Thursday, November 11, 2010

PLANEAT Movie Health Secrets


We were invited to the premiere of PLANEAT last night in London. Another in a long line of movie length documentaries that shines a spotlight on the links between diet and the plague of preventable chronic disease that blights western society.

Planeat talks a about the plight of the planet and the links to diet but mainly about health.

Unlike most of the other films in this family such as supersize me , Foodmatters, a Delicate Balance, The End of The Line, Earthlings , Forks over Knives ,  and Food Inc Planeat the Movie pretty much skips the animal welfare issue and focuses predominantly on health

The two main Doctors interviewed at length in the Planeat film are the ones responsible for Mr President Bill Clinton's trial adoption of a vegan / plant based diet to heal his heart following an operation to insert two stints in his diseased arteries.

I congratulate the producers of this film for sticking to their two main points
1) We have a world food crisis
2) We have a world health problem.

Both problems can be tracked back to too much meat.

Both problems can be sorted by buying and eating more plants.

I suspect vegans won't openly adore this film because Dr Colin Campbell's original research was based on rats - but like he said it would have been even more unethical to deliberately give human subjects the same cancer and then switch it on and off with a plant or meat based diet. He was lucky to get an opportunity to study the complete Chinese society with his renowned China study and gather evidence that his theories were correct - animal protein and fat feeds cancer cells - it seems animal products don't give you cancer they are just one of the most effective natural tumour fertilizers that nutritional science has so far come up with.

Vegetarians viewers will probably be squirming as 'the cheese issue' raises it's ugly, carbon negative, saturated fat filled head again. At one point it's claimed that an egg and chicken based diet is better for the environment than a cheese based diet having already highlighted that dairy is implicated in a deterioration of heart health and increased risk of cancers.

Vegans will also no doubt whinge that the film doesn't openly advocate a vegan diet. It's not enough to simply avoid meat and dairy you must eat a greater variety plants too. One of the Planeat's team's new best friends is a data cruncher who works at WWF. He has a big chip on his shoulder and says veganism is NOT the answer.

He alleges that even the 'V' on restaurant menus puts people off and that a million people following Meat Free Monday has way more impact than a handful of reactionary hardcore vegans getting up people's noses. He seemed however sadly devoid of any practical solutions on the way forward other than emailing WWF members about the film.

The WWF's belief that people don't care about animal welfare flies in the face of the way consumers and supermarkets got behind campaigners such as Jamie Oliver's efforts to banish battery eggs from supermarket shelves. Research show's 70-80% of consumers care about animal welfare they just have other priorities such as taste, value for money and convenient availability that in practice rank even higher than family health.

Until vegan food matches consumer expectations in taste, value for money and convenience, no amount of leaflets, documentaries, demonstrations, arguments and celebrity endorsement is going to convince them to go vegan.

Messages of "eat less meat" and "meat free mondays" are logically the most likely ways to encourage people on the road to self discovery - just waking up one morning as a vegan is simply too scary for readers of the Daily Mail and The Sun - it's hard enough of a concept to grasp for the Guardian and Independent's contemplative and pondering intelligentsia. They require gentle steps. The Vegan Society has been around for 66 years, Vegetarianism is thousands of years old yet The Vegetarian Society has less members than ever (although that could be because it's now so easy to be vegetarian with thousands of labeled products and v stamped menus to choose from)

Paul McCartney and Meat Free Monday is probably right on the button - one step at a time in bite sized chunks despite the urgency of the ticking clock and big guns like President Bill 'every day is meat free Monday' Clinton proving us right all along.

Leading UK Nutritionist in London Yvonne Bishop-Weston said today "There's no doubt that we need more vegetables and fruit in our diet to protect us from self inflicted diseases."

"If you know anyone suffering from any of the major chronic diseases that plague our modern western society we urge you to take them to see Planeat the movie!"

Visit or to sign up for latest screenings


CET said...

Just so you know, Forks Over Knives, Food Matters, and A Delicate Balance barely if at all touch on animal rights so I would appreciate it if you switched that line.

Moshe Sharon said...

Most often the things we never see are in front of us all the time. Health Secrets from the Seventh Heaven by Moshe Sharon does a great job of revealing a part of ourselves that is always there within us and always escaping our attention. Once you read this book you realize that the solutions to your existing or potential health problems are so close to you that all you need to do is to become aware of them. More at