"Children's Health & Sustainable Planet" Jeju International ConferencePart 8
Jeju Island, the largest island in S. Korea, is blessed with a natural
beauty fresh air, clean water, pure seas, and volcanoes of various
sizes further embellished the landscape.
A number of Jeju’s
distinctive features have been recognized as UNESCO World Heritage
Sites, which include: Mt. Halla Natural Monument zone, Sungsan
Ilchulbong tuff cone, and Geomunoreum lava tube system of caves.
due to its beauty and biological value, Mt. Halla has been protected as
a UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve since 2002 and has 360 oreums, lava tube
systems of caves.
Jeju Island is well known not only for its
natural heritage but also for its efforts to protect them. In fact, the
heart of the people of Jeju Island pulsates as one with the land.
made it a priority and pledge to preserve the natural environment as a
priceless inheritance for the future generations:We will live with
nature and do our best to preserve our beautiful environment.
will practice "green" consumerism following the wise life pattern of
our ancestors. We will take good care of our cultural heritage and our
community life. We will support pro-environmental economic activity for
sustainable development. We will positively participate in worldwide
efforts supporting the environment and world peace.
September 21, 2009, 49 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) on Jeju
Island collaborated to organize the “Children’s Health &
Sustainable Planet – Jeju International Conference” to discuss two of
the most important topics across social sectors: children's health and
climate change. The unique event focused on the organic vegan diet as the answer to both cooling the planet and improving children’s nutrition.
conference was attended by government dignitaries that included Jeju
Governor Kim Tae-Hwan and Mr. Yang Seong-Eon, Superintendent of the
Jeju Special Self-Governing Office of Education, and featured
environmental experts such as Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the UN
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Mr. Joop Oude Lohuis,
Manager of the Climate and Global Sustainability Unit in the
Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.
their knowledge were medical leaders that included Dr. Michael Greger,
Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society
of the United States; acclaimed physician and nutritional expert, Dr.
Joel Fuhrman; Dr. Neal Barnard, founding president of Physicians
Committee for Responsible Medicine; Dr. John A. McDougall, founder and
medical director of the nationally renowned McDougall Program; and Dr.
Hwang Seong-Soo, famous Korean neurosurgeon of Daegu Medical Center.
members of the media also participated in the event, including the TV
news channels MBC, KBS, CBS; Arirang radio; newspapers Hankook Ilbo
Hankyoreh, Yonhap news, Jeju Ilbo; and internet news Media Jeju and
Graciously accepting an invitation to attend via
videoconference as the event’s guest of honor was Supreme Master Ching
Hai. We now invite you to join us for part 1 of the 8-part rebroadcast
of the videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai, entitled
“Children’s Health & Sustainable Planet – Jeju International
Conference,” held on September 21, 2009 on Jeju Island in S. Korea. We
now invite you to join us for part 2 of the 8-part rebroadcast of the
videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai, entitled “Children’s
Health & Sustainable Planet – Jeju International Conference,” held
on September 21, 2009 on Jeju Island in S. Korea.
invite you to join us for the 8-part series rebroadcast of the
videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai, entitled “Children’s
Health & Sustainable Planet – Jeju International Conference,” held
on September 21, 2009 on Jeju Island in S. Korea. We now invite you to
join us for part 4 of the 8-part rebroadcast of the videoconference
with Supreme Master Ching Hai, entitled “Children’s Health &
Sustainable Planet – Jeju International Conference,” held on September
21, 2009 on Jeju Island in S. Korea.
Greeting from Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
I would, first, like to express my encouragement for the one day a week
organic vegan program. I think anything we can do to move towards
nature and closer to nature is going to be of great benefit to human
society. I’m quite concerned about the lack of action and, in fact, the
insensitivity to the problem of climate change. We know that if we
don’t take action early enough and adequately enough, we’re going to
see some very harmful impacts of climate change all over the world.
Unfortunately, some of these will take place in the poorest, the most
vulnerable regions and for the most vulnerable communities on Earth.
And, therefore, I think we have a moral and an ethical reason to take
action by which we reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases.
one particular area where we can make a difference is in terms of
changes in lifestyle. Of course, the question could be asked, “what
changes in lifestyle? ” There are lots of things that we can do in our
daily lives, including the use of energy in the home, for
transportation and for various other activitie as efficiently as
possible. But one particular area where I think there are huge benefits
is in terms of reduction of meat consumption. I personally believe that
both human beings and the planet would be much healthier if we were to
cut down on meat consumption, and in particular, I would suggest that
the human race should gradually do away with eating red meat because
that clearly has the largest emissions of greenhouse gases associated
with the entire cycle of red meat production and consumption.
