“The best and most efficient pharmacy is within your own system.”
– Robert C. Peale
_The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed
health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even_ lol on occasion.
Monday. In case you haven’t heard, our good friend and the baron of soil-destroying industrial farmland, William Henry Gates III is getting a divorce. There are some scandalous accusations alleging that the split has been a long time coming, following years of questionable behavior, an affair, and even a relationship with a Mr. Jeffrey Epstein (never heard of him). Ok, so how is all that relevant to the Daily Tonic? Aside from a little scandal to add some spice to the newsletter on a Monday, Bill and Melinda Gates’ ownership of farmland is part of a growing and troubling trend in our agricultural system. Let’s dive in.
Diversifying Your Portfolio
So now we are talking about personal finance? I thought this was a science backed health newsletter? Bear with me here—it’ll all make sense, I promise! We touched on this in a previous Daily Tonic, but to quickly recap—Bill Gates owns a ton of farmland. The guy is worth $127 billion and along with his soon- to-be ex wife, owns 242,000 acres of farmland. That makes the Gates’ family the largest private farmland owners. golf clap So where do the diverse portfolios fit into the story? Well, Bill and Melinda aren’t the only uber rich people buying up farmland. In March, our buddy Bill appeared in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” to promote his recently published book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. Asked by a participant why he had bought so much farmland, Gates responded: “My investment group chose to do this. It is not connected to climate.” So basically, wealthy investors buy farmland for the money-making possibilities of an appreciating asset. They don’t care about owning farmland—they just want a diverse portfolio. You see, farmland has taken off in the past decade as an asset class. Financial advisors urge wealthy investors to add farmland to their portfolios as an appreciating asset that will do well due to scarcity. Simply put—no one is making any more farmland, so it is safe to assume that the value of that land will only go up. As a matter of fact, as growing populations increase the demand for land intensive food, and irresponsible farming practices keep decreasing the supply of arable land, it makes a lot of sense that farmland will go up in value. Solid investment, right? But herein lies the many problems with this growing trend. Absentee landlords don’t care about how their farmland is used. Cue pesticide and fertilizer use, monoculture crops, heavy tillage of the soil, GMO crops, etc. All of these practices are terrible for our health and the health of our planet and as wealthy investors that are disconnected from the actual farming practice purchase more and more farmland, there will be less motivation for these conventional practices to change. Compounding the problem is the fact that all this investor money is making it more difficult and expensive for aspiring, young farmers to buy land. There are smart, young, passionate people trying to get into agriculture to grow food using more responsible regenerative methods, but increasing land prices are making that difficult. The solution? Let’s get this Daily Tonic into the hands of Melinda Gates. She seems far more reasonable than Bill—hence the divorce. Maybe we can convince her to take half of the farmland she gets from the split and sell it to young, aspiring farmers looking to improve how we grow and raise food. Who knows?!
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Hackers Got Their Payday!
So here’s a quick follow up on the developing story of the cyberattack that put a pause on operations for the biggest meat processor in the U.S. If you need a refresher, we covered the original story on the Daily Tonic a few issues ago. Well, it turns out the hackers got paid a cool $11 Million as part of the ransomware attack. Yikes. The meat supplier’s U.S. chief said that JBS paid cybercriminals in bitcoin to avoid more disruptions. So… once again—I am far from an expert here, but if I were a bitcoin loving hacker, and I saw my hacker friends get paid $11 Million for crippling a company whose operations are essential to the centralized food supply chain in the U.S, what would I do? I would immediately grab my laptop, invite all my hacker friends over, boot up the matrix or whatever hackers do, and get to work on another attack… Anyway, my unsolicited, non-expert two cents—this may not be the last attack on our food supply chain. What better time to find your local, decentralized farm or ranch to get your food from?
- White Oak Pastures is a regenerative farm in Georgia. They won’t get hacked anytime soon, but they may sell out—so stock up!
- Speaking of investments and diverse portfolios, you may be able to invest in a small regenerative farm through our friends at Steward.
- Coffee?! From regenerative farms?! You had me at coffee.
- Traveling to or live near Central Texas? Check out this incredible dinner series hosted by our friends at Serana! Chef prepared, regeneratively raised, local food, and good company! SOLD!
Health isn’t just about _ food, movement, and mindset . It is also about the_ _ interactions _we have and what we _ share with our fellow humans._
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