John Robbins reveals the power behind choosing what we eat
for Common Ground Spring 2002
by Virginia Lee
Much like Siddhartha, John Robbins was born into a life of affluence and privilege, only to turn away from it once he realized the suffering of the world. With his 1987 bestseller, Diet for a New America, Robbins brought so much media focus to bear on the fast-food industry of America that he caused them to change their ways, just for the sake of public relations. Because he was bred to be a capitalist insider, Robbins understands the strategies employed by the corporate structure of the world economy to get rich legally, while bankrupting humanity.
If Diet for a New America was ground-breaking 15 years ago, Robbins’ latest book, The Food Revolution, brings the politics of environmentalism and food consciousness into the 21st century. Robbins tackles the new demons of genetic engineering, food irradiation, e.coli and Mad Cow disease, to mention only a few. He exposes the motives behind globalization and the monopoly of Monsanto on seed patenting and seed sterilization, to the degree that small farmers are no longer free to grow their own crops outside the dominion of corporate control.
John Robbins’ clear, precise and articulate rhetoric is already a well-known voice to be heard above the static of media sound-bytes and robotic advertising. Having been featured in newspapers from the San Francisco Chronicle to the New York Times, having appeared on Oprah and PBS, Robbins undeniably practices what he preaches. He asks no one to do what he isn’t willing to do himself. And with compassion, all he asks is for each of us to take the first step.
As a father, a husband, and now a grandfather of twin boys, John Robbins embraces a simple yet honest lifestyle in the Santa Cruz mountains. His home, including three offices, are run exclusively from self-generated solar energy. Whether you eat tofu, fish or steak, John Robbins regards you like the real human being that you are. It is through gentle and persistent awareness that he encourages all of us to realize the consequences of our own decisions—and actions.
CG: How is the message in your latest book The Food Revolution different from your 1987 bestseller Diet for a New America?
JR: When Diet for a New America was published, there had been not a single acre planted anywhere in the world with any form of genetically engineered food. Today we have over 120 million acres.
When Diet for a New America was published, E. coli 0157H7, the virulent form of E. coli that causes what’s know as “hamburger disease” (the one that killed several kids that ate at Jack in the Box in the Northwest a few years ago), had not yet mutated to any significant degree. We had no problem with pathogenic E. coli at that time.
Also at that time, Mad Cow disease, was not known yet to even exist. I mention these as examples of the amount of change that we have seen in the world of food in the past 15 years. Obviously, there was deep need for an update, to bring the message into the 21st century. At the same time, there’s a need to reacquaint people, reawaken people to an understanding of how our food choices profoundly affect our health—and the health of the planet. And the well being of all of its creatures.
Most of the books on food and health that are out there deal with cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, diets and that sort of thing—the many ways that human health is impacted by what we eat. And that is all well and good. But it is also true that what we eat has a tremendous influence on our ecosystem and environment, our culture and society—as well as its contribution (or lack thereof) to the health of the planet.
We vote with our dollars, and we spend a lot of our dollars on food. Yet people don’t often see their diet as a political statement. But it is. When you vote for McDonald’s, that’s one kind of vote. When you vote for organic food, that’s another kind of vote. What you support with your dollars is what will exist in the future. Every time you spend a dollar, you are saying to the people who produce that product, “Do it again.” That’s how it will be read, that’s how it will be interpreted and that’s how it will be manifested.
Some people say, “Well I just bought a chicken at the store, but it was already dead. So it doesn’t really matter that I bought it.” Except that’s not true because, if you buy that chicken, then the store will order more. And the producer will produce more. And the breeder will breed more. That’s how the whole food supply chain will be reinforced.
CG: Please talk more about the “McDonaldization” of the world.
JR: This is what I call the homogenization of the planet into a uniform, monotonous lifestyle. And I see McDonald’s as a leader in this; they want to open up stores everywhere in the world. The answer to world hunger is not to put McDonald’s in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. That would simply continue the same system in which the resources, labor, and cultural values of a unique part of the world will be sucked into the profits of a few, who get extravagantly rich while the world is ground up beneath their feet.
Today, we’re seeing a world in which the rich and the poor are even more segregated than ever. The rich are alienated from the life experience of the vast majority of human beings and as a result, are disconnected from the human condition. Through this alienation, the rich lose contact with their fellow man and don’t see the impact of their actions and choices on other people. Their wealth isolates them and puts them in conflict with the higher good of anyone, including themselves. Naturally, this dynamic will breed a level of rage and hatred that cannot be controlled. None of us are safe or secure in that situation.
