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Avoiding meat, sugar, refined food
By Brian Offenther

IT'S long been said that what succeeded the Industrial Age is the Information Age, with the rise of information-based industries,

Documentary "Forks Over Knives" can be considered part of the secondary phase of the Information Age: the aggregation era.

This occurs when an industry can no longer rely on selling access to information, its storage or even exclusive information itself.

At this point it turns in on itself and finds ways to organize the information it has.

For example, this month Facebook launched Graph, a smart search engine which allows users to make searches of content shared by friends, an adaptation of how its information is organized and used.

That's not very different from health-issue films like "Forks Over Knives." At first, perhaps they had to labor to get their message across. But now it's out there and all it can hope to do is shuffle information, presenting a review of it in a different way.

I am working on the assumption that just about everyone who sees this film knows the following: considering our resources, humans are as unhealthy as ever; we have a nutritionally-poor diet, including an obscene amount of refined sugar and what most nutritionists consider way too much meat.

The side effects are huge, from negative environmental impact to a reliance on drugs that, all things considered, are best not to take.

Much of this is common sense, and the rest is either learned at school or easily found on the Internet.

How well does "Forks Over Knives" present this info? I wouldn't call it riveting, but there are some interesting profiles of physician Caldwell B Esselstyn Jr and mixed martial arts fighter Mac Danzig, two advocates of vegan living.

A criticism could be it's very one-sided, with few mentions of alternative diets. But I'm not convinced anyone is aiming to learn anything from the movie anyway.

Forks Over Knives (2011)

Where to see it:

The URBN Hotel (183 Jiaozhou Rd, near Beijing Rd W.)

When to see it:

Tonight, 6:30pm (reserve spot at info@greendrinkschina.org)


35 yuan/US$5.6 (includes popcorn and donation to Roots and Shoots)

What's to see:

A documentary that aims to convince viewers to improve their health by cutting back or completely eliminating refined, processed and animal-based foods.

Why see it:

One segment concerns the ways food lobbies in the USA and elsewhere manipulated nutritional information of their products to the media, educators and the general public in order to better sell them. This is true even though scientists had been aware of negative health effects of the products. "Got Milk?" This got me thinking about information.

Brian's Rating:


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