The Switch4Good Podcast

Fed Up and Fighting Food Injustice with John Lewis

Oct 9, 2019

Watch Episode 43 with John Lewis here:

Fighting for justice on our plates goes beyond fighting for the rights of animals. 

Between the implications of the USDA dietary guidelines for people of color, the disparity in food access and education, and gentrification pushing low-income neighborhoods deeper into food deserts, we have to confront the food injustice faced by our human neighbors too. 

John Lewis, also known as the Badass Vegan, didn’t see a mango or fresh avocado until he moved from Furguson, Missouri to Miami to pursue his MBA. After his mother was diagnosed with cancer, he threw himself into research that revealed a troubling connection between animal protein and the illness. 

While he’s joined his love for health and fitness with his business savvy to create VeganSmart, a plant-based protein shake company, he’s also digging into the darker side of food. 

John has teamed up with Keegan Kuhn of What the Health and Cowspiracy to confront food racism through the lens of hip-hop and urban culture in the upcoming documentary, Hungry for Justice

He joins Dotsie and Alexandra in this episode to explore how communities are being left behind in the fight for health and wellness. 

You’ll hear how certain populations are being underserved and overlooked when it comes to autonomy over their health — and what you can do to help.

Listen to Episode 43 with John Lewis here:

What we discuss in this episode:

  • Dotsie’s trip to Washington, D.C., where she spoke to encourage the USDA to remove dairy from the food pyramid
  • Are we confusing what’s normal with what’s right? How John’s perspective of food evolved between his move to Miami and meeting with the doctor who encouraged him to try vegetarianism 
  • The diagnosis that rocked John’s world and challenged him to research lifestyle versus genetic diseases 
  • John’s journey ditching dairy for good and how he’s encouraging others to make the switch
  • The impetus for creating Hungry for Justice, the documentary exploring food deserts, racism, and injustice through the lens of hip-hop and urban culture
  • Food racism and dairy: Racial disparities in our ability to digest cows’ milk, and why more people of color are “lactose normal”
  • Category Killers: How chain store giants are proliferating the effects of food injustice
  • Understanding the intersection between race and food, and why it’s so important for more privileged voices to speak up against food injustice
  • Follow John on Instagram at @badassvegan and on his website at BadAssVegan.com, or email him at [email protected]

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