This Harrowing Documentary Might Change the Way You Eat for Good

Have you ever wondered how America's leading health organizations influence food and drug policy? Then What the Health, the latest from the groundbreaking team behind Cowspiracy, is the documentary for you. 


According to filmmaker Kip Andersen, "Audiences will be shocked to learn the insidious roles played by pharmaceutical companies, agribusiness, and processed animal food companies in the nation’s health, especially in the most vulnerable communities, and will cheer at the transformation and recovery of those who took their lives into their own hands."

What the Health features critical care physician Milton Mills, public health lawyer Michele Simon, associate professor of medicine Neal Barnard, and nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, along with two-dozen other experts in medical practice and policy. The film examines topics such as the astounding cost of diabetes, good food myths and why the majority of deaths in America are lifestyle-related. 

Take, for instance, when the World Health Organization classified processed meats as carcinogenic in October 2015. 

"I had no idea that what we ate affected cancer rates," Andersen said, astonished. 

He didn't feel like he'd eaten a lot of processed meats until he realized they include hot dogs, bacon, sausage, salami, ham, pepperoni, cold cuts and deli slices.

"Basically everything I grew up eating," he said.

But while the WHO classifies processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen (the same as cigarettes and plutonium) and red meat as a Group 2 carcinogen, the American Cancer Society actually encourages eating these foods on its website. 

"Many of these studies have been around 50 years," Andersen noted. 

What the Health is now streaming on Vimeo. 

Watch an exclusive clip from What the Health

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.