And why don’t we hear more about it from mainstream medicine?
This blog comprises my preparation for a speech that I will deliver in Mystic, Connecticut, on June 23—at the Sails Up for Cancer CAM Expo. The “CAM” stands for Complementary Alternative Medicine. See poster for the entire weekend event at the end of this blog.
Living in sailing country here on the coast of Connecticut, notice that the four flags in the logo above are the nautical flags that represent the S-U-4-C and you can view their website at su4c.org.
Now, exactly what DOES food have to do with cancer?
First of all, FOOD has got something to do with just about everything. That’s because what we eat determines how our planet is used. Before we talk about cancer, let’s take a look at the “big picture” about of our food choices—beginning with the amount of land it takes to feed people who eat our Standard American Diet (the S.A.D. diet). Sad for us, sad for all the other creatures, and sad for the planet.
You see, it takes about two football fields worth of land to feed one person the S.A.D. And since the planet only has six billion football fields, she is only capable of feeding a maximum of three billion people our incredibly wasteful, harmful and unsustainable typical western diet. In other words, if everyone in the world tried to eat our S.A.D., we’d need more than two planet Earths to feed us all. We only have one—and she is in trouble.
A little background. Nature has a feeding plan for all of her millions of species. Some fish eat other fish, some animals eat other animals, some animals eat plants, and so forth. When all of nature’s critters live and eat in harmony with her master plan, a beautiful equilibrium is maintained in perpetuity. But when one of her species begins to eat the wrong food for their species, the harmony of nature is disrupted.
Nature’s plan for our food. When I began studying all about the optimal diet for our species back in 2003, I learned about the diet of gorillas whose DNA is almost identical to humans. I also learned about the Tarahumara of Northern Mexico and other peoples in Asia, South America and the Pacific Islands.
I learned that they all eat a simple, yet efficient diet that consists of mostly whole plants. And I learned that they suffer almost NONE of the chronic diseases that we suffer—the kinds that have been called the “diseases of affluence.” We’re talking heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, erectile dysfunction and yes—-the big C, those people hardly ever get CANCER.
Our way of eating is grossly unsustainable. When I first got curious about the optimal diet for humans back in 2002, I started out by reading everything I could find. After reading over 30 books about health, I read two books that dealt mostly with the environmental impacts of our food choices. And that’s when I had my
Blinding flash of the obvious — “Oh my God, we’re eating the wrong food!”
That’s when I knew I had discovered my major definite purpose in life. Armed with my “big picture” engineering perspective and my God-given ability to make complex things simple, I knew that I wanted to spend the rest of my life helping the human race return to the diet that Nature intended for us to eat…promoting health, hope and harmony on Planet Earth. As Dr. Campbell says in his new book, “No less than our future as a species hangs in the balance.”
The way we’re eating now in the western world simply cannot continue for very much longer. In just a blink of history (since 1804), our population has exploded from one billion to seven billion—in just 209 years. And we’re adding another billion every thirteen years. We’re already out of land and we’re rapidly running out of water and fossil fuels—the other two finite resources that we need to produce food for 8 or 9 billion people.
We also have the science on our side. Why aren’t we being told about the ability of a whole foods, plant-based diet to prevent most cancers? I will let Dr. T. Colin Campbell (of Cornell) answer that question—with a few lines from The China Study (Chapters 1, 3 & 8)
1. Despite thirty years of the massively funded War on Cancer, we have made little progress. Contrary to what many believe, cancer is not a natural event.
2. Adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle can prevent the majority of cancers in the United States. Old age can and should be graceful and peaceful.
3. [C]asein (the protein in cow’s milk) and very likely all animal proteins, may be the most relevant cancer-causing substances that we consume.
4. There is enough evidence now that the U.S. government should be discussing the idea that the toxicity of our diet is the single biggest cause of cancer.
5. There is enough evidence now that doctors should be discussing the option of pursuing dietary change as a potential path to cancer prevention and treatment.
6. Our institutions and information providers are failing us. Even cancer organizations, at both the national and local level, are reluctant to discuss or even believe this evidence.
