The Clean Body Podcast

What Meat Producers Don't Want You to Know with Heidi Diestel of Diestel Family Ranch

March 31, 2021 Lauren Kelly / Heidi Diestel Season 1 Episode 1
The Clean Body Podcast
What Meat Producers Don't Want You to Know with Heidi Diestel of Diestel Family Ranch
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The Clean Body Podcast introduces you to the souls and brains behind some of the cleanest food beverage and lifestyle products on the market, because what you put on in and around your body matters from cookies, bread, and mushroom superfoods to adaptogenic lozenges, clean medicines, organic mattresses, and fluoride-free toothpaste, we'll explore how the brands came to be, how scientific studies drove decisions about ingredients and materials, and most importantly, how the products support all the physical and mental microscopic miracles that occur in your body every minute of every day.

Today, we’re talking to Heidi Diestel of Diestel Family Ranch, one of the few small, family-owned and operated ranches left in the nation, raising the leanest, cleanest turkey products on the market. Heidi runs the ranch with her brother and husband, and her mission is to help people eat better with pure, nourishing, whole foods, like the products offered by her family. Heidi is so passionate about advancing peoples’ understanding of nutrition and health that she received her Certified Personal Trainer Certification in 2006 from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Now that she’s at the helm of Diestel Family Ranch – and a mother herself – Heidi is more committed than ever to helping children and their families understand the power of good nutrition and to put that power to use in their everyday lives. Listen as we discuss how these fourth-generation turkey farmers are using innovative and sustainable farming practices to pave the way for future generations, while sticking to high standards that have remained unchanged since the ranch’s founding.

What you’ll learn: 

  • What is was like growing up on a turkey farm (00:06:04)
  • What hidden ingredients are found in conventional & sometimes organic meat products (00:18:32)
  • Why most of today’s meat products don’t satiate hunger (00:21:09)
  • How eating clean meat can help you eat less (00:21:09)
  • Why you should stay away from carrageenan (00:26:31)
  • The Gap 5-Step Animal Welfare Program (00:35:54)
  • How food sources, environmental factors, and sanitization practices impact turkey health and resulting meat (00:35:57)
  • Why overly-sanitizing your homes isn’t improving your health (00:39:53)
  • The difference between pasture-raised, non-GMO, free range, cage-free, and organic turkeys (00:42:47)
  • Why not all turkeys want to be free range (00:44:54)
  • Why organic doesn’t always equate to healthy (00:49:32)
  • What regenerative agriculture is and why it matters (01:04:16)
  • How Diestel Family Ranch create high quality compost to improve the Earth’s soil and nutrient density (01:06:02)
  • Why Diestel Family Ranch uses “grey water” (01:08:49)
  • How clean meat can help improve athletic or everyday performance (01:12:07)
  • How Diestel Family Ranch feels about the vegan movement (01:20:15)

For more on Heidi Diestel and Diestel Family Ranch, visit 

  • Facebook:
  • Twitter:
  • Instagram:
  • YouTube:

For more on Lauren Kelly and The Clean Body Project, visit 

Lauren Kelly (00:00:01):

Well, welcome to the clean body podcast, Heidi. Thanks for having me. I'm so excited to talk to you. I have been eating copious amounts of distal products. Mainly Turkey. I haven't had Turkey sandwiches because I'm so weary of Turkey, especially sliced Turkey. You get from the conventional grocery store in years, years. And I most recently have been eating so many Turkey sandwiches and they're delicious. And I'm so grateful for you for feeding Turkey that I feel comfortable consuming. Yeah. So it's going to be a great it's going to be a great episode. So to jump in here, before we talk about the products that you make at your family ranch, I want to hear about your childhood because it seems like it was somewhat unique. You know, you grew up, I think from my research, your mom worked on the farm. And so you were there with her. And so what was like, what was that like growing up? Yeah,

Heidi Diestel (00:01:04):

I mean, it, it was a fantastic childhood. I mean, it was amazing. So when, when I was a kid, like for the first few years, actually we lived like on the ranch, like literally in the middle of Dallas. Yeah. And things got a little too hectic and we had like trucks driving and my parents were too busy. And so basically, you know, we had to move into town where they could keep us contained. But no, I mean, it was fantastic. Like, I don't think that there's a better way to grow up. I mean, folks that have landed, you know, in a farm environment or just like in a more rural place, like it's just a phenomenal way to grow up. Like you just have, I don't know, you, you, you, yeah, you just, you run outside, you like, you know, get yourself into a bunch of trouble. That's not really travel at all, but you know, it just is such a humbling way to to just kind of, I don't know, understand your surroundings, understand nature. Like it's just a very humbling, humbling way. So,

Lauren (00:02:04):

Well, the main product that comes off of your family farm is Turkey products. However, I'm obsessed with animals. And I also want, I really want to have a farm, although I have so much to learn, I can be responsible for a farm. But, and yours is ranch farm, you know, but I'll have, but do you have any other animals on the ranch?

Heidi (00:02:27):

So it's funny you say that. So growing up, we just, we really just had turkeys. But you know, we, as we evolved and some of our yeah, just some of like our farming initiatives evolves and you know, the conversation of like regenerative and sustainability evolved, we actually, on our main ranches is where I'm talking to you from today. We have goats and sheep and we have chickens and we have a rescue llama named Roscoe. And so, yeah, it's been, it's like old McDonald's out here. So like it just on this one property the, the other ranches just truly have, you know, turkeys on them. And then we graze Turkey farming is like, you know, it's very much like, you know, you have your barn and then you have, you know, the pens outside, but you need a lot of space in between the farms, just like, you know, land and space between farms. And so a lot of that is grazed seasonally by like local cattle ranchers. But outside of that, it's just turkeys.

Lauren (00:03:29):

That's really cool though. I mean, there are so many studies out there that show what an impact growing up on a ranch with animals and the responsibility of taking care of animals and the connection to animals has on children. So I just think that's really awesome and cool. I am curious why turkeys?

Heidi (00:03:50):

Well so the family, like I'm, I'm fourth generation and the family, like, you know, has been here since the early 19 hundreds in our area in Tuolumne County which is where it kind of all started. And so the family was, you know, raising chickens and turkeys at the time. And then we had like a farm, a produce kind of area and section, and then we did an apples. So there was a lot to it back in the early 19 hundreds. And then the one thing that kind of rang true was just poultry was a really hot commodity through the fifties. And my grandpa, Jack D Stoll, who formally started diesel surfy ranch in 1949. And that's what he started with. And it just kind of stuck. And so, you know, my dad was raised with the business and you know, kind of just saw the uniqueness of the family's like, you know, mission or vision for how to grow the animals.

Heidi (00:04:55):

And just like in general, our approach on farming was always one that was clean. It was always one that was like, just a bit unique. We didn't like we never removed the antibiotic out of our program. We were never a conventional farm. Like that just wasn't our way. So it's, you know, like in the 1980s, when my parents took over the ranch and bought the ranch and decided that they wanted to do this for a living you know, like we went to, they went to butcher shops in the San Francisco peninsula there which is kind of our backyard, cause we're about two and a half hours directly East of San Francisco. And you know, they just said, look at like, we have an antibiotic free, vegetarian fed, really good quality Turkey. And everyone kind of just looked at them like they were, yeah. They were like, it's like a foreign language. Don't have

Lauren (00:05:48):

Coloring and sugar in your Turkey.

Heidi (00:05:51):

Right, exactly. Yeah. So it just, it wasn't popular. Like it wasn't something that was, you didn't sell that product because it had suicide, organic gaps separated, you know, it just wasn't a thing. And my parents believed in it, our family believed in it. We thought it was just better, you know? And it created a better product, the taste, the texture, like everything that you and I would probably talk about today and the reasons why we exist is that just the fundamentals of having like really good nutrient dense food. So, you know, I don't know. We it's just, not that, like, we didn't dream it up. It's just like who, how, how we are so

Lauren (00:06:33):

Well, apparently you were ahead of the curve because now there's all the science to back up, everything that you're saying. My husband, even, I always bring him up on these podcasts because we have very conflicting views. We just grew up differently. And now I'm very into nutrition and health and I'm getting him on the bandwagon slowly.

Heidi (00:06:57):

No, it's it. You just, you have to chip away at it every day. And that's the thing like, you know, it's not like we're here to be like, Oh, this is the end all be all like, yeah, you can choose lesser quality proteins or even just like snacks, like potato chips. I get it. Like, there are certain potato chips out there that are never going to have the crunch or the snack or the flavor or the texture of like a clean potato chip. There's a reason for that, like chemically induced in your brain. But yeah, mish-mash like, there's a reason for it. But at the same regard, you know, sustainability wise, like this is our bodies are the only, you know, it's the only, it's the Holy grill. It's the only one you're ever going to be given. Like we should probably take care of them.

Lauren (00:07:42):

Well, it's funny that you say that originally, what I was going to say is even last night, my husband brought home stakes and I was like, are these grassfed are these like what? You know,

Heidi (00:07:51):

Like I'm right.

