what the health documentary

Worldwide, we’re looking at approximately 315 million people with diabetes. There’s no question that we’re in the midst of a diabetes epidemic. Right now, one in three Medicare dollars is spent in the care of people with diabetes. One in ten total health care dollars is spent on people with diabetes. There’s no question that this is a major problem. [Kip] What in particular is the correlation for diet and diabetes? I’m not gonna get into that. – Into diet? – No. [Latin music playing] My name’s Kip. I’m a filmmaker from San Francisco, and I have a confession to make. I’m a recovering hypochondriac. Like so many of us, I have a family history of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. My dad had his first heart bypass at 49, his second at age 50. My grandpa died young from diabetes complications, and both my other grandpa and grandma died of cancer. I was always paranoid that I would also get one of these diseases. Like any good hypochondriac, WebMD’s symptoms checker was essentially my browser’s home page. Even in my teens I took Metamucil every day and a daily aspirin. I read all the latest self-diagnosis books, I ate every multivitamin I could get my hands on, and I was obsessed with bodily functions. I followed all the large health organizations’ recommendations for preventing disease. I exercise regularly, don’t smoke, don’t drink soda, get enough sleep, reduce stress and grew up eating what I thought was a healthy diet until… -[tires screeching] -The World Health Organization this morning has classified processed meat such as bacon and sausage as carcinogenic, directly involved in causing cancer in humans. [male anchor] Processed meat is clearly linked to an increase in cancer. Hotdogs or, bacon could be just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. [Kip] The World Health Organization had looked at over 800 studies from ten different countries, finding a direct link to consuming processed meat and cancer. Just one serving of deli meats daily increases your risks of colorectal cancer by 18%. I had no idea that what we ate affected cancer rates. But I never felt like I had eaten a lot of processed meats until I realized that processed meat includes hotdogs, bacon, sausage, salami, ham, pepperoni, cold cuts and deli slices, basically everything I grew up eating. The World Health Organization classifies processed meat as a Group One carcinogen, the same group as cigarettes, asbestos and plutonium, and classifies red meat as a Group Two carcinogen. Was this like I had essentially been smoking my entire childhood? If processed meats are labeled the same as cigarettes, how is it even legal for kids to be eating this way? I thought this was new information, but, many of these studies have been around for 50 years. I couldn’t believe I’d been eating processed meats virtually my entire life and was just now finding out how dangerous they are. Why hadn’t I been hearing about it from the American Cancer Society, the largest cancer group in the nation? When I went on their website, I was shocked to see that none of this information was featured on their home page. But, even more shocking, on their Eat Healthy page, they actually encouraged eating Group One carcinogenic foods like processed turkey and canned meats. This is after the World Health Organization reviewed over 800 studies definitively linking processed meat to cancer. [man] Thanks for calling your American Cancer Society. My name is Sam, I’m a cancer information specialist. How may I help you today? Yeah, I was calling because I was wondering why you all recommend people to eat processed meat on your website, which the World Health Organization has classified as a Group One carcinogen? Which is the same class as tobacco smoking, asbestos and plutonium. This would be like a lung organization having a How to Roll Your Own Cigarette section on their website. It’s kinda the same thing. [Sam] Well, let me just place you on a brief hold because… [Kip] He wasn’t able to answer my questions and said someone would get back with me. I had always been concerned about cancer because both my grandma and grandpa died of cancer. I wondered if things would’ve been different had they known the link between diet and this terrible disease. In the US, one out of every four deaths is from cancer. Oh, sweet! American Cancer Society rep confirmed an interview this week. So, we just went in for the interview with the American Cancer Society rep, and the security guard said there’s no interview scheduled. So, I went into my phone and it turns out last night, after I told her that the interview’s gonna be about the correlation between diet and cancer, she said she could no longer do the interview. [Kip] After repeated emails asking why she was declining my interview to simply talk about diet and cancer, she stopped responding altogether. Why would an American Cancer Society rep not want to talk about this? I was, however, able to connect with a growing movement of doctors who are willing to talk about the link between the standard American diet and disease. And it goes beyond just cancer. I took my old trusty van Super Blue once again out on the road. 2/3 of adults are now overweight or, obese. And we have an epidemic cascade of debilitating disease that’s overcoming the country. There’s no way we can sustain the current style of care with the epidemic that we’re creating with our diet and lifestyle choices. The diabetes, the arthritis, the heart disease, the dementia, the obesity, the cancers are affecting about 70% of deaths. All the data is that those 70% of deaths and morbidity are largely lifestyle related and preventable. Most kids by age ten in the US already have fatty streaks in their arteries, the first stage of atherosclerosis leading to heart attacks, strokes. Here in American medicine, we operate from the disease model. We are in the business of treating sick people, we are not in the business of trying to prevent people from becoming sick. When you look at chronic disease risk, all the things that we walk around worrying about. Actually, dietary choices trump smoking when it comes to those risks. If I could deliver one message to the researchers who are looking for the cause of diabetes, and the cause of clogged arteries and the cause of high blood pressure and the cause of obesity, I would tell them the answers in three words: It’s the food! It’s what the Americans are eating. [Kip] Today, with 2/3 of Americans being overweight, clearly there’s a food issue. In the next 25 years, one out of every three Americans will have diabetes. My name’s Michael Abdalla. I’m from Atlanta, Georgia. And unfortunately, I was diagnosed about 10 years ago with diabetes. And eight years ago I had two stents put in. I don’t know where to go, I don’t know what to do, you are just like out of options and you don’t know what to do. You’re taking medicines. You listen to this doctor. And the cardiologist says take this. And the endocrinologist says take that. And your general practitioner doctor says… You don’t know what’s going on here. It’s a real challenging thing and it is something that you don’t wanna get. You just don’t wanna get it. [Kip] Government and media almost exclusively blame lack of exercise and sugary foods as a cause of diabetes. But, I wanted to talk with an actual expert on the role of diet and diabetes. I went to speak with premier physician, diabetes expert and researcher, Dr. Neal Barnard. [Kip] What role does sugar play in causing diabetes? Driving me crazy. Diabetes is not and never was caused be eating a high carbohydrate diet, and it’s not caused by eating sugar. The cause of diabetes is a diet that builds up the amount of fat into the blood. I’m talking about a typical meat-based, animal-based diet. You can look into the muscle cells of the human body, and you find that they’re building up tiny particles of fat that’s causing insulin resistance. What that means is, the sugar that is naturally from the foods that you’re eating can’t get into the cells where it belongs. It builds up in the blood, and that’s diabetes. [Kip] I have never heard that meat was associated with causing diabetes. We had always been told that sugar or obesity caused it. Renowned weight loss bariatric surgeon Dr. Garth Davis, though, agreed. Everyone thinks that you get diabetic because of carbs. They did a huge study in that EPIC study 500,000 people, carbs consumption was inversely related with diabetes. In other words, the more carbs someone ate, the less diabetes they had. But, meat was strongly correlated. Get that aha moment. The starch is, the carbs are good for you. They’re not bad for you. This idea that carbs make you fat is utterly ridiculous. Carbs cannot make you fat in and of themselves. We have storage in our muscles and in our liver for carbs called glycogen. So, when we eat carbs, we either store it or we burn it. Now eat fat, that goes straight to your fat. Your body can’t turn those carbs into fat unless you’re really overdoing the calories. And obesity, it’s a death sentence. You’re at much higher risk of getting cancer, you’re almost certainly gonna get diabetes. No one wants the fat shame, and we all want everybody to be comfortable with our bodies, but, this movement to be comfortable with our bodies has made us comfortable with being sick. And that’s a huge problem. I go into the hospital and I look around me, people on dialysis, all these sick people. And just about every disease in there is because of what people are eating. Here’s the thing. If I eat a sugary cookie, the sugar lures you in like the Trojan horse, but waiting inside that cookie is a huge load of butter or, shortening. And that’s what fattens you up. And that’s the part that leads to the diabetes, it’s the fatty foods, not really so much the sugar. [Davis] It’s not that sugar’s good for you. There’s no nutrients in it. It’s excess calories. But, when you eat sugar, you don’t get inflammation right away. When you eat sugar, you’re not getting plaques forming in your vessels. When you’re eating sugar, your body’s gonna store most of it as glycogen or burn it as calories. And so this focus on sugar has taken all the focus off meat, dairy, eggs, pork, turkey, chicken. People need to understand. If they’re child gets diabetes, you’ve just taken 19 years off their lifespan. We’re talking life and death. [Kip] I realized there was so much more about diet and disease that I hadn’t ever learned. It felt as if this information had been practically withheld. Processed meat causes cancer. Sugar doesn’t cause diabetes. I had doubt about the claims these doctors were making, so I did some searching on my own. Harvard researchers looked at nine prospective studies finding that just one serving of processed meat per day increased risk of developing diabetes by 51 percent. The link between eating meat and developing diabetes became undeniable. But, when I went on a leading diabetes organization’s website, the American Diabetes Association, not only did they not have this information front and center, they were featuring recipes for red and processed meat. And on their recipes for healthy living, they