Do you breathe air, drink water and have sex?

Even with no randomized studies proving that you should?

What should humans be eating? That’s the question that I began studying in 2002. Six months later, I concluded—without a doubt—that we should be eating a whole foods, plant-based diet. From my “big picture” industrial engineering point of view, it just made total sense. For me, it was a blinding flash of the obvious. But, it has still never been “proven” with randomized clinical studies that WFPB is the best diet for humans.

Dr. Campbell says we must study the entire human body to understand how nutrition works.

Like Dr. Campbell, I am a “big picture” guy that doesn’t like to try to solve problems in a vacuum.

It has also never been proven from randomized studies that we should be breathing air, drinking water and having sex. But we all do it anyway. So why is our food any different? Because there’s a lot of money riding on the continuation of our love affair with meat, dairy, eggs and processed foods three meals a day. And the “experts” who want that diet-style to continue have tons of randomized studies to support their case.

Why aren’t there any randomized studies supporting a whole foods, plant-based diet? Because no one has put up the money to pay for them. But like air, water and sex—I don’t think we need those studies in order to be certain what we should be eating.

I think we just need to explain the WHOLE impact that the way we eat has on our health, our planet and the long-term sustainability of our species. Once people everywhere fully understand the “big picture,” many of them will choose WFPB—because it’s the “obvious” solution to so many of the world’s problems.

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

The image on our book tells the WHOLE story.

Dr. Campbell says you must study the WHOLE body to understand how nutrition really works. Likewise, I say that we must study the WHOLE world to understand what we should be eating—indeed what we must be eating—if we want to ensure the long-term survival of our great-grandchildren and their great-grandchildren.

On Sunday morning, I watched two videos (provided below) featuring two separate debates between Dr. Campbell and “experts” who promote meat-based eating.

Both of the experts he debated have impressive credentials as you can see at the end of this blog. My conclusion after watching both videos was that we can’t win these battles with a bunch of randomized studies. We must appeal to the common sense of the billions of humans who truly want to do the right thing.

What if I were debating? Since I am not a doctor or a scientist, I would rely on my “industrial engineering” view of the “BIG PICTURE” to make my case—and I think that I could get that done in four minutes with a dozen slides.

The Bottom Line. The arguments supporting a whole foods, plant-based diet are many and they are sound. The problem is that arguing about the findings of randomized clinical studies does nothing to help enlighten the casual listener to the staggering and disturbing consequences of our highly popular food choices in the western world.

Contact them at and tell them J. Morris Hicks sent you.

For doctors who truly want to help their patients prevent or reverse chronic disease, they can earn CMEs by learning how to get that done. Tell them J. Morris Hicks sent you.

Another problem is that over 90% of our medical doctors and our nutritional scientists are currently eating meat, dairy and eggs on a regular basis. Naturally, they want to go on believing that they (and their parents) haven’t been wrong all these years. They want to hear good news about their bad habits and they particularly like it when they hear that news from highly pedigreed experts.

Regarding the debates mentioned earlier; it was watching them that inspired me to go ahead and publish my 4-minute PowerPoint (soon to be a video) mentioned earlier.

For your convenience, here are the credentials for the two MDs featured in the following debates with Dr. Campbell.

Dr. Eric C. Westman. Associate professor of medicine at Duke University Health System and director of the Duke Lifestyle Medicine Clinic. He combines clinical research and clinical care to deliver lifestyle treatments for obesity, diabetes and tobacco dependence. He is an internationally-known researcher specializing in low-carbohydrate nutrition. Dr. Westman is currently the vice president of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians and a fellow of the Obesity Society and the Society of General Internal Medicine. He is also co-author of New Atkins for a New You.

Dr. Loren Cordain. Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His research emphasis over the past 15 years has focused upon the evolutionary and anthropological basis for diet, health and well being in modern humans. Dr. Cordain is the author of more than 100 peer review publications, many of which were funded by both private and governmental agencies. He is the recent recipient of the Scholarly Excellence award at Colorado State University for his contributions into understanding optimal human nutrition. He is the author of The Paleo Diet.

In this debate (Campbell v. Westman), each of them had 18 minutes to make their case. Dr. Campbell for a whole foods, plant-based diet and Dr. Westman for a high protein, high fat, low carb diet. Then, they had a rebuttal and some Q & A from the audience. My guess is that the people who arrived as meat-eaters also left as meat-eaters. Each side probably feels like their guy won.

80-minute debate with Dr. Westman

30-minute discussion with Dr. Cordain on Larry King Now

Handy 5-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from

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

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For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf page and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

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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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9 Responses to Do you breathe air, drink water and have sex?

  1. Claire Wilson says:

    Great article Jim and thanks for all the videos.

