Exporting Disease and Hunger

//Exporting Disease and Hunger

exporting-diseaseDr. John McDougall, M.D. spoke at his September 2016 Advanced Study Weekend regarding his findings from a report in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association). He explained on September 4, 2013 that the prevalence of diabetes in China was less than 1% of the population in 1980. Today 11.6% of Chinese adults have diabetes and 50.1% are prediabetic. These numbers are staggering. What has happened to the health of the Chinese? They have turned in their rice for the Standard American Diet, high in animal and processed foods, and it’s taking its toll.

Brenda Davis, R.D. was also at the September 2016 McDougall Advanced Study Weekend telling us about the state of the people who live in the Marshall Islands. This is an Island located between Micronesia and Hawaii. There are more people living there than the island can support, so they have to import their food. They bring in what is cheap, and many live on Top Ramen noodles and the like. Brenda mentioned that the kids like to pour Kool-Aid on their Ramen noodles. She also explains that this island is in a State of Emergency, as they have the highest rates of diabetes and death rates from diabetes in the world. In 2014, 37.3% of Marshallese people ages 20-79 had diabetes and 90% of adults had prediabetes or type two diabetes. Half of the surgeries on the island are for amputations due to diabetes. This is an epidemic and it’s totally preventable with a plant-based diet. Brenda is doing work on the Marshall Islands to educate and empower these wonderful people who she says are happy, wonderful, and full of love.

“The truth: The more meat we eat, the fewer people we can feed. If everyone on Earth received 25 percent of his or her calories from animal products, only 3.2 billion people would have food to eat. Dropping that figure to 15 percent would mean that 4.2 billion people could be fed. If the whole world became vegan, there would be plenty food to feed all of us””more than 6.3 billion people. The World Watch Institute sums this up rightly, saying, “Meat consumption is an inefficient use of grain””the grain is used more efficiently when consumed by humans. Continued growth in meat output is dependent on feeding grain to animals, creating competition for grain between affluent meat-eaters and the world’s poor.” http://www.earthoria.com/global-hunger-the-more-meat-we-eat-the-fewer-people-we-can-feed.html.

On November 15th 2011, doctors T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn presented their research on the benefits of plant-based nutrition to the Kentucky State legislature. The house members were enthusiastic. With one of the highest levels of childhood obesity in the nation, Kentucky also suffers from high rates of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. Soon after Campbell’s and Esselstyn’s presentation, Rep. Tom Riner introduced a bill to establish a pilot program that would document the health benefits of a plant-based diet. But once the bill went into committee, industry lobbyists launched one of the most intensive lobby efforts ever in Kentucky. As the bill’s sponsor Rep. Riner put it, the bill was watered down to “a shadow of its former self”, turned “from steel to Reynolds Wrap.”

A top-down approach that recognized the powerful healing effects of plant-based nutrition had failed ­ again. But Nelson Campbell suspected there was another way to prove the merits of this idea. After the setback in Kentucky, he resolved to put his hunch to the test in his own North Carolina hometown of Mebane (population 11,562). He also took a documentary film crew with him.

Nelson hoped to demonstrate that a whole foods plant-based diet would lead to significant and measurable health improvements in just 10 days. He also wanted to demonstrate that such a diet would be easy to follow and indefinitely sustainable.

Using an approach consistent with the mainstream values of his hometown, he started small, offering ten-day “jumpstarts,” using freshly prepared plant-based meals and before and after biometric testing.

How would these rural people, many of whom were raised on southern comfort foods such as meat, potatoes, biscuits and gravy, handle a plant-based diet? Would they lose weight and get healthier? Would their families and friends accept their diet and lifestyle change? Could this be the spark of something even bigger? Can a nationwide health revolution actually begin in a town as rural and small as Mebane?

As Nelson is launching a movement in the most unlikely of places, his close friend in Kentucky, Rep. Tom Riner, continues his efforts to educate his legislative colleagues – eventually giving away over 300 copies of “The China Study.” Their success in both places motivates Nelson and Tom to join in an effort to right what is surely one of the greatest wrongs of our modern age. Together, they launch a plan to expose the forces that stand in the way of a wider recognition of the healing powers of a plant-based diet.

Beyond Mebane, PlantPure Nation (the movie) explores the topical issues of the small family farmer, food deserts, modern medicine and the challenges of getting plant-based nutrition included in the political process.

The filmmakers hope to use PlantPure Nation to create broad grassroots movement.  They are spearheading the formation of PlantPure Pods in cities and towns across N. America. Members of these groups will help to plant seeds of change around the message (of) plant-based nutrition in their communities. One tool they will use in this effort will be the same 10-day Jumpstart program featured in the film, to give people the experience of a whole food, plant-based diet.” http://www.plantpurenation.com/the-film/

What can we do about all this disease and hunger? It starts with you. Learn about health. Teach your family. Reach out to your community. As Nelson Campbell says, “Revolutions can’t start without awareness.” Let’s get this truth out to America and the world.

My goal is to teach others a way to eat in which they can prevent and even reverse all modern disease. I especially hope moms will change what they feed their kids to prevent future pain and suffering. It's so simple. Let's do this!

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