. Anthony Gustin, shares what he learned on his recent expedition to Tanzania and sets apart the keto facts from keto fiction. 

Dr. Anthony Gustin is the founder and CEO of Perfect Keto & Equip Foods, host of The Natural State Podcast, and author of the bestselling Keto Answers. He's a former sports rehab clinician turned entrepreneur, trained in functional medicine, and has ordered labs and set treatment plans for hundreds of patients. 

Today, his drive is to help people keep health simple through fixing their environment in the areas that matter: nutrition, movement, stress, and sleep. His message is clear: when you fix your environment, you fix your health. 

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.

This was supposed to be an exclusively keto-themed episode with keto entrepreneur and pioneer Dr. Anthony Gustin. Yet, we found ourselves going off-road... to Tanzania to be exact – and unpacking his wildly transformative experience with one of the last hunter-gatherer communities in the world. Prepare to flip any Western beliefs you held dearly on their heads, as you’ll learn how this soon-to-be-extinct primitive community thrives off dirt, baboon brains, and gender-separated communities. Plus: how they navigate life, and the inevitability of death, without the superficial obsession for longevity. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to quench your keto curiosity with a deep dive into ketosis and how it works. If you thought you were clued up on the subject, prepare to be floored by Anthony’s theories on the real diet devils out there (no, it’s not carbs or fruit), and why pretty much dining out in any restaurant is a microbiome disaster waiting to happen.

While we’re on the subject, Perfect Keto is a great place to take your keto practice to the next level. Head to perfectketo.com and use the code “LIFESTYLIST20” for 20% off sitewide. 

08:20 — Transformative Trip to Tanzania 

  • Reflections on regenerative farming and hunting 
  • Why division from nature makes us sick 
  • The top seven ways we die and why it’s not normal 
  • Debunking the fiber myth 
  • Eating dirt: the secret sauce to a robust microbiome 
  • The pillars to a healthy life 

38:00 — Reframing The Concept of Death + Diet and Health

  • Ego identity and attachment around life
  • The concept of diet and what’s considered healthy 
  • What hunter-gatherers eat and how why they’re fighting to survive  
  • What it feels like to eat baboon brains
  • How tourism is keeping this civilization alive
  • How Western tourism created a chief hierarchy in the community 
  • Why returning to the land is the next health trend 

01:07 — Everything to Know About Keto 

  • The non-dogmatic approach to keto
  • Introduction to ketosis, diet tracking, and testing 
  • Why carbs and fruit are not the enemies
  • The scary truth about seed oils 
  • Why you need to say goodbye to chicken and pork
  • The myth of “pasture-raised” animal products 
  • Making keto accessible with Perfect Keto 
  • Exogenous ketones for athletes 
  • Why you don’t need Omega-3

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube

[00:00:00] Luke Storey: I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology, and personal development. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you.

[00:00:26] Dr. Anthony Gustin: It's going great.

[00:00:27] Luke Storey: Yeah, it's going great, man. Good to see you again. Last time I saw you, we were in a really interesting situation. We were out with the Force of Nature folks witnessing and somewhat participating in the field harvests of a massive bison.

[00:00:47] Dr. Anthony Gustin: It's pretty intense, huh?

[00:00:48] Luke Storey: Oh, my God. That was wild.

[00:00:50] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Are you a hunter at all? Do you-

[00:00:51] Luke Storey: Well, actually today, a podcast came out with Mansal Denton, a friend of mine who has a company called Sacred Hunting. I don't know if you know Mansal, but he created a platform to bring men out into the wilderness, and as a rite of passage, give them a sacred experience of hunting. So, that was my first hunting trip out here in Texas.

[00:01:14] Dr. Anthony Gustin: So, you went with one of his sacred hunting crews?

[00:01:15] Luke Storey: Yeah.

[00:01:18] Dr. Anthony Gustin: How's the experience?

[00:01:20] Luke Storey: Dude, it was heavy. It was heavy. It was wild. Because I hunted a little bit when I was a kid, but then later in life, became a vegetarian and was very not hunter-like. And in that experience, you also, one of the days, have a psilocybin ceremony, kind of a mid-hunt, over the weekend.

[00:01:41] Dr. Anthony Gustin: But not while you're hunting?

[00:01:44] Luke Storey: No. But pretty close after and before. No, it's very safe, but it was incredible for me, because I shot a wild boar the first night just right out of the gate, which was an incredibly moving experience in so many ways. And I won't go into the details, because as I said, there's a whole podcast about it that came out today, but the following day is when we did the journey. And so, I really got to process a lot of that experience in a very visceral way, just dealing with death, and guilt, and karma, and all of those big topics when it comes to a lost natural human life way. So, it was powerful.

[00:02:26] So, when we went and participated in the field harvest with Force of Nature, I keep saying harvest, there's a T on the end, harvest, I was already in the zone of that. It's like it was only probably three weeks after the hunt, so I was familiar with that palpable experience of life energy moving in and out of something. But that was heavy, because of the magnitude and power of that creature. And you were there, I mean, what it did after it was dead, like the body still undulating, and kicking, and kind of running in the air, on the ground, and all that, I mean, whoo, it was powerful medicine.

[00:03:14] Dr. Anthony Gustin: And then, we ate some of it right away.

[00:03:17] Luke Storey: Raw heart. Raw liver.

[00:03:19] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Did you have any of the bile on liver?

[00:03:22] Luke Storey: Yeah, that was intense.

[00:03:24] Dr. Anthony Gustin: It's the old Comanche pre-battle.

[00:03:28] Luke Storey: Tasted like acid reflux. Yeah, that was wild.

[00:03:31] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Diesel fuel is like the closest I could get to.

[00:03:33] Luke Storey: It wasn't entirely unpleasant, but it was powerful medicine. I mean, the life force in those organs, that fresh, I mean, the heart was warm still. It's just incredible experience, so yeah, but I'm glad we got to connect, because we've been talking about doing this interview, I want to say, for like five years, like it's been kind of on the books, and I want you to come out to LA, and you live somewhere else, and then we just didn't get it done. So, here we are.

[00:04:02] I want to start, there's a bunch of things I have in my notes. I know your area of expertise is very broad and there's a million directions we could go. You've been historically one of the voices of the keto movement. I know there's much more to you than that. I definitely want to touch on some of that stuff. But I'm currently, especially in light of the experience we shared and my recent hunting experience, I want to hear about the trip to Tanzania with Paul Saladino.

[00:04:29] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. So, the keto stuff, which we'll get to, of course, is just a curiosity of mine that had come up in my research of figuring out how to help people not be sick. And then, I just have been asking myself this question for the last 15, 20 years, why are people sick and how do you get them well when they are sick? And so, going to visit the Hadza tribe in Africa, it was sort of the culmination of all of this lifelong journey of trying to figure out like, why are people sick, and going to where humans have evolved from, or thought to 200-plus thousand years ago, a couple of million years ago, bipedal creatures walking around, was extremely powerful.

[00:05:09] And it's one of these things where you read a lot and you can maybe understand something or learn it, but you don't actually know it until you experience it. This is kind of the trip that we had. It was intense. So, originally going to go with one of our friends to do a documentary. So, my friend, Brian Sanders, has a single, Food Lies, he's making a documentary, so he's going to go there. Paul asked me to go with, I said, absolutely, this is like a once in a lifetime trip.

[00:05:34] I'm going to actually end up going a week early, and man, yeah, again, like I've read about these people, but to spend time with them and soak it all in, many, many years of research in just what makes humans healthy and what do we need, beyond nutrition, community, relationship, religion, parenting, all this stuff, work, quality of life, connection with nature hunting, things like this, all of this was integrated in the week.

[00:05:39] It was insane. So, we started off by going to two-game reserves. And this is really fascinating, because this is where the Hadza tribe should be. So, they are currently in a small area south of Lake Eyasi, and this is an area that the government has basically pushed them to, and they have no other place to go. And they're surrounded by a bunch of other tribes that are more farmers now. So, they have corn fields, onion fields, cattle, goats, et cetera.

[00:06:19] And so, no large game can get to them. And so, seeing the game reserves, one of these places called Ngorongoro Crater, it was more wild than the Lion King. Look around any direction and there were thousands of animals of any species you can imagine. There were lions just lying next to antelopes, and there were wildebeests and hyenas next to flamingos, like everything was just coexisting in such harmony. And it was just so clear being there like, oh, humans should have been here as well.

[00:06:20] We were taken out, separated from nature. My philosophy on health is just like all of the health problems we have are division from nature. So, when the human organism leaves nature, we get sick mentally and physically. And it was just so clear about how much abundance there was for animals that ate plants and animals that ate animals. It is like a cornucopia of life.

[00:07:34] And then, to see that the transposition of how their life has changed, they have remained very much hunter-gatherer tribes or one of, I think, only five or seven left in the entire world. And so, it was still very illuminating, but also startling to see what happens when they are removed from that subset. Like their frame is tiny and they're very, very small people.

[00:07:55] And they have to hike now 20 miles, our first hunt, we hiked 20 miles out to get a baboon, posted that stuff on my Instagram, people freaked out, you're killing monkeys, you savages, what's going on? It's like these people don't have access to a grocery store. They used to be able to go out a kilometer and kill a giant eland, which is a large antelope type of thing. Now, they have to hike 20 miles to see where the baboons are, to kill them, to feed 40-plus people, so they're having to start to subsist on ugali, which is this cornmeal.

[00:08:26] And so, their way of life is already changing, and I think they're going to be extinct within the next 20, 40 years. Like I don't think they're going to last be on this generation, unfortunately. The tourism part is fascinating, because it allows them to retain their position in South Lake Eyasi, because the government goes, oh, people actually want to pay to see these people, therefore we're going to protect this a little bit, but they don't really do anything about it. So, it was just crazy to see all this wisdom on the precipice of disappearing entirely. And it was heartbreaking.

[00:08:58] They clearly don't know the gravity of the situation, and very few of them have left the actual tribe. A couple of them have lived with missionaries, and then opted to come back. They didn't want to have any more of a modern life, but anywhere around the area, you have to drive six hours to the nearest village. So, the exposure that they're going to get to any sort of modern or western life is nil, just doesn't happen. So, they have no idea sort of like how we live, how sick people are, again, both physically and mentally. And yeah, it's heartbreaking, for sure, but so grateful to have the experience of soaking up as much of the wisdom as I could.

[00:09:34] Luke Storey: That's so incredible, and I definitely share the point of view that what ails us as a species is so simple, it's the isolation from nature. And when you look at animals left alone in the wild, for the most part, they thrive until we take them and put them in a zoo, and we give them kibble, which is like our version of the grocery store and unnatural lighting, the inability to move, the inability to commune with one another and in community, however that looks for each animal.

[00:10:13] And now, you see why you don't need huge hospitals out in the wild for all the sick animals, right? You only need vets for the animals that are domesticated or animals in the zoo. And it's just so plain for me to see, but I think we just get myopic as a species, right? We just get involved in our life. I got my iPad, I got the grocery store, and my blue light at night to illuminate inside like it's the middle of the day and EMF connecting me to all of the things I want to be connected to.

[00:10:45] And I know that for me, any time I just leave a city and get like really outdoors, not going to the park, but like get out, get out, my nervous system just goes, thank you, we're okay, right? It's just incredible. So, I listened to the podcast you did on Paul's show about that, and I was like, oh, my God, what an incredible experience. Because me, I just sit back and kind of theorize on what a natural native people's day looks like and how they interact with each other emotionally, how they interact with the environment, but it's like hard to even imagine that that still exists, because we're so far removed from it.

[00:11:22] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. And I think that we see animals in a zoo and we know that they're sick, but somehow don't apply that same perspective to us. I mean, we were pretty much literally in a zoo cage right now if you look around in the room.

[00:11:36] Luke Storey: Yeah. We have windows, at least, not bars, but yeah.

[00:11:40] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Right. Very similar, though. And I think that people have a tough time thinking that things have ever been different or will ever be different. And so, they're born into a life and they just accept that that's the reality and that's the way it's always been, and that's the way it always will be. And that kind of drives just a lot of the confusion, I think, around health. And I mean, the chronic disease, for example, diabetes, heart disease or germ disease, cancer, all of these things, didn't exist under 150 years ago at all.

[00:12:10] It's not like it was something that just traditional people had. In the Western world 150 years ago, this did not exist. None of these conditions existed. And when I have theories, Paul has a lot of theories around why this is the case, and we bring them up, mainstream medical professionals come after us like, oh, you guys figured out some solution. It's like, show me a better just root cause problem of why this is the case instead of just accepting that everybody is sick, and will always be sick, and this is a normal part of our species. It's not.

[00:12:40] The top seven ways we die as humans are not normal as of the last 150 years. This isn't like a couple of thousand year old thing. And so, to see these people in this place, robust health with no sort of intervention, like you can't really go anywhere in the world now that's been 150 years, these things which you can get into like why I think that's the case, but it's this type of lifestyle, you can't escape. You can't go observe these people, any people in a traditional human species sort of environment unless you go to the middle of Tanzania and interact with these people. So, that's what we did, and it was, again, just remarkable.

[00:13:17] Luke Storey: What's different not only about their physical health and vitality living off the land and just having, I mean, obviously, they're eating seasonally and they're not eating anything processed, and they're, I'm assuming, finding some way to drink relatively clean water. 

[00:13:31] Dr. Anthony Gustin: No.

[00:13:32] Luke Storey: So, their physical—they're drinking dirty water?

[00:13:34] Dr. Anthony Gustin: So, here's this giant misconception. So, if you read any research about these people, they say, okay, they have the best microbiome of any human ever studied. Then some random paper said it's because they eat 150 grams-plus of fiber a day, therefore fiber leads to good gut health, so a lot of our recommendations are actually pulled from research that has no backing to it. So, if you go, we saw these people, they eat maximum two grams of fiber a day. Maximum.

[00:14:04] Luke Storey: What do they do? They just chew on tubers and like-

[00:14:07] Dr. Anthony Gustin: So, we actually dug up some tubers with them and watch them eat them. They either take the skin off, chew them, and spit them out or boil them in a pot, and throw out the actual fibrous parts. And so, the fiber comes from, they have a couple of fruits, one's called baobab, which like this dry, really soluble fiber, maybe like, again, two grams a day they're getting. They're not eating fiber. This whole thing that hunter-gatherer tribes, at least this one specifically, ate a variety of fiber, and that's what leads to their good gut health is insane.

[00:14:36] But you know what we did when we have the tubers is our hands were full of dirt. Literally, we're digging into the earth to get them, and then we ate with our mouth, and then we never wash our hands. And we were butchering animals that were sitting out for eight hours, and then not washing our hands, and eating with our hands. And they're drinking, they dig into like these valleys that used to be riverbeds. They dig in, and dirty water fills it, and then they drink that. 

[00:15:03] Luke Storey: Really?

[00:15:04] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, so I ate too many berries, I almost died. It's an interesting story for you, we can get into that, but my stomach started to turn. It's getting really sick from this berry poisoning. And they dug up these tiny little roots and said, hey, chew on these roots. I go, I looked at the roots, it was like mostly dirt. It was a big clump of dirt. I was like, oh, the medicine here is probably the dirt, it's the exposure, like their microbiome, they're like living in the dirt all the time, never washing their hands, the exact opposite of what we have now. And so, their microbiome that we've studied is not because of fiber, they don't eat any fiber, they eat zero fiber, but they're always interacting with dirty and unclean things.

[00:15:40] Luke Storey: Wow. So, they're inherently terrain theorists by lifestyle design, right?

[00:15:46] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah.

[00:15:47] Luke Storey: I mean, if they're living largely free of the diseases that we suffer from, and of course, as you know, a lot of that has to do with the health of the microbiome, and hence the immune system, et cetera. So, they're getting all these microorganisms then from basically eating dirty plant matter, and they're getting some bacteria from the animals that they're processing and things like that, and that's fortifying the biodiversity of the gut biome?

[00:16:11] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. And we would have gotten deathly ill if we would have drank the water, for example.

[00:16:17] Luke Storey: Ah, okay.

[00:16:19] Dr. Anthony Gustin: And this is just the reality of it, like our immune systems are rather weak. Wow. I mean, this is where people go to Mexico, and they drink the water, they're really sick. Mexicans can drink the water in Mexico and don't get sick, why do you think that is? They've been exposed to the same thing. And so, again, like I think like there are so many different ways to look at visiting them and how many factors contribute to health.

[00:16:44] I think there's like some sort of prioritization I have in my mind of like, what are the most important things when it comes to health that people can change to make a positive impact in their life? It's so hard to pull that apart after you get to the top couple, and I think that, I mean, it's like they're in the sun all the time. They don't wear sunscreen, obviously. Clear.

[00:17:03] Their microbiome is so robust, because they're living in dirt and eating dirt all the time, like they don't eat anything processed, obviously, besides the cornmeal, which even with that, totally fine, which drives a lot of my theories around the major things that cause some of these top health conditions. Their community is like they're never stressed. They're never, ever stressed. Like these are the happiest people I've ever seen in my life.

[00:17:26] There was 30 seconds of stress I saw of the entire trip, it was right before we kill the baboon, which Paul and I were actually like right there participating, it was one of the crazy experiences in my life. So, there's absolutely no stress. There's a lot of natural fasting. The relationships, very interesting. I mean, I could go on forever, but like all of these things that I've already thought that we have to work so hard for in the Western culture, and all those little biohacks, and tips, and tricks, and influencers that specialize and sleep, or this or that.

[00:17:56] When you live in nature, you don't have to think about any of these things. They just happen. The massive amount of abundance they live in, there are these times where we would just go walk out 30 minutes outside of our camp, like, hey, what are all these baobab for? They're like, oh, yeah, we can eat those, you want to try them? And they haven't eaten for two days. And we throw a stick up, they fall, and we crack them open, and Paul and I are like rapaciously eating them, because we haven't eaten in like six hours.

[00:18:21] And then, they like slowly pass them around and eat them. There is no scarcity of hoarding things. Baobab just stays in the tree until they want it. Even when they're hungry and they kill an animal, the person who kills the animal goes around and gives a slice to everybody, and everybody waits their turn. It's not like everybody rushes in, and tries to grab the leg and eat it.

[00:18:42] And there are so many of these examples, like they could have a knife, the one to make poison for arrows, and this one guy could make 15 tools with the materials around him at any given time, just in five seconds. It was insane. He would just grab his little machete thing, cut, cut, cut, bam, here we have four different tools. And then he like made a tree stump into a cauldron and makes everything in there. It was like the most crazy thing ever, like MacGyver style, and if you watch the show-

[00:19:10] Luke Storey: Yeah.

[00:19:11] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Like to see that, like the resourcefulness and just the abundance mindset probably like lets them actually relax. And I've thought a lot about this in our world of everything that we actually need to survive and that we need in life is so abstracted, and so everything kind of gets veiled between like you and money. So, oh, I go make money, I do this thing to make money, to go buy food, and shelter, and all this other stuff. Nobody knows how to—like if I were to put you out here, especially the trip before Mansal, like how would you get food? How would you build a shelter?

[00:19:48] No one has these skills anymore. This is why I love what Mansal is doing. It's like reconnecting people to that. I'm moving up to a farm soon, because I just went on this trip, I'm like, oh, I have to participate more and understand the stuff. And it's like, I'm being a prepper, but I think having some skills gives you confidence to actually live in a world in abundance of, oh, if something went crazy, I could find my own food, I could grow my own food, and I could count on myself. Like we have communities now where people are just friends, they're not providing for each other.

[00:20:17] And this is another thing that's like it's hard to trust people when your lives don't depend on it, and when the hunter who does this thing, and the person who boils over here does that, and this lady makes clothes, and like everybody has to work together, because otherwise, they would all die. It's a very different dynamic with the relationship, especially with the men and the women. So, this is something that people were very surprised about, myself included, that the men and women were entirely separate, almost like 95-plus percent of the time.

[00:20:45] Luke Storey: Wow, really?

[00:20:46] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. And the women had their own fire, the men had their own fire, and they basically didn't even talk to each other throughout the day. The women had a group, the men had a group. They had their own tasks. They were very, very split. So, clear gender roles. Talked to them both individually about this, and they both said almost the exact same thing, ah, without the women and what they do, we wouldn't be here, we'd be dead. The same thing, oh, without the men, what they do, we would be dead.

[00:21:10] And then, within those circles, everybody sort of had their own role as well. So, the men, each one of them sort of had a role to play and was respected by everybody else, same with the women. And it's interesting that we have these groups, I don't know with your community exactly, we sort of run in the same circles, but we don't have this dependency on each other anymore. And I think stripping that away might be another cause to just like want to always meet more people, and do more things, and like have this sort of novelty effect around, are we searching for more and bigger in relationships and communities?

[00:21:45] Divorce rates, like you don't even need to have monogamous relationships working, where like there's no dependency there. We've erased all gender roles, and everybody is expected to do everything, and you outsource all the important tasks. Baby goes away soon. Like food goes over here, like each of us will go away from each other during the day, make money, and then come back, and then use that money to buy all the things we actually need. This is such a strange thing, like-

[00:22:11] Luke Storey: Wow, the trip. With the men and women being largely separated, and I've never seen that, I don't think to that degree, but many years ago, I went to southern India for about a month, like on a spiritual pilgrimage. And I was in a lot of very rural areas and I noticed that same phenomenon just in the streets of these little villages, you wouldn't see like co-mingling of the genders. You'd see like a group of guys hanging out and you'd see a group of women.

[00:22:39] If there were people working in the fields, there'd be like a bunch of women working in this field, a bunch of men working in this field. It was the first time I'd ever seen that, and I didn't know what to make of it, but it was noticeable to the point where I thought, huh, that's really interesting. And I also noticed, and maybe there are some parallels here, I also noticed that you saw men being much more affectionate, like much more touchy with each other, like grown men holding hands. And at first, I thought, wow, they're really open with homosexuality here.

[00:23:10] In the first couple of days, I was like, wow, I didn't know there are so many gay Indians, but then I started to realize it's like a dad with his teenage boy holding hands, and there was just much more kind of like, I don't know, just physical touch amongst people, especially amongst men, which in the West, I think we have an unhealthy lack of that, right? I know that I certainly did in my life. So, I noticed that there. What did you notice in terms of when the men and women would converge together? What were you seeing in terms of human connection, and hugging, and affection, and kissing, and that kind of physicality?

[00:23:47] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Not much.

[00:23:48] Luke Storey: Really?

[00:23:48] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Not much, but they also did sleep together. And so, it was like at nighttime, we stayed at the camp a couple of miles away, we actually weren't allowed to stay there anymore, because of COVID, which doesn't make any sense to me. We were with them an entire day, but couldn't stay there.

[00:24:02] Luke Storey: Well, at night is when it really gets dangerous.

[00:24:04] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Exactly. So, we didn't see exactly like when we left, but it was like everybody was going to bed every night when we left. But yeah, then is when they would come together, especially if there's like more of a newborn, there'd be more times where the parents would come together, where the interesting thing about the newborns is, even the kids at large, is you wouldn't know who the parents were unless they were breastfeeding, basically, or the parents came together to grab the kid to go do something else.

