Covid, Diet, and Vaccination

By Alex Jack

Many medical professionals, government administrators, and members of the general public feel there is a moral imperative to be vaccinated against Covid. The unvaccinated are often told that they are potentially harming others, as well as posing a risk to themselves and their families.

Framing the question in this way neglects the origin and nature of the disease as well as the dietary, lifestyle, environmental, and other factors that enable it to spread. It sidesteps the ethical responsibility of those whose diet and lifestyle may have contributed to the pandemic’s origin and spread to self-reflect and change their own behaviors.

The Covid pandemic is a tragic consequence of the modern way of life and appears to have its roots in chemical agriculture and an imbalanced diet and lifestyle, especially the ultra-processing of foods and beverages.

An early strain of the virus emerged nine years ago in Yunnan, a region in southwestern China noted for its chemical farming and pesticides. The use of insecticides and other toxic sprays on monocultures appears to have contaminated flies, moths, and beetles that were consumed by insect-eating horseshoe bats and possibly pangolins (small anteaters). In 2012, a novel coronavirus killed several miners in a bat cave at Mojiang. The virology laboratory in Wuhan took diagnostic samples, and most likely this virus (96% similar to Covid-19) spread in Wuhan in 2019 and worldwide in 2020. While it remains to be seen if the Wuhan lab tweaked the virus in gain-of-function tests, the deaths of the Mojiang miners suggest that it was already highly virulent and contagious. This likely chain of transmission follows the zoonotic pattern of AIDS (arising from Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, or SIV, that emerged in Central Africa amid former colonial plantations, mining, deforestation, and contaminated chimpanzee meat consumed by humans); Ebola (arising from chemically grown bananas eaten by fruit bats, monkeys, and eventually humans); and Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever (arising from high pesticide-treated maize eaten by mice and passed on to humans).

According to the CDC, as of August 29, 2021, 94% of Covid deaths had to contribute to health conditions such as respiratory disease, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. For 5%, only Covid was listed as a cause of death on their death certificates. On all others, there were an average of four other conditions or causes. Virtually all these preexisting conditions are widely recognized to be dietary-related and susceptible to prevention, improvement, or recovery with a balanced plant-based way of eating. (1)

Overweight and obesity are associated with many of these preexisting conditions. About two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in America—the vast majority—fall into this category. As is well known, the main causes are a modern diet high in fats and sugars, including dairy food, excessive meat and poultry, refined grains, simple sugars, processed foods high in oils (plant or animal), and a sedentary lifestyle.

Besides personal health, the modern way of eating is harmful to the planet. Animal protein takes an average of 4.5 to 20 times as much land, water, and energy to produce as a comparable amount of plant protein. (2) As the United Nations’ FAO concluded in its landmark report Livestock’s Long Shadow, animal agriculture and distribution are the number one cause of global warming and climate change. (3) Eating hamburgers, fried shrimp, chicken nuggets, and ice cream not only warms the planet, making life more uncomfortable, hazardous, and potentially deadly for everyone, but it also contributes to soil erosion, desertification, ocean dead zones, loss of biodiversity, and greater flooding, hurricanes, forest fires, and other extreme weather events. Further, it leads to the spread of potentially lethal microorganisms and new vectors of disease.

The same zealous guardians of public health who point a finger at the unvaccinated should be shaking all their fingers (and pounding their fists) at Big Ag, the biotech seed companies, the food and beverage industry, gourmet cookbook writers and bloggers, and vegan junk food entrepreneurs (including Jef Bezos and Bill Gates), who are profiting from chemical agriculture, genetic engineering, ultra-food processing, and greenwashing that are imperiling the planet.

The CEO of Sweetgreen recently suggested that the answer to Covid may be to outlaw junk food. Over time, daily food has a greater impact on the quality of life, public health, and planetary sustainability than any other influence. Ultra-processed food, of both animal and vegetable quality, including synthetic and cultured meats, vegan cheese, and plant milk, now accounts for a majority of calories in the modern diet. Besides chronic disease, this new generation of fast or junk food lowers natural immunity to infectious diseases including Covid and continues to despoil the planet. It is a clear and present danger to the lives of billions of people and imperils the future of our species.

An ideal society would reorient itself toward sustainable agriculture, a balanced, predominantly plant-based way of eating, and an active lifestyle that would minimize disease, both chronic and infectious. Such a paradigm shift would gradually make intensive medical treatments and procedures, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, mammograms, and vaccinations, largely unnecessary. It would also phase out chemical fertilizers, pesticides, GMOs, and monocultures (including both chemical and organic) that are harming the earth and fostering the growth of new, more deadly microorganisms such as the recent Delta and Omicron strains of Covid.