Lauren (00:07:53):

And he was like, Oh, stop asking those questions. I'm like, no, did that cow have copious amounts of antibiotics and its body? And was it in stress? And you know, all of these, you can't just shrug it off. Like, it doesn't matter. It absolutely impacts the meat you have, but what you were just saying, which I'm trying to really collect my thoughts. Oh, what's so fascinating about psychologically conventional products do take certain measures to make you addicted to the food and to make you crave that food. And so that crunch that you think is so good and can never be captured by a clean product. I mean, you've kind of been manipulated to feel that way. And when I first started eating clean, I used to always say, well, I've just kind of accepted the fact that nothing will ever taste as good, but I'm doing something better for my body. But now that I've done it for so long, I go back and I try those products. And I think they're disgusting. Like I'm so not into that.

Heidi (00:08:54):

Oh, I'm completely with you. And that's the crazy part that, that you, that you don't understand until it's like, it's like a coming again. I mean, it's, it's a ritual, like, you know, it's funny because somebody, literally this week he handed me like one of the big bars, like a Snickers or a Mars bars or side, I don't know, something butter, whatever, those, I don't even know the bread butter, Ruth baby. I don't know what they are. I'm sorry, but I love it. But anyway, someone handed me one of these and, and they're like, Oh, you have to try it. It's a brand new, whatever, you know, look at how it was like a brownie layer or something. And I just kind of like, they know that, and that's just not my jam. Like I love chocolate, I love sweets. So get me wrong.

Heidi (00:09:39):

I love to date. But like, I just, I don't, I'm not into like that mainstream stuff. And so they handed it to me and they, he R my coworker walks out of my office and is like, I handed that to Heidi and she's looking at me, like, I just gave her crack. And I'm like, is it actually is response to it? Like, it, there's a reason why we are obese in our country. There's a reason why, like, we have such poor health because we are addicted to these foods that are just so unhealthy for us. And, you know it's great. Like, you know, it's great to have fun and have a sweets every so often and that sort of thing, but like, it's just, yeah, we just need to, we need to value our own bodies and we need to, we need to understand that, like, this is the future of our food, and we can vote every day to vote for the better, or, you know, we can vote every day for the convenience and just like fueling that feeling that addiction really,

Lauren (00:10:43):

God, I feel like we could be best friends.

Heidi (00:10:47):

I have your cell phone number. So put you on your phone, a friend list.

Lauren (00:10:51):

There you go. There you go. I totally agree though. And it's the power to retrain your brain. You know, it's just so insane and you will, once you start eating clean, your brain will change and your taste buds will change. And what you expect out of food will change. So initially it seems hard and daunting. You don't like what you're eating, but you're doing something better for your body and for your future. And so you just got to stick in there because one day you'll pick up a receipt. Like I did last Halloween and just take a bite to like, see if it tastes as good as you remember it tasting and your childhood days. And it tastes terrible. It's foul. That is not peanut butter. I don't know what that is. It's shiny chocolate. Shouldn't be shiny if it's clean. Like just all the things. Yeah. But we just went on a 12 minute ramp before I've gotten to any questions that I had outlined for this. So that's how this episode is going to go. But it sounds like for the most part, you really just grew up with this mentality of eating clean and putting nourishing whole foods in your body. Was there ever a point where you wanted to rebel against that? Or have you always just ingrained this health and wellness lifestyle into your DNA?

Heidi (00:12:05):

Oh, no. I mean, my mom was, Oh, come on. Let's be real. My mom was a registered dietician. That's what she was studying to be before she met my dad and married a Turkey farmer, you know? And so my mom was like a health nut and you know, I'm so thankful for it quite frankly, because I just, you know, I don't know. I don't know. I wouldn't be a statistic if I wasn't, you know, her daughter. So I of course loved, you know, anything that my mom prevented us from having, which was like 80% of what you find in a grocery store. You know, we didn't grow up with any type of like sugary cereal. We didn't, we couldn't even eat like plain yogurt. We couldn't have the Nellie yogurt because I had too much sugar in it. Like this was just, this is just how I was raised. And so there was a whole period, especially when I went off to college that I'm like, dude, I'm free from all of that craziness. And I can, I can buy whatever I want. I can eat whatever I want. And I distinctly remember being like a freshman in college and like shoving like a box of Cheez-Its down, you know? And I'm like, this is awesome. And then I also remember the aftermath of like those years and just being like, Oh, I don't feel good. Like

Lauren (00:13:25):

Alrighty, what it was to feel good. Most people live their whole lives thinking that's just how you're supposed to feel and it's not.

Heidi (00:13:32):

Yeah, no, it completely. And so it was actually a really good thing because I didn't want to have anything to do with the ranch. I was like, I'm outta here. I got my personal training certification. Which was funny because I was going through this at the exact same time as I started training. And that was my job in college. I was a personal trainer. I, you know, like I grew up playing sports and I thought it would be fun. And yeah, what I realized was just like this ranch and what we were doing in the space of natural, organic food and staying really pure to our mission. I mean, there are so many natural organic needs out there that has modified potato starch. They had carrageenan, they has, you know super high sodium and then lower protein content. They're going to be certified organic.

Heidi (00:14:25):

They're going to be like brands that you think has really great attributes. And when you look at the package, the nutritional, the ingredients, when you eat the product, you're like, Hmm, that wasn't really what I was hoping for. And so there's a lot of, you know, kind of, I wouldn't say misleading, it's just that they've chosen to put, you know, pounds over quality, right? They want quantity. They want to have more market share. They want to sell more pounds. They want to do it with more margin. And we've said like consciously for better or for worse. I hope we're here in 20 years. You know, we don't want to do that. Like we think that people deserve to have food that tastes really good, higher protein content, lower sodium content, not a bunch of crap in their ingredients statement, but it shouldn't be there. And we should just make it with really good tasting Turkey. And so, you know, that's been our commitment and that's where, you know, we are seeking out those folks in the world that also want to make that commitment back to like their health and wellbeing.

Lauren (00:15:30):

Yeah. I mean, that's why I'm so excited to have you on this podcast because typically I'm interviewing brands that are creating like, you know, clean bars or clean drinks, there's multiple ingredients in it. And the average listener will think, well, Turkey is just Turkey, but Turkey's nauseous, Turkey. There's so many ingredients in the Turkey that you're buying at most grocery stores. So let's dig into some of those ingredients that you listed a little bit modified potato starch. I don't, I'm like a holistic nutritionist. And honestly, I couldn't even tell you what it is or why it's bad for your body. So I just stay away from it.

Heidi (00:16:09):

So basically what modified potato starch does is it is a filler, it's a filler in the meat. And so that deli meats can be made with whole muscle kind of butcher quality cuts, or it can be made with more of an emulsion of like trimmings, breasts, trim you know, just, you know, it's more of an emulsion if you will. It's kind of like mixed in. And so when it's an emotion when it's not necessarily like whole muscle, I mean, at one point, all of those bits and scraps work off of a muscle, but it's not like an entire breast lobe that's being roasted for the deli meat. When it's an emulsion, they have to use like these larger companies have to use something to bind the deli meat together so that it will slice. And so they will put in this, you know, modified potato starch that will help bind all of this meat together.

Heidi (00:17:08):

But ultimately what it results in is you have to use higher sodium. You have to have again, the salt and the potato starch or the care gaining. And you have to like blend it all together. And then, you know, that is what will hold the meat together. So you'll have lower, higher sodium and you'll have the lower protein content, which will ultimately leave you feeling hungry right after you eat a sandwich because you just ate a whole sandwich with the benefits of the bread and the onion and the tomato and whatever else you put on your sandwich. But the meat, the protein, you know, comprised with the bread and the carbohydrates and the sugars and what have, is what keeps you full your body has to go through and basically break the chain if you will, in your digestion track. And then you, you, you know, get hungry three hours later, not an hour and a half later. Right? And so when you have lower sodium or excuse me, higher sodium and lower protein content, that's where you're just, you know, you're not eating something that's going to keep your body full. You're just, it's just a filler for your body. It's a filler for the company's making, selling eights.

Lauren (00:18:23):

Yeah. I love that. You brought up how it satiates you if you're eating cleaner meat, which means you're eating less. And it's ultimately, I was thinking about clients and friends who tell me that it's so expensive to buy clean products, but if you were eating less of them, it's actually probably going to balance out. Like I eat two meals a day that are just like packed with nutrients and proteins and healthy fats and what I need, and I never get hungry. I was hungry at the beginning of this podcast and talking about modified potato starch, that hunger went away a little bit. But if you think about it, when you're investing into these products and you're investing in your body and your health, you're actually not eating all day long, you're eating less. So perhaps the cost of it actually ends up offsetting it. Plus you don't have all those crazy health bills down, down the line.

