This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Howard Jacobson. In his own words:
“Howard Jacobson, PhD, is a health educator, speaker, writer, marketer, and ecological gardener from Durham, North Carolina. He is a contributing author, with T. Colin Campbell, toWhole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, as well as the author of Google AdWords For Dummies. He speaks, coaches, and consults on marketing for small and green businesses, individual health and planetary sustainability.
Howard founded FitFam.com as a resource for crazy-busy families trying to raise fit and healthy children. He speaks, coaches, and consults on marketing for small and green businesses, health and fitness for individuals and familes, and permaculture and planetary sustainability.
Howard lives in Durham, NC (and sometimes in the beautiful Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa) with his family. He loves to run barefoot, hold yoga poses just a bit too long, fiddle, throw Tarot cards, and play Ultimate Frisbee.
Howard’s goal is to bring about world peace through marketing, permaculture, and great food for everyone.”
The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort
Jonathan: Hey everybody, Jonathan Bailor back with another bonus Smarter Science of Slim podcast. Very excited about today’s show. We have a man who you probably most know through his collaboration and co-authorship of the book Whole with Dr. T. Colin Campbell of the famed China Study and the movie Forks Over Knives, but what you might not know about today’s guest is that he has a PhD in Health Studies and that he is actually quite the expert marketer and what is very, very fascinating about Howard Jacobson, our guest today, is that he has got his authoritic hat, he has got his doctorate hat, he has got his marketing hat, and he has come on the scene as kind of a newbie to use those skills to combat a lot of the negative marketing we’re seeing like, “It’s just 140-calorie, so go ahead and drink that Coca Cola, right?” We need someone to fight back with some sound science and solid marketing and that man is Howard Jacobson. Howard, welcome to the show.
Howard: Thank you Jonathan, glad to be here.
Jonathan: Howard, can you briefly tell us a little bit about your story because you are new to let’s call it ‘Internet Nutrition World’, I believe. So, what got you here?
Howard: I am not all that all that new, I kind of flirted with it around 2004-2005, but couldn’t figure out how to make a living and so just went back to my marketing day job. Really my interest in healthy nutrition kind of came about one night around 3 a.m. I was waiting at the CVS drugstore for a prescription to be filled for my wife who was at that point 8 months pregnant with our first child and this was before smart phones, I didn’t have a book, there was nothing to do in the drug store except take your blood pressure. So, I was tired, I was bored, I cannot remember why she needed the prescription at 3 in the morning, but I knew better to argue. I was sitting there for like 45 minutes waiting for the script to be filled and there was a blood pressure cuff and by the way that was in the middle of my doctorate studies which was about stress management, relaxation, meditation, and so I thought well I will meditate and I will watch the numbers go down, it will be little bit of biofeedback.
I put on the cuff and the first one was like 160/100, which I thought well that’s an anomaly, I must have driven here, I will close my eye, long story short after about five 5-minute meditations, I had not dropped it down, I am like that’s weird and then I suddenly kind of looked myself in the mirror, kind of metaphorically and so I weighed 194 pounds at that point which was good 30 pounds heavier than my playing weight.
My closet looked like a Nordstrom’s Rack from like size 31 to size 36 pants because I was always going to be going back down, I couldn’t get rid of anything. I was tired, I was sluggish, I didn’t recognize myself in photographs, like instantly it was like “Who’s that guy?” and it was really at that moment that I thought, we got a bun in the oven, I really want to be around for this kid and I really, despite having, at that point I was Masters in Public Health and going for my doctorate in health education, I kind of realized I did not know very much about what kind of food to put my body and how to make myself healthy and that was really the start of my odyssey.
Jonathan: Howard, it seems just in our offline conversations a little bit the more you have gotten plugged in to the community, obviously, you have been working with T. Colin Campbell on the new book Whole. You’ve seen some things you like and you see some things that you dislike, can you give us an example?
Howard: Within that community itself?
Jonathan: No, you have busted on the scene here with the new book, you immersed yourself in this world, what were some of your positive and negative takeaways of the whole system?
