The Alliance to Repair the American Diet (now known as Remedy Food Project) was founded by Benji Kurtz. Obese his entire adult life, Benji, along with his wife Claire, watched the film Forks Over Knives in May 2013, and he immediately set out to learn as much as possible about a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet. The WFPB diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds and excludes all animal products. Processed foods are minimized, as are any additional salt, oil and sugar.
After reading books by WFPB pioneers such as Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Colin Campbell, Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Neal Barnard and Dr. Dean Ornish, watching hours of YouTube lectures and reading the research, Kurtz became fully dedicated to changing to a WFPB lifestyle. Over the subsequent 18 months, his weight dropped from 258 to 128 (height 5’ 5”), blood pressure to 109/65, cholesterol to 155, and blood glucose to 83.
Benji’s successes were spotlighted in the media, with his story being featured on CNN.com, HLN television, The Daily Mail, and The Globe. He was also honored to be featured as a “Star McDougaller” by Dr. John McDougall. After returning from their second plant-based conference on the west coast (where such conferences happen regularly), Kurtz made the decision to bring the first multiday conference to Atlanta, highlighting the great benefits that nutritional choice can have on one’s health. The first “Food=Medicine Conference” in November 2015 served to educate the public as well as provide continuing education for medical professionals about the growing amount of research that shows that food choice can affect chronic disease (prevention as well as reversal). Even the most optimistic of predictions did not approach the actualized attendance of nearly 400 people.
Following the success of the Food=Medicine Conference, the decision was made to rebrand all Alliance to Repair the American Diet activities as Remedy Food Project, including future live events, 21-day programs, prepared food and more.
Outside the world of plant-based nutrition, Benji is a serial entrepreneur, with past business successes in web development, online matchmaking sites, and his first love, radio broadcasting. Benji was educated at Emory University and holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell and the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. He and his high school sweetheart Claire live in midtown Atlanta with their cat Mia.