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RHR: Solving the Problem of Vegetable Oils, with Jeff Nobbs


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Jeff Nobbs, co-founder and CEO of Zero Acre Farms, joins Chris on Revolution Health Radio to discuss how vegetable oils drive chronic disease, how years of misinformation led to the prevalence of their consumption worldwide, why they’re such a problem for our health and the environment, what’s important to consider when choosing a cooking oil, and why Zero Acre Farms’ flagship product, Cultured Oil, is poised to be a game changer in the industry.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • What vegetable oils are and why they’re such a problem for our health
  • How vegetable oils drive chronic disease
  • How vegetable oils make us fat and give us the munchies
  • Why vegetable oils are a massive problem for the environment
  • How vegetable oils came to be the third most consumed food in the world and 20 percent of our daily calories, and how observational studies led us astray in recommending them as “heart healthy”
  • How Zero Acre Farms is solving the problem of vegetable oils with fermentation
  • Why smoke point and oxidative stability matter when it comes to choosing a cooking oil, and why Cultured Oil is healthier than vegetable oils
  • Why olive oil and avocado oil aren’t the answer
  • How Cultured Oil compares to other oils for culinary purposes

Show notes:

Hey, everybody, Chris Kresser here. Welcome to another episode of Revolution Health Radio. One of the issues that I’ve written and spoken about most in the course of my career over the last 15 years is the harm that is caused by industrial seed oils in the diet. These oils oxidize and become rancid, and they contribute to everything from an increased risk of cancer to cardiovascular disease to autoimmune conditions to inflammatory bowel disease and [irritable bowel syndrome] (IBS) to asthma, allergies, and so many other chronic conditions that we suffer from today.

Unfortunately, industrial seed oils are now the third most commonly consumed food in the world behind wheat and rice, and they comprise up to 20 percent of calories in the American diet. For some people, [that number is] even higher because of [their] amount of processed and refined food consumption, and the fact that these oils are in basically every food that comes in a bag or a box or that is cooked in a restaurant. This problem has not gotten any better over the past 15 years since I’ve been doing this work. Certainly, there [have] been some positive trends in terms of avocado oil and olive oil becoming more commonly used, [in addition to] other types of cooking fats that are more stable at higher temperatures. But these foods have problems of their own. They’re not really scalable because they only grow in certain regions of the world. They have a pretty significant environmental impact because they’re resource-intensive to grow, and they don’t have particularly high smoke points or stability when cooked at higher temperatures. This is an issue that I’ve been thinking a lot about and pursuing solutions to for many, many years.

A couple of years ago, I was contacted by Jeff Nobbs, who founded a company called Zero Acre Farms. [They are] a food startup that is on a mission to give the world an oil change, so to speak. They have created a new product called Cultured Oil. It’s an entirely new type of oil that I’ll tell you about in this show, that is extremely high in monounsaturated fat, has a very high smoke point, very high oxidative stability, which means it’s not likely to oxidize when you cook with it, and a dramatically lower environmental impact than any of the other oils that are commonly used today. This is kind of a once-in-a-generation thing, where it has the potential to be truly game changing and have a dramatic impact on the global burden of chronic disease. I joined the advisory board of this company because I deeply believe in their mission, and I think that this is a public health problem that absolutely needs to be solved. This is the first solution that I’ve come across in 15 years that I think is viable.

I’m really excited to welcome Jeff as my guest. We’re going to talk all about industrial seed oils, how we came to this point where they comprise such a large percentage of calories in the [United States] and worldwide, the harms that they cause, including some new research that’s been published to that end, and then what Zero Acre Farms is doing about it, and this first product that they’re releasing, Cultured Oil. This is one of my favorite shows that I’ve recorded recently. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Without any further delay, let’s dive in.

Chris Kresser:  Jeff, [it’s a] pleasure to have you on the show. I’ve really been looking forward to this.

Jeff Nobbs:  Hey, Chris. Yeah, me, too. Thanks for having me on.

Chris Kresser:  So, vegetable oil. Industrial seed oil. This is, in some ways, how I got my start—talking about the risks of these highly refined products in the food supply, which have become ubiquitous, as we’re going to talk about. Let’s just dive right in there because this is the problem that Zero Acre Farms was created to solve. It was a problem 15 years ago when I started doing this work, and it’s still a problem. It’s arguably a bigger problem. I think a lot of the listeners are somewhat familiar, but the statistics always shock me even though I’m super familiar with them. I’ve seen them a million times. But it’s not bad to review the facts, so let’s start there. First of all, how are vegetable oils and industrial seed oils defined for those [who] are less familiar? How common have they become in the food supply? And what’s the problem?

What Are Vegetable Oils and Why Are They Problematic?

Jeff Nobbs:  That is a great place to start. As you point out, [for] those of us who have been in the ancestral health space, better for you food, [and] thinking about why people get sick, not much has changed in the world of vegetable oils in the last 10 to 15 years, which is part of the reason that Zero Acre Farms exists. So what is that problem? What are vegetable oils? Vegetable oils, or seed oils as they’re often called, refer to oils that are pressed from seeds and grains, like canola oil, soybean oil, rice bran oil, safflower oil, grapeseed oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, [and] the list goes on and on. We figured out ways to press oil from all sorts of different seeds and grains and very tiny amounts in each seed. But when you combine a lot of these seeds and grains together, it results in a lot of oil, and now we’re eating that oil. Vegetable oils are extremely prevalent. These are some of the stats I’m sure that you’re referring to, where even if you know these things are bad and they’re everywhere, when you hear the numbers, it’s pretty crazy. About a fifth of all calories we eat [is] from vegetable oils. If you go to the supermarket and you start turning over packages of food, you start to understand why when you’re seeing soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, canola oil as the first, second, or third ingredient. Sometimes you’ll even see the ingredient lists that say canola and/or sunflower and/or safflower. Producers are just like, “Yeah, we don’t really care what we’re putting in. Any of these will work.” That’s why they list all of them.

