During the first week of the 2014 Woodstock Fruit Festival, I had the pleasure of meeting Mewsum Wong, director of Raw Food Asia, when she attended a few of the talks I presented at the festival. Mewsum came all the way from Brunei, Borneo, and was excited to meet with raw food pioneers at the festival so that she might bring their valuable information back to her country. I gave her a gift copy of my first book, Creating Healthy Children: Through Attachment Parenting and Raw Foods. Upon her return to Borneo, Mewsum invited me to attend a fruit festival there that will happen in late 2015 or in 2016.
More recently, Mewsum asked if I would do a Skype presentation for Qidiaku, an event devoted to “igniting and nurturing minds” titled “Healthy Kids, Mudskippers & More.” The Mudskippers part was a presentation focused on an ocean creature popular in Brunei.
I was thrilled to be able to talk about the benefits of fresh plant foods to the families attending on February 15. It was 1 p.m. Borneo time and 1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time where I’m located, in New Jersey. I stayed on Skype with them for the entire event, which ended about 3 a.m. my time.
Thank goodness the Skype was working and they could hear me, as earlier in the day we had some difficulty with the audio. Sitting in the front row was the Tutong District Officer, a prestigious local figure, who listened carefully the entire half-hour as I spoke about the benefits of eating an abundance of fruits and vegetables and the change we need to see in the world if we want to see healing of degenerative diseases. These diseases are affecting populations worldwide. The Borneo press were also in attendance, and news of the event went out about the speakers in national papers.
According to the Borneo Bulletin, Dr. Hajah Norhayati binti Haji Md Kassim, co-chairperson of the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign in Brunei, expressed the following message on October 16, 2014:
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, coronary heart problems and diabetes are the leading causes of deaths not only at the global level but also in Brunei Darussalam.
Cancer is the top cause of death in Brunei. Women are often diagnosed with several deathly cancers affecting the breast, uterus, cervical, ovary and lungs. She reminded the women in the country to know their responsibilities in learning the risks of breast cancer and conducting breast self-examination in addition to practicing a healthy lifestyle.
Following my Skype presentation for the Qidiaku event, I received questions similar to what I receive at my talks in the United States:
- Where do we get our protein?
- Don’t we need more heavy and filling foods?
- How do you know we won’t be missing specific nutrients from animal food?
- Don’t we need to eat rice?
- Where will children get their calories?
Those attending listened carefully as I addressed each of their questions based on what I’ve learned over the past 20 years and my personal experiences. Then Mewsum made fresh watermelon juice for everyone, and they loved it!
Mewsum says that a typical meal in Brunei would include greasy fried chicken, rice and overcooked vegetables. She is fed up with the deterioration of health she sees in her country and has decided to do something about it. She is ordering copies of Creating Healthy Children and Raw Vegan Recipe Fun for Families so that the participants of the Qidiaku event can get the information they need to start transitioning their families to a healthier way of eating, taking advantage of all the amazingly delicious fruits and vegetables they have readily available in their very own tropical climate. Mewsum spends much of her time photographing the beautiful fruits and vegetables that make up her lifestyle and posting them on her Facebook group, Raw Food Asia.