Category Archives: Asthma and Acid Reflux

A Journey from a Lifetime of Acid Reflux, Asthma and Medications to Healing:Real Food Replaces Medication

Is it possible to have acid reflux and asthma for most of your life and at nearly 50, be able to recover from these serious health problems through nutrition? It was for a dear friend of mine. Last summer I met David Morales, a terrific police officer who was helping my daughter with her car. After talking, I learned that he was an excellent musician, but that he suffered from chronic acid reflux and asthma.  In fact, his asthma at times was life-threatening and his acid reflux, pervasive. He had recently also suffered from some very frightening health experiences that needed effective answers, and he knew that his medications were just covering symptoms.  I had the privilege of sharing my books with him and found that he really took the advice to heart.  Since then, real miracles began to take place with his health.  His story sends a powerful message that I hope will help many other people.  Kathryne Pirtle

I am 49 years old and I’ve had acid reflux and asthma for pretty much all my life. In what I call the early years, the only thing that gave me any type of relief or comfort in controlling my acid reflux was milk, as in those days there were no medications. I still remember the countless nights I slept in a sitting position with a belly full of milk hoping for at least a half night’s good sleep. I was introduced to common acid-blocking medications in my early twenties and welcomed them with open arms. With time, I found myself using these medications anywhere from three up to four times a week without dependable relief. In fact, I would often have to take antacids along with my medication regimen so much so that I would buy them in the largest quantity available to save money.

 In early spring of 2012, while at work, I began to suffer from chest pain. Thinking I was having a heart attack, I was rushed to the local emergency room. After six hours of tests, I was sent home with a clean bill of health, a $7000 emergency-room bill and a RX for a narcotic pain killer. I was informed by the ER doctor that they couldn’t find anything wrong with me even though my body told me otherwise. The cause of this event literally became a mystery and made me very fearful of a possible recurrence.  I was on a serious search to find out what was happening to my health.

In the summer of 2012, I met Kathy Pirtle who enlightened me about raw milk. She told me how drinking raw milk from grass-fed cows had played a crucial role in her recovery from a life-threatening digestive disorder and 25 years of chronic pain.  I had already been drinking store bought milk for years and really didn’t believe it would help me any further than it already had in my early years. She told me about a few sources where I could purchase raw milk. I felt that I had nothing to lose  and that the ten dollars a gallon would be a very small  price to pay if this would help my condition. So the experiment began!  

 I immediately began drinking a minimum of 16oz to 24oz a day. I actually think I drank so much of it because I enjoyed the way it tasted and was tired of drinking juice and soda. Juice and soda were my preferences because I had stopped drinking liquor and smoking completely almost two years earlier.

In addition to raw milk, I began a strict regimen of consuming organic pasture-raised foods such as eggs, bacon, butter and meat and largely cut out grains, sugar and any processed food. I learned how to make milk and water kefir, which helped my digestion improve.  Culturing my own beverages saved me a lot a money—especially the water kefir , which only cost few dollars a gallon to make. I also religiously consumed fermented cod liver oil which I would add to my morning portion of milk. Cod liver oil was a childhood memory as my mother regularly gave it to me and my siblings.

It hasn’t been easy to make these changes because I was used to eating certain foods like corn products, which were an important staple in my diet. Additionally, I have learned that many foods in the store, like corn, are often GMO’s and may contribute to health problems.  Because of this, I began to purchase much of my food from different farms as I didn’t trust the local stores. It wasn’t enough for me to read that the products were organic. I felt that just because the label stated it was organic didn’t mean it really was.  I demanded proof! I wanted to make sure that all my products came from free-range grass-fed animals. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck—then it’s probably a duck!

For exercise,  I continued my daily habit of walking 3 to 5 miles three times a week, which I had been doing on and off for the past 15 to 20 years. I walk instead of running due to shin splints and asthma.

With all of these changes I began to notice some exciting improvements in my health.  After about a month, I noticed that I had lost approximately ten pounds without doing a single exercise except for my walking ritual. About four months into this regimen I noticed I had, give or take a few, lost between twenty to twenty-five pounds! 

Most importantly, my acid reflux and asthma were improving dramatically.  First, I realized I had only taken my acid reflux medication a total of about 5 to 6 times compared to the usual 3 to 4 times a week.  I still, from time to time, consume an antacid for temporary relief, but there is no comparison to the amount I was ingesting previously.  Second, my asthma attack pattern completely changed.  I don’t know if this is coincidence or not, but this fall I didn’t have my yearly asthma attacks, which I could set my clock to occur in early fall, and again in early spring. However, I have noticed that if I stop drinking the raw milk for longer than two weeks that my acid reflux returns immediately, even if I consume a small portion of spicy food.

