I remember reading John Robbins’ Diet for a New America in college and feeling exhilarated at the idea of radically improving my health and our food system through my food choices. In Diet for a New America, which became an international bestseller and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, Robbins extolled the virtues of a plant-based diet, and influenced millions.
Now, two decades later, food issues are even more important as people’s health and the health of planet earth are both in critical condition. In response, John Robbins and his son Ocean Robbins—who, among other claims to fame, founded Youth for Environmental Sanity, created the Food Revolution Summit.
In this year’s Summit, which began Saturday, April 28, and runs through May 6, the Robbins’s are hosting interviews with an impressive array of 21 food experts on topics including health, corporate agriculture, food policy, local food, climate change, raw food, sustainable animal products, food justice and more.
The Summit kicked off Saturday with an all-day panel on “The Science of Health Eating,” and included preventative-medicine expert Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who helped Bill Clinton become the world’s most famous champion of a gluten-free diet.
Sunday’s lineup focused on GMOs, and featured Jeffrey Smith of the Institute for Responsible Technology, Dr. Joseph Mercola (a personal hero of mine) and Dr. Vandana Shiva, whose comments about how Monsanto is affecting her Indian homeland were gut wrenching.
Tuesday’s Summit, ” Eating As If The Earth Mattered (Which It Most Certainly Does!),” will feature two heroes of the green living movement: Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and founder of the climate change website 350.org, and Frances Moore Lappe, author of the groundbreaking Diet for a Small Planet in 1971.
Since John Robbins is a longtime vegan (a dietary choice I have been experimenting with), I was particularly interested to see that a few of the speakers advocate eating some amount of high-quality, humanely-raised (or wild) animal products.