Beef Warning Label, GABA, Paleo-Era Life Expectancy | THRR114

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News topic du jour:

🥩 Beef emits 31 times more CO2 per calorie of food than tofu does. Doing without beef from live cattle is hard to imagine, but the same was true of coal 100 years ago

— The Economist (@TheEconomist) October 6, 2021

Podcast Questions:

1. Canadian beef now requiring warning label [19:27]

Paul says

Hey, Robb and Nikki

I’m a long time listener and love all the amazing information you guys provide. It has been instrumental in my health journey.

It was just recently announced that the Canadian government will now start putting warning labels on foods high in sugars, sodium and saturated fats. I agree with warning labels for sugars, but fear that putting a warning label on beef products may have a detrimental affect on the industry. What’s your thoughts?



2. GABA [25:40]

Lindsey says


I’d love to hear you talk about GABA supplement. Theres a product sold by Ned CBD that is called Mello – has magnesium and helps you relax/sleep. I love it and wanted to share with my Dad who struggles with good sleep. He’s concerned about this ingredient and won’t take it, he’s had A-fib surgery. Really appreciate your insight!! Thanks, love the show and your information!

3. Paleolithic-Era Average Life Expectancy [27:54]

Rob says:

Hi, I’ve been following your work and others’ in the field of ancestral health for many years now. I would like to think I’ve reached a point of knowledge/information saturation where I now only listen to very few podcasts in this genre, yours being my favorite because I really appreciate your logic and sense of humour.

I’ve heard a lot about paleolithic-era short average life expectancy, high infant mortality rates (and death due to accidents/traumas), absent of chronic diseases in hunters-gatherers who get to live into old age.

My question is very simple, couldn’t it be that these are all very much related? Putting it bluntly, that high infant mortality + deaths from accidents/traumas are significantly “naturally selecting” out those who will otherwise live on and develop chronic diseases in the future (as I’m pretty sure all living organisms rarely just die randomly in nature). That they simply lived/live in such unforgiving environments that chronic diseases couldn’t be afforded to manifest, and that it might be a survival bias behind what’s more of a correlation than a causation?


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Download transcript file here (PDF)

Nicki: It’s time to make your health an act of rebellion. We’re tackling personalized nutrition, metabolic flexibility, resilient aging and, and answering your diet and lifestyle questions. This is the only show with the bold aim to help one million people liberate themselves from the sick care system. You’re listening to The Healthy Rebellion Radio. The contents of this show are for entertainment and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast should be considered medical advice. Please consult your licensed and credentialed functional medicine practitioner before embarking on any health, dietary or fitness change. Warning: When Robb gets passionate, he’s been known to use the occasional expletive. If foul language is not your thing, if it gets your britches in a bunch, well, there’s always Disney+.

Robb: Welcome back, friends, neighbors, loved ones.

Nicki: Hello, hello.

Robb: It’s another edition of The Healthy Rebellion Radio.

Nicki: Episode 114 of The Healthy Rebellion Radio, not including Salty Talks, which would make the count a little higher, if one were to split hairs.

Robb: You split enough hairs to put most barbers out of business, so…

Nicki: No, I make business for barbers. If you have a lot of split hairs, you need a haircut.

Robb: Thank you for making my point so much better than I ever could have.

Nicki: Good morning, everybody. Robb’s a little feisty today, I’ll say. Are you feisty?

Robb: Well, a little bit. I got drug into feist mode.

Nicki: You got into feist mode, yeah. You had a little feisty exchange on Twitter about regenerative agriculture.

Robb: Which, our news topic kind of gets into that a little bit, but…

Nicki: Okay, so we can wait till we get into there, and then you can unload your feist. All right, just some upcoming events inside The Healthy Rebellion community. I know we’ve mentioned this last week, but the rucking challenge starts on July 1st, which is just around the corner. We’re going to ruck for 30 miles during the month of July. Again, that can be 30 miles in one shot, if you are that type of robust and eager, or it can be a mile a day, or some combination thereof, all loaded appropriately for your fitness level. I know a lot of folks this Healthy Rebellion are getting super excited. Some are using it as an opportunity to get in shape for upcoming backpacking trips or hunting trips, so good stuff in there. Free to members, so if you want to get in on that, make sure you join us, if you’re not already with you. You can do that at I think that was my only news or notification…

Robb: Healthy Rebellion.

