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Forks Over Knives

Have not seen it yet but am planning to. Besides, Ebert gave it three stars.
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/p...

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  1. going to see this tonight. can't wait! good review.

    27 Replies
    1. re: apple342

      Awesome! Let us know what you think apple342.

      1. re: givemecarbs

        Highly recommended. Enlightening and thought provoking. Regardless of what your personal thoughts are on health and nutrition, the message is spot-on about the ultimate control we have over our health: we can choose to live with disease or without it.

        1. re: apple342

          "we can choose to live with disease or without it"

          No. That claim verges on the offensive. Plus, this excitement over individual responsibility for health comes dangerously close to absolving businesses for creating unhealthy conditions in neighbourhoods or health care organisations for denying coverage.

          1. re: Lizard

            Have you seen the movie yet Lizard? Good points either way. The movie is not available in my area yet but I am trying hard to keep an open mind til I get to see it.

            1. re: givemecarbs

              Thanks givemecarbs! I have not yet seen the movie and am of two minds as to whether I'll see it. However, my feeling is that one need not have seen the film to speak to apple342's rather stunning claim.

              I do wish the people who have seen the film would discuss the film itself rather than simply giving the end argument or occasional claims. I still have no idea what the film looks like (what is its rhetorical strategy-- aurally or visually? Are there many talking heads-- authoritative or otherwise? Ethnographic-style footage? Accumulation of archival footage with voice-over (ironic or otherwise?). But then, having said that, most people here are foodies and not cinephiles/media scholars so why would they approach the film as a film?

              1. re: Lizard

                On Ebert's site the users so far are rating the movie slightly higher than Ebert does. There is an internet axiom that says once the Nazis show up, the thread is finished. At the risk of that happening here is a short quote from Ebert's review:
                "Short term studies show the same thing: When Nazis commandeered all the food animals in Norway and rationing forced Brits away from meat, disease rates plummeted. After the war, they moved up again"
                http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/p...

                1. re: Lizard

                  If you want to know what it looks like, I suggest watching the trailer at forks over knives dot com, where'll you'll find a ton more info including a press kit.

                  There's not much to say about its artistic merits. It doesn't have any. A very cheap looking, unimaginative, sometimes just plain dull film.

                  And it's weak tea as a documentary since it a) relies almost entirely on two medical experts (Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, touting their own research) while b) not asking any critical questions.

                  I mean, journalism this ain't. The film basically sets out to answer the question: Is Dr. Campbell awesome, or totally awesome? I won't spoil that one for you, but suffice to say the overall vibe is of a corporate video from the early 1990s.

                  Geez, do I sound cranky? I must need some meat. ; )

                  I have been trying to remember exactly what the film claimed about Norway during WWII. Thirty seconds of Googling produced a study showing that children in Norway at that time were underweight and of below average height. I guess we can blame that on vegetarianism too?

                  1. re: padkimao

                    Ha. And thanks. It's not that I rely on chowhound for my movie information-- it's just me commenting on the nature of the discussion here.

                    1. re: padkimao

                      There were other factors at play during the War years. My mother was born during the War in Scotland and into Rationing. Rationing would not end until she was a teenager.

                      Each child was given a mandatory teaspoon (or tablespoon, I can not remember) of Cod Liver Oil every morning before school (so, about 220 doses per year, since that is how many days of school they had).

                      She hated it. They all did. The taste was vile.

                      They were also given another supplement each morning. Something "Malted *"? I can not remember. She said that was quite tasty because it had a little sugar in it to make it go down easier.

                      Now, the Cod Liver Oil is
                      1.) one of the absolute greatest natural sources of both Vitamin A and Vitamin D, and
                      2.) NOT Vegan.

                      The other supplement, since I have forgotten, I can not speak to.

                      The British government made sure that each family, the children especially, got sources of Animal Fat and Protein via things like Dried Milk products (tasty, I know).

                      And, yes, I have read in other places that this was one of the healthiest generations in recorded history for the UK.

                      I can not shed any light on what may have happened in Norway. Though, if I were to throw out a completely unsubstantiated guess, I would guess there approach also had something to do with Fish (and probably dairy)...being Norway and all.

                      1. re: DougRisk

                        Thanks for the great read DougRisk! I'm learning so much. My grandmother talked about being given cod liver oil as a punishment, and I've heard this from other older people too.

