Friday, May 13, 2011

"Forks over Knives": Eat only plant food and you'll be fine

Friday, Landmark E Street in Washington DC started a run of the documentary “Forks over Knives”, from Monica Beach Media, directed by Lee Fulkerson.

The film makes a simple point: if people restricted themselves to plant food, they could probably forestall most heart disease, strokes, and cancer.  Back in the 1990s, radio talk show doctor Gabe Mirkin in the DC suburbs used to promote the similar extremely low-fat diet.

The documentary does trace the history of government dietary recommendations back to the 30s, with the food groups, especially dairy – and maintains that corporate America influenced the conventional wisdom.

The star of the movie is Los Angeles diet physician Matthew Lederman, who is frankly “cute” and looks much younger than his probable forty or so years. It also presents the findings of 30s born Caldwell Esselstyn, from Yale (website) and the Cleveland Clinic, and Colin Campbell, from Cornell.

The film has a lot of clever animation showing how plaques lead to coronary artery disease, and has gruesome shots of coronary bypass surgery ("they crack you open like a lobster" -- Regis Philbin -- maybe not for the keyhole), which the doctors in the film say often doesn't work. My mother had a triple bypass in 1999 at age 85 and lived to 97 (last December) with good quality for over eight years. 

Ashton Kutcher will like the slogan "real men eat their vegetables" (or words to that effect). 

The website for the film is here


It's well to note the films "King Corn" (2007, Balcony Releasing, dir. Aaron Woolf), "The Future of Food" (2004, Cinema Libre, dir. Deborah Koons Garcia), "Fast Food Nation" (2006, Fox Searchlight, dir. Richard Linklater) and of course Morgan Spurlock's "Supersize Me" (2004, Roadside Attractions and Samuel Goldwyn), and even Bill Haney's "The Price of Sugar", 2007, Uncommon Films.  Think of this film as the antithesis of the 1995 Australian comedy "Babe", about a piglet doomed to be eaten.

Watch also for the film “The Last Mountain” (about mountaintop removal) coming to Landmark. 

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