Below is the edited transcript of the video above:

Ocean Robbins: I’m so excited for this dialog with Dr. Terry Mason. We’re going to be meals and well being and also you. We’re going to be trying on the inequities of well being alternative and entry in our world right now, and, extra importantly, what we are able to do about it, so we are able to have wholesome, moral, and sustainable meals for all.

Dr. Terry Mason is a retired urologist and public well being official who champions holistic approaches to well being administration. He serves because the CEO of Trevention Incorporated. That’s Trevention — as in therapy and prevention. Trevention seeks to mix therapy and prevention and to cut back the burden of persistent illness via training and empowerment.

Dr. Mason has been liable for main public well being applications and providers for one of many nation’s largest metropolitan well being departments. He shares his holistic strategy to well being as an internationally acknowledged well being educator and an inspirational speaker, and likewise on his well-liked radio present, which is on WVON 1690AM. It’s referred to as “The Doctor in the House.” He’s been doing it for greater than 21 years. And Terry is a champion of serving to convey well being training, and dietary consciousness, and alternative, and entry into all the communities that want it probably the most.

Terry, thanks a lot for being right here with us right now.

Dr. Terry Mason: You are so welcome, and I’m grateful to be right here.

From a Steak a Day & a Blocked Artery …

man of color with hands crossed holding chest near heart

Ocean Robbins: So, you practiced urology for greater than a quarter-century in Chicago. And for many of that point, I collect, you had been somebody who actually ate a steak a day. Is this true?

Dr. Terry Mason: That is right.

Ocean Robbins: But one thing occurred, via your personal observe of urology, that shifted your consuming habits. Can you inform us about how that unfolded?

Dr. Terry Mason: Well, as you correctly famous… I ate a steak a day. I liked Porterhouse and T-bone. And I had my butcher lower them and individually wrap them, so I had one for daily. And, clearly, the stresses of residency, and I used to be hypertensive already… What occurred was I used to be on a treadmill making an attempt to work out and ended up with chest ache. I referred to as my heart specialist from the treadmill and met him on the hospital. Next factor I knew, I used to be on the cardiac cath tape, and he had found a major blockage in a significant artery.

And whereas he had the catheter in my artery, in my coronary heart, and he was going to do a balloon angioplasty, I used to be making an attempt to barter with him to let me come off of the desk. I needed to exit to Sausalito, California, the place Dean Ornish had his program. I had been out to see Dean earlier than. And I mentioned, “Look, I’d really like to do this instead of that.” He says, “No, I got you on the table. I can’t let you get off this table and get on a plane, not knowing what might happen.” So that ended that dialog. I ended up with a stent.

… to Zero Animal Products & Low Cholesterol Levels

Dr. Terry Mason: So then he mentioned, “But you’re going to have to take this drug for the rest of your life, this statin.” And I mentioned, “No, I’m not going to take it.” And he mentioned, “Why?” I mentioned, “Because I know what that does to your muscle tissue. I’m not going to take that medication.” And I mentioned, “But here’s what I will do. I will promise you that I won’t put anything in my mouth that contains any cholesterol or bad saturated fat. And I will come to your office every month for you to verify my results with a lab test.” And that’s what occurred.

Ocean Robbins: What occurred then? What occurred to the lab take a look at? What occurred to your coronary heart?

If we eat the correct meals, we might by no means want drugs. So the meals is known as a self-correcting agent. That is the one factor that we’ve that truly works on the reason for our drawback and never simply manages a complication.

Dr. Terry Mason

Dr. Terry Mason: Well, I get checkups sometimes. Everything is ok. I’m nonetheless checking my cholesterols as a result of I promised him I’d. And they’re at all times very, very low. And I haven’t had any animal or dairy merchandise since that point. And that’s been over, perhaps, 15 years in the past or extra.

Ocean Robbins: So you’ve had a really direct, private expertise with the facility of meals.

Dr. Terry Mason: If we eat the correct meals, we might by no means want drugs. So the meals is known as a self-correcting agent. That is the one factor that we’ve that truly works on the reason for our drawback and never simply manages a complication.

Health Disparities in America

elderly patient being comforted with hands from medical professional

Ocean Robbins: The CDC lately got here out with a report telling us that within the first half of 2020, life expectancy within the US dropped by a yr, total. But among the many Black inhabitants, it really dropped fairly a bit greater than that. By 2.7 years, in actual fact. In one yr, it fell all the way down to 72 years, as in comparison with 77.eight years for the inhabitants total. So there’s a life expectancy hole of just about six years, alongside race traces, proper there. And everybody, in fact, is struggling. But Black individuals, much more.