Nicki: Healthy Rebellion notice, so unless there’s something else you want to say up front, we can jump into your news topic.

Robb: Sure. I haven’t been on social media much, but I have been getting back into a wee bit of Twitter. It seems like the interaction there is a little bit better, and somebody… I’m not entirely sure how these things happen, but there was an Economist piece that I’m looking here. It says, “Beef emits 31 times more carbon dioxide per calorie of food than tofu does. Doing without beef from live cattle is hard to imagine, but the same was true of coal 100 years ago,” which, there’s actually so many layers to this, because say what you will about coal itself in this piece, but this is something that we talked about a couple of shows back, which is that various chunks of Europe have tried to decouple from coal and have shifted to “renewables,” and the renewables are pelletized wood sent from North America, which is a fucking boondoggle.

Robb: It’s funny in that The Economist, which, I used to love this publication. I used to be a paid subscriber to it. It has gone so far off the deep end as far as breadth and depth of material. Economics used to be this thing that I would… it was the rare situation where a physicist would be talking about, say, overpopulation, like hand-wringing about overpopulation, and The Economist would pop up and say, “Well, as a society becomes more wealthy, then women become more educated, and spontaneously people tend to have fewer kids, so this anxiety around overpopulation is probably not entirely…”

Nicki: Warranted.

Robb: Warranted. It was usually The Economist that… Economist has a broad-standing noun. Maybe a pronoun? I don’t know. Was the person that would come in and right the ship, as it were. Then this goddamn publication is just a hot mess. Having written Sacred Cow, I am confident that the carbon emission story here quoted is inaccurate, both in magnitude, but then also if we recall that CO2 and CO2 equivalent emissions from cattle production are largely attributable to this carbon cycle. There is some fossil fuel input for moving meat around and moving cattle around.

Nicki: Transportation.

Robb: Transportation and everything, but that’s doubly true of soybeans.

Nicki: Tofu.

Robb: Tofu, soybeans. The processing, et cetera, so this thing is just hilarious, in that they’re kind of shit-talking coal, which is still actually more viable, and more necessary currently, than what people really give it credit for, particularly when you compare it to the renewables that are being suggested. I don’t know when I shifted into being an energy commentator, but economics, thermodynamics, evolution is how you make some sense of the world. Anyway, there was this one guy, pretty good turd from the UK who was giving Diana Rodgers what for, so I got in and I gave him a right fine tuning up, and he eventually blocked me. The link that I have here is to this particular piece, but it also, somehow the way that I search this thing is just a curation of dozens of Economist articles around climate change and food. It’s an eye-opener.

Nicki: I wonder who funds The Economist as a publication, or who owns it. I mean, we could do the like…

Robb: Could probably do some digging on that. I mean, at a minimum it is so egregiously… I don’t want to say, when people say, “Oh, a balanced news piece.” Balanced is bullshit when we’re talking about scientific. You have facts, so, “Oh, they did a balanced.” What annoys me about that-

Nicki: I know, but you have facts that are produced by disparate scientists that are funded by organizations with vastly different motivations.

Robb: I get that. Absolutely true, but it’s just, in my experience, when I’ve been on very rarely the pro side, like recently there was the Daily Wire piece that Bill Gates and his war on meat, they actually were in the “Bill Gates is a turd” position, and that pastured meat is actually a good thing, and just meat in general is a good thing for the environment and food systems and all that stuff, which is very weird for me to be in the interviewee seat of the person or…

Nicki: The popular position.

Robb: The popular position, yeah. I don’t know who is funding these folks, but there is absolutely no effort at depth or nuance. Again, even this piece, let’s say for a minute that these claims around the carbon emissions are true. It still is absent any context about like, well, okay, what does soybean do to an environment, versus properly managed cattle?

