The interview, recorded in February before the Coronavirus had taken over our lives, focuses on Dr. Greger’s book How Not To Diet. It’s a treasure trove of scientific findings in support of plant-based eating.
As an attorney trained at Stanford University and Cornell Law School, Rich asked some very perceptive questions about the quality of those findings. For example:
“You can find studies to support whatever perspective or confirmation bias that you have. And it becomes very difficult for that well-meaning… intelligent person to separate… the chaff from… the cream when it comes to this … and… even good science seems to conflict?”
Dr. Greger explains how he and his team of about 200 retired doctors and volunteers at NutritionFacts.org separate the “chaff from the cream” while reviewing more than 20 thousand studies each year.
The first thing he looks at before any study is reviewed is the source of its financing. The study may have good information, but he has to be aware of the potential for bias:
“You can find studies all the time saying… bacon and butter is good for you. Just like the tobacco lobby would come literally with piles of studies … to these Congressional hearings [with] literature saying smoking is good for you…But a lot of this is true because … you smoke, you kill your immune system and your autoimmune disease gets better… Now of course that’s not the best available balance of evidence because you’re gonna die a graphic death from lung cancer but… those studies exist and you can cherry-pick them out.”
And how does he respond when Rich asks how he answers when accused of cherry-picking evidence in favor of a plant-based diet?
“There is only one diet ever proven to reverse heart-disease in the majority of patients – a plant-based diet… so it’s hard to cherry-pick when there’s only one cherry.”
If you’re in the mood for a terrific 90-minute back-and-forth of wonderfully well-expressed thoughtful questions and answers about plant-based eating’s scientific foundation, I highly recommend listening to or watching this podcast!