It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Ocean Robbins was born in a log cabin built by his parents, and grew up eating food they grew on the land together. At age 16, he co-founded an organization called YES! (Youth for Environmental Sanity) that he directed for the next 20 years. Ocean has spoken in person to more than 200,000 people in schools, conferences and events, and he has...
Ocean Robbins was born in a log cabin built by his parents, and grew up eating food they grew on the land together. At age 16, he co-founded an organization called YES! (Youth for Environmental Sanity) that he directed for the next 20 years. Ocean has spoken in person to more than 200,000 people in schools, conferences and events, and he has organized 100+ seminars and gatherings for leaders from 65+ nations. Ocean’s work has taken him all over the world, where he has seen first-hand the powerful impact of the food we eat – not just on our health, but on people and economies everywhere. He is author of The Power of Partnership, and co-author, with his dad and colleague John Robbins, of Voices of the Food Revolution. He serves as an adjunct professor for Chapman University, and has received numerous awards including the national Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service. He serves as co-host and CEO of the Food Revolution Network.
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Healthy Pantry Foods You Should Have On Hand

Healthy Pantry Foods You Should Have On Hand Healthy Pantry Foods You Should Have On Hand

Having a well-stocked pantry is always a good idea. And in uncertain times, it becomes all the more important. No matter what happens in the world, you’ll be healthier, your stress will be lower, and your immune system will be optimized if you have plenty of good, healthy food to eat! Here are some pantry foods (and freezer foods) you might want to consider stocking up on. As always, going organic can help you steer clear of exposure to glyphosate and other pesticides.

This is the list my family put together, based on the pantry and freezer items we stocked up on. I’m posting it here because I hope it might help you and yours, too!

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Are Bananas Good for You?

pileofbananas Are Bananas Good for You?

Bananas aren’t just for monkeys. In fact, among humans, they’re one of the most popular fruits in the world — and for a good reason. They’re delicious, inexpensive, and they even come in their own convenient packaging.

But is this delicious fruit good for you? Are they sustainable? And are there any downsides to this beloved fruit, other than the danger of slipping and falling on a peel? And what are some of the best ways to enjoy bananas?

History of Bananas

Bananas are the fruit of the Musa acuminata plant. The word “acuminata” means tapering or long-pointed and refers to the flowers, not the fruit itself. Before the banana was called the banana, around the 17th century, it was named “banema” in Guinea.

Bananas originally came from the Indo-Malaysian region, stretching down to northern Australia. Historians guess that people started spreading the wonder of edible bananas in the Mediterranean region in the 3rd century, B.C. It wasn’t until the 10th century, A.D., that bananas are presumed to have first arrived in Europe and began their spread around the globe.

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Healthy Vegan Soul Food

africanamerican-women-in-kitchen-cooking-picture-id930515542 Healthy Vegan Soul Food

Soul food is a variety of cuisine originating in the Southeastern United States. It has been a cultural staple among the African American community for centuries — starting as a means of survival during the many decades of slavery and evolving into many modern-day variations.

Writing for the blog, Black Foodie, Vanessa Hayford tells us: “During the Transatlantic Slave Trade, enslaved African people were given meager food rations that were low in quality… With these rations, enslaved people preserved African food traditions and adapted traditional recipes with the resources available. Over time, these recipes and techniques have become the soul food dishes we are familiar with today. This food genre… was born out of struggle and survival.”

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The Truth About Chocolate: How to Choose Healthy and Ethically Produced Cacao Products

choosingchocolate The Truth About Chocolate: How to Choose Healthy and Ethically Produced Cacao Products

Few foods generate as much passion as chocolate. Perhaps it was inevitable with a plant given the scientific name of Theobroma (Greek for “food of the gods”) cacao.

These days we may still consider chocolate to be a heavenly substance, but we consume far more of it, in vastly different ways, than the ancient Mesoamericans who first harvested and prepared it. And this, of course, has health consequences.

Is chocolate bad for you? Should you limit your consumption, or try to get it out of your diet altogether? Or is it actually a health food?

And what about reports of child labor, slavery, extreme poverty, and environmental degradation related to the chocolate trade? Is it possible to obtain “guilt-free” chocolate? If so, how can you tell which chocolate products contribute to the welfare of chocolate farmers and their communities?

A Brief History of Chocolate

The Theobroma cacao tree is native to Central and South America. The Azteks believed that the seeds were gifts from Quetzalcoatl, god of wisdom. For several centuries in premodern Latin America, cacao beans were considered valuable enough to be used as currency.  Both the Mayans and the Aztecs believed the cacao bean had magical properties, suitable for use in the most sacred rituals of birth, marriage, and death.

