Attention all scholars who like what the pope is saying

“Why Pope Francis Wants You to Eat Veggies”

At least that was the conclusion of Dr. Nivien Saleh, a friend I met because of our mutual passion for plant-based eating for humans.

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Who is Dr. Nivien Saleh? A former assistant professor at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, here is a portion of her bio there:

Half-Egyptian, half-German, Nivien Saleh received a Master of Arts at the University of Freiburg, one of the oldest universities in Germany. Saleh’s fields of study were politics, Middle East studies, and economics.

At American University in Washington, DC, she earned a Ph.D. in political science, focusing on the dynamics of the Middle East and researching the development of the Internet.

Last week, Dr. Saleh published her incredibly detailed report on her website at After reading the executive summary and perusing the other sections, I sent this note to my friend:

Dr. Nivien Saleh

Dr. Nivien Saleh

“Hi Nivien, My initial reaction is that, while we know his heart’s in the right place, he’s going to need to be more explicit to his followers if he expects them to take any meaningful action.

The world’s masses need simple instructions from the leaders they trust. How do you think the Pope would score on our” She wrote back:

Thank you Jim! Catholic leaders are not prone to uttering simple instructions. We can be glad that they are reading the mass in English, not in Latin. So, we have to grab on to what we get, and a pope wanting to stem global warming is very neat.

How would he score on the 4Leaf Survey? I honestly have no idea, but of course I’d like him to score a perfect 4Leaf, because I want him to stick around for a while! There actually is a possibility that he himself never thought about the connection between food and the principles his advances. He therefore may be unaware that a diet that minimizes animal products flows from what he is saying. So maybe, if he reads this post, he will ditch the beef–if he hasn’t already done so.

The great thing about him is that he issued the call for dialogue. He invited others, such as you and me, to figure out how to put his principles in practice. How cool is it that we have a ready way to do so?

So, with no further ado, I introduce you to Dr. Nivien Saleh’s magnificent report,Why Pope Francis Wants You to Eat Veggies. It begins:

How can anyone not like this guy?

How can anyone not like this guy?

On May 24, 2015, Pope Francis published the ambitious encyclical Laudato Si’ (“Praise be to You”), his call to save Earth from environmental calamity. It is especially significant in that it is the first such appeal issued by the leader of a major faith tradition.

SweetOnion.Net examines how whole plant foods contribute to individual and environmental health. That’s why I decided, in the essay to pick through the encyclical, focusing on what it teaches us about the production, sale, and consumption of both food and drink.

This post below summarizes the essay, explaining how to put the pope’s call into practice. For the non-scholars among us, she also provides a link to an Executive Summary. Continue reading.

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  1. 4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health, powerful new book by Kerry Graff, MD and yours truly
  2. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (my first book)
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. Primary cause of cancer is not bad luck. Stop Feeding Your Cancer, by John Kelly, MD
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy you are eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes about two minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course.

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

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf Program website, which is now being used by an ever-growing army of enlightened medical doctors who are fed up with “disease care” and want to promote true health for their patients.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

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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