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Grass-fed meat & milk healthier in a whole food diet I Dr Stephan van Vliet, Duke University

Science collaboration between human health nutritionists, soil and animal scientists shows that grass-fed animals that forage on a diet of diverse pasture lead to health-promoting phytochemicals when consumed in a whole food diet.

Photo Courtesy of Silver Fern Farms
“If the animal is grazing biodiverse pastures, from a large botanical diversity, there are higher health-promoting phytochemicals than mono-culture pastures,” explains Stephan van Vliet.

As part of the Sarah’s Country’s Thought Maker series brought to you by Multiscapes at Lincoln University, we discuss with Dr Stephan van Vliet from Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University Medical Center:


  • His area of nutritional study is in the field of tracking disease back to dietary origin and how to treat disease from the ground up from what we eat.


  • They have focused on the secondary compounds that affect physiology and metabolism from forage diversity and finishing on pasture which gives red meat health-promoting phytochemicals such as CLA.


  • It always comes back to your overall diet, so if you consume red meat as part of a 'healthy' diet, a lot of the associations with cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, tend to become neutral.


  • Studies, especially in older adults, suggest that moderate amounts of animal foods can actually improve health and longevity and reduce the risk of early mortality.


  • His team encourages nutrition science to collaborate more with soil, plant and animal scientists to work on multidisciplinary projects as we look to the connection between the health of the soil, animals and humans.


To read Stephan’s latest research article, ‘Health-Promoting Phytonutrients Are Higher in Grass-Fed Meat and Milk’: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsufs.2020.555426/full



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