Howard: Okay sure. The big negative was this idea of it is so simple and yet we are going to give you a really bad advice about how to accomplish it, it seemed that almost all the advice that I was getting was commercially tainted or the people around me were saying like, weight loss is easy, we have heard the “eat less, exercise more” and that didn’t seem to be working. All the sort of shakes and meal replacements, it just seems like nothing had a basis in anything that made sense where you kind of hear something, you go okay, that’s the way it is, that’s the way it should be, like all these diet stuff seemed to have been invented in the last 10, 15, 20 years, it all seemed liked manipulation and almost nothing seemed like it was related to the core truths of our biology of kind of we’re humans, we’re animals, this problem has not gone back thousands or tens of thousands of years and yet all the solutions seemed to be these minutia, these manipulations as opposed to anyone asking what’s the real issue going on here and I found that incredibly frustrating.
Jonathan: That is such a profound distinction Howard and I have actually been very encouraged since our last conversation. I have had a wonderful opportunity to talk to leaders in very, very diverse areas of nutrition thought, but all of whom share this overarching concern that both you and I have and are talking about right now which is bottom line, if you are not eating nutrient dense whole foods that have been unadulterated really nothing else matters. Like you have got a kid that right first and in fact if we all agree that that’s true, what can we all do as activists and examples to set aside anything else that we may disagree on because that in and of itself is so empowering that how many lives could we save if we could just rally behind that.
Howard: Absolutely and I am working on a presentation now and I am coming up, I call it like 7 obstacles to lifestyle change and I am actually like 16, they keep multiplying on my PowerPoint. They are little bit unruly, but one of them is this idea of sort of what’s normal and what’s nuts and if you go and you eat McDonald’s and you go to work and you have got a large diet coke and you have got Pepsi cans in the back of your car and every time someone has a birthday at the office, you tuck into the donuts. No one is going to bat an eye, that’s normal, right? But if you go to the office party and you bring your own Crudités plate or you decide to substitute the white pasta for more vegetables of something, people are going to look at you.
They are going to start commenting and all of a sudden you are kind of an alien. One of the most important things I think we can do is to make truly normal, socially normal. It is much easier now than it was 10-20 years ago where I have plant based whole food friends who live in really unlikely places like Cowtown, Texas or Wisconsin and they are alone. They don’t know any other people who eat like them in their community but they have got Facebook, they have got the internet, they have got all these diverse connections around the world and they can feel normalized. So, I think one of the most important things we can do is make this normal.
Jonathan: Howard, just given your experience with marketing, so obviously it seems like that social proof is hugely important. I am also curious what is your take on… it seems like one of the principles of marketing and influence in general is getting people to say “yes” and like just get them saying “yes,” get them agreeing with what you are doing and it is one of the most effective ways to do that is to say things that are easy to agree with, right? For example, it is easy I think for all of us to say that eating foods that are higher in nutrients is better for you than eating foods that are lower in essential nutrients and these almost seemingly obvious points, but that is not where the conversation often goes, it often goes to, for example, plants versus animal as if they have to be mutually exclusive versus simply saying what are the most nutrient dense nontoxic foods and let’s focus on eating those, what do you think?
Howard: Right, I think you and I could have a very good argument about totally plant based versus incorporating animal products and I would tend toward the side of the fewer animal products the better and I think there is a time and a place for that argument, but I don’t think it is to people who are eating McDonald’s. That’s arguing about sub-sub footnotes when they haven’t cracked the cover yet. So, let’s begin with some really common sense things. Let’s begin what I would love is for all of us Paleo and vegan to hold hands together and sing Kumbaya and say let’s get rid of factory farms.
Jonathan: Yes, absolutely.
Howard: We all agree on that.
Jonathan: Even popping it up even a higher level, let’s get rid of industrialized food production because again, this raping of the Earth with this mono-crop industrial nonsense is certainly that’s not respectful to life either, right? So, it is just like all of that needs to go away.
