Last week, the world recognized the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion that marked the slow but triumphant end to World War II. Looking back, we see the colossal effort required to hoist a communal flag, and establish common ground. There were flaws in that new order, of course- humans are never perfect. But perfect is the enemy of good, and along with other enemies, the Greatest Generation overcame that one, too- paving the way for much good, from NATO, to the United Nations, to the European Union.
Common ground is hard ground, but it is fertile ground- and this is likely true in all domains. Certainly it is true of diet, where battles born of personal preference, ideology over epidemiology, and overheated dogma roil routinely. This is my world, and as in other battles, lives are at stake. Meaning not the least disrespect to the honored memory of military heroism and loss, diet—as the single leading cause of death in the modern world—imperils many, many more of us with injury and early death than even so great a war.
Many factors challenge efforts to establish the common ground of better diet. We may think of it as a Promised Land of sorts, known, and not all that far away, yet seemingly elusive just the same.
There is profit in dietary dissent, and pseudoconfusion, for many industries- from Big Food, to Big Pharma, to media, to publishing. There is cover in denial, the latitude needed to manufacture willfully addictive junk foods without evoking the collective outrage of loving parents and grandparents.
There are the insidious, perverse incentives for experts to throw one another under the bus. But lives are at stake. Diet truly is the leading cause of premature death in the modern world. Unsustainable dietary practices, and forays into misguided fads, are a threat to almost all that matters to the human community- our land, our air, our water, our climate; social order itself; the beauty of our common planet, and the treasure of biodiversity.
Perhaps diet requires its particular version of D-Day. Perhaps it is time for the righteous to charge the beach, and secure a place of common understanding.
Imagine a world where we did not waste time debating what we already know to be true about diet and health, but all worked to turn common knowledge into the power of routine action. Imagine the years we could add to lives; the life we could add to years; the defense we could lend to our imperiled planet.
There is overwhelming, global consensus among experts about the fundamental truths of diet for the health of people and planet alike; a consensus born of science, and the sense required to interpret and apply it. The True Health Initiative exists to make that reality common knowledge.
What follows is common understanding, then common cause, on common ground; a strength derived only from unity; the chance to translate knowledge shared into the power of collective action.
These remain, as they have long been- things worth fighting for.