The future of food; must we be forced to change?

This Thursday evening (May 12, 2011), I will be part of a three-person panel at a local community center in Stonington, CT. Our topic is the “future of food.” The other two panel members are a local organic farmer and an author of healthy, organic cookbooks.

My premise is that humans WILL move back toward a plant-based diet — the natural diet for our species. The only uncertainties are: For what reasons? And how quickly? My suspicion at this point is that most of us will have to be forced.

In the seaside village of Stonington, CT

On Thursday, I will deliver a PowerPoint presentation highlighting the gross unsustainability of the typical western diet — showing that compared to plant-based foods — calorie for calorie:

  • It requires 20 times as much land
  • It requires 20 times as much energy
  • It requires well over 20 times as much water
  • It is also responsible for incredible environmental damage to our land, forests, oceans, rivers, climate, and biodiversity.

The natural diet for our species -- whole foods, plant-based -- still in nature's package.

So why don’t we just all change to a plant-based diet? Clearly, there are many compelling health reasons why we should do just that. After gradually learning about the following preponderance of evidence supporting a plant-based diet, I experienced a blinding flash of the obvious when I suddenly realized that “Oh my God, we’ve been eating the wrong food.”

  1. The animals in the wild with DNA closest to ours eat nothing but raw plants.
  2. Cultures who eat mostly plants have almost none of the chronic diseases that plague the west.
  3. When those peoples move to the U.S. or Western Europe, they begin to have our diseases at the same rate that we do.
  4. We now have overwhelming scientific evidence that we humans should be eating a whole foods, plant-based diet.
  5. Many prominent physicians have an over 90% success rate in reversing heart disease and type 2 diabetes with nothing more than having their patients return to the natural diet for our species.

The author using renewable wind energy off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island

Certainly, I would like to think that with books like The China Study, our upcoming book and others — coupled with people like Bill Clinton making the change — that the word would spread and that humans would want to change their diet for all the right reasons:
  1. Taking charge of their own health
  2. Nurturing our fragile environment
  3. Conserveing our finite supply of fossil fuels
  4. Feeding the world’s hungry
  5. Ending the needless suffering of billions of animals

Our entire book is all about those five things — and as our grassroots revolution takes hold, more and more people will make those changes for the right reasons. But how many?

If we are wildly successful, maybe there will be 50 million, or even one hundred million Americans who will voluntarily change their diets for those five reasons — but I fear that the large majority of our nation will have to be forced to change.

And that force is called MONEY. As the world passes the inevitable “peak oil” point in the years ahead, we are going to see an unprecedented rise in the cost of energy and our grossly inefficient typical western diet is going to be in trouble. For more on this topic, you might want to look at a few earlier posts:

What is the future of food? — Take a look at the past.

Worried about gas prices? You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

The Price of Oil…and the food we eat

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

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About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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1 Response to The future of food; must we be forced to change?

  1. Rick Swan says:

    I think the three main reasons people do not make significant changes towards a plant-based diet are the overwhelming amount of conflicting information about what a healthy diet is in the first place (you mentioned Dr. Oz as a prime example), our addictions and habits, and the ease of finding junk food and animal products in every store and restaurant.

    I have read that apes eat a 98% plant based diet with 2% coming from insects, and chimps eat a 95-98% plant based diet with 3-5% coming from insects and small rodents. The longest lived populations on our planet are not vegans, but eat a very small amount of animal products probably 3-5% similar to the apes.

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