I think the time has come when we have to bring about a shift in our
diets whereby we reduce the consumption of meat, particularly red
meat, A lot of people ask me questions on how their children and how
they themselves would get adequate protein if they are going to be
dependent only on er an organic vegetarian diet, and my answer is that
I can get you two consultants who will give you that er response, and
those two consultants are called the elephant and the horse. These are
two animals who consume nothing but plant material and they certainly
don’t lack in proteins. So I would like to submit that if we can shift
towards a much lower consumption of meat, we would be much happier; we
would be much healthier and so would the planet.
when it comes to changing diets, changing lifestyles, I think the
feeling has to come from within. I don’t think this is an area where
government orders or government initiatives can really make a
difference. Of course, governments should certainly impose taxes on
those activities or those products which impose huge environmental
costs on society, both locally as well as globally. But in the ultimate
analysis, I think it is NGOs, it is civil society, and it is the
community itself that has to create awareness on what the benefits of a
reduced meat consumption pattern would actually be, And I would submit
that NGOs, civil society and people at large must get involved in this
err campaign to bring about understanding of the benefits of eating
much less meat. And I want to compliment so many of the NGOs, so many
of those who are carrying out this campaign and I’d like to give you my
encouragement and my very best wishes. Thank you very much.
have to show particular sensitivity to children who are most vulnerable
to climate change because we have to accept the fact that children ah
whose future has to be safeguarded, who depend on the sustainability of
natural resources and eco systems on this planet, are also
unfortunately the most vulnerable. For instance, as a result of climate
change, there will be much more disease, there’ll be more floods, more
droughts, more heat waves, and clearly children would be the most
vulnerable subjects of this particular trend that we’re going to see.
also true that ah when it comes to ah planning the future of children,
if this planet is going to see much worse impacts of climate change
than we’re witnessing today, we’re not giving our children a good
future, and I don’t think it’s fair for us to ah squander these
opportunities for preserving all the natural resources of this planet
by satisfying our own immediate needs, particularly since those needs
are really misplaced; they don’t really do the human race any good. So,
I would appeal to all those who are concerned about the future of their
children to see that firstly, we protect them from the worst impacts of
climate change, and secondly, that we ensure we leave behind a planet
where the natural resources, where all the beautiful things that nature
has provided us can be preserved and maintained for their benefit and
for the benefit of their children. So this would be my appeal and I
hope those of you who are viewing this would take that to heart and do
something about it. Thank you very much.
Lecture from Mr. Joop Oude Lohuis, the Manager of the Climate and Global Sustainability Unit for the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
and gentlemen, my name is Joop Oude Lohuis. I’m a researcher at the
Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. It’s a pity I can’t be
here, it’s a very beautiful island so I’ll have to make my contribution
by screen. Probably the most difficult issues the world is facing today
are climate change and the loss of nature and biodiversity.
10 to 50 years the world is concerned and seriously tries to deal with
climate change. The focus is strongly directed ah towards energy use
and fossil fuels, and climate change mitigation policies tend to focus
on the energy sector, On the other hand, the livestock sector receives
surprisingly little attention, and I think that’s an issue we have to
The livestock sector accounts for about 18% of
greenhouse gas emissions. That is substantial. The livestock sector
accounts for about 80 % of total anthropogenic land use, and that is
more than substantial. And from a dietary perspective, new insights in
the adverse effects and health effects of beef and pork have also led
to a revision of consumption recommendations, and I think that’s an
important issue we have to discuss today.
explored the potential impact of dietary changes on achieving ambitious
climate stabilization levels. And for the first time, we made an
integrated analysis of all the different elements that have, that are
ah related to ah eating meat, and that is: substitutes for meat,
climate change, the possible effects on the land use, health and costs.
And we know that if we go in a business –as- usual scenario,
the livestock would double in the next 40 years and greenhouse gas
emissions would go up by about 80%. Well we found out that ah food
transition on the global scale, eating less meat and /or even a
complete switch to a plant-based protein food can have dramatic effects
on land use. Up to 2700 million hectares of pasture and 100 million
hectares of crop land ah can be abandoned, resulting in a large carbon
uptake of land, instead of being a source of emissions.
methane, nitrous oxide they are potentially harmful greenhouse gases
could be reduce…reduced substantially. A global transition to a low
meat diet as recommended for health reasons would reduce mitigation
costs by about 50 %. In terms of climate change, we would like to keep
the global temperature below 2°C change, and that would result in a
target maximum level of about 450 parts per million CO2.