had bacon-wrapped shrimp. What the health? All right, sent an email to American Diabetes Association, see if they’ll get back to us. As destructive as diabetes is, it pales in comparison to heart disease. Over 17 million people die every year from cardiovascular disease. It is the leading cause of death around the world. Nearly one out of every three people will die from this disease. The amount of people who die from cardiovascular disease is the equivalent of four jumbo jets crashing every single hour, every single day, every single year. My name’s Amy Resnic, and I’m from Swampscott, Massachusetts, a little bit north of Boston. And I recently went to my doctor for asthma because I had a very hard time breathing. And while there, she did some blood work. And one of the tests was C-reactive protein, there was a scale of one to three, one being low for cardiac event, three being high for cardiac event. And my number was 10.82. What does that mean? That means I am on the road for heart attack. And she said probably within the next 30 days. – 30 days? – 30 days. If I’m going the way I was going. I take this for my heart arrhythmia. I take this for pain. Oxycodone for pain. And lorazepam for stress. Cyclobenzaprine for a muscle relaxer. Also take Topamax and Prozac. And I also use a CPAP machine to help me breathe. And my asthma has been so bad this past year. I use it during the day as well to get some air. I am tired when I wake up, I’m tired during the day. I take a nap, I’m still tired. I can’t breathe. And I know I need to make a change for my health. Or, else I’m not gonna be here for my family. When we speak of heart disease, I would say the role of alcohol is pretty small. The role of sugar is very small, too. Smoking is big, but, the good news is that most people have quit or never did smoke. The problem with animal-based diet, its contribution to heart disease is huge, and it is pervasive. All this expensive imaging, procedures, bypasses, medication. None of which has one solitary single thing to do with the causation of the illness, so you dive a completely benign, food borne illness that never had its causation treated. When we eat these kind of dead meat bacteria toxins, within minutes, you get this burst of inflammation within your system, such that you basically paralyze your arteries, you get this stiffening of the arteries, their inability to relax normally in half. So, it’s not like decades down the road eating unhealthy there’ll be some damage. No, we’re talking damage right then and there, within minutes of it going into our mouth. Many people are given the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, when it’s not true Alzheimer’s at all. The vast majority of people suffer dementia due to their tiny blood vessels in their brain clogging up and their nerve cells being shortchanged of oxygenated blood. And guess where that blood vessel dementia comes from, those little tiny arteries are clogging up from that steady stream of bad cholesterol, et cetera. It’s really quite clear. Both from the standpoint of cancer and the standpoint of cardiovascular disease that animal protein plays an enormous role. [Kip] Is chicken better? It’s a question of whether you wanna be shot or, hung. The flesh food that I would eliminate from the American diet would be poultry, would be turkey and chicken. A brilliant advertising campaign has convinced people that oh, it’s white meat, it’s healthier. The leading source of Sodium, in the American diet for adults is chicken. It can be labeled all natural chicken but, be injected with salt water. I think up to 800 milligrams of sodium. Heterocyclic amines are clear-cut carcinogens, and they can form in any kind of meat as it’s heated, as it’s cooked. But, by far, the biggest source is chicken. We sent researchers into fast food and family restaurants. Not only were there carcinogens in every single restaurant, but, we found them in every single chicken sample that we took. If somebody brings their family in, and they’re buying a bucket of chicken, nobody tells them that there are carcinogens. If you’re selling carcinogens to people, you’ve gotta warn them that they’re in there. [Kip] But the American Cancer Society encourages people to switch from red and processed meat to chicken. Why would the American Cancer Society tell people to switch from eating one carcinogenic food to another when a Harvard University study showed that men with prostate cancer who eat large amounts of chicken, increase their risk of the disease progressing four times. The number one dietary source in America of cholesterol is chicken because of the volume of chicken. Chicken’s become grilled chicken and organic chicken. It’s machismo. But it has nearly as much cholesterol per gram as red beef. So, just on sheer volume, it’s the number one source. You got eggs being close behind. [Kip] I never really thought about eggs much. I just thought of them as a standard part of a healthy diet. But, then I found a study suggesting that eating just one egg a day can be as bad as smoking five cigarettes per day for life expectancy. Yolk of a hen’s egg is the most concentrated glom of saturated fat and cholesterol. It is made to run a baby chicken for 21 days with no outside energy. It is pure fat and cholesterol. And when we put that into our bloodstream, it coats our red blood cells. Our blood gets thicker and more viscous. It changes our hormone levels. It raises our cholesterol levels. There’s nothing healthy about eating the yolk of the egg. [Kip] But I thought cholesterol and saturated fat wasn’t an issue anymore. All these saturated fat studies that have come out, trying to vindicate saturated fat is a campaign by the dairy industry, wherein the number one source of saturated fat is dairy, it’s not meat. 2008, the global dairy industry got together at a meeting and explicitly read their agenda, was to neutralize the negative impact of milk fat by regulators and medical professionals unquote, so what do they do, they funded studies. [Kip] The main study that started the whole saturated fat media craze was funded by the National Dairy Council. The egg industry similarly funds studies that confuse consumers by making claims that eggs don’t negatively affect heart function. That is, only when compared to eating a McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin? So, what they’re really saying is that eating eggs is just as bad as eating a McMuffin. When you eat foods, like a beef or, steak or, a processed meat, a hotdog, you’re not just getting saturated fat. You’re also getting other additional toxins that are in that food. There’s heme iron, carcinogens, processing chemicals, this all a lot more complicated than just looking at saturated fat. The strategy is not on making their products any safer. The strategy is to just try to confuse the public, to introduce doubt. There’s a famous tobacco industry memo. It’s called doubt is our product. That’s all they had to do. They didn’t have to convince Americans that smoking was healthy. They just had to introduce doubt. Then they would win. If there’s just enough controversy, people kind of throw up their hands, “I don’t know what to eat.” Confusion is their game. I really don’t think people thought what they ate led to heart disease. They think, “Oh, it’s genetic, my parents had it.” I don’t think people really think that what they ate led to diabetes, I think, “Oh, my parents had it, I was gonna get it,” and certainly cancer, they don’t think that way. People have bad lifestyles that they’ve inherited. Environmentally, they’ve been exposed to a certain way of eating and living that they’ve carried on into their adulthood, passed onto their children, that is why they go on to develop the same diseases that their parents and grandparents may have had before them. But it is not inevitable. Even if you have a genetic predisposition, doesn’t mean it’s going to necessarily manifest. And what determines whether it manifests or not may be those epigenetic variables, the things that you can control. The environmental factors, the dietary factors, the lifestyle factors. So, we can actually change the expression of genes, tumor suppressing genes, tumor activating genes by what we eat, what we put into our bodies. So, even if you’ve been dealt a bad genetic deck, you can still reshuffle it with diet. [Kip] I had always thought that I would develop heart disease at a young age because both my dad and grandpa had heart attacks. I was taught that they were genetic. But the heart attacks probably had less to do with genes and more to do with our diets high in meat. That’s why when I went on the American Heart Association’s Heart-Healthy Recipes page, I could not believe they had an entire section on beef recipes? This was just like the American Cancer Society encouraging eating Group One carcinogens on their site. Meat loaf, pork loin, steak on your recipe list, are you kidding me? It’s like this menu is trying to give people heart attacks. On your website, we noticed Heart-Healthy Recipes and we were kind of bewildered by why there was a bunch of recipes on, a whole section on beef, beef recipes. And there was also a section on egg recipes when there’s such a strong link between beef, red meat and heart disease. I honestly don’t know ’cause I don’t do that, I guess. That’s not what what I do. Another organization rep that wasn’t able to answer my questions. But, he said that he’d have someone get in touch shortly. I was, however, able to talk to the president of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Kim Williams. So, the American College of Cardiology is a 47,000-member and growing organization with a dedicated mission to reduce heart disease and to improve patients’ lives. And if you look at the incidents of hypertension and diabetes and mortality in men, they actually get reduced as you go higher and higher in terms of how much you restrict animal products. What about fish? So, fish is a little different. You’ve got the four worries, which is PCBs, mercury, saturated fat and cholesterol. And the cholesterol is all over the place. You can have tuna in water that’ll be almost less than a glass of milk, to salmon or, tilapia which is higher than a pork chop. [Goldhamer] If you look objectively at fish, what you find is they’ve become, essentially, mercury sponges. And that’s why in many parts of the country they warn you, don’t have more than so many of these fish a week because getting too much mercury can kill you. Fish are eaten by bigger fish who are eaten by bigger fish, and these pesticides or, herbicides bioaccumulate in the fish flesh and these big fish, including the salmon, which people think is the healthiest fish, truth is, the amount of pesticides and herbicides in the flesh of these fish are shocking, and they have estrogenic and cancer-promoting properties in them. They’ll say, “Well, but, don’t sardines have less concentration of toxic waste products than other ones?” Something being less toxic doesn’t make it healthy, it just makes it less toxic. Farmed fish is by no means healthier. All the antibiotics that these animals have to be fed. Similar to chickens