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July 16, 2020

Dear Governor Kemp: 

We are a collective of grassroots leaders from all corners of Georgia who are committed to dramatically improving public health with evidence-based nutrition. We want to bring to your attention a strategy that should be added to your larger effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Whole food, plant-based (WFPB) nutrition has the potential to defend against the worst effects of COVID-19 by enhancing immunity and, simultaneously, reducing comorbidity factors. We are asking you to add a nutrition strategy to Georgia’s toolbox to help us recover from this pandemic. A nutrition strategy will strengthen our economic recovery by reducing the rate of hospitalizations even if the COVID-19 infection continues to spread. While consumption of WFPB nutrition doesn’t mean we won’t get infected by the virus, it should protect against the worst effects of COVID-19, thereby minimizing the risks of hospitalizations and fatalities for those who do get infected.

We invite your leadership and stand ready to work with you to get Georgia residents to embrace the tremendous potential of nutrition to fight the pandemic. As more fully described in Part 1 and Part 2 commentaries by biochemist/nutrition researcher and Cornell professor Dr. T. Colin Campbell, mortality data shows that over 90% of the people who have died from COVID-19 suffered from pre-existing medical conditions, mostly arising from a lifetime of the same ill-fated nutrition that reduces immunity. It’s worth noting that there is a proliferation of doctors and health and environmental groups who recognize the power of eating whole plant foods, who ‘stand on the shoulders’ of Dr. Campbell’s nutrition research. Evidence suggests that switching to a healthy plant-based diet would not only decrease chronic disease risk, and sometimes reverse these conditions, but also increase production of COVID-19 antibodies, if infected. And, there is ample information showing that this nutritional effect – of reducing risk – may begin in a matter of days, enough time for people not yet infected to strengthen their immune systems.  

This is an opportunity to give hope to Georgia residents who desperately want to reduce their risks. By addressing nutrition-related comorbidities while also strengthening immunity, a nutrition strategy would reduce strain on our hospital system and thereby improve our ability to keep the economy open, even if the rate of infection grows. It will also position Georgia to fight future pandemics. 

Here are our three specific requests:

  • During press briefings, speak about the nutrition-related comorbidities (degenerative diseases like diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension) that increase COVID-19 hospitalization and fatality risk.
  • Speak about the power of whole food, plant-based nutrition (vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and nuts) to defend against the worst effects of COVID-19.
  • Publicly pledge to eat these foods for 10 days, thereby encouraging others to take these crucial first steps toward healing and doing their part to keep the economy open! 

Georgia residents are burdened by their experience with chronic illness, traumatized by the way their parents are dying without family members and friends in attendance, suffering from their medications’ side effects, and now deeply afraid of COVID-19. We call on you today to embrace a nutrition strategy to help reduce Georgia’s comorbidities and the impact of COVID-19, so we can keep the economy open! 

Thank you,

Leaders of the Georgia-based groups (aka Pods) who participate in the PlantPure Communities Pod Network* 

  • Sharme Ridley and Heather Morgan – Fayetteville/Midtown – Plant-Based Atlanta Pod
  • Marsha Hargreaves – Savannah – Live Plant Strong Savannah Pod
  • Sheryl McDonald – Adairsville – Georgia Living Well Pod
  • Shobha Swammy – Alpharetta – Wholesome Alpharetta Pod
  • Sheila Krawchuck – Gainesville – Plant Powered Gainesville Pod
  • Tanya Nall – Waycross – Roots Group Pod
  • Stephanie Johnson and Josh Wayne – Atlanta – Whole Health ATL Pod
  • Karee Grier – Powder Springs – Crave Nutrition Workshop Pod
  • Gabriel Shippy – Athens – Pure Sprouts Pod
  • Tracy Fettinger – Woodbine – Whole Living Through Whole Foods Pod
  • Stacey Ware – Roswell – Plant Based Roswell Pod
  • Elizabeth Parish – Cedarwood – Plant Powered Polk Pod
  • Benji Kurtz – Atlanta – Remedy Food Project Pod

*The PlantPure Communities (PPC) Pod Network is the backbone of a global grassroots movement of people participating in independent local groups, called “Pods” who promote the evidence-based benefits of whole food, plant-based nutrition. To date, more than 250,000 people participate in the PPC Pod Network in 29 countries. PPC is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Contact PPC Exec. Director Jody Kass at, 704-412-4506 x101 with questions.

Cc: Georgia DPH Commissioner Kathleen Toomey

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