In this age of corruption and corporate influence over our health…
Back when I was studying nutritional science in university, I began to seriously question what we were being taught. The alarm bells didn’t truly go off, however, until we ventured into the core of the program — dietary recommendations for health.
I was quite surprised to discover these recommendations were nothing more than the USDA food pyramid developed in the early 1990s. Processed food heavy — with a staggering recommendation of 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta — the bottom tier of the pyramid is the result of reducing the fruit and vegetable suggestion, due to an order by the Secretary of Agriculture who wanted to push more cereal grains and processed foods.
Meat, poultry, fish and eggs are ingeniously grouped with plant-based protein options like beans and nuts — making no distinction between the items, only recommending 2-3 servings a day. If someone didn’t know better, you would think this would give you free rein to eat meat three times a day — just imagine all the bacon and processed deli meat! Not only that, but, according to the pyramid, you can consume 2-3 servings of dairy per day. Again, no mention of the health effects of sugar-laden yogurt or full-fat milk.
I couldn’t believe my nutritional science program was peddling this kind of nonsense. Needless to say, I walked away and continued my nutrition education in areas I truly believed in.
As it turns out, poor nutritional recommendations aren’t limited to the USDA or universities — they are rife in our medical system and organizations such as the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association.
What’s more, these establishments have been shown to have huge conflicts of interest with industries that have everything to gain in keeping Americans fat, sick and tired. This is exactly what filmmakers Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn (creators of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret) set out to expose. What they discovered was far more corrupt than they imagined.
Follow The Money
Not so long ago, the World Health Organization looked at some 800 studies from 10 countries and subsequently classified processed meats — including bacon, salami, sausage, hotdogs — as a group one carcinogen, the same classification at asbestos, plutonium and cigarettes. Just one serving of processed meat per day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. As noted in the film, many of these studies have been around for 50 years. This led Anderson to ask, “Why haven’t I been hearing this information from the American Cancer Society?”
He was shocked to learn from their website that, under the recommended foods, the American Cancer Society lists processed turkey and canned meats. When Anderson set-up an interview with a representative from the organization, it was cancelled when she found out the interview was about the link between diet and cancer. Maybe it had something to do with the fact the American Cancer Society takes money from Tyson and Yum! brand — the owner of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell?
It’s not only cancer, diabetes is also linked to processed meat. The documentary brings into question the widely accepted belief that sugar is what causes diabetes. Several expert physicians in the film reveal that it’s actually fat in the bloodstream that causes diabetes and insulin resistance. Incredibly, one serving of processed meat a day increases your risk of diabetes by 51%. Regardless, the American Diabetes Association has recipes for red and processed meats on their website, along with dairy. It shouldn’t be surprising when it’s discovered that the association’s sponsors are none other than Dannon, Kraft, Bumble Bee Foods and Oscar Meyer.
Next, Anderson tackles the issue of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in one out of every four people in the U.S. — about 600,000 deaths annually. Meat and dairy have both been implicated in heart disease, and yet, the American Heart Association promotes these very foods on their website, under the guise of ‘heart-healthy’ recipes — including pork, red meat and eggs. Who helps to fund the American Heart Association? You guessed it, the beef and poultry industries, as well as dairy producers and the fast food industry. These companies give millions of dollars each year to the organization. But it doesn’t end there.
The dairy industry purposely set out to neutralize the negative image of milk fat by regulators and medical professionals — many of the studies saying butter, dairy and eggs are healthy were funded by the American Egg Board and National Dairy Council. These campaigns were designed to create just enough confusion and doubt to sway public opinion.
This in light of numerous studies that have found dairy can increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer by 34%. For women who have had breast cancer, one serving of whole milk increases her risk of cancer death by 49%. You would think the Susan G. Komen Foundation — a U.S. breast cancer organization — would have thought twice before partnering with KFC, Dietz & Watson processed meats and Yoplait yogurt — all foods which have been linked to cancer.
Jump back to the food pyramid. Apparently, the people at the USDA setting the guidelines have received money from McDonalds, the National Dairy Council, American Meat Institute, the beef industry, American Egg Board, Dannon and candy companies like Mars, M&Ms, Hershey’s, Coca Cola.
Then you have checkoff programs, which are government run and promote the consumption of certain foods. Examples include Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner — and Milk: It Does a Body Good. Both advertising campaigns were funded by checkoff programs, as was a multi-million dollar campaign for Dominos. To make matters worse, many of these advertising campaigns are found in schools and are reflected in the poor quality food offered with school lunch programs.
The film also addresses the astonishing level of antibiotics used in animals — leading to our epidemic of antibiotic-resistant superbugs, the horrors of industrial farm animal production, as well as how hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are in the business of treating sick people, not preventing people from getting sick. It’s a formidable industry, one that generates $1.5 trillion in the U.S. alone. The explosion of disease is a cash cow for the medical and pharmaceutical establishments — it’s not something they are going to give up lightly.
But What The Health offers a solution too. The film follows the journey of several critically ill individuals on their road to recovery using a whole-food, plant-based diet.
Everything considered, it’s a film that leaves one feeling the most revolutionary act we can do — in this age of severe corruption and powerful influence — is to be healthy.
The film follows intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the secret to preventing and even reversing chronic diseases – and investigates why the nation’s leading health organizations don’t want us to know about it. With heart disease and cancer the leading causes of death in America, and diabetes at an all-time high, the film reveals possibly the largest health cover-up of our time.
- http://www.nodpa.com/checkoff_2008%20report%20on%20check%20off%20programs.pdf [PDF]
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