[00:24:27] But it was very much so a communal style of upbringing kids. And yeah, I didn't see a lot of this sort of like hugging, embracing, et cetera, and maybe that happened behind closed doors, maybe it's a cultural thing that developed, like not to show that or whatever. And I'm not saying these people are perfect and we should emulate their lives 100%, but there is a lot to learn, for sure.

[00:24:49] Luke Storey: And with the offspring, you got the sense that only the biological mother was doing the nursing with the infants. So, they weren't being passed around from teat to teat and kind of shared communal mommyhood?

[00:25:03] Dr. Anthony Gustin: No.

[00:25:04] Luke Storey: I always pictured that being the way that it is with like ancient or current hunter-gatherer people. And I always just picture the infants, like you said, not being able to tell who the parent is, but also just that all the mothers are kind of mothering all the kids, but I don't know where I got that. That's silly.

[00:25:18] Dr. Anthony Gustin: I mean, for sure, consoling the children and the kid walking around, Paul and I were up in this big rock area making arrows with some of these guys, and there's a kid up there basically playing with the fire. No one cares. He was maybe like two, couldn't even barely walk. And then, the dad told him to go away, and he started walking down these rocks, and like fell and stumbled down. These rocks were like it was maybe five feet, falling on the rocks.

[00:25:46] And then, mom, or I don't know if it was the mom or whatever, come over, console the child, and it was just totally normal. Like, oh, yeah, not a big deal. And then, the kid was totally fine. Later that day, like that same child tripped over a branch and saw another woman come up, do the same thing. So, there's always sort of this assurance that the kid is seen, and heard, and loved, there's not a big deal.

[00:26:10] And I just saw that over, and over, and over again. It makes me think about like so many people have so much trauma that they deal with now in the Western world, whether it's acute trauma, whether it's abuse, rape, et cetera, or chronic trauma. I think that when it comes down to it, so much of what we do on autopilot is, I'm not good enough, I don't feel love, I don't feel heard, I don't feel seen. 

[00:26:34] Of course. Of course, that's the case, think about, again, a life where we used to grow up in these settings, where everybody was around. If the child had any sort of need, it would be met immediately and that child would have confidence. Oh, people love me, I'm here, like I'm accepted, I'm part of this tribe, I don't have to worry about anything else, I'm good. Now, people are born, and at months 18, they're being sent to preschool.

[00:27:02] And a lot of cases, the mom, after six weeks, just go back to work. And the child has one person there, basically alone, looks up, starts crying, nobody's there maybe for a couple minutes, where instantaneously, if any kid had any problem, somebody was there always. Just think about like how much we're programmed from an early age in the Western world, that someone's not there immediately. I don't think people need to be coddled. I think this is a very separate thing.

[00:27:26] So, these children were not coddled at all. They were allowed to learn as much as possible in the natural world, very dangerous settings as far as like I have perceived them, but immediate attention, and care, and love, and appreciation, and respect at all times. So, it's almost impossible now unless you have stay-at-home parents and a community that you're raising kids in, it's impossible. But 24/7, these kids are surrounded by their adults.

[00:27:53] Luke Storey: Wow, that's powerful. What about, I guess it's unlikely that in the week you were there, you witnessed anyone giving birth, but do you know anything about their birth practices?

[00:28:04] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, they lose a lot of kids.

[00:28:05] Luke Storey: Really?

[00:28:06] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, which if you actually look at pretty much any other mammal, same birth success rates. So, I think it's something like 50 to 60% of the children they lose. And this is a lot of the data around, well, hunter-gatherers don't live that long and our life expectancy has gone up over time. It's just really corrected for infant mortality. And so, when we've improved that, obviously, the population has gone up, and that's great that we've saved a lot of infants that weren't able to make it otherwise, but when it comes down to it, this is like a normal thing for the human species, as with any other mammal. That's just a reality that a lot people don't like to accept.

[00:28:46] I mean, we saw it with COVID last year that we have this caretaker need, where we feel like we need to save everybody all the time, which when it comes down to it, we're all going to die, at least that's how I think about it. We know where the technology is going to go soon here, but we're all going to die at some point, and death is a natural thing. I think that, again, another just huge difference how they view death versus how Westerners view death. It's like it's not even a concept that they care about. No one thinks about it. We asked like, what happens after you die? And they go, oh, well, we move camp, because your body starts smelling.

[00:29:23] Luke Storey: Wow.

[00:29:24] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, that's their answer. They have no mythology, no existential angst. No questions. We asked like, where were you before you were born? And one woman said, I don't know, but I can't know, so why would I care? And so, it was just like, I'm here now, and that's all I know, and that's all that matters. And like you probably noticed this after the wild boar hunt that there's this moral guilt around killing something that's exchange of life and energy.

[00:29:55] And this is what is so exciting for me to move to a farm is it's very spiritual for me, like cast it away, religion, early on in life, and like I think I said I don't need it, and now, realizing like, oh, I need some sort of framework to like help understand my place in things and just being somewhere where things are born and die frequently, plants, insects, animals, all this type of stuff. Like you just have a very different concept of life and death in your own place in it, and these people are just like, they think of themselves as equal to everything else that's living, same as a lot of Native Americans.

[00:30:29] It's like when you are living in this all the time, you have no other concept, no need for mythology. And I'm sure somebody has written a book on this, and then tell me I'm just ridiculous for saying this, but like I just wonder if so much of this stuff around mythology comes from like when we started being in larger civilizations and needed a little bit more of an explanation of what was going on, and why we're there, whereas, again, division from nature, problem. And so, the lack of that was so fascinating to me.

[00:30:59] Luke Storey: Yeah, that's wild, man. I think in our culture by and large, there's a total denial of death, right? And perhaps, that has something to do with our spiritual misunderstanding or lack of understanding around the fact that we're part of the fabric of consciousness, and then we become so ego-identified with our name, our body, this lifetime, who we are in a concrete way that we just want to hang on to that so badly, and those that we care about, we want to hang on to them, like it's just kind of built for attachment.

[00:31:40] And in these people, it sounds like there's much less attachment in general to everything, right? And that would just encompass also the fact that living beings come and go all the time and that it's just not really a big deal. It also probably leans into that competition and scarcity model like there's not enough of everything, including not enough time in my life, therefore I get to get everything.

[00:32:05] You know what I mean? And savor and protect this moment, and me, and mine, and all of that sense of ownership and entitlement that comes with it. And in the hunting experience, for me, there was a lot of reconciliation, not only around the fact that in nature, everything is eating everything all the time. Everything. That's all anything does is eat stuff, literally.

[00:32:27] Dr. Anthony Gustin: And have sex. 

[00:32:28] Luke Storey: Yeah, and make more stuff. But there was a real like deep reconciliation with my own mortality, because if you watch that pig that was "there, then not there", then that means my life could be extinguished just as quickly. So then, it begs the question, well, what is my life and who am I? Like am I this thing? Well, if this is all there is, I mean, it'd be good to know, but I hope that's not the case.

[00:32:56] And the more I can kind of lean into the fact, or at least my perception and belief, that there's more to life than what presents here in this body, is this personality called Luke, I start to loosen the reins a bit, right? It's like everything becomes a little less serious, because I don't think this is my only shot that when this consciousness leaves this body, that there are probably other possibilities. I don't know what they are, but perhaps those people see things in the same way as just an impermanence in a transient sort of nature so that there's not so much panic around death.

[00:33:30] And you ask them, what happens when you die? Well, we've got to move, because the body starts to stink. I mean, from the Western perspective, that's so cold. Well, what about the body, that the person that was inhabiting that body? And that's almost of secondary importance to just like the practicality of, well, those of us that are still here got to move on so that it's safe and comfortable. Yeah, it's wild. So cool.

[00:33:51] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. I mean, when I hunt, it's the same thing, because they have process of killing the animal. It's their living, and then it's not. And then, you go through the butchering process, and then you go through the cooking and sharing with friends process. And then, one of the first times we hunted and realized this, I was looking around, I was sharing a meal with, I think, six or seven people, and was just realizing, oh, that life is now sustaining this life, and all their lives, they'll die, and then sustain other lives.

[00:34:21] And that's just the way it is. And that's how it goes, which again, like the story you tell yourself after that, whether that's a next life, past life sort of thing, continuation of consciousness, or just a contribution to consciousness, or whatever it is, it's undeniable when you look at it from like an energetic perspective that there's this transfer of energy that happens that you're a part of, humans are a part of.

[00:34:47] And when we remove ourselves from that just awareness, that there's a cycle that we're in, so many of these things that we are worried about in the world happened and emerged. And this is why I became so interested right now in the regenerative agriculture movement, because it's literally trying to solve so many problems, climate change, I think, but like healthy humans, healthy animals, moral standards, but also some of these metaphysical spiritual things that just happened by default by reconnecting people to nature.

[00:35:18] Luke Storey: Yeah. What about how these people eat, and that will segue us a bit into the never ending debate on what the proper human diet is, which for me, ultimately, after all these years of being in this industry, it's just kind of like, it's whatever my body's wanting that day is kind of how I eat. Now, sometimes, the body goes, you want a couple of pints of ice cream, and I do my best not to listen to it when it's kind of venturing in that direction, but I think the interesting thing about our culture is around the paleo movement and keto movement and stuff is that people are starting to integrate more organ meats, for example.

[00:35:58] And from what I understand, not in a firsthand way like you have, but that in not so ancient times, people that lived off the land really prized the organ meats. And perhaps, we don't prize them by and large, because we're just not used to the flavor of them and kind of just a different texture and it's just a different thing, as we learned eating raw bison heart and bison liver.

[00:36:21] I mean, it wasn't exactly palatable to me, but I felt the life force energy of it. It felt like, wow, this is really good for you. My body responded to it, not so much, my taste buds. So, when it comes to this kind of hunter-gatherer eating nose to tail thing, what did you find that was intuitive to you or surprising to you about the way that they process these animals that they kill, and what they eat, and how they eat it? What's more important than other parts, et cetera?

[00:36:48] Dr. Anthony Gustin: So, they eat the organs immediately. So, sometimes, they'll butcher it immediately. Sometimes, they'll take it to camp, and then butcher it at camp. But regardless, when it gets butchered, organs go in the fire immediately, they're eaten. There's actually an interesting debate here, whether it's because their prized intuitively for nutrition or because that's what spoils the fastest, that they eat them the first thing.

[00:37:09] So, just an interesting sort of thing. I think we have all these paradigms in our head around like, oh, like humans just knew that these are the things or they're just the things that they knew, like they can't cook the rest of the carcass until this thing's cooked anyways. There's a lot of things where it makes sense to eat the organs first. The intestines go to the dog's for food, dog food, everything else, every single thing else is eaten.

[00:37:31] Luke Storey: The eyes?

[00:37:32] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Eyes. So, everything.

[00:37:35] Luke Storey: This is where I draw the line on my hunter-gathererness.

[00:37:38] Dr. Anthony Gustin: So, we ate with them a couple of times, when like large animal calls, we had a couple cats that looked like little cats, but called genet cats, like little leopard things, baboon, a goat, it's called a dik-dik. It's kind of like tiny antelope. So, we saw this process a couple of times, where it's cut it open, just the same as you would—did you guys butcher at all? 

[00:38:00] Luke Storey: We did, yeah.

[00:38:01] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Okay. So, same thing.

[00:38:01] Luke Storey: On mushrooms.

[00:38:02] Dr. Anthony Gustin: That's an intense experience. So, yeah, just straight cut down the middle, take the organs out, feed the entrails to the dogs, eat the organ meat. So, nothing was raw. They threw everything in the fire. So, the organ is going to fire, directly on the fire, take it off, eat that.

[00:38:16] Luke Storey: What did you put it on, a skewer or something, and kind of-

[00:38:18] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, they do skewers, and then they just stick it. So, they have a fire built up, and they just stick it in the dirt, leaning there, and then they turn.