mitigation cost in reaching climate targets could go up to a 1-2% of
global GDP and that’s about $2 trillion a year. A scenario with no meat
consumption at all would halve these costs. If we go to a scenario with
no meat at all and also no dairy products, the ah amount of costs would
not even go down with 50 % but at a rate of 70 to 80 %, and that’s
substantial. Dietary changes ah could, therefore, not only create
substantial benefit for human health and land use but also play a role
in ah reducing ah future climate change policies at a lower cost.
are many opportunities in changing a diet from meat to vegetable based
products. In our analysis, we assumed soya beans and pulses to be the
main substitutes for meat and dairy products, and we included all the
effects of changing land use to these type of products and included
also the effects. So we think that it’s an inclusive study which proves
that the effects are scientifically sound. This change in diet could
happen within between 2010 and 2030 and then ah ah the situation will
The change in land use has a main effect, the land
use no longer a source of emissions but could even become a sink of
emissions. The change would result in a net contribution of one gigaton
of carbon to the atmosphere and change the whole situation into a one
to two gigaton of carbon ah absorption by way of changing the land use.
is room for re-growth of forests in areas that are now being used by
cows and sheep for grazing, for eating grass. The biggest effect are
for sure pertained by reducing the amount of ruminants, that is cows or
sheep. They have a less efficient digestion resulting in ah large
amounts of methane emissions.
I think, in summary, that
science says that there is convincing evidence that changing diet can
really benefit the climate and will benefit our preservation of natural
A change is noticeable in the behavior of consumers
and in supermarkets. There is a growing diversity in terms of
vegetarian products, substitutes for meats that can be chosen by
consumers. So I think one of the elements of change will be that
consumers make there own choices and choose vegetarian products and
eat less meat.
In summary, from what we know now, changing
a diet to less or no meat is one of the , lowest cost measures to help
the climate change ah targets. It’s good for health uh in summary and
it leaves more room for nature and biodiversity. Thank you for your
Lecture from Dr. Michael Greger, the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States
to the World Health Organization, 2 billion people may become infected
with swine flu and our children may be at the highest risk. Normally,
90 % of flu deaths are in the elderly, 65 years and older, but with
swine flu, children and young adults ages 5 through 14 are more than 10
times more likely to become infected. That means 15,000 Korean children
may die. Where did this virus come from? Well, the genetic finger-print
of this virus was published this summer and the US Centers for Disease
Control and laboratories from around the world have confirmed that the
main ancestor of the current pandemic virus was the triple hybrid
mutant pig, bird, human virus that emerged and spread throughout
industrialized farms in the United States 10 years ago.
first hybrid mutant was found on an industrial farm in North Carolina
in August of 1998 that confined thousands of pregnant pigs in metal
crates so small they couldn’t turn around. Thanks to long distance live
animal transport, the virus then spread throughout North America, and
thanks to the export of pigs to Asia, it reached Korea by 2005.
is not the first disease to emerge from factory farms. Unless we start
giving these animals more breathing room, it may not be the last. For
example China, 2005, the world’s largest producer of pork, suffered an
unprecedented outbreak of an emerging pink pathogen called Strep Suis
(abbreviation for Streptococcus suis) which caused meningitis and
deafness in people handling infected pork products. Hundreds of people
infected with the deadliest strain on record. Why? The World Health
Organization blames in part these intensive confinement conditions. The
US Department of Agriculture elaborate that all Strep suis seems to
start off harmless, asymptomatic is normal flora, but then stress - due
to inadequate housing, ventilation, overcrowding- allows the bug to go
invasive, causing infections of the brain, blood, lungs, heart and
death. Starts out harmless turns deadly, that’s what these kinds of
conditions may be able to do. This is not arguably how animals were
meant to live.
July 2009, just a few months ago, a strain of
Ebola was reported on a factory farm in the Philippines confining 6,000
pigs. It was Ebola Reston, the same strain featured in the book “The
Hot Zone.” Air borne Ebola bug doesn’t seem to be able to infect
people, but with enough time to mutate in pigs, who knows? So they
drove them into these pits and then burned them alive. We feed
antibiotics by the truck load to farmed animals.
This is total
amount of antibiotics used for all of the human medicine every year
here in the States. Now, contrast that with the amount that just fed to
farm animals, just to promote growth and prevent disease in such a
stressful unhygienic crowded environment, millions of pounds a year.
we as physicians are faced with these multi-drug resistant, antibiotic
resistant bacteria, and are running out of good treatment options,
particularly in pediatric populations..