For much of its history, chocolate was served as a bitter drink, either heated or fermented into alcohol. When Columbus introduced cacao beans to European high society following his return from the Americas, it started a cacao craze that led to European colonization and enslavement of large areas of Mesoamerica and West Africa in the rush to grow and control cacao plantations.

The industrial revolution in 19th century Europe applied new methods to chocolate production. Alkalizing salts reduced bitterness. The “Dutch cocoa” process separated cocoa butter from the liquor and made it easier and cheaper to produce in large quantities. In the US, early 20th century inventors and entrepreneurs Milton Hershey and Franklin Mars turned chocolate from a local, artisanal product into a mass-produced industrial foodstuff. Hershey’s milk chocolate in particular, combined with epic amounts of sugar, was sweet enough to convert an entire nation into chocoholics.

These days, Americans consume about $18 billion worth of chocolate each year, for an average of just under 10 pounds per person. And keep in mind that’s just an average: some people abstain, so there are folks who eat way more than that!

There’s no question that chocolate can be delicious – but what about its effects on your health?

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Gluten-Free: Is it for Everyone?

pasta Gluten-Free: Is it for Everyone?

Millions of people around the world have gone gluten-free in the last decade. A 2015 Gallup poll found that around one-fifth of Americans and many Europeans prefer gluten-free foods. 

So it makes sense to ask the question: should we avoid gluten? Is it bad for our health? Should everyone go gluten-free, or just certain people? 

Ordinarily, these questions would lend themselves to pretty straightforward scientific inquiry. Researchers would examine different populations, explore the biochemistry of gluten in the human body, and conduct randomized trials to see the results of different dietary patterns.

All this work is already out there — and we’ll talk about a lot of it in this article. But talking rationally about gluten has become difficult for a couple of reasons. First, there’s a lot of money in convincing as many people as possible not just to avoid gluten, but to purchase manufactured gluten-free analogues and substitutes. By 2020, the gluten-free foods market is projected to reach $7.59 billion in the United States alone.

Second, gluten has become a pawn in the culture war between vegans and meat lovers. Many in the Paleo and keto communities cite gluten concerns as evidence that plant-based diets are inferior to those containing large amounts of (gluten-free) animal products.  

When financial interests and cultural forces intersect, the truth often suffers. The “You’re-either-with-me-or-against-me” attitude can undermine the good-faith pursuit of truth, and the millions of dollars at stake can fund pro-industry propaganda at the expense of facts.

What to Expect in This Article

In this article, we focus on the actual evidence. We explore what the science says about gluten, who can benefit from avoiding it, and whether it might actually be beneficial for some people.

And we want to remind you upfront that you know more about your body than anyone else does. More than the marketers trying to sell you their products. More than the scientists searching for trends in large populations. And more than your social media friends and acquaintances sharing the latest blog post on why you should never touch wheat. Or why your so-called gluten-intolerance is nothing but a placebo effect. So read on, and consider what we’re learning from scientific inquiries, along with your own experience of what your body is telling you. 

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Non-Dairy Ice Cream: Is It Better For You?

icecream Non-Dairy Ice Cream: Is It Better For You?

“I scream, you scream…” — you know how it goes. Ice cream is one of the most beloved foods in the world. The average American consumes more than 23 pounds of ice cream per year. And with the plant-based movement in full swing, more and more consumers are opting for non-dairy ice creams.

You may know that my family is intimately familiar with ice cream. My grandfather, Irv Robbins, co-founded Baskin-Robbins. At the time, most folks seemed content with vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry — the classics. But he thought there should be more flavors — 31, in fact! And he brought smiles to a lot of faces.

Unfortunately, in case anyone on the planet missed the memo, ice cream is not a health food. It turns out that despite its delicious flavor, eating a lot of ice cream doesn’t do any favors for your long-term health.

Why Ice Cream Isn’t Healthy

A young woman holds an ice cream cone on a yellow background
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Ditching Dairy? The Lowdown on Non-Dairy Milk — Plus a Look at 10 Popular Plant Milks

iStock-894828772_milkalternatives_featured-happy_lark-2 Ditching Dairy? The Lowdown on Non-Dairy Milk — Plus a Look at 10 Popular Plant Milks

Non-dairy milk comes from plants — like soy, nuts, seeds, or grains like oats or rice — instead of cows. And with dairy in decline, the popularity of milk alternatives is at an all-time high.

