What the Health is a ground breaking feature length documentary from the award-winning filmmakers of Cowspiracy, that follows the exciting journey of intrepid filmmaker, Kip Andersen, as he uncovers the impacts of highly processed industrial animal foods on our personal health and greater community, and explores why leading health organizations continue to promote the industry despite countless medical studies and research showing deleterious effects of these products on our health.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
(soft music) – Worldwide, we’re looking at approximately 350 million people with diabetes. There’s not question that we’re in the midst of a diabetes epidemic. Right now, one in three Medicare dollars is spent in the care of people with diabetes. One in 10 total health care dollars is spent on people with diabetes. There’s no question that this is a major problem.
[Kip] What in particular is the relation of the diet and diabetes?
I’m not gonna get into that.
[Kip] Into diet?
No. (uplifting Mexican guitar music)
[Kip] My name is Kip, I’m a filmmaker from San Francisco and I have a confession to make. I’m a recovering hypochondriac. Like so many of us, I’ve a family history of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. My dad had his heart bypass at 49, the second at the age 50. My grandpa died young from diabetes complications and both my other grandpa and grandma died of cancer. I was always paranoid that I would also get one of these diseases. Like any good hypochondriac, WebMD Symptoms Checker was essentially my browser’s homepage. Even in my teens, I took Metamucil everyday and a daily aspirin. I read all the latest self-diagnosis books. I ate every multivitamin I can get my hands on and I was obsessed with bodily functions. I followed all the large health organization’s recommendations for preventing disease. I exercise regularly, don’t smoke, don’t drink soda, get enough sleep, reduce stress, and grew up eating what I thought was a healthy diet, until–
World Health Organization this morning has classified processed meats such as bacon and sausage as carcinogenic, directly involved in causing cancer in humans.
[Announcer] Processed meat is clearly linked to an increase in cancer.
Hotdogs or bacon could be just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes.
[Kip] The World Health Organization that looked over 800 studies from 10 different countries finding a direct link to consuming processed meat in cancer. Just one serving of deli meats daily increases your risks of colorectal cancer by 18%. I had no idea that what we ate affected cancer rates, but I never felt like I’d eaten a lot of processed meats until I realized that processed meat includes hotdogs, bacon, sausage, salami, ham, pepperoni, cold cuts, and Deli Slices, basically, everything I grew up eating. The World Health Organization classifies processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen. The same group as cigarettes, asbestos, and plutonium. And classifies red meat as a Group 2 carcinogen. Was this like I’d essentially been smoking my entire childhood? If processed meats are labeled the same as cigarettes, how is even legal for kids to be eating this way? I thought this was new information but many of these studies had been around for 50 years. I couldn’t believe I’d been eating processed meats virtually my entire life and was just now, finding out how dangerous they are. Why hadn’t I been hearing about it from the American Cancer Society, the largest cancer group in the nation? When I went on their website, I was shocked to see that none of these information was featured on their homepage. But even more shocking, on their Eat Healthy page, they actually encouraged eating Group 1 carcinogenic foods like processed turkey and canned meats. This is after the World Health Organization reviewed over 800 studies definitively linking processed meat to cancer.
[Sam] Thank you for calling, American Cancer Society. My name is Sam, I’m a cancer information specialist. How may I help you today?
Hi, I was calling because I was wondering why you all recommend people to eat processed meat on your website? Which the World Health Organization has classified as a Group 1 carcinogen? Which is in the same class as tobacco smoking, asbestos, and plutonium? This would be like a lung association having a How to Roll your own Cigarettes section on their website. It’s kinda the same thing?
[Sam] Well, let me just place you on a brief hold because–
He wasn’t able to answer my questions and said someone would get back with me. I had always been concerned about cancer because both my grandma and grandpa died of cancer. I wondered if things would have been different had they known the link between diet and this terrible disease. In the US, one out of every four deaths is from cancer. Oh sweet, American Cancer Society rep confirmed the interview this week. So, we just went in for the interview with the American Cancer Society rep and the security guard said, “There’s no interview scheduled.” So I went on to my phone and it turns out last night, after I’d told her that the interview’s gonna be about the correlation between diet and cancer, she said she can no longer do the interview. After repeated emails asking why she was declining my interviews to simply talk about diet and cancer, she stopped responding all together. Why would an American Cancer Society rep not wanna talk about this? I was, however, able to connect with a growing movement of doctors who are willing to talk about the link between the standard American diet and disease, and it goes beyond just cancer. I took my old trustee van, Super Blue, once again out on the road.
2/3 of adults are now overweight or obese, and we have an epidemic cascade of debilitating disease that’s overcoming the country. There’s no way we can sustain the current style of care with the epidemic that we’re creating with our diet and lifestyle choices.
The diabetes, the arthritis, the heart disease, the dementia, the obesity, the cancers are affecting about 70% of deaths. All the data is that those 70% of deaths and morbidity are largely lifestyle-related and preventable.
Most kids by age 10 in the US already have fatty streaks in their arteries the first stage of atherosclerosis leading to heart attacks, strokes.
Here in American medicine, we operate from the disease model. We are in the business of treating sick people. We are not in the business of trying to prevent people from becoming sick.
When you look at chronic disease risk, all the things that we walk around worrying about. Actually, dietary choices trump smoking when it comes to those risks.
If I could deliver one message to the researchers who are looking for the cause of diabetes and the cause of clogged arteries, and the cause of high blood pressure, and the cause of obesity, I would tell them, the answer’s in three words, it’s the food. (laughs) It’s what Americans are eating.
[Kip] Today, with 2/3 of Americans being overweight, clearly, there’s a food issue. In the next 25 years, one out of every three Americans will have diabetes.
My name’s Michael Abdalla. I’m from Atlanta, Georgia, and unfortunately, I was diagnosed about 10 years ago with diabetes, and eight years ago, I had two stents put in. I don’t know where to go, I don’t know what do, you just like add the options and you don’t know what to do. You take in medicine, you listen to this doctor, and the cardiologist says, “Take this,” and the endocrinologist says, “Take that,” then your general practitioner doctor says, “You don’t know what’s going on here.” It’s a real challenging thing and it’s something that you don’t wanna get. You just don’t wanna get it.
[Kip] Government and media almost exclusively blame lack of exercise and sugary foods as a cause of diabetes. But I wanted to talk with an actual expert on the role of diet in diabetes. I went to speak with premier physician, diabetes expert, and researcher, Dr. Neal Barnard. What role does sugar play in causing diabetes?
Drive me crazy. Diabetes is not and never was caused by eating a high carbohydrate diet and it’s not caused by eating sugar. The cause of diabetes is a diet that builds up the amount of fat into the blood. I’m talking about a typical meat-based, animal-based diet. You can look into the muscle cells of the human body and you find they’re building up tiny particles of fat which is causing insulin resistance. What that means is the sugar that is naturally from the foods that you’re eating can’t get into the cells where it belongs. It builds up in the blood and that’s diabetes.
[Kip] I had never heard that meat was associated with causing diabetes. We had always been told that sugar and obesity caused it. Renowned weight loss bariatric surgeon, Dr. Garth Davis, though agreed.
Everyone thinks that you diabetic because of carbs, did a huge study and that epic study, 500,000 people. Carbs consumption was inversely related to diabetes. In other words, the more carbs they wanna to eat, the less diabetes they had but meat was strongly correlated. Get that aha moment. The starches, the carbs are good for you. They’re not bad for you. This idea that carbs make you fat is utterly ridiculous. Carbs cannot make you fat in and of themselves. We have storage in our muscles and in our liver for carbs called glycogen. So, when we eat carbs, we either store it or we burn it. Now, eat fat that goes straight to you fat. Your body can’t turn those carbs into fat unless you’re really overdoing your calories. Basically, it’s a death sentence. You’re at much higher risk of getting cancer. You’re almost certainly gonna get diabetes. No one wants to fat shame and we all want everybody to be comfortable with our bodies but this movement to be comfortable with our bodies has made us comfortable with being sick and that’s a huge problem. I go into the hospital and I look around me, people on dialysis, all these sick people and just about every disease in there is because of what people are eating.
Here’s the thing, if I eat a sugary cookie, the sugar lures you in like the Trojan Horse but waiting inside that cookie is a huge load of butter or shortening and that’s what fattens you up. That’s the part that leads to the diabetes. It’s the fatty foods, not really so much the sugar.
It’s not that sugar’s good for you. There’s no nutrients in it, it’s excess calories, but when you eat sugar, you don’t get inflammation right away. When you eat sugar, you’re not getting plaques forming in your vessels. When you’re eating sugar, your body’s gonna store most of it as glycogen or burn it as calories. So, this focus on sugar has taken all the focus off meat, dairy, eggs, pork, turkey, chicken.
People need to understand. If their gets diabetes, you’ve just take 19 years off their life span. We’re talking life and death.
