Ocean Robbins’ Food Revolution Network
Food is not just a commodity – it’s also a community. Ocean Robbins expounds in this episode on why becoming informed about your food is an act of liberation and empowerment for yourself and your world.
Today’s guest is going to blow you away. In fact, his family has probably touched your life in some way. If you’ve eaten one of the delicious 31 flavors of ice creams that Baskin Robbins serves, then his grandfather has affected your life.
Ocean Robbins is my guest today, and I am so inspired he dedicated his life to helping people to live a healthy life through sustained agriculture and a whole foods diet. He is also on a mission to save the planet.
Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Empire
Ocean Robbins’ grandfather founded an ice cream company called Baskin Robbins and Ocean Robbins’ dad John, grew up with an ice cream-shaped swimming pool in the backyard. He was groomed from early childhood to one day join in and run the company.
John Robbins invented the Jamoca Almond Fudge flavor and a lot of other flavors. But he walked away from running the business and followed his path.
One of the primary emphasis for that was that his uncle, Burt Baskin, who was Ocean Robbins’ grandfather’s brother-in-law and business partner, was dying of heart attack. He died at the age of 54.
“My dad’s uncle Burt was one of the most successful entrepreneurs in American history. He seemed to have everything, but he didn’t have his health,” shared Robbins. “That was an eye-opener for my Dad.”
Moving To Canada
After a few years, Ocean Robbins’ dad moved to Canada with his mom and built a one-room log cabin. They practiced yoga and meditation for several hours a day and named their kid Ocean.
“I grew up monetarily poor, but I grew up with healthy food and a lot of energy. I ran my first marathon when I was ten years old,” Robbins recalls.
Diet For A New America
When Ocean Robbins was 12 years old, his dad started working on a book called ‘Diet for a New America’ which came out in 1987. It became a runaway bestseller. It’s about how our food choices affect our health and happiness.
Ocean Robbins says the media had a blast that time. They called his dad ‘The Rebel Without The Cone,’ because of this would-be ice cream heir, became an advocate for healthy food.
Ocean Robbins’ grandfather was initially devastated that he didn’t take over the company and ended up selling the business. He was bitter when he retired and blamed my dad for it.
Turning A New Leaf
In 1990, Robbins’ grandfather had severe health problems — diabetes, high blood pressure and weight issues. His doctors told him he didn’t have long to live unless he read this book and followed its advice.
It turns out that the book doctors wanted Robbins’ grandfather to read was the one written by Robbins’ father. So he read the book and got incredible results. He then lived for another 18 years.
Robbins’ grandfather cut down on meat consumption, stopped eating sugar and ice cream. He ate a lot more vegetables and whole foods.
Drive To Help Others
“We’ve seen in our family, what can happen when we follow the standard American diet. And we have also seen what can occur when we make a change,” said Robbins. “So that drives me to want to help people.”
At the age of 16, Robbins ended up co-founding an organization called YES! (Youth for Environmental Sanity) that he directed for the next 20 years.
“Everywhere I went, I saw how people eat and the impact it had on their health. More people were suffering from chronic disease,” said Robbins.
Eventually, Robbins decided to work with his dad and help take this food revolution message to the modern era. He wanted to use the online technology, so they launched The Food Revolution Network in 2012.
Robbins says they reached more than a million people through their live online event. Here they saw that all over the world, people are hungry for change. They are fed up with toxic food.
“People are so sick of being sick. They want to change their lives. And that gives me immense hope,” Robbins said. “I can see how toxic our food system has become, but I also see how much better they can be with the change.”
Medical Doctor Turned Believer
Robbins narrates that there’s a practicing physician in Oregon named Pat who was 50 pounds overweight. He had several health issues. Then he participated in Robbins’ food revolution event and learned about whole foods plant-based diet.
He changed his diet, got off medication and lost 50 pounds. After that, he went as far as changing his medical practice from focusing on health rather than pills.
“Honestly, Pat is struggling to make it work financially as a doctor. Because he doesn’t have too many patients anymore since they don’t need him anymore,” Robbins revealed.
And insurance companies reimburse based on pills and surgery. They don’t reimburse based on spending an hour talking to a patient about nutrition.
But according to Robbins, Pat is committed to figuring out a way to make it work financially to do the right thing.
Because now that he understands what’s at stake, it’s not acceptable to him to spend his life profiting off a system that is dependent on sick care.
The Naturopathic model of health is that symptoms are not healthy. These symptoms are the language of the body talking to us.
“Three-quarters of medical expenses in the United States goes towards managing lifestyle-caused chronic illness,” Robbins said.
He added, “Medical costs are the leading cause of bankruptcy for families. The cost of Medicare in the United States is expected to double in the next generation.”
Meanwhile, the federal government provides billions of dollars a year in subsidy for so-called commodity crops like corn, wheat, and soy, that are processed into high fructose syrup, white flour and animal feeds for factory farms.
So we are subsidizing the very things that science tells us we should be eating less off. Not to mention, it is destroying our environment. They are the leading source of climate change.
The Food Revolution Network
“There is some effort involved if you want to change. It takes time, energy and attention to make a new habit,” said Robbins.
We only have a small amount of willpower. Most of what we do in our life is out of habit. Creating change takes some attention.
Robbins says that The Food Revolution Network is about a movement. A movement in our lives and a movement in our world.
Ultimately, we want real food. The top barrier people face is time, money and confusion about what is healthy and what is not.
Furthermore, Robbins says we need to create other ways in having speed and convenience in eating real food. Like cooking in bulk or food sharing programs.
Consequently, choosing healthy food is maybe the best financial decision you made in your life. It will save you money in medical costs and increase your productivity.
Save Money While Eating Healthy
- Minimize eating out. Making your food is cheaper and healthier.
- We need to eat less processed sugar, white flour, and carbs.
- Avoid eating factory farm animal products and dairy.
- Eat more legumes, vegetable, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
- If you will eat animal products, chose wild fish.
- Stick with your shopping list. Avoid impulse purchases.
- Plan on what meals to cook.
“Whether or not you ever go to foodrevolution.org, you are a part of us every time you choose real food over processed food,” Robbins said. “Every time you get informed, inspired and empowered, you are part of The Food Revolution.”
Ocean Robbins is co-founder & CEO of the 450,000+ member Food Revolution Network. He has spoken in person to more than 200,000 people in live events, and he has organized and facilitated hundreds of seminars and gatherings for leaders from 65+ nations.
Ocean founded Youth for Environmental Sanity (YES!) at age 16 and directed it for the next 20 years. He serves as adjunct professor at Chapman University and is a recipient of the national Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service, the Freedom’s Flame Award, the Harmon Wilkinson Award, and many other honors.
In addition to that, he is the author of The Power of Partnership and co-author of Voices of the Food Revolution and Choices For Our Future.