One of the first American advocates for soy milk was Henry Ford, who opened a soy milk plant in his Michigan research center in 1934.

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Does a Good Sweetener Exist? A Review of 14 Popular Sugar Substitutes

various-types-of-sugar-picture-id954574688 Does a Good Sweetener Exist?

Sugar is heavily ingrained in our food system today, but what can be even more overwhelming is the number of sugar substitutes you can choose from. Should you use sugar alternatives? Are they better than sugar? And how do you pick the best one(s) for you?


If there was an award for the most overused food ingredient with the least nutritional value, sugar would likely win in a cakewalk.

I’m not talking about sugars naturally found in fruits and vegetables. I’m talking about added sugars — mainly plain ‘ol white sugar and its troublesome twin, high-fructose corn syrup.

There’s really nothing beneficial about sugar — besides the temporary appeasement of your taste buds — but most of us eat way more of it than we should.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and nine per day for men. But the average American consumes 94 grams every day or over 350 pounds a year.

So, what about alternative sweeteners or sugar substitutes?

Approximately 145 million people in the United States are estimated to have used sugar substitutes in 2018. Sugar substitutes attract consumers because they’re labeled as being naturally derived, or calorie-free, or simply because they’re not sugar.

But what are sugar substitutes made of? And how do they rank in nutritional value? Are certain sugar substitutes better for you than others?

Before I get into all of that, let’s examine why sugar is not a health food.

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Everything You Need to Know About Avocados

avocado Everything You Need to Know About Avocados + 15 Science-Backed Reasons to Eat These Fabulous Fruits

Avocados are popular and loved by many. In fact, consumption in the U.S. has risen more than fourfold in the last 20 years. But how much do you know about the creamy green fruit (yes, it’s a fruit!)? Are there avocado health benefits you should know about? Where do they come from? And are they sustainable? Keep reading to find out!

You can find avocados almost everywhere — from grocery stores and farmers markets to chocolate pudding recipes.

Once considered a delicacy, this green tree fruit is now a common addition to tables and menus all over the world.

People’s love affair with avocados has gained traction in recent years. The growth in sales outpaces that of any other fruit. And in 2015, The Washington Post dubbed avocados “America’s new favorite fruit.”

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The Incredible Power of Diet in Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease + 15 Heart Healthy Foods

healthy-food-clean-eating-selection-in-wooden-box-picture-id918035290 The Incredible Power of Diet in Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease + 15 Heart Healthy Foods
We now know the importance of lifestyle factors like diet in the prevention and reversal of heart disease. What are the best heart healthy foods? And what other factors contribute to heart disease? Read on to find out!

Do you know anyone, perhaps a friend or family member (or maybe even yourself), who has had a heart attack?

Chances are you do. According to the American Heart Association’s 2018 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, about 92 million American adults are living with cardiovascular disease.

And every 40 seconds, a heart attack occurs in the U.S. alone.

Heart disease has become a global epidemic. It’s the #1 cause of death on the planet.

It’s affected my family, too. I never even got to know my great-uncle, Burt Baskin, because he died of a heart attack six years before I was born.

How Heart Disease Affected My Family


You see, my great-uncle Burt was one half of the ice-cream company, Baskin-Robbins. And the other half was my grandpa, Irvine Robbins.

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The Surprising Truth About Antibiotics, Factory Farms, and Food Recalls

chicken-farm-picture-id893123788 The Surprising Truth About Antibiotics, Factory Farms, and Food Recalls

Antibiotics are powerful drugs. Medical professionals often prescribe them. But the truth is, factory farms use the majority of antibiotics. And the overuse of antibiotics is causing antibiotic resistance — one of the most serious public health issues facing our world today. Learn more about the dark side of antibiotic use — and what this has to do with food recalls. And most importantly, learn what you can do about it.

When I was three months old, I came down with a high fever. Up until that point, I had subsisted entirely on breast milk. Although I lived in a relatively unpolluted environment, I’d picked up contamination from somewhere.

Before long my fever was raging at 104 degrees, and I was so weak I was unable to muster a cry.I’m grateful that my parents took me to a doctor, who put me on antibiotics. Within hours, my fever was down, and my sickness had reversed.

That antibiotic prescription may have saved my life.

What Exactly Are Antibiotics?

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What’s the Best Diet for Humans? Surprisingly, Most Experts Agree!

plantbased What’s the Best Diet for Humans? Surprisingly, Most Experts Agree!
In spite of, or perhaps because of, all the diet and nutrition advice out there, most people are totally confused about what the heck they should be eating. But modern science is actually pretty clear about the optimal diet for most people, most of the time. What’s the verdict? Find out the best diet for humans in this article. 

