Forks Over Knives: A Review

(Originally posted on bcotoronto.com on Jan 12th, 2012)

This week I would like to talk about the documentary “Forks Over Knives” which is based around using food as medicine. The introduction sounds like an old mystery show from the 80’s about UFOs or hunting for Bigfoot but don’t let that deter you. It is an excellently put together documentary.

Personally, I don’t usually watch documentaries. I easily get distracted or lost but this film is organized strategically to keep the viewer interested. There are two storylines throughout the video. The story of the research behind the information and three patients’ personal journeys and (SPOILER ALERT!) triumphs with this information, including the documentary maker while he was filming it. This lends itself to a very smooth flow through the material.

The material was also very thorough as it covered food as a source of health, from the evolutionary stand point, and as a social norm. All three of these areas were explored to varying depths. As their main point was the use of food as medicine that got the most attention followed by the social norm/conformity of nutrition and health which was explored but not in great detail. I personally think the evolutionary link between food sources and health should have been explored much more but I am a biology geek from way back so that may just be me.

There was one inaccuracy that I caught which may have been solely for the purposes of simplification for the audience but in a film that is deprecating the US government for the use of propaganda and misinformation this was a fairly be flaw. The inaccuracy was when they were discussing the build-up of plaque in the arteries leading to Cardiovascular Disease they said this was cholesterol forming the plaque. If any of you remember by recent post about cholesterol you will remember that cholesterol is not the villain in this situation but it is the way it is packaged and the free radical damage done to them. On top of this they claimed that cholesterol is only found in animal food products, which is blatantly untrue. Cholesterol is found in any food source that contains fats including plant sources like avocado, coconut, and olives. As far as I can tell that was the only inaccuracy in the film but there may be some I missed.

There is some amazing research out there to back up all their claims, a lot of which has been buried for one reason or another. This documentary brings it back to the light for all to see. I encourage everyone to see it, just make sure you are not eating when you do because there is some footage of surgeries that hold nothing back. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and even learned a few facts I didn’t know before.

Thanks for reading,
Dr. Ben

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