As Britain’s chief
medical officer put it in his 2009 annual report; “Every inappropriate
use of antibiotics in agriculture is a potential death warrant for a
future patient.” Industrial animal farms have been shown to be breeding
grounds for disease for at least 10 reasons. For example, because of
the sheer numbers of animals, because of the overcrowding, it’s like
having 5,000 people in an elevator and someone sneezes, because of the
stress crippling their immune systems. The operation in Newton Grove,
North Carolina, where the ancestor of the current pandemic virus was
first detected, was a breeding facility in which thousands of pregnant
sows were confined in gestation crates, also known as sow stalls These
are veal crate-like ah barren metal cages about 2 feet wide. These
highly intelligent, social animals, essentially kept in a box week
after week, month after month, for nearly their entire lives. They can
develop crippling joint deformities, lameness. If we did this to pets
we could get thrown in jail in this country.
Not only can
these pregnant pigs not turn around, they can barely move for most of
their lives. Because of the lack of fresh air the dankness helps keep
the virus alive in these kinds of facilities. Because there may be no
sunlight the MV rays and sunlight are actually quite effective in
destroying the influenza virus.
Thirty minutes of direct
sunlight utterly deactivates the influenza virus, but it can last for
days in the shade, and weeks in moist manure. And indeed, because of
the decomposing fetal waste releasing ammonia, burning the respiratory
tracts of these animals, predisposing them to infection in the first
place. Put these and all these other factors together, and then you
have is really this kind of perfect storing environment for the
emergence and spread of new so-called super strains of influenza. The
public health community has been warning about the dangers of
industrialized animal agriculture for years.
In 2003, the
American Public Health Association, the largest organization of public
health professionals in the world, called for a moratorium on
industrialized animal farming. In 2005, the United Nations called on
all governments, local authorities,international agencies, told them
they needed to take a greatly increased role in combating the world of
factory farming, which combined with these live bird markets provide
what they call ideal conditions for the virus to spread and mutate into
a more dangerous form. In 2008, the Pew Commission on industrial farm
animal production, which included former US secretary of Agriculture,
concluded that these so-called
Factory farms present
unacceptable public health risks. The former director of the commission
calls these industrial farms "super-incubators for viruses." They're a
public health menace that must be stopped. Only a few thousand people
have died so far of swine flu though, although one could never really
call anything that's killed hundreds of children "mild," exactly, but
this H1N1 virus hasn't been much worse than the regular seasonal flu,
so far. But this may be just the first wave.The 1918 flew pandemic was
relatively mild first as well. Though we're not exactly sure what
happened in 1918 compared to what was to come later, this first initial
wave in the summer of 1918 hardly registered a blip, but it came back
in the fall to kill tens of millions of people.
In Korea, in
1918, according to the Japanese colonial government at the time, as
many as 8 million Koreans died the last time an animal flu virus jumped
species into human beings. Now, the worst case scenario estimate would
be if the swine flu were to combine with the H5N1 bird flu, both of
which have been found in pigs. So if a single pig in parts of Asia, or
Africa, where the H5N1 bird flu virus, has become endemic, that pig
becomes co-infected with both swine flu and the new bird flu, the
concern is that it could theoretically produce a virus with a human
transmisability of the swine flu, but the human lethality of the bird
In 1918 the mortality rate of the pandemic was less than
5%. This estimate, here on the right, potentially tens of millions of
people dead in the next pandemic, is based on this two to, same two to
three percent mortality rate, that the US Centers for Disease Control
calls a “category 5 pandemic, ” around two percent mortality- around 2
million Americans dead, so that's two percent. But H5N1 has so far
killed over half of its known human victims; don't even seem to get a
coin toss as to whether or not one lives through this disease. Up to 10
million Koreans come down with the flu every year, what if it suddenly
turned deadly? That's what keeps everyone up at night, the possibility,
however slight, that a virus called H5N1 could trigger a pandemic. That
would be like combining one of the most contagious known diseases,
influenza, with one of the deadliest, like crossing a disease like
Ebola with the common cold.
All animals deserve humane
treatment. How we treat animals can have global public health
implications, and these newly emerging chicken and pig flu viruses are
but one example. We deny them a modicum of mercy to both their
detriment and potentially to ours as well.