I realized, there was so much more about diet and disease that I hadn’t ever learned. It felt as if this information had been practically withheld. Processed meat causes cancer. Sugar doesn’t cause diabetes. I had doubt about the claims these doctors are making so I did some searching on my own. Harvard researchers looked at nine perspective studies finding that just one serving of processed meat per day increased risk of developing diabetes by 51%. The link between eating meat and developing diabetes became undeniable. But when I went on the leading diabetes organization’s website, the American Diabetes Association, not only did they not have this information front and center, they were featuring recipes for red and processed meat and on there, Recipes for Healthy Living. They had bacon wrapped shrimp? What the health? All right, send an email to American Diabetes Association, see if they get back to us. As destructive as diabetes is, it pales in comparison to heart disease. Over 17 million people die every year from cardiovascular disease. It is the leading cause of death around the world. Nearly, one out of every three people will die from this disease. The amount of people who die from cardiovascular disease is the equivalent of four jumbo jets crashing every single hour every single day, every single year.
My name is Amy Resnic, and I’m from Swampscott, Massachusetts, little bit north of Boston. And I recently went to my doctor for asthma because I had a very hard time breathing and while there, she did some blood work and one of the tests was C-reactive protein and that was a scale of one to three. One being low for cardiac event, three being high for a cardiac event, and my number was 10.82.
What does that means.
That means I am on the road for heart attack and she said, “Probably, within the next 30 days.”
30 days, if I’m going the way I was going. I take this for my heart arrhythmia, take this for pain, oxycodone for pain, and lorazepam for stress, cyclobenzaprine for muscle relaxer. Also take Topamax and Prozac and I also use a CPAP machine to help me breathe, and my asthma has been so bad this past year. I used to turn the day as well to get some air. I am tired when I wake up, I’m tired during the day. I take a nap, I’m so tired, I can’t breathe, and I know I need to make at change for my health, I also am not gonna be here for my family.
When we speak of heart disease, I would say the role of alcohol is pretty small. The role of sugar is very small too. Smoking is big, but the good news is that most people have quit or never did smoke. The problem with animal-based diet, it’s contribution to heart disease is huge, and it is pervasive.
All these expensive imaging, procedures, bypasses, medication, none of which has one solitary single thing to do with the causation of the illness so you die with a completely benign, full-blown illness, that never had its causation treated.
When we eat these kind of dead meat bacteria toxins, within minutes, we get this burst of inflammation within your system such that you basically paralyze your arteries. So, you get this stiffening of the arteries, their inability to relax normally in half. It’s not like decades down the road, eating unhealthy, there’ll be some damage, no. We’re talking damage right then and there within minutes of going into our mouth.
Many people are given the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease when it’s not true Alzheimer’s at all. The vast majority of people suffered dementia through that their tiny blood vessels in their brain clogging up and their nerve cells being short-changed of oxygenated blood and guess where their blood vessel eventually comes from, those little tiny arteries are clogging up from that steady stream of fat, cholesterol, et cetera.
It’s really quite clear from the standpoint of cancer and the standpoint of cardiovascular disease, that animal protein plays an enormous role.
[Kip] Is chicken better?
It’s question of whether you be shot or hung.
The flesh food that I would eliminate from the American diet would be poultry, would be turkey and chicken. Their brilliant advertising campaign has convinced people that, “Oh, it’s white meat, it’s healthier.”
The leading source of sodium in the American diet for adult is chicken. It can be labeled all-natural chicken but they inject it with a salt water, I think, up to 800 milligrams of sodium.
Heterocyclic amines are clear cut carcinogens and they can form in any kind of meat as it’s heated, as it’s cooked, but by far, the biggest source is chicken. We sent researchers into fast food and family restaurants. Not only were there carcinogens in every single restaurant. Well, we found them in every single chicken sample that we took. If somebody brings their family and then they’re buying a bucket of chicken, nobody tells them that there are carcinogens. If you’re selling carcinogens to people, you’ve gotta warn them that they’re in there.
[Kip] But the American Cancer Society encourages people to switch from red and processed meat to chicken. Why would the American Cancer Society tell people to switch from eating one carcinogenic food to another when a Harvard University study showed that men with prostate cancer who eat large amounts of chicken increased their risk of the disease progressing four times?
The number one dietary source in America of cholesterol is chicken because the volume of chicken. Chickens become grilled chicken and organic chicken, if it’s machismo, but it has nearly as much cholesterol per gram as red beef suggests that sheer volume is the number one source yet eggs being close by.
[Kip] I’d never really thought about eggs much. I just thought of them as a standard part of the healthy diet. But then, I found a study suggesting that eating just one egg a day can be as bad as smoking five cigarettes per day for life expectancy.
The yolk of a hen’s egg is the most concentrated glom of saturated fat and cholesterol. It is made to run a baby chicken for 21 days with no outside energy. It is pure fat and cholesterol. And when we put that into our blood stream, it coats our red blood cells, our blood gets thicker and more viscous. It changes our hormone levels. It raises our cholesterol levels. There’s nothing healthy about eating yolk of the egg.
[Kip] But I thought cholesterol and saturated fat wasn’t an issue anymore?
You know, these saturated fat studies that have come out, trying to vindicate saturated fat. That’s a campaign by the dairy industry. Number one source of saturated fat is dairy, it’s not meat. 2008, the global dairy industry got together at a meeting and explicitly read their agenda was to neutralize the negative impact of milk fat by regulators and medical professionals, unquote. So, what they do, they funded studies.
[Kip] The main study that started the whole saturated fat media craze was funded by the National Dairy Council. The egg industry similarly fund studies that confuse consumers by making claims that eggs don’t negatively affect heart function. That is only when compared to eating a McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin? So, what they’re really saying is that eating eggs is just as bad as eating a McMuffin.
When you eat foods like beef or steak or a processed meat, a hotdog, you’re not just getting saturated fat, you’re also getting other additional toxins that are in that food. There’s heme iron, carcinogens, and processing chemicals. This is all a lot more complicated than just looking at saturated fat.
The strategy is not on making their products any safer. The strategy is to just try to confuse the public to introduce doubt. You know, there was a famous tobacco industry memo. It’s called, Doubt is our product. That’s all they had to do. They didn’t have to convince the Americans that smoking was healthy, right? They just had to introduce doubt then they would win. Well, if there’s just enough controversy, people kinda throw up their hands, “I don’t know what to eat.” Confusion is their gain. I really don’t think people thought what they ate led to heart disease. They think. “Oh, it’s genetic, my parents had it.” I don’t think people really think that what they ate lead to diabetes. They think, “Oh, my parents had it, I was gonna get it.” And certainly, cancer, they don’t think that way.
People have bad lifestyles that they’ve inherited. Environmentally, they’ve been exposed to a certain way of eating and living they’ve carried on into their adulthood, passed on to their children. That is why they go on to develop the same diseases that their parents and grandparents may have had before them but it is not inevitable.
Even if you have a genetic predisposition, it doesn’t mean it’s going to necessarily manifest. What determines whether it manifests or not, maybe those epigenetic variables, the things that you can control. The environmental factors, the dietary factors, the lifestyle factors.
So, we can actually change the expression of genes. Tumor-suppressing genes, tumor activating genes by what we eat, what we put into our bodies. So, even if you’ve been dealt a bad genetic deck, you can still reshuffle it with diet.
I’d always thought that I would develop heart disease at a young age because both my dad and grandpa had heart attacks. I was taught that they were genetic, but the heart attacks probably had less to do with genes and more to do with their diets high in meat. That’s why when I went on the American Heart Association’s Heart-healthy Recipes page, I could not believe they had an entire section on beef recipes? This was just like the American Cancer Society encouraging eating Group 1 carcinogens on their site. Meat loaf, pork loin, steak on your recipe list? Are you kidding me? It’s like this menu’s trying to get people heart attacks. At your website, we noticed heart-healthy recipes, and we’re kinda bewildered by why there’s a bunch of recipes on the whole section on beef, beef recipes, and there’s also a section on egg recipes when there’s such a strong link between beef, red meat, and heart disease?
[Man] I honestly don’t know ’cause I don’t do that ideas. That’s not what I do. (laughs)
[Kip] Another organization rep that wasn’t able to answer my questions but he said that he’d have someone get in touch shortly. I was, however, able to talk to the president of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Kim Williams.
So, the American College of Cardiology is a 47,000-member and growing organization with a a dedicated mission to reduce heart disease and to improve patients’ lives. And if you look at the incidence of hypertension and diabetes and mortality in men, they actually get reduced as you go higher and higher in terms of how much you restrict animal products.
[Kip] What about fish? – So, fish is a little different. You’ve got the four worries which is PCBs, mercury, saturated fat, and cholesterol. And the cholesterol is all over the place. You can eat tuna in water, that’ll be almost less than a glass of milk to salmon or tilapia which is higher than a pork chop.
If you look objectively at fish, what you find is they become essentially mercury sponges. And that’s why in many parts of the country, they warn you, “Don’t have more than so many “of these fish a week “because it’s getting too much mercury. “It can kill you.”
