Wednesday 15 July 2015 saw the official launch of the international ‘End Heart Disease: Plant a Fruit Tree’ campaign. A Movement of Life project coordinated by the Dr. Rath Health Foundation, its aim is to educate people how heart disease is caused by a long term lack of vitamin C. The inspiration for the campaign is Dr. Matthias Rath’s scientific discovery about the development of heart disease, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States in 1990, and the inverse relationship between its incidence and our intake of vitamin C. Following the release in July 2015, by scientists at the Dr. Rath Research Institute, of scientific proof that atherosclerosis is an early form of the vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy, it is clear that the elimination of heart disease as a cause of human mortality is now possible.
Photo: Radu Oancea, Elena Maruta and the volunteers of the "End Heart Disease: Plant a Fruit Tree" campaign
In this interview, Paul Anthony Taylor, Executive Director of the Dr. Rath Health Foundation, talks to Radu Stefan Oancea about the launch of the ‘End Heart Disease: Plant a Fruit Tree’ campaign in Romania.
Paul Anthony Taylor is Executive Director of the Dr. Rath Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving human health on a global scale through scientific research, education and the defense of patients’ rights to choose natural health therapies.
You’ve been very active in Romania recently with the ‘End Heart Disease – Plant a Fruit Tree’ campaign. Could you tell us about some of the tree planting sessions you’ve been organizing?
‘Yes, things were pretty busy for us in October regarding this campaign. We chose this month after consulting with a specialist who told us it was the best time for planting trees. We held several planting sessions ranging from small – such as putting a couple of trees in a backyard – to large. Our biggest project involved the planting of twenty trees at a center that cares for disabled children. The planting session at this center went very well but it was hard work, we wouldn’t have managed to do it without the help of volunteers. Fortunately the work paid off and our reward was the smiles on the children’s faces after we were finished. The fruits from those trees will help them in the future by giving them a healthy diet, rich in vitamin C’.
Radu Oancea The Foundation’s Movement of Life coordinator in Romania. Radu is involved in projects concerning the protection of the natural environment and educating people about a healthy lifestyle.
Could you tell us about the reactions of people to the campaign? What sort of responses did you get when people first learned about the key role vitamin C plays in preventing heart disease?
‘The reactions to this campaign have been very positive. People tell us they fully support what we are doing and that it is a great idea. On a very basic level, of course, by planting trees we are engaging in a physically healthy activity. More importantly, however, we are simultaneously nurturing both our nutritional health and that of the environment. Everyone who participated in the planting sessions did it with a smile on their face and in good spirit.
I was really impressed by how people were very helpful and willing to lend a hand wherever and however they could. This was especially noticeable at the center for disabled children where we had people, teenagers and workers alike, who had heard about what we were doing and unexpectedly just turned up to help us for a bit, to assist us in getting hings done. That’s why, if you look carefully at some of the photographs we took, you’ll notice that a few of the people working with us didn’t have the official T-shirts with the campaign logo on!
‘It is common knowledge that fruits are healthy, of course, but people were amazed to find out exactly why this is’
Regarding the key role vitamin C plays in preventing heart disease, we saw during the course of the planting sessions that while people had some idea about it they didn’t really know the specifics. It is common knowledge that fruits are healthy, of course, but people were amazed to find out exactly why this is. They learned that vitamin C is a very important micronutrient for our body and that we should look to improve our diets by consuming more foods containing this essential component’.
‘We are looking to bring people together to work towards the common goal of a healthy future for themselves and their children’
What about the follow-up to the campaign? What are the next steps you are planning towards raising the profile of the campaign in Romania?
‘The optimum time for planting trees this year has now passed, so our next opportunity will begin next year in April or May. However, while we can’t plant any more trees for the time being, this doesn’t mean that our campaign has to hibernate for the winter. The benefits of vitamin C have to become more widely known; this is something that both the Movement of Life and the Dr. Rath Health Foundation are always striving to achieve. Our next steps are therefore to continue educating people and to plan future actions they can get involved in. Then, in turn, the people we teach can go on to inform others about vitamin C and cardiovascular disease, micronutrients and fruits, and a healthy lifestyle. The more people know about these things, the better they can protect themselves against diseases by having a proper supplementation of micronutrients and a healthy diet. And come April we will go back to planting trees, in new locations, and can hopefully meet further like-minded individuals who share our goals’
What advice would you have for people in other countries who are interested in getting involved with the campaign where they live?
You can participate in this campaign wherever you live, even if you don’t have the space available to plant a tree outside. For example, you can share the information you receive with others; teach them about the benefits of vitamin C against cardiovascular diseases; and promote our campaign and its activities. We are looking to bring people together to work towards the common goal of a healthy future for themselves and their children. Even for people who live in small apartments, it is possible to buy small trees, such as those producing lemons, which fit nicely into a pot and don’t take up too much space. Lemons are rich in vitamin C, and their flowers give a nice scent to the home too! Local communities can get involved by getting together and finding a place where they can plant some fruit trees that they can share. Once established, fruit trees require minimal care and they’re a great investment in your future: not only will you have your own fruits to eat, you can help prevent heart disease while doing so!