Forks Over Knives

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A friend of mine emailed me yesterday and gave me a link to this trailer (seen below) which apparently was shown on The Dr. Oz Show recently.  I don’t have television, so I had no idea that this movie was being made, but after watching the trailer myself like ten minutes ago, I’m pretty fired up about it.

Piggy backing on the heels of books like In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma (both fantastic books written by Michael Pollan), as well as the documentary Food Inc. (which features Pollan, and, coincidentally, was the movie I took my girlfriend to on our second date – who says romance is dead), I have to say that I really, really, REALLY love the fact that more of the mainstream media is starting to get involved with sending out a more “truthier” message about the food industry.  More to the point, is the fact that people are starting to WAKE UP and finally realizing that what they put down their pie holes on a daily basis is literally killing them.

I mean, look at us.  It’s not uncommon for someone to be taking upwards of ten pills a day to treat their diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, depression, anemia, impotence, blahbiddy blah blah blah.  You name the symptom, and there’s a pill you can take to relieve it.  That is, of course, until you need to take yet another pill to counteract the side-effects of the first one.

Hey, I have an idea – how about you stop eating an entire bag of Doritoes for breakfast? 

And, if this isn’t a cause for change I don’t know what is:  I was walking through a clothing store the other day and saw that they were selling XXXL pants.  Jesus, what’s next, size SUV? 

Who’s to blame, though?  Is it the government who, in all their infinate wisdom, continue to spew out archaic jargon like saturated fat is bad, despite no definitive research to back it up?  Or, is it us, who continue to play the ignorant card?  I mean, if we’re really honest with ourselves, we know that a french fry really isn’t a vegetable, right?

It’s gotten really bad, and it’s no wonder that many experts are predicting that OBESITY is going to soon take over as our #1 cause of (PREVENTABLE) death – and this isn’t even taking into account the insurmountable burden that all of this has on the healthcare system.

Nonetheless, Forks Over Knives, I hope, will continue to spead the message that people need to start taking more of a proactive role in their own health.  I know for those reading, this is more like I’m preaching to the choir – but do yourself (and your family, friends, and colleagues who don’t know any better) a favor, and force them to go see this documentary.  It may very well save their lives.

UPDATE:  I didn’t notice it the first time around, but after watching the trailer again, I get the funny feeling that they may be attempting to drive people towards veganism/no-meat diet – which, if that’s the case, I’m going to light my face on fire.  As Roland, notes in the comments section: 

Did you see Rip Esselstyn in there, author of the Engine 2 Diet? Vegan, low fat…

Uh oh – major Red Flag.   At the very least, however, I’m hoping that people will start to see the bigger picture here.  We shall see…… 

 

 

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  • I agree with the idea that food is the key to most of these ailments, but I don't agree with their idea of a “plant based diet.” If you look and listen closely, there are plenty of people in that clip who are looking to lead people to veganism. Did you see Rip Esselstyn in there, author of the Engine 2 Diet? Vegan, low fat…

  • Lars

    Amen!

  • Christian

    Roland, I think a big issue right now is that people don't understand how to properly get plants into their diet. I know many people, especially in my family, which neglect to even eat fruits. They don't think it is necessary and they can just take a multivitamin to get rid of these issue and replace the plants. People don't realize the natural benefits and most don't get enough plants into their diets!

    If you actually read the Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollan, he actually rips on vegans and vegetarians, not really supporting their decision to remove meats and fats from their diets. However, lets also remember that many of the issues within the diet are that we are increasing inflammatory responses, increasing Omega-6 in our diet, increasing bad fats, while decreasing the things we often need. Plants help to support those natural function which we are so readily removing from out diets. We need to find a balance and throw anything that comes in a bag, plastic container, is over processed, etc. into the trash! It isn't good for us so why do we continue to eat it?

    Just saying, I think people won't become vegetarians or vegans from this, but will lead them to healthier choices and understanding of a proper diet, which is what we all should aim for.

  • Christian, I agree with all that, my concern is mostly what they will do when they want more info. If they look at the cast of characters and buy their books, they do themselves a disservice. Stealth veganism! 😉

  • Brad

    My suspicion is that ultimately the balance of meat vs vegetables in your diet depends on your body composition. Readers of this blog like to lift heavy shit, ergo muscle mass and strength is important, and therefore increased proteins and fats are appropriate.

    As much as we might want them to, the vast majority of the great unwashed are not interested in lifting weights and developing muscle, and I think a shift towards a plant-based diet is more appropriate.

    The key, of course, is getting everyone off of processed crap as much as possible …

  • R Smith

    Tony,

    What you say cannot be said often enough. I've always thought “How can we trust a government that allows the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco-based products?”

    Now, when I read that obesity is a $270 billion drag on the economy each year, I wonder how in the hell food companies can create “healthy” food items with ingredient lists longer than Lindsay Lohan's rap sheet, and we stupidly keep consuming it. That is plain criminal.

    I'm an amateur fitness geek on my best day, but when friends “secretly” e-mail to ask how to lose 10 pounds, I always say the same things: a) Who says you ONLY need to lose 10 pounds ( a joke, kinda)? and b) try to limit packaged food choices to those having fewer than five ingredients.

  • Domenic

    At what point does this become more about how maintainable certain types of eating are?

    For example you know Omnivores Dilemma talks about energy yield for corn and how its basically the highest for any crop per acre (If I remember correctly). Meat and vegetables are extremely inefficient in this sense when you are simply looking at how much energy is produced for a given area.

    In Gary Taubes book good calories bad calories (much more in depth than Pollans work) he talks about how more crops are diverted to feed animals which puts even more stress on the food production and prices. Never mind grass-fed meat which is really the healthiest.

    I'm all for low carb moderate to high fat high protein. But lets say everyone did adopt this same approach. Sure they would lose weight. But can the planet support 7 billion people, or in the US case, 311 million eating like this? No way in hell.

    On to the next solution because that one wont work. OR reduce the amount of people. As humans we are obviously smarter than other animals, but our success is somewhat overstated. Grains are great yea sure we can support alot of people! But everyone is fat and disgusting. Problem.

    We can use all these machines to move around this supply of grain and meat! Oh but that uses oil which is an expendable resource. Problem.

    It would be best if the infrastructure was smaller and could only support lets say half the people. Then quality of everything could go up because there aren't as many mouths to feed.

    What do you guys think?

  • Dave

    I'm a soon-to-be pharmacist. If I had a dime every time a diabetic patient bought a 12 pack of snapple iced tea/snickers bar/cookies with his/her metformin and humalin-r, I'd be a very very very rich man.

  • Deborah

    Unfortunately it looks as though it's a plant based (fork) vs. animal based (knife) debate. Is it so difficult to understand that obesity, and the associated health issues, happened due to the explosion of processed junk food and fast food in this country? When I was going up (yeah I'm like 100) there was ONE “fat kid” in my school. Today all of the Dorito-breakfast eating kids have diabetes.

  • looks good

  • Looks interesting.

    The film Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days – shows the power of nutrition. It is at the extreme end of raw food veganism, which is not the healthiest diet in the long term in my opinion. But the results are impressive.

    http://www.rawfor30days.com/themovie.html

    Nearly everyone I train could do with eating more vegetables,raw unprocessed food and lean protein and eating less junk

  • Andy

    Yeah, while I was in for the first half of the video, once they started trashing animal products I could kind of tell they had a bit of a vegan agenda. The idea that the lack of animal products in less developed countries is creating good health is based on misinformation and ignorance of science.

    Like Deborah said, we should be focused on the real problems in our national diet: processed foods, refined starches and grains, and the massive upswing in sugar and high fructose corn syrup consumption. I'd encourage anyone who's interested in this stuff to read Gary Taubes and check out the Weston A Price foundation. A lot of good, science based information that really doesn't get the credit it deserves.

