Wednesday, November 6, 2013

movie review: Forks Over Knives

Forks Over Knives surprised me, in that it's the same message that many other documentaries have covered, but it somehow felt different. The film makes the argument that a whole foods, plant-based diet is vital for long term health and well being. At the same time, a diet that includes animal products, such as meat, dairy and eggs, and highly processed, refined foods, contributes to long-term health issues.

We've heard that message a lot - it's one of the ideas that has made veganism so popular. And I think it's true that a diet heavy in plants, low in animal products and without processed foods can have dramatic impacts on your health. It has on mine. 

But where this film differed from others, including Food Matters, is that it was focused on science and clinical studies. It seemed much more solid on clinical evidence and research. At the same time they interviewed many people who also had their own anecdotal evidence to contribute (including a champion MMA fighter who is a vegan athlete!). The narrator also decided to pursue a plant-based diet after getting some troubling blood work that showed that he was at high risk for heart disease. Just 13 weeks of a diet change completely reversed his risk factors.

This film was a good reminder that we have more power over our own health than we think. Perhaps my favorite line was when someone mentioned that if you think your health and wellness is based solely on your genes (and that you're doomed to taking pills because of them), you are a victim. Yes, you might have to take some pills for some conditions. But we don't have to be victims of the drug companies pushing blood pressure and blood sugar pills. 

This is a good film to watch if you aren't really convinced that there's scientific evidence that supports clean eating or are still on the fence about its benefits. It's less hippie, more science. Which is right up my alley. You know, wanting to farm in space and all.

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