How effective is a diet in preventing Covid? Allergy: The European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology recently published a study that spotlights the role of traditionally fermented vegetables such as probiotic-rich sauerkraut in the diet in strengthening natural immunity. Each gram/day increase in consumption of fermented vegetables of the country reduced the mortality risk for Covid‐19 by a whopping 35.4%(4) There are about four grams per teaspoon, so this suggests that one teaspoon of sauerkraut or other traditionally pickled vegetables per day would confer nearly total immunity.

Other studies found that Covid victims had shorter telomeres—the caps on the ends of DNA strands linked to aging—than others. Long telomeres are linked to eating whole grains, vegetables, and other fresh, natural foods. (5) According to recent medical studies, individual foods that inhibit severe respiratory conditions include kuzu, shoyu, umeboshi, and dandelion extract. (6) The first three items are used in a drink Ume-ShoKuzu that is taken to strengthen the blood, lymph, and prevent infection In China, rhubarb has successfully been given to ward of or recover from epidemics, ranging from the Black Death in the thirteenth century to the influenza epidemic of 1918 and most recently among Covid patients treated with traditional medicine in Wuhan.

The Covid vaccines appear to have saved the lives of many people, especially those with preexisting conditions. The long-term effects of the vaccines remain unknown, and as Vice President Kamala Harris had stated, there is “righteous skepticism,” especially among Blacks, women, and other minorities and majorities historically exploited by the medical profession. (7)

According to the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), there have been 7,218 reports of deaths from Covid vaccines as of August 31, 2021. There have also been several thousand reports of anaphylaxis, thrombosis, GullianBarré Syndrome, and myocarditis. Of course, not all these deaths or complications are necessarily a result of the vaccine and could be coincidental. On the other hand, traumatic events (ranging from domestic abuse and rape to dementia and Covid itself) are widely underreported and may reflect only a small percentage of the actual total. The medical jury is still out regarding the full extent of the short-term consequences of the vaccines and may well be for several years pending more comprehensive studies. The long-term impact of vaccines on natural immunity, reproductive health, and possible DNA changes will take much longer.

By declaring war on the virus, the nations of the world are waging a medical arms race that can never be won. Even more powerful vaccines inevitably breed ever more resistant strains of viruses. Escalating force and violence are no more a solution to this crisis than they were to the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Only self-reflection and a return to harmonizing with rather than subduing nature will resolve the situation.

During the pandemic, masking, social distancing, and regular testing are commonsense hygienic practices that everyone should observe. But requiring diet- and health-conscious individuals who have conscientiously devoted much of their lives to avoiding harmful substances to get vaccinated is misguided. They are demonstrating a safe, effective, nonviolent way out of the pandemic and future epidemics and the existential climate changes that are threatening the planet.

At the present time, vaccines may be offered to those with preexisting conditions, those who are eating ultra-processed foods, and others who might benefit from inoculation. A campaign to alter eating habits in a balanced plant-rich direction—led by world leaders, the WHO and CDC, and parents, teachers, and other community members—would have a much greater impact on ending the global Covid pandemic, preventing future epidemics, and reorienting society in a healthy, sustainable direction.

  1. “Comorbidities and other conditions,” Weekly Updates by Select Geographic and
    Demographic Characteristics,”, September 1, 2021.
  2. Jess McNally, “Can Vegetarianism Save the World—Nitty Gritty,” Stanford Magazine, January/February 2010.
  3. Livestock’s Long Shadow, FAO, 2006.
  4. Jean Bousquet et al., “Cabbage and fermented vegetables: From death rate heterogeneity in countries to candidates for mitigation strategies of severe COVID-19,” Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 76(3): March 2021, pp. 735-750
  5. Raul Sanchez-Vazquez et al., “Shorter telomere lengths in patients with severe COVID-19 disease,” Aging, 2021 Jan 11;13(1):1-15. Silvia Canudas et al., “Mediterranean Diet and Telomere Length: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Advances in
    Nutrition 2020 (11:6):1544-1554.
  6. “Umeboshi Have H1N1 Suppressant,” Japan Times, June 3, S. Mediouni et al. “Potent
    suppression of HIV-1 cell attachment by Kudzu root extract,” Retrovirology 2018:15:64. R. Katagiri et al., “Association of soy and fermented soy product intake with total and cause specifc mortality: prospective cohort study,” British Medical Journal Jan 29, 2020:368m34. Wang, Huansong et al., “The identifcation of antioxidants in dark soy sauce,” Free radical research, 2007:41. 479-88. Hoai Thi Thu Tran et al., “Common dandelion (Taraxacum ofcinale) efciently blocks the interaction between ACE2 cell surface receptor and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein D614, mutants D614G, N501Y, K417N and E484K in vitro,” bioRxiv, March 19, 2021.
  7. “Virus Updates: Biden Marks 50M Vaccine Shots; Harris Addresses Vaccine Hesitancy,”, February 25, 2021.

Alex Jack is the president of Planetary Health, Inc., the sponsor of the Amberwaves grassroots campaign, educational events, and medical research. His latest book is Sprial of

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.