Howard: Right, although that’s a level at which you are going to have to work harder to convince vegans for example, who are eating their salad from California mono-crop fields that are watered with stolen water and worked by essentially slave laborer. That that’s not part of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Factory farming to me is the low hanging fruit. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t work in one who looks at that and says, “Yeah, that’s cool. That’s a good system. That’s how I want treat other sentient beings. That’s how I want to pump my meat full of hormones and antibiotics and chemicals. That’s how I want to treat the water runoff,” I don’t know anyone who looks at that and says, “Yeah, that works for me.”
Jonathan: It is a such an important point, Howard, because another way to phrase what we are talking about right now, correct me if I am wrong, I am taking it too far, if we look at the systemic health problems we have; obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, they were not problems 50 years ago, they were not epidemics 50 years ago and not everyone was a vegan or vegetarian 50 years ago and it does not mean that is a bad thing to do, but it means we might be conflating two issues when we say how do we address those problems. Because I think to a lot of people becoming a vegan or a vegetarian like if that’s how we lead with the argument or even like going Paleo, eating like a caveman, they were like okay this all sounds too extreme, I just want to eat food, you know what I am saying?
Howard: Right, although I do feel like the word “extreme” needs to be reframed so that like for me I eat like a vegan, although I am not one and it is very simple, it is a very simple thing to do. For me, counting calories on Weight Watchers and points or the Zone figuring out palm size portions of protein or any of that. That feels extreme to me. That’s like I am devoting my life like this huge amounts of RAM, CPU in my brain just processing stuffs that is unimportant, so I feel like the way I eat is extremely un-extreme. It is very simple, it is very logical and it is completely freeing.
So, I would say that one of the problems that we have around food compared to let’s say like touching a hot stove is that the feedback usually isn’t immediate. So, you might try something for a few days, you feel little better or may be you don’t or may be you imagined it, and so then you kind of slide back into the burgers, the fries, and the cokes, and you haven’t really proved anything to yourself. What I will say is that people who do a whole food plant based immersion, who all of a sudden cut out everything except whole plant based foods, in a day or two will already notice a change.
So as a marketer, I think if you can get someone to commit to that kind of what you might call extremism, the feedback loop all of a sudden makes it much more powerful than say doing with what Mark Bittman would suggest VB6 (Vegan Before 6), which would give you much more modern results that you might not even notice. I am working with a guy in my community. He has been a vegetarian for many years including dairy, lot of processed foods, eggs. He is overweight, he has got type 2 diabetes, and he wants to lose 60 pounds and get off his meds and after two days of me kind of helping in coaching him and actually feeding him his meals. He has already cut his insulin by 50%, he has lost 7/10th of a pound and he is the one saying “Oh my God,” so what I would say is if you are going to make a change, make a change that you will notice.
Jonathan: Howard, do you think certainly, and I think most people know, the way of eating I advocate and my research supports. I actually consider whole food plant based and the reason I do that is because obvious this whole food is non-processed and that the vast majority of food you put in your mouth should totally be plant based, I mean the sheer volume of vegetables in and of itself by proportions makes it plant based and do you think that for example telling someone no animal products versus only the highest quality animal products and in fact only the highest quality plant products, because GMO dwarf wheat is a plant product, but if I switched over to GMO dwarf wheat, I really wouldn’t be doing myself too much favor from a health perspective. So what are your thoughts on the importance of just focusing on the quality nutrient density, hormonal healing aspects of food versus the distinction plant versus animal?
Howard: Right, for me it is a marketing problem, throughout history people have eaten small amounts of animal products, most societies, most civilizations have included animal products and they didn’t limit it because of ethics, ideology. They limited it because that’s what the carrying capacity of their ecosystem was. So we live in a fake world in which the carrying capacity of our ecosystem has been artificially inflated by petroleum, by stealing the sun’s energy so that we can fertilize incredible amounts and truck things all over the place. So, we are living in an artificial world where we can have whatever we want. So to some extent, being completely vegan is a little bit based on that unnatural petroleum economy just as going the other way and being McDonald’s or being hugely carnivorous and eating tons of beef, which is really cheap because of the way we are subsidizing it.