We know that Black Americans are hospitalized with COVID-19 at about 2.9 instances the speed of white Americans and die at about 1.9 instances the speed. The CDC is saying that the first cause for the drop in life expectancy is COVID-19 associated. But it’s not impacting everyone equally. So, out of your perspective, what are the core causes of this inequality?

Dr. Terry Mason: Sure, the well being outcomes have at all times been disparate. The financial outcomes have been disparate. The alternatives for skilled placement are disparate. I did a number of work within the areas of disparities. And I had a slide at the start of my presentation that requested the query, “Why do racial disparities exist?” And then, in good large, daring letters, “Because they’re supposed to.”

And individuals would ask, “Well, why do you say that?” I mentioned, nicely, you don’t do must do greater than a cursory evaluation of the historical past of America to grasp that we had been completely different, and we had been disparate, from the start of our affiliation with the people who find themselves the arbiters of slavery and all the things else. So why would you count on that it’d be a distinction?

I did some conversations round what we had been fed as we had been those who needed to work these fields. And many people developed issues like beriberi and scurvy and issues of that nature as a result of we had been simply given cornmeal and bacon.

Ocean Robbins: Yeah.

Dr. Terry Mason: And while you noticed the lynchings and all the opposite issues, not simply of African-Americans, however what occurred to the indigenous individuals right here who had been really taken off their land by pressure and massacred. So these disparities exist due to the historical past of this nation. And the way in which individuals have been handled, not simply within the final 10 or 15 years, however over 400 years.

Ocean Robbins: Yeah. So it’s not by chance. It’s functionally by design that we’ve these, the large disparity and alternative and useful resource and entry and in well being final result, that so typically performs out alongside traces of race.

Uplifting Health, Opportunity, & Knowledge

mother daughter preparing a healthy meal in the kitchen

Ocean Robbins: At the identical time, there are a few of us who want to change that with no matter assets we’ve, no matter alternatives we’ve. And you’ve clearly devoted a number of your life to making an attempt to uplift well being and alternative and information in communities which have been probably the most struggling probably the most.

Dr. King mentioned, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” For these of us who wish to assist it bend somewhat sooner… For these of our members, no matter their pores and skin coloration and no matter their class background, who wish to be part of the answer… When you have a look at the well being disparity in America right now, what do you assume we might advocate for at a coverage stage, or put money into as people, which may make a little bit of a distinction?

Changing Food Subsidies

Dr. Terry Mason: Well, that’s an important query. And it’s a multi-layered query, as you may clearly think about. One of the issues that I’d say is that as Americans, we must be lobbying our authorities to not be complicit within the main causes of loss of life, by permitting the meals producers and different individuals to proceed to promulgate utilizing all method of know-how and the alternatives that promoting offers them, and the subsidies that we offer for sure foodstuffs that we all know are usually not useful. We have to be advocating for these to be modified.

We have to be advocating for it to not be dearer to purchase natural meals, for instance. We have to be subsidizing the meals that’s higher for us, as an alternative of constructing the meals that’s worse for us cheaper. Because in poorer communities, these are the foodstuffs that individuals are going to be consuming.

Dr. Terry Mason: We have to be sure that we enable the science that we all know to talk, to not be censored, in the case of easy issues, just like the International Agency for Research on Cancer. We know that these explicit issues like scorching canines, as they talked about, or 4 items of bacon, as they talked about, are group one carcinogens that improve the chance of colorectal most cancers for everyone, not only for Black individuals, however for everyone by 18%.

Getting Antibiotics & Hormones Out of Our Food

Dr. Terry Mason: So there are a selection of issues that we have to know, and we have to do, and we might do these issues. We must cease the subsidy that drives the costs of the meals so low, however the merchandise are so dangerous. And we’ve obtained so many antibiotics and so many hormones and various things in our meat provide. And we’re feeding, most likely, higher grains to our livestock than we’re getting within the artificially created cereals that we eat a lot.

Addressing Food Deserts

Dr. Terry Mason: There’s an important paper that got here out in about 2010, finished by Mari Gallagher. She coined the time period meals deserts in that paper. She regarded on the relative distances for good meals, shops that bought good meals, relative to the place individuals lived. And she did a really good computation that confirmed that the additional these issues had been, the extra possible individuals had been to undergo from dangerous well being outcomes. And what she coined was the time period that lots of people started to make use of referred to as meals deserts.