[00:38:22] Luke Storey: Oh, okay.

[00:38:23] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. So, it's pretty simple, but inspirational setup. It's like, oh, you don't need much to make an amazing meal. Some of this meat was like the best meat I've ever had. And then, they would cut quarter of the animal and then start, some of it, like they would cut it up into chunks and put it on a stick. Some of it, they would just like throw the whole quarter of something on the fire.

[00:38:43] The baboon, first day, we had most of it, and then we came back the next morning, and they had a fire going, the guy who had killed the baboon, the skull was in the fire, and every, I don't know, five, 10 minutes, he would take it off, and then eat an eye, and then put it back on, and take it back off, and like cut out the tongue and eat that, and then put it back on, take it off, cut off the ear, and then, again, pass it around to everybody.

[00:39:05] And then, took the jaw off, and ate all around the jaw, and then put it back on, take it back off, cracked the skull up, and then ate with a branch the brains, which we did, for sure. We obliged with everything. But that experience, like nothing was gone to waste and they take everything that they use, the bones, any sort of tendons that are left over, the skin, they make cloth. Everything's reused.

[00:39:27] So, I actually got the mandible, the jaw piece as a little souvenir, which is intense, so I have that as a reminder of death and that way of life on my desk when I work. Yeah, every single thing is eaten. Like there was this eight-year-old kid or roughly that age I was smashing open a bone, and sucking at the bone marrow is like most primal sort of representation of a human possible. So, yeah, every single part, they eat, besides the guts, go to feed the dog, which are instrumental in hunting, dogs are instrumental.

[00:40:03] Luke Storey: So, they're not like the family pet, they're utilitarian, like part of your-

[00:40:07] Dr. Anthony Gustin: They're brutal to the dogs, do not treat them well. They're very much workforce for the hunts.

[00:40:13] Luke Storey: Wow. Alright. I got to back up, and I have like all these notes that have nothing to do with any of this, but as so goes the spontaneity of The Life Stylist. The baboon, man, like when I shot that boar, and then butchered it the next day, I mean, it was strangely normal, actually, let me just say that, like it was way less freaky than I thought it would be. And seeing 150-pound pig hanging there without skin, it's not that different from a person. I mean, there's definite, what do you call it, anthropomorphic, what's that?

[00:40:50] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Anthropomorphism?

[00:40:51] Luke Storey: Yes, that. I mean, it's like, oh, I'm not that different from that thing. And that's a bit jarring, because you're like, well, if it can happen to that thing, then someone could cut me open like that and I would look the same kind of thing. But when you get into the primates like baboons, monkeys, I mean, that's super close to a person. How freaky was that for you?

[00:41:12] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. I was eating off of the forearm while the hand was still attached and the hand looked like a miniature human hand. And that was crazy, for sure. Like it was an intense experience, and I looked at Paul, and was like, is this real? Like here we are in the middle of Tanzania with these people who like they're speaking Hadzabe around us, hunter-gatherer tribe, where humans evolved from, I'm eating a baboon like hand, basically, and then they would cut the hand off and like eat every chunk of the hand, but it looked like a human hand, opposable thumb, for sure.

[00:41:51] And it was intense, for sure. I mean, but I don't know, my background, we dissected a bunch of cadavers when I was in grad school, so I know what the human body looks like in depth. And any animal that we kill at hunt is essentially the same after. There are some differences, of course, but organs are in the same spots, same organs. There's like some slight differences, but yeah, same muscle groups, same tendon attachment, same joint placements. And so, for me, it's like, yeah, it's a little weird, but I've hunted enough and have seen so many things dissected and so many things butchered that I'm like, oh, okay, it's all the same.

[00:42:30] Luke Storey: Is that like a traditional prey for them or are they just eating baboons, because they've been forced out of their natural habitat and sequestered into this designated area where they don't have access to the variety of game that they would have in the past?

[00:42:44] Dr. Anthony Gustin: That's correct. So, yeah, they're pushed in this area. They would prefer an elephant if possible or giraffe, biggest possible, like they want the same as any other human. The most amount of output with the least amount of work is what they want. And so, hippos are like a huge delicacy for them. Like they have stories around big hunts, all of their storytelling, all of their dreams, all of their fantasies, what gets them so excited are big hunts, big successful hunts. And now, some of these kids are growing up never having seen one, which is crazy.

[00:43:16] Luke Storey: Right. Wow. God, that's so interesting, yeah, because the kids aren't sitting around on iPads, going, someday, I want a Ferrari.

[00:43:24] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah.

[00:43:26] Luke Storey: I want Kim Kardashian's lips or whatever.

[00:43:28] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Like some of the older people are like, oh, yeah, like my grandfather used to go and bring back these big, crazy animals with all this fat, and the kids are like, wow.

[00:43:40] Luke Storey: Is there any storing of the meat? Do they smoke anything or preserve anything in any way or did they just eat and keep it moving?

[00:43:48] Dr. Anthony Gustin: So all the ones that we saw were small enough animals, where they can just eat them all on the spot, but they do, if it's a bit larger, basically make jerky, so they'll cut it in small sections, and then hang it over tree branches, and then dry it over a couple of days. And then, they will store that, keep it with them.

[00:44:03] Luke Storey: Wow. And we'll move on from this, I'm just fascinated, but were there any like predatory animals that you guys had to be mindful of, whether it be poisonous snakes or lions? I mean, was there any danger involved in being immersed in the natural world in that way as possible prey for something else?

[00:44:21] Dr. Anthony Gustin: No. I think if the setting would have been the game parks that we saw before, and that's how life was, probably. However where we're at, no. They made enough noise, they're around each other, and just the nature of, again, the surrounding area being more developing and having the herders around there, there's no chance that any sort of predatory animals are coming close.

[00:44:47] I mean, the reason why, there's not a lot of things for the predatory animals to eat. And so, if like the herbivores can't come in, then the carnivore and the predators aren't going to come either. So, all the animals stay out. It's the same as here. It's like, sometimes, you'll see a deer when you're driving out to Dripping Springs, but like otherwise, you're not seeing many wild animals. You see squirrels and some birds.

[00:45:10] Luke Storey: Right. I saw a zebra yesterday, just for the record.

[00:45:13] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Well, I'm sure it was not wild.

[00:45:14] Luke Storey: It's wild Texan zebra on the way to Marble Falls. And when it comes to the tourism, the voyeuristic nature of this type of experience, where a couple of white dudes are going over to Africa to like, play with and observe this tribe, from one perspective, that could seem, I don't know, it's like, I don't know what the word is, and I'm going like political correctness lens here, almost, but one could be critical of that in the sense that like, you're going to an amusement park to observe these wild people.

[00:45:53] And I'm not being critical of it, it's just I find it unfortunate that these people have been put in a position where their land has been taken away and they've been forced into an unnatural habitat. But from what you were saying in the beginning, this tourism industry around people being able to go interact with them and observe them in this way. And I'm not minimizing these people to like a zoo animal, but for those that would think of it in that way, it sounds like this model is really assisting with their sustenance and their ability to keep going as a microcivilization.

[00:46:24] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, 100%. I mean, this is my main concern when I was first offered to go. The guy who organized our trip, his name is Eric Admits. He's gone every year for the last 12 years. He said when he first went, they were one year away from being forced into the villages and like put into missionary camps. And then, he started getting people out there, and then the government goes, oh, man, these people really want to live this way and the other people really want to come see them live this way, so we're going to make something of it and we're going to give them this little area.

[00:46:52] And so, without people going, they would be completely vanished by now, 10-plus years ago. The guy who organized a trip for us, Paul and I are trying to set up something where we can help people go to see this whole thing, have some of the proceeds go to buying them more land, or figuring out some way to expand their area of land, or even just getting them animals.

[00:47:12] And like one of the things we give them as a gift was a goat from one of their neighboring tribes. They don't have anything of value, so they can't trade anything for the goat, but they obviously prefer animal food over the ugali that they get. So, they get the cornmeal from the missionaries, they have to eat to survive, but they 100% prefer animals. So, even if you were to buy them goats every week, they would love that and get way better nourishment than eating cornmeal.

[00:47:36] But Gasper is the guy who leads the tours there. It's NEEKO Tours. I can give you the information you can put in the show notes if anybody's interested in contacting Gasper, phenomenal human, tremendous human. He's doing whatever he can. He's been going to see them for like 15-plus years. He grew up around the area, so he has a deep reverence for these people and wants to help them as much as humanly possible.

[00:47:57] So, yeah, everyone who is participating in this out there that's like this "ecotourism" is all like trying to preserve these people's way of life. I mean, it's the same thing we do with endangered animals in the wild. Like sometimes, we have to put up boundaries, get them in a specific area to like create another habitat, and then get the habitat expanded, so that way, they can survive. But the way it's going right now, I wouldn't anticipate them being around for another generation, which is absolutely sad.

[00:48:27] And they have no written language, so there's nothing recorded, and it was just a bunch of erroneous accounts of research papers of people going to see him and saying they're eating 150 grams of fiber, et cetera, and it makes it fascinating to other people, too. Like what are the lies that are out about other traditional people, and how long do these people have? It's just a matter of time before we have no representation left of how humans used to live.

[00:48:49] Luke Storey: God, humans are such bastards. Why do we mess with people so much? It's just like when you look at what's going on in the Amazon and the indigenous people there that are just barely hanging on in the middle of the jungle. And then, the oil companies come in and just decimate the landscape. It's just like, God, what is it about people? I just find, it's so reprehensible, the tendency, I don't know, of that imperialistic kind of just, why can't anyone just leave people alone?

[00:49:20] Dr. Anthony Gustin: I mean, again, I'm going to bring you back to the division to nature, like you have no respect for other people, or resources, or the planet when you live in a box and buy things that surround you at all times that just feed more and more greed, which essentially is there, because of fear that you can't have things and you're going to die, like we talked about, and it's just this crazy loop.

[00:49:42] Luke Storey: I wonder if all of this is really at the root of it and my paleo friends would love this perspective. But it seems like this ability for natural humans to live on the land in their said tribes all over, it seemed like the biggest hit toward that was when we figured out how to farm. Like the agricultural revolution. And then, we started having to have a military force to protect our land that we claimed, and then warring amongst tribes for resources, and then building villages, townships, eventually, cities, right?

[00:50:17] And then, that mental illness, and I don't know, just the inherent greed in that possessiveness of resources seem to have kind of stemmed out of that. Now, I wasn't around. I'm sure it was no party before that, right? You had plagues and I'm sure warring factions of humans fucking with each other, but it seems like when we settle down, and started sitting on our ass, and growing food, that's when it went really wonky.

[00:50:43] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. I've thought about this a lot, and it's interesting also to see the Hadza compared to the pastoralists next to them, and people in the village next to them, and then the larger city. Like the more you left the Hadza, which were incredibly happy people, happiest people I've ever met in my life, a little bit of that every time, and then the people were in the larger cities, the most unhappy, the most desperate, most amount of crime. There was no crime in Hadza. Absolutely not. And it was just really interesting to see that so clearly both going in there and going out of there, that stark difference, an inverse sort of correlation to civilization leading to this unhappiness.

[00:51:21] Luke Storey: Right. That's crazy, because the civilization from that context is actually decivilization, right?

[00:51:28] Dr. Anthony Gustin: 100%.

[00:51:28] Luke Storey: You're living in a tribe where there's no crime, no one can get away with anything, they don't feel the need to get away with anything, because everyone's providing for one another in a sense of community, like that is actually more civilized, albeit you're cracking open the head of a baboon and eating the brain, which would seem savage to some, but like based on interpersonal relationships, and emotional and mental health, seems, from your purview, more civilized than when you get into a city and someone will kill you to take your car.

