2014-2015 Seminar Series

Seminar Series

The Political Economy of Nutrition

Nutrition Suffers an Identity Crisis

Nutrition, among professionals, suffers an identity crisis. Within the Academy, its professional reputation ranks very low and in the medical practitioner community, nutrition education is almost non-existent. The public, with an intense in nutrition, therefore is faced with massive confusion surrounding this topic. (Defined, nutrition is the biological expression of food upon consumption, digestion and absorption.)

In spite of this confusion, we now have compelling scientific evidence that properly understanding and applying nutrition can both prevent and treat (i.e., cure) many serious diseases and ailments. Heart disease, even when advanced, can be cured by food alone. The same nutrition strategy—a whole food, plant-based (WPB) diet, practiced as a lifestyle—avoids or treats many diseases and ailments and does so remarkably quickly. A composite of the most efficacious pills and procedures of contemporary medicine cannot compete with the right kind of food as a means of restoring health.This impressive evidence on nutrition, long suppressed by various cultural, economic and political forces, would greatly benefit from a healthy dose of scholarly discussion within the community of socio-political economists. Were this information made available to and properly used by the public, a case can easily be made that at least two-thirds of health care costs could be spared, environmental catastrophes could be substantially averted, and violence to humans and other sentient beings would be greatly reduced.

Speaker Bio

T. Colin Campbell was trained at Cornell (M.S., Ph.D.) and MIT (Research Associate) in nutrition, biochemistry and toxicology, then spent 10 years on the faculty of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition before being recruited at age 40 to the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell in 1975 where he presently holds his Endowed Chair (now Emeritus). His principal scientific interests, begun in the late 1950’s, has been on the effects of nutritional status on long term health, particularly on the causation of cancer. His relatively large research program included both laboratory experimentation and nationwide human studies (China, Philippines) and was funded entirely by taxpayer funding (mostly NIH). Dr. Campbell has served on several expert committees on food and health policy development and has lectured extensively within and beyond the U.S., especially following his authorship of the best selling books The China Study (2005) (co-authored with Tom Campbell, MD) and Whole (2013). He is the recipient of many national and international awards, both in research and in citizenship.

citation engraving
“[T]he challenge is to specify and explicate the social mechanisms determining the relationship between the informal social organization of close-knit groups and the formal rules of institutional structures.”— Victor Nee