The indispensable Denise Minger reviews the science in “Forks Over Knives,” a documentary that attempts to convince people that switching from eating animals and plants to eating just plants will be beneficial to health and possibly lifesaving.
For the record, I’m not dissecting this movie because I think everything in it is terrible. Quite the opposite, in fact. I believe the “plant-based diet doctors” got a lot of things right, and a diet of whole, unprocessed plant foods (i.e., Real Food) can bring tremendous health improvements for people who were formerly eating a low-nutrient, high-crap diet. Especially short term. But I also believe this type of diet achieves some of its success by accident, and that the perks of eliminating processed junk are inaccurately attributed to eliminating all animal foods. So the goal of this critique is to shed light on the areas where the “plant-based science” is a little, um, wilted.
I have not seen the film. I would probably read her writing (which doesn’t come out all that often so it’s always refreshing to read) even if I didn’t like her style of science analysis. “Welcome to False Dichotomyville—population: you.” Chuckle.
It’s long, because it takes a lot of detail to convincingly examine popular attempts to justify bolster an ethical argument with Science! Short version: health benefits attributed in the movie to eating veggies instead of meat are more reasonably explained by a switch from industrial crap food to real food. Color me shocked.
Go read it yourself. It’s worth your time.