Fish are eaten by bigger fish who are eaten by a bigger fish and these pesticides or herbicides bioaccumulate in the fish flesh. And the big fish including the salmon which people think is a healthiest fish. Truth is the amount of pesticides and herbicides in the flesh of these fish are shocking and they have estrogenic and cancer promoting properties in them.
They’ll say, “Well, but don’t sardines “have less concentration of toxic waste products “than other ones?” Something being less toxic doesn’t make it healthy. It just makes it less toxic.
Farmed fish is by no means healthier. All the antibiotics that these animals have to be fed similar to chickens and turkeys kept in confinement. These fish get infections. They get fungal infections, they get bacterial infections, you’ve gotta feed them antifungals, antibiotics, and these substances accumulate in the fish flesh as well.
[Kip] I always knew that pollution was bad for our health but I never thought about the environmental pollutants affecting food. – Dioxins being the most toxic man-made chemicals known to science cause all sorts of things. They cause endometriosis, they cause cancers, they cause endocrine disruption problems. Most of your exposure, 93% of it comes from eating meat and dairy products because it climbs up in the food chain so effectively. So, you can get exposed living near these incinerators and breathing it but it’ll take you 14 years to breathe in as much dioxin as a cow ingest by eating the grass in one day, and that dioxin will accumulate in as fat which includes the milk and the meat and anyone eating meat or dairy products is going to get that dose of dioxin so it climbs up the food chain every step. Men have no way in their bodies to get rid of dioxins but women have two ways. They’re both involving having a baby. One is that dioxin crosses the placenta into the growing infant, and the other is that it comes out from the breastmilk. So, if you have a meat and dairy consuming mother breastfeeding that infant, then the highest impacts of toxic exposure like mercury and dioxins will give that infant.
Pregnant women are told of certain types of fish should be avoided but what about all these other animal products which are introducing. Imagine as the fetus is developing, introducing these very harmful toxins which create reproductive abnormalities, developmental problems and hormonal issues right as the child is developing, the most critical stage of development.
It does make you worry when people say, “Don’t you wanna have a little bit of milk “because you’re pregnant? “Don’t you wanna have some fish ’cause you’re pregnant?” Who do you think is gonna get the chemicals that are in that?
All these environmental toxins and toxins from the feed that they’re being fed accumulate in their tissues and are released into the mother and unfortunately, to the child when you eat these products when you’re pregnant. So, this includes antibiotics, hormones, steroids in animal feed. Commercial animals are largely fed GMO corn and soy which are very laden in pesticides. PCBs have been banned since the ’70s but they persist in the environment, dioxins. All of these compounds can create hormonal reproductive, developmental damage as well. – Eating organic beef, poultry, pork or fish will not help you avoid contaminants like mercury, like dioxins, like strontium-90 because they fall out over all sorts of farms fields and water bodies, and they don’t skip over the organic fields. So, really the contaminants are coming in regardless of how these animals are raised.
[Kip] I had always been concerned about the possible health impacts of GMOs but then found out that most of the world’s GMO crops are actually consumed by livestock with dairy cows consuming the most per animal. This fact with everything I’d learned about bioaccumulation made dairy terrifying especially considering how much cheese I ate in my life. – Cheese is an amazing product when you think about it. It’s probably one of the single desk foods that compromising health that you’re gonna actually feed to people. Think about it. You’ve got an animal product, so you’ve got all the issues of biological concentration. You with have a highly processed food product and not only does it have naturally a lot of saturated fat but you put a lot of salt into it.
There’s a strong link between dairy foods and autoimmune diseases so that can show itself up as excessive production of mucus and exacerbation of asthma and kids who are prone to that and even adults and also, there’s an association between dairy foods and multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease and other rheumatological problems.
Cow’s milk is baby calf growth food. That’s what the stuff is. There’s absolutely no child or human on earth who actually needs the milk of a cow any more than they need the milk of a giraffe or a mouse. – Most people in the world are lactose intolerant. I mean, that’s the normal state of affairs. Why would your body create this enzyme to like just lactose after weaning, after infancy? It doesn’t make any sense.
73% of African-Americans are lactose intolerant, 95% of Asians, roughly 70% of Native Americans, and about 53% of Hispanic Americans are lactose intolerant. Our government is encouraging Americans of color to eat foods that it knows it’s going to make them ill. Ultimately, what that is down to is the government are selling me as an African-American to eat food that’s gonna make me ill for no health benefit so that it will benefit dairy farmers as if the farmers have institutionalized racism.
Yeah, milk is a risky food for human consumption. As a pediatrician, I see it on a daily basis, children suffering from conditions that are linked or associated to dairy consumption such as eczema, acne, constipation, acid reflux, iron-deficiency anemia. Cow’s milk protein is the most allergenic food.
People say, “Well no, I want a hormone-free, “not injected with bovine growth hormone,” but milk is this hormonal fluid which is packed with sex hormones and natural sex steroid hormones like estrogen, progesterone. In fact, doesn’t matter if it’s conventional milk, doesn’t matter if it’s organic milk. Milk without hormones, this is an oxymoron. Organic dairy has just as much saturated fat and cholesterol and galactose, and all the things that you don’t want as conventional dairy.
Dairy products, in general, have a lot of other products associated with it, not the least of which is pus. I mean, they actually have laws limiting how much pus you can actually have in the milk and still sell it. I believe it’s like 750,000 pus cells per CC. Because, I mean, you wouldn’t want too much pus, it would be like pure pus people might object. In fact, you could think of cheese as coagulated cow pus if you will.
[Kip] But I was always told that we need milk for strong bones.
I’m Jane Chapman and not too long ago, finally got some x-rays of the hips and back. Severe bilateral osteoarthritis of the hips and actually, I’m scheduled for two hip replacements. That’s bone on bone, it is the grinding of the joints. My stability is scary. I hold on to the walls if I’m at home. I’ve been told to use a walker. I’m only 61. This is not how you’re supposed to live when you’re this old. I have a really hard time believing that. That’s all that’s left.
Researchers have studied bone development in kids and whether they get stress fractures and that kind of thing and the kids drink the most milk have zero protection. Milk does not build strong bones. Harvard researchers have looked at a large group of older women over an 18-year period. The milk drinkers had zero protection from fractures. So, this old notion that somehow, milk is gonna build strong bones are protect your bones later in life, it’s a myth.
People that drink milk have higher rates of hip fractures, have more cancer, and live shorter lives.
[Kip] It turns out that countries with the highest dairy consumption also have the highest rates of osteoporosis. So clearly, drinking more milk doesn’t protect your bones. Doing more research, I’ve found that dairy was linked to many different types of cancer as well. Just like many of us, I thought that the majority of cancer’s due to genes but only 5% to 10% of cancer’s actually genetic.
Any cancer is caused by a DNA mutation but that’s not enough so that can cause that first cancer cell but one cancer cell never killed anyone. Two cancer cells never killed anyone but a billion cancer cells, now, we’re running into problems so we need to reduce the growth factors in our body like IGF-1, insulin-like growth factor 1. It’s this cancer promoting growth hormone involved in every stage of cancer cell, growth and spread and metastasis. Any animal protein boosts the level of IGF-1.
Dairy products increases your risk for various forms of cancer especially those related to your hormones so breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer. So, this is not a product even in its most pure state you wanna be consuming because it does come with risk.
[Kip] I’ve found out that dairy can increase a man’s chance of getting prostate cancer by 34%. And for women who’ve had breast cancer, just one serving of whole dairy a day can increase their chance of dying from the disease, 49%, and dying from anything, 64%. Why weren’t breast cancer sites like Susan G. Komen warning everyone about this? (phone ringing)
[Jocelyn] You’re calling Susan G. Komen. This is Jocelyn, how may I help you?
We’re wondering why you don’t have a huge warning about the dangers of consuming dairy in your website when there’s a direct link to breast cancer? There was a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, that found out women consuming dairy who has had breast cancer increases their risk of dying of breast cancer 49%. Just wondering why it’s not on your website? – [Jocelyn] We cannot answer these types of questions.
[Kip] Once again, another health organization rep saying someone else would have to answer my question. Rather than risk being stood up again, I went straight to the local Susan G. Komen chapter to see if they would answer my questions. (tranquil guitar music) They didn’t wanna answer my questions in person either and told us to stop filming, but promised they would connect me to the national office directly. Susan G. Komen’s pink ribbon campaign had done a lot to raise awareness for breast cancer, although, it was confusing to see pink ribbons on dairy yogurt containers.
Breast cancer can be prevented with a healthy diet and lifestyle but we’re not, we’re talking about pink ribbons and putting all the money into research for the cure. I, for one, know that I would want my daughter, my mother, me, I wanna focus on not getting to that point and that’s where I would like to see more energy and effort put.
[Kip] I had been a hardcore cheesaholic virtually my entire life despite the risks but like so many others, I seem to have been addicted to it.
