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Murdock blogs about fruits, veggies and living a long life

By Emily Ford
eford@salisburypost.com
KANNAPOLIS ó David Murdock, 86-year-old founder of the N.C. Research Campus, has entered the blogosphere.
The billionaire owner of Dole Food Co. posted his second column Wednesday on the Web site The Huffington Post.
Murdock first blogged May 20 about the 33 fruits and vegetables he considers key to living a long and healthy life.
In this week’s installment, Murdock discusses the benefits of eating nuts and legumes and promises 10 more posts devoted to “covering all the areas crucial to longevity.”
Murdock’s appearance on the left-leaning Huffington Post surprised many, as he supports the Republican party. His Rowan County home, Pity’s Sake Lodge, hosted a reception last week for U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, although Murdock was not in North Carolina at the time.
While Murdock and Arianna Huffington “do not agree on all issues,” he writes, they have been friends for years, and he is godfather to one of her children. They share a passion for health and nutrition.
“Response to his posts has been amazing, with hundreds of comments posted,” said Mario Ruiz, vice president for media relations for The Huffington Post.
Murdock’s first column boasted 100,000 readers and received 370 comments. By Thursday night, the second column had 47 comments.
Not all the feedback is positive.
Critics of Murdock’s business practices are using the blog to rail against Dole Food Co., challenging the company’s treatment of workers, sources for fruits and vegetables and care for the environment.
Dole seems to be monitoring the Web site as well, and the Dole Nutrition Institute has posted several comments to further explain points in Murdock’s columns or to answer questions from readers.
In each column, Murdock plugs the Research Campus, his $1.5 billion biotech brainchild in downtown Kannapolis.
“We created the North Carolina Research Campus to study the health benefits of fruits and vegetables,” he writes. “It is the only campus in the world encompassing eight universities all working together for the benefit of health and longevity.”
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