I recently attended a preview screening of a short film call PLANEAT which is the story of three men’s search for a diet which is good for our health, good for the environment and good for the future of the planet.

The negative effects on health of eating too much red meat has been in the press recently when the Government released guidelines as to what is a healthy amount – apparently no more than 70g of red or processed meat a day. PLANEAT covers not only the health issues, but also the sustainability of a diet that is high in meat consumption.

The film features the ground-breaking work of Dr. T Colin Campbell in China exploring the link between diet and disease, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr’s use of diet to treat heart disease patients, and Professor Gidon Eshel’s investigations into how to feed an ever-burgeoning population in the midst of global warming. With the help of some innovative farmers and chefs we are shown how the problems we face today can be solved, without simply resorting to a diet of lentils and lettuce leaves. The evidence put forward by Dr. Esselstyn is incredible, patients with very serious heart conditions turned to a vegetable diet and the results were beyond all expectations. The impromptu cookery demonstrations from Mrs Esselstyn are also not to be missed.

It is certainly thought-provoking. They put together a very persuasive argument and highlight some interesting facts. One such fact that I took away was that a vegetable and dairy-based diet actually results in higher carbon emissions than a vegetable and poultry diet. This is because of the assumption that disproportionate amounts of dairy based products will be consumed in the vegetable and dairy diet. The most efficient in terms of carbon footprint is the purely vegetable diet, and by quite a long way.

I would certainly recommend trying to see this film when it is screened on 7th May at the Barbican for the opening of London International Documentary Festival (

Find out more at or watch the trailer