Heidi (00:19:20):

Oh, completely. And like some of the other crazy stuff is like, you can find like, you know, corn starch or corn syrup, even in deli meats, like I remember doing demos and people would ask me like, is there a gluten in your deli meat? I'm like, huh, is that a trick question? I'm like, this is meat. Like, I don't know, you know, why would there be gluten? Like I'm confused, you know? And yeah, there, you know, they were companies adding like gluten, you know, wheat, fillers, whatever into the needs. And so you're totally right. Like, yes, it costs more, but how much more like incrementally is as it truly costs. Because if you establish in a day, like I just encourage people to do this. Like if they're eating poorly or, you know, if they're eating, you know, these, these, these meals that are really heavily processed meals, you know, whether it's like a sandwich, I think the big made at home, but with really processed meat in it, like add it all up, you know, make a journal of it for one week, just like your normal eating habits.

Heidi (00:20:27):

And then the next week get rid of that all by just like a week commitment by really good meat meal, prep, make your food and truly look at like your costs of your servings, because what they're going to find, especially if they do it more than one week, because their body will start to kind of like, you know, regulate to like this better quality food is that they're not going to be going back to the fridge in an hour and a half. They won't like we've had so many people like our it director. He told us when we first started here that they will always buy like the Oscar Meyer or the Sara Lee deli. And he literally said like, my teenage son is back in the fridge. And like, I just had made him a sandwich. He goes, I started, you know, honestly buying our deli Turkey and his son wasn't coming back in and hour and a half. He was satiated. And they're like, it's, that's the difference is that we think that we're eating healthy because we're eating a Turkey sandwich. It's just, there's no nutrients left in that food.

Lauren (00:21:31):

I love that so much. Like I really had never thought of it through that lens prior to recording this episode. And it's such a good way to explain even to clients when I'm having them switch. Yes, it is an investment, but almost well, is it an investment? I just really love that perspective on things, the other ingredient that I really want to call out because it's in so many products besides corn syrup, which just stay, Oh, if you see corn syrup on a label, just yeah. But it's carrageenan and Carradine and is in just so many things, including those little egg bites that everyone loves from Starbucks, which I used to love before I was a nutrition. And it's tough, it's in a lot of foods, but that's a carcinogenic. Right. Which is which contributes to the onset of cancer essentially.

Heidi (00:22:26):

Totally. Yeah. I mean, there's been a lot of studies that have been done and, you know, they don't sound good. Right. So, I mean, it's, it's a controversial ingredient in that, you know, some folks don't feel that it is directly correlate and then like you had a lot of folks like us that are like minded that are like, you know, why would I even want to consume that? If it's a question, right. You know, like that's just not, I don't, I don't have to have it, but again, it goes back to it goes back to the fact that like it's a filler for these companies. It's a way to, you know, in milks and in yogurt and in deli meat, you can find it in some dummy meats. It's a Stiller and it's a way to enhance the texture of these products because they have so many processing AIDS they have.

Heidi (00:23:17):

So they're putting the ESPY's products through so much so many process processes that probably don't need to be happening for, for the mere fact that it's enhancing their yield, enhancing the pounds through their plant, you know there's a reason why they're using it and it's for their benefit, but it's not in my opinion for the benefit of the consumer. Like if you don't, if you've never heard of, you know, modified potato starch, if you can't buy it and know like how to use it, then why is it in our, why is it in a product that you're buying, you know, same with, same with carrageenan, like same with corn syrup. Like, why do we, why do we allow, like, as a shopper, we get to vote every day. Like we literally go to the grocery store and we buy it from our phones, however we shop and we literally get to vote every day. So why don't we support, you know, these products that like we can't by ourselves and, you know, put in our products ourselves. Like, I think it's kind of, it just, there's a convenience to it, right? Like it's very convenient to go and buy and find these, these meals. But at the same regard, the convenience then in the trade-off then is ultimately going to be our health.

Lauren (00:24:29):

But also if you think about going to the grocery store and giving your money to someone, if you saw those people in front of you, are you going to give your money to someone who is making a product to truly benefit you, they are doing it for your health, or are you going to give your money to someone who is only doing it for more money? You know, that's kind of the difference. And so we need to start attaching though, not just ethics, but intentions to brands. What is your intention for the money I'm giving you? Because good people want to support good people. And so it kind of changes the, the mindset of purchasing when you're in the grocery store.

Heidi (00:25:05):

Right. And also like, you know, when we go to a grocery store, like I'm all for competition and I'm all for good food. And I think that there's a place for everyone look at like, diesel's never going to make all the Turkey in the world. Like we're not, that's not, that's not how that's not our goal, but we want to make really good Turkey for those people that want to source really good Turkey. And I'm sure that in New York or Florida, or, you know, through the South, there could be another Turkey farmer out there who wants to do the same thing. And maybe they're filling their niche in that location. That's great. Like, that's good for them. But you know, when we look at our shelves of food, right, you know, they're owned by huge conglomerates. I mean, I'm talking like massive. And this came to a head during COVID where shell started going there because you know, the food system is it's broken.

Heidi (00:26:06):

Like you can't even find a local purveyor. So, you know, you have really, really, really massive food conglomerates producing the majority of the food in America. And, you know, profit is a big thing to them. Revenue is a big deal. And, you know, when it comes down to it, sure, I'm sure that those companies are looking, you know, to talk about how they're making great products or how they're benefiting the consumer. But at the end of the day, revenue rings at the highest regard and profits are important and pounds through those production facilities that are massive production facilities is a huge priority to them. And so if it pays, you know, great, and you know, if the quality has to be a little bit of a detriment, if we put, you know, modified potato star Chan, just, just a smidge, you know, so be it like, they're not farmers, they aren't, they aren't producing food that has integrity. They're just producing food and putting the seals of approval that our shoppers think that they should be looking for.

Lauren (00:27:12):

We're going to talk about those labels because they are so confusing, the organic and all natural and heirloom, and the difference between them all. But I do also want to just add on to that, that you can't fall for the social impact of big corporations as them being a thoughtful well-intentioned company. You know, so many of these huge conglomerates can Val a million dollars to an organization, but to them, that is a dollar and it makes them look better in the consumer eyes. So you continue to buy their products. So I'm not going to say that all leaders, they're not well-intentioned, but by any means, however, you can't let that you have to be an educated consumer. And like you said, vote with your wallet and it can take a bit more time, but once you start learning, like even people listening to this podcast right now, they're already on their journey to being a more mindful consumer and already learning these things in auto start to get easier. So I just, yeah, it makes me happy that you're here.

Heidi (00:28:19):

Well, I mean, just know your farmer, like, that's just, I mean, at the end of the day, a local CSA farmer, who is like at your farmer's market, who grew produce a couple of miles away, they're going to have the knowledge, like they're going to have, you know, the information they are going to help you have higher nutrient density in your food, which is the name of the game. Like in America, we do not think about nor, you know, sell out of, like, we talk about pounds, pounds to market. There is no like label or anything that talks about nutrient density. I mean, I think that there's a couple out there and, you know, as it relates to like nuts I think there's a few, maybe like the Andes score, the nutrient density is just not something that's discussed. And I think it just has to be like, Paramount's like, that will decide for you because the folks that are doing it right. The folks that are like, you know, trying to make a better quality product, it's going to come through in the ingredient statement, the nutritional panel, and just like the connection to, to the farm, like just know your farmer.

Lauren (00:29:26):

So now we're going to go into my favorite conversation, which is nutrient profiles of food. And so I'm super curious then, because you're so passionate about this, what do you do to understanding the nutrient density of your foods? Testing now I read so many interesting thing on things on your website that I had never really heard of farmers doing before. So I'd love for you to just explain some of your practices and your values that you put into everything that comes off the ranch.

Heidi (00:29:57):

Totally. So for us, it's, it's really about what we don't put in our products versus what we do. So it really, it all starts on the farm. It starts with the feed and having like a really good, consistent feed. So we're never these costing our feet. We're not at least costing feed is like, as a farmer, you, you know, poultry is typically grown with foreman soy. And so we're sourcing like really good quality corn and soy, but other farms will say, Hey, that's really expensive inputs, right? Feed can be really costly. It's one of the biggest POS inputs into agricultural farm with, with livestock. And so they're going to say, Hey, I want, you know, wheat or grains, or, you know, some other type of dried distillers grains, which are a by-product of the ethanol industry.

Heidi (00:30:52):

And they're going to least cost whatever cheapest and, you know, change their feed rations. So they have a lower feed cost, but the quality of the bird and, you know, the quality of the meat and to some regard, you know, just the, the finish and the taste and texture that really gets impacted. So we don't do that. We have a really good, consistent feed quality. I also think that like, you know, I don't, I don't know why so many people are shoveling and continue to struggle. Our youth continue to struggle with and versions, you know, or intolerances or allergies. Like there's gotta be, there's, that's a whole nother discussion, but I think this, this, this kind of like concept about what you are, what you eat, or, you know, especially in meat, we've had so many consumers call us and be like, I can't eat any poultry, but I can eat your Turkey.