and turkeys kept in confinement, these fish get infections. They get fungal infections, they get bacterial infections, you’ve got to feed them anti-fungals, antibiotics, and these substances accumulate in the fish flesh as well. [Kip] I always knew that pollution was bad for our health, but I had never thought about the environmental pollutants affecting food. [Ewall] Dioxins being the most toxic, man-made chemicals known to science cause all sorts of things. They cause endometriosis, they cause cancers, they cause endocrine disruption problems. But, most of your exposure, 93 percent of it, comes from eating meat and dairy products because it climbs up in the food chain so effectively. So, you can get exposed to them by living near these incinerators and breathing it, but, it will take you 14 years to breathe in as much Dioxin as a cow will ingest by eating the grass in one day. And that Dioxin will accumulate in its fat, which includes the milk and the meat and anyone eating meat or dairy products is gonna get that dose of Dioxin. So, it climbs up the food chain in every step. Men have no way in their bodies to get rid of dioxins, but, women have two ways. They’re both involving having a baby. One is that dioxin crosses the placenta into the growing infant and the other is that it comes out from the breast milk. So, if you have a meat and dairy-consuming mother breastfeeding that infant, then the highest impacts of toxic exposure like mercury and dioxins will go to that infant. Pregnant women are told, “Certain types of fish should be avoided,” but, what about all these other animal products which are introducing, imagine as the fetus is developing, introducing these very harmful toxins which, create reproductive abnormalities, develop mental problems and hormonal issues right as the child is developing, the most critical stage of development. It does make you worry when people say, “Don’t you wanna have a little bit of milk because you’re pregnant? “Don’t you wanna have some fish ’cause your pregnant?” Who do you think is gonna get the chemicals that are in that? [Snyder] All these environmental toxins and toxins from the feed that they’re being fed accumulate in their tissues and are released into the mother and unfortunately, to the child when you eat these products when you’re pregnant. So, this includes antibiotics, hormones, steroids in animal feed. Commercial animals are largely fed GMO corn and soy which are very laden in pesticides. PCBs have been banned since the 70s, but, they persist in the environment, dioxins. All of these compounds can create hormonal, reproductive, developmental damage as well. Eating organic beef, poultry, pork or fish will not help you avoid contaminants like mercury, like dioxins, like strontium-90 because they fall out over all sorts of farm fields and water bodies, and then they don’t skip over the organic fields. And so really, the contaminants are coming in regardless of how these animals are raised. [Kip] I had always been concerned about the possible health impacts of GMOs but, then found out that most of the world’s GMO crops are actually consumed by livestock, with dairy cows consuming the most per animal. This fact, with everything I learned about bioaccumulation made dairy terrifying. Especially considering how much cheese I ate in my life. [Goldhamer] Cheese is an amazing product when you think about it. It’s probably one of the single best foods in compromising health that you’re gonna actually feed to people. Think about it, you’ve got an animal product. So, you’ve got all the issues of biological concentration. You have a highly processed food product, and not only does it have naturally a lot saturated fat, but, you put a lot of salt into it. There’s a strong link between dairy foods and autoimmune diseases. And so that can show itself up as excessive production of mucus and exacerbation of asthma in kids who are prone to that and even adults, and also, there’s an association between dairy foods and multiple sclerosis and type one diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease, and other rheumatologic problems. Cow’s milk is baby calf growth fluid. That’s what the stuff is. There’s absolutely no child or human on Earth who actually needs the milk of a cow any more than they need the milk of a giraffe or, a mouse. Most people in the world are lactose intolerant. That’s the normal state of affairs. Why would your body create this enzyme, just lactose after weaning, after infancy, it doesn’t make any sense. 73% of African Americans are lactose intolerant. 95% of Asians, roughly 70% of Native Americans, and about 53% of Hispanic Americans are lactose intolerant. Our government is encouraging Americans of color to eat foods that it knows is going to make them ill. Ultimately, what that boils down to is the government is telling me as an African American to eat food that’s gonna make me ill for no health benefit so that it will benefit dairy farmers. That’s a form of institutionalized racism. Yeah, milk is a risky food for human consumption. As a pediatrician, I see on a daily basis children suffering from conditions that are linked or associated to dairy consumption such as eczema, acne, constipation, acid reflux, iron deficiency, anemia. Cow’s milk protein is the most allergenic food. People think, “Well, no, I want hormone-free, not injected with bovine growth hormone.” But milk is this hormonal fluid, so it’s just packed with sex hormones and natural sex steroid hormones like estrogen, progesterone, in fact, doesn’t matter if it’s conventional milk, doesn’t matter if it’s organic milk. Milk without hormones, that’s an oxymoron. Organic dairy has just as much saturated fat and cholesterol and galactose, all the things that you don’t want, as conventional dairy. Dairy products, in general, have a lot of other products associated with it, not the least of which is pus. They actually have laws limiting how much pus you can actually have in the milk and still sell it, I believe it’s like 750,000 pus cells per CC. Because you wouldn’t want too much pus and then it’d be like pure pus, people might object. In fact, you could think of cheese as kind of coagulated cow pus, if you would. [Kip] But, I was always told that we need milk for strong bones. I’m Jane Chapman, and not too long ago, I finally got some x-rays of the hips and back, severe bilateral osteoarthritis of the hips. And actually, I’m scheduled for two hip replacements. That’s bone on bone. It’s the grinding of the joints. My stability is scary. I hold on to the walls when I’m at home. I’ve been told to use a walker. I’m only 61. This is not how you’re supposed to live when you’re this old. I have a really hard time believing that that’s all that’s left. Researchers have studied bone development in kids and whether they get stress fractures and that kind of thing. And the kids who drink the most milk have zero protection. Milk does not build strong bones. Harvard researchers have looked at a large group of older women, over an 18-year period, the milk drinkers had zero protection from fractures. So, this old notion that somehow milk is gonna build strong bones or protect your bones later in life, it’s a myth. People that drink milk have higher rates of hip fractures, have more cancer and live shorter lives. [Kip] Turns out that countries with the highest dairy consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis, so clearly, drinking more milk doesn’t protect your bones. Doing more research, I found that dairy was linked to many different types of cancer as well. Just like many of us, I thought that the majority of cancer was due to genes, but, only five to 10% of cancer is actually genetic. Any cancer is caused by DNA mutation, but, that’s not enough. So, that can cause that first cancer cell, but, one cancer cell never killed anyone. Two cancer cells never killed anyone. But, a billion cancer cells, now we’re running into problems. So, we need to reduce the growth factors in our body, like IGF-1, insulin-like growth factor one, it’s this cancer-promoting growth hormone involved in every stage of cancer cell growth and spread and metastases. Any animal protein boosts the level of IGF-1. Dairy products increases your risk for various forms of cancer, especially those related to your hormones. So, breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer. So, this is not a product even in its most pure state you wanna be consuming because it does come with risk. [Kip] I found out that dairy can increase a man’s chance of getting prostate cancer by 34%. And for women who’ve had breast cancer, just one serving of whole dairy a day can increase their chance of dying from the disease 49% and dying from anything 64%. Why weren’t breast cancer sites like Susan G. Komen warning everyone about this? [woman] Thanks for calling Susan G. Komen, this is Jocelyn, how may I help you? Yes, so we’re wondering why you don’t have a huge warning about the dangers of consuming dairy on your website when there’s a direct link to breast cancer. There was a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that found out women consuming dairy who has had breast cancer increases their risk of dying of breast cancer 49%. I was wondering why it’s not on your website. [woman] We cannot answer these types of questions. [Kip] Once again, another health organization rep saying someone else would have to answer my question. Rather than risk being stood up again, I went straight to the local Susan G. Komen chapter to see if they would answer my questions. They didn’t want to answer my questions in person either and told us to stop filming but, promised they would connect me to the national office directly. Susan G. Komen’s pink ribbon campaign had done a lot to raise awareness for breast cancer. Although, it was confusing to see pink ribbons on dairy yogurt containers. Breast cancer can be prevented with a healthy diet and lifestyle, but, we’re not. We’re talking about pink ribbons and putting all the money into research for the cure. I, for one, know that I would want my daughter, my mother, me, I want to focus on not getting to that point. And that’s where I would like to see more energy and effort put. [Kip] I had been a hardcore cheese-aholic virtually my entire life, despite the risks. But, like so many others, I seem to have been addicted to it. It turns out that the casein protein, that’s the main protein in dairy products, and particularly in cheese, it breaks apart in the human digestion to create what are called casopmorphins. Casein-derived, morphine-like compounds that go to the brain and they attach to the very same receptor that heroin attaches to. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not as strong as that, but, they are strong enough to make you come back again and again and again despite the fact that you’re gaining weight, you’re more unhealthy than you’ve ever been, but, that cheese just calls out to people. Casomorphin may play a role in SIDS, in sudden infant death syndrome, may play a role in autism. This is one of the reasons why we don’t want infants drinking milk from cows. [Kip] Human breast milk has 2.7 grams of casein per liter, compared to 26 grams per liter for cow’s milk. That’s practically 10 times more. No wonder it’s so addictive. This talk about addiction made me think about all the drugs animals are fed. I went to the headquarters of the Center for Food Safety, the nation’s leading FDA government watchdog group to see how concerned we need to be about drugs in our food. So, that we know of, there are at least 450 different drugs that are administered to animals, either alone or, in combination. These drugs are given to animals for a variety of reasons, very, very few of which are actually beneficial to consumer health. We’ve got drug companies that work real hard to make sure they can sell lots of drugs to people raising cows, pigs, and chickens. The pharmaceutical industry sells 80% of all the antibiotics that it makes in the United States to animal agriculture. Antibiotic residues are found in the meat, other antimicrobials are found in meat. There has been ractopamine found in meat, there has been hormones found in meat, so right there, you’re talking about four different drugs that could be in the same piece of meat. The pharmaceutical company is supposed to show the safety of animal drugs. They’re not really testing to see what the impacts of these drugs are on humans. They’re really looking to see what the impacts of these drugs are on animals. When we try to get information on some of the health studies and the environmental studies from federal agencies, we get back page after page of blacked out information because the company claimed confidential business information. Consumers have no idea what is in the products that they consume. So, how sick something makes me and how bad it pollutes the environment is a secret for a company. In the animal agriculture industry, as in the tobacco industry, these companies really have a vested interest in making sure that the public doesn’t have information about their effects and what risks are really posed to consuming them. You have this system where animals are living in their own waste, they’re living next to animals that are sick or, even dead, and they’re stuck in cages with these animals, that bacteria tends to spread, that the pathogens that are being created in these filthy conditions are breeding resistance to antibiotics and the public are becoming exposed to those. We already have people dying. From salmonella and other things that you eat, we have about 3,000 people die every year in the United States. That’s more than the number of people that were killed in 9/11 in the Twin Towers in New York. If we had some terrorist organization killing 3,000 people a year, we would be all over it. The antibiotic-resistant bacteria deaths that we have on top of that, you get 20,000 people dying a year. That’s seven 9/11s every year. Can you imagine? If that many people were being killed by some terrorist group in the United States every year, we would find them! You know, the World Health Organization has said we’re nearing a post-antibiotic era in medicine. You’ll be at risk in minor surgeries o have a fatal infection. You’ll be at risk going to the dentist if you have a tooth extracted. Or, it’ll be like civil war medicine. You get an infection in your leg, and you cut your leg off. So, you have this very dangerous situation. By crowding these animals in, they become a perfect engine for generating a new flu virus that can come out into the community. If you lived near a swine spray field, not even the CAFO but the waste disposal field, you are three times more likely to have a MRSA infection. You can’t see how that impacts the average person’s life in Duplin County, North Carolina and not be a little upset about it. From an environmental standpoint, from a community standpoint, from all other aspects, North Carolina, we’re in a state of emergency. We’ve already had bouts of swine flu, or H1N1, as they prefer to refer to it. That particular swine flu incident was originated on a farm here in North Carolina. There’s approximately the same number of hogs in North Carolina as there are people. Between eight to 10 times the amount of feces is produced by a hog, an adult hog as compared to an adult human. [Kip] 10 million pigs in North Carolina produce the waste equal to a hundred million humans. This is the equivalent of the entire US Eastern Seaboard flushing their toilets into North Carolina. But, there is no waste treatment. The pigs’ waste falls through slats in the floors of the sheds they are forced to live in, it is then pumped into giant waste pits, which leech into rivers and streams and is pumped out unfiltered onto fields, further polluting the environment and neighboring health. When you go back and you look at where these hog facilities are located, there’s a disproportionate number of them that are located near communities of color. Low-income communities. It is definitely a human rights issue. My sister, she have asthma, you know. Her brother, he have asthma. He’s three. And we don’t know what she might have. I have asthma, I have sinus, I have sarcoidosis, that’s of the bacteria, and I have a pacemaker, which is sick sinus syndrome. But, you know, mostly everybody in this neighborhood got asthma or, either cancer. My neighbor there died from cancer probably just last year. My nephew down the street, he’s got cancer, he’s in terminal cancer, stage four. Not a smoker, not a drinker. And it’s not in his lungs, it’s in his lymph nodes. Now see if you live here and saw the way they do, we don’t eat no pork. Well, I don’t eat bacon because I know where it come from. When they die, they go into a box, and they decompose because they swell from the heat. A truck come and pick ’em up, take ’em to the processing plant in Rose Hill, ground ’em up into feed, and feed it back to the hogs. If I come out this door, if he’s spraying there, it’s gonna come in my face. It hits you right in the face. Smell like something that you have never smelled before. Smell worse than a dead body. That’s the family graveyard. And I have my grandmother out there, my sisters, my brothers. When we go to a funeral, he use the spray. – During the funeral? – During the funeral, yes. During the funeral. Yeah, they spray. And when the people come, everybody be closing their nose up saying how it stink. They can want a cookout on Sunday, he’ll spray. Do you think he does it on purpose? I think so. ‘Cause he just sprays Sunday. He always sprays Sunday. And in most of these area, hog houses and turkey house, it’s in a black area or the Hispanic area. It’s either or. Do you think it’s also a civil rights issue? Yes, yes, I do. Yes, I do. There have been times in the past that I have gotten ready on a Sunday and gotten ready to go to church and come out and the smell was so strong that I had to go back and regroup because it had got in my clothes, and I just couldn’t go to church smelling like hogs, you know, I just couldn’t do it, so I don’t think the government cares. They care more about corporations than they do peoples, individuals. They’re gonna put more chickens in this state. This is the feces and urine capital of the world right here in North Carolina, my state. Look, there’s a blue-line stream right here comes right across into my property almost and the Contentnea Creek right there. I’ve seen that blue-line stream now filled with feces and urine from that hog pen, and they can say, “Well, we feed the world.” They’re not interested in feeding the world, they’re interested in making money. You take the money away from them, they’ll let the folks starve. ‘Cause if you want to feed the world, you can feed the world with more corn, using corn and wheat and stuff like that than you can meat. Meat is a luxury item. When we are doing things that hurt other people, we are wrong. But, a lot of good people will sit there and eat bacon knowing that it’s causing someone else to be very unhappy. [Kip] I woke up the next morning to find the Burnt River had experienced another massive fish kill from the pollution running off hog farms. Tens of thousands of fish were washing up on shore. All this talk about health, I realized that I was only focused on personal health. But, health started to mean so much more to me. It was about health of my family and our communities. I couldn’t under good conscience support an industry that I knew was harming others. Pollution from animal agriculture isn’t just an issue in North Carolina, though. Raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector. It is a leading cause of rainforest destruction, species extinction, ocean dead zones and freshwater consumption. American Diabetes Association actually finally got back, and they agreed to an interview. Preparing for the American Diabetes Association interview, I took a look at their diabetes diet meal plan recommendations, and they were loaded with foods associated with causing diabetes. How could they expect people not to get diabetes if this was the food they were recommending? And then, I saw multiple peer-reviewed studies published on the National Institute of Health website showing that a low-fat plant-based diet was more than twice as powerful at controlling and even reversing diabetes than the ADA recommended diet that included meat and dairy. The mission of the American Diabetes Association is to identify a prevention and a cure for diabetes. But, in the meantime, to improve the lives of all people who are affected by diabetes. And what’s the best way to prevent this? For type two diabetes, it’s unclear. We can’t prevent type two diabetes in everybody. We were doing research, we came across a lot of studies that said that you actually could potentially cure or reverse diabetes with a purely plant-based diet. I don’t believe there’s sufficient evidence to demonstrate that. How does it compare to the ADA diet that you recommend? We don’t recommend a specific diet, we recommend healthy eating. The one that’s on the website. We recommend healthy eating. There is… Do you have a whole list of exact day-to-day, the meal plan, the whole meal plan? All they are are selections of foods to consider. We do not have a diabetes diet. But, with that, selections that you consider, that plan compared to an all plant-based plan. No one’s done that study. We found, actually, some studies. A 74-week study found that low-fat vegan diet versus the ADA plan, in type two diabetes… I think we’re done here. I’m not gonna get into an argument about… Oh, no, I just wanted the studies of, if this is true or, if it shows that. Any diet works. Any diet works if people follow it. But, if it’s a diet that’s not the proper diet, like if anyone follows a diet that they eat McDonald’s… I can’t tell you what a proper diet is. I can tell you what an improper diet is. So, then we can talk about the good diets. I’m not sure why… I’m not gonna get into that. – Into diet? – No. Why not? If that’s where you want to go with this, I’m sorry, I’m not the person that you should be talking to. And why is that, though? If that’s what you want to get into, I’m not the person – you need to be talking to. – Into diet? Who do we talk to about diet? You can talk to anybody you