CG: Although genetically engineered foods promise to feed the starving populations of the earth, can they really do that?
JR: Genetically engineered foods don’t promise to feed the starving. There are certain people who promise that they will, but the foods themselves aren’t doing any promising at all. The foods so far are doing quite the opposite. All of the studies that have been performed (including the ones done by Monsanto) on the foods that are currently available commercially show decreased yields for transgenic foods. All of them show decreased yields; none of them show increased yields, even though sometimes the decrease is minor.
Of the 120 million acres of GE food that is growing, a lot of it is soybeans, a lot of it is corn, a lot of it is canola and some of it is cotton. Those are the four big crops. With soybeans, which is the largest share, you see anywhere from a 7-12% decrease in the yields. The harvests are down by that much per acre when they use “RoundUp-ready” Monsanto soybean seed. And it’s the same with corn—it’s true across the board.
So, the crops are not promising to feed the world. But the people who stand to profit from the widespread deployment of genetic engineering technology want the public to believe it’s true. And they want to believe themselves that this technology will, at some point, be of use to the starving masses of the planet. That’s a very powerful argument. And if in fact it were true, I would take my hat off because the problem of world hunger is enormous. But in practice we have seen no indication that it can—or will.
The crops that are being genetically engineered are being designed to have certain characteristics. If Monsanto’s goal were to create crops that would help address world hunger, there would be certain qualities that they would be predictably seeking to develop in those crops: to create higher yields; to grow in marginal soils; to be drought tolerant; to grow in saline or acidic soil; to grow in extreme temperatures.
Now we have 120 million acres of GE crops already. Not one-quarter of one percent of this agricultural acreage is planted in crops that have any of the characteristics I just mentioned. But they have been engineered for different things, primarily the ability to withstand massive over-sprayings of RoundUp and other herbicides produced by the same companies that engineered the seeds. Basically, they are creating crops that can tolerate their own chemicals. It’s no coincidence that the five largest genetic engineering companies in the world are also the five largest agro-chemical companies in the world, the five largest producers of pesticides in the world. Their purpose is an economic one; they are seeking to enhance their profits. To say that this is being done to feed the world is insulting to those who are suffering.
CG: What will happen to the production of soybeans—a staple in the vegan diet—if most soybeans are grown from genetically engineered seed?
JR: Already most are. The US is the biggest producer of soybeans in the world, and two-thirds of our soybeans today are genetically engineered to resist RoundUp. For people in the vegetarian community, for that matter anyone interested in their health and not wanting to be a guinea pig and expose their body to this, the important thing is to get organic soy products, because organic soy products are not genetically engineered.
The issue of genetic drift (or genetic pollution through involuntary pollination) is very big with corn, secondarily with canola, but not as big with soy. What that means is that organic soy products are truly organic.
CG: Is the Starlink controversy an omen of things to come? Do you think GE crops will eventually annihilate natural, organic plant species?
JR: Yes, Starlink is an omen because it shows that we can’t effectively segregate our sources of food. Even more to the point is that it is illegal to grow any genetically engineered crops in Mexico. Researchers recently went deep onto the interior of Mexico, seeking to get the native corns (the original non-hybridized corn) that are remarkable reservoirs of ancient genetic diversity and sacred to the native peoples of Mexico. And even in the most innermost part of the country, hundreds of miles from commercial agriculture, they could find no corn that was not contaminated to some extent by the genetically engineered proteins we see in Starlink corn. Corn is a uniquely open pollinator, and that’s why the problem is showing up first with corn.
So yes, if we continue to grow genetically engineered crops, we won’t be able to segregate them (as we have seen with Starlink) and they will in time contaminate all food sources in the world.
CG: How do you deal with that? How do you stay positive knowing the inevitable outcome of this situation?
JR: It’s only inevitable if we continue to do what we’re doing. That doesn’t mean it is inevitable; it means we have to change. Instead of surrendering to depression, the very intensity of the problem can serve to awaken people to this need for change.
CG: Would you call this the globalization of food?
JR: It is exactly that. And it is for the same purpose, which is to maximize profits for private corporations. Cultural diversity and biological diversity are just ground up and paved over by this attitude.
CG: What about the role of advertising in the globalization of food?