Heidi (00:31:52):

And I don't know why scientifically this is, but I think it's got to do something with like, okay, well, the turkeys feed is really consistent and it's as high quality as we can make it. So that's gotta be something, you know, like that has to be adding in there. So first that's, that's one thing that we do, another thing we do on our ranches, which may seem small, but we think it's huge is we do not use like chemical cleaners on the farms. We use a probiotic clean solution throughout our barns. And like, you know, in the summer it gets really hot here. And so we'll put it like misters in our bars so that the turkeys are like under ministers. You know, if you're like editing at the concept, it's actually really, it's really comfortable. Because it gets like a hundred degrees here.

Heidi (00:32:44):

It's super hot. So anyways, we have like the probiotics and the MREs, and we're all about having a really healthy microbial environment. So we spread like fresh pine with shadings when the turkeys are baby poles, again like this, this adds to a really healthy microbial environment where we're not trying to eradicate the natural biology. Like, that's one thing about cleaners that just irks me, it's male and it's 99.9% claim. Well, you know, bacteria is everywhere. Bacteria is on us, in our mouths under our nails. Like, it's not about eradicating this bacteria. It's about using like the natural, the natural landscape rub some dirt on it, right? Like using the natural microbes to out-compete the bad bugs we want good bugs to out-compete the, that bugs. So that's, you know, that's something that we just think is like mission critical and farming

Lauren (00:33:43):

Microbiome is my favorite word. I love talking about the microbiome. How does the microbiome of a Turkey impact the meat that we end up consuming?

Heidi (00:33:52):

You know, I don't know exactly. I think that that is something that probably needs more research. I really do. And I think it's probably high time for someone to really articulate, articulate that. You know, we see that in the health of the bird and we think in just the strength and they, what we perceive to be the health and the happiness of the bird, we see it being light years difference. I mean, we don't use antibiotics in our program. You know, there are, you know, farms out there that could use like responsible use. We don't, we don't have the antibiotics you know, throughout our programs. So, you know, we're really working on and relying on biology to do its thing. We're really, you know, working to say, okay, when we clean out a barn and we, you know, we mopped down and spray and clean and scrub, I mean, these are afterward farms with, you know, a whole flock of turkeys in it, which could be, you know, 10,000 turkeys could be together, right?

Heidi (00:34:53):

Like turkeys are animals that want to be together in a flock environment. So, you know, it's not, it's not clean. Like we think of clean in our, in our, you know, living spaces, it's a barn with, you know, farm animal ag, but it's, but it's clean in that context. It's ultra clean because we're, we're allowing the good and the bad bugs to out-compete each other. And that ultimately ultimately supports a healthier, stronger Turkey. Just like we've read about and thought about with all of the sanitizing and the cleaning and putting sanitizers on our hands there. NPR actually just did a piece, I think this past week on dishwashing and how kids that are, you know being raised in households that strictly use a dishwasher, they're, they're finding some type of a connection with an increase in allergies and intolerances versus those that just hand wash their dishes. So yes, you should read it. It's highly subjective, but a very interesting article, nonetheless.

Lauren (00:36:00):

Well, that's like the germ phobia that is just so pervasive all this hand sanitizer everywhere. Of course, I know we're living through a pandemic right now, and that is completely valid, but you also like don't need to be sanitizing every single inch of your home, putting hand sanitizer on when you're just in your own home. I mean, you are killing that bacteria that lives in your body, you're killing everything and that bacteria is opportunistic. So that means if you bring them back to the same level, the bad bacteria is going to overgrow the good bacteria much faster. And then you're going to have this imbalance in your body, which oops, I'm going to let that stop. Then you have an imbalance in your body that causes inflammation and the onset of chronic conditions and immune dysfunction, which is allergies, ADHD, all of these things that are on the rise in our country. So it is all interconnected and it does seem perplexing and cumbersome to figure it all out. But again, once you kind of start this journey, all the puzzle pieces start coming together, and it's not as hard as it seems once you learn how to live a cleaner lifestyle.

Heidi (00:37:10):

Totally agree.

Lauren (00:37:12):

I am curious about space. You were mentioning your Barnes and how many turkeys are together. And this has always been a very, you know, kind of controversial topic whether it's free range, open range, grass fed. It's just, there are so many labels and a lot of them don't mean anything almost. So I'm curious what your living situation is with your turkeys in regards to space and what labels you think are worth paying attention to because there's a lot not worth paying attention to.

Heidi (00:37:47):

Yeah. So that's, we're going to have to break that question down, seeing that. Yeah. So let's talk about like the, the, the environment, right. That the birds are raised. So at diesel on, you know, I think that that's one of the things that we had tried our our best to really talk about and show because it's, it's difficult to, as a consumer, when you buy a cow that's been raised, you know, out in a pasture, right? Like that's one living environment, and then you translate that to a cake. If you will, a hog and the hogs are going to need an entirely different environment to thrive. But as a consumer, like, you're, it's an animal. So like, why would you think that a pig, a chicken, a Turkey doesn't want to be like free wrong, mean like out on a pasture, like a cow does, right?

Heidi (00:38:50):

Like as a consumer, we blend these together in commercial farm animal ag where like our job is to produce product consistently for the market. We have to consider that environment and raising environment on the welfare of the birds, the health, the happiness of the birds, but also like from a business perspective, the consistency that that's going to yield. And so like, if I'm a chicken farmer, there are breeds of chicken that don't love going outside. Like they just, they don't. So like, you can show access out to the outside. And that Bree is, there are some chickens that do also like to be outside, but some don't and a lot of commercial varieties of chicken don't want to go outside, be at a Turkey turkeys, we'll go outside. Most turkeys will go outside. But you know, when we look at these attributes of like animal husbandry attributes, we have to recognize what is truly serving and benefiting the Turkey.

Heidi (00:39:54):

Right? And so like one key component is outdoor access, right? You see a lot about like free range or range roam. We only use range grown on our pasture Turkey. Our pasture raised gas, step five Turkey and global animal partnership is our third party animal welfare rating system that we apply. You know, we talk about, and, you know, we you'll see on our products and like that gap step five bird is the one bird that we will say, you know, range grown associated with that. Wasn't always the way that it was. But currently that's the, that's the bird that we say that that term with, because they're truly like outdoors. Once they become of age, they live in the elements. So they are subjected to winter predators, everything, right? The attrition of those birds is significantly higher, but those birds are raised in the most natural and wild environment, unless you're going to like go onto Turkey yourself.

Heidi (00:40:53):

Right. And there are consumers that feel very strongly about those animal welfare, you know, that, that level of animal welfare. And so like, we're one of the few producers in the country. We were one of the first to obtain it. And one of like a handful that even carry that attribute in our program. And that's something to be like significantly proud of. But for like, like say what you're going to find in your deli meats, this is going to be a more barn centric environment now because we follow the global animal partnership rating. We have significantly more space, which it all depends upon the braid. If you have a breed versus a hen breed, it's different like square foot per animal. But on average, you know, you have significantly more space for those birds. Now, some of those birds have access outdoors. Nope. I'm not going to call it free range.

Heidi (00:41:47):

Does it meet that terminology? Like to the letter of like the USDA? Totally. Could we call it like all of that stuff? Free range? Yeah, we could. We choose not to. I mean, in those, in that organic program, because we want to educate folks about all aspects of animal husbandry, the feed is a component of animal husbandry, the cleanliness of the barns, the water, the probiotics that we talked about, these things need to be discussed. That's what, you know, contributing to a healthy, happy animal, not just outdoor access. And then when we talk about outdoor access and you know, that component, what is the quality of that outdoor access? Like if it's raining outside, if it's, you know, hot and 115 degrees, which it can be sometimes like, it's not right to just be like, Oh yeah, go outside. Right. Sure. You can give the option, but that's not necessarily championed that animal husbandry practice.

Heidi (00:42:49):

And so, you know, we're just trying to evolve the discussion around what this looks like and educate our consumers consistently on that. You know, the barn environment, there are some barns that are sighted up from like floor to ceiling and they have lights that stay on all night that encourage a faster growth. Right. you know, again, this is something like our barns. Don't, don't look this way, but when you have farmers that are in the Midwest and it's like, maybe have 20 out, maybe they need that type of a structure to keep the birds healthy and happy. So I think it really comes down again to like, you know, there are going to be consumers out there who do not care. I mean, they care about animal husbandry, but they don't necessarily want to get into the weeds of it all. And then there are folks who really want to know, right.

