There have been several books that encourage a plant-based diet, but the recently released Rethink Food is changing the landscape. Co-authors Shushana Castle and Amy-Lee Goodman came together to produce the book, which has a cohort of over 100 doctors who wrote chapters about the benefits of a vegan diet for the compilation. The doctors are from countries all over the globe including Europe, India, Australia, Mexico, and the United States.
"We wanted to show that this is a worldwide movement and really grounded in science," Goodman said.
Goodman is the co-founder and CEO of the vegan frosting company Zibble and is a frequent health-conscious voice on her local TV and radio stations. Castle is heavily involved in environmental awareness and is friends with Goodman's mother, which is how the two met. Goodman and Castle have worked together on various projects prior to Rethink Food and are very much a mother-daughter-like duo.
"I like being a mentor and Amy is very intelligent," Castle said.
Realizing the need for a scientific based text that shows eating vegan is the key to a healthy life, the women stopped the production on their first book and started cold calling doctors. After months of late nights, few hours of sleep, spreadsheet updating and digital marketing, they were very successful. Joel Fuhrman, T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn are just three prominent names amongst the group of contributing doctors that Goodman and Castle recruited. The main focus throughout the book is to show how our health can be improved and how disease can be completely eliminated.
"This seismic revolution will never come about with another pill, another procedure or another operation. It will come about when we in the health profession empower the people with the knowledge of nutritional literacy, which will vanquish chronic illness," Esselstyn said.
Goodman and Castle call the seasoned doctors like Esselstyn the "five star generals," because they are notable figures in the vegan and health conscious community. However, another goal of Rethink Food is to bring awareness to the many doctors that are also making an impact in smaller towns. Additionally, each article touches on different sides of individual diseases including breast cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's. For example, you can read different chapters from various cardiologists and they will each bring up a different take on cardiovascular disease. Carl Turissini, M.D., talks about a study he conducted where 73 percent of patients involved showed reversal of coronary disease after adopting a plant-based diet, and Robert J. Ostfeld touches on the benefits of eating vegan as it relates to impotency.
Both Goodman and Castle have spent their entire lives trying to prove to their friends and family that eating a plant-based diet is the healthiest. However, because neither of them have the M.D. credentials, they have oftentimes been dismissed.
"Now we don't have to convince people with data and facts, we just tell them to read the book. People listen to the medical aspect," Castle said.
Over the next few months, Goodman and Castle will be attending vegetarian festivals and conferences, and are also doing a giveaway with the popular vegan food company Tofurky. Their second book, The Meaty Truth: The Stinking Facts About Our Food, will be released later this year.