Combining forces with sustainability advocates

Working together to save the planet

In earlier posts, I have mentioned some of the world’s brightest and best educated people who are dedicating their lives to solving many different critical issues of our time. Take the environment for example. It seems that many environmentalists have not yet heard about the simple power of plant-based nutrition to greatly reduce many of our problems. In many cases, it’s almost like a case of penny wise, pound foolish.

When most of us think about saving water, we’re thinking about shower nozzles and toilets; yet only 5% of the water consumed is for domestic uses. On the other hand, each of us could reduce our own “water footprint” by 90% by simply shifting to a health-promoting diet-style of whole, plant-based foods. On a per calorie basis, it takes ten to twenty times more water to produce animal foods than plant-based foods — and 75% of the world’s water is devoted to agriculture. The potential water savings are staggering but never even make it to the table for consideration because of the widespread “protein myth”  among brilliant, well-meaning people everywhere that we actually need to consume animal protein to be healthy.

Ellen MacArthur in her record-setting trimaran

Just last week, I heard about another great human being, Ellen MacArthur, the founder of a  charity aimed at promoting sustainable living. A resident of the Isle of Wight in the U.K., she is best known for her career as a competitive. From Wikipedia:

Dame Ellen Patricia MacArthur, (born 8 July 1976) is an English sailor….On 7 February 2005, she broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe, a feat which gained her international renown….Following her retirement from professional sailing on 2 September 2010, Ellen announced the launch of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a charity set up to inspire people to re-think, re-design and build a sustainable future.

Ellen MacArthur

Reaching out to Ellen. After visiting her website today, I was very impressed with her and her most admirable work — aimed at making our world a better place to live for future generations. So, I decided to reach out to her and suggest that there might be an opportunity for us to work together — thinking that this might be a case of one + one = three.

Take a look at this two-minute video of Ellen talking about the challenge of solo racing around the world in a sailboat. With her narrating, you can get a good feel of the kind of talented, passionate and polished individual she is. Following this short video is my letter to Ellen.

Hi Ellen, I am an author/blogger and recreational sailor in the USA and was just introduced to your foundation by one of your fellow country-women on the Isle of Wight (Frances Oglander). Your background as a circumnavigating sailor and a promoter of sustainability is most remarkable.

We are both impressed with what you are doing and applaud your efforts. The world needs more people with your drive, enthusiasm and sense of responsibility for what we’re doing to our planet.

I share your passion for ending the extremely harmful and wasteful trend driven by humankind for the past 100 years. In the movie HOME (produced by PPR in 2009), it was reported that the human race has inflicted more damage on the fragile harmony of Nature in just the last fifty years than all previous generations of humans combined — for the past 200,000 years.

My journey to being concerned about sustainability began with a study of the “optimal diet for humans” about nine years ago. Initially focusing on the diet that would make us the healthiest that we could be, I discovered that that same optimal diet for us is also the human diet-style that would contribute mightily to the health of the planet.

In fact, I discovered that the single most powerful move that we humans could make to correct the mess that we have made is an aggressive move back to the diet-style that Nature intended for us to eat — a return to deriving most of our calories from whole, plant-based foods — produced much closer to home.

Now, after nine years of study, I am more passionate about the environmental and sustainability issues of our typical Western diet than I am about health for humans. And I have documented all of that in our book that was published by BenBella Books two months ago.

Please take a few moments to read one of my recent blogs on this subject. “Running roughshod” over our planet at the 7 billion mark. While on my site, you will see reviews of our book along with several hundred blog posts on this huge, interconnected global unsustainability problem of our Western lifestyle.

From J. Morris Hicks, shown here sailing off the coast of Connecticut.

After reviewing some of that information, perhaps we could discuss how we might be able to assist you in including elements of our “great food revolution of the twenty-first century” in your mission of promoting sustainable living. As a sailor myself, I look forward to collaborating with you in the future. Best regards, J. Morris Hicks.

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.

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 Combining forces with sustainability advocates

  1. Stephen says:

    This entry in your blog touches on the underlying cause of the environmental crisis – the population bomb. Human population is expanding at a rate that is unsustainable by any means – seven billion now with nine billion unavoidably on the horizon. Failure to address the population bomb renders all other efforts at conservation inconsequential. And yet few people are willing to address it openly because, like food, reproduction lies at the core of human cultures and value systems. .These obsolete paradigms are the cause of the bomb and must be radically changed worldwide to bring the bomb under control over the next few generations to defuse the bomb. In any case population control will take place. If humans do not do it for themselves, then nature will do it for us.

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