I must admit that this food and lifestyle change requires a great amount of dedication, hope and discipline and may not be for everyone. I feel that I was blessed with an early warning system call that told my body that I must change what I was doing if I wished to continue to exist. Kathy turned me on to what I think is a great saying, “You Can Pay The Farmer Or You Can Pay The Doctor.”

Guess what—the farmer’s getting my money!
Hope this helps inform people about real milk and real food.

David Morales
25 Year Veteran
Chicago Police Department

For more information on building health and healing with nutrient-dense foods see my book, Performance without Pain and my e-book on healing acid-reflux.

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

Fantastic, Easy Recipe for Ginger-Lemon Water Kefir–Great for Digestion

Here’s a easy recipe for Ginger-Lemon Water Kefir. I have been making my own water kefir for over three years. Before that I made kombucha for four years. Compared to all the prep necessary for kombucha–water kefir is an breeze to make, is dairy-free and also helps to promote excellent gut-health.  It’s a great beverage to help with digestion at meals and is a good source of enzymes and probiotics. As a matter of fact, people have made fermented beverages like water kefir for thousands of years as a good supply of drinking water was not available.

You’ll need to order kefir grains first or get them from a friend. They double with each batch–so you will have lots to share.

Here’s what you need:

1 gallon glass jar with lid
1 gallon filtered water
1 1/3 c. organic sucanat (unprocessed brown sugar available at the health food store)
4 heaping T. kefir grains (reconstituted)
1/4 c. diced fresh ginger (use food processor–no need to peel)
1 1/2  diced whole organic lemons (process peel and lemon with ginger in food processor)

Put filtered water in jar with sucanat and kefir grains. Stir with a wooden or plastic spoon until sucanat is dissolved. (You don’t want metal to come in contact with the kefir grains.) Cover loosely and place on top of refrigerator for 24-36  hours. Then drain kefir water through a plastic strainer into a large bowl. Pour strained kefir water back into gallon jar. Save the kefir grains in a glass jar and feed them with 2 T. of sucanat (store in fridge) until you make next batch. (You will always double the grains with each batch–so you can share or put them in your garden.)

Add the lemon and ginger to the kefir water and stir. Cover lightly and place back on top of refrigerator for about 24 hours.  Drain the water kefir again through a strainer into a large bowl and discard the lemon and ginger. After this, pour finished water kefir back into the glass jar and cover.  Place jug in fridge. Enjoy!!

You can make lots of different flavors of water kefir.  Be creative! I also add fresh ground mint to this recipe. Try using berries or citrus fruit.

For more information on building health and healing with nutrient-dense foods see my book, Performance without Pain and my e-book on healing acid-reflux.

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

Quenching the Fire—Real Hope for Those who Suffer from Acid Reflux

After decades of being told by the experts that a diet high in fiber and low in fat is the key to robust good health, why is it that one in every 5 Americans is being treated for Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, (GERD)?

Studies show more than 60 million Americans are currently being treated by their physicians for acid reflux. Last year there were 470,000 hospitalizations and 1.9 million visits to the emergency room as a result of GERD, commonly known as acid reflux. What’s more, GERD is now being diagnosed in children, birth to four years.

Since 1999 the majority of Americans say they are now following the dietary guidelines recommended by the FDA, eating at least 5 servings of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains each day.  We are also following the advice of the medical community and eliminating from our diets traditional fats,(like butter) and decreasing our intake of protein—especially our favorite food-to-hate—red meat.

What is it, then, that such a large percentage of our population is doing that would promote the massive increase in this ailment? Should our entire nation succumb to popular medications that merely treat the symptoms but do nothing to remedy the underlying cause?

In my e-book, Acid Reflux: A National Epidemic and Precursor to Chronic Illness I pull back the curtain of misinformation to reveal the truth about why we are all chronically ill not only with GERD, but a variety of ailments including cancer, heart disease, allergies, dementia, even autism: see The Healing Diet for Acid Reflux Disease

Much of what we are told about good nutrition today is based on trends and faulty research funded by the Goliath factory farming industry. For 25 years I suffered from debilitating pain and chronic illness. Over that time I also suffered from symptoms of impaired digestion including persistent flatulence and at the age of 42, I was diagnosed with acid reflux that almost ended my career as a professional clarinetist. Even though I diligently followed popular health dictates as outlined in the traditional Food Pyramid and the resulting digestive illness and malnutrition nearly cost me my life.

