There’s a lot of debate over the exact benefits of a vegan lifestyle these days, with the vegan side finally beginning to gain ground in terms of acceptance. And why not? Clearly something isn’t working. Health in our country is ridiculously poor, with cases of obesity rampant and cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes topping the list of what ails (and kills) us. Forks Over Knives is the latest documentary to examine the way our health and diet are inextricably linked.

Many of us have been raised to believe that meat, dairy and eggs are necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Forks Over Knives offers an alternative to common myths about what a healthy diet looks like. After all, who created the Food Pyramid so many Americans have relied upon to dictate what we eat and in what amounts? Why, the very industries that stand to profit from the sale of those foods. Add to this, subsidized crops that result in cheap, toxic food for the unassuming consumer and it’s one misleading mess.

Forks Over Knives uses your standard documentary format with plenty of excellent historical footage thrown in. So what sets Forks Over Knives apart? Its message is supported by more than just personal testimony and archival footage; the filmmakers are meticulous in their presentation of cold, hard medical and scientific study data from around the world. Top doctors and researchers lend their expertise as we follow the stories of several severely ill people on a very basic road to recovery with astonishing results. This is why, although Forks Over Knives employs a familiar format, it is never for a moment boring.

If you or someone you know is suffering from ill health, you owe it to yourself to see this film. Forks Over Knives offers a glimmer of hope that there really can be more to life than reliance on the ‘pill to solve our ills’ mantra that seems to hold this nation mesmerized. What this film does best is put information out on the table in layman’s terms without emotional bias or manipulation of the viewer. The facts are clear enough: You are what you eat.

Grade: B+

Forks Over Knives releases in select theaters May 6.