Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Forks Over Knives - Movie Review

There are several documentaries produced that will capture your curiosity and attention for an hour or two on a lazy, summer day but their message is usually long forgotten by the time you hit your pillow that night.  Forks Over Knives defies this status quo as it leaves you thinking twice about everything you've ever grown up on and makes you question your future choices regarding the foods that you eat as it brings to light the outspoken lessons of how nutritional excellence is the key to a healthier nation and a better quality of life for all.

Forks Over Knives is the brilliant work of two legendary pioneers in our modern day healthcare system.  One American biochemist, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, has over 50 years of distinguished work in the field of nutrition and health and one American surgeon, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, has worked tirelessly for decades at the world famous Cleveland Clinic to rid his patients of heart disease.  These two men have teamed up to share their life long experiences in the fields of health and nutrition to educate the world on how to prevent and reverse chronic diseases with a plant-based diet.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Big Money, Special Interests, & The American Healthcare Crisis

Is there such a thing as having people's best interest in mind when it comes to their overall health anymore?  Last week you learned how your tax dollars are making America sick, literally, as the USDA provides 97%-98% of its subsidies to promote the production of foods that are linked to the gluttony of chronic diseases that people are suffering from in this country.  Then the USDA turns around and publishes dietary guidelines telling us to eat these same foods in our everyday diets.  This week you'll learn how money changes hands between special interest groups and the world of politics and industry when it comes to our health, our food, and our attempts to "fix" the American healthcare crisis.

Picture yourself in charge of finding a solution to our current healthcare crisis.  What would you do?  Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, strokes, osteoporosis, obesity, and the list goes on and on and on.  That's a big task to say the least!  And I'm sure you would agree that the most logical and successful way to approach these issues would be to allocate as much of our nation's financial resources as possible towards the methods proven to be the most effective, safest, and least costly when it comes to treating these diseases.  To do this, you first need to know which methods of treatments are the most effective, safest, and least costly.  Second, you need to know where the money goes and how this money influences what treatments end up being talked about when you're sitting in the exam room of your doctor's office.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Our Taxes - Are They Making Us Sick?

When it comes to spending money, you're making a conscious decision on whether or not the goods and services you're purchasing are worth your hard earned dollars.  You want to feel like you've made a smart decision that contains some sort of value.

I'm sure you would find this same concept true when it comes to your overall health.  In essence, you want to make good decisions and investments which help you feel better, live longer, and avoid the chronic diseases that plague most of our society.  And the most important investment you can make, when it comes to determining how healthy you are, is in the form of the foods that you purchase and consume on a regular basis.  So how are the prices of various foods determined?

You may or may not realize that this is largely determined by how our tax dollars are spent with respect to the different subsidies paid to the food and agriculture industries.  Common sense would tell us that we would want our government to subsidize the foods that increase and promote overall health the most.  However, in reality the exact opposite is true.  In fact, the rise in obesity and decline in public health is directly correlated to the increasing availability of low-nutrient, inexpensive food that is high in fat, sugar, and refined grains [1].  On the contrary, foods found to have the highest amount of nutrients per calorie (fruits and vegetables) cost much more per calorie than their lower nutrient counterparts [2] even though they play a vital role in promoting health and wellness.

So how exactly does this all fit together?  And what does the breakdown look like when it comes to our tax dollars being divvied up to their respective recipients in the food and ag industries?  Let's find out as we take a deeper look into these very issues.