Food is Generational

Dr. Terry Mason: So what we did on the American Public Health Association, we took it one step additional. And it wasn’t simply that these meals weren’t out there, nevertheless it regarded as if after a sure time frame, maybe one technology, individuals weren’t acquainted with consuming the meals I grew up consuming. I’m one in every of 10 children. And my mother, we didn’t have a lot. But she at all times had an important large pot of beans on the range. We had numerous beans. We ate numerous rice, and we solely had meat very not often, perhaps on the weekend.

Ocean Robbins: Yeah.

Dr. Terry Mason: When individuals have been bereft of the actual good meals they need to eat for lengthy sufficient, and it appears prefer it’s a few technology, they lose their style for the higher meals. And even when the shops are typically there, nobody will know prepare dinner it. No one will know put together it. And so that is what’s taking place, not simply in Black America, however in America generally.

A Biodiversity of Solutions

mother son and daughter prepping a spaghetti meal

Ocean Robbins: Yes. So there are such a lot of ranges at which we are able to sort out this drawback. And I typically assume that we want a biodiversity of options since you by no means know fairly what’s going to work. And the reality is it takes all of it. So I’m listening to you saying that we have to tackle the subsidies. Which, you recognize, tens of billions of a yr, for individuals who don’t know, in federal taxpayer cash are going to subsidize commodities crops, which is bringing down the value of factory-farmed meat, excessive fructose corn syrup, white bread, and all types of junk meals. And little or no of that cash is reaching fruits, greens, nuts, and seeds — the very meals we should always all be consuming extra of, based on tens of hundreds of research revealed in peer-reviewed medical journals.

I’m additionally listening to you say, we have to tackle the meals desert challenge. And a part of how we are able to do that’s via training and thru sharing culinary knowledge that’s culturally applicable, I’d add, in all the communities that exist.

So for everyone who thinks that while you’re simply cooking one thing good within the kitchen that’s wholesome, that’s only a egocentric factor, I say: No, you’re really preserving a cultural custom. And hopefully, you’ll share it with different individuals. Because one of the best doorway, they are saying, to a person’s thoughts is his abdomen, proper? [LAUGHS]

Dr. Terry Mason: Yes.

Wholesome Wave’s Double Up Bucks Program

Ocean Robbins: So if you wish to affect individuals, typically feeding them good meals could be highly effective work. Another factor I believe we are able to do if we wish to tackle the meals desert challenge, in addition to training, is financial empowerment via, in fact, assets in communities that want it. We’ve obtained to cease the redlining and a number of the opposite historic practices which have unfairly discriminated towards sure communities and other people. But we are able to additionally double the worth of the SNAP program for fruit and veggies.

There’s an experiment being finished round this led by a corporation referred to as Wholesome Wave. And what they’re doing is named the Double Up Bucks Program. There are 500,000 Americans proper now that get double worth for fruit and veggies in nearly each state. They’re testing it out. And what they’re discovering is that when that occurs, individuals purchase extra fruit and veggies, demand for fruit and veggies will increase of their group; they eat extra fruit and veggies, and so they’re more healthy due to it. So to me, if we’re going to subsidize something, we needs to be subsidizing wholesome meals within the communities that want it probably the most, moderately than subsidizing the junk meals trade.

Dr. Terry Mason: Yes, that was my whole level. And we had been a part of the Double Bucks Program once I was on the county. We really had RX luggage, prescription luggage. And one in every of our main care medical doctors, Dr. Jifunza Carter, helped to plot luggage that had sure types of greens that had been higher for individuals who might have some kidney failure, those who had hypertension, elevated ldl cholesterol, various things. And then, she went over these so that folks walked out with a prescription that was meals. And additionally, with a strategy to prepare dinner it, that might not reverse the great issues that the meals would do, however would be capable of accommodate the cultural tastes that folks had in a approach that might not make them sick.

So, you’re proper. And then, the hospital itself poured more cash into the Double Bucks Program to increase it in order that extra individuals might get the double bucks.