JR: The advertising and marketing industry is playing a huge role in globalization. For example, a couple of years ago, the president of Coca-Cola said that his goal was to make Coca-Cola more widely available in the world than drinking water. Ironically, in many counties it’s safer to drink. Imagine if that same distribution network were used to supply clean, safe drinking water instead of carbonated sugar water (with phosphoric acid), which is what Coke is. That would be worth doing, but it’s not where the money is. So it’s not what Coca-Cola is doing.
CG: Do you see education as the antidote to this problem?
JR: Yes, that’s why getting this information out through voices like Common Ground is so important. People need to know. The latest poll showed that 93 percent of the American public want genetically engineered foods to be labeled. I’ve seen about five different polls in the last year, and they all vary between 89-93 percent in favor of labeling. It’s usually very hard to get that high a percentage of the American public to agree on anything for any length of time. Given that, it’s stunning that we don’t yet have any effective legislation.
CG: Have you ever thought about a career in politics?
JR: Well, yes, I have. And people have asked me about that. But there is a Democratic US congressman from Cleveland, Ohio, Dennis Kucinich (the former mayor of Cleveland), a wonderful man who has sponsored bills in the House and Senate (along with California Senator Barbara Boxer) that would require the mandatory labeling of all genetically engineered food. That is where I am focusing much of my effort these days.
If we get that—and I think it is an achievable political goal—people won’t want to buy GE food if it’s marked and labeled. Right now they are buying it because they don’t know. A recent poll asked people if they had ever eaten genetically engineered food, and 50 percent of the public said no. Which is impossible since two-thirds of the food on our supermarket shelves contain genetically engineered ingredients. So when people say no to that question, they’re not lying; they just don’t know. And the reason that they don’t know is that there’s no labeling.
The labeling issue is a critical one and it goes to consumer choice. You don’t have to have a pro or con opinion about genetic engineering to know that you have a right to make a choice about what’s in your food. If there’s salt in food, it has to say so.
CG: Is the medical profession behind this issue?
JR: The British Medical Association, which is a very prestigious organization, has come out with a number of major policy statements opposing genetically engineered foods, speaking vehemently about the health dangers and stridently about the need for labeling. They have called for moratoriums and outright bans on these crops. The American Medical Association, on the other hand, has produced position papers in favor of GE foods.
CG: Please talk about what I call the Monsanto factor—essentially the efforts of agribusiness to patent seed genetics.
JR: This is basically what’s happening. They are patenting their seeds. Monsanto produces 80 percent of the genetically engineered seeds in the world today. This is a stunning market share, unheard of really. Even with all the market consolidation you see in the world economy, 80 percent dominance by one company is just staggering. They are uniquely selfish with no regard for the well-being of others. I don’t know that all corporations have to behave the way Monsanto does.
When Rachel Carson first wrote Silent Spring, a book which started the environmental movement in this country by exposing the dangers of pesticides, Monsanto tried to destroy her. They mounted a tremendous advertising campaign to discredit her and invalidate her work. They wanted to ruin her in every possible way they could. Now they are trying to do the same with me and others who are voices for the common good and general welfare. For this reason, my research has to be impeccable.
A few months ago, I had the occasion to be at a very large dinner party sitting right next to a man who is a major investor and on the board of Monsanto. I had a long conversation with him, a very heated conversation. And what emerged during the course of it was that he didn’t know a lot of the things that his own company was doing. He said that if these things I was telling him were true, he would quit the board. They are true; there’s no doubt about that. It’s amazing to me that they withhold information even from their own board members.
CG: Who can stop them?
JR: It’s going to take everybody, not just the Supreme Court. One entity can’t do it. Congress has to act on this, and we can look to leaders like Kucinich. He’s from the Midwest, and represents farmers who are a more solid and conservative part of the populace. They’re not necessarily liberal Democrats, but they do want to conserve the true Jeffersonian values of this country. When it comes to protecting the natural resource base, the issue of food security is profound. When framed as part of national security, the issue of having a reliable and safe food supply is enormous. In truth, Monsanto is contaminating the food supply, and one could make the argument that what they are doing constitutes agro-terrorism.
CG: Can you trust anything found in a supermarket?
JR: You can trust it to be what it is. Can you trust it to be organic? If it says that it is, I think you can. Can you trust it to be grown in ways that are environmentally sustainable and ways that are healthy for people? If it doesn’t say “organic,” I don’t think so.