                        1. re: givemecarbs

                          I did a little more reading at Wikipedia and apparently, the "malt" came from the processing Wheat or Barley (in there case, I am guessing Barley). And it is supposed to be nutrient rich.

                          As a somewhat interesting side-note. During the war, the government tried to divert as much Petrol (gas, to us) as possible to the war-effort, so, not only was their milk delivered by Clydesdales, so was the fish. You would see them trotting to the local fish mongers.

                          Some years after the war was over, they went back to using trucks.

                          1. re: DougRisk

                            Thanks for the lovely mental picture Doug. Cheery on this somewhat cloudy day here in the Philly area. I see you are from around here too. Oh well, we need the rain I guess.

                            1. re: givemecarbs

                              I just bought, and planted, some herbs for my balcony, so, I am sorta loving the rain.

                              Also, possible because of the Scottish heritage, I have always liked the rain. Granted, I really like sunshine as well.

                              1. re: DougRisk

                                I'll bet your herbs are loving this weather then. Kind of a soft day. Never been to Ireland but I think of this kind of day as Irish weather.

                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                  I am afraid that I am derailing this convo, but having the herbs right there is great. They cost the same price (a one time price) and they are always available and, in this case, always organic.

                                  And, yeah, this is good British weather.

                            2. re: DougRisk

                              Horlicks is still sold as a malted milk powder, and is more popular in the UK and former British colonies than the USA (though there used to be a major Horlicks plant in Wisconsin).

                              1. re: paulj

                                You know, I am still trying to figure out if the "malt" that she referred to was a grain by-product or a dairy product...or, possibly, both.

                                However, as supplements go, she quite enjoyed it.

                                "If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?"

                                1. re: DougRisk

                                  Malt refers to a grain, usually barley, that has been sprouted and then roasted. This converts some of the starch to maltose sugar. Most is then used to make beer, but for more than a century the slightly sweet powder has been used to flavor beverages. Malted milk powders are mixture of this malted barley powder with dry milk. I don't know if the WW2 British version included dry milk or not. I suspect it did.

                                  Dry milk was one of the rations that the Red Cross was able to give to Allied POWS in Germany. The Klim (reverse for milk) cans were used to make things like escape tunnel ventilation ducts. I have see Klim branded whole dried milk in Asian groceries, though it usually is sold under the Nestle Nido label.

                                  1. re: paulj

                                    Really interesting stuff, thanks for posting.

                                  2. re: DougRisk

                                    In India Horlicks is still promoted as a nutritional supplement

                                    http://www.gsk-ch.in/JuniorHorlicks.aspx

                                    Though in the UK their slogan is just 'unwind for a good night's sleep'

                                    Ovaltine and Carnation are better known brands in the USA.

                                    1. re: paulj

                                      Yes, there's a whole stretch of Horlick's products (various sweetened flavors such as chocolate, vanilla) on the shelf at my local Indian grocery, and the labels definitely portray it as building healthier boys and girls. Horlick's has a much better malt flavor than Carnation.

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        That reminds me of the Ovaline clip from Young Frankenstein
                                        "Frau Blücher: Would the doctor care for a... brandy before retiring?
                                        Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No. Thank you.
                                        Frau Blücher: [suggestively] Some varm milk... perhaps?
                                        Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: No... thank you very much. No thanks.
                                        Frau Blücher: [suggestively] Ovaltine?
                                        Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: NOTHING! Thank you! I'm a little - tired!
                                        Frau Blücher: Then I vill say... goodnight, Herr Doctor.
                                        Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Goodnight, Frau Blücher.
                                        [horses whinny]
                                        "
                                        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072431/q...
                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Suyw...

                                      2. re: DougRisk

                                        You can still buy 'malt extract with cod liver oil' - that might be what she was referring to, as opposed to a sweet drink powder.

                                        http://www2.sevenseasusa.com/maltextr...

                                        Here's a description of malt that lists its mixture with things like cod liver oil, and use as a nutritional supplement
                                        http://www.maltproducts.com/news.malt...

                                        1. re: paulj

                                          I read about that as well, however, I know that, at least for her school, they got the CLO and Malt separately...one was disgusting, the other sweet.

                      2. re: apple342

                        I have not seen the movie yet. However, the notion that "you can choose to live with disease or without it" is simply not true. Some diseases can be avoided or overcome by your own choices and actions. Some cannot.

                        1. re: taos

                          I agree with you taos. I think that they are just trying to get people to at least see the movie and short little provocative sound bites seem to work the best in this ADD age. But that statement can be cruel in a certain context. Has anyone read The Hundred-Year Lie: How Food and Medicine Are Destroying Your Health?
                          http://www.amazon.com/Hundred-Year-Li...
                          I'm thinking about ordering it even though it sounds really disturbing.

                        2. re: apple342

                          Wow. So I guess my husband chose to get the Hodgkin's disease he had 20 years ago? And now he chooses to have radiation-induced coronary artery damage (caused by the life-saving radiation treatment that cured his cancer), for which he must now take medication? Damn, to think he could have chosen to avoid all this by eating one less bowl of Lucky Charms as a child!

                          I do get that people have some control over their health (staying slim, exercising, eating a variety of foods, non-processed things) but all of us are limited by things like access, finances, and genetics to some degree. We work out and eat organically, but no one can control their family history, or even what they were given to eat as children.

                    2. I found the movie interesting and thought provoking.

                      As with all extreme diets, can people really stay on it long term.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: dave_c

                        Still haven't seen it but thanks for the review dave. Yes, the devil is in the details. But if the movie's premise is true, we have had the cure for cancer and many other diseases for quite awhile now.

                      2. It's another silly propaganda piece, ultimately no different from "Supersize Me" and the like. Meaning, it's full of half-truths and things people want to believe. Yes, eating from McDonald's is bad, if you over do it.

                        It's amazing how the little things, like exercise and moderation, are left out of these pieces.

                        As for Roger Ebert, I love the guy and have followed his blog for some time now. But, he's just waaaay off in declaring that we don't need animals. Things like B12 and Omega-3 are fairly easy to get from animals, but a pain (or just about impossible without unnatural supplements, which, by the way, probably involves genetically modified micro-organisms) otherwise.

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: ediblover

                          I can be sympathetic to people who want to embrace a vegan diet for ethical reasons. While I don't agree with the actual reasoning that they employ, I understand what is driving it (i.e. Animal Cruelty, CAFO operations, etc.).

                          However, it is hard for me to forgive what is often a blatant (and, seemingly, conscious) oversight of such a vital nutrient as B12. A B12 deficiency is not similar to some other nutrient deficiencies. By the time some figure out that they have gone too long without it, the damage (to the brain, no less) is often done, and irreversible.

                          1. re: ediblover

                            Have you seen the movie ediblover? I know in the past religious groups have lambasted movies without ever having seen them. I'm trying to stay as objective as I can until I actually watch the film. Isn't Ebert's blog great? Have you read The way to a man's heart is through his stomach? http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2011/...
                            I comment on there sometimes and the idea that a man I've admired for decades reads my words and even replies sometimes just fills me with wonder.

                            1. re: givemecarbs

                              A close relative of mine just had esophageal cancer- radical surgery- and most of his stomach removed. He ate a typical American "crap" diet during the day while working (coffee for breakfast then typical sandwiches and chips, fast foods, salads with cream dressings, quick burritos) then took the time and cooked like Emeril Lagasse at night. He loved food.

                              Before diagnosed, he was overweight by 35 pounds, had high blood pressure (meds) high cholesterol (more meds) and had just been diagnosed with diabetes. Before he could even get going on even more meds for the blood sugar issue - he was diagnosed -and the horror of treatment began.

                              He now has a stomach the size of a ping pong ball. He eats 8 to 9 (1/2 cup) servings of food a day. His tube is still in, but if he gains enough weight, they will take it out. His attitude toward food has changed. Within weeks of changing his diet for treatment- ALL of the previously mentioned conditions went away. Completely away. ALL of them. He still loves the taste of food- but views food as medicine now too. I am inspired by his recovery and I really try to learn from others with different experiences from my own.

                              I hope I can see the movie. It is not in my area yet.

                              1. re: sedimental

                                Wow thanks for the great read sedimental. My friend and I just watched Simply Raw and it is pretty incredible. http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Raw-Reve... Be sure to tell your relative about Roger's blog. Since Roger lost the ability to speak his writing has gonna up quite a few notches. He writes really well about having a tube and has an amazing attitude.

