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Plant-Based Programs

FFI continues to be a step ahead of other youth programs and our latest programmatic evolution continues this trend. Building on our holistic approach to not only encouraging individuals to improve their health and wellbeing but also that of one’s community and our planet, in 2022, FFI will be primarily serving plant-based meals for our events, on our campuses, and most importantly during our immersion programs for youth.


The reasons for this are many and the science overwhelmingly shows that following a plant-based diet can accomplish the following:

 

Physical Health

  • Decrease the prevalence of auto-immune diseases. Studies suggest that a high intake of fruits and vegetables and the elimination of animal products could protect against developing autoimmune conditions

  • Prevent type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that plant-based diets reduce insulin resistance and improve glycemic control.

  • Decrease the risk of obesity. Studies suggest that plant-based diets not only allow for significant but help maintain a healthy weight.

  • Decrease the risk of cancer and stroke. Plants produce certain chemicals that protect cells and offer lots of fiber which both help with preventing cancer.

Planetary Health

  • Reduce carbon footprint. Studies have shown that a dietary shift towards plant foods and away from animal products could reduce mortality by 10% and greenhouse gases by 70% by the year 2050.

  • Reduce our water intake. We could reduce our water intake by 50%.

  • Save our oceans. Both overfishing and the runoff of agricultural fertilizers has led to the prediction that by the year 2040, there will be little to no aquamarine life left in the ocean.

  • Save millions of acres of habitat and carbon-absorbing flora. Currently, 80% of the land in the Amazon that is being deforested is for cattle use.

 
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FFI is about developing empathetic youth leaders that are committed to creating a just planet for all.


Our program was ahead of the curve when we removed the use of cell phones and technology in 2010 because of the negative impacts they were having on social and emotional health. We also removed unhealthy items like soda and energy drinks in 2016 and started requiring daily meditation and mindfulness sessions in 2019. All of these approaches have made transformational impacts on the work that we do and the lives of the youth that participate in our program. While some may have been skeptical of these innovations, none can argue with the impact now and many often have integrated these into their own work.


As a bonus, as FFI serves individuals from around the globe and from many cultural and religious traditions, a plant-based diet is the only diet that can be consumed by ALL cultures that we work with. Also, the direct risk from meat-borne illnesses is eliminated as well.  


FFI is doing this to inspire every organization and corporation that is interested in the causes of social justice and food security, the health and well-being of the individuals in our society, and of course of saving the planet from the ravages of climate change and the elimination of all other species to start to shift to a plant-based approach to their events and programs.