Author/firefighter Rip Esselstyn plants some ideas about eating healthfully.
FORKS OVER KNIVES (Lee Fulkerson). 96 minutes. Opens Friday (May 20). See listing. Rating: NN
Call me a contrarian, but I came out of Forks Over Knives - a documentary advocating the benefits of vegetarianism - ready to eat a pony out of spite.
Using himself as a guinea pig, director Lee Fulkerson explores the idea that a whole foods, plant-based diet is better for Americans' health than a diet based on animal protein and mass-produced products. Certainly, in a culture dominated by high-fructose corn syrup, that's something to think about.
But Fulkerson quickly dispenses with the Morgan Spurlock approach to launch into a one-sided macrobiotics screed that does such a shoddy job of constructing its case - questionable statistics, confusing arguments and anecdotal evidence - that you'll end up wondering whether he has anything at all of substance to say. (You may wonder, too, why no one in the movie shops for produce anywhere but Whole Foods.)
It's also more than a little disingenuous to bring up America's recent E. coli meat scare without mentioning that spinach proved just as lethal under the Bush-era FDA. But Forks Over Knives is exactly that sort of movie.