We need to end the
long distance live animal transport of farm animals which can spread
diseases around the world. We need to follow the Pew Commission's
recommendations to abolish these extreme confinement practices, like
crates for pregnant pigs, as their already doing in Europe, and
starting to here in the States. And ultimately we need to follow the
advice of the public health professionals and declare: “No more factory
Let me end with a quote from the World Health
Organization: "The Bottom Line"; The bottom line is humans have to
think about how they raise their animals, how they farm them, how they
market them. Basically, the whole relationship between the animal
kingdom and the human kingdom is coming under stress. In this age of
emerging diseases, we now have billions of feathered and curly tailed
test-tubes for viruses to incubate and mutate within billions more
spins at pandemic roulette. Along with human culpability though comes
hope. If changes in human behavior can cause new plagues, well then
changes in human behavior may prevent them in the future.
time constraints, this presentation by design is an over-simplification
of a very serious public-health issue. For the underlying science,
allow me to refer you to an invited review I wrote for for "Critical
Reviews in Micro-Biology." I'd be happy to send anyone a reprint, a
free copy, if you just email me at MHG1@cornell.edu,
'M,' 'H,' 'G,' just the numeral '1' at c-o-r-n-e-l-l dot e-d-u. I also
have a book on the subject, which is also available free, full-text
online at birdflubook.org.
All the citations are hyperlink clickable, all 3,168 of them. We also
just released a DVD on Swine Flu in particular. And again, if you
email me, I'll be happy to send you a free copy of the DVD. Or you can
watch it online in its entirety at humanesociety.org/swineflu. Thank you.
Lecture from Dr. John McDougall, a pioneering medical doctor, bestselling author, and the esteemed founder of the McDougall Program.
I am Dr. John McDougall. I want to thank you for the invitation and the
opportunity to talk about something really important and that’s
children’s health and children’s diets. I mean we as parents, we could
do almost anything in our own diet there is a diet that is correct for
people. Human history probably tells that diet best. If you think about
it, all large populations of successful people throughout all of
recordable history have consumed diets based on starch. For example, in
my part of the world. the diet of people several hundred or a thousand
years ago was a diet based primarily on corn.
You remember the
diet of Aztecs and Mayans? These were the people of the corn. And in
South America, it was potatoes, in the Andes people lived on potatoes,
that’s what the Incas consumed. And if you look further east, what you
find was people in Europe and in the Middle East, they lived on diets
of grain. Barley, wheat, other types of grain were the foods of these
people. And then go far east to where you live, what has the diet of
people been traditionally for thousands of years? It’s been a diet
primarily based on rice or sometimes buckwheat or sweet potatoes.
Starch-based diets, that’s what the human diet is, it’s a diet based
starch with the addition of fruits and vegetables. The animal foods
that come into diet, they are tolerated but not necessary.
best diet for kids and adults, that’s a diet based on starch with the
addition of fruits and vegetables. It does not include animal products.
I can’t think of a reason to add dairy products-cow’s milk, cheese - to
the diet of a person who wants to be healthy, trim and active. I can’t
think of a single reason to add any kind of animal food in terms of
meat, like beef or pork or chicken or fish; it adds nothing to the diet
that you can’t get better from starches, vegetables and fruits. That’s
what the science says. That’s what your experiences tell you and that’s
what you see when you look back historically. We’ve gotten away from
that, and that’s because of business. But we can change back and we
could do it for ourselves as well as for our children. Our children
need a good start in life. So what I would encourage you to do, all of
you listening, is to find out what the truth is and take action.
these are the most important people in our lives, these little kids
are, but they deserve our efforts to make sure we’re doing the right
thing, particularly when it comes to diet. And you will discover, if
you take the trouble, that the right diet for kids is a starch-based
diet with fruits and vegetables, and they’ll like it too. They already
like these foods, they like simple foods, starch foods; they’re comfort
foods. So, let’s make it a worldwide effort to makes changes that are
important for everybody. Thank you for this opportunity.
Lecture from Dr. Neal Barnard,
the founding president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible
Medicine or PCRM, president of The Cancer Project and the Washington
Center for Clinical Research, and an adjunct associate professor of
medicine at The George Washington University, USA.
want to say a big warm welcome to all the participants in today’s
conference. Children today have the advantage of having more foods
available than ever before. We know more about nutrition than ever
before. But unfortunately, sometimes what children actually eat is not
as healthful as it should be, and that’s because there are also more
unhealthy foods available than ever before.
