Before sharing this week’s vegan recipe we wanted to mention Forks Over Knives, an exciting new documentary that opened last week (preview above).
The film traces both the work and personal stories of researchers Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn who came together to conduct one of the most extensive studies on nutrition ever. And their shocking findings make several strong arguments for following a plant-based diet.
Campbell went on to write The China Study, which helped inspire our Vegan-For-a-Week Challenge. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I will soon. Had you heard of it? If you want to check it out showtimes across the country are listed here.
And now for a quick and yummy-sounding salad from Jessica of London (by way of Long Beach). From her email:
This has long been one of my favorites! I even got a non-fruit eater to go for seconds with this recipe.
Moroccan Orange and Olive Salad
1 1/4 lbs. oranges
pitted kalamata olives
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper
3 tbs. chopped parsley
Peel oranges and cut them into bite size pieces. Put in bowl along with olives. Blend paprika, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper and pour over oranges and olives. Mix well and sprinkle with parsley
We’ve been talking a lot about animals this week, from animal testing to vegan cappuccinos. Then this morning I came across an interview with Dr. T. Colin Campbell, one of the authors of The China Study.
Full disclosure: I only heard about this best-selling nutrition book, written by a father-son doctor duo, a few weeks ago. But since then it’s been following me everywhere: in the books and articles I read, in conversations I have, and at the Whole Foods checkout counter. Strange how that goes, isn’t it?
Needless to say, I’m intrigued. From the article:
The book focuses on the knowledge gained from the China Study, a 20-year partnership of Cornell University, Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine that showed high consumption of animal-based foods is associated with more chronic disease, while those who ate primarily a plant-based diet were the healthiest.
Apparently, even Bill Clinton, now a most-of-the-time vegan, has cited the book in reference to his new lifestyle choice. In the interview, I really appreciate how Campbell Senior talks about food and health in a holistic way—something very important to another writing duo I know. A few highlights:
“The problem is that we study one nutrient out of context. That’s the way we did research — one vitamin at a time, one mineral, one fat. It was always in a reductionist, narrowly focused way.”
“What loomed large for me was that we shouldn’t be thinking in a linear way that A causes B. We should be thinking about how things work together. It’s a very complex biological system.”
“I don’t use the word “vegan” or “vegetarian.” I don’t like those words. People who chose to eat that way chose to because of ideological reasons. I don’t want to denigrate their reasons for doing so, but I want people to talk about plant-based nutrition and to think about these ideas in a very empirical scientific sense, and not with an ideological bent to it.
The idea is that we should be consuming whole foods. We should not be relying on the idea that genes are determinants of our health. We should not be relying on the idea that nutrient supplementation is the way to get nutrition, because it’s not. I’m talking about whole, plant-based foods. The effect it produces is broad for treatment and prevention of a wide variety of ailments, from cancer to heart disease to diabetes.”
Love that. And then, on their decision to go with a smaller publisher:
“I went to a small publisher in Texas who let us do what we wanted to do. I didn’t want to proselytize and preach. I didn’t want to write a book that says, “This is the way it has to be.” It’s a chronology. Here’s how I learned it, and let the reader decide. I say, “If you don’t believe me, just try it.” They do, and they get results. And then they tell everybody else.”
Had you heard about the book? Have you read it? The introduction is up on their site, so I’m going to start there.