Last night, Adam and I went to the premiere of Forks over Knives. I had been excited for this documentary, that’s based on the book The China Study, to come out because I love any and all movies about food. For a number of reasons, Adam and I both have decided to reduce the amount of meat we consume, so I thought going to this movie (after a dinner of Mama Pea’s chickpea tacos and dough balls <— Adam approved) would be the perfect summer “kick-off”!
First, let me say that prior to seeing the movie I had been reading The China Study because I always like to read the book first. When I started reading it, I was on my deathbed and really enjoyed it (note that I haven’t finished it yet but am about halfway through). If anyone is unaware what the book/movie is about, it’s about a study done in China (duh) that documents the amount of various cancers in specific areas (both rural and urban) and how that compares to the cancer rates in the United States. To sum it all up, these two doctors found out after decades of research that those people that ate a “plant based whole foods diet” were the least likely to get cancer. Those people who gorged on burgers and hot dogs were the most likely. They also go on to state in both the book and the movie that not only can eating a mostly plant based whole foods diet reduce your chances of getting cancer, it can also cure you. I found that part the most interesting as it goes along with my new love for Eastern medicine and the belief that food can be used to heal you.
I totally believe it, especially with my migraines and past experiences with IBS. Even though I don’t necessary loooove vegetables as much as other bloggers seem to (I love cupcakes..I don’t love broccoli), I can 100% recognize that I feel much better, have more energy and get way less headaches when I eat them. And for the past, errr, eight months I’ve been slacking a little in that department (and have had way more migraines). The first question my acupuncturist asked me when I met her was “do I eat lots of vegetables” and unfortunately, I couldn’t really answer her honestly with a straight face. Embarrassingly enough, I couldn’t even remember the last veggie I ate. Oops.
Adam and I both really enjoyed the movie (he’s a documentary buff so I knew he would be down) and I think my favorite parts were hearing about those people already inflicted with health related diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer that totally changed their lives around solely by consuming the diet (no drugs!). I’ve always known that a plant based diet was the healthiest way to live, and have even toyed with going vegan before, but in the end my love for cheese prevailed. Personally, I think I could go without meat (although giving up pulled pork would be very, very tough) because I actually enjoy foods like tofu, beans and quinoa.
Adam, on the other hand, loves burgers. And barbecue. And whole chicken breasts on the grill. Adam hates tofu.
However, we have both decided to cut back on our meat intake and this was something we had talked about before seeing the film. I think it will be easier for me, since eating like that has always felt the most natural to me and I can clearly see how much more energy that kind of lifestyle affords me. It might be tougher for Adam but by taking baby steps, he is planning on cutting his meat intake from 6-7x a week to maybe 2x a week. For a meat loving Texan, I would consider that to be a victory! We are both doing this purely for specific health reasons and don’t plan on becoming vegetarians. I really don’t think the point of the movie was to convert us all to becoming vegans. I think the point of the movie was to really make us aware of the sickness out there and to cut back when and how we can.
I highly recommend seeing this movie because it does a great job at making us aware (as we already should be!) of the extreme sickness in our country today…and how it can be prevented. Especially as “foodie-people” as I’m guessing most of us who are reading this are, I think we have a responsibility to ourselves and others to become aware about diet-related diseases since the answer is seemingly right under our noses.