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Forks over knives - Essay Example

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Produced in 2011 in a pursuit to combat numerous lifestyle and degenerative diseases, Forks and Knives is a documentary film directed and written by Lee Fulkerson. It is filmed in three states: Canada, China and America following the works of Caldwell Esselstyn and Colin…
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Forks over Knives- Film Review Produced in in a pursuit to combat numerous lifestyle and degenerative diseases, Forks and Knives is a documentary film directed and written by Lee Fulkerson. It is filmed in three states: Canada, China and America following the works of Caldwell Esselstyn and Colin Campbell. A renowned surgeon and nutritional scientist respectively, the two are revolutionary researchers who came together after making similar discoveries about the harmful effects of animal-processed foods. Campbell’s discovery hails from an experience in Philippines; where he noted that children from the country’s affluent parts consumed plenty of animal-processed foods that exposed them to a higher risk of getting liver cancer in their later years. As for Esselstyn, his discovery comes from his experiences as a surgeon as he realizes that several of the diseases he regularly treats are practically unheard of in parts of the world where animal-processed foods are not consumed.
Fulkerson bases the film on investigations conducted by the two researchers as from the 1980s when they initially meet. In an attempt to convince people that plant-based and whole foods have the potential of reversing lifestyle diseases and degenerative ailments, he features the pioneering study by Campbell and Esselstyn in China. Fulkerson includes alarming data on the huge sums of money spent on medical bills and the high number of Americans that are obese; to paint the grim picture that is reality. This is helpful in raising awareness and making it clear that changes in one’s diet need to start now.
Fulkerson also trails the lives of a chosen set of patients who have taken on a plant-based diet and witnessed positive changes in just a short while. The positive changes include remarkable improvements in cholesterol levels, blood pressure and arterial occlusions. The illustration of these stories brings on great persuasive value to the message of the films adding on is the fact that Fulkerson gets on a similar diet himself. These affirmative effects coupled with scenarios of places such as New Guinea where regenerative ailments are unknown and foods consumed are purely plant-based, brings out the simple fact that animal protein is detrimental to one’s health (Groen).
Featuring nutrition experts and celebrity cameos, he comes out to dismiss all the myths about fish and chicken being the best source of proteins while milk being the easily digestible way of getting calcium. He, therefore, through Caldwell and Esselstyn, emphasizes on adopting a diet that comprises less processed foods and more whole foods and overall a plant-based diet. Such a change is seen to reverse the effects of chronic conditions on the chosen set of patients. Nevertheless, this film lacks a ‘soft’ touch as it focuses too much on the ‘hard’ truth illuminated through the scientific facts and data. This makes its message unappealing to the large number of people already ‘addicted’ to animal protein and processed foods (O’Connell).
The documentary easily turns into an infomercial as the message of plant-based foods being the ultimate medicine for heart disease, obesity, cancer and stroke and related ailments becomes repeated a bit too much. On the other hand, the bluntness and straightforward facts brought out make it strike a chord in one’s mind. There is a need to change ones dietary habits to lower mortality rates and above all lead healthy lives.
Works Cited
Groen, Rick. Fork over Knives: Getting to the Meat of the Matter. The Globe and Mail. May 2011. Web. 30 Nov 2012 < http://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/film/forks-over-knives-getting-to-the-meat-of-the-matter/article628858/ > O’Connell, Sean. As Appealing as Brussel Sprouts. The Washington Post. May 2011. Web. 30 Nov 2012 from < http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/forks-over-knives,1169641/critic-review.html#reviewNum1 >Read More
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