Review of the documentary Forks over Knives

Let food be thy medicine. Hippocrates

The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drug, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition. Thomas Edison

Everyone is familiar with the litany of diet-related health issue in the United States: cancer, type II diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension (even in children), arteriosclerosis, autoimmune disease. More than 40% of adults and even, alarmingly, 20% of American four-years-olds, are considered obese. Heart disease and cancer together kill more than 1 million Americans per year. One of three will develop diabetes during their lifetimes. We mask fatigue with caffeine, sugar, and energy drinks.

The premise of Forks over Knives is that by eliminating or greatly reduce refined, processed, or animal foods by eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, we can prevent, or in some cases, reverse, several of our worst diseases. Note, “knives,” in this case, refers to scalpels, as in heart bypass and cancer surgeries.

Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, “This could be the first generation of American children which [live shorter lives] than their parents.” Clearly the Western diet is taking its toll.”

“Yet we, as a nation, spent $2.2 trillion on health care, more five times more than the defense budget, spending more on health care than any industrialized country.”

Two eminent scientists, Drs. Caldwell Esselstyn  a medical doctor formerly of the breast cancer project at the Cleveland Clinic, and Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a biochemist at the forefront of nutrition research, independently arrived at the same conclusions—
  • Our diet, not solely our genes, can determine our health and medical fate
  • A diet with a large percentage of protein can turn on cancer cells.
Dr. Campbell's legacy is the China-Oxford-Cornell project, a 20-year comprehensive nutrition study of China. One of the outcomes of this study is an exhaustive atlas of autopsy-proven cancer case incidence in every Chinese province.

The case studies in the documentary present a compelling argument. One engaging middle-aged man had been taking 12 prescription medications daily, including two injections. A whole-foods, plant-based diet reversed his type II diabetes, dangerously high cholesterol, and hypertension with exercise and diet under the direction of two progressive medical doctors.

Particularly enlightening were the comments of Dr. Doug Lisle, a psychologist and author of The Pleasure Trap, about the addictiveness of high-fat, highly salted food, and the physiological basis for the feeling of satiation. Other case studies are of a woman who reversed a breast cancer diagnosis; another, given a few months to live, who is now thriving; a single mother of five who related her endocrinologist’s shock about her achieved goal of reversing diabetes and getting off insulin.

In fact, in an early study, Dr. Esselstyn was given 24 patients seriously ill with coronary artery disease. Fifteen years later 17 of the patients are alive and thriving. More information, recipes, testimonials can be found on the Forks over Knives website

(Note: for purposes of this review, “Americans” refers to persons living in the United States.) -Jan Gerston


Market to Menu 2014: Breakfast with the Farmers

Market to Menu 2014: connecting consumers directly to local food!

Learn how to transform fresh locally grown vegetables, fruit, and eggs into a meal your whole family will enjoy, Saturday, June 21.

Brazos Valley Farmers' Market is partnering with Village Downtown for the fourth annual Market to Menu event. GoTexan will be on board with recipe cards, shopping bags, and nutritional information. Come to see chefs from Village Downtown demonstrate preparation of vegetables and eggs, with omelet and scramble samples between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.
Some images from last year's Market to Menu:

peppers and onions
Peppers and onions awaiting the saute pan

GoTexan table
Event is sponsored by GoTexan, Texas Department of Agriculture

Sarah from Village Downtown cooking
Chef Jayne from Village Downtown prepares omelets

2 Brothers Salsa

refreshment booth
Refreshment station
GoTexan booth
GoTexan booth with basil plants