Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition

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New York Times Bestseller

What happens when you eat an apple? The answer is vastly more complex than you believe.

Every apple contains thousands of antioxidants whose names, beyond a few like vitamin C, are unfamiliar to us, and each of these powerful chemicals has the potential to play an important role in supporting our health. They affect thousands upon thousands of metabolic reactions inside the human body. But calculating the specific influence of each of these chemicals isn’t nearly sufficient to give an explanation for the effect of the apple as a whole. Because almost every chemical can affect every other chemical, there is an almost infinite number of conceivable biological consequences.

And that’s just from an apple.

Nutritional science, long stuck in a reductionist mindset, is at the cusp of a revolution. The traditional “gold standard” of nutrition research has been to study one chemical at a time in an attempt to decide its particular affect on the human body. These sorts of studies are helpful to food companies trying to prove there is a chemical in milk or pre-packaged dinners that is “good” for us, but they provide little insight into the complexity of what in reality happens in our bodies or how those chemicals contribute to our health.

In The China Study, T. Colin Campbell (alongside his son, Thomas M. Campbell) revolutionized the way we think about our food with the evidence that a whole food, plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat. Now, in Whole, he explains the science at the back of that evidence, the ways our current scientific paradigm ignores the fascinating complexity of the human body, and why, if we have such overwhelming evidence that everything we think we know about nutrition is fallacious, our eating habits haven’t changed.

Whole is an eye-opening, paradigm-changing journey through state-of-the-art thinking on nutrition, a scientific tour de force with powerful implications for our health and for our world.

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