We just returned from the Holistic Holiday at Sea and again had an awesome time! As usual the food was wholesome, the presenters were excellent and the ports were beautiful, AND the group has clearly grown over the last few years which we’re very happy to see. We ran into a lot of old and new friends, especially in the ship’s gym (because, where else would vegan fitness people be?!). We also enjoyed the evening parties, the first screening of PlantPure Nation, and the following anecdotes:
- In his lecture More Than An Apple a Day, Dr. Greger shared e-mails between the egg industry and the USDA (obtained via the Freedom of Information Act) in which the USDA advised the egg industry to avoid using misleading terms like ‘healthy’ or ‘nutritious’ in their advertisements promoting eggs to children. This from the USDA! Instead, they suggested safe terms devoid of actual meaning such as ‘satisfying’ and ‘recognizable’. Yes: the ‘recognizable’ was the best they could come up with.
- The portion of Dr. Greger’s lecture on erectile dysfunction (and the accompanying animation). Seriously, you have to see this guy speak, he’s hilarious!
- In a lecture by Dr. T Colin Campbell, he cited a colleague’s research in vitamin C and how he found that the biological activity of vitamin C in an apple amounts to 1500 mg, whereas the actual amount of vitamin C within an apple is only about 7 mg…How’s that for the synergistic power of phytochemicals in whole foods?! And an excellent demonstration of why whole foods are infinitely preferable to extracting the bits we think we need. Nature is apparently way ahead of us (no surprise there).
- Later in Dr Campbell’s lecture, he provided ample research (some dating back over a century) showing that rather than cholesterol or saturated fat being primary drives of heart disease and cancer, animal protein itself is by far the most powerful promoter of these diseases.
- In the premier screening of PlantPure Nation, we were given a demonstration of why we will never see top-down policy change from Washington, and actual steps that can be taken to promote change at the community level.
- In another lecture by Dr. Campbell, he discussed that not only is the livestock industry a larger producer of green house gasses than the entire transportation sector, but also that carbon dioxide (the primary gas released from transportation) has a half life in our atmosphere of roughly 75 years, whereas methane (the primary gas released from livestock) has a half life of about 7 years. This means that reducing animal product consumption will not only reduce more new emissions than restricting the use of fossil fuels, but the greenhouse gas reducing effects will be felt 10 times faster!
- During the Q&A panel with Dr’s Esselstyn, Campbell and Greger, the question ‘What about coconut oil?’ was asked, and Dr. Greger said “Alright guys, all together on three: 1….2….3…. (From all three): NO OIL!”
- Towards the end of the Q&A panel, after many questions had been asked about whether a plant-based diet was beneficial for this or that disease, Dr. Greger finally stated ‘A plant-based diet is good for people, so yes, it will be helpful for disease ‘X’! There is no sense adding additional disease due to poor diet when your body is already struggling with something else, and the leading cause of death in people with Lyme disease is still heart disease’.
These were just entertaining or insightful tidbits that we can remember offhand, but there was much more where that came from! It was also an honor to have my image used in lectures by Dr. Greger and The Vegan Woman. Many cruise-goers approached us to tell us how our book has helped them, or to ask me if I was a presenter…I would certainly love to be!
If you’d like to see more pictures from our journey aboard the MSC Divina, please check out our Facebook album!