By Ocean Robbins • Adapted from Ocean Robbins’ soon-to-be-released book, 31-Day Food Revolution (February 5th, 2019). Get your copy here now.

We have access, today, to more information about diet and disease than any population that’s ever lived. We can review the findings of tens of thousands of studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals, from any laptop or smartphone.

Thousands of nutrition and diet books are published every year, while billions of websites tell you what to eat and what to avoid.

Unfortunately, many of them are wrong.

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The Top 3 Healthiest Snacks You Should Be Eating

iStock-184366974_featured The Top 3 Healthiest Snacks You Should Be Eating

Almost everyone snacks at some point. And as it turns out, what you snack on can have a huge impact on your health! These healthy snacks will help you stay on track.

By Ocean Robbins • Adapted from Ocean Robbins’ soon-to-be-released book, 31-Day Food Revolution(February 5th, 2019). Get your copy here now.

The journey of a thousand miles, the old saying goes, starts with a single step. Over the course of a lifetime, steps add up to shape destiny — for good or ill.

Of all the small steps we take, the cumulative impact of snacks may be the most deceivingly significant.

So having some healthy snacks onhand is an excellent way to stay on track.

How Much Do You Snack?

I have a friend who eats carefully for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then figures it’s okay to cheat a little around snack time.

She has a point. After all, it’s what you do most of the time that matters. A doughnut now and then won’t kill anyone whose overall dietary pattern is sound.

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8 Nutrients and 16 Foods to Boost Your Mood — What to Eat to Increase Happiness

happyfamily 8 Nutrients and 16 Foods to Boost Your Mood — What to Eat to Increase Happiness
As it turns out, what you eat can have a massive impact on your mood. Making a few simple changes to your diet can make a difference for your mental health. Discover the stunning power of mood-boosting foods and nutrients.

Can you remember a time when you weren’t in a good mood?

At a Food Revolution Network retreat, I asked team members to say three words about how they were feeling. When it was my turn, one of the words I used was sad.

Looking at me, you would have never known that’s how I felt. On the outside, I looked happy — I was even laughing not long before we started the exercise. But how I looked was a far cry from what was going on in my heart and in my mind.

Can You Boost Your Mood Naturally?


The truth is, we’ve all felt sad or even “down in the dumps.” And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it’s hard to turn that frown upside down.

If you ever feel down, or lonely, you’re hardly alone. We live in a world where depression is at an all-time high. Worldwide, depression affects 322 million people.

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Should You Eat Organic Foods to Reduce Your Cancer Risk? A New Study Says Yes

organic-farmer-picture-id165770892 Should You Eat Organic Foods to Reduce Your Cancer Risk? A New Study Says Yes

A 2018 study examined the link between organic food and cancer. And it came to some remarkable conclusions. Researchers found that eating organic foods can help cut overall cancer risk due to the reduced exposure to dietary pesticides.

By Charles Benbrook • A version of this article was originally published on Environmental Health News

More than 1.7 million Americans will be newly diagnosed with cancer in 2018, and 35% of these cases will prove fatal.

A little less than $150 billion was spent fighting cancer in 2017.

Imagine the excitement that would accompany the discovery of anything — a new drug, therapy, diet, or lifestyle change — that promises to cut overall cancer frequency by 5%.

Every year, such a discovery would spare 87,000 people this most-feared diagnosis and reduce deaths by 30,000 and cancer-related health care costs by around $7 billion.

Such monumental benefits would justify major investments and significant policy change.

Well, not necessarily.

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Plant-Based Protein: Here’s What You Need to Know

blog-featured-protein-20181024 Plant-Based Protein: Here’s What You Need to Know

Protein is a buzzword these days, but what is protein? And how much protein do you need? What are the ideal plant-based protein sources? Can you have too much protein? And what is protein deficiency? Here’s what you need to know about this critical nutrient.

“But where do you get your protein?”

Anyone who adopts a plant-based diet or even considers going vegetarian is likely to hear this question with alarming frequency.

You don’t have to look far to see what can sometimes border on something of a protein obsession. From protein shakes, bars, and powders to cereals, cookies, and protein-focused diets and meal-delivery services, attention to protein seems to be just about everywhere.

But what is protein? How much protein do our bodies really need? Is more always better? Or is it actually possible that some people could be getting too much?