Several years ago, when I started digging into the stats behind this and figuring out what to do about it from a business standpoint, some of the numbers that we found were pretty eye-opening. Vegetable oil is now the most consumed food in the world after rice and wheat. It has [a] disproportionate impact on our health, of course, which we’ll talk about, [but] also on the environment. Just under a third of global croplands are devoted to vegetable oil crops, which creates all these downstream effects. You’ve talked about the details. You’ve written about the details in books and in blog posts and talked about it on podcasts. But in a nutshell, vegetable oils, or seed oils, are very high in a particular type of fatty acid called linoleic acid, which is an omega-6 polyunsaturated fat. Humans have never before consumed significant quantities of this fatty acid, and now it makes up a significant percentage of all [the] calories we eat. All foods have this fatty acid in [them] for the most part, but usually, as one or two percent of calories. In the case of vegetable oils, seed oils, as high as 50 to 75 percent of calories are just from this one fatty acid. And that fatty acid turns into all sorts of other compounds when it oxidizes. It bioaccumulates in our bodies. It bioaccumulates in the food we eat, like chickens and pigs, and it leads to all sorts of health issues. On the environmental side of things, all this land that we’re [dedicating] to growing these crops leads to deforestation, excess greenhouse gas emissions, and, ultimately, climate change. So that’s what vegetable oils are and the issue with them in a nutshell.

Chris Kresser:  Let’s break this down a little bit because there are lots of different directions we can go, and we will. One of the issues with seed oils is the linoleic acid content, the fatty acid composition, as you pointed out. We’ll talk a little bit about why that’s problematic and what the differences may be in getting a high amount of linoleic acid from industrial seed oils versus eating some avocados. I’d like to talk about that a little bit. Another issue with seed oils that I’m even more aware of at this point because I’m so focused on nutrient deficiency as a public health issue is that [they] don’t have much of anything else aside from linoleic acid. It would be one thing if people were consuming massive amounts of these, and they were loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, and phytonutrients, and things like that, and they also happen to have a high amount of linoleic acid. We’d still have to deal with that problem, but the fact is that pretty much all they have is linoleic acid and not really much [else]. Some have some vitamin E, but beyond that, they’re almost devoid of nutrients.

Jeff Nobbs:  Yeah, and the vitamin E really is just there to act as an antioxidant to all the easily oxidized linoleic acid that’s in the oil. You don’t really need the vitamin E except to prevent that oxidation. It doesn’t seem to do much. Vitamin E supplementation doesn’t seem to lead to reducing all the oxidation in your body, for example.

Chris Kresser:  Certainly not tocopherols. Tocopherols have been associated with an increase in the risk of cancer and heart disease when supplementing with alpha-tocopherol at high doses. Tocotrienols [are] a whole other story, but we’ll leave that for another time. Certainly, the vitamin E in there is not excusing any of the nutritional deficiencies in those oils. So those are probably two of the main problems. Let’s talk a little bit about linoleic acid and industrial seed oils, and how that might differ a little bit from eating nuts and avocados. What do you see as the biggest difference in terms of the impact of those foods?

Jeff Nobbs:  I mean, you said it when it comes to nutrient density. Also, I want to be clear that if we could choose [whether] we [would] rather have the soybean oil come with some tocopherols and vitamin E or not, I think we would because it’s helping prevent oxidation in that bottle of oil before it even ends up in your cabinet or in your frying pan or in your body. But yeah, [with] mega doses of tocopherols and vitamin E, you’re not going to just remove the oxidation. Our bodies are a bit more complicated than that.

Certainly, we’re not concerned about 1 or 2 percent of calories coming from linoleic acid because you’d get that just from eating beef and coconuts. But [with] foods that are a bit higher in linoleic acid, like nuts and avocados, you’d have to eat a lot to get the amount of these omega-6 fats, linoleic acid, that are found in oil. Like an impossibly large amount. Just to get the amount of linoleic acid in a few tablespoons of sunflower oil that’s used to cook your burger and french fries, or some corn oil that’s used to cook your enchiladas if you go out to eat, you’d have to eat dozens of avocados, or handfuls and handfuls and handfuls of nuts. I think it may be possible with nuts if you’re eating multiple handfuls of almonds at every meal. That actually may result in an omega-6 excess. But it’s a whole food matrix.

Chris Kresser:  Right, and that would’ve been extremely difficult to do in an ancestral environment. That’s a lot of work, cracking those nuts or collecting those nuts. It’s easy now. You go to Trader Joe’s or Costco or whatever, you get a huge bag, and you’re just snacking on them all day. I have definitely written about that in the past—that nuts are great, but you can overdo it. You definitely can, from a number of different perspectives. What you’re saying is, if we look at the ancestral food template, it would have been almost impossible to get the levels of linoleic acid that we can quite easily get today from eating processed and refined foods.

I think the other thing that strikes me, and you alluded to this before, is that the industrial seed oils in the food supply are much more likely to become oxidized and damaged just by the nature of the foods that they’re in. If you pop a doughnut in a deep fryer with that kind of oil, that’s a recipe for oxidation. Whereas [with] an avocado, especially if you’re just eating it raw [or] you’re putting it on a salad, you’re not exposing it to those high temperatures and other factors that will lead to oxidation.

Jeff Nobbs:  Yeah, and the same goes for omega-3 fats, fish oils, high omega-3 [docosahexaenoic acid] (DHA), [and eicosapentaenoic acid] (EPA) oils. There’s been a number of research studies on this. When you have wild-caught king salmon or something and you’re baking [it] at 350 or 400 degrees, it is very different [from] deep frying fish oil at 400 degrees. Fish oil is about the last thing you’d want to use for deep frying. It would oxidize extremely quickly because of all those double bonds. It would turn rancid. It’s why fish that’s gone bad smells so bad. Our body’s saying, “Stay away from this; it is so oxidized.” But when those delicate omega-3 fats are contained within the flesh of a fish, [with] all the natural antioxidants that the fish evolved to prevent oxidation in those delicate omega-3 fats, that’s very, very different. It’s the same with eating avocados, olives, tofu and soy, and nuts, versus eating the extracted oil from those foods. You end up getting the amount of oil that would be impossible to consume if you’re eating whole foods. And there’s no need for oil in our diet. We would not be deficient in any nutrient if we just snapped our fingers and all the edible oil in the world disappeared. But it’s just not realistic. People love their deep fried food and salad dressings and searing their eggs and fat and all that. Would it be great if everyone got their fats from regenerative agriculture and avocados and coconut? Sure, that’d be great. Is it going to happen anytime soon? Probably not.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah, not the world we’re living in at this point. But I think that’s an important consideration. I’ve always argued that we’re not necessarily looking at the ancestral template of foods so that we can replicate it exactly. We’re looking at it as a way of making hypotheses for what might be beneficial and what might be harmful. If we, in this case, look and say, “Oh, historically, our ancestors only got a small percentage of calories from linoleic acid and omega-6, and typically, the ratio was pretty close to what they got from omega-3.” And it differed depending on what part of the world you were looking at. [For] high seafood consumers, it would have been closer to 1:1, but in other parts, it might have been 4:1 in favor of linoleic acid to omega-3. But if you look at today, like you said, it’s the third most commonly consumed food, and we’re talking about double-digit percentages of calories. That’s a red flag, right there, to investigate. Is this a change that is nothing to worry about, like, “Hey, it’s just part of the modern lifestyle and we can tolerate that”? Or is this an alarming thing that we need to really address? Of course, it’s the latter in this case. We know that linoleic acid is way out of proportion. We know that these oils are devoid of nutrients. But what about the foods that they tend to show up in? Above and beyond the harms of the oils themselves, what about the foods that they come as a part of?

