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Join host Paul Shapiro as he talks with some of the leading start-up entrepreneurs and titans of industry alike using their businesses to help solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Nov 15, 2021

A year and a half ago, a guy few people had ever heard of came on to this show’s 44th episode to talk both about the business of police reform as well as his new book advocating plant-based eating. A former police officer, at the time of our interview he was the Borough President of Brooklyn and certainly had nearly no national profile. I mentioned in the episode that he was reportedly considering a run for New York City’s mayor’s office and that some people were even considering him a frontrunner.

Well, those pundits turned out to be right, as Eric Adams eventually announced his mayoral candidacy, dispatched his Democratic rivals in the primary, including far better known candidates like Andrew Yang, and then overwhelmingly beat his Republican opponent on Election Day. Now, Adams is about to be inaugurated as the first vegan mayor of America’s largest city, and his plant-based diet isn’t incidental to his platform. He has big food policy plans, some of which he foreshadows in this interview, which we’re re-releasing here as Episode 78 now that Eric is virtually a household name due to his successful mayoral bid.

In this interview, Adams talks about how his experience of being beaten by the police while in custody as a black teenager led to him become a police officer himself for two decades, and then ultimately to a life in politics. 

After serving in the police force, Adams was elected as a state senator in New York where he championed police reforms, including opposition to the then-stop-and-frisk policy, he served two terms as the chief executive of New York City’s most populous borough, Brooklyn, and of course is now set to become mayor, with many pundits calling him the future of the Democratic party and even a potential future presidential contender. 

In addition to discussing technologies from the private sector he believes could be helpful in preventing lethal use of force by police, we also discuss how Adams’ adoption of a plant-based diet reversed his diabetes, gave him back his health, and what he thinks private businesses can do to advance public health. And yes, he talks about what he thinks government should be doing to promote better health outcomes through diet, so maybe this interview will serve as a nice foreshadowing of things to come as Adams prepares to take the reins of power in the Big Apple. Who knows, maybe they’ll be eating more apples!