Stopping the Programming

Dr. Terry Mason: But you’re completely proper. These are the issues that might be finished. We could make good meals low cost and broadly out there in America, and that’s what we must do. But on the similar time, we’re going to need to cease the programming, and the programming that makes individuals go purchase these meals that aren’t good for us. And the truth that these days, if you happen to’ve obtained a 50-inch tv set in your bed room, and also you occur to get up within the morning, you possibly can see a 50-inch burger. And so, we’ve obtained to start out excited about that.

And lastly, we’ve obtained to guarantee that we do what we are able to to guarantee that the great meals additionally style good in order that we might start to reprogram the style buds of our youth in a optimistic approach.

Ocean Robbins: Yes. Good name.

COVID-19 & Comorbidities

COVID-19 drive thru signage for drive thru, pick up, and mobile ordering

Ocean Robbins: I wish to speak COVID-19 for a second.

Dr. Terry Mason: Sure.

Ocean Robbins: A CDC report analyzed greater than 1.7 million US circumstances and 103,000 deaths. They concluded that individuals with underlying medical situations like coronary heart illness and diabetes had been hospitalized six instances as typically and died 12 instances as typically as these with out these underlying situations.

Terry, do you assume that comorbidities and total well being standing have a significant affect on COVID-19 final result and that we needs to be placing extra consideration there as a society if we wish to cease COVID-19?

Dr. Terry Mason: Yes. Basically, what we have to do is to do the issues that assist our our bodies struggle this, and to make our our bodies much less of a sufferer to the ravages of the coronavirus. And that is the factor that’s tough, and what I’m making an attempt to get individuals to grasp is that it’s the meals. It’s the meals that’s inflammatory.

Inflammatory Foods

Dr. Terry Mason: And we wish to name it coronary heart illness and this and that. But what we’ve is system-wide vascular irritation brought on by these meals that we eat, these processed meals, these meals which can be fried, these meals which have the milks and the lotions and the butters. And these are the issues which can be inflicting this irritation. Not quite a bit at one time, however somewhat bit on a regular basis. And ultimately, simply as if you happen to scrape your knee as soon as, if you happen to give it time, it’ll heal. But if three hours later, or 4 hours later, you scrape it once more. And then, 4 hours after that, you scrape it once more — it by no means heals. And that’s what we do.

We’ve been programmed to assume we have to eat excess of we have to eat. We’ve made dangerous issues which can be very inflammatory, simple for us to have entry to. And we’ve misguided info as to what causes these illnesses.

So everyone thinks, or many individuals assume, that diabetes is brought on by an excessive amount of sugar, when in actual fact it isn’t the sugar in any respect. It’s the saturated fats that kills these beta cells within the pancreas.


Terry Mason: So we actually do want an training program that speaks the language that folks perceive. And I do know our industrial industries understand how to do that.

The different factor is that we’ve obtained to have individuals cease believing they should eat extra. We’re consuming nearly 75 kilos extra meat per individual now than we did in 1950. And but, the human being has not modified by way of who we’re and what we’re in that very same time frame, besides that we’ve grown wider, not essentially taller.

Ocean Robbins: Yes, we’ve grown wider. Obesity charges are actually approaching 40% in America. More than two-thirds of our inhabitants are obese. We have, I believe, the doubtful distinction of getting the fattest inhabitants on the planet, proper?

Dr. Terry Mason: Yes.

Ocean Robbins: And I believe we’ve handed Mexico once more on weight problems charge. And, in fact, that is all fueling illness.

Dr. Terry Mason: Absolutely.

Ocean Robbins: It’s not simply an aesthetic factor; that’s not even the core challenge. The core challenge is that that’s a marker for increased danger for heart problems and sort 2 diabetes, and so many different points.

Cardiovascular Disease & Erectile Dysfunction

Dr. Terry Mason: I wish to add one factor about that. Language is so essential. So once I speak to individuals, I say, “Look, guys, you probably have vascular illness anyplace, you might have it in all places.” So this complete notion that you simply simply obtained some blockages within the blood vessels of your coronary heart is flawed. If they’re in your coronary heart; they’re in your legs; they’re in your abdomen; they’re in all places. And if you happen to’ve obtained injury to those inside lining cells, these endothelial cells, anyplace within the physique, you might have them in all places. I realized that whereas I used to be in observe treating erectile dysfunction.

And there’s a journal article revealed in JAMA, I believe in 2009, that truly correlates the scientific onset of sure illnesses with erectile dysfunction. And they discovered that males who complained of erectile dysfunction went on to have coronary heart assaults and strokes. Why? Because it’s all the identical illness.

