Diet and Forks over Knives

I was recently annoyed by a video called Forks over Knives. I’ve been reading off and on about nutrition over the past few years, and so I did come into the movie with some existing beliefs (I tried to keep an open mind, but I am not sure it was successful). But the movie didn’t give much information, it was dramatic and entertaining with lots of graphics, but not much convincing argument. Over and over, it set up a comparison between “industrial food including animal products” and “natural foods with no animal products”. The message seems to be that the problem is the animal products, not the industrial food!

I didn’t realize it at the time, but Forks over Knives is by a Dr. Campbell, who did write a book with the same material called the China Study, and that book caused some uproar and discussion in the paleo-nutrition blogosphere that I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to at the time. Here’s the article: China Study Response (pdf).

When I was looking for that article, I found a critique of the science in Forks over Knives, written by the same writer: forks-over-knives-is-the-science-legit-a-review-and-critique

It’s great; it expands and goes into excruciating detail on many of the points that bothered me, so I don’t have to even start trying to figure out the problems. Warning, though, it’s very, very long and full of data.

Myself, I’m kind of with the Dr. Weston Pricers, and believe that animal meat and fat are healthy. Dr. Cate Shanahan wrote a book called “Deep Nutrition” that is by far my favorite; it’s against sugar (including starches) and seed oils, and in favor of meat especially bone broth and organ meats. While I see her points (and some of the data from the Paleo people) about the problems with starches and especially wheat, I’m just not sure – I don’t do well without some starches.

The bottom line for us, though, is that any sort of diet philosophy has to work with the foods we can grow for ourselves at different times of the year. Since we do grow so much, it’s a reality test that makes more sense for us than for almost everyone else (at least in the industrial world) who just buys food at the store. I was reading another book that said to avoid root vegetables since they were too startchy. Well, that’s what we have right now, and no one’s going to take away my carrots!

And don’t forget to get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly.