Food Matters is a documentary from two Australians – James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch who describe themselves as nutritional consultants turned filmmakers. It is the first of two films they have produced. Their second film is called Hungry for Change. I have a very different bottom line on Hungry for Change than I do on Food Matters, so make sure you read my review of Hungry for Change too—you can find it here.
The website for Food Matters makes the following claim:
“In what promises to be the most contentious idea put forward, the filmmakers have interviewed several leading experts in nutrition and natural healing who claim that not only are we harming our bodies with improper nutrition, but that the right kind of foods, supplements and detoxification can be used to treat chronic illnesses as fatal as terminally diagnosed cancer.” (Emphasis mine.)
I would say that is contentious. In fact, statements like this can be downright dangerous—encouraging cancer patients to forgo conventional cancer treatment for treatments with foods, supplements and detox methods that have only anecdotal evidence. I love the idea of curing cancer in this way but it is a huge leap of faith with no published studies showing it is effective. With recent events here in Canada—the death of a young first nations girl who shunned her chemotherapy (which came with it a very high rate of success) for alternative and traditional treatment—this is contentious alright.
The website also states:
“The focus of the film is in helping us rethink the belief systems fed to us by our modern medical and health care establishments.” (Emphasis mine.)
If by “modern medical and health care establishments”, they mean video clips of commercials and public service announcements from the 1950s, then they have satisfied this criteria. But to me, modern means 2008 (the year the film was released).
A few weeks ago, I attended a nutrition and cancer research practicum at the National Institute of Health in Rockville, Maryland. For four days, I listened to presentations on nutrition and cancer research and none of it sounded like the dated clips in this film.
“The ‘Food Matters’ duo have independently funded the film from start to finish in order to remain as unbiased as possible, delivering a clear and concise message to the world.” (Emphasis mine.)
This film may be independently funded, but it is far, far from unbiased. If this film was unbiased, it would include interviews with conventional medical oncologists and cancer researchers. Instead, their “panel of experts” are all singing from the same songbook—conventional cancer treatment is bad, alternative treatment is good.
The most reasonable thing I heard throughout the 80 minutes of this film is this quote from Andrew Saul, PhD:
“There is no magic bullet, there is no monotherapy that cures cancer…that cures heart disease but there is lifestyle change that prevents, arrests, reverses serious chronic disease.”
I already gave you the best line in the film, so save yourself 80 minutes. If you are looking for factual, unbiased, evidence-based information on cancer and its treatment, then don’t watch this movie. The only reason to watch it would be for entertainment value and to satisfy your curiosity about how alternative practitioners think and deliver their messages and conspiracy theories.