So we need to really
help them. So what to eat? And what to avoid? The foods that are
healthful for children, I think of them as being in 4 groups. We refer
to these as the new 4 food groups: vegetables, fruits, whole grains,
and the bean group. Or you might call it the legume group: beans, peas,
and lentils. These 4 groups together provide plenty of protein. They
provide plenty of calcium and iron, they are very rich in vitamins and
in minerals, and lots of healthy fiber. They don’t have any animal fat,
they don’t have cholesterol; they are a good recipe for good health.
most important thing, though, for children is not just to eat foods
that keep them healthy while they are children, but it’s to learn good
health habits, good eating habits, that they can carry with them into
adulthood. If children learn healthy eating right from the start, they
carry a wonderful gift with them, and they are better able to take care
of their own families when they’re adults.
Well, I have to say
some of the very foods that I grew up with are perhaps the most
important things to set aside -meats, dairy products, eggs, these foods
have cholesterol. They have animal fat, and these foods cause a lot of
problems. First of all, these foods are linked to heart problems. If
you could look inside the arteries of a typical American boy or girl,
before they finished high school, many of them have the beginnings of
heart disease already.
They’re only 15 or 16 years of age. But
because of all the meat, cheese, other dairy products and eggs they’ve
been eating, unfortunately, their arteries are starting to get clogged.
Over the long run, though, these same foods increase the risk of
cancer, particularly breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.
These things are much less likely to happen on people who are following
totally plant-based diets. And what has the children themselves worried
and their parents worried is that kids who eat a meaty diet tend to be
heavier than other kids.
Now, many well-meaning parents will
say, “We want our children to drink milk or eat meat.” What they’re
thinking of is maybe this will help their kids to grow taller or to be
stronger. But I have to say researchers have looked at this very
question. And the children who eat meat and dairy products are not any
taller than other kids. What they are is wider than other kids -
meaning they’re more likely to be overweight.
looked at thousands of children and shown that those children who grow
up on a totally vegan diet - meaning a diet with no animal products at
all- they’re just as tall and healthy as other kids. In fact, they’re
healthier, but they’re more likely to stay in a good, healthy body
In many countries throughout North America, South
America, and particularly today throughout Asia, we’re seeing an
explosion in meat intake, in dairy consumption, and so that means more
and more farms are springing up and the population overall is less
healthy than it was when more healthful plant-based diets were the
norm. If this trend continues, what we will see is not only more
influenza outbreaks, we’ll see more heart disease, much more cancer,
and shorter life spans. What this means really is a tragedy that
people who wanted to live a long, healthy life, and to bring up their
children to be able to live in as healthful way as possible will never
be able to realize that dream.
And it’s because we bought into
foods that have lurking in them cholesterol, animal fat and other
problems that really can exact a terrible price that nobody was
counting on in advance. Let me also say a word for parents, teachers,
other people who are involved in schools. Schools have sometimes had
trouble really serving the most healthful foods. Many of them have
perhaps had a misimpression that they need to give children milk in
school, or need to give them meat.
Schools in the United States
and some other places on the globe are now featuring healthy,
completely vegan meals for children because they realize that when you
don’t provide the milk and the meat, kids do much better. They’re
healthier, they are less likely to come up with infections, I’m
thinking about things like ear infections, asthma, and other problems.
They are more likely to stay at a healthy weight, and they are less
likely to fall asleep in the afternoon.
I have to say when kids get a big, greasy, sugary meal, it’s pretty hard for them to stay awake in
the afternoon, it’s hard for them to concentrate. And on the other
hand, when children are fed the most healthful meals, they have the
energy and the attention span to carry them all the way through the
day. So, in conclusion, when we think about our children, they are our
most precious resource. And, unfortunately, the pressures on parents,
on teachers, and on the kids themselves are more intense than they’ve
There are more and more businesses out there trying
to sell unhealthy food, and we can understand why that is. But to the
extent that we can put healthy foods on children’s plates. If we can
have policies in our government, if we can have practices in our
schools that every child, no matter how disadvantaged, has the ability
to have a healthful meal, every single meal, every single day, we are
going to be investing in the health of the next generation. I thank you
so much for helping us all to do that. And I hope you enjoy the rest of
the conference.. Thank you very much
Lecture from Dr. Joel Fuhrman -
He is called the “doctor of doctors” in the USA, and his long-term
best-selling books are very popular here in Korea. He has influenced
many nutritional studies, as well as the vegetarian movement in Korea.
to the beautiful Jeju Island and the honorable governor and officials,
the honorable guest Supreme Master Ching Hai, the representative NGOs,
parents, teachers, students, and other participants.I’m so happy to be
here. I’d like to talk to you today about what an impact nutritional
excellence can make for you and people around the world. We can win the
war against disease, we can have healthier nations and a healthier
Right now we are spreading American fast food
companies, and processed foods are spreading all over the world and
people are becoming more overweight, more obese, having more heart
attacks, more diabetes, more strokes, and even more cancer. The good
news is that nutritional science has advanced to the point where we can
have people not have heart attacks; we can win the war against cancer;
we can stop people from having strokes; and as they become more
elderly, they don’t have to become demented in their later years; and
in healthy populations with low medical costs, with a dramatically more
successful and happier population without the fear of these diseases.
