An inspiring weekend at the PHC Conference

Over the weekend I attended the Public Health Collaboration Conference at The Crucible in Sheffield. I can confirm that Treway to Sheffield is a very long drive!

The Public Health Collaboration is a registered charity dedicated to informing and implementing healthy decisions for public health. The conferences main theme was ‘Helping Fix The NHS One Person At A Time’.

The conference was filled with truly inspired speakers from around the world. Starting with Dr Benjamin Bikman PhD from the USA who specialises in metabolic health. He talked about the ‘Plagues of Prosperity’ as he called them which are modern day killers such as diabetes, dementia, heart disease, cancer and more which are all caused by insulin resistance. Caused by our modern diet which are filled with ultra processed foods or as they were described later ‘non foods’. He advocated a ketogenic diet of real foods which must include animal protein and fat.

Dr David Unwin spoke of his amazing results at his practice Norwood Surgery in reversing his patients Type 2 diabetes through the use of a low carb diet.

Georgia Ede MD from the USA explained the link between diet and mental health. Did you know that in the UK 51% of our diet is made up of ultra processed foods? We are the worst in Europe!

There was a fascinating session with Dr Zsofia Clemens PhD from Hungary who told us about her phenomenal work with cancer patients who followed the PKD diet which is a cross between a paleolithic and ketogenic diet. Patients eat a very meat and fat heavy diet. She showed us many cases where after the patient started the PKD eating regime their cancer stopped progressing and in some cases shrunk.

On the first day there were also sessions from Professor Roy Taylor from Newcastle University who talked about the cause of type 2 diabetes and how to treat it with a low carb diet and the removal of processed foods. Followed by a talk from Patrick Holford about the link between diet and dementia.

I found the whole day so interesting even if at times my brain was in overdrive and the detailed science was a little beyond me!

On the second day the topic of food addiction was discussed and that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. It was muted that these ultra processed foods are affectively a legalised recreational drug which we feed our children – certainly made me sit up in my chair and have a think about our mini farmers.

Then there was a discussion on ‘Can You Out Run A Bad Diet’ which was panel which included James Cracknell OBE, Dr Shawn Baker (pictured – he is a carnivore legend!), Victoria Jeffs who is going to be the oldest woman to row solo across the Atlantic and Christian Dailly former footballer and now a world class health and fitness coach who is an advocate for carnivore. He was wearing a T-shirt which read ‘Eat Beef and Lift Heavy Weights’! The upshot was yes you can but not forever. All were advocates for a ketogenic diet if not a full carnivore diet. Dr Shawn Baker has eaten nothing but animal products for 7 years. James Cracknell cited a shocking statistic that 80% of the British population never walk 1 mile continuously in a whole year – we are such a sedentary population.

The last session was particularly poignant for me as it was ‘Are Cows Killing The Planet?’ which was hosted by Jayne Buxton who has written the brilliant book The Great Plant Based Con. A great if not slightly lengthy read. I was jumping around in my chair itching to be involved in the discussion! It was thought that it’s not the cow but the how which is a sentiment that I would agree with. I was disappointed that the huge difference between conventional commercial beef production and pastured beef production wasn’t explained and highlighted.

I think the two days can be summed up as cut out the ultra processed foods and carbs, eat meat and animal fat and move your body more!

To have Dr’s preaching a diet high in animal protein and fat felt so surreal as I often feel that as red meat producers we are all to often brow beaten and villanised as damaging the planet and human health. Both of these myths were discussed at length and thrown out of the window!

I am so interested in the link between what we are doing on the farm producing our beef and the health of the people who consume it. I have always believed our pastured beef is better for health but after the weekend I ‘KNOW’ it is essential for optimal health. `