The documentary “PlantPure Nation,” which was produced and directed by Nelson Campbell, has now been shown in Bluffton and Hilton Head on three separate occasions. And each time, there have been large turnouts.

In July, 240 people showed up at the Cinemark theaters in Bluffton to view the movie. Then in October, 300 people came to see it at Park Plaza Theater on Hilton Head Island. The next evening, Magnolia Hall in Sun City was close to filled with people coming to see the documentary.

Both Nelson Campbell and his wife, Kim, who wrote the PlantPure Nation cookbook, were on hand at these events to meet people and to autograph books. In addition, Nelson’s father, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, an influential nutritional biochemist at Cornell University and the author of The China Study, was present with his wife, Karen.

The documentary is making an impact across the country wherever it is shown. But unlike other documentaries, this one has established follow-up activities to keep the movement going.

Moviegoers and others who learn about it outside of the movie have the ability to form individual groups that can network with other groups that are also attempting to follow a whole foods, plant-based way of eating.

Locally, there is what PlantPure Nation refers to as a “pod.” The pod is a network of independent groups within a community. People that come into a pod can join an existing group or they can start a new group.

Carla Golden is leading a group of about 50 people who are beginning to meet at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Malphrus Road the first Wednesday of each month.

The first meeting was held in November, and a key action that came out of the meeting was to decide on a name for the group. A ballot has been sent out to those expressing interest to vote on a name for the group.

For the local pod, Golden has established a calendar on the website ( of activities being conducted by all local groups. Upcoming events include the next pod meeting at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 2; a monthly potluck hosted by the Low Country Vegan Community Outreach Group on Dec. 5; Friday night at Mediterranean Grill on Dec. 11; a book club meeting on Dec. 15, and more.

The PlantPure Pods website will be a focal point for people in this area who want to explore, learn and share about the whole foods, plant-based lifestyle.

This is an exciting development for the community. It helps to both educate and motivate people to eat a more healthy diet while also providing support so that no one is going it alone.

J Lanning Smith is a local freelance writer focused on the whole foods, plant-based lifestyle.