If the Food Pyramid isn’t the answer, what is?  In Acid Reflux: A National Epidemic and Precursor to Chronic Illness I explain how our bodies actually work to digest and assimilate the food we eat.

Before the 1950s most of our foods came from small family farms. These high quality foods were from animals eating their natural diets.  Cows ate grass, chickens ate bugs and worms, and all fish were caught in the wild.  These are nutrient-dense foods our bodies need for optimal health and digestion, but unfortunately, this is not what we find at our grocery stores today.

Consider how many ads you see for drugs to address chronic health problems like acid reflux, gas, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea. Pharmaceutical companies expect to earn a whopping $400,000,000 in annual sales from going over-the-counter with the ‘little purple pill. This remedy for acid reflux is nothing more than a slow death.

Current information on so-called healthy eating will not heal digestive disorders and will ultimately lead to nutrient deficiencies, illness, and even death, it behooves us to learn the difference.

The principles of a truly healthy diet are but one aspect found in this exceptional e-book.  Acid Reflux: A National Epidemic and Precursor to Chronic Illness also provides information on where to find nutrient-dense foods, shares delicious recipes and menu ideas, and makes the road to true healing informative and enjoyable.

For more information on healing and building health with nutrient-dense foods and seminars on this subject, see Performance without Pain and The Healing Diet for Acid Reflux Disease

Best in Health,

Kathryne Pirtle

The Asthma Epidemic–The Acid Reflux connection

Asthma is one of the serious epidemics we are seeing in our population. Since just 1995, the number of diagnosed cases of this illness has jumped from 14.9 million to 34.1 million! Although one would assume this jump is a direct result of toxins in the air, this is not the underlying cause in many cases. You may be surprised to learn that 41.1% of non-smokers who have a chronic cough and 60% of those who have asthma also have acid reflux!

How does acid reflux cause asthma? First, the refluxed liquid may cause people to inhale tiny drops of acid into their lungs thus aggravating the delicate pulmonary lining and initiating spasms in the airways triggering an asthma attack. Second, the digestive acid may damage the esophageal lining and expose some of the nerves that are connected to the lungs. The irritation of the nerve endings can create a constriction of airways, thereby causing an asthma attack. Additionally, the acid can cause inflammation of the throat and larynx. To make things even more complicated, some asthma medications that dilate the bronchial tubes can produce acid reflux symptoms as they may cause the cardiac sphincter to relax—allowing acid to escape up through the esophagus. Therefore, treating the symptoms of asthma without looking at the possibility of acid reflux is like holding your finger over the hole of a sinking boat!

If the acid reflux issues are symptomatically treated with yet more medications, there may be a risk for serious long-term health issues. Acid reflux is most often treated with acid-lowering drugs.  However, the true source of most acid reflux problems is a Candida, or yeast overgrowth, in the stomach that is actually caused by low acid in the stomach itself! A yeast overgrowth slows down digestion and foods will ferment under these conditions. As Candida will also paralyze the esophageal sphincter, the gases from the fermentation push the food up through the weakened esophageal muscles.

Because candida only grows in low acid conditions in the first place–acid lowering drugs are going to further compromise digestion. As Candida proliferates,  it can promote severe dysbiosis, or poor intestinal flora. With poor intestinal flora, foods are not digested properly, nutrients are not absorbed, intestinal damage is forthcoming and eventually malnourishment will occur. Besides compromised nutrient absorption, intestinal damage causes leaky gut, which can initiate allergic tendencies such as asthma!  Therefore, one problem incorrectly treated cascades into more problems.

If we can find the source of the asthma and acid reflux epidemic, we will have the answer to help millions of people. Both asthma and acid reflux have grown exponentially since the industrialization of our food supply that spurred the creation of processed, denatured and low-nutrient foods. Before this time, most people’s diets included foods that were high in nutrients and supported good digestion like meats, poultry, eggs and dairy from grass-fed animals and cultured dairy and vegetables like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut and pickled beets. They also ate ample traditional fats like butter, lard and coconut oil and foods with natural sources of vitamins A and D like cod liver oil, liver and egg yolks, which are necessary for good digestion and nutrient absorption. With good digestion and a nutrient-rich diet, a person will diminish the probability of suffering from an illness like acid reflux, allergies and it’s related condition–asthma.

By returning to traditional farming and the foods that our ancestors ate, we will diminish the exponential growth of illnesses rooted in poor digestion. If we can move from the symptomatic treatment of asthma to solving the problem, we will help to support better health for generations to come.

