Traditional media might have ignored it but that didn’t stop over 300 people being the first to see Grant Dixon’s The Big Fat Lie doco at the University of Auckland library on Thursday night.

And they loved it.

This is a doco that doesn’t pull any punches about the significant health benefits of a whole food plant-based diet and it clearly puts some of New Zealand’s most trusted organisations in a very difficult spot.

With quirky humour and some great camera shots this director’s cut moved at the pace of rolling freight train towards a gob smacking interview with a Department of Health representative who, at best, can be congratulated for fronting up at least.

The rest of the response, ranging from attempts to obtain interviews with Fontera, The Heart Foundation and The Cancer Society can only be classed as rude to embarrassing.

The plant-based movement, as a way of dealing with heart attack, stroke, diabetes and many other recognised lifestyle illnesses is beginning to gather pace in New Zealand and Dixon’s doco draws critical attention to it.

Auckland’s own plant-based physician Dr Mark Craig (4Kauri Medical) introduced the doco which contains footage of the work being done in Gisborne by Dr Nick Wright in association with Dr Luke Wilson of Wellington where The Broad Study has had significant positive impact on participants with serious health issues.

The problem with Dixon’s documentary is that it contains an unpalatable fact. He challenges us to consider the possibility that we have been lied to when it comes to what eating healthy really means.

This is a tough one for Kiwis raised on the traditional diet of beef and lamb washed down with a ‘healthy’ glass of milk ever since our days in primary school.

Some of the information presented here I found especially cringeworthy because, as a former school milk monitor myself (I even think we had a badge for it) I am staggered to know now that dragging those crates through the rain and placing them outside each classroom before break was just an unhealthy waste of time.

How could I have known that this early commitment to fat would lead me to a hospital bed 50 years later with people standing round me saying I’ve had a stroke – “and we need to get you healthy.”

I thought, pretty much, I always was. Unless of course, as Dixon’s movie clearly explains, I was really told something far less than the truth.

Note: This director’s cut  of the doco is now undergoing a special polish before presentation in Christchurch, Whanagrei, Alexandra, Dunedin, Hastings/Napier, Waipukurau, Palmerston North, Hamilton, Wellington, Nelson & Brisbane

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