So what we’ve to do is we’ve to alter this language as a result of it confuses individuals. And we have to discuss how ubiquitous these illnesses are in all places. So while you get a blood clot, otherwise you get a blockage of blood move in your leg, that’s not completely different from the blood move to the guts, or that’s not completely different from the blood move to the mind. It’s the identical course of brought on by the identical factor.

We don’t want completely different options. We want the one actual resolution that we’ve, and that’s to reverse these items by consuming simply the other of the meals that trigger them.

The Impact of a Plant-Based Diet on African American Health

woman of color prepping veggies

Ocean Robbins: Yes. Well, hear, hear to that. You had been one of many authors of a examine carried out by researchers at Rush University. And the examine was vascular well being. And it tracked, I imagine, 44 African-Americans. Some of them got a plant-based weight loss plan for 5 weeks. Can you inform us what occurred within the examine? And what did we study from it?

Dr. Terry Mason: Well, Dr. Kim Williams was the professor and chair of cardiology at Rush University Hospital and the previous president of the American College of Cardiology, who’s at all times been very, very community-focused. And I mentioned, “You know, I’d really like to think about how we can begin to prove that Black people can improve.” We at all times hear about how dangerous we’re, however we by no means discuss how we enhance.

So we designed a small examine. Actually, due to funding, it was small. We’re really now within the strategy of making an attempt to get more cash to do a a lot greater examine. So we might solely take about 50 individuals. And our church had nicely over 5,000 those who attended. And simply earlier than I obtained the announcement out for the primary service, we had 200 individuals within the room wanting to enroll.

And what we did was we contracted with an organization so we might be certain everyone had an isocaloric weight loss plan.

Participants had been getting meals deliveries, and so they had been presupposed to solely eat what they obtained delivered to them. But we instructed them, if you happen to don’t, if you happen to cheat, simply write it down.

Ocean Robbins: Yeah.

Improvement in Health Markers

Dr. Terry Mason: And individuals had been very compliant. And we additionally did a bunch of biometric measurements. We measured significantly inflammatory markers, like trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), which does a number of injury and has now been implicated in most cancers and all the things else. We had a lab that we ship the blood for the pre- and post-TMAOs, in addition to the lipoproteins. And we assessed cardiac danger, and insulin ranges, and all the things else.

What was probably the most startling factor is that the TMAO dropped 41% in 5 weeks. In 5 weeks, simply on a dietary change.

Ocean Robbins: Wow.

Dr. Terry Mason: Forty-one p.c. There’s no drugs on the market that may do this. And the opposite markers dropped too. The low-density lipoproteins, the C-reactive proteins, all of these items.

And what we’d love to do is we’d prefer to get 200 individuals to do that as a result of we want extra energy within the bigger numbers. But it simply goes to indicate you. And individuals had been astonished. And my motivation was to indicate that… Because we by no means noticed info like this on the African-American inhabitants. We at all times see the dangerous stuff.

And right here is one thing that exhibits that, “Hey, good things can happen when we do this. And when we change what we eat, we can change our internal biochemistry, which then changes our life and gives us a new lease that we didn’t know existed before.”

And this isn’t simply our opinion. I at all times say, in God we belief; all others should have knowledge. So this was the info. And proper now, we’re within the strategy of making an attempt to recruit another of us to assist increase the cash we want for a bigger examine. It appears prefer it’s going to take us about 1.5 million to do the examine in the way in which that it actually must be finished.

Saving Trillions on Healthcare Costs

Dr. Terry Mason: And I simply spoke to one in every of our senators. I’m like, “Guys, you’ve got to shake some money loose from someplace because what we’re telling you is you don’t know how much we could save in pharmaceuticals, hospitalization, surgeries, and what have you, if we began to get this message out. Now, some of your donors may not like it because we’re going to be talking about the causes of this.” For the remainder of my life, I can’t be engaged in simply prescribing drugs. That’s why I stop standard medical observe.

Ocean Robbins: Yeah.

Dr. Terry Mason: I’ve to offer individuals what they should reverse the illness.

Ocean Robbins: How a lot do you assume we would be capable of save if we really made meals the muse of well being within the United States?

Dr. Terry Mason: I’d say, if we obtained actually critical about it, not unexpectedly, however I believe that we might comfortably say we’re spending about three trillion now. We ought to be capable of lower that in half.

