Dr Jane Goodall’s Harvest for Hope- a review

Jane Goodall wants us to manage stress , not so much our own, but the stress of our planet, by producing, transporting, preparing, and eating our food in ways less harmful and wasteful to us and our planet.

Strawberries growing in rows in a field

updated July 26, 2020

For Beth,

Follow your dreams-and help us to make the world a better place for human and non-human beings.

Dr. Jane

I cannot verfy the author of the above note and signature, but since I found it on the title page of a book by Jane Goodall, I suspect it is authentic. I found the book , In the Shadow of Man, at a used book sale benefiting a local charity. I’ve wondered who Beth is. Did she need to discard possessions for a move, did she die, or did she just not realize what a treasure she was giving away? If she donated it for charity’s sake, offering it for auction or selling on eBay might have raised more support. I don’t think the two dollars I paid helped the charity much.

This was not my first almost-close encounter with Jane Goodall. When my son was in elementary school many years ago, she came to his school. She was in our city for a public event but this was arranged privately by one of the teachers. I believe she had some personal connection with the famous researcher such that Dr.Goodall agreed to a private visit, with no news media present.

In anticipation of her visit, the children were asked to write poems about Dr.Goodall. I don’t remember exactly how it came about, but my son’s poem was chosen to present to her as a gift. And he was chosen to go on stage and give it to her.

Dr. Jane Goodall with Dr. Aletha’s son at his elementary school.

This happened long before the days of cell phone cameras and social media; if it happened today, I and the rest of the world would have seen it minutes later. But thanks to a teacher with a camera, a few weeks later he came home with a photo of him shaking hands with the lady famous for hanging out with chimpanzies.

Dr. Goodall’s pandemic warning

Knowing of her concern for animals, humans, and the planet, I suspected Dr. Goodall has opinions about the COVID-19 pandemic. In this July 3, 2020 interview with CBS News she said this,

we brought this on ourselves… the scientists that have been studying these .. zoonotic diseases ( jump from an animal to a human) have been predicting …this . As we chop down at stake tropical rainforest, We’re driving deeper and deeper, making roads throughout the habitat, which … brings people and animals in contact with each other. People are hunting the animals and selling the meat, or trafficking the infants, and all of this is creating environments which are perfect for a virus or a bacteria to cross that species barrier and sometimes, like COVID-19, it becomes very contagious and we’re suffering from it. 

In the Shadow of Man-and chimpanzees

In 1960,26 year old Jane Goodall went to Tanzania to study chimpanzees. No one had studied chimps before, so little was known about their behavior in the wild. Biologically and genetically, chimps are closer to humans than any other animal, so scientists believed understanding their behavior could shed light on some aspects of human behavior.

Jane roamed the forests of the Gombe Stream Chimpanze Reserve in Tanzania watching the chimps first with binoculars then with direct observation at close range, even occasionally close enough to touch them. She was accompanied by her mother Vanne, and later joined by a photographer Hugo van Lawick . Working together with nature and animals as their common interest, they fell in love and married. Eventually she had a staff of research assistants and students involved in observation and reporting about the chimps and other animals.

Title page of the book I bought at a used book sale.

In this book, written 10 years later (and periodically updated; my copy was revised in 1988.) Dr. Goodall details her years of living among the chimps and her detailed observations and conclusions about their behavior. (For which she earned her doctorate degree.)

One of her observations was that “like humans, chimpanzees are omnivores, feeding on vegetables, insects, and meat.” Which brings me to a review of a more recent book by Dr. Goodall.

Harvest for Hope-A Guide to Mindful Eating

Jane Goodall is just as interested in people as she is chimpanzees. Despite the title, though, this book is not about dining while listening to soothing music by candlelight in order to relax and de-stress.

Jane Goodall wants us to manage stress , not so much our own, but the stress of our planet, by producing, transporting, preparing, and eating our food in ways less harmful and wasteful to us and our planet. She wants us to

Change one purchase, one meal, one bite at a time

Jane Goodall

Goodall reflected back on her life as a child in England , when her family’s food supply was limited by the shortages of a world war. Even in peacetime, they ate what was grown locally and seasonally, rather than food flown in from distant lands. Her nutrition ideas are not new or unique, but she helps us realize our food choices effect the environment as much as the environment effects our diet.

Dr. Goodall recommends buying locally grown, organic foods exclusively, and avoid GMO foods, imports, bottled water, and fast food. She advocates a meat free diet. She urges us to waste less. She believes we need to “take back food productions from large corporations.”  We will be healthier and so will our planet she believes.

Dr. Jane recommends humans avoid

  • GMO (genetically modified organism) foods
  • meat
  • imported food
  • bottled water
  • fast food
  • refined processed carbs
  • concentrated and synthetic sweeteners
  • commercial oils

Dr. Jane encourages us to

  • Take back food production from large corporations
  • Waste less.
  • Use a filter for drinking water
  • Eat organic locally grown food.
  • Eat fruits, vegetables, legumes
  • Use olive oil, herbs, seasonings

Follow this link to learn about Jane Goodall’s life and work today.

the Jane Goodall Institute

“Dr. Jane Goodall went into the jungles of Tanzania to study wild chimpanzees and share their stories. She left the jungle to become an activist – to protect those chimps and work with people to improve lives while opening minds and hearts. Now, she donates her time to the Jane Goodall Institute, traveling on average up to 300 days per year”

a final thought about pandemics

But we know if we don’t stop destroying the environment and disrespecting animals — we’re hunting them, killing them, eating them; killing and eating chimpanzees in Central Africa led to HIV/AIDS — there will be another one. It’s inevitable.

Dr. Jane Goodall

exploring the HEART of mindful eating

I appreciate all of you who follow this blog; there are numerous other blogs to choose from so I am honored you chose to spend some time here. A special welcome to all my new followers from this past month.

Thanks for following this blog. If you’re visiting, I would love for you to start following Watercress Words : use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me. I also want you to find and follow me on Facebook, Pinterest , Instagram, and LinkedIn .

                              Dr. Aletha 

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Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

I am a family physician who explores the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, and through writing. On my blog, Watercress Words, I inform and inspire us in healthy living. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can then share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

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