I guess I should be shocked by the interest The China Study generated from my post on Monday. Judging from my email inbox, twitter stream and even an old fashioned phone call or two it’s safe to say I’m not alone on the plant-based, whole-foods fantasy island. The theme of the questions I’m getting are all similar so I thought I’d follow up and further explain my brief mention of the book The China Study.
Q: Where did you hear about the book The China Study?
A: I first learned about The China Study three years ago which was roughly the same time I first read Michael Pollan’s books In Defense of Food and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Truthfully, the book was information overload for me and the thought of being ‘VEGAN’ made me roll my eyes. About a year ago, some friends of ours from church shared how amazing they felt after adopting a completely plant-based diet after reading the book. My interest peaked. Husband’s? Not so much.
Q: Why did you re-read it now?
A: The short answer is the book was on my night stand and I spent the weekend in bed. Fate? Or maybe it was just within reach. The longer answer is despite my eye rolling I truly am drawn to the notion of a plant-based lifestyle.
Q: What does The China Study say that’s so important?
A: Dr. Colin Campbell explains why America’s health is failing. All of the diseases killing our over-fed population are linked to the Standard American Diet. Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancer, and Obesity can all be linked to the food (or food-like substances as Michael Pollan calls them) we consume. Dr. Campbell believes we can save our health literally at breakfast, lunch and dinner. And on those plates should be plant-based foods. A vegan diet if you want to cut to the chase.
Q: Do you believe what Dr. Campbell writes is true?
A: I don’t know. And clearly the overwhelming majority of America doesn’t know what to think either. Here’s what I do believe: America is in the midst of a full-fledged health care crisis. And the solution isn’t going to come from Congress or pre-packaged in a wonder drug.
Q: Are you going to become vegan?
A: Hell No! I mean, I’m not sure. I have a foot in both camps, so to speak. And it’s confusing. Intellectually I am so there and in my heart of hearts believe that a completely plant-based diet is nutritionally sound, in fact optimal for health. Practically speaking, the thought of eliminating all animal protein — meats, eggs, all dairy overwhelms me. We haven’t had cow’s milk in our house in over a year, but I still buy eggs and goat cheese! Plus, I really like bacon.
Q: But if you are intellectually there, why not just try it?
A: This was actually a text from a dear friend. And it made me really think. Why not? I think what’s been holding me back is that the incentive is so far removed. I don’t have heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high cholesterol, or any of the other epidemics that are plaguing our nation. Although I do need to lose weight. And based purely on health care statistics it’s highly likely I will end up with one of those diseases one day. Why are we so conditioned to treat an ailment rather than prevent it in the first place? It’s the whole buy-now-pay-later attitude that permeates our society. And it’s not just health that has me intrigued with a plant-based lifestyle. I believe in being a good steward of the land God has trusted to us. And the food industry is a far cry from practicing good stewardship. You only need to watch a film like Food, Inc. once to make you think.
So, dear friends have you ever considered a plant-based, vegan lifestyle?
I leave you with a trailer for the upcoming film Forks over Knives.
What do you think?