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PYP 082: Susan Levin on the Truth about Diet and “a Bad Game of Telephone”

susan-levinPhysicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Director of Nutrition Education Susan Levin grew up on a high-fat, highly-processed Alabama diet.

After discovering for herself the benefits of a plant-based diet, she found herself stymied when trying to tell others about it. “What do you know about nutrition?” they'd sneer.

Not to be silenced, Susan completed a career about-face and enrolled in the Nutritional Science and Clinical Counseling programs at Bastyr University (and transplanted herself from New York to Seattle).

Now an expert in nutritional research as well as an engaging educator, Susan helps spread the good news about eating plants.


In our conversation, we cover:

  • how her health improved on a vegan diet
  • the ways researchers and media sometimes keep us confused
  • why most clinical trials of diet are like comparing getting shot in the head 10 times to getting shot in the head once
  • the USDA conflict of interest
  • what it was like as an English teacher in China trying to convince her students not to drink cow's milk like Americans
  • the complete lack of credible evidence to support the health benefits of animal foods
  • the low-carb sleight of hand – short term gain, long term pain
  • how PCRM conducts research, and whether,  as a “vegan advocacy” organization, their findings can be trusted (her response made me laugh!)
  • the latest PCRM research on diabetes, heart disease, and dementia
  • how to take advantage of their research findings without enrolling in a PCRM clinical trial
  • and much more…

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.


Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine

Susan's bio page

The 21 Day Kickstart – support, recipes, and advice to transition to a plant-based diet

Dr Neal Barnard's books at amazon

Bastyr University – natural health education

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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – Katharine Floyd – Meryl Fury – for your generous support of the podcast.


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2 comments on “PYP 082: Susan Levin on the Truth about Diet and “a Bad Game of Telephone”

  1. Shirley Effner says:

    Can’t load the 21-day kickstart link.

    Thanks, Shirley

    1. Howard says:

      Hi Shirley – sorry about that! I’ve fixed the link, and it should work now.

      Thanks for the heads-up!

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