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Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition Paperback – May 6, 2014
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From Publishers Weekly
Campbell's follow-up to his best-selling The China Study is more of the same, in the best way. He continues his quest to convince people that "the ideal human diet looks like this: Consumer plant-based foods in forms as close to their natural state as possible...eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains." The entirety of the book is a passionate and convincing case for that ideal diet. Campbell has not written a book of diet tips, or even provided recipes. In fact, at times the book delves so deeply into scientific process— for example, explaining how cancer develops or how metabolism works—that many may find themselves having to read slowly to understand his point. Yet he makes the case that Americans are too prone to take pills to solve health issues (and doctors too prone to prescribe them) as a result of "reductionist thinking". His years of scientific study and calm, measured tone are highly convincing, making a firm case that changing one's diet is the best way to assure good health. Readers will be inclined to put down their processed food snacks once they read what could be a life-changer of a book. (May) --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
''After reading The China Study and drastically changing my diet toward the more whole food, plant-based diet recommended by Dr. Campbell, my career numbers shot up when they were supposed to be declining. I thought to myself 'Why doesn't everyone eat this way?!' This new book, Whole, answers that question with great clarity. Never again be confused about diet and nutrition.'' --Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons, 16-year National Football League player, record-setting tight end
''America's premier nutritionist, T. Colin Campbell, with courage and conviction, articulates how the self-serving reductionist paradigm permeates science, medicine, media, big pharma and philanthropic groups blocking the public from the nutritional truth for optimal health.'' --Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD, author of the bestselling Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
''T. Colin Campbell, based on his long career in experimental research and health policy-making, uncovers how and why there is so much confusion about food and health and what can be done about it. His explanation is elegant, sincere, provocative, and far-reaching, including how we can solve our health-care crisis. Read and enjoy; there's something here to inspire and offend just about everyone (sometimes the truth hurts).'' --Dean Ornish, MD, Founder and President of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California; Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; and author of the bestselling Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease
''Whole makes a convincing case that modern nutrition's focus on single nutrients has led to mass confusion with tragic health consequences. Dr. Campbell's new paradigm will change the way we think about food and, in doing so, could improve the lives of millions of people and save billions of dollars in health care costs.'' --Brian Wendel, Creator and Executive Producer of Forks Over Knives
''There are very few material game-changers in life, but this book is truly one of them. The information herein -- backed up by extraordinary peer-reviewed science -- has the power to halt and reverse disease, give you energy you've never known, and put you on a path of transformation in just about every positive way. Read it and get ready to soar.'' --Kathy Freston, New York Times bestselling author of The Lean and Quantum Wellness
''Dr. Colin Campbell opened our eyes with The China Study. In Whole, Dr. Campbell boldly shows exactly how our understanding of nutrition and health has gone off track and how to get it right. Beautifully and clearly written, this empowering book will forever change the way you think about health, food and science.'' --Neal Barnard, Founder and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
''This book is the key to understanding how to increase our natural longevity and health, it is key to slowing global warming, and all of this at no cost, rather, at immeasurable savings to society.'' --Mike Fremont, World Record Holder marathons for 88 and 90 year olds
''In Whole, Dr. Campbell defines a super-paradigm that elucidates a philosophy -- wholism -- which medicine needs to aspire to in order to attain an enlightened solution. Whole is a masterpiece of intellectual triangulation, outlining the past, the present, and the critical next steps in the future of biochemistry, human nutrition, and healthcare. This book is going to unleash a health revolution!'' --Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition and host of What Would Julieanna Do? --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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Three p-words permeate Campbell's thesis here: profits, power, and paradigms. Power and profits drive the big businesses of livestock and processed food, Campbell argues. For elaboration on how the processed food industry influences people's eating habits against public health while in pursuit of sales and profits, I recommend Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us (2013) or The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite (2009). More controversially perhaps, Campbell also argues that profit motives fuel the chase for pills, patents, and procedures in "health care" or as Campbell calls it, the "disease care" industries of pharmaceuticals, hospitals, and medical practitioners. Registered dietitians may be compromised too, as their influential trade association, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, receives major funding from the junk food business including Coca-Cola, Hershey, PepsiCo, Mars, and Unilever (that covers several major ice cream brands), as well as the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the National Dairy Council, among others. (p. 271) The food and health care industries also buy power and influence by funding, in part, the careers of politicians, food regulators, and media outlets (including both popular media and some scientific journals) (p. 181-262). That's a big argument, and Campbell states it earnestly. He looks at, "all the political maneuvering and financial pressure...a version of reality shaped more by the profit agendas of Big Pharma, supplement makers, hospitals, surgeons, and suppliers of processed food and industrial meat and dairy than the truth." (p. 261)
But what about science? Don't the health sciences uphold an objective space where research like Campbell's can get a proper hearing among fair-minded truth seekers? Here Campbell covers a lot of ground. Whole unpacks Campbell's frustration with food sciences that drive for answers in small elements of biochemistry, often dismissing or putting up stiff resistance to studies at the level of major dietary patterns, lifestyles, and community-level differences in health outcomes (p. 45-164). Campbell knows from personal experience. He has contributed to food science both at the minute level of biochemistry, and also at the lifestyle and community levels like a medical sociologist would do, as The China Study makes clear.
