Forks Over Knives - Movie Review

Forks Over Knives is a documentary-type film, distributed by D Films Corporation, that follows along similar lines as in Super-Size Me and Food Inc. except with much more scientific evidence to back up its theories. The film promotes a wholistic plant-based diet (they don't like to be called Vegan) claiming that this diet will help halt, reverse or even cure many of the diseases that afflict a growing number of North Americans today such as hypertension and diabetes. Several scientists and doctors, especially Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, did independent studies and produced scientific evidence that it is the North American meat-centric processed foods diet and specifically the animal proteins that is the major cause of disease and cancer. Plant proteins on the other hand can reverse the damage done to the human body by the comsumption of animal proteins. The film covers the effects of fast food, high fructose corn syrup, the real cause of osteoporosis and interviews many people that have been brought back from the brink of death by adhearing to this diet.

The film is a feel good movie in a way and offers a lot of hope to people currently afflicted by disease nowadays. The whole premise that food can be used as medicine instead of pills, injections or open-heart surgery (hence the title) is a very appealing message to many people. It is not a new concept but one that is a hard sell in a society where the recommended foods we consume is controlled by the agricultural companies. Dr. Esselstyn's son, Rip Esselstyn, who was also in the movie, was at the screening and he did a Q&A afterwards. He is living proof that a fireman can eat only veggies and still be strong and fit.

The message in the film is very clear - eat natural and eat plants or run the risk of being disease prone can be a tad extreme - and there is no mention to how our sedatary lifestyle also contributes to our overall health. However, I agree that changing our diet is not very hard and it is better to eat less meat and more veggies than to go under the knife. The film was extremely well laid like a well written essay and very informative. There are a few laughs put in it as well. After seeing this movie, I probably won't stop completely eating meat (I didn't eat much to begin with) but will definitely look into more alternatives to animal protein.

Forks Over Knives is in select theatres on Friday, May 20, 2011.

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