Heidi (00:43:44):

But when you know your farmer, you have the luxury of asking those questions. Like you can call the diesel family, Turkey, ranch, we will answer the phone and you can ask those questions. You can look at our videos, you can subscribe to our content and you can actually see me or my brother or whomever out in the barns, talking to you about all of these things that we deem important. I think we just like published a video yesterday talking about the fresh pine wood shavings. So if that's a complex discussion that probably could be an entire compact podcast on its own, but that's kind of like a very scratched the surface answer to which was very long winded to get there. But to that, to that one component, does that kind of help frame that up? Yeah, it does. And you know,

Lauren (00:44:32):

Going through this, I'm also learning so much. Like I think if I had come into my first episode and someone would have asked me about my opinion on the organic label, and I still believe this for some food categories, it is a very important, essential thing to have. However, it does depend on the food category. For example, I'm interviewing a hydroponic strawberry farmer and they don't put organic on their label. However, the product that they're producing is better than organic essentially. And so what is your opinion on the organic label?

Heidi (00:45:08):

Yeah, so we, we were parked, my dad actually was part of the inception of the organic labeling in 1999. So prior to 1999 you know, you could not label me certified organic, which is pretty wild cause like, you know, we're in 2021. So you know, we w we really liked the certified organic label for a lot of reasons, because in, you know, in the early two thousands, and in the 1990s, there was a lot that we were doing that truly, like you just said was organic. We're better than organic, you know? And so for us, it was like, great, here's this finally, like these kinds of standards and seal that really helped frame up, like all the things that we believe in now with that though comes like a certified, a commodity product with the claims. And now this gets super confusing for the shoppers because Walmart sells them like most organic products, you know, th the highest amount of organic products like in America, which still blows my mind.

Heidi (00:46:20):

Right. So it's like, well, how can Walmart buy? You know? And so like more organics more organic certified organic products. And it's because, you know, these businesses have found ways to attain the standards but with a very conventional and commodity mindset. And so I completely agree with you that, like, there are certified organic was at one point, like the Holy grail, it was the purest choice, the best choice. But as, as a consumer, we can't just, we can't just look at these claims. We can just look at these certifications and be like, Oh, look, it, it says it's certified organic. It, you know, that's, you know, brand, you know, you know, whatever XYZ and it has all the claims, therefore like, it must be good and that's kind of what we're doing. Right? Some, you know, some label says, Oh, it says that it's free range.

Heidi (00:47:18):

It's got to be good. And it has no other claim associated with it. Like, I, we have all seen this, you know, well, what does that mean? If the product says, you know, just range, but it's also all natural. And, you know, it has, you know, these poor ingredients and it has really high sodium, you know, then he's not truly in benefits because it has this one push button as a consumer, you want to see, right. Like, no, which is exactly why I think as a consumer, you, you know, probably walking into the national organic spaces, just overwhelming, it's overwhelming to know what you should purchase. It's overwhelming to know like what you should choose, what brands are good, what brands aren't good, you know, like you just want to make the best choice. And you're just inundated with information. And I think it really just boils back to a really simple concept, which is, if you look in any section of the grocery store and you can say, there's my farmer, you can say, there's my produce farmer. There's my Turkey farmer, my chicken farmer. There's, you know, there's the guy that sources the strawberries. And like, he's the guy that makes the jam. It's not an as huge conglomerate. You're probably going to be much closer to the nutrient density that you really should have in your food to, you know, the whole strawberry that's mashed up and put into a jam versus the particulars and the natural flavorings that are added to make you think it tastes like strawberry jam, you know,

Lauren (00:48:56):

[Inaudible] yeah. I mean, well, locals farmer's markets, but I do want to clarify because distal does ship. So I want to make sure that people listening know that they can also, they don't have to, after listening to this podcast saying, all right, well, I need to go get my Turkey from a local farmer farmer's market. If they don't have time, that's a great thing to do support local. I am all about that, but I do want to clarify that diesel also does ship their products. You shipped them to me. So

Heidi (00:49:29):

Yeah, no, we totally shift. And that's, and that's one of the things like, honestly, we never thought we'd be in the direct consumer business. If you would have asked us, we would have said probably no, never, but we had so many consumers customers like loyal fans go, I moved to this state, I'm rural in this location and I can not get your stuff. And like, it's going to be a real problem. So like, you need to ship it to me. So, you know, fast forward and, you know, we're, we're trying to keep up with the Joneses as best as we can. And so we do ship direct to customers all over the country you know, every day. And we're so thankful for that. And yeah, like I encourage local whenever possible, but I mean, of course we would love to have you guys, you know, jump on and, and purchase direct from us.

Heidi (00:50:15):

And that's, that's an, also a really great choice, but, you know, I just think it's important that people know where their food comes from. Regardless if they decide to buy from diesel or whomever, like, you know, where your food is coming from. Cause it's really simple, like out of all the claims and everything that we talked about today, like if you just even know your farmer that is going to be light years ahead of, of, you know, purchasing something that comes from, you know, kilometer and X, Y, and Z. Like, and unfortunately the majority of what we find in grocery stores are made from some pretty large companies and, you know, brands.

Lauren (00:50:52):

Yeah. Well, I do want to jump into the other labels that we have kind of been throwing around. And I know that diesel has quite a few of their own, I'm trying to find where I have them written down. You have organic all natural heirloom pasture raised varieties of turkeys. So kind of go into these, what's the difference between them, you know, and is there a difference between the nutritional benefits of each variety?

Heidi (00:51:20):

Totally. So, yeah, we add to the confusion, like we are part of the problem in that way, because we have so many turkeys, I will own that now, you know, back in the day we had a Turkey, it was the diesel Turkey. And it was like the only thing that existed, because again, it was antibiotic free, vegetarian that and that was, you know, that was a novelty, but fast forward, and now we've, you know, identified you know, we saw at our all natural vegetarian fed really good, your standard diesel Turkey, right? Like that's your entry-level bird, if you will. It's the OJI, it's the original and it's, it's fantastic. It doesn't have all of the bells and whistles and all of its claims of, you know, say your gaps, that five, you know range grown pasture environments. It doesn't have that. It doesn't make it a bad Turkey.

Heidi (00:52:11):

It's just that, you know, that is like your entry level for, so for those consumers, because we have them who were like, Hey, I don't, I don't, I don't want the guests to find, I don't want something that's certified organic. I really don't mind if it doesn't have access outdoors. Cause I know that you guys have all these other things that you're doing really well. You're going to get your original diesel surfy. And we have plenty of people who love that product. So that's the original. Then you go to a certified organic, which is the fundamentals, the, every thing we do in our program and like in the latter of offerings, it just builds like everything builds on top of each other. So the organic starts just like the original Turkey, right? So the barns, the Thiede, everything starts the same, but then you have, it means certified organic.

Heidi (00:53:01):

And then you have that, you know, conditional access to outdoors, then you have no GMOs in the corn and soy then, you know, so then it just builds right now is the nutritional profile of the original diesel and the organic diesel inherently different? No, not in our program because we believe that the fundamentals from the up are being met. Right. So when you gave that access outside, it doesn't necessarily change the international profile or to date. We don't have a way to measure that it changes the nutritional profile, but now when you go to your heritage or your arrogant brief, so our turkeys are heirloom varietals because we've kind of, crossbred them, they're proprietary briefs to us. It becomes a different like taste and texture. Again, you can't, we don't, we don't see it. We don't have a way to measure that it's on housed nutritionally better.

Heidi (00:54:01):

But you definitely can taste a difference in, in that product. So that's kind of unique. And then we have our gaps step five, pasture-raised, you know, range grown on a rotational. They live with like the chickens and the goats when we rotate their pastures. And it's part of a lot of our regenerative kind of you know, passion and programs. And, you know, we've really used that program as like a hub to say, what are we learning from this environment? Which is like, you know, the, at the center of any awesome environment in farming and saying like, is there things that we can learn from this environment that we could, you know, have economies of scale and bring it to the original turkeys or bring it to our organic turkeys where we could still, you know, enter the market at a price point that our consumers will purchase, right? Because the cost of a pasture-raised gaps that five Turkey is significantly more expensive than just your original diesel Turkey.

Lauren (00:55:01):

Now are all of these holiday birds, or are they the year round Turkey products that you offer a bit? And what's the difference between those?

Heidi (00:55:10):

So at the holidays, that's that those birds are all of our holiday offerings. And then the, the the original diesel and the certified organic go, and they make a lot of our year round products. Currently, we don't have products that we make year round out of our pasture or out of our air room. However, it gets a little confusing because throughout the year we also raise non-GMO like, so our original Turkey, but non GMO project verified, not quite certified organic. So we like answer a third tier, which I get is very confusing, but we are doing that so that we can kind of an inch our way into like non-GMO production, but we have to do it really thoughtfully because price point is such a big deal to our shoppers. And so we're trying to, we're trying to inch everyone along without we, you know abandoning, you know, how we got into natural organic space anyways, right?

Heidi (00:56:15):

So there's a lot of shoppers who are just like, Hey, I'm good with the original Turkey. I don't want to pay more for non GMO and organic. And then we have a whole subset of, of customers who are like, Hey, I want something better. I want something that's certified organic and non GMO. So we've made it available. And because we're farmers, we get to do that. And so we're just, you know, we're slowly transitioning into those higher attributes as our shopping, as our consumers demand it right, as they buy more and we've taken the opportunity to take certain products and say the only product you're going to find for diesel of this, you know, slice deli is going to be non-GMO and certified organic. Like we've done things like this, so that we try and we're trying to kind of, you know, push yourselves along and just be that industry leader that says this is important. And we should all kind of take consideration of it. But of course, with our business practices in mind, we don't get to, we don't get to decide what everyone actually wants. Right. You guys decide to let the shoppers decide.

Lauren (00:57:15):

Yeah, there's two components to your business that I just really like. And that first one is giving the consumers what they want, listening to consumers, hearing their feedback and making business decisions about that and around that. But then the second part is staying committed to your craft and your values and never compromising those in order to get the consumer what they want faster, because at the end of the day, they trust you and you never want to break their trust. Even if it means taking a longer time to get them the product that they're asking for.

Heidi (00:57:49):

And I mean, we've, you know, I'll be at like, maybe people will say it's poor business practice. I mean, if we can't produce something in a way in a fashion that like, I'm going to feed to my family, you know, to my girls, to, to, to, to our company, to our team members. And we're just not going to produce it. And it's, you know, we have projects and innovation pipelines where we think we have something that's super neat and really cool and really tasty. And the market has said, like, not, we're not gonna, you know, consumers are like, it's too expensive. We're not going to buy it. And we said, okay, lamb, we're unwilling to produce it in a cheaper fashion. So we're going to find something else to produce then. And that's just

Lauren (00:58:30):

The life of a farmer. I love it. It's a, just a dream of mine. I have a lot of dreams, a lot of things to do in this life.

Heidi (00:58:38):

Well, you have to dream that's, that's part of it. I mean, that's, yeah. I don't know. It's, it's a really interesting time to be in the food industry. Like it's super changes to see the landscape is changing and what consumers are demanding out of their products is changing. And so, yeah, it's always a challenge. Like we have so many challenges in life and this is, this is just a piece of it, but I dunno, it's like, it's such a humbling place to be too, because you know, at the end of the day, like we can talk about like, everything we talked about here, but at the end of the day, like we are like, our responsibility is to produce really good, clean, delicious food in a better way. That's better for the earth. It's better, our birds, it's better for the people. And like, you know, when we do that, we've met our mission. And so whatever matrix to, we have to put together to get that, to work, like, that's our, yeah, that's our mission. That's what we wake up every day. And that's what we do. And so it's a huge passion of mine and as a huge passion of our families and, you know yeah, yeah. Crazy

Lauren (00:59:46):

For your family. I was going to ask earlier if your parents are adopting 

Heidi (00:59:52):

I love my family too, but Anna thinks we're crazy ones. Like in order to survive in this family, you gotta be just a little, a little out there, you know, like people always ask them, like, do you guys, do you guys like get together outside of work? Like, it seems like you're always together. Cause like we're truly family owned and we're truly family operated. Like it's, you know, all of us kids, I consider us kids because I just refuse to grow up, you know, like we're all in here, you know, like doing everything that needs to be done and, you know, working shoulder to shoulder with our team. And I'm like yeah, we only vacation together. And like almost every weekend, we're getting together for dinner and we're weird. And I know that that's a lot of family time, but that's how we roll. So I love it.

Lauren (01:00:42):

I know that we are already up on 60 minutes. I can be a three hour episodes. 

Heidi (01:00:49):

I totally connect. I feel like people were really not, not attention span. Yeah,

Lauren (01:00:53):

Absolutely. I do have three more questions I really want to hit on before we get to the quick hit questions and wrap this thing up. So I'll try to make it fast. But you mentioned regenerative, regenerative, farming or agriculture. I also have a minutes notes that you filter in, you reuse gray water, which I've never heard of. And then you also work with local farms to replace artificial fertilizers and chemicals with compost that you produce at the farm. So those are big things. I just like threw a lot of big terms that you, that some of the listeners are like what? But if you could just like high level explain what those three things are and why they're important. I would love that.

Heidi (01:01:36):

Totally. So regenerative ag, big buzz word. We've seen it a lot. Regenerative, you know is what it sounds like, you know, instead of just something that's sustaining, we're, you know, reenergizing, regenerative agriculture. So this is typically discussed with ruining animals you know, be it bison or cattle or what have you, this is kind of where this discussion started. And so there's, there's a lot of question in the market about regenerative ag and, you know, can poultry be regenerative or what is regenerative? Let's define it. And at diesel, you know, we think that all ag has a place to contribute to a regenerative cycle. And so do we consider ourselves regenerative? No. Like you're never going to see us a label. Everything we do is regenerative, but we do have regenerative practices. And that's really important because our composting program, which what, you know, will weeds right into this concept.

Heidi (01:02:45):

So we're Turkey farmers. We're not like row crop where we like plant into the ground and require the nutrient density of the ground and that the quality of the soil to support our crop, right. We're putting a Turkey on the land and we're having the turkeys interact with the land. However, we produce tons and tons of organic waste. We're talking feathers off of the turkeys when they, you know, our process, all of the litter. And then the newer that comes out of our barns, tons of organic waste. We have cardboard paper slash all of these things. So we, my brother, Jason, is like, you know, the science guy, he's like this farmer science, he comes up with all these crazy concepts and I'm like, I don't even know what you're talking about. And then he dumps them down for me, you know? And I'm like, wow, that's impressive.

Heidi (01:03:40):

So Jason started, he, he traveled around New Zealand and Australia straight out of college. And he started basically, you know being an intern for some farms in Australia. And they were talking about soil health and the nutrient density of the soil. And Jason's like, man, this is really cool. Like we always talked about nutrient density in our food growing up, you know, within our family. But we never really thought about per se, the soil nutrient density, right. So Jason's like, okay, I have all this organic waste that we need to, we need to do something with and how, where are we going to put this? And how are we going to, how are we going to use this? And we used to top dress our fields with like just the shirt and the Newark, because it's so rich. And Jason goes, you know, if there's something more to this conversation, so fast forward, and we now have a commercial composting site where we take all of our litter, all of our waste, all of those feathers, like actual Turkey feathers.

Heidi (01:04:41):

And we row we'd like, you know, put everything in rows. We, we turn and you can see it actually in our three-minute video. And you can see kind of Jason, like talking about it off of her website, but we actually create this high quality humus compost that goes back into fields. Sometimes we put it in the bars to create that really healthy microbial environment, but also to you to enrich the soil and add back that nutrient density that we are all really depleting out of our soil in and across the country. Right. and so this is a regenerative practice, right? You're taking something that would have gone to a landfill. You're creating a high quality nutrient dense compost, and then your you're applying it throughout, you know, are, you know, open fields or, and, or we started working with local CSA farmers. We have this compost has landed on the top of the Academy of sciences building in San Francisco.

Heidi (01:05:44):

Yeah. It goes down to link. So garden materials and Redwood city, for anyone who lives in that area, you can find it there. And it's just this like full circle of farming where it's like, yeah, we may not impact the soil like a row crop farmer, but that doesn't mean that we can't do our part in creating something that truly gives back, you know? So, so that's kind of those two components and then the gray water and the water reclamation practice. So most farms aren't located out like a five mile Dennis road in a rural County.

Lauren (01:06:22):


Heidi (01:06:22):

Processing facilities are located in a municipal water you know, municipal water system. Right. And you know, a more developed area. So we're not, we're super special that way. No one would ever choose to like build this processing plant in the middle of where we are, but, you know, that's what we've got. So we work with it. So we actually rely, and we have in this happened, I think I was probably like eighth grade or early high school. We started using a Xenon filtration system to take all of the ground water, all of the water that we use to clean up burgers, the fresh water, fresh well water that we use to clean the birds. And if this rate and you know, process it, it all gets captured. A hundred percent of it gets captured. And then we, we filtrate it through this filtration system and then we consider it gray water.

Heidi (01:07:20):

It's actually filtrated and, and cleaned to the point where you could drink it. It is like drinkable. We've had people drink it. I don't know that I really want to drink it, but you call it. But basically we then use what we call this gray water as an opportunity to irrigate our pastures and our gaps step five program. So all of the pasture that we irrigate, because again, in the summer months it goes, it will go Brown. And so we're irrigating the pasture and we have to keep, you know, keep it, keep it green. And so we'll Erie pastures with that. We'll wash our trucks with that. We'll wash equipment down and it's just a reuse of this water. So we're not pumping out fresh well water to, to support our pasture-raised program. It's, it's a gray water program.

Lauren (01:08:08):

Wow. And isn't compost. I, I use a service for composting, so they come pick it up every two and dump it out for me, but I can put my food waste in there so that I'm not contributing to the carbon problem that we already have and with food and landfills, but doesn't compost and worm casings, which is essentially worm poop from compost actually have a more nutrient dense profile than maneuvers that's typically used on farms.

Heidi (01:08:35):

Exactly. Yes it does. And so that's that's one of the huge benefits of it is that it actually is going to be more balanced and more nutrient dense.

Lauren (01:08:47):

I used to do composting myself with actual worms and I loved them and all my friends were so freaked out and I had like put to worms and see how they're doing. I'm not doing it right now. I don't have a garden, but when I start gardening again, I will I have a ton of followers who are actually athletes. I am a live sideline reporter for a professional paintball, totally random left field. And so when I saw your certification in personal training, I was kind of curious about the correlation between that you have seen, or you believe between eating clean meat and athletic performance.

Heidi (01:09:27):

Oh my gosh. Yeah. That's another like 90 minutes topic.

Lauren (01:09:33):

I told you we can do this for three hours.

Heidi (01:09:35):

Yeah. Perfect. Perfect. Let me, let me just go get like a glass of wine. No,

Lauren (01:09:41):


Heidi (01:09:42):

I, yeah, it's huge. It's absolutely huge. And you know, again, like, so, and, and if you're an athlete, so I grew up just like, you know, a normal kid. Like I'm not, I'm not like I'm not super athletic or anything, but you know, I was really interested in it and I, I met a girl when I was in high school, a gal that was training. She was a professional triathlete actually. And she was racing and we sponsored her with Turkey. She just like she was adopted into the family, if you will. We, we absolutely love her. She runs a phenomenal business by the way, she launched it during COVID you know, one of the home exercises that you can watch and follow along with, but it's fantastic. But at the end of the day when I was training with Ryan is her name.

Heidi (01:10:33):

We started talking about that because I was really interested in it. And I was like, Hey, you know, what's your take because you're actually a professional triathlete. And what she had said, it kind of goes back to the safe, the satiation, right? That how satisfied and how how consistently schooled your body is with quality protein. And so obviously, you know, there's a lot of science and study that has gone into the benefits of whatever, the many, many, many programs out there with protein shakes and protein bars and, you know, the combination of the carbohydrates and the sugars and the protein. And I mean, there's a ton more research than I will ever know in my lifetime about it. But one thing that stands true is that cleanliness of the protein, the lean and mean quality protein that has really good you know, minimal ingredients really just clean is what supports muscle retention development and just that consistent power that you need when you are trying to accomplish whatever your goals are, whether it's an endurance athlete or whether you are, you know, trying to tell him in shape or whether you are a competitive, you know, bodybuilder, lean, clean protein is the name of the game all the way.

Lauren (01:12:03):

Yeah. I mean, just, you know, I don't have any proof behind this, but my brain is kind of working as you're speaking and I'm putting things together. And I would think that the peer amino acid profile and clean protein, if it's your, body's not combating all these other things, they sugars that are spiking your blood sugar, or trying to figure out what modified potato starches and how it breaks it down and where it should store it or how it should excrete it all it's getting as the pure amino acids and maybe some nourishing spices, along with that, to help with the absorption and performance of those amino acids, your body's just going to be fueled so much easier. And it's probably gonna feel like it requires less motivation or energy to exert the kind of activity that you need to. That's just, again, off the top of my head, thinking through how it could be different between conventional and clean meat, but it seems like it would really make sense.

Heidi (01:13:01):

Oh, and I think you framed that probably better than I answered it. I you're completely right. I call it the hum factor when I was, when I was trained, I would, I would say, Hey, we got to get your body to the hum factor. And I, we, you know, like my, my clients would be like, I don't even, I don't even know what you're talking about. I, you know, create funny things, but the hum factor to me is just what you said, which is when you inundate your body with, with processed foods that are unrecognizable, you know, foods that had been created in a lab that are, you know, in a Petri dish and, you know you know, you know, created by man, right? Your, your body then has to go and say, what the heck is this? And how do I process it and where do I put it and how do I use it?

Heidi (01:13:51):

And, you know, it's the exact same concept as Natalie's pasta in our feed. We're not trying to get the Turkey something that they can't recognize on week five and then week four and then week 10 and then week 12 of their life, right. Two weeks 20 of their life. You know, we're providing really consistent feed sources for ourselves and for our birds, so that the hum factor your body can go, Hm, I've got it, I'm eating this. And I know what it is. I know where to put it. I know how to use it. And there's no question that your body has to process, you know, modified potato starch, corn syrup, or, you know, anything else, the, the, the raw principles of like you talk about spices, right? You know, what the benefits are of ginger tumeric or, you know, an anti-inflammatory diet or these types of things.

Heidi (01:14:46):

And I do think still that like, every body is different, everyone's satiated differently, you know the way that I eat isn't necessarily the way that the next person needs to eat. So we all have to find like what satiates us in this film of the natural organic space, but yeah, clean protein is going to have it spot. And I don't think you have to eat like copious amounts of meat eat healthy. In fact, I think, think eating less is probably an okay thing because you're going to need less of it. Like, it's just not, you just don't have to eat 12 ounces of steak. Right.

Lauren (01:15:24):

Well, if you eat too much of any macro, it just gets stored as fat in your body. So I usually say two thirds should be, you know, vegetables, seeds, fruit, and then one third should be a really clean source of protein. Yeah. I swear, I'm wrapping up here. I only have one more. We're going to have to do another one.

Heidi (01:15:48):

Wait until you get Jason, if you ever do an episode with Jason, you know, you're going to go on like way big changes. Yeah.

Lauren (01:15:55):

Book out four hours for that one, this one I'm just curious about, you know, I get a lot, the vegan trend is very hot right now, and I always say, you have to be really careful. First of all, like one out of 10 bodies are built to thrive on a, on a vegan diet, and that's just this science. And you also have to be careful of just because it says it's vegan on the package. Doesn't mean it's healthy. You know, there are certain brands that I won't call out that maybe they're making a difference on the earth from an animal perspective, but they're using a lot of chemicals. And if it's supposed to be something that is made with vegetables and fruits and seeds, then you shouldn't have to cook it to consume it. So if you eat that brand, I hope, you know what I'm talking about.

Lauren (01:16:46):

But you know, I get a lot of people I'm I have a client on Monday who is new and she said, she's trying to eat a vegan diet so that she can improve her lifestyle and her diet. And I always have to ask, is this ethical, or is this a dietary trend? Because generally speaking, like you said, everybody is different and some people can thrive on vegan, but a lot of historical vegans will tell you that they felt great year one and two, and then year three and four and five and six, they felt terrible. And I was vegan for 10 months and I looked sickly, my body needs meat. But what are, I imagine that being farmers and Turkey farmers, you do have to deal with kind of the vegan population and answer to those questions. So what, what is your response to vegans about, you know, how you produce your animal products?

Heidi (01:17:38):

Yeah, I think it's a great question. So you know, I think that in any in any culture like eating culture, if you will, like, I think vegan is, is it culture folks that can be vegan for a variety of reasons, albeit the ethical, the just the way their body processes, food, the raw nature of the vegan diet, so on and so forth. And so, you know, there's going to be a spectrum and they're going to be vegans out there and groups that really do not support the stool. And if you look us up or even look at our blogs, you'll find a lot of opinions that we have about those really, really far extreme vegan activist groups that just don't support, support, farm animal ag in any, in any context. But for those folks that are saying, Hey, we think it's either better for the environment or, you know, a healthier way to be.

Heidi (01:18:39):

I would really question this. I think that there's a small subset of folks that maybe just feel better eating vegan, but there are many, many, many folks out there who just like what you said, we'll go vegan. And then a couple of years, they're not healthy. They're there. Their skin is their skin is having lots of issues, whether it's dryness or, you know, rashes, their hair is brittle. They're nutrient deficient. That's a great way to summarize it. And so, you know, when we think about a vegan diet, you know, you also have to have in a vegan diet and ate extremely high nutrient density within the food that they're getting. So if you go to any grocery store and we've already talked about it, are you going to assign that in just your basic organic almonds or, you know, whatever, no. Are you going to find it in like all of these really processed Meagan products? No.

Lauren (01:19:45):

About those nuts, because they're often covered in refined oils that cause inflammation. And so you need to look for clean sprouted nuts, if you can. It's really,

Heidi (01:20:01):

He's incredibly difficult. So quite frankly, unless you have your own garden and unless you have like your own, you know, your own angle on some sprouted grains, you're completely right. Like you're, it's, it's very challenging to eat that way and think that you're going to be providing your body, the nutrients that it requires to be healthy. Now I'm not saying that everyone is this way, but I'm just saying that like, I would be really weary and very cautious of it. And I think that, unfortunately there's a lot of dollars. There's a lot of folks supporting, right. Mr. Bill Gates just came out a few weeks ago saying that it was, you know, you need to eat lab grown meat basically. And, you know, really targeting the beef industry, but like saying, Hey, like beef can never be sustainable. That's just, it's just not correct.