Jeff Nobbs:  Yeah, they’re primarily consumed in the form of french fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, potato chips, [and] packaged foods. I always say as a good rule of thumb, if you just cut out vegetable oils, refined flours, and refined sugars, you’re probably 80 percent of the way there because what you’re replacing those foods with, almost by definition, will be more nutrient dense if they don’t contain those things. There’s been a lot of attention paid to refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, that sort of thing. Also, a lot of attention [has been] paid to gluten-free diets and not having such high-carb diets and going keto and that sort of thing. I think vegetable oils are the missing third piece there. You could not have much sugar and be on a low-carb diet, but if you’re replacing all those calories with a bunch of vegetable oils, there are going to be issues. Let’s start with packaged foods. When [those oils] come in packaged foods, it’s often the vegetable oils themselves that dictate the shelf life of the product. If you get a bag of potato chips, it’s not the potatoes going bad; it’s the vegetable oil going rancid and Frito-Lay needing to say, “Okay, this has a six-month shelf life.” It’s because they oxidize so easily. That same oxidation happens further up the supply chain, too.

If you cook a soybean and eat a soybean, there’s a lot in that soybean in that whole food matrix that’s protecting the soy oil from oxidizing. When you press that soybean or chemically extract the oil from it and go on to refine that soybean oil, you’re creating lots of oxidative products. Then when you deep fry potato chips or deep fry french fries, you’re further accelerating that oxidation. And then you put it in your body. The soybean oil itself would also oxidize in your body because it’s so high in omega-6 fats. But with all this processing before you put it into food, all those omega-6 fats are already well on their way to oxidizing.

Chris Kresser:  To me, that’s one of the biggest differences between eating omega-6 in the form of nuts and avocados versus eating them in the seed oils. You can smell the rancidity of omega-6, too. Anyone who’s driven by a fast food type of restaurant or you’re in the back alley, you smell that smell. Or a biodiesel car. [It] has a pretty distinct smell. It’s burning vegetable oil, and it smells like french fries. It smells like fried food from a fast food restaurant. That’s exactly what you’re tuning into there. Our body has a natural aversion to that smell because we know that it’s something that’s harmful.

The Research Behind Vegetable Oil Consumption and Chronic Disease

Let’s talk a little bit about the research behind industrial seed oil consumption and chronic disease. This is a little bit newer. I mean, these seed oils have been around for and in use in the food supply for well over 100 years. But it’s only been in the last three decades, [and] especially the last two decades, that we’ve seen more research looking at the impact of these oils on human health.

Jeff Nobbs:  Interestingly, a lot of that research actually happened in the 20th century in the 1960s and 1970s, but it didn’t fit with the common thinking [on] the effect of polyunsaturated fats at the time, so it wasn’t released until the last 10 years when a mutual hero of ours, Christopher Ramsden, published research across multiple studies like the Minnesota Coronary Experiment and the Sydney Diet Heart Study. Frankly, a lot of your work on chronic disease and what you wrote in Unconventional Medicine really opened up my eyes to a lot of the statistics of where we are in our world and our country. The numbers are just staggering. You wrote a whole book on it, so I won’t go into it and regurgitate all the details from that book, but it’s incredible and depressing. How healthy we are has a massive impact on how we feel, how we look, and how we perform, but also on things like our healthcare costs. Money [that] we put into our healthcare system is not money we can put into other aspects of adding value and improving well-being in our society. I think vegetable oils are a lead domino in this, if the research is any indication.

There are a number of ways to look at, “Is this food good?” We talked about looking at it through the lens of an evolutionary precedent. If humans have never before done this thing, it’s at least worth raising an eyebrow at and looking into. There’s no human society on Earth that’s healthy [and] consumes seed oils. Similarly, there’s no society that is sick that doesn’t consume seed oils. Now, that’s just correlation. That’s not causation. But it’s definitely worth shining a light on. You can also look at it more specifically in the [United States], [where] vegetable oil consumption is the one major food that has increased in line with increasing rates of chronic disease. Chronic disease has gone up significantly for the last 100 years or so [since] vegetable oil was introduced. There are other things, of course, that cause disease. Smoking, alcohol consumption, sitting on your butt all day and never moving, eating a ton of sugar. But these things have gotten better and have gotten worse over the years while chronic disease rates have still been climbing, and that points a big finger at vegetable oil. For the sake of time, instead of going into all the [randomized controlled trials] that show vegetable oils are bad, and there are a number of them, the one that stands out to me is the Sydney Diet Heart Study because it was a randomized controlled trial. Meaning, the only difference between the groups that were participating in this trial was the consumption of seed oil. I believe it was sunflower oil in that one. It was a high omega-6, high linoleic acid oil. The group consuming more seed oils had a 62 percent higher chance of death of all-cause mortality. That’s in line with the things that we all know we should be doing less of. But there’s no controversy around heavy smoking, physical inactivity, [and] heavy drinking. That 62 percent higher risk of death is in line with those. A number of randomized controlled trials, animal studies, and a whole host of other studies show it’s easier to gain weight when you’re consuming more linoleic acid and vegetable oils. Higher rates of heart disease. People who have more arterial plaque tend to consume more linoleic acid. Diabetes, cancer. The list goes on when it comes to what’s happening inside our body when we consume all this oxidized, and even not oxidized, linoleic acid.

