Top 10 “Zingers”—food choices & the presidential debates

Debate season is full of zingers, gotchas, one-liners & sound-bytes

Lots of zingers, but neither candidate is talking about the most important issues in the world.

With the election only a few weeks away, I thought it was time to share a few of my favorite zingers that I use in explaining the maddening absurdity and unsustainability of our typical western diet.

And while there are references or footnotes for all of my zingers somewhere in our book or on this blog, I choose today to invoke “debate season privilege” and just say whatever I please. (See “Fact Check” note at end)

My Top Ten Zingers — for promoting health, hope & harmony

  1. Harmony. In the past fifty years (a mere blink in the eye of history) we humans have inflicted more damage on the harmony of nature than all previous generations of humans combined for the past 200,000 years.
  2. Water. To produce one kilo of potatoes requires 100 liters of water; whereas to produce one kilo of beef requires 13,000 liters of water.
  3. Earthlings. Only 100 billion people have ever lived. 7 billion are alive today. And we torture and kill 2 billion animals every week for our dinner tables.
  4. World Hunger. For every meat-eater who goes vegan, he/she will free up enough land to feed 3 or 4 families of 4 people each.
  5. Waste. By cycling our grain through animals to produce meat, we waste 90% of the protein, 96% of the calories, 100% of the fiber and 100% of the carbs.
  6. Axis of Evil. George Bush was wrong. The Axis of Evil doesn’t run through Iraq, or Iran or North Korea. It runs through our dining tables. Weapons of Mass Destruction are our knives and forks.
  7. Starving people. 1 billion people today are hungry. 20 million people will die from malnutrition. Cutting meat by only 10% will feed 100 million people. Eliminating meat will end starvation forever.
  8. Needless disease. Meat causes a wide range of cancers, diabetes and heart disease. Can anyone name just one disease caused by a plant-based diet?
  9. Disappearing resources. We humans are squandering our natural resources by over-cutting, over-grazing, over-pumping, over-plowing and over-fishing; a startling 80 percent of oceanic fisheries are being fished at or beyond their sustainable yield.
  10. Intelligent species? There are over 50,000 vertebrate species (5500 of which are mammals) and well over one million species of insects. ALL of them are living in harmony with nature—with one exception. Human beings.

Long after our book came out in October of 2011, I heard an environmentalist make a statement that caught my attention:

“Our food choices determine how the entire planet is used.”

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

We must all get busy promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth—and the longterm sustainability of the human race.

The Bottom Line. We are now using ALL of this planet as if there were no other creatures sharing it with us. Although our species has existed for only 5/1000th of one percent of the 4 billion years that there has been life on Earth, we have done some serious multiplying in the past few hundred years.

It took us about 200,000 years to reach the one billion mark in 1804. Since then, in just over 200 years (a mini-blink in the eye of history) we’ve added another six billion people.

Now, all seven billion of us are still multiplying and destroying our natural resources at a mind-boggling rate. When will the madness end? Will we have to wait for Mother Nature to have her revenge? Or can we come together and take action now?

That action should include two big steps. Stabilize global population and begin an aggressive return to the natural diet for our species—a whole foods, plant-based diet. The latter step will give us the time needed to get a handle on the former. Who is going to lead this transformation? I have concluded that it has to be the large, profit-motivated corporations of the world.

That’s because they’re the only ones with a financial incentive to reduce the out-of-control cost of healthcare. In the largest of companies, just a handful of CEOs can affect millions of people. And the resulting PR success stories will be heard and copied by hundreds of millions more.

Now, here’s the best part. By taking that step, those big corporations will be providing an integrated environmental blueprint for the rest of the world to follow. Be eating the food that is best for our health, we simultaneously do some wonderful things for the planet—and her ability to provide for the longterm sustainability of the human race.

We can work ourselves out of this mess, but we’ve got to get started in earnest now.

