The Dark Matter of Nutrition: Looking at Biodiversity and Agroecology in the Data with Dr. Stephan van Vliet

Dr. Stephan van Vliet is at the forefront of researching what he calls the ‘dark matter’ of nutrition. Beyond the nutrition facts panel, beyond just protein, fat, and carboyhydrates and beyond the vitamins and minerals we are familiar with lies a world called metabolomics where thousands and tens of thousands of compounds and phytochemicals exist. Dr. van Vliet is looking at these compounds and in how food is grown – whether it’s conventional, regenerative (which Dr. van Vliet refers to as agroecological) and whether it’s plant-based or animal-based agriculture. In this episode, we explore the nutrient cycle from soil to plant to animal to human and back to soil in depth. We look at biodiversity from the level of metabolomics, whether it’s diverse forage for cattle to graze, or a diverse array of species to nourish the soil, or diversity in the human diet. We discuss everything from older animals, water in the West, what flavor may indicate, seasonality and how it influences the compounds in meat, and so much more.

We also talk about:

  • Are older animals more rich in phytonutrients?
  • How seasonality influences phytonutrient content
  • Can humans have the innate wisdom in their food choices we see in animals?
  • Do we have tunnel vision when it comes to greenhouse gases?
  • Farmer Pprotests in the Netherlands (Dr. van Vliet is from the Netherlands)

Find Dr. van Vliet

Twitter: @vanvlietphd 

Google Scholar Profile

Be a part of Dr. Vanvliet’s Research on Beef: Bionutrient Institute 

Further Reading:

Nourishment by Fred Provenza

Life in the Rocky Mountains by Warren Angus Ferris

Related Ground Work Episodes:

Chewing the Fat with Brad Marshall

Other Podcasts featuring Dr. van Vliet:

On Fundamental Health

On Peak Human

Current Discounts for GW listeners:

  • 15% off Farm True ghee and body care products using code: KATEKAV15

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