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6 Science-Backed Reasons to Drink Matcha Tea

blog-featured-matcha-20181030 Edited by Ocean Robbins • A version of this article was originally published on Pique Tea.

Is matcha tea good for you? How is it different than other green teas? And are some types of matcha better than others? Get answers and discover some incredible health benefits of drinking matcha tea.

Matcha tea comes from the same plant that originates all green, white, and black teas: the camellia sinensis bush. The name “matcha” literally means “powdered tea.”

The process of turning tea leaves into a powder is not new. Matcha was the primary way to consume tea in China during the Tang Dynasty (600-900 AD).

In the 1100s, a huge transfer of knowledge and culture from China to Japan occurred, and that’s how matcha made its way across the ocean. Matcha and Zen Buddhism flourished together, and the two were often considered inseparable.

By the 1500s, matcha took hold as part of the formal Japanese tea ceremony, which celebrated stillness and simplicity. It grew in popularity in Japan, even as it lost its appeal in China.

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14 Top Foods to Boost Your Immunity Now So You Can Stay Well During Cold and Flu Season

allergy-season-picture-id503920992 14 Top Foods to Boost Your Immunity Now So You Can Stay Well During Cold and Flu Season

As temperatures get cooler, do you want to know how to boost your immune system? Discover some of the best foods to boost your immune system and which supplements you might want to take. The right foods can help you avoid falling victim to colds and flu this year!

Do you sometimes get colds or the flu, particularly in the colder winter months? If so, you’re not alone. In the U.S., the average adult gets sick two to four times per year, and the average child between six and eight.

You probably know the basics of cold prevention, like practicing good hand washing and avoiding contact with sick peers. But have you ever wondered why two people could have exactly the same exposure to a sick friend — and one of them gets sick, while the other doesn’t?

The difference is often their immune system.

So how can you boost your immune system? It turns out that one of the most powerful tools for a strong immune system can be found right inside your own kitchen: the food you eat.

Let’s take a look at what your immune system does and how to boost your immune system with food, so it can protect you from nasty, cold-weather bugs.

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Antioxidants And Why Are They So Good For You

blog-featured-antioxidants2-20181003 What Are Antioxidants? And Why Are They So Good For You?

Antioxidants have become a health buzzword. And the media and many marketing departments have seized the opportunity to tout their many supposed health benefits, claiming antioxidants can prevent cancer, protect against heart disease, slow aging, and more.

But beyond all the hype, what are antioxidants? How important are they? And what are their proven health benefits?

Learn the truth about these compounds in food, and discover which antioxidant-rich foods will give you the most bang for your buck.

What Are Antioxidants? And How Do They Help Your Body?

Woman preparing fruits and veggies

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Why It’s Time to Move Beyond Plastic — And 8 Ways You Can Help Solve The Plastic Problem

plastictrash 8 Ways You Can Help Solve The Plastic Problem

It seems like plastic is almost everywhere. But it turns out to be hazardous to your health and your planet. Get the facts, and find out how you can take action to solve the plastic problem and cut back on your use of single-use plastics.

From bags to food containers to car parts, plastic is a significant part of our day-to-day lives. Global production of plastic has been nearly doubling every decade. But experts are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of plastic on the environment — and on human health.

How harmful is plastic? And what about plastic bans? Do they work? Or are there better ways to tackle plastic pollution?

And what can you do as an individual to protect yourself from harm and to help solve the plastic problem?

What Is Plastic?

There are seven main types of plastic, each used for different purposes. They’re labeled with numbered codes, helping you determine which kind of plastic you’re dealing with and if you can recycle it.

Though the first plastics were once natural products (used as far back as 3,500 years ago), almost all plastics today are man-made and derived from fossil fuels, including crude oil and natural gas.

Scientists have also created new forms of plastics made from renewable materials — known as biopolymers or bioplastics.

Bioplastics: Plastics Made from Plants and Other Natural Materials

Bioplastics are made from natural sources, including vegetable fats/oils, corn starch, straw, wood chips, and even food waste.

While bioplastics are typically considered more environmentally-friendly than traditional plastics, they aren’t a catch-all solution. Many still end up in landfills, and as more come on the market, there are issues with land use, proper disposal, and toxicity.

Researchers are currently working on bioplastics that are compostable, degradable in water (should they end up in the ocean), and non-toxic. Though promising solutions are in development (such as bioplastic straws made from avocado and bioplastic coffee cups made from potato starch, corn starch, and cellulose — the main component of plant cell walls), they aren’t yet widely available.


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30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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