“So, by the time Gregory came to speak on our campus in 1986, he had been a vegetarian for nearly 20 years. In his speech, he traced the path of a hamburger from a cow on a factory farm to the slaughterhouse to a hamburger to a clogged artery to a heart attack, and it completely rocked my world.”
This quote about comedian and human rights activist Dick Gregory (1932-2017), pictured above, caught my eye. As more and more Americans embrace veganism and plant-based eating, it is important to remember history.
February is Black History Month and an occasion to celebrate black farmers and others who have contributed to our collective health. One such person was George Washington Carver (1864-1943), scientist, botanist and inventor. Invited to head up the Tuskegee Institute’s Agricultural Department, Mr. Carver researched new uses for peanuts, soybeans, sweet potatoes, and pecans. He urged farmers to rotate crops (a practice my grandfather used on his 160 acre farm in Indiana) and to use organic fertilizers. He knew the value of soil that was cared for to grow food rich in nutritional value and his research benefited farmers. He also became a nutritional advisor to Matahma Gandhi.
People like Dick Gregory and George Washington Carver helped raise awareness about the connection between what we eat and our health. Nourishing our soil by not destroying it with chemicals is key to growing good foods. We need access to healthy foods. Celebrate Black History Month and those whose contributions add value to our health and the health of America's children.
With love and kindness,
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Founder and Wellness Architect