Where I watch a bunch of documentaries

Thanks to a new TV system-cable-thingy that we got, I now have access to a ton of documentaries. Long story short, I just watched these four.

First, a little on each one:

What the Health is a documentary by Kip Andersen where he finds out just why people are so sick and if it has to do with the food they eat. He also unearths the relationship between some of the US’s biggest health organizations and the food industry giants.
Cowspiracy is another documentary by the same person, Kip Andersen. Here he explains the effects that cattle have on the environment.
I think most people have heard of Supersize Me. I’m one of the few people that hadn’t actually seen it. It’s been out since 2004 and follows Morgan Spurlock’s experiment where he eats only McDonald’s food for a month.

Forks over Knives is a look at changing food rather than going under the knife in an attempt to eliminate or control some of the worst diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Now, a disclaimer. I’m not a doctor or even a scientist and I certainly have no interest in promoting any type of eating plan for anyone. This is just my two cents on these documentaries.

Pros:

The documentaries were informative. I like that about documentaries in general and I love that there is no violence or terrifying parts that make me shudder (like in some movies).

Certainly, there were many voices towards eating plant-based diets and a lot of those were doctors. Some had been adamantly pro-animal meat before and had only changed sides after seeing very clear statistics to the contrary.

The documentaries, in the most part, didn’t seem biased–to my untrained eye. The sight of Morgan Spurlock eating those McDonald burgers was horrifying. I could see him getting sicker and sicker with each day that passed.

I loved how easy-going the advocates for plant-based food were. They didn’t seem to be all set on convincing the watcher that this was the way to go. They simply said it worked for them and that was it. I like that they weren’t pushy.

They had certainly done their research. I have read ‘The China Study’ and it is certainly no easy task to do a research project on an entire country. That’s incredible and we should certainly take a look at the results.

Cons:

There was a point in one of the documentaries where they said to not trust the advice of your doctor because they don’t learn anything about nutrition in medical school and I didn’t like that. I am skeptic when I hear someone tell me not to trust a specialist.

I watched and watched the films completely convinced on their message. Then I was about to start this post and I saw there’s more documentaries on food, with different messages. Some are against sugar, some for local food, some for raw diets and I started to wonder how to make sense of all of them and not end up eating air.

Even though I was pretty convinced that there was a monetary gain for some companies in selling animal-products, I still can’t believe that the entire food industry is in cahoots and trying to kill people–and that was implied in some of the documentaries.

Though they did show some cancer patients who are now cancer-free after going vegan, I can’t believe that’s the cure for cancer. I hope that’s not what the movie implied because that would almost ridicule the struggle people with cancer go through and that’s just horrible.

Conclusions:

I can’t and never will tell anyone what to eat or what to do. It’s just simply not my place.

I can tell you that watching the documentaries was enjoyable because I enjoy learning new things and documentaries are a fun way of doing that.

I can tell you that I’m going to try and eat move vegetables and try to keep my hubby doing the same thing. I really think it’s better for us and our vegan experiment certainly showed results on his cholesterol level. Plus, it’s really the only way I know how to cook.

Besides that, I can’t say that watching these changed my mind or radically opened my eyes. I do believe that what we eat is important but, at the end of the day, we’re all doing the best we can to live our lives as well as we can. Maybe an ice-cream isn’t great for our intestine but it might do wonders for our soul.

 

A very different book review…

Okay, this one is certainly way out there. I usually don’t read books like this. I’m very weary of diet fads and suspicious of extreme changes in food. I like eating a variety of foods and not feeling deprived or strict.

Now, lately, I started trying to cook. I’ve had some results that were good and some that we such a disaster the dogs wouldn’t eat the stuff. For some reason, I chose to start cooking vegan meals (I hoped that at least with plant-based ingredients, I wouldn’t kill anyone with salmonella). Looking around for good recipes, I kept hearing about this book “The China Study”, so finally, I bought it.

(credit: amazon.com)

(credit: amazon.com)

Well, the book is really incredible. I won’t give it justice because I can’t replicate the clear explanations that Dr. Campbell uses in his book. But I will tell you his story.

He was born in a dairy farm and ate the diet that his family thought was very healthy. An animal-based diet of meat, dairy, vegetables and fruits. They tried to eat mostly things they grew on the farm and he grew thinking that was best. He went to university, got his Ph.D. and continued to try and prove that way of eating was best.

It was only when he went to Vietnam and saw studies to the contrary that he started to research his theory and, after 30 years of searching and doing the biggest study of nutrition ever done, he concluded that animal protein is not the healthiest thing for humans and it actually can be harmful.

I can’t reproduce the impact of this book on the reader in a tiny review. I can only say that it was impressive and I was pretty skeptic when I started reading it. If you’re concerned about health or trying to improve your diet, you might want to pick this book up.

And yes, me and my lovely hubby are seriously considering becoming vegan…I’ll let you know how that experiment goes.