[00:51:56] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. Your desperation, because we'll need things that they're not given, and they don't have any know-how to get those things. But yeah, Christopher Ryan wrote an excellent book on this topic called Civilized Death that sort of explores a lot of these things, but yeah, we could go on this-

[00:52:11] Luke Storey: What a rabbit hole. Yeah.

[00:52:14] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Just so many long chats about this stuff when we were there, and just kind of shocked at all the things that kept coming up, and just how it translated to like, man, what the hell went wrong? And you make this point about agriculture, and I think that a lot of people have this in their mind, once we started farming, that ruined everything, and thus farming is bad. I think all these connections are made and I actually think it's probably a little bit different, where like human's domination over nature led to the need to farm, and the ability of the farm, and the thought of farming. And so, I think like before agriculture, there's actually massive overhunting, because we had tools, so like we figured out how to make tools with things that are around, kill animals at a much larger scale, and dominate the nature and like ruin ecosystems that way. There's no balance anymore.

[00:53:03] Luke Storey: Right. So, it's the dominionistic relationship of humans to the environment. There's a break somewhere in there over time where we see all of life as separate from us and of utilitarian value, rather than something of which we are apart.

[00:53:20] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Correct. That's my hypothesis. It just seems like every—because you can farm with—like all farming, essentially, majority of it, is done in this mindset now, and you can see the parallels in how terrible it is. You can also do it in a way that is responsible of the ecosystem. Roam is a good example, where the intention of the farming, the agriculture, is actually to restore the ecosystem. It's kind of ironic that most people think that agriculture screwed everything up, but we need agriculture now to save everything.

[00:53:53] Luke Storey: Right. That's funny. Right. The thing that like—yeah, I like that, the thing that kind of was the downfall of civilization is probably the thing that's going to save us. When you go out to Roam Ranch, which he's referring to, guys, is where we went to the bison harvest. And yeah, I mean, they're showing just, they have these great models where they show soil erosion with all the different types of farming practices.

[00:54:16] And it's incredible just to see what regenerative farming can do. And I'm actually interviewing Robby here tomorrow, actually. So, one of these shows will come out in pretty close proximity. But yeah, it's interesting to see the cyclical nature of that particular thing. And there really is, I guess when you look at this stuff philosophically, there's no right or wrong.

[00:54:35] I think we want to, myself included, find like the one thing we did wrong, and let's fix that, when it's a culmination of tens of thousands of years in these epochs of time, where we've trended one way or another, and the trend that seems to be the culprit by and large is our disconnection from nature and just our innate wisdom of knowing that we are not separate from that out there, but we are actually part of the fabric of all of nature. And there comes that respect for nature, too, right? When you think that you have dominion over nature, and because you have a more functional pre-frontal cortex than your average animal, that therefore, you rule the land as a human. And that's that kind of this arrogant, egoist point of view that causes us so many problems in general.

[00:55:26] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. Like that's why I less likely go down the road of the agriculture was the thing, more so it was like the innate human domination over nature that led us to this path. And then, you meet again, you see it, but when you have the union, again, of humans and nature, and going with the flow, instead of trying to disrupt it, and like there's a lot of great thinkers in this space, Wendell Berry, West Jackson, Aldo Leopold, et cetera, like these guys who are either dead or 80, 90 years old have been talking about this stuff for a long period of time.

[00:55:57] They've been calling this stuff forever and there's a lot to learn out there about just this return to the land. I think it's going to be a new big health trend, sort of like all these questions we're asking ourselves, how to live, how to exist, and what to eat, and how to sleep, like everything sort of solves itself when you return to land. And farming YouTube community is the most engaged and most viewed YouTube community.

[00:56:25] Luke Storey: Really?

[00:56:26] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. It's crazy how people are sitting there in cubicles, in their zoo cages watching this farm porn, they're like, oh, man. I think like we subconsciously know that there's this place here. And so, the question is like, how does one actually go about this transition in a meaningful way? Like farmland is getting extremely expensive. It's getting prohibitively expensive. Like you have to make enough money to not have to farm, to buy a farm, and this is the problem.

[00:56:56] Luke Storey: I think in Austin, what I'm seeing is a lot of, I haven't seen it concretized and come to fruition, but there are a lot of murmurs about microcommunities, people, oh, this guy's getting 300 acres, so we're all going to live there, and live in a communal way, and do regenerative farming and things. There are probably three or four different groups of people I know that are at some stage of bringing that together. So, perhaps, that's the way because of the prohibitive nature of farmland cost, right?

[00:57:27] Perhaps, it is in a communal, but then I always arrive at, alright, well, who's the guru, right? It's like, who's the chief that's like running things? You're really going to be egalitarian about it. Like we're still people. So, how do you get people that are of a certain level of consciousness to come together that do have the capacity to really contribute in an equal manner so that each person will bring their resources, whatever they might be, and skills to the table, but not have this corruption of power or control that human beings just seem so prone to.

[00:57:59] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. I mean, we have a society that we all come from as well, cultural norms, things like that, that have permeated our consciousness, that we can't just strip away. And so, I don't have the answers either. And this is where I read some of these guys, like Wes Jackson and Wendell Berry, phenomenal writers, have a lot of good ideas, but it comes down to like, how do you actually merge that with modern society? And I don't have any answers yet, but I'm exploring it and like really curious about-

[00:58:22] Luke Storey: Well, you got your farm, bro. That's a good start.

[00:58:24] Dr. Anthony Gustin: We'll see. But then, again, we talked about, we have kids, my fiancee and I, it's like, where are the people going to be for the whole time to give my kid love and affection when I'm not there, because I'm feeding the chickens?

[00:58:35] Luke Storey: Yeah, or doing a podcast.

[00:58:37] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Or, doing a podcast. Doesn't matter. It's a really challenging way to think about how this actually manifests. I think we can't return to this way of life, but going back to nature to some degree, whatever that looks like for anybody is, I think, the path to more sanity both in like physical health, mental health, et cetera. And an interesting about the chiefs, there were no chiefs in this tribe until people started coming visiting them. And then, Westerners brought things for them, gifts, whatever resources, arrowheads, and they had to figure out who is going to communicate with these people, who's going to divvy up these resources, who's going to do all this stuff, used to be egalitarian, now, have to have a chief structure, because people came in.

[00:59:24] Luke Storey: Oh, interesting.

[00:59:25] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah.

[00:59:25] Luke Storey: Huh, wild. What a journey. I'm all down with it, except for the 20-mile hike.

[00:59:33] Dr. Anthony Gustin: It was intense.

[00:59:35] Luke Storey: Sounds like, ah, 20 miles, yeah, I could do that, you just get—no, 20 miles is a long ass way. And the baboon, man. That's an edge. That's a hard edge.

[00:59:43] Dr. Anthony Gustin: After about 10, 12 miles, and we got close to the baboons, these guys will drop into a sprint immediately and go just zipping off. And it was a pretty fast pace. Paul and I were the only people of, I think, eight or 10 that kept up the whole time. It was wild. And so, no joke. These guys are moving. Yeah, we were pretty winded. It was tough to keep up, but it was just their normal thing. They were just getting lunch.

[01:00:06] Luke Storey: Wow. Well, I feel like we just did a podcast, but I have you here and there-

[01:00:11] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Just keep going.

[01:00:12] Luke Storey: You're a keto guy. At least, you built a company-

[01:00:15] Dr. Anthony Gustin: I'm just a guy who helped people with ketogenic diet, who does keto sometimes myself.

[01:00:18] Luke Storey: Yes. And I like that you say you do it sometimes, because I've tried to do it all the time, and for me, it's not practical. But that said, you had this company Perfect Keto, which is, I think, how I found you, because I was like, oh, I want to get into some of these keto products and stuff like that, and you produce a lot of content that educates people around that. But I also like your perspective on it, because you're not dogmatic and you don't think like everyone being keto is the answer to all the world's problems.

[01:00:47] It's like, okay, if you're really ill, perhaps, you might want to go a little—this is me just interpreting your work. Perhaps, someone who's really ill might want to be a bit more aggressive about some foods they eat and some they don't. But it seems like to me, in your personal life, you have a pretty balanced perspective on it. However, because I've never talked about keto on the show, I do want to like maybe just whizz through a bit of an introductory exploration for people.

[01:01:19] And I know there's a lot of content out there, so it's redundant for me to spend three hours talking about keto, because there's a lot of information, but just for my audience who are like, yeah, I kind of started seeing that at Whole Foods. There's a keto section now. What the hell is that? I want to give kind of the dummies guide to keto. First one is just, what is ketosis? What are ketones? What does being in the keto food space look like?

[01:01:47] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. So, I'll just preface this by saying that I think that with nutrition, into all things in life, I think there's some fundamental truth, and then on top of that, building blocks and sort of choose your own adventure. And I think with nutrition, the best thing you do is eat local food, and real food, food that spoils. Yeah. Obviously, we sell products that are not that, and that's totally fine, I think there's a place for them, and we talk about that, but that's what I believe. I think people should be eating real food.

[01:02:12] Then, we start talking about like, should I eat more carbs, or fat, or protein, or plant food, or animal food, or whatever? That's kind of a choose your own adventure, and I think a lot of things work for everybody. I don't think eating non-real food works for people. Like I don't think it works for humans. So, I think that if you have that as a common understanding, that if people can eat real food, then you can start choosing depending on your background, your goals, whatever you want.

[01:02:37] So, keto is just a tool to help you get goals depending on your background. So, if your goal is to lose fat, reduce inflammation, treat some conditions like cancer, or germ disease, epilepsy, things like that, I think it's a phenomenal tool. Endurance sports, great tool. Does that mean everybody needs to do it? Absolutely not. So, what is it? It's, very simply, when you restrict your body's intake of carbohydrates, your body starts breaking down fats and fatty acids into ketones, and you can use ketones for energy.

[01:03:08] So, it's very simple way to think about it. So, you're burning fat for fuel instead of burning carbohydrates for fuel. So, when you eat things that are carbohydrates, fat, or protein, or alcohol, but we'll keep that to the side for now, protein is more of a building block, carbs or fat are more of an energy source, so you need both, for sure. So, protein scaffolding, energy comes from fat or carbohydrates, which make the engine go. So, fat leading to ketones and running exclusively on fat, that's what ketosis is. It's very basic.

[01:03:35] Luke Storey: Got it. Okay. I kind of knew that, but I just want to set the framework. If one wanted to pursue being in ketosis more of the time, what do you recommend for tracking, and let's just preface this by saying, if somebody wants to go full keto, you're limiting your carb intake to about how many grams a day?

[01:03:59] Dr. Anthony Gustin: It's entirely dependent on the individual, so it can be as low as 15 and as high as 150, just depending on the person.

[01:04:06] Luke Storey: Okay. Like Ben Greenfield, for example, chatted with him, he's producing ketones the next day after eating 150 grams of carbs in a day. Most people can't get away with that, because they don't look like him. They don't have the amount of muscle soaking up the glucose. They don't exercise as much as him, et cetera. So, I worked with some old ladies who basically can eat zero carbs or else their body switches into burning glucose for energy. And then, because you don't have the glucose for energy, you have this huge energy suck and energy demand, and you feel terrible. So, it's tricky for the individual, like everything in nutrition is, it depends on the individual, and their goals, and their background.

[01:04:41] Got it. Okay. And in terms of, say, you just want to do a clean start, you're like, I'm just going to stop eating carbs, I'm going to only eat fat and protein. What do you think is an effective way to actually monitor whether or not you're in ketosis? I've used these little glucose and ketone blood-pricking things from, I think it's Keto-Mojo, I think, is the company, and then you put in a little reader and it reads on an app on your phone.