And the truth that we’re spending three trillion is a superb cartoon. I don’t know if you happen to’ve ever seen it. It’s an image of a sink. And the sink is stopped up. And the water is working. And the water is working over the sink. And you bought a bunch of men in a room with mops making an attempt to mop up the water. But no person goes over to show the water off on the sink or to tug the stopper out.

And I’m saying that we’re spending three trillion on mainly mopping efforts. If we actually needed to get critical about this, we might spend lower than half of that if we simply pull the sink stopper out and switch the illness off. And how will we do this? We do this with altering, utilizing the facility of our promoting machine to start out getting individuals to eat the correct issues.

Ocean Robbins: Yeah. It’s fairly gorgeous, if you consider it, that we might save, based on that estimate, 1.5 trillion per yr. That means in about 18 years, we might repay your entire nationwide debt. We might create a form of utopia with simply these financial savings. Seventeen p.c of gross home product within the United States, perhaps extra, goes to medical care or illness symptom administration. And but, individuals say we are able to’t afford wholesome meals. Well, people can’t when the subsidies are stacked towards them and when the entire financial system is stacked towards them.

Saving the Environment within the Process

Ocean Robbins: But if we had been critical about valuing well being and human welfare, we might make so many good issues occur.

Dr. Terry Mason: Not solely that, however have you learnt what we do to the setting? Because now we wouldn’t be killing all these animals; we wouldn’t must develop all these animals; we might be capable of cease the methane that’s coming from these animals which can be contributing the greenhouse gases. You know, extra greenhouse gases come from that than from all the transportation, automobiles, planes, boats, vehicles, mixed.

Ocean Robbins: Yeah.

Dr. Terry Mason: So we might actually clear our air in a technology.

Ocean Robbins: Yes. More than 80% of the Earth’s land, of agricultural land service, is getting used for animal agriculture. For 17% of our energy. So yeah, large financial savings potential there.

Lactose Intolerance

pregnant Black woman holding glass of milk with stop hand gesture

Ocean Robbins: I wish to flip to a different form of extra particular subject, which is lactose intolerance. It impacts 65% of humanity, the overwhelming majority of whom are individuals of coloration. And but, milk is marketed as nature’s most excellent meals. Of course, it’s for a child calf, however not essentially for people. Do you assume that our milk and dairy obsession is, in any approach, functionally, an expression of racism?

Dr. Terry Mason: Well, you recognize, that’s an important query. And the actual fact is that there are some individuals that aren’t Black which can be additionally lactose illiberal, however far fewer.

I occur to be a lactose illiberal individual. And I didn’t even know what it was, and my mother and father didn’t know what it was. I simply know that every time I attempted to eat sure issues, I’d find yourself within the toilet. So I believe that the truth that we’re not being aggressive to do one thing about it’s racist.

And I’ve to commend guys like Neal Barnard. We went to the AMA a yr or two in the past, the place they had been making an attempt to say that lactose intolerance was a illness. And we mentioned no, it’s not a illness. There’s nothing flawed with people who find themselves lactose illiberal aside from they rightfully shouldn’t have the enzyme to interrupt down milk that doesn’t come from their human mom.

Breastfeeding & Milk Consumption Past Infancy

Dr. Terry Mason: We speak quite a bit about how cow milk is absolutely the excellent milk for child cows. Because we had an enormous breastfeeding marketing campaign within the Department of Public Health that we championed. And we had marches, and we had parades to have fun girls who select to breastfeed and to offer them the help that they want to do this and to create areas in all the companies. We name the rooms the Milky Way rooms so a girl might go and breastfeed her little one, or pump her breasts, to get the milk that her little one wants. And we have to make nationwide observe and to make it much more comfy for girls to breastfeed.

Ocean Robbins: Yes. Humans are the one species on Earth that drinks milk previous infancy, although. And we’re additionally the one species on earth that drinks the milk of one other species. So though consumption of milk from different bovine lactating mammals has been normalized in our society, it’s, from an evolutionary perspective, maybe somewhat bit odd.

Black Veganism & Vegetarianism

man of color wearing tshirt with word vegan

Ocean Robbins: There was a current ballot that discovered that three% of Americans recognized as vegans. Eight p.c of Black Americans, nonetheless, recognized as vegans. Another ballot discovered that 31% of individuals of coloration within the US say they’re consuming much less meat deliberately, in comparison with 19% of white respondents who mentioned they had been consuming much less meat deliberately. 

