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Healthy Food, Healthy Planet

~by Gary Hedden

Ocean Robbins speaking.

Ocean Robbins doesn’t eat ice cream. His grandfather co-founded Baskin-Robbins 31 Flavors and his grandson won’t touch ice cream. We love ice cream, but it’s dairy, fat, sugar, and flavorings – not healthy Ocean told us at GreenTown’s June community forum. He then listed the ills associated with an animal-based diet, especially with animals raised by ‘factory’ farming – obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. How does he know that? Among other things, he cited the ‘blue zone’ communities where people live long, healthy lives and eat a simple diet without much dairy or meat.

He had a very personal example too. His grandfather. Yes, the fellow who founded Baskin-Robbins was overweight, pre-diabetic, and suffering from heart disease. His family convinced him to change his diet, and he lost the excess weight, regained his health, and cut seven strokes off his golf game.

The interest in diet started with Ocean’s father. As a young man, he chose to walk away from the family business. He studied yoga, got married, had a family, named his son Ocean, and wrote a book, Diet for a New America.

Ocean Robbins taking questions.

It’s more than our own health. Ocean told us about the harmful effects of modern agriculture – wasteful use of water, topsoil erosion, and reliance on pesticides, weed killers and fertilizers. None of this is good for the planet. The situation with farm animals is no better with the overuse of antibiotics and the mistreatment of animals. His stories of caged chickens in cramped and dirty living quarters were particularly disturbing.

The answer according to Ocean is that we can make a change by ‘voting’ with our purchases. Buy organic. Buy whole grain bread, almond milk, Beyond Burgers, Impossible Burgers, and eggs from free-range chickens. And just like his father, he wrote a book to help us make the change, 31-Day Food Revolution.

It will be good for us and good for the planet.

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