From Baskin-Robbins to the Food Revolution

– Some moments have the
power to inspire a movement. For The Food Revolution,
I believe that right now we’re at one of those pivotal moments. I’m Ocean Robbins, author
of the best seller, 31 Day Revolution and cohost
of The Food Revolution Summit. I wanna congratulate
you again on your choice to join us and to be a part
of an exciting movement. I’m gonna get a little personal now and share my family’s food story. It’s a story of ice cream,
31 flavors of ice cream. And it’s also a story of
health and transformation. And I’m gonna let you know
more about what to expect from The Food Revolution Summit. In 1953, my grandpa Irv, co-founded the 31 flavors ice cream
company, Baskin Robbins. My dad John grew up with
an ice cream cone shaped swimming pool. He was groomed from early childhood to one day run the family company. But when he was in his early 20s, he was offered that chance and he said no. He walked away from a path that was practically paved
with gold and ice cream, to as we jokingly say in our family, follow his own rocky road. He moved with my mom to a little island off the coast of Canda where they built a one room log cabin, grew most of their own food, practiced yoga and meditation
for several hours a day, and named their kid Ocean, that’s me. They say they almost named me Kale, before kale was cool. On behalf of my future social life, I gotta tell ya I’m really glad they took the more conservative route on this one. But we did eat a lot of kale
and cabbage and broccoli and onions and other food from the garden. And in time we moved to California and my dad began to
investigate the food industry in which he’d grown up. He went on to become
a best selling author, inspiring millions of people
to look at their food choices as a chance to make a
difference in the world. His 1987 best seller, A
Diet for a New America has been credited with helping to start the modern health food movement. My dad’s message became a
national media sensation as major outlets called him the rebel without a cone. In the five years that followed, consumption of industrialized
beef in the United States dropped by more than 18%. Now my grandpa had been unhappy when my dad walked away
from the family company. In fact, he and my dad went
years without speaking. But then something remarkable happened. In 1989 Grandpa Irv,
then in his early 70s, was suffering from
diabetes, heart disease, and weight problems. His doctors told him he
didn’t have long to live unless he changed his diet. And then his cardiologist
handed him a copy of my dad’s book. Now keep in mind, my dad
had given Grandpa Irv a signed copy of his
book when it came out. But that one had just sat on the shelf. Now however, faced with his own mortality and with the recommendation of his doctor, Grandpa Irv read it and he
took the message to heart. He started eating fewer
processed foods and less meat. He started eating a lot more vegetables and fruits and whole foods. He stopped eating sugar. Amazingly, he even gave up ice cream. Before long Grandpa
Irv had lost 30 pounds, he had weaned off his diabetes and blood pressure medications cause he didn’t need them anymore. He was enjoying more energy
than he’d had in decades. He took morning walks with his dog and soon he was covering
several miles each day. He ended up living 19 more healthy years. So we’ve seen in our family that when we follow the
standard American diet we get the standard American diseases. And we’ve also seen what can happen when we decide to make a change. When people eat less meat,
sugar and processed foods, when they enjoy more whole plant foods they become a lot less
likely to suffer or die from chronic disease. And they become a lot more
likely to love their lives. If my grandpa, who known
as one stubborn cookie, and who manufactured
and sold more ice cream than any human being who’s
ever lived on this planet, could make radical dietary changes, if he could even give up ice cream, then I think there’s hope for all of us. I was inspired by my
grandpa’s and my dad’s legacy of leadership and when I was 16 years old, I founded a nonprofit
organization called Yes. We mobilized and empowered young leaders who were working for peace, human rights, sustainability, democracy
and freedom around the globe. I worked with leaders in 65 countries and as I traveled the world
I saw that everybody eats. And I saw that what we eat
is a having a huge impact. I saw that all over the world, the American way of growing
food, with agrochemicals, GMOs and factory farms was spreading. I saw that our way of processing food with KFC and McDonald’s and Baskin Robbins was also spreading and that in the process waste lines were expanding
and hospitals were filling up. I saw that people were
getting sick with diseases that had been unheard of just
a generation or two before. So after 20 years of
directing the nonprofit I decided it was time
join forces with my dad and to focus on food directly. We started Food Revolution network to stand up for healthy, ethical and sustainable food for all. As CEO, I’ve guided our organization to inspire and empower millions
of people around the globe. So why are we calling
for a food revolution? Well we’ve now got thousands
of credible studies, published in peer
reviewed medical journals, telling us that certain food choices can prevent, maybe even help to reverse most major, chronic illnesses. I’m talkin’ about heart
disease, type II diabetes, cancer, ever Alzheimer’s. These same food choices could
save a billions of animals from torture in factory farms. And could also help to
restore our top soil, our climate and our water
for future generations. Now that we know, it’s time for action. The knowledge in this summit will bring together
the world’s top experts in food and health. You’re gonna get leading
edge nutritional insights and knowledge that cannot only help you but also help you support the people that you love and care about. The summit runs from April 27 to May 5. On each day of the summit, you’re gonna hear my dad conducting three thought provoking interviews. We’ll broadcast these
interviews at 11, 12 and 1 Eastern Time, that’s
8, 9 and 10 am Pacific. And I’m gonna be there with
you after ever interview to share my takeaways,
to answer your questions, and to help you to put what
you learned into action. If you can’t join in live you can catch any of the
interviews on 21 hour replay. I’ve gotta tell ya, I am just thrilled that you’re taking an
interest in healthy food. Every time you choose to
make conscious food choices you’re basically casting a vote. It’s a vote for the health you want and for the world you want. So let’s make it a vote that counts. I’m looking forward to working beside you in this food revolution and
to seeing you in the summit.

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