  • Domenic, there's evidence that all this agriculture is destroying the soil around the world, so that style of eating would also be a dead end.

    What if there was a more sustainable way to farm beef, chicken, eggs, and plants?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAHGbbjenhI

  • Domenic

    Roland I see that and I've read omnivores dilemma and am familiar with that farm and all that. Great stuff for sure. What we need to know and I cant remember if I've seen is the commerical production numbers. If the Polyface model is scaleable and a bunch of those small farms would feed us than great. I dont know if the numbers say that or not.

  • Regardless of the vegan/plant-based-diet undertones (which I definitely noticed), I pretty much flipped out watching this trailer. I had never heard of it until this post so THANK YOU!

    I might link this entry…um…everywhere.

  • It looks like this film takes major notes from Dr. T. Colin Campbell's The China Study. Anyone who is interested in understanding the true idea of a “plant-based” diet should read this book. It's a life changer.

  • Tony Gentilcore

    @ Sarah: Granted I have never read the China Study, but I know a lot of people smarter than myself who have, and they had less than stellar things to say about it. If you check out some of Brian St. Pierre's stuff, you might find it interesting.

    I have no doubts that it is a life changer, but from what I have heard, Dr. Campbell definitely took some liberties with his “research.”

  • Trey

    @Domenic- Calories per acre of farmland is one way to look at it. Another is to figure nutrients per calorie per acre. Sure corn fields can produce a tremendous amount of calories but there's very little nutrient value to any of it which is the base problem in this country. We are severely overfed yet undernourished at the same time. We always have these companies come in, like Cascadian Farms, who try to be an “organic conglomerate” of sorts and try to supply an entire country from one location. Food and land quality gets axed in an attempt to continually produce more. We don't need one gigantic corporation to attempt and copy the Polyface Farms model on a large scale. We need more smaller, regional producers so that we don't have to ship food across the country in order to feed people. Our priorities are completely skewed though. People would rather pay as little as possible for their food so that they can spend ridiculous amounts of money on entertainment and other shit they don't actually need.

    @Sarah- The China Study was lacking at best. You can't just observe a populations diet and draw definite conclusions about anything. Dr. Michael Eades wrote a great article on it- http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/cancer/the-china-study-vs-the-china-study/

  • Podge

    You kinda expect the “Saw” music 😀

  • Hmm…. I don't know what I think about this either. I know tons of vegans who are overweight, so eating plants isn't exactly the cure.

    I say 'eat more dirt.' Eat foods that come from the ground, that eat from the ground, and that grow in nutrient rich soil or dine on nutrient rich plants.

    But, I don't have a budget for a big documentary film.

    Hey, why don't they make a documentary on people who actually take care of themselves rather than on people who don't?

    Maybe that would shed some light on the subject. It's not an impossibility to take care of yourself on a daily bases.

    Anyway, good post. the movie is a step in a better direction, though it may not be 100% on course.

  • *basis*

  • Mike Richards

    I saw forks over knives at a local indie film cinema… I liked the message that the creator had about thinking about what we put in our mouths… BUT yeah its a vegetarian movie. The biggest part of the movie isn't even anything to do with most junk food but its meat or even just protein in general(yes they claim protein intake causes cancer in most)… the idea is based off the china study where richer folk ate meat and others didn't and so the richer people had a much higher rate of obesity, heart disease and cancer… The issue is there are so many variables that it makes that conclusion completely unreliable. I've worked with a few clients that went onto the vegetarian diet pushed in the movie and they saw some good weight loss and health results, however these were older and less active clients. I have come across a few athletes and gym rats who have tried it and got much weaker as a result of following the movies “protein is killing you” message.

    Still it was a very compelling movie and I enjoyed some parts of it.

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