On Friday I had a great opportunity to attend a conference where Dr. T. Colin Campbell was the keynote speaker. It was a priceless opportunity. What I took away from this conference is that Dr. Campbell is a man of integrity. He was motivated by research. His entire career he has spent researching nutrition and cancer while teaching at Cornell University.
I hesitated to post this picture because I look like gremlin. But here's the proof.
If I can be so bold as to summarize, what he has taken away from his lifelong research are the following things:
1. Do not exceed 10% animal protein in your diet. The SAD (standard american diet) contains 11-22%. Animal protein causes cancer to progress, while plant protein suppresses it. He trys to eat a 100% plant based diet.
2. Most diseases we suffer from (cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease...) are actually nutritional diseases. There is of course a genetic component, but this can almost always be counteracted through nutrition.
3. Nutrition is not about focusing on a single vitamin or mineral. Instead it is "the integrated effects of countless food constituents, which work in infinitely complex mechanisms for comprehensive health. It includes exercise, water, and sunshine. It is greater than the sum of parts. A biological symphony.
What I appreciate about Dr. Campbell is he doesn't have an agenda. His agenda is to educate and keep people healthy. He isn't selling a magic pill or diet, or special mineral drink. By simply eating a whole food (and that is key, not potato chips and candy) plant based diet we greatly reduce if not eliminate our chances of suffering from so many of the common, debilitating illnesses of our times. Plagues, if you will (my words).
I highly recommend his book The China Study. When I read it, it was the nail in the coffin of drastically reducing our dairy consumption. His advice was no mother should feed be giving their child milk (beyond breast milk). In his opinion (based on his research), casein, the protein found in dairy, is one of the most potent carcinogens known. It is a provocative claim to make. Read his book, examine the research and decide for yourself. It is worth your time and health.
I investigated those who have spoken out against him. The majority of the criticism has come from the Weston Price Foundation. This foundation promotes high cholesterol, high animal product diet. I just haven't found the legitimate evidence to follow a diet like this.
In the question and answer period, someone asked about fish and yogurt. Dr. Campbell responded that there is some emerging evidence to show that fish protein may not have the same affect as other animal proteins. He also said there is some evidence to show that the fermentation process negates some of the negative effects of dairy. He still does not recommend them, but did mention if he does choose to have animal protein on rare occasion, he choses fish.
I appreciated this, since this is alignment with how I have felt for my family. We aren't vegan but we are definitely committed to staying below the 10% mark.
After the lecture I was able to speak with Dr. Campbell and his son, who happened to sit behind me. I was impressed of the respect with which he spoke of his father. He said his entire career has been driven by integrity. My gut told me exactly the same thing.
I encourage you to decide for yourself. And then put it in context of modern revelation from a prophet of God, The Word of Wisdom D&C 89. How blessed we are to have the directive straight from God. We weren't required to spend our entire lives doing research. Our only requirement is to have faith sufficient to act upon His words.