want. But, that’s interesting, though, why not recommend a diet… Because the data don’t exist to support it. But, if we see data that we looked up, that supports it with the NIH, in Europe, the European Association of… We’re done. We’re done. I’m sorry, I’m not gonna get into that argument with you. No, I’m just wondering, but, I… I’m not gonna get into the argument with you. Why is it in argument? It’s just to talking about in European study of diabetes and other places that have studies, why… There are lots of studies… Why is it even an argument, I guess? There are lots of studies in the literature. Many of which have never been replicated or frankly, are wrong. That’s why we do peer review, okay? The European Association of Study of Diabetes has been peer-reviewed or, the… I don’t know what study you’re referring to, and in the absence of being able to see that study, I’m not gonna comment. I could show it to you. I’m sorry, I don’t have the time for that. I just don’t understand why it’s an argument, though, or, okay. That was interesting. What he wanted to talk about was people living longer with diabetes, but, once you mention eliminating diabetes or, prevention, oh, now you crossed the line. Prevention and cure… Whoa. Let’s not go there. [Kip] Not only did Dr. Ratner, the chief medical officer of the American Diabetes Association not want to talk about diet, but, the fact that he had such an emotional reaction to my question made it feel I was digging into something that he didn’t want uncovered. I had always thought there was no prevention for type one diabetes. But, then, I did research and came across countless studies referencing the link between exposure to dairy at a young age and type one diabetes. [McDougall] This is a food made for baby cows. Cow milk protein gets into the bloodstream, and the body says, “Hey, this isn’t supposed to be in the bloodstream.” It makes antibodies to the cow milk protein which then attack the pancreas and destroy the pancreas. [Kip] How is this possible that ADA wouldn’t have this forefront on their website? Why wouldn’t they be warning all parents about this even if there were only a slight chance? Why were they recommending people to actually eat these foods linked to diabetes? It seemed all of the large health organizations were encouraging people to eat the very foods linked to the diseases they’re supposed to be fighting against. American Heart Association promoting beef, American Cancer Society promoting processed meat, pink ribbons on dairy products, and bacon-wrapped shrimp on American Diabetes Association. And then, it all came together. What if… And there it was. The American Diabetes Association was taking money from Dannon, one of the world’s largest dairy yogurt producers. Kraft Foods, makers of Velveeta processed cheese, Oscar Meyer processed meats, Lunchables processed kids’ meals, and Bumble Bee Foods, makers of processed canned meats. American Cancer Society was taking money from Tyson, one of the world’s largest meat producers and Yum! Brand, owner of Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell. Susan G. Komen, who was supposed to be fighting breast cancer, was corporate partnering with KFC, Dietz Watson processed meats and Yoplait yogurt. And the American Heart Association was probably the most disturbing of all, taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the beef industry, poultry and dairy producers and millions from fast food and processed food manufacturers. Every single one of these organizations was taking money from meat and dairy companies that are associated with the causes of these diseases. This would be like the American Lung Association taking money from the tobacco industry. I was sick of not getting answers. So, I went to the headquarters of these organizations myself. We have to speak to someone in person. There’s millions of people dying from the foods that they are recommending people to eat. I wanted to find out why Susan G. Komen had accepted $35 million from Yoplait, when their products can increase a woman’s chance of dying from breast cancer 49%, and ask American Cancer Society if taking money from KFC and Tyson was a reason they promote eating meat. But, every one of these organizations declined to be interviewed. What’s really sad is that we cannot trust information from these leading health organizations like the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association because they are taking money from the very industries who are causing the problems that they’re supposed to be helping to prevent. So, that makes the truth something that you are not gonna be hearing, as far as nutrition goes, from these organizations. Well, that would be the end of their funding, that would be the end of their jobs, there would be lawsuits that would bring the entire catastrophe down upon their heads, and they would essentially disappear as organizations. This one time I got invited to a charity fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association. I showed up, and they had a whole buffet, and it was all just animal products. I remember like a big thing of barbecue chicken. And I was like, I stormed out. I said like, serving chicken at a diabetes event is like serving alcohol at an AA meeting. It doesn’t make sense. [Kip] We had scheduled to film an interview with a prominent surgeon. But, before we could get inside the building, the hospital’s media relations manager stopped us. Actually I understand that Dr… said that you could film here today, but, unfortunately, that’s not gonna be able to happen. I know that he advocates for patients changing their diets, but, the hospital makes money off these surgeries, and the reality is, he does, too. So, we can’t do anything that’s gonna negatively impact the hospital, so unfortunately, you’re not gonna be able to film here today. He said that we could, though. [Kip] I was sickened by how open she was about the hospital being more interested in profits than people’s health. But, it wasn’t just this hospital or these organizations. Even the US government is involved, too. Every five years, the US Department of Agriculture creates dietary guidelines for Americans. The committee who writes these guidelines has been made up of individuals who have received money from McDonald’s, the National Dairy Council, the American Meat Institute, the National Dairy Board, the National Livestock and Meat Board, the American Egg Board, Dannon, candy and sugar companies, Coca Cola and Anheuser, just to name a few. Which means we are getting our dietary recommendations from the very industries that are killing us. And when they, the USDA, makes a pyramid or a Power Plate every five years for the American public, they’re gonna guarantee that on that plate are gonna be foods, which when consumed, will result in millions of Americans perishing. The USDA, which is supposed to be protecting us, has two missions. It’s supposed to protect us, and it’s supposed to protect the producer. And guess what, when those two come head to head, they usually choose the producer. [Kip] In internal documents uncovered by Dr. Greger, the USDA admitted that eggs cannot legally be called nutritious, low fat, part of a balanced diet, low calorie, healthful, healthy, can’t say it’s good for you or, even safe. Yet they still promote these products to the American people through federal checkoff programs. If you ask somebody if they have heard of a checkoff program, the odds are they haven’t, although daily, they are seeing the messaging that these programs produce. So, checkoff programs are responsible for the messages that we see on TV, on the Internet, on buzz billboards and magazines that say things like, “Milk, it does a body good,” or “milk life. Beef, it’s what’s for dinner. Pork, be inspired. The incredible edible egg.” The dairy checkoff program gave $12 million to Domino’s to just market cheese-heavy product. And this is the USDA, this is the government. If you’ve seen those ads for the Pizza Hut pizza, the stuffed crust or a pound of cheese. Those are all government advertising schemes for the industry. How can we put more cheese on beef? How can we put more milk in a coffee? Things like that to just drive consumption of these just unbelievably unhealthful products. So, McDonald’s, for instance, has six people staffed full-time, according to records we found, whose salaries are paid for by this government program but, funded by the producers who are regulated by it. And these six people sit there at McDonald’s headquarters and just come up with ideas. Triple cheese decker McCheese muffin stuffed bacon cheese slider? With extra cheese? – Nice! – Yes! You don’t think of it on a day-to-day basis that these are government programs. The Wendy’s Bacon Double Cheeseburger. Government program. The steak fajita at Dunkin’ Donuts. Government program. You would just never think that this just pure garbage from a food standpoint, is coming from a federally-funded program. That’s one of the things that makes checkoffs so incredibly creepy, is that it is our government telling us eat more beef, drink more milk, eat more cheese, eat more pork. One of the very effective ways that the dairy industry promotes its products is to reach children because kids are impressionable, they’re gonna be consumers for their entire lives, and you might as well get ’em while they’re young. So, dairy spends at least $50 million promoting its products in public schools throughout the country with posters, with people with milk mustaches and messages like “Milk, it does the body good,” or “milk life.” Targeting young people, like the tobacco industry had to keep replacing their customers who were dying with new customers. Meat industry knows they have to target young people. That’s why we have these foods in schools and marketing messages at a younger and younger age for kids to get hooked on all the wrong kinds of foods. So, there’s all kinds of parallels. School districts where processed meats are all over the place, maybe it’s gonna be bacon on the menu, sausage, hotdogs or pepperoni pizza. Any of those things are processed meats, and those are pretty much the worst of the worst with a direct link to colon cancer. And yet you have every day in the schools meal items with processed meats. [Kip] If the surgeon general puts warning labels on tobacco because of their cancer risk, why aren’t the same warning labels on meat? Based on the publicly available data, we know they spend at least $557 million promoting their goods through checkoff programs. We know that they spend at least $138 million lobbying Congress. We expect that they spend a good deal more than that in figures that simply aren’t publicly disclosed. [Kip] The industry’s lobbying power is so strong that they can create laws and push through legislation that doesn’t benefit Americans in any way, such as ag-gag laws that criminalize whistle-blowing or photographing abuses by this industry. Activists in the US can be charged as terrorists for disrupting the profits of any business that uses animals, under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, to the even more ridiculous ones like