Food & Health (food) Treehugger
September 23, 2010
Image credit: Chow Down
"I have $60,000 in this attache case and I want to give it to you if you will leave the word cancer out of any mention in the Red Cross course."
These were the alleged words of a food industry lobbyist to Louise Light back in 1981. Louise had developed an educational course for the Red Cross which cited peer-reviewed research showing links between certain foods and cancer. Sadly, this is just one of the revelations in a new documentary that sets out to demonstrate how our food industry, government and even the medical establishment contribute to sky-high rates of heart disease, cancer and other preventable diseases. It's scary stuff.
In the tradition of documentary film maker Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, What Would Jesus Buy) and Robert Kenner (Food Inc.), Chow Down, directed by Julia Grayer and Gage Johnston, explores food industry lobbying and corruption through the story of Charles--a hard working family man who is struggling to reverse the history of chronic heart disease in his family.
Working with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic, director of one of the longest-running studies in the peer-reviewed scientific literature showing that a plant-based diet can reverse even late stage heart disease, Charles sets out to not just treat his disease, but actually reverse it. No word on whether he is successful or not (I guess that would be a spoiler), but if the trailer is anything to go by it should make for thought-provoking and inspiring viewing. Chow Down is available now on DVD.