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You Are What you Eat: A Twin Experiment...time for a RANT

Exploring the latest health documentary offerings on Netflix often feels like navigating a sea of recommendations.


Historically speaking, many nutrition documentaries are full of bias, contain information taken out of context, highly sensationalized, and limited in perspective. While my default is to avoid wasting precious time discussing in great detail EVERY film that is produced, there's one recent film I'd like to spotlight (and rant about): "You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment."


This thought-provoking documentary received support from the Vogt Foundation, a private organization committed to backing the Oceanic Preservation Society. Directed by the outspoken Vegan, Louie Psihoyos, as revealed on The Joe Rogan Experience, the project also secured funding from the Stanford Clinical and Translational Science Award Program and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.


Delving deeper into the Vogt Foundation's involvement reveals ties to undisclosed plant-based diet projects and contributions. Notably, they also played a role in financing "The Game Changers," another Netflix documentary showcasing the prowess of vegan athletes.


Christopher D. Gardner, the lead author of the twin study, occupies a directorial position in Stanford's Plant-Based Diet Initiative, generously funded by BEYOND MEAT corporation. For those unfamiliar, BEYOND MEAT burgers, despite their popularity, pack a surprising 18 ingredients, including additives, inflammatory seed oils and many other items that most cannot pronounce let alone know what it is. Contrary to the common perception of their health benefits, they might not be the heart-friendly alternative they seem. Instead, consider savoring a proper protein source (I always love steak) that is sourced from a local, grass-fed, regenerative farm, where ethical animal treatment takes center stage.


Also keep in mind that the study was small, short term, and mostly female gender dominated. There was also no follow up with the participants. So we really have no clue what the twins’ longer-term effects will be, if any. How can researchers possibly control other life experiences each twin has faced, such as differences in weight stigma/bias, stress levels they have endured, and other factors such as sleep, and physical activity? The answer is they cannot.


When it comes to nutrition, a personalized, bio-individual approach proves most effective. If your inclination to cut down on meat consumption in 2024 is spurred by documentaries, I encourage you to embark on thorough research before making any dietary changes.

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