what we’ve learned, the secrets that we’ve learnt to protect ourselves
have to do with nutrients. And there are two types of nutrients. There
are macro nutrients, and macronutrients contain calories and those are
called fat, carbohydrate and protein. And if you eat too many
macronutrients -too much fat, too much carbohydrate, and too much
protein -we can become overweight and we can promote Aging and promote
heart attacks and strokes. Now, food also contains micronutrients and
micronutrients do not contain calories. They are things like vitamins
and minerals and phytochemicals.
About 80 years ago, in
1930, scientists first discovered 14 vitamins and about 20 different
minerals. And everybody said, “Wow, this is great, we could help people
live longer and help people be much healthier.” And what happened
between 1935 and 2005 is that heart attack rates went up all over the
world, stroke rates went up and cancer rates went up every single year
for 70 years straight. We didn’t realize until about 15 years ago that
the third type of micronutrients called phytochemicals were missing.
Because the third type of micronutrients called phytochemicals are not
found in processed foods and they are not found in animal products, but
they are found in fruits and vegetables.
So, when we thought
that we could take processed foods and add a few vitamins and minerals
to it or take a vitamin supplement and think we're getting enough, we
were mistaken. Because now we know that every tomato has a thousand
different nutrients in it! Every head of cabbage, every piece of
lettuce, every cucumber, every bean or berry or sprout has hundreds,
even thousands nutrients that are so important to protect our precious
health. So, if we sum up what we’ve learned in the last 15 years in the
field of nutritional science, we’ve realized that we have to eat a diet
that’s very high in nutrients, very high in micronutrients including
not just the ones we discovered 70 years ago but all the new nutrients
that we’re discovering -all the new findings, that full symphony of
nutrients we’re finding that exists in natural fruits and vegetables,
beans, nuts and seeds.
So the first thing I’m saying here, I’m
making the point that as a nation, countries all over the world have
made tremendous mistakes as far as protecting the health of their
population. The mistake we made is we thought that we could eat
anything - we could eat white flour, we could eat bread, we could eat
pasta, we could eat sugar, we could drink soda all day! It doesn’t have
to be high in micronutrients and then we can just take a vitamin pill
and be okay.
What we found out: it doesn’t work! We actually
have to eat real food. Now, here is where I feel that the people of
Jeju and the people of South Korea have a unique opportunity in human
history. You have a blessing available to you with a climate to grow
healthy foods and farmers that grow fresh fruits and vegetables, and a
homeland that has availability of peppers and tomatoes and cabbage and
lettuce and sesame seeds -you have the availability to eat super foods.
And these super foods could protect us against chronic degenerative
and dangerous diseases, preventing medical tragedies. So you have to
really eat these foods, so let’s talk about this for a minute.
we are saying here is that we have to eat a diet high in nutrients and
low in calories, so the first thing I’m saying to you is that animal
products - like chicken and meat, and fish and eggs - should not be the
major portion of a diet. A healthy diet has to be plant-based. Most of
what we eat has to get these phytochemicals from natural plant foods.
So, pasta, white bread, and white rice do not have in them, the
phytochemicals and antioxidants. In those foods there is no significant
amount of vitamin E and vitamin K, and folate and bioflavonoids, and
lignans and plant sterols, and all these phytochemicals, and all the
carotenoids that protect against disease. In other words, what I’m
saying is that processed foods, drinking soda, having sugar, having
white rice, and pasta and white bread are not high nutrient foods.
Those are not going to be the foods to protect your precious health
because they are not rich in micronutrients.
animal products like chicken and meat also do not have the same
nutrients. They are also missing the vitamin E, vitamin K, the folate,
the bioflavonoids, the lignans, the phytochemicals, the carotenoids -
the same nutrients that processed foods are missing.
