James Colquhoun, along with Laurentine ten Bosch, produced and directed Food Matters, a film about real food nutrition, and its impact on lives and societies around the world. The film explores alternatives to traditional medical practices that use food and natural therapies to prevent and reverse chronic illnesses. Before making the film, James conducted extensive research and studied nutrition formally through the Global College of Natural Medicine in Santa Cruz, California.
BOYT: What is your background and what inspired you to make the film “Food Matters?”
JC: Laurentine (ten Bosch) and I started by studying nutrition through the Global College of Natural Medicine and upon completion, focused our attention on helping my father overcome chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), depression and anxiety. My father was bedridden for five years and on a raft of medications that were only making matters worse. We knew that food and natural therapies could help improve his well-being, but had a hard time convincing him with books. So we thought that making a film would help convince him. It worked. He has now lost over 40 lbs. and is running three times a week. He looks younger and is a different person.
BOYT: Why does food matter? Please give our readers a snapshot into your mantra.
JC: Food is the main way that we interact with ourselves and our planet. Food literally makes us who we are. It affects the quality and function of the cells and tissues of our body. Food represents a huge opportunity for those looking to improve their health, prevent or reverse chronic illness, and heal a sick planet. Food really does matter.
BOYT: What is the main message that you are trying to communicate with your film? How do you wish to change peoples’ lives through it?
JC: Essentially, we are offering people more choices. When most people go to the doctor, they are offered one approach to disease care. We would like to make sure that everyone knows about the power of food and natural therapies to prevent and reverse chronic illnesses. We hope to reduce everyone's reliance on conventional drugs and provide them with healthy food options to promote a healthier state of being.
BOYT: Have you faced challenges or opposition in your mission to bring awareness to the public?
JC: Surprisingly not, considering that we give the agricultural and medical industries quite a hard time. We have missed out on some opportunities, however. I would rather speak the truth and know that people are properly informed than hide the facts for the sake of greater popularity.
BOYT: For those who currently face health problems and are dependent on chemical drugs for their well-being, what advice would you offer them? Can one heal oneself and eventually get off drugs?
JC: My father has done it and so can you! It's simply a matter of education, working with an understanding natural health care practitioner, and knowing that you have responsibility for your health. As David Wolfe says in the film Food Matters, "The best doctor in the world, the best nutritionist in the world is you!"
BOYT: You believe that alternative therapies are much more beneficial in healing people. Are there specific therapies that you have found to be more effective than others?
JC: Depending on the condition, my recommendations slightly change. Overall, it is food and nutrition that mostly impact the biochemical makeup of our bodies (along with our emotions and mental state). We know now that for many conditions, natural therapies are safer, cheaper, and more effective. This is true with heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, mental illness, and many other conditions.
BOYT: What are some solutions or alternatives to the common diet? Do you think everyone needs to become a vegan in order to achieve health?
JC: I've seen many healthy Vegans and I've seen many sick ones! We all have a level of biochemical individuality and different approaches to food. It works in various ways for different people.
We know that increasing the level of organic plant-based foods in someone's diet brings in radical changes in their well-being and an increase in healing responses. Make sure to include lots of greens, healthy fats, and fermented foods. Depending on climate and season, about 50 percent to 80 percent of raw plant-based foods work well for many. This allows the remainder of their diet to be made up of foods which are culturally relevant and fit in with traditional foods. Increasing water consumption, especially early in the morning, helps aid in hydration and detoxification. The main relevant factors here include reducing overall meat, dairy and animal products, and eliminating processed grains and chemical additives.
BOYT: What are five practical ways a person can increase health and longevity of life?
- Drink more water (1-2 liters upon rising).
- Drink more vegetable juice.
- Have a salad with every meal - in fact make a salad a meal!
- Introduce superfoods and whole food supplements.
- Eat live fermented foods.
BOYT: What is the root of the problem: the deception of the pharmaceutical companies or the ignorance of the general public? How can you and I change this growing problem?
JC: We live in a capitalistic society. Economics drive the way in which companies behave. Until we realize that we need to change our consumption habits to affect the quality of our own lives, we will continue on a path of devolution. Sharing quality independent education on the power of whole local organic foods will transform our societies for good.
BOYT: Lastly, please leave our readers with something that has inspired you along your journey.
JC: I saw this quote on the entrance to an organic restaurant in Hong Kong and it gave me great hope in the human spirit:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”- Mahatma Gandhi.