Our Culinary Philosophy

As explained in our film, “PlantPure” was selected as a term for describing a whole-food, plant-based diet because it is suggestive of the purity of Nature. 

Importantly, we do not mean that people should be 'purists' in their eating habits. There is a school of thought in the plant-based community that salt and sugar, as well as nuts, avocados, and other plant foods high in natural fat, should never be consumed. We don’t subscribe to this.

First, nuts, seeds, avocados and other whole-plant foods high in natural fat are essential to a healthy diet when consumed in modest amounts. The argument against natural fat in whole, plant-based foods is the same reductionist thinking used by the dairy industry to advocate for milk consumption.

Milk contains calcium and calcium is a building material for bones, so the dairy industry has argued for years that we should consume milk. Yet, science shows that increased consumption of high protein-foods like milk and other animal derived foods (coupled with consumption of less plant derived foods) are associated with lower long-term bone health. Biology is complex — infinitely so. What matters most is not the presence of calcium in milk, but the wholistic effects of milk on the body. Likewise, what matters most with whole plant foods high in fat is the way they are utilized by the body and the effects they produce, and research is increasingly showing these plant foods to be beneficial.

Salt and sugar are in a different category. Adding extra salt and sugar out of their natural context is not essential to our diet. We believe it is important, however, that people should be free to eat food with flavors they enjoy. We will not change the world around the idea of plant-based nutrition if we tell people they must give up the food they love for food that tastes bland. And as our science advisor Dr. T. Colin Campbell often argues, there is no research to suggest that a little added salt and sugar in the context of a whole food plant-based diet has any harmful health effects. 

The PlantPure culinary philosophy also allows people the opportunity to have, now and then, a fun dessert and even a glass of beer or wine.

The only ingredient we advocate avoiding as much as possible is added oil. This ingredient is not necessary to the creation of great-tasting meals; it is possible to create flavor without oil. An argument can be made that very small amounts of oil (like a very small splash of sesame oil in a kale dish) is likely to do little or no harm, but the problem is that many people have difficulty drawing the line with oil. A little can easily turn into too much. So we suggest just staying away from it.

Dr. Campbell, has long maintained that you get most of the potential health benefit from dietary change simply by moving to a whole-food, plant-based diet. Becoming a purist is not likely to create any additional significant gain. We can quibble about whether we can add another incremental theoretical benefit by becoming purists, but why do this when the cost is a diet deficient in flavor? Our goal is not to motivate a small number of extreme eaters, but to launch a revolution that transforms society.

There are two impulses present in many of us. One is the impulse to be “right” and to judge those who are “wrong.” The other is the humble, nonjudgmental impulse to love. We favor the second, knowing that love is the more powerful, more transformational choice. And we love our neighbors and the larger world when we give them a plant-based option that is joyful.

This statement was reviewed and approved by our science advisor, Dr. T. Colin Campbell.

For more information, watch a video conversation between Dr. Campbell and PlantPure's founder, Nelson Campbell, below.