Good nutrition is relatively cheap, simple, safe and effective, the film says. Plant-based nutrition and vitamins, along with modern medicine and health-savvy government policy, can help. Food Matters is now available on DVD or via Netflix.
An epidemic of “What would happen if everybody ate lots and lots of fresh, organic food that’s minimally processed?” asks Andrew Saul, the therapeutic nutritional specialist. “I think we’d have an epidemic of health!”
Better health would lead to less reliance on pharmaceutical drugs and expensive surgery. “One of the few free choices a person has is what they will or will not eat,” says Saul.
The film’s website features juice, superfood and raw recipes, along with updates on nutrition.
Nutritional science meets clinical medicine
“Optimum nutrition is the medicine of tomorrow,” said Linus Pauling, who won two Nobel Prizes. Nutritional pioneer Max Gerson “showed that vitamins and especially large quantities of fresh vegetable juices and organic foods would help to reverse cancer. Gerson had about a 50% cure rate with terminally ill patients. That’s extremely high,” Saul adds.
The Gerson Therapy “activates the body’s extraordinary ability to heal itself through an organic, vegetarian diet, raw juices, coffee enemas and natural supplements,” according to the Gerson Institute’s website. Graphic before-and-after images of Gerson Therapy patients are shown.
“The health system is a disease-care system,” says Ian Brighthope, M.D., who pioneered Australia’s first post-graduate medical course in nutrition. U.S. medical schools offer students little or no training in nutrition.
Charlotte Gerson recalls her father’s words: “It’s the doctor’s duty to activate and re-activate the body’s own healing mechanism. Then the patient’s healed. It doesn’t matter what you call the disease.”
“You nourish the body and then the body fixes it,” according to Saul. “Vitamins enable the body to heal itself.”
Good nutrition defined
Superfoods have an “extraordinary quality” of vitamins, minerals, co-factors, enzymes and chemicals that can prolong life, says raw food authority David Wolfe.
What are some of these foods? Raw honey. Wheatgrass. Spirulina. Echinacea. Cacao. Coconut. Noni. Bee pollen. Kombu. Kelp. The list goes on.
New ways, new basics
With cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia rates rising, says investigative journalist Phillip Day, “clearly the old ways aren’t working and we need a fresh paradigm and we need to go back to basics.”
Medicine has made tremendous advances in critical care, infant mortality and the like, Day adds, yet it fails to prevent disease.
Transforming food habits
“Good health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars,” Saul quips. Widespread good health would require transforming our economy.
“The drug industry is a half trillion dollar a year world-wide conglomerate,” he explains. “Almost $3 billion just in North America. This is really, really big business.”
Health-hungry consumers rule
“If we change our food choices, we change agriculture,” Wolfe says. Transforming corn-wheat-soy diets into superfood, organic and raw food diets would create demand for the new foods.
“When we choose organic, raw, plant-based foods we take our power back and we decide that we are going to have quality,” Wolfe says.
A diet of just 51% raw foods, Wolfe says, would prevent leucocytosis, an immune system response to cooked foods.
Conventional fertilizers don’t replace the 52 minerals in healthy soil, Gerson points out. “When the soil is deficient, the plants are also deficient and weakened. They lose their defenses,” leading to pesticide use.
“If we eat just commercial vegetarian food, we get deficient, toxic food,” Gerson concludes.
When food is shipped thousands of miles regardless of season, it loses nutrients. The nutritional value of week-old supermarket produce drops to 40% “if you’re lucky,” says holistic dentist Victor Zeines.
The cancer business
The American Medical Association admits that less than 30% survive using chemotherapy – surgery – radiation. “More than 70% of them die. That is just not acceptable,” says Dan Rogers, M.D.
“Let’s face it, if cancer disappeared tomorrow, millions of people would have to retrain,” says Day. “This is a $200 billion a year industry.”
Health centers licensed by the Gerson Institute are located in Mexico and Hungary. It is illegal in most countries to treat cancer patients with nutritional therapy. “The legal treatments in these countries are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy,” Food Matters tells us.
“There’s a lot of debate over how we should finance and change, provide healthcare to everyone in the United States,” Saul says. “Is the solution to simply give them access to a system that doesn’t work very well? Or would it be a good idea to teach them how to be healthy?”
“I think they need education, not medication,” he concludes.
Take responsibility for your own health, Saul urges. “Why not be healthy and happy? You change your life, you do some exercise, you eat right, you feel better.”
Pay attention to how you feel after eating, Wolfe recommends. “I feel very strongly that the best doctor in the world, the best nutritionist in the world, is you.” (5 out of 5 stars)
Food Matters / 2008 / NR / 1 hour, 20 min
Cast Overview: Andrew Saul, Ian Brighthope, Charlotte Gerson, David Wolfe, Phillip Day, Victor Zeines, Dan Rogers
Directors: James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch
Genres: Documentary, Health, Nutrition