FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 21, 2020
Contact: Jody Kass, PPC Executive Director: 704-412-4506 x101 JKass@PlantPureCommunities.org
NONPROFIT LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE GLOBAL 10-DAY JUMPSTART LINKING NUTRITION & CLIMATE
Government leaders and the public encouraged to take concrete action
The nonprofit PlantPure Communities today announced the Global 10-Day Jumpstart: The Health & Climate Impacts of our Food Choices, a pioneering program aimed at reducing demand for animal-based food for personal and global health. Kicking off August 25th, the Jumpstart explores the intertwined health and climate impacts from our food choices while guiding participants with concrete steps to shift their diets toward more plant-based options.
Since 2016, PlantPure Communities (PPC) has been working with local groups to conduct Jumpstarts in underserved neighborhoods and communities of color, empowering people to take control of their health through nutrition. The Jumpstart offers the opportunity to learn about the benefits of a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet while experiencing the powerful health impacts firsthand. In just 10 days the nutritional benefits of a WFPB diet are likely to appear, e.g., lower cholesterol, reduced body weight, decreased blood pressure. PPC began offering the Global 10-Day Jumpstart online in April to publicize the commentary of biochemist/nutrition researcher and Cornell Professor Dr. T. Colin Campbell on the power of nutrition to fight the worst effects of COVID-19. To date, several thousand people from 81 countries have participated.
This Global Jumpstart announced today is the fourth online Jumpstart held by PPC since the COVID pandemic began, but it is the first time that a parallel immersion into the impacts of our food choices on climate change is being offered. Food is a significant contributor to the global climate crisis. Because animal agriculture (including growing food to feed livestock) also generates methane and nitrous oxide emissions, two GHGs more potent than CO2, and leads to deforestation, it is increasingly clear that a broad population shift away from the consumption of animal-based food is needed to save the planet. As the public climate debate has largely continued to leave out the important role of nutrition/food choices, PPC has grown increasingly determined to shed light on the crucial importance of this issue. Even as we are all focused on COVID, the climate impacts from our food choices continue to escalate. PPC Executive Director Jody Kass said, “We recognize how hard it is to shift your diet. The Jumpstart lets people learn about the health and climate impacts of meat-heavy diets while supporting them every step of the way with recipes, cooking demos, guidebooks, videos, and live interactive sessions with medical doctors and other experts. Connecting the climate crisis with hands-on takeaways that can be implemented immediately is powerful.”
“Embracing a plant-based diet can protect both your household and the planet,” said Arturo Garcia-Costas, program officer for the environment at the New York Community Trust, “That’s a pretty compelling win-win. We will need every play in the playbook to cope with the climate crisis, and weaning our civilization off of fossil fuels and meat are probably the most important ones.”
The Jumpstart draws on the work of the Nutrition-Climate Coalition, led and created by PPC in 2019 to bring climate and nutrition leaders together to amplify and implement the enormous climate benefits that would result from a broad population shift away from animal-based food consumption. The Coalition’s strategies lay a strong foundation for action and inform the curriculum for the Global Jumpstart.
The first Roundtable discussion connected to the Global Jumpstart took place Aug. 19th and included representatives from Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth, and 50by40, who directly connected the food we eat with its impact on climate change; and Dr. Scott Stoll from the Plantrician Project juxtaposed the health impacts, dispelling many of the nutrition myths surrounding protein, dairy, chicken, and fish. View the recording here. “The science is clear that eating less meat and more plants is better for personal and planetary health,” said Kari Hamerschlag, deputy director of food and agriculture at Friends of the Earth. “Given the massive amounts of water, land, pesticides and fertilizers that go into industrial meat and dairy production, shifting towards plant-based diets is key to feeding more people with fewer resources, while curbing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing air and water pollution.” Lasse Bruun, Executive Director of 50by40, said “Understanding the positive impact a plant-based diet has on an individual’s health as well as mitigating climate change, makes food a global, public health ‘common good’ and nothing less. The Global Jumpstart discussion frames and forwards that when we need it most.”
Dr. Ron Weiss, from Ethos Primary Care Farm Project is one of the only plant-based medical doctors in the U.S. who is also a farmer. He will participate in the 8/26 live webinar: Combating Climate Change through Farming and Medicine: How a “Farmacy” can Address Personal and Global Health. According to Dr. Weiss, “People often adopt plant based diets to improve their health. Now, we must adopt plant based diets to save our planet earth. To an old ER doc like me, the triage priority has become the health crisis of our mothership.”
The Sept. 3rd Roundtable Webinar: The Disproportionate Health and Climate Impacts on Underserved Neighborhoods and Communities of Color from our Food Choices includes Mathy Stanislaus, Interim Director of the Global Battery Alliance, who said, “Climate change solutions must be designed by leaders from, and be focused on, communities of color who are the most acutely impacted.” Dr. Diego Ponieman, Chief Medical Officer, SOMOS Community Care, who is also a Roundtable participant, said, “Planet destruction can be reversed by love and compassion to others, like the simple act of eating more plants.”
The diet that fights COVID is the same diet that mitigates climate change. “It’s widely recognized that we have an existential environmental problem – and it starts with the food we eat. It’s as simple as that!” said Dr. T. Colin Campbell, who will be participating in the Sept. 4th live webinar wrap-up. Nelson Campbell, PPC founder and board chair said, “There is no effective solution to climate change that does not include mass conversion toward a plant-based diet, which would free up a tremendous amount of agricultural land, a portion of which would reforest to draw down carbon from our atmosphere.”
More information: https://plantpurecommunities.org/nutritionclimatecoalition/
Registration for the Global Jumpstart: https://plantpurecommunities.org/global-jumpstart/
The mission of the 501c3 nonprofit organization, PlantPure Communities, is to build stronger, healthier, more sustainable communities by offering programs, resources, tools and knowledge to empower community leaders, activists, and advocates to help educate people about evidence-based nutrition that shows optimal health can be achieved through a plant-based diet.