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Plants vs Pills: The Solution That Could Transform Health

Updated: Jul 31, 2019

Shaun Britton Explores Preventative Alternatives To Conventional Medicines



A Michigan hospital recently announced plans to give plant-based cooking demonstrations, in an effort to spread the news that a plant-based diet can prevent and even aid common diseases and conditions.


Much discussion has taken place in recent years regarding our approach to food and the impact it has on our health, including how many of our most prominent diseases and health issues may stem from what we put on our plates. One such is person is Dr Michael Klaper. In his fascinating Tedx talk, Dr Klaper describes how pro inflammatory acid, carcinogens, hormones and antibiotics are in a typical day of the western diet, and states that a plant based diet can cure many serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and atherosclerosis.


Follow The Money: Drugs and Diet


Why then, with this information, is a plant based diet not being more widely advised, and why are so many people still continuing to eat it? Firstly, according to Dr John McDougall, a prominent physician, one of the key reasons could simply be profits. Speaking in an interview with Plant Based News he says, speaking about the ‘big food’ industries “they have fought with every dollar, every lobbyist, every advertisement, every lie, everything they could gather together to ensure they didn't follow in the footsteps of big tobacco” He also describes how the profitable route in many medical industries is not suggesting a new diet but in manufacture of medicines and current medical practices “Cash is king” he says.


If this article has been of interest to you, you may enjoy reading Bitesize Nutrition: The Health Benefits Of Mushrooms.



Leading the public down a particular commercial avenue is not new, neither is the effort to provide a scientific basis for that approach to the consumer. Many industries have used scientific research groups to conduct studies or reports to bolster their claims in the media, or to seek to confront claims that may cast their products unfavourably.


In 2015, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that diets where meat and dairy where the main source of saturated fat had the best level of good cholesterol. Not only did the study only use 14 people, it was also funded by the Dairy Research Institute and the Danish Dairy Research Foundation. A letter to the editor of the journal criticised the study saying that the experiments were designed so the conclusion could be drawn.


A similar report in 2011, looking at potential links between red meat and colorectal cancer, reviewing a particular range of studies, concluded there was not sufficient evidence to support a link. The study, that received funding from Beef Checkoff, through the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, was also carried out by the research group Exponent, itself under much criticism for corporate denialism.


Greater Responsibility


Whilst the nobility, skill and dedication of those in the medical profession can never be understated, neither can the influence of big food industries on our health, whose prime motivation is profit. That motivation taints the information we receive, and the advice we are given.


‘Big’ industries responsible for climate change, environmental destruction and waning health, rely on the consumer to continue. Such companies could be likened to a machine that only runs when we are pedalling to power it. Perhaps the best way to stop the machine, is to get off it. | Tru. 🌱



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Sources:

1:) LIVEKINDLY. (2019). Hospital Promotes Vegan Food As Cancer Prevention. [online] Available at: https://www.livekindly.co/hospital-promotes-vegan-food-cancer-prevention/

2.) YouTube. (2019).The Most Powerful Strategy for Healing People and the Planet | Michael Klaper | TEDxTraverseCity. [online] Available at: https://youtu.be/_TokqrtFfi8

3.) Plantbasednews.org. (2019). Dr John McDougall: Exclusive Plant Based News Interview. [online] Available at:https://www.plantbasednews.org/post/dr-john-mcdougall-exclusive-plant-based-news-interview

4.) Moodie, A. (2019). Before you read another health study, check who's funding the research. [online] the Guardian. Available at:https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/dec/12/studies-health-nutrition-sugar-coca-cola-marion-nestle

5.) Onlinelibrary.wiley.com. (2010). Red meat and colorectal cancer: a critical summary of prospective epidemiologic studies. [online] Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1467-789X.2010.00785.x

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