The Food You Eat Is Killing You, and Other Non-Revelations, in Forks Over Knives

Looking to documentaries to learn how to live could easily become a life-consuming occupation in itself. I’m waiting on the documentary about watching too many documentaries; it’s killing us, if you haven’t heard. Though in the cautionary-doc mold, the opening of Forks Over Knives hardly whets the polemical appetite: “Food,” we are told, is “central to our lives and traditions.” Director Lee Fulkerson is just figuring out a couple of things, the second of them being that pounding Red Bull and sugar soda in late middle age is a bad idea. Beyond the film’s awkward reliance on stock footage and explanations of basic biology is an interesting overview of the work of two men, scientist Colin Campbell and surgeon Caldwell Esselstyn, whose studies have long concluded that heart disease—but also diabetes and cancer—is a “toothless paper tiger that need not exist.” Animal proteins are presented as villainous across the board, and Fulkerson is joined by two others in his reverse–Super Size Me quest to use diet to lower blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol. Some of the data is less convincing than Fulkerson would have us believe, but nothing trumps the clear eyes and shiny coats of a trio of newly minted vegans.

 
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3 comments
Rocketman2001
Rocketman2001

Ms. Orange's review does a serious disservice to her readers. I do sympathize with her. Given the amount of docu focused on food, a critic can fall easily into nitpicking the production values of Forks Over Knives and miss the point of the film. Which she does. The unique contribution of FOK is in revealing the complicity of a host of institutions in and out of government in advocating a diet for Americans that enriches purveyors of processed pseudo-foods while promoting degenerative disease, and in casting suspicion on a diet that is shown to promote health. From the FDA to the National Science Foundation, with the American Medical Association and the American Dietetic Association, American institutions for years have moved to shield Agri-Business from the fallout from the careful, rigorous science presented in FOK. Alas, Ms. Orange's review will dissuade some folks from seeing the evidence, and so miss the opportunity to improve their health. For shame!

Diane Carr4
Diane Carr4

Would you like to dispute the facts in the documentary, or just throw your tantrum? It would have helped to have reviewed the documentary instead of just putting up your wall.

Rocketman2001
Rocketman2001

Perhaps 'disdain' would be more descriptive of Ms. Orange's attitude. She went in with a pre-conceived notion of what FOK is about, and was not about to allow the facts to get in the way of her prejudice! There is hope for her, in that she found that "... nothing trumps the clear eyes and shiny coats of a trio of newly minted vegans." Still, one gets the impression that Ms. Orange remains unconvinced. Which is probably why her review is only 7 sentences long and neglects the film's major points.

 

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