WHOLE: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T. Colin Campbell Ph.D. with Howard Jacobson Ph.D.

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Perhaps the most important paragraph in Colin Campbell’s latest book, WHOLE, is the last paragraph:

It’s time for us to begin a real revolution – one that begins by challenging our individual beliefs and changing our diets, and ends with the transformation of our society as a whole.”

This is Dr. Campbell’s clarion call to adopt a whole foods, plant based diet.

For, Dr. Campbell in WHOLE, clearly describes, documents and illustrates the value of a whole foods plant based diet as the way to largely remove the major health ails of the developed world, namely:

  • cardiovascular diseases (heart attacks, strokes . . . )
  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • osteoporosis
  • obesity

His treatment includes a review of his work in laboratories and the world at large (much of which has been covered in his earlier work, “The China Study”) But he goes beyond this, to challenge the whole way in which medicine, and indeed medical science is practiced. He provides a detailed and scathing treatment of the way in which the medical profession is largely under the control of the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries – a financial coalition that undermines not only the health of each of us individually, but equally undermines the financial underpinnings of our nation and way of life. He recounts the efforts he has made in his life to influence government and society to move to a whole food, plant based diet.

Especially poignant are two of Dr. Campbell’s discussions of his experience with the treatment of cancer with nutrition. In one, Dr. Campbell (who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry, not an M.D.) talks of his suggestion, at a conference, that cancer by treated by nutritional methods, followed by a discussion with three specialists in oncology (a surgeon, a radiologist and a chemotherapist) each of whom was convinced that his own specialty was the best treatment for breast cancer – these are radical treatments. Dr. Campbell recounted how these medical specialists could not even entertain the possibility that a nutrition treatment, which has no adverse side effects should be evaluated.

In another case he discussed a person who was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma cancer and told that she would have to undertake a chemotherapy and radiation treatment to cure the disease. After some study of treatments, success possibilities and study of the proposed treatments, the person rejected the treatments proposed and stayed on a nutrition based treatment. The person is his wife who is alive and well almost a decade later.

Dr. Campbell also discusses the vast damage that we are doing to our ecosystem, globally, by our immense demand in the developed world for animal protein. We are poisoning our food chain with antibiotics and other chemicals. We are destroying our landscape by creating animal feedlots around the world to create animal protein. We are consuming huge amounts of water to provide limited amounts of nutrition through animal husbandry. And we are certainly raising all of this livestock in a very depraved manner.

He highlights our responsibility as individuals for the preservation of our way of life, our prevention of disaster, may well be dependent on our ability to modify our lifestyle to embrace a whole foods, plant based diet.

As Dr. Campbell says: It’s time for us to begin a real revolution . . .

If Dr. Campbell’s presentation is lacking, it is clearly in not providing insight in how that revolution will occur and succeed. But then, perhaps from his position of over fifty years of effort in this area, and being of 79 years of age, it may be appropriate that he suggest (as expressed by John MacCrea):

‘Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.’

 And, perhaps, as Walt Kelly wrote:

We have met the enemy and he is us’

 

 


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