by Robin Fillmore
There is a growing movement throughout the country to shift from unhealthy eating habits, inspired by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and others. Campbell will be joined by his son, Nelson Campbell and Drs. Neal Barnard and Michael Greger as they lead a noon rally in Lafayette Square and then offer a 2 p.m. screening of the new film, PlantPure Nation at the Angelika PopUp Theater at Union Market on May 9. All are encouraged to be a part of the day’s events and the movement. The Washington D.C. rally and screening are one stop in a 23-city tour.
For so many, the film Forks Over Knives, was a first step in understanding the science behind the evidence that a plant-based, whole-food diet not only prevents certain diseases but actually reverses conditions such as type-2 diabetes. In PlantPure Nation, directed and produced by Dr. Campbell’s son, Nelson, along with the writer team behind Forks Over Knives, this message is taken into mainstream America. It follows the work of Nelson and a Kentucky legislator to bring substantive changes to the diets of the residents in rural Kentucky and North Carolina, and the political consequences of this work. The full release of the film begins the week of July 4, nationwide.
A Kentucky state legislator, Tom Riner, invited Dr. Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, also featured in Forks Over Knives, to speak to the legislature from the floor of the Kentucky House of Representatives. In the days following, Nelson and Rep. Riner worked to bring historic legislation to the state in an attempt to counter some of the worst health statistics in the country. Despite widespread support among the legislators, the bill was killed behind closed doors. According to Nelson Campbell, who documents the journey in the film, “they killed the bill but not the idea.”
Campbell then set his focus on a rural town in North Carolina, offering a whole food, plant-based dietary program with pre- and post-biometric testing. The results for the participants, as shown by the smiles on their faces in the film, were supportive of Hippocrates’ noble statement that “food is medicine.” Many saw significant health improvement and some were able to stop taking their prescribed medications altogether. The film gets even more exciting as Nelson then takes these results with him on a dramatic political journey.
The goal of the film, and the rally here in Washington D.C., is to bring a bullhorn to the message that we, as a nation, need to rethink and recraft the way that we eat. Most importantly, this message needs to find resonance in all sectors of our society and not just reverberate among those who already mindfully watch their animal-based dietary intake. As shown in the film, our national diet has been greatly influenced by the meat and dairy industries, even to the point of suppressing scientific information, including Dr. Campbell’s 300-plus research papers.
When asked, Nelson Campbell is quick to point out that even though this rally is coming to the most politically divided city, moving to a whole-food, plant-based diet is a nonpartisan issue. “This idea appeals to all—everyone has a mother, father, sibling, child, and/or grandchild who is affected by this. By working at the grassroots level to change how individuals shop, cook and eat, ordinary people are finding that they are part of something bigger than themselves—part of something good that makes a real difference.”
The events on May 9 will start with Drs. Campbell, Barnard, Greger and Nelson Campbell in Lafayette Square, where each will speak. Those with tickets to the film, which can be purchased on the website, will head over to the 2 p.m. screening, where Nelson Campbell will join his father for a time of Q-and-A following the showing.
Also associated with PurePlant Nation are plans to move the program even more deeply into local communities, with a national network of PurePlant Pod groups who will work to spread the message of plant-based nutrition within town and cities across North America. This strategy includes an innovative nonprofit component that will help to create a financial engine to power a new grassroots movement around the powerful idea of plant-based nutrition.
For more information or to purchase tickets for the screening, visit PurePlantNation.com.