The advantage of buying locally grown food is that there has been less transportation and it has probably been harvested closer to ripeness. It also doesn’t incur the environmental costs of transportation. It is better to buy local food—that’s for sure—but a lot of locally grown food isn’t necessarily organic.
We’re lucky to live where we do. The Bay Area, northern California and California in general is remarkably fortunate in terms of the availability of organic food. Most of the country, in fact most of the world, doesn’t have this advantage. This is a very serious issue.
CG: Please talk about the power struggle between agribusiness and the upsurge in local farmers’ markets.
JR: Wonderful as the farmers’ markets are, and how prevalent they are in the rest of the world, agribusiness in this country is doing everything it can to knock them out. The middle men, the food brokers, the traders, take a cut of everything that they’re involved with. If the public is buying direct from the farmer, that leaves them out. So, they want to do everything they can to keep farmers’ markets marginalized, and prevent them from returning to their healthy role in society.
There is legislation on both the state and county levels that threatens the viability of farmers’ markets. Federally, the USDA doesn’t give anything in the way of funding or support to small farmers. All of it is geared to industrialized, large-scale food production. And none of it goes to anything like organics, family farms, farmers’ markets or any kind of community-based food co-ops.
This is pretty ironic when you look at the current need to stimulate the economy. There would be a lot “wins” for many levels of society if a more supportive USDA policy were in place. It’s a shame, if not a crime, that the USDA has neglected the small family farms of America. Historically, small towns flourished all over the nation because of family farms. There is a certain ethic, a certain cultural value that defines American rural life which is being destroyed because of this. By and large, small family farms cannot compete with agribusiness, and it means the erosion of a way of life that is part of our American heritage.
One of the reasons there has been so much resistance to genetically engineered food in Europe (compared to the US) is that Europe’s diverse cultures have their own way of growing, preparing and eating food. Their cuisine is an expression of who they are. It’s part of their identity, their connection to the land, their history—and they don’t want it messed with. They don’t want it destroyed for corporate profit. In this country, on the other hand, we don’t have a cultural cuisine in the same sense. What we have is a fast food nation. Our version of a cultural food identity is McDonald’s and Burger King. And Baskin-Robbins.
CG: What about the European movement to promote “slow food” as an alternative to “fast food”?
JR: It’s marvelous. The whole idea of the family dinner time has been eclipsed in this country by TV dinners, to-go food and eating in cars. Isn’t it interesting that Europe is where the movement of slow food originated?
Throughout history, eating has been a way of bringing people together. It’s how parents stay in touch with what’s going on in their kids’ lives. When people break bread together, it’s an act of peacemaking, an act of good will. When you’ve eaten a meal with someone, you remember it. Often, that’s when a relationship passes from an acquaintance to a friendship. Dining together can be a deep biological and sacred experience. When we eat, we are connected to all of life. It’s a phenomenon found in every culture in the world, except ours. I see the McDonaldization of our food supply as the annihilation of our true relationship to life.
CG: What is a regular family to do who is just struggling to make ends meet? How can they afford this quality of life?
JR: That’s why it’s very important to ask, “What is quality of life” ? You have to define and clarify your own values. Otherwise, if you don’t ask those questions deeply and seriously, the culture will define it for you. Success is defined by material acquisition; advertising says you can only be happy if you buy what they’re selling. And when you buy those things, you go into debt. Before you know it, you’re a slave to the credit card.
Personally, I made a decision years ago never to buy anything on a credit card that I couldn’t pay for when the next bill arrived. That way I never pay any interest on it, which is exorbitant. It’s unheard of to live within your means, but if you don’t, you become prey to commercial forces that are so sophisticated and clever that you cannot escape. I’ve seen it ruin lives.
A friend of mine named Vicki Robin co-wrote a beautiful book with Joe Dominguez called Your Money or Your Life. It’s been a popular book about this very subject, really a guide about taking charge of your financial life in such a way that you value yourself, about how to put your time and your priorities at the forefront of your financial world, rather than suffering from “affluenza”. There’s also the Voluntary Simplicity movement, started by Duane Elgin’s book of the same name.
Just turning off the television helps a lot.
CG: What about the low-income family who can’t grow their own food, can’t afford expensive organic produce and don’t have access to a local farmer’s market? How do you wean them off fast food?
