What the Health
Produced by Joaquin Phoenix
Directed by Kip Andersen
This is another little gem from the makers of Cowspiracy. Director Kip Andersen enjoys contacting agencies like the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association and Susan G. Komen and asking awkward questions about why they recommend a diet that some study somewhere said is bad. After some research that appears to have been done (brilliantly done I’m sure) on a computer in a very dark room, Mr. Andersen discovers that these organizations are sponsored by the industrial food corporations and are riddled with conflicts of interest. I certainly agree completely with that.
Understandably, this leads to a discussion of how inhumane, unsanitary and otherwise unpleasant the industrial food system is. This film is full of statistics. Did you know that there are as many pigs in North Carolina as there are people? While the filmmakers certainly make good points about the evils of processed and industrial food, they repeatedly confuse the issue by referring to studies about processed meat and then applying the conclusions to all meat, no matter how it is produced.
If the filmmakers added a laugh track to this video, it would make a pretty good comedy. Andersen interviews doctors who talk about nutrition and the wonders of a vegan diet. One doctor correctly points out that doctors as a group know very little about nutrition. That same doctor and others then go on to opinionate on the subject of nutrition, I suppose to illustrate the point. Some are quite clear that diabetes is not caused by sugar but by meat and fats like butter. Others don’t know the difference between plant protein and animal protein. Still others think eggs raise cholesterol. My thumb is DOWN for this, unless they add the laugh track.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Fall 2017.