                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                  Thanks. You would have never been able to convince him that he could be free from high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes by only changing his diet. He would repeat what his doctor told him (we don't *know* the exact reasons why people develop this, its a combination of factors, genetics, aging, etc.).

                                  No. It was diet.

                                  He jokes now that "cancer saved my life" and now (cancer free) he is the healthiest he has ever been. He is 64 years old and on zero medications. He is not preaching about diet- but he is quick to let people know his story and encourage them not to accept that they just have to live with these medical problems and continue to take ever increasing numbers of pills every day as they age.

                                  Note: his doctor is really happy with his progress and when he asked - why didn't you ever tell me that I could change my diet to actually CURE these problems?...his (overweight doctor) told him..."well, most people won't sustain a diet change so it's better for them to use medications". This is probably very true!

                                  1. re: sedimental

                                    Great comments sedimental! My friend is on a transitional diet right now, with the goal of eating raw exclusively in a month or two. Societal pressures can be hard if you want to avoid being a hermit. For example at a group meeting my friend and I attended today there was a nice spread of snacks. Luckily there were some grapes and strawberries he could have, but it is known through casual conversation (not preaching in any way) that my friend is avoiding processed foods. One overweight guy made a point of complaining that there was too much fruit on the table and proclaimed in a kind of belligerent way that the only fruit he liked was the jam smeared on top of the mini pastries that were offered. I can't say for sure but I think my friend's choices made him uncomfortable, even though my friend was not judging this man. /shrug.
                                    I'm still trying to keep an open mind, and an open mouth. :) I had strawberries and also some lovely mini-creme puffs. But my friend has gotten some bad vibes from some of the men in this group before. It's like they think my friend is putting on airs or something. Sounds like your relative is strong enough not to cave and continue being healthy. I hope my friend draws some like minded people to him who will support him in his goal.

                              2. re: givemecarbs

                                When a topic on science comes up, a couple of the things I'm often reminded of are evolution and relativity. Both have a lot of support/ground, and Einstein's relativity actually has mathematical proof behind it. Trouble is, most of the general public accept them as being completely true. They're not. They're both theories. They're both really good theories and arguably the best explanations we have for their fields, but neither are science law. For either to become law, both would have to undergo some serious experimentation and we don't have the technology for that (if ever).

                                That's the standard for science. This is a film. It can also apply to a book, a study, and everything else. What's said in this film has already been said (After all, the guy did have to find sources and sell the idea). There are a ton of factors at play when it comes to health. Food is one of them, but it's a small piece. To say otherwise, to claim that there's some miracle out there... Well, bring up the topic the next time you see your physician - Every doctor has a stories of patients they lost due to romantic ideas.

                                Ebert's blog is really the only one I follow - His amusing one on rice cookers (where did that come from?) and reminiscing about a local burger chain cemented that.

                                1. re: ediblover

                                  ediblover, have you seen the film ? Who is "claiming that there is a miracle out there" ? There is no such claim in this film.

                                  1. re: apple342

                                    Sorry for the lack of a direct answer there (got lost in the message of being wary with messages/sources).

                                    No, I've not seen the film and have no plans to, because there's nothing new in there. Propaganda films, everything from this to Gore's one on global warming aren't worth the time for those interested in science.

                                    Those that are really interested in a certain topic should just strike up a conversation with a professional - "Hey, there's this film..." From there, I'm sure the person will be happy to point you in the right direction in the form of actual studies and facts. Then again... I can pretty much guarantee that the conclusion will be, "We really don't know, but we do have some good guesses."

                                  2. re: ediblover

                                    ediblover I used to visit the Shake n Steak in Gainesville FL but missed my big chance to eat at the one in Quakertown Pa before they closed. Now the nearest one to me is a pretty far drive. In sight it must be right. /sigh. I believe the On the Pot cookbook and blog and the Shake n' Steak entries were both written after Ebert had not been able to eat or drink for quite awhile. Sometimes distance can grant clarity.
                                    I still haven't seen Forks Over Knives but after watching Simply Raw I'm starting to become convinced that diet is a huge piece not a small piece. I've also seen Healing Cancer From Inside Out http://www.amazon.com/Healing-Cancer-...