[01:05:10] It seems pretty accurate. I could just never, like I swear to God, I must fall out of ketosis so easy, because I feel like I don't need any carbs, and I'm like, What the hell? I'm just barely in like light ketosis. It seems, for my body, hard to get into. But I know Perfect Keto has some little urine strips, what's the accuracy of these different ways of testing just to see if you are starting to tiptoe into that range or not?

[01:05:36] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. So, being in ketosis for the first time, but most people have never been in ketosis in their entire life, these pods of people we were with, it was in the entire time because they weren't eating any carbohydrates, so they were just living in a state of ketosis. I wanted to bring a blood meter, but you have to have permits to do anything with blood work with them. So, I didn't get to do that, unfortunately. Because I was curious, like what are there the levels of ketones in their blood? So, when you stop eating carbohydrates, your body will start breaking down fats into ketones, and then they start floating in your bloodstream.

[01:06:06] Those then get excreted also through your breath and your urine, as well in your blood. Your blood is the most accurate way to test, but is sort of a, when you're just getting into ketosis, it's a good marker, because you're going to go from zero, and then you'll start climbing up, especially if like you've never been in ketosis before, your body, like your cells literally don't have any transporters to burn the ketones into the cells for energy. And so, you'll have a much higher level of ketones in your blood, because you're not using them in your tissues.

[01:06:34] But if you're going in and out of ketosis all the time or you've been doing it for a long period of time, especially if you're having a lot of activity, exercise, or have a lot of muscle mass, you actually have much lower levels of ketosis. And so, these charts that say like, oh, 0.5, or 0.8, or 1.0, you're in ketosis, good, they don't really matter for a couple of reasons. One, because you could be soaking them up in your tissues and using for energy, which is good, you want that.

[01:07:00] But secondarily, it doesn't really matter like if you have 0.5 versus 2.0, mmol is what I'm talking about here, in your blood, measuring it. Unless you're managing a condition like cancer or epilepsy, it doesn't really matter the amount or level of ketones that you have. So, I go more on feel. So, if it's easy to not be hungry, if you can skip breakfast and lunch easily, you have high energy and focus throughout the day, and you don't feel like crap, probably, you're in ketosis, where it's like using ketones-

[01:07:29] Luke Storey: That's funny, because that's how I feel most of the time.

[01:07:32] Dr. Anthony Gustin: You're probably able to use both glucose and ketones. But again, most people have never done this before, so the shift in the cellular sort of maintenance, and cleanup, and change or it's required to use ketones, is just really, really challenging, and it can take anywhere from two to 16 weeks, again, depending on the individual, sort of like get this engine running again. So, that way, you can comfortably fast for long periods of time, have high mental focus, like there's a reason to use it strategically.

[01:07:58] And again, like if your metabolism is in an appropriate state, then it's great. So, I mean, the main reason why people I think should do this is because people overeat processed food. I think the initial thing that was thought when ketosis started becoming popular is people are overeating carbohydrates, therefore restricting them is good, because it leads to these ketone things and the ketones are a different fuel source.

[01:08:21] I actually don't believe that anymore. I think I've switched my mind pretty aggressively. I think the problem is that people are overeating seed oils, vegetable oils, so corn, cottonseed, canola, safflower, sunflower, soybean, peanut, grapeseed, rapeseed, overeating these fatty acids that actually completely screw up your mitochondria and your cell's ability to burn any energy. So, if you have carbohydrates, your body has no idea what to do with them.

[01:08:45] So, if you take them away, that's good, because you'll start burning fat again and doing some things, but I've worked with so many people that remove carbohydrates when on ketosis, felt a little bit better, hit some weight loss plateaus, all these problems, then we remove the vegetable oils and seed oils, and it was like they're a new person entirely. Then, they could go back to eating carbohydrates. It's kind of this thing like I see that in carnivore all the time.

[01:09:07] Luke Storey: Oh, interesting. So, it's almost like you have to detox from the bad seed oils, the oxidative fats in order to get things running again.

[01:09:19] Dr. Anthony Gustin: I see the same thing in the carnivore community, where people go, oh, I ate carnivore and I felt amazing, but if I eat spinach, like I'll get psoriasis all over my face, and neck, and body. It's like, are you sure that you fixed the problem or are you just avoiding the insult? Like humans should be able to eat a leafy green and not die. And so, this fear, same thing with people who are in ketosis who restrict carbohydrates, and then add them back in and can't tolerate them, you didn't fix the underlying problem.

[01:09:47] And I think of it kind of like a physical injury. So, if you're walking off of a curb, and you trip, and you roll your ankle, you can heal that ankle in six to eight weeks, no problem. If you break the ankle, maybe six to eight months. If you get run over by a bus, have to have your foot amputated or put some rods in there, you're never going to regain full function. Same thing with your cellular processes, and your mitochondria, and some of these things, where if you're eating the most processed junk, having a toxic lifestyle, living in the zoo for your entire life, super obese, you have all these chronic disease patterns going on, you probably can't get away with eating carbohydrates ever again, because your cells are so messed up.

[01:10:27] But for the bulk of the population, removing it, yes, it's going to be helpful, but it's because your cells aren't able to process the carbohydrates, not because the carbohydrates are inherently bad themselves. And so, you have to ask a question like, why can't the cells process the carbohydrates? And I've been geeking a lot on this lately and just like diving in, and I think it's due to the massive consumption of seed oils.

[01:10:52] Luke Storey: Wow. That's so interesting. I was expecting a much more black and white breakdown of this, like, oh.

[01:10:58] Dr. Anthony Gustin: It always gets more complicated. 

[01:11:00] Luke Storey: Yeah. But that makes a lot of sense, actually.

[01:11:04] Dr. Anthony Gustin: And I think that this is where it gets unfortunate, because the keto space, they're doing a lot of great work. People in it are amazing and there's a lot of great stories. However, people are equating eating a banana or an apple to drinking a Coca-Cola, and it's insane. It is absolutely insane. And I think that the fear of fruit and the fear of carbohydrates is leading to a lot of orthorexia. And I think that the same thing happens to the carnivore community. Like, yes, I think animal products are phenomenal and the most nutritious things we can eat, does not mean that eating broccoli is going to kill you.

[01:11:34] Luke Storey: You and Saladino go rounds about this stuff?

[01:11:37] Dr. Anthony Gustin: I will take credit and say that I got him, or at least I nudged him over the course of the last few years to start eating stuff. And we actually went to Costa Rica after Africa, and he's eating all this fruit, eating dates, like honey was the first thing I saw with him, the ski trip we went a couple of years ago. I was like, I'm proud of him, he's sort of loosening up a little bit and adding some stuff in.

[01:11:57] And that's the thing like I look for in people, my friends, people I trust for information is, are you, on record, changing your mind about something? So, I wrote a book about keto stuff, mentioned this whole carbohydrate insulin model hypothesis. I was wrong. I was 100% wrong. But you know what's great is that you can change your mind, you can learn, and you can adapt. And I think like seeing that with other people is great, and that gives me a sign of trust that they're willing to be open, and learn, and adapt.

[01:12:25] And this is just like the new information that came out. Like no one have had this information five years ago when the whole keto thing sort of exploded, but so many people get dogmatic and put their reputations on the line of, we saw this last year in COVID, you can't be wrong, you can't publicly say you're wrong, because you're too scared of this egoic representation of yourself, as this thing, instead of the conduit for truth is kind of like how myself or probably Paul would explain who they are, like the work they do.

[01:12:54] It's like, I just want to find the truth and get it out there. And this is like when I saw people not reacting, taking carbohydrates away, it's like, okay, something else is happening here. I always knew that the seed oils were bad, and I knew that people needed to get them out, but the interaction with the mitochondria and how that led to people being unable to process carbohydrates, thus needing to be in keto, is something that was just completely just uncovered, I would say, five years ago.

[01:13:21] Luke Storey: I have an interesting thing to run by you, and it's a little obscure, and I don't know that you'll have input on it, but maybe it was four years ago or so, I interviewed a few of the leaders around the deuterium depletion idea. Do you know about this deuterium? It's a heavy hydrogen, gums up the nanomotors and your mitochondria, makes them have a much harder time producing ATP. One of the most powerful interventions for some types of cancer, as I'm sure you know, is going like hardcore keto, and these people that I interviewed Dr. Que Collins, who's a PhD immunologist, and Dr. Laszlo Boros, who's a professor at UCLA of something, they were the people that I interviewed about this deuterium.

[01:14:05] And they both believed that one of the reasons, if not the primary reason, that keto diet works for people with metabolic diseases and certain types of cancer is because it's a low deuterium diet and you're cutting out all exogenous deuterium, you're not taking any new deuterium in. And so, when you're in ketosis, then your body starts to produce metabolic water or exclusion zone water and you start to deplete your own deuterium, and that's where the mitochondrial function gets restored. Have you heard anything around that or does that make sense at all?

[01:14:40] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Here, you're telling me you've never talked about keto or any of the stuff, before I knew, this crazy deep dive four years ago. No. I have not heard of that theory. It's super interesting.

[01:14:48] Luke Storey: It's trippy, right?

[01:14:49] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah.

[01:14:51] Luke Storey: Because they just take it back to metabolic diseases, and the metabolism, and mitochondria. And so, I was like, oh, that's interesting. And I do cycles of the deuterium-depleted water and watch my levels measurably go down in the course of two or three months. I don't have cancer, but they're like, yeah, if you had cancer, you would want to drink the deuterium-depleted water and also go strict keto. So, just an interesting bit of information I came across.

[01:15:17] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Interesting. Additionally, this is the most important thing about keto, people with a low quality keto, I think, oh, macro's the only thing that matters, I'm eating high fat. I've seen so many people add in, then more vegetable oils, more seed oils. So, maybe go, oh, yeah, drink the low deterium water keto, but just eat whatever fat as long as you get these numbers. You eat these vegetable oils and oils, complete destruction. Conditions get way worse. Fireworks.

[01:15:45] Luke Storey: Wow. And that's not all fat is created equal then, right?

[01:15:48] Dr. Anthony Gustin: 100%.

[01:15:49] Luke Storey: Yeah. Would you say seed oils are one of the main offenders in our modern diet that are the most toxic and destructive?

[01:15:58] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Number one.

[01:15:58] Luke Storey: Yeah, number one, really?

[01:15:59] Dr. Anthony Gustin: By far.

[01:16:00] Luke Storey: Wow.

[01:16:01] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Unquestionable to me. By far, number one. And there's a few different reasons. So, I think about it, it's like there's three main things that make people sick in combination, especially. First one, processed fats, refined fats. Second one, refined grains. Third, refined sugars, carbohydrates. If you look at it from the reverse order, how long these are damaging your system, sugar is like, a couple of hours, it's basically out of your system, and it's done its damage, and you've rebounded. You have this sugar crash that leads to these advanced location end products, all these different downstream effects of sugar in the body? Not great, but also not going to kill a lot of people.

[01:16:41] The next one's refined grains, which have things like these proteins that people know of, gluten, gliadin, et cetera, as opponents, like all these things in grains. Paul has a lot of resources about this being the carnivore guy he is, why they're not great for people, the paleo people have also gone down this route, but they can damage your gut lining. You have anywhere from like one to two weeks after you eat refined grains, especially.

[01:17:03] Luke Storey: Wow, really?

[01:17:03] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Where it has inflammation in the gut, like your gut lining can literally break down, and for those cells to repair themselves take about a week. So, if you're eating a cheat meal every week, you're having to like rebuild your gut all the time, how do you expect your gut to function normally while it's in rebuild mode all the time? Seed oils get embedded into your nervous tissue, into all of your cell walls, two years.

[01:17:29] Luke Storey: Wow.