Heidi (01:20:55):

It's just not right. And you know, maybe the way that, you know, highly commoditized commercial productions are raising these animals. Isn't right. We would agree with that as well. You know, eradicating, you know, regenerative ag relies on the ruin, an animal. You don't get to eradicate it. Like that's just day one. So I don't know, you know, there's the the founder of Epic I don't know if you're familiar with Epic. They were, we were raised, they were acquired by general mills, but they started off at this couple Taylor and Katie that founded it. And we met them, you know, through the natural food industry. And they created basically Epic is a meat bar that they had created. And it's now since been like fights and sticks and that sort of thing with like a true quality, like meat bar that was shelf stable.

Heidi (01:21:50):

And they had been vegan. Katie had been vegan and she went through that exact thing. She's like, Oh, I, you know, I thought I was being more ethical. I thought that, you know, it was going to be better for me. And she's like, I just, I couldn't do it. And so then they just pivoted and said, we need to create a solution for people who want a really good meat bar as they're out on a hike, because it's really hard to bring a shelf, you know, a non shelf, stable meat item out to wherever, you know, you're trying to recreate or, you know, just in your normal course of day. And so I think that's a really neat story because it's actually someone who was vegan, went back to eating meat, found all the benefits of that, and then created, created this fantastic company and fantastic brands that you know, really supported a more convenient and mobile lifestyle that we all have with, with a meat product.

Heidi (01:22:45):

So the vegan trend, I just, I think as a meat per a person in the meat industry, we're going to have to be really conscientious of it and really thoughtful. It's the way that we talk about it. And I just think that as a consumer, we've really want to consider the choices that we're making, because it's celebrity endorsed. It's very popular to talk about. There's a lot of money behind it. It's up and coming. It's a booming category. And with that just comes a lot of misnomers about what that truly does to the average person's health.

Lauren (01:23:21):

Yup. I mean, you hit it right on the nail. You have to be careful of documentaries. A lot of those are funded by people who are in the vegan industry and are looking to push their own agenda for many reasons. And there is a lot of mis-education out there. And just because you eat animal products doesn't mean you can't be ethical about it. You don't have to eat meat products at every meal every single day. You know, you can sell it back. So you're doing something good for the environment while also supporting your body. If eating meat products helps you reach optimal health. So I think it's a great way to kind of wrap up the big portion of our interview. Go into quick hit questions. I do want to mention, you heard it here. First. We're calling out bill Gates telling him that one of his sons is wrong. So bill Gates, if you want to make a comment, just shoot me an email info at the clean body podcast,

Heidi (01:24:16):

Or Hey, if we want to make a summit of like-minded farmers for bill Gates to come and have a round table discussion, we'll host it. We'll be, we'll be there.

Lauren (01:24:25):

We'll be reaching out to you after the interview to start coordinating that. I'm happy to moderate. I love it. All right. Couple of quick hit questions so I can let you go get back to your ranch. First one is what does having a clean body mean to you?

Heidi (01:24:43):

I think it's the hum factor. You know, having a clean body is having a clean mind you know, not being bogged down by just life in general, right. And just you know, being able to see my challenges, my happiness, my joy, my struggles with clarity. I think that's what, you know, being clean is really all about

Lauren (01:25:06):

What are a couple other routine lifestyle and diet habits you have that you could never live without.

Heidi (01:25:14):

Ooh. I mean, I don't know. I don't know if it's diet, but like coffee is, it's a fuel I haven't gotten off. Yes. I know actually, Oh gosh, the rise, rise and grind is my copy of the situation. You know, I think that's one thing that I, I definitely enjoy a lot. I would, I would say it's my, my definitely my guilty pleasure, but you know, for me, quite frankly, it's cooking. I try to really not rely on processed foods and I try to purchase products. I try to force myself not to fall into the process, convenience foods. That's just one lifestyle choice that I make. And then I, it's so hard because I'm like I'm a young mother and also running a business and just super busy, but exercise like, Oh my gosh, getting outside breathing, you know, that is so important. And it's so hard to fit in all the time and be consistent with when, when you have other priorities. But if you don't do it, if you don't force yourself to get out and get healthy and just breathe fresh air and challenge yourself in entirely different capacity I think you're kind of missing out. So

Lauren (01:26:32):

You are, there's lots of studies behind that. And I will say in my coffee, I put heavy cream from a local farmer that I have asked questions from. So no, where that came from. Yeah. Last question. What other brands do you love and support?

Heidi (01:26:53):

Oh, golly. That's going to be a long list. We'll try to break it down. You know, one that I really love I mean there's a lot, but dry farms wine. I don't know, you know, I know it's kind of out of left field, but I was talking about it the other day because I get really if I have any wine or anything, I break out because of like the soul sites and the mere fact that like, we don't know what is in our alcohol or, you know, beverages of choice. So I really like drive for wine, dry farm wines. They can, they ship nationally and they just, they source really cleaner, not always organic, you know, sometimes like the above and beyond organic, but really clean. I really love like hard to find really good clean olive oils.

Heidi (01:27:42):

Most of the, all of the meals in our country are actually rancid and really realize that, or they're mixed with like the diluted old wheels. And so I love finding like local regional olive oil producers that are really like small you know, we are near the Sonoma County. And so like, there's some, there's some smaller families that we source from there, but that's one of, that's one of my favorite things to do because I love cooking with all the oil and just like eating it and it's really good on everything. Yeah. I mean Dick Taylor chocolates, I don't know if you've ever had their chocolate or out of the San Francisco area, whole, they make the best chocolate. It's super tasty, really pure, really clean. So that's a really fun like chocolate purveyor. I don't know,

Lauren (01:28:37):

You've given me, I'll sorry. I know I'm going to need to hit an olive oil and a clean wine producer.

Heidi (01:28:43):

I was going to have some subscription links of people that I love. They're not the least, they're not the most least expensive, but you know, in the summer months when like you have really fresh veggies and like you're making like those salads, when you look a good olive oil, like, and really good a rubella, or just like a really spring mix, like you don't need any other ingredients. And so that's my favorite. That's my favorite way to eat.

Lauren (01:29:08):

Yeah. Send me those. Send me those. I'll put them in the show notes for everyone, like Heidi's favorite subscriptions. And then last question for, to you, where can people learn more about the distal family ranch and interact with you? The brands get their hands on products.

Heidi (01:29:28):

Totally. So, yes. Fallish we, we try to be relevant on social channels. So Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest. And so you can follow us there, check us out on our website. Do you still You can purchase our products direct from our website, and we're constantly trying to add more and more of those or deli meats are going to be coming on quick here. So we're going to get those on there. And yeah, I mean, you can write us directly. You can call the ranch quite frankly. So yeah, we're accessible and we try to do like fun content and videos. We'll be doing more and more of them, but you know, we're farmers. So as we're not, we're, we're just

Lauren (01:30:08):

Great on this podcast. Are those videos on YouTube?

Heidi (01:30:12):

Yeah, we do have a YouTube channel, so you can subscribe. We don't have a ton of videos, but we're kind of like doing more and more of them. So you'll, you'll see them populating more this year.

Lauren (01:30:20):

Awesome. And I also love that you called out that people could give you a call and ask questions. So

Heidi (01:30:27):

They really can quite frankly, I mean, yeah, we list our phone number on all the packages that we produce and there it's across our website, which is kind of easy thing. Sometimes it's hard to find and you really can't call the rich, like it's, it's a situation

Lauren (01:30:41):

That is amazing. Thank you so much. This is by far the longest episode I have recorded, but I could just keep going on for hours. So we're going to have to stay in touch, continue collaborating. I appreciate you and let you do so, so much. Thank you for your transparency on this call. You were so honest and authentic and I just, I appreciate it. And I know people are going to appreciate it. So,

Heidi (01:31:05):

And if you need us to chat with your husband at all, again, as well, you know, we can just both eke out, you know, little bit by little bit.

Lauren (01:31:13):

Well, I'm going to fly out there. I'm from the East Bay and we'll just have to get together. You and I can drink clean wine and Jason can tell him all about all, about all that.

Heidi (01:31:23):

That is, that would actually probably work. So we'll, let's pick a date sprint times

Lauren (01:31:28):

Done. Well, thank you so much. I super appreciate it. We will be in touch, but thank you.

Heidi (01:31:35):

Thanks Lori.


What is was like growing up on a turkey farm
What hidden ingredients are found in conventional & sometimes organic meat products
Why most of today’s meat products don’t satiate hunger
How eating clean meat can help you eat less
Why you should stay away from carrageenan
The Gap 5-Step Animal Welfare Program
How food sources, environmental factors, and sanitization practices impact turkey health and resulting meat
Why overly-sanitizing your homes isn’t improving your health
The difference between pasture-raised, non-GMO, free range, cage-free, and organic turkeys
Why not all turkeys want to be free range
Why organic doesn’t always equate to healthy
What regenerative agriculture is and why it matters
How Diestel Family Ranch create high quality compost to improve the Earth’s soil and nutrient density
Why Diestel Family Ranch uses “grey water”
How clean meat can help improve athletic or everyday performance
How Diestel Family Ranch feels about the vegan movement