J Morris Hicks

J Morris Hicks

Posted March 11, 2011

Published in Lifestyle

  • digg
  • Delicious
  • Furl
  • reddit
  • blinklist
  • Technorati
  • stumbleupon

Murdock; not vegan, but eating very well

Read More: healthy eating, longevity, whole plant foods

Get VegSource Alerts Get VegSource Alerts

First Name


Email This Story to a Friend

Trying to live to the record age of 125 years

The New York Times Sunday Magazine (3-6-11) featured a lengthy article on the super-wealthy Dole tycoon, David Murdock, and the diet-style he thinks can keep him alive for another 38 years...when he would turn 125. You can read the entire article by clicking on the link at the end of this blog.

CenMkt avo tomato.jpgAfter reading his very interesting story, I concluded that David, like myself, probably eats more whole plants than well over 99% of the U.S. population. But, also like me, he doesn't describe himself as a vegetarian or a vegan. In his case, that's because he eats seafood and egg-whites. In my case, while I never plan to have any animal products, I do have a few bites occasionally. One of those occasions was this past Monday at the Harvard Club in New York, where I was served a salmon fillet with my lunch....just before speaking to the group about the merits of a plant-based diet....A man's got to be flexible.


Also, like myself, I concluded that Mr. Murdock is eating at the "4-Leaf" level, referring to a term that we are introducing in our book later this year. Eating at the "4-Leaf" level simply means consistently deriving over 80% of your calories from whole plants. In his case, his fish and egg-whites are part of the "other" 20%. In my case, it's the cocktails, beer and an occasional piece of fish or cheese.

In our trademarked 4-Leaf Program, we set up a simple scale of 20-40-60-80 that represents the percentage of one's calories that are derived from whole plants...going from 1-Leaf at 20% to 4-Leaf at 80%. Rather than focusing on what we want to avoid eating, we decided to focus on maximizing our intake of whole plant foods, which almost everyone believes are good for you -- including your mother.

By comparison, the average American gets far less than 10% of their calories from whole plants, which Dr. T. Colin Campbell says is the natural and the optimal diet for our species. In fact, after reviewing this "4-Leaf" idea with him in November of 2009, I drafted the following health description for persons eating at the 4-Leaf level.

Representing a small minority of the population; they tend to have trim bodies, vibrant health, lots of energy, take no medications, almost never have ANY disease and will very likely live a long & healthy life.

Now, I am quite sure that David Murdock has never heard of our 4-Leaf Program, but it sounds like he is eating at the 4-Leaf level, nevertheless. Whether that's going to take him to 125 remains to be seen. In my case, outliving all my friends and family is not my goal. I simply want to enjoy vibrant health for as long as I may live and pass quietly in my sleep when my number comes up. I also want to make a positive difference in this world. And Here's how I plan to do that.

With my book about ready to be published, my goal is to give people all the information that they need to know before deciding what to feed to their families. That critical information has simply not been made available to the general public. I had to dig and study for eight years to come up with my "big picture" understanding of food that goes far beyond our own individual health.

People everywhere make their eating decisions for many different reasons. After better grasping the "big picture" about food, my bet is lots of them will make some positive changes in what they are eating. And, just like I did, they will do it their way. And some of them might figure out how to live a "vibrantly healthy" 125 years. And, I hope that they do. But, I am afraid that for me and David Murdock, we probably got started a little too late for us to expect that kind of longevity. Now, for my five grand-children --- well, that's a different story.

As for Mr. Murdock, he is # 130 on the latest Forbes list, but his fortune is down to a measly $2.7 billion down from $4.2 billion five years ago. Like the rest of us, the poor guy was a victim of the recession. Even so, if he lives to 125, he could spend over $187,000 a day for the rest of his life and still have a hundred million or so to leave for his heirs.Photo Shirt BW.jpg

I just hope he invites me to that 125th birthday I will be a relatively young man of 104 at that time. As promised, here is the complete article on the magnificent Mr. Murdock. The Billionaire Who Is Planning His 125th Birthday - From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well, grow old healthfully, and have a great day…

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at