So, ultimately if people are eating a plant-based diet that contains animal products in some low level whatever works for them, I think that is a fine goal. The question is how do you get people there at the very beginning and so there are some people where if you say you are going to go completely plant based? They will dig in their heels and they will get a grim look on their face and they will say “over my dead body” and those are not the people you want to put through a pure emersion. There are people for whom it is much easier to go 100% plant based to kind of accept an ideology. The people I know who stick with a plant based diet, very often are ones who then become ethical vegans than it is like being an orthodox Jew, you don’t walk around always wondering whether you are going to have a cheese burger tomorrow once you have adopted an identity.
So, I think adopting an identity is very important. It is one thing that vegans have done well from a marketing perspective for a small segment of the population. That if you are vegan then all of a sudden you don’t think about eating certain things. If you are whole food plant based, that’s a little bit looser, it has less of an affiliation, so it is little bit harder to kind of say “no” because it is not really a religion, it is more of a functional thing. So, I don’t know what the correct answer is for every person, but I think I do know what kinds of questions to ask to figure out how to help someone transition in a way that’s comfortable and will be sustainable.
Jonathan: Howard, what is your take on a person whose message I seem to… one thing that I have a hard time wrapping my head around is for example, telling someone like, just eat animal products is patently wrong because there is healthy and unhealthy animal products. We all agree and know that. Telling someone just eat plants is obviously at best incomplete because of all we ate was sugar, which is a plant derivative, would not be good for us and so that’s not what we want to sort of hang our hat on. But like Joel Fuhrman has this really interesting approach, he calls it being a Nutritarian, which is really like taking a step back and even some people in the Paleo community presented it this way which is, what whole foods give me the most of what is essential for life and the least of what is nonessential to life while not destroying the planet? I realized that’s nuanced, but doesn’t that seem more accurate than just being like plants are good, animals are bad or animals are good, plants are bad?
Howard: I think it depends on the research you look at. So, from Dr. Campbell’s research, pretty much he was able to grow cancer in labs with animal protein. When you look at the human evolutionary biology, we are mostly plant eaters, we are much more similar to other plant eaters in terms of our physiology, so my bias based on the research that I have seen and the search I have seen has really been about long-term health as opposed to obesity or weight. What I have seen and I am fairly convinced that animal foods are inferior to plant foods for health at least above a certain percentage of the diet. At least this figure seems to be around 5 to 10% of calories from animal foods won’t hurt most people.
I am not the scientist, so all I can do is read Dr. Campbell’s work, read other people’s work, make interpretations. My interest is not in being sort of doctrinaire about anything and I am real gradualist. So if someone wants to make…if you can sustain drinking one less cup of Pepsi per week then I think you should sustain it. I think the hard part of about sustaining things like that is without a whole lot of positive feedback you don’t end up sustaining them. If someone gets to a place where they’re happy with their diet and they are educated enough to know where their food is coming from, what are the environmental implications to that food, and they feel good. Then I have nothing negative to say to them. We were talking about this in our chat couple of weeks ago.
I was trained as a Shaman in South Africa and one of the principles of Shamanism is that their words are very powerful and they cast spells and if I am walking up to someone and they are happy with the way they are eating and I say “You know that your diet is going to kill you,” I have just cursed them. I have actually made it more likely that that’s going to happen if they are dumb enough to believe me. So, I only want to kind of push people in the direction of better health and I believe the people are their own arbitrators at least once they can get over their addictions to some of the craziness that passes for food.
Jonathan: I completely agree with you and I love how you talk about going to anyone who is enjoying the results they’re getting and does have some science backing community, certainly Dr. Campbell’s study did take place. There are other studies he was involved with that took place. Monkeys that had different results, I don’t want to get into that, but certainly as long as someone is not doing something we know unequivocally. Like drinking soda is not good for you, we know that, we totally know that, so if you are coming to us and you are saying “I am really unhappy with the way I am feeling” and we ask you what were you doing and you are saying “I am drinking five cans of soda a day,” seems like we would behoove of us to say you might not want to drink so much soda, but if you are doing whatever you are doing and it is working for you, who are we to as you say ‘curse you.’
