joe rogan joel salatin

Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin is a visionary farmer, author, and sustainable agriculture advocate whose pioneering work has transformed the way we think about food and farming. Born in 1957, Salatin grew up on his family's Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia, which became the epicenter of his innovative farming practices. With a deep commitment to regenerative agriculture, Salatin has championed holistic management techniques, rotational grazing, and permaculture principles. He is a passionate advocate for local food systems and the importance of small-scale, diversified farming in ensuring food security and environmental sustainability. Salatin's influential books, including "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan and the documentary "Food, Inc.," have brought his ideas to a global audience, sparking a revolution in sustainable farming practices. His charismatic speaking engagements and educational programs continue to inspire a new generation of farmers and consumers to embrace the benefits of regenerative agriculture. Joel Salatin is undeniably a trailblazer in the field of sustainable food production.

The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) #1478: Joel Salatin and Joe Rogan

Welcome to an insightful discussion between Joe Rogan and Joel Salatin on episode #1478 of The Joe Rogan Experience. Salatin, a pioneering farmer, delves deep into the philosophy of regenerative farming, the impact of current agricultural practices, and how we might envisage a healthier, more sustainable food system.

Regenerative Farming: A Paradigm Shift

Joel Salatin, the proprietor of Polyface Farms, discusses the transformative concept of regenerative farming. This approach respects the natural behavior and welfare of animals, allowing them to roam freely and forage naturally. Salatin emphasizes the importance of each species being able to express its inherent nature – for pigs to exhibit piggishness, chickens their chickenness, and so forth. This practice not only results in healthier, happier animals but also produces nutritionally superior food.

The Dichotomy of the Food System

The conversation sheds light on the stark contrast between industrial-scale food production and local, sustainable farming. Salatin points out the recent pandemic has unexpectedly benefited local farmers who’ve seen a surge in demand as people begin to recognize the fragility of the industrial food chain. He highlights the inherent resilience in smaller, community-based agricultural practices as opposed to the vulnerable, mega-systems of industrialized food production.

The Impact of Centralized Meat Processing

A significant focus is given to the vulnerabilities of large meat processing facilities, which have become hotbeds for disease transmission. Salatin contrasts this with the operations of smaller, community-based abattoirs which pose less risk due to their scale and method of operation. He suggests that a more decentralized approach to meat processing could lead to a more resilient and healthier food system.

The Importance of a Diverse Microbiome

Salatin passionately discusses the significance of a rich and diverse microbiome for human health. He shares his practice of drinking water from his cattle tanks, exposing himself to a variety of microorganisms. This, he believes, strengthens his immune system. He argues for a closer relationship with the natural world, suggesting that over-sanitization and fear of exposure may be detrimental to our health.

Rethinking Food Regulation

A considerable portion of the discussion revolves around the complexities of food regulation. Salatin criticizes the one-size-fits-all approach to food safety, advocating for more nuanced, scale-sensitive regulations. He introduces the PRIME Act, legislation that seeks to allow smaller producers to sell meat directly to consumers without the burdensome overhead of federal inspection, arguing that direct, transparent transactions between producer and consumer can ensure food safety in a more personal and efficient manner.

The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) #1478: Joel Salatin and Joe Rogan: Urbanization and Its Drawbacks

Joel Salatin discusses the phenomenon of people leaving cities due to the pandemic, recognizing the inherent risks of dense urban living. As individuals reconsider their lifestyles, there’s a potential for a more distributed population, reducing the strain on concentrated areas and possibly mitigating future crises.

Rethinking the Flu Vaccine

Salatin expresses skepticism about the flu vaccine’s effectiveness, advocating for natural immunity through exposure to diverse microorganisms. He encourages people to engage with nature and boost their microbiome, a stark contrast to the fear-driven isolation many have experienced during the pandemic.

A Call for Immunity Focus

Salatin criticizes the lack of emphasis on building natural immunity during the pandemic. He urges a shift from fear to proactive health measures, such as proper nutrition, hydration, sleep, and mental wellness. By focusing on strengthening our bodies, we can better withstand not only COVID-19 but future health challenges.

Integrating Agriculture and Ecology

Salatin outlines his vision for a sustainable and integrated agricultural system, contrasting the current destructive practices with a model that builds soil health and utilizes resources like biomass effectively. He highlights the potential for creating jobs and fostering community through decentralized and ecologically sound farming methods.

Challenges of Scaling Sustainable Agriculture

Addressing the potential to scale up his farming methods, Salatin explains the limitation isn’t the principles but the resources like land and personnel. He envisions a future where multiple small, integrated farms replace the industrial agriculture model, promoting ecological health and community resilience.

The Impact of Personal Choice

Salatin emphasizes the power of individual choices in shaping the future of food and ecology. He encourages people to consider the impact of their dietary decisions, suggesting that a collective shift toward sustainable practices can lead to significant environmental and societal benefits.

The Joe Rogan Experience #1478: Joel Salatin and Joe Rogan: Societal Reopening and Reconnection

As Virginia begins to reopen, Joe Rogan and Joel Salatin discuss the gradual return to normalcy, with businesses like hairdressers resuming operations. Despite the slow process, there’s a palpable sense of relief among people eager to reconnect socially. This desire for human interaction underlines our fundamental need for community, especially during challenging times.

The Importance of Controls and Comparisons

Salatin expresses a desire for more controlled approaches to handling the pandemic, such as having a state that didn’t impose any restrictions to serve as a control group. He points to Sweden’s less restrictive approach as an example, emphasizing the difficulty in assessing strategies without a clear basis for comparison.

Confronting the Consequences of Lockdowns

The discussion shifts to the dire consequences of lockdowns, including increased suicide rates and domestic abuse. Salatin stresses the importance of understanding the full impact of these measures, including the psychological and societal costs.

Empowering Personal Food Security

Salatin advises individuals on how to secure their food supply by stockpiling more food at home, buying in bulk, and supporting local farmers. He encourages a shift towards unprocessed foods and developing a love for domestic culinary arts, emphasizing that these changes can lead to significant savings and better health.

The Role of Biome in Dietary Choices

Addressing the issue of poor dietary habits, Rogan and Salatin discuss the role of the gut biome in craving unhealthy foods. They highlight the need for a gradual shift towards healthier, unprocessed foods to allow the body to adjust and develop a more diverse and healthy gut biome.

The Potential of Urban Agriculture and Homesteading

The conversation turns to the potential for urban agriculture and homesteading to revolutionize how people produce and consume food. Salatin shares inspiring stories of individuals and communities who have transformed vacant lots and backyards into productive food sources, emphasizing the creativity and opportunity available to those willing to embrace these practices.


In the final third of the podcast, Joe Rogan and Joel Salatin explore the societal, health, and ecological implications of the pandemic and the lockdowns. They advocate for a reevaluation of our values and priorities, emphasizing the importance of community, personal responsibility, and a closer relationship with nature. By embracing changes in how we produce and consume food, as well as fostering a deeper connection to the natural world, we can create a healthier, more resilient future for ourselves and the planet.