The thing I like about Atkins is the science behind the diet (oh & the fact that it worked for me once before) & the idea that I’m minimizing the amount of processed foods I eat.
I’ve found that if I can persuade myself to eat better, I can overcome most food temptations: I was a vegetarian for 11 years without ever being tempted to stray, all because of a single movie I saw once on the Discovery Channel. Movies, books, these things help me to process information & the information I need now is about how to eat well.
So this page will document some of the food movies I’ve seen. Some are available free from hulu (and I’ll provide the links). Others I got from Netflix (and if they’re “watch instantly” movies, I’ll provide the links). I’ll give a very shorthand review & summary, but if you watch any of these & want to provide longer reviews, post them here or allow me to link to your review on your blog.
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (a Netflix instant watch or on Hulu) Two men transform their lives by going on an extended juice fast. This one is super inspiring! While you don’t have to commit to a 60-day juice fast, or even a 10-day juice fast (the most I’ve done is 4 days), this movie illustrates how transformative a vegetable- and fruit-based diet can be.
Forks over Knives (a Netflix instant watch or on Hulu) The science in this movie is fascinating and very persuasive! It walks you through a number of scientific studies that illustrate how a whole-foods, vegan diet can help to prevent disease. Watching the food they eat in several scenes makes me want to buy the cookbook and live this way forever!
Food, inc. (a Netflix instant watch) is an absolute MUST-WATCH. Unfortunately, it’s also potentially life-changing, so fair warning here. Don’t watch Food, inc. unless you really want to understand where our food (everything from breakfast cereal to fast-food hamburgers) comes from & what the consequences are for what we eat. Some of the other movies on my list cover some of this stuff, the politics of genetically-modified food, of obesity, of fast-food, of industrial farming, of the (impotent) FDA, loss of seed variety…but Food, inc. covers it all: the human, animal, and environmental toll of what we eat as Americans. Again, I wish everyone could see this movie, but maybe ease into it with one of the others on my list like King Korn, The Future of Food, or Killer at Large.
King Korn (a netflix instant watch): A mid-range movie as far as entertainment and information value. Two film makers from New York (I think) get a plot of land to grow corn in the midwest. They show how farming has changed & why. Then they follow their corn to the different areas of the country where it is processed from a largely inedible ear into corn syrup, feed for cattle, etc. The bits about the meat industry are pretty incredible, but some of this is fairly predictable stuff. Still, it’s nice to have a reminder of the terrible stuff in our food…in all of it. B
The Future of Food (a hulu freebie): This one gets a little cerebral at times, but it’s interesting enough to stick it out. Deals with the genetically-modified food industry (and the farming industry in general) & what’s happening to our farms & our food. This documentary is sort of terrifying in a surprisingly bland way: shows how deregulation in the US has our farmers growing food that other nations won’t even buy from us because its effects haven’t been researched. Also discusses what happens when corporations were allowed to patent seeds and the dangers of crop variety reduction (fewer types of corn, for example). An interesting one to watch. B+
Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat (a netflix instant watch) An interesting take on the problem with a blending of experts from cultural studies, medicine, religious studies, politics, etc. President Clinton’s in this one, as are some formerly-obese children whose stories are heart breaking. Discusses school lunch funding, NCLB effects, vending machines in the schools, marketing food to children, “better for you food” marketing, the “exercise is all you need” argument. Does a nice job illustrating the government’s highly aggressive non-action with regard to this crisis…anything not to upset the food industry giants. A+
Super Size Me (a hulu freebie): This one got a lot of media attention when it came out. The film maker decides to eat nothing but McDonalds for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a full month. He starts the film a fairly healthy guy, and ends it in pretty bad shape in terms of his cholesterol, weight, blood sugar, etc. A good way to learn about why fast food is so terrible for us & to turn off that fast food craving. B