It turns out that the casein protein, that’s the main protein in dairy products particularly in cheese, it breaks apart in the human digestion to create what are called casomorphins, casein-derived morphine-like compounds. They go to the brain and they attach to the vary same receptor that heroin attaches to. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not as strong as that but they are strong enough to make you come back again and again and again despite the fact that you’re gaining weight, you’re more unhealthy than you’ve ever been, but that cheese just calls out to people.
Casomorphin may play a role in SIDS, in sudden infant death syndrome, they play a role in autism. This is one of the reasons why don’t want infants drinking milk from cows.
[Kip] Human breastmilk has 2.7 grams of casein per liter compared to 26 grams per liter for cow’s milk. That’s practically 10 times more. No wonder it’s so addictive. This talk about addiction made me think about all the drugs animals are fed. I went to the headquarters of the Center for Food and Safety, the nation’s leading FDA government watchdog group to see how concerned we need to be about drugs in our food.
So, that we know of there are at least 450 different drugs that are administered to animals either alone or in combination. These drugs are given to animals for a variety of reasons. Very, very few of which are actually beneficial to consumer health. – We’ve got drug companies that work real hard to make sure they can sell lots of drugs to people raising cows, pigs, and chickens.
The pharmaceutical industry sells 80% of all the antibiotics that it makes in the United States to animal agriculture. Antibiotic residues are found in meat. Other antimicrobials are found in meat. There has been a ractopamine found in meat. There’s been hormones found in meat. So, right there, you’re talking about four different drugs. They could be in the same piece of meat. The pharmaceutical company supposed to show the safety of animal drugs. They’re not really testing to see what the impacts of these drugs are on humans, they’re really looking to see what impacts that these drugs are on animals.
We try to get information on some of the health studies and the environmental studies from federal agencies. We get back page after page of blacked out information because the company claim confidential business information. – Consumers have no idea what is in the products that they consume.
So, how sick something makes me and how bad it pollutes the environment is a secret for a company.
In the animal agriculture industry, as in the tobacco industry, these companies really have a vested interest in making sure that the public doesn’t have information about their effects and what risks are really post to consuming them. – Have the system where animals are living in their own waste, they’re living next to animals that are sick or even dead and they’re stuck in cages with these animals. The bacteria tends to spread that the pathogens that are being created in these filthy conditions are breeding resistance to antibiotics and the public are becoming exposed to those.
We already had people dying from salmonella and other things that you eat. We have about 3,000 people die every year in the United States. That’s more than the number of people that were killed in 9/11 in the Twin Towers of New York. If we had some terrorists organization killing 3,000 people a year, we would be all over it. The antibiotic-resistant bacteria deaths that we have on top of that, you get a 20,000 people die in a year. That’s seven 9/11’s every year. Can you imagine? If that many people were being killed by some terrorist group in the United States every year, we would find them.
The World Health Organization had said we’re nearing in a post-antibiotic era in medicine. You’ll be at risk in minor surgeries to have a fatal infection. You’ll be at risk going to the dentist if you have a tooth extracted or be like Civil War medicine. You get an infection in your leg and you cut your leg off. So, you have this very dangerous situation. By crowding these animals in, they become a perfect engine for generating usually a virus that can come out into the community. If you lived near a swine spray field, not even decay field but the waste disposal field, you are three times more likely to have MRSA infection. You can’t see how that impacts the average person’s life in Duplin County, North Carolina and not be a little upset about it.
From environmental standpoint, from a community standpoint, from all other aspects, North Carolina, we’re in a state of emergency. We’ve already had bouts of swine flu or H1N1 as they prefer to refer to it. That particular swine flu incident was originated on a farm here in North Carolina. There’s approximately the same number of hogs in North Carolina as there are people. Between eight to 10 times the amount of feces is produced by a hog, an adult hog as compared to an adult human.
[Kip] 10 million pigs in North Carolina produce the waste equal to 100 million humans. This is the equivalent of the entire US eastern sea board flushing their toilets into North Carolina but there’s no waste treatment. The pigs’ waste falls through slats in the floors of the sheds they are forced to live in. It is then pumped in the giant waste pits which leach in the rivers and streams and is pumped out unfiltered on the fields further polluting the environment and neighboring health. – When you go back and you look at where these hog facilities are located, there’s a disproportionate number of them that are located near communities of color, low income communities. It is definitely a human rights issue.
My sister, she have asthma and you know, her brother, he have asthma. He’s three and we don’t know what she might have. I have asthma, I have sinus, I have sarcoidosis, that’s what the bacteria, and I have a pacemaker which is sick sinus syndrome. Mostly everybody in this neighborhood got asthma or even cancer. My neighbor there died from cancer probably just last year. My nephew down the street, he’s got cancer. He’s in terminal cancer stage four, not a smoker, not a drinker. And it’s not in his lungs, it’s in his lip nose. ‘Cause if you live here and saw the way they do, you will eat no pork. We don’t eat bacon because I know it come from. When they die, they go into a box and they decompose because they swell from, especially from heat. A truck come and pick ’em up, take ’em to the processing plant in Roseville, round ’em up into feed, and feed it back to the hogs. Come at this door, if he’s spraying there, it’s then come in my face. It hits you right in that face. It smells like something that you had never smelled before, something rotten and dead body. It’s the family graveyard. I have my grandmother there, my sisters, my brothers. When we go to funeral, he used to spray.
[Kip] During the funeral?
(mumbles) Yes, during the funeral. Yeah, they spray, and when the people come, everybody be closing their nose up saying how it stank. They can wanna with a cookout on Sunday, he’ll spray.
Do you think he does that on purpose?
I think so ’cause he just spray at Sunday. He always spray at Sunday. And most of these area, hog houses and turkey house, is in the black area or the Hispanic area. It’s either or.
Do you think it’s also civil rights issue?
Yes, yes, I do, yes, I do. (truck passing)
There have been times in the past that I have gotten rid on the Sunday, gotten rid of going to church and come out and the smell was so strong that I had to go back and regroup because it got in my clothes and I ain’t just gonna go to church smelling like hogs, I just can’t do it. I don’t think to grow my kids. They care more about cooperation than do people’s inner visions.
And they’re gonna keep on. They’re gonna put more chickens in this state. This is the feces and you’re in captain of the world right here in North Carolina, my state. There’s a blue line stream right here come into my property almost and the continue creek, right here. I’ve seen that blue line stream in that field with feces and urine from that hog pen and they can say, “Well, we feed the world.” They’re not interested in feeding the world, they’re interested in making money. You take the money away from and let the folks starve ’cause if you want to feed the world, you can feed the world with more corn, using corn and wheat, instead of that and your canned meat. Meat is a luxury item. When we are doing things that hurt other people, we’re wrong, but a lot of good people will sit there and eat bacon knowing that it’s causing someone else to be very unhappy.
I woke up the next morning to find the Bern River had experienced another massive fish kill from the pollution running off hog farms. Tens of thousands of fish were washing up on shore. All this talk about health, I realized that I was only focused on personal health, but health started to mean so much more to me. It was about health of my family and our communities. I couldn’t honor good, conscious supporting industry that I knew is harming others. Pollution from animal agriculture isn’t just an issue in North Carolina though. Raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector. It’s the leading cause of rainforest destruction, species extinction, ocean dead zones, and freshwater consumption. American Diabetes Association actually finally got back and they agreed to an interview. Preparing for the American Diabetes Association interview, I took a look at their diabetes diet meal plan recommendations and they were loaded with foods associated with causing diabetes. How could they expect people not to get diabetes if this was the food they’re recommending? And then, I saw multiple peer reviewed studies published on the National Institute of Health website showing that a low-fat plant-based diet was more than twice as powerful at controlling and even reversing diabetes than the 88 recommended diet that included meat and dairy.
Well, the mission of the American Diabetes Association is to identify a prevention and a cure for diabetes. But in the meantime, to improve the lives of all people who are affected by diabetes.
And what’s the best way to prevent this?
For type II diabetes, it’s unclear. We can’t prevent type II diabetes in everybody.
During a research, we came across a lot of studies that said that you actually could potentially cure or reverse diabetes with a purely plant-based diet.
I don’t believe there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that.
How does it compare to the ADA diet that you recommend?
We don’t recommend a specific diet. We recommend healthy eating.
The one that’s on the website?
We recommend healthy eating, there is–
You have a whole list of exact day-to-day, the meal plan, the whole meal plan?
All they are are selections of foods to consider. We do not have a diabetes diet.
But with that selections, do you consider that plan compared to a whole plant-based plan?
No one’s done that study.
We’ve found actually some studies, a 74-week study found that low-fat vegan diet versus the ADA plan in type II diabetes–
I think we’re done here. I’m not gonna get into an argument about–
Oh no, I just went into studies of, the studies of the… If this is true or if it’s shows out of–
Any diet works. Any diet works if people follow it.
But if it’s a diet that’s not the proper diet, like if anyone follows a diet that the–
I can’t tell you what a proper diet is. I can tell you what an improper diet is.
So then, we can talk about the good diets. I’m not sure why–
I’m not gonna get into that.
Well, why not?
