Nelson Campbell Directs a Documentary That Can Save Your Life
The film PlantPure Nation offers life-and-death drama in unexpected places: the Kentucky state legislature, a main street in small town North Carolina, and every day dinner tables. With a story that is engaging, suspenseful, and inspiring, this film surfaces both outrage and hope over the power of agribusiness and their political allies.
Director Nelson Campbell is a major actor in his own documentary. The audience catches an intimate look at his family as well: wife Kim, mom Karen, and dad T. Colin Campbell, PhD, co-author with another son, Thomas M. Campbell, MD, of the bestseller The China Study.
When the Kentucky legislature, under heavy pressure from agribusiness lobbyists, fails to authorize a pilot project to demonstrate how a plant-based diet can improve
health and obesity rates for low-income communities, Nelson seizes the chance to conduct the demonstration project himself in his hometown of Mebane, North Carolina. At first unsure how to get started, he reaches out to the community and soon finds support and success are snowballing.
Nelson’s tactic is a Jumpstart program, which supplies participants with
freshly-made plant based meals for ten days. People have their cholesterol, triglycerides, weight, and other vital measures taken before starting the program and
at the end. The results are startling and transformative – a major leap to health in ten days, using only food for medicine.
Nelson lets the diverse citizens who people PlantPure Nation tell their own stories, from the joy of the patients with plummeting cholesterol, to the quiet humor of a recovered diabetic, to the frustration of a small farmer struggling against agribusiness. Their vivid words and shared emotions arouse empathy. You want them all to succeed. You want to join with them.
Americans are dying of chronic illnesses that are easily prevented and even reversed. Life-saving knowledge is buried out of public awareness. Yet the same people who are suffering the most have the power to turn things around and, by working together, control their own health destinies.
I had the opportunity to talk with Nelson Campbell at the sold-out preview of PlantPure Nation in San Francisco. I was curious about the name of the film. Nelson explained that, to him, plant-based nutrition is a fact of nature, like the blue in the sky and the green in the grass. He spent his late teen years hearing his father share his research on whole foods, plant-based nutrition, until everyone in the family was eating that way. Nelson accepted the facts as irrefutable.
“We need to move away from branding this health concept as just another diet program and building these brands around personalities, and move toward a simpler, less commercial explanation so that we are not adding to the dietary confusion in the marketplace,” Nelson shared. “So I wanted something different, descriptive, for the name of the film. To me, “pure” evokes the image of nature. The word “nation” has no political or geographical boundaries, but includes everyone who works for wholesome food, reclaiming the earth, and taking control of their own health.”
Nelson explained he and his team were making the film as events unfolded. They did not know what was going to happen and had limited control. “The most anxious part was when we went back to the Kentucky legislature after the Jumpstarts. We couldn’t know if the bill that we introduced would even get to the House floor for discussion and a vote. Usually controversial topics don’t get to the floor. Everything is carefully orchestrated, which makes it exceedingly difficult to get any truth out of government.”
“In fact,” Nelson continued, “after hearing about the power of whole foods, plant-based diets, people always want to know why they didn’t hear about this before. One of the goals of the documentary is to answer this question. The actions of the Kentucky legislature don’t just tell the answer – they show the answer. But we need to go further. Industry and government have created unsustainable, expensive problems that are costing people their lives, dragging down the economy, and devastating the planet. Only a grassroots movement based on the truth can solve these problems and bring a sustainable solution. That’s my vision for this film.”
I asked Nelson to share more of his vision. “We have established a nonprofit PlantPure Nation Foundation. This organization will establish local chapters called PlantPure Pods. The Pods will be a meeting place for individuals and existing groups who want to make a difference for the problems of our times – raising awareness,
moving people to whole foods, plant-based diets, obliterating food deserts that keep our poorest citizens living on cheap processed foods, allowing small family farms to take back supplying our nation’s food, ensuring animal welfare, and all these related health, ethical, and environmental issues. Through the Foundation, ideas and successes will flow among local chapters, and part of the revenues of businesses that work with the Pods goes back to these communities. Everyone counts, everyone has equal importance.”
The mounting tide of interest in whole foods, plant-based diets, as well as increasing public concerns about the consequences of climate change, show that Nelson and his team are on the forefront of a grassroots movement whose time is right now. Yes, PlantPure Nation is entertaining and compelling, and you can certainly watch it for that alone. If you want to be inspired, engaged, and moved to action, all the more reason to see this movie, and bring your family and friends with you when you do.
If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read about the stages of change you are likely to go through when you bring about major revisions in your life.
Intrigued? Now you can use our Whole Foods Blog Finder to target informative, fun postings on whole foods, plant-based diets. Quick information at no cost!
Blog posting by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now With Six Kinds of Whole Foods, which describes a simple, whole foods, plant based diet and the health and environmental reasons to choose this way of eating.
Share and Enjoy
Tags: Dr. T. Colin Campbell, family farms, Jumpstarts, Karen Campbell, Kim Campbell, Nelson Campbell, Plant Pure Nation, Plant Pure Nation review, PlantPure Nation, PlantPure Nation Foundation, PlantPure Pods, Tom Riner, whole foods plant-based diet