Nicki: What happens when you mono-crop soybeans, ad infinitum, to our topsoil?

Robb: The topsoil goes away eventually, and there’s claims that are, “Oh, we have 64 harvest cycles.” Nobody knows exactly how many we have left, and it will vary from place to place depending on how severely it’s been abused.

Nicki: What if we did this calculation instead of per calorie of food, but per, I don’t know, nutrient density?

Robb: Nutrient density, yeah. Yeah.

Nicki: Measurement.

Robb: Well, yeah. I mean, our problem isn’t producing calories. We overproduce food currently by about 50%. Now, people will freak out about that. They’re like, “There are people that are starving.” There is absolutely food insecurity, and it is egregious, and we can and should do things about it, but most food insecurity is politically driven, particularly when you look at a global level. If people are starving, it’s mainly because somebody in power or somebodies in power want some other bodies to starve. That’s largely the reason why there are various degrees of food shortage. In the developed world, it’s more complex above and beyond that, but we have more than enough calories, and it’s a dubious way to look at this stuff. Again, it is so ignorant of what our current system is. We’re not failing for the production of calories; we’re failing for the production of nutrient-dense food that both nourishes people and allows them to eat in a way that they don’t overeat, driving themselves into an early grave and bankrupting our medical system.

Nicki: We’re overfed and undernourished.

Robb: I’ve heard that before.

Nicki: You’ve heard it before, yeah.

Robb: Yeah. Anyway, folks, poke around on this. Poke around on it, and a good number of people… Even the CISN popped up in this threat. The guy that was giving Diana what for eventually blocked me, which is always the sign of winning when some cunty little turd from the UK blocks you when he starts off with a lot of blustering and goes scampering away with his tail between his legs. We need to be on point with the science, and we do actually need to be the bigger people and not name-call and keep things professional if doing-

Nicki: You were calling names, though.

Robb: I did eventually. He leveled the first one at me, and then-

Nicki: You need to take your own advice there, Mr. Robb.

Robb: Hey, I’m both saying it for my internalization, and also to remind others, but also occasionally a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor is not bad, and this guy walked into the punch, so I couldn’t help but do it. Shit. I mean, the time is now. We really do have to start pushing back against this stuff, and do it in an educated way.

Nicki: I feel like it’s just hard when you have these publications like The Economist, which are really well recognized and respected globally, and they come out with pieces like this. The average person is…

Robb: It’s super impressive, yeah. There you go.

Nicki: It’s like, “Oh, well, The Economist says it.”

Robb: Right.

Nicki: People will dismiss something if it’s in The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, because they know that different publications are more partisan than others, but The Economist is definitely one where I think a lot of people believe what it says.

Robb: Yeah, and it’s a fascinating time. Not to derail this too far, but The DarkHorse Podcast has talked a lot about this. The Lancet, British Medical Journal, JAMA. These things are captured entities now. They do not do real science. They do not broadly do real science. The ability to get in and debate various topics are largely gone, and it bodes really poorly for the world. One interesting thing is that enough people are aware of this that I’ve seen some remarkable pushback. All of the cows and sheep dying of late, like 10,000 cows died in Kansas, and then people were saying, one, we know lots of people in the ranching industry, and they’re like, “This doesn’t happen like this. This is ridiculous.”

Nicki: Unless they’re denied water.

Robb: There’s something weird going on there, and there are hotter, more humid places where the animals are not dying, and they’re not dying en masse and whatnot. What was interesting about that is, and maybe it’s terrifying; for some people it’s probably terrifying, and maybe it should be terrifying all the way around that we’re this divided and screwed up, but there were people who were like, “Well, I could see Bill Gates being behind this.” For some people, it would be, “Oh, it’s just conspiracy theory, and this is why we need regulation.” I think it was the last show that I mentioned that regulators were pushing for signal and stuff like that to be regulated for disinformation.

Robb: I don’t know where you land on this, where it makes sense to… The United States right now is, since the year 2000, the election that happened in 2000, the Al Gore versus Bush 2 election, that was pretty hotly contested, and still people will say, “Oh, Al Gore probably won that thing.” We’ve had virtually no election in 20 years, presidential election, that hasn’t been contested to the point of one or both sides saying, “We think you guys cheated.” That’s super fucking dangerous. That’s really dangerous. Our scientific journals are now at a spot where you have like Robert Malone and Pierre Kory, who are these world experts on various topics, that are effectively outright banned and shadow-banned.

Nicki: Peter McCullough.

Robb: Peter McCullough. They’re banned from the subject matter topics of which they are world experts on. We have this weird bifurcation, and maybe we’ll sort this shit out. Maybe we’ll squirt through this singularity and be okay, but God damn if it’s not a dangerous time, where we question The Economist. Well, who’s pulling the purse strings behind this stuff? I don’t know. I guess I’ve just derailed this whole thing, but if you wanted to destroy Western liberal democracies, we’re in a really good spot for that to happen, because the institutions and the mechanisms that usually keep these things together, not the least of which is that saying, “You’re only three meals away from a revolution.” We have all of these food shortages looming, and food system security issues, and then the elites telling us, “Oh, a pound of grasshoppers is better than a pound of meat.”

Nicki: While they hop on their private jets and fly to Davos to shake hands and eat probably caviar and beef.

Robb: I guess, if you’re in Australia and New Zealand, where you’ve been disarmed, then maybe all that stuff works. In the United States, that’s not going to work. It so portends and itches for some sort of civil uprising, and you can think about people both internal and external to the United States that would love for this to happen. There are people in the United States who think that everything about it is racist and horrible and bigoted and on and on and on, and it just needs to be destroyed. What it would be replaced with, I have no idea. That’s never really gone well in the past.

Robb: Then you have people external to the United States, ranging from Russia to China to all kinds of other foreign actors, that would love to see us at each other’s throats and killing each other, or even just sliding into a cultural abyss of hating one another about a host of topics, not the least of which is what food you eat and what team you’re on with regards to climate change. We really do need folks to invest some time and energy into being educated on this stuff, and to speak up and do what we can to plug the little holes in the dam. There we go. I’ll shut up now.

Nicki: All righty. The Healthy Rebellion Radio is sponsored by our salty AF electrolyte company, LMNT. By now, all of you are aware of the hydration goodness that is LMNT. Probably most of you also know that it can be a fabulous mixed drink base, but if you haven’t tried LMNT as a poolside or lakeside mocktail, the sky is the limit with this. It’s the middle of the day. It’s hot. You want something refreshing. Maybe you don’t drink alcohol, or maybe you do but you’re not wanting alcohol right now.

Nicki: Here’s how you do it. Grab a cup of ice. Add some club soda or bubbly water of your choice. Fill it only about halfway full, because when you add your LMNT, you want to be able to stir that in without producing a volcano, and then filling the rest of the way with the bubbly water. You can even use a lime-flavored bubbly water like LaCroix or any other flavored bubbly water. Then, personally, I love the Mango Chili and the Lemon Habanero as mocktail flavors, but it’s great with citrus. Then, to top it off, add the juice of either a half or a full lime, whatever you have on hand. Stir, relax and enjoy.

Robb: There you go.

Nicki: You can grab your LMNT at That’s We actually have several friends that do not drink at all, so we’ll have folks over for dinner, and those that are drinking can add tequila or vodka to theirs, and those that aren’t, it’s just as enjoyable.

Robb: You get to look like a cool kid, too. Yep.

Nicki: Yeah, for sure. All right, we’ve got three questions for you all today. The first one is from Paul on Canadian beef now requiring a warning label. “Hey Robb and Nicki, I’m a longtime listener and love all of the amazing information you guys provide. It has been instrumental in my health journey. It was just recently announced that the Canadian government will now start putting warning labels on foods that are high in sugar, sodium and saturated fats. I agree with warning labels for sugars, but fear that putting a warning label on beef products may have a detrimental effect on the industry. What’s your thoughts?”

Robb: Yes.

Nicki: This is just one other… like the straws on the camel’s back.