Howard: Right and the thing that I find really meaningful in helping me be very committed to the way I am eating and the way I encourage people to eat is when I look at people who are so anomalous. There is something beautiful about people who just take something to a logical extreme that works for them and they get to show us what it is like at the edge. So, someone like Ruth Heidrich, who is a 75-year-old ultra marathon runner, tri-athlete, who in 1982 at the age of 47 was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and she went completely plant based and then she went raw and 31 years later she is cancer-free and she is running and I think has 900 gold medals, many of which are because she is the only person in her age group. When I see someone like that, it gives me a lot of confidence that the costs of what people might think of this an extreme diet are really minor compared to the payoffs.
Jonathan: I love that you made that cost-benefit point there, yes there is incalculable costs to some of these decisions we are making. Howard, I am curious about…there is a term called Minimum Effective Dose and that in a lot of these nutritional debates that people have, they compare a way of eating that is super high in vegetables to a way of eating that is not high in vegetables and what becomes complicated with any nutritional debate is there is usually many variables changing.
For example, we compare a diet that is very high in vegetables and also contains nutrient dense animal products to a diet that is let’s say very low in vegetables, very high in sugar and starch, but is low in animal products, like we’ve got like 10 different variables going on there and what I am curious is with all these, it seems like there are so many success stories when people just increase the nutrient density of their diet. And certainly like vegetables are the most effective way to do that and we always in marketing, you want to have someone take the easiest, the minimum effective dose. Is the message of more nutrient density more akin to the minimum effective dose rather than saying you must never eat any animal products again?
Howard: Right, well I am not sure that I would put those two in opposition. I would not tell anyone you may never do anything again, even eat McDonald’s or drink a soda. I used to keep a can of Coke in my car in case I was driving late at night and I did not want crash. I felt like Coke was healthier than driving into a tree.
Jonathan: I think that’s fair. I think that is absolutely true.
Howard: The idea of nutrient density, I understand we are coming from and as having worked on the book Whole. It feels like it is a little bit reductionist and that what we were looking for as opposed to like here are the superfoods, it is like getting an NBA dream team of all the best players as opposed to players who really work together well and sort of a variety. Plant based products just don’t have cholesterol, saturated fats, lots of things that whole plants tend not to have and so you are right, if you are just eating from sugarcane. It could be a whole plant food, it is not going to be very good for you, but kind of a diverse rainbow diet of lots and lots of different things from leafy greens to red peppers to orange carrots and all that stuff and all the fruits and whatever else you want to add in that I am less concerned about this whole thing like superfoods and the ANDI score at Whole Foods that tries to create a hierarchy. As opposed to say here is an entire class of foods that are just kick-ass good for us and go to town. I think it is just easier and it requires less thinking and less worry and we can just focus on eating lots of stuff we love.
Jonathan: Do you think it is accurate with the example is wheat. Like in the China Study without question wheat was shown to be the single most damaging substance in that epidemiological data and that wheat is a huge source of calories in everyone’s diet and in fact if we remove animal-based products from our diet completely. Even the super nutrient dense hormonally free, humanly raised, often times people will substitute in more dwarf mutant wheat. That is a ‘whole food’, but so is beef. So, how do we subdivide?
Howard: First of all, I am not where you are getting that information about wheat, I asked Dr. Campbell about that and I know there are people on the internet who are claming to have interpreted the China Study better than he had. And I am not a statistician, so I am not qualified to say, but he denies that wheat has anything like the effect that he discovered for animal protein. So, I cannot accept that as a given. I will say that I know a lot of people who do fine on wheat and a lot of people who don’t. I personally think that anything that is grown as a mono-culture and is created and marketed for the purpose of sort of global efficiencies, which means more profit for somebody is something that’s suspect to me.