JR: In the inner cities of this country, the billboards you see are mostly for cigarettes, alcohol and junk food. When you go into the corner grocery stores, all that’s available is junk food. It’s this refined and processed food, the packaged foods, the ready-to-eat stuff (the industry calls it “value-added” foods) that you have to wean yourself from.
Through community co-operatives (even in the inner cities), people can get together and buy in bulk. Even organic grains are cheaper by far if you buy them that way. As an act of self-reliance, an act of affirmation, an act of self-respect, you have to start eating simply, wholesomely and naturally. Through food co-ops, you can do this quite affordably. In terms of neighborhood self-determination, this is one of the real options that exists for low-income people in the inner cities that is often not utilized. This would improve both their physical and financial health. These are important steps to getting out of the trap.
CG: Please talk about the E.U.’s ban on importing hormone-treated beef from the U.S. Does this mean that European meat is safe?
JR: It means that European meat is not treated with hormones, so in that sense it is safer. But there are many other problems that European meat has above and beyond the use of hormones.
The U.S. is virtually alone in the industrialized world in administering synthetic hormones to our livestock. It’s given to over 99 percent of U.S. cattle. The European community refuses to import U.S. beef even for use as pet food, because of the health consequences that their scientific community has determined do exist. The U.S. beef industry and the USDA both say that there are no health risks.
CG: Do you think that an outbreak of Mad Cow disease in the U.S. would get Americans to stop eating beef?
JR: Yes it would, and I think it could happen here. We don’t have any proof that there is any Mad Cow disease in the U.S. herd today, and there very well may not be, but the firewalls to prevent it are not iron-clad. There are a lot of ways that Mad Cow disease could get into our food supply. The USDA knows that and so does the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. They all know it and they’re worried sick about it. They are working very hard to take preventative action, but what they’re doing isn’t to shore up the firewalls. The action they are successfully taking is to get the federal government to guarantee economic insurance for them. So if it happens, the federal government (which is to say taxpayers like you and me) will have to pay for the losses that this industry will suffer.
The day that this happens will be an enormous news story.
CG: What are the dangers of food irradiation?
JR: Subjecting food to the equivalent of 250,000 chest x-rays in order to sterilize the food from its pathogenic organisms is vigorously advocated by the beef industry. It causes molecular changes in the food that are totally beyond our comprehension: it creates what are called radiolytic by-products; it reduces vitamin levels. And of course, no tests have been done on human beings for an extended period of time. However, they have been done on animals and the results are not good. Animals who have been fed irradiated food have shown irreparable health damage.
CG: Is there any irradiated food on our shelves yet?
JR: Some of the spices are, and some of the meat served in fast food chains has been irradiated. The technology is not yet widespread in the food industry, but there are those in the industry who want it to be. The meat and poultry industries are probably the main proponents of food irradiation, and the reason is that these are the industries whose products are most heavily contaminated with E.coli, Salmonella, listeria, campylobacter, a whole host of problems.
It’s an issue of liability. They don’t want kids eating undercooked hamburgers and dying. It isn’t good for their sales, their public image—or one would hope for the people who eat their food. But if they were really concerned about the people who eat their products, they would clean up their act and not produce food that is so heavily contaminated in the first place. Instead they want to sterilize it and serve it to people, rather than giving them wholesome food to begin with. Even if it is labeled, it will be so confusing that many people won’t understand what it is. For example, they want to call this process “cold pasteurization” or “electronic beam pasteurization.” Louis Pasteur would turn over in his grave.
CG: What will it take to reverse the epidemic of obesity in the U.S.?
JR: Turn off all the televisions. Get people living their lives instead passively watching someone else. The level of lethargy and the sedentary lifestyle in this country is just flagrant. Human beings are not designed to do this. In most cultures, people use their bodies for the daily tasks of survival in life. Instead, we push buttons for everything and eat for pleasure and entertainment rather than nutrition and sustenance.
CG: How do fad diets jeopardize one’s health?
JR: There are a number of poplar diets that promise to help people lose weight. We have so many desperately overweight people who will try anything in their pain. Some of those diets work in the short term through various means, but they are not healthy ways to lose weight. For example, if someone undergoes chemotherapy, they almost always lose weight because they can’t eat. And drugs addicts are characteristically slim. You can lose weight in all kinds of unhealthy ways.
I don’t think much of the fad diets either, like Atkins or blood-type diets. They’re all different from each other, but what many of them have in common (and Atkins is foremost in this) is a high-protein, high-fat, but low-carbohydrate emphasis. It’s almost a carbo-phobia. Carbohydrates aren’t bad; you have to know the difference between good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. Take wheat for example: 98 percent of the wheat consumed in the U.S. is eaten as white flour. If people just ate whole grain bread instead, it would make a big difference in their health.
The healthy way to lose weight is to have a wise relationship to your body with a lifestyle that’s active and natural. Your food choices will reflect that perspective.
CG: What do you think of a pure raw foods diet?
JR: There are people who say they thrive on raw foods, and that may be true, but there are many others who don’t. I believe in experimentation and adventure. People grow through trying things and seeing how their bodies respond.
However, a pure raw foods diet doesn’t work well for children. There aren’t enough calories in raw foods alone (except under tremendously unusual circumstances) to provide a child’s nutritional needs. As a rule, kids whose parents feed them a raw foods diet fail to thrive, although the parents mean well. I respect their high ideals and bravery to differ from the cultural norm, yet the results for their kids have not been good. What is good for adults is not always the same for children.
CG: What does it take to truly live off the grid?
JR: When we put our solar system in three years ago, it was then the largest residential solar facility in northern California. We have three generations living here, and it provides for all our personal household electrical needs as well as three offices: mine, the international headquarters for Youth for Environmental Sanity (YES!), and the John Robbins Institute for Health and Compassion. The solar system powers about 15-20 computers in all. Our refrigerator is a Sunfrost, the most energy-efficient electric refrigerator in the world. It uses about 5 percent as much electricity as a standard commercial model.
We have what is called net metering in California. With this solar system, it’s tied in to the utility company, so we’re not exactly off the grid. On a sunny day, we feed power back to the main power supply in excess of what we’re using. So, at this moment, we’re harvesting electrons on the roof. Our meter is literally running backwards. Our neighbors, whether they like it or not, are burning solar electricity at this moment.
At night, when there’s no solar electricity generated, we are in effect buying back some of the electricity we sold to PG & E during the day. We have our own little power station. Interestingly enough, the quality of the electricity (the sine wave) is vastly purer too. Our computers and stereo equipment seem to last much longer with fewer problems over time.
CG: Do you grow all your own food too?
JR: We grow a lot of it, but not all of it. There were a few years in my life when we did grow all our own food, but now I travel a lot and don’t have the time. We’re all busier. The rest of it we buy from the local farmers’ market and health food stores. During the summer, we grow about 30 percent of our food, buy about 65 percent from the farmers’ markets and 5 percent from the health food stores. During the winter, it’s reversed with about 30 percent coming from the garden, 5 percent from the farmers’ market and the rest from the health food stores.
CG: Is this a lifestyle anyone can embrace?
JR: I think anyone can embrace it. To embrace is to love, to honor and to rejoice in. To what extent people can individually achieve it depends on themselves. The lifestyle we have created here is the product of many, many decades of sustained choice and effort.
We didn’t always have money either. When we were growing all our own food, we lived on very, very, very little, much less than you would probably believe. Although we were poor financially, we were rich in spirit because of the choices we made.
However, to live this way does take discipline. Some people say that the best things in life are free. I don’t agree. I think the best things in life take a tremendous amount of discipline; they take effort and constant dedication. They are free in the sense that they can’t be bought and sold; they are not subject to profiteering. But it does take surrender and focus.
So if someone wants to live a life that is based in spirit, and true to the deepest potential of human existence, they have to make choices that run against the grain of our society. The courage to do that and the willingness to do it over time (anyone can do it for a few days or when they feel like it and when it’s easy) and sustain that vision over decades and across generations is the real challenge.
The place where you start is where you are. You take one step at a time and it leads to the next. If you keep the goal steady in your heart, if you keep the faith alive in your heart and if you keep loving life in every way you can, in time, wonders will unfold.
Virginia Lee was Associate Editor and served on the Editorial Board of Yoga Journal from 1980-85, and has been widely published in magazines ever since. She was a regular interviewer for Common Ground from 1992-2004. She has also written two books: The Roots of Ras Tafari published by Avant Books of San Diego in 1985, and Affairs of the Heart published by Crossing Press of Freedom, CA in 1993. She currently lives and works in Santa Cruz, CA for UCSC’s Psychology Department.