7. Food as a key to health represents a powerful challenge to conventional medicine, which is fundamentally built on drugs and surgery.
Cancer organizations, like the ACS. In preparing for an earlier blog, I investigated the American Cancer Society website in search of information about “risk factors for breast cancer.” There, I found a single page that had over 4,000 words—about a half hour of reading for most people.
Incredibly it included “risk factors” like night work, wearing bras, and using antiperspirants. But what about diet? After 20 minutes of reading, I found some absolutely worthless “dietary” information under this heading:
“Factors with uncertain, controversial, or unproven effect on breast cancer risk”
Diet. Many studies have looked for a link between what women eat and breast cancer risk, but so far the results have been conflicting.
Some studies have indicated that diet may play a role, while others found no evidence that diet influences breast cancer risk. Studies have looked at the amount of fat in the diet, intake of fruits and vegetables, and intake of meat. No clear link to breast cancer risk was found.
Voluntary Health Organization? The ACS may have thousands of volunteers, but they’re also paying top dollar to their executives—beginning with a million dollar package for CEO John Seffrin, who received a seven figure package in 2008—$1,045,887 to be exact. The next ten highest paid executives averaged over a half million dollars each—including one with the nebulous title of “Interim chief mission officer,” who took home the tidy sum of $334,000 in 2008. (See my blog below for source information). Where could those people earn that kind of money if that magical “cure” were found tomorrow?
Unlike heart disease or type 2 diabetes, the reversal of cancer is not so easy. In the past few decades, a handful of American physicians have had great success in completely reversing many chronic diseases and some success in reversing cancer. The name of the game in cancer is PREVENTION. Our famous “war on cancer” that Nixon launched in 1971 is now in its 42nd year.
Since the end of the American Revolution, our nation has been in ten wars that lasted a combined total of thirty-four years (War of 1812, Mexican War, Spanish-American, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq War). But they all pale in comparison to our War on Cancer—which has lasted eight years longer than ALL of those wars COMBINED.
And what do we have to show for it? Lots of organizations and tons of money being spent searching for the cure—but almost none spent on telling EVERYONE how they can easily prevent most cancers in the first place. Can you imagine what our American voters would do about a 42-year old war that produced no results?
Finally, a big player breaks ranks. From the Spring 2013 Journal of Kaiser Permanente, our nation’s largest healthcare provider—it marks the first time I have heard anything other than total BS from our vast, interconnected “system” of companies, agencies and institutions who control what we eat and the treatment for diseases that are promoted by what we eat. From the abstract of a breakthrough paper entitled “Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets.”
“Healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, which we define as a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods.
Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity.
The major benefits for patients who decide to start a plant-based diet are the possibility of reducing the number of medications they take to treat a variety of chronic conditions., lower body weight, decreased risk of cancer, and a reduction in their risk of death from heart disease.
The Bottom Line. We don’t “need” to eat animal products of any kind; in fact, we now know that they promote cancer. And the inclusion of them (lean cuts of meat, low-fat dairy and fish) in recommended diet-styles on the big cancer websites is tragic and despicable. I urge you to read the entire KP paper listed below and discuss it with your physician. If he or she is not interested, you may wish to find a new doctor.
Then recommend that your physician attend the pbnhc.com plant-based conference for medical professionals this October in Naples, Florida.
For your convenience, links to the Kaiser Permanente paper and a sampling of just FIVE of my total of FIFTY blogposts about cancer
- Best news ever. The Kaiser Permanente Plant-Based Diets paper.
- An earlier blog. The “war on cancer” turns 41; now a major industry…
- Recent 2013 blog. Cancer. Too much hoopla. Not much help.
- Recent 2013 blog. CANCER. The Suffering. The Expense. The Tragedy.
- 2013 blog about cancer drugs. One Drug. Two Years. $500 million—paid by the taxpayer
- 2012 blog about the MONEY and cancer. Riding the cancer train to fame and fortune
In the poster below, notice that I am the last speaker listed and will be speaking in the tent at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 23.
Handy 5-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s latest book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes
- Dr. Campbell’s new book: WHOLE, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.
To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now
Got a question? Let me hear from you at email@example.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info: