Gwyn Whittaker is a change-maker, and for the past several years she's deployed her considerable “get-it-done” skills to the plant-based movement.
Whittaker is CEO of Greenfare Cafe in Herndon, Virginia, which is the only 100% whole-food, plant-based (WFPB), organic restaurant either of us has ever heard of. (If you know of one, please let me know in the comments section so I can give it a shout-out!)
From a career as an engineer and entrepreneur in the intelligence community, she pivoted to nutrition and health after the untimely and tragic death of her 50-year-young fiancé in 2010. Upon discovering Forks Over Knives and getting introduced to T. Colin Campbell (by me, apparently, although I confess to not remembering ;), Whittaker rolled up her sleeves and devoted her energy to bringing the message – and taste – of healthy plant-based food to the wider world.
From her financial assistance with Nelson Campbell's film Plant Pure Nation, to executive producing the recent release The Game Changers, Whittaker's energy has helped spread the word to millions.
What I wanted to talk with her about, though, was the strategy and impact of Greenfare, a restaurant that bucks the trend of making plant-based food more acceptable to the mass market (think Veggie Grill and their fried entrees, and the Impossible/Beyond/Miyoko's products).
Greenfare is uncompromising in its adherence to strict WFPB standards. Her goal is not to convince us that plant-based eating is just as decadent and delicious as “regular” dietary choices. Instead, it's to point the way to a restaurant of the future, that feeds us well without compromising our health. (What a concept!)
We talked about this strategy, and the impact of the restaurant on normalizing plant-based eating in its community.
We discussed the Yelp phenomenon that vegans often rate the food as less tasty than meat-eaters, and how so many vegans are ensnared in the “pleasure trap” described by Doug Lisle and Alan Goldhamer's book of that name.
And how life gets so much better when we eliminate the junk and animal products from our diets.
Enjoy this conversation with an inspiring mover, shaker, and plant-based visionary!
Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.
The Pleasure Trap – by Doug Lisle and Alan Goldhamer
Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine – 21 Day Kickstart
Plant Pure Nation documentary
The China Study – by T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and Thomas M Campbell, MD
Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition – by T. Colin Campbell (with an assist by me 😉 )
The Greenfare Shopping App (Access Code: EATPLANTS)
Fruitive: Plant-based, organic restaurant chain
The Game Changers documentary
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