For more information building health and treating acid reflux and its related illnesses such as asthma with nutrient-dense foods, see our new e-book on healing acid reflux.

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

Allergies–why do so many people suffer from them?

It seems that allergies are as common as ants on the sidewalk–everyone has at least one. They range from mild to ones that can cause anaphylactic shock. But why is this so? Surely our environment has fueled a wide list of allergies, but are there methods that can help you to overcome them so you are able to minimize the use of drugs, allergy shots or even holistic treatments?

The first approach we have to oversensitivity to foods, airborne allergens and other substances of course is avoidance. But what if a person is allergic to most foods and a huge list of airborne substances–then we have a real problem! An allergic reaction to anything is the immune system in motion. When the immune system is always reacting, it puts a great strain on the body’s resources for maintaining good health.

There is great hope in improving the body’s sensitivities by going to the source of the problem, which is often the digestive tract. Because of our poor food supply and incorrect high-fiber/low-fat health dictates, many people are suffering from a condition called “leaky gut.” Leaky gut is a result of intestinal damage from poor gut flora–usually a candida overgrowth. When the intestinal tract becomes weakened, it can become inflamed and proteins can escape into the blood system. This causes an immune response–so that the next time your body comes in contact with that substance–even if it is a healthy food–it will cause the same immune response. When the digestive tract is inflamed, the entire body can become ultra-sensitive to many other things such as airborne substances.

Foods that help to heal the digestive tract are nutrient-dense foods from pastured animals, wild caught fish and organic sources:

Another help to improving allergies is heavy metal detoxification. Carefully removing mercury amalgam fillings with a biological dentist and working with an experienced holistic health practitioner who understands how to gently detox heavy metals can also enhance the blocks to overcoming allergies (see and

Healing the digestive tract and removing heavy metals is an exciting step to recovering from allergies. For more information on building health and healing with nutrient-dense foods see Performance without Pain and our new e-book on healing acid reflux.

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

Natural Remedies for GERD/Acid Reflux–are they effective?

There are mountains of books on natural healing from digestive disorders. Considering that 1 in five people have GERD/acid reflux–the mountain of information does seem necessary. In most circles, an illness that affects 1 in 5 people would surely be considered an epidemic! I have gleaned all the health books that have natural remedies and have compiled a good list below. While all of these are helpful for healing the symptoms, they do not address the fact that with a digestive disorder there is serious long-term malnourishment. These books also do not ask the question, “Why do we have an exponential increase in acid reflux in our population?” Or–“Is acid reflux a precursor to other degenerative illnesses?” If we look at the two profound statements of leaders in the study of optimal human health; that “All diseases begin in the gut,” of Hippocrates and “All disease is caused from malnourishment,” of Dr. Weston A. Price, we can begin to ascertain the magnitude of the acid reflux epidemic and see that we are probably at the brink of a health disaster unless we begin changing our food supply. A nutrient-dense, traditional foods diet is an effective approach to healing symptoms and the underlying cause of acid reflux/GERD. When you purchase traditionally raised foods from small farms dedicated to bringing you the highest quality foods, you vote with your wallet! (For sources of nutrient-dense foods see

Good Suggestions:
• Eat small, frequent meals
• Eat slowly
• Follow an anti-Candida diet
• Take enzymes and probiotics
• Eat fermented foods
• Eat an easy-to-digest diet
• Cut down on simple carbohydrates
• Cabbage juice, celery juice potato juice may be helpful
• Aloe Vera juice may be helpful for healing
• Helpful herbs: slippery elm, ginger, marshmallow root, licorice, bladderwrack, chamomile, fennel seed, lemon balm and turmeric, cumin, meadowsweet
• Orange peel extract may be helpful
• Papaya and papaya juice may be helpful
• Bitters may help digestion
• Colostrum may help to boost the immune system
• Raw honey and cinnamon before bed may be helpful
• MSM and Zinc Carnosine helps heal damaged tissue in stomach and intestinal lining (never found bone broth as a remedy, which will do the same thing much more effectively)
• Acupressure may be helpful
• Wear loose clothing
• Minimize stress
• Meditation is helpful
• Regular exercise is helpful
• Sleep 8 hours
• Elevate you bed
• Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime
• Avoid allergenic foods
• Avoid grains
• Avoid vegetables that produce gas
• Avoid high-fiber foods
• Avoid fried foods
• Avoid juices and citrus fruits (except lemon)
• Avoid alcohol, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, mint and mint flavorings
• Avoid spicy foods
• Avoid microwaving, food additives, vegetable oils and nutrient-poor foods
• Avoid NSAIDS and antibiotics
• Avoid smoking

For more information on a healing and building health with nutrient-dense foods, see our e-book on acid reflux and Performance without Pain.

