Video Transcript: You Are What You Eat! Taking a Stand Against Toxic Foods
Charlene Bollinger: In this excerpt from last year’s LIVE Event, Ocean Robbins challenges America’s food system to evolve and realize how toxic it truly is. Our food system is the first step to creating a healthy culture or body. You can exercise and meditate all you want, but you’re human… and humans need to eat!
Ty Bollinger: So we have to talk about where our food actually comes from. For decades, we’ve been blindly buying food off of grocery store shelves without questioning the nutritional value or the ingredient list. Keep watching for Ocean’s presentation on the impact of food on health and culture.
Ocean Robbins: The notion that human beings are fundamentally selfish is a lie. Now of course there are some selfish traits in all of us and we all—those of us who do not feel we have had our needs met will often go to great lengths to get those needs met, right? But at our core, I believe that we care, I believe that we have integrity, I believe that we want our lives somehow someway to be of contribution to the world around us.
And I tell you, speaking for myself it is not okay with me that one of three kids growing up in the United States today is expected to get diabetes in their lifetime. It’s not okay with me that two-thirds of our population is overweight or obese. It’s not okay with me that statistically the lower income someone is and the browner their skin color, the more likely they are to suffer and die from diabetes, heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diet and lifestyle-fueled diseases.
It’s not okay with me that the average life expectancy for farm workers, the people growing our food in this country is 49 years because they’re exposed to so many pesticides on the job. And it’s not okay with me that animals are living in tortured conditions, that chickens are having their beaks cut off so they won’t peck each other to death when they go crazy in intensive confined operations.
It’s not okay with me that animals are subjected to so much cruelty that if you or I treated a dog or a cat this way, we would go to jail. But when they’re raised for food it’s considered normal. It’s not okay with me, and I want to do something about it, and that’s why I’m standing with you I believe, for a food revolution. For a food system that is in integrity with the values and the dreams I hold for my life and for our world.
See, we cannot create a healthy culture or a healthy body and fuel it with a toxic food system. If we want to be healthy, we have to look at everything we put in our bodies, everything we think, and how we live. What we eat is a very intimate act, I mean what you eat literally becomes you, right? And it’s so personal. And at the same time, it’s very political because what we eat has an impact. It sends out ripples all over the planet. And it also brings that all home to us.
There was a recent study done. 13 people were given—for one week, half of them randomly divided, half of them were given their organic diet, half of them were given pesticide—standard American type of diet with pesticides. And at the end of a week they analyzed their urine and they found that those who were given the organic diet had a 90% reduction in organic chlorine pesticide residues in their urine. 90% in one week.
So, you see when we spray poisons, neurotoxic poisons, on our fields and on our food, it doesn’t just impact farm workers, it just doesn’t just impact our water supply, it’s also impacting obviously our bodies when we eat this stuff.
But for all the bad news and for all the negative stuff, I think food is a place where we have so much hope. I mean there are so many problems in the world that can feel overwhelming to us, right, and almost unconfrontable and unfaceable. Whether we’re looking at violence or wars or people who are hungry and starving, right? And when we look at food, here is a place where we actually have the opportunity to take a stand, to take a stand that will nourish our health and our vitality and our well-being, and also that will nourish the whole earth community. I think that’s an incredible opportunity.
I love looking at the studies done on human beings that give us data that show us, you know, what happens when people are eating different ways and living different ways and what can we learn from that. Because there are so many theories about food and about health and so many different diets and so many different people out to make a buck promoting this or this different way of thinking and living.
But what does the data actually tell us? And some of it is so hopeful.
For example, a group of researchers at the University of Perth in Australia studied 2,000 women, half of whom had breast cancer, half of whom had not, in China, over the course of many years. And they looked at what they were eating and they looked at their long-term results, and they concluded that women who consumed a third of an ounce of mushrooms per day average, which is like less than a mushroom a day, were having a 64% drop in breast cancer risk. From a third of an ounce of mushrooms a day.
They found that when those same women also consumed green tea daily, they had an 89% drop in overall breast cancer risk, 89%.
Harvard University researchers studied 70,000 men over the course of 20 years. They looked at their diet and their lifestyle and their health outcomes, and they found that when those men consumed tomato products, cooked tomato products, two or three times per week, they had a 50% drop in risk of prostate cancer. Tomatoes, cooked tomatoes. Amazing, right?
So, we’re seeing that this stuff works, and here’s one of my favorites: Russia University did a study, they looked at 950 people, and they looked at their lives over the course of many years, and they found that when people consumed leafy greens one or two times a day, kales, collards, chard, etcetera, they found that these people had an average 11 years more healthy brain function; 11 years.
Can you imagine with all the people who are suffering right now from Alzheimer’s and dementia? And I’m sure many of us know them right here in this room. What people would give for 11 more years of healthy brain function? What’s that worth? Hello leafy greens. And hello turmeric; and hello to cooked tomatoes; and hello mushrooms; and hello green tea; and hello all the antioxidants and flavonoid and phytonutrient-powered foods that help us to thrive. Because there are so many wonderful things in this world that come right out of the earth and that are so good for us.
And that’s one thing I love about the food revolution.
Ty Bollinger: We hope you learned a lot from this video. If you did learn something new, please take a few seconds to let us know in the comments section below.