Robb: The death by a thousand cuts, yeah.

Nicki: Yeah. You’ve got The Economist saying this, and media from all directions painting beef as evil, and then now you’re going to get these warning, “Beef could kill you,” on the label.

Robb: Yeah. It’s interesting, because a couple of years ago, when the USDA nutrition guidelines were updated, and I think that we’re in the next cycle of the updating, cholesterol was not a nutrient of concern, which is one of the things that they go on and on about. Even saturated fat was largely exonerated. It was basically, it does not need to be the boogeyman, and this was the nutritional guideline people. The data was so clear on this that, as part of an overall mixed diet, like the saturated fat that one would get from dairy products or beef or whatever is really a nonissue, but yet this is being used as this leverage point. Always, it starts with health, and then it’s ethics, and then it’s climate change, so eventually you’re going to have a climate change label on this thing. It’s basically like a scarlet letter. When you’re heading to the checkout stand, and as things are being rung up, when you have a climate change raspberry, it’s going to make some noise. It’s like, “Oh, you’re…”

Nicki: “Beep beep. Aisle four is a bad person buying meat.”

Robb: That is the shit, like the social stigma that’s going to come with it.

Nicki: Everybody’s going to stare.

Robb: Everybody will stare at you. “Oh, what a prick. You could be eating grasshoppers instead of that beef. You don’t care about the environment, and if you just wore 18 masks and got 19 boosters, then everybody would be okay,” even though the vaccines are leaky as sieve, and no mask has ever mitigated the transmission of viral respiratory particle transmission. This is where we are, and fuck, man. Maybe I do need to get a little more advocacy around this, because I’ve been warning about this for a long time. People are kind of ho-hum, and they have their activism thing of choice, and I think that if the spirit moves you in a particular direction, then that’s definitely, I guess, the direction you should go.

Robb: I just happen to think that the stuff that Diana and I have been talking about is actually the important stuff, and the linchpin stuff, energy and food systems and the stuff that actually makes the whole goddamn world go around. Silly me for being focused on the fundamentals. Yeah, I mean, I guess you have examples, like in Mexico there was a tax on sodas, and that seems to have reduced the consumption of sodas. The thing is, though, is that there’s… immediately something similar to this was done in the Netherlands. I forget where it was. It was somewhere in Europe where they taxed butter because it was seen as just being bad for health, ostensibly the same way that sugar is in sodas.

Robb: Clearly, I don’t agree with that. I don’t know that people should go full Dave Asprey and drink butter in their coffee. I think that we’re at a spot now where most people don’t benefit from that and don’t actually have the caloric expenditure to get by or necessitate that. At the same time, good-quality butter, as part of, again, an overall mixed diet, is probably not that big of a deal. These are just such easy attacks that can be made: It’s bad for your health. It’s bad for the environment. You are a bad person for doing this. Star-bellied sneetches in… Yeah, I’m not sure what to say on that. It’s very dangerous.

Nicki: Outlook not good.

Robb: It is very dangerous. Yeah, shaking the Magic 8 Ball: “Outlook not good.” Again, we need to push back against this stuff. We need to push back in a sensible, educated way, and we’re going to take some heat for it, and it’s going to be tough, but we need more and more people to do this. If you think that what I’m saying is bullshit, that’s fine. Just really thoroughly read what I’ve written. Take in the film Sacred Cow, read the book, and go line by line through that, and then do a counterpoint to it so that if I’m wrong, then I’ve got the better position to be more educated by, or maybe we’re actually on point with the vast majority of that stuff, and we do need to start taking this seriously and push back in a concerted fashion.

Nicki: All of this stuff, when I think about it, if it all comes to play, it makes me think of the movie Idiocracy, and people not able to grow vegetables because they’re watering it all with Gatorade. They’re just so… I don’t know. It’s…

Robb: No, it is shockingly prescient in so many ways. Yeah, yeah.

Nicki: If you haven’t seen that movie, it’s not that good, but it’s…

Robb: The first 10 minutes of it are amazing.

