How long would you like to live?

Letterman is now joking on his show about people living to 150.

During my first month of blogging back in 2011, I posted a blog about David Murdock, the  big Dole tycoon who is now 89. My blog was all about his well-publicized goal to reach the record old age of 125 years. An excerpt from that blog (See link below):

David Murdock

David Murdock

After reading his very interesting story, I concluded that David, like myself, probably eats more whole plants than well over 99% of the U.S. population. But, also like me, he doesn’t describe himself as a vegetarian or a vegan. In his case, that’s because he eats seafood and egg-whites.

In my case, while I never plan to have any animal products, I do have a few bites occasionally. Also, like myself, I concluded that Mr. Murdock is eating at the 4Leaf level, referring to a term that we are introducing in our book later this year. Eating at the 4Leaf level simply means consistently deriving over 80% of your calories from whole plants. In his case, the fish and egg-whites are part of the “other” 20%. In my case, it’s the cocktails, beer and an occasional piece of fish or cheese.

Now for a little humor. A few nights ago, David Letterman was citing news about some new medical wonders that were projected to enable humans to live to a record old age of 150 years. Of course, that was his lead-in to the popular Top Ten List portion of his program:

Top Ten Questions to Ask Yourself Before Attempting to Live to 150

David Letterman

David Letterman

10. “Do I want to put off my retirement until I’m 138?”

9. “Am I that desperate to see ‘Die Hard 30’?”

8. “Is 150 really ‘the new 140?'”

7. “Can I keep this a secret from my wife?”

6. “Can I get back the deposit on my own cemetery plot?”

5. “Will I have enough Viagra?”

4. “Do I mind outliving the planet?”

3. “How many colonoscopies is too many colonoscopies?”

2. “Will I end up looking like Larry King?”

1. “An extra half-century of incontinence? What’s the catch?”

So which is your favorite one on the above list? #3 is mine—the one about colonoscopies. And for me, the answer to the question is ONE (is too many)—if you’ve been eating a near optimal whole foods, plant-based diet for a long time.

As for David Murdock, here is a 10-minute video that was shot by Pepperdine University when he was 87. Like I said in my earlier blog about him, I just hope that I will be invited to that 125th birthday party—as a relatively young 104 that I will be at that time. In the following video, he talks a great deal about hard work, healthy living and being successful.

The bottom line. No, I don’t have a particular goal in mind when it comes to how long I would like to live. My goal is simply to do all that I can to enjoy vibrant health for my entire life and then to die naturally in my sleep—in my own bed, not in a nursing home. But my primary goal is to make a difference—doing all that I can with what time I have left to promote the longterm sustainability of the human species.

Who would want to live to be 150 anyway? How about a vibrantly healthy 149-year-old who had great sex last night?

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

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf 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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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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—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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