cheeseburger laws. A cheeseburger law is a law that says a plaintiff cannot recover against a manufacturer, distributor or, retailer, on the theory that the food made the plaintiff obese or caused an obesity related disease. Cheeseburger laws are a direct response to a problem that the tobacco industry has had. Big Tobacco has paid $400 billion to state Medicaid programs. Cheeseburger laws proponents say, “We don’t want to see the same kind of thing happen “to the meat and dairy industries.” The fact that these laws are based on a model template called a Commonsense Consumption Act is actually ironic because what they’re saying is you, the consumer, should have the common sense to know that our food is bad for you. I’ve often typified the meat industry to people who maybe don’t understand its power and reach, as it’s got all the money of Big Tobacco and Big Pharma, and it has the personality of the National Rifle Association. So, any little thing that comes up, man, they beat it to death. [Kip] Robert Martin wasn’t exaggerating. When the profits of the egg industry were threatened by egg alternative company Hampton Creek Foods, extremely disturbing emails were uncovered by Ryan Shapiro and Jeffrey Light. We uncovered documents demonstrating the American Egg Board considers Hampton Creek, quote “a crisis and major threat “to the future of the American egg industry.” The American Egg Board considers a successful egg replacer company to be such a threat that they joke on their government email addresses about murdering the CEO. [Kip] In internal government emails with the heads of the egg industry, they suggest having the CEO of Hampton Creek, Josh Tetrick, murdered, including a menacing email from executive director of the American Egg Board. The meat producers don’t have to pay for the heart disease or the environmental destruction or any of the other externalities, as economists call them, that their products cause. Then there’s a whole pharmaceutical aspect of it and the fact that there’s a very strong pharmaceutical industry and lobby that has a huge stake in preserving the status quo. These chronic diseases, these are the cash cows of the pharmaceutical industry. We have a $5 billion stent industry. Do they ever want to see that go away? We’ve got a $35 billion statin drug industry. Do they ever want to see that go away? I’m talking about the pharmaceutical industry effectively controls what doctors are told. Most research isn’t put into prevention. It’s put into the medication that we might use for that particular disease. I’m on two different high blood pressure medicines. Six asthma type medicines. Even after four years of shots. And another medicine to help take care of side effects from some of those medicines. I’m on high level anti-depressants. A couple of different pain meds for my back and hips. I’m taking about 16 drugs. Not counting the insulin in the morning. I take insulin in the morning, insulin at night, 32-34 units, of insulin. Lantus to be exact. Some of these meds are for diabetes. This is for peeing. I have to use this for my prostrate. And then I have to use this for the heart. And I have to use this for blood pressure. And it’s just on and on and on. The doctors are telling me this is what I gotta do for my whole life. And it’s frustrating and very stressful. And I don’t know how long my liver is gonna last taking all this stuff. Under conventional medical treatment, whether it be for autoimmune disease or even conditions like high blood pressure or, diabetes, you’re told that you have to take drugs. And not just for a week or a month or, a year, you’re told you have to take drugs forever. You’re guaranteed that if you follow your doctor’s advice, you’ll be sick forever. You’ll never get well. That’s the guarantee. Because the strategies are all about manipulating the symptoms, not dealing with the underlying cause. You come in with that diagnosis, you get a bunch of pills that have nothing to do with the disease causation. Or you get these procedures that have nothing to do with disease causation. It’s a deception to say this pill will help you unclog your arteries, this one will save you from a stroke, no, it doesn’t. The people who take the statins, et cetera, they still get their heart attacks, they still get their strokes. This does not reverse disease. This does not make plaque smaller. This is a front of massive proportions. [Kip] In the US, treating chronic disease, such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes is a $1.5 trillion industry. That’s the GDP equivalent of the 10th richest country in the world. I went back and dug deeper into the health organizations’ funding, and there it was again. These organizations were accepting millions of dollars from pharmaceutical companies that are making billions of dollars from the very same diseases these health groups are supposedly trying to end. It seemed like a major conflict of interest, unless ending these diseases isn’t really the goal. The pharmaceutical industry spends more money on lobbying than any other single industry. Just like animal agriculture, they are so powerful, they write their own laws that have had activists imprisoned to silence them. The government’s in bed with anyone that gives them the most money, which is the pharmaceutical industry, which is the animal ag industries, they are pumping the government full of money and resources, and in return, the government’s giving them want they want. Subsidies, imprisoning activists that go against them, and I think it’s quite telling that these industries are working so hard and spending so much money to criminalize people for simply taking a picture, for simply recording what’s going on inside these facilities and making it known to the public. They’re behind walls, they’re underground. They’re in these secret facilities that no one knows about, but if they did, they would be shocked and outraged. And I think people would not want to think that their pharmaceuticals, that their food are coming from these places. And that’s why I think it’s such, the ag-gag laws are what they are is because they are trying to silence people into not speaking out and not showing the truth. [Kip] I finally realized how deep the collusion truly is between government and these industries. And how dangerous it could be to expose them. These concerns intensified after meeting the USDA whistle-blowerrrr who revealed mad cow disease in the US meat supply. USDA operates like the military. So, when I got on TV and that right away, USDA sent out memos to all the veterinarians and food inspectors, “If anybody from the media ever contacts you, do not talk to them. Refer ’em to Washington DC, and we will talk to them.” So, right away, it shut up everybody. American public should be very concerned about this. What’s going on with USDA? Here in the United States, we have at least four cases of mad cow disease, but, I’m almost positive there’s more cases than that, but, the government isn’t looking for it. What you’re saying is that there could be already mad cow’s disease in humans. Right, and I think a lot of it was misdiagnosed. With the Alzheimer’s or dementia, it takes several years you see the progression, but, to make it easier, these doctors just sign off on it as dementia or, Alzheimer’s without actually taking a biopsy of the brain to see if it’s that or is it actually a prion disease like Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease or, mad cow disease. Do you think it’s safe to eat meat? I personally don’t think it’s safe to eat it because of the fact how the line speeds are increasing and also our inspectors are not well trained enough. At the present time, the line speed now is going about 220 cows an hour. That gives you about, somewheres around four cows per minute. So, that’s 15 seconds per cow. These dangerous slaughter speeds means that animal waste ends up everywhere. Testing shows 88% of pork chops are contaminated with fecal bacteria. 90% of ground beef and 95% of chicken breast sampled contained animal waste bacteria. There is nothing clean about eating this way. But, it just isn’t waste, it’s also pus-filled infections. You could see there’s a bump or some kind of abscess underneath the hide. Most of the time when the hide’s pulled off, either that will open up the abscess and the the pus will come out, or if it’s deep-seated, when the inspectors are doing their work or the company employees, they might stick their knife into an abscess, and it explodes all over the place. [Kip] I had heard enough. I was utterly disgusted by the corruption, the greed, the disease and the abuse I was learning about. The very animals we were killing were killing us and the planet. But, so many people eat meat and dairy every day of their lives. And we are so concerned about getting enough protein. [Kip] Do we have to eat meat to get complete protein? Oh, my God, oh my God. You want me to jump off this building, don’t you now? Well first of all, all protein is made by plants. I’ll state that again for the record. All protein is initially made by plants, all of it. And it is not necessary to eat animal tissue in order to get protein. Only plants have the ability to actually take nitrogen from the air, break those molecules apart and incorporate that nitrogen into amino acids and then make protein. Any protein you get from an animal is simply recycled plant protein. If you ate a diet that was calorically adequate and even things like brown rice and broccoli and you got enough of it, you’d get enough, both quantity and quality of protein. 2,000 calories of brown rice and broccoli is gonna be about 80 grams of protein a day, including the essential amino acids that you need in order to maintain optimum health. Greens are loaded with protein. Beans are loaded with protein. Vegetables are loaded with protein. You really want to get your protein from plants because plant proteins have a much more beneficial effect on our physiology. The funny thing about protein is most Americans get about twice the amount they need. Most Americans get less than half the amount of fiber they need. But, the conversation tends to always be about protein, so in my mind, it’s just this magical marketing campaign that protein has taken on over the decades. The question is not where to get your protein, it’s where do you get your fiber? I have never in my professional career seen a protein deficiency. I have never seen someone come in eating normal amounts of calories and they’re protein deficient. You just don’t see that. So, human milk has the lowest protein content ever in any species ever tested. That’s the fluid that’s been designed by evolution over millions of years. And that’s just like the perfect food for human babies. Perfect food, lowest protein content, any other mammal, and so gives a sense of kinda protein requirements… – It’s lower than… – Anything, so look… – Lower protein than even… – Than rat milk, ape milk. -Really? -Donkey milk, any milk that’s ever been tested. And you hear this a lot in body builders who are like, “Well, I need chicken, or, I need fish to be strong, to build muscle tissue.” That is utter nonsense. The largest, strongest terrestrial animals on the planet are all herbivores. The biggest, strongest animals are all herbivores. When we bring in people and they’re on meaty diets and we transition them to a plant-based diet, we always track what they’re eating. Their vitamin intake goes up. Their nutrition overall goes up, dramatically better. And these same people might worry in advance, “Will I get the nutrition that I need on a plant-based diet?” The fact is, you’re not getting the nutrition you need on a meat-based diet, and you’re gonna get dramatically better nutrition on a plant-based diet. For an average-sized guy like myself, I need about 56 grams of protein a day. That’s optimum, probably I really need 30 to 40 grams a day. Diets that are really high in these protein create diabetes, create heart disease, create cancer, create the diseases that I’m treating on a daily basis. [Kip] But, this is the opposite of what all the high-protein diet fads say. The food you eat determines the bacteria that live in your gut. While you eat animal flesh every day, you are summoning up bacteria that eat carnitine. And those bacteria will turn that carnitine into a molecule called trimethylamine. Your liver then turns that into trimethylamine oxide. That’s a molecule from hell. That molecule drives cholesterol into the artery walls. And the people who will consume this flesh-based diet are contributing to plaque building up, they may lose weight on this diet and that’s good, but, what’s happening inside your arteries, Paleo friends? What’s happening is that plaque is building up, and these are the folks who drop dead at the gym at 39. Boy, he was lean and he looked really good, but, where is that cholesterol going? It’s going into your artery walls. So, I believe these Paleo folks are setting them-self up for an epidemic of clogged arteries, colon cancers, autoimmune diseases. This is not a healthy diet. We are not carnivorous apes. Humans’ closest living relatives are chimps who get 97 percent of their calories from plants and the remaining three percent mostly from insects. Comparing the anatomy of true omnivores like bears who eat both meat and plants to frugivores like primates who eat almost exclusively plants, the differences are pretty clear. Frugivore teeth have flat molars for chewing plants, where omnivore teeth are serrated for stabbing and tearing flesh. Frugivore jaws can move forward and back and side to side, omnivore jaws cannot. Omnivores have much stronger stomach acid for digesting meat compared to less acidic stomach acid of frugivores. The intestines of frugivores is nine times their body length compared to three times for omnivores. This is because meat will putrefy in the gut unless it is moved through quickly. If humans were indeed true omnivores, we would need to change our physiology and appearance quite a lot. But, we fit every requirement of a frugivore. We may behave like omnivores, but, anatomically, we’re frugivores. Human beings, unlike bears and raccoons and to some extent, dogs, don’t have that mixed anatomy and physiology that you see in the true omnivores, and thus, we are not true omnivores. In humans, the canines have become really small and rounded and actually function like accessory incisors. They’re utterly useless for ripping and tearing anything other than an envelope. So, the idea that the mere presence of the canine somehow means that we’re supposed to eat meat is silly. [Kip] He was right. I always thought my canines were for meat, but, what kind of animal could actually kill and eat raw with these tiny teeth? The thought alone was disgusting. I mean, everybody loves a smoothie made with fruit and even some vegetables. But, if you think about putting a fish or a piece of beef in a blender and grinding it up, the thought is absolutely repulsive. [Kip] All these diseases I had learned about were from eating a diet our body wasn’t designed for. What would happen if we started eating a diet our body actually was designed for? The data is crystal clear, that you can stop and reverse heart disease with plant-based diets, scientifically shown, I’ve seen it in my own patients. People who adopt low fat plant-based diets can actually reverse their heart disease, and that literally means watching the plaque start to go away, something they didn’t think could happen. My experience with patients is and the studies show that when people adopt a fully plant-based diet, their cholesterol levels plummet within a few days. And if you do blood test in a couple of weeks, you’ll see dramatic improvements. Yes, your numbers are gonna look great within a week or, two, your cholesterol can come crashing down, in fact, if you’re on medications, your doctor may have to pull off your blood pressure medications so your blood pressure don’t drop too low. Because it can work too good, like the side effect is not having to take drugs. [Kip] In a groundbreaking study published by Dr. Esselstyn following patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, 99.4% were able to avoid major cardiac events by going plant-based. ‘Cause it’s not just heart disease. It’s hypertension, it’s diabetes, it’s strokes, it’s heart attacks, it’s several of the autoimmune diseases, lupus, asthma, GERD, osteoporosis, there’s a multitude of diseases. Even rheumatoid arthritis, it can be so dramatic when you see these poor souls just absolutely crippled with rheumatoid arthritis go plant-based, and then they come off their medication. I wanted to follow up with Jane Chapman who had been suffering from severe osteoarthritis, and I could not believe what I saw after only a few weeks of fasting and changing her diet. Those are so amazing to see you like this only a few weeks later. I know! From going from the walker, needing wheelchair assistance at the airport to strolling down the street, enjoying the fresh air, the sunshine. Two weeks, it’s all it took, two weeks to get off all the meds and start to feel the inflammation just kind of drain out of the body where the movement was much easier. Just a lot of healing occurred very rapidly just by doing the right things for your body. When you’re treating diseases with drugs, you know there’s one drug you take for cholesterol, a different class of drugs you take for high blood pressure, different class of drugs you take for diabetes, but, with diet, a plant-based diet affects all these diseases. One diet to kinda rule them all. [Kip] The impacts of eating this way go far beyond ourselves. By getting rid of heart disease alone, we would save up to $48 trillion in the USA, three times the US GDP. Conditions like high blood pressure, you don’t have to take the drugs the rest of your life and be sick forever. What you can do is live in such a way that it gives the body a chance to heal itself. We took 174 consecutive patients with high blood pressure. And 174 people were able to lower their blood pressure enough to eliminate the need for medication. For inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s, the best remission rates ever achieved through plant-based diet. MS, multiple sclerosis, the best results ever achieved compared to any medical, surgical, any kind of intervention was a plant-based diet. You can see that with every sequential reduction in animal products, people live longer, they have less heart disease, they have less cancer, they have less diabetes. You can actually take human cancer cells, put them in a petri dish, and you can drip the blood of those eating vegan, get about 72% suppression in human prostate cancer cell growth in vitro, they wanted to try this again with women and breast cancer, so they said, “Let’s see what a plant-based diet can do.” After just two weeks, their bodies cleaned up. You dropped their blood on the same carpet of cancer cells, you can clear off the whole plate. This is just after just two weeks eating healthy, which raises the question, what kind of blood do we want in our bodies? My background is in industrial and systems engineering. And that was my career path for a long time until I got thyroid cancer, and everything changed from there. I decided that I wanted to try alternative methods and treatments rather than have surgery and have my thyroid removed, which meant I’d be on medication forever, and I didn’t want that. I just started reading on how a plant-based diet can heal the body and it has worked for so many people. So, I immediately just switched to a completely whole food plant-based diet. After a year, the cancer was completely gone. And my thyroid had shrunk to normal size. And I was completely free of that. [Kip] This was tough to believe. Couldn’t this all just be from eating healthier, though, like no sugar? Turns out Dr. Walter Kempner from Duke University back in the 1940s was reversing some of our worst killer diseases with diet alone. And the diet he was using was not only strictly plant-based but, it was made up of white rice, fruit and table sugar. And he was reversing diabetes, he was reversing malignant hypertension, reversing heart disease, the diabetic complications, reversing diabetic blindness. So, these people basically had death sentences, went to him, and were given basically sugar. You know, this horrible diet, but, it was strictly plant-based. [Kip] If this information had been around since the 1940s, why don’t all doctors know this? We’re not taught about the power of food in medical school. No one is taught that the changes that we make with our diet are probably the single most powerful thing we can do to determine our destiny. It trumps our genetics. Why isn’t your doctor telling this? Odds are your doctor never learned any of this. In fact, there’s even a bill introduced just mandating physicians get seven hours nutrition training every couple of years, just to kinda stay on top of it. And who came out against that? The California Medical Association. Even the family physicians, the surgeons, all the mainstream medical groups came out opposed. It’s seven hours. That’s a lot. Even if it’s over one four-year period. So, they’re not just kinda neutral, but, they’re actually actively opposing nutrition education. Ironically, when patients come to doctors with questions, they assume that the doctor knows something about nutrition and so it’s kind of a double whammy that doctors haven’t been taught much about nutrition. [Kip] Why don’t we hear about this from dietitians when nutrition is their entire specialty? Turns out the American Nutrition and Dietetics Association puts out nutrition fact sheets written by the industries themselves. The industries pay $20,000 per fact sheet and explicitly take part in writing them. So, you can learn about eggs from the egg industry. You can learn about lamb from the lamb industry. This would be like learning about the benefits of smoking from the tobacco industry. When people are eating meat, I think of it as a bit like smoking. It’s sort of Russian roulette. You may not get diabetes, but your chances of getting diabetes, about one in three. You may not get cancer, but, your chances, if you’re a man, about one in two. A woman, one in three. Your chances of gaining weight, two out of