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Tag Archives: Diet

King Corn

This light, entertaining, and balanced documentary has as its subject corn, an all-American crop. Two young men decide to return to Iowa, where their families are from, and rent an acre of corn to better understand how it has taken over as the premier cash crop. Through their journey, the men examine how corn has become a staple of almost every food product; the primary sweetener used in sodas and so many foods, and the principle part of the diet of cows and pigs. They also examine how subsidies help farmers to make money on corn when it otherwise would …

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Beyond Food

The directors visit people who have different answers to how to get more in touch with their bodies through food, exercise, and meditation. I found the film to be interesting to see the different perspectives. However, there are several downsides to the movie. Almost none of it is research-based; these are the claims made by individuals who themselves have improved through the specific regimen they adopted. The concepts are not really explored in any depth; one example is the use of the term “biohacking”. I searched this after the film and did not get a clear understanding of how this …

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What the Health?

This is the newest (Netflix) movie about the benefits of whole food, plant based diets. Kip Anderson interviews many people who have a stake in whole food, plant based diets, including people such as Gregor, Barnard, Esselsten, and others. Each speaks from his or her perspective about the health benefits of whole-food, plant based eating. While the film suffers from some of the same flaws as other films in this genre, such as interviewing people who collectively have the same viewpoint about diet and nutrition, it still does a very good job of highlighting the ways that the American diet …

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OMG GMO

Jeremy Siefert directed this film that is his personal exploration of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and how they are affecting our food supply. He travels partly with his wife and two children to farms and corporations in search of answers about GMO’s and the foods that contain them. He also is trying, in the process, of teaching his children more about the food they eat. I liked the movie because it was a very non-technical presentation of a complex topic, and I think that this serves as a great introduction to the topic of GMO, particularly for those who don’t …

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In Defense of Food

Directed by Michael Schwarz, this documentary is based on the book of the same name by Michael Pollan. In it, he argues against nutritionism, a term he popularized. Nutritionism seeks to understand the basic components of food as healthful rather than understanding food more holistically. The film crafts a pretty convincing argument regarding our relationship to food, how we have grown away from the origins of our food, and how we continually seek a miracle nutrient or drug that will fix our ills. He includes testimony from scientific experts in nutrition and weaves into the film a brief history of …

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Vegucated

Marisa Miller Wolfson recruits and follows three people – Brian, Tesla, and Ellen – as they agree to take on a vegan diet for 6 weeks. They are all checked in with Dr. Joel Fuhrman, an MD who is an expert in nutrition. The film is interesting in some respects. It probes many of the questions that those who think about taking on a vegan diet have. It also examines the food industry and its practices of raising and killing animals for food. Also explored are reactions to family and friends and how people who decide to become vegan make …

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Sustainable

This is a documentary about the economics and history behind the sustainable farming movement. The film focuses mostly on Marty and Kris Travis and their son will who show how it is possible to make a profit in sustainable farming. He also started a cooperative among farmers in the area (Illinois) to be able to deliver a wide variety of organic and locally grown products to area restaurants. I found that the film gives a very optimistic alternative to foods produced in current farming methods. An artisan baker is interviewed who uses wheat and other grains to create bread and …

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Food Matters

This is a documentary that consists of interviews with several people talking about nutrition, the problems associated with medications, and the potential benefit to nutritional therapy to replace medications. Overall, I did not think the movie was very strong in its message. First, it was rather one-sided and did not present well the research to back up the claims. It came off a bit like the advertisements such as those making claims that certain nutrients can cure cancer. Second, the movie content doesn’t reflect the title; more could have been said about the research backing up nutrient and food-based alternatives. …

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Cowspiracy

Keegan Kuhn directs himself in a documentary investigation of one of the largest contributors to global warming: the farming industry. He discovers information regarding the amount of methane contributed to the atmosphere by farm animals and the amount of water required to produce a pound of meat. He then sets out on an investigation to uncover the truth about why various environmental groups are not reporting this. While I found the narrator rather goofy (and sometimes just plain tedious), his investigation of groups such as Greenpeace and people who do and do not do sustainable farming leads to legitimate claims …

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Earthlings

This documentary examines the ways that ‘humankind’ profit from animals. It starts out examining 3 levels of existence on the planet – animals, nature, and humankind. The ways in which humans brutalize each other is shown, and the remainder of the movies looks at various industries that exploit animals for our benefit, including food and research. The images are shockingly in-your-face brutal in many cases, and they come from what appear to be undercover cameras bringing to light things that most of us will never see nor can imagine. The film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix in a very simple …

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