I have already recommended this movie to about 20 people in person- at least 5 of whom I know have gone on to watch it and bought copies of their own. When you find out such powerful information as this movie delivers it is just a crying shame not to tell everyone about it.
This movie just reiterates the amazing health benefits of a plant-based diet. It advocates a vegan diet in essence as the focus is on cutting out both meat and dairy but when you weigh up the dietary changes against the threat of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc, I think the change (even if gradual) is worth it. It is not a movie that is just telling everyone to stop eating meat- it provides you with many powerful facts that enable you ultimately to make up your own mind.
Based in part on the results of a ground-breaking observational and epidemiological study on nutrition and degenerative disease in China, in the late 90s. by 2 leading scientists, one American and one Chinese, this film pulls no punches and does not pussy-foot around the links between obesity, diabetes, many cancers, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis and other degenerative conditions, and the typical Western industrialised MacDiet. That is, a diet high in artificial processed foods, heavily laced with saturated and hydrogenated fats, corn syrup and other sweeteners, salt, meat and dairy produce from factory farmed methods, heavy on the additional growth hormones, antibiotics and fed on pesticide rich vegetation as the least offensive option.
Several recent food scandals showed factory farming has also resulted in herbivores being fed ground up animal remains in order to boost weight, with predictable results.This is a documentary and educational film which takes that study, and others, hooking up Colin Campbell, one of the aforementioned scientists, and author of the mainstream book brought out from those findings, The China Study, with work done with seriously ill patients, treated by radical changes in diet, rather than pharmaceuticals.
This film is of course not new material – there have been many, smaller studies, reaching the same conclusion. What is interesting about The China Study – and this film based largely around those findings, is that both Campbell and Esselstyn, nutritional scientist and clinician, respectively, are not vegans on ethical grounds, or banging a drum for their dietary beliefs through vested financial interests. Rather, both of them, originally from farming (cattle rearing) stock, CHANGED their views because of the evidence they found – Campbell from a life-time in nutritional research, initially espousing the we need more protein line, and Esselstyn working at the start with seriously ill heart attack patients who were so far down the line there was little that could be done for them except a dreadful cocktail of surgery or drugs which were not expected to extend life beyond months. Years later, survivors both from his initial cohort, and later patients, tell their own surprised and miraculous (to them) stories of the rapid and positive changes in health caused by moving to a plant based wholefood diet.
The film makes the telling case that logic, ethics, evidence, environmental concerns all point to a simpler answer. In the words of that other politics of food prophet, Michael Pollan
Eat Food. Eat Less of It. Eat More Plants
This is not a film presented by sweet hangovers from the love and peace brown rice, flowers in the ringlets and lentils era – this is hard edged, well argued, with plenty of evidence from all sorts of surprising people, including a group of fire-fighters, medal winning runners and a rather well-muscled martial arts experts, that wholefood plants based diets are for seriously fit people. In fact, I thought this film was putting a stake through the vampire heart of the steak-and-pharma industries.