    Even though I’ve not eaten meat in 42 years, 22 years ago I went vegan and 10 years ago the Plant Based Diet per Dr. Fuhrman, I desperately wanted to simplify my meals and have been paying rapt attention to your eating habits as you’ve posted recently so I decided to buy your book even though I consider myself pretty much an expert on PBD. It dawned on me that we really are feeding our senses even on a PBD and as friends of mine give PBD a try, they are all concerned about recipes. Well, animals have very little variety in their diet and aren’t picky as long as it’s natural and since I’m getting tired of spending so much time in the kitchen. as like you I’m a single person, even though I already eat relatively simple, I hoped your book would help and it has. I could eat kale and brown rice 3 times a day so why diviate. I add a few raw veggies and other veggies to the cooked kale. My other meal is a salad with everything including legumes and oatmeal with fruit in the AM or a smoothie.During the winter I make large batches of soups and freeze Goal to simplify accomplished.

  2. Leo S. says:

    Dr. Max Gerson did not treat a particular condition but attempted rebuild the body’s ability to function by providing whole food nutrients necessary for normal cell function and to elimminate toxins which might affect them and alter their function. One person complained that her arthritis went away but her melanoma was still with her. Her melanoma finally left her and she went on to write about her experience.
    Cells do not read so it makes no difference what laws man has passed. They react according to biologic and physiologic laws. Laws against drinking and smoking will not alter a cell’s reaction to those poisons. Alcoholism is not a disease–it is a poisoning of the body and will stop when a person quits consuming the toxic products.
    Cells don’t care about credentials, they will react to their environment. Some physicians believe it makes no difference what a person eats. Others say it is important to eat whole foods.
    Gerson cured Albert Schweitzer of diabetes when he was 75. He lived into his nineties. He also cured Schweitzer’s wife of TB and his daughter of a rare skin condition. He also cured 446 of 450 “incurable” cases of lupus (skin TB). In 1985 I met a nurse who had breast cancer and felt she could not survive the therapy she usually gave to patients. She called the Gerson Hospital and was told that it appeared she might be too far gone to benefit from the therapy. She went anyway, was healed and stayed on as a nurse to treat others. There is a video titled “Gerson Therapy–A nurse’s Testimonial” which is about 5 minutes long which tells a similar story and can be accessed on The Internet. And a story about a preacher who had colon cancer. See part 3 also and hear about improvement in a diabetic who was to lose his foot.

    These videos show what whole foods can do if someone gives them a chance.

    • Leo S. says:

      Go to 31:00 in part one to see the changes that occurred after five days on a raw food diet.

    • Joanne Irwin says:

      I had an opportunity to talk with Charlotte Gerson back in ’96 when a dear friend was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Her work is astounding as are the numerous testimonials from patients who’ve undergone her therapy.
      Today, at my doctor’s office I picked up a few issues of WebMD. The recipes featured in this so-called health publication featured meat and seafood. One recipe touted the benefits of extra lean pork. I plan to send an email to its editor. My blood was boiling. Red meat and pork dishes in a health publication. Give me a break. Just more evidence of where change is needed.

  3. Joanne Irwin says:

    Brilliant, Jim; absolutely brilliant and right on. In my seven years of eating totally whole foods, plant based, and in my five years teaching for PCRM, I have heard countless stories from individuals who have reversed chronic conditions from embracing a whole foods,plant based lifestyle – diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, and cancer; yes – the Big C. I have friends who’ve had bypass surgery and, to this day, take multiple meds as they continue to devour the Standard American Diet (SAD). They haven’t reversed their heart disease. I know folks who have Type 2 diabetes. They’re on multiple meds and continue to consume the SAD diet. Big Pharma smiles every time they pop a pill and bite into a large, juicy steak. Are they reversing their diabetes? Hardly.
    A family member ate WFPB for four years; was slim, trim, and energetic. This individual, for reasons unknown, reverted to the SAD way of eating a year and a half ago. Just like Professor Campbell turned rat tumors off and on given the type of protein they were fed (plant vs casein protein), I see what happens when people turn from WFPB to SAD. Good health once turned on has now turned off. The lab numbers tell the tale, not to mention excess weight and lethargy.
    Though many of us want the paradigm shift to happen NOW, we must not become discouraged. Our voices speak truth. We must continue with our individual and collective callings to spread the word.
    It’s easy to become discouraged when you hear credentialed folks speaking the health benefits of animal protein.
    How about a book filled with testimonials from folks who’ve reversed chronic diseases by embracing WFPB? We could fill the pages and use that text in medical school.
    Keep the faith, Jim. Never lose hope!

  4. Oh – That Larry King Now discussion is right up to date! King looks younger now. Dr. Campbell does great and gets around, plus his new book “WHOLE” has top-rating reviews:

  5. Excellent “covered all bases!” post, Jim.

    I re-posted it in two parts, here:

    I also posted Dr. McDougall’s July 1 article, and today’s Dr. Pam Popper’s newsletter.

  6. Kathy Roach says:

    Thank you for posting the debate. It’s not hard to see why the information is so “crazy making”. Happy sailing!

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