                                2. re: ediblover

                                  "Fat Head" is a dare to "Supersize Me" and seems also silly at the beginning, but documented better IMO. Fat Head gets better as it goes along and becomes a little involved for those who only want the sensationality of this sort of project.

                                  As for Roger Ebert's take on movies, I have stopped following him decades ago. His movies are not my kind of movies. This one will proably be a pass. Thanks for the heads-up.

                                3. I'll skip it because the premise, if Ebert's piece is any indication, is ridiculous.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: redfish62

                                    Eh... Sort of.

                                    I mean, the thing is, just about every month, if not every week, you'll see a valid article/study on how vegetarians are healthier. It's pretty much on-par with exercise being good for you and smoking being bad for you. But, there are a couple of things that get overlooked.

                                    First, vegetarianism is more of a lifestyle than it just being about diet. If you meet a vegetarian, odds are the person won't be obese, isn't much of a drinker, isn't hot on drugs (well, minus the one that's baked...), likely drives a hybrid and so on. In general, they live a very healthy lifestyle.

                                    The other part is that, while vegetables have tons of things going for them, it's more about avoiding the bad stuff in animals than some super secret thing in produce. Meat is tasty, and it's very easy to overload on all that saturated fat and stuff that makes it so damn tasty. My own diet isn't too far from an ovo-lacto's diet; on a weekday I usually only have a single piece of meat/fish. So, while I'm happy to eat meat because it's tasty (and it's so much easier to get all the right nutrients this way), I'm well aware of the negatives it has and how quickly we can over-consume.

                                    I actually tried being a vegetarian a while back - That ended the moment I put tempeh in my mouth. Probably a good thing in the end, since I likely would have ended up consuming too much soy.

                                    Anyway... "Moderation and exercise." It's the truth that no one wants to hear.

                                    1. re: ediblover

                                      Great post ediblover! Also vegetarians don't tend to smoke. My area has a lot of young smokers. I know of one hardcore raw dude who had to choose between his marriage and keeping to a raw diet. He's ninety five percent raw. Apparently he indulges on french fries.
                                      I've also heard that there are a lot more female vegetarians than male. Much has been written about this. One insight that made me cringe was that it is more socially acceptable for women to be vegetarian than men. Advertisers know this. I was thinking of a Burger King commercial a few years back where a man was having a nightmare about having to drink a green smoothie. It's a wonder that more men don't convert in order to meet healthy veggie babes. :)

                                      1. re: ediblover

                                        I eat a mostly vegan diet (still struggling with pizza, heh) and while I find I prefer a lot of vegetarian dishes over the meaty ones, I also think that tempeh is the nastiest thing in the world and I refuse to eat it. Conversely, I do not get the appeal of bacon at all, so take it fwiw.

                                        1. re: ediblover

                                          "First, vegetarianism is more of a lifestyle than it just being about diet. If you meet a vegetarian, odds are the person won't be obese, isn't much of a drinker, isn't hot on drugs (well, minus the one that's baked...), likely drives a hybrid and so on. In general, they live a very healthy lifestyle."

                                          That's a LOT of generalizations. I know plenty of (German) vegetarians who only live on organic, locally grown food..... and they smoke like chimneys. Not at all averse to beer or other drugs.

                                          I think making random assumptions and sweeping generalizations about a huge group of people isn't helping anything.

                                      2. I saw it over the weekend and was surprised at how weak an argument it made. It covered the China study, some rat studies, and oh, look, happy healthy vegans! Isn't there a lot more evidence than that out there?

                                        Though I went in with a chip on my shoulder, having recently decided to give up vegetarianism.

                                        19 Replies
                                        1. re: padkimao

                                          Thanks for your honest comments padkimao. I'm trying not to have a chip on my shoulder but it's not easy. Might be awhile til I actually get to see it since I live in the suburbs of Philly.
                                          I read somewhere that even Ghandi had to drink goat's milk once in awhile. I don't think I'm likely to become vegan any time soon. First of all I like my leather sandals and boots and jackets way too much. Plus I've come to believe than you can follow a vegan diet and still eat a bunch of junky processed food.
                                          While I am waiting for the film to be available in my area I have seen Simply Raw and Healing Cancer From the Inside Out.. I'm trying to see if I can get ahold of The Gerson Miracle movie. Apparently the opening line of this documentary is: "The cure for cancer has been discovered. In 1928." If that is true, it just takes my breath away. And then I get very angry.
                                          Any particular reason you decided to give up vegetarianism? No problem if you don't feel like answering in a public forum. Just for the record I'm eating all kinds of food right now but my town has a vegan bakery and a raw cafe that I have visited. And yes, vegans can come off as really annoying! :)

                                          1. re: givemecarbs

                                            " If that is true" - how do you test that IF? By watching a movie that claims to prove it? Have you looked at Wiki article on Max Gerson to get an overview of his therapy as well as the concerns about it?