If that’s where you wanna go with this, I’m sorry, I’m not the person that you should be talking to.
And why is that though?
If that’s what you wanna get into, I’m not the person you need to be talking to.
[Kip] Who do we talk to about diet?
You can talk to anybody you want.
But that’s interesting, then why not recommend a diet?
Because the data don’t exist to support it.
But if I’ve see, we see data that we looked up, that supports it with like the NIH, in Europe, the European–
We’re done. We’re done, I’m sorry. I’m not gonna get into that argument.
But why is there an argument?
I’m not gonna get into that argument.
But why is there an argument? It’s just the talking about in European Study of Diabetes and other places that have studies why–
There are lots of studies.
[Kip] Why is this even an argument?
There are lots of studies in the literature, many of which have never been replicated or frankly, you’re wrong. That’s why we do peer review, okay?
The European Association of Study of Diabetes has been peer reviewed or–
I don’t know what study you’re referring to and yeah, in the absence of being able to see that study, I’m not gonna comment.
I could show it to you.
I’m sorry, I don’t have the time for that.
I just don’t understand why it’s an argument though or okay. That was interesting. What he wanna talk about was people living longer with diabetes but once he mentioned eliminating diabetes or prevention, oh, whoa, now you cross the line. Prevention and cure, whoa, whoa, let’s not go there. Not only did Dr. Ratner, the chief medical officer of the American Diabetes Association not wanna talk about diet but the fact that he had such an emotional reaction to my question made it feel, I was digging into something that he didn’t want uncovered. I had always thought there was no prevention for type I diabetes but then, I did research and came across countless studies referencing the link between exposure to dairy at a young age in type I diabetes.
This is a food made for baby cows. Cow milk protein get in the bloodstream and the body says, “Hey, this is not supposed to be in bloodstream.” It makes antibodies, the cow milk protein, which then attack the pancreas and destroy the pancreas.
[Kip] How is this possible that ADA wouldn’t have this forefront on their website? Why wouldn’t they be warning all parents about this even if there are only a slight chance? Why were they recommending people to actually eat these foods linked to diabetes? It seemed all of the large health organizations were encouraging people to eat the very foods linked to the diseases, they’re supposed to be fighting against. American Heart Association promoting beef, American Cancer Society promoting processed meat, pink ribbons on dairy products, and bacon wrapped shrimp on American Diabetes Association. And then, it all came together. What if? And there it was. The American Diabetes Association was taking money from Dannon, one of the world’s largest dairy yogurt producers, Kraft Foods, makers of Velveeta processed cheese, Oscar Mayer processed meats, Lunchables processed kids’ meals, and Bumble Bee Foods, makers of processed canned meats. American Cancer Society was taking money from Tyson, one of the world’s largest meat producers and Yum brand, owner of Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell. Susan G. Komen was supposed to be fighting breast cancer was corporate partnering with KFC, Dietz & Watson processed meats, and Yoplait yogurt. And the American Heart Association was probably the most disturbing of all. Taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the beef industry, poultry, and dairy producers, and millions from fast food and processed food manufacturers. Every single one of these organizations was taking money from meat and dairy companies that are associated with the causes of these diseases. This would be like the American Lung Association taking money from the tobacco industry. I was sick of not getting answers so I went to the headquarters of these organizations myself. We have to speak someone in person. There’s millions of people dying from the foods that they are recommending people to eat. I wanted to find out why Susan G. Komen accepted 35 millions dollars from Yoplait when their products can increase a woman’s chance of dying from breast cancer 49%. And asked American Cancer Society of taking money from KFC and Tyson what’s the reason they promote eating meat. But everyone of these organizations declined to be interviewed.
What’s really sad is that we cannot trust information from these leading health organizations like the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, because they are taking money from the very industries who are causing the problems that they’re supposed to be helping to prevent.
So, that makes the truth something that you are not gonna be hearing as far as nutrition goes from these organizations. Well, that would be the end of their funding, that would be the end of their jobs, there would be lawsuits, they would bring the entire catastrophe down upon their heads, and they would essentially disappear as organizations.
So, one time I got invited to a charity fundraiser for the American Diabetes Association. I showed up and they had a whole buffet and there was all just animal products. I remember like a big thing of barbecue chicken, and I was, like I stormed out. I said, “Serving chicken at a diabetes event “is like serving alcohol in an AA meeting. “It just doesn’t make sense.”
[Kip] We had scheduled a filming interview with a prominent surgeon but before we could get inside the building, the hospital’s media relations manager stopped us.
[Lady In White Blouse] Actually, I understand that Dr. (bleeps) that you could film here today but unfortunately, that’s not gonna be able to happen. I know that he advocates for patients changing their diets but the hospital makes money off these surgeries and the reality is he does too. So, we can’t do anything that’s gonna negatively impact the hospital so unfortunately, you’re not gonna be able to film here today.
[Kip] I was sickened by how open she was about the hospital being more interested in profits than people’s health. But it wasn’t just this hospital or these organizations, even the US government is involved too. Every five years, the US Department or Agriculture creates dietary guidelines for Americans. The committee who writes these guidelines has been made up of individuals who have received money from McDonald’s, the National Dairy Council, the American Meat Institute, the National Dairy Board, the National Livestock and Meat Board, the American Egg Board, Dannon, candy and sugar companies, Coca-Cola, and Anheuser, just to name a few, which means we’re getting our dietary recommendations from the very industries that are killing us.
And when they, the USDA, makes a pyramid or a power plate every five years for the American public, they’re gonna guarantee that on that plate are gonna be foods which when consumed, will result in means of American’s perishing.
The USDA which is supposed to be protecting us has two missions, it’s supposed to protect us and it’s supposed to protect the producer, and guess what? When those two come head to head, they usually choose the producer.
[Kip] In internal documents uncovered by Dr. Gregor, the USDA admitted that eggs cannot legally be called nutritious, low-fat, part of the balanced diet, low calorie, healthful, healthy, can’t say it’s good for you, or even safe, yet they still promote these products to the American people through federal checkoff programs.
If you ask somebody if they’ve heard the checkoff program, they’ll answer that they haven’t, although daily, they are seeing the messaging that these programs produce. So, checkoff programs are responsible for the messages that we see on TV, on the internet, on bus billboards, and magazines that say things like, “Milk, it does the body good” or “Milk life,” “Beef, it’s what’s for dinner,” “Pork, be inspired,” “Incredible, edible egg.”
The dairy checkoff program, be it 12 million dollars to dominoes, to just market cheese-heavy product. And this is the USDA, this is the government. If you’ve seen those ads for the Pizza Hut pizza, the stuffed crust or a pound of cheese, those are all government advertising schemes for the industry. How can we put more cheese on beef, how can we put more milk in a coffee, things like that to just drive consumption of these just unbelievably unhealthful products. So, McDonald’s, for instance, has six people staffed full-time according to records we’ve found who’s salaries are paid for by this government program but funded by the producers who are regulated by it. And these six people sit there at McDonald’s headquarters and just come up with ideas.
Triple cheese decker McCheese muffin stuffed bacon cheese slider?
With extra cheese?
[All] Yes. – You don’t think of it on a day-to-day basis that these are government programs. Wendy’s bacon double cheeseburger, government program. The steak fajita at Dunkin’ Donuts, government program. You would just never think that this just pure garbage from a food standpoint is coming from a federally funded program. That’s one of the things that makes checkoffs so incredibly creepy is that it is our government telling us, “Eat more beef, drink more milk, “eat more cheese, eat more pork.” One of the very effective ways that the dairy industry promotes its products is to reach children because kids are impressionable, they’re gonna be consumers for their entire lives, and you might as well get ’em while they’re young. So, dairy spends at least 50 million dollars promoting it’s products in public schools throughout the country with posters with people with milk mustaches and messages like, “Milk, it does the body good,” or “Milk life”.
Targeting young people like the tobacco industry had to keep replacing the customers who are dying with new customers. Meat industry knows they have to target young people, that’s why we have these foods in schools and marketing messages at a younger and younger age for kids to get hooked on all the wrong kinds of foods. So, there’s all kinds of parallels. – School districts where processed meats are all over the place. Maybe it’s gonna be bacon on the menu, sausage, hotdogs, or pepperoni pizza. Any of those things are processed meats and those are pretty much the worst of the worst with a direct link to colon cancer and yet you have everyday in schools, meal items with processed meats.
[Kip] If the surgeon general puts label warnings on tobacco because of their cancer risk, why aren’t same warning labels on meat?
Based on the publicly available data, we know they spend at least 557 million dollars promoting their goods through checkoff programs. We know that they spend at least 138 million dollars lobbying congress. We expect that they spend a good deal more than that in figures that simply aren’t publicly disclosed.
[Kip] The industry’s lobbying power is so strong that they can create laws and push through legislation that doesn’t benefit Americans in any way such as Ag-gag laws that criminalize whistle-blowing or photographing abuses by this industry. Activists in the US can be charged as terrorist for disrupting the profits of any business that uses animals under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act to the even more ridiculous ones like Cheeseburger Laws.
