I have seen so many incredible documentaries about the environment and health in the last year (Food Inc, The Cove, No Impact Man, A Chemical Reaction, FUEL, Age of Stupid, Enlighten Up!), and I can add another one to the list: Forks Over Knives (FOK). Each movie has had an individual message, but what they all sum up to is that change needs to happen ASAP. However, change starts with us as individuals, and we have a lot of healing to do, which is what makes FOK so crucial.
Forks Over Knives is incredibly important to see because it really breaks down health myths. Even though I've been a vegan for almost 7 years I still have a lot to learn about what's best for my body, but it's so hard to get through all the noise. Everyone has an opinion about what's healthiest and how to look your best - so who do you trust? Most turn to doctors, but unfortunately there's a lot of misinformation from them too. Luckily, FOK is straight forward and pulls facts from scientific research, largely following T. Colin Campbell (author of the famous book "The China Study").
I almost feel that Forks Over Knives is more crucial to see than Food Inc., because our health is in danger. Food Inc. mainly centers around corruption and the hidden story behind food, while FOK is more focused and demonstrates that we can actually reverse or prevent most of our biggest health problems: obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The world needs to know that these issues don't usually stem from our genetics, but from the way we eat. It is possible that if our food system changes, we can cut health care by 70-80% - can you imagine? Take a moment to imagine seeing the doctor less, no longer having to take medications, and saving your loved ones from untimely deaths. The title "Forks Over Knives" implies that we can solve medical problems by changing what's on our forks, instead of attempting to cut out our illnesses with knives.
Hippocrates said, "let food by thy medicine", and this is the main message of the movie. FOK points out that the health benefits of eating a plant based diet seem "too simple to be true", so perhaps that explains why some people are skeptical. We've been conditioned to eat foods that are not healthy for us, because they were marketed to be the opposite. Fast food is appealing to us because we're "overworked and over-scheduled", and many feel fulfilled after eating it. One of the most interesting parts of the movie is the explanation by one of its experts, Dr. Doug Lisle, of why we feel good after eating junk food - it deceives our stomach receptors and we overeat in order to feel satisfied. Brian Wendel, Creator and Executive Producer, explained it best to me,
- "Richer foods excite our senses because the most calorically dense foods we would find in nature would support our survival. They would guide us toward bananas, let's say, over celery. However, we can now artificially increase calorie density beyond what we would find in nature, leading to hyper-normal pleasure and into a state known as The Pleasure Trap. This state occurs when our pleasure circuits--designed to steer us toward survival and successful reproduction--have become hijacked, or tricked, by artificial stimulation."
Aside from having a great message, Forks Over Knives is really well done. It's just under 2 hours but time flies due to the editing and graphics. Please go see this movie ASAP - if it's not playing near you contact the filmmakers and request it! Spread the word - the world needs to see this! It's time we "eat to live instead of living to eat".
Here are some photos from the private screening I had with Brian Wendel. We had a great healthy vegan potluck (I brought cookies from Eat Pastry)!