we’re seeing populations get most of their calories from processed
foods and animal products, and they are not eating fruits and
vegetables. Then what are they missing? Of course, they are missing
those antioxidants and the phytochemicals that are present in plant
foods. And instead of going to doctors and getting pills to take to
lower your blood pressure, and instead of taking medication to take
away chest pains and then having surgeries on people’s hearts or
procedures to make the blood to flow better, those do not make people
The most powerful intervention, the most powerful
medicine is what you can do in your own home, in your own kitchens, in
your own gardens, and what you can do with your own life to protect
your precious health. It’s not what doctors can do for you with
medications and surgeries. What I’m saying today is that we all are in
this together, if we all eat a diet which we call a plant-based high
nutrient diet. We look to eat more of the foods that are highest in
nutrients. And the foods that are highest in nutrients, including these
micronutrients I’m talking about, are green vegetables. Green
vegetables win the awards because they have more nutrients per calorie
than any other food. In other words, an animal product, like a piece of
chicken or a piece of meat, is not high in nutrients per calorie. It
gives you lots of calories but not lots of micro nutrients. Now, take a
piece of broccoli or some cabbage or kale, that’s also is high in
protein, because don’t forget green vegetables are high in protein.
That’s how come gorillas, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, elephants, giraffes
get so big - because they eat green vegetables, eat a lot of protein.
green vegetables are high in protein. But here you have the protein
packaged with lots of micronutrients - with the phytochemicals, with
the antioxidants, with the things that make the body age slower. And we
keep our youthfulness, our vigor and our good health until later years.
And if we look at the healthiest people around the world and the
pockets of civilization where people live the longest, it’s always the
people that eat the most vegetables live the longest.Let’s touch on
certain types of foods we want to include in our diet for optimal
Number one is beans. Beans, like, kidney beans, navy
beans, lentils, split peas. Beans have something in them called
resistant starch and resistant starch doesn’t raise the glucose level.
It’s broken down by bacteria in the colon and the bacteria in the colon
change the resistant starch into short chain fatty acids and those
fatty acids protect us against colon cancer. Beans promote weight loss,
they give us energy, they are high in protein, and they protect us
And they are linked in the scientific studies to the enhancement of longevity in elderly people. Number two: green vegetables. To be on a healthy diet we have to eat some raw vegetables and some
cooked vegetables. We have to eat green vegetables: lettuce, salad,
cucumbers, cabbage, the broccoli family. All those green vegetables
have specific compounds that have been shown to protect against breast
cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and, of course, heart attacks and
They are longevity producing foods. If we mix the greens and the beans now with nuts and seeds, right,
almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, they have almost
magical super-foods, protective compounds that prevent against cardiac
arrhythmias - irregular heart beats. They lower your cholesterol, they
make people live longer, they prevent sudden cardiac death, they
stabilize the brain. and the healthy fats in seeds and nuts increase
the absorption of nutrients from the vegetables and the beans. They
also make the protein very complete. So it’s not about just eating less
fat. It’s about eating more of the whole food, healthy fats from nuts
Now, nuts and seeds contain a special compound
called plant sterols. And these sterols have been shown to lower
cholesterol levels and protect against heart attacks; but they also
have a dramatic effect to protect against cancer as well. What I do is
we take some sesame seeds and maybe we’ll mix it with an orange and
make a dressing or a dip to put on the salad, right? Or we’ll throw
some seeds and nuts with some tomato sauce and we’ll make some kind of
dressing or a sauce. In other words, using nuts and seeds as part of
your dressings and dips is a very important part of excellent nutrition.
fresh fruit - like oranges and berries and kiwis - also contains
various compounds, phenols and anthocyanins, special compounds that
protect against various cancers and are important for good health. And
lastly, of course, whole grains, like sorghum, wild rice, brown rice.
Whole grain rices, whole oats, whole barley - Think “whole grains,” not
processed white flour, not white rice and white flour, but using more
whole grains. So we know now that the more vegetables and fruits and
beans and nuts and seeds eaten, the longer people live and the lower
the risk of heart attacks and strokes and cancers.
addition to preventing these chronic diseases later on in life, it also
can help people have better function in school - more attention, more
alertness - more protection against diseases like influenza, like the
flu. When we have the right kind of nutrients in our body, we’re not
going to get sick as often. We have to appeal to our governors and our
government, our educators, and our teachers, and our farmers.
have to all work together as a team to bring healthy food into the
schools, to bring healthy plant foods into our homes. We’re not talking
about adding a little bit of fruits and vegetables to your present
diet. We’re talking about making fruits and vegetables the major
portion of your diet and then we’ll have a healthy nation and then
we’ll have a healthy population to live a long life, free of medical
To conclude, on the beautiful Jeju Islands and many
other fertile areas of South Korea, we have a unique opportunity in
human history. This is a blessing. We have science and information that
can enable us to live better, and to live healthier and to live longer
than ever before in human history. Let’s take advantage of the natural
bounty of the land and have one of the healthiest places in the whole