Bill Clinton connects “sustainability” and food choices.

In the August/September Issue of AARP Magazine

Bill Clinton about to enjoy a plant-based lunch in his Manhattan office. (Photo from the AARP article)

Bill Clinton about to enjoy a plant-based lunch in his Manhattan office. (Photo from the AARP article)

When my copy arrived in the mail this week, two articles featured on the cover caught my attention. (See links to source articles below)

The first article (Bill Clinton. His Life-Saving Diet) provides highly creditable documentation of the uncanny power of a whole food, plant-based diet to reverse heart disease, promote vibrant health, end obesity, slash the nation’s cost of healthcare and curb global warming. Not a bad start. From the beginning of the article:

My Lunch With Bill. Over a heart-healthy meal, President Clinton reveals how he came to crave his veggies—honest!—and how the rest us of can (and must) too.

The second article (Warren Buffett. On Money, Success, Happiness and Life) features a generous man with enough means ($59 Billion) to leverage Mr. Clinton’s knowledge in a big way. With just a fraction of that number and a well-conceived PLAN, Mr. Buffett and Mr. Clinton could accomplish far more than the few huge, diet-driven benefits listed above. With Bill’s leadership skills and Warren’s money, these guys have what it takes accomplish the ultimate goal—ensuring the longterm sustainability of humanity.

Warren Buffett as he appeared in the AARP article.

Warren Buffett as he appeared in the AARP article.

A philanthropist’s dream—a chance to effect true, world improving, systemic change. As Mr. Buffett’s son said in his recent New York Times article, just giving away tons of money to thousands of causes is not going to provide the systemic change that we need. That’s like treating the symptoms of heart disease instead of treating the causes—which Mr. Clinton has done so well with regards to his own heart disease.

While reading both of these articles, I became excited about how this latest news would bode well for our S.O.S. (Saving Our Species) Global Initiative that we have been discussing. I then reached out to share this great news with Dr. Campbell:

Hi Colin,

Just got my AARP Magazine in the mail, the one with the big Clinton article. You, Ess and Ornish are mentioned, along with statements by Clinton that demonstrate his understanding that the repercussions of our food choices go far beyond our waistlines. The author (Joe Conason) says that Clinton sent him books from all three of you after the author’s heart attack in 2010.

Chelsea Clinton as she appears on the Clinton Foundation website. A near- vegan herself, she may have had a major influence on her father's dietary change.

Chelsea Clinton as she appears on the Clinton Foundation website. A near-vegan herself, she may have had a major influence on her father’s dietary change.

Armed with this kind of information, I think that if Chelsea went to our first SOS Summit and got to hear people like Emmott and Brown talk about the likely collapse of our civilization unless we make some radical changes—she might get inspired to take some BOLD action. We both know that changing everyone to a plant-based diet will do more to ensure the longterm survival of our species than all other possible initiatives combined.

Chelsea just needs to understand the URGENCY and the need for a PLAN of action. Here are some excerpts from the article along with a link to the online version. 

Beginning of article. When Bill Clinton invited me to lunch in May, I knew better than to expect fried catfish or barbecued ribs. The former president is now a devoted vegan, meaning no meat, fish or dairy products, and he has pursued a healthier way of life for more than three years. While I figured our lunch menu might be bland, that would be a small price to pay for private time with a world leader who is anything but.

Prodded into action, Clinton started by rereading Dr. Dean Ornish‘s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, which urges a strict, low-fat, plant-based regimen, along with two books that were, if possible, even more militantly vegan: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, by Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., and The China Study, by Cornell biochemist T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. (When I suffered a heart attack in late November 2010, Clinton sent me all three books.)

“I just decided that I was the high-risk person, and I didn’t want to fool with this anymore. And I wanted to live to be a grandfather,” says Clinton. “So I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival.”

Sounding the themes that still drive him every day, Clinton wraps up our meeting with a message, reminding me that “the way we consume food and what we consume” are driving the unsustainable level of health care spending in America. To truly change the conditions that lead to bad habits and poor health, he warns, “we have to demand it by changing the way we live. You have to make a conscious decision to change for your own well-being, and that of your family and your country.”

I would also add to his final sentence—“also for your planet, your great-grandchildren, and for the longterm sustainability of humanity.” For your convenience, I have provided online links to the two source documents along with a link to a blog describing our SOS (Saving our Species) Global Initiative—an effort aimed not at “saving the planet,” but rather preserving her ability to sustain us.

Our SOS initiative is just in the idea stage at the moment. With the vast leadership and financial resources of Clinton and Buffett, this initiative could effect staggering global benefits in just a few years—maybe soon enough to preserve the longterm sustainability of humanity.

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

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 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.

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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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2 Responses to Bill Clinton connects “sustainability” and food choices.

  1. Joanne Irwin says:

    That was a great article, Jim. Clinton would certainly be a credible spokesperson. Hopefully, you can schedule a meeting with him.

  2. Sal Liggieri says:


    Let’s start with Bill Clinton and Chelsea first convincing Hillary to go on a WFPB so that she can lose that excess weight she has carried for years.

    Jim, when is this world proclamation going to happen and who do you think will be the spokesperson?

    If the future of mankind is in jeopardy, then the world governments should take action and ban all animal products from the marketplace. At the current rate of change if there is any, it will take an eternity for WFPB to have a meaningful impact.

    And so we wait for this elusive Messiah to save us, waiting for the message, maybe munching on a vegeburger while he speaks the words of salvation.

    If humans become extinct, wouldn’t the animals just love it.

    Sal Liggieri

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