October 25, 2012, 6:45 p.m., Midland Public Library
Forks Over Knives is a life-changing, life-saving film. Medicine- and science-grounded, it details why a plant-based diet is better for you. It focuses on American diet problems, but you can bet Canadians aren't faring much differently.
'Fancy Jane' saw the film, which she quotes: ' “Some people think the plant-based, whole foods diet is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.” ' She says, 'That’s my favorite line,... delivered by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a heart surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic.'
She continues, 'My second favorite line was by one of Dr. Esselstyn’s patients who explained that a plant-based diet means he doesn’t need Viagra. His words were something like, “The flag still rises up the pole.” '
She notes that 'the film touches on the environmental consequences of our society’s meat and dairy consumption.... But mostly it was about health.... Getting off the medications. Having more energy. Reversing disease.'
A plant-based diet is tasty, too! Myths of an animal-based diet, such as 'protein in sufficient quantity and quality only comes from animals', or 'calcium only comes from dairy', are debunked. In fact too much of the animal-based protein casein is shown to be cancer-supporting in lab rats. A massive study of what humans eat and how healthy they are was done in China that supports a plant-based diet.
There are many paths to a plant-based diet, even some taken by firefighters and elite athletes.
The film follows primarily some 'typical' Americans: one African-American woman, one white man; both have had heart attacks, both saw doctors who recommended a plant-based diet, both reduced their meds, lost weight, got fitter, and will never eat meat again.
The American diet and the populace's declining, poor, physical health remain the film's primary focus. We learn, in a cartoon with a smiley shark, how evolutionary traits to minimize pain and maximize pleasure have been co-opted by the food industry to make a buck, I mean, to serve you better.
By the way. Look closely. In the graphic, that's no ordinary dinner knife; that's a scalpel.