623 Consecutive Daily Blogs (numerals today from the Bayou State)

My #1 priority. Launching healthcare cost reduction programs with every forward-thinking CEO I can find. This week I met with two Fortune 200 firms and mailed a proposal to the Chairman of the 9th largest corporation in the United States. Let me know if you know of any forward-thinking CEOs that you think I should contact.

Fact Check. Just to clarify, all of my ten zingers are true and you can find the sources of all of them in at least one of my 623 blogs. Many of them can be found in these six links, provided here for your convenience:

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to

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To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

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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5 Responses to Top 10 “Zingers”—food choices & the presidential debates

  1. “AConcernedCitizen” is looking for improving health care while reducing costs — Dr. McDougall had a 12-part program to look at in June 2009:

    Here are the first few parts:
    The McDougall Private Healthcare Plan

    The McDougall Healthcare Plan lives up to its name. The focus: making subscribers healthier. Key elements include:

    1) The Marketing Program: Business will be solicited from the public—the ones really interested in their health. Employees will be able to select this plan among the many traditional ones offered by their employers. The McDougall advantage: real health through diet and lifestyle medicine, and conservative medical care.

    2) The Doctors Program: Medical care will be provided by primary care physicians trained and employed fulltime by the McDougall Healthcare Plan. In this way physicians will be “onboard” with the Plan and not be undermining the Plan’s efforts to provide effective therapies at reasonable costs (as happened with Medmark). The fundamental efforts of all the professionals will be directed toward diet change, because food is the major health problem in the US.

    3) The Behavior Programs: Trained primary care doctors, psychologists, dietitians, nurses, chefs, personal trainers, counselors, and many other experts will focus on correcting people’s destructive food, smoking, alcohol, illicit and prescription drug habits with rehabilitation programs. Several levels of health education will be offered from outpatient cooking classes to intensive medically supervised, live-in programs. When appropriate, cooks will prepare and provide meals to sick people. (It could be cheaper than an ambulance ride to the hospital—$500 to $1000.)
    . . . . . Etc. . .
    Go to the link for the rest of the parts.

  2. AConcernedCitizen says:

    Jim, great post and zingers… I’d vote for you! There’s one thing I think is a big issue for your idea that I have concluded that large, profit-motivated corporations of the world will lead the charge… what about the large food industries and especially the medical industrial complex, all those large corporations whose profits are based around treating the disease from the traditional toxic western diet? They’re going to be very slow to move. Don’t you think it’s more likely to come from the establishment of single payer universal healthcare where we all have a stake in the our health as individuals and each other’s health as fellow citizens? I think it might start there first and then we’d have some influence on those profiting from disease… otherwise the motivation is pretty low. Keep up the great posts.

    I just re-posted your ZINGERS article here on the “New Atkins” book CON one-star review by Dr. Campbell:

    and here on the nutrition forum that I started a few years ago on Dr. Duane Graveline’s site for covering the many serious harms caused by statin drugs —

    And will send it to my on-line contacts, plus save it in my “Healthy Lifestyle Education & Support Program” documents — OK – I posted it here: =

    It is on the bottom of the list, labeled “23SavePlanet20Oct12.pdf”

    Thanks for inspiring us all to THINK and to MAKE POSITIVE CHANGES for the planet.

  4. I recognized many as coming from Philip Wollen’s Animals should be off the menu debate this year in Melbourne, Australia. I recently read a newspaper op-ed on McDonald’s that read like a mouthpiece for the fast-food giant. What struck me about the piece is that for many people, McDonald’s is seen as entry into the middle class. In the developing world, McDonald’s, and by extension meat-eating daily, is seen as a sign of affluence. And if you’re affluent, why go back to eating peasant foods? McDonald’s has done a great marketing job and their millions spent every year on marketing their unhealthy products makes the message Philip Wollen, and you, Mr. Hicks, put forth tough to get through. But keep on on keeping on.

  5. Virginia mc says:

    J Morris Hicks for President!

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