Thursday, July 11, 2013

Whole by T. Colin Campbell

This is one of those radical medicine books where the author claims to be able to solve all health problems. It's pretty convincing, although I disagree with one point.

Basically, this book posits that if humans return to a plant-based diet (not vegetarianism - no diary!) we would be much healthier, and by extension, much happier. According to the author, research shows animal-based protein is the cause, or at least speeds up, diseases.

While the book isn't a specific "eat this way and you'll feel find", the book aims to, through tons of evidence, to persuade you that the current health-care system is flawed and, contrary to what you may think, is not dedicated to helping you get healthier. Through a critique of what he calls the "reductionist approach", the book tells you again and again that the way to health is not through whatever the government is telling you. And you should read The China Study, which teaches you good health (I think?)

Personally, I found the book a little heavy going at times (and it felt awfully long), although I do think that the evidence that a plant-based diet is healthier for us fairly convincing. Unfortunately, I can't really eat vegetables (I mean it, I find it so bitter that I throw up whenever I eat vegetables - especially raw vegetables), and I really like meat. And tofu. And milk. And yeah, you get the picture.

Apart from the book being heavy-going, I have one more complaint - and this one is fairly major to me.

The author obviously believes in evolution. And if you've been reading my blog fairly regularly, you should know that I'm a creationist. What I thought, when I read about the plant-based diet was that "oh yeah, that makes sense, after all, we were originally created to eat plants, and we were only given meat after The Fall." But the book is trying to say that evolution makes us need plants? It's a point I disagree about.

But overall, I think this is the serious sort of book that will appeal to those that aren't me. I think it's the "I'm a matyr" style that was overdone and made me a little annoyed with the book - I'm sure all the things are true, but there's a fine line between "enough information to be convincing" and "too much information which ends up sounding paranoid".

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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