Why and how did The Lentil Intervention (TLI) come to be? That's a big question! And although we're still evolving, our goal is clear: to help people adopt climate-friendly and healthy lifestyle practices while providing a platform for others doing the same.
Ben Eitelberg and Emma Strutt first crossed paths in 2019 due to their involvement in the Australasian plant-based nutrition community. At the time they both recognised the gap for locally made and honest content from our corner of the world in regards to plant-based nutrition and other lifestyle medicine pillars.
A year later they decided to form an advocacy platform that would provide freely accessible resources to help individuals take action for better planetary health. Initially centred around three main pillars; environmental wellness, plant-based nutrition and movement, the first episode of The Lentil Intervention podcast went to air in April 2020.
While both Ben and Emma already agreed that there was no such thing as a healthy person on an unhealthy planet, it was soon evident to them just how far-reaching our planetary health issues actually were (and still are!). So, another year on, TLI content was broadened and shifted from more of a health perspective to include further environmental, social and economic topics, in addition to other aspects of lifestyle medicine.
While raising awareness is great - it’s only the first step, and Ben and Emma felt the need to start taking more tangible action given the urgency of our health and climate crises. Thus, in June 2021 The Lentil Intervention was registered as a charitable trust in New Zealand and our work and network of partners expanded - and continues to do so.
And as for the name? We can thank Emma's sister Jess for that! During some friendly banter (as sisters do), Emma suggested Jess needed a mental intervention, whereas Jess thought she heard… that’s right, a lentil intervention! Ben heard the story, loved it, and the name stuck. It’s quirky, and we regularly receive positive comments on the name, so it’s here to stay.
"We cannot hope to improve human health without simultaneously addressing economic, social and environmental injustices"