Category Archives: The American Way of Eating

forks+over+knives, documentary+review, vegan+diet, healthy+eating, earth+friendly+eating, earth+friendly+diet

Documentary Review–Forks Over Knives

Look at all of those gorgeous fruits and vegetables!

Just in time for Spring and lots of gorgeous produce, I watched the documentary, “Forks Over Knives.”


This was a compelling and convincing argument for changing our diet–especially the highly processed animal-based diet of the average American–to a whole-food, plant-based diet.  


Of course the documentary begins with all of the scary statistics about the American diet–the change in the last 60 years that has brought a health crisis with Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and obesity.  This doesn’t even begin to mention the billions of dollars spent on drugs, drugs, and more drugs.

When this film was made, the healthcare cost in America was $2.2 trillion, and yet Americans are sicker than ever, and the rate of chronic diseases is ever increasing.

So, the question is posed, “What is the solution?”  “Not another pill.”


The film centered on the life-long research and experience of Dr. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.  They both have spent their professional lives making connections between food and health. 

“Let Food Be Thy Medicine”  (Hippocrates)


Several other doctors were involved in the film, as well as patients whose lives had been changed.  One of those who changed their diets completely was Lee Fulkerson.  The film followed his journey as he learned of this movement.  He went to see Dr. Matthew Lederman and Dr. Alona Pulde, a husband/wife team. 




Lee was shocked to see how unhealthy his bloodwork numbers were, especially since he had considered himself generally healthy.  He had an alarmingly high risk factor number for heart disease.


Lee took this very seriously and changed his diet completely to eat only whole-food, plant-based foods.



Lee was taken step-by step, from shopping to preparing to eating a whole-food plant-based diet.  Within a few months, his health was vastly improved, and not just by the numbers, but by how he felt.  The documentary also followed several others who have changed their lives and found incredible health benefits.  There was even one woman who was told that she should just go home and prepare to die because of her heart disease.  Instead, she met Dr. Esselstyn and changed the way she ate.  The film was made twenty years after that diagnosis, and she looks younger than she did when she was told to go home and get ready for her demise.

If you’d like to read more, and watch the trailer or the entire film, go to their official website.  They also have recipes and more help to make the switch.



I know we feel better when we eat more fruits and vegetables, and cut back on the animal products.  In the coming weeks we will feature recipes and tips to eat better, as well as featured produce.  We have some really beautiful produce at Lassen’s, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised as how affordable it is!



the+American+Way+of+Eating, Undercover+at+Walmart, Farm+Fields, Applebee's, changing+the+way+America+Eats, American+diet, Tracie+McMillan

Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table

No, Not Me…

This last weekend found us at the Natural Foods Industry Trade Show in Anaheim–Natural Products Expo West.


May I just say this show is HUGE?  Thousands of exhibits, vendors, new products, great ideas.  It’s a bit overwhelming, but also very exciting to see the passion and innovation involved in the natural products industry.  

While there, we attended the keynote speech, given by Tracie McMillan, author of The American Way of Eating: Undercover at Walmart, Applebee’s, Farm Fields and the Dinner Table.  

     Tracie is a freelance journalist who decided to work in the farm fields, at Walmart, and at Applebee’s to get a true picture of the working poor, how food gets from farm to table, and to start a conversation about food policies.  She wanted to know how our food system works, both inside and out.  

     Most of her keynote address focused on her work in the farm fields of California.  She worked for two months total in three areas–grape vineyards, peach sorting, and garlic harvesting.  She described her living and working conditions, as well as the pittance that she earned.  
     One of Tracie’s quests as she set out on the undercover work, was to see how people who earned minimum wage–or less–were able to live and eat.  
     She talked briefly about the “food deserts” that are in American–places where people are unable to find fresh food, and where their economic situation makes it close to impossible to afford it.  
I am looking forward to reading her book–which I downloaded on my ebook reader.
For more information, you can go to her blog.  There are plenty of reviews of her book, and here are two:  the NY Times Review and the LA Times Review.
If you want to get a taste of the actual book, you can go to this Slate article which exerpts three sections.

It’s always great to go to Expo West, and one of the reasons is the line-up of educational and informational speakers!  This year was an eye-opening one for me.  Watch this blog for more posts of what I’m reading!

Happy reading and  delicious eating!