What I Learned at the What the Health Film Premiere
The latest documentary from the producers of Cowspiracy tackles diet, disease, and the great protein debate.
Filmmakers Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn—best known as the co-producers of Cowspiracy—debuted their latest film What the Health this week in downtown Los Angeles. The 90-minute documentary highlights the relationship between diet and disease and how the consumption of animal products are controlled by special-interest groups. The movie also explains how many Americans aren’t aware that millions of corporate dollars fund non-profit and government organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the American Diabetes Association. The film illustrates a direct correlation between the consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy with the onset of diabetes, cardiac disease, and cancer. According to the filmmakers, fat is largely the culprit of type 2 diabetes, which is contrary to the popular belief that sugar is to blame.
Furthermore, What the Health gets political when it reveals that millions of corporate dollars are spent to advance the interests of animal agriculture. For example, Tyson is a major sponsor of the American Cancer Society, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation accepts funds from Yoplait and Eggland’s Best. The movie also spotlights the social injustices incurred by animal agriculture. For example, the movie connects substandard health found in predominantly African-American communities in North Carolina to a concentration of hog farms.
Although not an official sequel, What the Health was shot in a similar manner as Cowspiracy. The narration is driven by Andersen’s quest to find the correlations between diet and disease, which are shown through a mix of infographics, film clips of slaughterhouses, and interviews with doctors Neal Barnard, Caldwell Esselstyn, and Michael Klapper that serve as an interesting juxtaposition to conversations with executives from the American Diabetes Association, who claim diet is not the cure for the disease. Vegan athletes—such as ultra-endurance triathlete Rich Roll and former NFL player David Carter—are also featured to help reinforce the positive effects of a plant-based diet on health and performance.
Omnivores have the most to gain from watching What the Health, but eaters of all persuasions can benefit from the film, as the story addresses many of the arguments against plant-based eating.
The film also answers the omnivore’s favorite question: “Where do you get your protein?” Spoiler alert: it’s plants.
Tanya Flink is an Orange County-based vegan, foodie, and certified Master Personal Trainer.
Vegan Senator Cory Booker Launches Podcast
The senator launched his Lift Every Voice podcast on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to elevate the voices of activists fighting for social justice.
Read More »
Danone Shuts Down its Milk Business in India
The French company—which recently acquired plant-based brands Silk, So Delicious, and Vega—discontinued its non-profitable dairy line in India to focus on more nutritional products.
Read More »
Will Algae Be the Hottest New Plant-Based Protein?
San Diego scientists believe a strain of wild algae will be a sustainable way to feed plant-based protein to the growing global population.
Read More »
Miyoko's Kitchen Debuts Three Vegan Pub Cheeses
The artisanal vegan cheese brand is stepping into the new year with new packaging and a line of new flavors.
Read More »
Ben & Jerry's Debuts Two New Vegan Ice Cream Flavors
Non-dairy pints now comprise 20 percent of the iconic ice cream brand's products thanks to the addition of two vegan versions of fan-favorite flavors.
Read More »
- Norway Bans Fur Farms
- Kat Von D Beauty Debuts 40 New Vegan Lipsticks
- Thousands Take BuzzFeed's Vegan Quiz
- Fake Sanctuary Scams Vegans for More than $35,000
- Boiling Live Lobsters Now Illegal in Switzerland
- The Spread Eagle Becomes London's First Vegan Pub
- Brooklyn Brand Debuts Vegan Aquafaba Butter
- Quorn Debuts Vegan Ham Deli Slices
- First Vegan Bareburger Hires Ethical Vegan Chef
- Mac 'n Cheese Championship Goes Down in Baltimore
- Eco Shoe Brand Switches to Vegan Leather in 2018
- Arizona Gets its First Vegan Supermarket
- Italian Chain Launches Vegan Avocado Pizza
- Britain's Got Talent Judge Calls for Slaughterhouse Ban
- Veganism Set to Shake Up Big Food Companies in 2018
- BMW Designer Debuts Vegan Car to Rival Tesla
- Gigantic Vegan Mexican Restaurant to Open in Toronto
- LUSH Launches 23-Item Vegan Valentine's Day Line
- Vegan Egg Replacer Debuts Amidst Surging Egg Prices
- Social Justice Activist Shaun King Goes Vegan