Can you shed any gentle on why you assume it’s that so many Black individuals and other people of coloration within the US are transferring away from animal merchandise at a dramatically increased charge than white of us are? Any sense of the cultural components of that, or what’s making that occur?

Dr. Terry Mason: I believe it’s quite a few issues. We’re seeing extra of a number of the celebrities who’re vegan. I imply, I used to be with one of many basketball gamers who’s a vegan and talks about it. We see extra of those iconic people who find themselves overtly vegetarian or vegan. We’re listening to extra about this than we used to listen to.

Look on the motion pictures which have come out. Everything from Forks Over Knives to Diet Fiction to The Game Changers — all of these items which have helped to alter the psyche. And Game Changers, particularly, as a result of males had been most likely probably the most confused round what being a plant-based individual will do or not do. But while you have a look at a man like Rich Roll, who’s an ultra-athlete, who does these superb athletic feats, or the strongest man on this planet who’s lifting untold kilos of weight, nearly a ton — you may’t argue with it anymore.

And I’m simply grateful to all these those who produced these movies for us as a result of some individuals get issues in numerous types of the way. And sure sorts of genres are higher than others. But I’m simply so glad to see this as a result of I’ve been capable of see this transformation in a really brief time frame.

Advocating for Accessible Health

Dr. Terry Mason: So, that is good, Ocean. This is nice. I simply thank God for what you guys do and to make this info so simply out there in language that folks can perceive is totally superb. And I thanks for it.

Ocean Robbins: Well, thanks a lot, Terry. And I thank God for the work that you simply do.

You know, in a way, you retired from medical observe since you didn’t wish to push medication and surgical procedure, and also you needed to advocate for well being. But your work as a healer was simply starting.

Mother Carr’s Farm

Woman of color prepping vegetables in the soil

Ocean Robbins: I perceive that you simply and others acquired farmland that you simply’re utilizing to develop meals for distribution in underserved neighborhoods in Chicago. I additionally perceive you’re using of us lately launched from jail who served time for non-violent offenses.

Can you inform us about this mission, what you’re aiming to attain, and the way it’s going?

Dr. Terry Mason: First of all, thanks for asking. It was an outgrowth of a mission led by a pastor by the title of Dr. Gerald January from a church referred to as The Church of God. And it’s a factor that started off as a small backyard of one in every of its parishioners — Mother Carr is what they referred to as her.

They’ve subsequently moved from their outdated church to a brand new website that’s 76 acres of land that the church acquired. They had been going to construct a a lot greater type of industrial park with issues like Starbucks and all that type of stuff, however for quite a few causes, that didn’t occur.

So, they determined to make use of somewhat bit extra of the land for what was referred to as Mother Carr’s Farm. And we went from simply perhaps an acre or so. And over the past yr, we doubled the house that we had as a result of it obtained as much as like 9, and now we’re nearly at 18 acres. Last yr, for the primary time, we really grew watermelons. We had about 300 watermelons that we grew, each purple and yellow meat watermelons, along with our kale, our Swiss chard, our radishes, our onions. We have our personal bees. We had nearly 20 gallons of natural clover honey.

Enriching the Lives of Underserved Communities

Dr. Terry Mason: We have an exquisite farm supervisor. His title is Mr. Anthony Williamson, who has finished all of this with out utilizing any pesticides, no chemical compounds of any kind due to the richness of this soil that this church purchased, which was an outdated farm. And the vitamins had been nonetheless there. And we’re within the course of now of placing manure and different issues to type of replenish a few of these vitamins.

Our plan is to construct this up. We wish to double it once more. And we’d prefer to ultimately, inside a yr, hopefully, stand up to half of the capability that we’ve.

The younger males that we introduced out are what we name returning residents. This has made such a distinction of their lives. And we’re really now making an attempt to determine how we would be capable of get some short-term trailers with some solar energy to offer them a spot to dwell whereas they’re there. And we additionally herald a number of the troubled teenagers from the faculties within the southern suburbs which have had some brushes with authority.

None of those of us had ever even seen a farm and even been concerned with choosing meals.

CSA Boxes

Dr. Terry Mason: We promote shares on this. So a full share is $450 for the rising season. That means that you can get a field that’s normally someplace, with out the watermelon, someplace round 12 to 18 kilos of contemporary greens. And these greens are picked on Friday. And they’re picked up on Saturday. So, they by no means see a fridge. Just take it out, and we put somewhat water on it, and just a bit ice, and other people come up the subsequent day and decide it up.

