Monday, January 13, 2014

Review of T. Colin Campbell's WHOLE & A Giveaway for YOU!

I had the privilege of reading an excellent book by one of my teachers and an icon in the world of plant-based nutrition. I am excited to share this post with you along with a giveaway for this book and more! Take a read, and then enter in your information at the bottom for your chance to win. Enjoy!

An a cappella singing group comprises of several/many people, several/many different voices, performing different parts of a song. Together, they create a complete soundscape, a recreation of a musical entity: one person presenting the percussion, others the melody, others harmonies, vocals, etc. Now imagine focusing on just one of the members and extracting her from the group because her harmonizing is so angelic, so beautiful. We take her harmony out of the group and just have her perform that harmony on its own as a song, expecting the benefits of what's provided from the complete song. Well, we're not going to get it. It's only one part of many that creates the masterpiece; by itself, it's out of context and, while complete in its own individual sense, incomplete in scope of creating a full song.

Now let's bring this to the context of food & medicine: maybe extracting a specific vitamin from a whole fruit and marketing the benefits the vitamin in supplemental form; or maybe chemically creating a pill to assist in the bolstering or reduction of a certain chemical process in the body. In both cases, just like removing the vocalist from the a cappella group, we fail to receive the full benefits of the complete entity, the full picture. In fact, when it comes to messing with the natural completeness of whole plant foods, we often unconsciously (or even worse, and all too often, consciously) introduce a host of detrimental side effects into the picture, sending the exploration for health down a rabbit hole that's guided by greed and power instead of positive intentions.

In WHOLE: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, Dr. T. Colin Campbell expands beyond his work in The China Study, which brought to light the immense benefits of a whole-food, plant-based diet, and presents a reality where profit trumps true health and real solutions are hidden away. Dr. Campbell makes a convincing case that we ("the system") have got it all wrong. We've bypassed the clarity of what the whole picture presents by breaking everything down into tiny little pieces and allowing each and every one to define the entire picture, out of context and with selfish intention. He explains what's going on in the world of nutritional sciences, food marketing, medicine, and government, spotlighting the reductionist paradigm that unnecessarily detours the full landscape described above, and provides us with the actual truth, the WHOLE truth, about how to think critically, understand the system, and achieve true health by living WHOLE lives.


I remember reading Dr. Campbell's The China Study a few years ago - a great but dense read, packed with tons of information, charts, etc. Definitely a valuable read, but potentially not suited for readers who prefer to avoid more of a complex immersion into detailed science. I think WHOLE does a good job of bridging that gap, making for a read that can connect with even more audiences, especially because it describes the pitfalls of the current world we live in and lays out approachable solutions (we want to be in the know, right?!).

The power of this book comes from the presentation of where a non-WHOLE, or anti-WHOLE, world has left us: sicker than before, paying more for health care (which is more accurately described as "disease care"), and more confused than ever before. Yet nothing is being done by those in control to truly solve this crisis. Eating unhealthfully makes us sick. Being sick forces us toward interventions - pills, procedures, etc. Interventions cost money. Eating unhealthfully makes lots of money for the food, pharmaceutical, supplemental, and medical industries. Is this the type of world we want to live in? I can say, with 100% confidence, it is not! The solutions come from changing the policy and sources of information from the top down (which is possible but very difficult) or, more accessibly, accepting responsibility as individuals/consumers, questioning the status quo (that does not serve us), and taking action toward our own health - getting us closer and closer to a tipping point in favor of true health.

Many statistics in the book blow my mind (like "The annual revenue for Big Pharma, $289 billion in 2010, exceeds the total national budgets of at least 80 percent of the countries in the world). Learning about the reductionist paradigm's stranglehold on government and within the scientific community angered me, as it seems all too obvious that the current system is not working and has not been working for a long time now. And the information presented almost became a storyline, a journey from clarity into darkness - ending with a call to action to come back into the light.

I highly recommend WHOLE: for a fulfilling read; as an advisory to you, the consumer; as a vote for truth and for health; and so much more.

"The current system is unsustainable. The only question is, will we free ourselves before it takes us down with it? Or will we continue to pollute our bodies, our minds, and our planet with the slag of that system until it collapses under its own economic weight and biological logic? ... What we eat, individually and collectively, has repercussions far beyond our waistlines and blood pressure readings. No less than our future as a species hangs in the balance...

It's time for us to begin a real revolution - one that begins by challenging our individual beliefs and changing our diets, and ends with a transformation of our society as a whole." 
~ T. Colin Campbell




You can find out more about the book, Dr. Campbell, and plant-based nutrition research, studies, and courses at www.nutritionstudies.org.

To enter the giveaway for WHOLE and The China Study Cookbook, just dive into the Rafflecopter widget below. Have fun and good luck!


15 comments:

Elise B. said...

As a somewhat newbie vegan (since August), I've never read The China Study, but I've heard all about it. Whole sounds like a great read, too! I'm currently reading the Engine2 Diet, but this is next on my list!

Chelsea Ortiz said...

I love potatoes of any variety and broccoli. Recently I've been eating pretty simply, just popping some veggies in the oven and mixing with greens.

Susan L said...

I haven't read The China Study either, but I heard about it in the Forks Over Knives video. I am reading everything i can get my hands on as I pursue my new vegan lifestyle. Would love to read it and Dr. Campbell's new book. Reading The Starch Solution right now.

yogamom said...

I have been a vegan for about two years now. It's hard for me to choose my favorite veggies because I love them all! Some of my favorite meals include lots of kale, asparagus, zucchini, and tomatoes. I make lots of meals out of zucchini "noodles", my daughter loves them too! I love all fruits as well but am quite fond of all types of melon, pineapple, and bananas. Yum!

Lizzie said...

One of my favorite recipes is roasted brussels sprouts with lemon juice and lemon pepper, so delicicious! (I like broccoli the same way!) I've had the china study on my list for a long time but I think Whole is much more relevant for me to read right now and fits in with books like Brendan Brazier's.

Rebecca said...

I love the a Capella reference. So true!


I love this idea and I totally believe in what Dr. Campbell writes. Evan after 2 years of being vegan there's still so much to learn!

Karen Faivre said...

A whole food pizza! I make my own whole wheat quinoa crust with a low fat white sauce and pile on the broccoli and mushrooms. Yum!

Allison said...

I love all of Oh She Glow's recipes. They're all full of WHOLEsome vegan goodness. I also am working (read: eating) my way through Isa Does It. But my fav simple whole foods meal is a Buddha bowl. There are so many variations of it - just use whatever you have on hand! Just pick a grain or rice and top with LOTS of lightly cooked veggies and simple sauces. Recipes are just a google away. :-)

The Vegan Lady said...

What a great giveaway! I haven't read his book yet but would like to! China Study was way too deep for me!

Anonymous said...

I have a good friend at work that just became vegan. He is searching and learning each day about this journey, and I would love to share these books with him.

Jennifer K said...

I live a WHOLE life by not buying processed foods. With the exception of Daiya, Gardein and Tofurkey everything I buy comes from the produce or bulk section

Dawn Bielawski said...

I've been a vegan for a few years now, and grow most of my produce in my organic garden in the summer. This year I doubled the size of it. Thanks for this blog & the opportunity to win the books. Always looking for more info on this topic!

Slim CS said...

I loved your review of WHOLE. My life changed after watching Forks over Knives. I've read the China Study and completed Dr. Campbell's Plant-based Nutrition Program at Cornell. He is so good!

Real View Like said...

I haven't read The China Study either, but I heard about it in the Forks Over Knives video

Heather said...

Hi there! I'm Heather and I was hoping you could answer my question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)