                                            Note, there probably better forums to discuss the pros and cons of various cancer treatments, including non-standard ones like this (massive juice intake and coffee enemas).

                                            http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/201...
                                            is an extensive blog entry on 'Simply Raw' by a surgeon.

                                            1. re: paulj

                                              Oh yeah. A strong espresso enema will cure you of any disease. It's how I wake up every morning.

                                            2. re: givemecarbs

                                              Incidentally, the word "vegan" is only heard once or twice in the documentary. I think the filmmakers want to separate the philosophy of veganism from the benefits of a "plant based diet." It wasn't always clear if "plant based diet" means no meat, or just less meat.

                                              Givemecarbs, I gave up vegetarianism after reading some of Gary Taubes' work, and the book Catching Fire. Really made me rethink things. I've been trying to lose weight for over two years with little success, so it seemed worthwhile to try a low-carb, higher protein diet. Which meant going back to meat-eating, since daily doses of soy protein doesn't sound too healthy.

                                              It hasn't been a comfortable transition, but I'm seeing positive results so I'm sticking with it.

                                              It's interesting to read what professional film critics have written about this documentary. I doubt any of them are qualified to evaluate it scientifically, but they aren't all humble enough to admit it. This assignment should go to Jane Brody, not Manohla Dargis.

                                              1. re: padkimao

                                                Thanks for your thoughtful post padkimao. I'll check out the book when I get a chance. There is so much here for me to learn. Gratz on the good results. There is some meeting of the minds here I think in that many people trying very different diets can agree that heavily processed foods are bad for ya.

                                                1. re: givemecarbs

                                                  "There is some meeting of the minds here I think in that many people trying very different diets can agree that heavily processed foods are bad for ya."

                                                  Absolutely! I suspect that is the common thread that allows both vegemites and paleonauts to experience health benefits by changing their diets. I just wish we had more convincing clinical research, and less observational studies, to narrow things down further.

                                                  (Sorry I didn't see this before. I find these boards hard to follow sometimes.)

                                                  1. re: padkimao

                                                    Thanks! Both sides seem to be independent thinkers and self-disciplined too. It's easy to talk the talk but following either diet is a different matter. Lots of pressures from society, family and friends to conform. Walking the walk can get lonely real quick.

                                                2. re: padkimao

                                                  They talk about being on a "plant-based diet", instead of a vegan diet, which is basically what it is, because vegans get all upset if you get into their turf and do not proclaim yourself as an animal rights lover.

                                                  "Plant-based diet" as defined by T. Colin Campbell means no meat, dairy or egg, so this is a vegan diet.

                                                  While I can't stand to be in the presence of most vegans (even if I guess I act very similar to one for the most part), I will say that since eating a mostly vegan diet, a lot of my own health issues have cleared up and stayed clear. I've eaten this way for 14 years now. I'm not saying it's right for anyone else, but it sure has worked for me.

                                                  1. re: choctastic

                                                    Great insightful comments choctastic! Sounds just like with a bunch of other stuff turf issues do play a part. I'm starting to get interested in raw foods and boy am I a noob. Sometimes relative outsiders can see things differently. I think of those who follow a raw diet as hard core vegans. I guess that might annoy some people.
                                                    My novice opinion is that if the animal rights lovers were a bit more clever, they might save more animals. The carrot works better than the stick and if they played up the health benefits of raw or vegan or fruititarian the end result might be the same, less cruelty to animals.
                                                    I believe that eating raw can basically perform miracles with people's health. It sure is easier to talk the talk than walk the walk. I had a really proud moment the other day when I was leaving the raw cafe I've been hanging out at. My friend left and I was sitting at an outside table. I guess they thought I left too because the woman employee told the owner that she thought my friend and I were very strange. The owner agreed and even said it three times as he has a habit of saying things. He said "they are STRANGE people" I smiled and smiled as I walked away. The hardcore vegans think I am strange. Now that is indeed a compliment in my book. :) But I also understand your comment about not being able to stand being around vegans. What is up with that do you think? A little goes a loooong way with them peeps.