three. It’s not all diet, but, most of it is. The best thing that you can do to make sure that you empty all those bullets out of the chamber and not taking a risk with your health is to get the animal products out of your diet and eat healthy foods. I came to TrueNorth to help me with my asthma and to lose a little weight, and it’s amazing just in two weeks of changing my diet, don’t have to take any asthma medication, no antidepressants, no pain medication, no heart medication, nothing. No medications at all. And it’s really, it’s just incredible. I was taking oxy and Advil, and I was taking 800 milligrams of Motrin three times a day just to get through the day because I was in so much pain. – And now, nothing. – Wow. – Nothing at all. – Two weeks. Two weeks, 14 days. All that medication, you’re completely off. Completely off everything. It’s just been so frustrating to me because I went to so many different doctors for help, and I tried so many different medications to help me with my asthma and nothing helped, and I was stuck on the couch for the last 10 months unable to breathe, and now in two weeks’ time, 14 days, I’m off my medication. And I can breathe and I feel good, and I can walk. My life has changed and it only took two weeks of whole plant-based diet. – That’s incredible. – Yeah. That is incredible. It really is. – That’s amazing. – It really is. I feel so blessed and so good and just so happy to be doing this and I’m hoping that I can be a role model for other people and not be pushy about it. Because everyone’s gonna do it in their own time. But, thank God my time is now. That’s pretty cool. Thanks. Thanks! [Kip] As powerful as Amy’s story was, I knew for some, eating a hundred percent plant-based would still seem extreme. I think there’s the sense that everything’s okay in moderation. Right? But we haven’t seen that moderation works. There really isn’t a study that shows that by eating meat and eggs in moderation you can actually turn your heart disease around and get better. But, I know people who have given up meat and they felt sick. Yeah, it’s unlikely that anybody’s symptoms are caused by dead decaying flesh deficiency. The lack of highly processed animal food products in the diet is not gonna be associated with the causal factor by why they’re sick. There is gonna be a reason why they’re not feeling well, but, that’s not gonna be one of them. So, I’ve had people go vegan, and they come back to me and they’re like, “I’m hypothyroid and my doctor says I’m hypothyroid because “plant-based diet makes you hypothyroid.” I’m like, so what does your doctor tell all his meat eaters that are hypothyroid? What’s in animal flesh or dairy that you can’t get in plant-based? Cholesterol. Heterocyclic amines. E. coli, you know, if you think about it, there is nothing in an animal-based diet that you can’t get in a healthier form somewhere else. The only other vitamin is vitamin B12. It’s not made by plants, not made by animals either, made by little microbes that blanket the Earth. So, because of the way we live in our sanitized world, unless you’re eating bacteria-contaminated foods, we need to get a source of B12 from somewhere, and so the healthiest, cheapest, safest source is to get a vitamin B12 fortified food or vitamin B12 supplement, not to get it from meat and dairy. [Kip] What about people who say they have to eat meat for their blood type or, their genes? It’s just like I need meat because I’m a Capricorn or I need meat ’cause I have an A plus blood, it’s like what do you say? No one has to eat meat. There’s no vitamin, mineral, nutrient that you can’t get from non-animal sources. Valentine’s Day, I decided to go vegan and give up all meat, which was never in my thoughts in a while million years, but I’ve heard so much success from people that are vegan. And so I gave up all animal product whatsoever, I’ve lost 29 pounds, I’ve been able to cut my meds in half, I’ve been able to cut my insulin in half, and now I’m going for the moon, I’m going to go cut it all out. In the last six weeks, we’ve just had three grandchildren. And my ugly face is going to be around to see ’em graduate from high school and college. I’m gonna be here. My mission is to let everybody know you do not have to suffer from diabetes and cancer and heart disease because someone in your family had it or because the doctors are telling you this is what’s gonna happen. You can take charge of your health and have a positive outcome just like I did. The reason I’m so committed to this is my grandmother had diabetes, and I didn’t know what I know now about healing the body. And if I did, I feel like she could’ve lived at least a few years longer. And so it’s in her honor that I do what I do. If I could save someone else’s grandmother, aunt, uncle, father from that. So, I’m excited about getting the message out there. [Kip] There’s a common belief that eating plant-based is expensive. Not at all. It can be done in a very inexpensive way where you buy foods that are in season and you shop in the bulk bins and that saves a lot of money. You can eliminate a lot of your expenses on your grocery bill by not buying meat and dairy because those things are expensive. Our meal plan for our family of four is $25 per person in the family. 20.64 is your total. [Kip] 20.64? Whoa. That’s for an entire week of food. [Kip] An exploding movement of elite athletes are utilizing vegan diets to heal injuries, speed recovery times and enhance their performance. Before I was vegan, I was only bench pressing 315 like five times. Then, after going vegan, I was doing 400. 425, 465, and I was like, oh my God, this is amazing, I’m vegan and I’m bench pressing 465 pounds, this is ridiculous. And as soon as I went vegan, tendinitis started disappearing. My strength in my right arm started coming back. High blood pressure was going down. You can’t be strong and be dying on the inside, that’s not strong. That’s weak. That’s really weak. Because yeah, you look big and strong on the outside, yeah, big man, no, but, your heart’s crying for help, on the inside you’re dying. I’m a professional parkour athlete, a two-time world free running champion, and more recently I got into Ninja Warrior where I’m captain of Team Europe as we won USA versus the world. For something like Ninja Warrior and parkour, specifically, you really need to have a good strength to body weight ratio, so I was carrying mass that I really didn’t need. And when I went vegan, I lost 15, 20 pounds. I was more agile, I was more efficient and more stamina in my body. Just that extra bit of pop that I didn’t have before, it just gave me that extra strength. This is a vibrant way to live. It can enhance you as an athlete, for me, a hundred percent better athlete than I was before, it’s unlocked a whole new chapter of my training. The science is there, the health is there, the athletes are there proving that you don’t need to eat dead animals to be strong, to be healthy. I started working out when I was 47 years old. All the muscles you see, I gained as a vegan. I gained 15 pounds of muscles on my body, eating all plant-based and vegan foods. All the aches and pains in my body, it just went away. Because I’m not ingesting so many inflaming foods, the acidic foods that animal products are. Gorillas, rhinos and elephants, they all get their muscles and strength from eating plants. That’s what I do. [Blanco] I travel all around the world for my surfing, and I’ve always been able to eat vegan. I feel like if you want something you can make it happen. I just don’t make any excuses. I would never not be vegan now that I know all the benefits and now that I know how it feels to be vegan. Every aspect of my life has been improved by adopting this lifestyle. I feel better, I perform better athletically, I sleep better, my energy with my kids is better, my focus at work is better. Everything is better, my skin cleared up. I’ve kept myself trim for nine years now doing this. All I can tell you is that I felt and I continue to feel better than I ever felt before. My friend Jason Lester and I were the first people to do this challenge called Epic Five, which entailed doing five Ironmans on five Hawaiian islands in under a week. An Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike and then running a marathon 26.2 miles after that, so we did five of those in a row on five different islands in a little under a week. Did you almost die? No. We didn’t die. So, I guess the famous question, where’d you get your protein, man? From plants! [Kip] Like so many people, I was looking for excuses not to change my diet. But, once I finally did, I felt liberated. Within days, I could feel the blood running through my veins with a new vitality. Within weeks, I felt a transformation throughout my entire body and mind. Not only could I survive on a purely plant-based vegan diet, I could thrive. I felt amazing. I competed in my first marathon in six years, training half the amount and beat my personal record by 23 minutes. Less than a month later, I did my first full Ironman. Although I could possibly get away with eating a little bit of meat and dairy without ill effects to my personal health, I could no longer willingly support an industry I knew was causing so much suffering to communities, families and all life on the planet. A whole new world opened up. I felt whole again. Connected to a greater sense of what true health is. And where true health doesn’t end with me, but begins with us. If people adopted a plant-based diet, the changes we would see in our individual health, in our national health situation and in this physical, environmental world we live in, would be so profound. Today, you can say, I’m not gonna eat that stuff anymore. It’s the one thing that I can do myself personally to make a difference. It will give you a greater sense of well-being and happiness when you know that one, you’re not destroying your health every time you sit down and eat, you’re not promoting cruelty, and you’re not damaging the Earth. I don’t want my gains to be at the detriment of the planet of other things. And yet I’m not weaker, I’m stronger. That’s the beauty of it, when you’re altruistic, when you make choices for the greater good of others, it’s comes around benefits me as well. It benefits us all. Studies show that we can not only survive but we can thrive. I just feel this is a great way to live, not harming other beings. When you can be healthy and happier. I love it! It’s a great life. I never thought that I could feel this good at this age. And I just want everybody to feel this way. I feel like a 20-year-old, I’m almost 50. Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels, basically. And so the choices that we make every single day, day in and day out around our food has the capacity to bring us true health and optimal wellness. Not just individually, but collectively as a species and for our planet. We’re not gonna live forever. But while we are alive, we can live well. And for me, as a doctor, that’s what I wanna see. Where there’s a will, there is a way. And I believe that. [Latin music playing]


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