Chris Kresser:  It’s really shocking when you dig into the research. I have an article on my [web]site called “How Industrial Seed Oils Are Making Us Sick.” It was a really deep dive on this subject. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes. It would take four episodes to go through this in detail, so that’s the value of an article versus a podcast. But I want to touch on some of the categories of conditions that industrial seed oils have been associated with, starting with cardiovascular disease. You already mentioned the Sydney Diet Heart Study. There’s another really interesting theory that’s more recent, from a researcher named James DiNicolantonio. It’s called the Oxidized Linoleic Acid Theory of Heart Disease, [and it] links the consumption of linoleic acid-rich seed oils with cardiovascular disease. The theory is basically three parts. Part one is [that] the linoleic acid we get from seed oils gets incorporated into lipoproteins in our blood. Because linoleic acid is so unstable, that increases the likelihood of those lipoproteins oxidizing. Then oxidized lipoproteins are unable to be recognized by the various receptors throughout the body that would latch onto those lipoproteins, and instead, they activate macrophages, which in this [case] initiates the process of atherosclerosis and damage to the endothelial lining and all the telltale signs of myocardial infarction, eventually leading to heart attack. It’s a pretty fascinating theory. I think there’s a lot of mechanistic evidence to support it. And if it’s true, we’re in deep trouble, right? Because these oils, as we’ve talked about, have become ubiquitous. Heart disease is still the number one cause of death in this country, and climbing worldwide, and this could be a primary driver of heart disease.

Another theory suggests that particularly canola and soybean oils contribute to cardiovascular disease by inhibiting a process that is vitamin K2 dependent [and] essential for cardiovascular health. These oils interfere with [vitamin] K2-dependent enzymes, and that causes a whole cascade of events that increase the risk of heart disease. That’s just for one condition, cardiovascular disease. But there’s research linking seed oil consumption to a higher risk of asthma, higher risk of autoimmune disease, all kinds of problems with mental and behavioral health, higher risk of depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, [and] dementia. Canola oil consumption has been linked to worsened memory, impaired learning ability, and Alzheimer’s disease. There’s a ton of research linking seed oil consumption to diabetes and obesity. We know diets high in soybean oil increase obesity, insulin resistance, [and] fatty liver disease. I have a whole separate article on this link just between seed oils and inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

One study found that mice [who] were fed a diet high in omega-6 from corn oil experienced increases in proinflammatory gut bacteria. And that favored the development of all kinds of different gastrointestinal pathologies. Women with IBS have shown significantly elevated levels of arachidonic acid, which is what linoleic acid sometimes gets converted to in the chain of fatty acid conversion in the body. I could go on. There [are] studies linking it to inflammation, infertility, macular degeneration, [and] osteoarthritis. I’d encourage you to check out my article if you’re interested in this topic for anyone who’s listening because there’s an overwhelming amount of research. If you need any convincing at all about why we should be reducing our intake of these oils, that article is a really good place to start.

Zero Acre Farms is on a mission to give the world an oil change. Hear CEO Jeff Nobbs explain how they’re solving the problem of vegetable oils through fermentation in this episode of Revolution Health Radio. #chriskresser #healthyfats #sustainableoils

How Vegetable Oils Make Us Fat

Jeff, there was something that you mentioned a while back on one of our calls that I would love to cover here, which I haven’t covered, [and that] is the impact that these seed oils have on our appetite. I think you even said something like, “They give us [the] munchies in the same way that smoking marijuana does.” That’s something I had never heard before. So tell us about that.

Jeff Nobbs:  I’m very tempted, Chris, to want to double down on everything you just said and spend the next half hour talking more about oxidized [low-density lipoprotein] (LDL) and what’s happening mechanistically. But we’ll have to refrain. Maybe we can save that for another time and, like you said, you’ve written about it.

Chris Kresser:  Definitely.

Jeff Nobbs:  Yeah, the connection between linoleic acid and weight gain is pretty fascinating. As much as it sounds like a Buzzfeed headline or something like that, it’s true. It’s the same mechanism when it comes to the [tetrahydrocannabinol] (THC) in marijuana that gives us the munchies [as] the endocannabinoids our bodies produce when we consume linoleic acid. Here’s how it works. Everyone’s heard of THC giving us the munchies. It’s actually [a U.S. Food and Drug Administration]-approved prescription drug to stimulate appetite because it works so well. It’s only been pretty recently, like in the last decade or two, that we’ve really understood why that’s happening. What happens is, we have these receptors in our brains and in our intestinal tract called CB1 receptors. When we consume THC, it activates these CB1 receptors, and those stimulate appetite and lead to increased hunger. THC does a bunch of other things in our body, of course, but that’s one of the key things that it does. And THC isn’t the only thing that activates CB1. THC is a cannabinoid. There are also endocannabinoids, meaning they’re made inside our body. The primary endocannabinoids are 2-AG and AEA. Those are acronyms for much longer names, but we’ll stick with those. 2-AG and AEA can also activate CB1 and cause hunger. This is not controversial. This has been shown in a number of studies. And these are made in our bodies from one source and one source only, omega-6 fats. That is the only source of these endocannabinoids. That omega-6 fat is arachidonic acid, which is a downstream product of linoleic acid. There have not been randomized controlled trials yet specifically studying this endocannabinoid production from increased linoleic acid, but there have been very clear randomized controlled trials done in other mammals, specifically in rats.

Researchers found that when you take two groups of rats and everything in their diets is the same except one group consumes more linoleic acid, these researchers measured the brain activity of these rats and found that the rats that consumed more linoleic acid had more 2-AG and AEA, which are those appetite-stimulating hormones that trigger CB1, and as a result, the rats ate more and they gained more weight. This has [also] been shown in a number of other ways. There was a drug introduced in the early 2000s called rimonabant, and [it] was called a wonder drug [and] a magical cure to weight gain. Rimonabant worked by blocking CB1 receptor activity. By blocking the CB1 receptor, those endocannabinoids that we get from omega-6 fats like AEA and 2-AG were not able to stimulate the CB1 receptor. And as a result, people could eat what they wanted and their body correctly gave them satiety signals, and they stopped eating and they didn’t gain weight. There’s also another path that we can look at, which is bariatric surgery. This is sort of a last [resort], but something that a lot of patients [who] are struggling with obesity will do to lose weight and, ideally, keep it off. And it’s very successful. It’s not without its risks, but the majority of people lose 50 percent of their weight or more. One of the ways it works is through gastric bypass, [which] cuts out the part of your stomach that is rich in these CB1 receptors, and bypasses that part of your digestive tract. It was never clear exactly why gastric bypass worked, but it seems like that’s a major reason.

Researchers did a study to find out why gastric bypass works and found that when they blocked the CB1 receptor [with drugs], gastric bypass did not offer any additional benefits. It’s clearly the activity of the CB1 receptor that’s at the center of, or plays a big role in, weight gain and obesity. So we do not want to activate this through endocannabinoids. The fewer omega-6 fats we eat, the less we’ll activate this appetite-stimulating CB1 receptor.

Chris Kresser:  That’s really interesting because it could be another reason why it’s so easy to overeat these kinds of foods like potato chips and french fries and things like that. The common wisdom is that it’s because they’re salty and fatty and crunchy and they’re activating the hedonic pathways. But this is a whole other mechanism that could explain why we have a tendency to overeat these foods. [Lay’s potato chips] was right when they said, “Bet you can’t just eat one.” They had some science behind that ad, it sounds like.