Nicki: It’s a great illustration of where we’re headed, and it’s kind of frightening. Okay, question two from Lindsey on GABA. “Hello. I’d love to hear you talk about GABA supplements. There’s a product sold by Ned CBD that is called Mellö. It has magnesium and helps you relax and sleep. I love it and wanted to share it with my dad, who struggles with good sleep. He is concerned about this ingredient and won’t take it. He’s had AFib surgery. I really appreciate your insights. Thanks, and love the show and your information.”

Robb: Yeah. A couple of different things here. As far as I can tell, the Mellö does not have GABA in it. Maybe I pulled up the wrong one, so I think we’re talking about possibly different things, but generally, GABA is part of the sleep process. Melatonin tends to be part of the mechanism that initiates sleep, and then GABA tends to be part of the mechanism that maintains sleep. This is part of the reason why drinking alcohol helps to knock you out initially, but then you have super shitty sleep later, because the alcohol is dealing with the GABAnergic pathways there. On the CBD front, and with the magnesium, I think that if he chatted with his doctor, if it’s a reasonable amount of magnesium, which it seemingly is in this Ned product, I don’t see that this would be a particular concern. If he had a good-sized green salad, he’s probably going to get a similar amount of magnesium within a meal, so I don’t see that being a huge concern. Then, as always, on the sleep front, good sleep hygiene, going to bed earlier, no alcohol near bedtime.

Nicki: No light sources in the room.

Robb: No lights.

Nicki: No devices right before bed.

Robb: All of that good sleep hygiene stuff, if you search Doc Parsley sleep hygiene, if you search Robb Wolf sleep hygiene, we’ve talked about all of that stuff. There’s a ton of different things that can be done to help stack the deck favorably on the sleep hygiene side, and I think that that’s going to have huge benefits above and beyond, before even talking about supplements.

Nicki: Getting him outside first thing in the morning and getting some natural light in his eyes. All that stuff. Okay, last question this week, from Rob, on paleolithic-era average life expectancy. He says, “Hi. I’ve been following your work and others in the field of ancestral health for many years now. I would like to think I’ve reached a point of knowledge and information saturation where I now only listen to very few podcasts in this genre, yours being my favorite because I really appreciate your logic and sense of humor.” He must be British, because he spelled humor the… humour.

Nicki: “I’ve heard a lot about paleolithic-area short average life expectancy, high infant mortality rates, and death due to accidents and traumas, absent of chronic diseases in hunter-gatherers who get to live into old age. My question is very simple: Couldn’t it be that these are all very much related? Putting it bluntly, that high infant mortality plus deaths from accidents and traumas are significantly naturally selecting out those who will otherwise live on and develop chronic diseases in the future, as I’m pretty sure all living organisms rarely just die randomly in nature. They simply lived or live in such unforgiving environments that chronic diseases couldn’t be afforded to manifest, and that it might be a survival bias behind what’s more of a correlation than a causation.”

Robb: This is an interesting question. I guess it’s interesting because I’m steeped in this deep enough, I guess, which is part of the reason why Rob is asking this question, that it gets a little bit like, what is water for fish? It’s very baked in the cake for me, so it’s sometimes hard to back up and look at this stuff in a beginner’s eye way. When you really dig into the literature on this stuff, and folks have a tendency to dismiss paleo diet concepts and everything, and I think it’s really short-sighted, because there’s a lot to be gained from this, and there’s interesting insights there. One of them, again, is that by and large these folks had a tendency to live into advanced agent absent chronic degenerative disease.

Robb: Eventually everybody does from something, but it still tends to be more infectious disease and accidents that take these non-Westernized individuals. Like, the Tsimane of South America are a hunter-gatherer group that have the lowest cardiovascular disease rates ever documented within a human population. They’re very metabolically healthy, and I don’t know what they finally die from when they die, but they routinely have people into their seventh and eighth decade of life. Same deal with Kitavans. They have well-documented instances of Kitavan individuals that live past 100 years old. Everybody dies. Everybody dies from something. I guess something about that eventually sniffs a chronic degenerative disease, but I’m not even entirely… Is the heart just failing eventually, like a chronic degenerative disease? Are the last dregs of your kidneys functioning a chronic degenerative disease, or just the inevitable state of aging and eventual death?

