Yesterday, I watched the CBS Sunday Morning show that I had recorded over the weekend. With the exception of one story about the new Marilyn Monroe movie, the entire 90 minutes was dedicated to food — apparently because of the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. So I scanned a few of the stories and watched all of some of the others. And, as I always do, was searching for some glimmer of hope that America was beginning to get the message about the need to eat healthier foods.
No such luck. With the exception of a nice story about apples, the show was a virtual showcase of our bad eating habits; disguised as being healthy for you. They had a lady talking about fat, another one featured olive oil and one was all about bagels and bialys. There was absolutely zero mention of what healthy eating might look like on Thanksgiving this year. But there was a lot of great news about our bad habits and, once again, there was much input that would add further to the widespread confusion about food that already exists.
It’s no wonder that I frequently hear from readers who have concluded that a move to healthy and sustainable eating will simply never happen — notes like this one from Salvatore last week:
To quote from the Broadway song: The Impossible Dream. That is what all of us, the plant eaters of the world have to contend with. Ten, twenty years into the future…it will never happen. The world will still be slaughtering, butchering, and gorging on the flesh of the innocent creatures.
So why am I optimistic about the eventual move in the right direction? It’s because of what I see and hear from readers once they have enough information. They began making much better decisions about food and they begin making permanent lifestyle changes for the right reasons instead of periodic dieting to lose weight.
Lately some readers have complained about the lack of healthy menu items in most restaurants. One asked today, “How do you get restaurants to change to a more vegan menu? The task of change is overwhelming. Italian restaurants would be the most difficult to change as they represent probably the largest number of eat-in restaurants in America.”
My answer is that restaurants, like most businesses, are out to grow their revenue and produce a profit. They are in business to make money and in order to do that, all businesses must sell what their customers want. When 20 or 30 percent of their customers start asking for more plant-based meals; that’s when you’ll start seeing them on the menu. In the meantime, I enjoy the process of creating my own delicious meals in almost any non fast-food restaurant.
Other readers have brought up ideas like public health classes to accompany a healthy school lunch program or lobbying the fast-food industry to provide more healthy options on their menus. All great ideas to be sure, and ideas that will come to life naturally once enough people become educated and start demanding change.
Our free market system will respond to what customers want. Right now, they want meat, dairy, eggs, sugar, oil and highly refined carbohydrates three meals a day — and that’s exactly what the market is giving them. Notice all those healthy choices on the sign?
Last week I blogged about reaching one billion people in the Western world with an informational campaign about the overwhelming evidence supporting the plant-based diet as the absolute healthiest food that we could possibly eat — and the most beneficial to our environment at the same time. One more thing; it’s also sustainable.
But being realistic, I conservatively estimated that a mere 40 million people (less than 5%) would likely make any major changes in their diets immediately following such a campaign. Change will still be gradual, but “dispelling the protein myth” will open the door. To re-cap my estimate of those 40 million (out of one billion reached) who will hear the message and run with it:
- 30 million people (3%), most of whom are under 40, will read a few books on the subject, experience a “blinding flash of the obvious” and climb aboard the 4-Leaf train in a matter of weeks.
- 9 million people (less than 1%) really “get it” and will become leaders of change in their communities)
- 1 million people (1/10th of 1%), among the brightest and best educated people (those great thinkers) in the world — will begin writing, speaking, organizing and planning and leading the urgent change that will be needed to avoid economic collapse, chaos, wars or worse. This group will include people who are already powerful leaders; they just had not yet been told the truth about food.
The Bottom Line. Believe it or not, I am most enthusiastic about that one-tenth of one percent shown last. They’re the people that are going to make a real difference to the masses. Today, even our best and brightest thinkers and educators are still embracing that silly “protein myth” along with everyone else.
But as soon as we dispel that myth with a powerful campaign – many thoughtful and caring people everywhere will have a chance to experience their own blinding flash of the obvious regarding what we should be eating.
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.
And if you like what 4-Leaf eating is doing for you and your family, you might enjoy visiting our new “4-Leaf Gear” store. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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