Jeff Nobbs:  Yeah, absolutely. It creates this vicious cycle where the foods you eat that are high in seed oils create the munchies and create increased appetite for those very same foods that are salty and crunchy and fatty, and then you eat even more.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah. We’ll put some more links [in the show notes] [because] as you said, I’ve been writing about this for years. There’s so much to cover, [and] I want to make sure we have time to touch on some of the other important issues. We’ll drop some links in the show notes for people who want to do [a] deep dive and get even more detail on everything we’ve covered so far. I want to move on to [the] environmental impact of these oils because that’s something I haven’t spent as much time on, and I want people to understand what the environmental consequences are of this level of seed oil consumption.

The Environmental Impact of Seed Oil Consumption

Jeff Nobbs:  This would be the case with any food that’s a huge part of our diet—there’s going to be an environmental impact. Unfortunately, with seed oils, they are especially bad for the environment when you take into account that they don’t do our health any favors. If they made us live an extra 20 years or something, maybe we’d decide, “Okay, this is worth a little bit of rainforest because our IQ has doubled and we’re living longer or whatever.” But to have this environmental impact for food that harms our health just doesn’t make any sense. So, what is that environmental impact? The way seed oils are grown is, we look for the area of the planet where the soil is most rich [and] where plants grow best, and that often is in the rainforest, or in grasslands where grasses grow very quickly. We’ll clear out a natural ecosystem, plant seeds, wait six months for those seeds to grow, and then take those tiny seeds and press them for an even tinier amount of oil. It’s not like we developed seed oils because they were the most productive way to grow edible oil. They were produced initially as a byproduct of animal feed. Animals are really good at producing fats naturally. Plants are not. Plants are good at making carbohydrates and sugar. When we’re using plants as our source of oil or as our source of fat, we need a lot of land.

Much of the rainforest in Borneo, for example, and now in the Amazon is dedicated to soybean oil and, historically, to palm oil. There’s a big push to replace palm oil with other oils. But the problem is [that] when we replace palm oil with something like canola, sunflower, [or] soybean oil, we use even more land, and we’re just destroying an ecosystem in a different part of the world, whether that’s in Ukraine and Russia where sunflower is grown, or Canada where canola is grown, or the Amazon rainforest and much of the [United States] where soybean is grown. These seed oil crops emit about five to 25 times more greenhouse gasses per kilogram of food than any other crop out there. They’re about a third of crop lands worldwide. They’re leading drivers of biodiversity loss, leading drivers of deforestation, and, again, not doing our health any favors. [It’s] not a system that makes very much sense.

Chris Kresser:  No, and it’s all part of the industrial approach to agriculture and food production, where there’s little consideration of the inputs, the outputs, how it affects land, ecosystems, local communities, etc. It’s a symptom of a bigger problem, but it’s also a cause. It’s that vicious cycle that you talked about earlier. I think a lot of people are more aware of the health repercussions of seed oils. I was somewhat aware of the environmental impact, but when we started talking about this, I did a deeper dive into some of the studies on just how big the environmental impact is, [and] it strikes me as another significant issue. We have the public health issue that is posed by these oils, but we also have the significant environmental degradation that’s happening as a result, as well.

Jeff Nobbs:  Yeah, and both are important. What’s the point of saving the planet if we’re not going to be here to enjoy it because we’re all too sick? And similarly, what’s the point of preserving our health if there’s no planet to enjoy it on? Both are important, and it’s an interwoven problem. If we took into account the cost of the negative externalities from our food system, that would solve a lot of problems. Because all of a sudden, seed oils wouldn’t be so cheap. They’d be extremely expensive. I actually looked into this, and it’s kind of a crazy [statistic]. Soybean oil alone is 60 percent of all seed oils in the [United States]. We spend twice as much on healthcare as we do on food in this country. It’s ridiculous. What percentage of our healthcare costs do you think are from soybean oil alone? Obviously, we don’t know the answer to that. But let’s just say it was 1 percent. The most prevalent oil, that’s 60 percent of 20 percent of our calories, is soybean oil. Let’s say 1 percent of our healthcare costs were soybean oil. The cost of soybean oil would double if 1 percent of our healthcare cost[s] [were] accounted for in the cost of soybean oil. Let’s say it’s 5 percent of healthcare costs, soybean oil would basically be unaffordable. I don’t think this is going to happen anytime soon, but it’s at least an interesting exercise to think about the true cost of our foods.

The Fallacy of “Heart-Healthy” Vegetable Oils

Chris Kresser:  Absolutely. It also speaks to another question, which is, “How did we get here? How did these foods become known as health foods?” My parents, being my parents, no longer believe this, but plenty of people in their generation are still consuming “heart-healthy” vegetable oils, and even margarine and things like that, as an alternative to saturated fats, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc. This could be another three episodes going through the full history here. That’s in my first book, and second book to some extent, but observational research early on was a big factor in creating the illusion that these oils were more healthy, for our heart in particular. Cardiovascular disease was how this all got started. How did that happen?

Jeff Nobbs:  Yeah, that is where it all started. You’ve written about this, and Nina Teicholz has a book called The Big Fat Surprise, which also does a great job [of] diving into all this history in intricate detail. Like we said, humans never consumed these oils in any meaningful quantity in the history of our evolution until the introduction of cottonseed oil, in particular, which began as an adulterated product to infuse with lard to replace whale blubber when whales were over hunted. It also started primarily for industrial applications like machine lubrication. Then two brothers-in-law, Procter and Gamble, used cottonseed oil to make Crisco, which was a partially hydrogenated oil that created trans fats. Crisco was a semi-solid, pure white, “clean” alternative to animal fats, and it pretty quickly swept the country. There was a lot of anti-immigrant racist advertising around animal fats being dirty and Crisco being clean. You can go back and look at ads. It’s pretty overt. Then when we transitioned away from more traditional forms of agriculture toward grain-fed, soy-fed, corn-fed animals, we started pressing these grains for oil. Later, we went on to grow grains specifically for their oil.

