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PYP 121: Dr. Ron Weiss on the Healing Power of Farming

ron-weissAfter 7 years in the emergency room and 15 years running a traditional medical clinic in suburban New Jersey, Dr. Ronald Weiss decided to radically change his practice.

He moved to a centuries-old working farm in rural New Jersey and began treating his patients with fresh, organic, sustainably grown produce.

Today his practice, Ethos Health, is one of the most exciting, innovative, and lowest-tech “miracles” in medicine.

I learned about Dr. Weiss from a segment on the Today show, which you can watch here:

And while we're doing the video thing, here's a short, moving portrait of Dr. Weiss and his background and motivation:

I was so inspired by his story, his commitment, and his wholistic view of health, I knew I had to get Dr. Weiss on the Plant Yourself Podcast.

I called the number on his website, and got the following recorded message (I'm paraphrasing): “Press 1 for the doctor. Press 2 for the farmer.”

I was utterly enchanted.

Luckily for me (and you!), Dr. Weiss is a generous man, and agreed to what turned into an in-depth and fascinating interview. We covered:

  • Dr. Weiss's frustration with the limitations of the Emergency Room to treat end stage chronic disease
  • how Dr. Weiss's father's pancreatic cancer – and 100% plant-based treatment – changed his outlook on medicine
  • the lack of evidence in 1992 for plant-based treatment and prevention of disease – and the importance of anecdotal data and case studies to guide initial research
  • early plant-based successes: acne and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Dr. Weiss's initial reluctance to discuss his protocols with colleagues
  • key barriers to medical acceptance of plant-based treatments of disease
  • the medical bias toward sustaining the illness with medications vs removing root causes
  • one of the first things Dr. Weiss learned in med school: “Doctors rarely cure anything.”
  • our most common diseases are food-borne (so they can be stabilized, reversed, and even cured)
  • why medical practice needs to become “evidence-based” to embrace whole plant foods to prevent and remediate illness
  • what kinds of evidence Dr. Weiss regards as most convincing
  • the current debate over saturated fats and diabetes
  • how studies can be manipulated to produce any result the funders want
  • the importance of thinking in systems (for individual health, for soil fertility, for planetary wellbeing)
  • how Wendell Berry influenced Dr. Weiss's medical practice
  • why Dr. Weiss “bought the farm” – looking toward the future after having children
  • the connections between human health and land/soil health
  • the many problems with our current system of growing plants
  • conservation of matter (nutrients) in our food system
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


Dr. Weiss's medical/farm practice: Ethos Health

The Mediterranean Diet Study


The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,

Looking for Transformational Change?

You know how when you discovered plant-based eating, you basically went, “Holy shit, how come the entire healthcare system isn't totally embracing this as one of the most powerful keys to disease prevention and reversal!”?

That's how I feel now about a psychological approach to transformational change called “Memory Reconsolidation.” Few psychologists have heard about it, and when they do hear the radical transformations it can bring about in a very short time, they're often skeptical to the point of disbelief.

But I've added Memory Reconsolidation work to my own coaching, and can attest to its amazing efficacy. So much so, that I'm devoting the next year to mastering it, studying with the best clinicians and teachers in the world, and then introducing it into health coaching through my trainings.

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Yes, I'm interested in Memory Reconsolidation Coaching.

You CAN Change Other People!

Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.

What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.

Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.

Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight

Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.

It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂

Tip Jar

This podcast is not underwritten by advertising, so I can experience complete editorial autonomy without worrying about pissing off the person paying the bills. Instead, I pay the bills, with your help. It's free for those who can't afford to pay, and supported by those who can. You can contribute to the growth and improvement of the podcast by clicking the “Support on Patreon” or “Donate” buttons on the right to help out.


The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – Katharine Floyd – Meryl Fury – for your generous support of the podcast.


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1 comment on “PYP 121: Dr. Ron Weiss on the Healing Power of Farming

  1. Thank You says:

    Thank You

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