A vegan trailblazer, public health nutritionist, author, and international lecturer, Tracye McQuirter has been named a national food hero who is changing the way America eats for the better by Vegetarian Times, and her national best-seller, By Any Greens Necessary, was the #1 recommended vegan book on The Huffington Post.
Tracye directed the nation’s first federally funded vegan nutrition program and co-founded one of the first vegan web sites 15 years ago.
She is a national authority on preventing and reversing chronic diseases in African American women using plant-based nutrition, and has been credited in part with increasing the number of African American vegans and vegetarians to nearly 3 million people.
Vegan for nearly 30 years, Tracye is passionate about helping people live healthier, happier lives. She has a master’s degree in public health nutrition from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College.
Tracye has a master’s degree in public health nutrition from the New York University Steinhardt School Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, where she was awarded a prestigious academic fellowship and was mentored by renowned nutritionist Marion Nestle. She received her undergraduate degree in African American Studies from Amherst, the nation’s top liberal arts college. She was inspired to become a vegetarian there during a lecture given by human rights activist and humorist Dick Gregory.
Tracye attended Sidwell Friends School from 3rd through 12th grades. She had a disastrous introduction to vegetarianism in the 7th grade when her teachers decided to make the food for the annual class camping trip all vegetarian, including such travesties as peanut butter and honey sandwiches, granola, and salad. Tracye tried to circulate a petition among her classmates against this grave injustice, but was overruled. (Who knew how things would change!)
Tracye has been featured in numerous national media, including The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Ebony, Essence, Black Enterprise, Vegetarian Times, NPR, The Tavis Smiley Show, News One Now with Roland Martin, CBS News, NBC News, FOX News, The Chicago Sun-Times, and VegNews.
Directed First Federally Funded Vegan Nutrition Program
Tracye directed the Vegetarian Society of DC Eat Smart program, the nation’s first federally funded and community-based vegan nutrition program, launched with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this innovative, hands-on course targeting low-income DC residents, Tracye taught participants about the health benefits of plant-based foods, and how to shop for and prepare healthy vegan meals. The popularity of the program resulted in a waiting list of more than 250 people—a remarkable achievement for a community-based course about eating vegan. Tracye received an award of excellence for development and leadership of the Eat Smart Program from the Vegetarian Society of DC.
For the past two decades, Tracye has spoken to hundreds of audiences at universities, corporations, nonprofits, women’s organizations, faith-based organizations, and health conferences around the world about such diverse topics as her inspirational journey to veganism, African American health, food justice, empowerment for women and girls, the writing life, and entrepreneurship.
Led Initiatives to Prevent and Reverse Childhood Obesity
Tracye spent a year leading culinary demonstrations and nutrition workshops on the benefits of healthy plant-based eating for hundreds of children, parents, and teachers in the DC Public Schools system and childcare centers to help prevent and reverse childhood obesity through her work as a nutrition educator with the University of the District of Columbia Center for Nutrition, Diet, and Health.
Helped Win Lawsuit Over Biased U.S. Dietary Guidelines
As a public policy advocate, Tracye helped create the strategy for a groundbreaking lawsuit filed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine against the USDA proving meat and dairy industry bias in the formation of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. The lawsuit proved that 6 out of 10 members of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines committee represented the meat and dairy industries, and biased the committee toward promoting these unhealthy foods. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines advise all Americans on what to eat, and dictate what is provided to millions of children in the National School Breakfast and Lunch Programs and what is available to millions of low-income families through the WIC program.
Award-winning Senior Editor and Writer
Tracye has been a professional editor and writer for more than 20 years. She received the prestigious Council of Foundations award for excellence in communications as a member of a three-person communications team for the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation, one of the largest grant-making foundations in Washington, DC, established by the founders of The Washington Post.
Public Service and Professional Affiliations
Tracye is on the Advisory Board of the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, which promotes health improvement, and food and health literacy for New York students through plant-based diet initiatives.
She also co-founded the Black Vegetarian Society of New York in 2002 and co-founded the first comprehensive website to support and inspire African American vegetarians in the late-1990s.
In 1988, Tracye co-founded We Feed Our People, a community-based coalition that honors the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. by providing a nutritious meal and warm clothing to poor and homeless people in the nation’s capital on the annual King holiday. We Feed Our People is now the flagship “Day of Service” event in the nation’s capital.
Tracye also has served as a nutrition consultant for the Black Women’s Health Imperative, the nation’s largest health advocacy organization for African American women and girls, and as a contributing writer for Heart and Soul, the country’s largest health and fitness magazine for black women.
Directed Mary McLeod Bethune Museum and National Archives for Black Women’s History, National Historic Site
Prior to becoming a public health nutrition professional, Tracye directed the Mary McLeod Bethune Museum and National Archives for Black Women’s History. The site has served as a center for the political, economic, and social advancement of African American women and their communities during and beyond Mrs. Bethune’s life and work there as one of the most influential educational and political leaders of her day. While directing the site, Tracye served as an honorary delegate at the United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, China, in honor of Mary McLeod Bethune’s role as a co-founder of the United Nations.
Passionate Vegan Advocate
By Any Greens Necessary is the culmination of Tracye’s personal and professional experiences of nearly three decades, and her passion to inspire people to live healthier, happier lives.