Like worn out cars—some SYSTEMS are beyond repair.
The system that I am talking about is the one that distributes information about what we should be eating. We need to know the absolute truth about this most vital topic—for our health, for our planet and for the longterm sustainability of humanity.
Our current system is failing us miserably. So what is that system? That’s the first part of the problem; it’s vast, complex and very difficult to define and even more difficult to change—even if that change would save lives, nurture our fragile environment and ensure our longterm survival.
In Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s latest book, WHOLE, Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, he did a thorough job of describing what seemed to me at first like an incredibly hopeless situation. But it planted the initial seed for the ideas expressed in this and a few of my earlier blogs. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
Why do I say seemingly hopeless? Because history would suggest that, if we don’t have a radical intervention, the needed change will come far too slowly—and probably too late. But there is hope; read on…
Our global system of scientists, dietitians, nutritionists, medical doctors, government agencies, food companies, pharmaceuticals, health insurance, hospitals and media—have all unknowingly worked together to create a highly destructive overall system. Our current system is destructive for our health and destructive for our planet. Dr. Richard Oppenlander sums up the problem as follows in Chapter 10 of his excellent book, Comfortably Unaware:
With health professionals continuing to advocate the consumption of meat and dairy products, true wellness for us and for our planet will be impossible to achieve. This brings light to the fact that we have a system of suppressed information and a misplaced trust in individuals and institutions that provide inaccurate and misleading information.
All this needs to change in order for progress to occur. The mismanagement of information or outright ignorance of reality regarding our food choices and the toll that it takes on our environment is the reason why we are at the point we are today. Click here to purchase Comfortably Unaware on Amazon.
Back to the old cars and broken systems. I have concluded that our current system is far beyond repair—no matter how much time we have available to fix it. There’s simply too much money, too much ignorance, and too much love for the typical western diet with meat and dairy three meals a day. Even if our system could be gradually repaired, I don’t think we have enough time. Dr. Stephen Emmott of Oxford and Microsoft in the UK agrees.
Given the urgent problems we face today with food shortages, global warming, species extinction and many other social and environmental disasters looming in the near future, my conclusion is that we must begin working with unprecedented urgency to get back on the right track. I’m talking about changes that happen in months—not years, decades or centuries. As we know from Stephen Emmott and Lester Brown, we’re going to run out of time to make the necessary changes well before the end of this century.
It’s time for a totally new system (car). When I first started driving in Mississippi in 1960 at the age of 15, my ultimate dream car was the 57 Chevy. If I could’ve picked any car, new or old, it would’ve been that car. It had it all—style, performance and reliability. Here’s what my dream car might look like today—56 years later.
Obviously this former beauty is beyond repair.
Oh, you could spend a fortune and a few years to get her restored and running again—but if you were even remotely concerned about safety, efficiency, comfort and reliability; there is not a single part or piece of technology that you would want to use in the design of your brand new dream car. Rather, you would use the latest and greatest information, materials, and technologies to produce one that exceeded your wildest dreams. Something like this:
To do that for FOOD, we must start with a clean slate. We can’t try to modify or improve what we have today. We simply cannot wait for hundreds of thousands of scientists, doctors, politicians and corporate executives to un-learn all that they have been taught so that they can open their minds to the blinding flash of the obvious that “we’re eating the wrong food.” All of those people have a strong financial incentive to maintain the status quo and that’s simply not going to work for the future of my great grandchildren.
So what must we do? We must assemble the right combination of leaders, thinkers, teachers, communicators and philanthropists to start disseminating the truth about food within months, not years or decades. With the requisite amount of credibility, name recognition, power and funding—we can began changing food choices around the world very quickly.
I described one idea for getting this done in an earlier blog:
The SOS Global Initiative is all about influencing the greatest number of people to move rapidly in the direction of a whole foods, plant-based diet. We propose to do that with a massive global effort aimed at educating, motivating and legislating. The expected budget for this never-ending effort will be in the billions, if not trillions. With the vast amount of opposition that we will face in the beginning, we’ll need billions just for legal fees.
But with the right plan and the right leaders, the money will be there. As the guys on Shark Tank always say, “we’re not investing in just an idea—no matter how great it might be. We need to see a well thought-out PLAN and a CEO that can make it happen. And we’d prefer that the “planned” initiative has already begun.”
For your convenience, here are a few of my blogs in chronological order that let up to the thinking in the one above, posted on 8-22-13.
- Are humans the “infestation” of planet Earth? (posted on 7-8-13)
- “You’re Screwed” or “We’re F_ _ _ _ D?” Take your pick. (posted on 7-14-13)
- James Cameron—on “Walking the Walk” (posted on 7-24-13)
- “Infestation” IS the best word—if it gets your attention (posted on 8-9-13)
- Saving civilization is not a spectator sport! (posted 8-13-13)
- S.O.S. (Saving Our Species) — An urgently needed PLAN (posted 8-22-13)
- A recent blog about leadership. Bill Clinton connects “sustainability” and food choices. (posted 8-23-13)
- A recent blog about new thinking. The TERRIFYING repercussions of our DEMAND for meat (posted 8-25-13)
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 new 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.
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—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation