Thursday, September 06, 2007
The Wholey Trilogy
My health book for this summer was The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and his son, Thomas Campbell II. This book was compelling, disturbing at some parts, and a beautiful companion piece to my other favorite environmental health books. In my dream world, all parents would be required to read my Wholey Trilogy:
The China Study
Fast Food Nation
The Omnivore's Dilemma
Now that I've joined the club (reached age 40), I now see the effects of old age and just plain old living all around me (translation = cancer, heart disease, grandparents moving to assisted living, friends' parents dying). Quite sobering! I don't know anything about the C word or heart disease, so I figured that I better learn now while I still have my faculties (questionable, I know). The author is a long time government scientist that in fact was part of the panel that discovered the link between cholesterol and heart disease.
Today, Dr. Campbell does further research by joining up with Dr. Chen and this study. What's compelling is how large it is - 350 variables of health and nutrition with surveys from 6,500 adults in more than 2,500 counties across China and Taiwan, and conclusively demonstrates the link between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The culprit is simple - animal protein. Not fat or cholesterol, but animal protein. The Western Diet, the diet of Affluence. By the doc that helped put cholesterol in the picture in the first place. It's quite compelling.
I also like that he doesn't preach details, just advocates for a plant based diet. End of story. Period.
Fast Food Nation supplies the history of fast food and industrialization of our food supply and what we are really eating. The Omnivore's Dilemma fills in the details left out by FFN about our centralized food supply and what we are actually eating. Finally, The China Study follows up with how our food supply causes disease. Conclusion? Mass production and centralization works for widgets, car parts, even Amazon.
For food? Obviously not. This generation's children and their parents are paying the price through illness, disorders, disabilities, and the high cost of insurance.