Nicki: I was just thinking, a lot of chronic disease, at least that we experience now, like diabetes and heart disease, frequently are byproducts of excess calorie intake, and in particular sugar, which just wasn’t available.

Robb: You posted that piece. Rob, noodle on this for a minute. Nicki posted a piece the other day that was a picture of a 1970s beach, and there was literally not a single overweight person, and hundreds of people on the beach.

Nicki: It was really crowded. It was like a boardwalk kind of a scenario.

Robb: Yeah, but it was a high-quality picture, so you could get in and blow things up and look and look and look, and you didn’t have bodybuilders running around. It was kind of interesting, because now, if you were to look at a beach, out of a thousand people, you might have 10 people total, both male and female, that are like freakishly jacked, and they’re…

Nicki: You also didn’t have the super skinny people on this beach either. They were like regular humans. Curvy women, but not heavy; just, the curves were there.

Robb: Right, and you had guys that… little bet of pecs, little bit of chest. They clearly are active, but they’re not bodybuilders.

Nicki: Right.

Robb: It was everybody. I guess this was a time… I was born in the early ’70s. There was a time when type 1 diabetes was called juvenile diabetes, because kids and young adults didn’t get type 2 diabetes. Now that is one of the fastest-growing areas of kids in diabetes development. Not only are kids going straight to type 2 diabetes, insulin-resistant diabetes, something that 50 years ago was literally unheard of, now they’re just getting like a hat trick of going type 1 diabetes, and then, because of the mismanagement of type 1, ending up with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. They’re both not producing insulin, and insulin-resistant because of over-consuming carbs and over-correcting with fast-acting insulin.

Nicki: Then when you’re old, you get type 3 diabetes, and you lose your marbles.

Robb: You lose your marbles, and thank God, because your life sucks so bad you wouldn’t want to be aware of what is going on. Rob, I don’t know if I’m doing a great job of answering this, but just in 50 years we’ve seen… Let’s just look at kids. Cancer rates in kids. Diabetes rates in kids. Autoimmune rates in kids. These kids aren’t dying young because of communicable disease, infections and all that. We still have medicine and intervention that solves that, but these kids are developing chronic degenerative diseases that are absolutely going to curtail their lifespan, and their health span is going to be dog shit, to be quite frank. Getting back to more just the hypothetical setting, we’ve studied hunter-gatherers pretty extensively. What you’re suggesting here is that the people who died were going to specifically be the people who might have developed chronic degenerative disease had they lived their normal ancestral lifestyle, but it just so happened that they died young from childhood ailments, infections and injury.

Nicki: That seems a little tricky, because not all of those people ended up having the accident. Some percentage of those people didn’t have an accident and lived to old age. You wouldn’t have…

Robb: Yeah. That’s really the crux of it. That, and then also, when we look at the rates of chronic degenerative disease that are occurring in the youth today…

Nicki: And just how those rates have increased over time.

Robb: At literally an exponential.

Nicki: Right.

Robb: Yeah, yeah. I mean, again, when I was born, there literally were not cases of type 2 diabetic kids. I think it was so incredibly rare, and now it’s part and parcel. I think the youngest documented child with insulin-resistant type 2 diabetes is something like 36 months old now, like 2 1/2, 3 years old. This is fucking unheard of before.

Nicki: Wow, that’s sad.

Robb: It’s terrible, and again, this is one of my hair-pull-out moments when I do my reminiscing about Moore’s law, where things tend to get cheaper and better. Our cell phones are better, and in general cheaper than what they were five years ago, and all this type of stuff. Medicine is more expensive and seems to suck. It’s one of those things, like Kevin Bacon movies and hurricanes destroying Florida or whatever, like these weird correlation-causation things. We know more about chronic degenerative disease. We know more about type 2 diabetes than we’ve ever known in history, but yet the rates continue to expand and worsen, and the end product, curtailed life and increasing cost, gets worse.