Campbell's account in Whole may serve as vivid material for science studies. This is a field where sociologists and philosophers grapple with questions of how human foibles, careerism, and powerful interests sometimes distort and inhibit the advancement of science, and how new theories occasionally burst through to scientific acceptance despite formidable resistance. Campbell deploys the concept of scientific "paradigms" in food studies. Scientists cluster their investigations and share basic assumptions within a broad current of thought, or paradigm, the thinking goes, for as long as the prevailing paradigm seems productive, until one day the paradigm runs out of answers and gives way to challengers. In our time, Campbell suggests, the paradigm in nutrition is that animal foods are healthy sources of key nutrients that call for microbiological research; and the paradigm in medicine is that disease is to be cured through pills and procedures that call for biochemistry in pharmaceuticals, biotechnological engineering, and surgical protocols. The notion that medical and nutritional sciences, or any science, organizes into theoretical paradigms that hold sway during periods of "normal science" springs from Thomas Kuhn's launching pad for the field of science studies, first published in 1962, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Edition. T. Colin Campbell goes further, intimating that scientific grant makers should promote a more appropriate distribution of financial resources in health-related studies, in order to breed a research environment that would admit a variety of approaches, even if they contradict the main thrust (p. 214-217). His thinking comports well with some recent, socially minded philosophers of science, especially Miriam Solomon's excellent brief, Social Empiricism (Bradford Books) (2001).
If you haven't read The China Study, I would recommend that first (and The China Study may be all you want or need). The China Study spells out the many health benefits of whole foods, plant-based eating in Campbell's view; and what is the research that brought him to believe that; and what's wrong with animal foods. Or, for a captivating show of it on your tv screen, you can see T. Colin Campbell speaking prominently in the outstanding documentary film, Forks Over Knives.
If you want to know how exactly to go about eating a whole foods plant-based diet, then Whole is not the place to turn. But I can recommend some very good books for that: The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good!,Forks Over Knives - The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year, and Everyday Happy Herbivore: Over 175 Quick-and-Easy Fat-Free and Low-Fat Vegan Recipes. Isa Chandra Moskowitz also comes pretty close to Campbell's way of eating in the reduced-fat version of her super-tasty chef's recipes (though she adds very small quantities of oil that you can cut out if you want to stay true to Campbell's way) -- in Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes.
If you're curious and you want to come to grips with the clash in food science between Campbell's minority viewpoint and mainstream theories, then you've come to the right book. Further, if you'd like to hold your own in discussions with people who may want to know how you can be so confident as you shrug off the mainstream opposition and lean into the radical health promise of whole-foods plant-based eating, read this. If you simply want to know why whole foods, plant-based eating has not become more widely accepted, then Whole is a very fine book for you. Thank you, T. Colin Campbell for turning it out.
I am not a scientist. In fact, I haven't even graduated from Elementary School. Based on my empirical life, I believe that eating whole plant-based foods is essential and even critical to stay healthy. Under the Nazi occupation of Poland in 1939, at the age of 13, I was forbidden to attend school. I was put behind barbed wire in forced labor and concentration camps, where I was beaten, wounded, and starved, for three years. I never received any medical treatment. The German doctors, instead of treating the ill captives, ill-treated them. Some physical and mental scars stay for the rest of my life. In May 1945, when the Russian Army liberated me I weighed 80 pounds, a skeleton. The Russian military doctors gave me a thorough examination and predicted my life expectancy to be no more than two years. I was a teenager then. Seventy years later, I am here at the age of eighty-nine.
For many years after the war, I was a sickly young man. The most troubling ailment, for many years, was my inability to digest common staples of food such as meat and dairy products. My stomach rejected and ejected the meals that I prepared or was served. Many Holocaust survivors died soon after the war when it became difficult, and even harmful, for their digestive system to assimilate the normal food their bodies were weaned off during the war. Their metabolism, attuned to 500 calories a day, could not handle an intake of "normal" food. In the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, fourteen thousand survivors died shortly after having been liberated by the British Army. For many years, I had been seeking and getting medical treatment. Different diagnoses and a variety of medications were prescribed which did not provide much relief.
In 1953 a coworker, Jacob Grabois, told me: "It pains me to see a young man to be absent from work so often due to illness. Perhaps if you adopt my lifestyle it might help you, as it has helped me." Grabois invited me to visit him, in a little house that was modestly furnished, with an adjacent large garden. That garden yielded a crop of almost all the basic foods that the Grabois family needed. No fertilizers were used; just big compost dumpster, at one corner of the garden, contributed to the fertile soil. While savoring a delicious vegetarian meal, Jacob Grabois told me what has motivated him to embrace a healthy life style. As a young student in France, he became very concerned about his health and his life expectancy. Since his father and his siblings died of cancer, He fretted that the same fate awaited him. He studied the causes of diseases and eventually adopted a whole food plant- based diet.
I embraced Grabois' diet and it seems to have worked well, for me. At the age of 43, I replaced meat, fish, and most dairy products with whole food plant-based diet. My health had drastically improved. Currently, I don't take any prescription drugs. This might be one reason that I am still here. Side effects of prescription drugs kill more people than traffic accidents.
Like Dr Campbell, I had no financial interest; I just felt a moral obligation to share my life story; narrated in my autobiography From a Name to a Number. If you, like everybody else, want to be healthy, read WHOLE. I learn from reading what I can from whom I can. I am a vivid evidence that WFPB is indeed the optimal human diet; it corroborates the validity of Dr. Campbell's teachings. Keep on mind, that the world's farmers produce enough calories today to feed nine billion people a healthy, 2.700 calorie-per day. More than two-thirds of the world's agricultural land is used to grow feed for livestock. You might also consider what Albert Einstein had said: "It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind."