Raised in rural America just inside the grasp of Southern hospitality, next to miles and miles of farmland, my family and I paid little attention to where our food was produced or the effect the different foods had on our body’s abilities to fight off disease. Now that I’ve got children of my own, I am painfully aware of the effects nutrition has on my daughters’ bodies. For instance, we stay far away from milk products because dairy seems to exacerbate the girls’ breathing difficulties – it’s been 6 months since we quit dairy and we haven’t had a single asthma attack since. When Jon & I were searching for the first documentary for me to feature here, I was immediately attracted to Forks over Knives.
Written, directed by narrator (and plant-based diet newbie) Lee Fulkerson, Forks over Knives lends its voice to the growing call for a more holistic approach to nutrition and living by placing the spotlight solely on the differences in the health effects created by our nutritional habits in the West. Since Jon & I have been discussing a more plant based diet for our family anyway, I was especially intrigued by the research in support of cutting out cow’s milk from your diet. In the video, scientists T. Colin Campbell Ph. D. and Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. M. D.lead a small, but highly motivated group of researchers and fellow scientists against a growing army of lobbyists, politicians, and people with their hands in the proverbial pot.
Over the course of the hour or so documentary, Fulkerson takes viewers through the years of painstaking research to fully prove the fundamental theory behind the entire documentary: many of our medical ailments could be remedied and reversed simply by changing our diet to a fully plant-based one.) Now I should mention, I love the taste of steak and chicken is a regular commodity at our house, so it’s clear that I’m not sold on the idea of giving it up completely, but I’ll be honest. I’d do just about anything to keep my family healthy. Even give up bacon. Yes. Really. Through various research avenues, scientists like Neal Barnard M.D. and Junshi Chen Ph. D.proved time and time again that animal protein really did accelerate the cancerous and diseased cells. While often one sided, Fulkerson did interview dietician Connie Diekman MEd RD. FADA. numerous times to the government’s views on the findings…their views and official standings are often in direct contrast to the interviewed and featured scientists. The documentary didn’t only take viewers on a journey of our nation’s changing eating habits and the physical and personal effects of an animal-based diet, but rather also explored the ecological effects this Western way of living has on the planet.
While we have no immediate plans to give up all meats from our diets, the documentary did show us how enjoying a more plant-based diet can be beneficial for our daughters’ health. The girls don’t eat as large a variety of veggies as I would like and after watching this documentary I can tell you, and them, that that is about to change! We all need to be consuming more leafy greens, multicolored peppers, and generous servings of cauliflower in this house and it’s time I got the kids more involved in the food preparation & in their nutritional knowledge. Fruits I don’t so much worry about, since we get far more than the recommended amount each day. After watching Forks over Knives, it’s clear to me that in order to give my girls their best shot at a healthier life, I need to be raising nutritionally adventurous and knowledgeable citizens. I mean, if you knew that eating fruits and vegetables could change your health (or your child’s health) wouldn’t you do it? Isn’t it our duty as parents to give them the best start and foundation possible?
Tell me: Have you seen Forks over Knives? What did you think?
Have a documentary suggestion? Feel free to email me at amanda (at) highimpactmom (dot) com and tell me the name and where I can find it!)