I would rather grow my own, I would rather get it from a local farm. Again, I was trained in Shamanism, so I am not just looking at the material aspects of food. I am looking at kind of their psychic or spiritual aspects. I kind of believe that two carrots that have the same amount of beta-carotene and everything else, and one is grown lovingly by an organic farmer and one is grown on a field where migrant laborers are mistreated. That there’s something about the mistreatment of human beings that is going to make that carrot less good for me. I cannot prove that, but I kind of believe it.
Jonathan: Howard, I love this. Like I think we may have just struck gold and that is like what you just said. The thing that I so loved about it, it is to me that is a meaningful criteria like was this… first, is it food and let’s define food as things that are found in nature. Is it a food and was it produced in a way that is respectful to the planet, to the creature itself, to the system, to the ecosystem, like that criteria seems universally true. There is actually no need for nuance there, like when we get in the plant versus animal debate, the science is absolutely not clear, anyone who says it is clear that is not true, like the Harvard Medical School has released all kinds of good stuffs, but anyway what you said is like that’s obviously true and yes, it seems like we could get everyone to rally around that, so why don’t we lead with that message?
Howard: I couldn’t agree more. If we have a nation of…let’s say Dr. Campbell and I are completely right and veganism is the way to go or whole food plant based eating is the way to go. What good is it to have a whole bunch of people eating that way on a dying planet?
Jonathan: Yes, or like eating a bunch of mono-cropped packaged trans-fat, it is all plant based, but we are still destroying the planet.
Howard: Right, so my feeling is that, let’s again go back to nature, there is no entity in nature that does not enhance its ecosystem. Anything that doesn’t enhance its ecosystem has died out because its ecosystem would not support it. The tree drops leaves not because it is being ethical.
Jonathan: It is not getting tired of holding the leaves.
Howard: Yes, it is doing it for its own purposes and yet when the leaves drop, the worms can live underneath, they can support the nematodes and the bacteria, the birds come and eat the worms and poop and all of that feeds the tree. Human beings are meant to be part of nature, we are meant to enhance our ecosystem and our methods of farming, both animal and plant have been degrading it for I would argue thousands of years and if we don’t turn that around, it doesn’t matter how any of us eat as individuals.
Jonathan: Howard, I think that your marketing expertise has shown through because that is a message that I just think we can all get behind and it is also I think there is a message around almost freedom there, like be free. Do not be manipulated by these corporate interests, do not be tricked, do not be addicted, and if you can combine that natural appeal to don’t kill the planet and therefore yourselves and don’t let yourself be lied to, like we can all get behind that it seems.
Howard: I would love to think so. A statement that I saw recently that has really punched me in the gut; I think it was by Mark Twain. He said, “It is very easy to fool a man, it is very difficult to convince him that he has been fooled,” and to some extent I think that’s our job, that’s what we are writing about in Whole. That this whole thing is a puppet show that almost everything we hear about food, about nutrition, about health comes from a source that does not have our best interest in heart and that’s kind of a shocking thing, but once you get it. Once you take the red pill, like you, like me, like many people in the plant-based community and many people in the Paleo community and many people in the survivalist community, where all of a sudden the scales fall from their eyes and they can kind of see that the sea witch is not a Disney princess, she is the sea witch. We are all operating from our own biases, our own assumptions, our own preferences in consuming all the science, but once that falls and you realized that the big picture is that we are being lied to on a grand scale. At that point almost anything you do is going to be an improvement.
Jonathan: At that point, it seems spending time on anything other than combating that shared enemy is a misappropriation of resources.
Howard: I think in the public sphere that is correct. I think it is very useful for individual groups to be pursing sort of purist agendas just because imagine if we had a million people eating whole food plant based. We could then start doing studies that we cannot do now because we don’t have the populations. For people who are doing Paleo, I would love to see what people who’ve done Paleo for 30 years, what their health ends up looking like. I certainly have suspicions that it would not be so great, but really the more people we get who are opting out of the standard American diet. The more knowledge we can gain. That was the brilliance of the China Study it was here 800 million people who don’t eat like us. We can finally learn something outside of this little box that we are all in. I encourage kind of radical experimentation just so we can find out what are the limits of what’s possible.