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

Tradtional fermented foods–why everybody needs them for good health

Traditionally cultured and fermented foods like plain whole milk kefir and yogurt from grass-fed cows, homemade sauerkraut, kimchee and pickled beets, and beverages like beet kvass and  kombucha were common foods throughout history before refrigeration. They were a way to preserve foods worldwide. Would it surprise you to know that you absolutely cannot afford to live without them though?

In order to function properly–that is to break down our foods into usable components and detoxify our body– the human digestive system needs ample probiotic bacteria and enzymes. Fermented and cultured foods naturally provide these components. Without these kinds of foods, we may develop many serious digestive problems like candida overgrowth, which chemically change the way our foods are processed and we will not be able to get rid of toxins. Ultimately, poor digestion equals poor health. In fact, acid reflux, inflammatory conditions of all kinds and cancer can be linked to poor digestion and a toxic overload.

Do your health a big favor–devote time to learning to prepare these delicious cultured and fermented foods. As your digestion improves so will your health!

For more information on preparing cultured and fermented foods see our website at Both of our books, Performance without Pain and our e-book on healing acid reflux are wonderful guides to optimizing digestion.

Best in health,

Kathryne Pirtle

Consumer trends in healthy eating are a fast tract to digestive disorders and malnourishment.

The following report from the International Food Information Council demonstrates just how thorough the high-fiber/low-fat dictate has infiltrated the choices that the general public makes about healthy eating. This list puts vegetables/salads,  fruits and whole grains as the top three picks. These foods are difficult to digest and low in nutrients in comparison pastured animal foods. Eating low-nutrient, hard-to-digest foods as the main part of the diet puts you on the fast track to digestive disorders and malnourishment. Considering that 60 million people have acid reflux–or 1 in 5 people–and that this condition alone is so common that we have billions of dollars spent dedicated to advertising meds for it–this should serve as a wake up call that this approach to eating is not working.

Simply put–“All disease begins in the gut.” Hippocrates and “All disease comes from malnourishment,” Dr. Weston A. Price.

How consumers approach functional foods: Survey

By Lorraine Heller, 13-Aug-2009

Related topics: Consumer Trends

Whole grains, fiber and protein are top of the list for consumers looking to improve their diets by eating more of a specific type of food, according to a new survey of Americans’ approach to functional foods.

The latest report by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) finds that out of those Americans trying to improve their diets, 79 percent are changing the types of foods they eat, 69 percent are changing the amount of foods consumed, and 19 percent are changing their use of dietary supplements.

“The 2009 Food & Health Survey found that healthfulness, among other product attributes, is an important factor that influences consumers’ purchasing decisions. When consumers are choosing foods for themselves and their children, they are interested in healthful components such as fiber, whole grains, protein, vitamin C, and calcium, which all play a role in building strong bodies and improving overall health,” wrote IFIC.

This is the sixth survey conducted by IFIC since 1998 in order to track consumer awareness and attitudes to functional foods.

Commissioned by IFIC, Cogent Research of Cambridge, MA, conducted an online survey of 1,000 American adults in May this year. Questions were either open-ended (unaided), or participants were prompted and asked to rate specific responses.

More foods for more health

Around 55 percent of participants (553) said they are changing the types of foods or food components they eat in an effort to improve their health. Of those, 64 percent said they are eating more of a particular food.

The foods consumers cited most often (unaided) as products they are trying to eat more of include:

  • Vegetables/salads (60 percent)
  • Fruits/fruit juices (53 percent)
  • Whole grains (11 percent)
  • Protein (9 percent)
  • Fish/seafood (7 percent)
  • Fiber (7 percent)

When asked to rank the top three food components they look for when choosing foods for themselves (aided), consumers opted for:

  • Fiber (37 percent)
  • Whole grains (34 percent)
  • Protein (28 percent)

For those purchasing foods for their children, the top components were (aided):

  • Calcium (39 percent)
  • Vitamin C (31 percent)
  • Whole grains (26 percent)

Functional food awareness

The survey also revealed a slow but steady increase in people’s awareness that functional foods are foods with benefits that go beyond basic nutrition (89 percent in 2009 compared to 85 percent in 2007).