                                                    1. re: givemecarbs

                                                      I hate to say this but when i talk to a lot of raw food vegans, I tend to leave with the impression that they are almost as stupid as the low carbers. Almost. I mean, they don't even understand their own BS about enzymes. That said, I like smoothies and some of the raw dishes. I had a raw "fettucini alfredo" from Mother's Market that totally blew my mind!

                                                3. re: givemecarbs

                                                  Vegan bakeries are--with all due respect--the worst way to start a plant-based diet. You get all the sugar and fat, none of the protein, vitamins and fiber that has helped me to keep my health for 14 years, even as the rest of my younger siblings have started to succumb to heart issues and osteoporosis (!!!). I love me some Babycakes, but only once in a very, very, very long while. The prices help keep me away, as well. Thank God.

                                                  1. re: choctastic

                                                    there's an old Chow video promoting agave syrup by the founder of Babycakes.

                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                      Yeah, they use it in a lot of their recipes, at least according to the recipe book.

                                                      It's still sweet stuff though. That said, I admit that I think Babycakes is probably the least sugary of the ones I've tried.

                                                      This is also where I admit that their warm chocolate covered doughnuts are my favorite doughnuts ever. They use a good brand of dark chocolate, tastes like Callebaut to me, but I could be wrong. Luckily, I don't live close by.

                                                  2. re: givemecarbs

                                                    I'm not a vegan, nor close to it, but at times investigated and toyed with it, never cutting out those essential groups that would classify me as one; i.e., fish, dairy, eggs.

                                                    But I have noticed non-vegans and vegans are "equally" annoyed at each other's viewpoint.

                                                    I feel that both can be as haughty as the other when expressing their talking points.

                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                      It certainly is a strange world Rella. It's funny how people whose views are somewhat similar can clash more often. For example the paleo people and raw foodists can both agree that processed foods are bad for ya. And both groups watch what they eat more carefully than most.
                                                      I'm not sure what choctastic meant when they said they can't stand to be around most vegans, but it made me smile and got me thinking too. I did some more "research" today at the raw cafe and what I noticed was that the people there have a lot of energy. Perhaps more than they know what to do with sometimes. They talk really fast and they talk a lot. Even though they are older it is like hanging out with teenagers. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing but it is a thing. :) Walking in there is kind of like walking into the local Trader Joe's. Very friendly and social atmosphere but can be kind of jarring if I am in a somewhat bad mood or want to think about what I want to buy. Multiply the TJ's vibe by about a hundred. Next time I am sending my friend in and waiting in the car. I get overloaded and start feeling the Grinch or something.

                                                      1. re: givemecarbs

                                                        I meant I don't like the smug holier than thou attitude of many vegans I know. That said, I also can't stand the low carbers. Something about having them comment on every single carb that I put in my mouth just makes me want to scream, since all I eat are carbs. Hey, I'm like half your weight, so leave me alone!

                                                        I prefer to hang out and read about vegans like this http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/ I love her healthy recipes and her zeal for living. Also, I like how she dislikes the typical vegan attitude as much as I do. She's very inclusive, and so am I. I make a killer pesto portobello burger and excellent chocolate chip oatmeal raisin soft and chewy cookies. I love watching meat eaters scarf those things up.

                                                    2. re: givemecarbs

                                                      "Plus I've come to believe than you can follow a vegan diet and still eat a bunch of junky processed food. "

                                                      You're right. You can technically be a vegan while scarfing down a steady diet of Oreos, potato chips, soda, and heck for giggles, we'll throw in vegan ice cream, vegan cake (easy with some box mixes), vegan brownies, etc. Totally gross, and totally vegan.

                                                      I think a mostly unprocessed plant-based diet with a little fish and eggs thrown in seems to be what the healthiest people eat, at least the ones I know. That said, I personally don't eat fish and eggs anymore and I'm about as healthy as I've ever been. I can't even remember the last time I was sick.

                                                      1. re: choctastic

                                                        " I can't even remember the last time I was sick." - that statement is much more significant when you are 70 than when you are 30.