Ocean Robbins: And that’s a field each different week all through the rising season.

Dr. Terry Mason: And no matter we’ve. And that features honey and no matter else is there. It’s picked, and it’s picked up. Our plan is to attempt to increase cash to purchase extra farm tools to make it a bit extra environment friendly in addition to to create a spot the place we are able to do a point of post-processing. Because we now have demand from the eating places.

We took a number of the meals to some of the eating places, and it’s superb. They would decide some of these things on Friday. And on Friday night, these greens can be on the plates of individuals in these eating places. And they didn’t perceive why this tasted so completely different. And it tasted so completely different as a result of it had by no means been saved in a refrigerated place. One purchaser went from simply testing it out to purchasing over 350 kilos of kale from us each week.

Ocean Robbins: Wow.

Restoring Human Dignity & Health

Dr. Terry Mason: So, we’re actually, actually making an attempt to broaden each our industrial enterprise, however we additionally wish to attain out to our seniors. We’re making an attempt to create a supply service in order that they don’t need to drive. It’s a little bit of a drive to return out to the farm. We’re working with some individuals to create some drop-off factors.

And we’re additionally engaged on getting extra farm implements and on with the ability to convey and rent… Because we wish to pay these younger individuals a livable wage. We need them to not need to sleep out in a trailer. We need them to come up with the money for to have the ability to hire a small residence and to feed themselves. And in order that’s the opposite a part of what we’re making an attempt to do. And we began a GoFundMe web page.

Ocean Robbins: Well, it’s a labor of affection. And I’m excited about the ripples this sends out. When I take into consideration these 350 kilos of kale, once I take into consideration these CSAs, each single field that you simply’re delivering equals fewer coronary heart assaults, fewer individuals residing in distress, fewer children shedding their mother and father too younger.

Every field you’re delivering additionally represents extra individuals employed who in any other case might need been on the streets doing who is aware of what. It means extra human dignity restored. And it additionally means extra regeneration of our soils. Land which may’ve been fallow is now rising meals which, when nicely managed, can sequester carbon, can turn into part of the answer on Planet Earth. So it’s like in all places you look, you see these ripples of goodness and well being and wellness flowing from this one easy act.

Vernon Park Church of God

Ocean Robbins: So, if individuals wish to become involved, do they Google to seek out it?

Dr. Terry Mason: Just go to Vernon Park Church of God, and all the things is true there. They can see footage of the farm. We didn’t have cash this yr, however we needed to attempt to get somewhat film in order that we might put it up on the web site. We’re making an attempt to boost cash for our tractor in order that Tony and the fellows can do their work much more effectively than they’re doing it now.

Our aim over the subsequent yr or two is to boost sufficient cash to place in our personal little greenhouse, so we are able to do all our starter crops right here moderately than need to drive and cart all of them the way in which again from Champaign.

Ocean Robbins: Beautiful. So, for everyone watching — please pitch in if you happen to can.

Healthy Food for All

woman of color shopping in farmers market

Ocean Robbins: Terry, it’s been such a privilege speaking with you and sharing this time. I’m so grateful that your ready room primarily expanded to incorporate all of humanity and the entire planet.

Dr. Terry Mason: [LAUGHS]

Ocean Robbins: We’re all grateful for what you’re doing. Thank you a lot in your knowledge. Thank you in your management. Thank you in your braveness. And thanks for strolling the speak. Who knew that while you had been therapeutic your personal coronary heart and your personal cardiovascular system years in the past, you’d be having epiphanies that might change, essentially, all the things you do in your life.

Dr. Terry Mason: [LAUGHS] Yes.

Ocean Robbins: And now, you’ll be serving to so many different individuals.

Dr. Terry Mason: Well, I so wish to thanks, Ocean, for what you and your publications and your conferences, you recognize… It’s simply great, and I’m so grateful. You’re the rationale why we’ve extra individuals which can be consuming vegan. And the individuals that you simply convey on, and the applications that you simply produce, these are the explanation why we’ve extra people who find themselves selecting to like life extra abundantly by consuming the issues that we had been designed to eat. And I thanks for it.

Ocean Robbins: Why thanks.

We’ve been speaking with Dr. Terry Mason. And thanks a lot, everybody watching, in your time, in your consideration, and in your participation with us on this meals revolution.

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