A Cheeseburger Law is a law that states a plaintiff cannot recover against a manufacturer, distributor, retailer on the theory that the food made the plaintiff obese or caused an obesity-related disease.
Cheeseburger Law is a direct response to a problem that the tobacco industry has had. Big tobacco has paid 400 billion dollars to state medicated programs. Cheeseburger Law, it’s proponent say, “We don’t wanna see the same kind of thing happen “to the meat and dairy industries.” The fact that these laws are based on a model template called the Commonsense Consumption Act is actually ironic because what they’re saying is, you the consumer should have a commonsense to know that our food is bad for you.
I’ve often typify the meat industry to people who maybe don’t understand its power and reach as it’s got all the money of big tobacco and big pharma and has the personality of the National Rifle Association. So, any little thing that comes up, man, they beat it to death.
[Kip] Robert Martin wasn’t exaggerating. When the profits of the ag industry were threatened by ag alternative company, Hampton Creek Foods, extremely disturbing emails were uncovered by Ryan Shapiro and Jeffrey Light.
We uncovered documents demonstrating the American Ag Port considers Hampton Creek, quote, a crisis and a major threat to the future of the American ag industry. The American Ag Board considers a successful ag replacer company to be such a threat that they joke under government email addresses about murdering the CEO.
[Kip] In internal government emails with the heads of the ag industry, they suggest having the CEO of Hampton Creek, Josh Tetric, murdered, including a menacing email from executive director of the American Ag Board.
The meat producers don’t have to pay for the heart disease and the environmental destruction or any of the other externalities as economists call them that their products cause.
You know, then there’s the whole pharmaceutical aspect of it and the fact that there’s a very strong pharmaceutical industry in lobby that has a huge stake at preserving the status quo. – These chronic diseases, these are the cash cows of the pharmaceutical industry.
We have a five billion dollar stent industry. Do they ever wanna see that go away? We’ve had 35 billion dollar statin drug industry. Do they ever wanna see that go away? – I’m talking about the pharmaceutical industry effectively controls what doctors are told. – Most research isn’t put into prevention, it’s put into the medication that we might use for that particular disease.
I’m on two different high blood pressure medicines, six asthma-type medicines, even after four years of shots, and then another medicine to help take care of side effects from some of those medicines. I’m on high level antidepressants, a couple of different pain meds for my back and hips.
I’m taking about 16 drugs not counting the insulin in the morning. I take insulin morning, insulin at night, like 32 to 34 units of insulin. Lantus to be exact. Some of these meds are for diabetes. This is for pN, I have to use this for my prostate, and then I have to use this for the heart and I have to use this for blood pressure. And it’s just on and on and on and on. The doctors are telling me this is what I gotta do for my whole life and it’s frustrating, and it’s very stressful. I don’t know how long my liver is gonna last taking all these stuff.
Under conventional medical treatment, whether it be for autoimmune disease, or even conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes, you’re told the you have to take drugs and not just for a week or a month or a year, you’re told that you have to take drugs forever. You’re guaranteed that if you follow your doctor’s advice, you’ll be sick forever, you’ll never get well. That’s the guarantee. Because the strategies are all about manipulating the symptoms, not dealing with the underlying cause.
You’ll come in with that diagnosis. You get a bunch of pills that have nothing to do with the disease causation or you get this procedures that have nothing to do with disease causation.
It’s a deception to say, “This pill will help you unclog your arteries. “This one will save you from stroke.” No, it doesn’t. The people who take the statins, et cetera, they still get their heart attacks, they still get their strokes, this is not reversed disease, this does not make plaque smaller. This is a fun of massive proportions.
[Kip] In the US, treating chronic these such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes is a 1.5 trillion dollar industry. That’s the GDP equivalent of the 10th richest country in the world. I went back and dug deeper into the health organizations funding and there it was again. These organizations were accepting millions of dollars from pharmaceutical companies that are making billions of dollars from the very same diseases these health groups are supposedly trying to end. It seemed like a major conflict of interest unless ending these diseases isn’t really the goal. The pharmaceutical industry spends more money on lobbying than any other single industry. Just like animal agriculture, they are so powerful, they write their own laws that have had activists imprisoned to silence them.
Government’s embed with anyone that goes in the money. Just pharmaceutical industry which is the animal ag industries. They are pumping the government full of money and resources and in return, the governments giving them what they want, subsidies, imprisoning activists that go against them, and I think it’s quite telling that these industries are working so hard in spending so much money to criminalize people for simply taking a picture, for simply recording what’s going on inside of these facilities and making it known to the public. They’re behind walls. They’re underground. They’re in these secret facilities that no one knows about but if they did, they would be shocked and outraged and I think people would not want to think that their pharmaceuticals, that their food are coming from these places and that’s why, I think, it’s such… The Ag-gag laws are what they are is because they are trying to silence people into not speaking out and not showing the truth.
[Kip] I finally realized how deep the occlusion truly is between government and these industries and how dangerous it could be to expose them. These concerns intensified after meeting the USDA whistleblower who revealed mad cow disease in the US meat supplier. – [Mad Cow Disease Whistleblower] USDA operates like the military so when I got on TV, right away you see set of memos to all the veterinarians and food inspectors. “If anybody from the media ever contacts you, “do not talk to them, refer to Washington, DC “and we will talk to them.” So, right away shut up everybody. The American public are very, very concerned about this, what’s going on with the USDA. Here in the United States, we have at least four cases of mad cow disease but I’m almost positive there’s more cases of that that the government is looking for. – [Kip] So, what you’re saying is that there could be already mad cow disease in humans?
Right, and I think a lot of it was misdiagnosed. The Alzheimer’s or dementia that takes several years to see the progression but to make it easier, these doctors just sign off on it as dementia or Alzheimer’s while they should’ve taken a biopsy of the brain to see if it’s that or is it actually a prion disease like Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease or mad cow disease.
[Kip] Do you think it’s safe to eat meat?
I personally don’t think it’s safe to eat it because of the fact how the line speeds are increasing and also our inspectors are not well-trained enough. At the present time, the ones we know is going about 220 cows an hour. That gives you about, somewhere around four cows per minute so that’s 15 seconds per cow.
[Kip] This dangerous slaughter speeds means that animal waste ends up everywhere. Testing shows 88% of pork chops are contaminated with fecal bacteria. 90% of ground beef and 95% of chicken breasts sample contain animal waste bacteria. There is nothing clean about eating this way but it just isn’t waste, it’s also pus-filled infections.
[Mad Cow Disease Whistleblower] You can see there’s a bump or some kind of abcess underneath the hind. Most of the time, when the hind’s pulled off, either that will open up the abcess and the pus will come out or if it’s deep-seated when the inspectors are doing their work or company employees, they might stick their knife into an abcess and that explodes all over the place.
[Kip] I had heard enough. I was utterly disgusted by the corruption, the greed, the disease, and the abuse I was learning about. The very animals we are killing were killing us in the planet but so many people are even eating dairy every day of their lives. And we are so concerned about getting enough protein. Do we have to eat meat to get complete protein?
Oh my god, oh my god. You want me to jump of this building, don’t you? Well, first of all, all protein is made by plants. I’ll state that again for the record. All protein is initially made by plants, all of it, and it is not necessary to eat animal tissue in order to get protein. Only plants have the ability to actually take nitrogen from the air, break those molecules apart, and incorporate that nitrogen into amino acids and then make protein. Any protein you get from an animal is simply recycled plant protein.
If you eat a diet that was calorically adequate and even things like brown rice and broccoli and you got enough of it. You’d get enough both quantity and quality of protein. 2,000 calories of brown rice and broccoli is gonna be about 80 grams of protein a day including the essential amino acids that you need in order to maintain optimum health.
I mean, the grains are loaded with protein. Beans are loaded with protein. Vegetables are loaded with protein.
You really want to get your protein from plants because plant proteins have a much more beneficial effect on our physiology.
The funny thing about protein is most Americans get about twice the amount they need. Most Americans are getting less than half the amount of fiber they need but the conversation tends to always be about protein. So, my mind, it’s just this magical marketing campaign that protein has taken on over are decades.
The question is not where to get your protein, it’s really where do you get your fiber?
I’ve never in my professional career seen a protein deficiency. I’ve never seen someone come in, eating normal amounts of calories and their protein deficient. You just don’t see that.
So, human milk has the lowest protein content ever in any species ever tested. That’s the fluid that’s been designed by evolution over millions of years. That’s like the perfect food for human babies, right? Perfect food, lowest protein content any other mammal. So, it gives a sense of protein requirements for– (Kip mumbles) Anything.
[Kip] Like unit.
Than rat milk, ape milk–
Donkey milk, any milk that’s ever been tested.
You hear this a lot in body builders. Well, I need a chicken or I need fish to be strong, to build muscle tissue. That is utter nonsense. The largest, strongest terrestrial animals on the planet are all herbivores. The biggest, strongest animals are all herbivores.
When we bring in people and they’re on meaty diets and we transition them to a plant-based diet, we always track what their eating. Their vitamin intake goes up. Their nutrition overall goes up dramatically better and these same people might worry in advance, “Will I get the nutrition that I need “on a plant-based diet?” The fact is, you’re not getting the nutrition you need on a meat-based diet and you’re gonna get dramatically better nutrition on a plant-based diet.
For an average-sized guy like myself, I need about 56 grams of protein a day, that’s optimum. Probably, I really need 30 to 40 grams a day. Diets are really high on these protein create diabetes, create heart disease, create cancer, create the diseases that I’m treating on a daily basis.
[Kip] But this is the opposite of all the high protein diet fads say.
The food you eat determines the bacteria that live in your gut. While you eat animal flesh every day, you are summoning up bacteria that eat carnitine and those bacteria will turn that carnitine into a molecule called trimethylamine. Your liver then turns that into trimethylamine oxide. That’s a molecule from hell. That molecule drives cholesterol into the artery walls and the people who are consuming this flesh-based diet are tripping to plaque building up. They may lose weight on this diet and that’s good but what’s happening inside your arteries paleo friends? What’s happening is that plaque is building up and these are folks who drop dead at the gym at 39. Boo, he was lean and he looked really good but where is that cholesterol going? It’s going to your artery walls. So, I believe in this paleo folks are setting themselves up for an epidemic of clogged arteries, colon cancers, autoimmune diseases, this is not a healthy diet. We are not carnivorous apes.
[Kip] Humans’ closest living relatives are chimps who get 97% of their calories from plants and the remaining 3% mostly from insects. Comparing the anatomy of true omnivores like bears who eat both meat and plants to frugivores like primates who eat almost exclusively plants, the differences are pretty clear. Frugivore teeth have flat molars for chewing plants where omnivore teeth are serrated for stabbing and tearing flesh. Frugivore jaws can move forward and back and side to side. Omnivore jaws cannot. Omnivores have much stronger stomach acid for digesting meat compared to less acidic stomach acid of frugivores. The intestines of frugivores is nine times their body length compared to three times for omnivores. This is because meat will putrify in the gut less as it moved through it quickly. If humans were indeed true omnivores, we would need to change our physiology and appearance quite a lot but we fit every requirement of a frugivore. We may behave like omnivores but anatomically, we’re frugivores.
Human beings, unlike bears and raccoons and to some extent dogs, don’t have that mixed anatomy and physiology that you see in the true omnivores and thus, we are not true omnivores. In humans, the canines have become really small and rounded and actually function like accessory incisors. They’re utterly useless for ripping and tearing anything other than the envelope. So, the idea that the mere presence of the canine somehow means that we’re supposed to eat meat, it’s silly.
[Kip] He was right. I always tell my canines were from me but what kind of animal could I actually kill and eat raw with these tiny teeth? The thought alone was disgusting.
I mean everybody loves a smoothie made with fruit and even some vegetables but if you think about putting a fish or a piece of beef in the blender and grinding it up. The thought is absolutely repulsive.
[Kip] All these diseases I’d learned about were from eating a diet our body wasn’t designed for. What would happen if we started eating a diet our body actually was designed for?
The data is crystal clear that you can stop and reverse heart disease with plant-based diets. Scientifically shown, I’ve seen in my own patients.
People who adopt low-fat plant-based diets can actually reverse their heart disease and that literally means watching the plaques start to go away, something they didn’t think could happen.
My experience with patients is and the studies show that when people adopt the fully plant-based diet, their cholesterol levels plummet within a few days and if you do blood tests in a couple of weeks, you’ll see dramatic improvements.
Yes, your numbers are gonna look great within a week or two. Your cholesterol can come crashing down. In fact, if you’re on medications, your doctor may have to pull off your blood pressure medications so your blood pressure don’t drop too low because it can work too good. The side effect is not having to take drugs.
[Kip] In a groundbreaking study published by Dr. Esselstyn following patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, 99.4% were able to avoid major cardiac events by going plant-based.
Because it’s not just heart disease. It’s hypertension, it’s diabetes, it’s strokes, it’s heart attacks, it’s several of the autoimmune diseases, lupus, asthma, GERD, osteoporosis. I mean, there’s a multitude of diseases. Even rheumatoid arthritis. It’s gonna be so dramatic. When you see these poor souls who are just absolutely crippled with rheumatoid arthritis go plant-based, then they come off their medication.
I wanted to follow up with Jane Chapman who had been suffering if severe osteoarthritis, and I could not believe what I saw after only a few weeks of fasting and changing her diet.
So amazing to see you like this–
I know. (laughs) – Only a few weeks later. – I know, from going from the walker, needing wheelchair assistance at the airport to strolling down the street, enjoying the fresh air and the sunshine… Two weeks is all it took, two weeks to get off all the meds and start to feel the inflammation just drained out of the body where the movement was much easier, just a lot of healing occurred very rapidly just by doing the right things for your body.
When you’re treating diseases with drugs, there’s one drug you take for cholesterol, a different class of drugs to take for high blood pressure, different class of drugs you take for diabetes, but with diet, a plant-based diet, affects all these diseases, one diet rules them all.
[Kip] The impacts of eating this way go far beyond ourselves. By getting rid of heart disease alone, we would save up to 48 trillion dollars in the USA, three times the US GDP. – Conditions like high blood pressure, you don’t have to take the drugs for rest of your life and be sick forever. What you can do is live in such a way that it gives the body a chance to heal itself. We took 174 consecutive patients with high blood pressure and 174 people were able to lower their blood pressure enough to eliminate the need for medication. – For inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s, the best remission rates ever achieved through plant-based diet, MS, multiple sclerosis. The best results ever achieved compared to any medical-surgical, any kind of intervention, was a plant-based diet.
You can see that with every sequential reduction in animal products, people live longer, they have less heart disease, they have less cancer, they have less diabetes.
You can actually take human cancer cells and put ’em in a Petri dish, you can drip the blood of those eating vegan, get about 72% suppression in human prostate cancer cell growth in vitro. They want to try this again with women in breast cancer, said, “Let’s see what a plant-based diet can do.” After just two weeks, their bodies cleaned up. You drip their blood on the same carpet of cancer cells, you can clear off the whole plate. This is after just two weeks eating healthy which raised the question, what kind of blood do we want in our bodies?
My background is in industrial and systems engineering and that was my career path for a long time until I had thyroid cancer and everything changed from there. I decided that I wanted to try alternative methods and treatments rather than have surgery and have my thyroid removed which meant I’d be on medication forever and didn’t want that. I just started reading into how plant-based diet can heal the body and it has worked for so many people. So, I immediately just switched to a completely whole food plant-based diet. After a year, the cancer was completely gone and my thyroid had shrunk to normal size and I was completely free of that.
[Kip] This was tough to believe. Couldn’t this all just be from eating healthier though like no sugar? Turns out, Dr. Walter Kempner from Duke University back in the 1940’s was reversing some of our worst killer diseases with diet alone and the diet he was using was not always strictly plant-based but it was made up of white rice, fruit, and table sugar.
And he was reversing diabetes, he was reversing malignant hypertension, reversing heart disease, the diabetic complications, reversing diabetic blindness. So, these people basically had death sentences, went to him, and were given basically sugar. You know, this horrible diet but it was strictly plant-based.
[Kip] If this information had been around since the 1940’s, why don’t all doctors know this?
We’re not taught about the power of food in medical school. No one is taught that the changes that we make with our diet are probably the single most powerful thing we can do to determine our destiny. It trumps our genetics.
Why isn’t your doctor telling this? Odds are your doctor never learned any of these. In fact, there is even a bill introduced, just mandating physicians to get seven hours of nutrition training every couple of years just kinda stay on top of it and who came out against that? The California Medical Association. Even the family physicians, the surgeons, all the mainstream medical groups came out opposed.
If seven hours, that’s a lot. Even if it’s over one for your period. – So, they’re not just neutral but they actually actively opposing nutrition education.
Ironically, when patients come to doctors with questions, they assume that the doctor knows something about nutrition and so, it’s kind of a double whammy that doctors haven’t been taught much about nutrition.
[Kip] Why don’t we hear about this from dieticians where nutrition is their entire specialty? Turns out, the American Nutrition and Dietetics Association puts out a nutrition facts sheets written by the industries themselves. The industries pay $20,000 per fact sheet and explicitly take part in writing them. So, you can learn about eggs from the egg industry. You can learn about lamb from the lamb industry. This would be like learning about the benefits of smoking from the tobacco industry.
When people are eating meat, I think of it as a bit like smoking. It’s sort of Russian Roulette. You may not get diabetes but your chances of getting diabetes, about one in three. You may not get cancer but your chances if you’re a man, about one in two, a woman, one in three. Your chances of gaining weight, two out of three. It’s not all diet but most of it is. The best thing that you can do to make sure that you empty those bullets out of the chamber and not taking risk with your health, is to get the animal products out of your diet and eat healthy foods.