Robb: You could make a really credible case that the more we learn about these diseases, the worse they get, which is ridiculous. If we’re talking about building bridges or rockets or computer chips, if you know more about a topic, things just about always get cheaper and better, all other things being equal. What it tells you is we’re completely doing the wrong shit, and this is where I’m fairly adamant about, using this ancestral model as a beginning point to start unpacking this stuff is critical, and it doesn’t mean that calories don’t count, but it absolutely means that not every calorie is the same as the other. It doesn’t have the same hormonal effect, it doesn’t have the same appetite effect, and on and on and on, which is all explained within the ancestral health model.

Nicki: But don’t worry; we’ll all be saved if we eat tofu instead of beef.

Robb: Well, because the per-calorie allotment… I’ve joked that the weight issues will be a nonissue once we get to the point where our slop is just dispensed to us out of some sort of tube, and it’s measured out to the gram based off of what our projected energy output is. We’re heading that way.

Nicki: That’s a grim fucking picture you just painted.

Robb: Well, and you know the funny thing is there are people that would sign up for it, because they have this misguided notion that they’re going to save the planet around that. What they forget is it won’t save the planet, because the planet is not really ours for the saving or the losing; the planet will be here regardless of whether humanity is, but what will be lost is humanity, which I do think is the most important thing in the known universe right now, because we seem to be the only type of life that is like us.

Robb: It doesn’t mean that we just shit down the backs of every other life form on the planet and ruin the only place that is reasonable that we live right now, and probably for a very long time, and God bless Elon Musk, but it’s going to be a big lift to get people on Mars and beyond that. We’re at this misanthropic stage where people are literally willing to make decisions that will harm or curtail their own life, thinking that it’s going to be good for the planet, and in fact it’s not. This monoculture, mono-crop future is not good for anybody, other than the like couple of holders.

Nicki: It’s not good for the birds.

Robb: It’s not good for the birds.

Nicki: Not good for the bees.

Robb: It’s not good for the insects. It’s not good for the water systems. It’s not good for any of that stuff. God damn it, I wish once in my life something I was involved with was mainstream. I wish that, “Oh, yeah, I completely agree with The Economist and MSNBC and all of the rest of it,” but fuck, the data just… it takes you where it takes you. If you’re willing to follow that and be open and honest, oftentimes you find yourself at loggerheads with just about everything that is being promoted by the mainstream. Nuclear families are actually amazing and wonderful and something to be fought for and advocated for. They’re not an evil entity, as some outfits have suggested.

Robb: Are they perfect in all ways, and do they only conform to one conformation? Absolutely not, but there is something within a modern society that a nuclear family is the greatest survival and success benefit that could ever be conferred upon those children, as an example, and it is irrefutable. You can bitch and moan and complain about all kinds of other structural issues, but you have to circle back around and then get back to, well, okay. This is still the reality, so what are we going to do about trying to foster nuclear families in societies and cultures that don’t really have it, and they live in the modern world? Similarly, we have food systems that are just completely broken, don’t serve the populous, and they are unpopular to talk about. MSNBC will block you. Twitter will give you a naughty finger that you’re doing the wrong thing, and it is still true, this thing that you’re fighting against.

Nicki: There you have it, friends.

Robb: I guess the sun is coming out around here. I’m a little more full of piss and vinegar today.

Nicki: I know. You are, for sure. All right, folks. Thank you for joining us for yet another edition of The Healthy Rebellion Radio. Be sure to check out our sponsor, LMNT Electrolytes, at We still have some grapefruit salt left for a limited time, so if you haven’t gotten yours yet, you want to do that. Yeah, if you want to join us in the July rucking challenge, be sure to join us inside The Healthy Rebellion community. You can do that at, and we’ll see you next week.

Robb: Bye, everybody. Take care.

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Robb Wolf

Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution and Wired to Eat , is a former research biochemist and one of the world’s leading experts in Paleolithic nutrition. Wolf has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world via his top ranked iTunes podcast and wildly popular seminar series.