Step away from the hamburger. Put down that piece of chicken.
And don’t even think about snacking on a slice of cheese. Basically, eat your veggies… or die.
After watching the new documentary “Forks Over Knives,” which debuts May 13, you’re definitely going to want to race to your nearest Whole Foods and pick up a cart-full of fresh vegetables.
The documentary hammers home a message unknown to many Americans: That eating animal products and processed foods is killing us. The film asserts that there is a clear linkage between eating meat, dairy and processed foods and high rates of heart disease, stroke and cancer, and that the way to reverse these diseases is simply to switch to a diet of all fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
The film highlights the research of two scientists, Dr. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who independently came to the same conclusion decades ago that by cutting out meat, dairy and processed foods we would all live longer, healthier lives.
Lee Fulkerson, who wrote and directed the film, says before he signed on to the project, he was like most Americans, eating his share of fast food and drinking Coke and Red Bull to wake up in the morning.
It wasn’t until Fulkerson went to film Drs. Matthew Lederman and Alona Pulde, two advocates of eating a whole-food, plant-based diet, that he started to become a believer.
“I was just going to interview them on tape, and while I was there I decided to get a check up,” he says.
Fulkerson agreed to cut out meat, fish, dairy, sugar, caffeine and all other processed foods for the experiment to see how it would affect his health. “It was amazing the turnaround that occurred,” he says.
Fulkerson also says he was amazed at the transformation he saw in the other subjects in the film who also chose to change their eating habits. Many of the people he filmed lost weight, got off of their medications and were able to live decades after their doctors had first told them they were close to death.
“It was extraordinary,” Fulkerson says.
The film argues that the government doesn’t recommend eliminating meat, dairy and processed foods for our diet because the government is beholden to interests such as dairy farmers, ranchers, large food companies and drug companies.
Fulkerson says he hopes this film serves as a wake-up call.
“I hope it at least is going to make people think of this as a very serious idea,” he says.
Forks Over Knives
Opens in theaters May 13
Playing at Century Theaters in Evanston and Webster Place 11 in Chicago.