Cottonseed was acutely detoxified. Still probably chronically toxic, but acutely detoxified, partially hydrogenated, [and] turned into Crisco. [Then] soybean oil and corn oil started to replace cottonseed oil. Procter & Gamble was making millions at this time [and] had a lot of sway [and] influence. Everything for them was about convincing the nation through their work with the American Heart Association and other organizations that these oils were heart healthy. What first put this in the spotlight, the “heart health” of vegetable oil, so to speak, was President [Eisenhower’s] heart attack. This was around the time that rates of heart disease were climbing in the early 1900s. Doctors didn’t really even know what atherosclerosis was. It was very new. The President having a heart attack put it into the public conversation. Based on no randomized controlled trials, the sway and conviction of a couple of researchers like Ancel Keys and their observational studies convinced the American Heart Association, and eventually the cover of Timemagazine and Eisenhower’s doctors, [that] the best thing he could do was to consume more corn oil and soybean oil. He went on a low-fat diet, but the fat he did eat was primarily from corn oil. He eventually [succumbed] to heart disease and died of a heart attack. But that kind of stuck. So for decades, through a lot of work [by] organizations that had a lot to gain by considering vegetable oils heart healthy, everything related to polyunsaturated fats [and] linoleic acid was good, [and] saturated fats were bad through the 1990s. If you [replaced] the saturated fat with corn oil, canola oil, sugar, candy, and Snackwell cookies, that was considered good for you and heart healthy and you were making healthy decisions.

Meanwhile, rates of disease and obesity and diabetes and everything else [were] on the rise and skyrocketing. Eventually, [we] as a nation replaced beef tallow in our deep fryers with trans fats. We learned that was horrible. So then trans fats [were] replaced by vegetable oils. Now we’re just left with a bunch of these seed oils that aren’t very good for cooking, don’t taste especially good, aren’t good for the environment, [and] are really bad for us, yet are somehow in everything, largely because there just hasn’t been a really good alternative.

Chris Kresser:  Absolutely. It’s a really fascinating story. [The] Big Fat Surprise does an incredible job of laying it all out. How economics, profit, politics, confirmation bias, confounding factors and observational research, marketing and advertising, group think, and so many other human factors came together to steer the course of dietary recommendations in the [United States] for more than half a century, and even still to this day are affecting dietary recommendations. [It’s] really worth looking into to understand how we came to this moment in time.

The Mission of Zero Acre Farms and How Cultured Oil Is Made

I want to move on, because we’re coming up on the top of the hour, and talk about what you’re doing to solve this problem at Zero Acre Farms. Full disclosure here for everybody listening, I joined the advisory board of Zero Acre Farms because I deeply believe in their mission, as we’ve talked about. This has been one of the biggest issues of my career in terms of public health problems that I’ve tried to address and raise awareness on. When Jeff approached me and told me what they were up to, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to become involved because if we can make progress on this one issue, it will have a dramatic impact on global health. Not just here in the [United States], of course, but everywhere in the world. So tell us a little bit about your mission at Zero Acre Farms, and then we’ll talk a little bit about the first product, Cultured Oil.

Jeff Nobbs:  That sounds great, and [I] so appreciate you being an advisor, Chris. Part of the reason that we started Zero Acre Farms was because we’re not very good at politics. Our team is good at fermentation, and I’ve been in business and starting ventures my whole career. One of our other advisors was part of the USDA dietary guideline committee. He said that committee and the decisions [it] came to was about 90 percent politics and 10 percent science. So it’s not enough to, and it’s not what I want to do, to lobby and try to get out the best research possible. Because at the end of the day, it comes down to what’s happening in a closed room with a small group of people and the political relationships and who has what to gain and groupthink and everything else you described. So at Zero Acre Farms, our whole mission is to figure out how to displace and remove these destructive vegetable oils in the food system. We say we want to “give the world an oil change.” Like we talked about earlier in the podcast, if everyone just stopped eating vegetable oils altogether, that would be great. That would be one solution. The approach we’re taking is for folks who still want to have salad dressings and the occasional french fries and potato chips, basically how most people are getting most of their calories these days. At least offer [them] something that doesn’t do so much harm and that’s good for you and not bad for you. That’s good for the planet, not bad for the planet. That’s our mission—how do we create products that displace vegetable oils with something that is much, much better?

Chris Kresser:  Amazing. It’s hard to think of, from a dietary perspective, a mission that’s more important. There are several that are probably up there, but this is a really critical issue. Let’s talk about [Cultured Oil]. This is your first product, and I would love it if you could just explain to people what it is. Maybe in a little more depth than you might normally because as you know, my audience is pretty savvy and educated, and this is a question that we get a lot. When I’ve talked to people about Cultured Oil, I say it’s a fermented oil, high in monounsaturated fat, [and] low in omega-6 fat. And they’re like, “Yeah, but what is it? How is it really made? What is it?” And that’s fair. When you reached out to me, I asked you the same question. I asked for a lot of detail in terms of how this [is] actually made. Because we don’t want to be in a situation where we’re turning to the Beyond Meat or Impossible Burger of oils. And I think that’s what people are scared of when they don’t understand something. So it would be great if you could explain how this actually works.

Jeff Nobbs:  Absolutely. I’ll preface with a couple of comments. One, [we knew] describing what this is was going to be difficult because there’s no word for it. It’s like describing what yogurt is to someone without the word yogurt, and describing a thick, tangy culture of fermented milk sugars, or describing beer before you have the word beer. Most people don’t actually know what beer is, that it’s these microbial communities that ferment sugars and barley combined with hops to produce this carbon dioxide-rich alcoholic beverage.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah, they don’t want to think about that either.

Jeff Nobbs:  Right, right.

Chris Kresser:  Which is good news, bad news, right? The good news is you’ve created an entirely new category of oils. The bad news is that [it’s] difficult to communicate.

Jeff Nobbs:  I always say our greatest opportunity is also our greatest challenge, which is describing how this new category of Cultured Oil is so much better, but also so much different. The other thing I want to preface with is, there’s nothing new in Cultured Oil. Unlike trans fats, or partially hydrogenated oils, or olestra from the 1990s, if anyone remembers that, there’s no new compound that we’re consuming, where we’re trying to trick our body to consume something that humans have never before consumed. Cultured Oil is made of the same healthy fats that are in every other food; it just has more of the good fats like monounsaturated fat, more than 90 percent, and way fewer of the fats that have been linked to inflammation like omega-6 linoleic acid. [There’s] less than 3 percent linoleic acid in Cultured Oil. The rest is saturated fat like stearic acid and palmitic acid. You can scan the back of your bottle and see the detailed fatty acid profile of your bottle of Cultured Oil. We also show you detailed analytics so you can see the peroxide value in free fatty acids, the antioxidant content, [and] a number of other measures so you actually know what you’re consuming.

With that said, here’s what Cultured Oil is. Cultured Oil is cooking oil, edible oil that’s full of all these fats that I just described, that’s made by fermentation. What does fermentation mean? This is a term like “antioxidants” where you hear [it] and you’re like, “Yeah, that’s good.” But maybe 1 percent of people could actually describe what’s happening on a molecular level in the case of antioxidants or fermentation. What fermentation describes in food is when a microbial community, also called a culture, consumes natural sugars. Those sugars can come from plants like barley and grapes; they can come from animal products like milk. And this culture, whether it’s a sourdough culture, or a wine culture, consumes these sugars and produces an entirely new food. In the case of a sourdough starter or culture, they consume the sugars in bread and they convert it to carbon dioxide that levens the bread and creates amazing sourdough. In the case of beer, a beer culture consumes the sugars in barley and produces ethanol or alcohol and carbon dioxide, and that gives us beer. In the case of an oil culture, microorganisms in the culture consume sugar, and they convert that sugar into oil. This particular culture that produces Cultured Oil happens to make oil that’s really rich in monounsaturated fat, very low in linoleic acid, and it tastes pretty good, too. That’s all it is. It’s microorganisms converting sugar into oil.

Chris Kresser:  That’s super helpful because I think at least most people listening to this podcast, although they might not understand the biochemistry of fermentation and culturing, almost certainly are eating fermented foods or cultured foods to some extent, and they understand the health benefits. They understand how that is a useful process that humans have harnessed for thousands of generations as a means of storing food, making the nutrients in food more accessible, [and] increasing the probiotic content of foods, which, of course, they didn’t understand in a scientific way when they were doing that. But they recognized that there were health benefits to consuming those foods. Virtually every culture in the world consumes fermented foods in some form or another. Fermented beverages, beet kvass in Eastern Europe, kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and then all the alcoholic ferments, as you talked about, cheese, etc. I mean, the list goes on and on. This is what I love about this product, that you’re harnessing a process that occurs in nature, but applying technology to it to make it more scalable so you can get to the point where we’re producing a meaningful amount of these oils. And it’s the organisms themselves that are producing the fatty acids that you find in the oil.

Smoke Point and Oxidative Stability in Cooking Oils

Let’s talk a little bit about the fatty acid profile and why that’s important because most people are using these oils to cook with, right? Of course, [they’re] sometimes putting them on salad or something like that, but the majority of the oil use[d] is to cook foods. That can happen at modest temperatures, like you mentioned, 300, 350 [degrees], [for] baking, etc., but also, a lot of people are stir-frying, frying, cooking in a pan at higher heat, or brushing oil on meat or vegetables and putting that on a grill at high heat. Monounsaturated fat is the most stable oil with the highest smoke point. Talk a little bit about the smoke point of Cultured Oil relative to other commonly used cooking oils and why that’s so important.

Jeff Nobbs:  As you know, Chris, there are two components when you’re looking at [whether you] should use [an] oil for cooking. Smoke point is a big component. You don’t want to be breathing in acrolein and other compounds that are produced when you cook the heck out of an oil. And just from a practical standpoint, you don’t want to smoke up your kitchen and trigger the smoke alarm and have your clothes smell like smoke.

Chris Kresser:  I just did a video on indoor air pollution and how big of a factor that is to human health, and the volatile organic compounds that are produced from combustion of cooking oils and how those can linger and affect our health. So it is not just an aesthetic issue; it’s a health issue, as well.

Jeff Nobbs:  Yeah, the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smoking Chinese women is inhaling primarily soybean oil fumes from cooking at high heat in a wok. So that’s one aspect, smoke point. That’s important. Another aspect is oxidative stability, which is not just physically what you’re seeing and [whether the] oil [is] smoking, but what’s happening on a molecular level. On an atomic level, is this oil oxidizing? Chemists [who] study oil all day actually have kind of a back of the napkin test to see how stable an oil is, where they assign a certain number to each percentage of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fat. They assign zero to each percentage of saturated fat, one to each percentage of monounsaturated fat, and 12 to 25 for each percentage of polyunsaturated fat. The lower the number, the more stable. Saturated fats are the most stable, but [they] are, of course, not oils. They’re solid at room temperature. Monounsaturated fats are just about as stable as saturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats are just off the charts unstable.

Chris Kresser:  Not even close. Yeah.

Jeff Nobbs:  Not even close. Exponentially more unstable. Every percentage of polyunsaturated fat or linoleic acid reduction in your cooking oil is going to pay dividends when it comes to how much oxidation is being produced. And this all sounded good in theory. We put Cultured Oil to the test, and we compared it to a number of other oils, including olive oil, avocado oil, as well as soybean oil, canola, and sunflower oil, or corn oil, and put them in a frying pan and started cooking them. Not us personally; it was a third-party experiment. After 10 minutes, every other oil had produced oxidative products. We were specifically measuring that, those [polyunsaturated fatty acid] (PUFA)-derived aldehydes like formaldehyde. It’s what’s in cigarettes; it’s what is in these toxic fumes. It’s what is formed in our body when we consume these oils. We do not want these things. Aldehydes include 4-hydroxynonenal [(4-HNE)], which is a well-recognized toxin. [After] 10 minutes of cooking, everything had these PUFA-derived aldehydes in them, except Cultured Oil. There was no detectable toxic aldehyde generation, unlike these other oils. After about 90 minutes of cooking, olive oil and avocado oil had the least [amount] except for Cultured Oil, which had six times less than avocado oil and 11 times less than olive oil of these PUFA-derived aldehydes. Sunflower, canola, [and] soybean oil were off the charts, like 20, 30, 40 times as much. So you can measure the effect of having a more stable cooking oil. You can notice it when it’s not smoking in your frying pan. And that’s really important for what’s happening inside your body, as well.

Why Not Just More Olive and Avocado Oils?

Chris Kresser:  That’s really fascinating and something that I think most people are not paying a lot of attention to. It’s an area where there’s a lot of room for improvement, let’s just put it that way. Let’s talk about one of the, I don’t know, objections or one of the potential objections. Someone might say like, “Okay, well avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fat, olive oil is, as well, though not as high, but it has a lot of antioxidant value that can contribute to making it a little bit more stable in an oxidative way than you would think based on the fatty acid profile.” These are “natural” oils that everyone kind of understands intuitively where they come from. Avocado oil comes from avocados. You press them together, [and] you get oil. Same thing with olive oil. So why not just make more of those? Why not just grow more avocados, more olives, and increase the amount of avocado and olive oil in the food supply?