Jonathan: I like that Howard and may be a better refinement of my statement is not a misuse of time, but let’s rather say, ‘let’s ensure that those private, more extreme efforts do not compromise our ability to bring more people on board to help combat that broader effort’, like let’s not make them mutually exclusive.
Howard: Right, well it is like those movies where all the nations of the Earth get together once we are under attack by aliens.
Howard: We are, if some alien race came or let’s say the Chinese or the Libyans and they forced us to eat the standard American diet, we would be outraged. You are killing us, you are poisoning our children, you are shortening our lifespans, how dare you, and yet we do it to ourselves.
Jonathan: It sounds like there is such an exciting future of saying and we can all agree at least that instead of eating the standard American diet, which his absolutely bad. You should replace that as much as possible with whole things found directly in nature with minimal ingredients that are as nutritious as possible and have been produced in a way that is sustainable and honorable. What do you think about that?
Howard: Yes, I would say from the perspective of individual and planetary health and from a spiritual perspective, I would say I completely agree with that and I know that there are people who have other agendas around food. For example the vegan agenda would say that we don’t want to hurt anything, but as I said I am not a vegan, although I eat like one. The question is what is your goal? If my goal is a healthy species and you know what, if we are not physically healthy, we are not going to save the planet, we are not going to do anybody else a favor. So, to me we are only going to be as generous to the rest of our relations, the other living beings on this planet as we are to ourselves. So, I think that is why food is such a wonderful way and it is really a way to begin to love yourself and at that point, you got to love despair for birds, trees, fishes, and rocks and streams and everything else.
Jonathan: Howard, it is absolutely critical that in this talk of respect and thriving in life that we don’t lose sight of ourselves because I cannot tell you how many people I have met and talked with who for all good reasons will adopt an extreme form of eating. Any number of variants because they think it will cause good, but it causes them personally badness and a sick, unhappy person is not going to be able to contribute to this planet and this Earth and to other sentient beings as they are intended to. So, that is certainly a high priority.
Howard: Yes, and I would add to that that if your food is making you sick, that’s a pretty good sign that it’s not helping anybody else because that’s how nature has evolved. We are all chasing pleasure, we are all avoiding pain. We are all programmed at some level to be selfish and I don’t mean that in the bad way, but to be focused on ourselves and I think so much of our culture is trying to convince us that our own body signals, our own intuitions are not to be trusted. I think the first thing we have to do is reclaim that because if reclaim our own truth then we’re no longer susceptible to anybody’s marketing manipulation, but if we say the truth is out there and we don’t internalize it and we don’t prove it for ourselves.
Somebody reads the China Study and goes whole food plant based and they get amazing results. Now they can speak from their own personal experience, but someone who just reads it and becomes a dogmatic proponent of it without having experienced it. The next thing that is going to come along, they are going to become a dogmatic proponent of that. We are at the mercy of the puppet masters until we learn how to trust ourselves and being healthy and feeling good is our birth right and when we don’t have that, that means we are doing something wrong not just for ourselves, but globally.
Jonathan: We can tell you what isn’t wrong and that is that this has been an awesome conversation.
Howard: I agree.
Jonathan: Howard, this is great stuff and I so appreciate you coming on the show. I think it is these kinds of conversations that will help us to build the grounds while we need to literally defeat the alien invaders that have taken over our minds.
Howard: Let’s hope.
Jonathan: Howard, it has been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much and folks if you want to learn more about Howard, please go up to Facebook, type in facebook.com/wholebook. You can obviously purchase the book he co-authored with our dear friend of the show, T. Colin Campbell. The book is called Whole and Howard, it has been a pleasure. We’ve got to have you back on the show brother, thank you so much.
Howard: Jonathan, I would love to. It has been great talking with you.
Jonathan: Folks I hope you enjoyed today’s show as much as I did and please remember, this week and every week after; eat smarter, exercise smarter, and live better. Talk with you soon.
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