“Forks Over Knives” pitches that becoming a vegetarian could be be the only way to steer clear of strokes, diabetes and various forms of cancer. It sells a whole-foods, plant-based diet as the most healthful way to live.
“Real men eat plants,” said Rip Esselstyn a former Texas fireman at the Seattle premier of the film and he was wearing a shirt to proclaim just that while on tour with the film. This plant based diet also helped save one of his less healthy eating colleagues at the Austin Fire Department from severe heart disease which most certainly would have led to a premature death.
The film follows filmmaker Esselstyn and his fire house mates as they consciously eliminate animal products and cooking oils from their family meals. They undergo a battery of medical tests before they begin the diet and after less than a month all of them have their health levels tested again. When the results came back everyone of them realized significant improvements in their health levels as they relate to the possibility of developing heart disease or diabetes. The diet may be straight forward – but for many, giving up all animal products and cooking oils may seem a bit extreme. Rip would say “but isn’t it worth it to live a longer, healthier life?”
The film focuses on the research of T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn (who happens to be Rip’s father), farm boys who grew up eating plenty of meat. Their research has shown that consuming less than 5% of your calories in animal fat can turn off the cancer gene and that increasing that level to 20% results in turning on the cancer gene. These doctors believe that diet – not medication – may be the cure for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
The film, in the spirit of Super Size Me and much of Michael Pollan’s work, blames advertising and government subsidies for promoting unhealthy food choices. But in the end the film encourages each individual to take charge of their own health by simply making conscious diet choices.
Interested in trying to reduce animal fat in your diet? Forks over Knives is now playing at The Landmaark Varsity Theatre.
You may also consider checking out:
The Engine 2 Diet at www.engine2.com
The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cook Book at http://www.kimodonnel.com/book.html
Sutra Vegetarian Cuisine at http://sutraseattle.com/
Carmelita’s Vegetarian Cuisine at http://www.carmelita.net/