Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Forks Over Knives" Gets to the Meat of Our Health Crisis

I actually had tears in my eyes as I watched the new film "Forks Over Knives" -- not because it's a sad movie but because the simple method of becoming healthy is reaching more Americans.

The title of the film refers to the notion that it's more palatable to eat our way to good health than it is to go under the knife to fix what a poor diet has caused. One of my favorite parts of the movie is when former surgeon Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn says that some people think a plant-based diet (ie. a vegan diet) is extreme. The film cut to the inside of one's leg, where an artery was being removed to be inserted into the heart in bypass surgery. With tongue in cheek, he said some people consider having one's chest cut open, heart exposed, to be extreme.

Indeed it's a lot easier to eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet than it is to undergo medical test after medical test, pay for and consume pills, and contemplate and recover from surgery.

The film focuses on Caldwell and nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell, the latter of whom wrote "The China Study." In his studies Esselstyn found that heart disease could be stopped -- and even reversed -- by switching to a plant-based diet. In his research Campbell found that animal protein triggers cancer.

The benefits of a whole-foods, plant-based diet are clear, yet it's so frustrating how brainwashed most people are. They'd rather mock vegans than admit that we're onto something. And they're brainwashed because of the meat and dairy industries, which have a lot of money and political clout.

A former president of the American Dietetic Association, Connie B. Diekman, appeared in the film, and given the scientific evidence that meat and dairy aren't needed to be healthy -- and, in fact, lead to poor health -- she appears shallow and stupid by saying that those two "food" groups are beneficial. Not surprisingly the film said she has ties to the dairy industry.

Film producers also interviewed an official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture who accused Caldwell and Campbell of being biased toward plant-based diets. Both grew up on dairy farms, and Caldwell's family also raised cows for beef. But the USDA is biased. It's an agency that's supposed to regulate the meat and dairy industries, yet it also markets for them and buys their products.

Here's a quick rundown of the health benefits of a whole-foods, plant-based diet:
- It can reverse heart disease.
- It can reverse Type 2 diabetes.
- It can stop the growth of cancer.
- It can lower blood pressure.
- It can help people lose weight.
- It can reduce or eliminate arthritis.
- It can lower cholesterol.

We know cigarettes are bad for us. We know they cause cancer. We know tobacco executives lied to us for years -- and are still doing so. So we never started smoking, and we're raising our kids not to smoke. Well, now we know that animal protein -- whether it comes in the form of meat, milk, eggs, cheese, etc. -- leads to heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and even more than that. Don't be like those people still puffing on cancer sticks. You have the facts. You have the power. Stop feeding yourself and your kids foods that are harming your bodies.

For a much better review, check out film critic Roger Ebert's.

"Forks Over Knives" is playing in select theaters.


veganelder said...

Thanks for writing about this film and thanks for the link to Roger Ebert's writing.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought maybe people do not like vegans or desire their lifestyle because of the way you push your OPINIONS on them and people who do not do things like you think they should be done are refered to as stupid and horrid.Try this for something different respect people even if they don't agree with you.

Tracy H. said...

Anonymous, I'm not sure what you refer to as opinions. The facts in the movie are well documented. Also, you came to by blog of your own free will; I haven't forced anything upon you.

Anonymous said...

Like I said respect people even if they do not agree with you.