I came to TrueNorth to help me with my asthma and to lose a little weight and it’s amazing, just in two weeks of changing my diet, don’t have to take any asthma medication, no anti-depressants, no pain medication, no heart medication, nothing, no medications at all. And it’s really, it’s just incredible. I was taking Oxy and Advil and… I was taking 800 milligrams of Motrin three times a day just to get through the day because I was in so much pain. And now, nothing.
Nothing at all.
Two weeks, 14 days. – So, you’re taking all that medication, you’re completely off?
Completely off everything. It’s just been so frustrating to me because I went to so many different doctors for help and I tried so many different medications to help me with my asthma and nothing helped and I was stuck on the couch for the last 10 months, unable to breathe, and now, in two weeks time, 14 days, I’m off my medication. And I can breathe and I feel good, and I can walk. My life has changed and I took two weeks of a whole plant-based diet.
[Kip] That’s incredible.
That was incredible.
(laughs) It really is.
That sounds amazing.
I know, it really is. I feel so blessed and so good and just so happy to be doing this and I’m hoping that I can be a role model for other people and not be pushy about it because everyone’s gonna do it in their own time. But think on my time is now.
[Kip] That’s incredible.
[Kip] As powerful as Amy’s story was, I knew for some, eating 100% plant-based would still seem extreme.
I think, there’s the sense that everything’s okay in moderation, right? But we haven’t seen that moderation works. There really isn’t a study that shows that by eating meat and eggs in moderation, you can actually turn your heart disease around and get better.
[Kip] But I know people who have given up meat and they felt sick.
It’s unlikely that anybody’s symptoms are caused by a dead decaying flesh deficiency. The lack of highly processed animal food products in the diet is not gonna be associated with the causal factor about why there is that. There is gonna be a reason why they’re not feeling well but that’s not gonna be one of them.
So, I’ve had people go vegan and they come back to me and they’re like, “I’m hypothyroid “and my doctor says I’m hypothyroid “because plant-based diet makes you hypothyroid.” I’m like, so, what is your doctor tell all his meat-eaters that are hypothyroid?
[Kip] What was in animal flesh or dairy that you can’t get in plant-based?
Cholesterol, heterocyclic amines, E-coli. You know, if you think about it, there is nothing in an animal-based diet that you can’t get in the healthier form somewhere else.
I think, only other vitamin is vitamin B12, it’s not made by plants, not made by animals either, made by a little microbes that blanket the earth. Because the way we live in unsanitized world, unless you’re eating bacteria-contaminated foods, we need to get a source of B12 from somewhere, so, the healthiest, cheapest, safest source is getting vitamin B12 fortified food or vitamin B12 supplement, not to get it from meat and dairy.
[Kip] What about people who say they have to eat meat for their blood type or their genes?
It’s like, “I need meat because I’m a Capricorn,” “I need meat ’cause I have an A plus blood.” It’s like, what do you say? No one has to eat meat. There’s not vitamin, mineral, nutrient that you can’t get from non-animal sources.
Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to go vegan and give up all meat, which was never in my thoughts in a while, million years, but I’ve heard so much success from people that are vegan. So, I gave up all animal product whatsoever, I’ve lost 29 pounds, I’ve been able to cut my med in half. I’ve been able to cut my insulin in half and now, I’m going for the moon. I’m gonna go cut it all out. In the last six weeks, we’ve just had three grandchildren and my ugly face is gonna be around to see them graduate from high school and college. I’m gonna be here.
My mission is to let everybody know you do not have to suffer from diabetes and cancer, and heart disease because someone in your family had it or because the doctors are telling you, this is what’s gonna happen. You can take charge of your health and have a positive outcome just like I did. The reason I’m so committed to this is… My grandmother had diabetes, and I didn’t know what I know now about healing the body and if I did, I feel like she could’ve lived at least a few years longer. So, it’s in her honor that I do what I do ’cause I can save someone else’s grandmother, aunt, uncle, father from that, you know. So, (sighs) so, I’m excited about getting the message out there.
[Kip] There’s a common belief that eating plant-based is expensive.
Not at all. It can be done in a very inexpensive way where you buy foods that are in season and you shop in the bulk bins and that saves a lot of money. You can eliminate a lot of your expenses on your grocery bill by not buying meat and dairy because these things are expensive. Our meal plan for a family of four is $25 per person in the family.
20.64 is your total.
[Kip] 20.64, whoa! That’s her entire week of food.
[Kip] An exploding movement of elite athletes are utilizing vegan diets to heal injuries, speed recovery times and enhance their performance.
Before I was vegan, I was only benchpressing 315 like five times. Then, after going vegan, I was doing 400, 425, 465. And I was like, oh my god, this is amazing. I’m vegan and I’m benchpressing 465 pounds. This is ridiculous. And as soon as I went vegan, tendonitis started disappearing. My strength in my right arm start coming back. High blood pressure was going down. You can’t be strong and be dying on the hindsight, that’s not strong, that’s weak, that’s really weak because you look big and strong in the outside, yeah, big man, no, but your heart’s crying for help. On the inside, you’re dying.
I’m a professional parkour athlete, two-time world freerunning champion. More recently, I got into Ninja Warrior where I’m captain of Team Europe as we won USA versus the world. For something like Ninja Warrior and parkour specifically, you really need to have good strength to body weight ratio. So, I was carrying massive, I really didn’t need and when I went vegan, I lost 15, 20 pounds, I was more agile, I was more efficient, and more stamina in my body, just that extra bit of pop that I didn’t have before, it just gave that extra strength. This is a very vibrant way to live. It can enhance you as an athlete. For me, 100% better athlete than I was before. It unlocks a whole new chapter of my training. The science is that, the health is that the athletes, they’re proving that you don’t need to eat dead animals to be strong to be healthy.
I started working out when I was 47 years old. All that muscles you see, I gained as vegan, I gained 15 pounds of muscles on my body. Eating all plant-based vegan foods. All the aches and pains in my body, it just went away because I’m not ingesting so many inflamed foods, the acidic foods that animal products are. Gorillas, rhinos, and elephants, they all get their muscles and strength from eating plants. That’s what I do.
I travel all around the world for my surfing and I’ve always been able to eat vegan. I feel like if you want something, then you can make it happen. I just don’t make any excuses. I would never not be vegan now that I know all the benefits and now that I know how it feels to be vegan.
Every aspect of my life has been improved by adopting this lifestyle. I feel better, I perform better athletically, I sleep better, my energy with my kids is better, my focus at work is better, everything is better. My skin cleared up, cut myself trim for nine years now doing this. All I can tell you is that I felt and I continue to feel better than I ever felt before. My friend, Jason Lester and I were the first people to do this challenge called EPIC5 which entail doing five ironmans on five Hawaiian islands in our group. An ironman is a 2.4-mile swim followed by 112-mile bike, and then running a marathon, 26.2 miles after that. So, we did five of those in a row on five different islands and in little under a week. – Yeah, you almost die?
So, I guess the famous question, where did you get your protein? (mumbles) – (laughs) From plants.
[Kip] Like so many people, I was looking for excuses not to change my diet but once I finally did, I felt liberated. Within days, I could feel the blood running through my veins with a new vitality. Within weeks, I felt a transformation throughout my entire body and mind. Not only could I survive on a purely plant-based vegan diet, I could thrive, I felt amazing. I competed my first marathon in six years training half the amount and beat my personal record by 23 minutes. Less than a month later, I did my first full ironman. Although I could possibly get away with eating a little bit of meat and dairy without ill effects to my personal health, I could no longer willingly support an industry I knew was causing so much suffering to communities, families, and all life on the planet. A whole new world opened up, I felt whole again, connected to a greater sense of what true health is and where true health doesn’t end with me but begins with us.
If people adopted a plant-based diet, the changes we would see in our individual health, in our national health situation, and in this physical environmental world we live in would be so profound.
I mean, today, you can say, “I’m not gonna eat that stuff anymore. “It’s one thing that I can do myself personally “to make a difference.”
It will give you a greater sense of well-being and happiness when you know that one, you’re not destroying your health every time you sit down to eat, you’re not promoting cruelty, and you’re not damaging the Earth.
I don’t want my gains to be at the detriment of the planet of other things and yet, I’m not weaker, I’m stronger. That’s the beauty of it. When you all twist and when you make choices for the great good of others, it comes around, benefits as well, benefits us all.
Studies show that we cannot only survive but we can thrive.
I just feel this is a great way to live. Not harm the other beings when we can be healthy and happier. I love it, it’s a great life.
I never thought that I could feel this good at this age and I just want everybody to feel this way. I feel like a 20-year-old, I’m almost 50.
Nothing tastes as good as health, it feels basically.
And so, the choices that we make every single day, day in and day out around our food has the capacity to bring us true health, optimal wellness, not just individually but collectively as species and for our planet.
We’re not gonna live forever but while we are alive, we can live well. And, for me, as a doctor, that’s what I wanna see.
Where there’s a will, there is a way, and I believe that. (uplifting Mexican guitar music) (singing in foreign language)