[01:17:29] Dr. Anthony Gustin: And in your mitochondria and have oxidative communication to adjacent cells, wreak havoc for two years. And if they're embedded into your fat cells and you're not losing fat, but let's say you start going on a diet, you have two years, as long as you keep losing fat within there, it's in your body causing inflammation. So, if you like go to any restaurant, I found it almost impossible, we're homeless right now here in Austin, bouncing around, having to eat out a little bit more. I've gone to several restaurants now where they cannot give me one item of food that doesn't have vegetable oil on it. These are like not seedy little strip mall types of things. These are like nice new restaurants.

[01:18:09] Luke Storey: Are these also like what one would call farm to table restaurants where the meat's grass-fed and all this kind of stuff?

[01:18:16] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. And I ask for steak, nope, can't cook it without oil. Just put it on the grill. Like people don't understand how pervasive these polyunsaturated fatty acid oils are. It is, again, I think, the most catastrophic thing in all of human health. I think this multifactorial deuterium probably adds to it, being inside, being our screens, not having good relationships, not having purpose or meaning, like not sleeping, not moving, all these things add up, for sure. But if I were to put my money on one thing that if we removed it, we'd see an enormous benefit of health across the entire species, it's seed oils, 100%.

[01:18:54] Luke Storey: Wow. Damn. Yeah, that is troublesome when you eat out, even if you're going to someplace that's largely organic. And I always look on the menu and I'm looking for that thing, where it says, we get our produce and meat from local farms. I'm like, oh, I'm safe, but like back in the kitchen, they probably have an industrial-sized can of the canola oil that they're using to cook with. I'm like, so if we wanted to cook with the fat, like you said, I mean, I don't know if you have kind of fatty meat, I don't think you really need anything. But if I do, I'll put a little bit of ghee in a pan that's kind of my cooking fat. What do you recommend if somebody feels like they need to cook with fats and they want to avoid all the seed oils?

[01:19:33] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, people have this cognitive dissonance where they don't understand that you can cook without liquid oil. People think that liquid oil is necessary to make salads, it's necessary to make anything in a pan. It's not, like solid fat turns to liquid with heat, so you can just use that. So, any sort of solid fat, I think, is ideal. If you have butter or ghee, if you have any sort of dairy sensitivities, that can be an issue, but tallow is a great source, which is just rendered beef fat.

[01:20:00] The issue here that I think is not communicated about at all, so there's a specific fatty acid in these seed oils called linoleic acid, it's an 18 carbon polyunsaturated fatty acid that causes all this problem. I think there's probably some other things that are inflammatory as well. This is like the main thing that we used to eat about 1%, and now, people are eating 10, 20, 30-plus percent of this specific fatty acid that gets embedded into our cells, gets embedded in our mitochondria, excretions of these things called cardiolipins.

[01:20:30] There's like all these downstream effects. It has over 400 known toxic metabolites, known. So, if we eat this like it's in your cells, it's secreting all of these toxic metabolites that just cause all these problems. This is not a question. This is unequivocal. This is a scientific fact. Nobody talks about it. So, you think, okay, animal fat, should be fine. Carnivore people do this. They eat a lot of pork and chicken. What are the pork and chicken eating? What are the pigs and chickens eating? They're eating high amounts of corn and soy.

[01:21:02] And so, this corn and soy has super high amount of linoleic acid, and so you actually get like—so in canola oil, for example, we talked about, terrible, from the seed, like what the hell is a canola? Like there's like several thousand canola seeds that have to be pressed and processed into oil, and that's about 18% to 20% linoleic acid. Most chicken is 40% linoleic acid. So, you can feed a chicken soybeans, 10% linoleic acid or so, when they eat it, it bioaccumulates to 40% in their tissues. Pigs, same thing. And so, our entire farming industry is set up to make these animals that eat corn and soy, but then we're eating all the things in the animals, and then it goes into us.

[01:21:45] Like whereas a cow, counterintuitively, like you can actually feed a cow Snickers bar or corn and soy or whatever, because of their digestive tract, they turn all of that, they chop all these fats down into two carbon chains and build them back up in saturated fatty acids. Like you can feed a cow grass or you can feed it soy, and the fatty acid composition is actually the same exact thing. Whereas, a chicken or a pig, because they're monogastric like us and have one stomach, any fatty acid that they consume goes into their tissues. And we see this in humans as well. It's frightening.

[01:22:15] Luke Storey: Trippy. Yeah, I always think it's funny when, I'm always shopping, I don't like eat eggs because I like the taste, but I just put egg yolks in my smoothies. So, I'm always like reading the package, I'm looking for all the things. And one of the things I find really funny in the marketing of eggs is it will say vegetarian chickens, it's not like birds aren't vegetarians. It's like the last thing you want to eat is a vegetarian chicken, because I didn't even know this part, but I'm like, well, what are they feeding it then, right?

[01:22:43] Dr. Anthony Gustin: I got another fun fact for you. Chickens, no matter what chicken you buy, every chicken you've ever eaten has been fed corn and soy. There is no such thing as a pasture chicken. Like technically, the birds may be out on pasture, but chickens aren't pasture animals anyways, they're roosting animals, should be in trees, it doesn't make any sense, but even when they are, every single one, we have only two breeds that people eat, Cornish Cross or Freedom Rangers. And if they are not fed corn and soy, they will literally die.

[01:23:17] Luke Storey: Really?

[01:23:17] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yes. So, like these animals are out on pasture, we have this image of them foraging for bugs and whatever, they get crazy amount of supplemental feed. There would not be a chicken industry and you would not have chicken in the grocery store without corn and soy, like it's impossible. So, you cannot currently buy a chicken that has low amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids that doesn't eat corn and soy.

[01:23:42] Luke Storey: And that's true of the eggs, too, then, huh?

[01:23:44] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Eggs have this weird thing-

[01:23:46] Luke Storey: Because I don't really eat chicken meat, I just don't like it, but I crush eggs just because I want the vitamin A and all the things.

[01:23:54] Dr. Anthony Gustin: So, eggs are interesting, I don't know if this is like a protective mechanism to make a new thing, but the yolks have hydroxylase in them that block the uptake of linoleic acid.

[01:24:05] Luke Storey: Oh, sweet, because I don't eat the yolks either, I would just wash them down the drain, and I just sip the little orange-

[01:24:12] Dr. Anthony Gustin: That is the best nature's multivitamin right there.

[01:24:13] Luke Storey: Really, the—the whites, I'm sorry. The whites. I always wash the whites away, because I don't know, intuitively, just gross.

[01:24:20] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah.

[01:24:21] Luke Storey: Did I say I washed the yolks away? Like dumbass, no, don't do that.

[01:24:24] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Like they're ordering egg white at the hotel.

[01:24:26] Luke Storey: The way around, yeah.

[01:24:29] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. So, this is actually something when we try to get my farm is look into how can these animals be raised with different food inputs with low linoleic acid food inputs that are as cheap as these monocrop corn and soy, but also lead to the same weight in the same amount of time, because this is the big thing about farmers. Like you need to get the animal to weight in a certain amount of time, and that's kind of the whole business, is do as many rounds as possible, and the chickens right now, the Cornish Cross, 90-plus percent of chickens that you eat are like 45, 48 days, from chick, hatched chick, to slaughter, which is insane.

[01:25:09] Like they don't have any feathers, because they've been selectively bred to like not have any plucking. They can't walk, because their muscles get all fibers, because they grow so fast. And again, if you don't feed them some of the amino acids and things that are in corn and soy, because they've been selected with this monocrop system for so long, they'll just die.

[01:25:30] Luke Storey: Wow, that's wild. I wonder if you could feed them compost.

[01:25:35] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Pigs, yes. Chickens, less so, again, because like chicken nutrition is very complex for the breeds that we have. So, Cooks Venture is a company that's trying to solve this by growing perennial grains and also trying to select for breeds that aren't as crazy like this, talking to the CEO there, trying to get him to look at low PUFA, because like any grains are going to have high amount of linoleic acid, like these animals shouldn't be eating grains.

[01:25:59] Far better in a step in the right direction, for sure, but I'd say like they're the ones who are doing it the best of anybody. But yeah, there's a lot to—pigs, you can feed anything. But then, again, you talk about regenerative, and I'm sure you and Rob will get into this, you should ask him about pigs, he knows way more about this stuff than I do, but pigs root up the ground. That's why wild boars here, we don't like them, is because they destroy cropland.

[01:26:22] They destroyed any type of land, and they destroy the soil, and the root structures, everything. And so, some people put rings in their nose, so they don't root anymore, but then the species appropriate behavior disappears. And then, they can't access food and you have to feed them even more. It's like all these weird things about agriculture, like we've normalized this stuff.

[01:26:39] But yeah, I mean chicken, pork, huge amounts of linoleic acid, nuts, which people overdo 100% on a ketogenic diet, the oils, obviously, it's like the oils are so pervasive in our culture and what we eat, it is shocking. I legitimately couldn't go to several restaurants here, and ask them, they could not give me one option that didn't have vegetable oil on it. It is everywhere, in every food you eat out in a restaurant unless you ask.

[01:27:05] There are some that do a really good job of this, Dai Due. If you've been there, it's my favorite restaurant in Austin. It's like they use, I think, rice bran in their fryer. Most days, on Sunday, they use tallow, they can't make it happen anyway else. They were going to stop doing fried food, and people got so pissed that they were losing customers left and right, so they needed to give them a fried food option, but they can't sustain the prices of using things like tallow in the fryer.

[01:27:31] And so, this is a conundrum for restaurant owners, where like I understand it's the cheapest option, it's flavorless. They're taught in culinary school, use these things, it's the best. It lowers LDL, and there's a reason for this. So, one of the main arguments for vegetable oils in using them in cooking, well, they lower LDL, and LDL is thought to be the bad thing. You want to know why they lower LDL? It's because they turn LDL into oxidized LDL. And oxidized LDL is actually what leads to heart disease. And you legitimately, by definition, cannot have oxidized LDL without eating vegetable oils and having this sort of inflammatory process in your body.

[01:28:14] Luke Storey: Damn, bro. What are we going to do? The world is so complicated.

[01:28:17] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. I mean, this is like what keeps me up at night. It's your answer about what is keto.

[01:28:21] Luke Storey: No, yeah, that's good. Cool. We're three-and-a-half hours in. For those listening, before I forget, you can go to perfectketo.com and you can enter the code, Lifestylist20 for 20% off, about what I'm going to talk to you here. Because like I said, when I found you, I was experimenting with ketosis, and trying, I couldn't really do it, and then I found these ketone products. And so, a lot of people now are finding that for athletic performance, brain function, et cetera, for me, it just makes it super easy to fast.

[01:28:56] Like I love taking your keto powders, little chocolate ones, and berry flavor, and whatever, and I just threw them up in water, and they actually don't taste disgusting like some other ketone salts and esters that I've tried that are not very palatable and also give you the runs. But you guys seem to make like a good tasting line of keto products, so I know you're not like huge promo guy and I appreciate your classiness around that. Like you came in, you're like, I don't even care if we talk about my stuff. I'm like, okay, well, I want to talk about it, because I like it. But what's the deal with taking exogenous ketones? We kind of get the diet part down. How are they made? What are the different types? What do they do for you?

[01:29:36] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. So again, when you restrict carbohydrates, your body takes fat, starts putting in the ketones. You can also supplement take ketones and they enter your cells in the same way. And so, there's a metabolic shift that needs to happen, and I think that it can be a good thing to bridge people for the first time. So, again, like if you've never been in ketosis before, and you restrict carbohydrates, your body will go, where the hell is the energy, I need energy, and you get this crash, this keto flu, you dump electrolytes, and also, you just don't have any energy availability for any of your cells, especially your brain.

[01:30:06] So, you feel like crap. Once you sort of get over that hump, again, like two to 18 weeks just depending on the person, that cycle doesn't happen anymore, so it doesn't need to be the case. Like there are different use cases, one is somebody getting into ketosis for the first time. Excellent. People are fasting. The question is, what's the goal of fasting?

