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September 8, 2017

PlantPure Communities (PPC) awarded ten scholarships in March 2017 for the Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate Program offered from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (CNS) in partnership with eCornell. Since then, the ten Pod members have completed the certificate program and are now implementing the knowledge they gained in their communities.

The Certificate Program offers participants a chance to learn more about the science behind the whole food, plant-based diet, as pioneered by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, in his book, The China Study. The program covers a wide range of information, including much of Dr. Campbell’s own research.

 Leslie Harrison, who is part of the Pod, Eat Healthy Tyler, located in Tyler, TX, said the certificate course has given her a knowledge base of plant-based nutrition that she didn’t have before.  “The course is so full of amazing, practical information,” Leslie said. “It covers such a wide variety of topics and presents the subject matter in an easily digestible format that can be presented in a comprehensive manner to those interested in plant-based nutrition. I really appreciate the opportunity to have taken the course.”

Leslie has already begun bringing what she learned to her Pod events. In particular, the course has made Leslie interested in the industry influence on food policy. She is leading discussions and showing videos to her Pod that will help them understand these connections in more depth.Additionally, Leslie’s 15-year-old son has transformed his eating habits over the last few months. Anticipating backlash from his peers, he created what Leslie calls a “plant-based manifesto”—which outlines the dangers of consuming animal products and the benefits of a plant-based diet (pictured left above). “No teenager wants to feel different, and avoiding meat as a teenage boy in deep East Texas where BBQ is king is a pretty courageous move,” Leslie said proudly.

Darlene Porter, who offers cooking classes through her Pod, Plant-Based Manna-Tobans, located in Sandy Lake, Mannitoba, Canada, believes the Certificate Program adds credibility to her events and allows her to present information in a confident, scientific manner. “Knowing that the information is scientifically correct, not just something found on the Internet, is invaluable,” Darlene said. “Having straight forward facts on protein requirements and the protein content of food is powerful. I find people really responding to the information I have passed on from the class. It makes sense and simplifies what many assumed was complicated.”  

Darlene now includes topics about macronutrients, environmental impacts, and diseases of affluence in the educational portion of her cooking classes, which have been well-received.

This summer, she and her husband also had the opportunity to host young adults from other countries who are interested in sustainable living and the whole food, plant-based lifestyle.

“They help with our organic garden and plant-based cooking,” she explained. “We often watch documentaries and discuss the environmental, health, compassion and spiritual reasons behind the lifestyle. It’s great to be able to share what I’ve learned with others who are open and receptive.” 

It’s evident that the Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate program is bringing great value to the Pod Network, which now numbers over 40,000 members.. Whether integrating the information into their Pod communities or witnessing positive changes in family members and themselves, the scholarship recipients have already begun to show just how impactful the science of plant-based nutrition really is on the world.

The 2nd round of scholarships will be awarded the first week of September 2017. PPC will hold a 3rd round scholarship opportunity for group leaders of Pods, which will open in early November. Awards will be made by end of 2017. Eligibility will be limited to group leaders who are leading Pods as of September 15, 2017. PPC is grateful to CNS for their continued partnership and generosity in the scholarship program.

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