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Tag Archives: Whole Food Plant Based Diet

Sugar Coated

This is a very interesting documentary detailing how, over half a century, sugar has become a principal ingredient in most processed foods. The film describes the rise of the sugar industry and its lobbying efforts and its failure to take any responsibility in the growing diabetes and overweight epidemics. The director, I think quite convincingly, makes that case the sugar industry is what the cigarette industry was only a few decades ago: consistently denying the science, and developing marketing campaigns that capitalize on uncertainty to market their products. In the meantime, doctors are treating the first cases of children with …

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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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Live and Let Live (German)

Documentary in which the director introduces us to six different people who have adopted the vegan lifestyle and explores with them their reasons for doing so. Interviewees include a professional cyclist who long-listed for the 2012 Olympics; a butcher who became a vegan chef; members of the animal rights group Animal Equality; and a couple who own a sanctuary for animals that would have been sent to slaughter. I enjoyed this film that highlights not only the benefits of eating a vegan diet but more of the activist orientation behind their decisions to become vegan. There is also a brief …

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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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Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (2011) and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2 (2014)

Australian Joe Cross weighed over 300 pounds and was on medications, including one to treat an autoimmune disorder. Determined to beat the meds and get healthy, he flies to the US and goes on a 60-day drive across country, armed with his juicing machine, drinking nothing but fresh fruit and vegetable juices. The movie is about his journey to health as well as that of another man he meets along the way who suffers the same autoimmune disorder. While the movie is not very deep, it still is an inspiring story about the power of plant-based diets in correcting medical …

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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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