Jeff Nobbs:  How avocado oil is produced is the same way Cultured Oil is produced, just instead of pressing an avocado, an oil-rich culture is pressed. It’s a bit harder to visualize because it’s happening on a microscopic level instead of a three-inch by two-inch level, in the case of an avocado. And certainly, we’re not in this chronic disease epidemic because people consume too much extra virgin olive oil. But at the same time, [I don’t think] those oils are going to be what gets us out of this mess. Like the numbers we just talked about, they don’t really hold up to high heat all that well. They just hold up a lot better than something like sunflower oil or canola oil. There’s nothing about pressing the oil from these particular crops, olives and avocados, that makes them the perfect cooking oil. They’re not scalable, unfortunately. This is the case with all oil crops. They only grow in certain regions of the world. Palm oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, and a number of others only grow near the tropics.

In the case of olive oil and avocado oil, they only grow in more temperate regions of the world. So even if you wanted to replace all the vegetable oil in the world with olive oil, there just wouldn’t be enough land for it. Unfortunately, olive oil in particular is one of the worst crops for the environment. It’s not nearly as prevalent as palm oil, so it doesn’t make headlines quite as much, but it requires hundreds of times more land to produce the same amount of oil as Cultured Oil, [and] hundreds of times more water. Olive oil is like the almond of the oil crop world. It’s a very thirsty crop. Again, this is fine for artisanal extra virgin olive oil, like an olive tree in your Italian family’s backyard that’s been there for 100 years. That’s very different than olive oil you buy from Costco that requires a ton of irrigation, [and] that may or may not actually be olive oil.

Unfortunately, there’s been a history of adulteration in the olive oil industry. [And] now in the avocado oil industry, as well. A recent study found that 82 percent of avocado oil was rancid or adulterated, and some were just pure soybean oil. No one’s checking this stuff. So if you’re an avocado oil producer, why not do that knowing that no one was doing studies on this? And again, linoleic acid, we’re just getting so much of it. The more you can reduce your linoleic acid consumption, the better. Some avocado and olive oils have 20 plus percent linoleic acid. Again, [that’s] way better than the 75 percent in sunflower oil, but nothing like the low single-digit percentage in coconut oil or beef tallow or Cultured Oil.

Cultured Oil vs Other Oils in the Kitchen

Chris Kresser:  Right. I mean, there’s room for avocado oil and olive oil in the diet. Whole avocados, whole olives, these are all nutritious foods with different benefits. But what we’re talking about here, cooking oil, is a real focus for Zero Acre Farms because that’s the way that these oils are typically used in the industrial food supply. Another thing that’s interesting to me [and] that I like about Cultured Oil is that it has a very neutral flavor. There are often times when I’m cooking something and I want to emphasize the flavor of the food that I’m cooking, and I don’t want it to taste like the oil or fat that I’m using to cook it in. There [are] times where it is nice to have a little bit of an olive oil taste, of course, but not all the time, right? Coconut oil is notorious for that. Everything you cook in coconut oil tastes like coconut. The refined, expeller pressed is a little different than the extra virgin, and it’s more stable, as well. But there are many situations where I just want to taste the food that I’m eating and not the oil that it’s cooked in. Cultured Oil has, I think, the most neutral flavor of any oil that I’ve ever used.

Jeff Nobbs:  That was certainly a goal, and it is very neutral-flavored. If you’re like us and you take spoonfuls in shot glasses of different oils to really taste it …

Chris Kresser:  We’re not like you, at least I’m not. I can say, I’m not doing any shots of oil lately.

Jeff Nobbs:  Well, you’re not in the oil business. But yeah, it’s neutral when you cook your food [in it]. If you have it straight up, which you don’t need to do, but if you’re just curious, it has a lightly buttery taste, maybe nutty. This is how chefs who have better palates than I do describe it. I have friends [who] bought a bottle of Cultured Oil and started cooking with it, and the thing they said was that they could actually taste their eggs. My wife and I started frying our eggs in Cultured Oil instead of butter, and it is different. It’s like, “Do I want my eggs to taste like coconut and ghee? Or do I want them to taste like eggs?” And sometimes yeah, you might want your pad thai to taste like coconut. Other times, you want it to taste like pad thai, like what the actual ingredients are. We found it tends to crisp food really well, often [better] than other fats, and [you can actually taste] the flavor of the food. It’s pretty cool. It’s noticeable.

Chris Kresser:  Yeah, it’s great. It’s exciting because for people who love to cook like me, you don’t come across a whole new oil with a whole different fatty acid profile every day. It opens up different possibilities and, like you said, “Oh, my eggs taste different now,” or “I could roast these vegetables in this oil and they’re going to have a different texture.” Just like [how] I will often roast vegetables in duck fat. That’s a traditional way of doing it and has a very different texture than roasting vegetables in olive oil, which tend to be more soggy and kind of wet, which, in turn, is different than roasting them in ghee or coconut oil. It’s great to have a totally new culinary experience with a different type of oil like this, and, of course, the most important part [is] knowing that, in using this oil when you’re cooking, you’re benefiting your health. It’s so much more beneficial to your health than using pretty much any other oil that you might use.

Okay, this has been fascinating. I hope the listeners have learned a lot and are excited to try this out or just can get behind this mission because that’s what’s really important here, is the impact that this is going to have on the global burden of disease. I’m personally excited about having a new cooking oil at my disposal that is healthy and good for the environment. But I’m even more excited about the impact that this is going to have worldwide on such an important public health issue. If you want to try it out, you can go to ZeroAcre.com/Chris and get free shipping on your first order. I encourage you to try sauteeing foods in a pan with it [or] put it on vegetables if you roast them. There are lots of different ways you can use it. I didn’t take any shots of it, but when I got it, I did put a little in a dish and put some in my mouth just to get a sense of the texture and the flavor, and I think that’s a good idea. It’ll give you ideas about how you might want to use it.

Jeff, thanks so much for joining me and spending the time to educate people on this really important issue. Thanks for doing the work that you’re doing at Zero Acre Farms. It truly is a potentially game-changing product and company, and I’m really glad to be a part of it.

Jeff Nobbs:  Thank you, Chris. Thanks for having me on, and thanks for everything you do. You’ve been a huge influence on how we think about health and nutrition as we’re developing future products, as well. So, [I] really, really appreciate everything you do, and [I] also love hearing that you’re enjoying using Cultured Oil.

Chris Kresser:  Great. [I] look forward to having you back in the future to talk about the next wave of products for Zero Acre Farms. In the meantime, once again, [the link is] ZeroAcre.com/Chris. Thanks for listening, everybody. Keep sending your questions to ChrisKresser.com/PodcastQuestion. We’ll see you next time.

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