[01:30:25] It's like, okay, if you're consuming something and some people are fasting purists, where they take any intake of anything, even electrolytes, or bone broth, or any of the stuff, it's like, you will break the fast. This question like, what will break the fast? Why are you fasting? There's a lot of different physiological effects of fasting. So, if you're doing it for weight loss or hunger suppression and some of these other things, focus, solely fine.

[01:30:47] If you're doing it because you're trying to increase autophagy for cancer, it's like, well, fasting is probably not as good, but the ketones will actually—there's been a lot of research around this, Tom Siegfried is a phenomenal researcher who deals with all this stuff, ketones actually fight the cancer probably more than the fasting without the ketones. I'm not claiming that these products will cure cancer, just to be very, very clear, but they have been shown to assist.

[01:31:09] Dom D'Agostino has a lot of great work here as well. And then, also, just mental performance. This is why I take them mostly. I took them before this podcast, and there are, sometimes, like my fiancee, I deal with this mold problem in our house right now. Crazy brain fog, woke up today, insane headache, couldn't think, like can't recall memory. It's just awful. And I take these ketones and just sort of cuts through the fog.

[01:31:33] In times like that, I want to be topnotch all the time. Obviously, life happens to people and there are moments when it's not the case, but when you're adding basically another energy source and a fuel source, especially the brain, they cross the blood brain barrier without all the work that it takes for carbohydrates to be broken down in metabolizing the glucose in the brain.

[01:31:49] Luke Storey: Oh, wow. Really?

[01:31:50] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah.

[01:31:50] Luke Storey: So, when you take exogenous ketones, like if I take my perfect keto powder or put in some water, pound that down, it doesn't have to be broken down, and then turned into energy like those ketones are already ketone energy?

[01:32:01] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Straight.

[01:32:01] Luke Storey: Oh, that's wild. I didn't know that.

[01:32:03] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Juiced up right away. Like this is why I think that there should be a drink on a sideline of every sports game that has, whatever, keep carbohydrates in it. Like again, I'm not a carbohydrate hater. I mean, they're totally fine in the right settings and the right people. I think if you're a pro athlete, you shouldn't have to fear carbohydrates, but add ketones in there, because if you get brain trauma, your brain starts to swell.

[01:32:25] You actually can't metabolize and break down carbohydrates, glucose for energy. And so, this lack of energy causes hypoxia in the brain and it causes all these problems. So, most of the problems in traumatic brain injury, concussions, things like that cause from lack of energy source. So, if you actually are consuming ketones while you're having a concussive high risk for concussion sport, you're dramatically reducing the risk for any sort of brain damage moving forward.

[01:32:52] So, these are some of the things, like the future of sort of like really the keto industry is at, like hopefully, we'll go there. Dom, again, has done really great research here. I think it's the University of Alabama, is doing a study right now, giving half of their players ketones, like in a Gatorade-like formula, and the other, not.

[01:33:10] So, we'll see like, after a year or two, what the implications of that are in humans. We've shown this multiple times in the lab with, it's called the neuron scratch tests, where they cut a neuron and one was supplied with glucose, one with ketones. The healing was just super fast, incredibly fast with ketones. There's basically no damage and there was actually more growth post-damage than there was without any damage at all. It's interesting. So, it's like one of these things where I think we're just starting to realize the utility of these things as a tool.

[01:33:43] And again, I think like, do we need these from birth? Probably not, if you're a Hadza member. But again, like our metabolisms are such where we've never been in a state of ketosis our entire life. So, we have this mismatch physiology from what should actually be represented versus what is occurring in our environments now. So, I think it's like these people are finding a lot of utility in this stuff, because they've never had these amounts of ketones. Again, like these Hadza guys are running around with ketones all the time, like it's just a state of being for humans.

[01:34:12] Luke Storey: Right. And how do exogenous ketones assist with athletic performance?

[01:34:20] Dr. Anthony Gustin: You're allowing for more energy in a different type of energy.

[01:34:24] Luke Storey: And because it's faster, because you don't have to break it down. Like if you're a long distance runner and you like carbo load the day before or even right before the race, then still, you're not really getting the net effect of that energy as fast.

[01:34:37] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. I think, again, when people start accepting carbohydrates more, the huge performance thing of fueling strategies is going to be like, for everybody, it's going to have like some ratio of ketones and carbohydrates. And whether it's like 20% ketones, 80% is carb, or vice versa for whatever athlete, you're probably going to find some individual variance there, but there are some fringe people who are doing this now and having insane results. Yeah. I think that this is sort of the future of fueling for athletic performance.

[01:35:08] Luke Storey: Cookie sees Alyson out there, I thought I heard, that's my little alarm. And what are the difference between ketone esters and ketone salts like if someone's interested in taking exogenous ketones like we're describing here? What are the different types and why do some of them taste horrible and are hard digestively, et cetera?

[01:35:30] Dr. Anthony Gustin: So, the ketone salts are just, the ketone molecule all bound to salts, so it's sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, et cetera. The esters are unbound, so you're getting them usually in the liquid form, so that should be suspended in water. And the difference between the two is, huge one's price. So, the salts are one to $3 per serving, depending where you're getting them from. And the esters are about $30 a serving.

[01:35:52] So, for most people, that just sort of eliminates the need for them. The esters will increase the amount of ketones in your bloodstream way more, which for like a professional athlete who needs them for an event, makes tons of sense. For somebody who's like really trying to take treatment of certain conditions, cancer, or whatever, makes a lot of sense. For the average person who just wants some benefits, I would say not worth the 10x cost.

[01:36:20] The salt issue with digestive stuff has like mostly been ironed out with the production of it and how it's bound to the salt, and most people don't have that problem anymore. I think that it's one of these things, again, or if your body has never made ketones in your entire life, you take a shitload of them, your body's going to go, what the hell is this? Get it out immediately. Let's not use this molecule.

[01:36:41] So, this is usually the problem that people have when they first start getting into ketosis. Like if this is you and you're trying these products, have a fourth scoop, half-scoop, whatever, test it out, otherwise like you can get some diarrhea. Same thing with MTT oil. Same thing. The body doesn't know how to take it up and uptake it in your gut, so it flushes it out, because, oh, this is a foreign thing, we should get it out.

[01:36:59] Luke Storey: Okay. Good to know. Yeah, I don't find that I really have that problem with the perfect keto stuff, but I thought maybe that was just because maybe I was getting used to it, but also, it's just like some of the other ones that I've tried, I don't know that I've tried the esters, but they just taste a lot stronger. And I think just even when I'm just drinking it, I'm like, ah, my body's not going to like this. 

[01:37:24] Dr. Anthony Gustin: It can be intense, for sure. And I do appreciate how this has turned into a perfect keto ad. I hope we're paying you well, sir.

[01:37:32] Luke Storey: I wish you were. Inadvertently, I wish everyone was. Alright. Well, man, I think that's pretty much it. I think we covered what I wanted to. It's just I'm sure a lot of people listening even know more about ketosis and all this stuff than I do.

[01:37:44] Dr. Anthony Gustin: And me, too, probably.

[01:37:45] Luke Storey: But it's something that's just been around in the periphery for so many years now. I thought I got to talk to someone about this. It's a thing. And I think it was when I started years ago drinking Bulletproof Coffee, that's when I first realized that eating is not as important as I thought it was, because I just have the MCT oil, and grass-fed butter, and I'd have my coffee in the morning, I'm like, next thing you know, the first time I'm hungry is 5:00 or 6:00 at night, and I'm just like that now, like I just don't really eat during the daytime.

[01:38:14] But then, and maybe I was like getting acclimated to ketosis, but then when I added exogenous ketones, which I forget to take sometimes, because I've run out of it fast, because I love it, and then I use it all, and I forget. But when I have the combination of those two, like I have massive amounts of energy, and I think very clearly, and it just feels great, and it also just saves time and energy on having to worry about food all day.

[01:38:40] I'm not like a hugely motivated foodie. It's like I like a nice dinner, but most of the time during the day, I just want to work and like keep it moving. I don't want to stop, and like, where are we going to eat? It's just kind of a hassle. So, from that point of view, I think the keto life serves me and probably some other people. And also, I mean, a lot of people have a lot of success with it losing weight. I know that's a concern for a lot of people, too.

[01:39:05] Dr. Anthony Gustin: If you want to lose weight, cut out the carbs, for sure, but must cut out the vegetable oils, and I would say even chicken and pork, and nuts and seeds.

[01:39:16] Luke Storey: Oh, bacon. Oh, come on, man.

[01:39:19] Dr. Anthony Gustin: I'm working on a solution.

[01:39:20] Luke Storey: You are, on a healthy bacon?

[01:39:23] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yes.

[01:39:23] Luke Storey: Okay. Good.

[01:39:24] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yes, sir. Yeah. I mean, this is the biggest thing, if you want to lose fat, absolutely. And it can take a while, four, or five, six weeks, especially before you start changing over some of these fatty acids. Man, it's like you could take up to two years. This is the thing, people have patience, but every time you eat vegetable oils, it's going to stay in your cells for, minimum, two years.

[01:39:43] Luke Storey: That's so wild. And this leads to the lipofuscin, right? Like the skin spots and all this kind of stuff.

[01:39:49] Dr. Anthony Gustin: I don't know. I don't know what that means.

[01:39:50] Luke Storey: Oh, well, when people eat a lot of PUFAs, and then get a lot of sun, that's where you get these sun spots. It's this whole other lipofuscin issue that I don't exactly understand yet, but people that eat a ton of seafood, and fish oil, and these seed oils tend to be very spotty, which is just an indicator of the underlying lipofuscin issue.

[01:40:13] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah, I don't think people should be eating tons of Omega-3, either.

[01:40:17] Luke Storey: Yeah. What's your take on fish oil in general?

[01:40:20] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Again, used to be all about it. And now, just the research that I've done lately is like we look at the reasons why it's beneficial or could be beneficial. Like I don't think eating fish is bad, although if you are avoiding heavy metals, for sure, but it's unnecessary. Like we look at the ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6A in like the Hadza tribe, say, oh, their ratio is like two to one, which is like what we should aim for.

[01:40:44] And so, instead of reducing the amount of total Omega-6, this polyunsaturated fatty acids we're talking about, the linoleic acid, Omega 3s are also polyunsaturated fatty acids, we should try to increase those at the same ratio. So, having total amount of linoleic acid high is still the problem. You're not taking care of the problem and you're adding even more reactive—these polyunsaturated fatty acids basically have these double bonds and the fat molecules, just make them highly oxidized.

[01:41:12] And so, even fish oils, like just eat the fish, eat the fish. Like the fish need it, because they need a slippery membrane, because they're in cold water, that's why colder water fish has higher amounts of Omega-3. Humans don't need that unless we—maybe Wim Hof needs it, because—he seems to be doing just fine now. But yeah, people, it's like, we don't need that type of fatty acid in our tissues, like plants need it in higher amounts in certain plants, because they need to get certain nutrients up and down their plant walls, but humans don't need that.

[01:41:46] Luke Storey: Okay. Cool. Good information.

[01:41:49] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Yeah. I mean, we could go on forever for the proof of stuff. 

[01:41:52] Luke Storey: Oh, that's good. That's good. This is an incredible conversation, man. Thank you so much.

[01:41:56] Dr. Anthony Gustin: I appreciate it.

[01:41:56] Luke Storey: Much appreciate. I'm glad we finally got it done. It was well worth the many year wait. I guess it took us both being landed here in Austin. So, thanks for coming out today.

[01:42:20] Dr. Anthony Gustin: Well, thanks for coming to Austin. Appreciate it.

[01:42:20] Luke Storey: Yeah, man.

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