The movie “Forks Over Knives” is like Mark Twain’s description of golf:
A Good Walk, Spoiled.
The documentary film starts from a great premise — eat real food and you can reverse many of the chronic diseases we see in our dismal culture of health.
That said, the film makers don’t consider meat, dairy, or even eggs to be something you should eat. For example, consistently, they make an elemental confusion that makes it feel more like a giant serving of Op Ed Pie with an ax to grind than any shade of even-handed attempt to improve health through food.
Eating a wild caught salmon is equivalent, in their eyes (and camera lenses), to going to McDonalds and having a deep fried fish puck. Having a fillet — whether grass fed, free range, or doped up on hormones — is exactly the same for them.
This sin of omission could be called an oversight early on, but by the half way point, it was clear that this was an agenda rather than a balanced diet of information. While it was not the informational junk food equivalent to the corn growers insisting that their HFCS product is unrelated to obesity, I found myself over-sated all too quickly.
They used cultural comparisons just as selectively, pointing to countries that are healthy (and don’t eat a lot of meat or dairy) as examples of why these items “turn on cancer in your body”. They studiously avoided the steer in the room, a.k.a., Argentina. Argentina has some of the highest beef consumption in the universe, but still has lower rates of colon cancer than the US. (Cancer Res 35:3513 1975)
Here are some more links to scientific research that was not on the menu, if your dander is up and you care to get lost in the weeds on the issue:
If you’re a cheerleader for the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle and you want to feel warm and fuzzy about it … this film is for you. Otherwise, like Twain’s “good walk, spoiled”, the documentary Forks Over Knives takes a wonderful idea, and spoils the broth by studiously avoiding balance.
There’s sizzle to the idea, but no steak behind it.
For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower’s website.