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Surprising Science

Plant-Based Diet Key to Health

A new documentary film soberly examines the health effects of an animal protein-rich diet and how a largely unhealthy population supports a billion dollar pharmaceutical industry. 

What’s the Latest Development?

A new documentary directed by Lee Fulkerson considers how life might be dramatically healthier were people to subsist on a plant-based diet. The documentary interviews two professional health physicians: Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn, who have come to independent conclusions about the relationship between animal protein-rich diets and cancer. “Campbell was part of the China-Oxford-Cornell Diet and Health Project, which examined cancer rates in China, while Esselstyn was a noted thyroid and breast surgeon (named President of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons), who published a benchmark study on reversing coronary artery disease.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Forks and Knives, the title of the documentary, tells how the two physicians have cured innumerable patients by simply altering their diet. As for why the documentary insists on saying “plant-based diet” rather than vegetarian or vegan, perhaps it is because we attach value judgement to those words, considering them too hippie for our tastes, says the film’s reviewer, Katherine Monk. “As the movie makes abundantly clear, we’ve been trained to think certain things about certain foods… It also explains just how much money is at stake in perpetuating these ideas and who, finally, stands to gain from the masses’ misunderstanding of caloric consumption.”


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