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.
Additionally, 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.
They 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.
We 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.
Thus, on 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.
The 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.
Also sharing 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.
Many 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 Jeju Sori.
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.
We now 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)
Greetings, 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.
Now, 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.
So, 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.
Of course, 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.
We 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.
It’s 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
Ladies 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.
For 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 discuss today.
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.
Recently, we 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.
Additionally 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.
The 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.
There 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 stabilize.
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.
There 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 habitats.
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 attention.Lecture from Dr. Michael Greger, the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States
According 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.
This 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.
This 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.
Now, 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 flu.
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 farms!”
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.
Due to 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.
Hallo, 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.
The 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.
Yes, 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.
I 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.
The 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.
Researchers have 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 weight.
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 ever been.
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 muchLecture 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.
Greetings 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 South Korea.
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.
And 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.
Because 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.
And likewise, 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.
Worldwide 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 live longer.
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.
And 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 health.
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 against cancer.
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 strokes.
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 and seeds.
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.
Last, 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.
Now, in 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.
We 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 tragedies.
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 world.