The top ‘functional foods’ named by consumers (unaided) are: fruits and vegetables, fish/fish oil/seafood, dairy (including milk and yogurt), meat and poultry, herbs/spices, fiber, tea and green tea, nuts, whole grains and other grains, water, cereal, oats/oat bran/oatmeal, and vitamins/supplements.

As in previous surveys conducted in 2007 and 2005, nine out of 10 consumers were able to name, on an unaided basis, a specific food or food component and its associated health benefit (92 percent in 2009 and 2007 and 91 percent in 2005). This compares to 84 percent in 2002; 82 percent in 2000; and 77 percent in 1998.

The survey also examined consumers’ top health concerns and the foods they think address these. It also looked at people’s perception of nutrigenomics – or personalized nutrition – as well as the communication and sources of information on health and nutrition.

For more  information on a nutrient-dense foods and a healing diet see

Best in Health,

Kathryne Pirtle

Do you get hungry two hours after eating breakfast?

If you are getting hungry two hours after eating breakfast, you may be choosing the wrong kind of foods for your morning meal and this may be a sign that you have absorption problems as well. Let’s look at both of these important issues.

First, a breakfast of cereal, toast or a bagel with non-fat spreads and a piece of fruit may not be the breakfast of champions! For years before I got deathly ill with a digestive disorder, my favorite breakfast was bagels, no-cholesterol “buttery flavor” spread and a piece of fruit. Another choice was a bowl of cold cereal. However by 10AM, I was very hungry again. This is not good. A healthy breakfast is not one that would leave you hungry in just a few hours.

Instead, a breakfast with higher amounts of protein and fat from traditional foods will literally nourish you until the afternoon and will offer far greater levels of nutrients. In our book we recommend a few great breakfasts that besides being nutrient-dense, will also help improve digestion. Smoothies made with 16 oz. whole fat kefir or yogurt (preferably raw milk from grass-fed animals), 2-4 raw egg yolks (from pastured chickens–not commercial eggs), fruit and 1 T. coconut oil are a fabulous breakfast. Another is old fashioned bacon (organic, no-nitrate) and eggs (from pastured chickens). Nutrient density is the key to building optimal health and maintaining blood sugar meal to meal. Nutrient-dense foods have ample high-quality traditional fats, protein and carbohydrates.

However, another reason that you are hungry just two hours after eating may be that you are suffering from inflammation in your intestinal tract. Inflammation is usually caused from bacterial imbalances in the gut flora like a candida overgrowth. When inflammation is present, nutrient absorption will be hampered and a person will feel hungry very quickly after eating a meal. After years of malabsorption, malnourishment is sure to follow.

For optimal health we need eat foods that are high in nutrients and also those that will support good digestion. For more information on building health and healing with nutrient-dense foods see Performance without Pain and our new e-book on healing acid reflux.

Best in health,
Kathryne Pirtle

Foods from grass fed, pastured animals vs. organic foods–is there a difference? Which has more nutrients?

Deciding what is a healthy diet can be full of conflicting advice. However, if we ask ourselves what foods can offer our bodies the most nutrients, we will begin to understand what foods will best support our health. Unfortunately, the common dietary dictate that we hear over and over—ie. “Eat a lowfat/high-fiber diet and you will be healthy,” does not have nutrient density as an underlying principal.

However, even finding a good source of nutrient-dense foods can be confusing. When it comes to foods with the highest level of nutrients, eating organic meats, poultry, dairy and eggs does not guarantee a nutrient-rich product as organic can mean many things–like feeding the animals an unnatural diet of organic corn and other grains–or even donuts (hard to believe)…etc. It also does not guarantee that the animal has not been raised in a confinement system either. Organic–which often is accompanied by the highest price tag, therefore does not necessarily mean nutrient-dense.

However, we can be assured of the highest level of nutrients in the foods we eat when the animal has been eating its natural diet and is pastured on organic pastureland. It’s almost comical to remind people that cows eat grass and chickens eat bugs and worms. The nutrient levels of the foods from animals eating their natural diets is quite remarkable. In fact the book Pasture Perfect, by Jo Robinson, (pub. Vashon Island Press) compares the level of nutrients from the foods of factory raised animals and pastured animals–and hands down–there is an enormous difference. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that eating corn all day inside a barn would not be a very good idea for a cow….

Pastured foods are becoming more and more available from small family farm coops and in some health food stores. For a good source of pastured foods in your area check out Who’s your farmer?

For more information on a healthy diet see our website at

To your health!

Kathryne Pirtle