Dr. Michael Greger, former director of public health and animal agriculture at The HSUS and author of the runaway New York Times bestseller How Not to Die, is an extraordinary fount of knowledge about health and diet, and his work and science-based thinking are on full display in a compelling four-part series, “Prescription: Nutrition,” on CuriosityStream. At The HSUS, we talk about making conscious choices in diet and other aspects of our lives in order to improve the well-being of animals; CuriosityStream, a new on-demand streaming service for documentaries and non-fiction programming created by Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, has given us an easy-to-watch, engaging tutorial on the benefits of more plant-based eating that is life-changing for animals, but also game-changing for us.
In the first episode, “Green Revolution,” released today, Dr. Greger discusses how a diet centered on whole, plant-based foods can dramatically improve well-being and longevity. You will hear some interesting facts about the importance of eating a rainbow of vegetables every day. “The reason people don’t eat more vegetables is they just don’t realize how powerful they are,” Dr. Greger says. Dark green leafy vegetables, he continues, are not just the healthiest vegetables, but they are “the healthiest food period, with a greater nutrient density than anything else we can put in our mouth, translating to about a 20 percent drop in stroke and heart attack risk for each daily serving of greens.”
I liked the documentary not only because of the easy-to-digest facts presented, but also because of the practical ways consumers can put this information to work. Chef and entrepreneur Rich Landau gives some easy-to-follow tips on how you can make plant-based foods look great as well as taste great. His main restaurant in Philadelphia, Vedge, has been named one of the top 10 eating places in the United States, and it’s without question one of my favorites of all time.
Subsequent episodes of “Prescription: Nutrition,” to be released every two weeks, will take on topics ranging from how the industrial revolution opened the floodgates for highly-processed convenience foods, the healthfulness of beans, which are one of the most important dietary predictors of survival for older people around the world, and healthy alternatives to added sugar.
Elizabeth North, president and CEO of CuriosityStream, began her own journey toward plant-based eating when she was struggling last year with some health scares. After attending a reading for my book, The Humane Economy, Elizabeth says she decided to move toward plant-based eating and saw immediate benefits. “I realized astounding improvements in my health (and surprisingly, my fitness) from eating so many fresh fruits and vegetables,” she writes. “Not only did I start consuming mass quantities of plant-based foods, but I also began consuming books, from The China Study to Eat To Live to Dr. Greger’s How Not To Die. The authors had differing perspectives on diet, but all experts agreed that adding more fresh fruits and vegetables is the first step to improving your nutrition and your overall health.”
At The HSUS, our farm animal protection team has worked with more than 200 school districts, 65 hospitals, and 135 universities to do Meatless Monday or other initiatives aimed at reducing meat purchases and increasing plant-based fare. Our staff has so far trained more than 2,850 dining professionals in plant-based foods at schools and universities, as part of our Forward Food program. It’s an area where so many consumers can practice wellness every day by eating foods that nourish them and prevent or mitigate the onset of disease and other debilitating conditions. It’s life-affirming stuff for animals and for people, and we can embrace it every time we sit down to eat.
Watch a clip from “Prescription:Nutrition”: